My Blog

Posts for: December, 2017

By Joseph & Nina Zeigler, DMD, PC
December 29, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Watching your newborn develop into a toddler, then an elementary schooler, a teenager, and finally an adult is one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences there is. Throughout the years, you’ll note the passing of many physical milestones — including changes that involve the coming and going of primary and permanent teeth. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about children’s dental development.

When will I see my baby’s first tooth come in?
The two lower front teeth usually erupt (emerge from the gums) together, between the ages of 6 and 10 months. But your baby’s teeth may come earlier or later. Some babies are even born with teeth! You will know the first tooth is about to come in if you see signs of teething, such as irritability and a lot of drooling. The last of the 20 baby teeth to come in are the 2-year molars, so named for the age at which they erupt.

When do kids start to lose their baby teeth?
Baby teeth are generally lost in the same order in which they appeared, starting with the lower front teeth around age 6. Children will continue to lose their primary teeth until around age 12.

What makes baby teeth fall out?
Pressure from the emerging permanent tooth below the gum will cause the roots of the baby tooth to break down or “resorb” little by little. As more of the root structure disappears, the primary tooth loses its anchorage in the jawbone and falls out.

When will I know if my child needs braces?
Bite problems (malocclusions) usually become apparent when a child has a mixture of primary and permanent teeth, around age 6-8. Certain malocclusions are easier to treat while a child’s jaw is still growing, before puberty is reached. Using appliances designed for this purpose, orthodontists can actually influence the growth and development of a child’s jaw — to make more room for crowded teeth, for example. We can discuss interceptive orthodontics more fully with you at your child’s next appointment.

When do wisdom teeth come in and why do they cause problems?
Wisdom teeth (also called third molars) usually come in between the ages of 17 and 25. By that time, there may not be enough room in the jaw to accommodate them — or they may be positioned to come in at an angle instead of vertically. Either of these situations can cause them to push against the roots of a neighboring tooth and become trapped beneath the gum, which is known as impaction. An impacted wisdom tooth may lead to an infection or damage to adjacent healthy teeth. That it is why it is important for developing wisdom teeth to be monitored regularly at the dental office.

If you have additional questions about your child’s dental development, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Losing a Baby Tooth” and “The Importance of Baby Teeth.”

By Joseph & Nina Zeigler, DMD, PC
December 14, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

The holidays are a season for giving. At this time of year, lots of us spend hours rushing around, looking for the perfect gifts for people we care about. But sometimes, amidst all the hustle and bustle, it doesn’t hurt to step back and think about yourself a little. If a better-looking smile has been on your list but you haven’t taken the first steps, the holiday season might be the right time to give yourself a gift.

Many smile problems, like discolored, chipped or uneven teeth, can be resolved with veneers—wafer-thin porcelain shells that cover the front surfaces of teeth. Veneers are custom-made just for you: They can have a pearly luster to match your existing teeth, or be Hollywood-white for a dazzling red-carpet smile. In just a few visits to the dental office, you can have the smile you’ve always wanted—and a whole new look for the New Year.

If damaged or missing teeth are what’s bothering you, you’ll be happy to know that there are lots of good options for replacing them. If the tooth’s roots are still in good shape, a crown or cap could be the answer. This is a sturdy replacement for the entire visible part of the tooth that not only looks great, but also functions well in your bite—and can last for years to come.

If teeth are missing or can’t be saved, we offer several options for replacement, including fixed (non-removable) bridgework and dental implants. A tried-and-true method for replacing one or more missing teeth, bridges are firmly supported by healthy teeth next to the gap in your smile. These teeth must be prepared to receive the bridge by having some of the tooth’s surface removed.

Dental implants are today’s premier option for tooth replacement. In this high-tech system, a root-like titanium insert, placed directly into the bone beneath the gum, forms a solid anchorage for the visible part of the replacement tooth. Implants look and feel completely natural, and can last for many years. Plus, they don’t require any work to be done on nearby teeth.

What kind of smile makeover is right for you? Just ask us! We will be happy to take a look at your smile and recommend a treatment plan. And in this season of generosity, there’s no better gift you can give yourself than a bright new smile.

You can learn more about smile makeovers by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Beautiful Smiles by Design.”

By Joseph & Nina Zeigler, DMD, PC
December 13, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry   veneers  

Dental issues don't have to be major to affect your smile. Even the smallest imperfections can make you feel self-conscious every time you veneersopen your mouth. Luckily, veneers offer a simple way to transform your smile. St. Louis, MO, dentists Drs. Joseph and Nina Zeigler discuss the benefits of veneers.

How can veneers help my smile?

Veneers are very effective in concealing imperfections that only affect the fronts of your teeth. They're constructed of a thin layer of porcelain and applied to your teeth with dental cement. Because porcelain veneers are opaque, they do an excellent job of keeping flaws hidden from view. The restorations are created from a mold of your mouth, which ensures that they fit your teeth perfectly and look completely natural.

Do you have small chips in your tooth enamel? Chipped areas can be distracting when you smile and may cut your lips or tongue if they're rough. Veneers are often used to hide chips and other dental flaws, like cracks or bumpy or uneven tooth surfaces.

Veneers are also a good choice if one of your teeth has changed color. The problem can occur if you took tetracycline to treat a bacterial infection when you were a child, have a large filling or had an infection that darkened your tooth. Because veneers are available in a range of colors, it's simple to match your veneer to the color of your other teeth when you visit our St. Louis office.

If you're tired of whitening your teeth or aren't happy with the results of whitening, veneers offer another whitening option. When they're applied to all of your teeth, they offer an instant and dramatic transformation. You can even choose the optimum shade for your new smile.

Gaps between teeth are particularly noticeable, even if they're small. Adding veneers to your teeth completely eliminates the spaces. Although you may need orthodontic treatment if the gaps are severe, veneers offer a simple solution to a common cosmetic dental issue.

Would you like to find out if your smile can be improved by adding veneers? Call St. Louis, MO, dentists Drs. Zeigler at (314) 872-7590 to schedule an appointment.