Dentist - Grand Rapids
422 North Park St NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
 

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Posts for: March, 2015

By North Park Family Dental
March 27, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Crowns   Bridges  

Crowns and BridgesLearn how crowns and bridges can restore your natural teeth with simple in-office procedures.

Missing even one tooth is a hardship that no adult should have to experience. Tooth loss causes a domino effect of decay, gum disease or shifting and can eventually lead to more missing teeth. Fortunately, your Grand Rapids dentist offers both crowns and bridges to solve these problems before they start. Crowns and bridges are fixed restorations. They are meant to be permanent attachments in the mouth, and cannot be removed as dentures can. Both crowns and bridges are used to restore and maintain tooth function.

Crowns

These restorations are designed to be a "cap" over an existing tooth that has sustained damage or decay and can no longer function on its own. Keeping the root intact is Dr. Robert Dame's priority, and a crown placement helps to repair fractures, replace old fillings or finish off a root canal while avoiding extraction. Depending on where the crown is needed, it may be made of porcelain or ceramic to appear like a natural tooth. It can also be made of gold or metal alloys; these materials are typically stronger and recommended for back teeth. A porcelain shell over a metal core is also an option for both form and function.

Bridges

If a tooth has fallen out or has been extracted, a bridge can help compensate for the loss. Attached to natural teeth on either side of the empty space, bridges fill in the gap seamlessly with natural-looking replacements. The attachment teeth, called abutments, have crowns placed over them to give them more support for their new role.

Helping others

Recently, Dr. Dame and some of his staff made a long journey to Chiang Rai Province in Thailand to provide necessary dental treatment for children and adults in underprivileged villages. For over a week, they offered their services to dozens of people in need. With long-lasting restorations like crowns and bridges, these people can enjoy eating, speaking and smiling without discomfort or further problems.

The caring staff at North Park Family Dental is ready to give you a reason to start smiling again. Contact the office today to learn more about how crowns and bridges can improve your teeth's appearance and function!


ChildStarNolanGouldTalksAboutToothExtractionsOrthodonticTreatment

Nolan Gould of the hit TV show Modern Family has an uncommon gift for comedy, but he also has a very common orthodontic problem: too many teeth for the size of his mouth, which often results in “crowding.”

“My teeth used to be pretty messed up,” Nolan recently told Dear Doctor magazine in an exclusive interview. “I had two extra teeth when I was born. They hadn't come out (erupted) yet. And all the other teeth that were already there were starting to point backwards because it was getting so crowded in my mouth. They had to remove those two (extra) teeth,” he said.

Although being born with extra teeth is somewhat unusual, needing to have teeth extracted for orthodontic reasons is not. In fact, orthodontic treatment often involves removing teeth to relieve crowding. It makes sense when you think about it: When there are too many teeth for the size of the dental arches (upper and/or lower jaws) or the teeth are larger in size than the dental arch can accommodate, there may not be enough space to align them properly. The necessary space can be created by removing teeth.

The teeth most frequently extracted for orthodontic reasons are the first bicuspid teeth. These are the ones right between the cuspid, or eyeteeth (under the eyes) and the molars (biggest back teeth). Once there is enough space, the orthodontist can choose from a variety of orthodontic appliances to align the teeth, depending on the specific needs of the individual.

In Nolan's case, it was the extra two teeth he was born with that were removed. Afterwards, the young actor's orthodontist was able to shift Nolan's remaining teeth into proper alignment using orthodontic appliances called Crozats. Made of metal wires, Crozats go around the back teeth and behind the front teeth, making them virtually invisible.

“You can remove them, which is really good for acting, especially because you can't see them,” Nolan explained. “I can wear them 24/7 and nobody will ever notice.”

Nolan's orthodontic appliances may not be noticeable, but his fabulous smile certainly is!

If you would like to learn more about improving tooth alignment with orthodontics, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. If you would like to read Dear Doctor's entire interview with Nolan Gould, please see “Nolan Gould.” Dear Doctor also has more on “Tooth Removal for Orthodontic Reasons.”


By North Park Family Dental
March 10, 2015
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: dental exam  
CouldADentalCheckupSaveYourLife

Most everyone knows that going to see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings can help save your smile — but did you ever stop to think that it just might save your life?

That's what recently happened to 11-year-old Journee Woodard of Edmond, Oklahoma. The young girl was having a routine teeth cleaning when hygienist Rachel Stroble noticed something unusual: The whites of her eyes (her sclera) had a distinctly yellow tint. Dr. Michael Chandler, Journee’s dentist, confirmed the hygienist’s suspicions, and advised her mom to take her for further testing. The tests revealed that Journee had a tumor covering parts of her pancreas, gallbladder and liver; it could have ruptured at any moment, with devastating consequences.

The tumor was removed three days later in a 9-hour operation, and Journee is now recovering. As for her dentist, Dr. Chandler told reporters that he and his staff were just doing their jobs thoroughly. “It's hard to feel like I’m a hero,” he said (though others might disagree).

Is this a one-in-a-million case? Maybe — yet for many people, a family dentist may be the health care professional who is seen more often than any other. That can put dentists in the unique position of being able to closely monitor not only a person’s oral health, but also their overall health.

There are several reasons why that’s so. One is that most systemic diseases (such as diabetes, leukemia, and heart disease, for example) can have oral manifestations — that is, symptoms that show up in the mouth. If your dentist notices something unusual, further testing may be recommended. Dentists also regularly screen for diseases specific to the mouth — such as oral cancer, which has a much better chance of being cured when it is caught at an early stage.

But beyond checking for particular diseases, dentists often notice other things that may indicate a health issue. For example, if you complain of dry mouth or snoring, and appear fatigued in the dental chair, your dentist may suspect undiagnosed sleep apnea: a potentially serious condition. Many other signs — such as yellowed eyes, a pounding heart rate, or shortness of breath — can indicate potential problems.

Of course, we’re not even mentioning the main reason for regular dental checkups — keeping your smile healthy and bright; for many people that’s reason enough. How does Journee’s mom feel about keeping dental appointments? “I will never miss another dentist appointment,” she told reporters. “I will never reschedule.”

If you would like more information about routine dental checkups, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Dental Hygiene Visit” and “Good Oral Health Leads to Better Health Overall.”