Monday, January 30, 2012

Tooth Colored Fillings

One of the most common dental problems experienced all over the world today is dental decay. The usual treatment procedure for dental decay is the placement of a restorative. In earlier times, the restorative used was unsightly materials such as gold or silver amalgam. These days, it is much more common to see tooth colored or white restoratives. Tooth colored fillings are preferred restorative choices both in front teeth as well as in the back teeth.
In earlier times, the white colored restoratives that were available did not have much strength. This made them fragile and subject to breakage if any hard force was exerted on them. Therefore, for filling a molar tooth or a premolar tooth, materials such as silver amalgam or direct filling gold were commonly used. However, the advent of science has resulted in a lot of improvements in tooth colored fillings.
The advanced white fillings have better bonding to the structure of the tooth, do not need any etching process and have superior strength in comparison to the materials that were available in the past. The strength of tooth colored fillings that are available today are comparable to silver amalgam and direct filling gold restoratives. Thus,  they are suitable for use in any tooth including molars, where force of mastication exerts lots of stress on the material.
Advantages of Tooth Colored Fillings
There are many advantages of using these fillings over other materials used for restoring a tooth.
The main advantage that one can get by using white fillings is the esthetic finish of the restoration. The restorative material is available in many different shades to match the shade of the tooth to be restored, thereby providing superior esthetics, which is not possible when using materials like amalgam or gold.
When material like amalgam has to be placed, lot of tooth structure has to be compromised in order to hold the material in its position within the tooth. This is because, there is no direct bonding between amalgam and the tooth, and it is only held with mechanical retentive properties of the preparation. In tooth color fillings, a direct bonding between the tooth and the restorative occurs with the help of a bonding agent. This reduces the amount of tooth reduction that needs to be made, thus preserving the strength of the tooth being restored.
Earlier versions of this filling material had problems like development of sensitivity in the restored tooth. This was mainly caused due to the etching process before filling the tooth and also due to marginal leakage between the tooth and the restorative material. However, advent of the material has eliminated etching process and negated the marginal leakage, thereby reducing the occurrence of sensitivity.
The improved strength of the tooth color fillings has resulted in better resistance to fracture, especially in fillings that do not have much support from the tooth. So, fillings using tooth colored restorative materials seem to have better life in comparison to materials like amalgam or gold.
During the initial visit, the dentist will examine the tooth and also take X-rays to evaluate the depth of the decay and determine if this filling material is suitable for restoring the tooth. In the following visit, the tooth will be prepared to rid all the dental decay.
Once the tooth preparation is completed, the tooth is isolated to avoid contamination from saliva. The prepared area of the tooth is then coated with a thin layer of a bonding agent and then cured with a suitable light source. After this, the tooth colored filling material is then placed in the prepared area, shaped to match the tooth anatomy and then cured with the light source.
This process is repeated in increments till the entire prepared structure is restored. After this, the bite is checked and adjusted to make the filling comfortable in the mouth. The restoration is then finished and polished using suitable polishing materials.
Tooth colored fillings is a suitable material for restoring the strength of a tooth that has been damaged by decay. These materials are not only strong, they are also esthetic, thus avoiding unnecessary embarrassment of having to see unsightly filling materials in the mouth.
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Friday, January 27, 2012

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation Dentistry is defined as the use of anesthesia during a dental treatment that usually puts the patient on a sleep-like state. This is frequently used in dental procedures that require the patient to stay in the treatment chair for quite some time.

Patients with phobias related to dentistry and children who cannot stay still are the ones who undergo sedation. Sedation dentistry does not necessarily mean that the patients are asleep or unconscious. It is only used to help the patients relax and reduce their anxiety. Since the patients are in a sleep-like state, the pain that is felt is very minimal and they cannot sometimes remember what happened during the dental procedure. Since Sedation Dentistry will keep the patient still for a long time, the dentist can work freely and will no longer have to worry about the patient moving every now and then. With this, the outcome of the operation is usually successful and fewer trips to the dentist will be needed afterwards.

There are three types of Sedation Dentistry that are applied by the dentist and this will depend on the level of anxiety of the patient. These are the following:

Minimal Sedation - In this level of sedation, the patient feels relaxed and is less anxious. He is conscious and can still respond to his environment.

