Posts for: March, 2019

By Ottawa Smiles Dental
March 30, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: sleep apnea   snoring  
MarchIstheTimetoEvaluateSleepProblems

The month of March brings the first day of spring, when nature seems to wake up after a restful winter slumber. It also brings Sleep Awareness Week, which leads us to ask: How's your sleep? For around one of every three people, the answer seems to be: Not so good! In fact, it's estimated that some 50-70 million people in the U.S. alone have sleep problems, including sleep-related breathing disorders like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

People who suffer from this condition seem to sleep fitfully and snore loudly—and they may actually wake up dozens of times every night without even knowing it. These "micro-arousals" make it impossible to get restful sleep, which can lead to fatigue, trouble concentrating, and behavioral issues. Children with sleep disorders like OSA are sometimes diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders because the symptoms are very similar.

If you suspect that you (or someone you care about) may have a serious sleep disorder, it's a good idea to get an examination from a medical professional who specializes in this area. If the diagnosis is OSA, there are a number of treatments that can be effective—one of which is an oral appliance that's available from the dental office.

Dentists are quite familiar with the anatomical structure of the mouth, which is sometimes the root cause of OSA. In many individuals, the soft tissue structures in the back of the oral cavity (including the tonsils, tongue and soft palate) can shift position when muscles relax during sleep and block the flow of air through the windpipe. The lack of sufficient air may cause a person to awaken briefly, gasp for breath, and then relax their muscles—over and over again, all night long.

After a complete exam, we can have an appliance custom-made for you that has proven successful in managing mild to moderate cases of OSA. Shaped a little like a retainer, it is worn in your mouth at night and taken out in the daytime. The appliance helps maintain an open airway by re-positioning the jaw and/or keeping the tongue out of the way.

Oral appliance therapy is one of the most conservative options available for treating OSA: It requires no major equipment or irreversible medical procedures. However, there are a number of other options, including machines that supply pressurized air through a face mask and even oral surgery. It's important to consult with a specialist in sleep disorders when you're facing this issue. If the diagnosis is OSA or a similar sleep problem, remember that help may be available here at the dental office.

If you have questions about sleep-related breathing disorders, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Oral Appliances For Sleep Apnea” and “Sleep Disorders & Dentistry.”


By Ottawa Smiles Dental
March 25, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental Implant Replaces Missing TeethDental implants provide a comfortable, long-lasting option if you're missing one or more teeth. Your dentist, Dr. Todd Brower of Ottawa Smiles Dental in Holland, MI, helps his patients care for their smiles with a variety of dental services, including dental implants—read on to learn more!

 

How dental implants restore your smile

Tooth loss doesn't just affect your appearance, but can also increase your risk of developing oral health problems. Once you lose a tooth, the nearby teeth react by slowly drifting toward the gap. Unfortunately, this can change your bite and also make brushing and flossing more difficult, due to overlapping teeth.

Your jawbone may also begin to shrink after tooth loss, particularly if you've lost several teeth. This problem occurs because the tooth roots are no longer there to stimulate the bone. As the jawbone bone shrinks during a process called resorption, teeth may loosen and even fall out. Resorption can also contribute to sagging in the muscles of your lower face.

Dental implants help you avoid these problems by restoring missing teeth from the roots up. After treatment, your new tooth will consist of:

  • The Implant: Dental implants are placed directly in your jawbone to replace your natural roots. These screw-like implants are made of titanium, a metal that naturally bonds to your bone. The bonding process takes about three to six months and is a crucial part of the implant process.
  • The Abutment: The abutment connects the dental implant to your dental crown. It is added to the implant after bonding is complete. During your abutment appointment, your Holland dentist will make an impression of your mouth to ensure that your new crown fits perfectly.
  • The Crown: Crowns are artificial teeth designed that fill the noticeable gaps in your smile. Since your crowns are firmly attached to your implants, they won't slip or slide when you eat and feel very much like your natural teeth.

Your new implants will exert constant pressure on your jawbone in order to prevent resorption, the shifting of teeth, and facial sagging. Due to this amazing stability, your implants could very well last you for a lifetime.

 

Interested? Contact us today!

Are you ready to restore missing teeth with dental implants? Call our Holland, MI, office today at (616) 399-3600 to schedule your appointment!


By Ottawa Smiles Dental
March 22, 2019
Category: Dental Procedure
Tags: dental implants  

Dental implants provide a comfortable, long-lasting option if you're missing one or more teeth. Your dentist, Dr. Todd Brower of Ottawa dental implantsSmiles Dental in Holland, MI, helps his patients care for their smiles with a variety of dental services, including dental implants—read on to learn more!

 

How dental implants restore your smile

Tooth loss doesn't just affect your appearance, but can also increase your risk of developing oral health problems. Once you lose a tooth, the nearby teeth react by slowly drifting toward the gap. Unfortunately, this can change your bite and also make brushing and flossing more difficult, due to overlapping teeth.

Your jawbone may also begin to shrink after tooth loss, particularly if you've lost several teeth. This problem occurs because the tooth roots are no longer there to stimulate the bone. As the jawbone bone shrinks during a process called resorption, teeth may loosen and even fall out. Resorption can also contribute to sagging in the muscles of your lower face.

