Lansing's Dental Discussion
By Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS
September 15, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Life becomes much harder after you've lost most or all of your teeth. Luckily, dentures restore your smile and your ability to eat easily. Our denturesLansing, MI, dentist, Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler, shares a few denture benefits you'll want to think about when you consider tooth restoration options.

Dentures give you back your smile

It's quite a shock to lose a significant amount of teeth. In fact, you may not even recognize your own reflection at first after your teeth have been extracted. Like it or not, society places a high value on the appearance of your teeth. When you replace your lost teeth with dentures, you just might find it's easier to navigate social and business situations. More importantly, dentures help you feel good about the way you look again. Although your grandparents' dentures may have looked very artificial, today's dentures are designed to look completely natural. Most people won't even know that you're wearing dentures unless you tell them.

Dentures help keep you healthy

Eating is a challenge when you don't have teeth. Although you can certainly swallow soft foods, eating a soft diet isn't always particularly appetizing or nutritious. Healthy diets rely on a mixture of whole grains, legumes, lean meats, fruits and vegetables. When you don't receive needed vitamins and nutrients from foods, your health may begin to suffer. Dentures restore your ability to eat the foods you need to stay healthy. You may not be able to eat very hard foods with dentures, but you'll find that dentures allow you to eat nearly anything you want.

Dentures help you communicate

When your teeth are gone, it's hard to pronounce words clearly. Holding conversations with other people can become very frustrating as you struggle to make yourself understood. Unfortunately, your speech problem can be more than just an inconvenience. Dentures restore your ability to speak clearly.

Restore your smile with dentures. Call our Lansing, MI, dentist, Dr. Scott-Hetchler, at (517) 487-6333 to schedule an appointment.

By Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS
July 24, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Even the brightest smile can become duller over time due to food and beverage stains. Teeth whitening removes the stains that make you teeth whiteningreluctant to smile and offers long-term results. Our Lansing, MI, dentist, Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler, explains how whitening can revitalize your smile.

What type of stains does teeth whitening treat?

Teeth whitening is very effective for removing stains that develop in your enamel, the outer layer of your teeth. Stains in tooth enamel can occur due to:

  • Smoking: Years of exposure to cigarette smoke can turn a white wall yellow. The same thing happens to your teeth if you smoke.
  • Eating: Foods that contain dark pigments, including berries, cherries, soy sauce and tomato sauce, stain teeth.
  • Drinking: Your morning cup of coffee may be the reason that your teeth have become discolored. Coffee, tea, cola, red wine and sports drinks are common staining culprits.
  • Aging: Tooth enamel tends to get thinner as we age. Unfortunately, when enamel thins, it exposes dentin, a darker layer of your teeth.

How does the teeth whitening process work?

Hydrogen gel, the agent used to remove stains, can lighten your teeth by three to eight shades. Before your teeth are whitened in our Lansing office, we'll clean and examine them. An examination is particularly important because it may reveal a dental problem that could cause discoloration. If we do find a problem, it must be treated before your teeth are whitened.

Your comfort is a priority in our office. A protective gel will be applied to your roots to prevent sensitivity. Your cheeks and lips will be pulled away from your teeth with retractors to ensure that the hydrogen peroxide doesn't come in contact with the sensitive tissues. Once the hydrogen peroxide gel is applied, it will remain on your teeth for about an hour.

You can also choose at-home whitening. We'll provide you with trays custom-made to fit your upper and lower teeth. You'll apply whitening gel to the trays several times a week for a few weeks. At-home whitening trays also offer a convenient way to occasionally touch up your results.

Regardless of the whitening method you choose, your teeth can stay whiter for several years or more, as long as you avoid or limit foods or beverages that can stain teeth.

Ready to schedule your teeth whitening appointment? Call our Lansing, MI, dentist, Dr. Scott-Hetchler, at (517) 487-6333 to arrange your visit.

By Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS
June 02, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry   veneers  

Find out if these porcelain cosmetic restorations could give you the smile you’ve always dreamed of.veneers

Do you only notice dental flaws when you smile in the mirror? Does your smile make you feel embarrassed? Do you find yourself offering others a close-lipped smile rather than flashing your smile for all to see? If so, it might be time to talk to our Lansing, MI, dentist Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler about whether dental veneers could help give you your dream smile.

Dental veneers are thin restorations made from translucent porcelain that is each custom-made to cover the front of a tooth to achieve a whiter smile with a more even and uniformed shape. Veneers are pretty incredible restorations because they can completely revamp your smile without the need for invasive dentistry or even anesthesia, in most cases. Not having to deal with needles or drills can be a major pro for patients who want to alter their smile but find themselves a bit nervous about undergoing a dental procedure.

Who is a good candidate for porcelain veneers?

Any healthy individual who is looking to make minor-to-moderate improvements to the color, shape or length of their smile can often do so by getting porcelain veneers in Lansing, MI. These customized restorations are a great way to hide any of the following:

  • Worn, uneven teeth
  • Cracked or chipped teeth
  • Misalignments and uneven spacing between teeth
  • Discolorations and stains
  • Malformed or poorly shaped teeth

When veneers are fused to the front of your teeth they can completely change the way your smile looks. Plus, very little tooth preparation is required prior to getting these restorations. While some enamel will need to be removed from the front of your teeth, this is a painless and simple process. In as little as three visits you could walk out of our office sporting a brand new smile that you won’t believe is yours.

