Archive for July, 2010

Dental Veneers

Posted in Cosmetic, Dental, Invisalign, Veneers with tags , , , , , on July 26, 2010 by dukeslc

Dental Veneers are custom-made porcelain or composite resin “shells” placed on the front surface of a tooth.  Veneers are bonded to the tooth and are intended to improve the cosmetic appearance or esthetics of the tooth.  Veneers can be made to increase the length or size of the tooth, change the shape of the tooth, or to change the color of the tooth. 

Porcelain Veneers

Veneers can be made from dental porcelain in a dental laboratory or from composite resin placed by the dentist directly onto the tooth.  Porcelain veneers have greater strength and typically last longer without wear or need for replacement.  Porcelain has been proven to resist stains better and replicates the appearance and texture properties of natural teeth.

Composite Resin Veneers

The dentist can place composite Resin Veneers directly onto the tooth.  Depending on the reason for the dental veneer, resin veneers can be made thinner than porcelain veneers.  While this may provide less tooth removal, the resin can be prone to chipping or wear due to the thin nature of the veneer and may require frequent replacement.

Why Dental Veneers?

Dental Veneers are a long-term solution for teeth with an array of functional or cosmetic problems.

1)     Teeth that are discolored from the interior of the tooth.  This is not a common occurrence, but teeth may discolor after a Root Canal is completed or if the tooth suffers trauma and turns a brown or gray.

2)     Discolored teeth due to excessive fluoride or use of the drug called tetracycline.  Use of these two drugs can interfere with the formation and color of the enamel on permanent teeth at a young age.

3)     Teeth that are chipped, worn down, or broken. Veneers restore teeth to their normal shape and size and can fix the appearance of a chipped tooth.

4)     Teeth that are misaligned, uneven, crooked, or have large spaces in between them. For many people with crooked or misaligned teeth, the combination of braces and veneers is the optimal option, both functionally and cosmetically.  Veneers can correct the appearance of misaligned teeth, but cannot fix the incorrect bite of the premolars and molars.  Invisalign braces allow the patient to bite correctly, make space for the veneers, and allow for the best long-term oral health of the patient.

Dr. David Duke  loves to perform cosmetic dentistry and welcomes you to experience our gentle dentistry and a FREE Consultation at your convenience.  Please check out our website for more information and call our Salt Lake City Dental Office for an appointment today. We look forward to meeting you and addressing your individual needs.


Dental Implants

Posted in Dental, Implants with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2010 by dukeslc

Dental Implants are one of today’s leading options for replacing missing teeth.  Thousands of patients enjoy the comfort and ease of having dental implants.  There is an average success rate of 95% for those who have dental implants.  If you are missing any teeth, dental implants are low-maintenance and are the most similar to natural teeth.  Their similarity to natural teeth offer no change in oral hygiene habits, no change in speech, and the ability to eat normal foods.  For all those who wonder if they are good candidates for dental implants, Dr. David Duke offers FREE Consultations.  The following are a few things the Dentist will consider before recommending a dental implant.

Strength and Density of Bone

For a dental implant to successfully work, the bone has to be thick and strong enough to support the implant.  After a tooth is extracted, some patients will experience bone loss in that area. Others may have genetic or health conditions that interfere with the regeneration of bone.  Should this be the case, a bone graft can be done to fill the extraction site and can aid the bone regeneration.  For those whose bone is naturally thin, a sinus lift can be done by an oral surgeon to increase the thickness of the Maxillary bone.

Health of the Teeth and Gums

The tissues and teeth need to be free of decay and bacteria in order for the implant to heal correctly.  The implant will have a greater chance of failing if there is constant exposure to bacteria while the bone and gums are trying to heal and grow.  For this reason, it is recommended that all tooth decay and/or gum disease be addressed before a dental implant is considered to replace a missing tooth.  If there is dental decay, dental fillings or crowns can be done to remove and replace it. To prevent gum disease, patients are to have regular cleanings with the hygienist. For those who already have gum disease it recommended to have special deep cleanings 3-4 times per year to prevent it from getting worse.

Oral Health and Smoking Habits

The oral health and habits will be addressed before placing a dental implant.  Patients with poor oral hygiene and those who are heavy smokers are asked to change their habits.  The risk of dental implant failure increases significantly in smokers and patients must typically stop smoking before a dental implant is considered.  Correct home care of teeth and gums is vital to a healthy mouth and provides an optimal environment for dental implants to successfully replace missing teeth. 

