Posts for: November, 2015

By Michael J Morris, DDS
November 21, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

A few days before the Oscars, Vanity Fair magazine asked Academy Awards host Neil Patrick Harris to name his most treasured possession. Was it his Tony award statuette for best leading actor in a musical? His star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? The stethoscope he wore while playing teenaged doctor Doogie Howser on TV? No, as it turns out, the 41-year-old actor’s most treasured possession is… his wisdom teeth. Yes, you read that correctly. “Oddly, I still have my four wisdom teeth,” Harris said. “I refuse to let them go or I’ll lose my wise parts.”

How odd is it for a 41-year-old to have wisdom teeth? Actually, not that odd at all. While it is true that wisdom teeth are often removed, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to this. It all depends on whether they are causing problems now, or are likely to cause problems in the future.

The trouble wisdom teeth cause is related to the fact that they are the last molars to come in, and that molars are large in size. By the time wisdom teeth appear between the ages of 17 and 21, there often is not enough room for them in the jaw. Sometimes it’s because you may have inherited a jaw size that’s too small for your tooth size; and generally speaking, the size of the human jaw has evolved to become smaller over time.

If room is lacking, the adjacent molar (that came in earlier) can interfere with the path of eruption — causing the wisdom tooth to come in at an odd angle. The wisdom tooth can hit up against that other tooth, possibly causing pain or damaging the adjacent tooth. This is known as “impaction.” Sometimes the wisdom tooth breaks only partway through the gum tissue, leaving a space beneath the gum line that’s almost impossible to clean, causing infection. A serious oral infection can jeopardize the survival of teeth, and even spread to other parts of the body.

If a wisdom tooth is impacted, will you know it? Not necessarily. A tooth can be impacted without causing pain. But we can see the position of your wisdom teeth on a dental x-ray and help you make an informed decision as to whether they should stay or go. If removal is the best course of action, rest assured that this procedure is completely routine and that your comfort and safety is our highest priority. If there is no great risk to keeping them, as Neil Patrick Harris has done, we can simply continue to monitor their condition at your regular dental checkups. It will be particularly important to make sure you are reaching those teeth with your brush and floss, and that you keep to your schedule of regular professional cleanings at the dental office. All healthy teeth are indeed worth treasuring.

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

By Michael J Morris, DDS
November 06, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  

When you’re going through hard economic times, the natural thing to do is cut areas of spending you believe you can do without. Unfortunately, many people include regular dental care in this low-priority category.

But even if your finances have become strained you should still try to maintain your dental care if at all possible. Saving a few dollars now could cost you a lot more in the long run.

Of course, this may mean focusing on just the basics for a while and prioritize your treatment options with a strong emphasis on preventive care. To put together a plan you should first undergo a thorough dental exam to learn your mouth’s current level of health, as well as take a look at your dietary practices, family history and hygiene practices to gauge your risk for tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease.

From there, it’s a good idea to make changes in habits and lifestyle that will improve your teeth and gums’ long-term health, a prudent thing to do financially as well. Eat a nutritious diet high in fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy products and low in added sugar. Practice daily brushing and flossing to remove bacterial plaque from tooth surfaces, a primary cause of dental disease. And, keep to a schedule of regular dental office cleanings and checkups to remove any deep-seated plaque and identify developing dental disease before it becomes too serious.

Even when we find problems, there are usually treatment options within most people’s financial ability, like newer, less-expensive tooth filling materials that are both attractive and longer lasting than older types.  At the very least you may benefit from temporary measures that postpone a permanent restoration until you’re in a better position financially to handle it.

And, don’t hesitate to ask us for help in working out a care strategy that fits your current finances and insurance coverage. By creating these long-term goals, we can help you get the most out of your financial resources now that can save money — and provide you better oral health — in the future.

If you would like more information on managing dental care, 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 “Cost-Saving Treatment Alternatives.”

By Michael J Morris, DDS
November 02, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Invisalign  

If having a straighter smile for your wedding day is one of your goals then ask about Invisalign.

Getting braces no longer has the same negative implications that it once did during your childhood. Heavy, thick metal has now been Invisalignreplaced with clear, plastic trays that go over your teeth to get that perfectly shaped smile. If you are planning a wedding in the next year or so and have always dreamed of having the perfect smile for those memorable photos, then ask your Spring, TX dentist Dr. Michael J. Morris about Invisalign.

What is Invisalign?

Unlike traditional braces that make patients sport metal brackets and wires, Invisalign is a practically invisible way to straighten your smile. Your Spring, TX general dentist will fit you with your very own, see-through aligners that are uniquely made to fit over your teeth to move them into the proper position.

What dental problems does Invisalign address?

Because Invisalign takes a different approach to straightening teeth many patients believe that it won’t be able to tackle their dental issues. Fortunately, this is far from the truth. In fact, Invisalign can be used to treat a variety of moderate to more serious issues including:

  • Overcrowding
  • Crooked teeth
  • Spaces between teeth
  • Open bites
  • Cross bites
  • Overbites and underbites

While it’s true that Invisalign can’t tackle all of your problems, your Spring dentist will be able to tell you whether this orthodontic treatment will be a good option for your smile.

What are the benefits of getting Invisalign?

Many patients enjoy how easily Invisalign fits into their lives rather than having to cater to their braces. Unlike regular braces, Invisalign can be removed before eating, drinking, brushing and flossing. No need to change your diet to protect your braces, just pop out your aligners before mealtime and you can still enjoy all your favorite foods while also getting a straighter smile.

Because aligners are removable it also means that you don’t have to change your oral routine, so you don’t have to worry about trying to clean around pesky wires and metal. Just brush and floss as you normally would without braces!

Plus, many adults who opt for Invisalign often have a shorter length of treatment than with traditional braces (about one year, on average). This means you could easily have that picture-perfect smile before the big day!

Who doesn’t want to have a more ideal smile? Your dentist in Spring, TX can help you achieve your smile goals. If Invisalign sounds like the orthodontic treatment you’ve been looking for, call us today!

Louetta and Spring, TX Family Dentist
Michael J Morris, DDS
9318 Louetta Road Suite 600
Spring, TX 77379
(281) 379-6939
Family Dentist in Spring and Louetta, TX Call For Pricing Options



Facebook iconTwitter iconOur Blog icon