My Blog

Posts for: May, 2016

By Brenna Hamrick-Stotts, DDS, Inc.
May 29, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

When designing your new smile, we have a lot of options for changing how individual teeth look: from whitening discolored teeth to replacing missing teeth with life-like dental implants. But the problem may not be how your teeth look — in fact, individually they may look perfect. If they’re not straight, though, your smile won’t be as attractive as it could be.

We can address a poor bite (malocclusion) through the dental specialty of orthodontics. By moving misaligned teeth we may be able to transform your smile without any other dental work, or it could serve as a more solid foundation for other cosmetic enhancements. To find out if orthodontics can make a difference for you, you should begin with an initial visit to your general dentist. A thorough dental examination will enable them to tell you if correcting your bite could be a good option for you. If it is, they’ll most likely refer you to an orthodontist, a specialist in treating malocclusions.

The orthodontist will also perform an evaluation and get as complete a picture as possible of your particular bite problems. This examination will also include checking jaw growth and development in younger patients, how the affected teeth align with other teeth, and if your current bite is having any effect on the jaw joints. This will provide a good overview of not only the malocclusion but how it affects the rest of your mouth.

With this detailed analysis, they can then advise you on the best course of treatment. Most malocclusions can be corrected with braces or, increasingly, clear aligner trays. In certain situations, though, more specialized approaches may be needed, such as isolating only certain teeth for movement.

While orthodontic treatment takes time and can be expensive, the end result can be amazing: an improved bite that not only enhances your appearance but improves function and long-term health. Along with other cosmetic enhancements to your teeth and gums, orthodontics can give you a new sense of confidence in your smile.

If you would like more information on improving your smile with 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 Magic of Orthodontics.”

By Brenna Hamrick-Stotts, DDS, Inc.
May 16, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tooth sensitivity  

What you need to know about tooth sensitivity from your Redlands dentist.

If you have tooth sensitivity, you are familiar with the sudden, sharp, “electrical shock” feeling from your teeth. You may avoid ice cream, teeth sensitivity hot coffee and anything else you think might set off your teeth. There are many causes of tooth sensitivity and there are some ways you and your dentist can lessen your symptoms. Don’t tackle tooth sensitivity alone. Get some help by calling Dr. Brenna Hamrick-Stotts in Redlands, CA. She can help ease your mind and your teeth.

You can have sensitive teeth from many causes including:

  • Bleaching your teeth too much
  • Grinding and clenching at night
  • Exposed tooth roots caused by recessed gums
  • Tooth abrasion from excessive brushing with a hard toothbrush
  • Drinking highly acidic drinks, like lemonade and soda
  • Sucking on lemons and chewing ice cubes

Dr. Hamrick-Stotts wants you to know a few things you can do to minimize tooth sensitivity. You can begin by:

  • Making sure you always use a soft toothbrush
  • Using a toothpaste for sensitive teeth, not whitening toothpaste
  • Avoiding whitening products until you don’t feel tooth sensitivity
  • Avoiding highly acidic foods and drinks especially sodas and citrus fruits

Your teeth can become sensitive when your tooth roots are exposed. Normally they are covered by bone and soft tissue, but as you age, your gums can recede, exposing your roots. The crowns of your teeth are covered with protective enamel, but the roots are not. They are much softer, and more porous, with microscopic openings called tubules open to the surface. To relieve tooth sensitivity, these tubules can be sealed up.

Dr. Hamrick Stotts can prescribe fluoride which helps to seal up the root surface. There are also desensitizing solutions which she can apply directly to your tooth surfaces in sensitive areas.

If you know you are grinding or clenching during the day or night, visit Dr. Hamrick-Stotts right away. She can make you a nightguard to reduce wear and tear on your teeth.

In severe cases of tooth sensitivity, Dr. Hamrick-Stotts may suggest placing a tooth colored filling over the root surface to permanently protect it. She can also perform gum grafting to replace gum tissue over exposed tooth roots.

You don’t have to live with tooth sensitivity when help is just a phone call away. It’s time to call Dr. Brenna Hamrick-Stotts in Redlands, CA. She can help relieve your pain so you can eat the foods you love. Get some help for tooth sensitivity by calling today!

By Brenna Hamrick-Stotts, DDS, Inc.
May 14, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   bonding  

So you’re tearing up the dance floor at a friend’s wedding, when all of a sudden one of your pals lands an accidental blow to your face — chipping out part of your front tooth, which lands right on the floorboards! Meanwhile, your wife (who is nine months pregnant) is expecting you home in one piece, and you may have to pose for a picture with the baby at any moment. What will you do now?

Take a tip from Prince William of England. According to the British tabloid The Daily Mail, the future king found himself in just this situation in 2013. His solution: Pay a late-night visit to a discreet dentist and get it fixed up — then stay calm and carry on!

Actually, dental emergencies of this type are fairly common. While nobody at the palace is saying exactly what was done for the damaged tooth, there are several ways to remedy this dental dilemma.

If the broken part is relatively small, chances are the tooth can be repaired by bonding with composite resin. In this process, tooth-colored material is used to replace the damaged, chipped or discolored region. Composite resin is a super-strong mixture of plastic and glass components that not only looks quite natural, but bonds tightly to the natural tooth structure. Best of all, the bonding procedure can usually be accomplished in just one visit to the dental office — there’s no lab work involved. And while it won’t last forever, a bonded tooth should hold up well for at least several years with only routine dental care.

If a larger piece of the tooth is broken off and recovered, it is sometimes possible to reattach it via bonding. However, for more serious damage — like a severely fractured or broken tooth — a crown (cap) may be required. In this restoration process, the entire visible portion of the tooth may be capped with a sturdy covering made of porcelain, gold, or porcelain fused to a gold metal alloy.

A crown restoration is more involved than bonding. It begins with making a 3-D model of the damaged tooth and its neighbors. From this model, a tooth replica will be fabricated by a skilled technician; it will match the existing teeth closely and fit into the bite perfectly. Next, the damaged tooth will be prepared, and the crown will be securely attached to it. Crown restorations are strong, lifelike and permanent.

Was the future king “crowned” — or was his tooth bonded? We may never know for sure. But it’s good to know that even if we’ll never be royals, we still have several options for fixing a damaged tooth. If you would like more information, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Repairing Chipped Teeth” and “Crowns and Bridgework.”