Happy Smile, Healthy Smile

As you may have noticed, I tend to use my own dental experiences in writing this blog. Write what you know about, right? Well, this morning while enjoying my morning tea, one thought that popped to mind was that it was time to touch up my whitening. I’m sure for most of you that would not be the thought that breaks up that beautiful moment when your first caffeine hit of the day takes place. So why is touching up my whitening such a big deal? Mainly because I want to put my best smile forward from the moment I step into my office. I think of myself as a reflection of what is possible for everyone-a happy, healthy smile.

Have you thought about whitening your teeth?
How can I assist you today?

I will admit that I work really hard and have made a real investment in my keeping my teeth healthy. I do the daily flossing thing, well, except on the weekends. My toothbrush of choice is a Sonicare, because I find that it delivers what I paid for it to do-removes the plaque and stain from my teeth. The tongue scraper I have is used every time I brush my teeth, which is at least twice a day. My daily investment of time pays off when I put my lipstick on and smile in the mirror. Or when I see my dentist for my recall and evaluation.  But what about the financial investment? Just like you, I have invested many $$ over time for my healthy smile and I haven’t regretted one cent of it.

Keep you mouth healthy by investing in your oral health.
Keep you mouth healthy by investing in your oral health.

Since I use myself as a demo on this blog, I have had a chance to REALLY see my investment in pictures. I have a couple of crowns to protect my fractured teeth from the massive chewing forces I put on them when I chew gum and eat Lemonheads (Shhh, don’t tell my dentist). I have several fillings-more than several, really-I have lots of fillings throughout my mouth. I have even paid to wear braces for a few years, which I paid for out-of-pocket, because my dental insurance did not have orthodontic coverage for someone my age. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget the Waterpik I used while in my braces to ensure I didn’t get areas of discolored decalcification after those braces came off.

All that said, I can remember a time when I would not smile because I was embarrassed of  my smile. I would hold my hand over my mouth when I smiled or laughed. Sad, huh? For many years I tried to hide the one thing that universally is a sign of happiness-a smile. This shame was due in part to the dentist that degraded me as a child because of my inadequate brushing habits. He did not take the time to ask how I was brushing then correct my behavior. He didn’t even ask if anyone was helping me to brush. He did let me know, in no uncertain terms, that he was very disappointed in my mouth. I was a little older the first time I went to a dentist, so this little kid at the time was appalled!  His chairside manner was atrocious!   I felt so bad about myself and not just about how dirty my teeth were at the time. This embarrassment carried over to my adulthood.

I’m so glad that we have such a wide variety of dental professionals to choose from today. We don’t have to endure the bad treatment from our dental teams as I did back then (in the old days). I am willing to investment in myself, both time and money, to avoid the pain and humiliation I felt all those years ago. I understand the fears and concerns our patients have when they walk into our office. BELIEVE ME, I understand and want to help others get to a place where they are able to enjoy a happy, healthy smile.

Share you smile with others.
Share you smile with others.

Keep Brushing!

http://www.edmonddds.com

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With CEREC technology, a crown in one day is possible! Tell me more!

Gone are the days when it takes weeks to get a single crown, or cap, as some of you may call them, done at the dental office. Your fear of having “real work” done can now be taken care of with one visit. Surely you can stand to be with us for a couple of hours, right? And I think that one visit is better than two for most people. Let me explain how we are able to do that for you in our office.
During this short time together, I will introduce you to the heavyweight in our office. This machine works with great determination to help our team fight decay and provides protection for fractured and weaken teeth. Today we will get to see how CEREC works for you.
The simple way CEREC technology works is this: CAD/CAM technology
1. Scan the teeth
2. Dentist prepares and shapes the tooth for the crown
3. Scan again
4. Design the crown
5. Make the crown
6. Fit the crown
7. Finish the crown
Easy breezy!

For those of you looking for an in-depth, informative video I will share a link, http://

. This video is technical in nature and if you’re into that I want to provide the information. If you can handle five minutes or so, the video is very explanatory.

I think the process is AWESOME!! You don’t need to have impressions taken which is great because I don’t think I have ever heard anyone request an impression. You know, the goopy stuff that can be  messy and well, goopy.  Plus the impression material doesn’t really have a taste, unless you call ABC (Already Been Chewed) Gum  a flavor. And no temporary crown to deal with. I especially like that part. Why wouldn’t you want to save yourself some time and money, by missing less work, by having your crowns completed in one visit.

 

This is where the pictures are transformed into crowns for your teeth.
Scans of the teeth will be transformed into crowns.
This part of the unit will produce the crown.
This part of the unit will produce the crown.
The lavender tinted block is a stronger material. It can be shaded and will be baked in an oven to emerge more tooth-like in appearance.
From these blocks, beautiful crowns for your teeth will be produced.

I have been really satisfied with these types of crowns and the technology. I must admit that I was a skeptic when the whole CEREC “fad” began. But I have had a chance to witness the technology improve over time as well as the strength of the material improve. I have a couple of these types of restorations in my mouth, and my biggest worry has been for them to fracture-because I grind and clench my teeth. The material has proven to be strong enough to withstand my chewing forces and I have given them a workout, believe me!   They also are very life-like, wouldn’t you agree?

