Advances in Dental Care: What’s New at the Dentist

 

By: WebMD

 

😃 With technological advancement, tooth restoration was made easy. Thanks to these modern tools used in dental practices today, there are a lot of good options to keep our teeth beautiful. Check them out! The Oral Surgery DC Team

 

Are you behind on your dental visits, and now you’re being driven in by a toothache, other dental problems, or guilt?

If so, be prepared — not for a lecture from your dentist — but for discovering that there is a host of new options to keep teeth healthy and beautiful.

Here are some of the newer dental care procedures and techniques that leading dentists are bringing into their practices.

Improving Dental Health: How High-Tech X-Rays Can Help

In some dental offices, digitized X-rays (think digital camera) are replacing traditional radiographs. Although digital X-rays have been on the market for several years, they have recently become more popular with dentists.

Digital X-rays are faster and more efficient than traditional radiographs. First, an electronic sensor or phosphor plate (instead of film) is placed in the patient’s mouth to capture the image. The digital image is then relayed or scanned to a computer, where it is available for viewing. The procedure is much faster than processing conventional film.

Your dentist can also store digital images on the computer and compare them with previous or future images to see how your dental health is being maintained.

And because the sensor and phosphor plates are more sensitive to X-rays than film is, the radiation dose is significantly reduced.

Digital X-rays have many uses besides finding cavities. They also help look at the bone below the teeth to determine if the bone level of support is good. Dentists can use the X-rays to check the placement of an implant — a titanium screw-like device that is inserted into the jawbone so that an artificial tooth can be attached.

Digital X-rays also help endodontists — dentists who specialize in root canals— to see if they have performed the procedure properly.

Lasers for Tooth Cavity Detection

Traditionally, dentists use an instrument they call the “explorer” to find cavities. That’s the instrument they poke around with in your mouthduring a checkup. When it “sticks” in a tooth, they look closer to see if they find decay.

Many dentists are now switching to the diode laser, a higher-tech option for detecting and removing cavities. The laser can be used to determine if there is decay in the tooth. The dentist can then choose to watch the tooth, comparing the levels at the next visit, or advise that the cavity be removed and the tooth filled.

When healthy teeth are exposed to the wavelength of the diode laser, they don’t glow or fluoresce, so the reading on the digital display is low. But decayed teeth glow in proportion to the amount of decay, resulting in higher readings on the display.

The diode laser doesn’t always work with teeth that already have fillings, but for other teeth, it could mean earlier detection of cavities. Note also that the diode laser does not replace X-rays; it detects decay in grooves on the chewing surface, while bitewing X-rays can find decay between and inside teeth.

Faster Dental Care: CAD/CAM Technology

The CAD in this technology stands for “computer-assisted design,” and the CAM for “computer-assisted manufacture.” Together, they translate into fewer dental visits to complete procedures such as crowns and bridges.

Traditionally when a patient needs a crown, a dentist must make a moldof the tooth and fashion a temporary crown, then wait for the dental laboratory to make a permanent one. With CAD/CAM technology, the tooth is drilled to prepare it for the crown and a picture is taken with a computer. This image is then relayed to a machine that makes the crown right in the office.

Thinner Veneers Preserve More Tooth

Veneers are the thin, custom-made shells or moldings that are used to cover the front of crooked or otherwise unattractive teeth. New materials now make it possible to create even thinner veneers that are just as strong.

What’s the advantage for you? Preparing a tooth for a veneer – which involves reshaping the tooth to allow for the added thickness of the veneer — can be minimal with the thinner veneers. Less of the tooth surface must be reduced and more of the natural tooth is kept intact.

Better Bonding and Filling Materials

If you’ve chipped a tooth, you can have it fixed to look more natural than it would have in the past, thanks to improvements in bonding material and bonding techniques.

Today’s bonding material is a resin (plastic), which is shinier and longer lasting than the substance used in the past. Often, dentists will put layers of resin on a tooth to bond and repair it. Because of the wider range of shades available, they can better blend the bonding material to the tooth’s natural color.

