Posts for: February, 2016
It can be alarming to be awakened in the middle of the night by a screeching, gritting sound coming from your child’s bedroom. No, it’s not a scene from a horror movie: it’s your child grinding their teeth as they sleep — a behavior so prevalent in children under eleven it’s considered normal.
That doesn’t mean, however, you should completely ignore it. While it isn’t harmful for most children, a few can encounter tooth wear, pain or trouble sleeping that calls for some form of intervention.
The causes for tooth grinding and similar habits known collectively as bruxism aren’t thoroughly understood, but in children it’s believed linked to the immaturity of the neuromuscular system that controls chewing. Some point to shifts from one stage of sleep to another — more than 80% of grinding episodes occur in lighter stages of sleep and only 5% to 10% during the deeper Rapid-Eye-Movement (REM) stage. It also seems prevalent in children who snore or have other symptoms of sleep apnea.
One primary concern is how the behavior can affect teeth, particularly through abnormal wear. The teeth, of course, make hundreds of contacts with each other every day during eating, speaking or jaw movement. If, however, the forces generated during these contacts chronically exceed normal parameters, as with bruxism, it can cause accelerated tooth wear. This can result in a higher susceptibility to tooth decay and appearance changes later in life.
If your child is exhibiting problems associated with teeth grinding, there are ways to address it. We may recommend a thin, plastic mouthguard they wear while sleeping that prevents the teeth from making solid contact with each other. We may also refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist if we suspect signs of sleep apnea. And, children under severe psychological stress, which can also trigger teeth grinding, could benefit from behavioral therapy.
The good news is most grinding habits fade as children enter their teens. In the meantime, keep a watchful eye and see us if you notice any indications this common habit is affecting their health and well-being.
If you would like more information on teeth grinding habits, 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 “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”
Chances are, if you have looked into replacement options for your missing tooth or teeth, you have run across dental implants. These restorations allow you to take advantage of a permanent, natural looking solution to your missing teeth. But what is the purpose of dental crowns? Your Clifton, NJ dentist, Dr. Toan Bui of Transcendental, is here to help you understand this revolutionary procedure and determine if it is the best option for you.
How do dental implants work?
Dental implants replace your missing tooth’s root. Your Clifton dentist surgically implants a tiny post, called the fixture, into the jawbone. Over the course of several months, the fixture integrates into the jawbone. This provides a stable foundation for your replacement tooth. The implant’s abutment connects the prosthetic tooth, or dental crown, to the fixture, completing the implant.
Are dental implants right for me?
When a tooth is lost, the bone underneath it lacks stimulation, leading to bone loss. Since dental implants integrate into this same bone, good candidates must have minimal bone loss. An excellent at-home oral hygiene routine is necessary for keeping your implants and natural teeth as healthy as possible. Brush and floss twice a day and see your dentist for regular dental examinations and cleanings twice yearly. This allows your dentist to catch any problems that may arise and decreases the chance of major dental issues.
The procedure for dental implants takes place over two phases. The first is the actual implantation of the implant’s fixture into the jawbone. The integration process requires several months. During this time, a dental laboratory creates the crowns which replace your missing teeth based on molds taken of your mouth. The tooth-shaped crowns are color-matched to the surrounding teeth to ensure the most natural appearance possible. Once the integration process is complete, the second phase of the process begins. Your Clifton dentist affixes the implant’s abutment to the fixture. This serves as a connector for the fixture and the crown. Once the crown is in place on the abutment, the implant is complete. Your new tooth will look, feel and function just like your natural teeth.
For more information on dental implants, please contact your dentist, Dr. Toan Bui, at Transcendental in Clifton, NJ. Call (973) 458-9899 to schedule your appointment today!
Magician Michel Grandinetti can levitate a 500-pound motorcycle, melt into a 7-foot-tall wall of solid steel, and make borrowed rings vanish and reappear baked inside bread. Yet the master illusionist admits to being in awe of the magic that dentists perform when it comes to transforming smiles. In fact, he told an interviewer that it’s “way more important magic than walking through a steel wall because you’re affecting people’s health… people’s confidence, and you’re really allowing people to… feel good about themselves.”
Michael speaks from experience. As a teenager, his own smile was enhanced through orthodontic treatment. Considering the career path he chose for himself — performing for multitudes both live and on TV — he calls wearing an orthodontic device (braces) to align his crooked teeth “life-changing.” He relies on his welcoming, slightly mischievous smile to welcome audiences and make the initial human connection.
A beautiful smile is definitely an asset regardless of whether you’re performing for thousands, passing another individual on a sidewalk or even, research suggests, interviewing for a job. Like Michael, however, some of us need a little help creating ours. If something about your teeth or gums is making you self-conscious and preventing you from smiling as broadly as you could be, we have plenty of solutions up our sleeve. Some of the most popular include:
- Tooth Whitening. Professional whitening in the dental office achieves faster results than doing it yourself at home, but either approach can noticeably brighten your smile.
- Bonding. A tooth-colored composite resin can be bonded to a tooth to replace missing tooth structure, such a chip.
- Veneers. This is a hard, thin shell of tooth-colored material bonded to the front surface of a tooth to change its color, shape, size and/or length; mask dental imperfections like stains, cracks, or chips, and compensating for excessive gum tissue.
- Crowns. Sometimes too much of a tooth is lost due to decay or trauma to support a veneer. Instead, capping it with a natural-looking porcelain crown can achieve the same types of improvements. A crown covers the entire tooth replacing more of its natural structure than a veneer does.
If you would like more information about ways in which you can transform your smile, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the techniques mentioned above by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Whitening,” “Repairing Chipped Teeth,” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”