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Clear Tooth Aligners – a good looking alternative to braces!

June 16, 2016

Filed under: Invisalign-type Appliances — Tags: — Dr Gillis @ 5:41 pm

Clear Tooth Aligners – a better looking alternative to braces!

The Answer Is Clear!

Are you a candidate for Clear Tooth Aligners?  Clear Aligners are sometimes called Invisalign.  These appliances are a way to achieve  an improvement in the alignment of teeth without the need for metal wires and brackets.  So, you can get your smile straight without train-track woes!

Clear Aligners mads a big difference for Chloe!

Clear Tooth Aligners mads a big difference for Chloe!

Clear Aligners mads a big difference for Chloe!

Clear Tooth Aligners mads a big difference for Chloe!

When we see things that are askew, there is often the uncontrollable urge to set it right … like a necktie that hangs to one side or a picture hanging crooked on the wall.  This desire for straightening is even more prominent when it comes to our teeth.  However, many forgo treatment to avoid the discomfort and hassle of traditional braces.  Clear tooth aligners let you move your teeth while you are wearing the appliances but allow the option to remove when you just don’t want to have them on!  Important to note that the clear aligners work best when they are worn a minimum of 20 hours per day.

Clear Aligners mads a big difference for Chloe!

Clear Aligners mads a big difference for Chloe! Although the alignment is not perfect, we were very happy with the result.

Adults account for nearly 25% of all orthodontic patients.  The most common problems are crowded teeth, teeth spaced too far apart, protruding upper or lower teeth, and upper and lower front teeth that do not touch.

Misalignment detracts from the an otherwise healthy smile!

Misalignment detracts from the an otherwise healthy smile!

Now there’s no reason to hide … since we offer ClearCorrect™ or Invisalign™ to correct the misalignment of front teeth. Using a series of smooth, comfortable, and virtually invisible plastic aligners similar to a sports mouth guard or bleaching tray, we gradually and gently shift your teeth into the proper position.  Every few weeks, you will receive a new aligner that continues the gradual process of realigning your teeth.  These custom-made aligners are completely removable, so you can eat, drink, brush, and floss normally … then just pop the trays back into place for the rest of the day.

Chloe came in a few years ago unhappy with the appearance of her misaligned teeth.  Clear aligners satisfied her treatment goals without the hassle of brackets and metal wires!  Call our office today for a consultation to see if clear aligner treatment will work for you! You can also reach us at (970) 242-3635.

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS, PC

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health

What is a Swing-Lock Removable Partial Denture?

October 5, 2015

What is a Swing-Lock Partial Denture?Obturator (7 of 16)

Missing teeth can often be replaced with a removable partial denture.  Often the cause of missing teeth is periodontal disease.  Patients with periodontal disease have lost supporting bone around the teeth and the teeth are often slightly loose.  If this is the case, or is many teeth are missing, patients may find it difficult to wear the partial denture that was designed for them.  The denture may feel loose and uncomfortable.  There may be several gaps between the partial and the teeth due to natural undercuts in the teeth that the partial does not fill in.  (Filling in these areas might make it impossible to seat or place a standard partial denture)  An alternative partial denture design is a Swing-Lock Removable Partial Denture.

Swing-Lock Removable Partial Denture

Swing-Lock Removable Partial Denture

The metal framework of this type of partial incorporates a bar that hinges and when the denture is seated this arm of the partial is ‘swung’ towards the teeth where it will usually engage a point on all the remaining teeth and at the end of the bar is a clasp which snaps or presses into a metal piece in the body of the denture.  Once the clasp is closed, there is very little movement of the partial as the individual struts on the swinging arm are engaging undercuts on each of the remaining teeth.  The patient simply unhooks the swinging arm to remove the partial.  The clasps are places in such a way as to be nearly invisible when the patient smiles!

Without Swing-Lock Removable Partial Denture

Without Swing-Lock Removable Partial Denture

Obturator (6 of 16)

Patient is wearing the Swing-Lock Removable Partial Denture

 

Teeth can also be lost for other reasons including severe decay and fractures.   In the case shown here the teeth on one side of the mouth,  and a considerable amount of the palate were removed due to cancer.  Since so much soft tissue is missing it is difficult to get any support from the tissue as you would in a standard partial denture.  So some of the added support needed comes from the ‘locking’ of the Swing-Lock Partial denture hinging free arm into natural undercuts present in the remaining teeth.

Our office is very concerned with helping our patients function and look their best.  Oral health is the primary focus.  We would be happy to offer you suggestions for any dental concerns you may have.  There are always options for your dental treatment!  Our office is located in Grand Junction, Colorado (970) 242-3635 but we see patients from all over Colorado and Eastern Utah!

