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Posts for: November, 2016

By Three Fountains Family Dental Inc
November 17, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

It might seem that supermodels have a fairly easy life — except for the fact that they are expected to look perfect whenever they’re in front of a camera. Sometimes that’s easy — but other times, it can be pretty difficult. Just ask Chrissy Teigen: Recently, she was in Bangkok, Thailand, filming a restaurant scene for the TV travel series The Getaway, when some temporary restorations (bonding) on her teeth ended up in her food.

As she recounted in an interview, “I was… like, ‘Oh my god, is my tooth going to fall out on camera?’ This is going to be horrible.” Yet despite the mishap, Teigen managed to finish the scene — and to keep looking flawless. What caused her dental dilemma? “I had chipped my front tooth so I had temporaries in,” she explained. “I’m a grinder. I grind like crazy at night time. I had temporary teeth in that I actually ground off on the flight to Thailand.”

Like stress, teeth grinding is a problem that can affect anyone, supermodel or not. In fact, the two conditions are often related. Sometimes, the habit of bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding) occurs during the day, when you’re trying to cope with a stressful situation. Other times, it can occur at night — even while you’re asleep, so you retain no memory of it in the morning. Either way, it’s a behavior that can seriously damage your teeth.

When teeth are constantly subjected to the extreme forces produced by clenching and grinding, their hard outer covering (enamel) can quickly start to wear away. In time, teeth can become chipped, worn down — even loose! Any dental work on those teeth, such as fillings, bonded areas and crowns, may also be damaged, start to crumble or fall out. Your teeth may become extremely sensitive to hot and cold because of the lack of sufficient enamel. Bruxism can also result in headaches and jaw pain, due in part to the stress placed on muscles of the jaw and face.

You may not be aware of your own teeth-grinding behavior — but if you notice these symptoms, you might have a grinding problem. Likewise, after your routine dental exam, we may alert you to the possibility that you’re a “bruxer.” So what can you do about teeth clenching and grinding?

We can suggest a number of treatments, ranging from lifestyle changes to dental appliances or procedures. Becoming aware of the behavior is a good first step; in some cases, that may be all that’s needed to start controlling the habit. Finding healthy ways to relieve stress — meditation, relaxation, a warm bath and a soothing environment — may also help. If nighttime grinding keeps occurring, an “occlusal guard” (nightguard) may be recommended. This comfortable device is worn in the mouth at night, to protect teeth from damage. If a minor bite problem exists, it can sometimes be remedied with a simple procedure; in more complex situations, orthodontic work might be recommended.

Teeth grinding at night can damage your smile — but you don’t have to take it lying down! If you have questions about bruxism, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Stress & Tooth Habits” and “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”

By By Three Fountains Family Dental Inc
November 02, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dentures  

How dentures from your West Columbia dentists can help you smile again

If you avoid smiling because of missing teeth or a badly-fitting dental appliance, it’s time to see if a new denture can help you smile again. Everyone deserves to look their best, and the right denture can give you a great start. Your dentists at Three Fountains Family Dental in West Columbia, South Carolina want to share with you why you don’t have to give up on your smile.

Dentures restore your full chewing function, enabling you to eat the foods you love. Full chewing function helps your digestion, which aids your overall health. But modern dentures aren’t just functional, they also look beautiful. Let’s face the facts; everyone wants to look great and modern dentures look natural, giving you a dazzling smile.

It’s important for your new dental appliance to fit well, so it stays put. Your dentists in West Columbia are experts in custom-making your denture to fit properly. They offer a full range of denture options for you to choose from. Consider:

  • Immediate dentures, which enable you to always have teeth; these dentures are placed immediately after tooth extraction and replace a full arch of teeth. After your tissue heals, your dentist will reline your denture to fit or create a new denture for you.
  • Conventional dentures, which are made after you are fully healed; these dentures are beneficial because unlike immediate dentures, you only have to get used to one set of dentures.
  • Overdentures, which are a stable, strong denture because they are placed over retained tooth roots or implants; they also help you retain a firm jawline, which can make you look younger.
  • Removable partial dentures, which replace multiple missing teeth but not your entire arch; they attach to teeth adjacent to the space where you are missing teeth.

The right denture can make a world of difference in your quality of life and how you feel about yourself. It’s an important decision and one you shouldn’t make alone. Call your dentists at Three Fountains Family Dental in West Columbia, South Carolina and get the help you need. Don’t give up on your smile, call today!

By Three Fountains Family Dental Inc
November 02, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cleft lip  

Oral and facial clefts are among the most common and heartbreaking of birth defects. Clefts make feeding or even breathing difficult and can affect speech development.

But there's one other profound effect: an “abnormal” face caused by a cleft can have devastating consequences for a person's self-image and social relationships.

About 1 in 700 U.S. babies are born with some type of visible gap or “cleft.” It can occur in their upper lip, soft and hard palate, nose or occasionally extending to the cheek or eye region. We typically classify clefts as “unilateral” (affecting only one side of the face) or “bilateral” (affecting both sides).  We're not completely sure on the root causes, but research so far has uncovered links with the mother's possible exposure to toxic substances, nutrient or vitamin deficiencies, or infections during fetal development.

Taking steps during pregnancy to minimize these exposures is certainly helpful. But what can be done for children born with a cleft?

A great deal, thanks to the development of surgical repair techniques over the last century. The surgical approach relies on the fact that the tissues required to repair the cleft already exist. They're simply distorted by the cleft break.

Even so, the road to restoration is a long and arduous one. Lip repairs usually take place at 3-6 months of age; palate (roof of the mouth) clefts are undertaken at 6-12 months. As the child's jaw and mouth structure develops, further surgeries may be needed to match earlier repairs with development.

Cleft repairs also require a team of specialists including a maxillofacial (oral) surgeon, orthodontist and general dentist. The latter plays an important role during the process, ensuring the child maintains good dental health through prevention and treatment of disease and dental work for at risk teeth.

The road to a normal life is difficult — but well worth it. A repaired cleft vastly improves a child's health and well-being. Moreover, it restores to them something the rest of us might take for granted — a normal face and smile.

If you would like more information on cleft defects and how to treat them, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.