Crown lengthening is a procedure some dentists choose to do for their patients, although many refer patients to a periodontist instead for this process. Crown lengthening involves removing gum tissue and bone around the tooth socket to expose more of the tooth. When there is sufficient tooth and bone structure available, crown lengthening can be an effective way to expose enough of the sound tooth for prosthetic restoration.
However, there are challenges with this procedure. There are often variations in the height of the tooth after removal of tissue and bone, and these variations can affect the success of the procedure. If not enough tooth is exposed, it can lead to a failed crown attachment or pain.
In addition, removing bone for a crown lengthening procedure can damage the bony support of adjacent teeth, and bone removal may prevent using a dental implant in the future, should the crown fail.
An alternative to surgical crown lengthening can be orthodontic forced eruption, or using orthodontics to move the tooth upward so that more surface is exposed (similar to using braces to move teeth into proper position). This procedure is simple and non-invasive, and it doesn’t require the removal of bone. In forced eruption, the tooth is extruded to expose more surfaces by bracketing adjacent teeth and using light force. The procedure is cost effective and typically takes a couple of months. In this case, an orthodontic solution can be preferable to a periodontal one.
And should the eruption procedure not work as hoped, your dentist can still provide other options to correct the problem.
Have specific questions about this blog post, or about other methods of saving a tooth with a crown or other prosthetic? Use the “Ask the Expert” feature on our website, and we’ll respond promptly.
Tags: Armstrong and Eshleman, Charlotte Dental Blog, Charlotte Dentistry, Charlotte Dentistry Cosmetic Dentistry, clean teeth, confident smiles, Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Health, Dental tips, General Dentistry, good dental health, Thomas W. Armstrong DMD
Charlotte Dentistry® encourages young people to consider the dental profession, and welcomes any questions you may have.
Many people have their wisdom teeth (third molars) removed as young adults. This is done when there is not enough room in the patient’s mouth and the tooth may become “impacted,” or unable to break through the gums. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) nine out of ten people have at least one Impacted wisdom tooth.
An impacted tooth may damage adjacent teeth, or it can become infected, causing gum disease or even systemic infections that can affect the heart, kidneys or other organs. Cysts may form, growing and hollowing out the jaw while also potentially damaging nerves.
And research suggests that when periodontal disease becomes established in the third molar region, it can be persistent even with proper dental hygiene.
For some people, wisdom teeth emerge normally and they have no pain from them. Some people don’t have third molars, a phenomenon that may be becoming more common. But if a patient has third molars, and the patient is pain free, what is the best course of treatment?
The answer is careful monitoring and regular cleanings and checkups (including x-rays) to make sure no changes are occurring. Age is also a consideration, the younger the patient is, when wisdom teeth are removed, the faster and easier the recovery because the roots of the tooth have yet to form completely and the bone surrounding the teeth is softer.
Would you like to know more? Use the “Ask the Expert” feature on our website.
Tags: Armstrong and Eshleman, Charlotte Cosmetic Dentistry, Charlotte Dental Blog, Charlotte Dentistry Cosmetic Dentistry, Charlotte Dentistry Invisalign, Childrens Dentistry, clean teeth, confident smiles, Dental Health, Dental tips, General Dentistry, good dental health, Straight Teeth, Thomas W. Armstrong DMD
April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and Charlotte Dentistry® is helping its patients better understand this disease and treatment as part of the event.
Alcohol abuse has been identified as the second largest risk factor for oral cancer, behind tobacco. Alcohol can dehydrate the mouth, causing cell damage, and nutritional deficiencies that can come from heavy drinking may also lower the body’s ability to utilize antioxidants to prevent cancerous cells from forming.
Alcohol abuse can also lead to cirrhosis of the liver. A symptom of this disease can be a change in mouth and throat tissues, and while researchers are still studying this phenomenon to see if there is a link with oral cancer, there seems to be evidence suggesting this.
When used in conjunction with tobacco (as it often is), alcohol can be an especially troublesome carcinogen. The dehydrating effect makes it easier for the carcinogens in tobacco to penetrate cell walls, enhancing their impact.
