Orthodontic Tips November 9, 2011

Orthodontic Tips November 9, 2011

What do you do when a perfect occlusion slips into an end to end bite?

Eight months ago patient’s mother scheduled an appointment for her son whose braces had been removed for about one year and a half.

Sure enough his bite was end to end instead of the perfect that he had when I removed the braces. He experienced a greater than normal late growth spurt of the mandible. Continue reading

Orthodontic Tips November 1, 2011

We Are Appreciated.

When the patient entered the clinic, a shy smile crossed her lips.

What was up with the smile?

The patient with the smile was happy with my work.

Often we get so caught up with the technical aspects of what we do, we forget that the dentistry and orthodontics we provide is elective care. And, our patients chose to have it Continue reading

A Small Maxilla

Orthodontic Tips October 4, 2011

Does it matter if facial bones aren’t balanced?

Usually, yes it does.

The effect of unbalanced facial bones is often seen in the teeth.

Here is a case of a patient who is 7 years and 10 months and has a small upper jaw (maxilla).

There are three dental problems here because of the small upper jaw. First is the obvious crossbite of the central incisors on the left side. Second is the gum loss on the front of the Continue reading

Orthodontic Tips September 8, 2011

Orthodontic Tips September 8, 2011

Why do people have dental problems?

It could be so that we can “practice perfection”.

That’s silly isn’t it? Aren’t we there to help people with their problems, not for our own amusement? Or, are we?

The movie “Benjamin Button” asked a similar question. “Does time flow forwards or backwards?” Is Benjamin Button the norm and are we the illusion? Continue reading

Orthodontic Tips August 31, 2011

Tight lips and cheeks can be managed.

For some unknown reason some people suck their lips and tongue.
This habit results in severely crowded teeth. Notice in this picture that both the posterior and anterior teeth are tipped lingually toward the tongue.
If any teeth are extracted, the dentition will cave in and the be ruined.
The correct treatment for this problem is to hold the cheeks and lips away from the teeth and let the natural action of the tongue push the teeth forward and laterally towards the lips and cheeks.
I use upper and lower lip bumpers to treat this kind of malocclusion. That is what I did for this 9 year old. Continue reading

The Great Divide

Orthodontic Tips August 22, 2011

Sometimes I see things so clearly that I can taste it.

How come patients don’t always see it the same way?

This week a woman in her early 20’s came for her annual check of her TMJ splints.

“How is it going?” I asked innocently.

“Great!” was the answer. “No more headaches; but I don’t wear the mouth pieces as much as I should.” Continue reading

Orthodontic Tips August 9, 2011

Hygienist Training

I did “in office” hygienist training this week.

I feel that I have the best hygienists working for me. They do great work and they are enthusiastic team members. But, they are not me.

I reviewed the bonding techniques that hygienists do all the time. I talked about what goes through my head when I do the work. I pointed out what I look for and why I want the plastic and wire in exactly “this” position.
The response was very positive. How could the hygienist know what was in my head? The staff was very appreciative because I invested my time with them. Continue reading

Orthodontic Tips July 27, 2011

A camel for your thoughts.

I got my first camel today.
One family, who are patients of mine, comes from Kuwait. The father who brought his daughter to see me was about to return home for business.
“Can I bring you anything” he asked?
Jokingly I said “a camel”.
“I have camels” he said seriously. His daughter confirmed this with a nod of her head.
I got worried.
“I’m joking” I said quickly as I imagined a camel tied to the chain link fence surrounding my pool. Continue reading

Orthodontic Tips July 20, 2011

Orthodontic Tips July 20, 2011

“It’s cloud illusions I recall. I really don’t know clouds at all.” Joni Mitchell.
Before my holiday I met an autistic boy for a consultation. He was 8 years old with mild incisor crowding and a deep bite.
My recommendation was to extract the primary cuspids for incisor alignment and a maxillary bite plane to open the deep bite. The treatment plan for this problem is very straightforward.
Mom’s face fell. Continue reading