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All Posts in Category: Braces

How Turner Lim Orthodontist straightened Yoana’s smile

What do we love about orthodontics? Well, being able to make a positive impact on our patients’ lives is one thing. Recently, we treated Yoana, a teenager with impacted teeth.

What is an impacted tooth?

An impacted tooth is one that is unable to push through the gums in your mouth (erupt). It is quite common for wisdom teeth to be impacted.

The battle of the teeth

In Yoana’s case, her eye tooth (canine in upper jaw) had collided with her side-front tooth, knocking it off course. As a result, her teeth were pretty crooked.

Though impacted teeth are often not painful, as in Yoana’s case, the tooth that gets bumped into can get damaged. Also, because they are sometimes difficult to clean, impacted teeth are prone to decay.

Yoana before front 3

Yoana before her treatment.

Orthodontist-Auckland

A far nicer photo of Yoana before her treatment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first step was to get a clear picture of what was going on. So, we sent Yoana to see an oral surgeon for imaging.

The surgeon took a set of three-dimensional radiographs using a special kind of x-ray equipment called Cone Beam CT. The radiation level is low with this type of x-ray, much lower than medical grade.

As orthodontists, we’re used to studying two-dimensional images and then interpreting them in three dimensions. Patients, though, are not, so seeing three-dimensional images makes it much easier for them to understand the issues.

To save or not to save?

We had to decide whether the side-front tooth was salvageable. However, because it was so far off course, it became apparent that it wasn’t.

So, we sent Yoana to a dental surgeon to have the tooth removed. Of course, we also had to bring her eye tooth back into her smile. So, while removing Yoana’s side-front tooth, the surgeon also attached a small gold chain to her eye tooth.

Now, this gold chain wasn’t a new kind of ‘dental bling;’ it served a practical purpose. When Yoana returned to our clinic, we fitted a dental appliance to her teeth. We then attached the gold chain to the appliance in order to pull the eye tooth into the correct position over time.

A perfect smile

Auckland-orthodontist

Yoana looking good.

How your teeth look is important, particularly if you are a teenaged girl, like Yoana. Having nice, straight teeth gives you confidence; it helps you feel good about yourself. So, after 18 months of treatment, we’re happy to say that Yoana’s now has a perfect smile.

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Turner Lim’s favourite orthodontics blog posts of 2016

It’s been more than two years since we started this orthodontics blog. Writing it has been a lot of fun, and we hope you enjoy reading! In recognition of this milestone, we thought we’d revisit some of our favourite post of 2016. Enjoy.

Kids & sport

There are lots of reasons why children should play sport. It keeps them physically fit and also teaches teamwork and social skills. These days, there are too many children becoming obese and socially inept due to excessive online activity. So, you don’t want your child side-lined because they’ve had dental braces fitted. The solution is a mouth guard. If your child wears one, there is no reason why they shouldn’t play sports while also wearing braces. With this in mind, in January we published My child wears dental braces. Can they still play sport?

There’s more to nice teeth than you think

“You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover,” as the saying goes. And no, you shouldn’t, but society does anyway. It’s a hard fact of life. And, unfortunately, the way others perceive us also affects how we feel about ourselves. So, there is more to a nice smile than looking good — psychological factors also come into play. That’s what our May post, How your smile can affect your physical & mental health, is about.

Does Richie really do that?

Top sportspeople have a big influence on many Kiwi kids. In June, we were shocked to learn of a five-year-old All Blacks fan who had to have rotten teeth removed. The cause of the decay was his taste for sports drink Powerade. In fact, he was sipping on the stuff when he arrived at the dental clinic to get his teeth pulled out. What were his parents thinking? Anyway, when asked why he drank Powerade, he said because Richie McCaw drinks it. Read our June post, Drink sports drinks: Is that really what Richie does?

It’s never too late

These days, it’s not unusual for adults to get dental braces. In fact, our oldest patient was about 65 years of age. It seems braces are no longer a ‘fashion accessory’ exclusively for teenagers. So, why are older people getting braces? Well, teeth move over time. Also, many people who couldn’t afford braces when they were younger can as adults. So, why not do something about those crooked teeth? We discussed the trend of older people getting braces in our July post, Am I too old for dental braces?

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Do you want a smile like Tom Cruise? It’s never too late

If I say “Tom Cruise,” what first springs to mind? His flawless white teeth, perhaps? Well, if so, it may surprise you to learn that Thomas Cruise Mapother the Fourth (yes, that’s his real name) wasn’t born with a perfect smile. He saw an orthodontist.

Apparently, Mr Cruise’s teeth used to be pretty bad, and he was spotted wearing braces as recently as 2002. Actually, lots of ‘beautiful people’, including Nicholas Cage, Gwen Stefani and Faith Hill, have seen an orthodontist as adults in pursuit of that ‘perfect smile.’

So, where am I heading with this post? Well, you don’t have to be born with perfect teeth to make significant improvements.

A confident smile

Studies show that people are actually more likely to succeed in their personal and professional lives if they have good teeth. Why? Well, Tom Cruise knows it, you know it, I know it; we are judged by our looks.

As unfair as this may be, people make assumptions. That’s human nature. For example, if your lower teeth protrude, you may be perceived as aggressive; if there’s a gap between your top-front teeth, people may think you’re not too clever.

Of course, when it comes to success (or lack of it) it’s possible that self-perception plays a big part —when we project confidence, people are more likely to have confidence in us.

It’s never too late

These days, if you want to improve your teeth, there’s not much stopping you. As celebrities, like Tom Cruise, show, orthodontic treatment isn’t reserved for teenagers. You’re never too old. At Turner Lim, we’ve treated patients in their 60s!

Teeth move

Some adults come to us with crooked teeth, despite having worn braces when they were younger. This may seem strange, but it’s understandable. Teeth move over time, and 20 – 30 years ago, many orthodontists didn’t instruct their patients to wear retainers post treatment — they didn’t think they were necessary. However, we now know that retainers prevent teeth from moving back to their original positions once braces have been removed.

Is treatment expensive?

Orthodontic treatment isn’t as expensive as you might think. Depending on your budget, there are several options available, and most orthodontists offer payment plans.

Braces can be discrete

Of course, as an adult, you’re probably concerned about how you will look with braces. The good news is that you needn’t look like ‘Metal Micky’. Modern braces are not as conspicuous as they used to be. Invisalign®, for example, uses aligners that are almost invisible, and ceramic braces are made of translucent material and use tooth-coloured wires.

In reality, an orthodontist may not be able to make your teeth quite as perfect as Tom Cruise’s. However, they can get pretty close.

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