Treatable Cases for Invisalign

It’s rare for someone to have naturally straight teeth that never require orthodontic intervention. For the rest of us, there is a range of common dental problems that can be solved with simple treatment from Invisalign.

Gapped Teeth

Gapped teeth can be caused by missing teeth or extra growth in your jawbone. While small gaps aren’t detrimental to your smile or oral health, they can increase the risk of periodontal disease. If your teeth are spaced far enough apart, your gums are left more exposed to bacteria. If you have gaps in your teeth, Invisalign is an effective solution.

Overbite

An overbite is simply overlapping between your upper and lower jaw. This issue is often genetic, caused by overdevelopment of the upper jaw. Occasionally, bad oral habits can cause overbite as well. When severe or left untreated after decades, an overbite can affect gum health and lower teeth erosion or irritation.

Underbite

Underbites come in different levels of severity depending on the cause. Most often, underbites are caused by excess growth in the lower jaw or a lack of growth in the upper jaw. In other cases, missing upper teeth, especially molars can cause this misalignment. Long term problems with underbites are similar to overbites. With a misaligned bite, those with underbites might experience faster erosion of the upper teeth or painful jaw problems.

Open Bite

You might have heard that thumb sucking as a child can affect your teeth. This is one of the causes for an open bite. This condition keeps the top and bottom teeth from touching each other at all. Bad habits as a child or genetics are the most common causes for this issue. If left untreated, an open bite can result in speech impairment, chewing problems and even Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ.

Overcrowding

Teeth crowding is a common issue for adults, kids and teens alike. Simply an effect of genetics, overcrowding happens when your mouth doesn’t have room for all your teeth. With the help of orthodontic intervention, aligning the teeth can make more room easily. If neglected, crowding can grow worse and cause issues like plaque buildup, decay and gum disease because of the many hard to reach spaces between teeth.

Crossbite

Crossbites are caused by misaligned upper and lower jaws. Like many of these issues, it is often caused by genetics and can be easily remedied. Those with crossbite are at risk for enamel erosion, gum disease and bone loss due to uneven wear in their teeth. Luckily, Invisalign can solve this problem and many others in around a year.

Learn more about Invisalign during your next visit to Dr. Allan S. Thomas D.D.S.


Don’t Forget Your Dental Benefits!

BlogGraphic-UsingBenefits

Another wonderful year is coming to a close. We have enjoyed getting to know each of our patients better throughout the past year and look forward to our visits! As we get closer to 2015, it is important to look at your insurance benefits still available for the 2014 calendar year. We have sent out letters to those who, according to our records, still have these benefits available to them and must use by the end of the year. If you have received one of these letters, it is time to start looking at your options for the end of the year.

 

Check your records and see what benefits you have left in your insurance plan. These advantages can be used for regularly scheduled visits, or more advanced treatment. If we have talked through a treatment plan with you, let’s get you in to complete the work, benefiting your oral health and subsequently your overall health. We look forward to working with each of our patients, helping them achieve their ultimate health goals. Together we can help you achieve these oral health goals by the end of the year, or at least gain significant headway in the process.

 

Don’t let these important dental health benefits go to waste by waiting too long, we want to work with you to take full advantage of these! Call our office to schedule your treatment as soon as possible. We want all our patients to know just how much we value your trust in our services, and your loyalty to our practice. It is an honor and pleasure to be on your healthcare team.


Don’t wait another year, schedule your appointment with Dr. Thomas today: 801-322-4900


Common Oral Diseases: Gingivitis

Oral Diseases GingivitisWhen dealing with your overall well being, there are a few common oral diseases that can be damaging to not only your mouth, but your entire body. One of the most common periodontal diseases is gingivitis, which can come in a couple of different forms. Learn more about the identification and treatment of gingivitis to rid your mouth of this disease.

 

What is Gingivitis?

 

 

Gingivitis is when the gums directly surrounding the teeth become inflamed. This is just one of many periodontal diseases that have a direct impact on the periodontium, better known as the tissue surrounding the teeth, soft tissues, and bones in this area. When left to fester, gingivitis will cause the gums to recede, damaging the teeth.

 

The Cause

 

 

Most commonly gingivitis is caused by poor oral hygiene, but there can be some genetic factors linked as well. Because of this it is important for everyone to practice good dental habits. This includes brushing a minimum of twice a day, flossing every day, and visiting the dentist every six months for checkups. These practices together will help reduce your chances for gingivitis.

