Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Do old metal (amalgam) fillings need to be replaced?

Everything wears out at some point.
After getting a knee replaced the Dr. will typically say,
"that should last you about 15 years."

I got Lasik done and the Dr, told me that I would
have to come back in to get it touched up over time.

The same can be said for metal fillings.
Over time, they will break down and need to be replaced.

Just beware of a few scams out there. 
#1 All of you metal fillings need to be replaced at one time.
#2 The metal is bad for you and will cause a disease so they need to come out.

Neither of these are true. 
If all of your metal was placed at the same time then perhaps a few of them
are going bad together but MANY factors dictate rate of decay. 
Where the filling is on the tooth. 
Where the tooth is in the mouth.

Also, it has been proven over and over again that the contents
of metal fillings (in the state they are in in your mouth) do
not cause diseases. 

Here is an example of a filling that was going bad. 
It's pretty plain to see that there is decay around the 
edges of the filling.

We then put a white one in. 
The effects are fairly dramatic. 
The patient was very pleased. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Broken tooth AND Toothache

Fairly involved case here. Patient comes to my office with problems on the upper right hand side of his mouth. He is in a lot of pain and has a broken tooth. He figures the problems are one and the same. That the broken tooth is the one that is hurting him.

 Unfortunately he's not so lucky. The broken tooth needs to come out, yes. But, its the tooth behind the broken tooth, that is actually responsible for the patients discomfort. That tooth needs a root canal or needs to be extracted as well.

Here's what we did, step by step. We will call the teeth 1-2-3 (from left to right) to make it simple. We extracted #2 and #3.

 We then placed an implant in the spot of #3. In the spot of #2 we just placed a bone graft and let it heal.

 After several months we then placed a bridge that spanned from 1-3. 

The bad teeth are gone. The patient is no longer in pain. And a wonderful case in completed.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

"It's like pulling teeth!"

There is an old saying that goes ....... "It's like pulling teeth!"
Well, is it really THAT hard to pull teeth? 
Answer ...... it can be. Especially when you have roots that look like these.
I took these pictures in my office over the past 3 days. 
It's like trying to get a fence post out of the ground, 
when the fence post has a huge fish hook hanging of the bottom of it.

Monday, March 9, 2015

1/2 Off Hip Replacement. Hips in a Day.

I had this happen to me, again, on Friday. It continues to happen and is becoming somewhat epidemic. Patients come into me for a 2nd opinion. I tell them they have 1 or 2 cavities. They are shocked. I ask them why they are so shocked. They tell me that they went to dental office XYZ because of a  1/2 off deal they saw. And that that dentist told them that they had around 8 or 9 cavities and that the patient also needed a crown.

Two things.

#1 Rules of economics. If a dentist offers 1/2 off of ANYTHING you have to understand what is going on. Where is the dentist getting that 1/2 off from?  The city is not charging him half price for electricity, water, sewer, garbage collection, etc. The owner of his building is not giving him 1/2 off his lease that month. The dentist is not cutting the staff wages by half for that pay period. The dental supply company is not offering 1/2 supplies. You see what I'm saying. The ONLY thing that can be cut is the profit of the company. In other words ..... the take home pay of the dentist. Now, it may be totally possible that the dentist is an amazing guy. And that he wants to take home less money for the good of mankind. And thus is offering these great deals. And I, when appropriate, have given discounts to folks that are having a hard time. But I know those people. And I know that they are in need. But to offer huge, across the board, discounts is something totally different. The dentist, more often then not, needs to make up the lost revenue. And where does he do it? By finding more work to do in your mouth. It happens ALL THE TIME. Bring people in on the cheap and then find a boat load of work to do. Weather they need it or not.  Thus making up for the freebies. PLEASE BEWARE OF THIS TACTIC. Get a second opinion.

#2 You get what you pay for? Just don't get taken to the cleaners. I often hear people talk about their aging parents. And they talk of them fondly. Especially when they become injured in a fall or other accident. They tell me, "I got mom the best hip surgeon in the state." or "I got dad the best cardiologist around."  I have NEVER heard. "Dad broke his hip. So I took him to "Hips in a day" or "1/2 price hip" or "I got a coupon in the mail for a free knee brace with hip replacement, so I took dad there."  It is a VERY good thing to save money. "I" want to save money. Everyone does. But WHERE you save the money is the important thing. Save money on the Blue Ray player, the cell phone bill, or not getting the under carriage treatment at the car wash. But going for the cheapy hip, knee, or brain surgery is just not smart.

Conclusion. I am NOT saying that I am the only honest dentist out there. What I AM saying is to get several opinions before you start any major work. Go to the coupon guy. Then go to the water fountain and marble counter top guy. Finally finish up at the guy in just the run of the mill office. Compare them. THEN make your choice. Also, make sure you decide where you want to spend the money for quality workmanship and where you don't really care. Do you want a Walmart bike or a bike shop bike? And its okay to get either of them at different times.  Compare prices. Call my office. I will give you my prices with no gimmicks or questions asked. Then call other offices. Get their prices. Compare.

Knowledge is power. Once you have done your homework, compared, and shopped around, then make your choice. And weather its at my office, or someone, else's is immaterial to me. I just want people to be happy with the treatment the get.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A cavity being filled. Step by Step.

One of the questions I get asked most often is ......
"What do you do when you fill a cavity?"

Well here is your answer.

This patient came in with part of the tooth missing. 
This is a fairly large cavity.
First step is to numb up the patient, remove the old filling, 
and then remove any decay and and unstable tooth structure.

In this picture we have done all of the removal mentioned above.
We then prep the tooth to receive a filling. 
We use the metal form in order to not glue the two teeth together.

The filling is placed and the form is removed. 

Just as simple as that. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Dental Implants

Fantastic Implant case.
Patient came to me very frustrated with a tooth.
She had spent a lot of money on a crown, root canal, etc.
She needed a tooth in that particular spot but had been told
that the tooth that was there had to be removed.

What to do?
In a day and age where we can replace hips, knees, hearts and lungs.
Why wouldn't we replace teeth?

Tooth as it was when the patient came to my office.

Tooth now extracted and implant placed.
This all happens at the same appointment.
The implant was placed where one of the roots was.
You can actually see the outline of the other root space.
That spot was bone grafted and will fill in nicely.

Here is the Implant whit the tooth in place.
Very stable. 
No more cavities.
No more root canals.
Very happy patient.