Preventing Dental Decay

Posted in Dental with tags , , , , , , on August 16, 2010 by dukeslc

In this day and age there are many  food and drink products that are increasingly harmful to our oral health.  Studies have shown that Soda and Energy Drinks are incredibly harmful to our teeth and can increase the amount of tooth decay if consumed on a regular basis.  It may seem simple, but there are a few basics to preventing tooth decay that many people forget to do on a daily basis.

Brush your teeth at least TWICE daily. 

Everyone has grown up with constant reminders to brush your teeth, once in the morning and once before bedtime, yet our lives can be so busy that we fall into bed without remembering that little toothbrush!  There are many different toothbrushes available today. The traditional toothbrush has had many improvements in bristles and shapes that allow for easier access to the hard-to-clean spots. The newer battery-operated toothbrushes can be very effective in cleaning if they are used correctly.  For those who need a refresher course on tooth brushing, this is a great video from Colgate that shows the correct tooth brushing techniques.  http://www.colgateprofessional.ca/patienteducation/How-to-Brush/video

Floss your teeth at least ONCE daily. 

We remind our patients that flossing prevents tooth decay and gum disease.  Gum disease can lead to serious health problems if allowed to exist without a proper dental cleaning and treatment.  Throughout the day of eating and drinking, small pieces of food or bacteria can clamp onto your teeth. While tooth brushes clean the sides of the teeth that are visible, flossing is a necessary tool to pulling and scraping that bacteria and food off of the interproximal, or non-visible, surfaces of the teeth. The interproximal surfaces of the teeth are the MOST COMMON surfaces to have decay, simply due to the fact that they are the hardest part of the tooth to keep completely clean.

6 Month Dental Cleaning and Exam

So many people have a hard time finding or making time to go to the dentist for an hour every 6 months, but it is one of the best ways to prevent tooth decay. The hygienist has special tools and cleaning materials that allow for her to fully clean your teeth. Bacteria, plaque, or calculus can build up in between teeth or along the gumline over 6 months. These buildups must be removed to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. A regular cleaning and exam can also catch a very small cavity before it becomes large, painful, or causes your tooth nerve to become infected. These small cavities are typically going to be less costly in comparison to the larger cavities, especially if the decay enters your tooth’s nerve.

With all the new food and beverage products in today’s market, it is even more important to take care of your oral health. Simple home care and 6 month dental cleanings are the best and easiest ways to prevent dental decay or other oral health problems.  Call our Salt Lake City Dental Office today to schedule a cleaning and exam at 801-355-2202, or check out our website for more information. We look forward to hearing from you and love helping all our patients maintain perfect oral health.

Periodontal Disease in Children

Posted in Dental, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 10, 2010 by dukeslc

Many people think of periodontal disease as an adult problem. However, studies indicate that nearly all children and adolescents have gingivitis, the first stage of periodontal disease. Advanced forms of periodontal disease are more rare in children than adults, but can occur.

Types of periodontal diseases in children

Chronic gingivitis is common in children. It usually causes gum tissue to swell, turn red and bleed easily. Gingivitis is both preventable and treatable with a regular routine of brushing, flossing and professional dental care. However, left untreated, it can eventually advance to more serious forms of periodontal disease.

Aggressive periodontitis can affect young people who are otherwise healthy. Localized aggressive periodontitis is found in teenagers and young adults and mainly affects the first molars and incisors. It is characterized by the severe loss of alveolar bone, and ironically, patients generally form very little dental plaque or calculus.

Generalized aggressive periodontitis may begin around puberty and involve the entire mouth. It is marked by inflammation of the gums and heavy accumulations of plaque and calculus. Eventually it can cause the teeth to become loose.

Periodontitis associated with systemic disease occurs in children and adolescents as it does in adults. Conditions that make children more susceptible to periodontal disease include:

For example, in a survey of 263 Type I diabetics, 11 to 18 years of age, 10 percent had overt periodontitis.

Periodontal Disease Runs in the Family

Periodontal disease may be passed from parents to children and between couples. Researchers suggest that the bacteria which causes periodontal disease may be passed from one person to another though saliva. This means that the common contact of saliva in families puts children and couples at risk for contracting the periodontal disease of another family member.

