Posts for: April, 2015

By Thompson Lee & Chalothorn
April 24, 2015
Category: Oral Health

As America's toughest trainer on the hit television program The Biggest Loser, Jillian Michaels helped people learn that they hold the power to change. And if anyone knows about the power of changing oneself, it is Jillian Michaels. In her recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine, Jillian discusses her childhood, the trauma of being overweight as a teenager (5' 2" and 175 pounds), and the day her life forever changed when she started martial arts training at a gym. “I started training when I was 17 and always loved it but never thought it would end up being my career,” she said.

Jillian also reveals that when she was a child, she broke her two front teeth and had them repaired with crowns. She added, “Now, I generally wear a mouthguard if I am doing anything where my teeth have any chance of being knocked out.”

When it comes to replacing teeth that are broken or damaged from trauma, or teeth that are damaged because of dental decay, grinding habits, or acid erosion, crowns may be your best option. And because the tooth enamel is damaged, a bit more of it must be removed before we can place a crown. Generally speaking, we must remove about 2 millimeters of tooth structure to place a crown. Once the crown is placed, the tooth will always require a crown, as this is an irreversible procedure. However, the good news is that a crown not only mimics the look and feel of a natural tooth, but it is also the optimal long-term solution. On average, a crown last between 5 and 15 years and requires no special maintenance. In fact, you should treat your crown as you do your natural teeth, with a daily cleaning regimen of brushing and flossing and routine dental examinations and cleanings.

To learn more about crowns or other cosmetic procedures, contact us today to schedule an appointment so that we can conduct a thorough examination, discuss any questions you have as well as what treatment options will be best for you. Or to learn more about crowns now, you can continue reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.” And to read the entire interview with Jillian Michaels, please see the article “Jillian Michaels.”

By TLC Dentistry
April 17, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Annual Exams  

Annual Dental ExamsDiscover the importance of seeing your Lexington family dentist biannually.

We’ve been hearing it since we were kids: “You have to see your dentist twice a year”. Even our health insurance plans cover two dental checkups annually. However, some people may not buy into seeing their Lexington family dentists this often. Find out why two dental exams a year are recommended and why everyone in your family should be keeping up with them.

The Importance of a Dental Exam

When you come in for your dental cleanings we are looking for the overall health of your teeth and gums but we are also looking out for two large issues: cavities and gum disease. These two problems are extremely prevalent and can wreak havoc on smiles if left untreated. However, not everyone experiences symptoms. Therefore, you may not even know you have a problem until you come in to see your Lexington family dentist. The sooner you can detect a cavity of the earlier stages of gum disease the easier and less invasive the treatment will be.

Seeing Your Dentist Twice a Year

In general, you need your Lexington dentists to assess the health of your teeth and gums and to make sure everything stays healthy. If you’ve been diagnosed with cavities or gum disease in the past then it’s even more important to keep up with your biannual dental visits. You should definitely be seeing the dentist twice a year if you fit into any of these categories:

You’ve been diagnosed with diabetes: This chronic health condition can also increase your chances of developing gum disease and other dental issues, so it’s important to detect problems as soon as possible.

If you are taking certain medications that can affect your teeth or gums: Some medications can cause severe dry mouth, which can leave some smiles prone to developing more cavities. Furthermore, there are other medications out there that can cause the gums to grow too much. If you are taking a medication that comes with possible dental complications then you need to see your Lexington dentist twice a year.

You are a smoker: It’s definitely not new information to know that smoking can cause a whole host of issues for your teeth and gums. It can increase your chances of developing cavities, gum disease, sores and oral cancers. It can also cause dental implants to fail and make healing post-surgery more difficult. Not to mention the nasty stains smoking leaves on teeth.

However, if you and your loved ones have been getting a clean bill of health from your dentist then you may want to find out if annual visits are all you will really need to keep your smiles healthy.

If it’s time for you or someone in your family to schedule their six-month appointment then call your Lexington family dentist at Thompson Lee & Chalothorn today.

By Thompson Lee & Chalothorn
April 09, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: partial denture   bridge  

Besides reduced biting and chewing function, a missing tooth can cause an embarrassing inhibition to healthy social interaction. This can be especially so for teens who greatly value peer relationships and acceptance.

Be that as it may, we typically discourage a permanent replacement for teens with a missing tooth, particularly dental implants. While we value a patient’s psychological needs, the long-term effect on dental health may be too great to advise otherwise.

The effect we’re concerned with involves jaw growth and development. Although a person’s permanent teeth have usually all erupted by early adolescence, the jaws continue to grow until the late teens or early twenties. Natural teeth can adapt to this growth because the periodontal ligament that holds them in place allows for incremental tooth movement. The teeth move in response to jaw growth and are thus able to maintain their proper relationship and alignment in the jaw as growth occurs.

Dental implants, on the other hand, are imbedded into the jaw bone: they, therefore, can’t move like natural teeth and thus can’t adjust their position with jaw growth, particularly the upper jaw as it grows forward and down. This can result in the implants appearing as though they are left behind or retreat into the jaw. It can also affect the position of the gums and inhibit their growth around the implants.

It’s best then to hold off implants and other permanent restorations until the jaw has finished developing. That, however, isn’t always easy to determine: specialized x-ray diagnostics may help, but it’s not an exact science. Your input as a parent will also be helpful, such as whether you’ve noticed the end of growth spurts (not changing clothes or shoe sizes as often) or your child’s recent similarity in appearance to other adult members of your family. It thus becomes a judgment call, based on examination and experience, as to whether it’s safe to proceed with implants — and may require erring on the side of caution.

In the meantime, there are temporary restorations that can improve appearance while you wait for the appropriate time to undertake a permanent restoration. Two of the most useful are removable partial dentures (RPDs) or a bonded bridge, a less invasive form of the traditional bridge. With a proper assessment we can advise you on which option is your best choice.

If you would like more information on tooth restorations for teenagers, 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 “Teenagers & Dental Implants.”

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