23Oct

The recent concern over the presence of mercury in foods and other products may have you wondering about your older amalgam fillings. Today I’ll discuss why more and more dentists are moving away from this material to mercury-free dentistry.

What’s the Latest Word on Mercury Fillings?

Patients today are more concerned than ever with what goes into their bodies. The presence of mercury in certain foods has prompted some concern, and the Santa Monica mercury free dentist commonly answers questions about the safety of amalgam fillings that contain about 50 percent mercury.

Although the FDA has deemed amalgam fillings to be safe for use in dental fillings, many patients still have concerns about the use of this material in their own fillings and especially the safety of amalgam fillings for their children.

Do Dentists Still Use Amalgam?

Many dentists today choose not to use amalgam fillings, not because of safety concerns but because of esthetics. Silver fillings create a dark spot in your smile, and over time they can take on a bluish hue that makes the tooth look dark. The Santa Monica mercury free dentist uses only fillings made of tooth-colored composite resin because they are strong and durable and an excellent esthetic choice for teeth that are visible when you smile.

Is it Safe to Remove Mercury Fillings?

While it’s not necessary to remove amalgam fillings for safety, many patients would like to get rid of the noticeable dark spot, and we are equipped to do that safely. Procedure rooms are specifically designed to allow for the safe removal and replacement of old amalgam fillings, including air filtering systems that safely vent out any trace of mercury vapors. Your safety is our top priority; we follow strict protocols, are highly trained, and have many years of experience in replacing mercury with healthier, non-toxic materials.

Please Call for More Information

Please call our office to arrange an appointment if you would like more information about mercury-free dentistry.

15Oct

If you have gaps in your teeth that you’d like to close, braces are probably the first solution that comes to mind. However, dental bonding is a viable though lesser known option. This post from Carol E. Follette DDS in Santa Monica discusses what dental bonding is and the advantages it offers.

What Is Dental Bonding?

In a dental bonding procedure, a tooth-colored resin material (similar to robust plastic) is applied to the “spaced” teeth and then hardened with a special light. During the hardening process, the resin material bonds to the teeth, with the result being an improved or restored smile.

There are several situations in which dental bonding is a viable option. From a cosmetic dental bonding perspective, this procedure works not just to improve and restore a patient’s smile but also to enhance the appearance of discolored teeth, alter the shape of the teeth, and make teeth appear longer. Dental bonding is also employed as a cosmetic alternative to traditional dental fillings.

Dental bonding is also effective for various preventive measures, like repairing chipped or cracked teeth, or to repair decayed teeth. Moreover, dental bonding is an option when a patient needs to protect part of a tooth’s root exposed due to gum recession.

Procedure

One of dental bonding’s many upsides is that it’s a simple, fast, cost-effective procedure. Unless the bonding is to protect an exposed root or alleviate a decayed tooth, anesthesia is usually unnecessary. The first step involves the dentist using a shade guide to find the ideal resin color to match the patient’s teeth color. When a color match is made, the tooth’s surface is roughened and a conditioning liquid is applied to facilitate a strong bond between tooth and bonding material. The tooth-colored resin is then applied and smoothed until it fits the desired shape, and a laser is employed to harden the resin material. Post-hardening, the dentist trims, shapes, and polishes the bond so that it blends seamlessly with the surrounding teeth.

The entire process takes only 30 - 60 minutes per tooth.

Caring For Bonded Teeth

Another upside to dental bonding is that bonded teeth have no special care requirements. A standard practice of brushing, flossing, and mouthwash is all that’s needed, just like a person would do with non-bonded teeth.

Since bonded teeth can chip, there are some things that patients should avoid: chewing on pens, eating hard food and candy, or using the teeth to open something.

Dental Bonding - Advantages

We’ve covered a few of dental bonding’s advantages, but there are many more. One of the biggest is dental bonding’s affordability, with a total cost that’s lower than other options such as braces. Dental bonds are also low-maintenance compared to braces, which require periodic tightening and often frustrate patients with their penchant for trapping food particles. Dental bonding is also a quick procedure, with complete results delivered in one appointment of three hours or less.

Dental bonding is also comfortable and non-invasive, and it offers superior durability: cared for properly, dental bonds can last years.

Schedule an Appointment

If you’re interested in learning more about dental bonding, contact our dental office in Santa Monica and schedule an appointment. Our decades of experience make us the perfect choice for all facets of tooth care and improvement.

 

09Oct

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a serious problem because it can progress to advanced stages with few or no obvious symptoms. Without treatment by the Santa Monica laser periodontal dentist, it can impact your oral health as well as your overall general health.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that almost 50 percent of adults over 30 have some level of periodontal disease. Emerging studies show a direct connection between periodontal disease and serious general health problems.

Comfortable Laser Dentistry Treats Gum Disease

When periodontal disease reaches the advanced stages of infection (periodontitis) it can begin to loosen gum tissue which can lead to deterioration of the jaw if not treated. Non-invasive laser dentistry removes infected dental material quickly and with very little discomfort.

If you had periodontal disease in the past, your dentist may have performed gum surgery to eliminate the infection. Traditional gum surgery can be painful, and many patients put off treatment due to a negative experience with gum surgery in the past.

Fortunately, the Santa Monica laser periodontal dentist offers laser treatment, a comfortable alternative to cut-and-stitch surgery. Benefits of this state-of-the-art procedure are:

  • No need to cut into tender gum tissue
  • Minimal bleeding during or after procedure
  • Dramatically reduced recovery time

Treatment with dental lasers results in minimal bleeding, requiring virtually no recovery time. You will be able to go on with your day as usual immediately following treatment.

Health Benefits of Laser Periodontal Treatment

Laser dentistry provides other benefits as well:

  • Since laser periodontal treatment does not require invasive cutting, there is minimal bleeding and no need for stitches.
  • In most cases, anesthesia and needles are unnecessary during laser treatment since there is little or no discomfort involved.
  • Laser dentistry destroys harmful bacteria and promotes healthy tissue regeneration.

Treatment for periodontal disease also helps protect your overall health. A strong connection has been established between the presence of periodontal disease and other chronic conditions such as heart disease, respiratory disease, pregnancy complications, and diabetes.

If you suspect you have periodontal disease, please contact our office. Catching gum disease early is the best way to prevent it from becoming serious and threatening your health.