Genetics may also play a major role in the onset and severity of periodontal disease. Researchers found that Up to 30% of the population may be genetically susceptible to developing severe periodontal disease. Therefore, if one family member has periodontal disease, it is a good idea for all family members to see a dental professional for a periodontal disease screening.

Adolescence and oral care

Evidence shows that periodontal disease may increase during adolescence due to lack of motivation to practice oral hygiene. Children who maintain good oral health habits up until the teen years are more likely to continue brushing and flossing than children who were not taught proper oral care.

Hormonal changes related to puberty can put teens at greater risk for getting periodontal disease. During puberty, an increased level of sex hormones, such as progesterone and possibly estrogen, cause increased blood circulation to the gums. This may cause an increase in the gum’s sensitivity and lead to a greater reaction to any irritation, including food particles and plaque. During this time, the gums may become swollen, turn red and feel tender.

As a teen progresses through puberty, the tendency for the gums to swell in response to irritants will lessen. However, during puberty, it is very important to follow a good at-home oral hygiene regimen, including regular brushing and flossing, and regular dental care. In some cases, a dental professional may recommend periodontal therapy to help prevent damage to the tissues and bone surrounding the teeth.

Advice for parents

Early diagnosis is important for successful treatment of periodontal diseases. Therefore, it is important that children receive a periodontal examination as part of their routine dental visits. Be aware that if your child has an advanced form of periodontal disease, this may be an early sign of systemic disease. A general medical evaluation should be considered for children who exhibit severe periodontitis, especially if it appears resistant to therapy.

Many medications can dry out the mouth or pose other threats to oral health. Be sure to tell your dental professional about any medications your family members are taking.

Monitor your family to see if anyone has the habit of teeth grinding. Grinding can increase the risk of developing periodontal disease, in addition to causing cracked or chipped teeth. Dentists can make custom-fitted night bite guards to prevent teeth grinding at night.

Researchers suggest periodontal disease can pass through saliva. This means that the common contact of saliva in families may put children and couples at risk for contracting the periodontal disease of another family member. If one family member has periodontal disease, all family members should see a dental professional for a periodontal evaluation.

The most important preventive step against periodontal disease is to establish good oral health habits with your child. There are basic preventive steps to help your child maintain good oral health:

  • Establish good oral health habits early. When your child is 12 months old, you can begin using toothpaste when brushing his or her teeth. However, only use a pea-sized portion on the brush and press it into the bristles so your child won’t eat it. And, when the gaps between your child’s teeth close, it’s important to start flossing.
  • Serve as a good role model by practicing good oral health care habits yourself.
  • Schedule regular dental visits for family checkups, periodontal evaluations and cleanings.
  • Check your child’s mouth for the signs of periodontal disease, including bleeding gums, swollen and bright red gums, gums that are receding away from the teeth and bad breath.

If your child currently has poor oral health habits, work with your child to change these now. It’s much easier to modify these habits in a child than in an adult. Since your child models behavior after you, it follows that you should serve as a positive role model in your oral hygiene habits. A healthy smile, good breath and strong teeth all contribute to a young person’s sense of personal appearance, as well as confidence and self-esteem. Make sure to bring your child in for their regular 6 month cleaning and exam, where periodontal disease can be prevented and caught early. Call our Salt Lake City Dental Office to make an appointment or check out our website for more information.

Tooth Whitening

Posted in Cosmetic, Dental, Teeth Whitening with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2010 by dukeslc
 
survey by the ADA, Crest, and Oral B tells us that a person’s smile is the most appealing feature over eyes, hair, and body. You may recall a similar survey by the AACD  that showed a great smile makes a person seem more intelligent and attractive. So it’s not news, its true. 
 
The easiest way to enhance your smile is to whiten your teeth. This simple procedure can take years of staining off teeth and can immediately increase the youthfulness of many patients!
Here is an article about tooth whitening from the ADA.  It might answer some questions you have about whitening.

What should you ask your dentist?

