Thursday, December 18, 2014

Why X-Rays are VERY important.

Here is an example of why taking regular X-Rays is very important.
This X-Ray is of a 13 year old boy. 
Everything with his teeth looked normal, with one exception.
The X-Ray showed something that was out of place. 
Can you find it?

The answer is further down the page.

Not yet.

Almost there.

1 more time.

Okay here we are. 
There is an adult tooth the is literally sideways in the mouth. 
Not simply tipped a little.
This patient had to go to the Oral Surgeon and have the tooth 
removed through the front of the jaw bone.

The idea of getting X-Rays can be scary to some.
But for this patient to have simply waited to see what
would have happened naturally could have lead to much 
bigger problems down the road.

Monday, December 8, 2014

How does an implant work?

Many people are still nervous to get an implant. 
One of these factors is that they don't know how an implant works.
Here is a step by step of what the process is like. 

#1 A patient comes to the office with a tooth broken off to the gums. A bridge is possible, but that would mean shaving down the teeth on either side of the broken one. They are great teeth and that doesn't make a lot of sense. So an implant is chosen.

#2 After the tooth is removed a drill is placed into the hole. This is very important. No new hole is drilled. There is a hole there already. We simply shape the hole to fit the implant. Extraction is more stress on patient then the shaping of the hole.

#3 The implant is placed in the hole. A temporary tooth was glued into the empty space. No on ever leaves with a hole in their smile ; ) After 12 weeks of healing the new, permanent, tooth will be placed on the implant and all will be well.

Implants are an amazing way to simply, that's right I said simply, replace missing teeth. If you have concerns I have plenty of patients that have been through this procedure that could tell you all about it. Let me know if you have any questions.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dental Implant may be the solution.

"I've got 2 bad teeth on the same side! What can I possibly do?" Well, lets get creative. On the far left side of both of these pictures is the very back tooth in this person's mouth (so moving to the right would be towards the front of the mouth). The 2nd tooth forward is very painful and would need a root canal and crown to fix. The 3rd tooth up is broken off at the gum line. The solution? Remove the 2nd and 3rd teeth. Place an implant in the 3rd tooth spot. Then make a bridge from the implant to the 1st tooth. Result? All painful and broken teeth are gone. New teeth put in their place. Full functionality restored. No matter your problem, it is more then likely that we have a solution.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Failing Root Canal?

Root Canals are like any other medical procedure. 
Sometimes they don't work.

So what do you do then?
One option is an Apicoectomy.

If you have no idea what that is then you are not alone.
In this day and age of implants this procedure has fallen out of favor.
But it should still be a very viable option in some cases.

Here is an apicoectomy we did just this morning. 
The tooth in the middle of the screen has the root canal.
You can tell by the white line running down the center of the root.
The white line isn't to the end of the root, and that may have lead to 
the continuous pain and discomfort that this patient was feeling.

You can tell from this photo that the root looks much shorter.
We surgically removed it.
We then cleaned out the infected area, placed a bone graft, 
and threw in a few stitches.
This procedure should allow the patient to maintain her 
original tooth while also getting rid of her pain.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cosmetic Bonding - Closing the Gap.

Fantastic case of Gap Closure with Cosmetic Bonding.
Young man from Saudi Arabia, about 25.
Didn't like gap in front teeth. 
Also thought that they were too long.


About 30 minutes. 
No shots.
The same cost as a couple of fillings.
Added material to the sides of both and shortened them.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dental Tooth Implants

This is a great case to show. 
First of all it shows a before and after of an extraction then an implant.
But it also shows the longevity of an existing implant.

The before picture shows a failing root canal on the right.

The after picture shows the tooth extracted and an implant placed.
We were able to place a nice 10mm long and 4.7mm wide implant.

What both of these pictures also show is an older implant on the left.
This implant has already had the crown placed on it.
The bone levels show that although this implant was placed several
years ago that it continues to be very strong.

