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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

YouCanHaveaStraighterSmile-JustLiketheQueenofEngland

The monarchs of the world experience the same health issues as their subjects—but they often tend to be hush-hush about it. Recently, though, the normally reticent Queen Elizabeth II let some young dental patients in on a lesser known fact about Her Majesty's teeth.

While touring a new dental hospital, the queen told some children being fitted for braces that she too “had wires” once upon a time. She also said, “I think it's worth it in the end.”

The queen isn't the only member of the House of Windsor to need help with a poor bite. Both Princes William and Harry have worn braces, as have other members of the royal family. A propensity for overbites, underbites and other malocclusions (poor bites) can indeed pass down through families, whether of noble or common lineage.

Fortunately, there are many ways to correct congenital malocclusions, depending on their type and severity. Here are 3 of them.

Braces and clear aligners. Braces are the tried and true way to straighten misaligned teeth, while the clear aligner method—removable plastic mouth trays—is the relative “new kid on the block.” Braces are indeed effective for a wide range of malocclusions, but their wires and brackets make it difficult to brush and floss, and they're not particularly attractive. Clear aligners solve both of these issues, though they may not handle more complex malocclusions as well as braces.

Palatal expanders. When the upper jaw develops too narrowly, a malocclusion may result from teeth crowding into too small a space. But before the upper jaw bones fuse together in late childhood, orthodontists can fit a device called a palatal expander inside the upper teeth, which exerts gentle outward pressure on the teeth. This encourages more bone growth in the center to widen the jaw and help prevent a difficult malocclusion from forming.

Specialized braces for impacted teeth. An impacted tooth, which remains partially or completely hidden in the gums, can impede dental health, function and appearance. But we may be able to coax some impacted teeth like the front canines into full eruption. This requires a special orthodontic technique in which a bracket is surgically attached to the impacted tooth's crown. A chain connected to the bracket is then looped over other orthodontic hardware to gradually pull the tooth down where it should be.

Although some techniques like palatal expanders are best undertaken in early dental development, people of any age and reasonably good health can have a problem bite corrected with other methods. If you are among those who benefit from orthodontics, you'll have something in common with the Sovereign of the British Isles: a healthy, attractive and straighter smile.

If you would like more information about orthodontic treatment options, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Magic of Orthodontics.”

By Barbara Preussner, DMD
September 07, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: wisdom teeth  
WisdomTeethBearCloseMonitoringforFutureDentalHealth

One of the major signs that a young person's dental development is nearing completion is the eruption of the last four permanent teeth: the third molars, located rear-most on either side of both the upper and lower jaws. But the advent of these molars, also called wisdom teeth, isn't always a cause for celebration: They can give rise to serious dental problems.

Wisdom teeth often arrive on an already crowded jaw, making them subject to erupting out of position or becoming impacted, totally or partially submerged in the gums. This can cause harm not only to themselves, but also to other teeth: They can impinge on and damage the roots of their neighbors; impede brushing and flossing and increase the risk of disease; and skew the alignment of other teeth to create poor bites that affect dental health and function.

Wisdom teeth are considered so prone to these problems (an estimated 70% between ages 20 and 30 have at least one impacted molar) that it's been a common practice to remove them before they show signs of disease or poor bite development. As a result, third molar extractions are the most common surgical procedure performed by oral surgeons.

But the dental profession is now reevaluating this practice of early removal. On the whole, it's difficult to predict if the eruption of wisdom teeth in a particular person will actually lead to problems. It may be premature, then, to remove wisdom teeth before there's sufficient evidence of its necessity.

As a result, many dentists now follow a more nuanced approach to wisdom teeth management. An impacted wisdom tooth that's diseased or contributing to disease is an obvious candidate for removal. But if the eruption is proceeding without signs of impaction, disease or poor bite development, many providers recommend not removing them early. Instead, their development is allowed to continue, although monitored closely.

If signs of problems do begin to emerge, then removal may again be an option. Until then, a more long-term watchful approach toward wisdom teeth may be the best strategy for helping a young person achieve optimal dental health.

If you would like more information on managing wisdom teeth treatment, 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 “Wisdom Teeth: Coming of Age May Come With a Dilemma.”

By Barbara Preussner, DMD
August 10, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Crowns  

Find out how dental crowns protect and preserve your natural teeth.

Having a healthy smile is something that everyone strives for; however, everything from a sports injury to decay can weaken and damage teeth. Luckily, when these issues arise our

Holliston, MA, dentist Dr. Barbara Preussner can treat and restore the tooth with a dental crown, a tooth-shaped cap that fits over the crown of a natural tooth to provide a natural-looking protective barrier.

You could benefit from getting a dental crown if you have,

  • A severely decayed tooth that a dental filling can’t completely support
  • Experienced a traumatic injury to a tooth that has caused it to fracture, break or crack
  • A severely disfigured or discolored tooth
  • A weak tooth that is prone to crumbling or cracking
  • A tooth that needs to undergo root canal therapy
  • One or more missing teeth and you are getting a dental implant or dental bridge

If our Holliston, MA, restorative dentist has told you that you need a dental crown here are some of the benefits of getting this dental cap,

Improved appearance: No matter whether a tooth is severely discolored, misshapen or damaged, the fact of the matter is that the tooth sticks out and affects the overall appearance of your smile. Luckily, dental crowns are made from material that looks like a real tooth, which means that the crown can instantly improve the color, shape and size of a tooth once it’s cemented into place.

