Posts for: January, 2019
While orthodontists can effectively correct most poor bites (malocclusions), some can be quite complex requiring much time and expense. But there's good news—we often don't have to wait on a malocclusion to fully develop if we catch it in time. Thanks to interceptive orthodontics, we may be able to intervene much earlier and eliminate or reduce the degree of difficulty with treatment.
Interceptive orthodontics is a group of techniques and devices used in early childhood to help deter a possible malocclusion. Here are 3 ways this approach could make a difference in your child's bite development.
Guiding jaw growth. On a normal-sized upper jaw, the permanent teeth usually have ample room to erupt. Not so with a smaller jaw: incoming teeth become crowded and may erupt out of alignment or too close to each other. Orthodontists often use a device called a palatal expander to aid an under-sized jaw in its development. The device fits along the roof of the mouth between the teeth and applies gradual outward pressure on them. This encourages the jaw to widen as it grows, thus providing more room for erupting teeth to come in properly and decrease the chances of obstructive sleep apnea in the future.
Reshaping and repositioning jaw bones. An overbite can occur when the jaws aren't properly aligned, often due to poor muscle and bone development. This is where devices like the Herbst appliance are useful. Its hinge mechanism encourages the lower jaw to grow further forward. The jaws can thus develop in a more normal way, minimizing the development of a malocclusion.
Maintaining space. Primary ("baby") teeth are important for dental development because they help guide future permanent teeth to erupt properly; they also keep nearby teeth from drifting into the intended space. But when a primary tooth is lost prematurely due to disease or trauma, the space can become vulnerable to this kind of "drift." With a simple mechanism called a space maintainer we can hold open the space created by a prematurely lost primary tooth until the permanent tooth is ready to erupt.
These and other techniques can help stop bad bites from developing in young children, minimizing or even eliminating the need for future orthodontic treatment. That means a healthier mouth for your child and less impact on your wallet.
If you would like more information on interceptive orthodontics, 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 “Interceptive Orthodontics: Timely Intervention can make Treatment Easier.”
If you have lost one or more teeth to decay, accident or gum disease, you can access today's best tooth replacement option: the dental implant. At Harris Parkway Dental Care in Fort Worth, Dr. Brad McConnell places and restores dental implants, remaking smile aesthetics, preserving gum tissue and bone and giving patients their functional, beautiful smiles back. Learn all the benefits of implants and consider a personalized consultation with Dr. McConnell.
Today's dental implants
Used for more than 50 years, dental implants in Fort Worth and around the globe have proved to be the most successful tooth replacements available. The single-tooth implant has a titanium screw as its foundation (it's essentially an artificial root); it resides right in the jaw below the gums. After this screw and bone bond (this is called osseointegration), the implant can accept the substantial pressures of biting and chewing.
Placed during a brief oral surgery at Harris Parkway Dental Care, a dental implant, or implants if you are anchoring a denture or bridge, is readily accepted by most patients who are healthy and have enough bone in their jaws. Sutures close the site and after several weeks, the dentist bonds on a metal post and porcelain crown.
Both the treatment strategy and the procedure itself are simple and highly successful. Most implant procedures work well--to the tune of a 97 percent success rate, says the Institute for Dental Implant Awareness.
Do you qualify for dental implants?
Dr. McConnell will determine your candidacy with a complete oral examination, X-rays, modern three-dimensional scans and review of your medical history. If you are in good overall health and have sufficient jaw bone strength, you can get dental implants.
Benefits of dental implants
Have you heard people complain about their traditional dentures or bridgework? Poor speech, sore spots, problems eating, and frequent adjustments and replacements make these old-fashioned prosthetics less favorable choices by far.
On the other hand, dental implants from Harris Parkway Dental Care feature these benefits:
- Permanent and stable anchorage right in the jaw
- Natural appearance and oral function
- Teeth stay in your mouth (not soaking in a bedside glass)
- Never need replacement
- Exercise gums and bone every time you eat (countering the effects of bone and gum recession after extraction)
- Last for decades--even for the rest of your life
- Easy to care for--just brush and floss carefully and see Dr. McConnell for six-month cleanings and exams
You'll be amazed
Dr. Brad McConnell and his team will tell you all about dental implants. Come to Harris Parkway Dental Care for a consultation. Call for a convenient appointment in Fort Worth, TX, at (817) 423-2223, and look forward to a strong, natural-looking smile.