My Blog

Posts for: March, 2018

By Brenna Hamrick-Stotts, DDS, Inc.
March 16, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
WhyemBigBangTheoryemActressMayimBialikCouldntHaveBraces

Mayim Bialik has spent a good part of her life in front of TV cameras: first as the child star of the hit comedy series Blossom, and more recently as Sheldon Cooper’s love interest — a nerdy neuroscientist — on The Big Bang Theory. (In between, she actually earned a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA…but that’s another story.) As a child, Bialik had a serious overbite — but with all her time on camera, braces were just not an option.

“I never had braces,” she recently told Dear Doctor – Dentistry & Oral Health magazine. “I was on TV at the time, and there weren’t a lot of creative solutions for kids who were on TV.” Instead, her orthodontist managed to straighten her teeth using retainers and headgear worn only at night.

Today, there are several virtually invisible options available to fix orthodontic issues — and you don’t have to be a child star to take advantage of them. In fact, both children and adults can benefit from these unobtrusive appliances.

Tooth colored braces are just like traditional metal braces, with one big difference: The brackets attached to teeth are made from a ceramic material that blends in with the natural color of teeth. All that’s visible is the thin archwire that runs horizontally across the teeth — and from a distance it’s hard to notice. Celebs like Tom Cruise and Faith Hill opted for this type of appliance.

Clear aligners are custom-made plastic trays that fit over the teeth. Each one, worn for about two weeks, moves the teeth just a bit; after several months, you’ll see a big change for the better in your smile. Best of all, clear aligners are virtually impossible to notice while you’re wearing them — which you’ll need to do for 22 hours each day. But you can remove them to eat, or for special occasions. Zac Efron and Katherine Heigl, among others, chose to wear clear aligners.

Lingual braces really are invisible. That’s because they go behind your teeth (on the tongue side), where they can’t be seen; otherwise they are similar to traditional metal braces. Lingual braces are placed on teeth differently, and wearing them often takes some getting used to at first. But those trade-offs are worth it for plenty of people. Which celebs wore lingual braces? Rumor has it that the list includes some top models, a well-known pop singer, and at least one British royal.

So what’s the best way to straighten your teeth and keep the orthodontic appliances unnoticeable? Just ask us! We’d be happy to help you choose the option that’s just right for you. You’ll get an individualized evaluation, a solution that fits your lifestyle — and a great-looking smile!

For more information about hard-to-see (or truly invisible) orthodontics, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Orthodontics for the Older Adult” and “Clear Aligners for Teenagers.”


By Brenna Hamrick-Stotts, DDS, Inc.
March 13, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Get all of your questions answered about this speedy way to get a dental crown.crowns

Thought you would have to keep coming back again and again just to get a dental crown placed? Think again! Our Redlands, CA, dentist, Dr. Brenna Hamrick-Stotts, understands that it isn’t always easy to schedule a dental appointment with your already hectic life, but trying to schedule multiple visits? It sounds downright impossible; however, getting proper dental care is important and if you need to restore a tooth with a dental crown then it’s time to find out how CEREC crowns can make this process a whole lot easier.

Q. What are same day crowns?

A. Same day crowns, also referred to as CEREC crowns, still look and function just like a traditional dental crown the only difference is that instead of having to wait to get your restoration our Redlands can measure your tooth, design and fabricate the crown, and then fit and place it in just one visit. Those dealing with fractured, cracked, weakened, or damaged teeth can now restore their tooth in just one quick trip to our office.

Q. What is the process of getting same day crowns?

A. Using CAD/CAM technology, we can design and make your crown on site. No more waiting around for an outside dental lab to create your crowns and no more having to wear those annoying temporary crowns while you wait. When you come into the office we will use a small camera to capture precise images and measurements of the tooth. These images become 3D renderings on the specialized computer software. These exact measurements will then help us design a crown that offers the perfect fit.

From there, we will choose a block of porcelain that most closely matches the shade of your tooth before placing it in the milling station and allowing it to get to work chiseling and creating your crown. Once the crown is complete, we will check the fit before cementing over your tooth.

Q. How long do same day crowns last?

A. Just like regular crowns, same day crowns offer the same longevity and durability. Of course, your oral hygiene and everyday habits will play a big part in the health of your crown. With the proper care, your CEREC crown could last 10 years or more.

Q. Why do I need a dental crown?

A. There are many people who can benefit from getting a crown. You may need a dental crown if:

  • You have severe or extensive decay and a filling won’t support the tooth
  • You have a tooth that has been damaged by trauma or direct impact
  • You have a cracked or fractured tooth
  • Years of teeth grinding have caused your teeth to become severely worn down
  • You have a tooth that is poorly shaped or terribly discolored

If you are ready to get your same-day crown in Redlands, CA, then it’s time you called our office and scheduled an appointment.


By Brenna Hamrick-Stotts, DDS, Inc.
March 01, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
OrthodonticsandYourTeen

In many ways, the teenage years are the best time to have orthodontic treatment. It’s a good time emotionally because your teen is likely to have friends who also wear braces; orthodontic treatment becomes a rite of passage they can go through together. It’s also advantageous in a physical sense because all 20 baby teeth have come out, and most of the 32 adult teeth (except the 4 wisdom teeth) have emerged. At the same time, especially with younger teens, jaw growth is not yet complete — allowing orthodontists to harness the growing body’s natural adaptability. We can use a variety of appliances to do that — some of which weren’t around a generation ago!

Appliance Choices

In many cases, traditional metal braces are still the best way to achieve the desired results. However, these are not the “train tracks” of old. Braces are smaller and lighter, with brackets that are cemented to the front surfaces of teeth rather than to bands that encircle the entire tooth (except in the very back). Braces can be made much less noticeable by using ceramic brackets that are clear or tooth-colored; however, ceramic brackets are easier to break than metal. An even stealthier way to undergo orthodontic treatment is with clear aligners. These removable clear plastic “trays” are custom made with the help of computer software that divides the treatment process into two-week stages. After each two-week period, the tray is changed and the next stage of movement takes place until the teeth are in correct alignment. The Invisalign system has two modifications especially for teens: “eruption tabs” that hold space open for emerging molars, and “compliance indicators” that can tell parents and orthodontists if the teen is keeping the trays in for the prescribed amount of time. We’d be happy to discuss whether clear aligners would be an option for your child.

Keeping It Clean

No matter which type of appliance is used, oral hygiene becomes even more important during orthodontic treatment. Wearing braces presents special challenges in terms of keeping teeth clean; however, it’s extremely important to do an effective job every day so that gums do not become inflamed and cavities do not develop. It’s far easier to clean teeth with clear aligners, which can be removed, but the aligners themselves can build up bacteria, leading to the same types of oral health issues if they are not cleaned each day.

Making It Count

Another way in which orthodontic treatment will not vary regardless of the type of appliance chosen is the necessity of a retention phase. Everyone who has their teeth straightened (and this goes for adults and younger kids, too) must wear a retainer to hold the teeth in their new and improved alignment while new bone grows around them. Yes, braces are easier to wear than they used to be… but no one wants to wear them twice!

If you have questions about braces for your teen, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Clear Aligners for Teenagers” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”