Confidence in chewing: You don’t realize just how important your teeth are for eating until you have broken or damaged tooth. Not being able to use all of your teeth can make eating certain foods challenging or even impossible. Unfortunately, untreated dental problems are more likely to cause digestive issues and nutritional deficits. To prevent these problems a dental crown can be placed over a weak or damaged tooth to almost fully restore strength and functionality back into it so you can eat what you want again.

Preserve your smile: The best thing you can do for your oral health is to maintain your own natural teeth. This means placing a dental crown over a cracked, damaged or infected tooth after it’s been treated. While some of the tooth will be filed down to make room for the crown, this is preferable to having a tooth extracted.

Have questions about dental crowns or any of the restorative, cosmetic or preventive dental care that we offer here in Holliston, MA? If so, call our office today. We would be happy to answer your questions and schedule your next cleaning or consultation.

WisdomTeethCanStillbeaProblemfortheWorldsYoungestBillionaire

According to Forbes Magazine, Kylie Jenner is the world's youngest billionaire at age 22. Daughter of Caitlyn (Bruce) Jenner and Kris Jenner, Kylie is the founder and owner of the highly successful Kylie Cosmetics, and a rising celebrity in her own right. But even this busy CEO couldn't avoid an experience many young people her age go through each year: having her wisdom teeth removed.

At around 10 million removals each year, wisdom teeth extraction is the most common surgical procedure performed by oral surgeons. Also called the third molars, the wisdom teeth are in the back corners of the jaws, top and bottom. Most people have four of them, but some have more, some have fewer, and some never have any. They're typically the last permanent teeth to come in, usually between ages 17 and 25.

And therein lies the problem with wisdom teeth: Many times, they're coming in late on a jaw already crowded with teeth. Their eruption can cause these other teeth to move out of normal alignment, or the wisdom teeth themselves may not fully erupt and remain fully or partially within the gums (a condition called impaction). All of this can have a ripple effect, decreasing dental function and increasing disease risk.

As Kylie Jenner has just experienced, they're often removed when problems with bite or instances of diseases like tooth decay or gum disease begin to show. But not just when problems show: It's also been a common practice to remove them earlier in a kind of “preemptive strike” against dental dysfunction. But this practice of early wisdom teeth extraction has its critics. The main contention is that early extractions aren't really necessary from a medical or dental standpoint, and so patients are unduly exposed to surgical risks. Although negative outcomes are very rare, any surgical procedure carries some risk.

Over the last few years, a kind of middle ground consensus has developed among dentists on how to deal with wisdom teeth in younger patients. What has emerged is a “watch and wait” approach: Don't advise extraction unless there is clear evidence of developing problems. Instead, continue to monitor a young patient's dental development to see that it's progressing normally.

Taking this approach can lead to fewer early wisdom teeth extractions, which are postponed to a later time or even indefinitely. The key is to always do what's best for a patient's current development and future dental health.

Still, removing wisdom teeth remains a sound practice when necessary. Whether for a high school or college student or the CEO of a large company, wisdom teeth extraction can boost overall dental health and development.

If you would like more information about wisdom teeth and their impact on dental health, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Wisdom Teeth: To Be or Not to Be?

By Barbara Preussner, DMD
August 07, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers  

Do you want to feel more confident in your smile? Here’s how veneers can help.

 

Perhaps you’ve heard about dental veneers before, particularly from a celebrity or someone whose smile you love. Of course, you don’t veneershave to be walking down the red carpet or starring in a TV show to consider dental veneers. Any healthy individual can get the smile they want when they turn to our Holliston MA dentist Dr. Barbara Preussner for porcelain veneers.

 

What are Holliston porcelain veneers?

Veneers are thin, durable coverings that bond directly to the front of your teeth to hide a multitude of cosmetic imperfections. Veneers are fully customized based on the size of your teeth and the results you’re looking to achieve. Common problems that porcelain veneers can hide include:

 

  • Misshapen or oddly shaped teeth
  • Size issues (teeth that are too short or uneven)
  • Discolorations and widespread stains
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Chipped teeth
  • Worn teeth
  • Gummy smiles
  • Slightly crooked or misaligned teeth

 

What are the benefits of getting porcelain veneers?

As anyone who has gotten Holliston Porcelain Veneers will be able to tell you, these simple restorations can go a long way to dramatically improving the overall appearance of your smile. Some of the benefits of porcelain veneers include:

 

  • A quick and easy way to enhance and improve your smile
  • Long-lasting results
  • A stain-resistant smile
  • A stronger and more resilient smile
  • Restorations that can last to 15 years before needing to be replaced
  • A straighter smile without having to get braces
  • Taking years off your appearance and making you look younger
  • Boosting your self-esteem and confidence
  • Smiling more, which is always great for your health and wellbeing

 

Am I a good candidate for dental veneers?

If you are an adult with a healthy smile but wish that your teeth were whiter, straighter, or more even then chances are good that you could be an ideal candidate for veneers. Whether you want to improve the appearance of one, three, or all teeth that are visible when you smile, our dental team can make this possible with the help of Holliston Porcelain Veneers.

 

Whether you have questions about porcelain veneers or you want to find out if you’re an ideal candidate, don’t hesitate to call our Holliston MA dental practice today at (508) 429-7125 to schedule your no-risk consultation with Dr. Barbara Preussner.