Yours for better oral health,

Julie Gillis DDS

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health

Partial Dentures as Replacements For Missing Teeth

January 8, 2015

Partial Dentures – Why Would I Want One?

A full or partial denture is a removable appliance with artificial teeth to replace missing natural teeth and gum tissue. A full denture replaces all the teeth in one arch while a partial denture replaces just the missing teeth present in a dental arch and may often use the remaining teeth to help support and maintain the partial denturePartial dentures can fill in the space missing from the loss of teeth, gums and the supporting bone.

 

Patient's smile prior to any restorations.

Patient’s smile prior to any restorations.

Patient is happy to smile and chew food with confidence!

Patient is happy to smile and chew food with confidence! Bite has been restored with a lower precision partial and crowns upper and lower teeth.

 

There are even precision partial dentures that use specialized attachments to help the denture to feel more secure and look more natural.

A precision partial might be selected rather than a standard partial for a more secure, more functional result.  When we use precision attachments, there is no need for visible clasp arms.  See the photos below, Existing upper and lower teeth restored with crowns, missing lower teeth restored with a precision partial denture. Note absence of any clasp arms.

 

Severe wear, missing and fractured teeth.

Severe wear, missing and fractured teeth.

Existing upper and lower teeth restored with crowns, missing lower teeth restored with a precision partial denture.  Note absence of any clasp arms.

Existing upper and lower teeth restored with crowns, missing lower teeth restored with a precision partial denture. Note absence of any clasp arms.

Removable partial denture with aesthetic, gum colored clasps.

Removable partial denture with aesthetic, gum colored clasps.

What are the benefits of replacing your missing teeth with a full or partial denture?

Flexible and durable partial denture replacing several posterior teeth.

Flexible and durable partial denture replacing several posterior teeth.

The seated flexible partial denture.

The seated flexible partial denture.

  • Restored aesthetics and function
  • Improved chewing and speaking
  • Prevent shifting and drifting of remaining teeth
  • Eliminate or minimize the wrinkling of skin around the mouth from lack of support.

It may take you awhile to get used to your new partial denture.  There will be sore spots and gum tenderness.  Usually there is an adjustment period when you may experience excessive saliva, or difficulty speaking.  This will improve with time and practice.

 

Partial comparison, one with metal clasps, one with flexible clasps.

Partial comparison, one with metal clasps, one with flexible clasps.

Our office will be happy to give you the information that you need to make good decisions about your teeth that work for you!  Our office is located in Grand Junction, Colorado, but we see patients from many areas.  Our office phone number is (970) 242-3635. If you use Facebook, our office has a facebook page that we would love for you to “like”! find us on Facebook at  www.facebook.com/juliegillisddspc

The PROFORM Nightguard to Protect Your Teeth From Clenching and Grinding

December 29, 2014

Do the holidays have you clenching or grinding your teeth?  Too much fun with your in-laws? Or are you someone that just naturally clenches or grinds their teeth – especially at night when it is difficult to prevent this trauma from happening?

Then you are likely to benefit from something like a PROFORM Nightguard!

Clenching and grinding of the teeth is also known as bruxism.   This can be a very destructive habit!

Bruxism is the grinding of teeth.  Teeth are pretty strong, but they are meant for the chewing of food which may account for 10 to 20 minutes of actual contact time over a day.  Clenching and grinding (Bruxism) can cause the teeth to wear against each other for hours each day.  Over time this bruxism may cause irreversible damage. Patients may clench or grind their teeth during the daytime or at night.  This grinding can damage the teeth, jaw joints, the muscles of mastication (chewing) or even the bone around the teeth.  It is usually the weakest of these four things that has the most damage.  By covering the teeth, the Proform Nightguard protects them from further wear.  A Proform nightguard as well as other types of splints may actually help you break this destructive habit!  having an appliance between the upper and lower teeth acts to consciously and subconsciously remind you not to clench or grind your teeth.  And, the appliance can be made on either the upper or the lower jaw.  So, not only is the Proform Nightguard protective, it is also good looking!  Okay, protecting teeth helps keep us good looking.

 

Proform Soft Splints

Proform Soft Splint and hard acrylic splints.

The benefits of a Proform appliance or splint/night-guard:

  • Teeth and dental work are protected from the grinding process – much cheaper to buy a splint than repair teeth
  • Ideally the clenching and grinding habit is eliminated over time
  • Jaw muscles can relax which can help reduce tension and pain
  • The jaw joint or TMJ receives less damaging forces if the habit is eliminated

In our office we make several types of bruxism appliances or splints including the Proform Nightguard. The most durable is a hard acrylic splint that covers all the teeth of one arch and is adjusted to obtain an ideal occlusion with the opposing dental arch.  This type of splint is best for patients who continue to clench and grind their teeth even with an appliance in place.

