My Blog

Posts for: April, 2019

By Steven M. Erlandson, DDS
April 20, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: mouthguards  
AprilIsNationalFacialProtectionMonth

April brings the perfect weather to get outside and play. Fittingly, April is also National Facial Protection Month. Whether you prefer softball or basketball, skateboarding or ultimate frisbee, don't forget your most important piece of equipment: a mouthguard to protect your face and your smile!

In an instant, a blow to the mouth can cause a dental injury that is painful to endure and expensive to treat. In just about any sporting activity, your mouth could come into contact with a piece of equipment, another person or the ground. That's why the American Dental Association and the Academy for Sports Dentistry recommend using a mouthguard when participating in any of over 30 activities, including some that aren't typically considered contact sports, like volleyball and bike riding.

Common sense, observation and scientific research support the use of mouthguards during sporting activities—but are the ones you get from your dentist really any better than the kind you can grab off the shelf at a sporting goods store or drugstore? The answer is yes!

In a 2018 experiment, researchers created a model of the human head to test how direct impact affects the teeth, jaws and skull. They compared the effects of impact when using no mouthguard, when using a custom-made mouthguard available from the dentist, and when using a stock mouthguard. They also tested mouthguards of different thicknesses. The results? The experimenters determined that any mouthguard is better than no mouthguard and that custom mouthguards available from the dental office are more effective than off-the-shelf mouthguards in protecting teeth, jaws and skull from impact. They also found that the thicker the mouthguard, the better the protection.

Although custom mouthguards are more expensive than the kind you can buy at the corner store, the difference in protection, durability, comfort and fit is well worth the investment. We consider your (or your child's) individual needs, take a precise model of your mouth and provide you with a custom-fit mouthguard of the highest quality material.

Don't ruin your game. A mouthguard can go a long way in protecting your teeth and mouth from injury. If you would like more information about a sports mouthguard, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Mouthguards” and “An Introduction to Sports Injuries & Dentistry.”


By STEVEN M. ERLANDSON, DDS
April 16, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Dr. Steven Erlandson, a family dentist in Grand Forks, ND, has several years of experience treating missing teeth and placing dental dental implantsimplants.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are titanium screws inserted into your jawbone to host and replace missing teeth. It is a minor surgical procedure. Once placed, the bone grows around the implanted screw. This entire process, called osseointegration, takes three to six months. When it is done healing, the base (abutment) and porcelain dental crown are attached to the screw. Dental implants also support dentures with the use of four implants.

 How many teeth are replaced?

You can replace as many missing teeth as needed. It may take longer to complete and heal from implants when multiples are inserted at once. Dr. Steven Erlandson will consult with you on this matter.

 Is dental implant surgery painful?

Your Grand Forks dentist uses anesthesia, either local or general, during the procedure. It numbs you and the affected areas. This makes the entire process comfortable and tolerable.

 Are dental implants a cost-effective choice?

Dental implants are more expensive than other dental procedures, like bridgework, but are more durable and long-lasting than other procedures. The strength and quality of the implants make it cost-effective in the long run.

 How does someone care for dental implants?

Dental implants don't require special care. Just maintain proper dental hygiene habits like:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day for a minimum of two minutes

  • Flossing at least once a day

  • Regular bi-annual dental checkups

  • Replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months or when necessary

Are dental implants rejected?

Dental implants are made out of titanium which is biocompatible. They have a ninety-five percent success rate.

 Who is a good candidate for dental implants?

An oral examination and x-ray assess a person's candidacy for the procedure. The patient needs to have strong bone density and quality.

 Who should you call for a consultation?

Dental implants are a great solution for permanently fixing missing teeth. If you would like more information about dental implants from Dr. Steven Erlandson in Grand Forks, ND, call his office at (701) 772-6581 to learn more.


By Steven M. Erlandson, DDS
April 10, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: celebrity smiles   retainer  
FanofSuperheroFilmBlackPantherBreaksSteelWirewithHerMouth

Some moviegoers have been known to crunch popcorn, bite their fingers or grab their neighbor’s hands during the intense scenes of a thriller. But for one fan, the on-screen action in the new superhero film Black Panther led to a different reaction.

Sophia Robb, an 18-year-old Californian, had to make an emergency visit to the orthodontic office because she snapped the steel wire on her retainer while watching a battle scene featuring her Hollywood crush, Michael B. Jordan. Her jaw-clenching mishap went viral and even prompted an unexpected reply from the actor himself!

Meanwhile, Sophia got her retainer fixed pronto—which was exactly the right thing to do. The retention phase is a very important part of orthodontic treatment: If you don’t wear a retainer, the beautiful new smile you’re enjoying could become crooked again. That’s because if the teeth are not held in their new positions, they will naturally begin to drift back into their former locations—and you may have to start treatment all over again…

While it’s much more common to lose a removable retainer than to damage one, it is possible for even sturdy retainers to wear out or break. This includes traditional plastic-and-wire types (also called Hawley retainers), clear plastic retainers that are molded to fit your teeth (sometimes called Essix retainers), and bonded retainers: the kind that consists of a wire that’s permanently attached to the back side of your teeth. So whichever kind you use, do what Sophia did if you feel that anything is amiss—have it looked at right away!

When Black Panther co-star Michael B. Jordan heard about the retainer mishap, he sent a message to the teen: “Since I feel partly responsible for breaking your retainers let me know if I can replace them.” His young fan was grateful for the offer—but even more thrilled to have a celebrity twitter follower.

If you have questions about orthodontic retainers, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers” and “Bonded Retainers.”