How Late In Life Can One Get Braces?

Nov 26th, 2018
Easton Dentists Nov 26th, 2018

Childhood is frequently viewed as the prime time to get braces. However, more adults of all ages are choosing orthodontic treatment to fix many of their oral health problems and opting for braces. According to The American Association of Orthodontists, one in five people who seek the treatment of braces is over age 18.

While the appearance of a beautiful, straight smile is a common motive for adults to get braces, there are many other reasons why someone might be interested in their later years of life. Whether it is the natural effects of aging, misalignment, or underlying health conditions, it is never too late to seek orthodontic care. In fact, proper teeth alignment becomes even more crucial as people grow older.

 

Braces are more than just creating attractive smiles.

Braces help correct improperly positioned teeth, which will also prevent common oral health issues. Crowding pressure, tooth decay, and the deterioration of enamel can cause a substantial amount of pain and discomfort without the proper treatment. Getting braces to fix the positioning of your teeth can end up saving a lot of distress and money in the long run, no matter the age.

Aging can cause the teeth to shift. As we age, it is not uncommon for our teeth to start moving. As the jawbone changes, the midline shifts from it’s ideal positioning. This can happen even if our teeth have been straight throughout our whole life. The continuous, yet slow shift of the midline can ultimately result in crowding and overlapping of the teeth. Braces can undoubtedly straighten age-related crooked teeth at any age.

Some health conditions contribute to misalignment. While aging is a large factor, sometimes health conditions and injuries can influence our teeth to move in an undesirable way. Periodontal disease, a condition caused by bacteria living under gum tissue, can also lead to the spreading of teeth. Stress is another common factor when it comes to teeth shifting and misalignment. Grinding, clenching, nail biting and tongue thrusting are all examples of unconscious habits that cause wear and tare on your teeth. If an adult is noticing that their teeth are changing their shape and size, they might seek the advice of an Orthodontist to see if braces are right for them.

Problems that were left untreated as a child can get worse with time. Common oral issues, such as a misaligned jaw or bite, can lead to further health complications that might urge a person to be interested in braces. Headaches, TMJ, and gum disease name a few conditions that a person might run into when misalignment is left untreated. As an adult, the getting braces can help correct these issues and improve your overall health and wellness.

Neglecting the use of retainers. Sometimes, adults who have had braces when they were younger may need to go through a second or third course of treatment. This is usually due to not wearing retainers as instructed by their orthodontist. The proper use of retainers long after wearing braces can prevent the teeth from shifting back to its original state. When a previous orthodontic patient neglects that responsibility, the chances are high that their teeth might become crooked again. It is not uncommon to see an adult get braces multiple times throughout their life.

Modern braces make a difference. Sometimes, children and adolescents choose not to wear braces for aesthetic reasons. Now, with more reliable options such as clear brackets and Invisalign, braces are more socially acceptable, even for adults. That is not to mention that braces today are more affordable than they have been in the past. Adults might decide on orthodontic treatment later in life due to financial reasons. Today, most orthodontic offices accept dental insurance and create reasonable payment plans for all patients.

With the right treatment, braces can be beneficial at any age. Braces used to be a type of dental care that was more commonly seen on children and teenagers. Now, statistics show that more than 20% of orthodontic patients are adults, including those in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. It’s never too late to make improvements to our health and wellbeing, which is why more adults are getting braces to straighten their smiles.

Electrical or Manual Toothbrush: Which is Better?

Oct 26th, 2018
Easton Dentists Oct 26th, 2018

This is one of our most frequently asked questions! Our answer? It’s not the brush that matters, it’s who’s doing the brushing.

Let’s break that down. The goal of tooth brushing is to remove plaque from your teeth on a consistent (daily!) basis, so that we prevent the buildup of tartar which leads to tooth decay. A manual toothbrush is a great and inexpensive tool that helps us do just that. Make sure to brush two minutes per day, twice a day. Gently brush ALL surfaces and make sure to reach those back molars.

For some people, it can be difficult to brush properly with a manual toothbrush. Those with some form of motor disability or arthritis may benefit from using an electric toothbrush. An electric brush can also be helpful for kids or anyone with braces.
The same tooth brushing rules apply – two times per day, two minutes at a time. One advantage of an electric toothbrush is that some have a built-in timer. If you’re one of those quick brushers who has a hard time making it to two minutes, consider using a timed electric brush.

At your next dental visit, ask us whether we think you would do better with a manual or electric brush! And, as always, don’t forget to floss!

Are Dental Procedure Costs on the Rise? 

