Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Malocclusion and Orthodontics


What is malocclusion?

Malocclusion means having crooked teeth or a "poor bite."

Orthodontic treatment can correct the way teeth and jaws line up. Dentists who are specially trained to correct malocclusion are called orthodontists. They use a variety of treatment tools and techniques (including braces ) to move teeth, and sometimes the jaw, into the right places.

What causes malocclusion?

A common cause of malocclusion  is teeth that have too much or too little room in the jaw. If children have a small jaw, their teeth may grow into a space that is too small. As a result, teeth may grow or drift out of place.

Other causes of crooked teeth include thumb-sucking, pacifier use, and tooth loss.

What are the symptoms?

The most obvious sign is teeth that are crooked or stick out. Malocclusion can range from mild to severe. Most of the time, having crooked teeth is only a cosmetic problem, meaning people don't like the way their teeth look. But in severe cases, it can cause problems with eating or speaking.

How is malocclusion diagnosed?

A dentist usually checks for malocclusion in children during regular dental visits. If the jaw or teeth are out of line, the dentist may suggest a visit to an orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children get a checkup with an orthodontist by age 7.

An orthodontist will:

Ask questions about your or your child's past health problems.
Check the mouth and teeth.
Take X-rays of the face and teeth.
Take photographs of the face and teeth.
Make a plaster model of the teeth.
Start your child’s trips to the dentist at age 12 months. This will help your child get used to seeing a dentist. It will also catch any early problems. Keep up with regular dental checkups 2 times a year.

How is it treated?

In children and teens, the first step in treatment may be to take out certain teeth to make room for teeth that may still grow in.

The next step is to attach braces to teeth to straighten out the bite . In addition to straightening teeth, braces can help move a child’s jaw into the right position.

Teeth tend to move forward as you age, even after treatment with braces. Retainers  are devices you wear in your mouth to keep your teeth from moving. Some people need to use retainers for many years after treatment.

Adults can successfully straighten their teeth with braces. But the only way to straighten an adult’s jaw is with surgery.

Braces and other types of orthodontic treatment cost a lot. Most insurance plans don't pay for them. Before you start treatment, make sure you know how much it will cost and how you will pay for it.

Above article from: Webmd.com

Smiles of Bellevue
Tel: 425-455-2424
1418 112th Avenue NE, Suite 200
BellevueWA 98004 
USA

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Dental Health and Dry Mouth


We all need saliva to moisten and cleanse our mouths and digest food. Saliva also prevents infection by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth. When we don't produce enough saliva, our mouth gets dry and uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are many effective treatments for dry mouth.

What Causes Dry Mouth?

There are several causes of dry mouth, also called xerostomia. These include:

Side effect of certain medications. Dry mouth is a common side effect of many prescription and nonprescription drugs, including drugs used to treat depression, anxiety, pain, allergies, and colds (antihistamines and decongestants), obesity, acne, epilepsy, hypertension (diuretics), diarrhea, nausea, psychotic disorders, urinary incontinence, asthma (certain bronchodilators), and Parkinson's disease. Dry mouth can also be a side effect of muscle relaxants and sedatives.

Side effect of certain diseases and infections. Dry mouth can be a side effect of medical conditions, including Sjögren's syndrome, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, anemia, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, Parkinson's disease, stroke, and mumps.

Side effect of certain medical treatments. Damage to the salivary glands, the glands that produce saliva, for example, from radiation to the head and neck and chemotherapy treatments for cancer, can reduce the amount of saliva produced.

Nerve damage . Dry mouth can be a result of nerve damage to the head and neck area from an injury or surgery.

Dehydration . Conditions that lead to dehydration, such as fever, excessive sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, blood loss, and burns can cause dry mouth.

Surgical removal of the salivary glands.

Lifestyle. Smoking or chewing tobacco can affect saliva production and aggravate dry mouth. Continuously breathing with your mouth open can also contribute to the problem.

Above article from: Webmd.com

Smiles of Bellevue
Tel: 425-455-2424
1418 112th Avenue NE, Suite 200
BellevueWA 98004 
USA

Friday, 11 May 2012

Dental Crowns


A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that is placed over a tooth - covering the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and/or to improve its appearance.
The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.

Why Is a Dental Crown Needed?
A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:
To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn't a lot of tooth left
To hold a dental bridge in place
To cover misshapened or severely discolored teeth
To cover a dental implant

What Types of Crowns Are Available?
Permanent crowns can be made from all metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, all resin, or all ceramic.

Metals used in crowns include gold alloy, other alloys (for example, palladium) or a base-metal alloy (for example, nickel or chromium). Compared with other crown types, less tooth structure needs to be removed with metal crowns, and tooth wear to opposing teeth is kept to a minimum. Metal crowns withstand biting and chewing forces well and probably last the longest in terms of wear down. Also, metal crowns rarely chip or break. The metallic color is the main drawback. Metal crowns are a good choice for out-of-sight molars.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns can be color matched to your adjacent teeth (unlike the metallic crowns). However, more wearing to the opposing teeth occurs with this crown type compared with metal or resin crowns. The crown's porcelain portion can also chip or break off. Next to all-ceramic crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look most like normal teeth. However, sometimes the metal underlying the crown's porcelain can show through as a dark line, especially at the gum line and even more so if your gums recede. These crowns can be a good choice for front or back teeth.

All-resin dental crowns are less expensive than other crown types. However, they wear down over time and are more prone to fractures than porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.

All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide the best natural color match than any other crown type and may be more suitable for people with metalallergies. However, they are not as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns and they wear down opposing teeth a little more than metal or resin crowns. All-ceramic crowns are a good choice for front teeth.

Temporary versus permanent. Temporary crowns can be made in your dentist's office whereas permanent crowns are made in a dental laboratory. Temporary crowns are made of acrylic or stainless steel and can be used as a temporary restoration until a permanent crown is constructed by the dental laboratory.

Above article from: Webmd.com

Smiles of Bellevue
Tel: 425-455-2424
1418 112th Avenue NE, Suite 200
BellevueWA 98004 
USA