Posts for: March, 2019
Bite problems are quite common—as many as 75% of adults may have some form of orthodontic issue. Unfortunately, there's also something else just as common: that many people believe they're too old to correct it.
This belief is a myth—while there are factors that could prevent orthodontic treatment, age isn't necessarily one of them. If your teeth, gums and bone are sound and you're in reasonably good general health, you most likely can have a bite problem corrected even beyond middle age.
Why worry about it, though, if you've lived this long with misaligned teeth? For one thing, straightening teeth with braces or clear aligners can boost your dental health. Teeth that are in normal alignment are easier to keep clean of disease-causing bacterial plaque. You'll also find it easier to chew than if your bite is out of line.
A more attractive, straighter smile can also impact your social and professional life. Having a smile you're not embarrassed to show can boost your self-confidence and image. Research on people who've undergone orthodontic treatment in adulthood have found improvements in social connection and even expanded career opportunities.
Orthodontic treatment can make a difference with your health and life, no matter your age. But while the number of years you've lived won't necessarily make a difference, what those years have brought could rule it out.
If, for example, you've lost significant bone structure due to diseases like periodontal (gum) disease, your teeth may not be able to sustain the new position created by braces or aligners without a form of permanent fixation. If you have systemic conditions like severe cardiovascular disease, bleeding problems, leukemia or uncontrolled diabetes, orthodontic treatment could worsen those conditions. And certain prescription drugs may pose similar problems as well.
That's why you'll need to undergo a thorough dental exam, as well as provide a complete medical history to your orthodontist. If nothing prevents you from treatment, though, you may be able to regain a new smile, better health and a new confidence in life.
If you would like more information on adult 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 “Orthodontics for the Older Adult.”
Biting the inside of your cheek is high on the list of minor but painfully irritating occurrences like paper cuts or tongue scalding from hot coffee. A mouth bite, though, has an additional tormenting feature — there's a good chance you'll bite the same spot again.
This kind of repeated mouth injury results in an enlargement of the soft tissue that has been traumatized. They're often diagnosed and referred to as a traumatic fibroma. When you bite your cheek, lips or tongue, you create a small wound that usually heals quickly. This healing process, though, can be interrupted if you bite the area again, which can then cause excess scar tissue to form.
The fibrous scar tissue, made up of a protein called collagen, is similar to a callous. You can often feel it with your tongue — a knot of tough skin that protrudes from the otherwise flat cheek wall. Because of this prominence, it tends to get in the “line of fire” during eating or biting, so you'll bite it again — and again. If this cycle continues, then even a more prominent scar tissue forms that you're more likely to bite again.
The wound will heal most of the time, unless you continually bite it. If it becomes a nagging problem, we can surgically remove the lump. After numbing the area with local anesthesia, we'll either use a laser or scalpel to remove it. The area is easy to fix and will flatten out the cheek surface. The entire procedure takes fifteen minutes or less and in a few days to a week you won't even notice it had been there.
While the vast majority of these lesions are harmless, it's still standard protocol to biopsy the removed tissue: a pathologist examines it under a microscope for cancer cells. This is a routine part of any medical practice and not a cause for alarm.
If you've had a lump for awhile that you always seem to be biting, see us for an examination. With a simple procedure, we may be able to remove that irritation once and for all.
If you would like more information on treating mouth lumps and other sores, 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 “Common Lumps and Bumps in the Mouth.”
What's an actor's most important feature? According to Vivica A. Fox, whose most recent big-screen role was in Independence Day: Resurgence, it's what you see right up front.
"On screen, your smile and your eyes are the most inviting things that bring the audience in" she said. "Especially if you play the hot chick."
But like lots of people, Vivica reached a point where she felt her smile needed a little help in order to look its best. That's when she turned to a popular cosmetic dental treatment.
"I got veneers years ago," Ms. Fox told Dear Doctor magazine in a recent interview, "just because I had some gapping that probably only I noticed."
What exactly are dental veneers? Essentially, they are thin shells of lustrous porcelain that are permanently attached to the front surfaces of the teeth. Tough, lifelike and stain-resistant, they can cover up a number of defects in your smile — including stains, chips, cracks, and even minor spacing irregularities like the ones Vivica had.
Veneers have become the treatment of choice for Hollywood celebs — and lots of regular folks too — for many reasons. Unlike some treatments that can take many months, it takes just a few appointments to have veneers placed on your teeth. Because they are custom made just for you, they allow you to decide how bright you want your smile to be: anywhere from a natural pearly hue to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Best of all, they are easy to maintain, and can last for many years with only routine care.
To place traditional veneers, it's necessary to prepare the tooth by removing a small amount (a millimeter or two) of its enamel surface. This keeps it from feeling too big — but it also means the treatment can't be reversed, so once you get veneers, you'll always have them. In certain situations, "no-prep" or minimal-prep veneers, which require little or no removal of tooth enamel, may be an option for some people.
Veneers aren't the only way to create a better smile: Teeth whitening, crowns or orthodontic work may also be an alternative. But for many, veneers are the preferred option. What does Vivica think of hers?
"I love my veneers!" she declared, noting that they have held up well for over a decade.
Is Invisalign the right choice for your smile? Your dentist in Winston Salem, Dr. Denise Perrotta, can tell you for sure. If you're an older teenager or an adult with a misaligned smile, Invisalign clear aligners could help you improve the health, function, and appearance of your teeth. Read what this modern orthodontic option involves.
Why get orthodontic treatment?
A straight smile has many benefits, including:
- Healthier teeth and gums with less decay and periodontal disease
- Fewer occurrences of sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea
- Clearer speech
- Improved personal appearance and self-confidence
- Less jaw pain and fewer headaches
In short, a well-aligned smile makes for a better, happier you. However, traditional metal or ceramic braces pose substantial problems with complicated hygiene, diet restrictions, oral discomforts, and a very obvious appearance. That's why many teens and adults shy away from braces altogether. They just don't want the hassle and embarrassment.
Why not look into Invisalign?
Dr. Denise Perrotta is the dentist in Winston Salem who offers Invisalign clear aligners, the comfortable, convenient and discreet path to a better smile. Customized according to a sophisticated three-dimensional scan of your teeth, Invisalign appliances fit tightly over top and bottom teeth, exerting the proper pressure to move them into the right positions.
In all, patients wear 18 to 30 pairs of aligners in sequence for about 20 to 22 hours a day. Aligner pairs are changed every week, and patients see Dr. Perrotta every three to four weeks for progress checks and to get the next pairs of aligners in their treatment plans.
Patients enjoy how easy it is to eat, brush, and floss while undergoing Invisalign treatment. They simply remove their aligners as desired--even for getting their picture taken. All is well, as long as they wear their aligners for the required time each day to keep their treatment plans progressing.
In all, treatment with Invisalign takes 8-10 months or less. When they're done, patients wear custom-made retainers to keep their new smiles in place.
Can you receive treatment with Invisalign appliances?
A one-on-one consultation with Dr. Perrotta will help you decide what kind of orthodontic treatment is best. She will examine your teeth and outline your options in detail.
In general, many teens and adults qualify for Invisalign. This innovative system correct many different kinds of bite problems, closes gaps, fixes overjet, and rotated teeth and more. And, you'll be very pleased with the results.
Consult with us
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry says that quality orthodontic treatment considers not only smile aesthetics but also health and long-term functionality. Dr. Denise Perrotta and her team in Winston Salem, NC, agree. So, why not contact the office today to set-up your orthodontic consultation and see if Invisalign is your best choice? Call (336) 760-9258.