Early Interceptive Orthodontic Treatment


Amanda Orvis, RDH

Early Interceptive Orthodontic Treatment

Often time’s orthodontic treatment is recommended before all of your child’s primary (baby) teeth have even fallen out. Early orthodontic treatment can alleviate future, possibly more invasive, orthodontic corrections.

Here are a few reasons for early interceptive treatment:

  • Corrective positioning for a better prognosis of how the permanent teeth with develop.
  • To correct any oral habits that cause developmental problems such as thumb sucking, pacifier use, and tongue thrusting.
  • To correct malocclusions, or poor bite relationships, such as overbites, under bites, open bites, cross bites, crowding, spacing, teeth erupting out of sequence, or missing teeth.
  • To correct growth problems such as narrow palates.
  • To guide the growth of the jaw bones to a more favorable position for permanent tooth eruption.

“The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends that all children receive an orthodontic screening by the age 7. Permanent teeth generally begin to come in at age 6 or 7. It is at this point that orthodontic problems become apparent.”

If you are unsure about the need for early interceptive orthodontic treatment for your child, it is a good idea to visit with an orthodontist to familiarize yourself with treatment options. If you are concerned with the appearance or development of your child’s teeth, or if you have questions please do not hesitate to call our office and schedule an appointment to discuss treatment options and referral information.

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What is a Filling?


Cortney Davis , RDH

What is a Filling?

A filling is a way to restore a tooth that has been damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. Fillings also can be used to treat teeth that are broken, cracked, or been worn down by misuse (such as tooth grinding)

How do I know if I need a filling?

There are many indications you may need a dental filling. They include; a toothache, sharp pain, a rough tooth, a dark spot or hole you can see or feel, food getting stuck in between your teeth, floss getting caught when flossing, or a chipped tooth. Many believe that you have to be in pain to have a dental problem. Sadly, this is often not the case. Dental decay has the inconvenient trait of being almost painless or mildly painless in its early stages. Generally, dental decay becomes painful over time if it hits the nerve. At that point, a filling is not possible, and a more extensive and costly procedure like an extraction or root canal is required.

How will the dentist determine if I need a filling?

There are several different ways a dentist will determine if you need a filling. The first way is to take x-rays of your teeth.  X-rays can show decay developing in the enamel on the sides of the teeth that come together. Secondly, the dentist will observe your teeth. You can’t always see cavities on an x-ray, so your dentist will observe your teeth visually. Your dentist will use an instrument to probe for tooth decay. Teeth that are healthy will be hard and will resist pressure to the instrument. Teeth that are decayed will be softer and will have a stick in the affected area.

What are the types of fillings?

1)    Composite (resin) fillings-Most commonly used today, composites are fillings that are matched to the same color as your teeth and used where a natural appearance is desired.

2)    Amalgam (silver) fillings- Amalgam fillings are made up of a mixture of mercury, silver, tin, and copper. They are durable and resistant to wear. But because of their dark appearance they are usually not used in visible areas. Many people think that amalgam fillings are unsafe and want to replace them. There is no evidence that amalgam fillings can cause a problem and should only be replaced if there is recurring decay or if the tooth is broken or worn down.

3)    Gold fillings- are made to order in a laboratory and then cemented into place. Gold fillings are very durable and may last more than 20 years, but are often the most expensive.

What is the process of a filling?

If it is determined you need a dental filling your dentist will numb the tooth and remove all the decay and clean the area that is affected. The cleaned out area then will be filled with a material described above, typically a composite filling.

So remember,

If you have been told in the past you need fillings or think you may need a filling, please don’t delay! Teeth problems will not miraculously heal and delaying treatment can lead to larger problems, more time in the dental chair, and more expensive treatment.

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Why are My Teeth Yellow?


Nora Torrez, RDH

Why are my teeth yellow?

What causes teeth stains?

Four classifications:

Extrinsic stains:  is when our enamel becomes stained. The main causes would be coffee, wine, soda, dark colored beverages or smoking.

Intrinsic stains:  is when our dentin (inner structure of tooth) darkens or has a yellow tint. This often occurs due to trauma.

Exogenous stains:  May be extrinsic or intrinsic. It occurs once the tooth has developed.

Endogenous stains:  happens during the development of the teeth. Tetracycline (antibiotic) stains is one of the common causes. If the antibiotic was taken during the development stage it binds to the dentin causing a grey or brown color. Best treatment for this type of staining would be crowns or veneers.

Stains that are on the enamel may be removed by your Dental Hygienist.  Professional whitening can also help. In office bleaching or take home trays.  Check out this recent blog about our Smiles for Life program, going on until June 30th.

Poor homecare can also cause our teeth to appear discolored. Thick, heavy plaque will appear yellow if left on teeth.

Make sure you are on track with your homecare! Brushing twice daily, morning and before bed. Make sure you are doing it 2 minutes each time. And don’t forget the flossing before bed.

If you drink coffee, wine or tea regularly using a straw or rinsing with water afterwards can help with the staining.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to ask your Dental Hygienist or Dentist at your next visit.

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