Posts for: April, 2016

By Wayne Cook, D.D.S.
April 28, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: wisdom teeth  

Teeth damaged by decay, periodontal (gum) disease or trauma are often removed (extracted) if they’re deemed beyond repair. But there’s another reason we may recommend an extraction: a tooth is causing or has the potential to cause problems for other teeth and your overall oral health.

Some of the most frequent cases of “preventive extraction” involve the third molars, or wisdom teeth, located in the very back of the mouth. They’re usually the last permanent teeth to come in, which is related to some of the problems they can cause. Because they’re trying to come in among teeth that have already erupted they don’t always erupt properly, often at abnormal angles or not fully erupting through the gums, a condition called impaction.

Impacted or misaligned wisdom teeth can put pressure on adjacent teeth and their roots, which can cause root resorption that damages the second molar. They can also increase the risk of periodontal (gum) disease in the gum tissues of the second molars, which if untreated can ultimately cause teeth and bone loss.

Because of current or possible future problems with wisdom teeth, we often consider removing them at some early point in the person’s dental development. Such a consideration shouldn’t be undertaken lightly, since wisdom teeth extraction is often complex and fraught with complications, and it usually requires a surgical procedure.

That’s why we first conduct a comprehensive examination (including x-ray or other imaging to determine exact location and possible complications) before we recommend an extraction. If after careful analysis an extraction appears to be the best course, we must then consider other factors like planned orthodontics to determine the best time for the procedure.

Once performed, a wisdom tooth extraction can resolve existing problems now and reduce the risks of gum disease or malocclusions in the future. When it comes to wisdom teeth, removing them may be in your or your family member’s best interest for optimal dental health.

If you would like more information on wisdom teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Wisdom Teeth.”


Magician Michael Grandinetti mystifies and astonishes audiences with his sleight of hand and mastery of illusion. But when he initially steps onto the stage, it’s his smile that grabs the attention. “The first thing… that an audience notices is your smile; it’s what really connects you as a person to them,” Michael told an interviewer.

He attributes his audience-pleasing smile to several years of orthodontic treatment as a teenager to straighten misaligned teeth, plus a lifetime of good oral care. “I’m so thankful that I did it,” he said about wearing orthodontic braces. “It was so beneficial. And… looking at the path I’ve chosen, it was life-changing.”

Orthodontics — the dental subspecialty focused on treating malocclusions (literally “bad bites”) — can indeed make life-changing improvements. Properly positioned teeth are integral to the aesthetics of any smile, and a smile that’s pleasing to look at boosts confidence and self-esteem and makes a terrific first impression. Studies have even linked having an attractive smile with greater professional success.

There can also be functional benefits such as improved biting/chewing and speech, and reduced strain on jaw muscles and joints. Additionally, well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and less likely to trap food particles that can lead to decay.

The Science Behind the Magic

There are more options than ever for correcting bites, but all capitalize on the fact that teeth are suspended in individual jawbone sockets by elastic periodontal ligaments that enable them to move. Orthodontic appliances (commonly called braces or clear aligners) place light, controlled forces on teeth in a calculated fashion to move them into their new desired alignment.

The “gold standard” in orthodontic treatment remains the orthodontic band for posterior (back) teeth and the bonded bracket for front teeth. Thin, flexible wires threaded through the brackets create the light forces needed for repositioning. Traditionally the brackets have been made of metal, but for those concerned about the aesthetics, they can also be made out of a clear material. Lingual braces, which are bonded to the back of teeth instead of the front, are another less visible option. The most discrete appliance is the removable clear aligner, which consists of a progression of custom-made clear trays that reposition teeth incrementally.

How’s that for a disappearing act?!

If you would like more information about orthodontic treatment please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Magic of Orthodontics.”

By Wayne Cook, DDS
April 01, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: invisalign  

Learn about the importance of straight teeth from your Marion dentist.

Braces do more than just straighten your teeth. They also offer several important dental health benefits. Wayne Cook, DDS, your Marion dentist, is here to share several advantages of orthodontic treatment.Invisalign

Braces will help improve your self-confidence

It's hard to feel good about the way you look if your teeth are crooked, or you have an underbite, overbite or large gaps between your teeth. In fact, you may avoid smiling because you feel so self-conscious. Braces improve your smile and give your self-confidence a boost. When you feel good about the way you look, it's much easier to interact with other people and enjoy positive personal relationships.

You may have fewer cavities when your teeth are straight

When teeth overlap, it's impossible to completely remove plaque from every surface. Plaque eventually turns into a hard substance called tartar that can only be removed by your dentist. Tartar not only causes cavities, but can also cause painful gum disease. When your teeth are straight, brushing and flossing is much easier and more effective.

You'll be less likely to suffer dental trauma after you wear braces

Crooked, prominent or overlapping teeth are more likely to be injured or damaged if you're accidentally hit in the mouth. Uniformly straight teeth are better able to absorb the shock of a blow, and although a hard blow can damage even straight teeth, damage is much less likely if your teeth are in alignment.

You'll avoid pain due to bite and alignment issues

Misaligned teeth don't just look unattractive; they can also cause pain and other issues. When your teeth don't line up, you're more likely to grind them at night. Grinding wears down your teeth and can cause them to fracture eventually. In some cases, you may even develop temporomandibular joint disorder, (TMJ) a painful condition that can cause headaches and neck pain. Bite issues can also interfere with your ability to chew your food thoroughly, which can lead to gastrointestinal problems.

Interested in learning more about the benefits of braces? Make an appointment with Wayne Cook, DDS, your Marion dentist, at (870) 739-8799. Transform your smile with braces!

Marion, AR Family Dentist
Wayne Cook, D.D.S.
303 Bancario Rd.Suite 7
Marion, AR 72364
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