Posts for: September, 2016

By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
September 27, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: tooth extraction  
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Removing a problem tooth (extraction) is a common dental procedure. But not all extractions are alike — depending on the type of tooth, its location and extenuating circumstances, you may need an oral surgeon to perform it.

Fortunately, that's not always the case. Teeth with straight or cone-shaped roots, like an upper front tooth, have a fairly straight removal path. A general dentist first carefully manipulates the tooth loose from the periodontal ligament fibers that help hold it in place (experienced dentists, in fact, develop a “feel” for this process). Once it's loosened from the fibers it's a simple motion to remove the tooth.

But as mentioned before, a “simple extraction” won't work with every tooth or situation. To find out if it can we'll first need to determine the true shape of the tooth and roots, as well as the condition of the supporting bone. We might find any number of issues during this examination that make a simple extraction problematic.

For example, teeth with multiple roots (especially in back) may have complicated removal paths. If the roots themselves are unhealthy and brittle from previous injury or a root canal treatment, they can fracture into smaller pieces during removal. A tooth could also be impacted — it hasn't fully erupted but remains below the gum surface. It's these types of situations that require surgery to remove the tooth.

During a surgical extraction, the oral surgeon will first numb the area with a local anesthetic, as well as a sedative if you have issues with anxiety. They then perform a surgical procedure appropriate for the situation to remove the tooth. More than likely they'll insert bone grafts before closing the site with stitches to deter bone loss (a common occurrence after losing a tooth).

Afterward, your provider may prescribe antibiotics and an antibacterial mouthrinse to ward off infection. You'll also be given care instructions for the extraction site to keep it clean. Any discomfort should subside in a few days and can be managed effectively with a mild anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen or aspirin.

It can be overwhelming having a tooth removed. In your dentist's capable hands, however, the experience will be uneventful.

If you would like more information on tooth extraction, 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 “Simple Tooth Extraction?


By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
September 12, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
ChrissyTeigensTeeth-GrindingTroubles

It might seem that supermodels have a fairly easy life — except for the fact that they are expected to look perfect whenever they’re in front of a camera. Sometimes that’s easy — but other times, it can be pretty difficult. Just ask Chrissy Teigen: Recently, she was in Bangkok, Thailand, filming a restaurant scene for the TV travel series The Getaway, when some temporary restorations (bonding) on her teeth ended up in her food.

As she recounted in an interview, “I was… like, ‘Oh my god, is my tooth going to fall out on camera?’ This is going to be horrible.” Yet despite the mishap, Teigen managed to finish the scene — and to keep looking flawless. What caused her dental dilemma? “I had chipped my front tooth so I had temporaries in,” she explained. “I’m a grinder. I grind like crazy at night time. I had temporary teeth in that I actually ground off on the flight to Thailand.”

Like stress, teeth grinding is a problem that can affect anyone, supermodel or not. In fact, the two conditions are often related. Sometimes, the habit of bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding) occurs during the day, when you’re trying to cope with a stressful situation. Other times, it can occur at night — even while you’re asleep, so you retain no memory of it in the morning. Either way, it’s a behavior that can seriously damage your teeth.

When teeth are constantly subjected to the extreme forces produced by clenching and grinding, their hard outer covering (enamel) can quickly start to wear away. In time, teeth can become chipped, worn down — even loose! Any dental work on those teeth, such as fillings, bonded areas and crowns, may also be damaged, start to crumble or fall out. Your teeth may become extremely sensitive to hot and cold because of the lack of sufficient enamel. Bruxism can also result in headaches and jaw pain, due in part to the stress placed on muscles of the jaw and face.

You may not be aware of your own teeth-grinding behavior — but if you notice these symptoms, you might have a grinding problem. Likewise, after your routine dental exam, we may alert you to the possibility that you’re a “bruxer.” So what can you do about teeth clenching and grinding?

We can suggest a number of treatments, ranging from lifestyle changes to dental appliances or procedures. Becoming aware of the behavior is a good first step; in some cases, that may be all that’s needed to start controlling the habit. Finding healthy ways to relieve stress — meditation, relaxation, a warm bath and a soothing environment — may also help. If nighttime grinding keeps occurring, an “occlusal guard” (nightguard) may be recommended. This comfortable device is worn in the mouth at night, to protect teeth from damage. If a minor bite problem exists, it can sometimes be remedied with a simple procedure; in more complex situations, orthodontic work might be recommended.

