Posts for category: Dental Procedures
Dental implants are a revolutionary dental procedure which can overhaul your smile whether you have one gap, several gaps or no teeth at all. But what can dental implants do for you? Learn about the benefits of this popular tooth replacement option with help from your Bay City, MI dentist, Dr. Gregory Rosecrans.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants are a permanent part of your mouth.
The implant’s fixture is a small, titanium post which your Bay City dentist implants into the jawbone beneath your missing tooth. Over time, the fixture integrates with the bone, growing into and eventually becoming a part of it. With the fixture successfully integrated, it is a permanent part of your smile.
Your implants are secure in your smile.
Since the fixture integrates into the bone, it stays put. Unlike other tooth replacement options, implants do not use the surrounding natural teeth or gum tissue to stay in place. Dentures, which rely on suction or gravity to stay in the mouth, may move around or even fall out. Bridges use dental crowns and depend on the surrounding natural teeth to stay in place. Dental implants stand alone, relying only on successful implantation into the jawbone.
Dental implants are the next best thing to real teeth.
Not only will your implants stay in your mouth permanently, they will also look, feel, and function just like regular teeth. The part of the implant which replaces the tooth itself, called a dental crown, is made of porcelain. This material has the same light-reflecting qualities as natural teeth, providing a highly natural appearance. Additionally, the dental laboratory which creates the dental crown can color-match it to your natural teeth, allowing it to blend flawlessly with your existing smile.
Caring for dental implants is easy.
Caring for your implants is as easy as caring for your natural teeth. Simply brush your teeth twice daily for at least two minutes, or about as long as a song on the radio lasts. Be sure to replace your toothbrush when it begins to show signs of wear, usually about every month. Floss at least once daily. See your dentist for regular dental examinations and cleanings at least twice a year to keep your teeth and implants alike healthy.
For more information on dental implants, please contact Dr. Rosecrans in Bay City, MI. Call (989) 892-7832 to schedule your consultation for dental implants today.
Find out if dental veneers may be the right choice for improving your smile.
Perhaps you’ve heard dental veneers can makeover your smile without needing extensive dental preparations or invasive procedures. Well, you would be right! Find out what to expect when you turn to your Bay City, MI cosmetic dentist, Dr. Gregory Rosecrans, for veneers.
What exactly are dental veneers?
Sometimes referred to as porcelain or composite veneers, these thin custom-made shells are bonded to the front surface of your teeth to alter their shape, color or size. You can opt for a single veneer or a full set, depending on the look you are going for.
What issues can veneers address?
When your Bay City dentist places your veneers, you will get an instantly more attractive and even smile. Since this treatment affects teeth in the “aesthetic zone” (teeth that are visible when you smile) people will only see a brighter, straighter and more ideally shaped smile. Some of the problems that veneers can improve include:
- Gaps between teeth
- Chipped, cracked or broken teeth
- Crooked or malformed teeth
- Teeth with severe stains
Veneers can improve the outward appearance of your teeth but cannot do things like realign your jaw or correct malocclusions. However, veneers can help change the look of your smile for the better.
What are the benefits of this cosmetic treatment?
There are many advantages to choosing dental veneers:
- They are durable. Porcelain veneers may look thin, but they are a great way to provide additional strength to your teeth. They can last several years before needing to be replaced.
- They are lifelike. Porcelain mimics the look and color of a real tooth. In fact, the porcelain even reflects light similarly to natural teeth, so you’ll get veneers that are a natural as possible.
- Porcelain is also resistant to stains caused by dark foods and drinks, and cigarette smoking. Of course, it’s never a bad idea to limit stain-producing foods and beverages or to brush your teeth right after, but you shouldn’t have to worry about dealing with nasty stains with your new teeth.
- This treatment is more conservative in how it improves your smile. Unlike dental crowns that require more tooth preparation, dental veneers only require a minimal amount of tooth structure to be removed prior to placing the veneers.
Veneers have been giving patients around the Bay City, MI area a new lease on life and could do the same for you. To find out if you’re a good candidate for treatment, it’s time to book a consultation with Gentle Family Dentistry today.
A few days before the Oscars, Vanity Fair magazine asked Academy Awards host Neil Patrick Harris to name his most treasured possession. Was it his Tony award statuette for best leading actor in a musical? His star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? The stethoscope he wore while playing teenaged doctor Doogie Howser on TV? No, as it turns out, the 41-year-old actor’s most treasured possession is… his wisdom teeth. Yes, you read that correctly. “Oddly, I still have my four wisdom teeth,” Harris said. “I refuse to let them go or I’ll lose my wise parts.”
How odd is it for a 41-year-old to have wisdom teeth? Actually, not that odd at all. While it is true that wisdom teeth are often removed, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to this. It all depends on whether they are causing problems now, or are likely to cause problems in the future.
The trouble wisdom teeth cause is related to the fact that they are the last molars to come in, and that molars are large in size. By the time wisdom teeth appear between the ages of 17 and 21, there often is not enough room for them in the jaw. Sometimes it’s because you may have inherited a jaw size that’s too small for your tooth size; and generally speaking, the size of the human jaw has evolved to become smaller over time.
