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Posts for: August, 2017


If you're currently undergoing orthodontic treatment, you're no doubt looking forward to the day your braces come off. But that won't end your treatment just yet — you'll need to wear a retainer.

Teeth are held secure in the bone of the jaw by an elastic tissue known as the periodontal ligament. As the braces “pull” the teeth to their new position, the ligament stretches and the bone remodels around the teeth. But the ligament also has a tendency to rebound as the tension eases when the braces are removed. The teeth could then return to their original position, especially during the first few months.

To prevent this patients wear an orthodontic appliance known as a retainer. It maintains some of the tension once supplied by the braces to help keep or “retain” the teeth in their new position. Depending on your age and other factors, you'll have to wear one for at least eighteen months; some patients, especially adults, may have to wear one indefinitely.

You may be familiar with a removable retainer, one you can take in and out of your mouth. But there's another type called a bonded retainer that's fixed to the teeth and can only be removed by a dentist. With this retainer a dentist bonds a thin piece of wire to the back of the teeth where it can't be seen. You can feel it, though, with the tongue: an unusual sensation at first, but one easily grown accustomed to.

Unlike their removable counterparts, bonded retainers aren't noticeable, either to others or the wearer. They're especially appropriate for patients who may not be as diligent in wearing a removable retainer.

It does, though, have some disadvantages. The position of the wire running horizontally across several teeth can make flossing difficult. And as with any retainer, removing it could increase the risk of the teeth moving out of alignment.

There are a number of factors to discuss with your orthodontist about which type of retainer is best for your situation. If you do choose a bonded retainer, be sure you work with the dental hygienist on how best to floss the affected teeth. And if you do have it removed, have a removable retainer prepared so you can preserve that smile you've invested so much into obtaining.

If you would like more information on bonded retainers following braces, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

August 22, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers   cosmetic dentistry  

Veneers are one of the most common cosmetic dental treatments and for good reason. Because they can be used to change the veneersshape, size and color of your teeth, they are the perfect option for a range of cosmetic imperfections like chips, cracks, gaps and dental stains. Dr. Thomas English in Conroe, TX, recommends veneers for a brighter, more symmetrical smile.

Get a Smile Makeover with Veneers in Conroe, TX

Whether you have put off fixing your dental problems due to lack of time, or a good old fashioned fear of going to the dentist, veneers are the answer to your problems. Not only are they one of the most minimally invasive cosmetic dental treatments, but they can also help to strengthen your teeth after tooth decay or root canal therapy. The procedure is fairly straightforward. A thin layer of porcelain designed to match your tooth's enamel is bonded directly onto the tooth. With proper care and maintenance, veneers have been known to last between five to ten years, often longer depending on the person.

What Can Porcelain Veneers Do?

Veneers can change the shape, size and color of a damaged tooth. So if your teeth are cracked, chipped, unevenly shaped or spaced, or stained and discolored at the dentin layer (inside the tooth below the enamel layer), porcelain veneers are a great option for repairing and improving your smile. While teeth often become damaged through an accident, sports injury, lifestyle factors like smoking or even from biting into a hard piece of candy, sometimes people just want to enhance what they were born with. Whatever your reason for investing in smile enhancement, porcelain veneers may be exactly what you have been looking for.

Find a Dentist in Conroe, TX

Cosmetic smile imperfections do not have to hold you back. For more information about how veneers can transform your smile, contact our office by calling (936) 756-3611 to schedule an appointment with Dr. English today.

By Thomas J. English, DDS
August 12, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crowns  

Porcelain crowns have been used to restore problem teeth since at least the early 20th Century. Crown technology has gradually progressed from the early use of precious metals like gold or silver to more life-like porcelain crowns, often with a metal interior for added strength. Today, most crowns are all-porcelain, made with newer materials that not only look attractive but can endure under the pressures of daily chewing or biting.

While crowns are often part of restorations for missing teeth, they’re also commonly used to cap or fit over a viable tooth with structural or appearance problems. Here are 4 situations where a crown could improve a tooth’s form and function.

Traumatized teeth. A significant blow to the face or mouth could generate enough force to chip away or fracture a significant amount of structure from a tooth. If the root remains healthy and firmly attached within the jaw, however, a crown can replace the missing structure and restore the tooth’s function and appearance.

Root canal treatments. Root canal treatments remove infected or dead tissue within a tooth’s pulp chamber, its inner core, and the root canals. The procedure rescues the tooth but can in the process significantly alter the tooth’s structure and appearance. A crown not only restores the tooth but also provides added protection against further decay or tooth fracture.

Teeth with multiple fillings. We can effectively treat cavities caused by tooth decay by filling them. But with each filling we must remove more of the decayed structure and shape the cavity to accommodate the filling. After a number of times, a tooth may not have enough structure left to support another filling. If the tooth is still viable, a crown could solve this dilemma.

Abnormally developed teeth. Teeth sometimes don’t erupt in the jaw as they should and may be only partly visible. The tooth not only looks out of place but it can’t fully function like a normal tooth. Capping an abnormally developed tooth with a crown will help normalize it and allow it to blend in with surrounding teeth.

If you would like more information on crown restorations, 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 “Crowns & Bridgework.”