Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Big or Small we do it all.

Lots of things in a dental office are time consuming and complicated.
Many however, are very simple and quick.

Today we had a women who had a little cavity on one of her front teeth.

Without getting her numb and in about 15 minutes
we were able to remove all of the decay and restore the 
tooth to a very natural looking state.



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Stop Sipping!!

We see it all the time.
People coming into the office with with their teeth hurting.
I tell them that they have a ton of cavities and they tell me that that is impossible.
Since nothing is impossible I ask them why they think that.
They tell me its because they only drink 1 can of soda pop a day.
I tell them that that's not so bad and that lots of people have a soda at some point during the day.
I then ask them how long it takes them to drink it.
They tell me that they sip on it throughout the day and that it
 takes them about 4 hours to finish off a can.
Here in lies our problem.
Cavities caused by soda happen due to the time that the teeth
 are exposed to the sugar and not the amount of sugar ingested.
If I drank an entire 2 liter of Mountain Dew for breakfast and
 my patient only had 1 can on Mountain Dew but it took him 
4 hours to drink his can, who do you think would be worse off?
If you said the guy drinking the can then you are starting to catch on.
Although my sugar content is higher and I may experience 
more symptoms throughout my body my teeth are much
 better off. I get the sugar in my mouth and then get it out 
and I am done. The person who sips on that one can for hours
 at a time has sugar covering their teeth the whole time they
 are sipping. So less sugar but more tooth exposure.

Moral of the story is DO NOT SIP!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Baby Tooth Root Canal

Children's teeth are similar to adult teeth in many ways.
They can both decay.
And the decay can get large enough that it can effect the nerve of the tooth.
In the case of an adult a tooth with an infected nerve would need a root canal.
In a child's tooth it would called a pulpotomy.
In both cases the nerve in the tooth is removed in order to help the tooth stop hurting.
One of the main differences here is the rate of success between the 2 procedures.

Root canals are, typically, very predictable.
Pulpotomys are much less so.

One reason for this is that the roots of an adult tooth are stable.
They have formed and are not going anywhere.
The roots on a child's tooth are ever changing.
The adult teeth coming in behind them are applying more and more
pressure to the baby teeth in order to force them out of the way so
that they, the permanent teeth, may erupt through the gums.

With this ever changing root structure, and not wanting to possibly damage the
permanent tooth under the baby tooth it is much more difficult to get a
pulpotomy to work then it is a root canal.

The one huge advantage that children have over adults in this
situation is that the baby teeth will fall out and the adult teeth shouldn't.

If a pulpotomy does happen to fail then removing the tooth is always
an option. And we just need to wait for the adult tooth to grow into its place.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Before and After

Here is a fairly simple case from today.
this old metal filling was starting to decay around the edges.


Once the old metal was removed the new white filling was
placed and the patient is ready to eat right away.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Before and After Cosmetic pictures

What would we do if we had a tooth that needed a crown, 
but for one reason or another we didn't want to do a crown?

Well we could us filling material to build the tooth back 
into a more normal state.

Now the tooth won't be as strong as if we did do a crown
but with proper care it will function well for some time to come.

Tooth before.

Tooth After.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Dry Eyes, and Dry Teeth.

Everyone knows that having dry eyes are bad.
If its caused by hot dry weather, medication, allergies,
age, etc. its no fun when your eyes are dry.

And it seems as though people seem to have a pretty good handle 
on stopping their eyes from being dry.

People will take their allergy meds, or reach for over the counter
solutions to place directly into their eyes to moisten them.

But what about dry mouth?
It seems as though people do not realize what to do about
dry mouth or even know what causes it.

Dry mouth is bad. 
And it can be very bad.
Dry teeth are essentially dead teeth waiting to happen.
Saliva plays a huge roll in protecting your teeth from the 
effects of the bacteria that cause cavities.
Without the saliva (dry mouth) the teeth are sitting ducks for the 
effects of the bacteria.

The causes of Dry mouth are varied.
Age, medications, and genetics are all part of the equation.

