What is a crown?

Becky Larson, RDH

What is a crown?

 

Sitting in the dental chair can lead to confusion sometimes.  After all, dental professionals speak in an entirely different language!  Most patients have had a least a few fillings in their life and know what to expect.  However, not everyone has experienced the placement of a dental crown.  So what is a crown?

It’s exactly as it sounds.  A dental crown in similar to a king’s crown that has a rim the whole way around.  Crowns are often referred to as “caps” and are made in the exact shape of the tooth they are covering.  Crowns are restorations used to help improve a tooth’s size, shape, strength, and/or appearance.  When permanently cemented, they cover the entire tooth to the gumline.  

Crowns are indicated for many reasons including:

  • To restore a decayed or broken tooth with less than 50% of tooth structure remaining
  • To replace large fillings
  • To stabilize a tooth that is beginning to fracture
  • To hold a dental bridge
  • Cosmetic reasons including tooth shape and color
  • To cover a dental implant

Crowns are usually placed in two visits.  The first visit consists of preparing the tooth (removing decay and building up the tooth if necessary) and placing a temporary crown.  Permanent crowns are fabricated in a lab and usually take a few weeks for completion.  The second visit consists of placing the permanent crown and taking an xray to ensure proper placement.  

There are several different materials that can be used to make a dental crown including porcelain fused to metal, stainless steel or base metals, ceramic or porcelain, and gold.  Please talk to your dentist to see which material he/she would recommend for you.  

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-crowns#2

http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/bridges-and-crowns/article/different-types-of-dental-crowns-0215

How to Care for Your Infant’s Teeth

Lora Cook, RDH

How to Care for Your Infant’s Teeth

When to start cleaning your baby’s teeth

​You can start before your baby even has teeth, it is best to incorporate mouth cleaning at bath time. This routine will help your baby get used to you cleaning their mouth, which can allow a smoother transition when you do begin to brushing their teeth. This will also help you to know when your babies teeth first start to push through their gum tissue.

​The bacteria that lives in the mouth is not harmful to the gum tissue, but can be harmful to the teeth. The enamel on baby teeth are 50% thinner than adult teeth. Therefore baby teeth are more susceptible to the bacteria that causes cavities.

How to clean your infants teeth

​To clean your babies mouth before tooth eruption use a clean wet wash cloth. Wrap wash cloth around your finger then rub it gently around your babies gums.

When to transition to a tooth brush

​When the teeth have started to erupt, this will be time to transition from a wash cloth to a baby tooth brush. Look for a tooth brush specifically made for infants. This will usually start around six months old. This will also be the time to change from bath time mouth cleaning to brushing two times daily.

​It is fine to just dry brush with just tap water, or a fluoridated tooth paste can be used. When using toothpaste, use the tiniest smear. It is never too early to help create a good brushing routine for your child.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.myhealthunit.ca/en/livehealthyandprotectyourhealth/Caring-for-Your-Child-s-Teeth.asp

https://www.mambaby.com/en-us/faq/oral-care-teethers/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI24-c-oih1QIV05d-Ch0rNgnXEAAYAiAAEgL24PD_BwE

 

Got Teeth?

Amanda Orvis, RDH

Got Teeth?

It’s that time of year again; our children are starting back to school and getting back into sports. Does your child play sports? Does your child wear an athletic mouthguard? Can you picture your child with a missing permanent tooth? It is very possible that if your child is in a contact sport or activity, that one or more of their teeth could become loose, become fractured, or even be knocked out from a direct impact to their mouth. A hit to the jaw can put a tremendous amount of pressure on our teeth which can cause traumatic damage to our smiles. Maybe we can help answer questions you may have about the pros and cons of athletic mouthguards.

A mouthguard is like a shock absorber, it takes away the brunt of the force upon impact. If you can diffuse the blow and evenly distribute the pressure through use of the mouthguard, then you can reduce the chances of injury and/or tooth loss.

Boil-and-Bite mouthguards can be bought through your local pharmacy or sporting goods store. These mouthguards can be formed to your teeth simply by boiling the plastic and biting down into the mouthguard while it is still warm.

Pros: Affordable, easy to use, and easily replaceable if your teeth are changing in position or shape (due to orthodontics or dental work).

Cons: Bulky, can become loose over time and need to be replaced, hard to speak while wearing it, and hard to disinfect as heat can distort the fit of the mouthguard.

