My Blog

Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Three Fountains Family Dental Inc
April 24, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

There are several denture options available if you have missing teeth and want to restore your smile. Dentures serve many functions in denturesaddition to replacing missing teeth. Dentures also improve speech, restore normal biting and chewing functions, and provide support for sagging facial muscles. A dentist can explain which denture options will work for you. At Three Fountains Family Dental, Dr. Peter Stoltz and Dr. Brooke Stoltz are your dentists in West Columbia, SC, for dentures.

Types of Dentures

The two main types of dentures are partial and full. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth still remain, while full dentures are needed when there are no natural teeth remaining. Full dentures are also referred to as complete dentures.

Types of partial dentures include transitional and removable. Transitional partial dentures are temporary and are typically used to fill in the gaps after having teeth extracted. Once your mouth heals from the extraction procedure, dental implants can be installed and the transitional partial dentures are no longer needed. Removable partial dentures are a long-term option for replacing missing teeth when dental implants or bridgework are not an option.

Types of full dentures include immediate and conventional. Like transitional partial dentures, immediate full dentures are temporary and are often used while the gums heal following extraction of the last remaining natural teeth. Once the gums heal, you can be fit for conventional dentures, which are worn long-term. Conventional full dentures are custom made to conform to your mouth for the best fit possible.

An additional type of denture is an implant-supported overdenture, which can be used whether you have some natural teeth remaining or none. Implant-supported overdentures are removable and fit over a few dental implants for a secure hold. The implants provide added support and stability so the dentures remain securely in place. Your dentist for dentures in West Columbia can recommend the appropriate type of dentures for your needs.

You have several denture options to choose from and your dentist can recommend the best type for your needs. For dentures in West Columbia, SC, schedule an appointment with Drs. Brooke and Peter Stoltz by calling Three Fountains Family Dental at (803) 755-0039.

By Three Fountains Family Dental Inc
March 15, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
GetAheadofBiteProblemswithInterceptiveOrthodontics

At any given time some 4 million teens and pre-teens are wearing braces or other orthodontic appliances to correct a malocclusion (poor bite). While most cases are straightforward, some have difficulties that increase treatment time and cost.

But what if you could reduce some of these difficulties before they fully develop? We often can through interceptive orthodontics.

This growing concept involves early orthodontic treatment around 6 to 10 years of age with the goal of guiding the development of a child’s jaws and other mouth structures in the right direction. These early years are often the only time of life when many of these treatments will work.

For example, widening the roof of the mouth (the palate) in an abnormally narrow upper jaw takes advantage of a gap in the bone in the center of the palate that doesn’t fuse until later in adolescence. A device called a palatal expander exerts outward pressure on the back teeth to influence the jawbone to grow out. New bone fills in the gap to permanently expand the jaw.

In cases with a developing overbite (the upper front teeth extending too far over the lower teeth when closed), we can install a hinged device called a Herbst appliance to the jaws in the back of the mouth. The hinge mechanism coaxes the lower jaw to develop further forward, which may help avoid more extensive and expensive jaw surgery later.

Interceptive treatments can also be fairly simple in design like a space retainer, but still have a tremendous impact on bite development. A space maintainer is often used when a primary (“baby”) tooth is lost prematurely, which allows other teeth to drift into the empty space and crowd out the incoming permanent tooth. The wire loop device is placed within the open space to prevent drift and preserve the space for the permanent tooth.

To take advantage of these treatments, it’s best to have your child’s bite evaluated early. Professional organizations like the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommend a screening by age 7. While it may reveal no abnormalities at all, it could also provide the first signs of an emerging problem. With interceptive orthodontics we may be able to correct them now or make them less of a problem for the future.

If you would like more information on orthodontic treatments, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor article “Interceptive Orthodontics.”

By Three Fountains Family Dental Inc
March 07, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

Cosmetic dentistry, though largely optional and meant to improve the appearance of your smile, can also help improve the functionality of cosmetic dentistryyour teeth. With help from your cosmetic dentist, you can finally have the smile you have always wanted, whether that means repairing a small imperfection on an obvious tooth or completely overhauling your smile to make over your entire look. Find out more about cosmetic dentistry and what it can do for you with Dr. Peter Stoltz and Dr. Brooke Stoltz at Three Fountains Family Dentistry in West Columbia, SC.

What is cosmetic dentistry? 

Cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the appearance of your smile rather than repairing a broken tooth to make it function correctly. Cosmetic treatments are not necessary to chewing or eating and only serve to give you a look you love. However, many cosmetic treatments can also restore a tooth and, on the other hand, many restorative procedures also improve a tooth aesthetically.

