What Are Mini Dental Implants?
A mini dental implant consists of a miniature titanium implant that behaves just like a tooth root. A retaining fixture then attaches the MDI to the base of a denture. Because the head of the implant is ball-shaped, the retaining fixture functions as a socket of sorts that contains a rubber O-ring. This O-ring snaps over the ball when the denture seats. This, in turn, holds the denture at a pre-set level of force. The intent here is for the denture to rest gently on the gum tissue.
Why were mini implants invented to begin with?
The primary function of the mini dental implant is to stabilize a lower denture. Approximately 50,000,000 Americans lack teeth. On a daily basis, these people suffer as they struggle with their dentures. Many feel tremendous discomfort because of low or poorly fitting dentures.
Most people who wear dentures become very shy in public. Dentures also trap teeth and can cause bad breath, and many people feel particularly embarrassed to be around those they love the most.
These issues can be greatly rectified by placement of mini dental implants. All over the world, denture patients have reported feeling great relief from loose dentures. With the help of a good cosmetic dentist, an MDI can stabilize a denture and help the patient start an entirely new chapter of confidence and joy in his or her life.
When do cosmetic dentists recommend the placement of MDIs in the lower jaw?
Cosmetic Dentists recommend them when they are needed to support dentures. When solid bony adaptation, or integration, has clearly occurred, mini dental implants function as long-term support structures instead of medium term support structures. Some have successfully lasted for decades in patient jaws. Over the past several years, many cosmetic dentists have used MDI’s for single tooth replacements and as supports for crowns and bridges.
How are mini dental implants placed in the mouth?
They are gently screwed into the lower jaw. This involves a minimal amount of discomfort for the patient. Cosmetic dentists typically apply a mild anesthetic to ensure the patient does not feel pain. MDIs are about the size of wooden toothpicks and are easily placed in position using this method. Typically, they are placed about five millimeters apart in the jaw.
The dentist then carefully adjusts the lower denture to make it snap into the four mini implants. This results in a tightly-fitting, completely reliable system that lets a person speak and eat with confidence. Because of the non-invasive nature of this procedure, patients can normally eat a light meal only hours after placement of MDIs. The presence of mini implants does not impede removing and cleaning dentures, either. With a bit of practice, a person can learn to remove them easily and practice good dental hygiene.
Labels: cosmetic dentures, houston dental implants, lower dentures, MDI, mini dental implants, mini implants, problems with dentures
The Cosmetic Dentists at The Houston Medical Center Dental Group are committed to giving their patients better dental health and dental enhancements that result in fabulous smiles.
For as many medical and cosmetic dental conditions that plague people, there are dental enhancements and treatment options available that can restore the health and beauty of what otherwise appears to be a hopeless case.
Our Cosmetic Dentists never give up on patients, and we want our patients to never give up on themselves. For every problem, we can implement a solution that will restore enjoyment and health to living.
Just a few of the Dental Enhancement Services we offer are discussed below.
Our cosmetic dentists can give you straighter teeth with a variety of low-profile and painless alternatives to traditional orthodontic braces.
These include the new Six-Month Smiles™ and the Invisalign System.
Six-Month Smiles™ are a form of braces, but are the same color as teeth and have clear wires.
Invisalign aligners are custom-made mouthpieces that fit over the teeth and align them through a series of steps.
Cosmetic Dentists at the Houston Medical Center Dental Group will conduct a full dental examination of your mouth and find out just where the alignment of your teeth is at. They will then discuss both of these options with you and the relative cost of each.
Cosmetic Dentists at the Medical Center Dental Group will also help you have a brighter smile as well as a straighter one. Teeth can and do stain over time. There really is no one particular reason for this staining, either. With some people, it is the inevitable result of age. With others, it is the side effects of medication. Still other people drink coffee and smoke tobacco—both of which stain teeth badly.
We can clean all of these stains with our advanced tooth whitening process. This is a procedure that occurs in a two appointment cycle. During the first appointment, we clean your teeth with a special bleaching agent. We then make custom bleaching trays to fit your teeth, and we send you home with bleaching agent to apply yourself daily for 2 weeks.
On your second appointment after these two weeks, we complete the tooth bleaching process and seal the newly whitened teeth with special techniques that help prevent them from getting stained again anytime soon.
Houston Dental Implants
Just because a tooth is lost, or just because it is so badly damaged that it cannot be salvaged, does not mean that all is lost. Dental implants have become so sophisticated in the past 3 decades that they are now virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth. They are also very bio-friendly, so the chances of the bones and gums rejecting them are marginally slim.
Houston dental implants have become one of our most unique specialties in our office. This is because Dr. Charles Campbell is one of the few Houston Cosmetic Dentists who performs both the surgical and the restorative phases of implant dentistry.
Labels: cosmetic dentists Houston, houston dental implants
People have every right to ask their dentist what materials are being used to make the components of tooth repair and replacements that ultimately end up in their mouths. At the Cosmetic Dentistry Center of Houston, we not only encourage these questions, we answer them.
There are two basic dental implant materials used to create the tooth replacements that have earned the Houston Medical Center Dental Group an outstanding reputation among cosmetic dentists of Houston, Texas. These two materials are bio-friendly, meaning they are completely non-toxic and amenable to the tissues and bones of the mouth. They are also materials whose artificial nature is easy to obscure, making them ideal substances to use in the manufacture of all three major dental components.
The Base That Affixes to the Jaw is the Primary Dental Implant Component
Technically, the actual dental implant is the piece that the dentist affixes to the jawbone itself. This component is made from a material called Tivolloy. Tivolloy is a special titanium alloy developed in the late 1970s.
It was specifically developed for oral surgery, having been approved by the FDA as being completely bio-friendly to the tissues and bones of the human mouth. Tivolloy has little chance of being rejected by either gum tissue or bone, making it the best dental implant material available to cosmetic dentists.
The Abutment is the Secondary Dental Implant Component
The abutment is a piece that fits on top of the Tivolloy piece that goes into the bone. The purpose of the abutment is to create an optimal platform on which to place a tooth replacement crown.
