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Posts for: June, 2020

By Dewitt Family Dentistry
June 24, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Missing a tooth will ruin your smile. Not only that, but it can also affect the full functionality of your mouth making it difficult to eat and speak. When faced with missing teeth, what are the options available to you? Here at DeWitt Family Dentistry P.C. in DeWitt, IA our dentist regularly restore dental implants for improving smiles. Find out how implants can help your smile below.

The Dental Implant Process

The restorative process of dental implants relies on the use of biocompatible metal that will be fused to your jawbone. Once fully completed, it will restore the beauty of your smile and all other functions of your teeth. In general, the process will entail the following steps:

  • Initial Consultation. You will undergo a thorough examination using X-ray imaging to establish whether your bones are healthy enough to support the implant.
  • Implantation Process. This is where the dental implant will be installed by an oral surgeon. You will be either sedated or given local anesthesia to make the treatment as comfortable as possible for you.
  • This is the time where the implant and the jawbone will fuse. During this healing process, your dentist would recommend sticking to soft foods and give you a temporary set of teeth as protection for the implant.
  • Abutment Installation. The abutment will be placed to serve as a connector for the implant and the permanent fixture that will be affixed to it.
  • Customized Teeth Replacement. From bite impressions and measurements taken by your dentist, a dental lab will fabricate your replacement teeth. This would eventually replace your missing teeth, which would look and function just like your normal teeth.
  • Regular Checkups. These are necessary to maintain regular checkups after a successful dental implant procedure. This is where your teeth will be cleaned and checked to prevent future oral problems and make sure that the implant is working as it should.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Aside from successfully restoring your beautiful smile, the following are vital benefits that you will also enjoy when you have dental implants:

  • Improved Chewing and Speaking. Since implants can mimic your real teeth, it can provide you with the same functionality for eating any food you like and the confidence to speak without having to worry that your replacement teeth would jump out of your mouth.
  • Prevent Bone Deterioration. Dental implants will eventually fuse with your jawbone making them a permanent replacement. This means that they will function as your tooth roots, which, in turn, stimulates your jawbone and prevent it from deteriorating.
  • More Confidence. Who wouldn’t be confident with a beautiful smile that you can flash any time you like? You will feel more confident facing people either in a casual or business setting because you know that your appearance is fully supported by your dental implants.

For More Details on Dental Implants, Talk to Us

Set an appointment with one of our dentists here at DeWitt Family Dentistry P.C. in DeWitt, IA by calling (563) 659-9500 now.


SedationCanHelpaChildReceiveNeededDentalCareNowandintheFuture

You have a wonderful pediatric dentist who's great with kids. Their dental office is a children's wonderland with cheerful colors, toys and a staff that tries to make things fun. But no matter what you do—including rewards and positive praise—it's not enough to calm your child's anxiety during dental visits.

Even with the most conducive clinical environment and parental efforts, some children still have an inordinate fear of seeing the dentist. Their anxiety could be a roadblock to getting the treatment they need to maintain good oral health and development. And if that fear carries over into adulthood, they may get into the habit of postponing needed care.

But dentists have an important tool they can use to help children relax: conscious sedation therapy. Using proven sedation medication, dentists can place patients in varying degrees of suppressed consciousness.

Although often used in conjunction, sedation is not the same as anesthesia. The latter is used to eliminate pain during dental procedures. Sedation, on the other hand, aims to calm the negative emotions generated by dental anxiety. A child under sedation can still breathe normally without assistance and respond to physical stimulation or verbal commands.

Sedation medications can be administered orally, usually in syrup form, or with an intravenous (IV) drip. Two of the more popular drugs are Midazolam and Hydroxyzine, both of which act fast and then leave the body quickly after the procedure. These types of sedation drugs have a very low risk of side effects compared to general anesthesia.

While under sedation, the child's vital signs (heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, etc.) are continuously monitored. Afterward, they'll wait in recovery until their vital signs are back to their pre-sedation levels. They can then go home to rest for the remainder of the day, and then usually return to school or other normal activities the following day.

Besides making it easier for a child to receive needed dental care, conscious sedation can also make the overall visit more pleasant, and lead to more positive memories of the experience. This may indeed help them later in life to overcome any lingering anxiety and continue regular dental care throughout adulthood.

