Archive for June, 2010
There is nothing quite as eye catching as bright, white teeth. Unfortunately, over time, teeth can become discolored. Tooth discoloration can be caused by a variety of factors. Teeth naturally yellow as a person ages and the protective enamel softens and allows the natural yellow color of dentin show through. Many drinks, food and tobacco products can cause the teeth to become stained. Certain medications can also cause teeth to become discolored. Fortunately, dentists offer several proven options that can whiten your teeth and keep your smile bright.
Professional dentists in Dallas can safely bleach teeth to lighten them several shades. In a bleaching procedure, the dentist first protects the gums from the bleaching agent by painting them with a protective barrier. Next, a bleaching solution highly concentrated in peroxide is applied to the teeth. The bleaching solution is left on the teeth for 15 to 60 minutes. Badly discolored teeth or stubborn stains can require more than one session of bleaching.
Laser whitening is another process dentists use to whiten teeth. Laser whitening begins as bleaching, with the gums being protected and then a high concentration peroxide solution being applied to the teeth. After this, a laser or light is placed on the teeth, enhancing the whitening process. Safe guards are used to reduce the risk of overheating the teeth and causing damage. Laser whitening takes approximately one hour to complete and can produce amazing results. Teeth can be lightened by as much as 10 shades with laser whitening.
The most expensive but longest lasting tooth whitening option is veneers. With veneers, porcelain or a similar material is bonded to the surface of the teeth. Veneers are a uniform, smooth and long-lasting whitening option.
You can take some simple steps to keep your teeth white once they have been professionally whitened. Avoid dark colored beverages like tea, coffee and sodas. Foods high in citric acid can erode tooth enamel and cause the yellow dentin to show through. You should refrain from smoking or using other tobacco products. Finally, practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth regularly (you can use a whitening toothpaste) and floss every day.
Although tooth whitening is normally safe, it is not without risks. Tooth sensitivity is a common side effect of tooth whitening. People who have gum recession or have cracks in their teeth seem to suffer sensitivity more frequently. Some people can experience gum irritation for a few days following teeth whitening. Finally, some cosmetic dental work, such as veneers and crowns, will not lighten as the other teeth do.
If your smile is starting to fade and become dull, visit your dentist. You will find many reliable options to whiten your teeth and brighten your smile. For more information please visit Dallas teeth whitening dentist Dr. Sowell at http://www.smilesbysowell.com.
I have just completed the Annual Spear Faculty Club meeting, a 3 day gathering of the Core members of Spear Education. We are at Scottsdale, Arizonia at the Scottsdale Center for Dentistry.
I have devoted alot of time helping the program get started as I believed in the integrity and reputation of Frank Spear. Frank is someone I have learned from since 1988. I have never been willing to give my time to an organization before but I have choosen this educational program to qid pro quo (give back to my profession). Although I hate to give up my person time, I love to teach and the rewards are unmeasurable. After 2 years of teaching, it was so rewarding as so many students approached me thanking me for being such a great mentor to them. The experience energized me and made me feel I made the right decision to teach at Spear Education. In today’s competitive world it such a great experience to feel appreciated. I am looking forward to tommorrow as my wife and I are being picked up at 5 am to hile up Camelback mountain, before it gets hot as it is suppose to be 110 degrees tommorrow.
It has given me great pleasure to be part of Spear Education these last two years. Each year I go to Scottsdale, Arizona about 8-10 times to teach at the Scottsdale Center for Dentistry. They have beautiful facilities and a curriculum second to none. The program was developed by Frank Spear probably the most sought out lecturer in Dentistry. My role is as a lead mentor in the Spear Faulty. I help support the other mentors and dentists in the program . The rewards are endless as I am a part of a community of like minded ,high level dentists who are learning, sharing and supporting. It keeps me sharp as you must know the material much better to teach as you are always asked challenging questions from some very intelligent dentists. Of course the greatest rewards are when the dentist in the program express their gratitude for your help. Usually dentists who go through the program have been out of school a while and want to learn more than just removing cavities and filling holes. They want to learn how to create new smiles and better bites harmonious with jaw joints.
One of the factors that accelerate a determination of our health is the loss of teeth. Once you loss 3 teeth before the age of 50, research shows you are more highly likely to loose the rest of your teeth before you die. People who keep their teeth on average live 10 years longer than people who do not. Once you loose your teeth or your mobility (able to walk) during your senior years results in results in health deterioration. More than likely there is a strong psychological factor involved. Most social functions in our society involves eating food and if grand mother cannot keep her dentures in her month or clicks when she eats, has many denture sores or is embarrassed when the grand kids make fun of her she will not want to be included in these social events vital to keep her a part of family relationships and a sense of purpose. Retirement communities are full a senior citizens who have given up being socially involved because of lack of mobility and oral embarrassment.
