Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I see a little cavity

If you ever look in your mouth and are able to SEE any color other then the white of your teeth you need to get it looked at.

It may just be stain or last nights dinner. But it could be a sign of something much more.

When a dentist looks at your teeth he/she uses color change as one of the indicators to take a closer look at any particular area.

The pictures below are a case that we did just this morning.
The patient came in with a little darkened area on one of his molars.
After we got done getting out all of the decay out he was as close as you would ever want to come to getting a root canal. Once the decay gets down into the tooth you are no longer able to get to it with your toothbrush, floss or mouthwash. The bacteria simply set up shop in your tooth and start to multiply. The tooth was saved and things should be okay but the patient had to go through a lot more drilling then they bargained for.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bad Breath

What is the cause of bad breath??

There are many causes.
Teeth that are decayed.
Gum disease.
Digestion problems.

One of the first things to do in order to determine the cause of your
bad breath is to get to a dentist and get a good cleaning.
This will make sure you start off with a clean slate.

For 2 weeks commit to brushing after each meal.
For 2 weeks commit to flossing daily.
And for 2 weeks commit to rinsing with a mouthwash such as Listerine, daily.
(Important note: You also need to brush your tongue.
Tongue scrapers, pictured below, are also available.)
After the 2 week period see how your breath is.
If it still smells as fresh and clean as it did when you left the dentist office
then your bad breath was, more then likely, a result of poor oral care.

This would be good news because all you need to do is continue
your new pattern of brushing, flossing, and rinsing and your bad breath should be history.

If things return to there normal, bad breath, state then other things need to be considered.
Best thing to do is see your dentist and see if he/she can find the cause.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Free I-Pod With Every Brain Surgery!!

Would you get your brain surgery from a surgeon who advertised that
you would get a free I-Pod if you got your surgery from him?

Would you get a knee replacement from a guy who offered a free
DVD player with every knee replacement?
Of course not!

These things are too important to trust to someone who may be doing
a terrible job on people and is simply trying lure people in with free stuff.

Please use this same logic when you choose your dentist.

Your teeth mean more to you then you will ever know.
Good looking teeth will help in your self confidence, relationships, getting a job,
respect of co-workers, neighbors, etc.

What do you think of when you see someone with no teeth, missing teeth,
badly stained teeth, etc?

You may place labels on them that are not all that flattering.
These labels may not be true but someone that has a horrible looking
smile may be overlooked for someone, less qualified, but with a better looking smile.

Getting freebies is cool.
But get the freebies from Old Navy or some place like that.

DO NOT get your freebies from someone that will be providing medical or
dental care to you that may effect you the rest of your life.

Ask around.
Get referrals.
Ask to see before and after pictures.
Know before you go.

If you really want the free I-Pod that is great.
Just don't be shocked if the teeth you end up with don't match your expectations.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mouth Guards

As the summer months draw near that means that children
will begin to play all kinds of sports.

Football, basketball, soccer, and all kinds of other
outdoor leagues and camps will have kids running around like crazy.

No doubt that these activities will lead to a few bumps and bruises.
In time these bumps, bruises, and even broken bones will heal.

Something that would not heal however, is a broken tooth.
Teeth, unlike bones, will not grow back.
To save teeth requires root canals, crowns, and any number of other things.

Please Please Please.......
get your child a mouth guard to wear during their sporting events.

The ones that you can buy from the store and mold to your
child's teeth will do, but a custom made mouth guard from
a dentist is always the best way to assure the best way to go.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Baby Bottle Tooth decay

There has been a large push in the media over this issue but we are still
seeing it in the office so I think it bears repeating.

Early childhood cavities are bad news.
These cavities are costly to fix, it is harder to keep them intact,
and drilling on children gives them a bad perception
of what going to the dentist is all about, which will stay with them
for a long long time and effect how they view dental care in the future.
Simple rule of thumb here.

Do not give your children anything to drink, that is not water, in between meals.
At meal time they can have lots of stuff.
Juice, milk, koolaid, etc.
After the meal is over have them brush their teeth or swish with a glass of water.
This will help clean the sugars out of their mouths that they got form the meal.

ANY other time you should be giving them water.
It is the child that is continuously exposed to sugars that will get the cavities.

And for the love of all that is good and holy do not, under any circumstances,
put your child to bed with a bottle of juice, milk, or anything else.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cosmetic Bonding

This patient had a deformed tooth since it came in.
Even braces was not an option because the tooth just isn't the right shape.
His only options were to get the tooth out and get a bridge or implant.
This case isn't perfect.
If I could have numbed up the the patient and shaped the gums
above the tooth I would have been a little happier.
However, this patient didn't get one shot and was done in 30 minutes and
will not have any post op sensitivity.

He is very pleased with the result.

Before (Tooth malformed)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Implants today

Wonderful implant case today.

Patient is about 30 years old.

Her lateral incisor never came in (the tooth next to the front tooth).

She had worn a retainer with a tooth attached to it for years and was sick of it.

We placed the implant and put a tooth on it that day.

Before (without tooth)
After (with implant in)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Diabetes and your gums.

If you, or someone you know, has been diagnosed with diabetes, it is a shock.
Diabetes carries with it many short term as well as long term side effects.
Most people know about the problems with loss of feeling in the extremities and
even troubles with vision later on in life.
But very few people realize that diabetes can have a devastating effect on the gums.

Now that may not seem like a big thing.
Gums aren't exactly something that people consider to be crucial for life.
And they aren't.