If you would like more information on reducing your child's dental visit anxiety, 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 “Sedation Dentistry for Kids.”


By Dewitt Family Dentistry
June 12, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gummy smile  
WhyIsYourSmileGummyHereAre4Possibilities

What makes a beautiful smile? Beautiful teeth, for sure. But there's also another component that can make or break your smile, regardless of your teeth's condition: your gums. Although their primary function is to protect and stabilize the teeth, your gums also enhance them aesthetically by providing an attractive frame.

But just as a painting displayed in an oversized frame can lose some of its appeal, so can your smile if the size of your gums appears out of proportion with your teeth. Normally, a smile that displays more than four millimeters of gum tissue is considered “gummy.”

There are some things we can do to improve your gum to teeth ratios. What we do will depend on which of the following is the actual cause for your gummy smile.

Excess gum tissue. We'll start with the obvious: you have excess gum tissue that obscures some of the visible tooth crown. We can often correct this with a surgical procedure called “crown lengthening,” which removes some of the excess tissue and then reshapes the gums and bone to expose more teeth length.

Teeth that appear too short. The problem may not be your gums — it could be your teeth appear too short. This can happen if the teeth didn't erupt fully, or if they've worn down due to aging or a grinding habit. One option here is to “lengthen” the tooth cosmetically with veneers, crowns or other bonding techniques.

Higher lip movement. Rather than your teeth and gums being out of size proportion, your upper lip may be rising too high when you smile, a condition known as hypermobility. One temporary fix is through Botox injections that paralyze the lip muscles and prevent their movement from overextending. We could also use periodontal surgery to perform a lip stabilization procedure that permanently corrects the upper lip movement.

Overextended jaw. Your gums may seem more prominent if your upper jaw extends too far down and forward. In this case, orthognathic (jaw straightening) surgery might be used to reposition the jaw relative to its connection with the skull. Setting the jaw up and back in this way would reduce the prominence of the gums when you smile.

As you can see, treatments range from cosmetic techniques to moderate surgical procedures. A full dental exam will help determine which if any of these measures could reduce gumminess and improve your smile.

If you would like more information on correcting gummy smiles, 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 “Gummy Smiles.”


RemovableorBondedRetainersHelpProtectYourNewStraighterSmile

The straightening process for a crooked smile doesn't end when the braces come off. There's one more crucial phase to undergo to make sure we don't lose the progress you've achieved: wearing an orthodontic retainer.

Although often viewed as a nuisance, retainers are important because they prevent realigned teeth from reverting to their old positions. This is possible because the periodontal ligament, the gum attachment that allows us to move teeth in the first place, can contain “muscle memory” that naturally tries to draw teeth back to where they once were.

A retainer prevents this from happening: During wear the subtle pressure they exert keeps or “retains” the teeth in their new positions until they're firmly established, usually after several months. While most patients initially wear a retainer around the clock, this will gradually taper off until they're worn primarily during sleep hours.

While retainers come in many different styles and sizes, most fall into one of two categories: removable or non-removable (bonded). The first type, a custom-made appliance a patient can easily take in and out of the mouth, has its advantages. Removing it makes it easier to clean the teeth. They're also adaptable to reduced wear schedules for eating, brushing and flossing, or for special occasions.

But a removable retainer may be noticeable to others. Its removability can also lead to problems. Out of the mouth they're prone to be lost, resulting in additional replacement costs. And immature patients may be easily tempted to take them out too often—or not wear them at all.

A bonded retainer solves many of these potential problems. Because the retainer wire is securely bonded to the back of the teeth, it's not visible to others. And because it can't be removed except by an orthodontist, there's virtually no chance of losing it or haphazard wear.

On the other hand, bonded retainers can occasionally break, requiring repair or replacement. And flossing is more difficult than with a removable retainer, although a little training from a dental hygienist can make that easier.

The choice of retainer depends on the individual and their priorities. But whether removable or bonded, a retainer is absolutely essential for protecting your new, hard-earned smile.

If you would like more information on bonded retainers, 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 “Bonded Retainers.”