Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Want to replace those metal fillings?

Here are before and after pictures of a patient that
wanted to get their metal fillings replaced.

This before picture is a little foggy but you can still
see the stark color contrast between the color of
the metal filling and the natural white of the tooth.

This color contrast is what makes most people want to change 
out their fillings for white fillings.

Here is a picture of the tooth after we took out the metal and 
replaced it with a white composite filling.

Even this close you can just barely make out the transition line
between the filling and the natural tooth.
In real life no one would ever be able to tell that you had a filling at all.

This procedure is quick and fairly inexpensive when compared to
getting crown or other expensive restorations placed.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My canine teeth are too pointy! What can be done?

Canines are unlike any other teeth in the mouth.
Every other tooth in the mouth is, almost, a copy of a another
tooth in the same corner of the mouth.
You have 2 incisors, 2 pre-molars, and 2 molars per quadrant but only 1 canine.
These teeth are also, typically, the longest rooted teeth in the mouth.

One problem that people have with their canines is that sometimes
they feel as if they are a bit too pointed.

They hide them when they smile for fear that they look too much like a vampire.

Well there has never been an easier fix for just about anything.

All you need to do is file those bad boys down just a bit.
You do not need to be numbed up and it will only take a moment to do.
You will have less enamel so the chances that you could get decay in the
future are slightly higher. But, with a little added attention to your home
care that should never end up being a problem.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Give me some of that gas!

So what is laughing gas?
Why do we use it?
Is it okay for anyone to have? 

Technically speaking laughing gas is Nitrous Oxide or N20. 
Here is a nice little diagram of its chemical make-up.

We use laughing gas to take the "edge" off.
When someone is nervous about a situation then any little stimulus will
seem a bigger then it actually is.
This is true for the dentist office as well.
Routine procedures can become overwhelming to dental phobic patients.
We therefore administer gas to remove that overly tense feel and 
make the routine seem routine again.
The effect of the gas creates a slightly euphoric state in people. 
Feelings of floating or tingling all over are very common.
But most of all it just makes you more relaxed. 

It is a very safe product to use and unless you have some sort of respiratory 
problem almost anyone can safely use it.

To tell you what exactly it does would sound something like this.......

 "It seems N2O-induced release of endogenous opioids causes 
disinhibition of brain stem noradrenergic neurons, 
which release norepinephrine into the spinal cord and inhibit pain signaling."

But since most people have no idea what that means just trust me when I tell you
that it works, its safe, and you feel much better for having it : )

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Which electric toothbrush is better?

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.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Its called pericoronitis

That's right. You may have a Pericoronits.
It simple terms it is a little flap of skin that is hanging over the top of your last tooth.
Or it may be that the tooth isn't all the way in yet and its half covered by tissue.

Whichever it is, this tissue will tend to get inflamed from time to time.
When it does get inflamed chewing can become very painful.
The problem can be helped by swishing with a mouthwash and ridding the area of debris.

But this is only a short term solution.

What is the long term solution?

# 1 You can get the tooth that is partially erupted taken out.
That works well if the tooth happens to be a wisdom tooth.
But not so well if it happens to be a normal molar.
#2 You can get the tissue trimmed off.
This works very well for normal molars but not so well if the problem is a wisdom tooth.

Whatever the problem happens to be just know that you are not alone
in having this problem and that there are several simple solutions.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Does Grandpa have loose dentures?

It happens all the time.
Grandpa/Grandma/You have a top denture that fits
great but the lower denture is awful.
There is help.
2 implants need to be placed in the lower jaw.
Each one of those implants will have a gold housing on top of it.
These housings have undercuts in them that will serve as retention for the denture.
The old denture then gets holes drilled into it and metal
receptors with o-rings place in the holes.

These receptors with the o-rings will fit down over the implant housings and
secure the denture to the jaw.

It works very well and people are very happy that their denture is
no longer floating around in their mouth.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Do you have 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.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What is wrong here?

There could be many things wrong, but the thing
that I am choosing to focus on is the missing teeth.

Many people think that it is okay to just remove one tooth. 
That nothing could possible happen.

Well, that is just not the case.

Teeth are held in place, in large part, by the teeth around them.
Teeth are only so tall because they run into the teeth in the other jaw.
Teeth are only so far forward in your mouth because of the teeth next
to them in the same jaw.

By pulling a tooth you may set in motion a whole lot of tooth movement
that you did not want and or plan on.

Your speech patterns.
Your ability to chew properly.
And the look of your smile may all be negatively effected.

Here is a picture of someone who had front teeth extracted.
Their other teeth are no shifting sideways.

This is an x-ray of someone that had back teeth extracted.
This shows the teeth further back tipping into the open spaces.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Closed the gap.

Hey everybody.

This is Jeff.
Jeff is one heck of a guy.
He is married to one heck of a woman.
And has some great kids.

Only problem Jeff had was a gap in his teeth.

(That, and pigeons in his chimney. But that's another story.)

Anyway, we got Jeff in today to close the gap in his teeth.

No need for braces.
No need for shots.
Cheap as fillings.
Done in about an hour.
Totally reversible. 

Jeff Before

Jeff after.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Knowledge is power.

Knowledge is power.

When you go to the dentist it is no different.
What should a filling feel like when its done?
What should a crown feel like when its done?
What should a root canal look like on x-ray when its done?

