Hiding your smile because of the discomfort caused by your missing tooth? These days there are dental restoration processes that can make your smiles look flawless. Dental bridges are meant to correct dental issues such as tooth replacement. Virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth, they offer both aesthetic and functional benefits.
The type of dental bridges applied by dental clinics depends on the unique requirements of the patient. Before choosing which type is best for you, your dentist will check the issue that the restoration process needs to address. Your comfort and convenience as well is considered.
Dental bridges are distinguished from each other through these two factors:
- The dental issue they are meant to correct
- The technology or method of application
The different types of dental bridges
First is the traditional dental bridge. This dental restoration uses two crowns which are placed on top of your adjacent teeth. Your dentist needs to reshape nearby teeth to make sure that there is sufficient space to attach the crowns.
Next is the cantilever bridge. As opposed to the traditional type, this uses a single crown to support the entire restoration. Usually this is not advisable to use on your back teeth as your molars have the most pressure when you bite. This bridge can easily collapse and it would just be a waste of money if it gets damaged. This bridge is still present as option for patients who want to preserve the original structure of their tooth. However, it is no longer recommended by most dentists.
Third is the bonded bridge. Minimal alteration of your surrounding teeth is involved here. But there are two small wings that will be attached to your adjacent teeth. To apply this type, your dentist has to create a durable bond for the restoration and micro-etch the two supporting teeth. Usually this is used to replace a single missing tooth. But in some cases, it can support up to three teeth.
Fourth is the removable bridge. While most bridges are permanently applied, this type can be removed just like dentures. Some special patients prefer this to address their oral health issues.
The last type is the implant bridge. This type is the most common alternative these days. With an abutment piece, dental implants are permanent and more durable. Your dentist will screw a titanium piece directly into your jawbone and this implant will secure a fabricated new tooth. This dental restoration process is much longer and not everyone who desires to have it qualifies to undergo this type of dental bridges.[Top]
Many people think of orthodontists as providing only traditional braces. However, orthodontics has come a long way in recent years and your orthodontist can treat problems with a wide variety of options. Braces can be made of many different materials optimized for strength, versatility or subtle appearance. Your treatment option may include standard braces on the outside of the teeth, clear ceramic braces that are more difficult to see, or lingual braces placed on the back of the teeth. Aligner trays are also used for orthodontic treatment. These are removable and needn’t stay in the mouth as permanently as braces.
Orthodontic treatments are not used solely to improve the appearance of the teeth, though this is usually the most noticeable change to onlookers. Having teeth that are properly aligned and a correct bite is very important. If your teeth are misaligned, you may not be able to clean them properly. When your floss and toothbrush can’t get the job done, your teeth will decay, develop cavities or even fall out. An incorrect bite can make it difficult to speak or eat. Over time, a bite that isn’t corrected will wear your teeth unevenly. Many such problems are also uncomfortable and even painful.
If you believe that you or your child may need orthodontic treatment, you should talk to your dentist or orthodontist right away. Treatment works best when it is performed on children and adolescents. The jaw and teeth are easier to reposition while the face is still growing and developing. Once a patient has reached adulthood, treatment may become more difficult. Different treatment options must be used and the time it will take for adjustment to be complete is usually much longer. This is not to say that adults cannot see a orthodontist however, as treatment options can always be explored.
There are many signs and symptoms that can indicate a need to see a orthodontist. With children, you should look for a very late or very early loss of baby teeth. Children who regularly suck their thumbs or keep other objects in the mouth on a regular basis are at greater risk for oral problems that will need to be treated with orthodontics. Difficulty speaking, chewing, biting and closing the mouth are other early signs of a problem that you should talk to a orthodontist about. Breathing through the mouth, though a more subtle sign may also indicate a problem.