Popular Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

  • Veneers: Dental veneers act as a facade, covering the surface of the tooth to completely renew its appearance. The veneer itself is a super-thin shell of porcelain which can change the shape, length, width, and color of the tooth.
  • Dental Implants: Dental implants permanently replace a missing tooth with a natural-looking prosthetic tooth. Your dentist implants dental implants directly into the jawbone, where they remain for the rest of your life to form a sturdy foundation for your replacement tooth.
  • Zoom Teeth Whitening: Zoom teeth whitening is a procedure which can take place in a single dental visit and provide big results. You can work with your dentist to determine the strength of the treatment and ensure that you get the look you want.
  • Dentures: Patients missing all their teeth can benefit from dentures, which replace an arch of missing teeth to allow patients to eat, chew, speak, and smile once more. Dentures can be a traditional, full denture, a partial denture which incorporates any remaining healthy teeth into its design, or even an implant-supported denture which takes advantage of dental implant technology to stay permanently in the mouth.

Cosmetic Dentistry in West Columbia, SC

For more information on cosmetic dentistry, please contact Dr. Peter Stoltz and Dr. Brooke Stoltz at Three Fountains Family Dentistry in West Columbia, SC. Call (803)755-0039 to schedule your appointment with your dentist today!

By Three Fountains Family Dental Inc
January 29, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: partial denture  
PartialDenturesanAffordableAlternativetoMoreExpensiveRestorations

Dental implants are today’s preferred choice for replacing missing teeth. They’re the closest restoration to natural teeth—but at a price, especially for multiple teeth. If implants are beyond your current financial ability, there’s an older, more affordable option: a removable partial denture (RPD).

Similar in concept to a full denture, a RPD replaces one or more missing teeth on a jaw. It usually consists of a lightweight but sturdy metal frame supporting a resin or plastic base (colored pink to mimic gum tissue). Prosthetic (false) teeth are attached to the base at the locations of the missing teeth. Unlike transitional dentures, RPDs are designed to last for many years.

Although simple in concept, RPDs certainly aren’t a “one-size-fits-all” option. To achieve long-term success with an RPD we must first consider the number of missing teeth and where they’re located in the jaw. This will dictate the type of layout and construction needed to create a custom RPD.

In addition, we’ll need to consider the health and condition of your remaining teeth. This can be important to an RPD’s design, especially if we intend to use them to support the RPD during wear. Support is a fundamental concern because we want to prevent the RPD from excessively moving in place.

Besides dental support we’ll also need to take into account how the jaws function when they bite. The RPD’s design should evenly distribute the forces generated when you eat and chew so as not to create undue pressure on the bony ridges of the jaw upon which the RPD rests. Too much pressure could accelerate bone loss in the jaw, a common issue with dentures.

It takes a lot of planning to create a comfortably-fitting RPD with minimal impact on your dental health. But you’ll also have to maintain it to ensure lasting durability. You should clean your RPD daily, as well as brush and floss the rest of your teeth to minimize the chances of developing tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease. You can further discourage disease-causing bacterial growth by removing them at night while you sleep.

A RPD can be a viable alternative to more expensive restorations. And with the right design and proper care it could serve you and your smile for a long time to come.

If you would like more information on removable partial dentures, 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 “Removable Partial Dentures.”

By Three Fountains Family Dental Inc
December 29, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: clear aligners  
ClearAlignersMakeitEasierforTeenagerstohaveTheirTeethStraightened

Braces can change a person's life — not just their appearance but their dental health as well. To be honest, though, wearing braces are, well, kind of a drag — especially for teenagers.

Braces can be restrictive and confining; you'll also have to give up certain favorite foods for a while. But more than any of that, they're just plain unattractive. Even being able to choose colors for the brackets and elastic bands can't fully ease a teenager's embarrassment when they smile.

There is, however, an alternative to braces: clear aligners. And they could make orthodontic treatment during this difficult phase of their life much easier to handle.

Clear aligners are a set of clear plastic trays that can be taken in and out of the mouth. Each of the custom-designed trays is slightly smaller than the previous one in the series. After wearing the first tray for a couple of weeks (at least 20 to 22 hours a day), the patient switches to the next tray in the series. They repeat this process until they've worn all the trays. The gradual change from tray to tray moves the teeth to the desired position.

Clear aligners have some distinct advantages over braces, especially for younger patients. They can be removed for cleaning or for a rare special event. They don't limit movement as much as braces. And, they're nearly invisible — other people may not even notice them. And newer aligners are now designed with tiny “power ridges” that increase their movement capabilities. This has made them more useful for teenagers with complicated bite problems and other issues.

There are cases, though, where braces may be the better choice: where you need more control over tooth movement or the patient needs jaw surgery to achieve proper tooth alignment. And their removability could be an issue if the patient won't leave them in their mouth for the necessary time each day.

To find out if clear aligners might be a viable option for your teenager, visit us for a complete orthodontic examination. We can then discuss your best option — clear aligners or braces — to achieve the most desirable outcome for your teenager.

If you would like more information on treating bite problems in teenagers with clear aligners, 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 “Clear Aligners for teens.”