Posts for: October, 2020
One of the major signs that a young person's dental development is nearing completion is the eruption of the last four permanent teeth: the third molars, located rear-most on either side of both the upper and lower jaws. But the advent of these molars, also called wisdom teeth, isn't always a cause for celebration: They can give rise to serious dental problems.
Wisdom teeth often arrive on an already crowded jaw, making them subject to erupting out of position or becoming impacted, totally or partially submerged in the gums. This can cause harm not only to themselves, but also to other teeth: They can impinge on and damage the roots of their neighbors; impede brushing and flossing and increase the risk of disease; and skew the alignment of other teeth to create poor bites that affect dental health and function.
Wisdom teeth are considered so prone to these problems (an estimated 70% between ages 20 and 30 have at least one impacted molar) that it's been a common practice to remove them before they show signs of disease or poor bite development. As a result, third molar extractions are the most common surgical procedure performed by oral surgeons.
But the dental profession is now reevaluating this practice of early removal. On the whole, it's difficult to predict if the eruption of wisdom teeth in a particular person will actually lead to problems. It may be premature, then, to remove wisdom teeth before there's sufficient evidence of its necessity.
As a result, many dentists now follow a more nuanced approach to wisdom teeth management. An impacted wisdom tooth that's diseased or contributing to disease is an obvious candidate for removal. But if the eruption is proceeding without signs of impaction, disease or poor bite development, many providers recommend not removing them early. Instead, their development is allowed to continue, although monitored closely.
If signs of problems do begin to emerge, then removal may again be an option. Until then, a more long-term watchful approach toward wisdom teeth may be the best strategy for helping a young person achieve optimal dental health.
If you would like more information on managing wisdom teeth 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 “Wisdom Teeth: Coming of Age May Come With a Dilemma.”
Madeline Stuart, acclaimed fashion model; Chris Burke, successful actor; Collette Divitto, founder of Collettey's Cookies. Each of them is accomplished in their own right—and each has Down syndrome. In October, Down Syndrome Awareness Month recognizes the achievements of people with Down syndrome overcoming incredible challenges. One such challenge, keeping their dental health on track, is something they and their families face every day.
Down syndrome, also known as trisomy 21, is a genetic disorder that happens when the body's cells contain an extra copy of chromosome number 21. This can cause a wide range of physical, intellectual and developmental impairments that, among other things, can contribute to dental disease and other oral health concerns.
But oral problems can be minimized, especially during childhood. Here are four ways to better manage dental care for a child with Down syndrome.
Begin dental visits early. Down syndrome patients can have physical challenges that could result in delayed tooth eruption, undersized teeth or smaller jaws that contribute to poor bite development and greater risk of tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. To stay ahead of any developing issues, you should begin regular visits to the dentist no later than the child's first birthday.
Be aware of dental anxiety. Some children with Down syndrome experience significant anxiety about the clinical aspects of their care. We strive to provide a comfortable, caring environment for all patients, including those with special needs. A variety of relaxation techniques as well as sedation options may help to reduce anxiety.
Coordinate medical and dental care. Medical problems can affect dental care. Be sure, then, to keep us informed about your child's health issues. For example, heart defects are more common among those with Down syndrome, and dental patients with heart conditions may need to be treated with antibiotics before certain dental procedures to minimize the chances of infection.
Make daily hygiene easier. Daily brushing and flossing are important for everyone's dental health, but they can be difficult for someone with Down syndrome. In some cases, you may have to assist or even perform these tasks for your child. You can make oral hygiene easier by choosing toothbrushes that fit your child's level of physical ability or using special flossing devices.
The physical disabilities of those with Down syndrome fall along a wide spectrum, with some individuals needing more help than others. Tailoring their dental care to their specific needs and capabilities can help keep your child's teeth and gums healthy for the long term.
If you would like more information about providing dental care for children with disabilities, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Managing Tooth Decay in Children With Chronic Diseases” and “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that serve as a permanent base for artificial teeth. They are a smart solution for people that have missing teeth. Dental implants are placed within the jawbone. After just a few months, they permanently fuse with the bone. Dental implants are offered to help you achieve a healthy, attractive smile. Dr. Daniel Morrison at Gillette Dental PC in Gillette, WY offers a wide array of dentistry services that will help you look and feel your best. Read on to learn what dental implants can do for you.
Dental Implants Improve Your Appearance
Missing teeth gradually cause a negative change in your facial structure. Over time, your face begins to sag. Dental implants immediately improve your appearance. They support your facial structure and make you look younger. Speaking with a cosmetic dentist in Gillette will help you learn more about how dental implants improve your appearance.
Dental Implants are Comfortable
When you wear dentures, they're not always comfortable. They may shift around in your mouth. In contrast, dental implants feel comfortable and look natural. They function just like your natural teeth. Unlike dentures, you never have to worry about them falling out when you eat or speak.
Dental Implants Improve Your Speech
When you have missing teeth, you aren't able to pronounce your words properly. Dental implants allow you to speak without difficulties.
Dental Implants Prevent Bone Loss
If you lose your teeth, you also lose bone mass within your jaw. Dental implants help prevent bone loss because they stimulate the jaw bone.
Dental Implants Boost Your Self-Esteem
When you having missing teeth, you struggle with self-esteem. You hide your smile and avoid laughing. This interferes with your social life as well as your career. Getting dental implants immediately provides you with a boost of self-confidence.
Schedule Your Appointment
Just because you have broken or missing teeth doesn't mean you have to live your life hiding your smile. Cosmetic dentistry services in Gillette are the answer to your dental problems. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Daniel Morrison at Gillette Dental PC. Dr. Morrison and his experienced staff will provide you with the dental services you need to help you achieve a bright, beautiful smile. Schedule an appointment with Gillette Dental PC by calling 307-682-3353.