Teeth grinding at night can damage your smile — but you don’t have to take it lying down! If you have questions about bruxism, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Stress & Tooth Habits” and “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”


By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
September 08, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Teeth Whitening  

Quick, economical, safe and effective--those four words describe the benefits of professional teeth whitening from your Westland, MI teeth whiteningdentists--Dr. Dennis Aylward, Dr. Brent Carey and Dr. AllisonCarey. Applied as in-office or as at-home cosmetic treatments, professional teeth whitening changes stained tooth enamel by as many as eight shades of color. By itself, or in combination with other aesthetic dental services from Carey & Aylward DDS, teeth whitening makes your smile--and you--look and feel years younger.

How Teeth Whitening Works

The best candidates for teeth whitening are older teens and adults with healthy teeth and gums. That means no active tooth decay or gum disease and few to no existing restorations, such as fillings and dental crowns. Your Westland, MI dentist will examine your mouth before deciding whitening is a good option for you.

The best whitening candidates are also fastidious about oral hygiene practices at home, and they come to Drs. Carey or Dr. Aylward semi-annually for their routine check-ups and cleanings. Additionally, good candidates don't smoke as tobacco stains teeth and is bad for gum health.

Regarding the actual procedure, the dental team uses a powerful hydrogen peroxide gel. The peroxide targets the organic material which stains teeth--foods such as blueberries and curry and beverages such as coffee, tea, cola and red wine. The peroxide lifts these intrinsic stains right out of tooth enamel quickly, and because the process is professionally supervised, little to no tooth or gum sensitivity results.

With a decision made to use professional teeth whitening, the team proceeds by inserting a plastic dam into your mouth. This thin and flexible device protects the soft oral tissues from the gel. Then, the gel is swabbed on and allowed to penetrate. You simply relax in the dental chair as the gel does its work, and after about an hour, the technician rinses it off. Teeth are an amazing three to eight shades brighter in color.

With the at-home treatment, you would use custom-fitted acrylic trays that fit snugly over the top and bottom teeth. You fill them with a less concentrated peroxide gel and wear the trays for the prescribed amount of time daily. After a week or so of applications, teeth are whiter by three to eight shades--just as with the in-office version.

Keeping a White Smile

To maintain that bright tooth enamel, your dentist recommends:

  • Twice daily brushing and once a day flossing as advised by the American Dental Association
  • Six-month cleanings and check-ups
  • Limiting staining foods and beverages (drink iced tea with a straw)
  • Drinking several glasses of water a day to wash tooth surfaces and to stimulate saliva
  • Getting occasional whitening touch-ups
  • Smoking cessation

With these good habits, your whitened smile will look great indefinitely!

Find Out More

To learn if professional teeth whitening is right for you, arrange a cosmetic dentistry consultation with Carey & Aylward DDS in Westland, MI. Asks about its benefits and about the other aesthetic treatments these skilled dentists offer. Call (734) 425-9130 for an appointment.


By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
September 04, 2016
Category: Oral Health
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Dental implants are widely considered the most durable tooth replacement option, thanks in part to how they attach to the jaw. But durable doesn't mean indestructible — you must take care of them.

Implants have a unique relationship to the jawbone compared to other restorations. We imbed a slender titanium post into the bone as a substitute for a natural tooth root. Because bone has a special affinity with the metal, it grows to and adheres to the implant to create a secure anchor. This unique attachment gives implants quite an advantage over other restorations.

It isn't superior, however, to the natural attachment of real teeth, especially in one respect: it can't match a natural attachment's infection-fighting ability. A connective tissue attachment made up of collagen fibers are attached to the tooth root protecting the underlying bone. An elastic gum tissue called the periodontal ligament lies between the tooth root and the bone and attaches to both with tiny collagen fibers. These attachments create a network of blood vessels that supply nutrients and infection-fighting agents to the bone and surrounding gum tissue.

Implants don't have this connective tissue or ligament attachment or its benefits. Of course, the implants are made of inorganic material that can't be damaged by bacterial infection. However, the gums and bone that surround them are: and because these natural tissues don't have these same biologic barriers to infection and perhaps access to the same degree of antibodies as those around natural teeth, an infection known as peri-implantitis specific to implants can develop and progress.

It's therefore just as important for you to continue brushing and flossing to remove bacterial plaque that causes infection to protect the gums and bone around your implants. You should also keep up regular office cleanings and checkups. In fact, we take special care with implants when cleaning them by using instruments that won't scratch their highly polished surfaces. Such a scratch, even a microscopic one, could attract and harbor bacteria.

There's no doubt dental implants are an excellent long-term solution for restoring your smile and mouth function. You can help extend that longevity by caring for them just as if they're your natural teeth.

If you would like more information on caring for dental implants, 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 “Dental Implant Maintenance.”