In restorations, when a cavity needs to be filled, many dentists have also abandoned amalgams for “tooth-colored” composite or porcelain fillings, which look more natural.

Better Dental Implants

Implants to replace lost teeth are now more common than in years past. First, a titanium implant or screw-like device is inserted to serve as a replacement root, fusing with the jawbone and protruding above the gum line. An abutment covers the protruding part and a crown is placed over that.

In the past, implants often failed. Now, the typical life of an implant is about 15 years or longer. About 95% of implants today are successful, according to the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

New Gum Disease Treatments for Better Dental Health

When the supporting tissue and bone around your teeth doesn’t fit snugly, “pockets” form in the gums. Bacteria then invade these pockets, increasing bone destruction and tooth loss.

A variety of treatments can help reverse the damage. They range from cleaning the root surfaces to remove plaque and tartar to more extreme measures such as gum surgery to reduce the pockets.

In recent years, the focus of gum disease treatment has expanded beyond reducing the pockets and removing the bacteria to include regenerative procedures. For instance, lasers, membranes, bone grafts, or proteins that stimulate tissue growth can be used to help regenerate bone and tissue to combat the gum disease.

 

Source: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/advances-in-dental-care-whats-new-at-the-dentist#3

 

8 Natural Ways to Freshen Your Breath

 

By: Zoe Blarowski, Care2 Healthy Living

 

Say ahhh! It’s National Fresh Breath Day! Check out 8 natural ways to freshen your breath. 😁 The Oral Surgery DC Team

 

Bad breath happens to nearly all of us at some time. It’s embarrassing and can impact your work, social and intimate life. Luckily, bad breath can often be prevented or stopped with some basic, natural care and treatments.

A variety of issues can cause bad breath, which is medically known as halitosis. Poor dental hygiene can promote odor-causing bacteria to build up in your mouth. Certain foods and lifestyle habits, such as smoking, can also impact your breath.

Bad breath may be a sign of other health conditions as well, like tonsillitis or gingivitis. If you have persistent bad breath, always check with your dentist or doctor to rule out anything more serious.

Even if you’ve dealt with the underlying causes, there may still be days when your breath is just off. Or you simply want to freshen up your morning breath. Either way, read on to find out some natural ways to combat bad breath.

1. TAKE CARE OF YOUR TEETH AND GUMS

You’ve heard it before, but it’s important to brush your teeth twice a day in order to fight bacteria and plaque. Also, floss once a day to remove food debris from in between your teeth. If you don’t like commercial toothpastes, there are many excellent natural toothpaste options. Care2 has a recipe for homemade toothpaste. Consider adding activated charcoal to your brushing routine as well.

Oil pulling has also been shown to improve oral health and reduce smelly bacteria, as well as scraping your tongue each morning. And if you have a mouth guard or dentures, make sure you regularly disinfect them.

2. SUPPORT YOUR GUT

Bad breath can be a sign of poor digestion, so what’s good for your gut is good for your breath. Eating foods that are rich in probiotics is an excellent way to boost your beneficial bacteria, which will out-compete any unwanted bacteria. You can also check out these other suggestions on how to supercharge your digestion.

3. SWISH WITH BAKING SODA

Rinsing with a baking soda solution is shown to effectively kill mouth bacteria. Mix one teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water and swish some in your mouth for at least 30 seconds. You can also add a couple drops of essential oil to the mix for extra anti-bacterial action, such as peppermint, tea tree or clove oil.

4. GO HERBAL

Chewing on fresh herbs will give you a quick breath pick-me-up. Mint, thyme, basil, oregano, parsley and cilantro are all well-known bacteria fighters that will also leave a delicious aftertaste behind. Brewing them into a tea is another good option.

5. SPICE IT UP

Aromatic spices like fennel, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger or anise provide a tasty way to counteract any unpleasant smell on your breath. You can chew on whole seeds when possible or steep some spices to make a tea. Enjoy the tea as a hot drink or use it cooled as a mouthwash.

