Complete Family Dentistry Blog - Waukesha , WI
Posts for: February, 2016
It’s true — thumb sucking beyond age 4 can cause bite problems for permanent teeth. But prolonged thumb sucking is just one of a number of possible contributing factors for a bad bite (malocclusion). A dentist must identify all the factors involved when a bad bite is present — their involvement is essential for a successful treatment outcome.
A fairly benign habit for infants and toddlers, thumb sucking is related to an “infantile swallowing pattern” young children use by thrusting their tongues forward between the upper and lower teeth when they swallow. Around age 4, though, they usually transition to an adult swallowing pattern in which the tongue rests on the roof of the mouth just behind the front teeth. Thumb sucking stops for most children around the same time.
Thumb sucking beyond this age, though, can put increased pressure on incoming permanent teeth pushing them forward. This could lead to an “open bite” in which the upper and lower teeth don’t meet when the jaws are closed. The tongue may also continue to thrust forward when swallowing to seal the resulting gap, which further reinforces the open bite.
Before treating the bite with braces, we must first address the thumb sucking and improper tongue placement when swallowing — if either isn’t corrected the teeth could gradually revert to their previous positions after the braces come off. Besides behavioral incentives, we can also employ a thin metal appliance called a “tongue crib” placed behind the upper and lower incisors. A tongue crib discourages thumb sucking and makes it more difficult for the tongue to rest within the open bite gap when swallowing, which helps retrain it to a more normal position.
An open bite can also occur if the jaws develop with too much vertical growth. Like thumb sucking and improper tongue placement, abnormal jaw growth could ultimately cause orthodontic treatment to fail. In this case, though, surgery may be necessary to correct the jaw structure.
With all these possible variables, our first step needs to be a thorough orthodontic exam that identifies all the cause factors for your child’s specific malocclusion. Knowing if and how thumb sucking may have contributed to the poor bite will help us design a treatment strategy that’s successful.
If you would like more information on the causes of poor tooth position, 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 “How Thumb Sucking Affects the Bite.”
Eliminating pain and discomfort is one of our major objectives during dental treatment. To that end, our profession has developed a number of anesthetic drugs and deliveries that ensures your experience in the dentist’s chair is as pain-free as possible.
But there’s another experience many people have with dental care that’s different from physical discomfort — emotional anxiety. These negative emotions can range from nervousness about a procedure to extreme fear. Very often the patient has no control over these emotions — they’ve become imbedded from earlier experiences or the influence of others.
Although each can influence and heighten the other, anxiety and physical discomfort are different and require a different approach. Physical pain and sensation is eliminated through anesthesia, either locally through topical application or injection or generally through intravenous medication that renders a person unconscious. Anxiety, on the other hand, requires first building a trustful relationship with an understanding dentist. But it may also call for certain drugs that sedate — promote a feeling of relaxation — rather than numb sensation.
We’ve incorporated a number of sedative medications in dentistry like Valium or Ativan that work well to reduce anxiety before and during treatment. Many are taken orally, usually just before scheduled treatment, and they dissipate from the system quickly afterward. Some medications also have “amnesic” qualities, meaning you won’t remember anything or little at all about the treatment period. This can be helpful in amassing positive treatment experiences that may diminish negative feelings you’ve developed about dental treatment.
It’s important, though, to find the right types of medication that work well for you. For that reason we’ll take a thorough medical history, including prescription or over-the-counter medications and supplements you’re taking and any medical conditions you may have. It’s also important to discuss your diet (certain foods can inhibit the action of some sedatives) as well as if you use tobacco or regularly drink alcoholic beverages.
Taken properly, oral sedation can effectively reduce your anxiety during treatment. As a result, it will be much easier and pleasant for you to receive the care you need for a healthy mouth.
If you would like more information on reducing anxiety during dental 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 “Oral Sedation Dentistry.”
Find out how you could get a dental crown in just one visit.
Getting dental crowns often seems like quite the process, and we all know how hectic everyone’s schedules already are. The last thing you want to do is come back multiple times to our office for treatment. That’s why our Waukesha, WI dentists, Drs. Karen and Joel Jahimiak and Dr. Cathleen Raz, are offering CEREC crowns--so you can get the restoration your smile needs without wasting your precious time.
Just in the Nick of Time
As we mentioned above, you can get your new CEREC crown or other restorations (inlays, onlays and veneers) in just one visit. This saves you a lot of time and gets you the new, healthier smile you want in no time.
CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, meaning you can get your dental crown right here in our office. No need to send your impressions to a lab. Your Waukesha cosmetic dentist creates your crown or other restoration for you. No more waiting for a lab to make your crown and no more unreliable temporary crowns in the meantime.
No Messy Impressions
In addition to the time CEREC crowns save our patients, there are also some other pros to this cosmetic treatment. For one, the CAD/CAM technology we use to design and fabricate your crown uses digital imaging to take impressions of your tooth. So, there is no more messy putty used to take measurements of your mouth. With a few quick snaps of the camera, we can get even more precise measurements of your tooth to create a crown that fits even better.
The Value of Porcelain Restorations
CEREC crowns are also milled from a block of porcelain. Not only is porcelain strong and durable, but it also looks more like a natural tooth as compared to metal crowns. With CEREC, you won’t have to worry about any metal mouth.
Whether you need to repair a tooth or you need a tooth replacement, let Complete Family Dentistry in Waukesha, WI refresh your smile with our comprehensive list of services and treatments. We are here to improve your oral health!