Dr. Lily Ling received her DMD from Tufts Dental School and completed an advanced education in general dentistry (AEGD) residency at UConn Health Center.
Sherborn Family Dental P.C.
19 N. Main Street, Suite 1B
Sherborn, MA 01770
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Sherborn Family Dental Blog
Posts for: March, 2012
Sherborn Family Dental offers treatment for a range of minor to moderate orthodontic issues through the use of clear aligners by ClearCorrect. Clear aligners can treat a range of issues without the disadvantages of traditional braces.
Like traditional metal braces, clear aligners can straighten your teeth to correct a range of conditions including crowding, spacing, crossbite, overbite, and underbite. For minor to moderate conditions, the cost of treatment using clear aligners is generally equivalent or less expensive than traditional braces. However, clear aligners enjoy several advantages over traditional braces:
- the aligners are nearly invisible while being worn;
- treatment uses comfortable plastic aligners rather than metal braces, reducing irritation to your gums and cheek;
- you can eat all the foods that you currently enjoy;
- you can remove the clear plastic aligners when you want;
- you can brush and floss your teeth normally; and
- lost or broken aligners can be easily and quickly replaced at little to no additional cost.
How the process works
You and your dentist evaluate your teeth and discuss the goals you have for your smile. Once you establish if clear aligners are the right treatment option for you, your dentist will take dental impressions, photos, and x-rays of your teeth .
Your dentist sends those impressions, photos, and x-rays to ClearCorrect with a prescription for your custom aligners. ClearCorrect then uses your records to create 3D models of your teeth. Working together, your dentist and ClearCorrect map out a complete treatment plan of gradual adjustment that takes your teeth from where they are currently to where you want them to be. Once the modeling has been completed, you will be able to preview the projected results of your treatment in a computer representation of your teeth before and after treatment.
Once you are satisfied with the projected results shown in your treatment plan, ClearCorrect fabricates your custom aligners and sends them to your dentist for delivery to you.
Wearing the Clear Aligners
You should wear your aligners all the time (22 hours per day), except while eating and drinking or during daily tooth care, such as brushing and flossing. The aligners are so clear they are barely noticeable so they won't have an impact on your daily life. Aligner by aligner, you will be able to see the difference as your teeth slowly adjust and align to your target smile. You'll visit your dentist periodically for checkups to see how you are progressing.
Unlike the main invisible braces manufacturer on the market, if your teeth aren't aligning as laid out in your treatment plan, you and your dentist can make a midcourse correction to get the process back on track without any additional cost to you. Sometimes teeth move faster or slower than planned, or the upper and lower teeth don't progress at the same rate. This is normal and treatment can be adjusted accordingly. In some cases your dentist will take new impressions of your teeth to adjust the treatment going forward.
You need to wear the aligners 22 hours a day, 7 days a week, for best results. If you don't wear the aligners as prescribed, the treatment will take longer than scheduled. The length of treatment depends on the severity of your specific case but average treatment length is about a year to a year and a half.
Similar to braces, if you move through the aligners too quickly between steps, they can cause unnecessary discomfort. The treatment has been designed to balance patient comfort and overall treatment time. Generally, no individual tooth will be moved more than 0.3 mm per step, and ClearCorrect recommends that each aligner be worn for three weeks until the next aligner is provided.
Information about the Clear Aligners
The aligners are made from medical-grade polyurethane without BPA or phthalates, and have been approved by the FDA. The aligner material has been formulated to achieve exceptional clarity and stain-resistance. From a normal viewing distance, people will rarely notice that you are wearing clear aligners. The aligners have a smooth surface, making them less visible and easy to clean.
Information about ClearCorrect, the Manufacturer of the Clear Aligners
ClearCorrect fabricates your custom aligners at its facility in Houston, Texas. ClearCorrect was founded by dentists in 2006 to serve the dental and orthodontic industry by providing a superior and more affordable clear aligner system.
To speak with Dr. Lily Ling at Sherborn Family Dental about treatment using clear aligners, call us at (508) 545-1050 to schedule a free consultation.
Beyond the potential for weight gain resulting from the sugar (or high fructose corn syrup often substituted for sugar) in soft drinks, soda has become one of the most significant dietary sources of tooth decay today. Acids in the soda, combined with the acidic sugar byproducts caused when enzymes in your mouth digest the sugar in the soda as you drink it, can result in the softening of the enamel on your teeth. This softening of your tooth enamel contributes to the formation of cavities. Long-term consumption of soft drinks has a cumulative effect on tooth enamel. Prolonged exposure to soft drinks can lead to significant enamel loss.
While the acids and sugars contained in fruit juices, ciders, and wine can also reduce the surface hardness of tooth enamel, research indicates that soda is much more damaging per unit consumed. Research has shown that the erosive potential of soda is 10 times that of fruit juices. Further research reports that drinking any type of soft drink damages teeth due to the citric acid and/or phosphoric acid in the beverages. Citric acid is the most erosive acid found in soft drinks and is the most common acid found in non-cola drinks.