There are 30 million Americans who do not have teeth today so it is not an uncommon problem. How does this happen you say? Sometimes it is because people are too fearful of the dentist and have not been made aware of how sedation and laser dentistry make solutions comfortable. For others it starts when they retire and are on a fixed income and stop seeing the dentist. They assume they there mouths are very healthy and should be healthy for many years. Unfortunately 60 year old teeth and bone support need more attention than a 30 year old and the average dentist is just doing a ”here and now examination”. Dental insurance has an annual maximum of coverage, so most dentist consider what need to be done one year at a time. What they really need is a “big picture examination”, what will they need in the next 20 years. Then when they do come in they have severe damage and infections, and the cost is beyond what they want to pay or what their kids want them to pay. So often I see the children bring in their 80 year parent and do not want them to receive anything but emergency treatment because they are thinking of their inheritance not the quality of life of the parent or the patient’s health is to compromise for the treatment needed to restore their oral health and comfort..
The key to keeping your mouth healthy and treatable is keep the bone that support teeth. If you loose a tooth it is best to get an implant which will preserve the bone. Once a tooth is removed it looses 30 percent of the bone in the first year and continuous to loose more bone each year. When you first loose a tooth it is a relatively easy and predictable procedure to have a dental implant placed. As time goes on and more bone has been lost, the bone replacement grafts become more expensive and involved.
Let’s take a real live situation. My father is 89 years old and had several teeth removed by East Texas country dentists when he was a young man. As he got older he got several bridges to replace the missing teeth. That was all that was available in the 50’s and 60’s. But the areas without teeth kept losing bone. About every 10 years he would have his bridges replaced as he was a severe clincher and grinder even though he flossed religiously. In 1995 one area he had too much damage to the retainer teeth than a bridge was no longer an option. Thus I placed 3 dental implants when he was about 75 years old to replace 5 teeth. He still has those today. But as he got older he did not want to travel anymore to Dallas and broke off another tooth as he was not wearing to bite appliance at night. He decided to get a removable partial due to costs as he is very frugal at age 87 and would have to get bone grafts to allow him to get dental implants in areas where he has had a bridge. This lasted 2 years before he broke off another tooth at the gum line. Now he is 89 years old and his partial will not fit since a tooth holding it in broke off. He has Alzheimer’s and thus cannot keep up with his removable partial. His favorite thing to do is eat as true for most men. When they loose that their health deteriates. To get dental implants to hold in teeth in this area he will need a sinus (bone) graft, but now issues of his age play a part. Is his immune system normal, how they will heal, etc? I contacted him with the best dentists in Houston since he will not travel and they are concerned about doing a bone graft at this age. I tell you this story so you can plan your own oral health. Today people live to be 90 easily. You should plan to have the best possible oral health at age 75-80, have all your areas without teeth restored with implants so all options will be open to you as you age. Your kids will be concerned with costs not your psychological well being. If you need another dental implant in Dallas, it will be a simple and less costly procedure. We all take our teeth for granted, but without them your senior years are often short lived. Make sure possible treatment will be easy and simple through proper planning.
Visit the dental office of Dr. Mark Sowell for Dallas dental implants and other restorative dentistry procedures.
Most people go to the dentist while they are employed, but when retirement starts dental visits are one of the first things to be trimmed from the budget. Today 50% of the people who live to be 65 will live to be 90 years old. That means for the average person the dental work they have at 65 may be 10 years old and it is expected to last 25 more years. Most people do not get major dental work done after retirement and thus the health of their month deteriorates as time goes on. During the last 10 years of life health issues is often a barrier to major dental repairs as well as financial barriers. This situation results in severe dental disease and deterioration for the elderly when most social situations revolve around eating. Dental Insurance has trained dentist to give their patients “here and now” examinations. In other words, patient’s have an annual limits to their coverage, so they get an examination designed to fix problems to get the patient by for one year- next year. What retiring people really need is a long term “comprehensive examination” designed to carry them through their retirement years. This kind of examination is often not offered as the dentists cannot get off their roller skates long enough to do this type of examination and workup. They will not get paid by insurance for this and they have alot of patients to see to make ends meet. The moral of the story is- if you want a healthy mouth during retirement and avoid the health effects of the oral systemic connection , you need to ask for a comprehensive examination and treatment plan to last at least 20 years.