Posts for: September, 2017

By Sean Stannard, DDS
September 27, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   orthodontics   Invisalign  

A Harris Poll conducted in 2016 found that three-quarters of people questioned said that straightening their teeth could impact their life invisalignpositively. If you have interpersonal or professional goals that are hampered by a smile that's less than perfect, Invisalign clear aligners could solve your problem. Having helped millions of older teens and adults across the globe get the healthy, attractive smiles they've always wanted, Invisalign is an innovative orthodontic solution popular with people who dislike the look of conventional braces. Your dentists at Stannard, Studt & Wolf Dentistry in Waterford, MI outline Invisalign's many advantages and can help you decide if the clear aligners are right for you.

What are Invisalign aligners?

They are custom-made, invisible acrylic appliances which straighten a variety of orthodontic problems such as overbite, under bite, cross bite, open bite, gaps, crowding, tooth tipping and more. So instead of struggling with the obvious appearance, dietary restrictions and hygiene struggles of metal or ceramic braces, patients enjoy:

  • Ease of brushing and flossing because the aligners are removable
  • No irritation of soft oral tissues as the aligners are perfectly smooth
  • Practically unnoticeable appearance (although some people remove them for special occasions)
  • Whatever healthy foods they normally eat
  • Shorter treatment times (typically one year on average)

In addition, Invisalign patients see their dentist in Waterford just every four to six weeks for quick progress checks and to receive the next pairs of clear aligners in their treatment plans. There are no complex, lengthy and uncomfortable adjustments to endure. The proprietary Smart Track Acrylic is known to move teeth reliably. In other words, Invisalign appliances can meet the smile goals you and your dentist decide are best for your appearance, dental health and oral function.

Can you qualify?

Most likely you can if your teeth and gums are healthy--that is, no gum disease or untreated tooth decay. Your dentist in Waterford will do a complete oral exam and take X-rays, photos and other imaging to see if Invisalign is right for you. Also, he'll take impressions to send, along with detailed instructions, to the Invisalign lab where a skilled technician will craft 18 to 30 pairs of appliances that will gradually move your teeth into better positions.

Find out more

Why not discuss Invisalign treatment with your dentist at Stannard & Studt & Wolf Dentistry in Waterford, MI? Call (248) 673-7300, and learn the many benefits this outstanding orthodontic system can offer you.

By Sean Stannard, DDS
September 27, 2017
Category: Oral Health

When is the best time to floss your teeth: Morning? Bedtime? How about: whenever and wherever the moment feels right?

For Cam Newton, award-winning NFL quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, the answer is clearly the latter. During the third quarter of the 2016 season-opener between his team and the Denver Broncos, TV cameras focused on Newton as he sat on the bench. The 2015 MVP was clearly seen stretching a string of dental floss between his index fingers and taking care of some dental hygiene business… and thereby creating a minor storm on the internet.

Inappropriate? We don't think so. As dentists, we're always happy when someone comes along to remind people how important it is to floss. And when that person has a million-dollar smile like Cam Newton's — so much the better.

Of course, there has been a lot of discussion lately about flossing. News outlets have gleefully reported that there's a lack of hard evidence at present to show that flossing is effective. But we would like to point out that, as the saying goes, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” There are a number of reasons why health care organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) still firmly recommend daily flossing. Here are a few:

  • It's well established that when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth, tooth decay and gum disease are bound to follow.
  • A tooth brush does a good job of cleaning most tooth surfaces, but it can't reach into spaces between teeth.
  • Cleaning between teeth (interdental cleaning) has been shown to remove plaque and food debris from these hard-to-reach spaces.
  • Dental floss isn't the only method for interdental cleaning… but it is recognized by dentists as the best way, and is an excellent method for doing this at home — or anywhere else!

Whether you use dental floss or another type of interdental cleaner is up to you. But the ADA stands by its recommendations for maintaining good oral health: Brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste; visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups; and clean between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner like floss. It doesn't matter if you do it in your own home, or on the sidelines of an NFL game… as long as you do it!

If you would like more information about flossing and oral hygiene, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Sean Stannard, DDS
September 12, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

While lasers still seem like science fiction, they’ve been used commercially (and medically) for decades. But there’s still room for growth in practical applications with this developing technology. One promising area is in the treatment of periodontal (gum) disease.

Gum disease is a bacterial infection triggered by plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles caused by inadequate oral hygiene. The disease is highly destructive and can eventually lead to both tooth and bone loss. Treatment procedures vary widely, but they all have the same goal: remove the offending plaque and calculus (tartar) from tooth and gum surfaces. Without plaque the infection subsides and the gums can heal.

For decades now, dentists have removed plaque and calculus manually with special hand instruments or ultrasonic equipment. If the disease has advanced below the gum line or formed deep voids filled with infection called periodontal pockets, the dentist may also employ surgical techniques to access the infected areas.

While all these techniques have a long track record for effectiveness, they can cause the inadvertent destruction of healthy tissue, as well as create discomfort for some patients afterward. This is where a new protocol called Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP®) may be able to make a difference in the future.

With the LANAP® protocol, surgeons direct a laser beam of light through a fiber optic the width of three human hairs onto diseased tissue. The particular color of light interacts with the tissue, which contains the darkly-pigmented bacteria causing the disease, and “vaporizes” it. The beam, however, passes harmlessly through lighter-pigmented healthy tissue; as a result diseased tissue is eradicated with little to no harm to adjacent healthy tissue.

With these capabilities, trained dentists using LANAP® for gum disease treatment might be able to achieve conventional results with less tissue removal and bleeding, less discomfort for patients, and less tissue shrinkage than traditional procedures — and without scalpels or sutures. And some post-surgical studies have indicated LANAP® might also encourage gum tissue regeneration in the months following.

LANAP®, however, is still developing and requires further research. Thus far, though, the results have been encouraging. As laser technology advances, it’s quite possible tomorrow’s patient may experience less discomfort and more effective healing with their gum disease treatment.

If you would like more information on gum disease 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 “Treating Gum Disease with Lasers.”

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