Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Tip For Sensitive Smiles

Cold drinks aren't the only thing that can aggravate a sensitive smile. Even brushing can be a pain, but not with this simple trick.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Teething Pain

Wishing you could do more to comfort your teething baby? Here's an idea you may not have heard!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Abrasive Brushing

Is your brushing style damaging your enamel? A few simple tweaks to your technique could make a difference!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Apples & Oral Health

An apple a day may keep the dentist away, too. Learn how a bite of this fruit might help when you can't get to your toothbrush!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tea & Oral Health

Green and black tea both have special properties that could make for a healthier smile. Find out how your favorite drink could be doing more than you thought!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Smile, It's Important

A bright, beautiful smile is important to your physical and mental health. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cosmetic Dentistry Can Boost Your Self Esteem

Cosmetic dentistry is no longer something you have to feel guilty for using. In fact, there are many reasons to clean up your smile and to show off those teeth. What you may find out is that it is very easy for individuals to get the look they want today. New technologies make it easy to transform even the most beaten smile into something that is beautiful and very natural looking. Take a few minutes to take into consideration all of your options in dentists locally. Then make an appointment with one you can rely on for help. Then sit back and ask what can be done to boost your smile.

Improve Your Coloring

If you hate the look of your teeth because of their coloring, you should seek out cosmetic dentistry professionals. Whitening products purchased in a store are usually safe to use. However, they take weeks or months to work. On the other hand, you can turn to a local dentist and get high quality whitening products for far less. You will also find that these providers can offer a more thorough clean. You will have a clean, white smile that is far superior to anything you could get from a traditional box product.

Fill In Those Holes

Do you have gaps or missing teeth? This can hold many people back from smiling readily. However, you can boost your self-esteem by talking to your dentist about the options for filling in those spaces. This can be done with veneers, for example, which cover up the actual broken teeth or hide the gaps. These fit over the top of or in front of the teeth to create that beautiful smile.

On the other hand, you may want a better solution. If you have missing teeth or those that are significantly decayed, it is a good idea to turn to a provider for solutions on improving this permanently. For example, the use of dental implants may be ideal. This process involves using an artificial tooth in those openings. It may be easier to do this than you realize. It will look and feel natural in your mouth. Only you need to know that it is not natural, in fact.

Take some time to consider all of the options available to you. If you are unhappy with your smile, schedule an appointment at a cosmetic dentistry office. Talk about your options. Find out if you can restore your smile as well as what steps are best for your situation. This process often helps to boost the self-esteem of the patient. There is no reason to hide your smile any longer. You can talk with ease.

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Thumbsucking Prevention

Sucking a thumb is a natural reflex for babies and toddlers, which gives them a feeling of security and happiness. However, this habit could prevent proper spacing and tooth alignment or even change the formation within the roof of the mouth when permanent teeth start to erupt. Learn the effects of thumbsucking on your child's teeth and discover ways to help break your child of this habit to ensure a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Stress & Oral Health

Stress can cause mouth-grinding, which can be a danger to your oral health. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Importance of Dental Check-Ups

Regular dental check-ups play an important role in maintaining healthy teeth. Visiting your dentist at least twice a year can prevent infections from spreading, minimize the amount of dental work that is needed, provide whitening for teeth, and keep your gums disease-free. More frequent visits may be necessary if you are at a higher risk of oral diseases.

During a dental check-up, both your teeth and gums are thoroughly examined. Infections, tooth decay or other non-optimum dental condition are immediately addressed, and preventative measures such as teeth cleaning are taken to avoid potential future problems.

Mouth infections can occur for many different reasons, including dietary changes, stress and a weakened immune system. Left untreated, an infection can lead to cavities, abscesses and other dental issues that can require costly and extensive dental procedures. When an infection is caught early and cavities are filled quickly, your teeth will also last longer.

Another benefit of regular check-ups is the prevention of gum disease. Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease and is often reversible. Periodontitis is a more serious gum condition involving an infection of the ligaments and bones that brace the tooth. The infection and resulting inflammation causes tooth and bone loss.

Gum disease can also lead to health issues. Gingivitis for example, has been linked to heart disease and stroke due to the higher levels of bacteria that develop in areas of the mouth where the infection is located. As the disease progresses, the risk of cardiovascular disease becomes greater.

Teeth cleaning by a dentist is one of the best ways to ensure your gums remain healthy. It is a routine procedure that also reduces the likelihood of cavities. During the cleaning, several small tools are used to remove dental plaque, including a scaler and polisher. Plaque is a colorless film of bacteria (and sugars) that come from the food you eat. It is the acid from plaque that causes cavities. The scaler is used to remove the hard pieces of plaque that can form on and between teeth. The polisher gets rid of smaller plaque particles and buffs the teeth. The teeth cleaning procedure is usually performed by a hygienist, and takes approximately 30 minutes.

During your dental check-up and cleaning, you may also be given advice on how to improve your home brushing and flossing. All necessary so you never have to find out what are dentures. If needed, you can learn about cosmetic dentistry options available to you.

Taking proper care of your teeth can reduce your dental expenses and prevent tooth loss as you get older. Regular check-ups and cleaning are part of the maintenance process, and should be scheduled as often as necessary with your dentist.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Understanding Gum Disease

Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Learn the three stages of the disease, what to watch for and simple preventive techniques.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

5 Benefits of a Great Smile

A great smile has many functions. It can brighten a room, shine in a picture, increase happiness, and even help you get that date you've always wanted. But if you've always been embarrassed of your smile, you may think these things are impossible. However, a beautiful smile is within your reach. You don't have to hate your smile any longer! By utilizing the latest cosmetic technology, you can work with your dentist to achieve the smile of your dreams. Whether it's through dental implants, teeth whitening, smile makeovers, or crowns and bridges, you can work with your dentist to attain your perfect smile. Now that you know it is possible, here are 5 benefits of a great smile!

• Great Pictures

Have you ever posed for a picture, and instead of showing your teeth, you go with the closed-mouth lip smile? Let's be honest, it's kind of awkward and everybody knows you are hiding something. With a new and improved smile, you can avoid this embarrassing moment and show off your beautiful smile to the whole world.

• Positively Affect Others

Smiling helps create a positive environment. The more you smile, the happier you feel, and this happiness reflects on those around you as well. This can help you build lasting relationships and increase your emotional well-being. Instead of hesitating and holding yourself back every time you have a happy, you can relax and smile wide.

• Increased Confidence

Your confidence will increase, especially in social environments. You can smile freely on dates without worrying about your partner noticing your slightly yellow teeth or that pesky missing front tooth. You'll be able to fully be yourself once you don't have to hold anything back. Not to mention that your big smile will be much more attractive than your awkward close-mouth lip smile. With your newfound great smile, you can smile, laugh, and have a great time around anybody. Self-consciousness be gone!

• Stress Relief

Without the anxiety caused by your old smile, you'll enjoy a great amount of stress relief. You will be smiling much more, which has been proven to reduce symptoms associated with anxiety. By reducing stress, you may lower blood pressure, regulate blood sugar, and even improve digestion. Not only will your emotional health improve, but your physical health will increase as well!

• You'll Feel Better

Think about this for a second: you do most things in life because you think they will make you happy. You think you'll feel good. Well, a great smile can certainly lift your spirits. Studies have shown that the act of smiling can dramatically improve your mood. Smiling increases happiness, so why not give yourself the motivation to smile more?

With all the new technology in cosmetic dentistry, your bad smile can become a thing of the past. Once you are confident enough to show off your great smile, the benefits are countless. Stop pouting and start moving towards your perfect smile today. The world is waiting, it's your time to brighten it!

