Monday, January 31, 2011

A little history of dentistry.

As with most things, the first try is not always a success.

The same can be said about dentistry. The earliest writings we have on the subject are from about 5000 B.C. Way back then all we have is people speculation on what in the world was the cause of a toothache.

Later on, about 300 B.C. we start to get treatments for toothaches listed. Even such noted historical figures as Hippocrates and Aristotle got in on the act.

In the old west it is recorded that the barber doubled as the local dentist. The word "dentist" being very loosely used as most of what the barber did was to simply take teeth that had gone bad.

Personally I can't imagine what it must have been like. I know how my teeth feel after just one day of not brushing them. What must they have felt like after not brushing them for YEARS?!

Oh well, over 7,000 years after the first recorded ideas of dentistry we now have amazing new technologies that make going to the dentist a
whole lot better then it used to be.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Switching from soda to sports drinks.

I have many patients who have developed bad oral habits over the years.
One of these bad habits is drinking lots of soda pop.
Soda is terrible on your teeth.
I try to get people to stop drinking the stuff as much as I can.
Some folks have decided that they will kick the soda habit by going to something
much more healthy for them.
The stuff they decide to drink instead is sports drinks (gatorade, poweraid, red bull, etc.)
They see the commercials and see professional athletes drinking this stuff and think that it must be good for them.
Not so fast. The following is a study from the university of Iowa. and the results may shock you.

“The University of Iowa researchers covered extracted teeth with nail polish. They left bare two patches on each tooth, one on the enamel and one on the root. Then they dunked the teeth in test tubes filled with regular Coke, Diet Coke, Gatorade, Red Bull, or 100% apple juice. Every five hours, the researchers refreshed the beverages. After 25 hours, they examined the teeth with a microscope. All of the beverages eroded the bare spots on the teeth. But different beverages had significantly different effects. On the enamel, Gatorade was significantly more corrosive than Red Bull and Coke. Red Bull and Coke, in turn, were significantly more corrosive than Diet Coke and apple juice. On the roots of the teeth, Gatorade was more corrosive than Red Bull. Coke, apple juice, and Diet Coke followed in that order.”

So there you have it. People switching from soda pop to sports drinks thinking that they are helping their teeth are actually doing MORE damage to their teeth then before. Be careful what people tell you is better for you. It just may be worse.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

People often ask about veneers. Their number one concern is what exactly happens to the teeth that the veneers will be placed on. This video will hopefully clear that up.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

1/2 off brain surgery!

Who in their right mind would answer an ad for 1/2 off of a brain surgery?
Probably no one.
Because you want it done right. Your brain is important.
Whenever people are getting major surgeries done, you always hear them say that they got the best doctor they could find. You never hear them say that they got the cheapest.

So why do people jump so quickly for a cut rate dentist?
Please do not misunderstand. I realize that your teeth are not as important as your brain. However, if you like having a nice smile and if you do not want to have problems down the road with the same teeth over and over again you may want to look for the quality instead of the freebie.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dental Implants

When we talk to people about implants there is a lot of hesitation because people really do not know what is involved in getting an implant. If your tooth is already gone then its really very simple. If you still have a tooth in the spot where the implant needs to go then things can be a bit more challenging but its still not too bad. Here is a little, 30 second, video that shows an implant procedure.

Monday, January 17, 2011

When should may baby get his/her first tooth?

There is nothing much cuter then an infants big gummy smile. After a while however, parents start to ask the question, "When are my babies first teeth going to start coming in"?

Below is a chart showing not only when the first teeth will come in but when they will come out as well. The first tooth to come in, is typically, the lower central incisor. The last should be the back molars. A quick way to check and see that your youngster has all of their teeth in is to count them. A full set of baby teeth will equal out to be 10 teeth on the top and a matching 10 teeth on the bottom.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


It happens all the time.

Someone comes into my office that hasn't been for a long long time. I ask why it is that they have not come for so many years. They reply that they had a bad experience once and that they can't stand the noise of the drill or the feel of the novocaine or something similar to that.

I ask them how long its been and the response comes back that they haven't been in 20 or 30 years.

I then ask them what their cell phone looked like 25 years ago.
After a puzzled look they go on to describe a boxy bulky phone that weighed a ton. I then ask them to describe their personal computer. They go on to talk about floppy disks and commodore 64s.
I then explain that just like in every other area of their life, things move on. Technology advances and things improve. Dentistry of 30 years ago is NOT dentistry of today. I tell them of quieter drills and how we don't use metal fillings anymore and on and on. The real kicker comes in when I tell them that we haven't used novocaine in over 20 years! I don't even know if you can buy the stuff anymore. Even the stuff we use to numb people up with has evolved immensely.

Moral to the story is this. If you have had a bad dental experience in the past. But it was the past of the 80s or even 90s. Please give the dentist another try. Things are so much better now then they have ever been. Technology can be a wonderful thing.

Don't know why I included this one. Just love the 80s hair.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Painless teeth replacement

"Painless tooth replacement"
"Teeth in a day"

We have all heard these claims and typically they are accompanied by promises that the doctor can, almost magically, take out all of your teeth, put implants in, and place crowns on the teeth
with little to no pain. They may even show the patient biting into an apple right after the procedure.

In very rare and unique circumstances this MAY be the case. But for the other 99.7% of us, its not. anytime you have surgery of ANY kind you need to heal. The picture below shows a site where a tooth was recently extracted. This site will be very tender for several days while the body heals. That's just the way it works. Blood will rush to the site of any injury thus creating inflammation (swelling) and moderate discomfort.

If implants are placed that too will cause some type of discomfort.

To say that teeth can be extracted and implants placed and that you can begin eating right away with no pain whatsoever is just not true. What is typically happening is that these people are trying to suck you in and then sell you on something else.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cosmetic Dentistry

These are the days that make it really fun to be a dentist.
She told me that she hated her smile but that she didn't have the money to get braces or crowns. 1 hour later without any shots, and for a lot less then the cost of braces or crowns, she got out of the chair, looked in the mirror and started to cry.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

There has been a lot of educational material put out there about not putting your kids to bed with bottles, or sippy cups, full of juice, milk, soda, or whatever. But it still happens on a pretty regular basis. The last thing that should touch your child's tooth before they go to bed is a glass of water, a toothbrush, or a pacifier.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Beautiful smile on a budget

With the economy still in a little bit of trouble many people are still looking to save a buck or two. but if you are also looking to improve your smile in 2011 then you may be wondering what you can do.

Here are two options that would go a long way towards making that smile look better while not breaking the bank.

First is bleaching.
Second is changing out old metal fillings for brand new white ones.

Both are fast and inexpensive and a great way to improve the look of your smile in 2011.