Dental care has made a number of advancements over time and continues to do so. Today, many dental procedures allow the patient to make the decision in terms of the materials and techniques used, so it is vital for patients to have a clear understanding of the pros and cons of their options. One of the most commonly performed dental procedures are fillings. When the tooth begins to decay the contamination must first be removed and the tooth must be filled by an appropriate material.
Unfortunately 3 out of 4 people will encounter a tooth requiring a filling at some point in their life, due to improper dental hygiene. The most commonly used materials are amalgams or composites. Amalgam is composed of silver, zinc, copper and mercury. Amalgam fillings can last up to 15 years and are strong, more affordable options. However, they are not aesthetically pleasing since they are not tooth-colored. Amalgam uses mechanical forces to adhere to the tooth and thus will expand and contract more often, risking possibilities of tooth fracture and cracking. The point of greatest concern, however, is mercury contamination. Since mercury has been found to have adverse side effects on the brain and kidney, Artistic Works Dentistry chooses not to perform amalgam fillings on our patients.
Composite fillings, on the other hand, are both aesthetically pleasing and have no health related side effects. The bonds to the tooth are chemical bonds, which allow it to support and strengthen the tooth rather than fracture or crack the tooth over time. Composite material comes in a variety of shades, allowing the dentist to create a natural tooth colored filling. Since composite material is so versatile, it can also be used to chipped, worn or cracked teeth. Most importantly, however, less tooth structure is removed in order to perform a composite filling as compared to an amalgam, maximizing the post-operative strength of the tooth.
Unfortunately, many insurance companies still consider amalgams to be the only material used for fillings and thus will only cover your fillings at the price of an amalgam (even if you choose to get the alternative composite). At Artistic Works Dentistry, we believe in providing you with the best in oral health without compromising your overall health, which is why we choose to perform only composite fillings on our patients.
April is National Youth Sports Safety Month. According to the American Dental Association, more than 2 million teeth are knocked out each year due to sports-related injuries; however, approximately 200,000 high-school and college athletes use mouthguards to avoid such injuries.
Knowing how to brush your teeth is an important skill that children should learn at an early age. However, some children—and even adults—aren’t always doing what they should when brushing their teeth.
It’s important for children to visit the dentist early to ensure they are off to a good start with their oral health. The first dental visit is an extremely important step in a child’s life long oral health.
Your dentist can apply sealants easily, and it takes only a few minutes to seal each tooth. In addition to good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing, there are other ways to protect teeth from decay. Dental sealants can protect teeth and seal them off from decay-causing bacteria.
Replacing missing teeth can radically improve a person’s smile and quality of life. Whether you’re young, old, or in-between, dentures can help improve the way you look, feel, eat, and speak. It can even help your self-confidence.
It’s never too early to start taking care of your little one’s teeth. In fact, proper oral health care should start well before your baby’s first teeth even erupt. For a lifetime of healthy smiles, follow these guidelines to ensure your child gets off on the right tooth.
Orthodontics - What is orthodontics, and why do people get braces?
Everyone knows to brush their teeth twice a day, but many people forget about their gums! The word disease sounds scary—and it can be if you don’t take care of your gums. Here is some information about what gum disease is, what causes it, and how you can prevent it.
ROOT CANAL THERAPY
What is a root canal?
Underneath your tooth’s outer enamel and within the dentin is an area of soft tissue called the pulp tissue. While a tooth’s pulp tissue does contain nervefi bers, it is also composed of arteries, veins, lymph vessels, and connective tissue. Each tooth’s nerve enters the tooth at the very tip of its roots. From there, the nerve runs through the center of the root in small “root canals,” which join up with the tooth’s pulp chamber.
Why are my teeth sensitive?
Exposed dentin is the likely reason. Dentin is the tissue that makes up the core of each tooth. Dentin is covered by a protective coating of enamel. When this enamel wears away or decays, the dentin becomes exposed and receptive to sensations, including pain.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious, potentially lifethreatening sleep disorder that affects approximately 18 million Americans. It owes its name to the Greek word apnea(meaning “want of breath”) and refers to episodes in which a person stops breathing for 10 seconds or more during sleep.
What is cosmetic dentistry and how can it improve my smile?
Your dentist can perform a variety of cosmetic procedures to improve your smile—from subtle changes to major repairs. There are many techniques and options to treat teeth that are discolored, chipped, misshapen, or missing.
Your dentist can reshape your teeth, close spaces, restore worn teeth, or alter the length of your teeth. Common procedures include teeth whitening, bonding, caps, crowns, veneers, and reshaping and contouring.
Dental restorations restore the function, integrity, and morphology of missing tooth structure, which can be caused by caries or external trauma, such as chipping or cracking a tooth. Fabrication of a crown(a type of dental restoration) usually requires two dental visits.
The first visit involves an examination of the tooth to determine how it should be restored and preparation of the tooth for the restoration; this visit may include a core build-up (sometimes requiring a post), fabrication of a temporary crown, and making an impression to be sent to the laboratory.
The second visit usually involves delivery of the final restoration, which has been fabricated in the laboratory.
In some offices that have access to specialized equipment, the dentist may be able to perform the entire crown procedure in the same day.