Posts for: December, 2020
Botox is a type of drug that briefly weakens or relaxes muscles. If you’ve ever heard of it, the first thing that may come into your mind is getting rid of facial wrinkles and lines. However, Botox goes far beyond enhancing one’s appearance. Here at New Hope Cosmetic & Family Dentistry in New Hope, PA, Dr. Dawn Rickert also uses Botox to deal with certain medical and oral conditions.
How Does Botox Work?
Botox is a registered trademark for botulinum toxin. It comes in the form of a refined protein, derived from the bacterium known as Clostridium botulinum. Botulinum toxin obstructs and affects the transmitters of motor nerves that innervate your muscles. Essentially, Botox injections can significantly reduce forceful muscle contractions.
What Can Botox Treat?
Among the most common uses of Botox include treating facial wrinkles and other cosmetic enhancements. But, among its wide array of uses is in the field of dentistry. Your dentist in New Hope, PA, can effectively treat conditions like:
The temporomandibular joint links your jawbone to your skull. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) can generate pain or discomfort in your jaw joint and in the muscles that are involved in jaw movement.
Bruxism is a condition in which you involuntarily grind or clench your teeth. This can give rise to painful oral issues and likewise lead to tooth sensitivity, chipped teeth, and worn down tooth enamel.
If your upper gums appear prominent as your smile, it may lead to self-consciousness or even low self-esteem.
One of the symptoms and effects of certain medical conditions such as bruxism and TMD is chronic facial pain. Another type of facial pain condition that is not caused by other medical conditions is trigeminal neuralgia. Its distinguishable symptom is an abrupt and severe stabbing pain that can sometimes be debilitating.
Chronic daily headaches happen for about more than 15 days a month. It could even last for an interval of six months or more.
A migraine is an excruciating headache that comes with a pulsating sensation or throbbing pain. It can be marked by different symptoms including sensitivity to sound and light, vomiting, and nausea.
Are You a Candidate for Botox?
You can be a good candidate for Botox if you:
- Have no history of any neuromuscular disease (like myasthenia gravis or multiple sclerosis)
- Are not pregnant
- Are at least 18 years of age
- Are physically healthy
To Find Out If You Can Benefit From Botox, Talk to Us
Schedule an assessment here at New Hope Cosmetic & Family Dentistry in New Hope, PA, with Dr. Dawn Rickert by calling (215) 862-2525.
If you're into social media, you might have run across the idea that there's nothing to straightening your teeth. According to some SM influencers, you can even do it yourself with a few rubber bands. But the truth is, the mechanics of moving teeth are much more complex—and taking orthodontics into your own hands can cause extensive dental damage.
In reality, all bite problems (malocclusions) require the advanced knowledge and expertise of an orthodontist to correct them safely and effectively. Some, in fact, may require other devices along with braces or clear aligners to achieve the desired outcome for a particular malocclusion.
Here are a few of those additional tools an orthodontist may use and why they may be needed.
Headgear. Some malocclusions result not just from misaligned teeth, but problems with jaw or facial structure development. To accommodate additional factors like this, an orthodontist may include headgear during treatment, usually a strap running around the back of a patient's head or neck and attached in the front to brackets bonded to the teeth (usually the molars). Wearing this headgear for several hours a day can improve jaw and facial development.
Elastics. Unlike basic rubber bands DIYers might use to move their teeth (often with damaging results), elastics are specialized bands designed for targeted tooth movement. They're needed for bite problems that require moving some teeth and not moving others. As such, elastics can be applied in conjunction with braces to perform either intended task—move or prevent movement for specific teeth.
Anchorage. One of the tools often used with elastics for targeted tooth movement are temporary anchorage devices (TADs). These are typically tiny screws imbedded into the jawbone a short distance from fixed braces. An elastic band connected to the braces at a specific point is then attached to the TAD, which serves as an anchor point for the elastic.
These and other devices can help orthodontists achieve a successful correction for certain individual bite problems. And unlike the DIY methods touted on the Internet, these additional tools help them do it safely.
If you would like more information on straightening teeth through orthodontics, 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 “Orthodontic Headgear & Other Anchorage Appliances.”
In looking at options to replace your missing teeth, you might have heard others rave about dental implants. You're almost sold on this innovative restoration method—but you're a little skittish about the upfront cost.
Here are 3 reasons why getting dental implants to restore your missing teeth is a sound investment.
A solid long-term solution. Based on findings from over 3 million implant installations over the last forty years, more than 95% of implants continue to successfully function after ten years—and many are on track to last decades. That's something that can't be said for other forms of restoration. An implant's large upfront cost could in fact even out over the long-term and ultimately cost less than other restorations that may need to be replaced sooner.
A benefit to bone health. One of the more negative consequences of missing teeth is ongoing bone loss, a process that can continue to occur even when teeth are replaced by dentures or bridges. But bone cells readily grow and adhere to the titanium metal implant imbedded in the bone, slowing or even stopping continuing bone loss. If for no other reason, their positive impact on bone health is a top reason for choosing implants.
