We’ve all seen them, and some of us may still have them. To what are we referring? Those unsightly silver amalgam fillings that used to be the standard way of filling all cavities.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
What Causes Discoloration?
While people have different colors of skin and hair, they also have genetic differences in tooth color. Some teeth are more yellow, while others yellow with aging. Natural tooth color can be discolored by a number of causes. The surface of the teeth can be stained by tobacco, coffee, tea, berries and other foods as well as by deposits of calculus (which is better known as tartar).
Discoloration of the tooth internally can also result from aging, injuries, excessive fluoride, certain illnesses and taking antibiotic tetracycline during early childhood. Although bleaching successfully lightens most discolorations, certain types (like those caused by tetracycline) are more difficult to remove.
Chairside whitening takes from 30 minutes to one hour per visit. It is not uncommon for the
teeth to become slightly sensitive following whitening treatments. To protect the mouth, a
gel-like substance is applied to the gums and a rubber “shield” is placed around the necks
of the teeth. A chemical solution, the oxidizing agent, is painted onto the teeth. A special light
may be used to activate the agent.
With in-home whitening, the dentist makes an impression for a model of the teeth, fabricates a custom-fitted tray and prescribes a whitening agent that comes in the form of a bleaching gel. The gel is placed in the custom-fitted tray and worn up to two hours daily or at night for about two weeks. The amount of time the custom-fitted tray is worn and the duration may vary according to a person’s individual need and the recommendations of the dentist. The dentist will monitor the entire process of in-home whitening to assure its effectiveness and safety.
Over the counter products that are self-administered are not recommended, although they may appear to cost less. Whitening treatment should be done under the supervision of a dentist following a proper exam and diagnosis. Whiteners with the ADA Seal of Acceptance have proven to be safe and effective.
Most whitening procedures last one to three years, although in some situations it may
Some people, with certain dental conditions, may not be good candidates for this type of
whitening. People with gum recession, for example, may have exposed root surfaces that
are highly sensitive and could be further irritated by the ingredients in the whiteners or
bleaching components. In addition, these products are not recommended for habitual
tobacco and alcohol users.
Brushing and flossing, twice a day, as well as regular professional cleanings, along with
occasional touch-up treatments will help keep teeth white. An attractive smile increases
Whitening usually lasts between one and three years. However, it is important to:
- Brush twice a day
- Floss once a day
- Have regular cleanings at your dentist’s office
- Ask your dentist about any concerns you may have
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Posted by FKDuttonDDS at 8:56 AM
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Posted by FKDuttonDDS at 9:08 AM
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
You Are What You Eat…
WE’VE ALL HEARD THE SAYING “YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT.” Surprisingly, it’s actually quite true—especially when it comes to your teeth and gums.
When you eat or drink sugary and starchy foods you are also feeding the plaque in your mouth. What you choose to eat, or not eat, has a huge affect on your teeth.
Here at our practice you hear us say the word “plaque” all the time, and although most of our patients understand that it’s something we want to avoid, they don’t really know what it is.
The best way to understand plaque is to think of it as a thin, invisible film of sticky bacteria and other unfriendly materials that coats the surfaces of your teeth. When sugars and starches come in contact with plaque, an acid is created that can attack your teeth for up to 20 minutes after you finish eating! Repeated attacks can break down tooth enamel, which can lead to cavities, decay, and gum disease.
So… How do we best avoid plaque? Here are some recommendations about the effects of different foods:
The “Good Guys”
Fruits and Vegetables: These high-fiber content foods stimulate saliva flow and defend against cavities and gum disease. Saliva is your best natural defense.
Dairy: Cheeses, milk, plain yogurt and other dairy products are more good saliva generators. The calcium in these products also helps put minerals back in your teeth.
Foods with Fluoride: Fluoridated water and any product made with that water is good for your teeth (as long as it doesn’t contain sugar).
Sugarless Chewing Gum: Gum is another great saliva generator, and it also helps remove leftover food from your mouth.
Licorice Root: Researches at the University of California, Los Angeles found that this herb contains compounds that inhibit the growth of plaque.