Article Source:

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Busy Girl: Adults Under 40

Maintaining a bright and healthy smile is easy to do, even with a busy schedule! 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cosmetic Dentist - Tooth Bonding

A cosmetic dentist often uses a method of treatment which is known as tooth bonding. This type of treatment is used on teeth that are decayed to restore them and make them healthy again. The color of the teeth can even be changed can be changed and improved with this procedure. Bonding is also used to change the shape of the teeth and give them a more even appearance. Teeth that are crooked and teeth that have gaps in them can be improved with this treatment. When teeth are badly stained, bonding can be used to minimize the stains.

Any problem that makes the teeth appear uneven can be corrected with bonding by a cosmetic dentist. This treatment consists of using a coat of a plastic substance on the surface of the teeth. When that's been applied, the substance used to bond the teeth is applied. This is used to sculpt the teeth and shape them for the desired result. A light is used to harden the plastic and keep it in place. When it's completely set, a polish is used to make the teeth clean and brighter looking. This is a good alternative to traditional fillings which usually last about seven years. Bonding can last from seven to eleven years.

The types of bonding that a cosmetic dentist uses are for small spaces, which match the color of the tooth. This type of bonding is affixed to the surface of the tooth to correct small imperfections. They are used to give the teeth more strength. Your dentist will determine if this type of bonding will be adequate for your needs. For larger areas, a mold is made of your teeth. A temporary filling is put into the area until the permanent filling has been made at a dental lab. They're generally created out of porcelain. When you have your second visit to the dentist, the permanent filling is bonded to your tooth.

Before having a cosmetic dentist do a dental bonding procedure on you, you should find out if this is the best method of treatment. You should also find out if your dental insurance will cover the procedure. The price of having dental bonding done will depend on the area you live in. It also depends on how extensive the treatment is. In many cases, dental insurance will cover most of the cost of a dental bonding treatment, especially if it's a case of a structural problem which must be corrected. The appearance of your teeth after the treatment is completed is the main reason for having dental bonding done.

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

What Is Involved In A Dental Examination?

When a patient is seen for his or her routine dental examination, these are some of the major points involved. First: The patient is asked to fill out a recent medical questionnaire. In most cases this is a verbal confirmation, where the patient is asked about recent health concerns, changes or new medications. The oral area cannot be separated from the general health of a patient. A recent heart problem should be addressed, as there could be dental / general health ramifications. For example, cardiac surgery may involve premedication with antibiotics, as a thorough dental cleaning could cause oral bacteria to enter the circulatory system. This can cause potentially serious problems in areas where recent scar tissue has formed. As well joint surgery and artificial joint placement may require antibiotics.

Other recent conditions should be discussed as well: pregnancy, diabetes, cancer treatment, stoke, and any surgeries. Most conditions do not require special attention; but, the dental team will ensure that no consequences occur as a result of an oversight in recognizing potential problems.

X-rays are taken on a varying basis depending of the oral status of the patient. A patient with a full mouth of fillings is perhaps more vulnerable so may require more frequent x-rays., every year in some cases. Patients with minimal dental problems can do well with x-rays every two years. Some patients require more that the standard 'bite wings'. These are the x-rays that show if there are cavities between the back teeth. Patients who have had root canal therapy should receive what are called, 'periapical' x-rays, that monitor the progress of root canal treatment. Not all patients follow through; but, it is a worthwhile and challenging goal for the dental team to ensure they do. And all dental clinics like to ensure that patients return for regular exams. This ensures that any problems are noted and as importantly, it helps to ensure the patient is motivated to take a full role in his or her oral hygiene and home care.

In some offices the hygienist does a thorough cleaning. She / he can often detect cavities through the manual act of scaling. When the dentist comes for the exam phase, the hygienist will be able to supplement this exam with observations that he/she has seen. This team work helps a patient achieve the greatest of care. The dentist will physically touch each tooth with a sharp instrument called an 'explorer" This can show if an area of concern is in fact decay or just a stain. An interesting addition to the dental exam is a laser instrument that can detect decay. One model is a Diagnodent. It emits a low power laser beam which is directed, from close distance, to the tooth surface. Some of the light reflects back and is read by the instrument. The nature of the reflected light will signify a possible decay. This has been an excellent way of detecting decay before it gets larger.

The dentist will also do, what is termed,a soft tissue exam. The tongue, cheeks, palate, upper throat, and gum tissues are examined for any problems. Of special concern are smokers, who do have a tendency to have more intra-oral cancers. As well the neck from the collar bone to the chin is examined for any hard lesions. The dentist is looking for cysts, signs of infection and cancers.

The gums are given a thorough exam both visually and with an instrument called a probe, which is demarcated in millimeters. A normal gum pocket, the area around the teeth, is 3 mm. In gum disease some pockets can range to 10 mm. In such severe cases the patient is referred to a gum specialist, for possible surgery. In less severe cases some dentist do minor gum surgery. The laser is now a popular and successful instrument to correct gum problems.

An important aspect of the dental exam is to motivate and encourage the patient to take more attention to home preventive care. It is felt that a good habit takes 21 days to achieve. The hygienist and dentist work to reach that part of the patient that registers the need for better home care, if this is required. Not all patients follow through; but, it is a worthwhile and challenging goal for the dental team. The initial exam should always be followed by scheduled examinations. The time frame will be selected depending on the oral health status of the patient and the level of home care motivation, shown. In subsequent exams progress should be noted. One simple way to compare oral health between visits is what is called a bleeding index. During cleaning bleeding may occur in patients with poor home care. A scale of zero to three is chosen to represent the amount of bleeding. Three sites are chosen on the outer surface of upper teeth and three inner surfaces of lower teeth are selected. If there is bleeding the score is calculate. A person with heavy bleeding in all sites will score a 12, this can be compared at subsequent visits. Low scores are also calculated and the patient is encouraged to maintain this level. This index is not a scientific measure but one that can objectively be repeated and used for motivation and comparison purposes

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dental Check-ups

Dental check-ups are important 

Regency Dental Group is here to help you smile! Our Vacaville dental team specializes in treating people the way they tell us they want to be treated. Dr. Burton and team strive to take away the fear. We want you to obtain the beautiful smile you have always wanted. Give us a call today!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Bad Breath - Dental Problems Often Cause Bad Breath

There is a direct link between bacterial plaque, bad breath and dental problems.

Bad breath or halitosis, dental decay, periodontal disease and gingivitis are all caused by the anaerobic bacteria that live in the mouth. Anaerobic means living in the absence of air. These types of bacteria are mostly pathological.

· Bad breath is the odor produced by bacteria living off food particles, each other and dying tissue. Bad breath can also be caused by other more serious health issues. An example of this is diabetes that can cause acidosis which in turn causes bad breath.

· Dental decay is actually caused by the acidic excrement from the bacteria. The tooth is literally being dissolved by chronically being bathed in this acid.

· Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums caused by your own body trying to fight off the invasion of the bacteria.

· Periodontal disease (perio = around, and dontal = tooth) is the loss of bone and tissue attachment around the tooth. It is caused by a microbial invasion around the tooth by anaerobic bacteria.

Odors and acids are produced in the film of plaque that resides between teeth, along the gum line and on the surface of the tongue. The plaque is produced by the bacteria. Poor oral hygiene can not keep the population of bacteria under control, resulting in bad breath. Cleaning teeth twice daily is the minimum requirement for reducing the population of bacteria. However, meticulous cleaning is difficult. Tooth brushing does not access in between teeth and often causes ridges and grooves along the gum line. Oral irrigating does not cut through the sticky greasy barrier the plaque produces.

Infections from dental decay, gingivitis, or periodontal disease also cause bad breath. Again, poor oral hygiene is the biggest factor in these infections. Improper flossing will take an infection from one part of the mouth and inoculate a health part. The infections also produce dead tissue, which add to the smorgasbord feeding the bacteria. The gasses given off is what you smell.

