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.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Dental Work Causing Slur
Q: When I had crowns put on my front lower four teeth a year ago, I developed a slur in my speech. What can I do about it?
A: The first thing to do is to contact a dentist to have this problem looked at. You are more than welcome to call our office at 888.790.0309 to have your problem evaluated. A simple adjustment to the alignment and height of the crowns can help to eliminate or vastly improve your situation. A dentists needs to evaluate and determine what needs to be done in order to improve your situation. A simple adjustment may be all that you need. On the other end of the spectrum all of the crowns may need to be re-made. It is hard to tell what needs to be done until a dental professional evaluate your situation.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Q: What causes the discoloration of a tooth and what are some good ways to prevent it?
A: There are many things that can cause a tooth to become discolored.
Two things that intrinsically (inside the tooth) stain teeth are fluoride and tetracycline. Extremely high levels of fluoride in the drinking water can cause a tooth to became stained and discolored. Fluoride and Tetracline staining is caused byingestion of the tetracycline or high levels of fluoride in utero or up to age 10 or 12. Both the fluoride and the tetracycline get incorporated into the tooth structure during tooth development. This is what causes the tooth to become intrinsically stained. Most of the time the only way to correct this is to have the teeth veneered or crowned. Only in mild cases can the teeth be whitened by bleaching your teeth.
The other type of staining is extrinsic staining (on the surface of the tooth). There are many drinks and foods that can cause the type of staining. Tea, coke, and red wine are the major culprits. Good home care can help to minimize and prevent this type of staining from occurring. Bleaching your teeth can easily reverse this type of staining.
It is important for a person to have timely check ups and cleanings with their dentist. A professional cleaning can remove external stains and a patient cansee immediate results from this procedure. I invite you to call our office 888.790.0309 to schedule an appointment for a thorough evaluation. This is the first step in correcting your discoloration problem.
Monday, June 26, 2006
Q: I have 90% overbite. Can braces alone solve the problem or will I have to go for jaw surgery? Is there an alternative to jaw surgery?
A: This amount of overbite of the anterior teeth is extreme. There are several options of treatment, depending on the reason for the overlap. If your problem is skeletal, and you have all of your natural teeth, as implied by your email, then probably orthognathic surgery (surgery + braces) is the best solution. Sometimes there is a non-surgical option that may not be as ideal but take care of your concerns. Often there is more than one option for treatment - ideal vs. acceptable compromise. An orthodontist should be your quarterback.
If your overbite, however, is from having lost teeth with the subsequent collapse of your occlusion and bite, then there may be some other solutions to your problem. There are times that restorative dental care or restorative in tandem with orthodontic care are indicated. A restorative dentist would be your quarterback in this type of situation.
You should have a complete workup and perhaps get a couple of opinions about your treatment options.
Friday, June 23, 2006
Q: How often should I come in for a routine check up? How often for a routine cleaning?
A: Maintaining dental health is an ongoing effort your whole life. Comfortable, healthy and cosmetically pleasing teeth are a huge asset. As in most things, people's needs vary widely. Some have genetic good luck and have very few dental needs - others can be very cavity-prone or prone to periodontal disease. Those patients with increased needs need to come much more often for dental care. We therefore have to design a dental plan and hygiene schedule that is customized for each patient, and it can vary widely from one person to the next.
Most patients with minimal needs and good dental health can come twice a year for dental hygiene care and do very well. Other patients with increased needs often need to come 3-4 times a year or more.
So get started with your dental hygiene care, and we will explain as we treat you what interval is appropriate for you. When you have dental hygiene care, you also get an examination, by both the hygienist and the dentist, so the checkup and the hygiene appointment are done at the same time.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
A New Smile
Q: How long does it take to create a new smile with cosmetic dentistry?
A: The Medical Center Dental Group can totally rejuvenate your mouth , creating a healthy, beautiful smile in a few as two visits. This process is so successful that others cannot distinguish the real teeth from the restored teeth. If you decide to redo all your worn down, broken, or missing teeth that are causing problems in both the bite and appearance: it is called "Full Mouth Rehabilitation". Full Mouth Rehabilitation involves a preparation appointment and a seating appointment. During the preparation appointment, the doctor will remove all of your old restorations and any new decay that has occurred. Then, impressions of the underlying healthy tooth structure are made and temporary teeth are made. These temporaries are worn until the final appointment, about three weeks later. At the seating appointment, your temporaries are removed and the final restorations are placed, creating the gorgeous, rehabilitated smile you never thought you could have! If you decide to do this, you may consider IV sedation for a more comfortable dental experience. Should you need additional information please do not hesitate to call us at: 888.790.0309.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Q: Most of my teeth are bunched too near the front of my mouth. Is there a way to get rid of that crowded look?
A: Yes, there are a few ways to get rid of the crowded look. The most conservative approach would to have orthodontic work done. This is a process that moves the teeth into the desired position over a period of time. The time frame can be from 6 months to 24 months depending on how much movement is needed to get the teeth in their proper position. The traditional method is to use braces (brackets, bands and wires) to move the teeth. Instead of using braces, we use Invisalign. This is a newer process that uses aligners (invisible trays) that move the teeth in to their proper position. Patients that have Invisalign do not have the problems that most patients have when they are wearing traditional braces. Brushing and flossing is much easier. You do not have any wires, brackets and bands to maneuver around. No one know that you are having orthodontic treatment done. Invisalign is the way to go.
The other way to get rid of the crowded look is to have porcelain veneers placed. In two visits your crowded look can disappear and you will have the smile that you desire. Porcelain veneers can be completed in about one month time. Many patients choose this route over orthodontic treatment because of the short amount of time that it takes to get the treatment completed. The best way to find out what process would work best for you is to come and have a consultation with us. During the consultation you will find out more about each treatment and then you can choose what would work best for you.