Moderate Sedation - The patient feels even more relaxed and can only respond to a stronger stimulus.

Deep Sedation - The patient is in a sleep-like state and is usually unconscious. He will have no memories of what has happened while he was sedated.

There are three primary ways on which Sedation Dentistry can be administered.

Enteral Conscious Sedation or Oral Sedation - the patient is asked to ingest the sedative usually in the form of a pill or tablet. Few of the advantages of this method are that it is easy to administer, inexpensive, and works for most patients. However, the oral sedation has different levels of effect on people and this cannot be easily changed.

Inhalation Conscious Sedation - a combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen, also called laughing gas, is inhaled by the patient. This sedation method is the most used in the US. The dentist will have control on the level of sedation. This is used for moderate anxiety and has an almost instant effect on the patient. Unfortunately, this method is not applicable for people with respiratory problems such as asthma.

IV Sedation or Deep Conscious Sedation - This is only administered by dental surgeons and specially trained dentists. With this kind of sedation, the medicine is sent to the blood stream directly and the effects are instant. This method is not commonly used dental clinics because only qualified and trained dentists are allowed to do this. The patient will have no recollection of what will happen while under sedation.

With these being said, Sedation Dentistry is a safe alternative to patients who have dental phobia and skip their dental appointments because of fear. Patients who are afraid of dental procedures and the pain the go with them need not to be worried anymore because Sedation Dentistry will help them go through the operation without feeling anything.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Get Informed by Knowing Bad Breath Causes

In the current world trend, a majority of people experience bad breathe from time to time. The condition can be caused by a number of things. For instance, it can come about due to certain foods, a symptom of a disease or poor hygiene. However, this depends with the individuals suffering from this condition. Taking time to develop a healthy oral care routine such as proper brushing, mouth wash etc ensures that bad breath causes are kept at bay and in return making your teeth look whiter always. Explore the different bad breath causes below to get informed.
• Foods: There are certain foods that have strong odors that when eaten cause this condition. These foods include garlic or onions. When these foods are broken down in and around your teeth, they result into a foul smell. It is imperative for you to eat foods that are less smelly such as fruits and vegetables as they can easily mask this condition.
• Smoking: Frequent smokers tend to emit a bad odor especially if they move close to you. This bad odor is caused by tar and nicotine mostly found in cigarettes. Tar and nicotine builds up on one's teeth as well as tongue resulting into a foul smell.
• Acid Reflux: Taking a lot of products rich in acid reflux can be a major contribution to bad breathing. This mostly occurs when an individual eats a large meal. However, this doesn't create a permanent foul smell as it occurs when the foul-smelling acid rises to your throat. Burping causes the smell to emanate from both your mouth and throat.
• Allergies and Respiratory Infections: If one is suffering from an allergy or any other medical condition that is related to the respiratory system, can cause one to experience difficulty in inhalation. While this is the case, most people find themselves sleeping with their mouths wide open causing the oral membranes to dry up. Having a dry mouth results to halitosis, causes drainage that result into a foul smell.
• Chronic diseases: Those people suffering from different types of cancers as well as other conditions brought about by metabolism tend to have foul odor being emitted from their lungs as well as mouth. For instance, if one is suffering from a kidney related disease, smells of ammonia and urea can be emitted leading to a foul smell. If any of these occurs to you, it is necessary to seek medical assistance immediately as delays may aggravate the condition.
• Bacteria: Among the bad breath causes, bacteria are considered to be the most prone contributor to bad smell. Bacteria mostly develop from leftover foods, environmental elements that can easily reach inside of the mouth. On the other hand, when you eat, some traces of food get lodged between your teeth and around the gums. If left for longer periods of time for example overnight, it can result to bad smell.
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Friday, January 20, 2012

The View: Whoopi Goldberg On Oral Health And Gum Disease

Whoopi learned the hard way that is very important to take care of your oral health. Watch as she shares her animated story. Gum Disease is linked to heart disease and many other health related conditions.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Healthy Mouth, Healthy You

As a way to illustrate recent scientific developments in the connection between oral and systemic health in people with advanced gum disease, the makers of LISTERINE® Antiseptic have developed an educational video for both consumers and dental professionals.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Philips Sonicare Profiles - Sophia and the Importance of Children's Oral...

