Skip to content

How do I get started with Invisalign?

Invisalign Battle Creek MIWhen you want to straighten your smile, the process of getting started with treatment can feel exhilarating and overwhelming at the same time. Knowing what to expect can help this part of the treatment process go more smoothly.

Patients who are considering orthodontic treatment options such as Invisalign or traditional braces will benefit from consulting with a dentist who can assess their case and advise them on the recommended treatment approach.

Invisalign: An Overview

Invisalign is a unique orthodontic treatment system that uses clear plastic aligner trays to apply pressure to the teeth in order to move them into the proper position. Those aligner trays can be removed at mealtimes and for oral hygiene purposes.

The patient is provided with a series of aligner trays and a schedule for moving to the next tray. In order to achieve the desired results in the anticipated timeframe, patients must wear the trays for at least 22 hours each day.

While traditional braces require office visits in order to physically adjust the tension of the wires, the patient takes on much of the responsibility for adjustments by switching trays as instructed.

Invisalign will be able to effectively resolve many patients’ concerns about the alignment of their smiles. In some cases, traditional braces may be more effective and appropriate. Therefore, if you are considering Invisalign, it’s important to visit a dentist for an evaluation to determine the best approach.

Your Invisalign Consultation: What to Expect

An Invisalign consultation is quite similar to any other evaluation for specialized oral health treatment, such as getting a crown or pursuing a cosmetic dentistry treatment. At this appointment, your provider will collect all of the data needed to plan your course of treatment, possibly including:

  • Photos
  • X-rays
  • Digital or physical impressions of your smile

That data is then used to create your custom-made Invisalign trays. When your trays are ready, you’ll return to the office to receive them, along with your instructions for their proper use and maintenance.

Do you want to get started on your Invisalign journey to a straighter smile? Call the office of Dr. John Morris today to schedule your initial consultation.

When Is The Best Time To Begin Orthodontic Treatment

orthodontics Battle Creek MIHaving straight teeth and a correct bite is a worthy goal. For many individuals, that is going to require some kind of intervention with orthodontics. Ideally, all children will be evaluated for the need for braces at around the age of seven. While your dentist may just be making recommendations for the future, some patients may benefit from interceptive orthodontics at this younger age.

The Importance of Interceptive Orthodontics 

The need for early treatment may be obvious; teeth may be erupting in an abnormal fashion or there may be obvious bite irregularities. But sometimes there are more subtle issues that may only be identified through this early dental examination.

Often considered as the first phase of treatment, interceptive orthodontics can involve several aspects. The patient is typically seven to eleven years old. The first set of permanent molars have usually erupted; the jaws and gums are much more easily manipulated at this stage allowing for the groundwork to be laid in preparation for upcoming growth.

Young patients may be in this predicament due to thumb sucking, pacifier use, or in some cases, genetics. This is why it is imperative that all children be seen by their dentist starting around the age of twelve months. Over time, with regular dental visits, problems may be identified and preemptive action can be taken.

Orthodontics At Any Age

Wearing braces usually commences in children starting around age ten; the importance of straight teeth and a great smile is paramount for people of all ages. But impressionable teens will be more likely to see their peers in the same situation as they are making orthodontics very commonplace and acceptable.

If interceptive orthodontics is considered phase one, phase two often involves correcting teeth overcrowding and managing a malocclusion. In some cases, one or more teeth may require extraction before braces are applied that will move teeth to their correct placement.

Adults can also benefit from teeth straightening. The reason for straight teeth is more than just a great smile. While aesthetics are important, crooked teeth allow areas for plaque and tartar to build leading to the potential for dental decay and the onset of gum disease.

The final, very important, phase of any orthodontic program involves wearing a retainer allowing teeth and the bones that hold them in place to solidify their new location.

To learn more about your orthodontic treatment options, contact the office of Dr. John Morris today.

How do I care for my dentures?

When you first get dentures, you will want to be sure that you are taking good care of them so that the appliances will stay in excellent condition for as long as possible. This is just one aspect of the process of getting accustomed to wearing dentures.

Tips for Taking Care of Your Dentures

dentures Battle Creek MIIf you want to take good care of your new dentures, here are a few tips that will help you do so.

  • Handle your dentures with care: Your dentures can be damaged if you drop them or handle them carelessly, so be careful with the appliances.
  • Take your dentures out each day to clean them.
  • Use a specially formulated denture cleaner, not toothpaste, to clean your appliances. Toothpaste may be too harsh and damage the appliances.
  • Soak your dentures when you’re not wearing them to keep them from drying out.

There may be other denture care considerations specific to your case, so ask your dentist for complete instructions to maintain your dentures.

