Posts for: August, 2017

By Ottawa Smiles Dental
August 23, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

When a tooth has come loose but the gum tissue is still healthy and strong, your dentist may recommend dental implants. This is an in-Dental Gaps, Dental Implants, Dental Replacementsdemand restorative treatment available at Ottawa Smiles Dental in Holland, MI. Dental implants are most commonly used to replace unattractive gaps in the smile due to tooth loss. Learn more about the implantation procedure and its benefits.

The Science of Dental Implants
When a piece of titanium metal is added to healthy bone tissue, the bone will eventually grow over the metal and hold it firmly in place. That is the science behind how dental implants work. If the bone tissue in your mouth is healthy it will hold a dental implant made of titanium as securely as your other teeth are anchored. 

Replacing Gaps
One of the great benefits of getting a dental implant is that it replaces and fills gaps in the smile. A large gap has a significant effect on how your smile looks and how you eat. It can also change the way that you pronounce words. A crown device is eventually fashioned to the top of the dental implant, which will serve as the visual replacement for your missing tooth. The crown can be shaped by your Holland, MI, dentist to perfectly fill the gap and to look just like the rest of your teeth.

Benefits of Closing Gaps
It is possible to live with a gap, but it is not preferable for a number of reasons. It interferes with your ability to digest food, talk, and feel relaxed when smiling in public. Food can get trapped in the gap, which could create a risk of gum disease. Once you have your dental implant you will have an easier time chewing all types of foods, speaking, and flashing your smile with comfort and confidence.

Call Ottawa Smiles Dental
The gaps in your smile will be history when you get dental implants at Ottawa Smiles Dental. Call the office at (616) 399-3600 today for a visit to see Dr. Todd Brower, a leading dentist in Holland, MI.

By Ottawa Smiles Dental
August 16, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Teeth-replacing dental implants not only look life-like, they’re made to last. For one thing, the metals and dental materials used in them are impervious to bacterial infection.

But that doesn’t mean implants are impervious to failure. Implants depend on the bone and other natural mouth structures for support. If the bone becomes weakened due to disease, the implant could become unstable and ultimately fail.

Peri-implantitis, the condition that can lead to this kind of failure, is a major concern for implant longevity. It’s a type of periodontal (gum) disease triggered by plaque, a thin film of food particles that can build up quickly in the absence of adequate brushing and flossing. The gum tissues around the implant become infected and inflamed.

If the infection isn’t properly treated with renewed oral hygiene and clinical plaque removal, it could spread below the gum line and begin to damage the underlying gum tissues and bone. This could destroy the all-important connection between the titanium implant post and the bone. The implant could eventually loosen and become completely detached from the bone.

The key is early intervention before the bone becomes damaged. Besides plaque removal we may also need to apply antibiotics in some form to control the growth of disease-causing bacteria. If the disease has fairly advanced we may also need to consider surgical repair to strengthen the attachment between implant and bone.

You can help to avoid peri-implantitis altogether by practicing consistent daily brushing and flossing around all your teeth including the implant, and seeing your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings and checkups. And by all means see your dentist if you notice any signs of gum swelling, redness or bleeding. Staying on top of your gum health will help not only the natural tissues and remaining teeth in your mouth, it will help preserve your implants for decades to come.

If you would like more information on maintaining your dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Ottawa Smiles Dental
August 01, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Ever since childhood, when her career as a model and actress took off, Brooke Shields has enjoyed worldwide recognition — through advertisements for designer jeans, appearances on The Muppet Show, and starring roles in big-screen films. But not long ago, that familiar face was spotted in an unusual place: wearing a nasal anesthesia mask at the dentist's office. In fact, Shields posted the photo to her own Instagram account, with the caption “More dental surgery! I grind my teeth!” And judging by the number of comments the post received, she's far from alone.

In fact, researchers estimate that around one in ten adults have dental issues that stem from teeth grinding, which is also called bruxism. (Many children also grind their teeth, but it rarely causes serious problems, and is often outgrown.) About half of the people who are teeth grinders report problems like persistent headaches, jaw tenderness and sore teeth. Bruxism may also result in excessive tooth wear, and may damage dental work like crowns and bridges; in severe cases, loosened or fractured teeth have been reported.

Researchers have been studying teeth grinding for many years; their findings seem to indicate that it has no single cause. However, there are a number of factors that play a significant role in this condition. One is the anatomy of the jaw itself, and the effect of worn or misaligned teeth on the bite. Another factor relates to changes in brain activity that occur during the sleep cycle. In fact, nocturnal (nighttime) bruxism is now classified as a sleep-related movement disorder. Still other factors, such as the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, and a high level of stress or anxiety, can make an individual more likely to experience bruxism.

What can be done for people whose teeth grinding is causing problems? Since this condition may have many causes, a number of different treatments are available. Successful management of bruxism often begins by striving to eliminate the factors that may cause problems — for example, making lifestyle changes to improve your health, creating a soothing nighttime environment, and trying stress-reduction techniques; these may include anything from warm baths and soft music at bedtime, to meditation and mindfulness exercises.

Several dental treatments are also available, including a custom-made occlusal guard (night guard) that can keep your teeth from being damaged by grinding. In some cases, a bite adjustment may also be recommended: In this procedure, a small amount of enamel is removed from a tooth to change the way it contacts the opposite tooth, thereby lessening the biting force on it. More invasive techniques (such as surgery) are rarely needed.

A little tooth grinding once in a while can be a normal response to stress; in fact, becoming aware of the condition is often the first step to controlling it. But if you begin to notice issues that could stem from bruxism — or if the loud grinding sounds cause problems for your sleeping partner — it may be time to contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more about bruxism in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Stress and Tooth Habits.”