Please call our office at 888.790.0309 to schedule an appointment.
Monday, June 19, 2006
Gap btn. Front Teeth
Q: There's a big gap between my two front teeth. Can that be changed?
A: Having a space between two front teeth (diastema) is a very common situation. You should see a dentist to understand your options. As there are multiple situations, there is not a single answer that fits for everyone:
• No treatment - usually this is a healthy situation that needs no treatment unless there is a concern about the cosmetics
• Muscle attachment / soft tissue - at times there is an excess of soft tissue which is a mechanical blockage that prevents these 2 teeth from coming together. This can usually be solved surgically
• Bonding - if the space is not too large, and the teeth involved are in good shape, then bonding techniques can add to the width of the teeth and have a very conservative and cosmetic result
• Laminate veneers - If the spaces are irregular or excessive, or if the teeth have decay or previous restorations, then porcelain laminate veneers can resolve the situation in a dramatic fashion.
• Orthodontic treatment - There are times that the ideal treatment is to move the teeth without any type of restoration being done.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Q: My back teeth have alot of silver and gold. Is there a less obivous way to fill cavities?
A: The answer to your question is 'Yes!" The days of silver mecury fillings are now nearly obsolete. Here at the Medical Center Dental Group, we no longer fill teeth with silver mecury. We will be happy to assist you in replacing older, failing amalgam restorations. Today's porcelain inlays and composite resins create fillings that are natural looking and stronger materials used in the past.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Nervous about Dental Injection
Q: I have to have a cavity filled, but I am very scared of having an injection. Is that my only option?
A: Here at the Medical Center Dental Group, you can decide whether or not you would want an injection. Sometimes people just get anxious about having an injection, so we leave up to the patient to make that decision. Keep in mind that the purpose of such an injection is to numb the mouth to prevent or minimize any further pain that you may have during your dental procedure. Most people are more comfortable having an injection because they don't want to feel anything. Perhaps you have a high pain tolerance, so there would be no need to have an injection. We just want you to be comfortable in the dental chair. If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to call us.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Morning Tooth Pain
Q: I frequently suffer from headaches and facial pain, which usually occurs after I wake up. It feels like I have been clenching my teeth. What should I do?
A: The first thing to do is to contact your dentist or you can give us a call at 888.790.0309. What you are most likely experiencing is myo-fascial pain. This is a term that is used to describe head and neck pain that is usually associated with headaches. A lot of individuals suffer from it, some more than others. Its occurrence and severity can vary. Stress plays a major role in it. We find that after a thorough work up most patients will benefit from splint therapy. This is a custom made mouthpiece that a patient wears that helps put their head and neck muscles in a neutral position, which in turn reduces the headaches and facial pain. Once we have established the neutral (relaxed) position of your muscles then most patients wear the splint for 4 to 6 months. After that time then a decision can be made on what direction to take for a long-term solution to the problem. Please call our offices at 888.790.0309 to discuss this problem further.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Q: My Crown in the front doesn't match my teeth and looks rather fake. What can be done?
A: You can do alot with our new dental technology. We, at the Medical Center Dental Group, use a great dental lab who specializes in anterior(front) Crowns. Alot of anterior crown these days are all porcelain. Depending on how long you have had your crown,we may have to remove a little of your gum in order to make it the same length as the adjacent tooth. We then take an impression of your tooth after removing your old crown. Of course, this all done after giving you a local injection. (anaesthesia). You will leave our office will a temporary crown. In order to match the shade of your crown to your other teeth, we have our lab come to our office to take a custom shade. Then, in 3 weeks, you will have your new ceramic crown. Please contact us at 888.790.0309 if you should need any additional information or to set up an appointment.
Monday, June 05, 2006
Q: My dentist has told me that I have gum disease and that I need an immediate deep scaling and cleaning under my gums. Can you tell me what is involved and are there any risks with this procedure. Is it usual for this procedure to be carried out by a general dentist or would one normally be referred to a periodontist?
A: Periodontal (gum) disease, including gingivitis and periodontitis, are serious infections that, left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. The word periodontal literally means "around the tooth." Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth.
Treatment of this problem depends on the severity of your problem. The treatment recommended can range from routine hygiene visits (dental prophylaxis) to complex periodontal surgery and even the loss of hopeless teeth. Your periodontal diagnosis and individual situation will dictate what has been recommended for your periodontal care.
Scaling and root planing seems to be a procedure that causes a lot of confusion for patients. There is a huge difference between "just a cleaning" and scaling and root planing. Scaling and root planing is done to remove tartar and hard crusty calculus around and below the gumline. Periodic cleaning (dental prophylaxis) removes only the buildup above the gumline.
Scaling is a procedure that removes all the buildup, plaque, tartar, micro-organisms and toxins under the gumline, all the way to the bottom of the pocket. It is a meticulous process, and it can be very time-consuming.
Root planing involves smoothing the root surfaces after the tartar is removed so that the gum tissue can heal and more firmly re-attach to the teeth. The tartar and calculus that was there does a great deal of damage to the root surface of the tooth, and a smooth surface is less likely to have new calculus grow.
Because these procedures are more complicated than a "regular cleaning", your mouth usually needs to be numbed, and it might take more than one appointment to accomplish the treatment. Again, it is all very dependent on the degree of your problem. This treatment is routinely done in both the general dental office and the periodontal specialty office.
Please call our offices at 888.790.0309 for more information or to schedule a consultation.