There are other factors that feed the bacteria besides food and infection. Smoking, mouth breathing, alcohol based mouth washes and certain medications also increase dry mouth. Reduced saliva does not allow your mouth to remove the bacteria that cause the odor.

Finally, the bad breath odor may be from sources other than the oral cavity. Some medical conditions cause bad breath. Infections in the lungs, nasal cavity or sinuses can cause odor that is associated with bad breath. Bad breath in diabetics is a rather common occurrence. And finally, less likely, but still possible, bad breath can be associated with certain conditions related to malfunctioning kidneys and some cancers.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Your Mouth Is A Window To Your Body

Many health conditions in the body can first be seen from symptoms that show up in the mouth. It is important to recognize and treat these dental signs in order to maintain whole body health. Many of the signs are more significant when they appear with other signs rather than singularly. However, any of the symptoms should be checked out by a dentist or doctor. When it comes to your health, prevention and early diagnosis are the keys to longevity. Here is a list of seven symptoms:

#1. Sores or blisters that stick around longer than two weeks may be a warning sign of oral cancer. The sores usually are raised and have a red &/or white border. Don't forget to look under the tongue. A white or red patch of abnormal skin cells may also appear inside the mouth or lips. Although more prevalent in smokers, heavy alcohol consumers or drug users, this cancer can also appear in anyone. Like all cancers, if left untreated, it can cause death. Unfortunately, this cancer only has as 35% survival rate, mostly because it is not found early enough. However, also realize, that sores that won't go away also can indicate periodontal disease.

#2. Headaches, painful jaws, earaches or even pain running down the neck and into the upper back have several possible causes. Sinus issues, TMJ (Temporomandibular joint) disorder, toothache, arthritis, periodontal problems, grinding teeth, stress, or injury can all manifest into jaw pain. If the issue is causing clenching of the teeth that often happens with TMJ, night grinding or stress, then a mouth guard worn at night can relieve the pain.

#3. Flat ground-down teeth are another symptom of teeth grinding (bruxism) or teeth clenching at night, often caused by stress or a central nervous system reaction. It can also be caused by an abnormal bite or missing teeth. Since this occurs during sleep, many people are unaware that they have this problem. Constant grinding wears down the top layer of enamel making teeth sensitive and even causing fracturing. Wearing a night mouth guard, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, reducing stress, and managing stress through relaxation techniques can help the bruxism. Growing children often experience night grinding; however, this is usually not treated and goes away.

#4. Dry mouth is a symptom of numerous health conditions. Medications (such as those treating depression and incontinence, muscle relaxants, antianxiety agents, and antihistamines), smoking, and allergies are probably the most common causes of dry mouth. However, two more serious conditions are Sjogren's syndrome and diabetes. Four million Americans suffer from Sjogren's and twenty four million from diabetes. Dry mouth is a problem because it increases the risk of periodontal disease and mouth infections like thrush. Things to increase the saliva flow in the mouth include: sucking on sugarless candy, drinking lots of water, breathing through the nose (not mouth), using a room vaporizer, and using over-the-counter dry mouth rinses.

#5 White lacy web-like streaks on the mucus membrane of the cheek or gums is a skin disorder called oral lichen planus. Although mostly found in middle age adults, the cause is unknown and thought to be related to allergies or an immune reaction. It is not contagious; however, no curative is available. Good oral hygiene, eliminating smoking and alcohol, and changing medications that may exasperate any pain are advised.

#6 Cracking crumbling teeth are often caused by Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Stomach acids are back up into the esophagus and mouth. These acids eat away at the teeth. This acid reflux disease can occur at any age, but is more predominate in older people. However, bulimia often found in the younger generation can also cause the teeth to erode by stomach acid as undigested food is vomited.

#7 The abnormal growth of gums over the teeth can be caused by certain medication, typically heart or seizure meds. This is often a sign that the dosage of such medication needs to be adjusted. If left unchecked, excessive growth can make it difficult to remove bacteria around the tooth and gums, causing periodontal disease.

If any of the symptoms appear in your mouth or in the mouth of a person in your care, get it checked out by your dentist. The mouth is a window to the health of your entire body.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dentist: Leader of the Team

Dentist: Leader of the Team

Regency Dental Group is here to help you smile! Our Vacaville dental team specializes in treating people the way they tell us they want to be treated. Dr. Burton and team strive to take away the fear. We want you to obtain the beautiful smile you have always wanted. Give us a call today!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Tips to Help Sensitive Teeth

Don't you hate that feeling when you sip a cold drink, or bite into your favorite flavor of ice cream, only to feel a thousand tiny daggers stabbing through your teeth. Even warm treats like hot cocoa or any type of food can bring on discomfort and pain if you have sensitive teeth. If you have issues with enamel wearing down, this increases the exposure of hollow points on the surface of your teeth, which magnifies sensation when the nerves are affected. Anything hits your teeth, and you're wincing.

While you're waiting for your dentist appointment, there are things you can do to relieve the aches in the sensitive area. Don't think you have to go through life never enjoying favorite foods or never opening your mouth. Take precautions and consider options from your dentist, and you'll soon face this challenge with a smile.

1) Switch toothpaste. Check your local drugstore in the dental care aisle. Used to be there were only a few options for toothpaste, but now they have everything that increases whiteness, promotes fresh breath, and yes, helps sensitive teeth. If you have concerns about using such a product - especially if you are loyal to a specific brand - you can always consult with your dentist to see which type of toothpaste is best for you.

2) Keep a food diary. Certain foods tend to cause stronger reactions than others. Foods high in citric acid, for example, are likely to hit those nerves. If you experience similar pains with other things you eat and drink, make a list as you go along and cut down on those foods. Over time, as you're able to improve your teeth, gradually bring them back to see if you are able to enjoy them again.

3) Change your toothbrush. It's advised to change brushes after a certain period of time, but if you find brushing is literally a pain, adjust your routine. Look for a brush designed for sensitive teeth, and go easy as you brush. Don't forget to floss, too, and prevent buildup.

4) Consult with dentist. Your dentist may suggest fillings or other work designed to reduce sensitivity. Fillings and crowns, for example, can cover porous areas that give you problems.

You don't have to suffer with sensitive teeth. Take care of them at home and visit your dentist for options to help you eat, talk, and smile without pain.

Article Source:

Friday, October 12, 2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Whitening & Brushing Are Not the Same

The American Dental Association reminds us that whitening and brushing are not the same. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Replacing Lost Teeth

Patients lose teeth due to a number of reasons. Some are as a result of an accident where a blow to the face can involve teeth. Some cases involve a severe loss of tooth structure, due to a history of caries (cavities) where a tooth may fracture under normal biting pressure. In rare cases an adult permanent tooth may never have erupted and the surviving 'baby' tooth may fracture from over-function.

The concern facing the dentist is what procedure to follow to replace the missing tooth/ teeth. This of course involves discussion of options with the patient. Factors such as the cost of treatment, the condition of the surrounding tooth, bone and gum tissue is important. There are also some situations where overall impracticality for oral reasons may preclude many options.

A viable choice may be to simply leave a space. In some cases cost and appliance choice exclusions may promote this choice. Replacing a missing front tooth provoke a have a greater sense of urgency than a non-visible posterior tooth. Depending on the location of the tooth, or missing teeth the choices take a different path.

