Invisalign offers a more discreet straightening option if you find traditional metal or ceramic braces unappealing. The innovative orthodontic system is among the treatments offered by the dentists at Unique Dental Care in North Attleboro, MA. Invisalign is an excellent option for both teens and adult and offers an effective way to correct a variety of orthodontic issues.
No metal wires or brackets are needed
The Invisalign system uses clear aligner trays to realign your teeth. Thanks to CAD/CAM technology, the trays fit your teeth perfectly and apply gentle, consistent pressure needed to straighten and re-position your teeth. Invisalign trays are removable, unlike metal or ceramic braces, which must remain attached to your teeth for the duration of your treatment. Each tray in the series is used for approximately two weeks before it is replaced with the next set.
Invisalign corrects common orthodontic problems
Whether your teeth are crowded due to crowding issues or a crossbite makes chewing difficult, Invisalign aligner trays can improve your smile. You can benefit from the Invisalign system if you have a mild to moderate orthodontic problem, such as crowding or spacing issues, or an open bite, crossbite, underbite or overbite. If your issues are complicated or severe, your North Attleboro dentist may recommend metal braces instead.
Dedication is the key to the success of the Invisalign system
One of the features that patients like best about Invisalign is the ability to remove the aligners for short periods of time. If there's a special event on your calendar, or you're playing your favorite sport, you can leave your trays at home for a few hours.
Although it's perfectly fine to remove your aligners occasionally if you have a game or special event, following the wearing schedule otherwise is very important. If you don't wear the trays for the recommended 20 to 22 hours on most days, it will take longer to correct your orthodontic issues. Before you choose the Invisalign system, you must be committed to following the wearing schedule recommended by your dentist.
Are you ready to find out if Invisalign is the ideal choice for you? Call the dentists at Unique Dental Care in North Attleboro, MA, at (508) 399-8800 to schedule an appointment.
Do you wake up in the morning still feeling tired? Are you drowsy, irritable or have difficulty concentrating? And is your snoring habit a running joke around your household?
If you mostly answered yes, you may have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This condition is more than an irritation—it could also have major health implications if not addressed.
OSA occurs when the airway becomes temporarily blocked during sleep. The tongue (or other mouth structures like tonsils or the uvula) is often the cause as it relaxes and covers the back of the throat. Although you’re asleep, the brain notices the drop in oxygen and initiates arousal to unblock the airway. As this action usually only takes a few seconds, you may not fully awake every time; but because it can occur several times a night, it can rob you of the deep sleep you need for well-being.
If you’re diagnosed with OSA, your doctor may recommend continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP). This treatment uses a pump device to supply continuous pressurized air through a hose connected to a face mask worn during sleep. The elevated pressure helps keep the airway open.
While this approach is quite effective, many people find wearing the equipment uncomfortable or confining, and may choose not to use it. If that describes you, a qualified dentist may be able to provide you with an alternative called oral appliance therapy (OAT).
OAT uses a custom-made plastic oral appliance you wear while you sleep. The most common snaps over the teeth and uses a hinge mechanism to move the lower jaw (and the tongue with it) forward.
OAT is recommended for people with mild to moderate OSA, or those with severe symptoms who can’t tolerate CPAP. If you’d like to see if an OAT appliance could help you, contact us for a complete oral examination. Either treatment can improve your sleep and daily lifestyle, as well as help prevent certain health issues in the future.
If you would like more information on treatments for sleep apnea, 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 “Oral Appliances for Sleep Apnea.”
Want to know the exact wrong way to pry open a stubborn lid? Just ask Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC-TV’s popular “Tonight Show.” When the 40-year-old funnyman had trouble opening a tube of scar tissue repair gel with his hands, he decided to try using his teeth.
What happened next wasn’t funny: Attempting to remove the cap, Fallon chipped his front tooth, adding another medical problem to the serious finger injury he suffered a few weeks before (the same wound he was trying to take care of with the gel). If there’s a moral to this story, it might be this: Use the right tool for the job… and that tool isn’t your teeth!
Yet Fallon is hardly alone in his dilemma. According to the American Association of Endodontists, chipped teeth account for the majority of dental injuries. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers a number of great ways to restore damaged teeth.
If the chip is relatively small, it’s often possible to fix it with cosmetic bonding. In this procedure, tough, natural-looking resin is used to fill in the part of the tooth that has been lost. Built up layer by layer, the composite resin is cured with a special light until it’s hard, shiny… and difficult to tell from your natural teeth. Best of all, cosmetic bonding can often be done in one office visit, with little or no discomfort. It can last for up to ten years, so it’s great for kids who may be getting more permanent repairs later.