And just like treating dry eyes there are things that can, 
and should be, done in relation to treating dry mouth.

First is to identify the cause.
If its medications then talk to the doctor that is putting you on those
meds and discuss other possible options and medications.

If it is age or genetics then there are steps you can take. 
First is to always carry a water bottle with you.
It is not the quantity of water you drink but the frequency 
with which you drink it.
Always keeping your mouth moist is key.

There are also several over the counter medications 
to assist people with dry mouth.
Toothpastes, mouthwashes, mouth sprays, etc, are all available.

Take home point here is that if you suffer from dry mouth
do not let things go too long before you address the situation.

Dry mouth, just like dry eyes, if left untreated can have very long lasting
and severe effects. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dentistry in the 80's

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.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What you are seeing is an underbite.

We have all seen folks that seem to have a fairly prominent chin.
Sometime's that's all it is, is a prominent chin and no other factors exist.
Other times however the cause for the prominence is due to a misalignment of teeth.
This misalignment is called a class III occlusion of more
commonly known as an underbite.

In a classic occlusion, or bite, your top teeth are supposed to
 protrude out over your bottom teeth slightly as shown in the top picture below.
In the underbite situation things are reversed and your bottom teeth
protrude out further then your top teeth, as shown in the bottom right picture below.

Some people have lived their entire lives in this condition (my wife's Grandfather)
and haven't suffered any ill effects at all.
Others have suffered tremendously from poor chewing ability, pain and 
popping in their TMJ joint, headaches, etc.

With surgery this condition is correctable (my wife, passed down from Gramps)
and within a very short period of time return to full function and look.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Cosmetic Dentistry. Before and After

What a great case to start off the week. 
This gentlemen never liked the gap in his front teeth.
He never decided to do anything about it. 
Soon however he got a few cavities on those very same teeth.
Coming in to get the cavities fixed gave us the perfect opportunity
to also close the gap that he had hated for so long.



The patient is super happy with the results.
And what is even better is that he didn't even need 
to be numbed for the entire procedure.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Cougars and Utes

As a dentist here in the Utah area I have been asked many times (or never)
to settle the dispute over who is better, the Cougars or the Utes.
A Ute is a Native American Indian that lived in the Utah area.

A Cougar is a large member of the cat family also known as a mountain lion.

Since I am a dentist I must use teeth as the determining factor for this decision.
It is evident from research that I have done that the teeth of a cougar
are far superior in every way to that of a Ute.

Please note this opinion is not biased (although I do have BYU season tickets).

In color, ability to rip meat from the bone, size, and strength the
cougars have a decided edge over the Utes.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Before and afters

Here is a before and after of a case we did just the other day. 

A patient had a slight crack running down his tooth.
The tooth also had a old metal filling. 
Perfect chance to fix the crack and get the metal out
in order to make the tooth look a little more life like.

Tooth before. 

Tooth after.

Happy Patient.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Are you sure I have a cavity. It doesn't even hurt.

This is a question we get asked all the time.
"Are you sure I have a cavity. Because it doesn't hurt."

Well, saying that is like saying, "Why do I need to change my oil when my car is running just fine?"

Your car may be running fine and you could save yourself $49.99 by not changing your oil.
However, when you engine seizes up your repair bill is now about $4,000 for a new motor.
You didn't end up saving a lot in the end.

Same is true with teeth and cavities.
you could save yourself the small cost of getting a cavity filled but then when it starts to hurt you will need to get a root canal and a crown. That means that your cost, and your discomfort, will be significantly more.

Save yourself the money and the discomfort.
Get your cavities filled when they are small.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Broken tooth at girls camp!

I love putting up before and after pictures.
People come into the office all the time thinking that
there is nothing that can be done for them. 
They afraid to open their mouth because of how bad it looks.

Well, in 999 out of 1000 cases it isn't nearly as bad as they think.

This is a great case of that.

A young lady had to be taken from girls camp because she broke her tooth.
She came to my office fearing the worst.

We got her all fixed up and she actually went back to girls camp that night
and finished up having a great time with her friends.



One happy girl and one happy mom too : )