The Proform appliance is less expensive than a hard splint and is often easier for the patient to get used to.  Splints only protect the teeth  if they are actually worn!  The Proform type of soft night guard can be adjusted minimally to make the bite more even but it cannot direct biting forces evenly throughout the jaw or allow anterior guidance and disclusion like a hard splint can.  We also make an NTI appliance which can reduce the muscle forces from grinding by over 80%. Our soft PROFORM appliance is much less expensive and is often enough protection to allow the jaw muscles to relax and protect the teeth.

Do you even need an appliance like the Proform?  If some type of appliance is needed, our office will carefully explain – in as much detail as you would like – how you might benefit from this type of treatment or if it is even needed!  Our office would be happy to review your treatment options so that you can make the best decisions regarding your dental care. We want our patients to select the best treatment for their needs – now and in the future!

“Caring For And Enhancing Your Smile” has been our office’s bi-line ever since I opened my practice in Grand Junction, CO.  Our practice philosophy is to restore dental health and comfort as a priority! Our office’s phone number is (970) 242-3635. We would love to have you visit our office Facebook page and “Like” us!  Look for www.facebook.com then our office name: juliegillisddspc.

Yours for better dental health, 

Julie Gillis, DDS, Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health!

 

Yikes! Your Front Tooth is Missing – Now What?

August 20, 2014

Missing central incisor due to extensive decay and fracture.

Missing central incisor due to extensive decay and fracture.

For most of us, missing a front tooth is a dental emergency whether or not there is any pain!  Don’t panic – we can fix that!

This blog will tell you a bit about your options to replace that missing tooth including the following:

  • Treatment partials
  • Dental implants
  • A Snap-On Smile
  •  An Essix appliance
Central incisor replaced with an implant and an implant crown.

Central incisor replaced with a dental  implant and an implant crown.

A "flipper" or treatment partial can be made to fill the space where the missing tooth is.

A “flipper” or treatment partial can be made to fill the space where the missing tooth is.

A treatment partial or "flipper" to replace a single front tooth.

A treatment partial or “flipper” to replace a single front tooth.

Sometimes a treatment partial can be used while the tissue and bone heals around the dental implant.  One disadvantage of treatment partials is that they may compress the tissue in an unfavorable way over the healing implant site.  Your dentist may then want to create for you a custom Snap On Smile or Essix splint.  Both of these fit over your existing teeth and replace the missing tooth or teeth.  Because they are supported by your teeth and do not rest on the gum tissue, they can be used before and after the dental implant is placed until a more permanent restoration can be fabricated.

A porcelain abutment over a dental implant to replace a missing front tooth.

A porcelain abutment over a dental implant to replace a missing front tooth.

 

Only her dentist would know that the front tooth is not 'real'!

Only her dentist would know that the front tooth is not ‘real’!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your dentist may recommend a dental implant and implant crown to replace your missing front tooth.  The dentist or surgeon that places the dental implant may say that several months of healing are required before restoring the tooth and you want something to wear during the healing time so that you can keep on smiling!

 

 

Along with missing the front teeth, there is also a significant loss of bone!

Along with missing the front teeth, there is also a significant loss of bone!

 

Dental implants have been placed in the positions of the central and lateral incisor.  There is significant loss of bone and tissue.

Dental implants have been placed in the positions of the central and lateral incisor. There is significant loss of bone and tissue.

 

Pink porcelain has been added in place of the missing gun tissue here.

Pink porcelain has been added in place of the missing gun tissue here.

Sometimes a treatment partial can be used while the tissue and bone heals around the dental implant.  One disadvantage of treatment partials is that they may compress the tissue in an unfavorable way over the healing dental implant site.  Your dentist may then want to create for you a custom Snap On Smile or Essix splint.  Both of these fit over your existing teeth and replace the missing tooth or teeth.  Because they are supported by your teeth and do not rest on the gum tissue, they can be used before and after the dental implant is placed until a more permanent restoration can be fabricated.

A Snap-on Smile fits over the remaining teeth and replaces the missing tooth.

A Snap-on Smile fits over the remaining teeth and replaces the missing tooth.

 

A Snap-on Smile fits over the remaining teeth and replaces the missing tooth.

A Snap-on Smile fits over the remaining teeth and replaces the missing tooth.

So, don’t panic!  We can fix that!

Our office is located in Grand Junction, Colorado.  Our office’s website is https://www.juliegillisdds.com/ if you would like further information on this or many other dental topics!   Also, please find us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/juliegillisddspc) to see some fun photos and to “like” us  We would love that!

Sincerely,

Julie Gillis DDS

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1190 Bookcliff Ave. Suite 201, Grand Junction, CO 81501 USA
Julie M Gillis DDS Grand Junction, CO cosmetic, general, & restorative dentist. (970) 242-3635 (970) 242-8479 jgillis@juliegillisdds.com