But even if you’ve used alcohol and tobacco to excess, you can still make changes. Eliminating tobacco, and eliminating or reducing alcohol intake can immediately reduce oral cancer risk.
In fact, within 10 years, you can reduce your risk of oral cancer to that of any other non-smoker or non-drinker. Something, certainly, to consider.
Would You Like To Know More about alcohol use and oral cancer? Use the “Ask The Expert” feature on our website, call us, or bring in questions during your next office visit.
We are delighted to share information that can improve your health and your life.
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Tags: Armstrong and Eshleman, Charlotte Cosmetic Dentistry, Charlotte Dental Blog, Charlotte Dentistry, clean teeth, confident smiles, dental education, Dental Health, good dental health, Thomas W. Armstrong DMD
April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and Charlotte Dentistry® is helping our patients better understand this disease and treatment as part of the event.
Oral cancer has been a particularly destructive disease because it is frequently diagnosed later than other forms of cancer, often after it has spread. But like other cancers, there are more and improved treatments available to combat oral cancer.
Treatment of oral cancers typically is multidisciplinary, involving multiple parties, including surgeons, radiation oncologists, chemotherapy oncologists, dental practitioners, nutritionists, and rehabilitation and restorative specialists.
Most cases of oral cancer involve surgery and radiation. Chemotherapy is often added to make cancer cells more sensitive to radiation, or to decrease the possibility of the cancer metastasizing, or spreading, to other parts of the body.
Depending on how quickly the cancer is diagnosed and treated, treatment and recovery may be simple or require long periods of reconstructive surgery and therapy. In severe cases, patients may require prosthetics to replace parts of the jaw or oral cavity.
As with all cancers, the key to minimizing damage is early detection. Charlotte Dentistry carefully screens all patients for symptoms of oral cancer as a part of every examination. And we encourage patients to ask questions about oral cancer so they can learn more about the disease and monitor their own health.
If you have a question, or have noticed something unusual about your tongue, gums, teeth, or other part of your mouth, please don’t hesitate to call us at 704.376.6470 or if you would like to know more, use the “Ask The Expert” feature of our website. We will respond right away!
You can also learn more at www.OralCancerFoundation.org.
Tags: Armstrong and Eshleman, Charlotte Cosmetic Dentistry, Charlotte Dental Blog, Charlotte Dentistry, Charlotte Dentistry Invisalign, confident smiles, dental business tips, dental education, Dental Health, Dental tips, General Dentistry, good dental health, oral cancer, Thomas W. Armstrong DMD
April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and this is an issue we believe is especially important.
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, close to 42,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year. It will cause over 8,000 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day.
Of those 42,000 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years. (Approximately 57%) This is a number which has not significantly improved in decades.
This is why awareness is so important. Oral cancer has a higher mortality rate than many other more common cancers, not because it’s harder to treat, but because it is often detected later than other cancers. By the time oral cancer is caught, it may have already spread. And that’s a serious problem.
At Charlotte Dentistry®, every procedure, even routine cleanings, includes a screening for oral cancer and other abnormalities. This early detection can mean much simpler treatment and faster recovery, and it could even save your life.
Oral cancer typically starts as a small sore or white/red spot anywhere in the mouth, including the gums, cheek, lips, or palate. Other symptoms can include:
- A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal.
- A color change of the oral tissues.
- A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area.
- Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips.
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue.
We have better tools than ever for detecting and treating oral cancer in its early stages. If you notice any changes in your mouth that don’t seem normal, call us immediately at 704-376-6470 for a checkup.
Would You Like to Know More? Use the “Ask The Expert” feature on our website. It may be something that doesn’t merit concern, but if not, we can help you catch it early.
Click HERE to schedule your appointment today.
Tags: Armstrong and Eshleman, Charlotte Dental Blog, Charlotte Dentistry, Charlotte Dentistry Cosmetic Dentistry, Charlotte Dentistry Invisalign, confident smiles, Dental Health, Dental tips, General Dentistry, good dental health, Thomas W. Armstrong DMD, tooth pain
Taquana “Tabby” Sears, a Charlotte Dentistry® patient, has agreed to share her Invisalign® experience with us on a regular basis. For the last several months, she’s given us reports on how she’s doing with Invisalign® invisible braces, including ups and downs. Below is her latest blog entry.
