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.
Friday, July 28, 2006
Tooth Whitening with Crowns and Veneers
Q: I have a few crowns and veneers. Would a tooth whitening procedure make my teeth color uneven? What would you recommend?
A: First of all, are you happy with the shade of your crowns and veneers? Are your natural teeth alot darker? If so, I would recommend a combination of In-Office Bleaching and bleaching trays for at home. The entire process, from start to finish takes about two weeks. However you will only spend about four hours of that time in our office- one two hour appointment at the beginning, and another at the end. In the interim, you will use the bleaching kit with the trays for at home. Once you have completed the bleaching process, your natural teeth will blend alot better with your crowns and veneers.
Our Tooth Whitening Technique used by the Medical Center Dental Group is perfectly safe, and will have no negative effects on the health of your teeth and gums. if you want a whiter brighter smile, give us a call at: 888-790-0390.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Q: Is there a faster way than braces to fix my son's permanent front bucked teeth? He is embarrassed to smile and I fear that braces would take too long to correct the problem.
A: There are many factors involved in this question. Depending on your son's age, options vary for management of this problem.
* If he has any habits such as thumb-sucking, etc., modification of these habits can dramatically help the flaring teeth. It is possible to push the teeth out of position. There are some habit appliances designed for this
* Removable retainers can also be used to straighten teeth in minor problems, or these can be used as interim appliances to improve the general situation before it would be timely to have conventional orthodontic care
* Traditional orthodontic care with braces might be indicated and will certainly solve the problem
* Newer techniques such as Invisalign (clear, removable orthodontic appliances) can also resolve most problems of flaring teeth.
* Rarely there is a skeletal problem that is underlying, and orthodontic treatment plus surgical treatment might be necessary
So you see that you need the input of your dentist and probably your orthodontist to answer the question fully for his situation. In general, orthodontic treatment is not fast. It is slow movement of teeth that accomplishes the goals of straighter teeth. Lots of patience is needed, but it is worth it.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Numbness following Anesthesia
Q: Are there any remedies or solutions that can reduce the numbing feeling after local anesthetic is applied?
A: Unfortunately, there is no way to eliminate the numb feeling after an injection (local anesthetic). There are several things that you can do to minimize the effects of the numbness from the local anesthetic. First of all, you can ask your dentist to use a short acting local anesthetic. Most local anesthetics that we use in dentistry have a very small amount of epinephrine in them and it causes vaso-constriction which in turn reduces blood flow to the area. This keeps the anesthetic around longer. A short acting local anesthetic generally will not have epinephrine in it and therefore the length of numbness is shorter.
The other way to reduce the effects of the numbness is to apply heat to the area that was injected. Be careful not to burn the tissue. You will have no feeling in the injected area and you could burn yourself. As a rule of thumb, I instruct patients to use hot water form the faucet by soaking a cloth with it and apply it to the injected area. Most times the tap water will not burn you. The heat will increase the blood flow to the area and the blood will remove the local anesthetic a little faster than it normally takes.
Monday, July 17, 2006
Q: Whenever I eat sweet candies with lots of artificial sugar, such as sweet tarts and skittles, my tongue swells and is very sore, almost bleeding? Is this an allergic reaction or can it be explained by something else?
A: I think you may have an allergic reaction to the artifical sweetner and also to the tartness of the candies. It is your taste buds on your tongue that are being affected.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Q: Is it safe to have my teeth x-rayed while pregnant? What steps does your office take to preserve my safety?
A: Yes, it is safe to have your teeth x-rayed while pregnant. Studies have shown that there is very little radiation exposure to the patient when dental x-rays are taken. People living in Denver Colorado are exposed to much more radiation on a daily basis due to the fact that they are living in a higher elevation. With the modern equipment that we use in our office the patients exposure is very limited.
To protect our patients from radiation exposure while an x-ray is taken we have the patient wear a lead apron that blocks any radiation from being absorbed. We use high speed film that requires a lower amount of radiation for exposure. These two precautions significantly reduce than amount of radiation exposure to nothing. Our x-ray machines are routinely checked and calibrated to ensure that they are working properly. The Medical Center Dental Group prides itself in using state of the art equipment and products.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Gold or Porcelain Crowns?
Q: Which is more durable---A crown made of porcelain or one of gold? Are there other advantages of one type over the other? When appearance is not a consideration (for instance in a back tooth) which would you recommend and why?
Answer: The most durable crown is a solid gold crown for the back teeth. However in today's society, people no longer like the looks of gold in their mouth, so the next best option is a porcelain fused to metal crown for the posterior area. When placing a crown in the posterior area, one needs durablity and strength since we use these chewing surfaces daily in our lives. The more anterior you go in the mouth (towards the front of the mouth), we, at the Medical Center Dental Group, place all porcelain crowns. The all porcelain crowns are an ideal choice for improving your smile. When these crowns are bonded to the teeth, they are virtually undetectable and resistant to coffee, tea, or even cigarette stains. For strength and appearance, their resemblance to healthy, white tooth enamel is unsurpassed by other restorative options.
If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to call us at: 888.790.0309
The Medical Center Dental Group
Monday, July 10, 2006
Q: Is there any way to reverse a receding gum line?
A: A receding gumline ("gingival recession") is movement of the gum margin away from the tooth. This causes the root surface to be exposed, and this exposed surface can be sensitive to hot or cold liquids or to tooth brushing.
Reasons for gingival recession:
-Inevitable part of the aging process ("long in the tooth")
-Teeth that are prominent in the arch (less bone and soft tissue over the roots)
-Muscle attachments right on the edge of the gum
-Orthodontic treatment can exaggerate recession
-Trauma can cause recession. This can be from tooth grinding, heavy tooth brushing, or from the rubbing of a partial denture
Treatment for gingival recession:
-In many cases, no treatment is needed. The routine use of a protective nightguard is a conservative way to lessen traumatic forces on the teeth
-Periodontal Plastic Surgery procedures can create thick tissue which will stop further recession but in some cases these procedures may not be able to cover existing recession
As you can see, this is a complicated subject. A complete dental examination,
including an evaluation of the soft tissues, can give you a better knowledge of your problem. See your dentist to help you understand your particular situation.