If room is lacking, the adjacent molar (that came in earlier) can interfere with the path of eruption — causing the wisdom tooth to come in at an odd angle. The wisdom tooth can hit up against that other tooth, possibly causing pain or damaging the adjacent tooth. This is known as “impaction.” Sometimes the wisdom tooth breaks only partway through the gum tissue, leaving a space beneath the gum line that’s almost impossible to clean, causing infection. A serious oral infection can jeopardize the survival of teeth, and even spread to other parts of the body.
If a wisdom tooth is impacted, will you know it? Not necessarily. A tooth can be impacted without causing pain. But we can see the position of your wisdom teeth on a dental x-ray and help you make an informed decision as to whether they should stay or go. If removal is the best course of action, rest assured that this procedure is completely routine and that your comfort and safety is our highest priority. If there is no great risk to keeping them, as Neil Patrick Harris has done, we can simply continue to monitor their condition at your regular dental checkups. It will be particularly important to make sure you are reaching those teeth with your brush and floss, and that you keep to your schedule of regular professional cleanings at the dental office. All healthy teeth are indeed worth treasuring.
If you would like more information about wisdom teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”
Dentures, removable restorations for missing teeth and gum tissue, can take a number of different forms, but are usually of two different types: complete and partial. A complete denture replaces all the teeth in a given arch. A removable partial denture (RPD), on the other hand, replaces several missing teeth while using the remaining teeth as support.
A common type of RPD formed of plastic is known as a “flipper” because it’s lightweight enough to be “flipped out” or moved around with the tongue. They serve an important purpose as a temporary appliance for use between periodontal treatment, implant placement and similar treatments before obtaining a more permanent restoration. In fact, they’re often referred to as “transitional” RPDs because they’re not designed for permanent tooth replacement.
Because of their low cost relative to other restorations, however, they often become the permanent choice for many people. While a well-constructed, properly fitting RPD in a healthy mouth can be an affordable alternative for people on modest budgets, their long-term use may increase the risk of dental disease and accelerated bone loss. Decades of research verify that people who permanently wear RPDs encounter more tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease than non-wearers.
This is because the attachment points of a plastic RPD to remaining teeth increases bacterial growth, which can cause both tooth decay and gum disease. This doesn’t only endanger the survival of the remaining teeth, it can lead to bone loss that will affect the RPD’s fit.
While the better course is to consider RPDs as a stepping stone to dental implants or a fixed bridge, there’s an intermediary RPD constructed of cast vitallium or gold alloy that could be considered a permanent choice. These are even lighter weight than plastic and less obtrusive in their attachments in the mouth, which can reduce plaque stagnation and promote a better oral environment.
Regardless of your choice in dentures, it’s always important to maintain good consistent oral hygiene with daily brushing and flossing and semi-annual professional cleanings and checkups. Keeping a healthy mouth will help reduce your risk of dental disease and increase your satisfaction with your denture of choice.
If you would like more information on RPDs and other denture restorations, 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 “Removable Partial Dentures.”
Fans of the primetime TV show The Middle were delighted to see that high school senior Sue, played by Eden Sher, finally got her braces off at the start of Season 6. But since this popular sitcom wouldn’t be complete without some slapstick comedy, this happy event is not without its trials and tribulations: The episode ends with Sue’s whole family diving into a dumpster in search of the teen’s lost retainer. Sue finds it in the garbage and immediately pops it in her mouth. But wait — it doesn’t fit, it’s not even hers!
If you think this scenario is far-fetched, guess again. OK, maybe the part about Sue not washing the retainer upon reclaiming it was just a gag (literally and figuratively), but lost retainers are all too common. Unfortunately, they’re also expensive to replace — so they need to be handled with care. What’s the best way to do that? Retainers should be brushed daily with a soft toothbrush and liquid soap (dish soap works well), and then placed immediately back in your mouth or into the case that came with the retainer. When you are eating a meal at a restaurant, do not wrap your retainer in a napkin and leave it on the table — this is a great way to lose it! Instead, take the case with you, and keep the retainer in it while you’re eating. When you get home, brush your teeth and then put the retainer back in your mouth.
If you do lose your retainer though, let us know right away. Retention is the last step of your orthodontic treatment, and it’s extremely important. You’ve worked hard to get a beautiful smile, and no one wants to see that effort wasted. Yet if you neglect to wear your retainer as instructed, your teeth are likely to shift out of position. Why does this happen?
As you’ve seen firsthand, teeth aren’t rigidly fixed in the jaw — they can be moved in response to light and continuous force. That’s what orthodontic appliances do: apply the right amount of force in a carefully controlled manner. But there are other forces at work on your teeth that can move them in less predictable ways. For example, normal biting and chewing can, over time, cause your teeth to shift position. To get teeth to stay where they’ve been moved orthodontically, new bone needs to form around them and anchor them where they are. That will happen over time, but only if they are held in place with a retainer. That’s why it is so important to wear yours as directed — and notify us immediately if it gets lost.
And if ever you do have to dig your retainer out of a dumpster… be sure to wash it before putting in in your mouth!
If you would like more information on retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers” and “Why Orthodontic Retainers?”