 Protecting the Implant and Bruxism

The functional use and force placed on the implant must be taken into consideration before placing an implant.  Just like any other object, dental implants and the dental crowns placed on them will experience wear and tear from normal, daily use.  The force and pressure placed on the implant from chewing, speaking, clenching, or grinding (also known as bruxism) must be carefully examined.  If these forces are too much for the implant or surrounding bone to tolerate, the likelihood of failure will increase significantly.  Correct positioning, straight tooth alignment, correct crown size, and the changing of grinding habits will aid in the success of the dental implant.  If bruxism cannot be stopped, a custom-made night guard can help protect the crown and dental implant.

 Other Health Conditions

Certain health conditions, such as Type II diabetes, can  increase the failure rate of dental implants.  For those with this health condition, it is common to have low amounts and height of bone in which to place an implant.  Type II Diabetes can also contribute to poor blood circulation which may interfere with the healing of bone and gum tissues.  Poor blood circulation can also increase the chance of infection once the implant is placed.

Dental Implants have a typical estimated success rate of 95% when all of the above conditions are correctly considered and solved.  With all we know today about the human body and dental implants, there remain about 5% of people whose implants fail for unknown reasons.  The dental implants are made from titanium, which has been proven as a material that the body typically will not reject as a “foreign material.”  With this knowledge and all of our sound technology, the success rate is far greater than the possible failure rate. Thousands of people have implants are placed every year and enjoy the excellent tooth replacements.

For all those interested in dental implants, we welcome you to have a FREE CONSULTATION in our Salt Lake City Dental Office.  Dr. Duke has practiced Dentistry for over 24 years and specializes in Dental Implants.  If you would like more information, please visit our website or call (801)355-2202.  We look forward to meeting you and answering any questions you may have!

TMJ Disorder

Posted in Dental, Neuromuscular, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2010 by dukeslc

What is TMJ/ TMD?

TMJ, or Tempromandibular Joint Disorder, is a misalignment of the jaw joint.  The Tempromandibular Joint is just in front of the ear and can be felt when  opening and closing the mouth.   Some with this disorder will feel clicking or popping of the jaw if the joint is incorrectly aligned.  TMJ disorder is generally a chronic, degenerative disorder  that will progressively increase over a period of time.

What causes TMJ/TMD? 

 In most cases, TMJ disorder stems from malocclusion of the teeth.  Malocclusion means that your upper and lower teeth don’t correctly close together and are misaligned.  Malocclusion can occur from accidents or other trauma, incorrect orthodontics, poor restorative dentistry, or simply how the teeth erupted in the mouth as a child.  When the teeth are misaligned, it causes a person to adjust their bite in order to chew and swallow.  This abnormal adjustment causes the muscles to be strained and can result in pain throughout the face, head, arms, shoulders, and back.  Many patients are not aware of the causes of these pains, especially if orthodontics (braces) has given them straight, beautiful teeth.  A slight to severe misalignment of the teeth can slowly cause excess wear and damage to the TMJ joint.

What are the Symptoms?

TMJ disorder causes pain of the hard and soft tissues, such as the muscles and nerves in the face.  The strain placed on these tissues can range from mild to severe and can cause anything from infrequent pain to constant, unrelenting pain.  Some people have headaches, jaw aches, neck and shoulder pain, popping or locking of the jaw joint, or ringing of the ears.  Most people who experience these symptoms will regularly dismiss it as an ear infection or stress.  Most will go undiagnosed for years until the symptoms begin to occur more frequently or the pain becomes greater.  If you experience frequent symptoms, it is important to ask your Dentist to check the alignment of your teeth.  The sooner the misalignment is diagnosed and corrected, the less damage will be done to the Tempromandibular Joint.

How is TMD corrected?

There are some dentists who recommend a full mouth reconstruction for those with the finances and time.  This involves placing crowns and new filings on nearly all the teeth.  For those who do not want to reduce or disturb perfectly good teeth, the BEST OPTION is Neuromuscular Therapy in conjunction with an Oral Appliance.

The Best Treatment

At your first appointment, Dr. Duke will use soft Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) stimulation and gentle massage to find the most relaxed position for your jaw to be in. Once the correct muscle alignment is found, an impression is taken for the oral appliance, also known as an Oral Orthodic Appliance.

Your second appointment will consist of TENS  and the fitting of the new oral appliance. This appliance will correct TMJ disorder by providing the correct bite which will result in relaxed muscles and a decrese in symptoms.

For the first several weeks you will be instructed to return to the office for occasional adjustments and TENS. This will aid your jaw muscles to slowly adjust and relax into the new position the appliance is creating.

Generally our patients feel an immediate relief from pain and TMD symptoms. The realignment of the bite restores the teeth, jaw, joints, muscles, and nerves to their optimal position and the pain disappears! Our goal is to provide you with life-long relief without prescribing invasive oral surgery.

