If you are someone prone to getting cold sores, also known as fever blisters, you know that they almost always occur at inopportune times. They develop on or along the border of the lips and seem to pop up just before you have a presentation at work or before a dinner out with friends, or before a family vacation. This is because, in addition to being caused by exposure to sun and wind, by a cold, or by a weakened immune system, they can also be brought on by stress. Unfortunately, not only are they sometimes painful and almost always unattractive (as they often appear as fluid filled blisters which then burst and crust over), but they are also contagious.
Most of us, at this time, are trying our best to adhere to the Stay at Home Orders that have been put in place in almost every state in the U.S.. We recognize, that while challenging, it is likely the best way to minimize contact with others and to slow down the spread of the virus.
But if you’re anything like me, staying at home for prolonged periods of time means overstocking my fridge, eating things that I might not normally consume and snacking more often, sometimes just to counteract boredom. It then becomes, ever more important to make sure that we are all doing our best to maintain good oral hygiene during these times.
At our dental office, we strive to stay abreast of new technology and to periodically incorporate new products and equipment to better serve our patients. And we are excited to have recently added the CariVu cavity detection device to our practice.
What is CariVu?
It is essentially a small tooth camera that uses transillumination to detect cavities as well as cracks. When held over the tooth, the light will shine through healthy tooth structure and the healthy tooth enamel will appear transparent. But any area of the tooth that has a cavity or a crack will absorb light and show up as dark gray when an image is captured. (more…)
A common question we hear from our patients who are getting crowns and bridgework is “How long will it last?” They want to know what they can expect in terms of the longevity of their treatment; i.e, how much time will pass before they might need to replace something.
The materials that are being used today by dental laboratories to make crowns, have enabled us to give our patients restorations that are not only attractive, but durable and less likely to chip or crack in the mouth. And if patients grind or clench their teeth at night, we can make a nightguard to protect their natural teeth as well as any crowns they might have. But crowns can still fail, which is why it is important to maintain good hygiene to prevent decay from forming around the margins of your new crowns and bridges. The margin is the area where the crown meets the natural tooth structure. It is an area where food and plaque can build up and possibly cause tooth decay. (more…)
Have you ever wondered how your smile might look like if you were to have crowns or veneers placed on your front teeth? We often have patients come into our office wanting to do a smile makeover, but feeling hesitant because it is hard for them to visualize the desired outcome. They know that crowns and veneers can fix gaps between the teeth or correct overlap of the teeth and can also cover up large, discolored fillings. But they find it hard to picture how the finished treatment will look.
Sometimes looking at before and after pictures of other patients can help in this regard. But being able to see what your own new smile could look like would be even better. And that is what we do with a diagnostic wax up. We take a mould or impression of your teeth, and the lab uses this to create a stone model of your mouth with each tooth being carved into it’s ideal shape, size, and position using white wax. You get to “preview” your new smile using a replica of your own teeth. The wax up also gives you the opportunity to let us know what you like and don’t like about the reshaped teeth and to tweak the final outcome.
You might want the teeth to look longer or a little wider than what you see on the model and we can convey this to the lab so that the final outcome matches your expectations. Using a diagnostic wax up helps us to help you to obtain your ideal smile.
Summer is in full swing, and what better way to stay cool than spending time at the pool. Whether at your local community pool or your backyard pool, there are a few things to consider about pool water and its potential effects on your teeth.
Swimming pool water is treated so that Chlorine and other chemicals that are added to the water can be kept at the proper levels to minimize bacteria and other water contaminants and keep you safe. (more…)
In our dental practice, we occasionally have patients express that they’d rather do anything than come see us. For those few patients, there is something about being in the dental chair, hearing the noise of the drill, or anticipating feeling discomfort, that makes it difficult for them to seek dental care. One way that we help them to lay their fears to rest, is by offering Nitrous Oxide, commonly referred to as laughing gas. We have patients who have used it in the past and who will call to make sure that it is available before confirming their appointment.
Every now and then, patients present to our office inquiring about treatment options for receding gums. They may have one tooth or even multiple teeth where the gum tissue has been lost causing the tooth to appear longer than other teeth. Sometimes, once this occurs, the tooth also becomes sensitive to temperature because the gum tissue is no longer encircling the root of the tooth.
When sick with the flu or the common cold, your focus is on recovering and getting back to work or school. But not forgetting about your hygiene will keep your teeth healthy and in good shape. There are a few things you can do to maintain a good home care regimen as you fight the cold and other common winter ailments.
What if you have just one front tooth that is gray or dark yellow, but all of your other teeth are white. What, if anything, can be done to lighten that solo tooth? This is a question that patients pose to us, from time to time, in our office.
The most conservative option would be to use a whitening treatment. This works well for teeth that, due to trauma, may have darkened in color. Your dentist will fabricate whitening trays, and you begin the process by applying the whitening gel to only the dark tooth. That tooth will gradually lighten and reach a tooth shade that is comparable to that of the adjacent teeth. At that point, you may choose to apply the whitening gel to all of the front teeth to whiten your entire smile. (more…)