Sep 30th, 2018
Easton Dentists Oct 30th, 2018

Over the last several years, the cost of dental care has been increasing at a faster rate than most healthcare services. With such rapid developments made to dental procedures, technology, and education, the average American cannot afford many of the treatments that are often recommended by dentists. Although most Americans are insured with some form of healthcare, the expense of a dentist visit often outweighs those benefits, especially during the more demanding procedures, such as root canals and tooth extractions. As a result of this abrupt increase in the cost of dental care, research has shown that only 36% of Americans actually go to the dentist on an annual basis. Unfortunately, when cost is the only thing standing in the way of proper dental care, we are either forced to pay the expenses out of pocket or skip the recommended treatment overall. This in turn, can lead to further health complications down the road. 

With such an increase in dental bills, many of us find ourselves wondering why a trip to the dentist is so expensive. Professional dentistry requires extensive knowledge and advanced technology in order to deliver the highest quality of treatment. Studies show that 80% of what a patient pays after their dental procedure goes toward the expense of running an up-to-date dental practice. Considering the cost of office space, payroll of certified staff, health and business insurance, taxes, supplies, and updated technology, it’s no wonder why dental visits are costly. The quality of products that are manufactured in dental labs are also on the rise, resulting in a much higher demand in order to afford reliable crowns, dentures, and other dental products that are being placed inside patients’ mouths.  

Dental Fillings 

Dental fillings have come an extremely long way over the last 150 years. Dental filling advancements that might affect the higher treatment costs, include the variety of updated bonding techniques. Now, we have the option of treating our cavities with dental fillings that blend with the actual color of the tooth, making it more aesthetically pleasing to the patient. Tooth composites are also being produced to be a stronger, more translucent material. While a traditional, silver amalgam filling can cost as little as $50, there are some porcelain fillings that can cost almost $4,500. With so many options to choose from, the price of treating tooth decay will most likely continue to increase. 

Tooth Extractions 

Sometimes, dental procedures require surgical and non-surgical extractions to fix the issues that can’t be treated. While the cost of tooth extractions depend on the difficulty and length of the treatment, the actual procedure usually involves administering anesthesia. Furthermore, the latest anesthesia technology is expensive, and even the most basic forms can get pricey. Depending on the severity, the average tooth removal can cost anywhere from $75 to $700 per tooth. 

Root Canals and Crowns 

Dental procedures, such as crown placements, normally follow a root canal, turning the treatment into a couple weeks worth of dental visits. The cost of a crown is usually tied to the type of material that it’s made of. Dental labs are making the material more durable so that there are less chances of the crown cracking later down the road. The improvements made in the material of dental crowns make the overall costs range from $300-$700. That’s not to mention that the root canal procedure can cost a couple hundred dollars as well. 

Running a Dental Office 

With the rise in modernized dental procedures and technology, running a dental office as a professional can cost a small fortune. A small dental office serving roughly 1500 patients per year can cost several hundred thousand dollars per year to operate.  

Studies have recently shown that more and more people continue to skip the dentist office all together because of the unpleasant bill that comes along with the visit. However, it’s important to remember that the high costs are associated with giving the patient the best quality of care and satisfaction. Dental care is an essential part of living a healthy life, thus why such extensive measures have been taken to make all dental procedures as reliable as possible. 

 

Is the Future of Dentistry Silver?

Feb 26th, 2018
Easton Dentists Feb 26th, 2018

A recent scientific discovery could have big implications for dental practices around the world. This discovery was made by Dr. Carla Meledandri of the University of Otago’s Chemistry department. In fact, the discovery was so significant that Dr. Meledandri received the 2017 Prime Minister’s MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist Prize.

Dr. Meledandri’s discovery was that silver nanoparticles can be used to prevent and treat dental disease without staining the teeth. Nanoparticles are incredibly small parts of a substance. On the nanoscale, these particles look, react, and act differently than they do on a larger scale. Dr. Meledandri has been studying these nanoparticles to better understand how they interact with their surroundings and how they can be used to benefit the world. In addition to discovering their ability to treat and prevent dental disease, Dr. Meledandri found that these nanoparticles may be able to help to mitigate global warming by capturing carbon dioxide and removing it from the atmosphere. These small particles really can make a big impact on the world!

If silver nanoparticles become largely used to treat the bacterial source of tooth decay and infection, the prevalence of antibiotics used to treat this bacteria could be decreased. This could be a great step forward because, although antibiotic treatment often works quite well, it does pose the risk of creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The silver nanoparticles, however, use a different mechanism to treat bacteria. This mechanism makes it impossible for bacteria to ever grow resistant to it.

At The Dental Center, we’re looking forward to seeing how these silver nanoparticles can benefit dental patients in our office and around the world. We’re always inspired to see the innovations that come from exploring our world and investigating new avenues of treatment. We can’t wait to see what new discoveries will improve dental treatment soon!