6. EAT HEALTHY CARBOHYDRATES

Bad breath can be an unfortunate side-effect of low-carb diets. When your body breaks down fats instead of carbohydrates for energy, it creates foul-smelling ketones. Production of ketones is the body’s reaction to starvation. And that’s one reason why they smell bad, because it’s a sign something is wrong.

It’s always recommended to avoid refined carbohydrates, like white bread and potato chips. But make sure you eat enough healthy carbohydrates to properly fuel your body, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.

7. STAY HYDRATED

You naturally produce about 1 liter of saliva every day. Saliva contains enzymes that break down any lingering food particles in your mouth, keeping bacteria at bay. Low saliva production can lead to nasty breath as the bacteria counts in your mouth rise. If your mouth feels dry, reach for some water. Also give your mouth a quick swish for extra cleaning action.

Other effective breath-freshening drinks are cow’s milk and green tea. The fat in milk is able to neutralize odor-causing compounds from certain foods, such as the sulphur in garlic. And a 2011 study showed that green tea can reduce mouth bacteria and prevent bad breath and plaque build-up.

But, not all drinks are created equal. Coffee and alcohol should be avoided as they both dry out your mouth and promote bad breath.

8. NOSH ON FRUIT AND VEGGIES

A diet rich in vitamins and minerals helps your overall health, including your digestive health. And when your body is in good health, you’re far less likely to develop bad breath. Fruits and vegetables are the best natural source of vitamins and minerals, so make sure you get your recommended 5 to 9 servings per day.

Vitamin C is particularly effective at curbing bad breath because it’s known to prevent gingivitis and gum disease, which can be major causes of halitosis. Reach for peppers, kale, broccoli, strawberries, cauliflower, pineapple, kiwi and citrus fruits as these are all especially high in vitamin CApples and lettuce have also been shown to be effective at stopping garlic breath.

If you want to prevent bad breath in the first place, avoid foods known to foul your breath, such as onions, garlic, meats, cheese and sugary foods.

 

Source: https://www.care2.com/greenliving/8-natural-ways-to-freshen-your-breath.html

New intraoral scanner challenges the dental market in 2017 – Heron™ IOS

 

By: Dental Products Report

 

🙂 Good news for everyone! 3DISC has announced a new 3D scanner designed for dentists to make digital impressions. This is another product created to improve the modern dental practice and provide an efficient service to dental patients. The Oral Surgery DC Team

 

3DISC has announced a new 3D scanner designed for dentists to make digital impressions.

3DISC, a provider of digital X-ray and 3D imaging technology for dental clinics, has announced the upcoming launch of Heron™ IOS, a new intraoral 3D scanner designed for dentists to make digital impressions. The hand-held scanner is challenging the market with its simplicity and ease of use. Comprising a small, lightweight hand and mouthpiece, it is not only a leader in ergonomics but also challenges existing market prices by offering highly competitive pricing without compromising its high quality.

“In the development of Heron™ IOS – our focus has been to bring a scanner to market that easily fits into the modern dental practice and workflows. Sleek and small, lightweight, ergonomic design in a solution that delivers great depth perception, color recognition, and speed. We understand that, first and foremost, the unit had to be precise in order to create digital impressions that the dentist can rely on,” says 3DISC CEO Sigrid Smitt Goldman.

Additionally, the scanner development and design are based on four important cornerstones:

  • Open architecture – With output format STL and PLY. Compatible with most dental CAD systems, ensuring maximum flexibility for lab integration.

  • Price – The exact price is not yet available, but the scanner will be at the low end of the price scale – reasonable and affordable.

  • Ease of use – With the help of live video feed and guidance tools, the user is guided to perform a scan of the full dental arch in a workflow. The scanner itself is intuitive and extremely easy to use with its light and small design, and a rotating tip that provides the best angle for scanning.