 

The Symptoms

 

 

There is a great difference between gums that are healthy and gums that have gingivitis. It is very rare that this disease will be coupled with pain, meaning the other symptoms must be looked for and stopped before they progress:

 

  • Swollen gums
  • The gums appear to be receding
  • Soft puffed up gums
  • The gums will be slightly tender at times
  • When you floss, the gums bleed easily
  • The gums will turn darker red than the normal healthy pink
  • Halitosis

 

If you notice any of these symptoms arising, seek the help of your dentist before they have the chance to get worse. Catching gingivitis early is the best way to eliminate the most frustrating problems associated.

 

Solutions

 

 

The symptoms of gingivitis can often be countered through early detection and treatment. With the help of your dentist, these steps will effectively rid your mouth of this periodontal diseases, and the damaging symptoms it will bring. First, see the dentist to identify that this is the real problem at hand. If so, your dentist will be able to remove the plaque that has built up. After this checkup continue to brush and floss normally, ensuring the plaque does not have the chance to build up again.
Gingivitis is one of many different types of oral diseases. Take better care of your mouth through good oral habits. By brushing and flossing on a regular basis, you can significantly lower your chances for this disease, keeping your mouth healthy.


Dental Care for Pregnant Women

 

Teeth Tips for Pregnant Women

It’s important to take proper care of your teeth and gums through every stage of your life, especially during pregnancy. While a woman is pregnant, there are many hormonal changes that occur, raising the risk for gum disease and other problems. This can not only be damaging to your health, but the health of your baby as well. Take the best care of your teeth during this critical time to prevent more serious health problems.

 

Before Pregnancy

 

 

If you are planning on getting pregnant soon, make sure you are up to date on your dental appointments. You should be going in to get your teeth examined and cleaned at least once every six months. These appointments are a great time to check for any oral health related problems, stopping them before they have the chance to take root.

 

During Pregnancy

 

There are a few different steps to follow once you are pregnant as far as dental care goes. Follow these guides to help insure your teeth, gums, and baby will remain healthy during and after pregnancy:

 

  • Let your dentist know when you are pregnant. All dental treatments should be avoided if possible, excluding a simple checkup, during the first trimester and the last half of the third trimester. These time periods are crucial for the growth and development of your baby.
  • Avoid any procedures that could interfere with health of your baby. This includes optional dental work that can be delayed till later.
  • Avoid taking a dental x-ray during the whole of your pregnancy. Extreme caution must be taken if an emergency situation demands a dental x-ray. While x-ray technology has greatly advanced, making it safer than ever, it is still best to avoid unless absolutely necessary.
  • Make sure you schedule and keep your regular dental appointments while you are pregnant. In this way your dentist will help you monitor gum problems that can result from hormonal changes during pregnancy.
  • Those who experience morning sickness may find it difficult to brush their teeth in the morning, but this important routine cannot be forgotten. Switch to a more neutral flavored toothpaste that will not bring such a strong reaction.

Taking care of your teeth during pregnancy becomes more critical for both you and your baby. If you experience any gum irritation or problems during the course of your pregnancy, see your dentist immediately. Catching the potential of gum disease early on will prevent larger problems from arising later down the road.


The Different Types of Teeth

 

TEETH

After the baby teeth have fallen out and adult teeth have taken their place, it is crucial to continue taking proper care of them, ensuring these teeth will remain healthy no matter what is thrown their way. Learn the differences between the types of teeth in your mouth, and how they function for you. The placement and the shape of the various teeth make them unique, helping to deliver the bite you need.

 

Incisors

 

 

The normal adult mouth will have eight incisors in total. These are present in the center front of your mouth with four on the top and four on the bottom. Within the classification of incisor there are four types, each with two. This includes:

 

  • maxillary central incisor – located on the upper jaw bone at the closest to the center of the lips
  • mandibular central incisor – located on the lower jaw bone directly under the maxillary central incisors
  • maxillary lateral incisor – placed on the upper jaw bone on either side of the maxillary central incisors
  • mandibular lateral incisor – located on either side of the mandibular central incisors

 

Each of these incisors serves a purpose in taking bites of your food. The adult set of these teeth will generally appear near the beginning of your oral development, somewhere between six and eight years old.