A range of choices. Replacing multiple missing teeth individually with dental implants can be quite expensive. But individual tooth replacement is only one of the ways implants could benefit you. It's possible to place just a handful of implants along the jaw to support other types of restorations like bridges and partial or full dentures. Not only is this cost-effective, but the implant-supported restoration may be more stable and secure. And these implants may also contribute to bone health.
But before you make your decision, visit us for a complete dental examination. We'll assess if your dental condition makes you a good candidate for implants, and then provide you more information on the process and costs.
If you would like more information on dental implants, 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 “Dental Implants 101.”
Is your once brilliant smile not as radiant as before? Do you have a dingy, yellow, and stained grin? If you answer “yes” to these questions, professional teeth whitening is your best bet. It’s natural for our teeth to get discolored over time. Whether natural aging, coffee, smoking cigarettes, or wine is the culprit, eliminating stains in your teeth could go a long toward giving your smile the radiance it once had.
Here at New Hope Cosmetic and Family Dentistry in New Hope, PA, we offer take-home whitening kits and in-office bleaching, under the guidance of Dr. Dawn Rickert. The best option for you will depend on various factors, including the kinds of stains you have and how deeply discolored your teeth are.
Teeth Whitening at Home
OTC teeth whitening might work for some, but using a teeth whitening kit that your dentist prescribed would definitely work better and be much safer for your mouth. Take-home whitening kits from dentists can only be sold through licensed dentists, which means that you can be confident the product’s bleach concentration and quality will fit your specific whitening requirements.
Likewise, they come with whitening trays that are custom-made for you to ensure more accurate results and a more comfortable at-home whitening experience. Just make sure to follow your dentist’s directions and you’ll have no issues whitening your smile at home.
Teeth Whitening in The Dentist’s Office
If you’re after faster and whiter results, in-office bleaching is the way to go. This procedure can give you an exceptionally brilliant smile in just one visit to your dentist in New Hope, PA. Using special bleach and special light, you can go out of the office with a brighter and whiter smile in just under an hour. Stringent safety measures will be taken to make certain that your in-office bleaching treatment is as comfortable as possible.
These two teeth whitening options will garner faster and better results as well as safeguard your oral tissues and teeth better than OTC teeth whitening kits. Likewise, undergoing a comprehensive oral examination prior to whitening is a vital step to help ensure that your stains aren’t due to a dental issue, like tooth decay, that requires treatment.
Talk to Us To Learn About Your Options for Teeth Whitening
Set an appointment with your dentist in New Hope, PA, Dr. Dawn Rickert, here at New Hope Cosmetic and Family Dentistry by dialing (215) 862-2525.
Tara Lipinski loves to smile. And for good reason: The Olympic-gold medalist has enjoyed a spectacular career in ladies' figure skating. Besides also winning gold in the U.S. Nationals and the Grand Prix Final, in 1997 Lipinski became the youngest skater ever to win a World Figure Skating title. Now a sports commentator and television producer, Lipinski still loves to show her smile—and counts it as one of her most important assets. She also knows the importance of protecting her smile with daily hygiene habits and regular dental care.
Our teeth endure a lot over our lifetime. Tough as they are, though, they're still vulnerable to disease, trauma and the effects of aging. To protect them, it's essential that we brush and floss every day to remove bacterial plaque—that thin accumulating film on teeth most responsible for tooth decay and gum disease.
To keep her smile in top shape and reduce her chances of dental disease, Lipinski flosses and brushes daily, the latter at least twice a day. She also uses a tongue scraper, a small handheld device about the size of a toothbrush, to remove odor-causing bacteria and debris from the tongue.
Lipinski is also diligent about visiting the dentist for professional cleanings and checkups at least twice a year because even a dedicated brusher and flosser like her can still miss dental plaque that can then harden into tartar. Dental hygienists have the training and tools to clear away any lingering plaque and tartar that could increase your disease risk. It's also a good time for the dentist to check your teeth and gums for any developing problems.
The high pressure world of competitive figure skating and now her media career may also have contributed to another threat to Lipinski's smile: a teeth-grinding habit. Teeth grinding is the unconscious action—often while asleep—of clenching the jaws together and producing abnormally high biting forces. Often a result of chronic stress, teeth grinding can accelerate tooth wear and damage the gum ligaments attached to teeth. To help minimize these effects, Lipinski's dentist created a custom mouthguard to wear at night. The slick plastic surface of the guard prevents the teeth from generating any damaging biting forces when they clench together.
The importance of an attractive smile isn't unique to celebrities and media stars like Tara Lipinski. A great smile breeds confidence for anyone—and it can enhance your career, family and social relationships. Protect this invaluable asset with daily oral hygiene, regular dental visits and prompt treatment for disease or trauma.