  • Productivity – With precision, ease of use and openness comes productivity. It facilitates automation in the dentist’s workflow, as well as great communication options both between the dentist and the lab and between the dentist and patient. A perfect impression makes a perfect fit.

“There is a high-end segment in the industry for fully featured, advanced products and technology, where you naturally pay for innovation, as well as for the premium brands – the Ferraris of intraoral scanners. However, we recognize that dentists and clinics that primarily perform the most common restorations and a limited amount of impressions per year have different needs. With them in mind, we have created a scanner that covers all common features and restorations. Heron™IOS takes its own spot in the middle segment of the market – the “Volkswagen” of scanners – as the sensible and smart choice,” says Thomas Weldingh, executive VP of sales and marketing.

The solution – Heron™ IOS is a digital impression taking the smart and cost-efficient way.

The scanner is an optical impression system that creates digital 3D models for dental restorations. It records the tooth morphology, analog impressions or gypsum models for use in CAD/CAM for dental restorative prosthetic devices. A ‘cradle’ holds the scanner when not in use, and each unit comes with order management software for PCs, as well as lab integration with Exocad DentalCAD. The scanner software is set up to aid in the creation of restorations such as Crowns, Bridges, Inlays, Onlays, and Veneers. It also offers premium features such as color capture, shade-matching and a built-in heater to prevent fogging.

3DISC will debut this new scanner at the International Dental Show (IDS) 2017. With this world premiere, 3DISC takes an important step toward further solidifying their position in the dental industry by using its expertise of imaging technologies and creating new products that address the needs of the dental market. The new scanner from 3DISC will be available this year, with shipments expected to begin in Q4.

Source: http://www.dentalproductsreport.com/dental/article/new-intraoral-scanner-challenges-dental-market-2017-heron-ios

Gray and Black Market Dental Products: Are You at Risk?

 

By: Consumer Guide to Dentistry

 

💉 Have you heard about the gray and black market before? To avoid the risks and harmful effects of using these products, let us be aware of how they are made and labeled before they are sold. The Oral Surgery DC Team

 

Imagine you’re in the market for a new camera, but you’re not interested in paying top dollar. In an effort to save money, you decide to browse through one of countless stores offering “deep discount” pricing on name brand, top-of-the-line cameras. Chances are, those cameras made their way to the retailers via the “Gray Market” or, worse yet, are counterfeit or even “Black Market” products. In other words, they might not be the real deal, the warranties — if any — are questionable, and as a buyer, you’d better beware.

Unfortunately, Gray and Black Market products aren’t limited to high-priced consumer electronics. Dental materials — everything from the composites used to create minimally invasive composite bonding veneers, to the impression materials used to create moulds of your teeth for precision crowns and porcelain veneers — also are being sold in unauthorized ways to unsuspecting dentists.

What are Gray Market and Black Market Dental Products?

Gray Market dental products are those sold legitimately by a manufacturer intended for export or sale elsewhere, or those that are counterfeit to look like the real deal, which make their way back to the United States and are ultimately sold to dentists through unauthorized channels.

Black Market dental products are either stolen or otherwise transported and distributed in ways that avoid regular taxes and fees, making their way to the end user through risky and unknown supply chains.

More often than not, both types of products are outdated and expired, repackaged and relabeled. Usually the cost for these dental products and materials is significantly less than manufacturers originally intended. However, the ultimate cost in terms of treatment longevity and patient safety could be high, according to dental material science experts.

Poor Product, Material and Treatment Performance

When Gray Market, Black Market or counterfeit dental materials are used, dentists cannot be sure how those materials will perform, or how long the restorations they’re placing will last. That’s because most Gray and Black Market products travel back and forth between multiple countries via long shipping and handling processes that subject them to harsh stress and strain that negatively impact their effectiveness.

This is particularly true for the adhesives used to secure dental restorations in place, and for the impression materials used to create molds of your teeth. Inaccurate and faulty impressions ultimately result in improper and poorly fitting restorations that could chip, fracture or result in tooth decay. However, other dental materials — such as sealants, ceramics and composites — and products sold on the Gray or Black Market also could perform poorly or below acceptable standards.

