Thursday, December 20, 2018

Thumbsucking

Why do children and babies suck their thumb? Thumb sucking is a natural way the toddler and baby comfort themselves.

Thumb sucking is a very difficult thing to stop if you keep allowing this through toddler years. Some ways to stop thumb sucking is to put a non-pleasant tasting substance on the toddler's thumb or try to distract him/her if you notice them sucking their thumb.

Children who suck their thumbs after the age of 3 are in risk of dental problems.

Some dental problems associated with thumb sucking:
  • Reshape the jaw
  • Upper teeth will flare out
  • Bottom teeth will move inward
  • Poor tongue placement
  • Problems chewing

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Wisdom Teeth - Do We Really Need Them?

The issue of whether to extract healthy wisdom teeth in young adults has been hotly debated over the years.  The general theory is to extract now, avoid problems later. There are pros and cons to this theory, of course, but  I suppose It's like having an appendectomy...or a tonsillectomy. Afterward you discover that you really didn't need them to begin with! Wisdom teeth, afterall, are not positioned for adequate chewing. It isn't like they are essential. The fact is, teens and people in their early twenties heal faster.  A wisdom tooth extraction (or any extraction, really) is kind of like an amputation.   It isn't so easy when you're older.  Conversely, smokers, diabetics and people in poor general health or with compromised health have a harder time healing and can experience more complications than younger, healthier people. People in good health tend to heal faster.  It's that simple. Not to mention that a good percentage of wisdom teeth never erupt; they remain impacted and can actually cause the teeth to shift and affect your bite.  I guess I have mentioned the pros to this theory and not really any cons!  Feel free to chime in if you can think of any reasons why not to have your wisdom teeth extracted!

We'd like to know your opinion on the subject, both doctors and patients!

Keep Smiling!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Keep Your Family's Teeth Health During Winter Break!

It's almost time for winter break!

For the majority of us, this is the busiest time of the year whether its holiday shopping or traveling, it probably feels like you are always on the go. Right?

Well here are a few tips on how to keep your family teeth healthy during all the hustle and bustle:

  • Grab water - It's easy to just grab a sugary drink at a restaurant or at a store while traveling but drinking water helps prevent plaque-causing bacteria. 
  •  Eat dental friendly snacks - Yes, its the holiday season so that means cookies, cakes, and candies but eating crispy fruits and veggies act as a natural toothbrush and help keep teeth clean. 
  • Chew gum - Sugar-free that is. Chewing gum helps saliva flow which washes away any food particles left behind.
  •  Maintain your routine - Just because our daily habits might be off balance for a week or so, doesn't mean you can skip brushing and flossing your teeth.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Over-diagnosing in Dentistry

You can't avoid the shell-shock reflex....imagine you've just been to the dentist and he said you need, what?  A half dozen crowns.. or maybe it was veneers....or even a full mouth restoration? $5000, $10,000....or eeek!  $35,000? Your head is spinning. You can't even think! Surely he was kidding, right? What now?

This is a growing problem in dentistry...it truly has become an art and as such, well, artists can command their price, right?  It is unfortunate but in today's market it is a reality.  One can visit 5 dentists and get 5 separate and varying opinions at various levels of expense. Why is that, you ask?  It's a legitimate question.  Let's touch on the obvious, although I hate to bring more negativity, but greed is a factor.  Then we can move to the less obvious, the things that most wouldn't think of;  The Dental Schools.  Frankly, some dental schools teach a more conservative curriculum than others and where he went to school makes a difference as to the quality and ummm..[ambition] of a dentists practice. Geographical location is yet another factor...it stands to reason that if you are in a more affluent area you will pay more for just about everything, right down to the cost of an ordinary hamburger.  Other factoring points are high overhead costs such as equipment, payroll and malpractice insurance. The thing is, however, all of that aside; it isn't like dentists are starving here...their median income is probably right around $120,000 per year. Now, I'm talking about general dentists.  I'm not even going to venture into the financial world of the specialists. That's another topic for another day.

So, the question here is:  What can you do if you suspect you've been over-diagnosed or upsold? The first thing is to not panic!  As long as you haven't signed a contract then your treatment plan is exactly that...a plan.  You can opt in or opt out, but before you make any decision you should get a second opinion.  Maybe even a third, just to find medium ground. Solicit your friends and family members for the name of their trusted dentist.  Get a good, solid recommendation. Talk it over with a professional consultant or someone whose opinion you trust. You can never research too much.

This is the best advice I can offer!  Forewarned is forearmed.

Keep smiling!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Benefits of Bonding Your Teeth

Dental bonding, also known as a composite filling, is a conservative and very effective way to enhance your smile with an easy treatment that requires little, if any, advanced preparation and usually no enamel reduction. Dental bonding uses a composite resin filling that reduces or eliminates natural flaws in your teeth.
There are two types of bonding:

  • Minor Corrections - For correcting small fillings and fillings in front teeth, bonding is a good solution that can generally be completed in one dental visit. Color matching to your natural tooth provides a nice result and the bonding adds strength to a weakened tooth.
  • Major Corrections -For greater durability and strength, such as needed by a large filling, tooth colored fillings can be created at the dental lab. These are also known as a dental inlay or onlay. They are much more expensive than a composite filling. First, a mold is made of your teeth and you’ll receive a temporary filling. The dental laboratory creates a very durable, custom-fitted filling made of porcelain, which is bonded to your tooth on your second visit.

Many dentists today no longer do the traditional amalgam (silver) fillings, and bonding of the teeth is done earlier in children to protect their adult teeth from decay down the road.