Auburn Orthodontics: Issues with Adults Wearing Braces

Key Differences: Adults and Kids

Different from that of children and teens, adult orthodontics posts significant challenges to specialists. Adults interested in pursuing this treatment may find it worth knowing what they face before making a decision.

Due to their age, adults have insufficient bone between roots for adequate blood supply, they may have mild gingivitis infections and marginal bone loss. The bones are harder and no longer growing, hence, it will take longer to adjust to teeth’s new positions; tooth realignment may be a more involved process in adult patients. And since adult bone doesn’t respond to pressure in the same way as growing bone, if there are gaps between teeth caused by extraction, they are not suitable sites for teeth to move into unless prosthetic bone has been added.

Adults undergoing orthodontics treatment have a higher risk for root resorption than children, leaving the tooth without anchorage. Some predisposing factors are family history, oral habits and the type of roots. This susceptibility causes root friction, teeth can become loose in their sockets and just fall out. Strict monitoring with the orthodontist is required, watching out for signs of resorption.

If an adult has a deep overbite, there is often not enough room in the mouth to create space for the teeth to move back without extracting one or more teeth. He might even have worn down some of the teeth, making the overbite worse. Also, adult patients have a greater risk for temporomandibular disorder (TMD), and symptoms can develop during conventional orthodontic treatment. Careful assessment is necessary before going into the treatment.

There are also psychological and social factors that affect adults interested in treatment. These include higher levels of treatment expectations, concern with appearances, discomfort from
wearing appliances and level of patience, and willingness to cooperate with orthodontic instructions.

If you are still interested to have orthodontic treatment, come visit our Auburn dentist and know more about your challenges and expectations.

Radiographs for Children: Safety First says Auburn Dentist

How Safe is Safe?

Radiographs are a vital part of your child’s dental diagnostic process. Without them, certain dental conditions can and will be missed. Take routine panoramic x-rays on kids based only on their age or stage of dental development. That means, there is no other reason for taking the x-ray other than just the routinary requisite. Some pediatric dentists would call to mind the ALARA principle, which stands for “As Low As Reasonably Achievable.” Minimize your child’s exposure to x-rays as much as you can, but be aware there likely will be times where x-rays are necessary and beneficial.

Looking at the benefits of radiographs, for example – needed to survey erupting teeth, diagnose bone diseases, evaluate the results of an injury, or plan orthodontic treatment. It allows dentists to diagnose and treat health conditions that cannot be detected during a clinical examination. If issues are found and treated early, dental care is more comfortable for your child and more affordable for you. But they should not be a part of every exam, nor should they be given to children according to an office policy or a formula?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends radiographs and examinations every six months for children with a high risk of tooth decay, or on average, once a year for most. Or else, every 3 years is a good idea to obtain a complete set of radiographs.

Pediatric dentists are particularly careful to minimize the child’s exposure to radiation. With modern safeguards, the amount of radiation is extremely small and the risk negligible. Dental radiographs are a far smaller risk than an undetected and untreated dental problem. Lead body aprons and shields will protect your child. Today’s equipment filters out unnecessary x-rays and restricts the x-ray beam to the area of interest.

Many dentists now use digital x-ray which have less radiation than conventional x-rays, or use cavity detectors rather than x-rays. High-speed film and proper shielding assure that your child receives a minimal amount of radiation exposure.

ALARA at Auburn Avenue Dental

Rest assured that our young patients at Auburn Avenue dental, should radiographs be essential, will get As Low As Reasonably Achievable x-ray exposure. Safety first, at all times, all the time.

Your Teething Baby

Coping with Baby’s Teething

When you baby’s first set of teeth, called primary teeth, starts to break through his gums, teething time has begun.

By the time your infant reaches 6 months, teething usually begins. However, it is still normal if teeth starts to show between 3 months to 12 months of age. By the time your child is about 3 years old, he will have all 20 primary teeth in place. The lower front teeth usually appear first, followed by the upper front one to two months after. Now most babies get new teeth and lose their teeth at expected times. The exact order and timing may vary.

Many babies appear not to be much affected when they are teething, but some are fussier and irritable than others. There is soreness and swelling in the gums before a tooth comes through and babies express their discomfort in a variety of ways – crying, touching or rubbing their gums or mouths. They may bite on their fingers or chew on their toys to help relieve the pressure in their gums, or refuse to eat and drink because their mouths hurt.

