Posts for: March, 2015
Orthodontics can produce an amazing smile transformation. With today’s advanced appliances and techniques even the most difficult malocclusions (bad bites) can be overcome. All of this innovation, however, depends on one basic anatomical fact: though firmly set in the mouth, our teeth can still move.
Teeth are actually held in place by the periodontal ligament, a strong, elastic tissue that attaches to them through tiny collagen fibers on one side of the ligament and to the jawbone with similar fibers on the other side. When pressure is placed against a tooth, the bone on the opposite side of the force begins to dissolve (resorb), allowing the tooth to move. As it moves, new bone is built up behind the tooth, to stabilize it. Orthodontists take advantage of this natural mechanism through orthodontic hardware like braces that applies pressure in the desired direction of movement, while the ligament and bone do the rest.
There is, though, a downside to this process. The teeth, bone and gum tissues can contain a kind of “memory” for the former natural position of the teeth. Over time, the lower front teeth tend to take a gradual migratory movement back towards their original position. Also, as we age the lower front teeth may crowd each other as there is a genetic influence for teeth to move to the midline of the face, causing a pressure that allows the skinny lower front teeth to slip behind each other. As a result of both of these tendencies, corrected teeth may retreat from their new positions.
To stop these tendencies, we use an appliance known as a retainer after braces or other hardware is removed. As the name implies, this appliance “retains” the teeth in their new position. For structural “memory,” the retainer will keep the teeth in their new position until the impulse to return to the old one has faded, about eighteen months. Retainers can also slow or stop the natural genetic influence of movement, but it may mean wearing a retainer for an indefinite period, especially individuals who’ve undergone orthodontic treatment later in life.
The length of time you’ll need to wear a retainer after braces — and what type, whether a removable appliance or one permanently attached — will depend on a number of factors including the type of malocclusion, your individual mouth structure and age. We’ll recommend the best option that ensures the best chance of keeping your teeth in their new position.
If you would like more information on retainers after 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 “Why Orthodontic Retainers?”
Do you have troublesome teeth in your mouth that no longer allow you to have confidence in your smile? If so, you're not alone, as many Americans today have unsightly grins characterized by stained, crooked, chipped, cracked, or misaligned teeth. But lasting dental relief can be found with veneers, which are ultra-thin layers of strong and durable porcelain that are placed on your outer tooth surfaces and sufficiently replace natural tooth enamel with a white-as-snow appearance. For more information on dental veneers in Lawrence, KS please contact Rockledge Dentistry today!
At Rockledge Dentistry, you can experience the significant dental relief found in veneers for yourself, as the expert dental specialists on site make it their mission to provide every mouth with a lasting reason to smile bright! Using specially-created veneers that are custom-designed to accommodate every tooth in need, dentists expertly bond them to your troubled teeth for the most natural-looking tooth-surface covering available today.
Not only are veneers as tough as nails and twice as white, but they don't stain like typical tooth enamel, either. Still, that doesn't mean you can forego normal dental hygiene procedures like brushing twice each day and flossing daily if you're going to maintain those pearly white residents exuding that snowy glow between your lips. Also, attending regular dental check-ups and as-needed cleanings are imperative for the continued success of your veneers.
If you're still not sure if veneers are right for you, check out all that they can accomplish for your teeth below:
- Improved Color — Offered in numerous realistic-looking, tooth-colored shades, veneers will improve the color of your tooth's surface.
- Perfected Size And Shape — Veneers can be contoured and structured so that they are the perfect fit for your smile and surrounding facial features.
- Better Spacing And Alignment — Veneers can shore up those unsightly gaps between existing teeth or improve the current alignment pertaining to all your dental surfaces.
For more information on why veneers offer lasting results for an improved smile that drops jaws and turns heads across Lawrence, KS, give one of the helpful dental specialists at Rockledge Dentistry a call at (785) 331-0027 today!
A woman as gorgeous and funny as Sofia Vergara surely planned to be a model and actress from the get-go, right? Wrong! Sofia’s first career choice actually was to be… a dentist! That’s right, the sexy star of TV’s Modern Family actually was only two semesters shy of finishing a dental degree in her native Columbia when she traded dental school for the small screen. Still, dental health remains a top priority for the actress and her son, Manolo.
“I’m obsessed,” she recently told People magazine. “My son thinks I’m crazy because I make him do a cleaning every three months. I try to bribe the dentist to make him to do it sooner!”
That’s what we call a healthy obsession (teeth-cleaning, not bribery). And while coming in for a professional cleaning every three months may not be necessary for everyone, some people — especially those who are particularly susceptible to gum disease — may benefit from professional cleanings on a three-month schedule. In fact, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to having professional teeth cleanings — but everyone needs this beneficial procedure on a regular basis.
Even if you are meticulous about your daily oral hygiene routine at home, there are plenty of reasons for regular checkups. They include:
- Dental exam. Oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease are much easier — and less expensive — to treat in the earliest stages. You may not have symptoms of either disease early on, but we can spot the warning signs and take appropriate preventive or restorative measures.
- Oral cancer screening. Oral cancer is not just a concern of the middle aged and elderly — young adults can be affected as well (even those who do not smoke). The survival rate for this deadly disease goes up tremendously if it is detected quickly, and an oral cancer screening is part of every routine dental visit.
- Professional teeth cleaning. Calcified (hardened) dental plaque (tartar or calculus) can build up near the gum line over time — even if you brush and floss every day. These deposits can irritate your gums and create favorable conditions for tooth decay. You can’t remove tartar by flossing or brushing, but we can clear it away — and leave you with a bright, fresh-feeling smile!
So take a tip from Sofia Vergara, and don’t skimp on professional cleanings and checkups. If you want to know how often you should come in for routine dental checkups, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor articles “Dental Hygiene Visit” and “Dental Cleanings Using Ultrasonic Scalers.”