Implants are a fantastic way to deal with the loss of one,
or several, of your natural teeth.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Gum Recession Fix

Many people deal with gum recession. 
For some it is a mild irritation but for others 
it can be very painful and effect the way you eat.

The enamel (white stuff) that covers your teeth only
goes as for as the gum line. 
If/when the gum line ever moves away from the enamel 
then root surface of the tooth is exposed.
Root surface is mush more sensitive to hot, cold, sweet, sour, etc 
then any other part of the tooth.

Sensitivity toothpastes can help.
But those must be used for the rest of your life and
if they are discontinued the sensitivity can return almost immediately. 
Toothpastes will also not cover up the discoloration that
can occur with recession.

A more permanent fix is to get a filling placed where the gums
have moved away from the enamel.

Here is a tooth experiencing recession.
The enamel is no longer going all the way to the gums.
The brown portion between the enamel and the gums
is the root structure.

Here we have the same tooth after a filling has been placed.
There is no longer a brown line. 
The filling will now isolate the root structure.
The sensitivity should now be gone and the aesthetics is much better as well.

Monday, May 19, 2014

I don't if anything can be done about this one.

There is a statement I hear a lot in my office. 
It goes something like this, "Doctor, I don't think you will be able to do 
anything with this tooth. It REALLY bad. You'll probably just have to pull it."

Sometimes the patient is right. I lay them back, look in their mouth, and 
have no other option then to pull out the damaged tooth. 

But more often then not, the patient is incorrect in their analyses. 
Working with teeth everyday means that we see A LOT of bad teeth.
So chances are what you are bringing in has been seen MANY times before.

Take this case for instance. 
Patient thought for sure that this tooth was in really bad shape. 
Well, it wasn't.
To fix this tooth didn't require a crown or a root canal.
A simple filling and the patient was on his way.



So next time you have something that, you think, is beyond hope,
get into your dentist and see what he/she says.
It might just be that its a really quick fix.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Too many teeth?

So what is going on here?

Its pretty simple actually. the adult tooth has simply "missed" the baby tooth.
The idea behind losing your baby teeth is that the adult tooth is supposed to come in
right above, below, the baby tooth and push it out. 
The adult tooth then takes the place of the baby tooth.
In this instance however, the adult tooth "missed" the baby tooth.
The adult tooth came in too far towards the roof of the mouth. 

The fix is fairly simple. 
You need to have the baby tooth extracted.
The idea is that the adult tooth can then slide into the place of the 
baby tooth and all will be well.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Dental sealants. Do my kids really need them?

What are Sealants and do my Kids Really Need Them?

The answer to this question is no. Children don’t need to have sealants placed on their teeth. But I guess this all depends on what your definition of the word needs is. Children don’t need to use toothpaste when they brush. A brush and some water will do some good. But using toothpaste will do a much better job.
Protective SealantsThus, it is with sealants. You may be okay without them but you will be much better off with them. The ADA recently published a study, among children, showing a 78% decrease in caries incidence (cavities) over a 2 year period when sealants were placed versus no sealants.
First of all, what is a sealant? A sealant is basically a small filling. The important difference between a filling and sealant is that a sealant is material placed on a tooth before decay happens in order to prevent a cavity. A filling is material placed on/in a tooth after the tooth has already sustained damage due to decay. The material used may even be the exact same material for the sealant or the filling.
This picture illustrates one tooth with a sealant and one tooth without. On the tooth with the sealant most of the natural tooth structure is still visible. The sealant material simply flows down into the nooks, crannies, grooves, and any other tiny crevices where bugs can hide and cavities can start. The material is placed on the tooth in a runny state and is then cured so that it is hard before you leave the office. Normal chewing can begin immediately.
The usual recipient of a sealant is a child getting their first adult molars (around 6 years old). More sealants are then placed over the second adult molars (around the age of 12). The reason sealants are normally only placed in children, and early teens, is to assist the child in keeping their teeth cavity free. Kids and early teens are not the greatest when it comes to controlling sugar intake or brushing.
Sealants will chip out as the years go by and are not a lifelong restoration. It is the hope that the sealants stay in long enough to get the individual to adulthood when they can then take better care of their teeth on their own. This is not to say that you can’t get the sealants put back in as an adult. Insurances won’t pay for them after your teens but it still would help. Sealants, like toothpaste, won’t stop cavities all by themselves. But, they are a great tool in the overall fight to keep you cavity free.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cosmetic Bonding of Front Two Teeth

