Posts for: April, 2018
As adults, we tend to become accustomed to our unique physical features. A freckle on the cheek or a streak of gray hair isn't something we'd necessarily want to change. However, crooked teeth can make people feel self-conscious about the way they look, but braces can call too much attention as well. That's why the team of dentists at Dentistry by Design in Andover, MA, offer Invisalign, a discrete, comfortable, and effective way for adults to straighten their teeth. Learn how Dr. Jhon Giraldo, Dr. Leo Kharin, and Dr. Nicholas Papapetros help you straighten out your smile on your terms!
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign uses the science behind traditional braces - placing pressure on the teeth to move them into the proper position - by transferring that method into clear, flexible plastic trays called aligners that fit directly against the teeth. These aligners are made in a series so they can be switched out to continue the process as your teeth move into place. Not only are these aligners practically invisible to others, they can also be removed so you're free to eat what you like without fear of damage.
When can I take my aligners out?
For best results, your Andover dentist suggests that your Invisalign trays should only be removed at mealtimes. They can then be replaced in your mouth after you brush your teeth. We'll show you the best way to keep them clean.
How long does Invisalign take to work?
Each of our patients' alignment issues are unique, so treatment time and number of aligners will vary. It may only take a couple months before your teeth begin appearing more even. On average, many people see final results from Invisalign within a year to 18 months. One way you can make sure you're on schedule is by following your Andover dentist's recommendation to wear your aligners every day for at least 20 to 22 hours.
If you're ready to get started on your new and improved smile, contact Dentistry By Design in Andover, MA, and ask to set up an appointment with Dr. Kharin, Dr. Giraldo, or Dr. Papapetros today!
Not long ago the dental bridge was the alternative treatment of choice to partial dentures for restoring lost teeth. Over the last few decades, however, dental implants have nudged bridgework out of this premier spot.
That doesn’t mean, though, that bridgework has gone the way of the horse and buggy. In fact, it may still be a solid restorative alternative to partial dentures for certain people.
A traditional bridge consists of a series of porcelain crowns affixed to each other like pickets in a fence. The end crowns are fitted onto the teeth on either side of the empty tooth space; known as abutment teeth, they support the bridge. The crowns in the middle, known as pontics (from the French for “bridge”), replace the teeth that have been lost.
Bridges have been an effective and cosmetically pleasing method for tooth replacement for nearly a century. To achieve those results, though, a good portion of the abutment teeth’s structure must be removed to accommodate the crowns. This permanently alters these teeth, so they’ll require a restoration from that point on.
Dental implants, on the other hand, can be installed in the missing space without impacting any neighboring teeth. What’s more, implants provide greater support to the underlying bone than can be achieved with bridgework.
But not everyone is a viable candidate for implants, and ironically the reason most often has to do with the bone. If a patient has suffered significant bone volume loss, either because of disease or the long-term absence of the natural teeth, there may not be enough bone to properly support an implant. Unless we can adequately restore this lost bone volume through grafting, we’ll need to consider another type of restoration.
That’s where bridgework could be a viable option for patients in this or similar situations. With continuing advances in materials and new applications, the traditional bridge still remains an effective and important means to restore a smile marred by missing teeth.
If you would like more information on dental restoration options, 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 “Crowns & Bridgework.”
Dental injuries result in thousands of visits to the emergency room every year, and many of these injuries occur while engaging in sports and recreational activities. Whether playing on an organized team or joining a spontaneous game with friends, athletes are much more likely to suffer a dental injury when not wearing a mouthguard. Five national dental organizations have joined together for National Facial Protection Month to urge athletes to use a mouthguard during both practice and games.
The American Dental Association and the Academy for Sports Dentistry recommend using mouthguards for over 30 sporting activities. While it comes as no surprise that mouthguards are recommended for football, hockey and basketball, the list also includes many activities that may not immediately come to mind—among them, surfing, ultimate frisbee, skateboarding, volleyball, skiing and bicycle riding.
In short, it’s wise to protect your smile while participating in any activity where your teeth may make contact with a hard surface. A properly fitted mouthguard can prevent injuries to the teeth, mouth and jaw, and may even help protect against head and neck injuries. Even those who participate in casual recreational activities should consider a mouthguard as an insurance policy against future pain and expense.
There are three types of mouthguards: a stock mouthguard that is bought ready to use from your neighborhood store, the “boil-and-bite” type that is formed to the mouth after being softened in hot water, and a custom-made mouthguard that is available from the dental office. Although any mouthguard is better than no protection at all, the best protection and most comfortable fit comes from a mouthguard that is custom-made by your dentist.
If you have questions about preventing dental injuries, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Athletic Mouthguards” and “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries.”