Once all the teeth have come in, you will be able to see a more visible indication of whether orthodontic treatment is necessary. If the teeth appear crowded, out of place, or protrude from the mouth, this is a problem that may need to be corrected. If the child can bite into the roof of the mouth, frequently bites into the cheek or grinds and clenches his or her teeth, talk to a dentist or orthodontist immediately. Though treatment isn’t always possible until children lose their baby teeth, it’s important to talk to a orthodontist early so you can assess the situation and develop a plan of treatment.[Top]
If you are a man, chances are you know nothing about eyelashes or lash beauty. Eyelashes are usually a minor detail that men do not focus on, or at least they do not think they do. For women, the topic of eyelashes is an entirely different matter. If women suddenly stopped taking care of their eyelashes or accentuating them, men would certainly notice. And the fact is women spend a considerable large amount of time thinking about what to do with their eyelashes. Some of them will not even leave the house without giving their lashes a bit of curl. Eyelashes are extremely important to achieving a particular look because they serve the purpose of enhancing the eyes. And the eyes, after all, are the key feature on any woman's face that they want to draw attention to. Up until last years, women had to rely on eyelash curlers and fake eyelashes to get the look that they wanted. But now, thanks to new developments in medical technology, it is possible to get eyelash implants.
Keep in mind the eyelash implants are not for everyone. In fact, they were originally designed for women who had gone through chemotherapy and a resultless lack in eyelash hair. For the most part, this type of surgery is still reserved for patients with medical conditions that affect their eyelashes. You can however, find more doctors who are qualified to perform the surgery for cosmetic reasons as well. Some people would question why a woman would go to such lengths to get eyelashes. But it is entirely a personal choice, and some women feel that they're so lacking in the eyelash department that there is no other alternative.
The eyelash implant procedure is similar to that associated with getting hair plugs. A patient will have a portion of their skin and hair removed from the back of their head. Hair follicles will be taken and carefully implanted into the eyelash area. The whole time a patient will be wake and put under local anesthetic. There will not be much downtime at all associated with the surgery, but results should not be expected immediately. Usually a patient will have to wait several months for the hair to start growing in a natural way. And on top of that, they might have to end a period where the hair seems to fall out completely. But this is just part of the natural hair growth cycle, and in time eyelashes can be growing in the area just like they would normally.[Top]
Do you have an over bite or under bite? If so, you may have been told you need corrective jaw surgery, more often known as orthognatic surgery.
For people with jaw abnormalities, every day tasks like eating and even sleeping can be affected as the jaws do not align with each other. They can also cause pain and affect your affect facial appearance.
In some cases orthodontic elastics can be used to realign the jaw during your regular orthodontic treatment. But this really depends on the severity of your overbite or underbite. While elastics can work quite well in some cases, it is usually advised that patients with severe over or underbites get corrective jaw surgery to permanently resolve any jaw issues.
During this procedure your jaw is disconnected and re-aligned to the ideal position. Sounds painful right? Do not worrry, you're asleep for the actual procedure. However when you wake up you will not be able to talk as easily and you will be in some pain for the first couple of days as you heal.
However, it's worth it for those who suffer from severe overbites or underbites. Along with orthodontic treatment, this procedure resolves jaw pain and improves the overall appearance of the face.
Depending on the type jaw spacing issue you have, your jaw surgery may include moving your upper jaw, lower jaw or both. This surgery is only done on skeletally mature non-growing individuals, and patients can usually return to their normal routines soon after the surgery.
Healing time can vary depending on your age and how much adjustment needs to be made, but it can be anywhere from two weeks to more than a month.
Will you need this surgery as part of your orthodontics plan? Well, it may be unnecessary if orthodontic treatment can correct the problem. However with any orthodontic treatment orthodontists face biologic limitations as to what can realistically be achieved with braces alone. During your first visit your orthodontist will be able to tell you if corrective jaw surgery is the correct treatment option for you.
The usual sequence of events in such a surgery / orthodontic treatment plan is as follows:
1. Diagnostic records are taken and a comprehensive treatment plan is developed in conjuction with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
2. Braces are placed on the teeth and over time the teeth are placed ideally on each dental arch. The bite may get worse as this step progresses.