There will be a lot of drooling while baby is teething, so be sure to attend to him always as it may cause a rash in the mouth area or on his chest. These may go on 3 to 5 days before the tooth breaks the skin. After it does, the symptoms usually go away.

You can help ease baby’s teething woes by gently rubbing his gums a couple of minutes at a time; he may protest at first but may find it soothing. Do use your clean finger or a cold teething ring to do that, or a clean, cold washcloth. You can also let him chew on his teething ring. Don’t use teething gels for they can numb the bay’s throat or cause swallowing difficulties, nor aspirin or any medication with benzocaine. These are potentially unsafe and harmful for your baby. Ask your doctor for pain killers suitable to children younger than 2 years if other methods don’t work.

Baby Safety at Auburn Avenue Dental

It’s good practice to bring your baby to your Auburn dentist and start off early with his oral health management. Your dentist may give you advice about teething and other baby’s needs regarding his teeth and gum health.

Dentist or Oral Surgeon: What’s the Difference?

Finding Your Oral Surgeon

An oral surgeon, also called an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, is a specialist. All generalist and specialist dentists, do seven or eight years in college and dental college earning a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine). Both degrees are equivalent, the dentist is to practice general dentistry after passing a state licensing exam. An oral surgeon, spends an additional four to six years of in training after dental school, mostly in a hospital-based surgical environment.

The oral surgeon focuses strictly on performing dental surgical procedures and not on any other field of dentistry outside his training. The oral surgeon can do simple to complicated teeth extractions (including wisdom teeth), dental implant placement, repair of broken bones in the jaws and face, removal of cysts and tumors of the jaws, soft tissue biopsies, jaw realignment surgery to correct bite discrepancies, and cosmetic and TMJ surgeries.

There are general dentists or community-based oral surgeons who can do some of the above procedures, some of the time. But an oral and maxillofacial surgeon do all the procedures as a matter of routine. Hence, that oral surgeon is much more exposed to a variant of opportunities and differing situations and challenges in surgery expanding his expertise, adding to his experience. These include challenges like complications, emergencies, and even failures. The oral surgeon tends to have a higher success rate in oral surgeries than would a generalist. This leads to better outcomes.

A good dentist will diagnose and treat only the conditions with which they feel comfortable or for which they have training and will refer you to a specialist for anything further. It will be hard for him to continue to feel confident in situations he has no training in and for which his exposure is limited. He will refer you to a specialist, someone he has confidence in and from whose hands you will derive your best options. This relationship is all for patient benefit above anything else.

All for Patient Benefit in Auburn

Find in your Auburn dentist also a professional whose passion lies in oral surgery, among other fields of interest. Consult with him on any matter of dental concern and he will tell you if his expertise covers your best treatment plan. Like any good generalist, he will recommend when your situation warrants it.

Auburn Dentist: What you need to know before a Root Canal

Questions to Ask Before the Root Canal Procedure

There are diagnostic techniques in the form of very important fundamental questions that should be asked, along with clinical criteria to consider, prior to every potential endodontic case, more popularly called root canal treatment or root canal. It is the most common and popular procedure with the aim to salvage the tooth when its pulp tissue is diseased, injured or damaged.

Firstly, what is really the origin of the patient’s pain? Is it really the dental pulp? Hence, it is of endodontic origin and the endodontist must be sure of it. For there are non-endodontic causes of pain, such as dentin hypersensitivity, occlusal trauma such as clenching/grinding, or is sinus-related.

The clinician should ascertain that the pain is pulpal in origin such as symptoms of lingering pain to hot or cold, no response to pulp tests (with exceptions), and cases with apical pathology, like abscess at root tips, or do a cold test with Endo-Ice. He may also see if mastication muscles are tense or tender, look for occlusal wear, or non-localized pain that either wakes the patient up at night or is present upon waking up in the morning.

Next important issue- is the tooth worth saving? It is worth saving if there is sufficient and sound crown tooth structure to retain a restoration. Also worth saving if there is no vertical fracture that extends from the crown to the pulp floor which will severely compromise the strength of even the best crown restoration. Another fracture indication (but is not so always) is vertical bone loss and/or an isolated periodontal pocket.

