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Posts from 2018

Treatment with Dental Braces

If you think your child needs dental braces to straighten his/her teeth, it is a good idea to have him/her evaluated by an orthodontist. According to Alan Carr, DMD, the ideal age for an orthodontic evaluation is 7. Whether or not to wear braces is a matter to be decided by the orthodontist, depending on the cause and severity of the misaligned teeth.

Generally, treatment for misaligned teeth involves dental braces. This treatment begins only when the child has lost the majority of his/her primary teeth and his adult teeth have started to grow in. Usually, this happens between ages 8 and 14, where most of the child's adult teeth have settled but are crooked. The use of dental braces may be appealing since this can address several dental issues such as overbite or underbite.

However, some orthodontists may recommend the use of dental appliances, not necessarily dental braces, for children who still have most of their baby teeth. Only after the baby teeth, or most of them, have fallen out will the orthodontist start the second phase of the treatment — using dental braces.

The two-phase treatment method will necessarily entail more time and expense. However, if initial treatment or prior orthodontic evaluation was made, the second phase will be shorter.

Depending on the severity of the dental problems, the prerogative generally rests upon the orthodontist. However, if you feel having dental braces would be the best choice for you and your kid, consult and share your thoughts with your orthodontist.

Retirement party for our manager of 37 years

If you think your child needs dental braces to straighten his/her teeth, it is a good idea to have him/her evaluated by an orthodontist. According to Alan Carr, DMD, the ideal age for an orthodontic evaluation is 7. Whether or not to wear braces is a matter to be decided by the orthodontist, depending on the cause and severity of the misaligned teeth.

Generally, treatment for misaligned teeth involves dental braces. This treatment begins only when the child has lost the majority of his/her primary teeth and his adult teeth have started to grow in. Usually, this happens between ages 8 and 14, where most of the child's adult teeth have settled but are crooked. The use of dental braces may be appealing since this can address several dental issues such as overbite or underbite.

However, some orthodontists may recommend the use of dental appliances, not necessarily dental braces, for children who still have most of their baby teeth. Only after the baby teeth, or most of them, have fallen out will the orthodontist start the second phase of the treatment — using dental braces.

The two-phase treatment method will necessarily entail more time and expense. However, if initial treatment or prior orthodontic evaluation was made, the second phase will be shorter.

Depending on the severity of the dental problems, the prerogative generally rests upon the orthodontist. However, if you feel having dental braces would be the best choice for you and your kid, consult and share your thoughts with your orthodontist.

No more messy molds for dental fitting; no more long waits for dental implants

The advent of 3-D technology now makes possible the taking of teeth impressions without the inconvenience and time-consuming process of extracting a tooth mold from the patient.

A new hand-held scanner allows the dentist to take dental impressions of the patient's teeth by quickly scanning the inside of the mouth. The digital images captured are displayed on a screen while the patient is still in the chair, allowing the dentist to make any adjustments before the impressions are sent to the lab for fitting of a crown (visible part of the teeth) or a bridge. This eliminates the need for molding, allowing for a mess-free, precise fitting as swiftly as 10 minutes.

Inserting a soft goo into the patient's mouth and letting it harden there before being extracted can be unpleasant for the patient. Inaccuracy of the impression often results in refitting or redoing of the implants, causing more time spent in the dentist's chair and more discomfort for the patient.

The 3-D CT scan is now also used to complete a dental implant in a single surgery. It used to take 6 months before the crown is placed on top of the implant to allow the jaw bone, where it is fixed, to heal. One-day implant has become possible with the surfaces of the implants being modified to enhance their rate of fixation to the bone.

The unique perspective provided by imaging enables dentists to plan and carry out restorations all in one day. Using the 3-D model of the patient's mouth, dentists are able to immediately locate the exact spot in the mouth to place the implant.

Some 50 million dental patients in the U.S. require crowns and bridges each year

Making broader, attractive smile come true with palatal expansion

What is palatal expansion? Palatal expansion is the widening of the upper jaw to make room for teeth to fit together and align properly, without becoming crooked or crowded. This allows the teeth to move straight and the jaws to function well, giving the appearance of a broader and straighter smile.

Orthodontists recommend palatal expansion for children with a narrow upper jaw while their teeth and jawbone are still growing. This will improve the child's appearance and avoid difficulties with biting, chewing and speech.

Expansion may prevent the need for removal of crowded teeth later, because space is created while permanent teeth are developing.

How does palatal expansion work? In an immature upper jawbone, the roof of the mouth is formed by two halves of flat bone that make up the palate. They are joined together at the center by a bony suture. Palatal expansion moves the suture apart through the use of an expander device. This widens the upper jaw as new bone fills the gap between the separated palates.

A rapid palatal expander (RPE)/rapid maxillary expander (RME) is placed close to the palate with screws attached to the back of the upper teeth, to be adjusted according to schedule.

How long will the expansion take? The length of expansion depends on the amount of expansion an individual patient will need. Expansion can take a few weeks to a few months. The expander is generally worn for four to six months.

What can I expect during that time? You will initially feel a mild pushing against your teeth. Over the next few days, a tingling sensation and stronger pressure on your palate, nose and cheeks may be felt as the expander is being turned, and you may experience a slight headache. This is usually treated with over-the-counter analgesics.

You may notice space between the front teeth in the first few days, which is a sign that the palate has expanded. The space will close on its own within a month or so. Expansion is usually followed by wearing of braces.

How old is old enough for this treatment? Although age is not the best predictor for palatal expansion, a patient ideally should still be growing, when the sutures in the palatal bone are open. Patients who have completed growth have sutures already fused. The palatal expander can be used after a surgical operation in the upper jaw.

Skipping breakfast increases the risk of tooth decay in children

Children who do not eat breakfast every day or not consume at least five servings of fruit and vegetables daily are more likely to develop dental caries. This is according to a study, published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, using data from 4,236 preschoolers who participated in the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The results revealed that non-poor children who have poor eating habits (that is, not eating breakfast daily or not consuming a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables every day) are prone to tooth decay compared with poor children. Lack of breakfast consumption has been associated with high sugar intake and obesity in children. Although breakfasts have been limited to presweetened cereals among many children, eating breakfast was more likely to reduce consumption of sugary snacks or soda, which is what they would likely have when skipping breakfast altogether.

Kids who miss breakfast are more likely to compensate with a snack, and snacks have been found to have the highest sugar content of any type of meal. Breakfasts consisting of whole grains and dairy products have been shown to have an appetite-suppressing effect, while high-sugar diet cause people to feel hungry and seek more carbohydrates.

The authors said that good eating practices such as daily breakfast consumption are an important adjunct to the fluoridation of drinking water to further reduce caries experience in children. “Poverty may be the more important cofactor in indicating caries risk, but healthful eating practices are an important factor in the overall, complex process that leads to caries experience in young children,” concluded the authors. The authors found no relationship between breast-feeding and caries in younger children.

December 2018
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John Lupini, DDS, MS, is the director of True Orthodontics, which specializes in early orthodontic treatment, teeth straightening, Invisalign alternatives, and treats children and adults. True Orthodontics serves all of the downriver communities including but not limited to Southeastern Michigan, Wayne County, Monroe County, Macomb County, Oakland County, Downriver, Trenton, Grosse Ile, Woodhaven, Trenton, Riverview, Wyandotte, Melvindale, Ecorse, River Rouge, Detroit, Taylor, Westland, Garden City, Lincoln Park, Allen Park, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Romulus, Belleville, Huron Township, Van Buren Township, Flat Rock, Rockwood, Gibraltar, Brownstown, Monroe, Frenchtown, Newport, Carleton, Southgate and surrounding communities.