Dental implants help you avoid these problems by restoring missing teeth from the roots up. After treatment, your new tooth will consist of:

  • The Implant: Dental implants are placed directly in your jawbone to replace your natural roots. These screw-like implants are made of titanium, a metal that naturally bonds to your bone. The bonding process takes about three to six months and is a crucial part of the implant process.
  • The Abutment: The abutment connects the dental implant to your dental crown. It is added to the implant after bonding is complete. During your abutment appointment, your Holland dentist will make an impression of your mouth to ensure that your new crown fits perfectly.
  • The Crown: Crowns are artificial teeth designed that fill the noticeable gaps in your smile. Since your crowns are firmly attached to your implants, they won't slip or slide when you eat and feel very much like your natural teeth.

Your new implants will exert constant pressure on your jawbone in order to prevent resorption, the shifting of teeth, and facial sagging. Due to this amazing stability, your implants could very well last you for a lifetime.

 

Interested? Contact us today!

Are you ready to restore missing teeth with dental implants? Call our Holland, MI, office today at (616) 399-3600 to schedule your appointment!


By Ottawa Smiles Dental
March 20, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
J-LosUnluckyBreakChippingaToothonStage

Whether she’s singing, dancing or acting, Jennifer Lopez is a performer who is known for giving it all she’s got. But during one show, Lopez recently admitted, she gave a bit more then she had planned.

“I chipped my tooth on stage,” she told interviewers from Entertainment Tonight, “and had to finish the show….I went back thinking ‘Can I finish the show like this?’”

With that unlucky break, J-Lo joins a growing list of superstar singers—including Taylor Swift and Michael Buble—who have something in common: All have chipped their teeth on microphones while giving a performance.

But it’s not just celebs who have accidental dental trouble. Chips are among the most common dental injuries—and the front teeth, due to their position, are particularly susceptible. Unfortunately, they are also the most visible. But there are also a number of good ways to repair chipped, cracked or broken teeth short of replacing them.

For minor to moderate chips, cosmetic bonding might be recommended. In this method, special high-tech resins, in shades that match your natural teeth, are applied to the tooth’s surface. Layers of resin, cured with a special light, will often restore the tooth to good appearance. Best of all, the whole process can often be done in just one visit to the dental office, and the results can last for several years.

For a more permanent repair—or if the damage is more extensive—dental veneers may be another option. Veneers are wafer-thin shells that cover the entire front surface of one or more teeth. Strong, durable and natural-looking, they can be used to repair moderate chips, cracks or irregularities. They can also help you get a “red-carpet” smile: brilliant white teeth with perfectly even spacing. That’s why veneers are so popular among Hollywood celebs—even those who haven’t chipped their teeth!

Fortunately, even if the tooth is extensively damaged, it’s usually possible to restore it with a crown (cap), a bridge—or a dental implant, today’s gold standard for whole-tooth replacement. But in many cases, a less complex type of restoration will do the trick.

Which tooth restoration method did J-Lo choose? She didn’t say—but luckily for her adoring fans, after the microphone mishap she went right back up on stage and finished the show.

If you have a chipped tooth but you need to make the show go on, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Artistic Repair of Chipped Teeth With Composite Resin” and “Porcelain Veneers.”


4Common-SenseTacticstoLowerToothDecayRiskBetweenDentalVisits

If your dentist found tooth decay on your last visit, you might have been surprised. But tooth decay doesn't occur suddenly—it's a process that takes time to unfold.

It begins with bacteria—too many, that is. Bacteria naturally live in the mouth, but when their populations grow (often because of an abundance of leftover sugar to feed on) they produce high amounts of acid, a byproduct of their digestion. Too much acid contact over time softens and eventually erodes tooth enamel, making decay easier to advance into the tooth.

So, one important strategy for preventing tooth decay is to keep your mouth's bacterial population under control. To do that, here are 4 common-sense tactics you should perform between dental visits.

Practice daily hygiene. Bacteria thrive in dental plaque, a thin film of food particles that builds up on teeth. By both brushing and flossing you can reduce plaque buildup and in turn reduce disease-causing bacteria. In addition, brushing with a fluoride toothpaste can also help strengthen tooth enamel against acid attacks.

Cut back on sugar. Reducing how much sugar you eat—and how often –deprives bacteria of a prime food source. Constant snacking throughout the day on sweets worsens the problem because it prevents saliva, the body's natural acid neutralizer, from reducing high acid levels produced while eating. Constant snacking doesn't allow saliva to complete this process, which normally takes about thirty minutes to an hour. To avoid this scenario, limit any sweets you eat to mealtimes only.

Wait to brush after eating. Although this sounds counterintuitive, your tooth enamel is in a softened state until saliva completes the acid neutralizing process previously described. If you brush immediately after eating you could brush away tiny particles of softened enamel. Instead, rinse your mouth out with water and wait an hour for saliva to do its work before brushing.

Boost your saliva. Inadequate saliva flow could inhibit the fluid's ability to adequately neutralize acid or provide other restorative benefits to tooth enamel. You can improve flow with supplements or medications, or by drinking more water during the day. Products with xylitol, a natural sugar alternative, could give you a double benefit: chewing gums and mints containing it could stimulate more saliva flow and the xylitol itself can inhibit bacterial growth.

If you would like more information on staying ahead of tooth decay, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.