My Blog

Posts for: February, 2016


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 Highland Dental
February 23, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Same Day Crowns  

What you need to know about same day crowns

You need a crown, but you’re a busy person. You don’t have time to wait around, spending two or more appointments at the dentist, and dealing with a temporary crown while you wait for your new one. Now you don’t have to wait as long for your new crown, thanks to Crownsmodern dentistry and the skills of Dr. Timothy Wiley at Highland Dental in Richmond, Kentucky. He can introduce you to same day crowns, the state-of-the-art way to have new crowns in one appointment, made right in the office while you wait!

In the past, if you needed a crown, your tooth was prepared at the first appointment and then molds were taken of your teeth. The molds were sent to a dental laboratory where technicians made your crown. The crown was shipped back to the office, which could take two weeks or more. Then the crown would be cemented at a second appointment. The entire process could take quite a bit of time and meanwhile, you would have to wear a temporary crown. Not a great solution for busy people on the go!

Now, thanks to a computer assisted technology known as “CAD-CAM," your crown is designed and manufactured right in the office and placed immediately. That means in only one appointment you will have a new crown and a new smile! Dr. Wiley wants you to know your crown will fit perfectly the first time because CAD-CAM technology creates it to exact specifications. There is no guesswork.

Same day crowns are a convenient, modern way to restore your teeth. They are also a great long-term solution that will last for many years. The biggest advantage is that they look fantastic and very natural. Same day crowns are the perfect choice for busy, on-the-go people like you. Call Dr. Timothy Wiley at Highland Dental in Richmond, Kentucky today. He can help you discover the magic of same day crowns. Don’t wait, call today!

By Highland Dental
February 09, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: oral surgery  

Somewhere between bites during a recent meal, the inside of your cheek found itself in the way of your teeth. You winced with pain at the resulting bite, and while it was sore for a day or two it seemed to heal over. Now, though, you’re noticing this same area of your cheek gets in the way of your teeth a lot more often, with more bites and sores.

What’s likely happened is that you have developed a traumatic fibroma. When the soft tissues of the inner cheek, lips or tongue heal after being injured, a small bit of fibrous tissue composed of the protein collagen forms like a callous over the bite wound to protect it after it heals. If, however, the process is interrupted by another bite, the fibrous tissue that subsequently forms may be thicker and thus more raised on the surface of the skin. This higher profile makes it more likely the site will be involved in repeated episodes of biting.

If the fibroma continues to be a problem, it can be solved with a simple surgical procedure. A surgically-trained dentist or oral surgeon will remove portions of the fibroma (usually with local anesthesia) to flatten the skin profile, and then close the resulting wound with a couple of stitches unless a laser was used. Any discomfort after the procedure can usually be managed with a mild anti-inflammatory drug like aspirin or ibuprofen, and the site should heal in just a few days to a week.

Although the vast majority of fibromas aren’t dangerous, it’s routine practice to have the excised tissue biopsied for abnormalities. More than likely the fibroma tissue will be normal; but by having the fibroma removed and examined, you’ll gain peace of mind about your oral health. In the process, you’ll also eliminate a bothersome and painful problem.

If you would like more information on mouth sores, 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 “Common Lumps and Bumps in the Mouth.”