Posts for: April, 2018
Once upon a time, celebrities tried hard to maintain the appearance of red-carpet glamour at all times. That meant keeping the more mundane aspects of their lives out of the spotlight: things like shopping, walking the dog and having oral surgery, for example.
That was then. Today, you can find plenty of celebs posting pictures from the dentist on social media. Take Julianne Hough, for example: In 2011 and 2013, she tweeted from the dental office. Then, not long ago, she shared a video taken after her wisdom teeth were removed in December 2016. In it, the 28-year-old actress and dancer cracked jokes and sang a loopy rendition of a Christmas carol, her mouth filled with gauze. Clearly, she was feeling relaxed and comfortable!
Lots of us enjoy seeing the human side of celebrities. But as dentists, we’re also glad when posts such as these help demystify a procedure that could be scary for some people.
Like having a root canal, the thought of extracting wisdom teeth (also called third molars) makes some folks shudder. Yet this routine procedure is performed more often than any other type of oral surgery. Why? Because wisdom teeth, which usually begin to erupt (emerge from beneath the gums) around age 17-25, have the potential to cause serious problems in the mouth. When these molars lack enough space to fully erupt in their normal positions, they are said to be “impacted.”
One potential problem with impacted wisdom teeth is crowding. Many people don’t have enough space in the jaw to accommodate another set of molars; when their wisdom teeth come in, other teeth can be damaged. Impacted wisdom teeth may also have an increased potential to cause periodontal disease, bacterial infection, and other issues.
Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed; after a complete examination, including x-rays and/or other diagnostic imaging, a recommendation will be made based on each individual’s situation. It may involve continued monitoring of the situation, orthodontics or extraction.
Wisdom tooth extraction is usually done right in the office, often with a type of anesthesia called “conscious sedation.”Â Here, the patient is able to breathe normally and respond to stimuli (such as verbal directions), but remains free from pain. For people who are especially apprehensive about dental procedures, anti-anxiety mediation may also be given. After the procedure, prescription or over-the-counter pain medication may be used for a few days. If you feel like singing a few bars, as Julianne did, it’s up to you.
If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”
Philosopher Will Durant wrote, "…We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." While that observation could aptly apply to a great deal of life, it's certainly true of dental health. Strong, healthy teeth and gums are largely the result of good oral habits started in early childhood.
Here are some important dental care habits you'll want to instill in your child, as well as yourself.
Practice and teach daily oral hygiene. Keeping your child's mouth clean helps prevent future dental disease. It should begin before teeth appear by wiping your baby's gums with a clean, wet cloth after every feeding to keep decay-causing bacteria from growing. Once teeth appear, switch to brushing with just a smear of toothpaste until age 2, when you can increase to a pea-sized amount. As your child matures, be sure to teach them to brush and floss for themselves, especially by modeling the behavior for them.
Begin dental visits early. Besides daily hygiene, regular professional dental care is one of the best habits for keeping healthy teeth and gums. Plan to begin your child's dental visits by age 1 when some of their teeth may have already come in. And by beginning early, it's more likely your child will view dental visits as a routine part of life, a habit they'll more likely continue into adulthood.
Keep your oral bacteria to yourself. Many strains of bacteria, especially harmful ones, don't occur spontaneously in a child's mouth. They come from the outside environment, most often from their parents or caregivers. To avoid transmitting disease-causing bacteria from you to your baby don't share eating utensils, don't lick a pacifier to clean it, and avoid kissing infants (whose immune systems are immature) on the mouth.
Encourage your teenager to avoid bad habits. Hopefully when your children reach adolescence, they've already developed good oral habits. But there are some bad habits you should also help your teen avoid. While piercings are a popular expression among this age group, teens should avoid tongue and lip bolts and other piercings that could damage teeth. A tobacco habit can also have negative consequences for dental health including increased decay or gum disease risk and cancer.
If you would like more information on dental care for children, 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 “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”
If you could straighten your smile with no one noticing, would you do it? Many adults and teens have done just that with Invisalign clear aligners, the modern, comfortable and quick way to correct many orthodontic issues. At Johansen Dental in Chandler, AZ, Dr. Grant Johansen offers this inventive and practically invisible system of customized aligners as a great alternative to metal braces. They may be best for your smile, too.
What are Invisalign aligners?
Custom-made according to a three-dimensional digital scan, Invisalign appliances cover top and bottom teeth completely but are so thin and transparent they are virtually unnoticeable. Additionally, the aligners are smooth, causing no oral irritation, and they are completely removable.
Just like conventional braces, the 18 to 30 pairs of aligners move teeth into better functioning and better-looking positions. However, unlike traditional orthodontics, the Invisalign system takes just about a year on average rather than the two to two and a half years (or more) that metal braces normally take to complete treatment.
In the end, an Invisalign smile is healthy because it is easy to clean, and of course, because treatment resolves a wide variety of bite and misalignment issues.
Who can get Invisalign?
Many people, from older teens to elder adults, qualify. Dr. Grant will examine your teeth and gums to devise a treatment plan just right for your particular case. Of course, complex problems may still require more traditional orthodontics; however, Invisalign works for many mild to moderate smile issues such as:
- Open bite
- Tooth rotation and tooth tipping
Best of all, Invisalign is great for people who want ease of oral hygiene (just take the aligners out and brush and floss), no dietary limitations and the option to remove their appliances for events such as proms, weddings, and professional presentations. For treatment to move forward as planned, patients wear their appliances for a minimum of 20 to 22 hours daily, and they check in with Dr. Grant every month or so.
Get a new look
And, it'll happen discreetly. Find out more about today's most innovative clear aligner system. Contact Johansen Dental in Chandler, AZ today for your personalized Invisalign consultation with Dr. Grant. Our office team can be reached at (480) 345-0530.