Posts for: July, 2021

By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
July 29, 2021
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: veneers  

Beautiful porcelain or composite veneers in Westland, MI, can tweak the shapes and colors of your teeth to make them look more appealing in your smile. Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC, enhance your smile in the ways you want. Dr. Dennis Aylward, Dr. Brent Carey, and Dr. Allison Carey design wafer-thin veneers to mask some of your smile's most visible imperfections.

Veneers for smile reshaping

Veneers bonded to misshapen, broken, or discolored teeth can give you the convincing appearance of a pristine smile. Damages accumulate on your teeth over time from your behaviors, habits, and natural aging. Your dentist uses durable bonding to attach them to specific teeth after an in-depth design process.

You might consider veneers as a cosmetic solution for:

  • Chips
  • Cracks
  • Small teeth
  • Worn-down teeth
  • Whitening-resistant discoloration
  • Uneven spacing between teeth

Throughout the design process for your veneers in Westland, MI, your dentist listens to your input about what you'd like your new teeth to look like. By using materials like porcelain, which is slightly translucent, you can get veneers that look and function very closely to natural enamel.

Maintaining your veneers

You can live life pretty normally after reshaping your smile with veneers, but there are a few considerations you should take to make sure the veneers stay intact. Veneers typically need replacement eventually, especially since their placement requires that some natural enamel be removed.

You can maintain your veneers by taking care of them in the ways you take care of your natural teeth, like brushing twice a day and flossing every day. Plus, you should keep coming in for professional cleanings to remove dental plaque and check in on the health of your teeth and gums.

Be sure to avoid biting down on pencils, ice cubes, popcorn seeds, hard candies, and other objects that can break a veneer or cause it to fall off your tooth. If you grind your teeth at night, your dentist can get you a custom nightguard to protect the veneers from bruxism damage.

You don't have to sacrifice teeth that are still healthy in order to enjoy a beautifully reshaped smile. At Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC, dentists Dr. Dennis Aylward, Dr. Brent Carey, and Dr. Allison Carey design and craft your new veneers in Westland, MI, to your specifications. Call (734) 425-9130 for your consultation.


By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
July 29, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: aging  
KnowingHowtheMouthandFaceGrowCanImproveBiteTreatment

Correcting a bite problem involves more than applying braces. Orthodontists must consider a wide range of factors, including the type of bite problem involved, complications like impacted or missing teeth, and their patient's overall dental condition.

Orthodontists must also keep in mind the future—how will a treatment implemented now impact a patient's appearance and dental function many years from now? In reality, orthodontists perform these treatments within a dynamic growth environment, especially involving children and teenagers whose mouth and facial structures are still maturing.

And although these growth changes slow in adulthood, they don't stop—orofacial structures continue to change throughout life. For example, a person's lips steadily thicken in size until the mid-teen years, and then slowly thin out over the rest of their lifetime. The distance between the lips both at rest and while smiling may also narrow in later years. Other changes continue to occur in the bones and soft tissues of the mouth and face.

Fortunately, this structural growth follows a fairly consistent track. Although variations do occur, an orthodontist can project the growth changes their patients will undergo as they age, and use that knowledge to plan out bite treatment. With this understanding, orthodontists plan not only what treatments will be needed, but when to perform them, and to what extent.

This may involve a number of treatment stages, spaced out to coincide with regular development. An orthodontist may focus first on general bite correction to bring the teeth and jaws into a reasonable state of alignment. Later, they'll use more refined methods to fine-tune corrections that better align with later adult growth.

More intensive treatments may be necessary to build a foundation for future treatment. For example, orthognathic surgery may be needed to correct a severe case of an over-extended lower jaw. During the procedure, surgeons move the lower jaw to a joint position higher on the skull. This retracts the lower jaw into a more normal alignment with the upper jaw, and can dramatically change the facial profile for the better.