We have had perfect success with each patient we have treated for TMJ/TMD. Dr Duke successfully treats TMJ disorder with non-surgical correction and neuromuscular therapy. We are offer FREE CONSULTATIONS for all who are interested in being uniquely evaluated by Dr. Duke. If you would like to learn more about our office, please check out our website. Call our Salt Lake City Dental Office for a FREE CONSULTATION @ 801-355-2202. We look forward to meeting you and providing you with pain-free dentistry!

Benefits of Invisalign Vs. Traditional Braces

Posted in Cosmetic, Dental, Invisalign, Teeth Whitening with tags , , , , , , , on July 15, 2010 by dukeslc

Almost everyone has had or seen the Traditional metal braces used widely by Orthodontists.  Most people remember the horrible grade school nicknames like “metal-mouth” or “brace-face.”  An adult with metal braces can receive odd looks or teasing comments as well.  With today’s technology the dental community has welcomed Invisalign braces with open arms.  Their almost complete invisibility has allowed teenagers to wear braces without the humiliating psychological and social effects.  As well as provided adults the ability to wear braces in many social, business, and professional settings.  The following are some simple pros and cons of Traditional braces versus Invisalign braces.

Oral Hygiene and Tooth Decay

Traditional braces are placed directly on the tooth and can have various attachments such as metal bars, small elastics, springs, and bands.  These various pieces of traditional braces may catch or hold food and make flossing extremely difficult.  Food caught in braces can also cause the patient to have bad breath and can require special cleaning tools that may add to the cost of the braces.  People may also be limited to WHAT they can eat.  Most are advised to avoid such things as corn on the cob or biting an apple to prevent a metal bracket coming off or bending the metal wire.

If the braces are not thoroughly cleaned on a daily basis, patients can experience decalcification and/or tooth decay.  This is often a problem with patients due to the fact that both cause discoloration of tooth enamel and may require tooth whitening or dental fillings.  These can be bothersome if they are on the front teeth and can range from mild to severe depending on the oral hygiene of the patient.

Invisalign aligners are removable and allow for normal eating, brushing, and flossing while in treatment.  In our practice, we have seen a marked decrease in the amount of dental decay due to this simple feature.  It is required that the aligners are worn for at least 20 hours per day, allowing 4 hours for regular eating and cleaning without the retainers.  The aligners are not made to be worn while eating and thus will not cause a patient to avoid eating any type of food.


Traditional braces can be painful due to the sharp or pointy edges of the brackets or wires.  Bracket wax is often recommended to avoid sores or cuts on the inside of the cheeks or lips.  These can decrease over time as the patient’s tissues “toughen up” or become accustomed to the metal braces.

Invisalign aligners have smooth, comfortable edges and do not cause tissue irritation in nearly all patients. Invisalign aligners also don’t require any extra materials or time when wearing them.

Length of Treatment

Traditional Braces treatment varies based on the severity of the case.  Patients with severe crowding, rotated teeth, or teeth that cannot erupt into the mouth due to lack of space will have a much longer treatment time compared to those with minor to moderate crowding.  Typical length of time is an average of 2 years.

Invisalign braces are slightly different.  The length of treatment is based on the number of trays the patient will need to wear in order to achieve the straight smile they desire.  Each tray is worn for 2 weeks and then replaced with the next set of trays worn for 2 weeks, and so forth.  Depending on the type of tooth crowding, Invisalign will decide how many trays it will take to move the teeth, via computer technology.  Simple cases are typically 4 to 6 months in length.  Severe cases of crowding can extend up to 12 months or more.  Average length of time is typically 10 to 12 months for Invisalign treatment.

Other Benefits of Invisalign

Invisalign provides the dental office a computer simulation of the patient’s alignment that the patient is able to view, approve of, or change based on the desired final results.  The visual progression of the treatment allows patients to see the before and after of their treatment, as well as educates the patient of the entire process.  The ability to view the final result also increases the motivation of the patient to properly follow instructions and wear the aligners as recommended.

Invisalign aligners can also be used as whitening trays during treatment.  This provides all our patient’s the ability to synchronize the whitening and straightening of their teeth for a perfect smile at the end of treatment.  The cosmetic benefits Invisalign aligners offer are astounding!

Invisalign aligners can be used as a retainer at the end of treatment.  The last aligner is used to perfect the treatment and is recommended to be kept and used as a retainer once treatment is completed.  The clear aligner is much more user-friendly than the traditional retainer with a metal wire across the front of the teeth.

We are proud to offer Invisalign to all our patients and welcome new patients interested to schedule a FREE Invisalign Consultation.  We offer various financing options based on each patient’s treatment and custom limitations.  Please call our Salt Lake City Invisalign Office at 801-355-2202 and check out our website to learn more about our office and excellent staff. We look forward to meeting you!