You may want to start by speaking with your dentist. He or she can tell you whether whitening procedures would be effective for you. Whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellow-ish hued teeth will probably bleach well, brownish-colored teeth may bleach less well, and grayish-hued teeth may not bleach well at all. Likewise, bleaching may not enhance your smile if you have had bonding or tooth-colored fillings placed in your front teeth. The whitener will not effect the color of these materials, and they will stand out in your newly whitened smile. In these cases, you may want to investigate other options, like porcelain veneers or dental bonding.
 
What is in-office whitening?
 
If you are a candidate for bleaching, your dentist may suggest a procedure that can be done in his or her office. This procedure is called chairside bleaching and may require more than one office visit. Each visit may take from 30 minutes to one hour.
During chairside bleaching, the dentist will apply either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect the oral soft tissues. A bleaching agent is then applied to the teeth, and a special light may be used to enhance the action of the agent. Lasers have been used during tooth whitening procedures to enhance the action of the whitening agent.
What are at-home whitening and products?

There are several types of products available for use at home, which can either be dispensed by your dentist or purchased over-the-counter.

Bleaching solutions. These products contain peroxide(s), which actually bleach the tooth enamel. These products typically rely on percent carbamide peroxide as the bleaching agent, carbamide peroxide comes in several different concentrations (10%, 16%, 22%).

Peroxide-containing whiteners typically come in a gel and are placed in a mouthguard. Usage regimens vary. Some products are used for about twice a day for 2 weeks, and others are intended for overnight use for 1-2 weeks. If you obtain the bleaching solution from your dentist, he or she can make a custom-fitted mouthguard for you that will fit your teeth precisely. Currently, only dentist-dispensed home-use 10% carbamide peroxide tray-applied gels carry the ADA Seal.

You also may want to speak with your dentist should any side effects become bothersome. For example, teeth can become sensitive during the period when you are using the bleaching solution. In many cases, this sensitivity is temporary and should lessen once the treatment is finished. Some people also experience soft tissue irritation—either from a tray that doesn’t fit properly or from solution that may come in contact with the tissues. If you have concerns about such side effects, you should discuss them with your dentist.

Toothpastes. All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives. “Whitening” toothpastes in the ADA Seal of Acceptance program have special chemical or polishing agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches, these ADA Accepted products do not alter the intrinsic color of teeth.

This month ONLY we are offering $49 tooth whitening kits that include whitening gel and custom bleach trays. Check out our website or call our Salt Lake City Dental office today for an appointment! 801-355-2202

Smile Designs for Porcelain Veneers

Posted in Cosmetic, Dental, Smile Designs, Uncategorized, Veneers with tags , , , on August 7, 2010 by dukeslc

When we talk about “smile design”, what are we talking about.  There are many aspects of a smile beside teeth.   There are so many variables as to what creates a beautiful smile.  What is beautiful to one person, may not be to another; which is a good thing, or we would all look alike.  For instance, in parts of Africa and South America, it is considered beautiful to file the front teeth into points.  So the “cosmetic dentist” of the tribe, or witch doctor, help to file the teeth using knives, files, and rocks to chip and shape the teeth. 

Of course we don’t resort to those measures, but there is some reshaping done to achieve the looks that we desire.  Using “smile guides” we can choose over 30,000 different ways that a cosmetic dentist can create a new smile.  One of the most popular guides is one developed by Dr. William Dickerson, the founder of the prestigious Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies.  I have had the privilage of studing there for the past seven years under his tutelage.  I have designed thousands of smiles using veneers and porcelain crowns to acheive the look we wanted.  Each smile style is a combination of the teeth shapes for the front six teeth.  For example, the four front teeth (incisors) could be either square at the corners, square at one corner and rounded at the other, or rounded at both corners. Similarly, the cuspids or eye teeth (third tooth back) could be pointed, rounded or flat. Combining these different shapes each produces a uniquely different smile style. Please note, this smile library below is only to choose the basic shape of the front six teeth, and in no way reflect the color, length, surface texture or translucency that the porcelain veneers or crowns will have. Those other things are addressed in other aspects of smile design and choosing the best combination for your “sensational new smile”.