Ideally, the base implant should be placed at the correct angle in the jaw bone so a prefabricated abutment can be used. Otherwise, the dentist will have to create a custom abutment to correct the impending alignment problem that will result if not corrected.
A pre-fabricated dental implant abutment offers a better fit than a custom abutment because the titanium used in both components makes them naturally fit together very tightly. This, in turn, contributes to long-term ossification process of the bone around the implant.
The Porcelain Crown is the Third and Most Visible Dental Implant Component
The porcelain crown that goes on top of the abutment is the dental implant component that most people visualize when they hear another person talk about dental implantation or permanent tooth replacement. This association is understandable when we consider how remarkable porcelain truly is.
Visually, it imitates the translucence of tooth enamel and therefore catches the attention of the eye. Someone who sees such a crown thinks, “My---what a beautiful, white, clean tooth” rather than, “Oh my…an implant.”
People never say such nonsense because when you smile at them they do not KNOW you have dental implants.
Porcelain is also one of the hardest materials used in cosmetic dentistry. Unlike the porcelain used to create decorative ornaments, this porcelain is specially heated and prepared to be super tough and able to bite through any normal foods people typically eat on a regular diet.
This allows you to get rid of dentures once and for all, get on with eating a normal diet, and start living a full and robust life once more.
Labels: dental implant components, dental implant materials, dental implants cosmetic dental implants, houston dental implants
What are dental implants?Houston dental implants are permanent tooth replacements.How do they differ from other tooth replacements?Dental implants differ from other tooth replacements because they are permanently affixed to the jaw bone itself. Not only does the base of the implant actually attach to the jaw, it eventually becomes a part of it.What are they made of?Dental implants are made of three components. The actual implant is basically a titanium-based alloy made from a material called Tivolloy. This is a bio-friendly metal that is easily accepted by the jaw and the gums.The bottom of the implant is shaped like a screw. This allows it to be twisted into the bone and firmly set within it. This is important, because in order to remain in the mouth, the device must become a part of the bone so it does not originally fall out.The second part of the dental implant is called an abutment. It is a small metal post the helps anchor and secure the base of the tooth replacement.The third part is the crown. It is made from porcelain, and it works in the same way that other cosmetic dental crowns work. It both looks and functions like a natural tooth. This is because porcelain is the same color as tooth enamel. It is also because porcelain is extremely hard, and it is capable of chewing any number of foods.What makes cosmetic dental implants superior to dentures and dental bridges?There are a number of problems associated with both dentures and dental bridges.To begin with dentures, the cheaper models often make embarrassing clicking noises when a person chews. They also have to be taken out and cleaned which leaves a person toothless for the time being and often creates embarrassing situations when dentures are found in a glass.Bridgework can create problems as well. Bridges have to be affixed to anchor points, which in the case of permanent bridgework, means bracketing tooth replacement to surrounding natural teeth. Over time, the stress of chewing can put enough strain on these brackets that they wear down the enamel of natural teeth.Dental implants overcome both sets of problems. Because they are permanently attached to the jaw, they do not have to be taken out for cleaning. In fact, they can be brushed and flossed just like natural teeth.Dental implants also go into the jawbone itself and do not affect surrounding, natural teeth in a negative way. In fact, they actually help natural teeth grow straighter because they close the gaps caused by missing teeth.Are there other benefits besides these?The greatest benefit they bring, aside from a completely natural-looking smile, is the reversal of bone loss. When teeth are lost, the bones that normally grow around the roots begin to recede. Implanting a tooth replacement directly into the bone reverses this process by giving it something to grow around.
Labels: cosmetic dental implants, cosmetic dentistry Houston, dental implant, dental implants houston, houston dental implants
The surgical phase of Houston Dental Implant treatment involves placing an artificial tooth root into the jawbone itself. This base resembles a screw on the bottom and so gives the bone a structure around which to grow.
The immediate benefit of this is that it stops bone recession, which always begins after a tooth is lost and the root no longer has a root around which to grow.
The long term benefit of this is that bone recession eventually reverses itself and begins to engulf the dental implant--provided the treatment is performed in time. This process is called osseointegration and can take up to six months.
In order to give osseointegration and gum healing the best chance of success, there are immediate steps that the dentist has each patient take.
After the dentist places the dental implants, a surgical dressing will be applied to the area around the incision. Patients should keep this in place for as long as possible, and they should use cotton swabs to clean the areas around dental implants rather than brushing.
Salt water rinsing helps to prevent irritation of the gums, and should be performed twice a day for two weeks following the surgical phase. Antibiotics, if prescribed, should be taken as directed.
It is important that Houston dental implant patients maintain a high protein diet for the duration of the first part of the postoperative phase. Foods that are an excellent source of protein are eggs, soup, cottage cheese, milk products, and lean ground beef.
It is best, at least at first, to chop these foods in a blender. This is because a soft diet helps the incisions around the dental implant to heal. Houston dental implant patients should avoid hard foods.
If no infection occurs, the patient should still return in two weeks for suture removal and post-op evaluation. The dentist may place a temporary crown over the dental implant(s) at this time.
The remainder of the healing process can take six months.
After osseointegration has completed itself; the second phase of the dental implant process begins. If a temporary crown was placed, the dentist removes it and replaces it with an abutment. This is a special screw-like covering that goes over the implant.
The dentist will then cap the abutment with a porcelain crown. This creates an entirely new, artificial tooth that is very aesthetically appealing and amazingly strong.
Phase I and Phase II of implant dentistry are often performed by separate dentists, as one involves dental surgery, and the other phase involves cosmetic dentistry. Dr. Charles Campbell at the Houston Medical Center Dental Group is one of the few Houston dentists who will frequently perform both phases for his patients. He mentored under the best specialists in the world, and he has been working with titanium dental implants since the mid-1980s.