Let us discuss a single lost tooth. One option is a bridge between the teeth on either side and dummy tooth to replace the lost tooth. This is called a three unit bridge, bridges are named by the elements involved, the fore mentioned three unit bridge but also 4-5-6-7 unit bridges, etc. In a bridge the teeth on either side of the lost tooth are prepared, the teeth are 'carved' using the dental handpiece and likely a diamond imbedded preparation burr. The prepared teeth could be considered as almost miniatures of the original teeth. But the prepared teeth are shaped so that a crown cast in the laboratory, can be slipped over the remaining structure. There is considerable care and experience needed to produce a good final crown preparation by both the dentist and the laboratory. The margin should be placed to the gum for cleanliness and appearance, the preparation should not be too deep so as to avoid the nerve. In some cases a root canal treatment is required to ensure proper retention of a crown. This involves removing tooth nervous tissue and a build up of lost structure with one of the polymer materials. The biting surface should be reduced sufficiently so as to allow the laboratory enough thickness on the biting surface on which the tooth is built up.

A detailed impression is made of the prepared tooth/teeth. A polyester, rubber-like material is used. Dental materials are such that they provide a consistent accuracy and reproduction of the tooth structure. The impression is poured and the laboratory uses the model as a basis for the new crown(s). A laboratory manufactured crown or bridge is 'cemented ' on the prepared tooth / teeth by a strong biologically neutral cementing material. Patients are carefully instructed in the care of their new appliance. Even an excellent crown can have a susceptible margin for intra oral decay.

Some cases can be very successful using implants. This involves surgically placing a retainer implant into the bone where the tooth was lost. In some cases there can be a need for bone augmentation, when there is not enough remaining bone to secure an implant. Some dentists do their own surgery; but, many prefer to refer to specialists such as periodontists (gum specialists) or oral surgeons. After the implant is secure in the tissue, (a time frame of several months to close to a year in challenging cases) the patient comes in for an impression. It is similar to the regular crown impression but added components are required. In a healing implant the surgeon places what is called a "healing coping." This looks like the top part of a golf tee sitting and attached to the implant. It is in fact screwed into the implant. At the impression appointment the healing coping is unscrewed and a part called the impression coping is placed in the implant. The goal is to take an impression of this coping, the impression material is injected and the tray holding the material has an opening so when the impression material sets, the impression coping can be unscrewed. The implant has a 'key' on the top opening and the impression coping fits into this. This ensures an accurate placement of the final crown. The position of the implant crown in the lab and in the patient are very accurately determined. This is transferred to a laboratory where the position of the implant, relative to other teeth in the patient,can be transferred to a poured impression. The lab then makes a coping to hold a crown. When the final coping and crown are returned to the clinic the dentist enters the final stage. The healing coping is again unscrewed and the tooth replacement coping is screwed into the implant. The tooth coping has "keys" that correspond to the position of the lab work. These are lined up, the coping tightened and an x-ray determines if it is properly seated. Then a 'ratchet' type wrench insures the crown portion is tightly seated. Then the crown is 'cemented' in a similar manner to the crown on a natural tooth.

An advantage of implants is that natural tooth structure is not reduced and they tend to last longer as natural teeth that have been reduced may weaken over time. But, a big impediment is the increased cost of an implant. The surgery, laboratory fees and the crown portion can be more than most three unit bridges. Some insurance companies do not cover implants. Determine this, with your dentist, before proceeding.

Other options can include partial dentures. These come in two varieties, one is all plastic and another had a light weight cast metal frame. The latter is more retentive and will last longer. But again cost can be a factor and many patients opt for the plastic variety. These are termed removable appliances. Unlike bridges or crowns they are removed for brushing or sleeping.

A partial denture is a thin cast frame that has teeth replacing lost teeth. It either crosses the palate in upper dentures or runs along the lower inside jaw. On the biting surface of the teeth there is a depression made in the surface, this retains the partial frame under conditions where a patient chews. As well both types have clasps that run like half rings around a tooth. They retain the dentures. In most situations where there is solid tooth structure patients have normal function as well as a good appearance. The well prepared partial dentures is such that the replacement teeth restore lost tooth function.

A complete denture is when all teeth have been removed for what ever reasons. The upper complete denture covered the palate and when well fitted it has a suction like retention and most patients have a good experience with this appliance. A lower complete denture is a bit more of a challenge. When people lose lower teeth the bone around the teeth can regress. That is, it basically shrinks and almost disappears. On the upper arch there is sufficient underlying bone to not make this a sensitive issue. But, in the lower arch the ridge can be very flat and awkward. Today many patients are having implants placed to help retain lower dentures. These can really make a great functional difference.

The options for tooth replacement depend on the number of teeth and their placement in the arches, the overall oral and general health of the patient, and budgetary considerations. If you find yourself in such a situation where you need to replace a part of the dentition, it may involve asking friends and acquaintances of their success in this area. Ask for a consultation, an evaluation and an estimate of the fees. It is also a good idea to seek a second or even a third or more opinion. If you are ensured consult with you carrier before you begin so that you know you benefits. Don't go by fees alone, try to assess what you feel about the dentist and the office.

Dentistry does offer many great options so there is no need to have less than you feel you deserve.

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Great Local Vacaville Event: Vacaville Kid Fest. Sat Oct 6th, Andrews Park

Vacaville Kid Fest was started in 1999, when an idea was born to create a "Children's Festival", a place where families could come and have a day of activities with their children at very little or no cost, and also have the opportunity to learn about many of the services and resources that were available to children and families. We adopted the theme "For the Child in all of us".

A group of City of Vacaville representatives, ranging from business owners and managers, nonprofit groups and media people were approached with the idea and met it with enthusiasm. And thus, Kid Fest was born.

The first Kid Fest Core Committee consisted of Shauna Manina, Meaghan O'Neill from Vacaville Police Dept., Linnea Dischinger from Vacaville Fire Dept., Todd Grames and Suzanne Green from Community Services Dept., and Reggie Hubbard from Housing & Redevelopment Dept. Other business people from The Reporter, Downtown Vacaville Business Improvement District, and others all committed to the vision of a day of low cost or no cost activities, free resources, and fun.

Our first event in 1999 had 1 stage and 40 booths, with everything from food, crafters and merchandise vendors, a wide range of social service and community nonprofit groups, free children's games and entertainment, bounce houses, and a very strong focus on child safety and health. From the beginning, a large component of the event has been the presence of Vacaville Fire and Police Depts., with their equipment displays, children's fire muster, and safety information.

By 2001, there were 2 stages of entertainment and over 120 booths participating in the event. The committee members have changed over the years, but the event has continued, and become part of the fabric of what makes Vacaville a family oriented community. The focus remains on child and family safety and health.

See more about this wonderful organization at

See you there!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Causes for a Toothache

Odontalgia, commonly known as a toothache, is a very common problem that can occur due to various different reasons, most of which can be prevented with good oral hygiene. You should visit your dentist regularly, especially if you have a toothache. A dentist may prescribe a mild pain killer or an extensive treatment, based on the cause of the toothache.

Dental Decay

Bacteria makes acids that eat away at a tooth which results in tooth decay, which can eventually form a cavity. Every time you eat, the acids attack your teeth that last for about 20mins. Tooth decays can easily be prevented by brushing and flossing.

Sensitive Teeth

Your teeth become increasingly sensitive to hot and cold beverages or even sweets which cause a toothache. This usually happens because the protective outer layers of the teeth, like the enamel over the crown and the cementum over the root have rotted away; leaving your tooth dentin exposed. You should avoid tooth whiteners, foods or drinks containing high acids, hard brushing and grinding teeth, as all these lead to sensitive teeth. Dentists can offer dental care advice and may prescribe specific toothpastes for sensitive teeth.

Receding Gums

In this case, gums push back which exposes the sensitive parts of the teeth and at times the roots, resulting in toothaches. Brushing too hard or with a brush with hard bristles moves back the gums, so try using a soft tooth brush.