Getting Adjusted to Your New Dentures

In addition to having a game plan to take care of your new dentures, you’ll also want to be prepared for the initial adjustment period that happens as you get used to wearing the appliances on a daily basis. Talk to your dentist so that you’ll know what to expect.

The following may be just a few of the recommendations:

  • Start out chewing soft foods: Limiting your diet at first can help you get used to chewing with your dentures and after time you can progress to heartier foods.
  • Exercise your cheek muscles: This will help to strengthen them so that they can help to control the dentures more effectively.
  • Sing! Singing can help you develop fluidity around language and ultimately make it easier to speak with your dentures.
  • Don’t dismiss ongoing discomfort: Yes, your dentures may be slightly uncomfortable at first, but that sensation should eventually fade. If it persists, it may be a sign that the dentures need to be refitted.

We are here to help you throughout the process of getting fitted for and wearing dentures, and that includes working with you to develop a plan to take care of those dentures. Don’t hesitate to check in with us to get any information you may need for that purpose. Call the office of Dr. John Morris today to schedule your consultation.

When can I return to work or school following root canal treatment?

root canal Battle Creek MIWhen preparing for root canal treatment, patients typically have multiple concerns, including the timeline when they can expect to return to work. Fortunately, a root canal doesn’t have to be disruptive to your routine.

In order to minimize your recovery period, you should also closely follow any directions provided by your dentist for caring for the treated tooth after the procedure. Don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions or need any clarification about these instructions.

What To Expect From The Root Canal Treatment Time Frame

A root canal involves your dentist removing infected pulp material from the center of your tooth, cleaning out the bacteria and filling in the empty chamber with a neutral material to prevent re-infection. Eventually, the tooth is fitted with a dental crown to protect it from breaking.

This process takes place over a number of appointments.

  • First appointment: The root canal is performed, and the infected material is cleaned out of the tooth. An inert rubber-like substance is placed in the empty root canal chamber.
  • Second appointment: The dental crown is placed on the treated tooth.
  • Additional follow-up appointments (if further adjustments are needed)

The first appointment shouldn’t take any more than a couple of hours, and with proper follow-up care, most patients will be able to return to school or sedentary work the next day. Patients may want to abstain from more vigorous activity for a few additional days.

Preventing Complications After the Procedure

Of course, when patients experience complications after the root canal, it can delay their ability to resume their routines. Therefore, the patient’s main objectives after a root canal are:

  • Managing discomfort
  • Preventing infection
  • Minimizing the risk of tooth breakage

We will discuss strategies to help you achieve all of these goals, and we may prescribe painkillers or antibiotics to help in this effort. We will also educate you on the signs of a problem, such as persistent or severe pain, that warrant follow-up with our office.

A root canal shouldn’t derail your day-to-day routine. Most people will be able to go back to work or school the day after their appointment.

Do implant-supported dentures have a lifelike appearance?

implant dentures Battle Creek MIWhile replacing the function and structure of missing teeth is important, patients also want a prosthetic appliance that has a lifelike aesthetic. Custom-designed implant supported dentures achieve this goal and offer the ultimate smile restoration method, both structurally and aesthetically.

Not only are implant supported dentures made of state-of-the-art materials that replicate biological tooth enamel, but they also offer a variety of functional benefits to patients. This is because they are structurally complete, replacing both the roots and crowns of your missing teeth.

Designing an Appliance with Natural Aesthetics

Some people envision dentures as being noticeably artificial, thinking only of the old school appliances that their grandparents wore. Today’s dentures are a dramatic improvement over the dentures of past decades, though.

Modern materials mimic the appearance of natural tooth material rather than having an obvious plastic look. Furthermore, these appliances are tailored to each patient’s specifications of characteristics like shade and shape.

With implant-supported dentures, you can replicate your own unique natural smile – or improve on it if that’s what you’d like.

Other Benefits of Implant-Supported Dentures

A beautifully restored smile isn’t the only benefit that you get from collaborating with an implant dentist, though. There are many others beyond the appearance of the appliance.

Dental implants are unique because they stand in for the roots of missing teeth in addition to supporting an appliance like a denture. This feature allows them to function much more similarly to biological teeth than conventional dentures do.

Some of these advantages include better:

  • Durability: The dental implants secure bone tissue in the jaw. This prevents jawbone atrophy and ensures that the denture retains its fit.
  • Security: Implant supported dentures stay in place more reliably than conventional dentures.
  • Functionality: Dental implants facilitate more effective chewing.
  • Comfort: Structured similarly to natural teeth, implant supported dentures feel more like biological teeth.

Of course, in order to maximize these benefits of dental implants, you must take good care of those implants. Follow all instructions for maintenance of your implant supported dentures provided by your dentist.

