Posts for: July, 2016
Learn about jaw surgery from your Spokane dentist.
Jaw surgery encompasses a variety of procedures designed to improve the alignment, symmetry and health of your jaw. From aesthetic concerns to life-threatening conditions, many dental conditions can be treated with oral surgery to help you live a healthier life.
Also known as orthognathic surgery, jaw surgery can be used to treat a variety of conditions. Jaw surgery might be recommended for you if:
You’re missing teeth, or have teeth that cannot be saved. Jaw surgery includes common dental procedures such as tooth extraction and dental implants. Millions of people have improved their dental health by removing infected teeth and replacing them with implants, ensuring the long-term health of their jaw bones even after losing teeth.
You have chronic difficulty chewing, swallowing, sleeping, or breathing. If you have a jaw condition that makes eating painful or difficult, surgery can ease your pain and help you get the nutrition you need. Obstructive sleep apnea can also be treated with jaw surgery when non-surgical interventions aren’t enough.
Orthodontics haven’t solved your jaw problems. While the teeth may appear straight, this doesn’t mean that the jaw itself is aligned properly. A protruding jaw, underbite, open bite or unbalanced facial symmetry may require surgery to fully resolve the underlying problem.
You’ve experienced severe trauma to the face or jaw. Injuries from sports, car accidents and other impacts are common sources of facial trauma. Surgery helps many people restore their jaw structure to health after an injury.
You have frequent jaw pain and/or headaches. Chronic TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction can cause jaw pain and recurrent headaches. Non-surgical treatment options are available, but surgery may be recommended if you don't find relief with more conservative treatments.
Jaw Surgery in Spokane
When non-surgical treatments don't give you the results you're looking for, jaw surgery can be the answer to improving both your dental health and your appearance. An aligned jaw prevents excessive wear to the teeth, helps your bite function more efficiently and balances your facial structure. For jaw surgery in Spokane, WA,request your appointment at Inland Oral Surgery or call (509) 321-1404 today.
So you’re tearing up the dance floor at a friend’s wedding, when all of a sudden one of your pals lands an accidental blow to your face — chipping out part of your front tooth, which lands right on the floorboards! Meanwhile, your wife (who is nine months pregnant) is expecting you home in one piece, and you may have to pose for a picture with the baby at any moment. What will you do now?
Take a tip from Prince William of England. According to the British tabloid The Daily Mail, the future king found himself in just this situation in 2013. His solution: Pay a late-night visit to a discreet dentist and get it fixed up — then stay calm and carry on!
Actually, dental emergencies of this type are fairly common. While nobody at the palace is saying exactly what was done for the damaged tooth, there are several ways to remedy this dental dilemma.
If the broken part is relatively small, chances are the tooth can be repaired by bonding with composite resin. In this process, tooth-colored material is used to replace the damaged, chipped or discolored region. Composite resin is a super-strong mixture of plastic and glass components that not only looks quite natural, but bonds tightly to the natural tooth structure. Best of all, the bonding procedure can usually be accomplished in just one visit to the dental office — there’s no lab work involved. And while it won’t last forever, a bonded tooth should hold up well for at least several years with only routine dental care.
If a larger piece of the tooth is broken off and recovered, it is sometimes possible to reattach it via bonding. However, for more serious damage — like a severely fractured or broken tooth — a crown (cap) may be required. In this restoration process, the entire visible portion of the tooth may be capped with a sturdy covering made of porcelain, gold, or porcelain fused to a gold metal alloy.
A crown restoration is more involved than bonding. It begins with making a 3-D model of the damaged tooth and its neighbors. From this model, a tooth replica will be fabricated by a skilled technician; it will match the existing teeth closely and fit into the bite perfectly. Next, the damaged tooth will be prepared, and the crown will be securely attached to it. Crown restorations are strong, lifelike and permanent.
Was the future king “crowned” — or was his tooth bonded? We may never know for sure. But it’s good to know that even if we’ll never be royals, we still have several options for fixing a damaged tooth. If you would like more information, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Repairing Chipped Teeth” and “Crowns and Bridgework.”
Wearing braces isn't just for teenagers — straightening teeth can be just as viable a need when you're an adult. For example, it may be necessary to first move teeth away from an empty tooth socket before you obtain a dental implant or other restoration.
But braces could have complications, especially if you have periodontal (gum) disease. These infections caused by plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles, inflame and weaken gum tissues and erode supporting bone. It can be treated and brought under control — but keeping it under control requires daily brushing and flossing, along with frequent office cleanings and checkups.
Braces can make this more difficult: it's harder to brush and floss effectively through the hardware of brackets and wires, which can give plaque a chance to build up. Patients susceptible to gum disease are more likely to have re-infections while wearing braces. The hardware can also cause enamel to come in prolonged contact with acid, which can dissolve its mineral content and open the door to tooth decay.
Clear aligners are an alternative to braces that can accomplish tooth movement while minimizing infection flare-ups for people with gum disease. Aligners are a series of customized clear plastic trays worn over the teeth, with each succeeding tray incrementally moving the teeth further than the preceding one. After wearing one tray for a specified time period, you then switch to the next tray. The teeth gradually move to the desired new position over the course of the aligner series.
This option is especially advantageous for gum disease patients because the trays can be removed temporarily for brushing and flossing. There are also other benefits: we can hide a missing tooth space with a temporary false tooth attached to the aligner; and, they're nearly invisible so it won't be obvious to others you're undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Not all orthodontic situations benefit from this alternative, while some cases may call for a combination approach between aligners and braces. But in the right setting, clear aligners are a good choice for not only obtaining better teeth position, but also helping you avoid a new encounter with dental disease.