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Posts for: February, 2016

By Curt P. Posey, DDS, Inc.
February 20, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Fans of the primetime TV show The Middle were delighted to see that high school senior Sue, played by Eden Sher, finally got her braces off at the start of Season 6. But since this popular sitcom wouldn’t be complete without some slapstick comedy, this happy event is not without its trials and tribulations: The episode ends with Sue’s whole family diving into a dumpster in search of the teen’s lost retainer. Sue finds it in the garbage and immediately pops it in her mouth. But wait — it doesn’t fit, it’s not even hers!

If you think this scenario is far-fetched, guess again. OK, maybe the part about Sue not washing the retainer upon reclaiming it was just a gag (literally and figuratively), but lost retainers are all too common. Unfortunately, they’re also expensive to replace — so they need to be handled with care. What’s the best way to do that? Retainers should be brushed daily with a soft toothbrush and liquid soap (dish soap works well), and then placed immediately back in your mouth or into the case that came with the retainer. When you are eating a meal at a restaurant, do not wrap your retainer in a napkin and leave it on the table — this is a great way to lose it! Instead, take the case with you, and keep the retainer in it while you’re eating. When you get home, brush your teeth and then put the retainer back in your mouth.

If you do lose your retainer though, let us know right away. Retention is the last step of your orthodontic treatment, and it’s extremely important. You’ve worked hard to get a beautiful smile, and no one wants to see that effort wasted. Yet if you neglect to wear your retainer as instructed, your teeth are likely to shift out of position. Why does this happen?

As you’ve seen firsthand, teeth aren’t rigidly fixed in the jaw — they can be moved in response to light and continuous force. That’s what orthodontic appliances do: apply the right amount of force in a carefully controlled manner. But there are other forces at work on your teeth that can move them in less predictable ways. For example, normal biting and chewing can, over time, cause your teeth to shift position. To get teeth to stay where they’ve been moved orthodontically, new bone needs to form around them and anchor them where they are. That will happen over time, but only if they are held in place with a retainer. That’s why it is so important to wear yours as directed — and notify us immediately if it gets lost.

And if ever you do have to dig your retainer out of a dumpster… be sure to wash it before putting in in your mouth!

If you would like more information on retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers” and “Why Orthodontic Retainers?

By Curt P. Posey, DDS, Inc.
February 09, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

As anyone who has ever suffered through the agony of a moderate to severely decayed tooth can attest, even the thought of biting into adental crowns grape can be enough to make one swear off eating forever (or at least until the tooth can be repaired). In addition to disrupting eating habits and nutrition, chipped, damaged, or missing teeth can affect everything from a person's speech to their self-esteem and overall quality of life. And while the biggest problem with one or several missing teeth may seem to be cosmetic concerns like the effects on a person's appearance, missing teeth can lead to the loss of healthy bone in the jaw, and impact the stability and health of the surrounding teeth as well.

Dental crowns in Fresno

Porcelain dental crowns, one of the most versatile cosmetic dentistry treatments available, can help to correct a wide range of dental problems, from tooth discoloration and decay, to missing teeth. A dental crown is a cap that is placed over the affected tooth or affixed to a bridge to fill in for missing teeth. Fresno, CA based dentist Dr. Curt P. Posey suggests crowns when the damage to a tooth is too substantial to be corrected effectively by dental veneers, or a standard dental filling for deep cavities.

Benefits of Dental Crowns

With good oral hygiene practices and care, a quality dental crown can last up to 15 years. Crowns require the same amount of attention and care as natural teeth, therefore, daily brushing and flossing, as well as regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings should be a priority with crowned teeth.

Dental crowns are designed to match the shade and shape of the surrounding teeth, and look incredibly real and natural. A porcelain crown is the perfect combination of a cosmetic and oral health solution for teeth that have been severely damaged or lost to tooth decay and gum disease.

Contact a dentist in Fresno

For more information on how dental crowns can help improve your smile and oral health, contact Dr. Curt P. Posey at 
(559) 227-6755 to schedule an appointment in Fresno today.

By Curt P. Posey, DDS, Inc.
February 05, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   gum disease  

Is there a link between periodontal (gum) disease and cardiovascular disease? Medical researchers are endeavoring to answer this intriguing question, but early findings seem to say yes. If it bears true, the findings could advance treatment for both diseases.

There is one thing that can be said for certain: inflammation is a factor in both diseases’ progression. Gum disease begins as an infection caused by bacteria growing in plaque, which is made up of bacteria and a thin film of food remnant that adheres to tooth surfaces. The body responds to this infection through tissue inflammation, an attempt to prevent the infection from spreading. Likewise, inflammation appears to be a similar response to changes in blood vessels afflicted by cardiovascular disease.

While inflammation is part of the body’s mechanism to heal traumatized tissue, if it becomes chronic it can actually have a damaging effect on the tissues intended to benefit. For patients with gum disease, chronic inflammation causes connective tissues to detach from teeth, leading eventually to tooth and bone loss. Similarly, inflammation damages the linings of blood vessels in cardiovascular disease patients.

Researchers want to know what role bacteria may also play in the progression of cardiovascular disease. Initial studies seem to indicate that proactively treating the gum disease by removing all plaque from oral surfaces in patients with both conditions does appear to improve the health of diseased blood vessel linings. Whether this could ultimately reduce the occurrence of heart attack or stroke still needs to be ascertained.

As we learn more about the possible connections between these two diseases, there’s hope it will lead to new advancements that could improve health outcomes for both. It may prove to be the case, then, that maintaining a healthy mouth promotes a healthy heart, and vice-versa.

If you would like more information on the connection between gum disease and heart disease, 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 “Periodontal Inflammation and Heart Disease.”

Fresno, CA Dentist
Curt P. Posey, DDS, INC.
7078 N. Maple Ave. Ste #105
Fresno, CA 93720
(559) 227-6755
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