Labels: after cosmetic dentistry, cosmetic dental implants, houston dental implants
Dr. Charles Campbell is our leading expert in Houston dental implants. Dr. Campbell’s experience in restorative implant dentistry is some of the most impressive of any dental professional in the city of Houston. Since 1985, he has trained with one of the best implant dentists in the world, Dr. Hilt Tatum. He has completed multiple, ongoing coursework at the Las Vegas Institute of Cosmetic Dentistry, and he has developed an extensive skill set in restorative treatment. Not only does Dr. Campbell offer to the people of Houston dental implants that can replace individual, missing teeth, but he has perfected the ability to utilize dental implants in full mouth reconstructions that can literally fill an empty mouth with what appears to be all natural tooth replacements.
Our when it comes to restorative services, our practice is somewhat unique in the city of Houston. Dental implants must be placed in the mouth in two phases. The first phase is known as the surgical phase, where the base of the implant is affixed to the jaw. The second phase is called the restorative phase, where a porcelain crown is placed over the base and actually functions as the visible tooth replacement.Most cosmetic dental offices perform either the surgical phase of the procedure or the restorative phase. If the dentist performs the surgical phase, he or she then refers the patient to another dentist who will then affix the porcelain crown to the tooth root replacement. The disadvantage here is that the patient has to see more than one dentist to receive proper care.
On the other hand, Dr. Campbell has made it a point to specialize in both phases of implant dentistry so that patients of the Cosmetic Dentistry Center of Houston can receive dental implants in a single location. This makes it easier for the patient in two respects. First, the patient usually feels more comfortable working with a single dentist that he or she has already become accustomed to. Secondly, dental insurance issues are much less complicated when there is only a single dentist involved. Also, patients receive the very best aesthetic outcome when they come to the Cosmetic Dentistry Center of Houston. Dental implants here are carefully, custom-made to fit the mouth of the patient so that the new porcelain crowns look so much like the original, natural teeth that virtually no one can tell they are artificial. This allows a patient to do away with dentures once and for all. It also enables a person to begin eating a normal diet once again, because porcelain is such a hard substance that it can chew anything that natural teeth can handle.
Labels: cosmetic dental implants, houston dental implants, tooth restorations
The Medical Benefits of Houston Dental Implants
Many medical problems result from missing teeth. Not only does a person have an incomplete smile and face daily challenges eating a normal diet comfortably, but he or she must also contend with even more serious challenges occurring at the unseen level. Missing teeth impact more than the way a person looks and eats. Because teeth are vital to the health of other teeth, jawbones, and facial muscles, losing even one tooth can impact the entire mouth in very serious ways that can lead to irreversible damage.
However, there is always hope. Here at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center of Houston, dental implants can be placed in the mouth that will restore the vitality and health of surrounding natural teeth, bones, and facial tissues.
At the Cosmetic Dentistry Center of Houston, dental implants can prevent alignment problems that often result from missing teeth.
The position of one tooth is always established by the positions of the surrounding teeth. One missing tooth that creates a gap in the bite will cause the two adjacent teeth to begin growing into this gap. Alignment problems will result that inevitably call for orthodontic treatment.
However, we specialize in custom-made tooth replacements here at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center of Houston. Dental implants are so precisely manufactured as to perfectly match the original teeth that the teeth around them treat them as natural and grow normally in relationship to the new tooth replacements.
Houston dental implants keep lips and cheeks from wrinkling and sagging.
Muscles need structure to remain firm. A full set of upper and lower teeth provide this structure to the muscles of the face and the lips. When teeth fall out or get knocked out, the muscles in surrounding tissue lose this support. Over time, the muscles will become flaccid and the skin will start to sag. Then the skin itself will begin to wrinkle. In severe cases, the skin will actually droop and the person will begin to look older than they really are.
Thanks to the Cosmetic Dentistry Center of Houston, dental implants can keep muscles firm and strong by restoring the internal structure of the mouth. These tooth replacements are so custom-made they match the original teeth that were
With the expertise of the Cosmetic Dentistry Center of Houston, dental implants can stop the bone loss that always results after teeth are lost.
When a tooth is lost, the bone around the tooth root has nothing to grow around. It begins to recede.
Bone loss of this type is very serious. It can affect the entire shape of a person’s jaw.
However, the titanium base of every implant works just like a tooth root and gives the bone something to grow around.
If you are missing even so much as one tooth, consider giving yourself the best possible treatment by contacting our office for an evaluation. We are one of the few Cosmetic Dentistry Offices in Houston that handles both the surgical aspect of implantation and the crowning phase of the procedure. With our team, you can take care of all of your needs with one phone call to one location.
Labels: dental implants houston, houston dental implants
People feel more confident, and find it easier to smile when they invest in Houston dental implants.No one wants to reveal that they are missing teeth. Society will make all sorts of judgments about the fact that a man or a woman has lost one or more teeth. The closer that the missing teeth are to the front of the mouth, the more embarrassing this gap in the bite becomes.
Houston dental implants, one of the major specialties of the Medical Center Dental Group, can do away with this terrible embarrassment. By repairing the smile with tooth replacements that look virtually identical to original, natural teeth, our team helps restore confidence to the soul who was previously too shy.Our Houston dental implants service can also restore a healthy diet to patients.When a person is missing teeth, he or she either has to bite down with a incomplete set of teeth, or put up with the problematics of wearing dentures. There are varying kinds of dentures, but none that are free from problematics. Dentures have to be removed for cleaning, and the less expensive models often make embarrassing clicking noises. Even worse, there are some foods you simply cannot chew with dentures.One of the advantages that the Houston Medical Center Dental Group offers to our dental implants patients is the option to get rid of dentures once and for all and replace them with harder, permanent tooth replacements that will actually chew any food substance just like natural teeth will.The face will look younger because skin will wrinkle less.Many people do not know this, but the muscles of the face retain their vitality and shape largely due to the presence of teeth in the mouth. When people lose teeth, the face and lip muscles begin to sag because there is no pressure within the mouth to retain their rigidity. Over time, this causes a great deal of wrinkling to occur in these areas. In severe cases, an entire portion of the face may drop. Dental implants can prevent this from happening by implanting teeth replacements that are custom-made to compliment surrounding teeth. Nothing looks more natural than a porcelain implant whose shape has been designed to mimic the tooth it is replacing, and whose surface area both looks and functions like natural tooth enamel.
