May 24th, 2017
These days it's becoming more and more common to see adults at our New Iberia, LA office getting their teeth straightened with Invisalign clear aligners — that is, if you can see them! Treatment with Invisalign is effective and aesthetically pleasing for all ages, but adults have certainly taken to them.
For some it may be to overcome the stigma that "braces are just for kids," but for others it may be the displeasing appearance and discomfort of traditional braces. According to the American Association of Orthodontics, from 1994 to 2010 the number of adults 18 and older getting braces increased by 58 percent, from 680,000 to 1.1 million annually. Many of these adults opt for Invisalign because of how discreet they are and since they don't need to avoid any foods or make dietary changes like you do with traditional braces.
The benefits of getting your teeth into proper alignment are many, and so are the advantages of Invisalign. By following your individual course of Invisalign treatment, you can expect to enjoy the following benefits over traditional braces:
- The total treatment time is more precise with Invisalign since your treatment is modeled by a computer, as compared to traditional braces where it is really just an estimate.
- You'll need to make fewer trips to our New Iberia, LA office since you can change your trays on your own every few weeks or as prescribed.
- There's less risk to the health of your tooth enamel since there is no need to place brackets on your teeth.
- Invisalign aligners are clear and practically invisible, so most people won't even know you're wearing them!
If you're interested in Invisalign treatment, please let Dr. Henagan know. We'd be happy to help you on your journey to a straighter, healthier smile!
May 17th, 2017
If you are unhappy with the color of your teeth, teeth whitening may be an excellent choice for you. Many patients of Dr. Henagan suffer from darkened teeth due to the natural aging process, regular consumption of coffee or tea, or nicotine staining from cigarettes.
Some people may have darkened teeth due to long-term use of medication. Certain medication-related stains on the teeth cannot be lightened, but virtually every other type of teeth stains can be effectively lightened using either professional dental whitening or at-home whitening.
While both types of whitening have benefits, at-home kits are less expensive and less effective overall. Professional teeth whitening is a highly effective option, but it requires a bit more of an investment. Here is the basic info on each type of whitening.
At-home whitening is done in a number of different ways today. Some of the most popular options include:
- Whitening strips that are applied to teeth and then removed after a specified period. These will typically be used once a day for at least a week.
- Whitening gels or pastes that are placed in a one-size-fits-all plastic tray. These trays are worn, retainer style, for a set period of time once a day.
- Whitening toothpaste, which is used daily, and whitening mouthwashes are also available today. These products require constant use to realize results.
In-office whitening is the fastest way to achieve whiter teeth. If you want an almost immediate difference in the color of your teeth and their overall appearance, this is probably the option for you.
Dr. Henagan will typically apply the whitening formula directly to your teeth. Following the application, we will have you relax in our office between half an hour and an hour.
Some office-whitening formulas are strengthened with the use of heat, specialized lighting, or laser application. Patients will usually notice whitening results after only one application, but it usually takes at least a few appointments at Henagan Team Dentistry to notice a truly dramatic change in tooth color.
May 10th, 2017
You might suspect that your wisdom teeth are starting to emerge, but knowing the signs of impacted wisdom teeth can help you be more proactive about your dental care. Impacted wisdom teeth can be extremely painful and can make your life truly miserable until they are removed. Therefore, looking for the early warning signs listed below, and seeing Dr. Henagan if you experience them, can help you conquer the problem before it conquers you.
There are three primary signs of impacted wisdom teeth. While every person may not have all three of these signs, you can usually expect to experience at least one of these if your wisdom teeth are impacted.
If you are feeling a type of teeth pain you've never felt before, especially when it is focused in the back area of your jaw, this may be a sign that you have a tooth impaction. You may be fortunate enough to catch it early, before all of your wisdom teeth become impacted, if you see Dr. Henagan as soon as you feel the pain.
If your jaw is suddenly swollen and the area feels tender to the touch, you have a high chance of having an impacted tooth. Since the wisdom teeth are set so far back in your jaw, the swelling tends to show itself low in the jaw, towards the ears, when they are impacted.
If your gums are bleeding, something you may notice when you see a pink or red tinged toothbrush, you may be dealing with a wisdom tooth issue. When the wisdom teeth are impacted, they put a lot of pressure on your back teeth and gums, which often leads to bleeding.
Visit our New Iberia, LA office as soon as possible if you have any of the above signs of impacted wisdom teeth. The sooner you get treatment, the sooner the pain will be behind you for good!
May 3rd, 2017
That ache in your head may stem from your jaw. If your jaw falls out of alignment, you could have temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD.
It's not clear what causes TMD. Obesity may factor in. Stress and pressure on the jaw may also contribute. A misaligned bite (that is, where your upper and lower teeth don't fit together when you close your mouth) may cause TMD symptoms, too.
TMD can affect your life and your health by making it painful to eat and hard to sleep. Some people find the nagging pain difficult to bear.
Symptoms of TMD include:
- Recurring headaches with no other cause
- Pain along and behind your ears
- Pain in your cheeks or lower face
- Clicking noises when you talk or chew
- Tired or sore jaw muscles after eating
- Limited jaw movement
If you experience the symptoms listed here, make an appointment with our office. We’ll take an X-ray to look at your bite, and determine if TMD could be the culprit. If you have TMD we can offer a number of treatments, including:
- Relaxation and stress reduction techniques
- Pain reduction recommendations, which might involve visualization or medication
- Jaw joint exercises that can help reduce stress and improve your alignment
Left untreated, TMD headaches and other symptoms can become quite severe. If you suffer the symptoms of TMD, you do not have to live in pain. Make an appointment at our New Iberia, LA office to learn how we can reduce your pain and restore comfort to your life.