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Posts for: April, 2014

By Golden Dental
April 17, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures

Is there a single orthodontic appliance that can help your child get a wider, better-looking smile, correct problems with the bite, make room in a crowded upper jaw for new teeth to erupt (come in)... and shorten the overall time he or she will need to wear braces? The answer is yes: It's the palatal expander, a device that works with the natural growth patterns of a child's mouth, and offers dramatic results.

What's a palatal expander? Basically, it's a custom-made orthodontic appliance that fits between the rows of back teeth at the top (roof) of the mouth, close to the palate. After it has been put in place, it can be tensioned with a special key. Because it is contained inside the mouth, it's invisible when worn — but its benefits are easy to see.

How does it work? The palatal expander takes advantage of the fact that the left and right halves of a child's upper jaw bone don't completely fuse (knit together) until sometime after puberty. Until that happens, the upper jaw is relatively soft and easy to manipulate. When tension is applied, the palatal expander gently moves the bones apart, just like braces do for teeth. Then new bone tissue naturally fills in the space.

The appliance is tightened daily for a few weeks — while spacing improves dramatically — and then it's left on for several weeks more to stabilize the expansion. The total time a child needs to wear it is generally 3-6 months. After that, a set of braces can be put on if needed. So, what's so great about a palatal expander?

For one thing, the device can correct a crossbite, which occurs when the back top teeth bite inside (instead of outside) the bottom teeth. For another, expanding the upper jaw can relieve the condition known as crowding, which happens when the jaw isn't big enough to accommodate all the teeth. A related situation — impacted teeth — occurs when a tooth that hasn't yet erupted is blocked by another tooth above it. Both these conditions formerly required tooth extraction: an invasive and sometimes complicated procedure. Both can now be remedied by a palatal expander.

But maybe the biggest plus to a youngster — where a month can seem like an age — is the prospect of having to wear braces for less time. And that alone is a good reason to smile.

If you have questions about palatal expanders, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Palatal Expanders” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”

dental implantYou have a missing tooth or two, and you decided on a dental implant as the procedure for you. It’s great that you are being proactive about your tooth loss. If you left it untreated, you would be setting yourself up for more dental issues. An implant isn’t done in one day, and it shouldn’t be rushed. To make sure you are choosing the best restorative option, you need to get an exam.

What to expect during a dental implant exam

Your oral health is important and should be a top priority in your life. Healthy teeth and gums make it easy to speak, eat and smile. All dental treatments require precise attention to detail. In regards to dental implants, the preliminary exam is very important. It reveals your health background, oral hygiene habits and current dental situation.

Dental X-rays

One of the first things your dentist will do is take X-rays of your jaw, focusing on the affected area. At Golden Dental, Dr. Roland Markarian, Lancaster dentist, will do a digital and panoramic digital X-ray of your teeth and jaw. For a dental implant, your dentist needs to know the height of available jawbone near the missing tooth. Why is that important?
When you lose a tooth, there is nothing to stimulate the jawbone, so it can start to resorb. For osseointegration (process of bone cells attaching to implant) to be successful, there needs to be a sufficient amount of bone for the implant to anchor.

Periodontal exam

Periodontal (gum) disease is the number one cause of tooth loss. Dental trauma and tooth decay could have caused the tooth loss, but first, your dentist needs to rule out periodontal issues. If gum disease is present, it needs to be taken care of before going forward with an implant. Severe gum disease breaks down tissue, jawbone and the tooth root. If this isn’t treated, a dental implant might not succeed.

Tooth-by-tooth assessment

Before undergoing a dental implant, you should take care of other dental abnormalities, ranging from cavities to chipped/cracked teeth.
A preliminary implant exam will determine whether a dental implant in Lancaster is right for your dental situation. If you need a consultation for dental implants in Lancaster, call (661) 948-8100.


Here’s a quick quiz: What recent activity did domestic guru Martha Stewart share via social media for the first time? Need a hint? Was she following the lead of other celebrities like rapper 50 Cent (AKA Curtis James Jackson III), actress Demi Moore and country music star LeAnn Rimes?

Give up? The answer is… she live-tweeted her visit to the dentist! Not only that, she also posted pictures of her mouth as she was undergoing an in-office whitening procedure.

Now, we understand that some might feel they don’t need to see close-ups of Stewart’s teeth under treatment. But we have to admire her for not trying to hide the fact that she’s had the same procedure that has benefited so many people, whether famous or not. Plus, her pictures actually provide a good illustration of how the treatment works.

In-office whitening treatments are the fastest way to brighten up your smile. In a single one-hour visit, your teeth can be lightened by three to eight shades — and that's a big difference! How can we achieve such dramatic results? When you’re under our direct supervision in an office setting, we can use the most concentrated bleach solutions safely and effectively. You can get similar results with custom-made trays and take-home lightening solutions we can prepare for you, but then the process will take longer.

If you look closely at her photos, you’ll see that Stewart’s lips, gums, and face are covered up to prevent any contact with the bleaching solution. She’s also wearing protective eyewear, which not only keeps chemicals away, but also guards her eyes against strong lights, which are sometimes used in conjunction with bleach. When we perform in-office whitening procedures, we use safeguards like these for all of our patients — not just celebrities!

We also perform a complete oral examination before starting any whitening procedure, to be sure you don’t have any underlying conditions that need to be treated before teeth whitening begins. That’s something you just can’t get from an over-the counter whitening product.

Teeth whitening is an effective and affordable way to give your smile a quick boost. But whether you decide to live-tweet your procedure — or keep your fans guessing about why your smile looks so good all of a sudden — that’s up to you.

If you would like more information about the teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Whitening” and “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered.”

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