My Blog

Posts for: February, 2016

By White Flint Dental Associates
February 26, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Are you concerned about a missing tooth but aren't sure that dental implants are the right option for you? H. David Allick, DDS, PA, of White Flint Dental Associates, offers cosmetic dentistry services in Rockville, MD and answers a few commonly asked questions about implants.Dental Implant

How long do implants last?

With proper care, you can expect your new implant to last a lifetime. Implants, tiny titanium screws, bond to your jawbone and provide a stable foundation for the porcelain crown that will be placed on top of the implant. You'll use the crown to bite and chew, and the implant will take the place of the roots of your tooth. Since the implant fuses to your jaw, it will never need to be replaced in most cases. You may need to replace the crown after 15 or 20 years.

Why should I choose an implant instead of dentures or a bridge?

Both dentures or bridges are good tooth replacement options. But since neither of these options are permanent, you can probably expect to replace them two or three times during your life, which can be costly. Dentures and bridges can irritate your gums if they don't fit properly, unlike dental implants, which function just like a natural tooth. When you wear dentures, your biting power is reduced, which makes it difficult to eat hard foods. Your ability to bite and chew never changes when you have an implant, and you can continue to enjoy your favorite foods.

Is it hard to take care of dental implants?

After you receive your implant, you will brush and floss as usual. Flossing is particularly important because it helps prevent an infection that can lead to the loss of your implant. Your Rockville dentist may recommend that you use a special interdental brush to floss around the base of your implant.

Ready to learn more about this cosmetic dentistry option? Call your Rockville, MD dentist, Dr. H. David Allick, of White Flint Dental Associates at (301) 881-6666 and make an appointment today. Don't let tooth loss ruin your smile!

By H. David Allick, DDS, PA
February 23, 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 H. David Allick, DDS, PA
February 08, 2016
Category: Oral Health

There’s really no secret to keeping your child’s teeth healthy — good, daily hygiene habits, regular dental visits and early treatment for emerging problems. It’s a lot easier for those things to happen if your child feels comfortable with dental care and visiting the dentist. Sadly, that’s not always the case: many children develop an unhealthy fear of the dentist because the initial relationship may have been mishandled.

Here, then, are 3 tips that will help you foster a healthy relationship between your child and their dentist.

Visit the dentist before their first birthday. From a health standpoint, dental visits should begin soon after your child’s first teeth emerge (erupt) in the mouth. Visiting the dentist by their first birthday also improves the chances they’ll develop a sufficient level of comfort with the visits, more so than if you waited a year or two longer.

Choose your dentist with your child’s sense of security and comfort in mind. When you’re looking for a dentist to care for your child, think of it as looking for a “new member of the family.” It’s important to find an office environment that’s kid-friendly and staff members that work well with children. Some dentists specialize in pediatric dentistry and many general dentists have additional training in working with children. The key is a dental team that has a good, trust-building rapport with children.

Set an example, both in the home and at the dentist. Children learn quite a bit watching what their caregivers say and how they react in potentially stressful situations. If dental care is important to you personally, it’s more likely to become important to your child. And when you visit the dentist with your child, be sure to project calm and a sense that it’s routine — if you display tenseness or nervousness your child may take that as a sign that visiting the dentist is something to fear.

You want your child to learn that the dentist is their friend who’s there to help them. That lesson should begin early with the right dental team — and by making dental care a priority in your own life.

If you would like more information on dental care for your child, 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 “Taking the Stress out of Dentistry for Kids.”