Custom fit mouthguards can be made through your dental office. Dental impressions are taken to form models of your teeth, which are then used to fabricate the mouthguard specifically fit to your teeth.

Pros: Slimmer fit, fits very snuggly around your teeth and does not generally loosen with repeated use, easier to speak with, easily disinfected, and lasts significantly longer than other mouthguards.

Cons: More expensive than a boil-and-bite mouthguard, and they can take some time to receive the mouthguard due to the fabrication process.

There are several types, brands, custom and non-custom mouthguards to choose from, but no matter what type you choose always remember to remind your athlete to wear it. It cannot protect them if it is not being worn. Broken teeth or jaw damage can have lasting effects. Please call our office if you have any questions regarding mouthguards.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com


Source:

http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Science%20and%20Research/Files/patient_69.ashx

Fluoride: It’s Not Just for Kids

IMG_7897

Andra Mahoney BS RDH
Fluoride: It’s Not Just for Kids
 

When someone says fluoride, most of us automatically think children.  While it is true that fluoride is an important part of our children’s oral health, it is also a necessity for adults as well.  Adults, just like children, get cavities. So adults, just like children, should receive fluoride.  In fact, there are many age related problems that increase our need for fluoride.  Some examples include:

  • Eating disorders
  • Drug or Alcohol abuse
  • Lack of regular professional dental care
  • Poor Oral Hygiene
  • Exposed root surfaces of teeth, recession
  • Decreased salivary flow, resulting in dry mouth
  • Poor diet
  • Existing fillings
  • Tooth enamel defects
  • Undergoing head and neck radiation therapy

I’d like to address recession and dry mouth specifically, since those are very common problems.

 

Recession

Recession is when the gums have receded below the crown of the tooth, exposing the root to the tooth.

This creates two main problems. First, the roots of the teeth do not have enamel, they are covered by cementum.

As we all know, enamel is the hard material that protects the surface of the tooth. Enamel is 70 times stronger than cementum.  This, unfortunately, means that the roots of the teeth are more prone to decay than the crowns of the teeth.  The best recommendation for recession and the prevention of decay is fluoride.  Make sure you are using a soft bristled brush with soft brushing (to prevent further recession) in combination with fluoride toothpaste.  Also, you may received fluoride treatments at your dental appointments.  The most beneficial would be fluoride varnish.  Your hygienist is able to apply this for you at each appointment.  The varnish coats the tooth in a protective layer of fluoride to aid in the prevention of decay.

The second problem that recession creates is sensitivity.  When the root is exposed tiny little tubules open up on the tooth and the chances for sensitivity increase.  This makes eating or drinking cold or sweet things painful.  You will often notice a sharp zing when the area of recession comes in contact with cold or sweet items.  The best recommendation for sensitivity due to recession is fluoride.  Sensitivity toothpaste, such as Sensodyne, contain an increased amount of fluoride (as opposed to regular toothpaste) to assist in the prevention of sensitivity (and decay).

Fluoride varnish is also helpful as it coats the tooth and temporarily closes the tubules decreasing the sensitivity. 

Xerostomia

The last topic that I wanted to address is dry mouth, also known as xerostomia.  Many adults take medicine and the most common side effect of many medications is dry mouth.  A decrease in saliva increases your risk for decay.  Saliva is important in washing away bits of food, neutralizing acids created by bacteria, as well as containing minerals that help prevent tooth decay.  If you are having problems with dry mouth, try rinsing with a fluoride mouth was or a saliva substitute.
    

All these reasons and many more show the importance of fluoride use for adults.  If you have any other questions about the other problems that fluoride can help with, feel free to make an appointment with us and we’ll answer all your questions! 

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

Fluoride Treatments in the Dental Office ADA: http://www.ada.org/sections/scienceAndResearch/pdfs/patient_72.pdf

Can Fluoride Help Adults? Colgate: http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/Oral-and-Dental-Health-at-Any-Age/Adults/Adult-Maintenance-and-Care/article/Can-Fluoride-Help-Adults.cvsp

Recommendations for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries in the United States CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5014a1.htm

Adverse Effects of Not Replacing Missing Teeth

KatieM

Katie Sias, BS RDH

Adverse Effects of Not Replacing Missing Teeth

According to the American College of Prosthodontists, more than 35 million Americans do not have any teeth, and 178 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth. Tooth loss occurs due to a number of issues such as decay, gum disease, injury, cancer, or wear. Your teeth are designed to work together to help you chew, speak, and smile. There are several tooth replacement options your Dentist may suggest depending on your needs such as implants, bridges, or dentures. However, do you know the risks of not replacing those missing teeth?