Legitimate products that are sold to dentists through the proper channels are manufactured nearby to control the materials, prevent expiration and prevent exposure to extreme temperatures that could negatively affect performance when used in dental treatments.

How Gray and Black Dental Markets Happen

Many businesses these days are trying to compete in the “global marketplace.” Unfortunately, not all countries can afford to pay the same prices for products that we pay here in the United States. As a result, many companies have different prices for their products throughout the world, and sometimes there’s quite a big difference between what consumers in one country pay for a product and what that product is sold for in another country. It’s no different with dental products and materials.

Because dental product pricing fluctuates between countries, it becomes more profitable for distribution chains to find unauthorized ways to sell the products back in the United States. The price will be lower than what U.S. dentists usually pay, but more than what overseas dentists are paying, so those unauthorized sellers make a bigger profit.

The Law Isn’t Black and White

The dental products, equipment and materials sold and used in the United States are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure they meet appropriate standards, as well as confirm their safety and efficacy. For this reason the FDA inspects dental manufacturing facilities to ensure compliance with federal guidelines. The FDA also must approve products, materials and equipment before they are marketed and sold in the United States. Those approved by the FDA carry specific serial numbers on their packaging.

Gray and Black Market products making their way back into the United States typically were intended for sale in other countries and may not be approved by the FDA for use. As such, their packaging is usually altered or changed to appear consistent with other “for sale in the U.S.” products. Therefore, there’s no way to guarantee that Gray or Black Market products meet FDA standards or are FDA approved.

Experts have pointed out that while Black Market products are illegal according to the laws of most countries, the sale and purchase of products on the Gray Market approved by the FDA typically are not illegal. Again, however, because these products usually have been tampered with, it’s hard to determine if they’re the real thing.

What Can You Do?

Sometime in 2011, the FDA is expected to announce stronger rules for material and product labeling that will affect anything considered a medical device, including dental products, materials and equipment. Such packaging will enable manufacturers and their authorized dealers to better track and identify discrepancies in the distribution chain.

Additionally, dental product manufacturers are working harder to label and package products intended for foreign countries as a completely different product or material brand. This will make it harder for unauthorized channels to reintroduce the product into the United States on the Gray Market.

That’s comforting to know. It’s also good to know that dentists are concerned with the oral health of their patients and strive to deliver the best possible care using scientifically proven materials. Reputable dentists purchase legitimate and tested products from well-known and respected manufacturers and product dealers and likely will be willing to answer your questions about the materials they use and the manufacturers from whom they’ve purchased them.

Therefore, do not be afraid to ask about the type and brand of dental products your dentist will be using for your treatment. Understanding what’s involved with your treatment will enable you to have confidence in your dentist and participate actively in the process.

Source: https://www.yourdentistryguide.com/gray-market/

A Guide to Common Dental Problems

Woman running water and holding a toothbrush
By: Sally Solo, Real Simple
😄 Keep this guide to common dental problems handy so you’ll achieve the perfect smile everybody would want to see! The Oral Surgery DC Team

Problem: Tooth Decay

Also known as dental caries or cavities, tooth decay occurs when plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms when you eat sugars or starches, is allowed to linger on teeth for too long.

Who’s at risk: Anyone can get a cavity, but children and older people are the most prone. The incidence among children has been declining, thanks to community water fluoridation and the increased use of fluoride toothpaste, but “more than half of all children have cavities by the second grade,” according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report Healthy People 2010. Older adults are prone to cavities at the root because protective gum tissue often pulls away.

What to do: Don’t give plaque a chance: Brush with a fluoride toothpaste and floss every day. Children can also benefit from sealants (plastic coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of their back teeth) as soon as their adult molars come in. Older people should be particularly vigilant: “Those who have a tendency toward dry mouth should receive regular fluoride treatments from a dentist and use a fluoride-containing mouth rinse,” says Bruce Pihlstrom, D.D.S., acting director of the Center for Clinical Research at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR).

