Posts for: February, 2016

AmericasDentistsGotTalent-forFixingDamagedorMissingTeeth

A recent episode of “America’s Got Talent” featured an engaging 93-year-old strongman called The Mighty Atom Jr. The mature muscleman’s stunt: moving a full-sized car (laden with his octogenarian “kid brother,” his brother’s wife, plus Atom’s “lady friend”) using just his teeth. Grinning for host Howie Mandel, Atom proudly told the TV audience that his teeth were all his own; then he grasped a leather strap in his mouth, and successfully pulled the car from a standstill.

We’re pleased to see that the Atom has kept his natural teeth in good shape: He must have found time for brushing and flossing in between stunts. Needless to say, his “talent” isn’t one we’d recommend trying at home. But aside from pulling vehicles, teeth can also be chipped or fractured by more mundane (yet still risky) activities — playing sports, nibbling on pencils, or biting too hard on ice. What can you do if that happens to your teeth?

Fortunately, we have a number of ways to repair cracked or chipped teeth. One of the easiest and fastest is cosmetic bonding with tooth-colored resins. Bonding can be used to fill in small chips, cracks and discolorations in the teeth. The bonding material is a high-tech mixture of plastic and glass components that’s extremely lifelike, and can last for several years. Plus, it’s a procedure that can be done right in the office, with minimal preparation or discomfort. However, it may not be suitable for larger chips, and it isn’t the longest-lasting type of restoration.

When more of the tooth structure is missing, a crown (or cap) might be needed to restore the tooth’s appearance and function. This involves creating a replacement for the entire visible part of the tooth in a dental lab — or in some cases, right in the office. It typically involves making a model of the damaged tooth and its neighbors, then fabricating a replica, which will fit perfectly into the bite. Finally, the replacement crown is permanently cemented to the damaged tooth. A crown replacement can last for many years if the tooth’s roots are in good shape. But what if the roots have been dislodged?

In some cases it’s possible to re-implant a tooth that has been knocked out — especially if it has been carefully preserved, and receives immediate professional attention. But if a tooth can’t be saved (due to a deeply fractured root, for example) a dental implant offers today’s best option for tooth replacement. This procedure has a success rate of over 95 percent, and gives you a natural looking replacement tooth that can last for the rest of your life.

So what have we learned? If you take care of your teeth, like strongman Atom, they can last a long time — but if you need to move your car, go get the keys.

If you would like more information about tooth restoration, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Crowns & Bridgework.”


DontAllowYourAgetoStopYoufromaNewSmilewithOrthodontics

Think you’re too old to have your teeth straightened? In reality, healthy teeth can be moved at any age to better positions. For the many adults who have some form of malocclusion (bad bite), orthodontics is still a viable option even in later years.

As important as it is to self-image and confidence, treating misaligned teeth can benefit you more than just improving your smile. Misaligned teeth may be harder to keep clean, setting up a mouth environment advantageous to the development of tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease, the risks of both rising with age. And normally aligned teeth are easier to chew with than those misaligned.

Age isn’t the determining factor for whether you’re a good candidate for orthodontics — but your dental health is. Gum disease in particular can cause supporting bone loss, which can complicate orthodontic treatment. It’s important then that we first perform a complete oral examination and attempt to treat problems such as decay or gum disease first before attempting tooth movement.

What type of orthodontic treatment you’ll need will depend on the type of malocclusion you have and its relationship to the way your jaws fit together. Because your adult jaws have fully developed you may need orthognathic (“jaw straightening”) surgery to address certain advanced forms of malocclusion. If your bite problems aren’t that severe (the majority of situations) they can be treated with braces or, an increasingly popular alternative, clear aligners. These customized clear plastic trays are nearly invisible compared to metal braces and are effective for most patients.

Following the completion of tooth movement and other bite procedures, you will most likely need to wear a retainer to help prevent the teeth from reverting to their older positions. You may need to wear the retainer for a longer period than a younger patient, or perhaps indefinitely. Even with this mild inconvenience, though, you’ll still experience the positive effects of healthier and better functioning teeth and a great new smile.

If you would like more information on orthodontic treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Orthodontics for the Older Adult.”


By Kyle Weedon, DDS, PLLC
February 03, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Whether due to fear, lack of time, or just plain not feeling like it, people put off going to the dentist for many reasons. You may ask yourself, “Do I really need to see my dentist every 6 months, even if I’m not experiencing pain?” The answer to that question is a resounding “yes”. Regular dental appointments are crucial to your oral health. Understanding the reasoning behind this fact is easy with General Dentist help from Dr. Kyle Weedon, your Mineola, TX dentist.

Reasons to Visit Your Dentist 
Seeing your dentist twice a year is important for more than just keeping your teeth clean. Your Mineola dentist uses every appointment to monitor your oral health and catch problems early. Conditions like gum disease are easily treated and reversed in the early stages. If left untreated, periodontal treatment becomes much more complex. Additionally, oral cancer which is caught early could be the difference between the cancer spreading to other parts of the body or not. Your dentist’s examinations and cleanings also help prevent things like bone loss or infections which come from poor oral hygiene. If left untreated, a tooth with a small cavity which would only need a small filling may end up needing root canal therapy later down the line.

What can I expect during a regular dental examination and cleaning? 
A dental hygienist thoroughly cleans and polishes the teeth. An examination of your teeth reveals potential procedures which need to be performed during your appointment. Your Mineola dentist may examine your head and neck to check for abnormalities and signs of temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, disorder. Your gum tissues, bite alignment, and teeth are carefully examined for any irregularities or issues. If necessary, x-rays help your dentist see occurrences and severity of decay and bone loss.

If you have a broken or cracked tooth, pain, an abscess, or bleeding, painful gums, you should see your dentist immediately. Be sure to brush and floss twice daily between examinations and cleanings to ensure your teeth stay healthy and prevent decay-causing plaque and tartar buildup.

For more information on visiting your dentist, please contact Dr. Kyle Weedon, DDS in Mineola, TX. Call (903) 569-5818 to schedule your biannual dental examination and cleaning today!




Kyle Weedon, DDS, PLLC
620 E. Broad Street, Suite 1
Mineola, TX 75773

(The white building next to the Mineola Post Office.)
 

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