You will feel better about your long term health when you realize that bone loss has been stopped in its tracks.Teeth are vital to the health of both upper and lower jaw bones. The jaw bone depends upon the tooth root just as much as the tooth depends upon the jaw. Bone actually has something to grow around when a root system is present within its form.
When one or more teeth are lost, the bone begins to recede from what is now an empty socket. Over time, this can lead to irreversible bone loss. However, patients can come to the Houston Medical Center and obtain dental implants that can reverse this recession. Because the titanium root of the implant works just like a natural tooth root, the bone now has a reason to grow back to its original shape—if implantation occurs in time.
Labels: cosmetic dental implants, houston dental implants, implant dentistry houston
What are symptoms of cracked teeth?
Cracked teeth exhibit many different types of symptoms, including pain while chewing, pain when exposed to extremes of heat or cold, or pain when biting pressure is released. In many instances patients report that the pain comes and goes, leading them to the false conclusion that whatever their problem is only minor.What do I do if I have cracked teeth?
If you suspect that you are suffering from cracked teeth, get to the dentist as soon as possible. The reason you are feeling pain is because the tooth surface beneath the crack is flexing. This makes the entire tooth unstable, and it can cause a large portion of the tooth to break away if it is untreated.
I have a busy schedule and cannot get to the dentist right away. What is the worst thing that can possibly happen if I delay dental treatment?You know, it never is a good idea to ask any type of doctor what the worst case scenario will be if you do nothing about your condition. We tend to be very candid because we do not want patients to have a false sense of security that can later lead to them hurting more down the line.
Delaying treatment of cracked teeth gives time for cracks to work their way down to tooth roots. Once this happens, the root dies, and a root canal will be necessary. If the crack develops into a split tooth, the entire tooth will need to be replaced. Otherwise, the tooth will need to be crowned because part of its surface has been ruptured or may have broken away.
If you act immediately, however, some cracked teeth can be repaired with cosmetic dental bonding resin. While we cannot guarantee we can do this for you, it is almost certain we will not be able to if you procrastinate coming into the office.
If the crack extends into the nerve and a root canal will become necessary. Most cracked teeth that hurt will need to be crowned. Occasionally, small cracks can be fixed with fillings.Do cracked teeth always hurt?
No. Sometimes old cracks that run parallel to the length of teeth are painless. These surface cracks do not run very deep. Very shallow cracks of this nature are called craze lines and are not at all severe. They are part of the normal aging process and normally do not cause problems or require treatment.
The cracks that do hurt are the ones that result from biting into something that damages the tooth. Basically, anything that penetrates down into the dentin layer of the tooth is going to cause pain. This is because the dentin layer lies immediately next to the nerve center of the tooth, called the pulp chamber.
If you begin to experience constant pain, there is a good chance that the nerve is affected and that a root canal will be necessary to treat the problem. Crowning is commonly performed as a treatment for many cracked teeth, although cosmetic dentists like us are often able to repair minor cracks with cosmetic dental onlays.
Labels: cracked teeth, craze lines, dental crowns, symptomatic cracks
Ask the Dental Experts Our philosophy is to help our patients achieve and maintain exceptional dental health. We work hard to make sure that our level of care is deserving of our patients’ respect and confidence. Our tradition of preventive dentistry is the basis for all service and care in our practice. We welcome all questions and comments regarding dentistry in the hope that we increase your dental "IQ" and help you make better dental health decisions.I have a great deal of missing teeth and currently wear an upper teeth removable denture. I am interested in obtaining dental implants that will anchor the denture permanently in place. What kind of costs are associated with such a procedure.
Here are some photos of what might likely work for you if you have a removable denture made that snaps onto implants. It is also possible to place more implants and have fixed bridgework that is not taken in and out. The costs can vary a lot, depending on what it is that you want done, how much bone you have, whether you want intravenous sedation for the surgical steps, and many other factors. Please come in for an exam so that we can give you a realistic cost estimate. This is complex dental treatment, and there are just too many variables to quote prices without examining you. Give us a call.
Chuck Campbell, DDS
Dale Brant, DDS
Labels: cosmetic dentures, den, houston dental implants
The aesthetic and medical benefits of cosmetic dentistry aesthetic and medical benefits are many, to say the least. They restore health and beauty to the smile, and they restore the ability of the patient to enjoy a full and normal lifestyle once again.
Many people believe that cosmetic dental services are too expensive. This is not so. Many treatments are similar in cost to the more advanced general dentistry and orthodontic procedures. There are also numerous financial assistance programs and payment options available as well that can help patients afford to get the treatment they need.
One of the most common benefits of cosmetic dentistry is whiter teeth.
Teeth can become discolored for many different reasons. They may yellow from smoking tobacco or drinking coffee. They may turn brown because of prescription medicine side effects. Others simply become discolored as a result of age.
There are many ways to fix this. The simplest treatment is cosmetic tooth whitening. Cosmetic tooth whitening combines in-office cleaning with at-home bleaching over a period of approximately two weeks. Stains go away, and teeth look beautiful once more.
Tooth repair is another benefit of cosmetic dentistry.
Before cosmetic dentistry became a separate branch of dentistry, a cracked tooth that could not be filled had to be extracted or replaced with a gold crown. This is no longer necessary. Minor cracks can be covered with cosmetic porcelain veneers, or they can be filled in with cosmetic resin bonding agents.
Severely cracked teeth may still require capping with a crown. However, the crowns used today are made from porcelain and look just like tooth enamel. Porcelain is also hard, and it can chew anything that natural teeth can bite.
Teeth straightening can now be done more cost effectively and without metal braces.
Orthodontic treatment has existed for years. In recent years, however, one of the more recent benefits of cosmetic dentistry has been the option to straighten teeth with a variety of non-metal braces or mouthpieces that function like braces.
Many of these devices take less time to work than metal braces, and all of them cause far less discomfort. They are also either tooth-colored or practically invisible, so you can wear them without feeling like you cannot smile in public.
Tooth replacement is perhaps the oldest benefit of cosmetic dentistry that has been practiced since Ancient Times.
