Our Blog

Options for Missing Teeth

November 26th, 2019

options for missing teeth, bridge, gaps in teeth

During your consultation, you may have been told by one of our doctors that you are missing one or more teeth. This information is to inform you of your possible options for replacing missing teeth, and a brief description of each.

There are three basic ways to replace a missing tooth or missing teeth: fixed bridge, removable appliance, or a dental implant. These prosthetic replacements are actually placed by the general dentist after the orthodontics has been completed and are not included as part of orthodontic treatment.

A fixed bridge involves removing healthy enamel from the teeth on either side of the space where the tooth is missing. Your general dentist will cut down these teeth in order to create two crown abutments connected to a false tooth in the middle.

In certain situations, a removable appliance is the most practical solution for replacing missing teeth. A removable appliance consists of a piece of plastic with a false tooth (or teeth) attached to a metal and acrylic removable retainer. Removable appliances are the least aesthetically pleasing tooth replacement option. This is because removable appliances contain clasps that are often impossible to completely conceal. Sometimes a removable appliance serves as a temporary solution until the patient decides what option they would like to choose.

An implant is another way to replace a missing tooth. Simply put, an implant is a titanium screw that is placed into your bone. Once the bone has had a chance to grow and fully secure around the screw, a tooth-shaped crown will then be placed on the screw to give you a natural-looking tooth. This is the most favourable option as healthy teeth on either side of the implant are not affected. This option also provides and very good aesthetic outcome. It should be noted that an implant cannot be placed until a patient has completed their growth (a temporary appliance is usually placed in the meantime).

There are pros and cons to each option. Your general dentist (or an appointed specialist) along with the orthodontist will help you decide what is best for you and your situation.

Impacted Canines

November 19th, 2019

impacted canines, canine teeth, orthodontic therapy

An impaction is a "condition of being firmly lodged or wedged in such a way that further tooth eruption is prevented." Canine teeth, in particular, are quite prone to becoming impacted. Usually the exact cause of an impacted tooth is not known. The guidance system of the developing tooth simply malfunctions and the tooth begins migrating in the wrong direction.

 

Canines are the most important teeth in guiding lateral jaw movements and are most resistant to tooth decay and gum disease. Because of their importance, we make every effort possible to bring an impacted canine tooth into position rather than extract it.

It is necessary to have an oral surgeon perform the surgical procedure required to uncover the impacted tooth and glue an attachment onto it. This is not something that is done in the orthodontic office.

Once your canine has been exposed you will continue to see the orthodontist for your regularly scheduled appointments. These appointments involve making adjustments to the chain/wire attached to the tooth so that it can slowly be brought into position. Regular x-rays will be taken to monitor the movement of the canine. It can take anywhere from 6-18 months for the impacted tooth to be brought into position.

Failure to redirect an impacted canine has serious consequences. If left untreated, the tooth can develop cysts around it, it may migrate and cause permanent damage to adjacent teeth or it simply may fuse to the bone and will not erupt regardless of technique used.

Exposing an impacted canine is relatively common surgical procedure with a very high success rate. Please feel free to ask the doctors any questions you may have regarding the procedure.

Importance Of An Open Airway In Growing Children

November 12th, 2019

 

child airway, child airway blog

One of the most common abnormalities in a child’s facial growth and development is caused by a compromised airway or, simply stated, the inability to breathe properly through the nose. Read all about the common causes of altered breathing patterns and signs of airway problems below.

Children who cannot breathe well through their nose will tend to breathe through their mouth. This sets up a chain of events which may severely impact not only the health of a child but also the way a child’s facial features develop and ultimately the way a child looks as an adult.
The most common causes of altered breathing are:

  • Enlarged adenoids
  • Enlarged tonsils
  • Deviated septum (nasal obstruction)
  • Allergies
  • Chronic sinus infections

The effects of a compromised airway on the growth of a child are revealed in many ways. The tongue often positions itself snugly in the lower jaw to allow a child to breathe more readily through the mouth. This, in turn, changes the growth of the lower jaw so that it grows more vertically and makes the face look longer.

At the same time, since nasal breathing is severely compromised, the upper jaw and midface (the nasal bones, cheekbones, and bones supporting the tissue of the face) fail to develop at a normal rate because the natural growth stimulant of airflow through the nose is absent. This results in a deficiency of growth of the upper jaw and midface which, added to the long facial growth from the lower jaw, directly impacts the facial balance and beauty of a child and later as an adult.

As parents, we often see the signs of airway problems however they often go unnoticed. Here are a few common symptoms of airway problems:

  • Mouth breathing – signs are dry/chapped lips which stay apart at rest and red, inflamed gums
  • Venous pooling beneath the eyes – dark circles beneath the eyes
  • Change in head posture – head postures forward and/or tipping the forehead backwards
  • Tonsil and adenoid problems – Chronic sinus problems, throat problems
  • Snoring – children do not usually snore
  • Loud grinding of teeth during sleep
  • Bed wetting
  • Reflux in the eustachion tube – can lead to inner ear infections

Why is it important to recognize and treat airway obstruction?

Over time, if a child is not getting enough quality sleep, he or she does not acquire sufficient amounts of oxygen to aid in normal brain and body development. The child is more likely to be diagnosed later in life with health conditions such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and childhood obesity. Studies have shown decreased airways in growing children can also lead to other behavioural problems such as restlessness, aggressive behaviour, excessive daytime sleepiness and poor test performance. Patients who grow up with untreated, chronic sleep apnea are also more likely to having learning disabilities, behavioural problems and metabolic problems.

As children aren’t able to identify the problem on their own, it’s crucial for parents to pay close attention to their children’s sleep habits and daytime behaviour. We are here to help bring these possible issues to light so we can work with you and your child to provide the care your child needs and deserves.

Thank you!

October 21st, 2019

Thank you to everyone who donated new/used coats in support of Koats for Kids! We appreciate all donations!
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