The “Bad Guys”
Sugar and Sweets That Stick To Your Teeth: We understand that treats aren’t easy to give up completely, so we recommend choosing the sweets that clear out of your mouth quickly. This means lollipops, cough drops, and caramels aren’t your best bet. However, chocolate washes out quickly because its sugars are coated in fat.
Starchy Foods: Starches like bread and potato chips get stuck in your teeth, and bacteria love to feed on carbohydrates.
Carbonated Soft Drinks and Sports Drinks: These drinks contain A LOT of sugar as well as acids that erode tooth enamel.
Other Sugary Drinks: High sugar levels promote tooth decay.
Lemons: Lemons are okay to eat, but don’t suck on them—they also contain acids that will erode the enamel of your teeth.
Be smart about what you eat—we promise it will pay off! And since avoiding plaque altogether is impossible, don’t forget to set up an appointment with us so we can help brighten your smile and keep your teeth healthy for life!
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Posted by FKDuttonDDS at 10:23 AM
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Always at the cutting edge in dentistry, we are now offering the top-of-the-line Dexis Platinum Digital X-ray system to their patients. The Dexis system provides dentists with choices among various state-of-the-art sensors and comes with intuitive, easy-to-use imaging software.
Digital x-rays offer several advantages to patients. Gone are the days of waiting for X-rays to be developed. The cosmetic dentists can view the X-ray images instantly and review them with patients on the computer screen right away. Patients spend more time discussing their teeth with the dentist and less time waiting for the x-rays to be ready. Viewing digital x-rays with our office means patients will have a better understanding of their dental needs and will be able to make informed decisions about their treatment.
Dexis digital x-rays are more environmentally friendly and expose patients to less radiation than other systems. The system is ergonomically designed to maximize patient comfort. The Dexis patented WiseAngle Cable Exit makes procedures more comfortable for patients and provides cable flexibility to reduce stress on the equipment and increase its reliability.
The Dexis system is a very affordable and effective x-ray option. It gives very precise and clear images, allowing us to make accurate diagnoses. It’s cost effective and it saves time.
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Posted by FKDuttonDDS at 8:47 AM
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Cancer Therapy Causes Devastating Oral Complications
Academy of General Dentistry’s Foundation Encourages Cancer Patients to Seek Oral Health Treatment
More than one million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in the upcoming year, and approximately 40 percent, or 500,000, will develop serious oral complications as the result of their treatment. This July, the Academy of General Dentistry Foundation, an educational arm of the Academy, will launch a campaign to educate physicians, nurses, dentists, medical and dental technicians, and patients about the treatment benefits of preventive dental care for cancer patients.
Although cancer therapies such as radiation, chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation have become more powerful and therapeutically successful over the past 10 years, the cancer-fighting treatments affect healthy tissues as well. The mouth is a frequent site of acute and chronic side effects which can diminish quality of life for cancer patients and negatively affect treatment.
The Foundation is spearheading this educational initiative to ensure patients receive adequate oral health care during cancer treatment. “Oral complications are often cited as the cause of the interruption and premature termination of treatment regimens for cancer patients,” says Spencer Redding, DDS, MED. “Therefore, the oral complications of cancer therapy have the potential to adversely affect treatment outcomes, cancer prognosis, and quality of life for millions of patients.”
Oral complications include salivary gland dysfunction, which leads to dry mouth; rampant dental decay and mouth sores which are painful, diminish the quality of life and can lead to significant compliance problems. According to figures from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), oral complications occur in almost all patients receiving radiation for head and neck malignancies, in more than 75 percent of bone marrow transplant recipients and in nearly 40 percent of patients receiving chemotherapy.
According to recent studies, pretreatment therapy for oral complications can positively affect the outcomes of cancer treatment. “The Academy urges that all members of the cancer treatment team should be fully informed of the treatment plan, with oral care initiated at the outset of cancer treatment,” states J. Gordon Wright, Foundation board member.
The Academy recommends the following pretreatment strategies for all cancer patients:
§ Contact your general dentist
§ Schedule oral examination before initiation of cancer therapy
§ Treat all pre-existing oral disease
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Posted by FKDuttonDDS at 9:04 AM