A diastema is a space in between the teeth. That could either develop as a consequence of tooth or teeth loss, following teeth migration or shifting; or it could be an innate condition brought about by smaller teeth, frenum position or jaw size. Regardless of why the teeth are spaced away from each other, patients find an esthetic issue with it, so they want it corrected. Who intends to smile with ugly gaps in their teeth, right?
Closing the Gap
If you are troubled with the gap or spaces in between your teeth, you can go to your dentist to have it closed it using the following dental procedures:
- Braces. The most acceptable way to close spaces is to install braces. Orthodontic treatment will shift teeth and pull them together. As conventional orthodontic treatments go, it involves bone break and bone building, so that the teeth could collectively take a new shape in the jaw—and new position without spaces. Of all the options, this is the most acceptable because the teeth are left sound and untouched.
- Dental Bondings. Using composite material (the same material used for dental fillings), the spaces are closed by reshaping the teeth with the utilization of the filling material. The two teeth are allowed to meet, to lock the space, to cover the gap. The result is a bite that’s seemingly aligned, without spaces, with the teeth maintaining its natural curvatures; and it may be done with or without tooth reduction.
- Veneers. For more retentive and more esthetic results, a patient can choose to get veneers to close their gap(s). This treatment option involves fairly minimal tooth reduction, limited to the facial and biting surface of the teeth, so much of the teeth is preserved. It may be made with ceramic or porcelain and is cemented in place.
- Dental Crowns. The problem with veneers is that since it is limited to a facial reconstruction, it is not as retentive as one would hope for. Regarding aesthetics, the results are more or less similar to veneers, but what you get with a full-coverage crown is retention. It is more retentive because all surfaces of the teeth are reduced, and the entire tooth receives a crown.
- Frenectomy + Cosmetic Treatment. If the cause of the diastema in between the two central incisors is due to the position of the frenum, a minor surgery is performed. That involves the cutting and repositioning of the frenum, followed by a chosen treatment (as described above) to actually close the gap. Frenectomy is essential because the soft tissue will only push the teeth and recreate the space once again.
Whatever option you pick, all these will close the gap and give you a straighter and more attractive smile. A diastema is not an important concern, but some people would have it corrected because the spaces make the teeth look odd.
Many people are quick to dismiss the health of their gums. When they think of oral health, they believe that it’s all about the teeth, but they forget that the health of the soft tissues of the mouth matter too. As a matter of fact, the teeth relies on the health of the gums to stay in the mouth. Severe gum disease results in bone loss, and that means the loss of support so that the teeth becomes mobile and can fall out.
In an even more serious note, the health of the gums should not be taken for granted because it has been found to cause and exacerbate various systemic diseases.
The Gums and the Body
Plaque is the number one enemy of dentists. Its formation involves three key ingredients: food (sugar), saliva and bacteria. Since you cannot do anything about the natural bacteria and the saliva, you have to control the one that you can, and that is food. Proper hygiene practices are encouraged so that the mouth does not become a breeding ground for bacteria.
Gum disease, when allowed to proliferate can wreak havoc in the mouth. Gingivitis is the reversible consequence of plaque build-up. If this progresses, the bone becomes infected, and this irreversible gum disease is called Periodontitis. Unfortunately, it does not end there—because the same bacteria that causes gum disease can compromise one’s overall health condition:
While people with diabetes are most prone to developing periodontal disease, research shows that it can also go the other way around, with chronic periodontal patients developing diabetes as a consequence of prolonged disease. People with diabetes are prone to infection, so they are always encouraged to have their disease under control.
A patient who neglects his dental health can develop gum disease that will progress into Periodontitis. A patient suffering from periodontitis often have problems controlling their blood sugar, and with levels spiking ridiculously, diabetes becomes an actual threat.
b. Heart Disease
Periodontal disease is found to increase the risk for heart disease. Infections that is synonymous to periodontitis can be the same culprit that causes heart problems. As a matter of fact, some evidence finds periodontal disease has been linked to the onset of stroke.
c. Respiratory Disease
Studies reveal that the same bacteria that accumulate in the mouth as a result of gum disease can be aspirated into the lungs and cause respiratory illness. Patients with periodontal disease are found at high risk of developing pneumonia.
