Posts for category: Dental Procedures
Mayim Bialik has spent a good part of her life in front of TV cameras: first as the child star of the hit comedy series Blossom, and more recently as Sheldon Cooper’s love interest — a nerdy neuroscientist — on The Big Bang Theory. (In between, she actually earned a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA…but that’s another story.) As a child, Bialik had a serious overbite — but with all her time on camera, braces were just not an option.
“I never had braces,” she recently told Dear Doctor – Dentistry & Oral Health magazine. “I was on TV at the time, and there weren’t a lot of creative solutions for kids who were on TV.” Instead, her orthodontist managed to straighten her teeth using retainers and headgear worn only at night.
Today, there are several virtually invisible options available to fix orthodontic issues — and you don’t have to be a child star to take advantage of them. In fact, both children and adults can benefit from these unobtrusive appliances.
Tooth colored braces are just like traditional metal braces, with one big difference: The brackets attached to teeth are made from a ceramic material that blends in with the natural color of teeth. All that’s visible is the thin archwire that runs horizontally across the teeth — and from a distance it’s hard to notice. Celebs like Tom Cruise and Faith Hill opted for this type of appliance.
Clear aligners are custom-made plastic trays that fit over the teeth. Each one, worn for about two weeks, moves the teeth just a bit; after several months, you’ll see a big change for the better in your smile. Best of all, clear aligners are virtually impossible to notice while you’re wearing them — which you’ll need to do for 22 hours each day. But you can remove them to eat, or for special occasions. Zac Efron and Katherine Heigl, among others, chose to wear clear aligners.
Lingual braces really are invisible. That’s because they go behind your teeth (on the tongue side), where they can’t be seen; otherwise they are similar to traditional metal braces. Lingual braces are placed on teeth differently, and wearing them often takes some getting used to at first. But those trade-offs are worth it for plenty of people. Which celebs wore lingual braces? Rumor has it that the list includes some top models, a well-known pop singer, and at least one British royal.
So what’s the best way to straighten your teeth and keep the orthodontic appliances unnoticeable? Just ask us! We’d be happy to help you choose the option that’s just right for you. You’ll get an individualized evaluation, a solution that fits your lifestyle — and a great-looking smile!
For more information about hard-to-see (or truly invisible) orthodontics, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Orthodontics for the Older Adult” and “Clear Aligners for Teenagers.”
The American Academy of Implant Dentistry estimates that approximately half of a million dental implants are installed by dentists each year to replace missing teeth. Implants can be used for single tooth replacements or to fill in multiple gaps across the smile. Although dental implants aren’t right for every patient, they could be just right for you! The team at Asuncion Dental Group in Frederick, MD can help you make that decision.
A Better Way
If you’ve assumed that dentures are your only option for cosmetically repairing your smile after tooth loss, you should know that there may be a better way. Dental implants offer numerous advantages over partial or complete dentures. Here are a few benefits to consider:
- Dentures are temporary and removable while implants are permanent and non-removable
- You do not have to remove a dental implant in order to clean it (just brush and floss along with your other teeth)
- Dental implants are more natural-looking and feel more secure, especially when eating
Are Dental Implants Right for Your Smile?
If you find out that you are a good candidate for dental implants, you should seriously consider this tooth replacement solution. Your Frederick, MD, dentist needs to find plenty of healthy bone tissue in the jaw where you want the tooth replaced. Implants need the support of a robust immune system to heal as quickly as possible, so you should be in stable general health.
Your First Dental Implantation Appointment
If you have some dental anxieties, relax knowing that there is nothing to be worried about when you go in for your first dental implantation appointment. The area of the mouth that your dentist will be working on will be numbed with a sedative so that you’ll have a comfortable experience. The appointment is relatively short, only requiring about a half an hour to one hour to have the implant positioned. You’ll return to the office a few months later to get impressions taken for a permanent crown.
The Preferred Tooth Replacement Option
When you have a tooth replaced, the best option is one that will give you the most comfort and versatility. A dental implant is the ideal choice in most cases. Call (301) 620-8882 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Frederick Asuncion at Asuncion Dental Group in Frederick, MD.
Dental implants are widely considered by both dentists and patients as the premier choice for replacing missing teeth. Unfortunately, implants aren’t the appropriate choice for teenagers with missing teeth.
That’s because their jaws won’t fully finish most of their growth and development until early adulthood. An implant placed too early could become misaligned as the jaw matures. The best approach for a teenager is a temporary restoration until they’re old enough for an implant.
There are a couple of good options. One is a removable partial denture (RPD), prosthetic (false) teeth set in an acrylic base that mimics gum tissue at the locations of the missing teeth. RPDs, which stay in place by way of metal clips that fit over other teeth, are easy to wear and maintain.
