Making Boston Healthier One Tooth at a Time
Last week we attended a corporate health fair at Linedata, a global company located in Boston’s Financial District. Linedata, voted one of the best places to work in 2010 by Boston Business Journal is in the spotlight because of their forward thinking approach to employee well-being and health.
We were honored to be personally invited to attend the event. Several Linedata employees are patients of our practice, and it was great to see them and to share our concept of integrated dental health, appearance enhancement and wellness with all the participants. Hygienist Nanette Pypec, RDH who specializes in sedation dentistry, laser periodontics and local anesthesia answered questions about dental care and the advanced procedures available at Dental Health and Wellness Boston while Barbara Tosti, our office manager, and Cindy Laidlaw spoke about how our whole body approach to dentistry is unique in Boston, and how our outreach and educational efforts through social media and other venues are helping people live healthier and look better for their lifetime.
Several employees had questions we wanted to share with our readers. If teeth have shifted over time after having braces, what options are available for treatment?
During your late twenties, your teeth may start to shift, which impacts tooth alignment. It’s natural for the teeth to gradually shift, even if you had braces as a teenager or young adult. This happens mainly because of heredity, wisdom teeth (the growth can make teeth overlap in the front of the mouth), or even teeth that are lost prematurely due to extractions. This causes malposition of adjoining teeth and shifts their positions, which has the same effect as removing a block out of an arch: over time the entire arch collapses. Changes in how your tongue rests against your teeth and in your bite can also cause your teeth to shift.
Orthodontics, cosmetic dentistry, and dental bridges can help correct this issue. It’s important to address shifting teeth, since extra spaces can form where food particles can get caught and cause tooth decay and gum disease. If your teeth have shifted and are also chipped or discolored, composite resin bonding, veneers, or crowns placed over the damaged teeth can make a significant difference.
I suffer from snoring and sleep apnea, but cannot sleep when I wear my c-pap machine. How can a dentist help me?
There are 200 million (estimated 67%) snorers in the United States. Snoring is the beginning of a health-disease continuum that researchers now link with many of life’s most challenging diseases, and even to death itself. As snoring deepens or persists, it can lead to Sleep Apnea. Though snoring is the most annoying part of sleep apnea, sleep apnea is a much more complicated problem that may be remedied by dental sleep medicine and oral appliance therapy. The appliance positions the lower jaw forward, not allowing the muscles of the tongue and throat to collapse backward and cut off the airway.
Dr. Smith and the dental team at Dental Health and Wellness Boston recommend scheduling a consultation to discuss your individual symptoms.
How do I know if veneers are right for me?
You may be a good candidate for veneers if you have any of the following issues:
- Pitted or grooved tooth enamel
- Chipped or fractured teeth
- Overlapping or crowded teeth
- Teeth of uneven lengths or sizes
- Crooked teeth that turn in or out
- Discolored teeth
The process begins with a consultation visit. During your first visit you will learn about the procedure and the materials used and discuss any concerns you might have. Typically, veneers require a series of appointments.
The second visit usually lasts an hour or two, during which the teeth are lightly buffed to accommodate the small added thickness of the veneer. Usually about a half a millimeter of the tooth is removed and may require a local anesthetic. For some patients no preparation of the teeth is necessary. A mold of the teeth is also taken to create the veneers in our dental laboratory.
The final visit also lasts an hour or two. The veneers are placed on the tooth surface with water or glycerin to check for fit and color. Finally we clean the tooth, place a special cement between the veneer and the tooth and apply a laser to harden the cement. It is recommended to schedule a follow-up visit two weeks after the bonding procedure to check the bite, verify flossing and photograph your new smile!
Look for an upcoming post with more great questions from Linedata employees!