When children are young and their teeth are forming, fluoride adheres to the structure of the tooth which makes the enamel harder and more resistant to decay.
Sometimes an old filling or decayed area can be removed leaving quite a bit of your original tooth structure, which doesn’t really necessitate a crown. In these cases, an onlay is recommended to fill in the missing area where the filling or decay was with a porcelain piece that locks into the area.
A dental crown is a full coverage restoration, meaning the tooth is ground down leaving a small raised portion that the crown is cemented onto.
On average a crown can last anywhere from 7-30 years. Several factors can influence how long a crown lasts, such as homecare, occlusion, sugar habits and regular dental checkups.
A filling can last anywhere from 5-30 years. Again, homecare, occlusion, sugar habits and regular dental checkups can influence how long it may last.
Even though you brush and floss every day, the only way to remove tartar (buildup) is to have regular 3-6 month cleanings. We can also prevent and identify a variety of oral health problems during your cleaning.
Our goal is to treat the tooth before it begins to hurt. When the tooth starts to hurt, it usually means that the decay has gotten to the nerve and infected it. Once this happens a root canal may be needed in addition to a filling or crown.
A sealant is a thin clear or white plastic coating painted on the chewing surface of the molars. They help protect against cavities in the deep groves of the teeth.
Brush and floss as usual. Put a “pea” size amount of Clinpro 5000 on brush and brush for one minute, and then spit in sink. DO NOT RINSE! Let the Clinpro stay on your teeth undisturbed for as long as possible.
Extracting a tooth is like pulling a handful of books off a bookshelf; the books above it fall and the books beside that area topple over. Teeth are the same way. The teeth above or below are affected and the teeth beside your missing teeth will topple over, adversely affecting your bite.
Brushing alone simply isn’t enough! I challenge you to floss your teeth and then smell the floss. This will give you an idea of how your breath smells. Bacteria in the mouth gives off sulphur compounds (similar to a rotten egg) and makes breath smell bad. Brush and floss daily, also brush your tongue gently. Other causes of bad breath can be cryptic tonsils. Cryptic tonsils have craters in them that harbor bacteria and can even make way for tonsil stores. Other bad breath culprits can be gastric reflux or even a low grade sinus infection. Dry mouths are more susceptible to bad breath due to a lack of cleansing saliva.
We take pride in catering to someone frightened. We understand and many of our staff are reformed “dental phobics” themselves. We use the latest technology and equipment to ensure your comfort. But most of all, we are empathetic to our patients needs. We promise we will baby you if needed and treat you as a family member.
We use the best numbing agents available. Our staff will rub a numbing jelly on your tissue that is so strong that your tissue will get that “asleep” tingle. Most patients don’t feel the injection. Even children are comfortable.
Dry mouth can have many causes; medications, age, hormones. Drink plenty of water and use Biotene or Oasis products which can be found at most drug stores. Sugarless gum or mints may also help. Read labels and make sure you use sugar free products. Saliva is cleansing and patients with dry mouth are VERY susceptible to decay. We would recommend having your teeth cleaned every 3 months.
We recommend a full mouth series of x-rays which consists of 18 films which show the dentist an in depth look at all teeth and the roots. This is so a potential problem can be caught at an earlier stage. This set of x-rays allows us to detect abscesses, decay and even cysts for which the patient had no symptoms. We have saved many teeth due to this set of x-rays!
Teeth do naturally get darker as we age. Also your canines or “I” teeth are usually the darkest teeth in the mouth. Also, a tooth is naturally darker at the gum line because a tooth is thicker near the gum line. We recommend professional whitening in our office using trays or Zoom bleaching. Yes, bleaching your teeth is one of the easiest, most cost effective ways to make yourself look more youthful.
Zoom whitenting is a 2 hour in office procedure. We paint your teeth with a bleach and apply a special light to bleach your teeth. Presto Chango! You will also leave with trays and bleach to touch up whitening as needed. This is the best, easiest and fastest of both worlds.
Tray teeth whitening is done by the patient at home wearing custom made trays. Bleach is added to the tray and the tray is worn for 1 to 1 ½ hours per day. You should see results in about 2 to 3 weeks.
Oftentimes cold sensitivity occurs near the gum line. If there is any root exposure from receding gums, the root of the tooth can become more sensitive to cold. The root of the tooth is covered in cementum, which is not as thick or strong as enamel which covers the crown of the tooth. In addition, teeth have microscopic holes that send the pain message to the pulp of the tooth. Fluoride will close off those microscopic holes. Sensodyne is an over-the-counter product that may help. In our office we offer a prescription strength fluoride paste or varnish that is painted on the teeth. Bonding may also be indicated if topical medicaments do not help.
You need deep cleanings because tartar is like having a “splinter” in your gum tissue. It festers, harbors bacteria and pocketing begins. Pocketing leads to bone loss and bone loss leads to tooth loss. There is no cure for periodontal disease, we remove physical irritants at a scaling and root planning appointment, and we recommend you continue 3 month cleaning appointments.
Following scaling and root planning, a 3 month recall appointment is recommended to debride and irrigate residual pocketing. It takes 90 days for bacteria to reorganize and mature into anaerobic organized dangerous bacteria. The by-products of these bacterium need to be physically and chemically removed to stop or slow the destruction of bone.
Some patients need a 3 month recall due to the fast build up of calculus to make the appointment more comfortable.
***Tidbit*** – The idea and protocol of a 6 month recall was started by a dental insurance company in the 1960’s. A dentist or dental hygienist wasn’t consulted.
There is a major salivary gland behind your lower front teeth that bathe these teeth. Minerals in the saliva harden plaque into calculus. Calculus can build on a tooth in 13 days. There are also major salivary glands near your upper molars and this area builds calculus quickly. This is not necessarily a brushing issue.
Yes. Studies have shown that the average person brushes for 20 seconds, and that they brush on side of the mouth harder and longer than the other. The electric tooth brush that we sell in our office has a 2 minute timer that signals you to brush each quadrant for 30 seconds. It also will slow down if too much pressure is applied to a tooth. Patients that use an electric tooth brush can tell a difference in the amount of calculus buildup and say their cleanings are “easier”. If you have a family member with braces, it is highly recommended that they use an electric tooth brush because braces are hard to keep clean. Also remember to change your brush head every 4 to 6 months.
Let’s do some nutritional counseling. We do love our sweet tea in the south, but it is really any beverage with sugar…even organic juices that are harmful to our teeth! If you have only a thimble full of a sugar beverage you are cavity prone for at least 2 hours. If you sip on sugary drinks all day then you are cavity prone all day long! This goes for snacking as well. Bottom line…if you eat or drink anything with sugar then you need to brush and floss. Think about what you eat and HOW you consume it. We had a patient lose a tooth snacking on frozen grapes.