While the sport of golf may not look too dangerous from the sidelines, players know it can sometimes lead to mishaps. There are accidents involving golf carts and clubs, painful muscle and back injuries, and even the threat of lightning strikes on the greens. Yet it wasn’t any of these things that caused professional golfer Danielle Kang’s broken tooth on the opening day of the LPGA Singapore tournament.
“I was eating and it broke,” explained Kang. “My dentist told me, I've chipped another one before, and he said, you don't break it at that moment. It's been broken and it just chips off.” Fortunately, the winner of the 2017 Women’s PGA championship got immediate dental treatment, and went right back on the course to play a solid round, shooting 68.
Kang’s unlucky “chip shot” is far from a rare occurrence. In fact, chipped, fractured and broken teeth are among the most common dental injuries. The cause can be crunching too hard on a piece of ice or hard candy, a sudden accident or a blow to the face, or a tooth that’s weakened by decay or repetitive stress from a habit like nail biting. Feeling a broken tooth in your mouth can cause surprise and worry—but luckily, dentists have many ways of restoring the tooth’s appearance and function.
Exactly how a broken tooth is treated depends on how much of its structure is missing, and whether the soft tissue deep inside of it has been compromised. When a fracture exposes the tooth’s soft pulp it can easily become infected, which may lead to serious problems. In this situation, a root canal or extraction will likely be needed. This involves carefully removing the infected pulp tissue and disinfecting and sealing the “canals” (hollow spaces inside the tooth) to prevent further infection. The tooth can then be restored, often with a crown (cap) to replace the entire visible part. A timely root canal procedure can often save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted (removed).
For less serious chips, dental veneers may be an option. Made of durable and lifelike porcelain, veneers are translucent shells that go over the front surfaces of teeth. They can cover minor to moderate chips and cracks, and even correct size and spacing irregularities and discoloration. Veneers can be custom-made in a dental laboratory from a model of your teeth, and are cemented to teeth for a long-lasting and natural-looking restoration.
Minor chips can often be remedied via dental bonding. Here, layers of tooth-colored resin are applied to the surfaces being restored. The resin is shaped to fill in the missing structure and hardened by a special light. While not as long-lasting as other restoration methods, bonding is a relatively simple and inexpensive technique that can often be completed in just one office visit.
If you have questions about restoring chipped teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers” and “Artistic Repair of Chipped Teeth With Composite Resin.”
Young people are born with all sorts of orthodontic problems, ranging from occlusions (bite issues), abnormal eruptions (extra teeth on the gumline), and crowding. Many young patients must have a standard metal or ceramic wire braces treatment to resolve these issues. It is an uncomfortable process and often requires a long treatment period with an orthodontist. But the best choice for some teenagers may be Invisalign for teens, a solution that is offered at The Brace Place Orthodontics in Ponte Vedra and Jacksonville Beach, FL.
Why Do Patients Want Invisalign?
It is “clear” to see why many patients, including high school teenagers, prefer Invisalign over metallic braces. Invisalign trays are see-through, making them difficult for others to notice unless they take a really close look. Teenagers are often very self-conscious about their appearance and don’t like the inconveniences that come with wearing permanently attached metal brackets. They want the flexibility of being able to remove their dental device when needed, whether it is to eat or socialize with their friends.
Invisalign for Teens
There is an Invisalign treatment for adults and one that is specifically designed for teenagers. The trays used for teenagers have a special indicator button on each side that tells the parent and dentist if the teenager is following instructions. If they’re being compliant, the color of the indicator fades. The trays are checked at every dental appointment with your Ponte Vedra and Jacksonville Beach, FL orthodontist. Parents want to ensure that their investment in this orthodontic treatment will be worthwhile.
Ensuring a Successful Treatment
Teenagers are less likely than adults to commit to wearing their Invisalign trays for the required amount of time, which is 20-22 hours per day. This leads to challenges that could require a longer treatment and more dental visits with your Ponte Vedra and Jacksonville Beach, FL orthodontist. Here are a few tips for how to keep your teen and his or her teeth on the right track:
- Make sure your teen understands why the indicator is important and how it is being used to determine compliance.
- Give your child a quick reminder each night before bed to insert the trays.
- Ensure that your teen always has a protective case for the aligners so that they don’t accidentally get lost. Many of them get wrapped up in tissue and accidentally tossed away.
Bring Your Teen in for a Consultation
Your teenager may be a good candidate for Invisalign for teens, so see an orthodontist at The Brace Place Orthodontics in Ponte Vedra and Jacksonville Beach, FL for a consultation. Call (904) 222-8588 today for an appointment with Dr. Josh Goldknopf.
A poor bite (malocclusion) could be more than simply teeth out of alignment. There could be complex causes for the malocclusion, possibly involving the facial bone structure.
An example of this is the development of a cross-bite due to problems with the upper jaw and palate (the roof of the mouth), jointly called the maxilla. The maxilla is in fact formed by two bones fused together in the center of the palate in what's called the midline suture. The suture doesn't completely fuse until after puberty.
Sometimes a maxilla's development doesn't follow a normal track. The upper jaw doesn't widen as it should, which leads to the cross-bite where the upper back teeth abnormally bite inside the lower teeth. The upper front teeth continue to bite normally in front of the lower front teeth. This also can have profound influence on breathing, causing sleep apnea.