Cracked Tooth

A tooth can crack for many different reasons, perhaps due to an injury or a blow. Or in some cases chewing on hard objects in a drastically varying temperature can also cause a tooth to crack. Bacteria from the plaque can enter the pulp through a cracked or broken tooth, causing inflammation and toothache.

Tooth Abscess

If a cavity is left untreated for a long period of time it infects the inner pulp of the tooth and the bone tissue at the end of the root causing extreme pain. In this case, dentists will have to carry out a root canal procedure, which in most cases will solve the problem. However, if it doesn't then the affected tooth will have to be removed.

These are the basic causes of a toothache; a toothache can also occur for various non-dental reasons like a heart disease. You should consult a dentist as soon as possible for treatment, as it will only get worse with time if left untreated.

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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Aging and Oral Health

Aging can affect your oral health, just as it does your overall health. With age, teeth may become darker or look dull and gums may begin to recede, which can lead to an increase in plaque. Learn more about the steps you can take to correct or minimize these and other age-related changes in your oral health.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dentists: Doctors of Oral Health

A dentist is a doctor who specializes in oral health. They diagnose diseases of the mouth, create treatment plans, promote oral health, monitor development, perform surgical procedures and manage emergency care. Hear more about how dentists play an important role in helping you to maintain a beautiful and healthy mouth.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Root Canal Symptoms

A root canal is a common dental treatment that can repair and save decayed or infected teeth. Essentially, during this procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed from the inside of your tooth which is subsequently cleaned and sealed. "Root canal" is usually the term used to refer to the cavity that is naturally found in the centre of teeth, and a tooth's nerve is located within the root canal.
Somewhat surprisingly, the nerve of a tooth is not crucial to the health and function of said tooth after it has emerged in the gums. Indeed, the nerve provides only a sensory function so that you can feel hot and cold. As such, removing the nerve and pulp will not have an effect on the daily functioning of your teeth.
While root canal may refer to the natural cavity inside your teeth, it is also the common name for the procedure to remove the nerves and pulp from this cavity. While some patients have no symptoms that indicate a root canal procedure may be necessary, there are many signs that can help you decide if you need to see a dentist and ultimately undergo this procedure.
The main signs that you may need to have a procedure
  • Extreme tooth pain, especially when chewing or applying pressure to the tooth,
  • Extended sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, even after the hot/cold stimuli have been removed,
  • Darkening or discoloration of the tooth,
  • Tenderness and swelling in the surrounding gums, and
  • A recurring pimple on the gums.
If you have experienced one or more of these symptoms, especially if the symptoms persist, you should visit your dentist. You may not need a procedure, but these signs are usually only present if there is something wrong with your teeth or gums.
What to Expect
Root canals have a very dubious reputation as being extremely painful procedures. However, most patients feel no more pain from a root canal than they report from getting a filling. Your dentist has likely completed hundreds or even thousands of procedures during his/her career, so you really have nothing to fear. Following your root canal your tooth may feel more sensitive due to your body's natural inflammatory response. Sensitivity and discomfort can usually be controlled with over-the-counter analgesics such as ibuprofen or naproxen; and you should expect to return to your normal daily activities immediately.
However, procedures may require more than one dental visit; as such, you should avoid chewing with the treated tooth until a permanent filling or crown has been placed. Once the procedure is complete, you can maintain your usual oral hygiene regimen which should include daily brushing and flossing.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Tooth Whitening Is Not Equal to Tooth Brushing

Today's tooth whitening products are capable of giving you a beautiful white smile. However, tooth whitening is not equal to tooth brushing. Learn how brushing your teeth twice a day helps remove food particles and plaque that can cause tooth decay. Be sure to schedule regular visits with your dentist to keep a healthy smile for a lifetime.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chronic Halitosis Or Just Bad Breath?

When bad breath lingers for more than a day, you're probably dealing with a case of Halitosis -- the medical term for an offensive, foul-smelling breath odor. Watch this to learn more! 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Discovering Various Stages of Gum Disease

Contrary to the popular belief, gum disease is not only a disease of gums. Rather, it is an inflammation and / or infection of the dental tissues that can affect teeth and, in severe cases, even the bone that holds your teeth in their sockets. Medically or clinically known as periodontal disease, the term "gum disease" is often synonymously used with the term "gingivitis" and "periodontitis".
The following article is intended to give you some basic insights of the gum disease and also focuses on the key differences between the various stages of the same. However, to better understand the development and progression of gum disease, it is crucial that you first understand the following basic terminologies that play a central role in all types and stages of gum disease:
Plaque: Also known as dental plaque, it is the thin, sticky layer film that consists of bacteria, debris and food particles. If not removed on regular basis, it will continue to accumulate on teeth surface and will cause gum disease and tooth decay.
Calculus (Tartar): It is the hardened and rigid form of plaque that may result if the gum disease is not treated early.
Causes and risk factors of gum disease
While plaque (and bacteria) is considered the main cause of gum disease, other risk factors such as chewing tobacco, malnutrition, alcohol consumption, smoking, higher levels of stress and certain drugs may also act as contributing or aggravating factors.
Classification of gum disease
On the basis of its severity, area involved and associated complications, gum disease can be further subdivided into the following stages or types:
1st stage (Gingivitis)
Clinically known as gingivitis (gingival = gums, itis = inflammation), the first stage of gum disease simply refers to the inflammation of your gums. In the early or first stage of gum disease, bacteria-laden plaque builds up gradually, eventually irritating the gums. It has been suggested that this irritation is caused due to the toxins released by the accumulated bacteria. As a result, gum becomes inflamed, may swell, redden and bleed quickly and easily while brushing the teeth.
Characteristics of 1st stage 
• Calculus along your sensitive gum line is changed into a rough surface on which plaque accumulates.
• Tender, red, sore, and bleeding gums
• Bad breath may or may not be present.
• Spaces between the gum and tooth (periodontal pockets) may exist (though not always) due to the damages caused to the periodontal fibers that hold the gums tightly against the teeth.
• No underlying bone is involved or damaged
• This is relatively a mild form of gum disease and is easily reversible if treated early and properly
Second stage (Periodontitis)
If the first stage is left untreated, the second stage often results in which the plaque turns into hard tartar which would not be removed by brushing alone. Also known as Periodontitis, it is a moderately severe form of gum disease which requires aggressive treatment.
Characteristics of 2nd stage 
• Unlike the first stage, plaque (and / or calculus) is not found "along" but "below" the gum line.
• Bad breath is present.
• Tender, red, sore and bleeding gums may also be present.
• Periodontal pockets are formed as the dental tissues (gums and supportive ligaments) begin to pull away from the teeth. These pockets act as a trap for infection.
• Bone starts to show damage, often leading to loose permanent teeth.
• While relatively hard to treat, this stage can be reversed if addressed early and properly.
Third stage (Advanced Periodontitis)
Also known as advanced or severe periodontitis, this stage represents the irreversible and complicated form of gum disease which is characterized by bone involvement, tooth decay and permanent tooth loss.
Characteristics of 3rd stage 
• Periodontal pockets deepen and create more space for even increased bacterial activity which creates until eventually the bones holding the teeth are damaged and destroyed, leading to tooth decay and loss.
• The deeper pockets may fill with pus. This pus exists between the teeth and gums and is more visible when the gums are pressed together.
• There may be swelling around the root which leads to even greater bone loss.
• Your bite is affected.
• Your permanent teeth may lose so much support that either they fall out or need to be removed forever.
• This third and the final; stage of gum disorder is irreversible.
All in all, periodontal disease is a common and serious oral disorder that needs to be addressed early and treated properly. Depending on the severity and its progression, gum disease can be divided into the mild (1st stage), moderate (2nd stage) and severe (3rd stage) forms. The third stage is irreversible and often results in permanent tooth loss. Therefore, the earlier you treat it, the simper and easier it is to manage and cure, and the greater chance you have of restoring the original condition and health of your oral cavity and saving your gums and teeth. Finally, you must also not forget that even if you don't notice any signs or clinical manifestations, you may still have some "silent or dormant" gum disorder. Therefore, regular dental and oral examination by your dentist or periodontist is the key for diagnosing the disease early and at a reversible stage.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How Are Bad Breath and Dental Health Related?

