Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
January 08, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Preventive dentistry is an approach to caring for the teeth that focuses on maintaining good oral health to prevent dental problems down preventative dentistrythe road. Seeing a dentist only when you have tooth pain can lead to more serious problems. Preventive dentistry advocates for seeing a dentist regularly, which keeps teeth and gums healthier and gives the dentist an opportunity to identify potential problems early on before they progress. At Carey & Aylward, Dr. Dennis Aylward, Dr. Brent Carey, and Dr. Allison Carey are your Westland, MI, dentists for preventive dentistry.

What is Preventive Dentistry?

Preventive dentistry promotes scheduling regular dental visits to keep your teeth and gums their healthiest. Regular visits to your Westland, MI, dentist help prevent serious oral health problems from developing. Preventive dentistry procedures include oral exams, x-rays, and cleanings for children and adults, as well as topical fluoride treatments and dental sealants for youth. Each of these procedures helps keep teeth free from plaque and tartar buildup, which can lead to gum disease and tooth loss.

Benefits of Preventive Dentistry

Preventive dentistry improves oral health, and can potentially help with early detection of certain diseases. Dental professionals have the tools and experience to provide a more thorough cleaning than can be achieved at home simply brushing and flossing daily. For instance, tartar buildup cannot be removed with regular brushing or flossing. It can only be removed by a dental professional. Visiting a dentist’s office twice per year for an oral exam and professional cleaning can prevent serious oral health concerns, such as gum disease, tooth decay, or even tooth loss.

In addition to improving oral health, another benefit of preventive dentistry is the early detection of certain diseases. Some diseases display warning signs in the mouth, which your dentist can identify so you can see the appropriate specialist. For instance, loss of bone in the jaw area is a sign of osteoporosis. Other conditions and diseases that demonstrate early warning signs in the mouth include heart disease, pancreatic cancer, diabetes, and kidney disease.

Preventive dentistry procedures, such as oral exams, cleanings, and x-rays, all keep your teeth as healthy as possible. To schedule your next preventive dental appointment with Dr. Aylward or either of the Dr. Careys, contact Carey & Aylward in Westland, MI, at (734) 425-9130.

By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
December 23, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers  
BeSuretohaveThese3EssentialsCoveredBeforehandforVeneerSuccess

For over three decades, veneers have helped mask dental imperfections like chipping, staining or gaps and improve the appearance of millions of teeth. As the name implies, this thin layer of porcelain covers a tooth's visible surface and accurately mimics the texture, color and translucence of natural teeth.

Veneers could be just the solution you need for a more attractive smile. But before you begin treatment, be sure you have these 3 essentials in place to ensure a successful outcome.

True expectations. While the transformation of a tooth's appearance with a veneer can be astounding, veneers in general do have their limitations. You need an adequate amount of the tooth's structure present for a veneer to properly adhere — if not, you may need to consider a porcelain crown instead. Likewise, gaps and other misalignments may be too great for a veneer to cover: in that case, you should consider orthodontics. A thorough examination beforehand will determine if veneers are the best option for you.

An artisan team. Every veneer is custom made to match an individual patient's tooth shape and color, handcrafted by a skilled dental technician. There's also an art to the dentist preparing the tooth beforehand and then properly positioning the veneer for bonding to achieve the most attractive result. Be sure, then, that your veneer "team" comes highly recommended by others.

The best materials. The first porcelains were powdered glass ceramics mixed with water to form a paste. Technicians shaped the paste in successive layers and as it oven-cured it took on the beautiful translucence of natural teeth. Unfortunately, this type of porcelain could be brittle and prone to shattering when subjected to heavy biting forces. In recent years, though, we've begun to use ceramics reinforced with other materials like Leucite for added strength. Today, the materials dentists use have much better durability.

If you would like more information on porcelain veneers, 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 “Porcelain Veneers.”

By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
December 08, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
DrawingImpactedTeethintotheOpencanRestoreaSmile

You don’t have to be a dental professional to appreciate a beautiful smile. Likewise, you’ll also know when something’s not quite right with one.

Such can be the case when a tooth fails to erupt properly, causing most or all of the crown to remain below the gum line, a condition known as impaction. Upper canines (or “eyeteeth,” for their location in the arch under the eyes) are especially susceptible to impaction: located on either side of the lateral incisors, which are on either side of the central incisors (the two center front teeth).

The upper canines are important both for function and appearance. Working with their lower counterparts they help cut through food as we chew, so you lose some of that efficiency when they don’t erupt properly. Impacted teeth are susceptible to abscesses and cysts, and can impinge upon and damage the roots of other teeth. And just as importantly, their absence also disrupts the smile as nearby teeth tend to move or “drift” toward the open space.

Rather than remove the impacted canines as is often done with back teeth, it may be more advantageous for both function and appearance to “coax” them into full eruption. This requires first pinpointing their exact location below the gums using x-rays or cone beam 3-D imaging.