Dickerson catalog

For most females, the “Enhanced” smile style is one of our most popular designs. Note that the second teeth from the center are a little shorter than the front teeth. This is a youthful effect we call “the gull wing” that really looks nice on females. The “Hollywood” style above is a little more “toothy” and works well for males and especially those wanting to show off a little more teeth. The “Oval” style might look best on someone with a very round face. Notice how very round the edges of the four front teeth are? The “Aggressive” style has tooth edges that are flat almost straight across. We use it mostly for men and it simulates someone who might be a bit older and have a habit of grinding his teeth. The “Youthful” style simulates the shape of unworn teeth that might be seen in a 14 year old. Although many adults like this name because they think it might give them the illusion of being significantly younger, we almost always utilize this design in much younger individuals. The “Mature” style has squarish edges on the four front teeth and is another design that we frequently use for men. The “Softened” style is a very popular design that we use for those wanting their smile to help make them appear a little younger than their years. It is my preference to use smile designs that have the cuspids (also called canines, the third teeth back on each side) that are slightly round, not flat (too old looking) or pointed (too aggressive looking). It is important that both the patient and cosmetic dentist actively discuss the different smile styles at the beginning of the smile makeover process. Using our technique called “the trial smile” we’re able to make provisional veneers or crowns so that our patient can “test drive” their new smile prior to making any final decision regarding the smile design for their final porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns.

Call our Salt Lake City Dental Office today for a free consultation or check out our website for more information.

Dental Veneers: The Procedure

Posted in Cosmetic, Dental, Uncategorized, Veneers with tags , , , , , , , on August 5, 2010 by dukeslc

Actual Patient, Porcelain Veneers

1st Step: Dr. David Duke offers FREE Consultations to everyone interested in dental veneers. Every patient must have an exam and discuss their cosmetic preferences with the Dentist. The oral health of the patient and any malocclusion (crowding and incorrect bite) must be addressed before veneers will be recommended. An impression is taken of the upper and lower teeth and the lab will fabricate a wax model of the future veneers. The patient will be able to choose the style of veneer desired from our photo examples. 

How many Dental Veneers do I need?

Many patients are interested in placing a veneer on one or two teeth to improve their appearance. While this can be done, we highly recommend placing veneers on each tooth seen when you smile. Some people have smaller mouths and may only have 4 or 6 teeth visible when smiling or talking. Others may have a “Julia Roberts” smile and need 6 to 10 veneers made. We use the best labs in Salt Lake City, Utah and we make our veneers as natural looking as the patient desires.

2nd Step: The patient will return to review and revise the wax model of the veneers.  This is absolutely necessary to review with the patient because it provides a physical, visual example of the final result.  Wax-ups, as they are called, provide the patient with a chance to review and change any part of the veneer that they don’t like. The size, shape, length, texture, or color will all be considered and the patient will be able to make educated decisions for their permanent veneers. 

3rd Step: Once the look of the veneers is chosen, the patient will return for the veneer preparation visit. The Dentist will slightly reduce the chosen teeth and take the final impression for the lab. Temporary veneers are made in the office to replicate the permanent veneers. The patient will wear these for a few days while the lab creates the permanent veneers.

Note: Some patients may require Laser Gum Recontouring.  When preparing for veneers, the gumline can be moved or re-shaped to prevent a “gummy smile” and the veneers will be made to sit perfectly along the gumline. We use a very gentle laser that promotes quick healing and little to no discomfort.

Actual Patient, Porcelain Veneers

4th Step: The temporary veneers are gently removed, the tooth is cleaned from any cement, and the Permanent Veneers are placed on the teeth with permanent cement. Any slight or small adjustments will be made by the dentist to ensure correct bite and esthetics of the teeth.

We welcome you to visit our office, meet our Dentist and Team members, and enjoy freshly baked cookies. Our FREE Consultations allow patients to discuss all treatment options with the Dentist and help us understand your unique desires. Feel free to check out our website for before and after photos and more information. At your convenience, call our Salt Lake City Dental Office at 801-355-2202 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to meeting you!

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!