Onlay on bicuspid to preserve tooth structure.

 

I encourage you to get to know this technology and all it has to offer in dentistry. Questions are encouraged and if I don’t know the answer, I will seek and find because

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!!

Keep Brushing and we’ll talk again soon!

Sad news travels fast….

I’m sure most have heard or read about Robin Williams and his sudden passing. It came as a surprise for me because what I saw was his public personae. He seemed well when I would see him on television. He did not look broken, sad, or depressed. I had heard he had gone to rehab recently, but nowadays that seems to be the celebrity thing to do. I thought it was a hoax when I first heard the news. This proves we never really know the inner battles others may be fighting at any given moment.

This sad and disturbing situation allows me a minute to touch on an important subject-suicide prevention. Prevention can be as simple as spending time and listening to another person. Be aware of the people around you and if you notice changes in how they are acting, spend some time and investigate the cause. Of course it could be nothing, but on the other hand, it could make the difference between that person staying in the dark or finding the light.

Mental health issues seem to be on the rise and there needs to be more understanding and help for those that need it. Know that help is available, but just like most information, you must seek to find it. I know it should be easier and maybe in the future it will be. Check out this website for more information.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

I am still in shock about the loss of Robin Williams, but I hope from his loss will come knowledge and a way out for others.

Take an interest in others and SMILE at someone. It could make a difference.

Keep brushing!

 

Friday Greetings!!

I wish I could keep my excitement at bay, but it’s difficult to not put on my super duper big smile : )) and sing, “Oh, it’s Friday!  Oh, yes it’s Fri…day!!”

We have had a productive week taking care of our patients. Decay has been destroyed, fractures removed, plaque and stain polished away, and no signs of oral cancer this week. Our goal is that our patients will  notice less pain, enjoy better tasting food, and for some….nicer breath.

Over the weekend remember that your time in our office, no matter how comfortable, can be determined by your home care. Spend some time on the teeth you want to keep. Be friendly and brush the plaque off them, they should not be wearing sweaters. Floss between your teeth to keep the touchy parts healthy and flossing will also help keep those gums from bleeding. If you haven’t tried it yet and you are  feeling adventurous, try a tongue scraper. You breath will thank you.

Have a great weekend and remember to KEEP BRUSHING!

www.edmonddds.com

Diag-NO-What?….DIAGNOdent, that’s what!

Let me introduce you to one of the secret weapons we have in our arsenal of cavity-fighting weapons. This little warrior uses a laser beam to detect cavities at the most conservative level.  A laser beam is used to detect changes happening before we can feel or see those changes happening. This little helper is designed to detect slight changes in the tooth structure. This little laser, used in conjunction with digital x-rays, often proves to be superior to the older method of using the “pointy poker” to find soft spots in the teeth. And it can be done without you, the patient, feeling the laser working. No pain, now that is a plus!

Folks, meet DIAGNOdent.

laser caries detector
laser caries detector

We have been using this tool for fighting cavities in our office for many years and the technology has been around since 2005. Along with our digital x-rays, we are better able to help our patients maintain a healthy mouth.  The technology available to help you maintain your healthy smile keeps getting better and better.

What does it mean to you to have a cavity-fighter such as DIAGNOdent in your corner? It could mean less tooth pain and problems because we are able to detect and treat cavities before they become large and bothersome. As you may or may not know, cavities do not go away by themselves. We can’t brush them away. We can’t give them away or even wish them away. The only way to get rid of a cavity, or the decayed part of the tooth, is to remove it. We have to physically remove the area which has decayed and replace the open hole with a filling material. Another plus with earlier detection of decay means that you will spend less time and money at the dental office. It’s a win-win situation and we like win-win, are you with me?

The DIAGNOdent uses a laser to detect differences in healthy and unhealthy tooth by measuring degrees of fluorescence in your tooth structure. These readings are recorded in the chart and monitored.

00-10      Healthy Tooth Structure

11-20      Outer Enamel Changes (The enamel is the hard outer protective covering of your tooth.)

21-30      Inner Enamel Changes

30+         Dentin Changes (Dentin is softer than enamel and decay often moves more quickly when it burrows this deep into the tooth.)

X02584_3
The reading on this tooth was 26, indicating changes through to the inner portion of the enamel. No soft spots were noted in clinical evaluation.
X02584_2
Tooth is intact with no soft spots noted.
X02584_10
This is the area which needed to be removed. Also notice the crack in the enamel wall of the tooth structure.

The goal in our office is to keep your smile healthy and be able to do provide pain-free dentistry. Part of the whole picture is being able to educate our patients so that they are able to help decide how to keep themselves healthy and happy. A smile is a universal sign of happiness and we are so lucky to be able to help people keep their teeth and to be able to smile. Know that when you come in to see Dr. Alspaugh and the rest of the team, we will work to provide you the best dental experience by using up-to-date technology to help fight disease in your mouth.

Keep brushing and smiling!

www.edmonddds.com