Posts for: March, 2018


Braces are a common part of many teenagers’ life experience — but not every bite problem is alike. Sometimes, there’s a need for accurately moving only a few teeth while making sure others don’t. This is where Temporary Anchorage Devices (TADs) can help streamline that effort and even reduce treatment time.

Orthodontics wouldn’t work at all if we didn’t already have a natural tooth movement mechanism in our mouths. That ability rests with the periodontal ligament, a tough, elastic tissue between the teeth and the bone that firmly attaches to both with tiny collagen fibers. Though quite secure in holding teeth in place, the ligament attachment also allows teeth to move in response to changes in the bone and jaw structure.

Braces are made of brackets cemented to tooth surfaces through which tiny wires pass. The wires are anchored, usually to other teeth or groups of teeth, and tightened to apply pressure against the other teeth. The ligament does the rest: as the teeth are “pressured” to move in a certain direction, new bone, ligament and an anchoring substance known as cementum forms behind it to secure the tooth in its new position.

The anchorage teeth are not intended to move. In some situations, though, it’s difficult to keep them from not moving — much like trying to keep a boat anchor from not dragging through sand on the sea bottom. TADs help alleviate this problem: it’s a mini-screw or mini-implant that’s temporarily placed in the jawbone to which the tension wire can be secured. They’re placed in the best positions for isolating the teeth that need to be moved without compromising the position of nearby teeth that don’t.

With the site numbed with a local anesthetic, we install the TAD through the gum tissue into the bone with a special device; their screw-shaped design holds them securely in place. They’re then removed when the orthodontic treatment is complete.

While a simple procedure, precise placement requires collaboration between the orthodontist and the oral surgeon or dentist who installs them. They also need special attention during daily hygiene to keep them clean. Still, with difficult bite situations they can help bring about the right outcome — a straight and beautiful smile.

If you would like more information on orthodontic treatment options, 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 “What are TADs?

By Thompson Lee & Chalothorn
March 15, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   oral hygiene  

Your baby will grow into an adult so rapidly it will seem like they're changing right before your eyes. And some of the biggest changes will happen with their teeth, gums and jaw structure.

Unfortunately, disease or a traumatic accident could short-circuit this natural process and potentially create future dental problems. Here are 4 things you should be doing now to protect your baby's long-term dental health.

Start oral hygiene now. Even if your baby has no visible teeth, there may still be something else in their mouth—bacteria, which could trigger future tooth decay. To reduce bacteria clean their gums with a clean, wet cloth after each feeding. When teeth begin to appear switch to brushing with just a smear of toothpaste on the brush to minimize what they swallow.

Make your baby's first dental appointment. Beginning dental visits around your baby's first birthday will not only give us a head start on preventing or treating tooth decay, but could also give us a better chance of detecting other developing issues like a poor bite (malocclusion). Early dental visits also help get your child used to them as routine and increase the likelihood they'll continue the habit as adults.

Watch their sugar. Bacteria love sugar. So much so, they'll multiply—and more bacteria mean an increase in one of their by-products, mouth acid. Increased mouth acid can erode tooth enamel and open the way for decay. So, limit sugary snacks to only meal time and don't give them sugary drinks (including juices, breast milk or formula) in a bottle immediately before or while they sleep.

Childproof your home. A number of studies have shown that half of all accidents to teeth in children younger than 7 happen from falling on home furniture. So, take precautions by covering sharp edges or hard surfaces on chairs, tables or sofas, or situate your child's play areas away from furniture. And when they get older and wish to participate in sports activities purchase a custom mouthguard to protect their teeth from hard knocks—an investment well worth the cost.

If you would like more information on dental care for your child, 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 “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children.”

By Thompson Lee & Chalothorn
March 07, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Let’s find out if this restoration is all you need to get that full smile implants

Sure, we know you have options when it comes to how you are going to replace your missing tooth (or teeth); however, if you truly want the next best thing to a natural tooth then you should talk to our Lexington, KY, family dentists Dr. William Lee, Dr. Pada Chalothorn and Dr. William Cartee, Jr. about dental implants.

Why should you replace missing teeth?

Besides the fact that having gaps in your smile is unsightly, choosing to get dental implants can also offer you a variety of unique benefits that you wouldn’t find with other tooth replacement options.

First and foremost, it is important that you replace missing permanent teeth as soon as possible and don’t just ignore the problem. Untreated tooth loss can lead to teeth shifting into the open gaps (causing misalignments in your smile), bone loss and structural changes in the face (which can also lead to premature lines and wrinkles). Dental implants are truly the best way to prevent these problems.

Why is a dental implant a great way to replace missing teeth?

An implant is a small metal screw or post that our Lexington, KY, family dentist will place into the jawbone. “Why?” you might be wondering. Well, an implant is designed to take the place of your missing tooth roots. While you might not realize it, your tooth’s roots are important for providing your jawbone with the stimulation it needs to continue producing new bone cells. Without this stimulation, the jawbone will begin to deteriorate.

While dental bridges and even dentures can be a fast, easy way to replace missing teeth and to prevent other teeth from shifting into those open gaps, the one thing these tooth replacements won’t be able to do is provide the jawbone with the stimulation it needs. Only a dental implant can do this. This means the over time the jawbone will continue to lose density even while wearing your bridges or dentures, which means that you will have to come in to have the oral prosthetic readjusted to accommodate those changes. With dental implants, you’ll never have to worry about this.

If you are looking to replace one or more missing teeth and you want to find out if dental implants are the right way to do it, then turn to your family dentist at TLC Dentistry in Lexington, KY, to schedule your consultation.

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