In other words, one should not perform endodontics if the tooth is not structurally salvageable. Also, if it shows that it is less expensive to save the tooth rather than extract and restore it, root canal is indicated.

What Is the Long-Term Prognosis of the Tooth?

There is a more than 90% success rate for a period of many years for a successful root canal treatment in a tooth that is ideally and well restored. However, if the patient is in a poor state of periodontal health, one can’t expect longevity with even a successful root canal. One should also consider the combined financial costs of endodontics versus an alternative, like a single dental implant. Discussion on treatment options is encouraged.

Expertise and Experience in Auburn Dentistry

Talk to your Auburn dentist and find out if you are a perfect candidate for Root Canal. And also find experience and expertise in endodontics here at Auburn Avenue Dental.

Who Needs Fluoride Treatments?

The Benefits of Fluoride

We know that fluoride prevents tooth decay by making enamel stronger, more resistant to bacterial colonies that attack plaque on teeth. We also know that plaque are hardened food debris, especially of sugar, that once colonized by bacteria can start a cavity on enamel surface. Fluoride can also protect beginning cavities and reverse early decay. Fluoride, calcium and phosphate are minerals naturally occurring in food and water that are redeposited (remineralization) to the enamel layer.
Added fluoride speeds up this redeposition, strengthening the enamel.

So, who needs this strengthening from fluoride. All teeth do, of children and of adults. A child not yet 6 years of age has fluoride already incorporated into his developing permanent teeth. The teeth of babies , toddlers, up to children who are 16 years of age should be exposed to fluoride. This is the time in which primary and permanent teeth erupt. Fluoride also benefit the teeth of adults, hence, normal oral hygiene routine of brushing with fluoride toothpaste is recommended.

Adults with certain conditions need additional fluoride exposure, such as in cases of dry mouth, due to certain diseases and medication that initiates environment for more bacteria, and gum disease which increases the chances of tooth decay. More fluoride is beneficial also for people who have frequent tooth cavities, and if they wear appliances like bridges, crowns and braces. Apart from toothpaste and mouth rinses, dentists can recommend fluoride gel, foam, or varnish. Fluoride supplements are also available as liquids and tablets.

Fluoride Treatments from Auburn Dentist

Knowing the benefits of fluoride to dental health, it becomes clear how regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste helps. From your Auburn dentist, you can get additional protection from tooth decay if you’ll have fluoride treatments on a regular basis. Ask your dentist if you could benefit from additional fluoride.

Dental Hazards of Thumbsucking by Auburn Dentist

Worrying About Thumbsucking

Babies are prone to sucking on their thumbs, fingers, pacifiers and other objects that seem to calm them, soothe them and make them easily fall asleep. As parents, you are likely to let it be seeing your child is happier and less fuzzy; you might even think the child will soon outgrow this seemingly harmless habit.

Prolonged thumbsucking, like after the toddler years or when the child’s first permanent teeth start to come in, this finger habit can cause interference with the proper growth of the mouth and alignment of the teeth. Teeth, gums, jaws, the roof of the mouth, and even facial form can be impacted. Some children tend to vigorously suck their thumbs and its intensity can determine whether or not dental issues will arise. Some aggressive thumbsuckers may develop problems with their baby teeth, while passive suckers may not. A dental or skeletal open bite can develop among aggressive suckers but it will self-correct if the habit stops while the child is still growing.

Though thumbsucking may cease between the ages of 2 to 4 years of age, you can still do some intervention soon enough to prevent untoward effects. For example, you can provide extra comfort and caresses to ease your child’s anxiety or insecurity, or wean the child away from dependency on the thumb by distracting his attention towards, say, speech sounds. Older children may understand if you explain what happens to the teeth if they continue to suck or praise the child for not thumbsucking.

Seeking Professional Advice

Want to know more tips to help you wean your little one out of this reflex? Ask your Auburn dentist about thumbsucking and ways to manage it.

Auburn Dentist Says: Kids’ Oral Hygiene is a Parent’s Job

Starting Them Young

Regular six-month dental checkups for children are recommended just to set up a guideline for how taking care of oral health should be. Dental visits are good for a child’s development – it instills responsibility, develops compliance, and sets them on the right track.