The Egyptians made dental implants from seashells to replace missing teeth. Implants today are made from Tivolloy (a bio-friendly Titanium alloy). The Tivolloy implant is shaped like a screw that affixes to the jaw itself, and a porcelain crown fits right over its top.
Dental implants may be very expensive, but they offer benefits beyond the cosmetic when you consider how they stop bone loss in its tracks and allow a person to resume eating a normal diet that almost no dentures can provide in the same way.
Labels: benefits of cosmetic dentistry, cosmetic dental implants, cosmetic tooth whitening
Many dentists no longer use silver fillings because they feel they are not safe. Along with copper, traces of zinc, and silver, these fillings are basically fifty percent mercury. Mercury is a poisonous substance in its raw form and has been documented to have all sorts of negative, toxic effects on the human body.
Of course, the way silver fillings are mixed, they are supposed to be safe. For 150 years now, in fact, the American Dental Association has monitored their impact on the general public and stated that there is no conclusive evidence that once used in an alloy of this nature that mercury would ever prove harmful to a dental patient.
Other people feel that mercury is mercury, and you should not have it in your body at all in any form. When mercury compounds break down and trace amounts of mercury gas are released, it can find its way into the lungs and cause cells in the body to die. Cells die every day for all types of reasons, however, so there is ongoing argument on both sides of this issue as to how safe these miniscule trace amounts of mercury are or how potentially damaging they can be over a long period of time.
We personally do not want to get caught up in this debate, nor do we take any sort of stance here against the ADA. We simply like to err on the side of caution in this matter and just avoid the use of silver fillings that contain mercury—and all the controversy that surrounds them—and offer our patients something we feel is much better for them from a cosmetic perspective, anyway.
In our practice, we avoid the use of anything that contains mercury. We are not here to get caught up in a heated debate— we simply believe that it is better to be safe than sorry, and to use composite resin fillings that have a greater cosmetic appeal.
This alternative is known as cosmetic dental bonding. It uses cosmetic resins that are mixed to match the color of surrounding teeth. In many cases, the only way to fill a very small cavity is to use this material. Otherwise, what the patient ends up with is a dark dot on his or her tooth.
This does not look all that good.
In other arenas, composite resin fillings prove even more effective. When filling bigger cavities, they do not require the same degree of drilling as do silver amalgam fillings. All the dentist needs to do is to remove the decaying enamel and dentin, then fill the cavity with composite resin. The resin bonds much more quickly to the tooth surface and does not need the same depth of drilling as metal fillings require.
Labels: composite resin fillings, cosmetic dental bonding, silver amalgam fillings, silver mercury fillings
Ask the Dental Experts
Our philosophy is to help our patients achieve and maintain exceptional dental health. We work hard to make sure that our level of care is deserving of our patients’ respect and confidence. Our tradition of preventive dentistry is the basis for all service and care in our practice. We welcome all questions and comments regarding dentistry in the hope that we increase your dental "IQ" and help you make better dental health decisions.
I HAVE THE FOLLOWING INSURANCE:
2) MAIL HANDLERS BENEFIT PLAN
3) TRICARE FOR LIFE (TFL)
APPRECIATE ANY INFO YOU CAN PROVIDE.
Hello, Mr. Pratt –
The TAP appliance you ask about is one of the many dental devices for the treatment of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. As to your benefits:
1. Since we are not Medicare providers, that is not an option in our office
2. You will have to communicate with your insurance companies in order to determine your possible benefits.
3. We do not take assignment of benefits, so you will have to make cash arrangements and then pursue your medical benefits afterwards.
4. This obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis is a medical diagnosis. The medical treatment coding for a custom obstructive sleep apnea device is E0486. Have you been diagnosed by your physician? We often work in tandem with a physician (we use Dr. Brian Wang, for instance, as a common person we refer to for medical diagnosis. He is an ENT doctor with an interest in sleep disorders.) Based upon the results of a medical exam and diagnosis, then you may be a candidate for the TAP appliance or one of the other apnea appliances.
Thanks for your interest.
Chuck Campbell, DDS
Dale Brant, DDS
A dark tooth is a tooth that turns almost black because of a blood flow problem. This can happen to a baby tooth or an adult tooth. People always get very upset when they see a dark tooth-especially in the mouth of their child. Actually, it is less of a problem for children than adults.
With children, a dark tooth is almost always caused by some kind of injury that slightly loosens the tooth. Most of these injuries are minor, but they are normally forceful enough to displace a tooth just enough to interrupt its blood supply.
In most instances, however, the tooth eventually tightens back in its socket and normal blood flow returns. The tooth whitens again. Little intervention is needed in these cases. However, we do not encourage parents to assume that it is all right to do nothing if they see a dark tooth in a child’s mouth.
Bring your son or daughter to the dentist for a full dental checkup. The severity of the injury must be assessed in order to determine if observation is the best course of action, or if some type of intervention is required.
Now with adults, the problem is usually a lot more severe.
A dark tooth in the mouth of an adult indicates that the nerve of the tooth has already become infected and the root is on its way to dying. In almost all instances, a root canal is required to save the tooth itself. There are a few exceptions to this where very resilient tooth roots remain alive in spite of the fact that the adjoining nerves that connect to them wither and die.
In any respect, it is necessary to restore the whiteness a tooth once it has been properly treated and salvaged. There are four ways that cosmetic dentists can do this.
One method is to simply whiten a dark tooth with cosmetic dental whitening. This procedure uses a series of special bleaching agents that are applied both in the dentist office and at home.
If the tooth only has a part of its surface that has become dark, cosmetic dental bonding resin can be spread over the area and used to restore normal tooth color.
Another treatment method we use is the application of cosmetic dental veneers. These thin, porcelain sheets are custom made to mimic the natural color of surrounding teeth and lay right over the surface of the tooth.
A fourth treatment option is to cap the tooth with a cosmetic porcelain crown. Porcelain is an exceptionally hard substance and allows the patient to eat a normal diet. It prevents everyone from ever knowing that the person had a root canal..
