Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
January 26, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Crowns   bridges  

Do you have teeth which you consider to be unsightly? Are you annoyed by a gap left from an extracted or lost tooth? If you answered dental crowns, bridgesyes to these questions, you could benefit from two common dental procedures to repair these issues and renew your smile. Determining if your teeth require dental restorations is as easy as asking your Westland, MI dentist at Carey and Aylward DDS about crowns and bridges.

What do crowns and bridges do? 
Crowns and bridges are indirect dental restorations, meaning they are permanent and non-removable. Crowns are a tooth-shaped cap which fits over a compromised tooth to strengthen and stabilize it. Bridges use crowns to secure a prosthetic tooth in place, filling in the gap left behind from a missing tooth. The purpose of these restorations is to give you back your smile, boosting confidence and allowing you to chew and speak normally.

When do I need a crown? 
Dentists use dental crowns to strengthen and stabilize teeth. Teeth with the following abnormalities benefit from crowns:

  • broken
  • cracked
  • large fillings, particularly after root canal therapy
  • worn down teeth

In addition to strengthening compromised teeth, crowns also improve the teeth’s appearance. If a tooth is severely stained or misshaped, a crown can cover the tooth’s imperfections.

When do I need a bridge? 
Bridges fill the gaps left behind from missing teeth. The bridge itself is made up of three prosthetic teeth: two crowns on either end and a full prosthetic in the center, which sits on the gum line above the socket of your missing tooth. The two crowns sit over the natural teeth on either side of the gap, securing the bridge to the teeth permanently.

How are crowns and bridges made and placed? 
A specialist in a dental laboratory uses a mold of your teeth taken by your dentist to design your crown or bridge. Each restoration is customized completely for your mouth, ensuring a natural look and secure fit. Crowns and bridges require two dental appointments. At the first appointment, your dentist prepares your tooth to receive the crown. Your dentist shapes the tooth accordingly and a temporary crown may be placed until the permanent restoration arrives. A second appointment, scheduled after the dental lab sends your completed crown or bridge to your dentist’s office, completes the procedure. Your dentist removes the temporary crown and permanently attaches the permanent prosthetic to your tooth using dental cement.

For more information on crowns and bridges, please contact Carey & Aylward DDS in Westland, MI. Call (734) 425-9130 to schedule your consultation today!

By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
January 22, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   oral surgery  
ExposingandPreservingImpactedCanineTeeth

The final emergence of permanent teeth in late adolescence marks the end of a long process beginning in the womb with the formation of our primary or “baby” teeth. Permanent teeth form in a similar way as buds high in the jaw, continuing to grow until the primary teeth ahead of them fall away. The crowns of the new adult teeth eventually break through the gum tissue and emerge (erupt) into view.

At least, that’s normally what should happen; sometimes, though, a tooth may only erupt partially or not at all, a condition known as impaction. The crown remains partially or fully submerged below the gum line, causing the tooth to press against other teeth, potentially damaging them. It can also make periodontal (gum) tissues adjacent to the area more susceptible to disease. Wisdom teeth are especially prone to this kind of impaction, to the extent they’re often surgically removed (extracted) to avoid future problems to adjacent teeth or the bite.

Upper canines (the “eye teeth” normally located directly below the eyes) are also subject to impaction. But because of their highly visible position, extracting them could have an adverse impact on the patient’s smile. In this case, we often attempt instead to expose and ultimately save the tooth.

Before taking any action, however, an orthodontic examination is conducted first to pinpoint the exact position of the impacted tooth and determine how that position might affect moving teeth into a more desired alignment. If we find the impacted canine is in a workable position, the next step is to surgically uncover the tooth from the gum tissue (a minor procedure usually performed by an oral surgeon or periodontist). Once exposed, an orthodontic bracket with a small attached gold chain is bonded to the tooth. The gums are then sutured back into place with the chain exposed and allowed to heal.

At some future point an orthodontist will attach the chain to orthodontic hardware that will pull the impacted tooth into proper position over several months. As a result, the upper canine becomes “un-impacted”; the dangers to surrounding teeth and tissues are also reduced. And, just as important, we can preserve the tooth and with orthodontics achieve an attractive, normal smile.

If you would like more information on the effects and treatment of impacted teeth, 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
December 23, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: fillings  
DentalAmalgamContinuestobeaDurableandSafeToothFilling

Recently, a number of new filling materials that mimic tooth color have come into popular use and, so far, have proven more durable than past versions. Even so, the traditional metal-based dental amalgam remains a viable choice, especially for less visible back teeth and their higher biting forces.

Used for more than a century, dental amalgam is a metal alloy composed of silver, mercury, tin and copper. The mixture is carefully proportioned so that potentially hazardous mercury is kept to a minimum and bonded with the other metals. Amalgam in its initial form is quite pliable so that it can be molded into the tooth structure under repair. Afterward it sets hard to form a durable filling that can withstand the daily force generated when we bite and chew food.

