Invisalign: The Clear Alternative to Braces

Posted by Colleyville Dentist on October 6, 2016 in Dentist

Teeth straightening today offers many options. There are metal bands and brackets that now come in a variety of colors appealing to younger patients; but teens and adults that wish to straighten their teeth have choices too … and many are opting for Invisalign clear aligners.

The advantages of Invisalign are numerous:

Clear – This makes teeth straightening a virtually invisible method.

Removable – This is an important component for a couple of reasons. Patients that can remove their dental braces are free to enjoy all the foods they love. Simply remove the aligners, enjoy your snack or meal, and replace. Secondly, the patient can brush and floss thoroughly without cumbersome braces to get in the way.

Comfortable – The aligners are made without wires or metal. They are firm enough to gently shift teeth to their correct placement without abrading soft oral tissues in the process.

Convenient – With standard metal braces, the patient must see the dentist to have wires tightened to keep the straightening process moving forward. With Invisalign, the aligners are simply replaced every two weeks … each aligner is designed to keep teeth moving toward the correct occlusion.

Invisalign is ideal for resolving an over bite, under bite, or cross bite. A consultation with your dentist will involve photographs, x-rays, and dental impressions. These are the tools that will be used by the Invisalign lab to fabricate the series of aligners using 3-D digital technology. They will develop aligners based on the length of time determined to resolve your malocclusion.

The aligners need to be worn twenty to twenty-two hours every day. When each aligner is replaced every two weeks, the new aligner will feel very snug. That is because at the end of this two week period, your teeth should have been shifted to where the aligner no longer feels tight. This is how the process gradually moves teeth to their new placement.

At treatment conclusion, no matter what type of orthodontic treatment you choose, you will be given a retainer to be worn. The retainer will allow your teeth to develop a memory for their new location. Failure to execute this part of the program will allow your teeth to possibly shift back to their former location. Don’t waste months or years of treatment … wear your retainer as directed.

To learn more about Invisalign or other services we offer, contact our team at Anderson Dentistry today.

Protect and Strengthen Teeth with Dental Crowns

Posted by Colleyville Dentist on September 7, 2016 in Dental Crowns
Dental crown and tooth isolated on a white background

Tooth decay can weaken and deteriorate your teeth, and extensive decay may not be adequately addressed with a filling alone. In these cases, dental crowns can help to protect and preserve teeth that have been affected by large cavities.

Dental crowns can be made of any number of materials – metal, porcelain fused to metal, composites – depending on the patient’s needs and aesthetic preferences. Your dentist will meet with you for an initial evaluation to gather all of the information needed to design your crown. Decayed material is removed from your tooth, which is then “prepped” for crown placement by removing a thin layer of enamel.

Your dentist will forward the design specifications to a dental lab, which is tasked with crafting the crown. When the crown is ready to be placed, the patient returns to the office to have it bonded to the tooth. Before it is permanently placed, the crown’s design can further be adjusted according to the patient’s desires. However, after the crown is bonded to the tooth, it cannot be altered. Therefore, be sure that you are satisfied with the crown’s appearance before that point.

Dental crowns can be used in other circumstances beyond restoring a tooth affected by decay. A dental crown may also be placed on a tooth following a root canal, which leaves the tooth susceptible to breakage without some additional form of protection. A crown can also be used primarily for aesthetic purposes.

If you take good care of a dental crown, it can last for many years. Maintain a thorough oral hygiene routine of twice-daily brushing and daily flossing, and keep sweet treats to a minimum. You will get instructions on how to care for your dental crown so that it can continue to protect your tooth.

Dental crowns can help to protect and strengthen your teeth in a number of circumstances. Might you benefit from this treatment? Contact Anderson Dentistry at either of our convenient locations to schedule an evaluation.

Oral Piercings: The Hidden Risks to Your Health

Posted by Colleyville Dentist on August 9, 2016 in Dentist

Tongue and lip rings may be trendy, but is a fashion statement truly worth the risks it may present to your health? Educate yourself on the potential pitfalls that oral piercings can have for your oral health as well as your general well-being. If you still decide to proceed with an oral piercing, be sure that you are taking all necessary precautions to minimize your risks.

As is the case with any piercing or opening in the soft tissues of the mouth, a lip or tongue ring does present the risk of infection. This risk may be more pronounced in the mouth, which is a warm, moist environment that is hospitable to bacteria growth. If you get an oral piercing, it’s essential to keep it clean to limit the likelihood of infection. Pain and swelling can also be problematic with a lip or tongue piercing, and the latter can be life-threatening if the swelling is severe enough to restrict your airway’s opening.

Similarly, patients who have sensitivities to certain metals can experience an allergic reaction to an oral piercing, and this can also cause swelling.

A lip or tongue piercing can also damage your teeth, which might require a dentist to place a restoration of some sort to address the damage. Many people with tongue piercings get in the bad habit of running the piercing along their teeth, and doing so can cause chips and cracks in the teeth. Oral piercings may also cause lacerations or other injuries in the soft oral tissues.

Depending on the location of the piercing, it can also be an obstruction in imaging needed by your dentist for your care, like x-rays. It can also cause you to drool excessively, and you may experience some nerve damage from the piercing, although this typically reverses with time.

If you already have an oral piercing, be sure that you know how to care for it properly. Check in with us for tips and suggestions for keeping your mouth as healthy as possible.