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Orthodontics

Orthodontics is the term for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of dental and facial irregularities. Common orthodontic problems, or malocclusions, that require treatment include crooked teeth, crowding, spacing, protruding upper teeth, overbite, underbite, open bite and crossbite. Appliances such as braces are used to correct malocclusions by moving the teeth and jaw into proper alignment. Treatment is designed to help the patient both aesthetically (by improving the smile) and functionally (by improving the bite). Patients who undergo orthodontic treatment often enjoy greater self-confidence with their new smile.

Orthodontic treatment can help patients of all ages, although treatment is most effective as soon as a problem is detected. Children should have an orthodontic exam before they turn 7 to detect and treat any problems early and to ensure optimal results. It is important to treat malocclusions before problems worsen or cause tooth decay, gum disease, surface wearing, stress on the gum and bone, jaw misalignment, headaches or face and neck pain.
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Dentures

Patients who have lost their natural teeth due to decay, periodontal disease or injury can suffer from related problems including further decay, difficulty eating and speaking, and drooping of facial muscles. Full and partial dentures replace the missing teeth both aesthetically and functionally, providing support and restoring the smile. Full (complete) dentures are used when all of the natural teeth have been lost, while partial dentures fill in the gaps between natural teeth. The gums, dentures and any remaining natural teeth will need to be cleaned regularly to prevent staining, sores and plaque build-up.
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Sleep Apnea

People with sleep apnea stop breathing while they sleep, sometimes hundreds of times per night, sometimes for a minute or longer. Sleep apnea affects about 18 million people of all ages in the U.S. and takes three forms: obstructive, central and mixed. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common form, occurs when the soft tissue at the back of the throat closes, blocking (obstructing) the person's airway. The airway remains open in central sleep apnea, but the brain does not send signals to the muscles involved in breathing. Mixed sleep apnea combines aspects of the obstructive and central types. A common warning sign of sleep apnea is snoring (especially snoring interspersed with gasps or lack of breathing) although the two are not always related.

Because sufferers are roused from sleep briefly to resume proper breathing, disrupting and lowering the quality of a person's rest, sleep apnea can cause a number of problems. If left untreated, it can result in high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stroke, memory problems, weight gain, impotency, headaches, and daytime fatigue leading to job impairment and motor vehicle crashes.

There are a variety of treatments available for sleep apnea, including oral appliance therapy, mandibular repositioning and tongue-retaining devices, nasal sprays, traditional surgery, laser-assisted uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (not usually recommended) and nasal surgery. If you think you are suffering from sleep apnea, talk with your dentist. He or she will discuss which treatment is right for you.
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TMJ

Chronic facial pain -- pain in or around the ear, tender jaw, clicking or popping noises when opening the mouth, headaches and neck aches -- may arise from many easily identifiable and treatable causes, including a sinus infection, tooth decay or gum disease. But sometimes the source is more elusive . and it may be TMD, a group of often painful disorders affecting the jaw and chewing muscles,. Common causes of TMD include:
  • Trauma to the head or neck
  • Oral habits such as clenching or grinding of the teeth
  • "Bad" bite or missing teeth
  • Arthritis
  • Malalignment of the upper and lower jawbones
Reversible or temporary treatments for TMD include arthocentesis (lavage), stress-reducing exercises, muscle relaxants, mouth protectors to prevent teeth grinding, soft foods, heat/ice packs, avoidance of extreme jaw movements. More extensive treatments may take the form of correctional surgery or pain-relief injections, although surgery may aggravate the problem and is therefore not usually recommended.
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Wisdom Teeth

When they are correctly aligned, wisdom teeth pose no threat to the mouth and may even be helpful. Often, though, problems develop that necessitate their removal. When the jaw is too small to accommodate the extra teeth, they may erupt sideways (impacted), part of the way, or not at all. Improperly erupted wisdom teeth have the potential to damage nearby teeth, bone and roots, and invite bacterial infection, which in turn leads to pain, swelling, jaw stiffness and other problems. Removal by an oral surgeon is swift and effective.

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Teeth-grinding

Teeth-grinding, or bruxism, occurs when the jaws are clenched and the teeth grind against one another during sleep. Stress and anxiety are often blamed, but sleep disorders, abnormal bite and missing or crooked teeth may also be the culprits. If left untreated, bruxism can lead to headache, sore jaw and painful, loose or fractured teeth.
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Bleaching

Bleaching products brighten teeth that have been stained or darkened by food, tobacco use, injury or aging. In-office bleaching takes place over a series of one-hour appointments at the office. First, your teeth will be examined and cleaned to make sure there are no cavities, loose fillings, gum problems or other issues that may be exacerbated by the bleaching process. A custom-fit mouthtray will be made for your teeth. Then the bleaching gel is applied to your teeth in the tray.
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Veneers

Veneers are very thin, tooth-colored shells that are custom-fit and bonded to the front sides of teeth to close gaps, cover stains and discolorations, and correct chipped or misshapen teeth to give you a bright, even, attractive smile.
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Crowns

Crowns are used to strengthen and improve the shape, size or color of teeth. They can support broken or weak teeth or those with large fillings; provide a smooth, strong, attractively contoured surface for stained, misshapen or otherwise abnormal teeth; and aid in the implantation of bridges and other implants.
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Bridges

Bridges are natural-looking tooth replacements which help maintain facial structure, reduce stress on the jaw and fill in the gaps caused by missing teeth. Fixed bridges are cemented to the existing teeth and do not come out. Removable bridges can be taken out and cleaned at home.
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Sealants

Good oral hygiene - brushing and flossing daily - and a healthy diet are the best way to prevent plaque build-up in the mouth. But even the most thorough brushing does not always reach the deepest indentations in the back teeth (molars). Dental sealants fill in these depressions, preventing bacterial formation that causes tooth decay and other damage. In a procedure that takes only a few minutes per tooth, the dentist cleans the tooth, applies an acid solution to roughen the surface, and bonds a plastic sealant to the tooth. A special light may be used to speed the hardening process. Sealants can help both adults and children, and may be re-applied every few years.
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Dental Implants

Dental implants provide a stable base for replacement teeth that look, feel and work like natural teeth. With dental implants, a person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat and smile with confidence. Implants can replace one tooth or several missing teeth.

Dental implants are cylinders made of titanium that are surgically implanted into the jaw. The jaw bone grows around the base of the implant, while the top protrudes through the gums. Once they are secure in the jaw, the posts serve as anchors for tooth replacements such as fixed crowns and bridges and secure removable dentures.
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