Friday, December 28, 2012

Getting those Old Metal Fillings Changed Out

Lots of us have them, but few of us will ever want to do anything with them. And, that’s just fine.

Metal fillings were, are, and can still be a very good filling material. However, if you do not like the look of the metal or the tooth is starting to decay around the metal, then perhaps changing it out isn’t a bad idea.

Before Removing Old Metal Filling

Here is a tooth after we finished removing the old metal filling and replacing it with a new, more tooth like, filling material. Quick, easy, and relatively painless (as dentistry goes).

After Replacing Old Metal Filling

Dr. Jim Ellis, DDS
1220 33rd Street Suite C
Ogden, UT 84403
(801) 783-3490


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

To Get your Tooth back

Many of you do not know what it is like to not have a tooth. In a spot where there has always been one. For those of you that do know what it’s like to lose a tooth, hopefully you also know what it’s like to get that tooth back in.

Here is a patient of ours that lost one of their front four teeth.

Before Dental Bridge 12192012

Being that its one of the front four, it was kind of a dire need.

Here is a picture of a bridge that we put in place to give the patient the look, and feel, of having a tooth in that space.

After Dental Bridge 12192012

If you have lost a tooth, do not despair. These days, there are many treatment options available for you to get that tooth back.

Dr. Jim Ellis, DDS
1220 33rd Street Suite C
Ogden, UT 84403
(801) 783-3490


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Are dental implants a serious surgery?

Any time you must undergo surgery of any kind I would
never consider it "no big deal".

Life is precious and we should never undertake anything
without serious thought.

There is however, of course, a scale of seriousness
which I would place different surgical procedures on. 

For instance, if I am going to get a mole removed I would 
consider that of a less serious nature then a heart transplant.

(Artificial Heart)

( Diagram of a real heart.)
So where does a tooth implant lie on this scale?

Well, it should be considered as more serious then a mole.
When placing implants there are risks of bleeding complications.
Nerve damage, jaw fracture, sinus involvement, and necrosis of 
the jaw are also things to consider.

But if properly treatment planned these risks can be greatly minimized.

Below you will see a diagram of a tooth implant.

Its a titanium screw.
No moving parts are pieces.
Far less complex then most people think.
A natural tooth is removed and the false one is put in its place.

The point.

If I was getting my heart replaced I would make sure to tell
everyone I love them, just in case.

If I am going to get an implant placed. 
I would simply, rent a movie on my way home.

If you think you may be a candidate simply talk to your dentist
about implants and ask if they are right for you.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Do dentists lay your upside down at the office??

It's funny how there is perception, then there is reality.
The first picture illustrates how most people are positioned
when they are getting work done at the dentist office.

This second picture is how people think they are positioned when they
are having work done at the dental office.

I PROMISE, dentists (at least this dentist) does not
put anyone, even close, to upside down when you
are in the office getting work done.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Finished Bonding Case.

Many cases only require bonding on the upper arch.
And many only between the 2 front teeth.
This case required bonding on the bottom also.

About an hour.
No numbing.
Cheap as a few fillings.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Brand New Smile!!

This is Mrs. B
When Mrs. B was young she got into some trouble with her two front teeth.
From that point on she has been dealing with on and off discomfort.
She finally decided it was time to do something.

She decided it was simply time to part ways with her 2 front teeth.
She also decided that while she was at it she would get a whole new smile.

Here is Mrs. B before.

Here is Mrs. B after.

Mrs. B now has plans to bleach her bottom teeth so that
everything will match up nicely.
She is very happy with her new smile.

If you have teeth that have been bothering you for a long time
and you just don't know what to do, maybe something like this
could be in your future.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Now you see it.

Some things in the field of dentistry are very hard to do.
Others are not.

In order to up your chances of having your dental needs
stay very small it is best to go to the dentist on a regular basis.

Here is a prime example.

This tooth started off with a little bit of stain in the grooves.
The patient came in regularly enough that as soon as it 
went from stain to decay we were able to treat it 
quickly and without any anesthetic at all.



Follow Dr Ellis on Twitter @ogdendentist

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Closing the gap.

Here are some pictures of a patient that we saw today.

The patient has always wanted to get the gaps in his teeth fixed
but has been hesitant to go through the process of braces.

Today we only did the front two teeth in order to see
if the patient wanted to proceed with filling the rest of the gaps.



This procedure took about 30 minutes and the patient needed to shots at all.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Some "Dental" things to be thankful for.