On the downside, an RPD can break if you bite into something too hard. They can lose their fit and may need to be replaced with a new one. And, some teens aren’t quite keen on wearing a “denture.”
Another option is a bonded or Maryland bridge, a kind of fixed bridge. We bond dental material to the back of a prosthetic tooth with portions of the material extending out from either side of it.Â We then bond these extending tabs to the back of the teeth on either side of the prosthetic tooth to hold it in place. Unlike traditional bridges, we can eventually remove it without any permanent alterations to the teeth it’s attached to.
Before we undertake a bonded bridge, though, we must make sure the gums and bone of the surrounding teeth are free from periodontal (gum) disease and are healthy and strong enough to support the bridge. We also need to be sure the patient doesn’t have a deep bite or a teeth grinding habit, which could cause the teeth to make contact with the tabs and break them.
The patient also needs the maturity to responsibly perform diligent oral hygiene: this type of bridge has a tendency to build up disease-causing plaque, so brushing twice and flossing once every day is critical. Not doing so increases the risk of tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease, which could complicate a future implant.
We can discuss these options after a thorough dental examination of your teenager. Either way, we’ll be able to restore your teen’s smile until we can undertake a more permanent restoration.
Dental implants are considered the premier option for tooth replacement. While all implant procedures follow the same general concept — a titanium post surgically inserted into the jawbone with an attached life-like crown — the installation process can vary.
From their earliest history, implants have usually been installed through a two-stage process. In the first stage, the surgeon inserts the titanium post in the bone and leaves it “submerged” below the gum level to protect it from oral bacteria and the effects of chewing and biting. About three months later after the bone attaches to the titanium (a process called osseointegration), the surgeon then performs the second stage by re-exposing the implant and attaching a temporary abutment and crown for the patient to wear while the permanent abutment and crown are fabricated and later attached in 2-6 weeks.
In recent years, advancements in materials and design have made possible a one-stage process that allows the implant to protrude above the gum line during osseointegration and shortens the process. After the initial three-month healing period, the implant is ready for “loading” with the permanent crown.
The choice between which of these two procedures should be used for your implants will first depend on the type of tooth being replaced. A front tooth benefits from the one-stage procedure for cosmetic reasons because the surgeon can install a temporary crown to the exposed abutment during osseointegration (as long as the temporary tooth isn’t in functional contact with other teeth). An implant for a back tooth, on the other hand, doesn't have a large cosmetic demand so those one stage procedures usually end up with an exposed healing abutment but no temporary crown.
The strength of the bone is also a factor. Some bone tends to be softer, particularly in the back of the mouth. There’s a chance the implant could move in this softer bone, adversely affecting the outcome. For this reason, the two-stage procedure can be the preferred approach for posterior teeth as it offers more protection from movement.
You can be sure we’ll consider all these and other factors during your initial examination, and then advise you on the best approach. Above all, we want to make sure — whether a one-stage or a two-stage implant process — the result is a smile you can be proud of.
If you would like more information on dental implants, 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 “Staging Surgery in Implant Dentistry.”
Are you suffering from tooth decay? Do you need your cavities filled, but want to avoid metal fillings? Well, with tooth-colored fillings, that's no problem. Here in Frederick, MD, general dentist, Dr. Asuncion can help you get the healthier and whiter smile you want.
More About Tooth-colored Fillings
There are three types of tooth-colored fillings:
- Composite — Composite is an expensive mixture of plastic and glass. It lasts longer and requires less drilling compared to amalgam.
- Porcelain — It's a strong dental ceramics that doesn't stain. They require a specialized computer-generated technology and are the most aesthetic filling.
- Glass Ionomer — They're made of inexpensive acrylic and glass powders. These translucent fillings blend in well with natural tooth color.
Tooth-colored fillings fix issues like:
- Chips and cracks
- Discolored and stained teeth
- Short teeth
In order to prepare your teeth for the composite, your general dentist in Frederick will apply an etching solution to the surface of your tooth, then the composite resin that matches the color of your teeth is applied and molded to the right shape. The last step consists of the composite being hardened in place with a curing light.
Maintaining Oral Hygiene
Dental bondings require the same care as all your teeth. Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day, after breakfast and before bed, and floss at least once. This will help keep your teeth healthy and avoid new cavities from flourishing in your new tooth-colored fillings, or any of your other teeth.
After your doctor has finished the procedure, your teeth will look natural, especially if the tooth being filled is visible while you smile. Some other advantages include:
- The fillings won't cause your teeth to turn a gray tint over time and are safer.
- The composite strengthens your teeth
- Your teeth will look natural, so you won't feel self-conscious when you smile.
For more information about tooth-colored fillings and how they can improve the appearance of your smile, call your general dentist, Dr. Asuncion at (301) 620-8882, his office is conveniently located in Frederick, MD, so don't hesitate to call!