Posts for: May, 2016
Making sure children are comfortable when visiting the dentist is an essential part of creating a lifetime habit of dental care. We recommend children start dental visits around their first birthday.
But for some children this may not be enough — despite parents’ and dentists’ best efforts they may still develop an inordinate fear of dental visits and even routine procedures. This kind of anxiety could inhibit them now and later in life from receiving needed dental care.
To relieve this anxiety, dentists have developed sedation therapy for children. Not to be confused with anesthesia, which numbs pain, sedation uses drugs to place a patient in a relaxed state. Depending on the drugs and dosage used, we’re able to achieve anywhere from a light state of relaxation to a deep suppression of consciousness. The approach is similar to one used with adults, although drug dosages and applications will differ with children.
Â If we’re planning to use sedation with your child we recommend you feed them a low-fat dinner the night before and then refrain from any other foods or liquids until after treatment the next day.Â Just before the procedure (and after we’ve evaluated them physically to be sure they’re healthy enough for the sedation medication), we’ll administer the sedative, usually Midazolam and Hydroxyzine. Taken by mouth in a syrup form, this places them in a mildly relaxed state.
During the procedure a designated staff member will continually monitor their pulse, breathing, blood pressure and other vital signs. We may also take other protective measures like special chair positioning or immobilization to keep movement to a minimum.
After the procedure, your child will remain in the office until their vital signs return to pre-sedation levels. Once at home, you should keep an eye on them for the rest of the day. They should not return to school or regular activities until the next day.
As sedation medication and techniques continue to advance, they’re becoming a routine part of dental care. If your child experiences anxiety, this can help make dental visits more pleasant and more likely to become part of their life from now on.
If you would like more information on taking the anxiety out of children’s dental care, 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.”
Whether you have a missing tooth or your tooth is damaged or discolored, crowns and bridges can restore your smile and your ability to bite and chew normally. Your Batavia, IL dentist, Dr. John C. Koechley, explains how crowns and bridges can help you.
Crowns offer a versatile solution
A crown slips over your tooth after your dentist files it down slightly. They're made of durable materials, such as porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal, ceramic, resin or gold. Crowns are a good choice if you have:
- A cracked or chipped tooth: Crowns provide the stability your teeth needs to prevent breaking.
- Broken tooth: If your tooth has already broken, a crown will prevent further damage.
- Large fillings or a root canal: Large fillings and root canals can weaken your teeth. Adding a crown protects and strengthens the tooth.
- Appearance issues: Crowns are a good choice if one tooth is discolored, eroded or oddly shaped.
Bridges are an excellent solution to tooth loss
Bridges are used to "bridge" the gap when you have a missing tooth. They consist of one or more false teeth, called pontics, anchored by crowns on either side. Your missing tooth helped keep the surrounding teeth in line. Without that tooth, nearby teeth will begin to shift in an attempt to fill the opening. They may overlap as they drift, which can make it difficult to remove cavity-causing plaque. When you replace your missing tooth with a bridge, your other teeth won't be affected.
Getting a crown or bridge only takes two visits to your Batavia dentist
During your first visit, your dentist will file down the teeth that will be covered by the crowns. This step is necessary to ensure that the crown or crown portion of a bridge slides over your teeth easily. He'll also use dental putty to make an impression of your teeth, which will be sent to the dental laboratory that will make your custom crown or bridges. In a week or two, you'll return to your dentist's office and receive your new crowns or bridge. After your dentist checks the fit, he'll permanently attach them with dental cement.
Are you interested in learning if crowns and bridges are the ideal solution for your problem? Call your Batavia, IL dentist, Dr. John C. Koechley, at (630) 406-9441 and schedule an appointment. Restore your smile with crowns and bridges!
Magician Michael Grandinetti mystifies and astonishes audiences with his sleight of hand and mastery of illusion. But when he initially steps onto the stage, it’s his smile that grabs the attention. “The first thing… that an audience notices is your smile; it’s what really connects you as a person to them,” Michael told an interviewer.
He attributes his audience-pleasing smile to several years of orthodontic treatment as a teenager to straighten misaligned teeth, plus a lifetime of good oral care. “I’m so thankful that I did it,” he said about wearing orthodontic braces. “It was so beneficial. And… looking at the path I’ve chosen, it was life-changing.”
Orthodontics — the dental subspecialty focused on treating malocclusions (literally “bad bites”) — can indeed make life-changing improvements. Properly positioned teeth are integral to the aesthetics of any smile, and a smile that’s pleasing to look at boosts confidence and self-esteem and makes a terrific first impression. Studies have even linked having an attractive smile with greater professional success.
There can also be functional benefits such as improved biting/chewing and speech, and reduced strain on jaw muscles and joints. Additionally, well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and less likely to trap food particles that can lead to decay.
The Science Behind the Magic
There are more options than ever for correcting bites, but all capitalize on the fact that teeth are suspended in individual jawbone sockets by elastic periodontal ligaments that enable them to move. Orthodontic appliances (commonly called braces or clear aligners) place light, controlled forces on teeth in a calculated fashion to move them into their new desired alignment.
The “gold standard” in orthodontic treatment remains the orthodontic band for posterior (back) teeth and the bonded bracket for front teeth. Thin, flexible wires threaded through the brackets create the light forces needed for repositioning. Traditionally the brackets have been made of metal, but for those concerned about the aesthetics, they can also be made out of a clear material. Lingual braces, which are bonded to the back of teeth instead of the front, are another less visible option. The most discrete appliance is the removable clear aligner, which consists of a progression of custom-made clear trays that reposition teeth incrementally.
How’s that for a disappearing act?!
If you would like more information about orthodontic treatment please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Magic of Orthodontics.”