Learn about the importance of oral health routines for children and how effective brushing with Philips Sonicare For Kids electric toothbrush can be both fun and essential for establishing better oral healthcare for years to come.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How to Get That Perfect Smile - Tooth Bonding

It's one of the first things people see when they look at us: our smile. A bright, straight, perfect (or near to) smile is the ultimate accessory to make you look your best, and make people notice you. Unfortunately, very few of us are born with perfect teeth. In fact, the majority of people have at least small flaws amongst their chompers that make them feel inclined to smile less. Cosmetic tooth bonding is an affordable and quick way to make your smile shine. In just a couple of hours your smile can go from "just okay" to radiant.
What is Bonding?
Tooth bonding is done by cosmetic dentists and is a very routine procedure that requires no anesthesia (unless the bonding is being used as a filling on an affected tooth.) It is usually completed within one visit to the dentist's office and is a fairly inexpensive cosmetic treatment for people who need a little smile boost.
Bonding is used to correct small defects in teeth such as: chips, gaps, uneven surfaces, etc. It is not recommended for large flaws or for the often talked about "smile makeover". Porcelain veneers are recommended for more extensive cosmetic work.
The Bonding Process
The process is painless; first a tooth is etched, or roughened, with a chemical compound. Then a bonding agent is applied to the tooth. Finally, the bonding resin is applied, artfully shaped by your cosmetic dentist and then hardened with a special ultraviolet light.
The resin used is somewhat like putty and comes in a variety of colours to match the colour of your tooth or teeth. Bonding lasts for about 10 years before it has to be replaced and is much less expensive than crowns or other dental procedures that are used to correct similar problems.
Who Should Use Bonding?
Bonding is often highly recommended by cosmetic and family dentists because it can be used on children as well, to correct uneven colours and edges on teeth, as well as fill small chips that may occur in sports or physical activity. It is also the procedure that takes the least amount of enamel off of the teeth to put into place, which is important for both adults and children.
Disadvantages of Bonding
There are some disadvantages with tooth bonding, however. The resin used in bonding stains easily and sometimes has to be replaced because of discoloration. People who smoke heavily may not be the best candidates for the process. Also, it is not a suggested practice for a complete overhaul as it would be too time consuming and would not last as long as other porcelain veneers, crowns or other options.
Tooth bonding may not be for everyone, but it is a fantastic choice for minor tooth issues and for those of us that can't wait to flash those new and improved, straight, smooth pearly whites.
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Dr. Donna Burton 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, January 7, 2012

What is a Root Canal? Dental Treatment to Save Your Tooth

It's the most feared dental treatment of all. Patients avoid going to the dentist because they don't want to hear that they need a root canal. They would rather have the tooth extracted, removed forever, with a permanent space, than go through the agony of a root canal. In reality, a root canal usually isn't painful and, in most instances, the pain associated with the tooth infection subsides in a matter of days after the treatment is complete.
Root canal treatment is required when the nerve tissue of the tooth, or pulp, becomes infected or dies. The only way to remove the infection is to remove the source of the infection, the infected or dead pulp tissue. There are two ways to remove pulp tissue. The first way is to remove the entire tooth, and the pulp tissue comes with it. The second better way to remove infected pulp tissue is to perform root canal treatment. In this procedure your dentist removes the infected pulp tissue while leaving the rest of the tooth intact.
A root canal is what a dentist does to clean out and remove only the pulp tissue of the tooth. Your dentist will first give you anesthetic to numb the tooth, so you should be comfortable during the entire procedure. To maintain a dry field and ensure the pulp does not become further contaminated with saliva and other bacteria, your dentist will place a protective barrier around the tooth, known as a rubber dam, to isolate it and keep it clean. Once the tooth is isolated, your dentist will create an opening in the top of the tooth to access the pulp tissue. Then, using tiny files, your dentist will scrape the inside of the tooth and the walls of the pulp canal space to remove any infected or dead nerve tissue. Your dentist will repeat this part of the procedure several times with files of varying sizes and shapes to remove a sufficient amount of pulp tissue and adequately clean the nerve canal space. To determine how deep to go with each set of files, your dentist may use a device called an apex locator. This machine tells your dentist how far to go with each file and when the file reaches the end of the canal.
Now that the canal spaces are cleansed and dry, the empty spaces need to be filled. A rubber material, called gutta percha, is placed in each canal to fill the void left by the pulp tissue. The access area your dentist made through the top of the tooth also needs to be filled. A silver amalgam or white composite restoration fills in the rest of the tooth. Finally, a permanent restoration needs to be made to protect the brittle tooth from splitting. Your dentist will make a crown for the tooth, a restoration made from metal alloys and rigid porcelain, to surround the tooth and protect it from breaking. A couple days after the root canal treatment, your toothache should be eliminated, and you still have your tooth!
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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Oral Health and Diabetes - The Importance Of Having Healthy Teeth And Gums With Diabetes Type 2