To learn more about the many advantages of dental implants and how they enhance your smile, schedule a consultation with our implant dentist.

How To Prevent Dry Mouth While Sleeping

family dentistry Battle Creek MIWaking up with a dry mouth or morning breath is unpleasant, but you can do something to change it. Patients who are experiencing this symptom should visit their family dentistry practice to be evaluated for the causes of dry mouth and possible treatments for the condition.

In fact, if you don’t work with your dentist to address dry mouth, your oral health may suffer consequences as a result of this condition, as sufficient saliva is necessary to keep your mouth clean and wash away harmful oral bacteria.

Potential Causes of Dry Mouth

Dry mouth can result from a number of causes, including:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Other types of snoring
  • Side effects of medical treatments, including medications, chemotherapy and radiation
  • Nerve damage
  • Health conditions, such as Sjogren’s Syndrome
  • Use of drugs or alcohol before bed

Visiting your family dentistry practice for an evaluation is the best way to have the cause of your dry mouth diagnosed and treated. A thorough evaluation will point toward the most effective treatment option in your case.

Interventions and Home Care Practices to Prevent Dry Mouth

The interventions recommended to eliminate dry mouth in your case will depend on the specific factors causing this symptom. For example, if you are suffering from sleep apnea, you may need to wear an oral appliance while you sleep to eliminate this condition.

In other cases, you may not be able to eliminate the dry mouth but instead must focus on managing it. Drinking adequate amounts of water (but not so much that you wake up throughout the night to use the bathroom!) and using artificial saliva products can be helpful.

Dry Mouth: Consequences for Your Oral Health

Regardless of the cause of your dry mouth, it’s important for you to discuss this symptom with your dentist so that it can be treated. Insufficient saliva causes big problems in the mouth. It allows bacteria to proliferate and wreak havoc, causing cavities and gum disease, along with other oral health concerns.

Ultimately, dry mouth is an oral health issue and our dentist can help you to manage or eliminate this symptom. Be sure to ask about this issue at your next checkup, or call the office of John Morris, DDS, to discuss with one of our knowledgeable staff members.

Get The Most Out of Your Dentures With These Tips

Dentures provide a wonderful solution for patients who have suffered from tooth loss. Whether you require a partial or complete denture, your dentist will work with you to help you achieve the best possible outcome as the solution for tooth loss.

Allow Yourself Ample Time to Adjust to New Dentures

dentures Battle Creek MITeeth replacement can feel overwhelming. Give yourself time to:

Speak clearly and comfortably – Until you get used to your dentures, you will likely experience increased saliva production as well as difficulty forming word sounds. The saliva situation should resolve itself within days. Practice conversing with non-judgmental friends and family; or practice speaking in front of a mirror.

Learn how to chew again – You won’t have to eat soft foods forever, but start with them eventually graduating to chewier foods cut into small, manageable bites.

The Importance of the Proper Care and Maintenance for your Dentures 

Dentures are a big investment so you should maximize the life of your dentures by taking the best care of them that you can.

When you’re not wearing your denture, you should store it in an appropriate container with water or an approved denture cleaning solution. This will allow your denture to stay moist and in so doing, will help it to maintain its shape. Rinse thoroughly before inserting.

Never boil your dentures. Even very hot water can result in your dentures warping.

If you are experiencing rubbing or sore spots, do not attempt to make adjustments. Even a small tweak can result in irreparable damage.

If slipping or movement is a problem, you may be tempted to try a denture paste. Before doing so, a visit to your dentist is advised. Changes to your oral condition might be the problem, and may be corrected providing a better solution than a denture adhesive.

Cleaning your dentures is important. Plaque can form on them so they should be cleaned every day. Use the tools designed for this … a regular toothbrush and toothpaste can be too harsh and can scratch your dentures.

Gently brush gum tissue with dentures out to maintain their health.

When cleaning your dentures, do so over a towel or soft surface to prevent breakage if you should drop them.

To learn more about how dentures can restore your smile, contact the office of Dr. John Morris today.

Can Root Canal Treatment Save My Tooth?

root canal Battle Creek MIHave you been told that you have an infected root canal? If so, you should act quickly or you could lose your tooth. Not only can an infected root canal lead to tooth loss, it can also produce significant discomfort and disrupt your daily life. Root canal therapy removes the infection deep within your tooth and prevents the need for extraction.

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a part of your tooth’s anatomy. It’s a small, chambered area that holds the nerve endings of teeth and cellular material. The contents of a root canal can become inflamed when exposed to oral bacteria.

What is root canal therapy?

Root canal therapy is a procedure that treats an infected root canal. This treatment removes the infected tissue within a tooth and seals the root canal with a rubber compound to prevent future complications. Root canal therapy can literally save your tooth and restore its function.