3. Jaw surgery is performed to address the skeletal concerns.
4. After an appropriate healing time your case is finished and the braces are removed.[Top]
The breast implant is a cosmetic surgery device that's made of either silicone (a breast-shaped bag filled with silicone gel) or saline (composed of sterile salt water), and used to adjust the size of your breasts to the desired look. This is done through a procedure that has become popular, whereby women go through surgical operations that transform their physical features to a preferred appearance, particularly the breasts.
Before any woman decides to undergo this kind of a procedure, there are various factors that she may want to consider.
Factors to Consider:
The important factors you should consider before an augmentation procedure include:
The cost of having breastfeeding augmentation is usually high, so you should be financially prepared before you decide to have the procedure. This is because health insurance does not cover such procedures, unless it's a breast reconstruction surgery that is normally done when a woman has suffered from cancer.
2. Pain and infections
Feeling a bit of pain is a common experience after getting a breast implant. You would experience some sort of discomfort after having the procedure too. Fortunately, patients are given some painkillers to relieve such pain and discomfort.
Moreover, you're likely to experience an itchy feeling around the breast area, which might go on for some days. In some rare instances, an infection may develop.
3. Rupturing of breast implants
When the breast implant leaks, you may experience a painful sensation; while its shape and size changes. Once a woman has undergone the first surgery it's not always a guarantee that she will not be back to have another surgery.
At times, it becomes a challenge to detect if the implant has ruptured or leaked. Consequently, you might be required to undergo a second procedure to help maintain the shape and appearance of your breast.
Once any person has had a breast implant, it becomes a challenge for such an individual to breast feed; unless the implant has not interfereed with your milk glands. Here, not everyone who has the surgery is unable to breastfeed.
5. Nipple sensation
Sensation on the nipple may be lost in a small percentage of women who have had surgery. Most women would still retain nipple sensation, since loss of such sensation would normally depend on the kind of surgery you've had and other aspects of your breasts.
6. Mammogram detection
Effectiveness of a mammogram for a person who has had surgery on the breasts is a challenge; her leads to possible delay of breast cancer detection. For this reason, it's very important, before you decide to have surgery that you go screening to check for any possible occurrence of cancerous cells.
7. Is the doctor certified?
Before having any surgical procedure done it's of vital importance to always ensure that the person who will be in charge of the procedure is a certified professional from a recognized governing body. In this way, you'll ensure that the doctor performing surgery is a trusted person who will maintain professionalism.[Top]
Breathing is something that we do automatically to stay alive and so most of us do not think twice about it. It is perfectly natural to breathe through the mouth at certain terms such as when running or lifting heavy objects, however if breathing occurs through the mouth habitually then it can lead to many health problems. These problems can be particularly severe for children as mouth breathing can affect the long term development of the face and jaw.
So Why Breathe Through the Mouth?
Normal breathing is when we breathe through the nose with the mouth closed. The most obvious reason for someone to be a mouth breather is that they cannot get enough air through the nose. Common reasons for blocked nasal passages include:
- Allergies – which can cause polyps or swelling of the nasal lining
- Enlarged tonsils or adenoids
- Deviated nasal septum
- Respiratory infections – cold or flu
Signs that may indicate nasal breathing problems or airway obstruction are:
- Snoring, sleep apnoea
- Frequent upper airway infections
- Sounding ‘stuffy’ during the day/night
- Dark circles under the eyes
Effects on Teeth, Jaw and Posture
As mentioned before, mouth breathing can lead to many health problems, in particular dental health problems. When we breathe through the mouth, there is loss of saliva and dryness of the mouth and this can increase the risk of tooth decay and inflammation of the gums.
Also, mouth breathing can lead to alterations in the jaw and facial growth. The normal resting position of the tongue is up against the roof of the mouth to compensate the forces of the cheeks, however when a person breathes through the mouth, the tongue drops. This leads to the narrowing of the upper jaw and elongation of the lower jaw, resulting in the long, narrow face shape, typically known as ‘long face syndrome’. Due to the narrowing of the jaws, crowding of the teeth, overbite problems and malocclusion can be seen.