Lots of things are becoming more convenient these days. 
Why not your dentistry?

If you can't afford a "smile makeover".
If you don't want to wear braces for 2 years.
If you don't want shots.

Then maybe you are a candidate for some
Cosmetic Bonding.

Here is the before.

And here is the after

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Fluoride in your drinking water?

Before we can talk about whether or not putting fluoride into your water supply, we first need to dispel the myth that fluoride is poisonous. To begin this discussion let’s start off with a quote. "All substances are poisons; there is none which is not a poison. The right dose differentiates a poison..." Paracelsus (1493- 1541). Anything and everything around us can be a poison.

If you sat down at your kitchen table right now and drank 5 gallons of water you may get what is called water toxicity. Water toxicity has, and still does, lead to multiple deaths each year in the United States. You can die and all you are doing is drinking water. Most of us take a daily vitamin and have no problem doing so. However, if you swallowed 6 bottles of those same daily vitamins you may not last too long.

The point here is that to declare something poisonous, or not, must include some idea of the quantity being used.

Fluoride in the wrong proportions is very deadly. However, fluoride in the right dosages, prescribed by a knowledgeable physician, and taken according the directions indicated is completely safe and indeed has a great number of benefits.

The American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control have both concluded that fluoride is safe and effective if taken in the proper doses. These studies are backed up by years and years of experimentation and data gathering.
Now that we have determined that fluoride is safe we now turn our attention to the question of whether or not I feel that it should be placed into the drinking water. And the answer may surprise you, because I do NOT feel that placing fluoride into everyone’s drinking water is the right thing to do.

I feel that drinking water should be left without any additives. Certain things may be added to purify the water, of course, but after that I don’t feel that anything additional should be placed into it, even if it’s for health benefits.

The problem here is the opening of the Pandora’s box. A group of people may think that placing a certain additive into the water supply is an okay thing to do. So they get enough signatures from the community and so it goes into effect. You have then however, set a precedent. And from that moment forward anyone gaining enough signatures can also add things to the water. If another group wants to add calcium then that will go in. If another group wants to add vitamin B, then that goes in as well. Before long you have a chemical concoction flowing from your faucet whether you want it or not. To add one thing to the mix opens the door for others to be added later on.

And there is one more problem with adding fluoride to the water. How much do you need, and how much are you getting? Different people need different amounts of fluoride. The young need more than the old. The medications, genetics, and certain diseases may also require different amounts of fluoride.

So if my 3 year old needs less than my 8 year old, do I stop my 3 year old from drinking as much? Being that I have 5 kids to I need to keep a log of how many glasses each of them drinks every day? What if my wife is a fitness nut and drinks a gallon a day? Is that detrimental to her? Does fluoride get pulled out by my home filtration system? Does it cook out of the water I use for cooking? The list could go on and on and is too complex to even think about.

The simple answer to both of these problems is to supplement your fluoride under the watchful eye of your health care provider. He/Her will evaluate your overall health, medications, disease states, age, genetic back ground, etc etc etc. And then give you the proper dose. If you then take that dose on the regularly scheduled intervals you should be just fine.

Fluoride is very very safe. And I strongly recommend that people supplement their diets with it, unless they are getting it naturally. But I am not for the idea that it should just be automatically added to everyone’s water supply.

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