Poor dental health can cause a variety of conditions ranging from mild to severe. Bad breath, called halitosis in medical circles, is one of the most common results. Unhealthy habits and diet can make halitosis even worse and this condition can indicate other health issues. Do not ignore bad breath because it may be the result of much more than a meal featuring pungent odors.

The mouth is the place where all food consumed begins to break down. The food is digested and the bloodstream absorbs it, carrying it to the lungs so it can be emitted during breathing. When foods with strong odors are consumed, the smell is only temporarily masked by flossing, brushing, and mouthwash. The odor will remain until the food has passed through the body.

People who do not floss and brush daily make the condition worse because they allow food particles to remain in the mouth, which promotes bacterial growth on the tongue, gums, and between teeth. As bacteria flourish, halitosis develops, but an antibacterial mouth rinse can help address the issue if used regularly. Other situations that may cause bad breath include chewing tobacco products and smoking. These habits can also irritate gums, stain teeth, and reduce the ability to taste food.

Halitosis is associated with numerous health problems. If it is persistent, it may indicate gum disease, a condition caused by plaque buildup on teeth. Untreated gum disease can damage both the gums and the jawbone. Yeast infections within the mouth may also cause this problem. Dental appliances that fit poorly or are not cleaned properly could lead to halitosis. Dry mouth, which is actually a medical condition, can cause bad breath because the lack of saliva prevents dead cells from being washed off the tongue.

Halitosis can also be caused by more severe illnesses and diseases including bronchitis, pneumonia, diabetes, kidney or liver issues, and respiratory tract infections. A dentist can treat many causes of bad breath. However, the patient may be referred to a physician if a non-dental medical condition is causing the condition.

Practicing good oral hygiene, visiting the dentist regularly, drinking sufficient amounts of water, and remaining aware of foods consumed can help prevent or reduce bad breath. Patients should discuss their diets and how to quit smoking or chewing tobacco products to prevent it. They should also consider using an antiseptic mouth rinse that will kill germs causing this condition.

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Why Veneers?

Veneers can correct everything from stains to chips to or gaps in just a few dental appointments

Thursday, September 6, 2012

If I Have Dentures, Do I Still Need To See a Dentist?

Individuals who have healthy gums and teeth are currently recommended to visit their dentist twice a year for regular checkups; however, often the question is asked, "How often, or if ever, should a person with dentures or false teeth see his family dentist?" Edentulous individuals or people with dentures are recommended to have annual exams.

During a dentist's periodic oral dental exam, many aspects of oral health are evaluated. The dental screening evaluates not only the proper fit of the denture, but an oral cancer inspection is also performed. This exam evaluates the health of the patient's gums and soft tissues. The patient's dentures are also thoroughly inspected so that potential mechanical problems are avoided. Also, the dentures are cleaned to remove any accumulated stain and hard deposit. Finally, necessary x-rays should be taken every couple of years to assess and to monitor bone loss.

Dentures that fit are imperative for an individual's comfort and proper function. If dentures are properly fitting, the need for over-the-counter pastes and adhesives is not necessary. Often dentures that have lost suction can be repaired or improved by the dentist. Relining the inner portion of the denture does help regain proper suction; thus, the individual is more comfortable and is able to eat and to speak with more confidence. A reline is needed because the bone under the denture resorbs over time so that the denture doesn't fit well. A reline or rebase can be done to restore optimal fit.

If the acrylic portion of the denture needs to be replaced and the teeth have minimal wear, a denture can be rebased so that stability and function are restored. Relining or rebasing an existing denture can add longevity to the denture and can help reduce the cost that would be incurred with having to replace a denture.

A common misconception is that a set of dentures should last an individual for a lifetime. Dentures, like any artificial or man-made device, have a typical lifespan. The teeth on a denture will wear with time, and the acrylic will age and become more brittle and lose its natural color. It is expected that a denture should be replaced every 10 to 12 years. Individuals who keep a denture longer, run a potential risk of increased complicating factors.

If a denture is not remade periodically, the teeth will wear and become shorter and shorter. This can cause the loss of VDO or vertical dimension opening of the jaw. The loss of VDO often causes stress on the temporomandibular joint. There are other complicating factors such as combination syndrome or unbalanced arch discrepancies that can occur if proper balance and fit are not maintained. Dentures that are older than 12 years which are eventually remade are often extremely difficult for the patient to get used to wearing. Allowing the artificial appliance to overly age and become thin creates problems when a new, adequate denture is made. The new denture often feels bulky and cumbersome, and the patient needlessly struggles to adapt to his new denture.

Although a person may no longer have natural teeth in his mouth, there are many benefits from yearly exams. The relationship and care gained by having one's dentist partner with an individual to maintain his best oral health is priceless. Healthcare professionals are there to help one gain and keep the best health possible. Dental health is often a key indicator of overall health. Visiting one's dentist yearly, even when one has dentures, is a step to maintaining one's best general health possible.

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Monday, September 3, 2012

10 Things That Give You Bad Breath

Halitosis, is a problem that nobody would ever want to have. Although most of the people get bad breath from time to time, there are cases when it takes on a more serious turn especially when it is caused by a medical condition. Having bad breath is an embarrassing problem and to be able to know what treatments should be done, one must know the reasons why they occur. Here are the most reasons why people have foul-smelling breath.
  1. Morning breath can be offensive. This is because of the decreased flow of saliva when you are asleep. Since your salivary glands produce less saliva which is an essential tool in flushing food particles and plaque, you get bad breath.
  2. Your diet can be a major cause as well. Foods such as garlic, onions, fish, coffee, and some spices such as curry can contribute to bad breath.
  3. Aside from being generally bad for your health, smoking can also cause your mouth to stink. It also adds up to other dental problems because it stains the teeth and aggravate tooth decay.
  4. Dry mouth means there is less saliva in your mouth. Make sure that you keep you and your mouth hydrated by drinking lots of water.
  5. Bits of food stuck in between the teeth can also lead to bad breath.
  6. Dentures and braces can result to having faul breath mainly because there is a high possibility that they are not cleaned thoroughly, leaving food particles in it.
  7. Gum disease or periodontal infection can also be the culprit.
  8. Throat infections such as tonsillitis and pharyngitis
  9. Gastroesophageal reflux or GERD
  10. Other diseases such as diabetes, chronic bronchitis, and liver and kidney illnesses
There are preventive measures and halitosis treatments that people can do. More often than not, unclean mouth and teeth are the main reasons why this happens. It is important that you observe good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth at least twice a day. You have to know the proper technique to ensure that you are effectively cleaning it. Remember to floss in between the teeth so that plaque and small food particles are removed. Clean your tongue using a tongue cleaner because plaque build-up on the tongue can greatly affect the scent of your breath.
You can also try using home-made remedies such as gargling with apple cider vinegar once a day instead of using a mouthwash. You can chew on parsley or drink green tea which has natural properties that prevents bad breath for an instant fresh breath fix. Include fruits high in vitamin C in your diet such as berries and oranges. When all else fails, it would be best to consult your doctor just in case a more serious medical condition is behind it.