Bone Loss:

When a tooth is extracted or missing, bone loss can occur. The jawbone is preserved through the pressure and stimulation of chewing. When a tooth is missing, the bone resorbs and results in less density and width/height of the bone. Unfortunately, if left untreated for a long amount of time, the bone can start deteriorating around the adjacent teeth as well.

Shifting Teeth:

When a tooth is missing, the opposing tooth that is still there can often shift and super-erupt because it does not have a tooth to occlude with. Adjacent teeth can start drifting forward in the place of the missing teeth. These can cause a change in bite that will eventually affect your chewing and lead to more serious side effects.

TMJ Problems:

When your teeth shift out of alignment and your upper and lower jaws do not meet properly, it strains and damages the jaw joint. Muscle soreness may occur as you will tend to favor the other side of your mouth for chewing.

Periodontal Disease:

Missing teeth increase the risk of periodontal disease. When teeth shift out of alignment, it makes it harder to properly brush and floss those teeth.

Esthetics:

Missing teeth can affect the esthetics of your face. Many people feel less confident about their smile when they have gaps from missing teeth. If you are missing many teeth, the skin around your mouth loses support and will start to droop, which can make you appear older than you are.

Speak and Eat:

Missing teeth can alter the way you speak and eat. Depending on which teeth are missing, it may become difficult to bite and chew certain foods. Often times, you will most likely being overusing the other teeth to compensate for the missing tooth or teeth. You may develop a lisp or change in your ability to clearly pronounce certain works.

Most patients are unaware of the adverse effects of not replacing their missing teeth. Now that you know some of these risks, please consult your Dentist for the best replacement option for you!

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

https://www.gotoapro.org/facts-figures/

http://crowncouncil.com/why-replace-lost-teeth

https://www.perio.org/node/222

https://www.nobelbiocare.com/content/patient/international/en/home/missing-teeth/why-is-it-important-to-replace-missing-teeth-.html

Tooth Enamel

KO6A8495-Edit - Copy

Lora Cook, RDH

A closer look at tooth enamel.

Tooth enamel is one of the toughest structures of the human body, however it still needs protecting.  What exacting is tooth enamel?  It is the outer layer of your tooth and the hardest substance in your body.  Enamel is translucent and can stain from the food, drinks, smoking and chewing tobacco. Enamel cannot be regrown by our bodies.  Once it is chipped cracked or eroded or worn away it cannot be replaced naturally.

Signs of enamel problems.

Darkening:  As enamel wears away this can cause the tooth to become darker.

Sensitivity:  Your teeth may become hypersensitive to hot, cold, sweets or sour foods.

Notching:  There may be notching at the gum line

Cracks and chips:  Irregular or jagged tooth surfaces, also fracture lines can appear.

Protecting your enamel.

Custom night guard:

The power of our bite is incredible.  Out incisor can have 55 pounds of pressure or biting force, while our molars have 200 pounds of pressure.  Clenching and grinding your teeth during times of stress or at night while sleeping experts excess force and wear on your teeth. Over time you can literally grind away your enamel layer.  Ask your dentist about a custom night guard to protect your enamel for a lifetime.

MI Paste Plus:

This is not a tooth paste to brush your teeth with.  This is a paste to coat your teeth with in order to put minerals back into your enamel to help remineralize the enamel. MI Paste plus contains calcium, phosphate and 900ppm of fluoride.

“MI Paste and MI Paste Plus contain RECALDENT™ (CPP-ACP); Casein Phosphopeptide (CPP) are natural occurring molecules which are able to release calcium and phosphate ions and stabilize Amorphous Calcium Phosphate (ACP)”

These minerals helps to strengthen and remineralize the enamel.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.colgateenamelhealth.com/enamel-101/what-is-tooth-enamel

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/tooth-enamel-erosion-restoration#1

http://www.mi-paste.com/about.php

SMILES for HOPE

KO6A0979-Edit[1]

Wendy Parker, RDH

SMILES for HOPE

Do you feel like you’re ready for a little change in your smile without spending a lot of money?  Well, look no further!  I know it sounds a little bit like a gimmick, but it’s true!  Whitening your smile, the professional way, can change your smile for just a small cost!  I know many of us have tried over the counter products and have come away frustrated or not seeing the difference, but in the next few months, you can use the best products out on the market to help you get results and help someone else in the meantime!