If you know the answers to questions like these the more you
will be able to make sure that you are getting good quality care.

A root canal is a very tricky procedure.
Many things can keep a root canal from going well.
However, for the most part your root canal should look a certain way.

Here is a way that a root canal should not look and a way it should.

This root canal is very short of the end of the tooth. 
There are also voids in the filling material, the filling
material does not look solid throughout.

This root canal looks very different.
The filling material goes all the way to the tip of the tooth.
And the filling is thick with no voids.

As was stated earlier there are difficulties in some root canals.
But most should go very smoothly.
Arm yourself with knowledge before having a procedure done.
After its done ask to see the pictures.
Ask if anything went wrong and what the prognosis is for the tooth's future.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

What is the black line around the base of my crown?

Nothing is wrong.
What you are seeing is simply the metal that your crown is
made out of showing out from underneath.
I know I know, you thought that your crown was white and that
there wasn't any metal in it.
Well, there is. You have what is referred to as a porcelain
fused to metal crown of (PFM).
The crown is made of a metal substructure to give it it's strength and
then porcelain is layered over the top to make it look like a tooth.
The PFM has been used for years and has had remarkable success.
The only draw back to these types of crowns is the metal line showing through
and the fact that the porcelain layers can begin to separate from each other
and cause the pieces of porcelain to fall off the crowns.

Today there are new advances in crown technology that have
eliminated both of these problems.
There is a new material, to the world of dentistry that is, called zirconium.
Zirconium crowns are milled from a solid block and are very very strong.
This milling process means that they are not put together piece by piece.
Therefore there are no pieces to come apart. The crown is one solid unit.
Zirconium is also white so the color is that of most teeth and will never show a
metallic line because there is no metal.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Periodontitis is a condition where the gums and bone that surround your
teeth slowly deteriorate due to large amounts of, unremoved, bacteria.

I have seen perfectly healthy teeth be pulled out of someones mouth with
their own fingers because the gums and bone could no longer support them.

It is an absolute must that you get into your dentist at lease once a year to
get the bacteria plaque and other contaminants removed from your teeth
to maintain good gum and bone health.

Here are some healthy gums.

Here are some gums that are in trouble.
One of the symptoms of periodontal disease is swollen, red, painful gums.

This patient is also in trouble.
Another symptom of periodontal disease is that your teeth will begin to loosen up.
As the bone looses its ability to hold the teeth in
you teeth will shift and, or drop out of the gums.

Please please please get to your dentist for a good cleaning BEFORE your
mouth begins to resemble one of these last two pictures.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Meet Mike

Today we are going to meet Mike.
Mike was a good guy.

But, Mike was not having a good day.

Mike really needed that tooth because Mike
Really wanted to meet a nice lady.

This is Mike now.

Ladies, Mike is 29 and now has an AMAZING smile!

Anyone interested can let us know and we will get you in touch with Mike.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Great implant case.

The last case we did at the end of last week was to finalize an implant.

Ann broke a tooth. 
She didn't want a bridge.
She had great bone, great health, and no sinus floor problems.

This is Ann after the implant was placed.
The implant is below the gum line. 
She was given a fake tooth on a retainer to maintain aesthetics.
She was in this state for 6 weeks.

This is Ann with her crown in place.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cosmetic Bonding

This is Ms. W

Ms. W had some lateral incisors that came in smaller then they should have.

She wanted to change the way they looked so we helped her out.

Picture of the side tooth that was too small.

and the side tooth after.

The whole smile before.

and the whole smile after. 

1 hour - no shots - no drilling into the teeth - one happy patient

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

How about a tongue tattoo?

I thought I had talked about all I could talk about on this 
blog, but it appears as I may have been mistaken.

It seems as though there is a new phenomenon out there
of getting a tattoo on your tongue.

I have nothing against those that choose to have a tattoo.

Getting a tattoo on your tongue however, may cause me some concern.

Your tongue is very very sensitive.
More nerve endings per surface area then anywhere else in your body.
Don't believe me?
If a stray hair lands anywhere on your body you probably wouldn't feel it.
Get a stray hair in your mouth and your tongue can feel it in an instant.
There are also many more blood vessels in this are then in most other parts of the body.

Thus, getting a tattoo on your tongue would pose some concerns to me.

First is your sense of taste.
If your morning hot chocolate/coffee is a little to hot you burn your tongue.
The spot that you burned is unable to taste for several hours.
I can only imagine that dragging a small needle across your tongue and then
depositing ink would have some of the same effects.

Second is the chance of infection.
Some of my more avid body piercing friends say that the mouth is very sterile and 
that there are enzymes to take care of any infections in the mouth.
If that were totally true then I wouldn't need to prescribe any antibiotics after
tooth extractions. I could just let these enzymes take over.
No matter how sterile that mouth may be the stuff that goes into it is not.
So unless you stop eating and drinking for a while after the procedure.
Every straw, fork, piece of food, etc that enters your mouth will carry bacteria on it.
Bacteria need warmth, food, and water to multiply. Your mouth has all in abundance.
Not to mention tons of little places where they can go hide out.
Therefore, the chances of infection are increased over other body parts.

Now I need to point out that I really doubt that anyone has taken the time
to do a long term study on tongue tattooing. 

I just happen to think that it may not be the greatest idea in history.