We can correct this by using an orthodontic appliance called a palatal expander before the midline suture fuses. The expander gradually widens the upper jaw to its normal width and thus eliminates the cross-bite.
Positioned at the roof of the mouth, the expander has metal arms that extend from a central hinge to exert pressure on the inside of the upper teeth. The patient or a caregiver uses a small key to turn a mechanism that extends the arms toward the teeth a tiny amount each day. This gradually widens the jaw, while at the same time stimulating bone growth at the midline suture. Eventually the gap fills with bone to solidify the new width as the suture fuses.
It's important to undertake this treatment before fusion. If you wait until after puberty, you will need to separate the bones first to attempt it. The overall impact and cost is much less if you act promptly in the early years.
Palatal expansion may not be the right treatment in every case, so we'll need to perform a thorough orthodontic exam first. If, however, we do determine it can help, using an expander can improve function, correct future breathing problems and make possible a more attractive future 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 “Palatal Expanders: Orthodontics is more than just Moving Teeth.”
If you're seeking orthodontic treatment for your crooked smile, you're in good company. The American Association of Orthodontists says one out of every five patients wearing braces is of adult age. In Jacksonville Beach, FL, Dr. Josh Goldknopf is the orthodontist who loves to treat adults for smile issues for all kinds. Read about the types of braces available at The Brace Place Orthodontics.
Why get braces?
Children, teens, and adults benefit from orthodontic correction. While very young people have the advantage of faces, mouths, and jaws which are still growing, older teens and even adults with healthy teeth and gums can get their smiles straightened, too.
Typical issues your orthodontist sees in his Jacksonville Beach, FL, office are:
- Bite problems (overbite, cross bite, under bite, and open bite)
- Protruding front teeth
- Tooth tipping
- Tooth rotation
- Crowding due to small jaw bone size and large teeth
- Congenital absence of teeth
Kinds of braces
Today's orthodontic systems are more versatile than ever before. in his Jacksonville Beach, FL, orthodontic practice, Dr. Goldknopf offers several types, including conventional metal braces--the kind most people think of when they hear the word "orthodontist." These appliances consist of bonded on metal brackets, connecting archwires, and rubber bands. In some cases, these obvious-looking braces, restrictive of dietary choices and harder to keep clean, are the best option for the individual's smile problem.
Similar to metal braces, but more discreet in appearance, are tooth-colored or clear ceramic braces. Orthodontists recommend ceramic appliances because they look better, are smoother, and are less irritating.
Lingual braces are like metal braces, except the brackets are mounted on the tongue-side of the teeth. While no one but the patient and the dentist knows they are there, lingual braces are disadvantageous because they are more complex to keep clean.
Finally, if a patient qualifies, Dr. Goldknopf recommends Invisalign clear aligners. Smooth, removable and practically invisible, these snug acrylic aligner pairs move teeth into healthier positions in an average of 12 months. Plus, teens and adults find them easy to maintain.
What's your best treatment?
Getting a complimentary consultation at The Brace Place is the first step toward a new smile. Dr. Goldknopf will examine your teeth so you know if braces would help your particular smile issue. If they would, he'll develop a treatment plan around your oral impressions and a digital three-dimensional CAT scan of your teeth and jaw bone. In short, you'll know exactly what kind of braces would help you achieve your desired results.
At The Brace Place, we love to make you smile. To schedule a visit, please phone us at (904) 222-8588. You have your choice of locations: our office in Jacksonville Beach and in Ponte Vedra, FL.
Radiographic (x-ray) images are an indispensible diagnostic tool in dentistry. One of the most routine and useful types of x-rays dentists take is the so-called bitewing. Here are some things you may want to know about this common diagnostic procedure.
What are bitewing x-rays?
Bitewings reveal the presence and extent of decay in the back teeth, specifically in areas where adjacent teeth touch each other. Unlike other areas of the teeth, these contacting surfaces between adjacent teeth can’t be examined visually. Bitewings can also show areas of bone loss around teeth — a sign of periodontal disease; however, they are not taken for that purpose because bitewings will not show the complete root surface that is surrounded by bone.
Why are they called that?
The name “bitewing” refers to how the film — or sensor, in the case of a digital x-ray — is positioned in the mouth: The patient bites down on a little tab or wing that holds the apparatus in place.
How often do I need them?
This is determined on a case-by-case basis, with the goal of not exposing you to any more radiation than necessary — even the minimal amount found in a series of bitewing x-rays. Your individual susceptibility to caries (tooth decay) and personal dental history will play a major role in determining how frequently you need radiographic examination — and, for that matter, how often you need to come in for routine cleanings and exams.
Are they safe?
The safety of bitewing x-rays is best illustrated with a comparison to the regular daily radiation exposure we get every day from environmental sources, which is about 0.01 millisieverts — the unit of measure we use for radiation. A series of 4 bitewing x-rays exposes you to 0.004 millisieverts of radiation — less than half of the daily exposure. Undetected tooth decay, which can spread quickly through the softer inner layers of teeth, is considered much more dangerous!
If a bitewing x-ray shows that there is tooth decay, what happens next?
If the cavity is very small, we may be able to treat it during the same appointment. If not, we will make a separate appointment to make sure it is taken care of promptly. The sooner tooth decay is treated, the better!
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