Saliva provides a natural defense mechanism, and regular tooth brushing also helps remove the damaging acids. However, typical soft drink consumption – drinking from large (i.e., 20 ounce) beverage containers over a long period of time – gives teeth a fresh coating over time as you consume the soft drink.
Diet Soda Isn’t Any Better for Your Teeth Than Regular Soda
The problem with soda isn’t so much the sugar itself, it’s the acidity. Drinking sugar free sodas is not the solution since they contain similar levels of acid – diet sodas are as acidic as sugary soft drinks. Diet sodas may reduce your calories consumed but they aren’t much better for your teeth.
What You Can Do
You can benefit from reducing the number of soft drinks you consume as well as from proper dental care. Steps you can take:
- Substitute different beverages: choose beverages containing less sugar and acid than soda – these include water, milk, and real fruit juice (not 10% juice in a sugary mix).
- Moderation: consume sugary beverages in moderation, finish them quickly, and drink through a straw (which takes the liquid to the back of your mouth). One of the worst things you can do is sip a very sugary and acidic beverage all day.
- Rinse with water after consuming a soda: flush your mouth out with water to remove the acid left on the enamel of your teeth.
- Use toothpaste and a mouth rinse that contains flouride: fluoride tooth paste reduces cavities and strengthens tooth enamel. Rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash also helps.
- Get professionally applied fluoride treatment: your dentist can apply fluoride directly to your teeth. This is particularly important for Sherborn residents since the town uses private wells rather than a fluoridated public water supply.
Sodas are tough on your teeth. You don’t need to stop drinking all soft drinks but by reducing the amount you drink, practicing good oral hygiene, and seeking help from your dentist, you can largely counteract sodas effects and enjoy better dental health.
Advances in technology are significantly enhancing patient comfort both during and after dental treatment. One of these technologies is the single tooth anesthesia (STA) system for giving dental injections. Pain management for the patient is excellent. Many patients are not even aware that the injection has been given. Patients leave the office without the numbness in their cheek, tongue, or lip that often accompanied traditional syringe injections. At Sherborn Family Dental, we use this STA system and other technologies to enhance your comfort and alleviate the stress associated with going to the dentist.
How the STA system works.
Milestone Scientific’s STA Single Tooth Anesthesia System unit combines patented, state-of-the-art computer-controlled injection technology with your dentist’s training to achieve more precise injections, improved anesthesia delivery, and materially enhanced patient comfort levels. The STA Single Tooth Anesthesia System using the Wand hand-piece is a computer-controlled dental injection system. The flow rate of the local anesthetic is controlled by a computer. This means that the injection is guaranteed to be slow and steady and therefore comfortable. It means less discomfort for you as most of the sting from a traditional dental injection comes from the anesthesia solution being delivered too quickly.
The STA system base unit looks like a computer modem and the Wand hand-piece looks like a pen with a small needle at the tip. With the aid of state-of-the-art technology, the Wand delivers exactly the anesthetic you need at exactly the right rate make your visit as comfortable and anxiety-free as possible.
1. “If it isn’t broken, don't fix it.” There is often little or no pain associated with early stage oral cancer, problems with tooth pulp, and gum disease.
2. “Tooth loss is a normal part of aging.” While tooth decay does increase with age there are many people who reach old age with all of their original teeth so tooth loss is not automatic. If you have taken good care of your teeth all of your life then you have a much greater chance of retaining your teeth even into your later years than someone who has neglected theirs. Tooth loss is usually caused by a condition of the gums (periodontal disease) which is the loss of connective tissue and bone that support the teeth. Gum disease starts before you can see it, usually from lack of regular dental care and poor dental hygiene. Tooth loss can be prevented or reduced through education, early diagnosis, and regular dental care.
3. “Bleeding gums are normal.” Gum disease often happens during the aging process. It can result in swollen gums that bleed even while you brush your teeth. Loss of teeth can occur when food is trapped between the teeth and gums in tiny pockets. You might be tempted to brush your teeth as vigorously as you can but gums are made of delicate tissue, so brushing harder could actually damage your gums. If you have periodontal disease, you should seek treatment to avoid tooth loss.
Three Simple Solutions to Mitigate these Issues
1. Brush and floss. It is best to brush with an extra soft to soft tooth brush and paste. Be sure to brush your teeth, gum line, and tongue thoroughly after every meal. Flossing every day gets rid of debris that tooth brushes can’t reach and is essential to good dental hygiene.
2. Electric tooth brushes and irrigators. Electric tooth brushes are often easier for senior citizens to handle and are very effective in cleaning teeth. Irrigators remove debris from teeth that tooth brushes can miss but can also damage gums if it pushes food particles into gum pockets.
3. Rinse. As the flow of saliva is reduced with age, it’s more likely that food particles will damage your teeth and gums. Rinsing gets rid of these particles. Since some mouth washes are irritating to the gums, dilute it if necessary.