Do you know that 49% of patients with periodontal diseases are found with kidney disease; 54% with pancreatic cancer and 30% are found in various blood cancers? Yes, studies show a relation between gum disease and cancer.
Gum Disease is often taken for granted, but it should be taken seriously by everyone. A lot of people think that dental health is not as dangerous as medical health, but this article shows how the health of your teeth can affect your overall well-being. It is about time you paid more attention to your smile.
The whole ordeal of choosing dental implants over traditional methods is a big deal. It is a more complicated and more expensive treatment, so after going through what you did, it is only natural that you’d want to protect your investment. To maximize the lifetime of your implants and make sure that you get to enjoy it for a while, you will want to avoid implant failure.
The success rate of implants is high in comparison to other dental prosthetic options, but for you to guarantee success, you have to take note and take the following things seriously:
1. Patient selection. This is the very important factor to consider for implant success. There are certain medical conditions and all kinds of pre-existing conditions that will automatically disqualify a patient as an implant patient so no compromises about this should be made. A case of osteoporosis and diabetes completely disqualifies a patient from receiving dental implants because the implants will never stabilize and integrate with the bone.
2. Implant placement and treatment design. Ideally, implants are embedded into the bone and they are placed with a crown, and they replace lost teeth in a 1:1 ratio. For failures to be avoided, the implants have to be placed in sufficient bone and they should not be overloaded. It is most ideal that one implant be fitted with a crown, but two implants may act as support to hold a bridge. Overloading the implant will hinder proper healing. At the same time, placing an implant in an area of insufficient bone may lead to encroachment of vital tissues and so forth.
3. Oral hygiene. If a patient has gum disease, this issue should be resolved first before the treatment is carried out. In such cases, the patient should be properly instructed about maintaining good oral hygiene because plaque can interfere with osseointegration and compromise stability. Gum disease will increase likelihood of implant failure because plaque can directly cause bone infection that will cause loose and dislodged implants.
4. Smoking. If the patient is a smoker, proper warning ought to be given because the chemicals in cigarettes are harmful and will disrupt and delay healing. Patients who are to receive implants should at least stop smoking before the implant site has healed. It, of course, will be best if the patient can completely smoking. It is a very bad habit that does more bad than good for the body.
5. Teeth grinding and clenching. A simple case of teeth grinding is a big factor in dental implant failure. The constant disruption due to the overactivity of the masticatory muscles will be traumatic so that the implant and bone will never fuse together to gain stability.
The implant is relatively a foreign body, but since its composition allows bone-metal fusion which is called, osseointegration to take place, complete stability is possible. For this to take place, however, it is your goal to avoid implant failure. You want the tissues to heal successfully and the bone to fuse with the implant. If this happens, the implants are deemed successful and you may be allowed to enjoy it for a very long time.
People have this fascination with do-it-yourself projects. It is quite fulfilling—when you are able to achieve something by yourself not only because it is practical and frugal. People applaud their nifty ability to showcase some resourcefulness, but like most things there ought to be a limit, especially where one’s health and well-being is concerned.
Orthodontic treatments are usually carried out with braces. It does marvellous things by combining the brackets, wires and rubbers together; but it is am expensive kind of treatment. With the heightened cost of treatment and the high demand for such, people are turning to DIY braces without realizing how dangerous it is.
Just how dangerous are do-it-yourself braces treatments?
The idea being sold is that it is easy to install braces and anyone can do that. People believe this and they brave moving their teeth on their own by changing the rubbers on their own. Unfortunately, they do not understand the danger they are facing:
• They do not understand that bracket placement is not merely putting them on the teeth. Those who are selling the braces illegally are advertising that it is very easy to install and some even include “installation” as part of the package. What they do not understand is that it is more than just sticking them on because there are measurements we follow when we adhere the brackets to teeth.
• They don’t understand that wires, brackets and rubbers come in different prescriptions. There are different types of brackets that we use depending on the case. Similarly, there are so many different wires and they come in different sizes to conform with certain cases and specific phases of the treatment. Even the use of rubbers and elastics are specific. There is a specific science to every movement that is carried out it is not just about putting the braces on.