How does a root canal become infected?

A root canal can become infected when teeth are chipped, cracked, or badly decayed. In healthy teeth, the root canal is sealed off from infection-causing bacteria. When a tooth is severely damaged, however, the root canal can be exposed to oral bacteria and debris. Unable to fight off an infection, this exposure could lead to painful abscesses and/or the need for a tooth extraction.

Will I be comfortable during my procedure?

Root canal therapy has an undeserved reputation for being painful. This is often because having an infected root canal can be very uncomfortable. The treatment itself, however, isn’t actually too invasive or painful. In fact, many people compare the sensations they experience during root canal therapy to receiving routine dental fillings.

Our dentist uses local anesthetics to ensure that our patients feel comfortable during their treatment. After patients heal from root canal therapy, they no longer feel intense discomfort associated with an infected tooth.

For more information or to reserve a consultation with our dentist, contact the office of Dr. John Morris today.

Upgrade Denture Stability with Dental Implants

implant dentures Battle Creek MIAre you unhappy with your dentures? Perhaps you’re tired of them moving when you eat and speak. There is a way to upgrade your dentures so that they stay in place even while you eat tough or fibrous foods. With dental implants, your dentures can function much more like biological teeth. Implant dentures offer both a natural looking aesthetic and ideal oral function.

How Implant Dentures Work

In the past, only the visible parts of teeth were replaceable. This was done with prosthetics like dentures or fixed bridges. While these prosthetics effectively fill in the gaps of an incomplete smile, they have limitations when it comes to restoring oral function. When dentures or bridges are anchored to dental implants, however, patients enjoy greater control and stability when eating.

Dental implants serve as artificial roots. These small, screw-shaped components are placed in the jawbone where the roots of teeth were. Over time, bone will fuse around dental implants to lock them in place, permanently. Dental implants feature abutments, which are used to connect to prosthetics like dentures.

Benefits of Implant Dentures

Implant dentures offer some unique advantages over conventional prosthetics. First, implants keep dentures locked in place. This means patients can enjoy life without dietary restrictions or have to struggle with messy denture adhesives.

Dental implants also help preserve bone mass in the jaw. When we lose teeth, we also lose bone because the roots of teeth are no longer present to keep bone active and stimulated. Since dental implants stimulate the jaw, patients can retain healthy bone mass and maintain a youthful appearance.

On top of contributing to premature aging, bone loss will affect the way dentures fit. It is common for patients to have to replace their dentures as they lose bone. Fortunately, implant dentures can last far longer because dental implants preserve bone.

No one should have to suffer with an incomplete smile. If you have questions about your tooth replacement options, call the office of John Morris, DDS, to schedule a consultation with our implant dentist.

Common Oral Health Concerns of Seniors

family dentistry Battle Creek MISeniors have unique oral health concerns. That’s why our family dentistry practice strives to anticipate potential problems with thorough dental exams. With early detection, many potential issues can be mitigated with preventive treatments and improved oral hygiene at home. Following are a few common concerns that mature patients should know about.

Dry Mouth

Dealing with dry mouth can be more than uncomfortable. Persistent dry mouth could put your oral health at risk. The oral cavity should be a moist environment. Without proper saliva production, our soft tissue will dry out. This could lead to an increased risk for gum disease and dental caries.

Unfortunately, dry mouth can disproportionately affect seniors. This is because many medications affect saliva production. Moreover, a number of common health conditions such as diabetes contribute to this condition, too.

If you struggle with dry mouth, consider increasing your water intake and practicing vigilant oral hygiene. Discussing dry mouth symptoms with our dentist is important. We can help determine the underlying causes of dry mouth and prescribe oral rinses that help keep oral tissue moist.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer can be deadly. Fortunately, early detection can help you preserve your health and your life. Seniors have a higher risk for developing oral cancer – especially if they have smoked, drink frequently, or have been exposed to HPV. Our family dentistry practice provides thorough oral cancer screenings during routine checkups.

Gum Disease

Gum disease can affect patients of any age but seniors do possess higher risks for developing it. Advanced gum disease destroys precious oral tissue and is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. As with other conditions, detecting and treating gum disease as early as possible reduces damage to a patient’s oral health and controls the disease’s progression.

Bone Loss

Losing bone can wreak havoc on your oral health. Bone deterioration commonly affects seniors – particularly women. You can protect your bone health by receiving routine checkups and cleanings, practicing thorough oral hygiene, and by avoiding alcohol and cigarettes. Some patients can offset bone loss with supplements containing calcium and vitamin D.

Our mission is to help our patients enjoy a lifetime of vibrant oral health. Call the office of Dr. John Morris to schedule a cleaning or checkup.