Each orthodontic patient is different, and each requires their own a unique treatment plan. That plan has a greater chance of long-term success by applying knowledge of future growth changes.

If you would like more information on orthodontic treatment, 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 “Understanding Aging Makes Beauty Timeless.”


By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
July 19, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gum disease  
SmokersAreMoreSusceptibletoHarmfulGumDiseaseHeresWhy

Along with tooth decay, periodontal (gum) disease is a primary enemy of oral health. If not caught and treated, a gum infection could spread and eventually cause tooth loss.

But although prevalent among the general population, one demographic in particular is highly susceptible to gum disease—smokers and tobacco users in general. It's estimated over 60 percent of all smokers will contend with a gum infection at some point during their lifetimes. Smokers are also twice as likely as non-smokers to develop advanced gum disease that could lead to serious dental damage.

The high rate of gum disease among smokers (and to some extent, all tobacco users) is connected to the effect that tobacco has on oral health in general. Studies show that nicotine constricts blood vessels in the mouth, which in turn reduces their delivery of antibodies to fight disease-causing bacteria. As a result, smokers have more harmful bacteria in their mouths than non-smokers, which increases their risk of dental disease.

Smokers are also less likely than non-smokers to display inflammation or redness, the initial signs of a burgeoning gum infection. This too has to do with the constricted blood vessels in the gums that can't deliver adequate oxygen and nutrients to these tissues. As a result, the gums can appear pink and healthy, yet still be infected. This could delay diagnosis of gum disease, allowing the infection to become more advanced.

Finally, smoking can interfere with the treatment of gum disease. Because of nicotine, a tobacco users' infections and wounds are often slower to heal. Combined with late diagnoses of gum disease, this slower healing creates an environment where smokers are three times more likely than non-smokers to lose teeth from gum disease.

If you do smoke, it's important to let your dentist know how much and for how long you've smoked, which could be relevant to any dental care or treatment. Better yet, quitting the habit could improve your oral health and lower your risk for teeth-destroying gum disease.

If you would like more information on the effects of smoking on oral health, 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 “Smoking and Gum Disease.”


By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
July 09, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: overdenture  
ABetterVersionofaDentureorBridgeWithDentalImplants

A wise sage once said the largest room in the world is the "room for improvement." Indeed, many modern advances would never have happened if someone hadn't first asked, "How can I make this better?"

Dentures and bridges are a case in point. Both of these tooth replacement methods have a long, successful track record in restoring functional, life-like teeth. But a recent development has made them even better: the incorporation of dental implants.

Most people associate implants, metallic posts imbedded in the jawbone, with single tooth replacements. But a few strategically placed implants can connect to and support a full removable denture (or overdenture). We can also use them to permanently affix a full or partial bridge without altering any remaining teeth as with a regular bridge.

There are two great benefits to using implants in this way. The most obvious is that they provide greater support for restorations than the traditional means for securing them in place. But there's also a less obvious benefit: They help sustain and improve bone health.

When you lose teeth, there's a high probability of bone loss. The bone is constantly forming new cells to replace older cells that have dissolved. The forces generated during chewing travel up through the teeth and help stimulate new bone growth. When teeth go missing, though, that stimulus disappears.

As a result, new cell formation can't keep up with the loss of older cells, causing the volume and density of jawbone to diminish over time. And this gradual bone loss continues to occur even with dentures or bridges, which can't replicate the chewing stimulus. Even worse, dentures irritating the bony ridges of the jaw may actually accelerate bone loss.

But the titanium in dental implants attracts bone cells, which readily grow and adhere to the implant surface. They can stop the progression of bone loss, or even help stimulate more growth. That bone growth benefit is also applicable when incorporated with dentures or bridges.

If you're looking at a denture or bridge restoration, consider implant support. It may even be possible to retrofit your existing dentures for implants. It could give you a more secure restoration and healthier bone.

If you would like more information on implant-supported dentures and bridges, 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 “Overdentures & Fixed Dentures.”