Labels: cosmetic dental crowns, cosmetic dental veneers, cosmetic tooth whitening, dark tooth
Cosmetic Porcelain Dental Veneers
Ask the Dental ExpertsOur philosophy is to help our patients achieve and maintain exceptional dental health. We work hard to make sure that our level of care is deserving of our patients’ respect and confidence. Our tradition of preventive dentistry is the basis for all service and care in our practice. We welcome all questions and comments regarding dentistry in the hope that we increase your dental "IQ" and help you make better dental health decisions.I am interested in veneers for my lower teeth and was wondering how much this would cost at your clinic. Also, where are you all located? Thanks, Scott.
Hi, Scott… thanks for your interest. The cost of this type of project will vary depending on several factors…how many teeth are involved, difficulty of managing your bite, need for any soft tissue treatment, etc. We would want to see you, get some x-rays to avoid surprises, get some photos and discuss options with you personally. This is not something to be quoted at arm’s length….. too complicated and too many variables.
I suggest that you make an appt for an exam and consult so we can give you correct information.
Chuck Campbell, DDS
Dale Brant, DDS
Labels: cosmetic dental veneers, porcelain veneers, Veneers
Una Pregunta in EspanolQuisiera saber si tienen un departamento de habla hispana ya que soy de la ciudad de Cordoba, Veracruz-Mexico y me pondria yo en contacto para hacer varias preguntas.De ser asi hacermelo saber por este medio para ponerme en contacto.Gracias.Fernando Garcia.
Yo hablo Espanol bastante bien – perfectamente no, pero bastante. Tambien, tenemos otras empleadas que hablan Espanol. Tenemos pacientes de Mexico que vienen aqui porque hablamos Espanol.
Llama por telefon a nuestro oficina, y pide a Maria – ella quede ayudarse con sus preguntas.
Chuck Campbell, DDS
Dale Brant, DDS
Labels: se llama espanol
Tooth Pain Resulting From Root Canal
Ask the Dental ExpertsOur philosophy is to help our patients achieve and maintain exceptional dental health. We work hard to make sure that our level of care is deserving of our patients’ respect and confidence. Our tradition of preventive dentistry is the basis for all service and care in our practice. We welcome all questions and comments regarding dentistry in the hope that we increase your dental "IQ" and help you make better dental health decisions.Hello, My wife has had several root canals and a full mouth of crowns installed in the last six months. She has had very serious pain seeming to emminate from the teeth which have had root canal work. Her face is clearly swollen on her left side today. On her left side she had one lower and two upper molers given root canal. The dentist in Mexico first recommended Flagyl when the problem kept reooccuring he swithched her to ampasillan. Extensive treatment with both meds have not stopped the reoccurance of the swelling and pain.In addittion she has horrific bouts of diarrea which Flagyl seems to help and when she stops the medication tyhe diarrea returns. What can this be what treatment should we be following. Her dentist says because her bridgework is not yet complete on her right side rear and because she grinds her teeth in her sleep she is causing this pain. Please help. Thank you.
Thanks for the note – sounds like a complicated situation. Both of us are experienced in managing advanced dental restorative projects such as this one. The only way we could be able to help you is for us to give you a second opinion and give you our recommendations. In order to do this, we will need our own set of x-rays and photos and some time to examine her. In complex dental treatment such as this, there are always issues to clear up that are not foreseen.
If you would like for one of us to re-evaluate her situation, please call for an appointment.
Chuck Campbell, DDS
Dale Brant, DDS
Labels: flagyl, pain in tooth, root canal, tooth pain
An accurate diagnosis of periodontal disease and the presence of cavities are two of the most important elements of a dental exam.
Most people who have periodontal illness do not even know it. Due to the fact that they have no symptoms, they assume they are ok. In order to see if they are truly ok, the dentist has to x-ray the gumline, and sometimes also use a periodontal probe to check bone levels around the teeth.
Dentists do this to check periodontal pockets that form when bone levels fall and pull away from the tooth. Dentists measure these pockets from the bottom up, starting where the gum is attached and moving to the top of the gums. Determining the depth of these pockets is a vital step toward arriving at an accurate dental diagnosis of gum disease.
In actuality, any pocket of any size is a problem. Healthy gums always lay tight against the teeth. In the early staged of gum disease, however, pockets begin to form. The deeper the pockets become, the more gum disease progresses.
Any bleeding from the gums is a sure sign of infection. Healthy gums never bleed. When a patient comes into the office with bleeding gums, the first thing a dentist does is examine the shape and color of the gums. Pink and lightly stippled gums are healthy. Smooth, red, or swollen gums indicate the presence of infection and mild to moderate periodontal disease.
X-rays are an essential component to making an accurate dental diagnosis of gum disease. In a healthy mouth, bone rises around the necks of teeth at an even level along the gumline. When Periodontis is present, bone levels fall to noticeably lower levels.
To summarize, then, a conclusive dental diagnosis of periodontal disease consists of the following:
1. A pocket reading of more than three millimeters
2. Gums that bleed during brushing, flossing, and probing
3. Red and swollen gums around and between teeth
4. X-ray evidence of bone loss and tartar.
Periodontitis is also caused by plaque. The problem with plaque is the presence of bacteria that produces acid. The acid eats away at tooth enamel and causes cavities.
Sometimes it is very easy for a dentist to find cavities. At other times, it is not so easy. In order to make an accurate dental diagnosis of cavities in obscure places, the dentist takes X-rays and uses a dental explorer to check the tops and sides of teeth.
X-rays are required to find cavities between teeth. They show up as dark spots in the X-rays and are readily identifiable. It is so much better to find cavities at this stage while they are still relatively small and only penetrate the outer layer of the tooth known as the enamel. They can easily be repaired with cosmetic dental bonding resin that mimics tooth color and is better for the human mouth than metal fillings.
Letting cavities grow larger is asking for trouble. If they penetrate the middle layer, called the dentin, and work their way down to the pulp chamber surrounding the tooth root, a root canal will most likely be required to save the tooth.
Labels: dental diagnosis of cavities, dental diagnosis of peridontal disease
There are some terms used to describe dental insurance benefits that you need to know. Understanding the legalese that surrounds the insurance industry can go a long way toward helping you choose the right policy.