I am pleased to say, my Invisalign Ride is officially over! It has been a little over 2 years and I must say it was well worth the wait. I love my smile!
This journey has definitely had its ups and downs. However, it has definitely taught me a few things. It taught me how to take great care of my teeth. I call it “protecting my investment.” I am diligent about brushing and flossing after every meal. By doing this, my routine cleanings are much easier.
This journey has also taught me discipline. I used to be a huge “snacker” throughout the day. Since I was required to wear my trays 20 hours per day, there was no time for snacks. So, I lost a whopping 20 pounds during this journey! Thank you Invisalign!
Straightening my teeth with Invisalign was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It has definitely boosted my confidence. I used to cover my mouth when I smiled because I was embarrassed about my teeth. Not anymore.
I’m proud of my teeth!! Now, I show my biggest smile to everyone I meet.
I am forever thankful for Dr. Armstrong and Charlotte Dentistry for their excellent care. They were very helpful and informative throughout this entire process. They explained things as we traveled this journey together and celebrated with me as this journey was completed.
Thank you for following my Invisalign ride! I hope it helps you make the decision to straighten your teeth with Invisalign® at Charlotte Dentistry!
Would You Like To Know More? Click HERE to schedule your FREE Invisalign consultation today! Or ask your questions HERE at our “Ask-The-Expert“ feature.
Tags: Armstrong and Eshleman, Charlotte Dental Blog, Charlotte Dentistry, Charlotte Dentistry Cosmetic Dentistry, Charlotte Dentistry Invisalign, clean teeth, Clear braces, confident smiles, Dental Health, Dental tips, Invisalign, Invisalign Charlotte Dentistry, patient blogs, patient experiences, Taquana, Thomas W. Armstrong DMD
If you suffer from diabetes, you need to pay closer attention to your dental health than someone without the disease. Diabetics are twice as susceptible to gum disease such as gingivitis. Gum disease may also have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes.
Good dental hygiene is critical for diabetics. So is getting regular checkups from your dentist. Your dentist and your doctor are important allies in your fight against diabetes, so make sure that you communicate with them and let them know how to communicate with each other.
Your regular dental checkups are important because your dentist may spot changes in your mouth that signal issues your doctor should consider. When both your medical professionals are working together, you have a much stronger defense against disease progression.
And simple things—like regular flossing and using toothpaste that is formulated for gum health—also and make a big difference. In fact, it’s the small steps that you take every day that can make a big difference in how well you can manage your diabetes and enhance your quality of life.
Would You Like to Know More? Use the “Ask the Expert” feature of our website, give us a call at 704.376.6470 or feel free to ask as many questions as you like during your next checkup. Preparing a list of questions before your dental and doctor visits is a good plan.
Tags: Armstrong and Eshleman, Charlotte Dental Blog, Charlotte Dentistry, confident smiles, Dental Health, Dental tips, good dental health, Invisalign Elite Preferred Provider, Thomas W. Armstrong DMD
We have all done it. Put off making that pesky dental appointment because you’re not sure who to trust with your smile… only to realize later that procrastination not only leads to pain in your mouth but a lighter wallet as well.
Everyone is concerned with the cost of dental treatment, so finding a dentist that participates with your family’s insurance is usually the most cost effective way to manage expenses, right? Not necessarily.
Insurance companies make it sound as though you will be saving tons of money by seeing only providers that are listed as “in network”. While this may be true in some instances, it is not always the best rule of thumb. Finding an office that is most suited for you and your family may take some research as all doctors and their staff work differently. Just because an office is contracted with your insurance company doesn’t mean they enjoy seeing children, offer digital x-rays, or will work with the specialists you’ve been seeing for years.
By seeing a doctor that is contracted with your insurance company, you’re simply being guaranteed a specific list of fees. The clerical staff will be able to quote within a few dollars (usually) of what your out-of-pocket expense will be. By seeing a doctor who is not contracted, the out-of-pocket may, or may not be higher – it all depends on what is “reasonable and customary” in your area. Without sitting down with a list of fees and boring procedure codes, you would never be able to determine if you’re actually saving money by seeing an in network provider.