• They do not understand that bone builds and bone breaks to allow movement. They think that since their teeth are moving and possibly getting the smile they’ve always wanted that it’s all fine. They are concentrating on what’s happening outside, they do not know what’s going on under. For teeth to move there should be a degree of bone breaking. That is, when you move the tooth to the right, the bone needs to break on that side to occupy the tooth. For the teeth to stabilize on its new place there should be a degree of bone building to occur. Adjustments are specifically timed so that there is a healthy bone breaking and building—putting too much force may seem that you are doing things faster and much more effectively, but are they accounting for the health of the gums, fibers and bones under? I don’t think so.
• They do not understand that they can lose their teeth if they make a wrong move. Given what was just mentioned on the previous point, subjecting the teeth to too much force will mean too much bone breaking and if this is not met by proper bone building, the tooth will become loose, and it can come out. Yes, you can lose your tooth if you are not careful.
The truth is that there is so much that they do not understand about orthodontic treatment and the action of the brackets, wires and rubbers that dentists put on the mouth of patients. It is so much more than just moving teeth, so DIY braces is an evil thing you should stay away from.
The wisdom tooth is the third molar. Every person has three molars on each quadrant and since the third molar is set to come out at the age of seventeen to twenty-one years old, hence its name. It is said that it comes at the age when a person is already of age and because of its late emergence on the jaw, it often loses its way. Most teeth erupt in an upright manner, beside each other. On occasion, some teeth wander away and most often than not, the wisdom tooth gets confused and it erupts out of place.
When to Extract Wisdom Teeth
Given what was said earlier, when is a wisdom tooth indicated for extraction? Should all wisdom teeth be surgically removed? Like most cases, proper diagnosis will determine the treatment plan. Clinical examination and radiographs will aid in this and if any of the following are evident, surgical removal is a must:
1. If the wisdom tooth is impacted. When a tooth is impacted it means that it is stuck. It did not come out as it should and so it is embedded either within gum, bone or both. Some wisdom teeth are upright, but are stuck within the bone. Some drift into a diagonal or horizontal position, facing either the tooth beside it or the corner of the jaw bone. The position of the wisdom tooth automatically indicates surgical removal to prevent further problems.
2. If the wisdom tooth is decayed. Often times due to its position at the very end of the jaw, the wisdom tooth is found to be decayed. When it final position within the jaw deem it difficult to be properly cleaned, it is prone to decay. If there is no perfect use for it, it may be removed.
3. If the wisdom tooth is impinging on gum tissue/cheeks. Sometimes the wisdom tooth erupts completely but it is tilted and pokes on the tissues around it. This causes gum inflammation and discomfort, so they may be removed.
4. If the wisdom tooth has no opposing tooth. After the removal of wisdom tooth, you are left with an opposing without contact. This lack of contact will cause the tooth to supraerupt in an effort to find its opposing. To avoid future problems, opposing wisdom teeth are removed at the same time because the other will have no more use without a contacting tooth anyway.
5. If the anterior teeth are beginning to crowd. When the jaw is small, the emergence of the wisdom teeth push the anterior teeth and cause them to crowd. Instead of undergoing orthodontic treatment, the wisdom teeth may be removed to prevent further crowding.
6. If the patient is developing joint problems. Sometimes, the emergence of the wisdom teeth will bring about bite changes so the joints will shift and suffer. Once this is observed, the removal of the wisdom teeth may be prescribed to avoid developing joint disorders.
7. If the patient presents with pain symptoms. Some patients will choose not to touch the wisdom teeth even though it is obviously impacted. There is nothing wrong with this move, unless there is a pressing symptom felt.
8. If the patient has braces. Before or after orthodontic treatment, it is almost always indicated for the wisdom teeth to be removed because you do not want to disrupt the results that the braces were able to obtain.
If any of the above is true for the case at hand, then a surgical removal that is called Odontectomy is in order. Sometimes a single case may present with one or more of the conditions described above. The surgery will be scheduled and the removal is performed.