My Blog

Posts for: January, 2015

By Constance E. Smith, DDS
January 28, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: celebrity smiles   orthodontics   gap  

We all know Madonna, Seal, David Letterman, Anna Paquin and Michael Strahan (of the talk show Kelly and Michael). What do all of these celebrities have in common? Each has a “signature gap” between their front teeth. Given that they have been in the public eye for quite some time, it's not likely that these famous faces will choose to change their well-known smile. In fact, Michael Strahan has publically stated that he will never close his gap.

However, it is not uncommon for people to desire to fix a small gap in their teeth, particularly in advance of important events, such as weddings. Often times, fixing this small gap requires relatively simple orthodontic movements or tooth straightening. Since the teeth don't have to be moved very far, we can usually use simple appliances to correct the issue within a few months.

In order for us to determine your course of treatment, you'll need to make an appointment with our office for a thorough examination. When we examine you, we'll be looking for a number of items that will affect our treatment recommendation:

  • Is there enough room to close the space without creating other bite problems?
  • Are the roots of the teeth in reasonably good position to allow for minor tooth movement to close the space? X-rays will be required to make a proper assessment.
  • Is there an involuntary tongue habit that has pushed the teeth forward and created the gap? If so, this could be difficult to fix quickly.
  • Are the surrounding gum tissues and bone healthy?

Based on our assessment and your individual needs, we may recommend one of the following options:

  • Clear retainers, a computer-generated series of clear retainers customized for your bite to move the teeth
  • Removable orthodontic retainers to which we will attach small springs or elastics to facilitate the minor tooth movement
  • Traditional fixed orthodontic appliances (most commonly known as braces), small metal or clear brackets bonded to your teeth through which tiny wires are used to move the teeth

Regardless of the method we choose, once your teeth have moved into the new position, it is important for you to remember that they must be kept in this position until the bone stabilizes around the teeth. We may therefore advise you to wear a retainer for a few months to a few years, depending on your situation.

If you would like more information about orthodontic treatments, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Minor Tooth Movement.”

By Constance E. Smith DDS PC Family and Cosmetic Dentistry
January 23, 2015
Category: Dentistry
Tags: veneers  

If there's ever a time of the year when you want everything to be picture perfect, it's the new year. When you're starting down the road toward your resolutions, the last thing you want is to do it with yellowed, unsightly teeth! If you are one of the many Americans with a smile you're less than thrilled about, why not do something about it? This year is the perfect year to reclaim your smile and your life by visiting your Jackson dentist, Constance E. Smith, DDS, PC for veneers.

Why Choose Veneers?

Whether you have chipped, broken, discolored or even crooked teeth, veneers are a great way to achieve that picture-perfect smile you've been wanting. Because veneers are applied to the front of your teeth, covering your natural teeth, they easily and completely cover any current imperfections. Plus, veneers are completely natural looking, so no one has to know that the beautiful smile you're sporting isn't your own. Look great and finally get the zest for life you've been missing with a quality pair of veneers from Dr. Smith.

Worried About Visiting the Dentist?

If the idea of visiting a dentist in Jackson leaves you feeling a little apprehensive, you aren't alone. Many people are afraid of the dentist for a variety of reasons. Thankfully, when you visit Dr. Smith, dental fear is one thing you can put behind you. Not only will Dr. Smith provide you with caring and compassionate dental care, but she will work with you ahead of time to help you decide and feel comfortable with the best treatment option for you. If you want a dental experience you can actually enjoy, followed by a smile you'll truly love, call Dr. Smith, your friendly Jackson dentist, and ask about veneers today.

By Constance E. Smith, DDS
January 13, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants   dentures  

Some patients who wear dentures face a kind of Catch-22: their denture fit may have loosened and become uncomfortable over time due to continued bone loss, yet the same bone loss prevents them from obtaining dental implants, a superior tooth replacement system to dentures.

But there may be a solution to this dilemma that combines the stability of implants with a removable denture. A set of smaller diameter implants — “mini-implants” — can support a removable denture with less bone than required by a conventional implant.

Like all living tissue, bone has a life cycle: after a period of growth, the older bone dissolves and is absorbed by the body, a process known as resorption. The forces generated when we bite or chew are transmitted by the teeth to the jawbones, which stimulates new bone formation to replace the resorbed bone. When the teeth are lost, however, the stimulation is lost too; without it, resorption will eventually outpace bone growth and repair, causing the bone mass to shrink.

Removable dentures also can’t supply the missing stimulation — bone loss continues as if the dentures weren’t there; and due to the compressive forces of a denture, bone loss accelerates. As the jawbone structure used to originally form the denture’s fit eventually shrinks, the denture becomes loose and difficult to wear. It’s possible to adjust to the new jaw contours by relining the dentures with new material or creating a new set of dentures that match the current bone mass. Without adequate bone, fixed crowns or bridges anchored by conventional implants may also be out of the picture.

On the other hand, mini-implants with their smaller diameter need less bone than the traditional implant. A few strategically placed within the jaw are strong and stable enough to support a removable denture. One other advantage: these mini-implants can be installed in one visit with local anesthesia and usually without the need for incisions or stitches.

If you would like more information on dentures supported by mini-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 “The ‘Great’ Mini-Implant.”