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Friday, August 31, 2012

Regular Dental Cleaning - Why It Is Important

While many fail in paying attention to oral healthcare, it is an undeniable fact that oral health is linked to your overall health. It is absolutely imperative for you to pay attention to dental care, since brushing your teeth twice a day is not enough. Most people wrongly consider going to the dentist only when they have an obvious dental problem. This, however, should not be the case. Professional dental cleaning is something that every individual should regularly get. You should not wait for a cavity or a gum problem to pay a visit to the dentist, since it is better to be safe than to be sorry! Here are a few reasons why getting a regular dental cleaning is important.
Prevention from oral diseases - Generally, it is believed that oral problems can, at maximum, be cavities or tooth decay. Unfortunately, the bacteria in your mouth can cause conditions that are a lot more serious than these. Healthcare experts have recently reported that several people die every year due to serious conditions like Oral Cancer. By going for dental cleaning, you would be preventing these. This is because while a dentist examines your teeth, he or she also looks for symptoms of Oral Cancer, so as to be able to prevent it beforehand.
Also, your oral health can directly effect your overall well-being! While it may seem far-off, oral problems may actually lead to problems like strokes. Therefore, you must stay away from such dangers by getting professional dental cleaning once every few months.
Keep your teeth healthy for long - As your ageing process starts, your bones tend to lose power. These bones include teeth, which tend to start rotting or falling once you hit old age. Not taking care of your teeth while you are still young will cause hassles later in life, like looking for dental implants and having to manage dentures. It is better to get your teeth professionally cleaned, so as to ensure that you will not have to live with weak and rotten teeth later in life!
A fresher mouth - While this may seem quite obvious, it is undeniable that having a fresh and clean mouth can greatly effect your persona. Getting a dental cleaning will ensure that you do not have to deal with embarrassing problems, one being bad breath. Also, a dental cleaning will leave your teeth whiter! Since your smile can greatly alter your personality, this is bound to make you look a lot better while ensuring optimum health.
Regular dental cleaning, therefore, has its benefits. You must ensure getting one regularly, since waiting for problems to arrive may cost you the healthy and original teeth you might never get back!

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cosmetic Dentistry and Transforming Smiles

You and your dentist may be keeping your smile healthy, but that does not mean your pearly whites are as white as they could be. Regular dentistry helps with the overall health of your teeth but does not improve appearance. If your teeth do not look their best, then you do not feel your best. Cosmetic dentistry turns your crooked, dingy teeth into a bright, happy smile. There are many cosmetic procedures that could help transform your teeth.

Consider your smile and any areas that make you feel insecure. There have been many technological feats in the past decades that make it possible to give teeth a makeover. Some procedures include bleaching, shaping, repairing, bonding and more. Be realistic about your budget and what you need to have done. Look for doctors in the area that are knowledgeable, friendly, and can work with your schedule. Ask your dentist about your options and become informed about the procedures you want. Some dentists can use computer imaging to show you what certain changes would look like, so you can be sure about the procedure.

Bonding helps repair a tooth by binding resin to the surface. If you have chipped, decayed or discolored teeth, then this cosmetic procedure helps to correct the appearance of problem teeth. Bonding can be applied in a single visit, there is no medication required and it is a low cost way to repair teeth. Dentists use the tooth colored resin to shape and polish the material to make one tooth appear whole and matching the others. If you want to elongate teeth or change the color and shape of many teeth, then bonding can also useful.

Veneers achieve similar results as bonding but are ceramic material that is specifically made for a person's mouth to correct imperfections. The process takes more time than bonding because the dentist must make a mold of your teeth and have the veneers developed. Veneers are often preferred over crowns because they are undetectable. They are more expensive than bonding but last much longer.

Crowns also cover up imperfections by placing a cover over decayed and damaged teeth. Consider this procedure if your teeth are badly decayed because crowns can help give teeth strength and keep them from falling apart. A crown does not usually match the appearance of the tooth like veneers or bonding. Crowns are made of metal or alloys. A ceramic crown can match teeth but are not as strong. Metal or alloy crowns are recommended for back teeth where the crowns will not be visible. Crowns are long lasting, and some have been known to last for decades.

One of the most common cosmetic procedures is teeth whitening. This process can be noninvasive and helps produce cleaner looking teeth. Having the process completed by a professional is more costly but most effective. Cosmetic whitening bleaches teeth and can last for one to three years with proper care. Your dentist will remove stains by bleaching them away in one visit. You can also select the whiteness you desire or only whiten certain teeth to match the look of others. This cosmetic procedure should be done by a dental professional. Your dentist will be aware of any health concerns, ensures you do not ingest chemicals and uses a stronger method than at home products provide.

Your mouth can look and feel great when you use cosmetic dentistry to enhance your smile. Any change you can imagine can usually be applied to your teeth. You can correct imperfections, coloration and gaps that used to cause stress. Start looking for dentists today, and transform your smile.

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Links Between Diabetes and Dental Care

There is a close connection between dental health and normalized blood sugar levels.
Why Is It Important to Visit a Dentist Immediately Upon Diabetes Diagnosis?
In short, the reason is because periodontal disease is the 6th major complication of diabetes.
Diabetes causes the human body to be more prone to bacterial infections, leaving diabetic individuals to have a decreased capacity to fight any foreign organisms (bacteria's or viruses) that invade the gums and the dental bone. Unfortunately, the average diabetic has had no idea about this relationship... , until now.
Due to the presence of higher levels of blood glucose (sugar) for longer periods of time than non-diabetics, diabetic patients suffer from tooth and gum problems much more often. Higher blood sugar levels cause bacteria to thrive. A person will soon have red, sore and swollen gums that bleed easily when brushed. This almost always leads to a condition known as Periodontitis (inflammation around the gums and bones of the teeth).
Periodontitis is a severe infection of the gums and the bone that hold our teeth in place. If the infection worsens, a person's gums begin to pull away from your teeth, forming what are known as pockets. These pockets get larger as the gum disease is left untreated.
A person who has been diagnosed with diabetes you should immediately visit a dentist to begin preventative, or even reactionary measures to deal with the eventual development of harmful bacteria that leads to infections.
Prevention is always better than necessitating a cure!
Dental Home Care and the Diabetic Patient
The management of periodontal disease for a diabetic or a non-diabetic is thankfully very similar. One very important difference is that for a diabetic the disease can be more destructive so therefore it has to be treated more aggressively. An interesting situation to be noted is when a patient with periodontal issues will ask why they simply can't just have a regular cleaning. This is done when the patient has not yet suffered bone loss or when no infection is present. Once the patient is dealing with a solid symptom such as bleeding gums, there is an indication of disease and this needs to be addressed immediately before other treatment can commence.
Once treatment of the initial infection is successfully completed, the patient can come back and have a regular cleanings. Regular cleanings are vital to the control of many gum/teeth issues. The small oversight of prolonging the time between cleanings (prophylaxis) could lead to massive long-term consequences. Sometimes a dentist will recommend that a patient have scaling and root planning performed as an alternative.
This is done once a complete periodontal evaluation has been conducted. If any bone loss is detected the treatment options/course will certainly change in this respect and if left untreated the combination of gum decay and bone loss will lead to inevitable tooth loss. This can happen in the absence of pain. This is the problem with this condition. Pain is absent!
For many people, it's the dental care that takes place in the home that becomes more difficult to consistently follow. What I have found to be true is that if a patient is given an easy yet effective method of performing home dental care then they will be more consistent and compliant. This compliance and consistency leads to better results, both in a preventative and reactionary treatment form, causing the patient to further prioritize their dental care.
There are all sorts of devices, gadgets, and machinery to help a patient with their daily plaque removal (the number one maintenance concern). I find that electric toothbrushes (one that is especially soft and mouth friendly) work significantly better than manual brushes, and this simple change can have drastic differences in results. In addition, it is very important that the brush head be "soft." When the brush head is soft the gums are better protected from erosion (when toothbrush wears the root of the tooth) caused by brushing, resulting in less damage over time. In my practice I see that many patients simply use oral irrigators and do not follow through with physical removal of the plaque (brushing).
Imagine taking your car through a car wash without having the wash brushes make any contact with the vehicle itself. How effective could that car wash be? I'm sure you can imagine how dirty the car would be after its' dry. The dirt would still be present right? That is how plaque remains consistent on your teeth.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Signs That You Need Root Canal Treatment