Problem: Gum Disease

A bacterial infection caused by plaque that attacks the gums, bone, and ligaments that keep your teeth in place. The early stage is known as gingivitis, the advanced stage as periodontitis.

Who’s at risk: Everyone. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) estimates that half of all adults have some signs of gingivitis. Most at risk are people with poor oral hygiene; those with a systemic disease, such as diabetes, that lowers resistance to infection; and smokers. Women also have a tendency to develop gingivitis during pregnancy. Other risk factors are stress, which weakens the immune system, and genes. “Some people can have gingivitis all their lives and never progress to periodontitis,” says Bruce Pihlstrom, D.D.S., acting director of the Center for Clinical Research at the NIDCR. “It depends on a person’s susceptibility to the disease.”

What to do: See a dentist regularly, and tell her if your gums feel tender or bleed. Gingivitis can be reversed with regular brushing and flossing. To combat periodontitis, a dentist or periodontist may perform a deep cleaning around the teeth and below the gum lines and prescribe medication to combat the infection. If the disease has progressed to affect your gums and bone, your dentist might suggest surgery, such as a gum graft.

Problem: Tooth Infection

The pulp inside the tooth (which contains nerves) is damaged or becomes infected because of decay or injury. The root canal, which connects the top pulp chamber to the tip of the root, may become infected, too.

Who’s at risk: Anyone with a deep cavity or a cracked tooth, which can let in bacteria. An injured tooth can have a problem even if it’s not visibly cracked or chipped.

What to do: If you feel pain in or around a tooth, see your dentist. He may refer you to an endodontist, who specializes in root-canal procedures. In one to three visits, the dentist will perform the notorious root canal (which is much less painful than it used to be). He will remove the pulp, clean the pulp chamber and root canal, then fill the tooth. Finally, he may seal the tooth with a porcelain or gold crown.

Problem: Gum Disease

A bacterial infection caused by plaque that attacks the gums, bone, and ligaments that keep your teeth in place. The early stage is known as gingivitis, the advanced stage as periodontitis.

Who’s at risk: Everyone. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) estimates that half of all adults have some signs of gingivitis. Most at risk are people with poor oral hygiene; those with a systemic disease, such as diabetes, that lowers resistance to infection; and smokers. Women also have a tendency to develop gingivitis during pregnancy. Other risk factors are stress, which weakens the immune system, and genes. “Some people can have gingivitis all their lives and never progress to periodontitis,” says Bruce Pihlstrom, D.D.S., acting director of the Center for Clinical Research at the NIDCR. “It depends on a person’s susceptibility to the disease.”

What to do: See a dentist regularly, and tell her if your gums feel tender or bleed. Gingivitis can be reversed with regular brushing and flossing. To combat periodontitis, a dentist or periodontist may perform a deep cleaning around the teeth and below the gum lines and prescribe medication to combat the infection. If the disease has progressed to affect your gums and bone, your dentist might suggest surgery, such as a gum graft.

Problem: Tooth Infection

The pulp inside the tooth (which contains nerves) is damaged or becomes infected because of decay or injury. The root canal, which connects the top pulp chamber to the tip of the root, may become infected, too.

Who’s at risk: Anyone with a deep cavity or a cracked tooth, which can let in bacteria. An injured tooth can have a problem even if it’s not visibly cracked or chipped.

What to do: If you feel pain in or around a tooth, see your dentist. He may refer you to an endodontist, who specializes in root-canal procedures. In one to three visits, the dentist will perform the notorious root canal (which is much less painful than it used to be). He will remove the pulp, clean the pulp chamber and root canal, then fill the tooth. Finally, he may seal the tooth with a porcelain or gold crown.

 

Source: https://www.realsimple.com/health/preventative-health/dental/preventing-treating-common-dental-problems