Posts for: January, 2015
The final emergence of permanent teeth in late adolescence marks the end of a long process beginning in the womb with the formation of our primary or “baby” teeth. Permanent teeth form in a similar way as buds high in the jaw, continuing to grow until the primary teeth ahead of them fall away. The crowns of the new adult teeth eventually break through the gum tissue and emerge (erupt) into view.
At least, that’s normally what should happen; sometimes, though, a tooth may only erupt partially or not at all, a condition known as impaction. The crown remains partially or fully submerged below the gum line, causing the tooth to press against other teeth, potentially damaging them. It can also make periodontal (gum) tissues adjacent to the area more susceptible to disease. Wisdom teeth are especially prone to this kind of impaction, to the extent they’re often surgically removed (extracted) to avoid future problems to adjacent teeth or the bite.
Upper canines (the “eye teeth” normally located directly below the eyes) are also subject to impaction. But because of their highly visible position, extracting them could have an adverse impact on the patient’s smile. In this case, we often attempt instead to expose and ultimately save the tooth.
Before taking any action, however, an orthodontic examination is conducted first to pinpoint the exact position of the impacted tooth and determine how that position might affect moving teeth into a more desired alignment. If we find the impacted canine is in a workable position, the next step is to surgically uncover the tooth from the gum tissue (a minor procedure usually performed by an oral surgeon or periodontist). Once exposed, an orthodontic bracket with a small attached gold chain is bonded to the tooth. The gums are then sutured back into place with the chain exposed and allowed to heal.
At some future point an orthodontist will attach the chain to orthodontic hardware that will pull the impacted tooth into proper position over several months. As a result, the upper canine becomes “un-impacted”; the dangers to surrounding teeth and tissues are also reduced. And, just as important, we can preserve the tooth and with orthodontics achieve an attractive, normal smile.
If you would like more information on the effects and treatment of impacted teeth, 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 “Exposing Impacted Canines.”
Chewing tobacco is a known cause of oral cancer, yet many a Major League Baseball player has been seen walking onto the field with a round tin visibly poking out of his back pocket. That was before this year. Recognizing the influence big-leaguers have on their young fans, MLB players agreed to a new contract that limits their use of chewing tobacco and their ability to carry it around their fans. The 2012 season is the first to be played under the new rules, which were championed by Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig.
One player who used smokeless tobacco heavily is Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn. The former Padres slugger earlier this year endured 14 hours of surgery to remove a cancerous growth from the inside of his right cheek and graft a nerve from his shoulder to replace a facial nerve damaged by the tumor. This was Gwynn's second cancer surgery in less than two years.
When it comes to oral cancer, the importance of early detection can't be stressed enough. Unfortunately, this form of cancer is not usually detected until a late stage so the overall survival rate is poor, with only 58% surviving five years after treatment. Yet when oral cancer is detected while a lesion is small, survival rate exceeds 80%. That's why an oral cancer screening is always part of your dental check-up or regular cleaning appointment at this office.
During this screening we will examine your face, neck, lips, mouth, tongue and the back of your throat for any suspicious lesions (sores or ulcers) or lumps. Of course, if you notice any unusual lesions, or color changes (white or red patches), anywhere in your mouth that do not heal within two-three weeks, please come in to see us as soon as possible. And if you need help kicking a tobacco habit, we can advise you on how to get it.
If you would like more information about oral cancer, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Oral Cancer.”
Dental implants have become the option of choice for patients who have missing or badly decaying teeth. They are tooth replacements that are rooted in the mouth so they cannot be removed like dentures and bridgework. Explore these three ways that getting dental implants from Layton dentist Dr. Steven Christensen, DDS can change your life in a positive way.
Really Savor Your Food
When you have missing or decaying teeth it's difficult to really enjoy eating your food. Every time that you bite down you either feel pain or get large pieces of food lodged between your teeth. When you get dental implants, you can once again savor your food without the worry of pain or discomfort. You can relax and chew each bite.
Have a Better Looking Smile
One major benefit of getting dental implants from Layton dentist Dr. Christensen is that they improve the overall appearance of your smile. Not only do they give you the perfectly filled smile--they also help keep it looking bright and beautiful. When you go in for your tooth implant consultation, the dentist will carefully match the restoration to the color of your current teeth and shape it to perfection.
Enjoy a Fresh Opportunity to Care for Your Teeth
Another way that getting dental implants can improve your life is by giving you a brand-new opportunity to take care of your teeth the right way. It builds your self-confidence to know that you have a fresh start with real teeth of your own. You can treat your new smile like you were born with it and with proper care it will last for a lifetime.
Request a Dental Implants Consultation
Getting tooth implant can be life-changing in a number of ways. Request a consultation with Layton dentist Dr. Steven Christensen, DDS of 4DentalHealth today and soon enough your smile will “speak for itself.” You can set up an appointment online at http://www.4dentalhealth.com or by calling 801-889-1044 to talk to an office staff member.