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Posts for: December, 2016

By Curt P. Posey, DDS, Inc.
December 17, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   retainers  

Moving your teeth to a more functional and attractive alignment is a big undertaking. You can invest months — even years — and a lot of expense to correct a bad bite. But all that effort could be for nothing if your teeth return to their original positions.

The very aspect of dental physiology that makes orthodontics possible can work against you in reverse. Your teeth are not actually rigidly fixed in the bone: they're held in place by an elastic gum tissue known as the periodontal ligament. The ligament lies between the tooth and the bone and attaches to both with tiny fibers.

While this mechanism holds the teeth firmly in place, it also allows the teeth to move in response to changes in the mouth. As we age, for example, and the teeth wear, the ligament allows movement of the teeth to accommodate for the loss of tooth surface that might have been created by the wear.

When we employ braces we're changing the mouth environment by applying pressure to the teeth in a certain direction. The teeth move in response to this pressure. But when the pressure is no longer there after removing the braces or other orthodontic devices, the ligament mechanism may then respond with a kind of “muscle memory” to pull the teeth back to where they were before.

To prevent this, we need to help the teeth maintain their new position, at least until they've become firmly set. We do this with an oral appliance known as a retainer. Just as its name implies it helps the teeth “retain” their new position.

We require most patients to initially wear their retainer around the clock. After a while we can scale back to just a few hours a day, usually at nighttime. Younger patients may only need to wear a retainer for eighteen months or so. Adults, though, may need to wear one for much longer or in some cases permanently to maintain their new bite.

Although having to wear a retainer can be tedious at times, it's a crucial part of your orthodontic treatment. By wearing one you'll have a better chance of permanently keeping your new smile.

If you would like more information on caring for your teeth after braces, 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 “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers.”

By Curt P. Posey, DDS, Inc.
December 02, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Learn more about dental implants from your Fresno dentist.

Your smile doesn't have to change forever after tooth loss. Dental implants offer a long-lasting solution to a lost tooth. Dr. Curt Posey, dental implantsyour Fresno, CA dentist, explains how you can benefit from dental implants.

What are dental implants?

A dental implant looks like a small metal screw. It's placed in an opening in your jawbone during a minor surgical procedure and soon bonds to the bone, replacing your natural tooth roots. Bonding usually takes about three to six months. In some cases, you may need a bone graft before you can receive the implant, which lengthens the process slightly. After bonding occurs, your dentist attaches a crown to the top of the implant.

Implants improve your smile in several ways

Dental implants offer these benefits:

  • A Complete Smile: Losing a tooth can affect your self-esteem, particularly if the gap in your smile is very noticeable. Dental implants close the gap and help you feel much better about your appearance.
  • No More Soft Food: The loss of one or more teeth can make chewing much more difficult. You may have trouble eating hard foods or must cut foods into tiny pieces. Once you receive your new crown, you'll be able to eat whatever you want. Since the implant is securely anchored in your jawbone, it's just as stable as your natural teeth and doesn't decrease your biting power.
  • Easier Cleaning: Losing a tooth can have consequences that you never expected. Sometimes, your other teeth begin to drift toward the opening after you lose a tooth. As the teeth try to fill the gap in your smile, they start to overlap. Removing plaque from these areas becomes impossible, which can raise your risk of tooth decay. Dental implants prevent teeth from moving and make brushing and flossing easier.
  • Reduced Chance of Jawbone Weakening: Did you know that the roots of your teeth keep your jawbone strong by exerting constant pressure on it? When you lose a tooth, the area of the bone underneath eventually begins to shrink, which can lead to sagging of the muscles in your lower face and tooth loss. Dental implants help you avoid these problems by preventing jawbone loss.

Dental implants can transform your smile! Call Dr. Posey, your Fresno, CA dentist, at (559) 227-6755 to schedule your implant consultation.

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