 

Canines

 

The canines are the next teeth to develop in the mouth. There are four of these in the normal adult mouth, with the two maxillary canines on the top and the two mandibular canines on the bottom. The upper canines are bigger than the bottom ones, changing the way they are used compared to the other teeth. These four are the sharpest of any teeth in the mouth, being used to tear foods apart. For the permanent teeth, the lower teeth will come through sooner, usually when the child is around nine years of age while the two upper canines will arrive by twelve years of age.

 

Premolars

 

 

Also known as bicuspids, the premolars are the way we grind the foods we eat. There are four of these teeth on both sides of the mouth, with two on the top and two on the bottom. These teeth will not all appear at once, with the first ones appearing by ten years of age and the second one coming in about a year after that.

 

Molars

 

Molars are placed in the back of the mouth. Similar to the premolars, they are used to chew and grind the food into manageable pieces. These adult teeth will usually appear before the last baby molar has fallen out, making way for another option to chew and grind.

 

Wisdom Teeth

 

 

Also known as third molars, the wisdom teeth are the last teeth to develop. In some cases, some or all of the wisdom teeth may not even be present to come through. For those who do have wisdom teeth, they will commonly cause overcrowding in the mouth, leading to their necessary removal. Each tooth serves a different purpose depending on its position in the mouth and shape. Take care of all your teeth as they emerge, ensuring your smile will be healthy for years to come.


Top 5 Dental Apps

Dental Apps

Running a dental practice in the digital age requires taking maximum advantage of the latest dental apps for mobile devices. These range of apps serve many purposes–from educating patients to streamlining administrative processes for your practice. There are a diversity of apps ranging in price, with many useful apps available for free. Here is a look at some of the top dental apps to help make your dental practice more efficient.

 

1. DDS GP

 

This app centers on patient education and demonstration, allowing a dentist to illustrate the effects of a variety of dental conditions over time. As an app that raises patient awareness about a host of dental conditions, this tool can prove extremely valuable for dental professionals. With over 200 demonstrations, the app allows dentists to draw directly on screen, save drawings, add images to a library, and create and send individual treatment plans for patients. The app costs $400 and is available for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

 

2. CDT Code Check

 

The Code Check app allows dentists and staff to reference procedural codes when a hard copy of the CDT manual isn’t available. For dentists who divide their time between offices, this can be a very useful app, and at $20 it is a cost effective app for your practice. Developed by the American Dental Association, all CDT codes are searchable by category of service, code number, and keyword. A full listing of CDT codes and new and revised code showing changes is also featured.

 

3. Lexi-Dental Complete

 

This app is a resource dental library including: drug information and effects, patient resources, laboratory and diagnostic procedure information, natural product information, dental conditions, a dental emergency handbook, a Stedman’s medical dictionary, and a variety of other resources. For a complete office reference, this app is highly useful. This app is priced at $285/year and can be downloaded free on a 3 day trial for iPhone, iPad touch, iPad, and Android powered devices.

 

4. iRomexis

 

This is a free 2D and 3D mobile image viewer app for the iPad and iPhone. The app is designed to display images generated by Planmeca X-ray units. These images can be easily used for patient education and consultations with colleagues in a convenient, portable medium. Patient images can be categorized with the app and easily shared among mobile devices. The app also allows for image contrast and brightness adjustments, zoom, and numerous other image editing and viewing functions.

 

5. MyDentist

 

This is the app for interacting, connecting, and transacting with patients. Patients can use MyDentist to contact your office, request an appointment, and access pre and postoperative information. This app helps ensure that patients are getting the best quality and most informed service possible. The app even has GPS to help patients locate your offices. Additionally, MyDentist app allows patients to refer other patients to you directly from the app. The app is on the higher end of pricing at $200 to set up and $90/month, but is rich in features to make your practice more efficient and help generate new business. It is available on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.


Ancient Dentistry: Origins and Advancements

Dentistry

Going to the dentist to have your teeth checked out or a problem corrected was, for much of human history, much different than it is today. Evidence of dentistry goes back as far as 7000 B.C.E and the ancient Egyptians and Greeks developed extensive understandings of the development of teeth, treating tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth extractions as a basis for the study and practice of dentistry. By today’s standards, these understandings and practices are extremely crude and even intimidating given the potential for pain and infection in many procedures. The science and profession of what we know as modern dentistry wouldn’t develop and begin to emerge until well into the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries. Nevertheless, human tooth care has fascinating origins.