At Charlotte Dentistry®, we don’t believe in letting insurance dictate the best course of treatment. We believe in delivering exceptional customer service and the very best dental care. While we are in network with several insurance plans for local employers, we also accept and file most other policies. Our staff strives to eliminate the guess work when it comes to dental expenses because we don’t like surprise statements in the mail, either! We are able to contact your insurance company specifically and find out your costs (sometimes down to the penny!) before you are expected to pay a thing.
Call us today at 704.376.6470 and let us tell you how we are able to work with your insurance to maximize your benefits! And remember we have a staff of wonderful professionals ready to answer all your Dental Questions at our Ask the Expert feature.
~Written By Rachael Armstrong
Tags: Armstrong and Eshleman, Charlotte Cosmetic Dentistry, Charlotte Dental Blog, clean teeth, Clear braces, confident smiles, Dental Health, Dental Insurance, Thomas W. Armstrong DMD
Candy is a great way to show you care about someone, but even better is when you go a step further.
Valentine’s Day sweets don’t necessarily show a lot of love for your smile. But there are ways to make taking care of your loved ones’ teeth part of the holiday fun.
Many parents celebrate the holiday by giving their kids Valentine’s candy, and though dental professional stress moderation with sugary treats, most discourage depriving kids of holiday experiences. Treats shouldn’t be forbidden (that can create a lot of other issues)–kids just need to know that with them comes some responsibility.
So here are some tips for making Valentine candy a sweeter experience for everyone’s teeth.
1. As you’re picking up candy, also get new toothbrushes along with their favorite tooth paste for everyone. Brushes should be changed every 3-4 months, and having a new brush reinforces the idea that brushing is an important part of the holiday. (If you followed the same procedure at Halloween, Valentine’s Day is a great reminder to change brushes again.)
2. Designate times for treats, followed immediately by brushing. No one should nosh on candy all day long (or too close to meals or bedtime), so pick times for kids to enjoy their sweets. Follow up right after with brushing.
3. Remember that quality can be much better than quantity. So instead of a big bag of candy, smaller supplies of better chocolates can limit the risk of sweets. In fact, you can impress your sweetheart with a combination of flowers, cards, and just a couple of great sweets, because you’ve obviously put a lot of thought into choosing “just the right mix” of gifts.
Want to know more? Use the “Ask the Expert” feature of our website to get questions answered and to learn other good dental care tips.
Tags: Armstrong and Eshleman, Charlotte Cosmetic Dentistry, Charlotte Dental Blog, Charlotte Dentistry, Charlotte Dentistry Invisalign, clean teeth, Clear braces, confident smiles, Dental Health, Dental tips, General Dentistry, good dental health, Invisalign, Invisalign Elite Preferred Provider, Thomas W. Armstrong DMD
Part of our ongoing series on careers in dentistry. Charlotte Dentistry® encourages young people to consider the dental profession, and welcomes any questions you may have.
Dentistry, like any business, continually changes. New techniques and materials become available, and it’s important for a new dentist to stay up to date on these. This builds your credibility—and it also puts you in a position to take advantage of new ideas faster than established practices which may have invested heavily in old techniques and are more reluctant to change.
All professions require continuing education, and that should be part of helping keep your practice fresh. But that’s just meeting the requirements of the law. To really make sure your practice stays on the leading edge, you typically need to do more.
So it’s good to set aside some time periodically to look at new ideas. Don’t limit these to dental procedures. Also look to see if there are better ways to run your business, communicate with your customers, and develop and manage your staff.
In many cases, you may find that a combination of ideas relating to different areas of your practice are what really helps you build your business.
Questions? Use the “Ask the Expert” feature of our website.
Tags: Armstrong and Eshleman, Charlotte Dental Blog, Charlotte Dentistry, Charlotte Dentistry Cosmetic Dentistry, Charlotte Dentistry Invisalign, Childrens Dentistry, confident smiles, Cosmetic Dentistry, dental business tips, Dental Health, Dental tips, General Dentistry, good dental health, Invisalign, Thomas W. Armstrong DMD