Something to be thankful for
 As it is still the Thanksgiving season I thought that I would put down some things that I thing we would all be grateful for when it comes to dentistry.
First off is anesthetic. Yes, I know that everyone hates that numb lip and tongue feeling. And that no one likes to drool all over themselves.
However, before the invention of anesthetics it was just, wait until you are in so much pain that you can barely stand it and then hang on for dear life as your tooth got ripped from your head.
Another thing that we can all be thankful for is the creation of schools where dental professionals can be educated and trained.
Before Dental Schools it was typically the duty of the local barber to take out your teeth. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the local barber. But, the only reason that it was him taking out the teeth was not due to his dental ability. It was because he was the only one in town that had a chair that would lay back. Yikes.
Technology is another thing to be thankful for. The first dental implant ever recorded was in 600 A.D. by the Maya people of America. It was a 20 year old women who had pieces of seashell stuffed into the sockets of her lower jaw after getting her teeth taken out.
The first dental x-ray took 30 minutes of radiation exposure. Some folks are worried about 100ths of seconds of radiation. Imagine having the dentist put the x-ray tube up against your head, turning it on, and leaving for a quick lunch?!
Moral of the story is that we have a lot to be thankful for. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Do I need a crown on my tooth?

Every instance is different but here is a tooth with multiple problems
that did not end up needing a crown.

The filling is experiencing some break down around the edges
and a case could be made to replace it.

What gives this tooth the added need to be worked on
is the hole that you can see in the bottom left of the tooth.

This tooth for sure needs a makeover now.

Our filing material of choice is the newer white filling material. 
It wears great, looks great, and polishes very well.

Not all teeth like this can be fixed without the use of a crown but
this one did and the patient was very happy.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Is there an easy way to floss?

Asking if there is an easier way to floss is like asking if there is an
easy way to do a sit-up. Both of them simply are what they are.
There are little tricks and tips and things out there that you may
think make it a little easier to do, but in the end it just comes 
down to just bucking up and doing it.

Here are 2 examples of good old regular floss.
There are some differences in widths but this floss is pretty standard.

Here are 2 examples of floss on a handle.
These types of floss are becoming pretty popular due to the fact
that you don't have to wrap floss around your fingers and 
cut off all the blood flow during flossing.

And here are some examples of companies trying to do whatever they can
to make money (oops, I mean, Help you floss).

 Bottom line is you just need to do it. 
There is no replacement for flossing. 
If you hate going to the dentist to get cavities filled
then any one of these should become one of your best friends.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

How long can I go with a cracked tooth?

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.

Monday, November 5, 2012

You have to go get your shots now.

This post is not meant to be a lecture on how to raise children.

And trust me when I tell you that I do my share of threatening.
"You won't get any desert if you don't eat your beans."
"You wont get to watch the movie if you don't finish your chores."

The threatening that I am talking about is threatening your children
that they will have to get stabbed in the mouth with a needle by
the horrible mean dentist if they do not brush their teeth.

You may laugh, but it happens ALL THE TIME.
Children come in to get one simple cavity filled and they are out of
control and crying before they even walk through the door.
Their parents have scared them so badly that just the site of me sends
them into a screaming fit.

This wouldn't be so bad if the parent would then help me calm them down.
But that, usually, does not happen.
The parent will sit out in the waiting room and say things like....
"You knew this was going to happen" or
"Okay, you have to go get your shots now" or
"Don't cry, I told you he would drill on you if you didn't brush"

Do any of you know how hard it is for me at that point?
Do any of you know how hard it is on the child at that point?

Not only is it hard right then but this kind of thing will build an emotional
wall in that child that may remain for the rest of their life.
Most people that hate to come to the dentist due to experiences
when they were little children.

Bottom line is this.
If you can't get your children to brush their teeth by saying please or by using some
other type of positive reinforcement that is fine. Threatening to cut off the
x-box is, in my mind, a fine thing to do.

Just don't tell them how horrifying it will be to see the dentist.
It will makes things that much worse now, and later on down the road as well.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"It's just a small cavity. I'll get to it later."

Oh boy.
I hear this all the time.
And the truth is that sometimes a small cavity is just that, a small cavity.
But other times it is much much worse.
That only way to know however is to go the dentist and get is checked out.

A perfect example of this is represented in these pictures.

This first picture looks like the smallest of cavities.