Regular cleanings are essential for small teeth. Cavities develop quickly and spread like wildfire in young teeth where the enamel is not hard enough and noticeable spaces between teeth are likely places where food can lodge. If there should be beginning cavities, steps should be taken to ensure there are not going to be many more. Hence, brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day are routine. Parents should see to it that children are taught proper brushing and flossing procedures, until they can do them on their own, and reminded all the time until these become habits.

Parents should also limit their kids’ intake of sweets – candies, chocolates and fruit snacks. As a parent, you might think that gummy vitamins are good for children because that ensures they are taking daily vitamins. But actually, kids who snack on gummy vitamins tend to develop more cavities. Another helpful habit is to drink lots of water everyday. Water hydrates the mouth and washes away sticky sugar from teeth surfaces. However, soda and fruit juices and shakes are not as healthy as plain water. The timing for brushing is also habit-forming. Brushing at sunrise and before going to bed leave a healthier mouth and fresher and nice-smelling breath.

Auburn Dentist: Parents’ Guide to Kids Oral Health

Want to know more about how to keep your child’s oral health in top form? Pay us a visit at Auburn Avenue Dental and tell us about your little one’s special needs. We always have time to listen.

TMJ Care for TMJ Pains by Auburn Dentist

When Pain and Popping in the Jaw Happens

The temporo-mandibular joint or TMJ is that joint that connects your lower jaw (or mandible) to your skull, at the temporal area just in front of each ear. Several medical conditions,apart from traumatic injuries, affect not just the joints themselves, but involve their surrounding muscles, tendons and bones as well. With them, even nerves and blood vessels are affected. Certain habits promote the TMJ Syndrome – like poor head posture, chewing with your gums, teeth grinding, lack of sleep, and even stress. The pain can also be traced to a tooth misalignment or a bad orthodontic brace.

Headaches, earaches, and stiffness of jaw muscles are felt. Some symptoms can be quite disturbing, like popping sounds in the ear, jaw clicking, and sometimes the fearful locked jaw. Most symptoms are home-remedies, like applying ice packs, massages, and pain-killers. But if the problem still persists, then a look at a medical practitioner is the next step.

TMJ Care from Your Auburn Dentist

Sometimes, it’s not enough to see your primary physician or a medical specialist only, such as an ENT MD. A consultation with your local Auburn dentist can be as helpful also, and might just be the specialist you need. In instances where the causative factors are related to dentition, let your dental professional examine you and prescribe the appropriate treatment. Dentists have training and working knowledge of the temporo-mandibular joint, its anatomy, functions, and related disorders and treatment.

You can be prescribed gentle therapies like massages, medications like muscle-relaxants, or mouthguards if needed. Rarely are drastic treatments employed. Here at Auburn Dental, we know TMJ, indeed.

Facial Swelling: A Dental Emergency

Facial Swelling – Possible Sign of Infection

Localized facial swelling is usually associated with dental swelling and it can be due to a variety of reasons. Some culprits could be gingivitis and gum disease, blockage of the salivary gland openings, medication side-effects, vitamin C deficiency, and some oral cancers. In most cases, a root abscess causes the swelling. At the tip of a root, a pocket of pus has collected caused by bacterial infection of the pulp that has escaped the chamber and exited via the root.

The body tries to fight it off and so pain, swelling and heat manifest causing the bulging of the affected area. It is considered an emergency case and should be treated promptly. It’s a potentially risky situation as the infection can enter the general circulation and spread through the body, causing sepsis or blood poisoning. If your resistance is low, it would be extra difficult for you to surmount it.

Maybe you think it will go away but it is better to be safe. If you can handle the swelling, the pain you probably wont. See your dentist right away who will prescribe some strong antibiotic as a temporary measure, just to lessen the symptoms. The real treatment is removing the source of the infection. The entire tooth is extracted if it is no longer salvageable, or a drainage system created to remove all the pus and the void left sterilized and treated. A root canal therapy is one such option. Know that abscesses do not only happen at root tips, but bacterial invasion can also cause swelling of the gums. This is not a root abscess this time but a tooth abscess.

Nonetheless, you’ll still need the protection of your antibiotic, you can be given painkillers, be asked to carry on with good oral hygiene practices, and lastly, to stay hydrated and eat nutritious foods.

Prompt Treatment with Auburn Dentist

Your Auburn dentist tells you not to ignore any localized facial swelling. Expect to be treated right way should this unfortunate dental emergency happen.