The best two ways you can whiten your smile with the greatest results are with either an at home kit or an in-office procedure.  Both are safe and effective.

With the at-home procedure, we take an impression of your teeth and make custom fitting whitening trays.  Once the trays are made, you take them home and once a day you can apply whitening gel into the trays and wear them for about an hour.  You would brush and floss before whitening to make sure all the food and plaque has been removed, then place the gel in the trays and wear them for about an hour.  After the time has passed, remove the trays and brush and floss again, rinsing your mouth and trays thoroughly from any remaining gel. Do this as many days as you would like, for up to 2 weeks, or till you’ve reached your desired whiteness. Then keep the trays for any future touch up use.

The in-office procedure is slightly different, in which case, we do all the work and you just sit back and enjoy the ride.  You will spend about 2 hours with us in the office, doing a series of 3 whitening treatments in one sitting.  While protecting the tissues, we are able to apply whitening gel and achieve greatest results in such a short time. So, if you don’t have the patience to do the at home treatment, this procedure is right for you!
If you’ve been with our practice for a while, you know that this time every year we participate in a fundraising opportunity that starts in March and runs through the end of June, called Smiles for Hope.  During these few short months, our office donates all the proceeds that we earn from any whitening product and procedure to a charity called Hope Arising.  We join teams in an effort to raise money to help those in Dara, Ethiopia.  Twice a year our doctors, and several others, take supplies and their abilities, to travel to Ethiopia and spend a week giving service to help fulfill dental and medical needs in their town.

So, if you’re looking to get your sweetheart or loved one a treat for their birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s Day, or any other occasion, here is a great opportunity to help them AND help someone else.  Oh, and did I mention, it’s 100% tax deductible?  That’s right!  It’s considered a charitable contribution since 100% of the proceeds go to charity!  Don’t hesitate to ask any of our friendly team questions about how you can participate in Smiles for Hope this year!

Both at home and in-office whitening $250
In-office Whitening $200
At home Whitening $150
Sources: 

Why Do We Need to Brush and Floss?

KO6A0990-Edit

Andra Mahoney, BS RDH

Why Do We Need to Brush and Floss?

Many of you know two questions that your Dental Hygienist will inevitably asked you when you go in for your regular check-up visit:  “Are you brushing two times a day?” and “How is your flossing going?”

As an Hygienist, we do not asked these questions to get after you.  We promise we do not love nagging you to floss.  We do it because we genuinely care for your health and helping our patients understand how brushing and flossing can keep you healthy is one of our professional goals.

Most of you know the guidelines. For optimum dental health, you should brushing two times a day for two minutes, and floss one time a day.  We know that is what we are supposed to do.  But do we know why?

Plaque (that soft, filmy, white stuff that grows on our teeth) accumulates constantly.  24/7.  It never stops growing.  Even if you do not eat food, it grows (common misconception that plaque only grows when you eat).  Inside plaque lives bacteria.  This is the bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease.  It is recommended that we brush two times a day to remove the plaque and disrupt the bacteria’s harm on our mouth.  If we do not remove the plaque, then we are allowing the bacteria to start creating cavities and cause inflammation and infection in our gums.

If the plaque is left in an area for a while then it will harden and calcify.  This is what we can tartar build-up, or you may even hear us refer to it as calculus.  While plaque is soft and can be removed with a toothbrush and floss, tartar is like a rock cemented onto your tooth.  You can brush and floss all day long, once it’s turned into calculus, it’s not going any where.  The biggest down side of that is that it still has the bacteria inside of it.  Now it’s stuck on your tooth, not going anywhere, with all this bacteria.  Even better for gum infections and things to occur.

Don’t worry, your awesome Hygienist will save you.  We have the tools and know-how to remove that calculus and get your mouth back to health!  But, so do you!  You can brush and floss every day, remove that plaque, and prevent that calculus from even forming!

Now many of you do brush your teeth.  Which is fantastic!  We love when you do that!  However, not as many of you floss.  I’m not sure why.  It’s just as important, and doesn’t really take that long.  Here’s something to remember when you want to skip flossing tonight… You can be THE most amazing brusher in the whole world, but you will never be able to clean between your teeth with just a toothbrush.  It’s a fact.  The best technique will not maneuver those toothbrush bristle to places they cannot physically reach.  Floss is the only way to clean the remaining 35% of your tooth that the brush did not get.  Floss is a toothbrush’s best friend.  They go hand in hand.  One just as important as the other.