Ever wondered what Root Canal Treatment is? Or what it involves?
Why are RCT carried out?
Root canal treatment is used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. The treatment is also known as Endodontics.
What is happening to the tooth?
The tooth structure is made up of a number of parts. The crown is visible part of the tooth in the mouth and the root is the part beneath the surface that anchors the tooth in position and extends into the jaw bone. The main part of a tooth is a soft material called Dentine which supports the harder enamel on the outside. The root has a hard surface called Cementum but at the centre of the root is the softer pulp layer.
When the blood supply or nerve tissue referred to as pulp is damaged, it breaks down and bacteria begins to multiply within the pulp chamber or canals. The bacteria and other decayed debris can cause an infection or abscessed tooth. In addition to an abscess, an infection in the root canal of a tooth can cause swelling that may spread to other areas of the face, neck, or head if left untreated.
How does the tooth get infected?
Nerve and pulp can become irritated, inflamed and infected due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth and/or large fillings, a crack or chip in the tooth, or trauma to the face
What does RCT actually involve?
During the procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form.
What are the signs that treatment is needed?
Usual signs to look for include:- 
  • Severe toothache, pain upon chewing or application of pressure
  • Prolonged sensitivity/pain to heat or cold temperatures (after the hot or cold has been removed)
  • Discoloration (a darkening) of the tooth
  • Swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums
  • A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums.
However, sometimes no outward symptoms are present and it is only when the infection gets worse and the pain increases that a patient notices and gets it checked out.
Treatments are usually performed in two visits and are generally not felt to involve any more discomfort than a filling as anaesthetic is administered by a dentist prior to treatment. In cases where there is already an abscess, the dentist may recommend a course of antibiotics which will reduce the swelling in the week before the root canal treatment. This allows the dentists to then use anaesthetic for the actual root Canal treatment itself.
The work is normally covered with a crown to ensure the best seal possible. If the root canal leaks then this can eventually lead to failure of the root canal. You can expect root canal work to last an average of around ten years but often longer.
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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Understanding Gum Disease and the Causes

Many patients attending dental practices will already have a fairly good understanding of tooth decay but they are often somewhat unclear when it comes to gum disease. This article will give you a better understanding of the subject and explain a few basic facts about what is known in the profession as periodontal disease - gum disease to most of us.
Gum disease is caused by bacteria, which is present in our mouths. For various reasons the quality of mouth bacteria can vary. The bacteria stick to the tooth surface. If our brushing and cleaning between each tooth is not very effective, the bugs will irritate the gums and eventually find their way below the gum line. As a result, the fibres of ligament that hold the tooth in the socket will be affected - and the formation of a "periodontal pocket" will begin. It is important to remember that very potent bacteria, which do not require oxygen, can survive below the gum line for a long time and destroy not just the ligament but subsequently the bone, which is structurally needed to hold the teeth in their place. In the long term some teeth can become loose and tooth loss can also occur.
What are the main factors contributing to this process?
As mentioned before, poor oral hygiene, ie not brushing or flossing regularly or using a mouth wash, stress, genetics, smoking (though non smokers can also develop very severe disease), and diabetes (especially if not controlled well).
Gum disease is considered by many to be a silent disease. There is often no pain involved to begin with. That is why regular checkups with the dentist are recommended. In many cases, the dentist will probably refer the patient for a more thorough assessment. This will involve a very detailed examination of the patient's gums and sometimes even x-rays.
It is very common amongst dental practices to see patients who have been referred to a hygienist by the dentist for treatment and probably a good 80% of them would say: 'I never knew I had this problem'.
Symptoms may include the following: bleeding on brushing, blood on the pillow, or in case of advanced disease it would be pain or mobility or even some visible tooth movement.
Can the disease be treated?
Yes, it can in the vast majority of cases. The treatment will focus on controlling the bacteria responsible for the damage to the ligaments or the supporting bone. The treatment objective is to arrest the disease - and to prevent it from causing any more damage. It is not possible to replace the missing bone.
One of the benefits of seeing a hygienist is that not only will they help clean teeth and remove bacteria from under the gum line but they can help with teaching patients techniques to clean their teeth really effectively. It is extremely important to remember that the success of the treatment will depend on your home care. Initially this process may seem daunting, however, even patients with some limitations in their manual dexterity can manage fairly well with the right help from the professional oral health educators.
Once the initial phase of the treatment is completed, patients are usually advised upon appropriate recall times for their maintenance appointments. Periodontal disease must be monitored and support therapy delivered periodically to prevent it from fairing up.
Specialist periodontists agree that the impact of not having treatment will depend upon the severity of disease.
In moderate to advanced cases, no treatment could mean developing pain, disease getting worse or premature tooth loss.
Main Points to remember
If you notice the following: blood on brushing, gums appear swollen or red, there are signs of gaps between the teeth, a tooth appears looser or there is persistent bad breath, then you should contact your dentist and tell them about your concerns.
It is also important to tell your dentist about any problems with your general health or medication you are taking, as this might have an effect on your gums.
Gum disease is treatable!

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Learn the Early Signs of Tooth Erosion

Tooth enamel is the strongest substance within our bodies. Enamel is the hard, semi-translucent outer layer on our teeth. It does more than just make our teeth look nicer. It protects them against food temperature extremes and wear resulting from chewing and biting. Enamel also prevents chemicals and acids from eroding teeth. When enamel erodes, underlying dentin is exposed. Tooth erosion can result in issues ranging from mild to severe.

What Causes Teeth to Erode

Several things can cause loss of tooth enamel. Consuming a lot of sugary or acidic foods combined with poor dental hygiene are contributing factors. Bacteria love sugar and they increase acid levels that erode tooth enamel. A reduced amount of saliva or a dry mouth decreases acid neutralization and prevents leftover food from being washed away, leading to decay.

Medical conditions like alcoholism, bulimia, and other issues resulting in frequent vomiting expose teeth to acids from the stomach. Heartburn and acid reflux disease carry stomach acids to the mouth where they can erode tooth enamel. Vitamin C, aspirin, and other supplements and drugs with a high content of acid can cause erosion. Even vigorous tooth brushing can result in erosion of enamel.

Symptoms of Enamel Erosion

General tooth sensitivity or tooth pain when consuming something sweet, hot, or cold is a common symptom of tooth enamel erosion. Teeth may develop irregular or rough edges that can chip or crack or they may have a smooth, shiny surface resulting from mineral loss. Thinned enamel can make teeth appear yellow. Chewing and biting surfaces of teeth may develop dents. Teeth are more likely to decay and develop cavities once their enamel has eroded.

Preventing Tooth Enamel from Eroding

Proper dental care is the key to preventing erosion of tooth enamel. Start by replacing acidic beverages and foods with modified versions. If you must consume regular citrus drinks, carbonated drinks, or citrus fruits, do this while eating a meal to minimize effect on tooth enamel, drink with a straw to bypass teeth, finish the meal with cheese or milk to neutralize acids and rinse the mouth with water.

Strengthen teeth by using fluoride toothpaste and wait an hour after consuming acidic beverages or foods before brushing with a soft toothbrush, to limit erosion. Tooth erosion can be treated through processes like tooth bonding or crowns. A dentist will recommend the best approach based on the type and severity of enamel loss.

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