Archive for June, 2012

Widely Spaced Teeth: Is Invisalign an option?

In the ideal smile, the teeth should all touch each other without crowding. In some patients, a misalignment means that the teeth overlap or are crooked. On the other end of the spectrum, patients may have teeth that are too far apart from each other. This phenomenon can occur when a tooth is missing or when the jaw grows too quickly, leaving more space than needed for the teeth to erupt.

In addition to detracting from the smile’s appearance, widely spaced teeth can trap food particles left behind after meals. Those tiny little tidbits can become a feast for the bacteria that live in the mouth, which cause various oral diseases.

Whether the patient has just one gap that needs to be closed or a number of widely, unevenly spaced teeth, the orthodontic system known as Invisalign can help.

Invisalign is a popular option for patients who don’t want their smiles obscured by unattractive metal appliances while they’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. It repositions the teeth using a series of clear, removable plastic trays. 

Whether the patient has just one gap that needs to be closed or a number of widely, unevenly spaced teeth, the orthodontic system known as Invisalign can help.

Your dentist will take impressions of your mouth, and your Invisalign trays will be designed based on that information. The trays exert forces on widely spaced teeth to bring them closer to each other.

The trays are fashioned so that the forces are applied to the teeth in a sequential manner. Patients swap the old tray for a new one every other week or so, and over the course of 12-18 months, a new, properly aligned smile emerges.

Invisalign patients enjoy more convenience than those who opt for conventional orthodontic treatment. The trays can be removed for eating, brushing and flossing, which means that there are no dietary restrictions for these patients. They don’t have to alter their oral hygiene routines, either.

If you want to improve the appearance of a smile with widely spaced teeth in the Round Rock area, contact Balcones Family Dental to see if Invisalign might be an option for you.

Posted in: Invisalign

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Do I have to live with tooth sensitivity?

dentist Round RockTooth sensitivity can really cramp your style. It can render frosty treats like ice cream cones off-limits or make sipping on a hot cup of coffee an excruciating experience. People with sensitive teeth may also have problems eating sweet or sour foods.

If you’ve noticed that your teeth have become more sensitive, your dentist can offer treatments and make recommendations to help reverse the condition.

The first step is identifying what factors are causing your teeth to be sensitive. Any number of conditions can lead to tooth sensitivity, including damage to the teeth, gum disease, recent dental treatments (such as teeth whitening), bruxism or even poor oral hygiene.

After gathering enough information to diagnose the cause of the problem, your dentist can suggest ways that you can address the problem and provide interventions as needed.

For example, if receding gums that expose the underlying root is leading to sensitivity, the dentist may be able to perform a deep cleaning or a gum graft to treat the gum disease.

Patients who grind their teeth can be fitted with a splint or nightguard to reduce bruxism and, in turn, tooth sensitivity.

Regular semiannual visits with a dentist can also help combat tooth sensitivity because professional cleanings help to clear away plaque buildup that can collect at the teeth’s roots and cause the condition. Treatments like sealants or fillings can also help to address tooth sensitivity.

Adjustments to your home routine may also reduce sensitivity. A number of toothpastes designed specifically for sensitive teeth are available on the market, and patients may get relief by using one of them. Patients may also want to switch to a brush with softer bristles, which will be gentler on the enamel.

Overly acidic foods can exacerbate sensitivity, so if you have this problem, you may have to eliminate these foods from your diet for some relief.

The good news is that patients can overcome tooth sensitivity. Contact the North Austin office of Dr. Paul Lounsberry at 512-200-7422 to learn how.

Posted in: dentist

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