Adjustment in head posture is another effect that can result. Chronic mouth breathers tend to tilt the head backwards and lean the head forward in front of the shoulders to keep the airway open. This enables them to breathe better, however can have lead to long term problems of the neck and back.
Treatment of mouth breathing depends upon the underlying cause. This requires a multidisciplinary approach where your dentist, GP, ear-nose-throat specialist (ENT) and sleep physician may be involved in determining the treatment needed. Treatment may include prescription of certain medicines, surgery and myofunctional therapy and breathing exercises.
Airway obstruction is a common cause of mouth breathing and sometimes a full assessment by an ENT is needed to decide the treatment of the obstruction. Often certain medicines can be prescribed to increase nasal airflow and reduce obstructions like swelling of the nasal lining and polyps. For more complicated blockages such as enlarged tonsils or adenoids, surgery may be necessary to remove them.
Sometimes even after removal of the airway obstruction, mouth breathing is still present as it has become habitual. If this is the case, myofuntional therapy along with specific breathing and muscle exercises can help in establishing nasal breathing. Exercises that aim at strengthening the facial muscles along with specific oral appliances encourage nasal breathing and therefore can aid in the proper growth and facial development. This is imperative in young children as they are still in their growing stages.
Your Dentist Can Help
Mouth breathing is a serious problem that can impact on general and dental health. Our role as a dental practitioner is to identify and treat mouth breathing early, especially in children, and to refer to appropriate specialists if needed. The earlier we address this condition, the more likely we can reverse the effects. This means a healthier life, a more natural face and profile and a beautiful, healthy smile.[Top]
As long as you can remember, you’ve heard the words “cavities” and “gum disease” many times. Chances are you’ve had at least one cavity and one bout of gingivitis (low-level gum disease) so far in your life time. These tend to be the most common dental issues patients are familiar with. As there is a lot that goes on in the mouth as well as a wide range of foods and drinks that enter it throughout the day, many other dental issues can also occur. Some of these you may or may not have experienced:
- Tooth Sensitivity
- Chronic Bad Breath
- Chronic Dry Mouth
- Canker Sores
- Tooth and Jaw Pain
Causes of Dental Issues
There are multiple causes of the aforementioned common dental issues. Many causes are things a patient can do something about. Below are the common dental health issue causes:
Poor dental health and hygiene. Poor dental health as the result of improper or sub-par at-home oral hygiene is the most common cause for the majority of common dental issues. The lack of flossing and inconsistency of teeth brushing can leave decaying food particles in the mouth which cause tooth decay and gum disease which can then lead to additional oral health problems such as bad breath, lost teeth and weakened jaw bones.
Trauma. Trauma to the teeth or gums as a result of an injury can damage and weaken protective tissue that can make one’s mouth more susceptible to tooth decay, broken or chipped teeth, jaw injury and lost teeth. Most common accidents to the mouth involve the breaking, cracking, chipping or losing of teeth. Should any of these happen, patients are to go to the nearest dentist or ER room ASAP as prompt treatment is needed to save the teeth.
Underlying overall health conditions. Autoimmune diseases such as HIV and health conditions such as diabetes can put one at an increased risk of dental health issues by making one’s teeth and gums more vulnerable to infection and disease. These aforementioned conditions also lower the mouth’s ability to fight off disease and infection.
Underlying oral conditions. Tooth sensitivity, bleeding gums, bad breath and canker sores can all be the results of tooth decay, gum disease or another oral infection. A sore jaw, dry mouth and chronic bad breath can be the result of TMJ, bruxism (unconscious teeth grinding and jaw clenching) or another dysfunction in the functioning of the mouth.
There are many different causes to common dental issues. Some of the causes can be more easily reduced or dealt with by the oral hygiene habits of the patient. Others are more outside of the patient’s control and will require the help of a trained dental professional.
