Thursday, September 27, 2012

Cosmetic Dentistry Magic.

A few more before and after pictures for you today.

This 20 something young lady was pretty scared to try
getting some cosmetic bonding done.

After she got her first look in the mirror however she
couldn't stop saying how great she thought they looked.



Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Can you close that gap?

 You bet we can.
This gentlemen had a few small cavities on the sides of his front teeth.
While we were filling them we decided to go ahead and close the gap
in between those teeth that he had had for quite some time.

After about 40 minutes in the chair.
No anesthesia.
And for the same cost as a regular filling we were
able to get rid of the decay as well as close up the gap.

There are a lot of things that are possible these days in dentistry
the trick is to ask the dentist and see what might be right for you.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Are all wisdom tooth extractions the same?

Not even close.

Below is an example of why wisdom tooth extractions
differ in complexity, even from side to side in the same person.

Try getting a tooth out with a big old fish hook at the bottom.
If tooth roots are straight and tapered then they 
are relatively easy to remove.
However, if they look like this tooth then that is another story.

The above picture is half of a wisdom tooth that we took out just this morning.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Orthodontics can be hard on teeth.

If you are not careful with your dental care while you 
have braces you can end up in a little bit of trouble.

Not only do you need to brush, but you need
to brush even better then normal due to the fact that
your braces will collect food more then your normal teeth will.

This young lady, for instance, had a rough go of her 
home care while she was in braces. 

That combined with a lack of adequate home care after
the braces lead to her having several very large cavities.

There is hope however. 
With a little bit of dental magic we were able to restore
her teeth to a state that allowed her to smile again.



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I hate the metal in my mouth!

Well then get it out.
Her are some before and after pictures of a case we did this morning. 

Before with old metal filling

After with the new white filling

If fillings are done well they should not be seen. 
No one will ever notice that this patient has a fairly large filling in this tooth.
Which is exactly what he wanted.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Is chewing gum a good or bad idea?

We have all seen it in stores.
Rows and rows of gum. 
Bags, bottles, cans, and boxes filled with
sticks, cubes, and circles of gum.
It's everywhere.
But is it good for you?

The answer can be a little complicated.
First off if the gum is not sugar free then NO it wont be good for you.
The sugar on your teeth for the hour or so that you chew on the gum will help 
in causing the formation of cavities.
If the gum is sugar free then the is better but there are a couple of factors 
still left to consider.
Do you have any popping, clicking, or grinding in your jaw joint (tmj)?
If so then I would not recommend the gum. 
Working a piece of gum for an hour with a jaw that already is
a little tender could lead to even more joint problems.

So if its sugar free and you are free from any TMJ discomfort then it 
should be ok to go ahead and chew your gum.
And actually it may be beneficial as well. 
Gum will stimulate salivary flow.
Saliva helps to even out the pH in your mouth and prevent bacteria,
and the acids they produce, from hurting your teeth.

So if the conditions are right then not only is gum not bad, but
it can also be a good thing for you to do.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Which retainer is right for me?

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.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dental work is hard with my bad gag reflex.

What is gagging?
Gagging is simply a defense mechanism that your body has to keep you from chocking.
Now this is typically a good thing. No one wants to get something down "the wrong pipe".
This however, can cause problems at the dentist office.
Having a bad gag reflex can make it almost impossible to get certain dental work done.
The picture below will show several items.
The soft palate is what we are interested in for this discussion.
When something touches the soft palate the bodies natural reaction will be
to close your throat off and prevent whatever it is that just touched the
soft palate from continuing down your throat and choking you to death.
Another spot where the gag reflex comes into play is tongue.
This can be a little more problematic then the soft palate gag reflex.
Not much will ever touch your soft palate but your tongue gets touched
all the time as you eat or whenever you go to the dentist.

Not much can be done for the soft palate gag reflex but there is help for the tongue.

Take your tooth brush and find the spot that makes you gag.
Start brushing your tongue at a spot that does not make you gag and
work your way toward that spot. Keep doing that day after day until you
can brush anywhere on your tongue without gagging.

Another trick would be to place a little bit of salt on your tongue, where it
makes you gag, before going to the dentist. That will, hopefully,
distract that spot long enough for you to get done what is you need done.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tongue Scrapers

I was asked today about tongue scrapers.
I personally do not use a tongue scraper but there is never 
a time when I am brushing my teeth that I do not also brush my tongue.

The tongue is just like any other place on the human body.
It can collect bacteria and needs to be cleaned.
It may even more needful then other places due to the 
fact that the tongue is in an environment that is moist, 
warm and has a constant supply of food.
All of these factors are great for bacterial growth.
And bad bacterial is something that we do not want to see happen.

So whether or not you use a tongue scraper to clean your tongue, to me, 
does not matter too much. 
What does matter to me is that you simply get your tongue clean
one way or the other.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My child's tooth just got knocked out! Now what?!

Okay. First of all, as in most traumatic situations.
Do not panic.
Its likely that your child has never gone through this before.
Therefore, they are fairly unaware whether what just happened
to them is simply a minor thing or whether they will soon be in the hospital.
The way they will be able to tell how severe the situation
is is by looking at their parent.
If you are flipping out then they will too.

The first thing to do is to educate yourself BEFORE something like this happens.
It is very important to know when your child's baby teeth will come out naturally.
Here is a chart of, about, when that will happen.
This is important because if the tooth that was just knocked out was about to
come out anyway then there is much less to worry about.
If it's still a year or so away, or you know that its already the permanent tooth
that just got knocked out then there is much more to worry about.

So lets say your child is 8 or 9 years old and it is the adult tooth that just got knocked out.
First thing is to do is obviously check your child for signs of significant injury.
If they hit their face hard enough to knock a tooth out
you need to check for signs of a concussion.
If they seem to be alright except for the tooth then the next step is to find the tooth.
Once the tooth is found treat it very gently.
The tooth is attached to the bone by ligaments.
Parts of those ligaments will still be attached to the tooth and must not be damaged.
First carefully pick off any large pieces of debris.
Secondly the smaller pieces need to be rinsed off.
This is best accomplished by gently rubbing the tooth against the inside of your child's cheek.
This will get all the small particles off and still treat the tooth gently.

Then, are you ready for this..... you need to stick the tooth back in.
That's right, you need to gently place the tooth back into the socket from which it came.
Its pretty simple.
The Skinny part goes in first.
Just simply slide it back into place.
Don't force it. Simply get it as close as you can.
If it wont go or you don't have the stomach for it then place the tooth
into your child's mouth in the bottom jaw in between the cheek and gums.
Holding the tooth there will give it the best chance for survival.
Another idea would be to place it in a glass of milk.
Saliva and milk are the best places for a knocked out tooth.
DON'T place the tooth in a glass of water.
The water will destroy any chance we would have had to
get the tooth to reattach to the body naturally.

Then finally, in all cases, get to a dentist ASAP.
The dentist will know what to do and will give you options depending on the
severity of the accident and the condition of the jaw and tooth.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dad's Dentures are loose : (

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.