This next picture however, shows the extent of decay that was present
down inside the tooth and the amount of tooth structure that
we had to end up removing.
Very close to a Root Canal.

In the end the tooth looks great but there is no getting around the 
fact that the size of the filling will now make this tooth much weaker 
then it needed to be if the patient would have been getting regular
checkups and fixed the problem much sooner.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Is there anything wrong with Gold Tooth Crowns?

No there certainly is not. 
In fact, gold is probably still the best material to have in your mouth.
It won't crack.
It won't wear down the opposing teeth. 
It fits around the tooth exceptionally well.

So why don't people do them these days?

Two reasons.

#1 The look.
People simply don't like the look of gold in their smile.

#2 The Cost. 
With the price of gold through the roof gold crowns
are about 40% more then the white crowns.

They still can be done upon request.
And any dentist can still make them for you.
They are just kind of a dying breed.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tooth Decay and Pain

Tooth decay normally doesn't hurt. 

Its kind of like your dishwasher blowing a gasket, or something similar.
You think everything is fine and then the next moment there is 
water all over your kitchen floor.

Well the dishwasher didn't go from brand new to breaking down over night.
It took a while and if someone trained in dishwasher repair had been
called out to occasionally check things out then the problem may have 
been caught prior to the disaster.

The problem is that to you, the untrained eye, nothing is 
wrong until things are very wrong.

The picture above is a progression of decay. 
Typically it is not until step 4 that you would feel any major discomfort.
Problem is that steps 1-3 can be fixed with fillings and step 4 is a root canal.

You don't wait till your engine starts smoking to change your oil.
Please don't wait till you are in pain to have your teeth checked.
Lots of time, and discomfort can be avoided this way.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Guess the smile

Alright everyone.

Over on my Facebook page I am running a contest.

$50 Cash if you can guess the smile.

Check it out.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Which Electric is Right for Me?

Okay, because you asked.
When the topic of electric toothbrushes comes up there are two big questions that I always get asked.


#1 Do I need one.

#2 Which one is the best.

#1 No. You do not need an electric tooth brush. If you are a diligent brusher then it does not really matter if your tooth brush uses batteries for power or uses you for power. The results can be the same. This is not to say that the results will be the same in the same amount of time. Because they wont. The manual tooth brush will take a little longer but it is capable of doing the same thing.

# 2 This question is like asking which car is the best. Well, a Ferrari is the fastest and looks the best, but a Toyota Camry will do you just fine. The same is true for tooth brushes. There are tooth brushes out there that can run you over $300. They have timers to tell you when to stop. they will talk to you and tell you to switch sides of the mouth. They have pressure sensors to tell you if you are brushing too hard. And they look really cool. However, the electric toothbrushes that cost $10 can do just as much for cleaning your teeth. The whole idea behind cleaning your teeth is just to get the bristles to remove the plaque. Little timers are nice but if you are capable of getting your teeth clean without a timer then what is the point.

So what do I use?

I use an Oral B electric. I like the way it feels when it cleans and it seems to work well for me. My wife uses a Sonicare, and can't stand my Oral B. Conversely I have used her Sonicare and that thing drives me up the wall. So there is a lot to be said here about personal preference.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dentists and Halloween candy.

Every year I have people ask me if I give out Halloween candy?
Well of coarse I do!! It's Halloween.

Last thing on earth that I want to be is the house where kids end
up crying because they got a pencil, sticker, or some other lame treat.

Eating candy on Halloween is NOT a problem.
Eating candy every other day of year, all year long, IS.
Let the kids get the candy.
Let them pound it all down.
Let them have a tummy ache.
Brush and floss their teeth.
Great night had by all.
The End.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Do I have an abscessed tooth?

When a tooth goes bad it will begin to produce infection.
That infection wants to go somewhere.
In a typical tooth the only way out of the tooth is out the 
end of the tooth into the bone.
Once the infection is in the bone it then wants to find a way out of that.
After making it though the bone it will then try to make its way though the gums.
It is at this point when you will start to see the redness, swelling, and 
drainage that are signs of an abscess. 

Abscess' can come in different forms and in different places.

Here is an abscess at the top of the front tooth.
This one is very red and inflamed. 

Here is an abscess that came out the bottom of the chin.
What you are seeing is a plastic drain that has been inserted to
take away any extra infection.

Here is an abscess at the top of a rear tooth.
This abscess is white and doesn't look very inflamed.