Posts for category: Dental Procedures
When die-hard music fans hear that their favorite performer is canceling a gig, it’s a big disappointment—especially if the excuse seems less than earth-shaking. Recently, British pop sensation Dua Lipa needed to drop two dates from her world tour with Bruno Mars. However, she had a very good reason.
“I’ve been performing with an awful pain due to my wisdom teeth,” the singer tweeted, “and as advised by my dentist and oral surgeon I have had to have them imminently removed.”
The dental problem Lipa had to deal with, impacted wisdom teeth, is not uncommon in young adults. Also called third molars, wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt (emerge from beneath the gums), generally making their appearance between the ages of 18-24. But their debut can cause trouble: Many times, these teeth develop in a way that makes it impossible for them to erupt without negatively affecting the healthy teeth nearby. In this situation, the teeth are called “impacted.”
A number of issues can cause impacted wisdom teeth, including a tooth in an abnormal position, a lack of sufficient space in the jaw, or an obstruction that prevents proper emergence. The most common treatment for impaction is to extract (remove) one or more of the wisdom teeth. This is a routine in-office procedure that may be performed by general dentists or dental specialists.
It’s thought that perhaps 7 out of 10 people ages 20-30 have at least one impacted wisdom tooth. Some cause pain and need to be removed right away; however, this is not always the case. If a wisdom tooth is found to be impacted and is likely to result in future problems, it may be best to have it extracted before symptoms appear. Unfortunately, even with x-rays and other diagnostic tests, it isn’t always possible to predict exactly when—or if—the tooth will actually begin causing trouble. In some situations, the best option may be to carefully monitor the tooth at regular intervals and wait for a clearer sign of whether extraction is necessary.
So if you’re around the age when wisdom teeth are beginning to appear, make sure not to skip your routine dental appointments. That way, you might avoid emergency surgery when you’ve got other plans—like maybe your own world tour!
If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”
Sometimes it seems that appearances count for everything—especially in Hollywood. But just recently, Lonnie Chaviz, the 10-year-old actor who plays young Randall on the hit TV show This Is Us, delivered a powerful message about accepting differences in body image. And the whole issue was triggered by negative social media comments about his smile.
Lonnie has a noticeable diastema—that is, a gap between his two front teeth; this condition is commonly seen in children, but is less common in adults. There are plenty of celebrities who aren’t bothered by the excess space between their front teeth, such as Michael Strahan, Lauren Hutton and Vanessa Paradis. However, there are also many people who choose to close the gap for cosmetic or functional reasons.
Unfortunately, Lonnie had been on the receiving end of unkind comments about the appearance of his smile. But instead of getting angry, the young actor posted a thoughtful reply via Instagram video, in which he said: “I could get my gap fixed. Braces can fix this, but like, can you fix your heart, though?”
Lonnie is raising an important point: Making fun of how someone looks shows a terrible lack of compassion. Besides, each person’s smile is uniquely their own, and getting it “fixed” is a matter of personal choice. It’s true that in most circumstances, if the gap between the front teeth doesn’t shrink as you age and you decide you want to close it, orthodontic appliances like braces can do the job. Sometimes, a too-big gap can make it more difficult to eat and to pronounce some words. In other situations, it’s simply a question of aesthetics—some like it; others would prefer to live without it.
There’s a flip side to this issue as well. When teeth need to be replaced, many people opt to have their smile restored just the way it was, rather than in some “ideal” manner. That could mean that their dentures are specially fabricated with a space between the front teeth, or the crowns of their dental implants are spaced farther apart than they normally would be. For these folks, the “imperfection” is so much a part of their unique identity that changing it just seems wrong.
So if you’re satisfied with the way your smile looks, all you need to do is keep up with daily brushing and flossing, and come in for regular checkups and cleanings to keep it healthy and bright. If you’re unsatisfied, ask us how we could help make it better. And if you need tooth replacement, be sure to talk to us about all of your options—teeth that are regular and “Hollywood white;” teeth that are natural-looking, with minor variations in color and spacing; and teeth that look just like the smile you’ve always had.
Because when it comes to your smile, we couldn’t agree more with what Lonnie Chaviz said at the end of his video: “Be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. Do you. Be you. Believe in yourself.”
If you have questions about cosmetic dentistry, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”
Dental sealants could help your child’s smile by protecting it against cavities and tooth decay. Most cavities develop in the molars and dental sealants can prevent up to 80 percent of those cavities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children who have dental sealants have a reduced risk of development cavities. At Sunnyside Dentistry for Children, Dr. David Doyle and Dr. Eric Jacobsen are your pediatric dentists for dental sealants in Clackamas, OR.
What Dental Sealants Do
Dental sealants help prevent cavities by protecting the chewing surfaces of teeth. The molars tend to have countless small crevices, often referred to as pits and fissures by dentists, where bacteria can become trapped and be difficult to brush away. When bacteria remains on the teeth, it can mix with food debris and saliva to produce acids that eat away at tooth enamel and cause decay. Dental sealants form a hard protective barrier over the surfaces of the back teeth so bacteria cannot become trapped and eventually lead to tooth decay.