I hope this helped you understand a bit more why we always ask these two simple questions.  If you have any other questions, we are here for you!  Just ask!

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/f/flossing

http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/teeth.html

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/dentalhealth/Pages/Teethcleaningguide.aspx

http://www.businessinsider.com/what-happens-if-you-dont-brush-and-floss-your-teeth-2014-2

How to Clean Your Denture/Partial Denture

LindsayW

Lindsay Olsen, RDH

How to Clean Your Denture/Partial Denture 

Rinse your dentures before brushing to remove any loose food or debris.

Use a soft bristle toothbrush and a non-abrasive cleanser to gently brush all the surfaces of the dentures so they don’t get scratched.

When brushing, clean your mouth thoroughly—including your gums, cheeks, roof of your mouth and tongue to remove any plaque. This can help reduce the risk of oral irritation and bad breath.

When you’re not wearing your dentures, put them in a safe place covered in water to keep them from warping.

Do not sleep with your dentures. Your tissues need to breath overnight. If you do not take out your dentures at night, you are at risk of developing oral fungal infections.

Occasionally, denture wearers may use adhesives. Adhesives come in many forms: creams, powders, pads/wafers, strips or liquids. If you use one of these products, read the instructions, and use them exactly as directed. Your dentist can recommend appropriate cleansers and adhesives; look for products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Products with the ADA Seal have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness.

Visit your dentist once every 6 months for a complimentary oral cancer screening, and to have the fit of your denture evaluated.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Invisalign

KO6A3300-Edit[1]

Amanda Orvis, RDH

INVISALIGN

Invisalign is a uniquely designed orthodontic treatment developed to correct mild to severe cases of malocclusion, including crowding, protruding or crooked teeth, overbites and/or underbites. Invisalign is an affordable option for correcting most dental malocclusion problems.

WHAT MAKES INVISALIGN DIFFERENT?

You may be asking yourself, what is the difference between Invisalign and traditional braces? With Invisalign you can achieve very similar if not the same outcomes as traditional braces. The advantages of Invisalign are the comfort, flexibility, and ease of access to properly care for your teeth without having brackets, wires or rubber bands in your mouth.

Invisalign uses a series of aligners to straighten your teeth over the course of your treatment. Aligners are smooth plastic trays that you wear over your teeth. Each set of aligners is worn for a few weeks before changing to a new set.

ADVANTAGES

The great thing about Invisalign is that there are no personal sacrifices in terms of food! You do not have to give up popcorn, chips, bagels, pizza crust, pretzels, nuts, apples, carrots, or corn on the cob. Fortunately, Invisalign aligners are removable, therefore allowing you to eat and drink as well as brush and floss your teeth as you would normally do. The aligners are worn for 20-22 hours a day while they gradually move your teeth into their correct positions. The aligners should only be removed to eat as well as brush and floss your teeth.

HEALTHIER TEETH AND GUMS

Often times crowding or malocclusion issues can lead to swollen, red, bleeding gums. These are signs of periodontal disease. By properly aligning the teeth, inflammation is reduced, allowing your gum tissue to fit properly around the teeth. This provides a defense against potential periodontal problems.

Food debris and plaque build-up can lead to tooth decay. In order to maintain strong healthy teeth, simply remove your aligners and brush and floss as you would normally do. Try to avoid eating and/or drinking while your aligners are in your mouth.

THE INVISALIGN PROCESS

  • Talk to your dentist about your interest in Invisalign.
  • Your dentist will take impressions and photos and send them off to Invisalign. A customized treatment plan will be created just for you.
  • After your treatment plan is created, you will then go into your dental office for a brief viewing of a virtual presentation of your anticipated final outcomes.
  • Upon your approval of your anticipated outcomes, Invisalign then fabricates your series of aligners and sends them to your dental office.
  • Your dental office will then call you to schedule an appointment for you to come in and receive your first set of aligners.
  • Over the course of your Invisalign treatment you will change out your aligners every few weeks.
  • After the completion of all of your aligners, retainers are then made to keep your teeth in their new positions to keep that new smile looking great.

We look forward to helping you create that new smile that you have always wanted.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.invisalign.com/how-invisalign-works

http://happytoothnc.com/braces-vs-invisalign/