Posts for: July, 2017

Has your smile changed over the years - and not for the better? Improving your smile may be as simple as adding a crown or bridge. restorative dentistryThese restorations offer the ideal solution to many dental issues, including discolored, broken, missing or cracked teeth. The doctors at Siwell Dental in Byram, MS, explain how you can benefit from crowns and bridges.

What is the difference between crowns and bridges?

Bridges replace missing teeth, while crowns are used to restore teeth or conceal imperfections. Crowns look just like natural teeth, except they're hollow inside. They fit over teeth and offer an excellent way to stabilize and protect weak or damaged teeth. Bridges consist of a row of artificial teeth attached together. Crowns on either end of the bridge anchor it in your mouth. Both crowns and bridges are attached to your mouth with dental cement in our Byram office. Depending on the materials used to make the crowns and bridges, the restorations can last 10 to 15 years or longer.

When are crowns and bridges recommended?

Crowns and bridges are very effective in correcting damage. They cover cracks and restore teeth that have broken. A crack in a tooth is a warning sign. Because cracks weaken teeth, you can expect the tooth to break at some point in the future if you don't protect it with a crown. Breaks are not only painful, but can jeopardize the health of your tooth. If a break is severe and extends into the roots of a tooth, the only option may be extraction. Adding a crown to a cracked tooth help you avoid this unpleasant consequence.

Crowns are also used to change the way a tooth looks and can improve the appearance of crooked, discolored or chipped tooth. If you grind your teeth at night, you may notice that they've become shorter. Shorter teeth are more than just a cosmetic issue, as they can affect your bite, the way your teeth fit together. Crowns extend the length of teeth, improving both appearance and bite.

Missing teeth affect your appearance and make biting and chewing difficult. Bridges replace missing teeth and restore your ability to chew normally. Both crowns and bridges can be attached to dental implants, titanium posts that bond to your jawbone and replace missing tooth roots. Implants offer a permanent way to replace missing teeth and are the latest restoration innovation.

Are you considering crowns and bridges? Call Byram, MS, dentists at (601) 371-8634 to schedule an appointment.


A child's formative years have an immense impact on their physical, mental and emotional well-being. As a parent you want them to have every advantage possible.

That should include a healthy mouth — actions you take now could determine the long-term soundness of their teeth and gums. Here are 5 things you can do to ensure your child's present and future oral health.

Begin oral hygiene habits early. By early, we mean even before their first teeth appear. Wipe their gums after every feeding with a water-soaked cloth or gauze pad; when teeth appear switch to brushing with just a smear of toothpaste on the end of the brush.

Start dental visits around their first birthday. Early dental visits increase the chances of detecting and treating developing problems before they become worse. And starting may also help your child become comfortable with visiting the dentist — waiting until later increases the chances of anxiety and an aversion to dental visits that might carry over into adulthood.

Adopt dental-friendly home and lifestyle habits.  Don't allow your child to sleep with a pacifier or bottle filled with sugary fluids, including breast milk or formula: fill them with water instead. Limit their sugar consumption to small amounts and only at meal times. And be sure to “childproof” your home against hazards, especially sharp-edged furniture that could damage teeth if they make hard contact with it.

Teach them to care for their own teeth. Although you'll need to brush their teeth for them in the beginning, be sure you eventually teach them to perform this vital habit for themselves. To ease the transition try modeling the behavior or make it into an activity you can do together.

Partner with your family dentist. Your dental office can do more than prevent or treat dental disease — they're an important resource in helping you manage your child's dental needs at home. They can coach you on brushing and flossing techniques, and provide information to set your mind at ease about concerns like teething or thumb sucking.

If you would like more information on complete oral care for your child, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children” and “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children.”

By Siwell Dental
July 09, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Ever since childhood, when her career as a model and actress took off, Brooke Shields has enjoyed worldwide recognition — through advertisements for designer jeans, appearances on The Muppet Show, and starring roles in big-screen films. But not long ago, that familiar face was spotted in an unusual place: wearing a nasal anesthesia mask at the dentist's office. In fact, Shields posted the photo to her own Instagram account, with the caption “More dental surgery! I grind my teeth!” And judging by the number of comments the post received, she's far from alone.

In fact, researchers estimate that around one in ten adults have dental issues that stem from teeth grinding, which is also called bruxism. (Many children also grind their teeth, but it rarely causes serious problems, and is often outgrown.) About half of the people who are teeth grinders report problems like persistent headaches, jaw tenderness and sore teeth. Bruxism may also result in excessive tooth wear, and may damage dental work like crowns and bridges; in severe cases, loosened or fractured teeth have been reported.

Researchers have been studying teeth grinding for many years; their findings seem to indicate that it has no single cause. However, there are a number of factors that play a significant role in this condition. One is the anatomy of the jaw itself, and the effect of worn or misaligned teeth on the bite. Another factor relates to changes in brain activity that occur during the sleep cycle. In fact, nocturnal (nighttime) bruxism is now classified as a sleep-related movement disorder. Still other factors, such as the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, and a high level of stress or anxiety, can make an individual more likely to experience bruxism.

What can be done for people whose teeth grinding is causing problems? Since this condition may have many causes, a number of different treatments are available. Successful management of bruxism often begins by striving to eliminate the factors that may cause problems — for example, making lifestyle changes to improve your health, creating a soothing nighttime environment, and trying stress-reduction techniques; these may include anything from warm baths and soft music at bedtime, to meditation and mindfulness exercises.

Several dental treatments are also available, including a custom-made occlusal guard (night guard) that can keep your teeth from being damaged by grinding. In some cases, a bite adjustment may also be recommended: In this procedure, a small amount of enamel is removed from a tooth to change the way it contacts the opposite tooth, thereby lessening the biting force on it. More invasive techniques (such as surgery) are rarely needed.

A little tooth grinding once in a while can be a normal response to stress; in fact, becoming aware of the condition is often the first step to controlling it. But if you begin to notice issues that could stem from bruxism — or if the loud grinding sounds cause problems for your sleeping partner — it may be time to contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more about bruxism in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Stress and Tooth Habits.”

Contact Us

Siwell Dental

(601) 371-8634
6745 S. Siwell Rd Suite 210 Byram, MS 39272