Posts for: April, 2018


While the sport of golf may not look too dangerous from the sidelines, players know it can sometimes lead to mishaps. There are accidents involving golf carts and clubs, painful muscle and back injuries, and even the threat of lightning strikes on the greens. Yet it wasn’t any of these things that caused professional golfer Danielle Kang’s broken tooth on the opening day of the LPGA Singapore tournament.

“I was eating and it broke,” explained Kang. “My dentist told me, I've chipped another one before, and he said, you don't break it at that moment. It's been broken and it just chips off.” Fortunately, the winner of the 2017 Women’s PGA championship got immediate dental treatment, and went right back on the course to play a solid round, shooting 68.

Kang’s unlucky “chip shot” is far from a rare occurrence. In fact, chipped, fractured and broken teeth are among the most common dental injuries. The cause can be crunching too hard on a piece of ice or hard candy, a sudden accident or a blow to the face, or a tooth that’s weakened by decay or repetitive stress from a habit like nail biting. Feeling a broken tooth in your mouth can cause surprise and worry—but luckily, dentists have many ways of restoring the tooth’s appearance and function.

Exactly how a broken tooth is treated depends on how much of its structure is missing, and whether the soft tissue deep inside of it has been compromised. When a fracture exposes the tooth’s soft pulp it can easily become infected, which may lead to serious problems. In this situation, a root canal or extraction will likely be needed. This involves carefully removing the infected pulp tissue and disinfecting and sealing the “canals” (hollow spaces inside the tooth) to prevent further infection. The tooth can then be restored, often with a crown (cap) to replace the entire visible part. A timely root canal procedure can often save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted (removed).

For less serious chips, dental veneers may be an option. Made of durable and lifelike porcelain, veneers are translucent shells that go over the front surfaces of teeth. They can cover minor to moderate chips and cracks, and even correct size and spacing irregularities and discoloration. Veneers can be custom-made in a dental laboratory from a model of your teeth, and are cemented to teeth for a long-lasting and natural-looking restoration.

Minor chips can often be remedied via dental bonding. Here, layers of tooth-colored resin are applied to the surfaces being restored. The resin is shaped to fill in the missing structure and hardened by a special light. While not as long-lasting as other restoration methods, bonding is a relatively simple and inexpensive technique that can often be completed in just one office visit.

If you have questions about restoring chipped teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers” and “Artistic Repair of Chipped Teeth With Composite Resin.”

By Charles H. Dean DDS
April 12, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

If you press your tongue against your teeth, unless something is badly wrong they won't budge. In fact, your teeth are subjected to a fair amount of pressure each day as you chew and eat, and yet they remain firmly in place.

But there's a deeper reality—your teeth do move! No, it's not a paradox—the gum and bone tissues that hold your teeth in place allow for slight, imperceptible changes in the teeth's position. Their natural ability to move is also the basis for orthodontics. Here are 3 more facts you may not know about your teeth's natural ability to move.

Teeth are always on the move. Teeth are held firmly within the jawbone by an elastic gum tissue called the periodontal ligament and a thin layer of bony-like material called cementum. In response to pressure changes, though, the bone dissolves on the side of the teeth in the direction of pressure and then rebuilds behind it, solidifying the teeth's new position, a process that happens quite slowly and incrementally. And it will happen for most of us—some studies indicate more than 70% of people will see significant changes in their bite as they age.

Orthodontics works with the process. Orthodontic appliances like braces or clear aligners apply targeted pressure in the direction the orthodontist intends the teeth to move—the natural movement process does the rest. In the case of braces, a thin metal wire is laced through brackets bonded to the front of the teeth and then anchored, typically to the back teeth. The orthodontist incrementally tightens the wire against its anchors over time, encouraging tooth movement in response to the pressure. Clear aligners are a series of removable trays worn in succession that gradually accomplish the same outcome.

Watch out for the rebound. That nice, straight smile you've gained through orthodontics might not stay that way. That's because the same mechanism for tooth movement could cause the teeth to move back to their former positions, especially right after treatment. To avoid this outcome, patients need to wear a retainer, an appliance that holds or "retains" the teeth in their new positions. Depending on their individual situations and age, patients may have to wear a retainer for a few months, years or from then on.

If you would like more information on orthodontic treatment, 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 Importance of Orthodontic Retainers.”

By Charles H. Dean DDS
April 11, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: jaw pain   tmj   tmd  

What is that weird popping sound? Is it coming from your jaw? It happens when you open and close your mouth and sometimes when you jaw painchew. Your jaw hurts, too. These symptoms and more often characterize a common oral health condition called TMJ/TMD, or temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Dr. Charles Dean and Dr. Christopher Cripe understand how frustrating and debilitating this problem can be, and they offer helpful TMJ/TMD treatment at Beavercreek Dental Group.

Reasons for TMJ/TMD

Approximately 10 million Americans suffer from some degree of TMJ/TMD, affecting the hinge-like joints at both sides of the skull. While jaw pain and those odd clicking and popping sounds are very common, these symptoms may occur, too:

  • Ear pain
  • Headaches
  • Jaw stiffness
  • Neck, back and shoulder pain
  • Dizziness
  • Painful biting and chewing

While TMJ/TMD affects all kinds of people, women in their younger years seem more prone.

When a person is under a lot of stress, teeth clenching or grinding, called bruxism, may result. Bruxism can lead to the pain and stiffness of TMJ/TMD and can wear out tooth enamel, causing an uneven dental bite. An uneven bite may precipitate jaw pain, and on and on, the dysfunctional cycle goes. Arthritis in the jaw joint leads to pain and stiffness, too.

Treating TMJ/TMD

Dr. Dean and Dr. Cripe diagnose TMJ/TMD by gently feeling the jaw joints, asking you to open and close your mouth, with digital X-ray imaging, with a comprehensive oral examination and by symptomology. In other words, what you experience helps the dentist pinpoint TMJ/TMD and to determine how treatment should proceed at Beaver Creek Dental Group.

Common interventions are minimally invasive. Surgery to correct TMJ/TMD is not the first choice. Your dentist at Beavercreek Dental Group may advise:

  • Muscle relaxants
  • Stretching exercises
  • Orthodontic treatment to correct dental bite
  • Dental crowns

Another important intervention is the custom-made bite guard. This acrylic device fits comfortably within the mouth and reduces the effects of painful bruxism.

You can feel better

TMJ/TMD treatment will manage your symptoms so you feel and function at your best. To arrange a consultation with Dr. Dean or Dr. Cripe, contact the office team at Bearcreek Dental Group: (937) 429-3160.

Beavercreek, OH Family Dentist
Beavercreek Dental Group
2385 Lakeview Dr, Suite A
Beavercreek, OH 45431
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