Dental Tips Blog

Mar
8

Latex Allergies and the Dentist

Latex allergies can range from minor skin irritation to severe responses that result in very painful, dangerous conditions. When patients see a dentist for the first time, it’s important that they let the front desk know they have a latex allergy well before they ever go back into the treatment area. Many times people simply get into a habit and may make contact with the patient wearing a latex glove before they realize there is even an allergy.

Your Alpharetta dentist will set up some type of alert system to notify the team at each visit that there is an allergy. It may be an automatic pop up that comes up on electronic charts, or a sticker on the outside of a patient file. Each office uses different ways to signal latex allergies, because they affect care from the very first seconds they see a patient.

Most dental offices use nitrile gloves as an alternative to latex when they are treating patients with allergies or sensitivities. Although in the past, some other pieces of equipment may have contained latex, most of those now currently used in dentistry do not. Dental dams are one exception, and do still contain latex due to the elasticity of the material, so those will need to be avoided and alternative methods used.

Allergies should always be taken very seriously, no matter how severe they are or what the patient is allergic to. Some minor allergies can easily become atypical allergic reactions that are much more severe than they would have been in the past. Always be sure to avoid irritants, and keep your dentist up to date on any medical conditions that you may have.

Posted on the behalf of Dr. Sarah Roberts, Crabapple Dental

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Sep
25

Preparing Your Child for the Dentist

With many adults dreading their dentist appointments, it comes as no surprise that over half of children are afraid of going to the dentist. From stories they have overheard of cavities and needles, to pictures of an exam room with lights and machines, to just being shy – many children get anxious about their first (or first few) dental appointments.

There are things you can do at home to prepare your child for his/her upcoming dental appointment. The most important thing to remember, whether you are just talking about it or are role-playing what will happen, is to remain positive. Children sense when their parents and caregivers are trying to “pull one over” on them. Give it to them straight, but with a smile and positive words the entire time.

Start young. The earlier a child visits the dentist, the better. It will become a natural experience for her or him. A child is also typically allowed to sit in a parents’ lap while s/he is young, which may help ease into the transition of lying back in the big dentist chair.

Make it playful. When you are discussing the upcoming dental appointment with your child, use phrases like “sugar bugs” and “Mr. Thirsty.” Instead of telling your child that s/he will have a cleaning, tell her that the dentist is going to look for sugar bugs to get off your teeth. And the apparatus that sucks the water out of your mouth – refer to it as “Mr. Thirsty” and see if that doesn’t earn a smile.

Role-play at home. All you need is a toothbrush and a popsicle stick. Count your child’s teeth and touch each one with the popsicle stick. You can even hold a mirror so that your child can see what you are doing. Then, brush your child’s teeth. By role-playing at home, you help your child get a sense of what to expect.

By taking the time to prepare your child for their first trip to your Alpharetta dentist, you can help take the anxiety away. The dentist is not someone to fear, and by encouraging your child to take good care of his teeth you are setting him up for a positive experience.

Posted on the behalf of Sarah Roberts

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Sep
12

Types of Fillings

Posted in Fillings

When it comes to fillings, there are now more choices than ever. What you end up having in your mouth, however, may be based on a number of factors, including location of the cavity to be filled, your bite, your sensitivity to certain materials and cost.

Gold 

Gold has been used as a filler material for centuries, and is thought in some countries to be a sign of wealth. The gold used in fillings is usually an alloy of gold combined with another metal like copper. Gold is long lasting and it provides a hard biting surface. In the United States, it is now primarily used for crowns and bridges as other materials are more readily available and less expensive.

Amalgam 

Amalgam is made of mercury combined with other metals like copper and silver. It is still one of the most commonly used fillings for back teeth despite critics who say the mercury is a toxin. The Food and Drug Administration, the US Centers for Disease Control and the American Dental Association, however, have ruled it safe as a filling material.

Composite 

Made of resin and other materials, composite is a natural tooth color and therefore very desirable for those concerned with appearance. It is a hard material, but not as long lasting as metal. It also costs more.

Ionomers

These are made of acrylic and either glass powder or resin. They also have the cosmetic advantage of being tooth colored; however, they do not hold up well in the long run and tend to crack and chip easily. Ionomers are therefore used mainly for small fillings in non molar teeth.

If you are in need of a filling, discuss some of these options with your Alphareta dentist. He or she will be able to recommend what is best in your situation.

Posted on behalf of Dan Myers

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Aug
8

Enamel Shaping and Bonding

Often people are self conscious about their smile due to very slight imperfections in either the surface of the tooth, the shape of a tooth or if there is an excessive gap between two teeth.  Enamel shaping and bonding are two excellent methods for a good cosmetic dentist to improve your smile.

In enamel shaping, your Alpharetta dentist will use a tool to remove just enough enamel on the tooth to remove the imperfection, which is basically ground off.  Examples of slight imperfections would be an uneven edge along the bottom of a tooth or a front tooth that is slightly non-symmetrical when compared to the other front tooth.

Since the enamel shaping is so minor, an anesthetic is not necessary and the procedure is quickly completed.  In many cases, because the imperfections removed are so slight, the changes may not be as dramatic as other forms of cosmetic dentistry.  However to the patient having the procedure done, they will notice the improvements immediately.

Bonding is a great way for the dentist to fill in excessive gaps between two teeth using a composite resin, which matches the color of the teeth.  Once the teeth are prepped, the dentist will apply the resin and shape and contour it as necessary to make the gap more natural.  An ultraviolet light is then used to harden the composite resin.  The results are immediate, natural looking and dramatic.

Enamel shaping and bonding should be discussed with a qualified cosmetic dentist if you are uncomfortable with the appearance of your smile.  This is one of several tools available to dentists that can improve one’s smile and self-confidence!

Posted on behalf of Dan Myers

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Aug
8

Improve Your Smile!

A great smile goes a long way in all social interactions, as well as in the business world.  The advancements in cosmetic dentistry in the last few years have made achieving a great smile more accessible and affordable than ever before!  An Alpharetta dentist specializing in cosmetic dentistry can provide guidance on the available options to improve your smile.  There is no need to feel uncomfortable or self-conscious about the appearance of your teeth when solutions are available!

Stained or discolored teeth can be corrected using a variety of teeth whitening options including in office bleaching, at home bleaching and whitening toothpastes, all of which result in whiter teeth.   The only difference is the amount of time to see the desired results.

Broken or chipped teeth are easily repaired with bonding, crowns or veneers.   Bonding allows the dentist to build up the broken area with a composite resin that is the same color as a tooth.  It can be easily molded as necessary.  Crowns allow larger broken teeth to be completely covered.  Veneers are installed on the front surface of a tooth to conceal defects such as chips on an uneven tooth.

Cavities can now be filled with a white composite resin and not the traditional amalagam fillings, which are silver in color.  No longer can someone tell if you have a bunch of fillings in your teeth!

Finally, the advancements in dental implants allow a permanent solution to missing teeth.  A dental lab makes a tooth, which is then glued to a metal stud that is attached to the bone in the patient’s jaw.  A great smile is possible even if you are missing your natural teeth.

A great smile is easily achieved through a number of techniques available to a qualified cosmetic dentist.  Often these techniques are economical and easily achieved.  All it takes is that initial visit to start the process to a great smile!

Posted on the behalf of Sarah Roberts

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