This is also known as predetermination of costs. This type of coverage involves having your dentist submit a treatment plan to your provider. Your provider then looks at the proposal and determines what benefits they will allow. This decision is based upon your eligibility, covered services, and the limitations of your dental insurance benefits plan. The intention here is to prioritize and plan your dental treatment and to allocate funding in advance to best match your coverage to cost.
Coordination of Dental Insurance Benefits
If you have dual coverage with a spouse, coordinating benefits maximizes the coverage you get from both dental insurance plans.
Non-duplication of benefits
Some people do not like it when you coordinate benefits. They have a clause in the policy that prohibits overlap if you are covered by two plans.
Annual Dental Insurance Benefits limitations
Insurance companies are for profit organizations and therefore do not want to spend an unlimited amount of money. They place annual limits on the dollar amounts, treatments, and procedures you can receive.
Least expensive alternative treatment (LEAT)
Dental insurance benefits tend to favor the least expensive treatment options. You can always choose a more expensive treatment if you are willing to absorb the difference in cost.
Premium adjustments and Re-evaluations
It is necessary that both you and your employer lobby your insurance company to regularly re-evaluate premium levels. This needs to be done in order to ensure that the UCR or Table of Allowances that the company bases its payouts on are in line with actual fees charged by dentists in your area.
Peer Review for Dispute Resolution
This is a system that exists for resolving the disputes between patients, third parties, and dentists. If a case goes to peer review, your individual records, treatments and results are thoroughly examined before a resolution is recommended. This usually resolves any disputes to the benefit of all parties.
How do third parties categorize the services your dentist provides?
There are basically four service categories your dental insurance benefits plan falls under.
Diagnostic services refer to exams, x-rays, and other services that are used to evaluate your oral health and detect malfunction or disease.
These are services that are intended to prevent decay and disease, such as dental cleanings, fluoride treatments and the application of sealants.
When teeth become decayed or damaged, they must be repaired with fillings, crowns, inlays and onlays used to restore strength and functionality.
Discretionary (or elective/cosmetic)
These are treatments that deal primarily with aesthetic concerns and are usually considered optional by the provider.
Labels: dental insurance, dental insurance benefits, dental insurance covers, dental insurance plans
A female patient of 80 years of age, with right hemiparalysis, is taking the following medicines:
perindopril- 4 mg once
daili,simvastatin - 10 mg once daily
clopidogrel- 75 mg once daily,
She has developed swelling on lower left side of face involving left side of lower lip and severe pain on eating. Upon intra oral examination, tooth number 20 is fonud carious with severe pain on pucussion in it. What should be done for immediate treatment?
This lady should seek immediate emergency care. With her medical condition in conjunction with her acute infection (swelling), I would recommend that she see an oral surgeon immediately.
Give Dr Terry Taylor a call – 6th floor Scurlock Tower – 713-790-1995
We will be happy to help with her aftercare and general dental needs.
Dale Brant, DDS
Chuck Campbell, DDS
Labels: dental emergency service, emergency care
It is essential that you understand your dental insurance plan in order to get a clear picture of the benefits it offers.
The first thing to know is the originator of your plan. There are various sources of dental insurance, all of which operate differently.
1. Insurance companies: Insurance companies are for-profit organizations that assume financial risk of your dental health. They process your claim whenever you have services rendered. Insurance carriers enter into a contract with either groups (normally companies) or with individuals. They offer a variety of benefit packages based upon the specific dental insurance plan.
2. Dental service corporations: These are non-profit organizations that negotiate and coordinate agreements for dental treatment for individuals and patient groups.
3. Self-funded insurers: Some companies will actually reimburse their employees for dental expenses accrued during the time of employment. These reimbursements are typically limited in both dollar amount and treatments covered.
One thing to be on guard about when choosing a new dental insurance plan is whether or not your new policy will allow you to continue to see your regular dentist. It all depends on whether or not you are investing in an open panel plan or a closed panel plan.
An open panel plan will allow you to keep your family dentist, or to choose any other dentist you wish. A closed panel plan will allow you to see only dentists who are on contract with their program.
Two types of closed panel plans exist:
1. PPO (Preferred Provider Organization)- You can choose a dentist in your area who has agreed to charge less than his or her regular fee. If you do not choose a dentist on the list, you have to pay a higher portion of the bill.
2. EPO- (Exclusive Provider Organization): You must choose a dentist from a limited number of professionals who have agreed to charge substantially less for their services. The EPO may even have these professionals on some sort of salary. The majority of dentists do not participate in these plans, so your options here are very limited indeed. Getting to a specialist can be a real challenge in the event you need cosmetic dentistry services or special care. You are also limited in terms of how much care you can receive in a year.
Of course, all dental insurance plans seek to regulate how much dental care you can receive in a year and how much they are willing to pay for that care. Understanding how your benefits and payments are calculated is vital to choosing the right policy.
Usual, customary and reasonable (UCR): These fees are paid directly to the dentist and are based on a schedule that was set decades ago. These fees are quite low compared to normal dental costs. The disadvantage to this is you pay more out of pocket. The advantage is you can see any dentist you wish.
Table or schedule of allowances: This is similar to a UCR but more restrictive. There may be times you cannot choose your own dentist and may not get quality care you prefer. You may also have difficulty finding a specialist. A maximum dollar amount is assigned to each service regardless of regional cost. These fees can vary according to inflation, so be very careful before choosing this plan.
Capitation (also called per capita): This type of dental insurance plan predetermines what level of benefits you will need in a year and agrees to pay for those only. If you get treatment for something outside of the plan, you end up paying for it. The quality of care is often compromised with this plan, because if the dentist is underpaid for his or her services, there may be a temptation to under-treat the condition.