Regular, routine dental checkups and cleanings at the dental office play an important part in the prevention, diagnosis and prompt treatment of common oral health conditions. Whether or not you feel any discomfort or notice anything abnormal in your mouth, it is highly recommended that one schedules an appointment with their dentist every six months for a routine teeth cleaning and oral exam.[Top]
With Baby Boomers reaching a certain age, the benefits of adult orthodontics become very appropriate. This generation is not going to succumb to aging gracefully. They're going to go out fighting the whole process. If you are going to look after your health and pay attention to your body's needs as you age, you can not ignore your dental health.
Dental Care in the Total Picture
Forget about aesthetics for a minute and think about how good dental health effects the rest of your overall health. Maintenance of your teeth allows for proper mastication of your food, which leads to better absorption of nutrients and minerals into your body making you stronger and healthier.
Neglected teeth can become infected. These infections can cause permanent damage to any of your internal organs; including damage to the arteries and chambers of the heart, which may lead to a shorter lifespan. A neglected infection of the teeth or gums can be potentially deadly.
Although young people are the main target for tooth alignment with the assistance of braces, more and more adults are seeking out a better smile as well. Now that orthodontists have developed braces that are essentially invisible, there has been an increase in the number of adults using them. By aligning their teeth, adults can not only chew better, but the pain that can accompany improper alignment can be reduced or even eliminated.
It has been proven that the individual with good self-esteem and pride in their appearance is happier, which in turn can mean living longer. So opting for braces, porcelain veneers, or even bleaching to improve your dental health and appearance only adds to your overall well-being.
We have even reached a stage where dental caps can be fashioned to match the color of our natural teeth. Unsightly silver fills are a thing of the past, and by having them replaced, the risk inherent in the mercury contained in these filling is removed.
Old wire rigged bridges are now being replaced by permanent teeth that can be attached to your own natural teeth or even to the jawbone. Another highly washed after dental procedure is whitening. Although the very young are bleaching their teeth to achieve a perfect smile, adults are finding that bleaching can eliminate the discoloration of smoke-stained or aging teeth.
Orthodontics have even developed porcelain veneers that can be applied to severely deformed or damaged teeth. Gone are the days when dentists yanked out your teeth and replaced them with dentures. Now anyone with proper dental care can keep their own teeth even into advanced old age.[Top]
Porcelain Veneers have been helpful in perking up the smile of an individual. A professional dentist would be able to do this with ease and dexterity. Fixing chipped or cracked teeth, cleaning the stubborn stains on the teeth, filling gaps in teeth, giving shape to shapeless teeth or misaligned teeth are some of the conditions when porcelain dental veneers are helpful.
These dental veneers are slim porcelain strips which gel well with your teeth and it gives both shape as well as color to the smile of a person. They look aesthetically beautiful veneers cover the frontal of the tooth. They are designed in such a manner that it blends with your smile perfectly. The dentist checks out the teeth surrounding this tooth, measurements are taken and then porcelain dental veneers are made in such a manner so as to achieve a normal and gorgeous smile.
It is useful in not only treating the prevalent dental problems but these veneers also provide security to the smile by preventing discoloration of chipping of the teeth in future. If proper care is taken, this could last for another fifteen years. Porcelain veneers are transparent ceramic and brittle material and they undergo various chemical processes, so that they become stronger and tough.
The normal process involved would involve visits at least twice to the dentist. The first visit would involve inspection of the tooth, making casts of the smile. Based on these casts, the porcelain veneers would have to be made so as to blend with your smile ensuring that any damage, discoloration is covered.
Once the impressions are done, the ceramic bond has been properly crafted; the dentist would call you for fitting these porcelain veneers. They are then polished so that you are able to smile naturally. These are the only two visits which you would have to make for fixing the porcelain dental veneers other than your routine follow up.
Porcelain dental veneers resemble enamel and the results are dramatic. They look natural and attractive as compared to metal crowns which become black after some time. Metal crowns are visible when you smile and you may not look good and feel good wearing them. Veneers are basically used in cosmetic dentistry since they lend an aesthetic feel. Even if you have get your fillings, bridges or crowns repaired, veneers can be properly blended with them.If you want an attractive smile, then you need to use porcelain dental veneers.[Top]