My Blog

Posts for: February, 2016

By Thomas Kemlage DDS / Andrew T. Kemlage DDS
February 22, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Magician Michael Grandinetti mystifies and astonishes audiences with his sleight of hand and mastery of illusion. But when he initially steps onto the stage, it’s his smile that grabs the attention. “The first thing… that an audience notices is your smile; it’s what really connects you as a person to them,” Michael told an interviewer.

He attributes his audience-pleasing smile to several years of orthodontic treatment as a teenager to straighten misaligned teeth, plus a lifetime of good oral care. “I’m so thankful that I did it,” he said about wearing orthodontic braces. “It was so beneficial. And… looking at the path I’ve chosen, it was life-changing.”

Orthodontics — the dental subspecialty focused on treating malocclusions (literally “bad bites”) — can indeed make life-changing improvements. Properly positioned teeth are integral to the aesthetics of any smile, and a smile that’s pleasing to look at boosts confidence and self-esteem and makes a terrific first impression. Studies have even linked having an attractive smile with greater professional success.

There can also be functional benefits such as improved biting/chewing and speech, and reduced strain on jaw muscles and joints. Additionally, well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and less likely to trap food particles that can lead to decay.

The Science Behind the Magic

There are more options than ever for correcting bites, but all capitalize on the fact that teeth are suspended in individual jawbone sockets by elastic periodontal ligaments that enable them to move. Orthodontic appliances (commonly called braces or clear aligners) place light, controlled forces on teeth in a calculated fashion to move them into their new desired alignment.

The “gold standard” in orthodontic treatment remains the orthodontic band for posterior (back) teeth and the bonded bracket for front teeth. Thin, flexible wires threaded through the brackets create the light forces needed for repositioning. Traditionally the brackets have been made of metal, but for those concerned about the aesthetics, they can also be made out of a clear material. Lingual braces, which are bonded to the back of teeth instead of the front, are another less visible option. The most discrete appliance is the removable clear aligner, which consists of a progression of custom-made clear trays that reposition teeth incrementally.

How’s that for a disappearing act?!

If you would like more information about orthodontic treatment please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Magic of Orthodontics.”

By Kemlage Family Dentistry
February 08, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Bridges  

Find out how a dental bridge can be used to replace a missing tooth.

You’ve been weighing your options when it comes to what tooth replacement treatment you want. Perhaps you’ve already talked to our Fenton, MO dentists Drs. Thomas and Andrew Kemlage or you’re planning to talk to us about your treatment options. One way to Bridges replace a missing tooth is by getting a dental bridge. Find out more about this restoration and how it works.

What is a dental bridge?

A dental bridge is designed to replace one or more missing teeth. It is made up of two crowns on both ends of the bridge, which are attached over the crown of the teeth that are on either side of the gap in your smile. Between the crowns lies a false tooth/teeth, also known as a pontic. Pontics can be made from a variety of different materials like gold or alloy but are often made of porcelain because they offer a more realistic look that is comparable to real teeth.

What are the benefits of getting a bridge?

When you lose a tooth it’s important to seek treatment from your family dentist in Fenton right away. Tooth loss can make everyday habits like speaking or eating a challenge. But with dental bridges not only will you get a restored smile but you will also be able to chew and talk properly and easily. This restoration will also provide other natural teeth from shifting out of place.

How do I get a dental bridge?

In order to get a dental bridge in Fenton, MO you will need to come into our office twice for your new restoration:

1st visit

During your first trip we will prepare the natural teeth for the dental bridge by removing some enamel to make room for the dental crowns to be placed over them. Then impressions are taken of your teeth, which will be used by a dental lab to make your dental bridge. In the meantime we will create a temporary bridge for you to wear.

2nd visit

During the final visit, the temporary bridge will be removed and a permanent one will be fitted onto your teeth. We will also check the fit and adjust it if necessary. You may need to come back more than once in order to make sure that the dental bridge fits properly. Once we know the bridge no longer needs adjustments we will cement it permanently into place.

A dental bridge can be a great option for many of our patients looking to treat their tooth loss in Fenton, MO. If you are ready to get the dental treatment you need to restore your smile turn to Kemlage Family Dentistry today.

By Thomas Kemlage DDS / Andrew T. Kemlage DDS
February 04, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: jaw pain  

Accidents happen. And if an accident causes an injury to your jaws or surrounding facial area, it could result in serious damage. Without prompt treatment, that damage could be permanent.

You’ll usually know, of course, if something is wrong from the extreme pain near or around a jaw joint that won’t subside. If you have such symptoms, we need to see you as soon as possible to specifically diagnose the injury, which will in turn determine how we’ll treat it.

This is important because there are a number of injury possibilities behind the pain. It could mean you’ve loosened or displaced one or more teeth. The joint and its connective muscle may also have been bruised resulting in swelling within the joint space or a dislocation of the condyle (the bone ball at the end of the jaw), either of which can be extremely painful.

These injuries also cause muscle spasms, the body’s response for keeping the jaw from moving and incurring more damage (a natural splint, if you will). After examining to see that everything is functioning normally, we can usually treat it with mild to moderate anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling and pain and muscle relaxers to ease the spasms. We may also need to gently manipulate and ease a dislocated jaw into its proper position.

In the worst case, though, you may actually have fractured the jaw bone. The most common break is known as a sub-condylar fracture that occurs just below the head of the joint with pain and discomfort usually more severe than what’s experienced from tissue bruising or dislocation. As with other fractures, we’ll need to reposition the broken bone and immobilize it until it’s healed. This can be done by temporarily joining the upper and lower teeth together for several weeks to keep the jaw from moving, or with a surgical procedure for more severe breaks that stabilizes the jawbone independently.

It’s important with any persistent jaw or mouth pain after an accident that you see us as soon as possible — you may have an injury that needs immediate attention for proper healing. At the very least, we can help alleviate the pain and discomfort until you’re back to normal.

If you would like more information on treating jaw injuries, 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 “Jaw Pain — What’s the Cause?