However, they are crucial to the life of your teeth.

Below you will see a diagram of what happens to your
gums as they begin to become unhealthy.
What you will see below here is an actual x-ray of diseased gums.
The straight line represents where the gum/bone level should be.
The wavy line represents where the gum/bone levels have fallen to.
It is possible for a completely healthy tooth to fall completely out of the mouth
due to a loss of gum/bone tissue.

Gums/bone keep the teeth in your mouth.
Lose the gums/bone, lose the teeth.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Stop Brushing so Hard!!!

So is it possible to damage your teeth by brushing too hard?

Enamel (the white stuff that covers your teeth) is the
hardest substance in the human body.
It would be very hard to brush through that.

Enamel however, only covers the tooth as it comes out of the gums.
If your gums recede due to genetics or very aggressive brushing then another
layer of the tooth is revealed.

This layer is called the dentin layer.
This layer is much softer then enamel.
Brushing too hard can, very easily, erode this layer.
You can tell that this is happening if you feel a little ridge on your tooth
as you get up near your gums.
It may feel like a little trench or groove.
If you have one of these you need to get it checked out to see how deep it is
and if anything needs to be done about it.
Small fillings can actually be placed in the grooves to help
protect the tooth from any future damage.

If left untreated you can actually brush a deep enough groove into
your tooth that you would need a root canal.
The picture below shows a tooth where the groove almost reached the nerve.
Moral of the story is to stop brushing so hard.
A quick trip to the dentist can tell you if your brushing in appropriete or not.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Child's Teeth Don't Match-up?

There are some dental terms for what you are, most likely, seeing.

The first is, crossbite.
If you look on the left hand side of this picture you will see a crossbite.
The top teeth are supposed to come out over the tops
of the bottom teeth (like the right side).
The next thing you might be seeing is an underbite.
That is where the bottom front teeth protrude further then the upper teeth.
Notice in this picture there is no crossbite. The back teeth are all in correct position.
It really depends on the age of the child as to how much you are going
to worry about either of these conditions.

If your child is over the age of about 6 and their permanent teeth are crossed or over-bit then you for sure need to see an orthodontist.

If your child is younger and still in the process of getting all of their baby teeth in then the concern may not be as pressing. In this case simply have your dentist take a look at your child's tooth positioning during their next cleaning.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dad's Denture Won't stay in.

What can be done for a denture that won't stay in?

First of all the age of the denture needs to be considered.
If the denture is over 10 years old, without having been re-fit,
then a dentist needs to look at it.

Secondly, was the denture made properly?
Even the newest denture won't fit if it was made improperly.

Third, what is the overall health of the person wearing the denture?
If the patient has experienced severe weight loss over a short period of time
then the denture may quickly become unwearable do to an ill fit.

Many loose fitting dentures can be solved by taking care of
one of the previously mentioned problems.

However if that doesn't fix the problem then there is another solution.
Two implants placed in the lower jaw with a couple of snaps
placed in the denture may be just the trick.

The snaps placed in the denture will grab onto the implants
(just like a snap on a shirt).

The denture will now be be much more able to stay in place.

Contact your dentist and see if this is the right option for your loved one.

Or you.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Implants today

Today we put an implant in a women who had broken a tooth off at the gumline.

Extraction, implant, and bone graft all done at same appointment.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mindy Anderton Wright

We had a few extra minutes today so we decided to help Mindy out a bit.
She has always hated a gap she had in front of one of her teeth.
She decided to wait and see what to do with the gap in back of the tooth.

This procedure took 20 minutes.
No shots. No pain.
She is ecstatic with the results!!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Lots of people ask me about retainers.

Most retainers are given to folks from their orthodontists.
The type of retainer you have really depends on the personal preference of the Orthodontist.
Some orthodontists like the retainers that you can take in and out every night.
These come in two forms. The ones that use wire to retain the teeth position
and the ones that are made simply of clear plastic.
Other orthodontists like the small metal wires that are actually
glued to the teeth and can not be removed.

So which one is better?

That depends on what irritates you most.
Would it irritate you more to have something glued into your
mouth that you could never take out?
Or would it irritate you more to always have to remember to put your retainer
in every night and take it with you on every trip vacation and overnighter you go on?
Both will do a fine job.
My Mother has a retainer that she puts in every night and has done so for over 30 years.
My wife has a bonded metal wire that she has had in place for over 20 years.
Both seem to like what they have and wouldn't change.
If you have a particular type of retainer and you would like
to try another kind that is no problem.

We can switch you to another kind, let you try it for a while, and then
switch you back if you don't like it.

Monday, May 2, 2011

How long can I wait?

Okay your dentist just told you that your tooth is cracked.
He/She just told you that you need a crown.
Your first question is, "How long can I wait to get this crown"?

Well, here is the answer.

It totally depends.

A crack in a tooth will not stop on its own.
It will continue to progress until the tooth fractures.
What will continue to move the crack is chewing on the tooth that is cracked.
Therefore, if you stop chewing the crack will stop moving.
An all liquid diet will allow you to keep the crack from moving.
(Little side note here: grinding, even without
food in your mouth, can cause a crack to move as well.)

But unless you do that then the dentist has no idea how long until the tooth will fracture.

Bottom line is this, get your teeth fixed as soon as possible.
Financing the work is always a factor and maybe it can't get done right away.
Just know that the dentist has no way of predicting when and where you tooth will break.

If your dentist tells you you have a crack just be very careful.