Application of Dental Sealants
Dental sealants can be easily applied to your child’s teeth after a thorough dental cleaning. Cleaning the teeth prior to application ensures no bacteria, plaque, tartar, or other debris remains on the teeth. Otherwise, those cavity-causing agents would become trapped beneath the sealant once it is dry. When the teeth are ready, a liquid sealant material is brushed onto the surfaces of the teeth. A special light is used to rapidly dry the sealant, which helps it harden. Properly applied sealants can potentially last for a few years before needing reapplication.
Caring for Dental Sealants
Practicing good oral hygiene habits at home can help your child’s dental sealants last as long as possible. Brushing and flossing will not harm dental sealants so it is important that your child continue brushing and flossing daily to maintain healthy teeth. Scheduling regular dental checkups is also important. In Clackamas, sealants are checked and touched-up as needed during your child’s regular dental appointments at Sunnyside Dentistry for Children.
Dental sealants provide additional protection against cavities and could help your child maintain a healthier smile. For dental sealants in Clackamas, schedule an appointment with Dr. Doyle or Dr. Jacobsen by calling Sunnyside Dentistry for Children at (503) 855-5100.
Sometimes, looking at old pictures can really bring memories back to life. Just ask Stefani Germanotta—the pop diva better known as Lady Gaga. In one scene from the recent documentary Five Foot Two, as family members sort through headshots from her teen years, her father proclaims: "Here, this proves she had braces!"
"If I had kept that gap, then I would have even more problems with Madonna," Lady Gaga replies, referencing an ongoing feud between the two musical celebrities.
The photos of Gaga's teenage smile reveal that the singer of hits like "Born This Way" once had a noticeable gap (which dentists call a diastema) between her front teeth. This condition is common in children, but often becomes less conspicuous with age. It isn't necessarily a problem: Lots of well-known people have extra space in their smiles, including ex-football player and TV host Michael Strahan, actress Anna Paquin…and fellow pop superstar Madonna. It hasn't hurt any of their careers.
Yet others would prefer a smile without the gap. Fortunately, diastema in children is generally not difficult to fix. One of the easiest ways to do so is with traditional braces or clear aligners. These orthodontic appliances, usually worn for a period of months, can actually move the teeth into positions that look more pleasing in the smile and function better in the bite. For many people, orthodontic treatment is a part of their emergence from adolescence into adulthood.
Braces and aligners, along with other specialized orthodontic appliances, can also remedy many bite problems besides diastema. They can correct misaligned teeth and spacing irregularities, fix overbites and underbites, and take care of numerous other types of malocclusions (bite problems).
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that kids get screened for orthodontic problems at age 7. Even if an issue is found, most won't get treatment at this age—but in some instances, it's possible that early intervention can save a great deal of time, money and effort later. For example, while the jaw is still developing, its growth can be guided with special appliances that can make future orthodontic treatment go quicker and easier.
Yet orthodontics isn't just for children—adults can wear braces too! As long as teeth and gums are healthy, there's no upper age limit on orthodontic treatment. Instead of traditional silver braces, many adults choose tooth-colored braces or clear aligners to complement their more professional appearance.
So if your child is at the age where screening is recommended—or if you're unhappy with your own smile—ask us whether orthodontics could help. But if you get into a rivalry with Madonna…you're on your own.
If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Orthodontics For The Older Adult.”
Dental crowns offer many benefits for children with teeth that are weak, damaged, broken, or decaying. When teeth are weak due to damage or decay, your child’s ability to eat and speak properly can be adversely affected. Dental crowns can be used to strengthen and restore weak, damaged, or decaying teeth so that those teeth do not have to be pulled out. At Sunnyside Dentistry for Children in Clackamas, OR, Dr. David Doyle is your pediatric dentist for dental crowns!
What are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns are protective covers or caps that are placed over vulnerable teeth to protect them from further damage or decay, as well as to provide a strong outer shell for weak teeth so that normal biting and chewing functions can resume. Each dental crown is custom created to perfectly fit over specific tooth it will protect. The color, size, and shape of dental crowns can all be customized for a completely natural look. Your pediatric dentist in Clackamas can determine if your child might benefit from dental crowns.
How Dental Crowns Help
Dental crowns can be used in several ways, including to protect teeth, restore tooth functionality, improve speech, and conceal a variety of cosmetic concerns. As long as your child’s tooth still has its root and the base of the tooth is intact, then the tooth can be covered and protected with a dental crown. This helps your child avoid having a tooth extracted. Retaining your child’s primary teeth is important for ensuring proper spacing of the teeth when the permanent ones eventually come in.
Dental crowns can also be placed over permanent teeth for a number of reasons, including to:
- Conceal stains or discolorations
- Repair chipped or cracked teeth
- Correct the shape of oddly shaped teeth
- Strengthen weak and damaged teeth
- Protect teeth from further damage
- Restore normal biting and chewing functions
The benefits of dental crowns are numerous. From protecting damaged teeth to strengthening weak ones, dental crowns can help in several different ways. For pediatric dental crowns in Clackamas, schedule an appointment for your child with Dr. Doyle by calling Sunnyside Dentistry for Children at (503) 855-5100.