 

Early Dental Care

 

 

The earliest form of dentistry involved attempting to treat and cure tooth related disorders using ancient drilling tools known as bow drills–commonly used to start fires. The earliest example of a dental filling was made of beeswax and was dated to 6500 years ago. Ancient Egyptians further developed dental care by developing treatments for minor problems and eventually evolving into treating more complex procedures by performing dental surgeries. The Etruscans and Greeks both pioneered new methods of treating dental problems and correcting irregularities using procedures like fillings, early braces, and even prosthetics.

 

Infection from cavities was a serious risk and could often mean a lifetime of pain or even death, so treating cavities by filling the tooth with beeswax and sometimes linen cloth soaked in medicine to ease pain was common. The living and eating habits of these ancient societies made things like wear of the teeth common–though in the absence of refined carbohydrates, cavities were less common. Coarse diets caused the teeth to wear extensively–exposing the pulp of the tooth at times with infection resulting. Gum disease was also a serious problem since teeth cleaning and preventative care were essentially non-existent. Still, dental care was performed and there is notable evidence of complex procedures like restorative dentistry where missing teeth were restored and bound with gold wire.

 

Modern Advancements

 

Dentistry today is a highly specialized, technologically advanced profession capable of addressing any dental and maxillofacial problem. Dentistry for a significant portion of human history was a painful and, at times, life threatening affair. Crude medical instruments, difficult procedures, limited understanding, and lack of anesthetic carried a serious risk of infection, pain, and even death. With time, advancements in education and tools would eliminate many of these complications, but the process was slow until the 18th and 19th centuries. Developing dental instruments, prosthesis capabilities, braces, and improved anesthetics enabled dentistry as we know it today to take hold and progress quickly over the past 250 years or so.


Energy Drinks & Tooth Decay

Energy Drinks &

 

Energy and sports drinks are extremely popular beverages and have exploded on the market. With this rise in consumption has come a rise in health problems. One such health problem is tooth decay. It is well understood how sugary drinks can lead to tooth decay, but highly acidic drinks can also contribute to the deterioration of tooth enamel. Sports and energy drinks are high in sugar and citric acid, which over time can erode enamel and contribute to further dental problems. The role sugar plays in tooth decay, diabetes, and obesity is pretty well recognized, but the dangers lurking in energy drinks from the high concentration of citric acid may be less worrisome or understood to many.

 

Eroding Dental Health

 

 

The exact amount of citric acid contained in a beverage is not something that is required to be declared by beverage companies on the labels of their products. Because of this, high citric acid content in beverages is often overlooked as a component of enamel decay. The high acidity in energy drinks and the large quantities in which they’re consumed make the risk for tooth decay serious for a large portion of the population–particularly among younger people. While enamel loss and tooth decay cannot be blamed entirely on certain foods and drinks, the role acidic energy drinks have on tooth decay is well known.

 

Minimize Intake & Counter Acidity

 

 

Diet, oral hygiene, and genetics all play contributing roles in enamel loss and tooth decay. The consumption of certain sugary and acidic beverages should be done in moderation. Like any other aspect of dental hygiene, limited consumption and efforts to counter the high acidity in beverages like energy drinks can help reduce the risk for enamel loss and tooth decay. Drinking water along with or soon after energy drink consumption can help clear some of the acid from the teeth. In addition to this, consider brushing about an hour after to clean the teeth of damaging sugars and acids. Brushing too soon after consumption can simply spread the acid around the teeth.

 

As with any food or drink that can damage your physical or dental health, always consume in moderation. Drinking large quantities of energy drinks has been shown to contribute to enamel loss and long term tooth decay. Lost enamel cannot be regained, so make every effort to protect your teeth by limiting consumption, rinsing with water, and brushing your teeth after drinking these beverages. Protecting your teeth from damaging sugars and acids will help mitigate dental problems over time.

 


Four Facts About Flossing

Untitled design (17)

 

We’ve all heard how important flossing is for our dental health, but do we really know just how critical it truly is? Check out these four fast facts about flossing to understand just how big of an impact flossing can have on your teeth. Even if you feel you don’t have time to floss, make an effort to floss after you brush. While three to five minutes per day is ideal, even just spending sixty seconds will be much better than forgoing flossing at all.

