22Oct

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

At Carol E. Folette, DDS in Santa Monica, we’ve introduced hundreds of patients to the wonders of dental bonding. It’s a safe, budget-friendly way to improve your smile and send your self-confidence through the roof.

What Is Dental Bonding?

The crux of dental bonding is composite resin - a moldable substance whose color can be customized to that of your teeth. After an examination of your mouth to identify the extent of your bonding needs, the dentist will refine the resin’s color and then mold it into the exact shape required to fit your teeth.

 

For patients, dental bonding brings several important benefits - some cosmetic and some not. These benefits include:

Gap Closure

Celebrities like David Letterman and Lauren Hutton are well-known for their gap-tooth smiles, but whether to address or ignore gap teeth is down to personal preference. For people who prefer “seamless” teeth, dental bonding is an excellent solution. The composite resin can be used to fill the gap, and depending on the width of the space, possibly even close it.

 

For patients with a very wide gap, or who have multiple gaps to address, a better course of action is probably dental veneers, which more effectively cover larger areas. But if you don’t fall into this category, than dental bonding is definitely worth pursuing.

Crack Care & Prevention

Anyone who has ever cracked a tooth can attest to the anxiety that comes with worrying that the crack will grow bigger and contribute to tooth discoloration. What’s needed is an effective solution for fortification, and that’s where dental bonding comes in. Not only can a dental bond reinforce your tooth and stop an existing crack from lengthening, it will also lessen the chances of future cracks developing, thus minimizing the odds of your smile becoming discolored by what are called “craze lines”.

Chip Repair

Aside from cavities, chips are the most common tooth defects, with causes ranging from hard-food consumption and accidents, to aging. A chipped tooth is liable to cause discoloration, weaken the tooth’s structure, and create an “uneven” appearance in your smile. Here again, dental bonding is an effective recourse for resolving discoloration and preventing further chipping and damage. Also, any uneven aspect to your grin is eliminated, restoring your smile to its natural splendor.

Health Benefits

Along with its proven cosmetic advantages, dental bonding is also an effective deterrent to dental health concerns like cavities and exposed roots. Specific to cavities, composite resin (dental bonding’s key component) is a viable alternative to traditional silver fillings. The resin looks more natural, doesn’t possess any health risks, and is more durable than silver/amalgam. Regarding exposed roots, which are typically caused by receding gums, dental bonding is effective at covering the roots and mitigating the sensitivity associated with the exposure. And of course, the ability to color-match is also a big upside.

Choose Dental Bonding and Let Your Smile Shine

Ready to let your smile shine? Dental bonding is an excellent choice for addressing issues like chips, cracks, and gaps, and restoring your smile’s natural appeal. Contact Carol E. Folette, DDS today and learn more about this popular procedure.

08Oct

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 the procedure
  • Little to no recovery time
  • Faster healing

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.