Posts for: February, 2019

NotJazzedAboutWearingBracesConsiderClearAlignersInstead

Wearing orthodontic braces brings challenges to daily life. During treatment a patient will need to avoid certain foods and habits, take more time to brush and floss properly, and may endure occasional discomfort. But the effect of metal braces on appearance can be especially difficult, especially for peer-conscious teens.

Clear aligners, though, offer an alternative to braces that could make some of these challenges easier, particularly with your appearance. Aligners are clear plastic trays that fit over the teeth to move them. They can be removed by the wearer for easier brushing and flossing or for special occasions. Best of all, they're much less noticeable than metal braces.

Clear aligners were developed thanks to advances in digital technology. An orthodontist uses a computer application incorporating the data from photographs, x-rays or CT scans of a patient's teeth and jaws to produce a series of clear plastic trays. The patient then wears each tray for about two weeks before changing to the next tray in the sequence.

The trays apply pressure much like metal braces to gradually move teeth to the desired position on the jaw. Each tray is slightly smaller in size than the previous tray in the sequence, so that the progression of tooth movement continues with each succeeding tray. The treatment time is about the same as with conventional braces.

This new orthodontic tool works well for many common bite problems, but until recently they've been limited in scope. But new designs in trays and attachments called buttons added to teeth to provide more leverage have greatly increased their use for more complex bite issues.

Clear aligners also have one other disadvantage, ironically due to one of their principal benefits, removability. Although they can be taken out, they must be worn consistently to achieve results. Some younger patients may not have the maturity level and discipline to responsibly wear their aligners as they should.

That's one issue you'll need to discuss with your orthodontist if you're considering clear aligners for your teen. But if they can maintain wearing consistency, and they have a bite problem that can be corrected with aligners, both you and your teen may find this choice more agreeable and attractive than braces.

If you would like more information on clear aligners, 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 “Clear Aligners for Teens.”


By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
February 09, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
3WaysOrthodonticTechniquesCouldPreventaPoorBite

While orthodontists can effectively correct most poor bites (malocclusions), some can be quite complex requiring much time and expense. But there's good news—we often don't have to wait on a malocclusion to fully develop if we catch it in time. Thanks to interceptive orthodontics, we may be able to intervene much earlier and eliminate or reduce the degree of difficulty with treatment.

Interceptive orthodontics is a group of techniques and devices used in early childhood to help deter a possible malocclusion. Here are 3 ways this approach could make a difference in your child's bite development.

Guiding jaw growth. On a normal-sized upper jaw, the permanent teeth usually have ample room to erupt. Not so with a smaller jaw: incoming teeth become crowded and may erupt out of alignment or too close to each other. Orthodontists often use a device called a palatal expander to aid an under-sized jaw in its development. The device fits along the roof of the mouth between the teeth and applies gradual outward pressure on them. This encourages the jaw to widen as it grows, thus providing more room for erupting teeth to come in properly and decrease the chances of obstructive sleep apnea in the future.

Reshaping and repositioning jaw bones. An overbite can occur when the jaws aren't properly aligned, often due to poor muscle and bone development. This is where devices like the Herbst appliance are useful. Its hinge mechanism encourages the lower jaw to grow further forward. The jaws can thus develop in a more normal way, minimizing the development of a malocclusion.

Maintaining space. Primary ("baby") teeth are important for dental development because they help guide future permanent teeth to erupt properly; they also keep nearby teeth from drifting into the intended space. But when a primary tooth is lost prematurely due to disease or trauma, the space can become vulnerable to this kind of "drift." With a simple mechanism called a space maintainer we can hold open the space created by a prematurely lost primary tooth until the permanent tooth is ready to erupt.

These and other techniques can help stop bad bites from developing in young children, minimizing or even eliminating the need for future orthodontic treatment. That means a healthier mouth for your child and less impact on your wallet.

If you would like more information on interceptive orthodontics, 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 “Interceptive Orthodontics: Timely Intervention can make Treatment Easier.”


By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
February 08, 2019
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: veneers  

Dental VeneersDoes your smile express who you really are, or do defects in tooth color, shape and alignment mar what you say to the world around you? Make a definitive smile statement when you improve your teeth with porcelain veneers from Carey-Aylward Dentistry in Westland, MI. Made from fine, dental-grade ceramic, custom-fabricated veneers disguise a myriad of dental flaws and strengthen your teeth, too. Your smile can improve dramatically!

What are porcelain veneers?

They are specially made ceramic laminates which resurface teeth flawed by spaces, pits, hairline cracks, dark discoloration, congenital defects and more. Cemented on the front side of teeth in the smile zone at the front of the mouth, veneers remake smile aesthetics, and they add a measure of durability, too.

To qualify for veneers, your gums and teeth should be healthy, and your smile goals--realistic. For instance, veneers can correct small gaps and overlapping. However, they cannot re-align smiles which need orthodontic correction. Also, in some cases, a full porcelain crown may be a better choice than a veneer.

Placing veneers

What does placing veneers entail? Once you and Dr. Aylward or Dr. Carey agree on a treatment plan, you'll undergo some mild enamel resurfacing. You may or may not need local anesthetic for this quick process which removes about 1/2 millimeter of enamel from the front side of each tooth. This reduction makes veneers a permanent enhancement but does not affect the strength and health of your teeth.

Additionally, the dentist takes oral impressions which accompany specific instructions for the dental lab. A highly trained ceramist constructs each veneer from color-matched, translucent ceramic. When your dentist bonds the veneers on your teeth, he adjusts the color of the adhesive and ensures the fit and bite of each laminate is perfect.

Life with your new smile

You'll quickly adjust to how your veneers feel inside your mouth. You'll also enjoy how easily you care for your beautified smile. Just brush twice a day with a mild toothpaste and soft brush. Floss once a day to keep your gums and interdental spaces clean, and see Dr. Carey or Dr. Aylward for semi-annual cleanings and examinations or any time you have a concern. But, don't worry. Well cared for veneers last upwards of ten years, says the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

Contact us

Dr. Dennis Aylward, Dr. Brent Carey and Dr. Allison Carey love seeing their patients smile with confidence. Porcelain veneers could help you do just that. To create your new look, come to the office for a friendly chat on veneers and other cosmetic dentistry treatments. Call for an appointment at (734) 425-9130.