If the teeth are in reasonably good position we must first prepare them for orthodontic treatment by surgically exposing the crown from the gums and bonding a small bracket to it. We then attach a small gold chain to the bracket that extends outside of the gums when we suture them back into place. The chain is attached to orthodontic hardware that exerts pressure on the impacted tooth for several months to “pull” it out into the arch.

This procedure has the best chance of success if undertaken before the end of jaw development in early adulthood. Otherwise, it may be better to remove the impacted canines and replace them with dental implants, followed by orthodontic treatment of other teeth to restore their proper position and bite relationships. In either case, your impacted upper canines don’t have to be a problem — we can restore both your mouth function and your smile.

If you would like more information on impacted teeth and treatment options, 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 “Exposing Impacted Canines.”

By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
November 09, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Stains on your teeth can drag your smile down and make you feel as though your appearance is lackluster. Luckily, you can quickly and teeth whiteningeasily reverse this dental issue and say goodbye to your dental stains with teeth whitening. Learn how this procedure can help you say goodbye to your dental stains and yellowed teeth with Dr. Dennis Aylward, Dr. Brent Carey, and Dr. Allison Carey at Carey & Aylward DDS in Westland, MI.

Can teeth whitening help me? 
Teeth whitening is an effective procedure which can usually help anyone who wishes they had a brighter, whiter smile. However, not everyone is a good candidate for teeth whitening. Patients with visible porcelain dental restorations like crowns, bridges, or veneers should consider that teeth whitening does not lift the color of porcelain. This means that your teeth could have an uneven appearance unless you plan with your dentist before your whitening treatment. Additionally, patients with significant tooth sensitivity should alert their dentist before their procedure. Patients should also have any instances of teeth decay or gum disease treated prior to their whitening session.

Professional Teeth Whitening vs. At-Home Kits
While there are various at-home whitening kits that can lift the color of your teeth, they simply cannot hold up to professional teeth whitening results. In-office whitening treatments are monitored by your dentist, allowing the materials used to be stronger than what is allowed in at-home kits. At-home kits require weeks or even months of regular use to provide noticeable results while professional whitening procedures can lift the color of the teeth up to ten shades in a single session. These factors mean that in-office whitening provides better results in far less time than at-home kits.

In-Office Teeth Whitening Treatments in Westland, MI 
If you are considering teeth whitening for your yellowed or stained smile, you should consult with your dentist to ensure that this is the best treatment plan for you. In some cases, other cosmetic dentistry procedures like veneers may provide better or more suitable results. For more information on professional teeth whitening treatments in the Westland, MI area, please contact Dr. Dennis Aylward, Dr. Brent Carey, and Dr. Allison Carey at Carey & Aylward DDS. Call (734) 425-9130 to schedule your appointment with your dentist today!

By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
October 09, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
ReduceFutureBiteProblemswithTheseInnovativeTechniques

When you think orthodontics, you may instantly picture braces or clear aligners worn by teenagers or adults. But there’s more to orthodontics than correcting fully developed malocclusions (poor bites). It’s also possible to intervene and potentially reduce a malocclusion’s future severity and cost well beforehand.

Known as interceptive orthodontics, these treatments help guide jaw growth in children while mouth structures are still developing and more pliable. But timing is critical: waiting until late childhood or puberty could be too late.

For example, we can influence an upper jaw developing too narrowly (which can cause erupting teeth to crowd each other) with an expander appliance placed in the roof of the mouth. The expander exerts slight, outward pressure on the upper jaw bones. Because the bones haven’t yet fused as they will later, the pressure maintains a gap between them that fills with additional bone that eventually widens the jaw.

Functional appliances like the Herbst appliance influence muscle and bone development in the jaws to eventually reshape and reposition them. The Herbst appliance utilizes a set of metal hinges connected to the top and bottom jaws; when the patient opens and closes their jaws the hinges encourage the lower jaw to move (and eventually grow) forward. If successful, it could help a patient avoid more invasive treatments like tooth extraction or jaw surgery.

Some interceptive objectives are quite simple in comparison like preserving the space created by a prematurely lost primary tooth. If a child loses a primary tooth before the incoming permanent tooth is ready to erupt, the nearby teeth can drift into the empty space. Without enough room, the permanent tooth could erupt out of position. We can hold the space with a simple loop device known as a space maintainer: usually made of acrylic or metal, the device fits between adjacent teeth and prevents them from drifting into the space until the permanent tooth is ready to come in.

Interceptive orthodontics can have a positive impact on your child’s jaw development, now and in the future. For these techniques to be effective, though, they must begin early, so be sure your child has a complete orthodontic evaluation beginning around age 7. You may be able to head off future bite problems before they happen.

If you would like more information on orthodontic treatments, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.