It is important for people living with type 2 diabetes to pay attention to all aspects of their health and wellbeing.
Here is an aspect of taking care of yourself to live powerfully with type 2 diabetes. It is taking care of your oral health.
Recent studies have shown an increased risk between poor oral health and heart disease.
The risk for heart disease increases even more when you have poor oral health and type 2 diabetes.
This is because diabetes already puts you at twice the risk of heart disease than the general population. So when you add poor oral health to the mix you more than double your risk.
The mouth has thousands of different bacteria, fungi and viruses. Normally with proper oral hygiene and well-functioning salivary glands, these do not cause any problems.
However when the mouth becomes unhealthy due to poor oral health then a number of dental problems can set in.
The most common teeth and gum problems associated with type 2 diabetes are:
  • tooth decay
  • gum disease
  • altered taste
  • fungal infections commonly called oral thrush
  • dry mouth
  • infections
Poorly controlled diabetes can lead to tooth decay and gum disease
When blood sugar levels are not well controlled, this leads to hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia can cause bacteria and fungi to thrive in the saliva. This leads to the development of plaque.
Plaque is a hard material that builds up in the mouth. It attaches to the surface and in between the teeth. It can also collect beneath the gum line. When this happens, the gums become inflamed. This is called periodontal disease.
People who do not have well controlled diabetes are at risk for periodontal disease. Eventually, the gum disease becomes so bad that they lose their teeth.
Here are some signs of periodontal disease. If you have any of these signs then see a dentist as soon as possible.
  • gums that bleed easily
  • red swollen and painful gums
  • bad breath
  • bad taste
  • pus in between teeth or when the gums are pressed
  • gums that have been pulled away from the teeth
Diabetes can also cause fungal infections
The mouth naturally has thousands of species of bacteria, viruses and fungi. The good thing is that the bodies natural defense system keeps them all in check so that they do not cause any problems.
Oral thrush is a fungal infection that can occur in people with type 2 diabetes.
There are several reasons why you can get fungal infections: 
  • Wearing dentures
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Antibiotics
  • Dry mouth
How to reduce dental problems
  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft toothbrush. You can also use a electric toothbrush.
  • Floss between your teeth at least once a day
  • Change your toothbrush at least every 3 months
  • Disinfect your toothbrush regularly. You can place it in a microwave or a dishwasher.
  • Use an antimicrobial mouthwash
  • Use a toothpaste that has fluoride
  • Watch for any signs of dental problems and tell your dentist
  • Quit smoking
  • Drink water regularly to keep the mouth moist
  • A dash of 100% peppermint essential oil in water is a great natural breath freshener.
See your dentist regularly
  • Schedule an appointment twice a year to see your dentist.
  • If you have any sores or pain in your mouth be sure to let your dentist know.
  • Let your dentist know if your blood sugars levels are out of control.
  • Also let your dentist know if there is any change in your medical history.
  • Do not take any oral medications that could lower your blood sugar before seeing the dentist.
  • If you are going to have dental work done and you are taking a blood thinner, be sure to let your dentist know this. The dentist will probably want to get a medical clearance from your primary healthcare provider.
So take the time to make sure that you pay attention to the health of your mouth. That way you will not go through the pain from lost teeth.
Let's face it dental care to replace lost teeth can be very costly. So why not invest in prevention and not a cure?
Take an active role to improve your oral health and diabetes.
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