 

1. Flossing is the Most Important Way to Prevent Gum Problems

 

 

An astonishing number of people suffer from gum disease and other gum problems on some level or another. These problems may not happen all at once but will develop slowly over time, creating a more painful situation for you in the end. After you eat, small food particles can lodge themselves into tight spaces between the teeth resting along the gum. Some of these areas are where toothbrushes cannot reach, making it impossible to get without flossing. If this plaque is left to fester it will turn into tartar which can lead to problems such as gingivitis. Don’t let it get to this point, instead floss before your teeth can be affected.

 

2. Flossing Can be More Effective Than Brushing

 

 

While most people report brushing their teeth on a regular basis, an alarming number don’t couple this with flossing. Flossing is just as important if not more so than just brushing. Floss is made to get between the tight spaces where food debris is more likely to reside. These are places that the toothbrush cannot reach, and should be taken care of before plaque can do its damage. When it comes to taking care of your teeth, flossing should be a top priority.

 

3. There is More Than One Type of Floss

 

 

In addition to different brands, there are other variations among the different types of floss. These vary between waxed or unwaxed, wide or regular, flavored or unflavored, and more. Each of these types will effectively work and are mostly selected by a matter of preference. When choosing between the different types of dental floss, keep these things in mind:

 

  • For those who have bridgework, wide floss may be better. This is also a better solution for those who have bigger gaps between their teeth as it will more effectively get between every necessary area.
  • Those who have unusually close together teeth would do better with waxed floss as it is easier to slide between the teeth.
  • If you are uncertain as to whether you are effectively cleaning the plaque from your teeth, unwaxed floss may be the best option for you. This will squeak once it is placed against cleaned teeth.

 

No matter what type of floss you choose to use, make sure to use it daily to get the best results.

 

4. There Are Solutions for Those Who Have a Hard Time With Traditional Floss

 

One of the main reasons people choose not to floss their teeth is a matter of difficulty. Traditional floss requires the use of both hands, manipulating it back across all the teeth seems too difficult for many. There are other methods that can be used such as a battery-operated electric flosser. This contains a floss string that will vibrate between the teeth. In addition to this, there are Y shaped tools with a piece of floss between them to more easily navigate between the teeth using one hand. These can be cheap and effective solutions to your flossing problems.


Dental Technologies

Untitled design (16)

As our understanding of technology progresses, these methods become increasingly important in the medical fields. Each of these help to identify and correct problems before they have a chance to start, keeping more people healthy through preventative methods. Take a look at some of the tactics that are used by Dr. Allan S. Thomas and his office, in particular how these technologies are helping to keep your oral health in the best condition possible. Through these dental technologies found in our office, we are more easily able to identify and correct any problems that may be lurking here.

 

Intraoral Camera

 

There is only so much we can see in your mouth without taking images to get a deeper look. With an intraoral camera we are able to get moving images in colors from the inside of your mouth, and display what we find on a monitor for both Dr. Thomas and you to see. In this way you can be much more involved in the dental process as Dr. Thomas can show you what he has found and what that means for your mouth. The intraoral camera will give you a better picture of where your dental health stands and how to correct any problems.

 

Ultrasonic Scaler

 

While to some this may not seem like a “technology” per se, the changes made here have helped improve the way we are able to clean your teeth during an appointment. This works by delivering a controlled high-pressure force of water to remove plaque from the teeth. This is more comfortable and faster than previous methods that have been used for cleaning teeth.

 

Laser Dentistry

 

The laser dentistry that we now have is able to deliver teeth whitening, better oral hygiene care, decay removal, treatment of the gums, and sealant in a more comfortable way. Many times these treatments resulted in some of the most severe fears of the dentist, leading many to dread their time spent in the dental office. Now this technology will help you to spend less time at our office, yet feeling more comfortable through the whole procedure.

 

Digital X-Rays

 

X-ray technology has greatly improved since it was first introduced into the dental field. Now these digital x-rays are able to better capture the electronic dental image of a person’s mouth using an electronic sensor instead of using x-ray film.Because these systems use about 90% less radiation they will be a healthier option.
There have been many changes in dental technology that have taken place over the years. As these changes continue to take place, dental appointments will be made easier for everyone, helping to find the best solution.