Posts for: November, 2016

By Ottawa Smiles Dental
November 28, 2016
Category: Oral Health

If you are an athlete, you are probably aware that injuries come with the territory of playing sports. Broken bones, pulled muscles and dental emergencybruised body parts are all common occurrences in many sports. However, even if you wear a mouth guard every second you are on the field, you could still suffer from a dental injury. Learn how to be prepared for a sports-related dental injury with Dr. Todd Brower at Ottawa Smiles Dental in Holland, MI.

Common Sports-Related Dental Emergencies

  • Lost tooth: If your tooth becomes dislodged or comes out due to force or trauma, stay calm. Find the tooth and hold it by its crown, or top, not the root. If necessary, rinse any dirt or debris from the tooth with cool water, making sure not to scrub the tooth or remove any soft tissues which may remain on its root. Try to gently place the tooth back into its socket, but stop immediately if there is pain or you have to use force. Store your tooth in a container of milk and bring it with you to your dental appointment, which you should schedule immediately.
  • Broken tooth: A broken or fractured tooth can occur due to a wonky tackle or simply biting into something too hard. However, this condition can cause severe damage to the tooth and, if left untreated, result in losing the tooth altogether. If you have a broken tooth, even if you do not experience any pain alongside the break, you should see your dentist for treatment as soon as you can.
  • Chipped tooth: A chipped tooth is usually not a cause for concern and does not always require immediate medical attention. However, if you notice a fracture in the tooth or the chip extends underneath the gum line, it becomes more serious. In this case, you should schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible.
  • Injury to the soft tissues: Injuring the soft tissues of the mouth can lead to further complications, like an infection, if left untreated. If you have an injury to the soft tissues of your mouth, you should consult with your dentist to determine if it requires at-home or medical care.

Protecting Your Teeth in Holland, MI
If you play sports, you should wear a mouth guard at all times, even if you are only practicing. While many sporting good stores sell mouth guards of the “boil-and-bite” variety, they do not protect your teeth and mouth as well as a more customized version. You can order a custom-made and effective mouth guard from your dentist.

For more information on sports-related dental emergencies, please contact Dr. Brower at Ottawa Smiles Dental in Holland, MI. Call (616) 399-3600 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Brower today!

By Ottawa Smiles Dental
November 25, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   bonding  

So you’re tearing up the dance floor at a friend’s wedding, when all of a sudden one of your pals lands an accidental blow to your face — chipping out part of your front tooth, which lands right on the floorboards! Meanwhile, your wife (who is nine months pregnant) is expecting you home in one piece, and you may have to pose for a picture with the baby at any moment. What will you do now?

Take a tip from Prince William of England. According to the British tabloid The Daily Mail, the future king found himself in just this situation in 2013. His solution: Pay a late-night visit to a discreet dentist and get it fixed up — then stay calm and carry on!

Actually, dental emergencies of this type are fairly common. While nobody at the palace is saying exactly what was done for the damaged tooth, there are several ways to remedy this dental dilemma.

If the broken part is relatively small, chances are the tooth can be repaired by bonding with composite resin. In this process, tooth-colored material is used to replace the damaged, chipped or discolored region. Composite resin is a super-strong mixture of plastic and glass components that not only looks quite natural, but bonds tightly to the natural tooth structure. Best of all, the bonding procedure can usually be accomplished in just one visit to the dental office — there’s no lab work involved. And while it won’t last forever, a bonded tooth should hold up well for at least several years with only routine dental care.

If a larger piece of the tooth is broken off and recovered, it is sometimes possible to reattach it via bonding. However, for more serious damage — like a severely fractured or broken tooth — a crown (cap) may be required. In this restoration process, the entire visible portion of the tooth may be capped with a sturdy covering made of porcelain, gold, or porcelain fused to a gold metal alloy.

A crown restoration is more involved than bonding. It begins with making a 3-D model of the damaged tooth and its neighbors. From this model, a tooth replica will be fabricated by a skilled technician; it will match the existing teeth closely and fit into the bite perfectly. Next, the damaged tooth will be prepared, and the crown will be securely attached to it. Crown restorations are strong, lifelike and permanent.

Was the future king “crowned” — or was his tooth bonded? We may never know for sure. But it’s good to know that even if we’ll never be royals, we still have several options for fixing a damaged tooth. If you would like more information, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Repairing Chipped Teeth” and “Crowns and Bridgework.”


Braces can change a person's life — not just their appearance but their dental health as well. To be honest, though, wearing braces are, well, kind of a drag — especially for teenagers.

Braces can be restrictive and confining; you'll also have to give up certain favorite foods for a while. But more than any of that, they're just plain unattractive. Even being able to choose colors for the brackets and elastic bands can't fully ease a teenager's embarrassment when they smile.

There is, however, an alternative to braces: clear aligners. And they could make orthodontic treatment during this difficult phase of their life much easier to handle.

Clear aligners are a set of clear plastic trays that can be taken in and out of the mouth. Each of the custom-designed trays is slightly smaller than the previous one in the series. After wearing the first tray for a couple of weeks (at least 20 to 22 hours a day), the patient switches to the next tray in the series. They repeat this process until they've worn all the trays. The gradual change from tray to tray moves the teeth to the desired position.

Clear aligners have some distinct advantages over braces, especially for younger patients. They can be removed for cleaning or for a rare special event. They don't limit movement as much as braces. And, they're nearly invisible — other people may not even notice them. And newer aligners are now designed with tiny “power ridges” that increase their movement capabilities. This has made them more useful for teenagers with complicated bite problems and other issues.

There are cases, though, where braces may be the better choice: where you need more control over tooth movement or the patient needs jaw surgery to achieve proper tooth alignment. And their removability could be an issue if the patient won't leave them in their mouth for the necessary time each day.

To find out if clear aligners might be a viable option for your teenager, visit us for a complete orthodontic examination. We can then discuss your best option — clear aligners or braces — to achieve the most desirable outcome for your teenager.

If you would like more information on treating bite problems in teenagers with clear aligners, 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 “Clear Aligners for teens.”