Besides durability, dental amalgam rarely causes an allergic reaction in a patient, and it’s easy for trained dentists to apply. On the downside, however, it can cause temporary temperature sensitivity in the tooth just after filling, and the tooth itself may require some removal of healthy structure to help keep the filling in place. And from an aesthetic point of view, its metallic appearance is considered unattractive especially for front teeth.

The presence of mercury in amalgam has also raised concerns over the years. “Free” mercury — atoms that escape through vapor emitted by the metal — can enter the bloodstream and potentially harm the nervous system. But after extensive study and research, U.S. and international health bodies including the American Dental Association have concluded any free mercury released during chewing is extremely low and well below any harmful levels. These studies have also found no ill effects in either children or adults with dental amalgam fillings.

Deciding on the type of filling material to use — dental amalgam or a newer composite resin, resin ionomer or glass ionomer — depends on a number of factors including the location of the teeth to be filled, the extent of decay and your personal preferences. Taking these into account, we’ll be happy to discuss which type of filling will suit you best for repairing decayed teeth.

If you would like more information on filling material options including dental amalgam, 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 “Silver Fillings — Safe or Unsafe?

By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
November 19, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers  

It’s important to know what to expect before you get veneers in Westland, MI.

Interested in hiding those minor dental imperfections to get a straighter, brighter and more even smile? Your Westland, MI dentists Dr. VeneersDennis Aylward and Dr. Brent Carey can help with dental veneers. But before you decide to take the plunge, find out a little about what getting veneers entails.

Your Consultation

Coming in to see your dentist in Westland about veneers is the first step in figuring out if this is the right cosmetic treatment for you, or if there are other treatment options that would work better for your smile. Now is the time to talk to us about what you are looking to fix about your smile so we know if veneers can give you what you need.

We will examine your smile to determine what we will need to achieve to give you the perfect smile. We will also want to ensure that you aren’t dealing with any untreated issues like dental caries (cavities) or gum disease, which will need to be treated before you can get cosmetic dentistry.

Tooth Preparation

Once we deem you appropriate for veneers you will have your teeth prepared for their new look. Since just applying the veneers directly to your teeth will cause a bulky and unrealistic-looking smile we will need to file down a small amount of enamel to make room for your veneers. Usually, we only need to remove about ½ millimeter of tooth enamel, which is completely painless and won’t even require anesthesia to complete.

After your teeth have been prepared then we will make molds of your teeth to send to a lab. These molds will be used to create veneers that match the proper shape and size of your natural teeth. We will also decide on an ideal veneer shade together.

Veneer Application

During your final visit it’s now time for you to approve the look of your veneers and make sure you are satisfied with them before they are applied. Once you are happy, we will apply special cement between your veneers and your teeth and then use a laser to harden the cement. Now you have your new and improved smile!

Ready to get veneers? Then call your dentist at Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC to schedule a veneer consultation right away.

By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
October 31, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
TimingisEverythingWhenReplacingaTeenagersMissingTooth

There are good reasons, for both health and appearance, to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant or similar restoration as soon as is practical. The bone around a tooth socket diminishes the longer it remains empty, up to 25% the first year. And, of course, your smile is less attractive, especially with a highly visible tooth.

If it’s your teenager, though, you may need to wait on a permanent restoration because their jaws are still developing. An implant placed before completion of jaw development could eventually appear out of alignment with neighboring teeth.

Our biggest concern is protecting bone health at the site of the missing tooth. We can do this and encourage growth by placing bone grafts (processed minerals from another donor) that serve as scaffolds on which surrounding bone can grow. Grafts usually dissolve (resorb) over time, but the rate of resorption can be slowed for a younger patient in need of long-term bone growth.

Planned orthodontic treatment can usually go on as scheduled. The orthodontist may accommodate the tooth loss by adding a temporary tooth within the braces or other device that matches the color and shape of the patient’s natural teeth. The orthodontist will also take care to maintain the empty space for a future implant or other restoration.

A dental implant is considered the best option for a missing tooth, not only for its life-like appearance and durability, but also its ability to encourage bone maintenance. Timing, though, is essential for teenagers. As it grows, the upper jaw will tend to move forward and down. Natural teeth move with this growth; implants, though, are attached differently and won’t move with the jawbone. While the other teeth around them move, the implants can appear to shrink back resulting in an unattractive smile appearance. So waiting until the jaw has finished growing is important.

For most people, jaw growth finishes by age twenty-one for men, women usually faster, but each person is different. The dentist’s expertise and experience, coupled with comparisons of adult family members’ facial appearances, will help determine the right time to undertake a permanent restoration for the best outcome both for health and a permanent, attractive smile.

If you would like more information on treating teenagers with missing teeth, please contact us to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants for Teenagers.”