For larger chips or cracks, veneers or crowns may be suggested. Veneers are wafer-thin porcelain coverings that go over the entire front surface of one or more teeth. They can be used to repair minor to moderate defects, such as chips, discolorations, or spacing irregularities. They can also give you the “Hollywood white” smile you’ve seen on many celebrities.
Veneers are generally custom-made in a lab, and require more than one office visit. Because a small amount of tooth structure must be removed in order to put them in place, veneers are considered an irreversible treatment. But durable and long-lasting veneers are the restorations of choice for many people.
Crowns (also called caps) are used when even more of the tooth structure is missing. They can replace the entire visible part of the tooth, as long as the tooth’s roots remain viable. Crowns, like veneers, are custom-fabricated to match your teeth in size, shape and color; they are generally made in a dental lab and require more than one office visit. However, teeth restored with crowns function well, look natural, and can last for many years.
So what happened to Jimmy Fallon? We aren’t sure which restoration he received… but we do know that he was back on TV the same night, flashing a big smile.
If you would like more information about tooth restorations, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers” and “Artistic Repair Of Front Teeth With Composite Resin.”
Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ), located where your lower jaw meets the skull, play an essential role in nearly every mouth function. It’s nearly impossible to eat or speak without them.
Likewise, jaw joint disorders (temporomandibular joint disorders or TMD) can make your life miserable. Not only can you experience extreme discomfort or pain, your ability to eat certain foods or speak clearly could be impaired.
But don’t assume you have TMD if you have these and other symptoms — there are other conditions with similar symptoms. You’ll need a definitive diagnosis of TMD from a qualified physician or dentist, particularly one who’s completed post-graduate programs in Oral Medicine or Orofacial Pain, before considering treatment.
If you are diagnosed with TMD, you may then face treatment choices that emanate from one of two models: one is an older dental model based on theories that the joint and muscle dysfunction is mainly caused by poor bites or other dental problems. This model encourages treatments like orthodontically moving teeth, crowning problem teeth or adjusting bites by grinding down tooth surfaces.
A newer treatment model, though, has supplanted this older one and is now practiced by the majority of dentists. This is a medical model that views TMJs like any other joint in the body, and thus subject to the same sort of orthopedic problems found elsewhere: sore muscles, inflamed joints, strained tendons and ligaments, and disk problems. Treatments tend to be less invasive or irreversible than those from the dental model.
The newer model encourages treatments like physical therapy, medication, occlusive guards or stress management. The American Association of Dental Research (AADR) in fact recommends that TMD patients begin their treatment from the medical model rather than the dental one, unless there are indications to the contrary. Many studies have concluded that a majority of patients gain significant relief with these types of therapies.
If a physician or dentist recommends more invasive treatment, particularly surgery, consider seeking a second opinion. Unlike the therapies mentioned above, surgical treatments have a spotty record when it comes to effectiveness — some patients even report their conditions worsening afterward. Try the less-invasive approach first — you may find improvement in your symptoms and quality of life.
If you would like more information on treating TMD, 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 “Seeking Relief from TMD.”
It’s important that you don’t ignore your mouth when it’s trying to tell you that something is off. Of course, not everyone experiences symptoms or obvious issues, which is why it’s so important that you always maintain those routine checkups with one of our North Attleboro, MA, dentists every six months.
While we can easily pinpoint signs of an infection and determine whether you need root canal treatment it’s also important that you understand the telltale signs that something is wrong and when you need to seek immediate dental care. Symptoms that warrant an immediate trip to the dentist include:
- A toothache
- Sudden or increased tooth sensitivity (usually to hot or cold foods and drinks)
- Tooth darkening (a sign that the roots of the tooth are dying)
- Swollen, tender gums surrounding the infected tooth
- The development of a bump on the gums (known as an abscess), which may be painful
When in doubt, call our North Attleboro, MA, general dentists to find out if your symptoms warrant a dental checkup. A toothache all by itself is considered a dental emergency. Even though it might not necessarily mean that you have to get root canal treatment it could be trying to tell you that you have a cavity. The sooner the problem is addressed and treated the less likely it will be to cause more significant and widespread damage.
What is root canal treatment?
Whether you are scheduled for an upcoming root canal procedure or you are just curious to know more about what it entails, you’ve come to the right place. This procedure is performed when bacteria has entered the inside of the tooth and infected the dental pulp, a soft mass that contains nerves, connective tissue and blood vessels. Since the pulp is made up of nerves it comes as no surprise that one of the first problems people complain about is a toothache.
The goals of root canal therapy are to remove the source of the pain (e.g. the dental pulp) and the infection to preserve as much of the tooth as possible. After the procedure is complete we will also decide whether we need to place a dental crown over the tooth.
Here in North Attleboro, MA, we believe that everyone should receive quality, full-service dentistry that they can trust. Whether you are dealing with a dental emergency or you just need a simple teeth cleaning, turn to our caring and knowledgeable dental team for help.
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