Labels: dental EPO, dental insurance plans, dental PPO
Although you may be nervous about going to the dentist, the good news is, pain-free dentistry is not just a fantasy, it is now a reality. When you work with your dentist from a perspective of intelligent cooperation, your dentist can present to you a number of options to reduce both your anxiety and your discomfort.The most important thing to do is to see what your dentist can do to calm any phobias you may have about dentistry by discussing his or her methodology for pain-free dentistry. Contrary to some misconceptions, dentists are very sensitive to the fears that people have about having their teeth worked on and labor earnestly to devise strategies for pain-free dentistry and patient comfort.If you do encounter a dentist who appears unconcerned about your misgivings, or dismisses them out of hand, then it is time to call another dentist. Such people are rare in the world, but a few exist, and we are always here to provide something better to people who may not have had the best of experiences in the past.It is important to understand that the most important aspect of pain-free dentistry is overcoming the fear of the unknown. The more mysterious and spooky a procedure seems to you, the more you will pull back in fear, and the more your mind will magnify the pain. Having a clear understanding of both the procedure and the tools the dentist will be using in your mouth will go a long way toward alleviating your anxiety. We believe that every patient has a right to know this information, and are always willing to explain our methodologies to our patient to whatever extent is necessary to calm their fears. But it takes more than knowledge of procedures to provide truly pain-free dentistry to patients. The tools of dental science also have to be designed to minimize discomfort. No doubt you have heard the old cliché that a dull knife will cut you worse than a sharp one. In a roundabout way this is true about dental tools. Some of the more traditional tools and techniques have since proven either outdated or simply outright uncomfortable to patient comfort zones.For example, periodontal surgery used to be performed with sharp cutting tools and local anesthetic. The risk of infection was always present, and post-operative pain was often unbearable to some patients with sensitive mouths. Then LANAP was developed as an alternative to periodontal surgery. LANAP uses a laser to cut away diseased tissue and minimize bleeding. It is one of the many examples of how superior technology has helped to further evolve the science of truly pain-free dentistry.New orthodontic solutions have also been developed that are much more comfortable than the obtrusive metal braces of yesteryear. Invisalign retainers, for example, can be worn like mouthpieces that gradually realign teeth without the twisting and pain of metal brackets and wires. Again, this is due to advances in cosmetic dental technology that have made pain-free dentistry not only of medical benefit to patients, but also an aesthetic benefit as well.
Labels: invisalign aligners, LANAP, new dental technology, pain free dentistry
Most people who come to us have some kind of dental benefits plan. Even for those who are self-employed or currently between jobs, dental coverage is something that can be obtained on the open market easily and affordably. However, it is very important before you invest in a plan and begin seeking professional care that you take a good, hard look at what is being offered. Knowing what your dental insurance covers before you sit down in a dental chair will help you avoid a painful (and often very expensive) surprise when you check out at the front office at the end of your visit.
Most dental insurance covers a specified amount of dental care per annum (that means per year). Prior to choosing a plan, you need to be honest with yourself about how much treatment you plan to seek over the next 12 months. You also need to do your best to calculate how much of this treatment will be covered by your new plan and how much you will have to pay for out of pocket.
We recommend that you consider the following criteria to be the base minimum of what dental insurance covers under reasonable circumstances for persons in relatively good dental health.
- Most dental insurance covers the initial oral examination you always receive when you see a new dentist for the first time.
- Dental plans also should cover checkups every six months.
- It is also reasonable to expect your plan to cover a full set of x-rays once every three years.
- Under a good many plans, dental insurance covers bitewing x-rays once a year.
- Teeth need to be cleaned once every six months by a dental professional. Make sure your new dental insurance covers this as well.
- A topical fluoride treatment should also be included in your plan. We recommend this treatment be performed twice every year.
- For children under the age of 18, sealants should be applied to protect teeth against decay and cavity formation.
While we acknowledge that many of these treatments are either diagnostic or preventative by nature, we believe they are absolutely necessary to optimal oral health. Without prevention, cure can be both costly and painful. Dental care is not nearly as expensive as the consequences of dental neglect.
Thanks to increased public awareness of the need for aggressive preventative dental care, we have seen a sharp decline in recent years in the number of cavities and root canals that always result from people ignoring problems and hoping they will simply go away. Even better news than this pertains to our children. Over half of the kids currently enrolled in school have never had a cavity. There has never been a time in history where we see such widespread dental health among the masses.
While there will probably never be a truly perfect dental care plan, finding dental insurance that covers the preventative basics and the occasional intervention treatments that do sometimes have to be done will go a long way to preserving both your health and pocketbook in years to come.
Labels: dental insurance, dental insurance covers, dental preventative care, what dental insurance should cover
With so many brackets, wires, and bands to brush and floss around, dental braces care can be very challenging, to say the least. There are numerous hard-to-reach places located beneath and around dental braces. Care has to be taken in finding and removing food particles and plaque that accumulate in these areas.
Without proper dental hygiene, plaque and bacteria will build up, cause permanent tooth stains, tooth decay, and precipitate gum disease. While your teeth may turn out perfectly aligned, you will have new problems on your hand that can cause you pain and cost you money.
But there are things you can do to prevent this. Dental braces care is not that difficult once you learn a few basic methods to help in the process.
1. It is important to use a floss threader to floss your teeth at least once daily. The floss threader has a loop to insert the floss at one end. Run the floss threader between the wires and your teeth. Remove the threader and pull the floss into a C-shape around the tooth, flossing up and down the sides.
2. Make sure to check and see if you missed any areas.
3. Rinse with plenty of water when you are done.
4. Dental braces care also requires fluoride toothpaste and a soft bristle toothbrush with small head.
5. Brush your teeth each morning when you wake up, after each meal, and every night before going to bed. Pay close attention to places where brackets and bands meet the tooth and where teeth meet the gumline.
6. When traveling, take a toothbrush with you that has the same features as the one you use at home.
7. When brushing your teeth and braces, angle the brush toward your gums. Cover each and every tooth with small, circular motions. Concentrate on areas between the wires of your braces as much as possible. Use the bristles to brush over and around brackets.
Do not neglect regular, professional dental services, either. In addition to disciplined self care, you need to see a dentist every six months for professional tooth cleaning and a complete dental examination. This will keep your mouth free of cavities and plaque.
Labels: braces, brushing teeth, caring for braces, dental braces care, floss threader, flossing