If dental veneers sound like the treatment you’ve been looking for, then don’t wait any longer to get the smile you know you deserve. Call our Lansing, MI, dental office today to find out if you are the perfect candidate for this treatment.

By Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS
March 28, 2017
Category: Oral Health

What your family dentist in Lansing, Michigan wants you to knowpediatric dentistry

If you have a child, it’s never too early to start teaching good oral hygiene habits. When you stress the importance of brushing and flossing, it can help to ensure your child has a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles. Dr. Holly A. Scott-Hetchler in Lansing, MI wants to help ensure the dental health of your child.

The goal of good oral hygiene is to prevent tooth decay and gum problems by removing dental plaque thoroughly and frequently. Plaque contains millions of harmful bacteria, which produce acids and toxins. Acids are formed when bacteria comes in contact with sugars in the foods your child eats. These acids can cause tooth decay. Toxins are a natural by-product of the bacteria. The toxins can cause inflammation, bleeding and gum disease.

Fortunately, good oral hygiene habits are easy. You can teach your child by following these simple steps:

  • Place a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on a soft-bristled toothbrush and tell your child not to swallow the toothpaste. Both of you face a mirror, with you standing behind your child. Have your child observe you using a gentle circular motion to clean each tooth and along the gumline. Make sure your child demonstrates the correct technique back to you.
    • Hint: sonic or electric toothbrushes are helpful and easy for your child to master. Toothbrushes in kid-friendly designs make it more fun for your child to brush.
  • When your child is about four years old, you can demonstrate flossing. Have your child observe you flossing your teeth and then have your child demonstrate the technique back to you. Your child should be able to floss independently by the age of eight.
    • Hint: it’s often easier to begin with floss picks in kid-friendly shapes to make flossing easier and more fun for your child.

Children are never too young to experience tooth decay. In fact, your child is at risk as soon as the first tooth erupts. That’s why it’s so important to start early teaching your child good oral hygiene habits. For more information on dentistry for children, call Dr. Holly A. Scott-Hetchler in Lansing, MI. Call today!

By Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS
January 30, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

Charcoal toothpaste is being touted as the latest tooth whitening alternative, but does it really make a difference? Dr. Holly Scott-oral healthHetchler, your Lansing, MI, dentist, answers a few questions about the effectiveness and safety of the toothpaste.

What is activated charcoal?

Activated charcoal may look like the stuff you use for backyard barbecues, but it's not quite the same. It's created when wood, peat, coal or petroleum charcoal is heated at high temperatures to prevent toxins from being absorbed by your body. Activated charcoal toothpaste is available in health food stores and online. Some people prefer to skip the paste and just sprinkle a little activated charcoal powder on their toothbrushes.

Why are people using charcoal toothpaste to brush their teeth?

Activated charcoal offers a natural way to whiten teeth. Stains are removed when the charcoal binds with surface stains on your teeth caused by plaque, coffee, tea and other foods and beverages. If discolorations aren't caused by surface stains, the powder or toothpaste will have no effect.

Is activated charcoal safe and effective?

Charcoal toothpaste can improve the appearance of your teeth somewhat because of its ability to remove surface stains, but the improvement in your smile may come at a price. The charcoal may irritate your teeth and gums, plus there are also concerns that it might erode your enamel. Once the enamel is worn down, your teeth will actually look yellower because the underlying dentin layer has been exposed. Reduce your risk of enamel erosion by using the toothpaste no more than once per week.

Because activated charcoal hasn't undergone testing by the American Dental Association yet, we don't have any information about possible long-term effects. If you want a whiter smile but don't want to risk damaging your teeth, professional teeth whitening is a better option. Your Lansing dentist uses strong, yet safe, whitening agents that produce impressive results without harming your enamel. In fact, most people experience a three to eight shade difference after whitening. Professional whitening can be done at your dentist's office, or you can use custom-made whitening trays at home if you prefer.

Your dentist can help you decide if charcoal toothpaste or other whitening options are the better choice for you. Call Dr. Scott-Hetchler, your Lansing, MI, dentist, at (517) 487-6333 to schedule your appointment.

By Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS
December 02, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

You have choices when it comes to how to improve your smile. Decide which dental treatment is right for you.

You’ve been doing a lot of research online about cosmetic dentistry but all the information just seems to get jumbled up in your brain cosmetic dentistrysomewhere. It can feel rather daunting trying to figure out what treatment or treatments could finally give you the smile you want. This is about the time you should call our Lansing, MI cosmetic dentist, Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler, who is an expert in giving you the smile you’ve always wanted.

Dental Bonding

Not all cosmetic dentistry has to be invasive or time-consuming. In fact, our Lansing dentist can cover over discolorations, chips, cracks, gaps between teeth and other minor issues with the same tooth-colored resin used to fill a cavity. However, we don’t need to use anesthesia or drills for this non-invasive treatment. We just apply the moldable resin over the flawed areas, shape it and then harden it with a laser. It’s that simple!

Tooth Contouring

Tooth reshaping and contouring often goes hand-in-hand with bonding. By filing off some enamel from your teeth we can buff out small chips, cracks or uneven areas of your smile. Contouring can be a great option for someone who hates their extremely pointy canines and wants to even them out. Contouring won’t be able to tackle more extreme issues, but can be a great and painless way to improve the shape of a tooth or several teeth.

Teeth Whitening

Are you tired of yellowing, stained teeth? Then opt for the faster way to whiten your smile. In one hour or less we can get your smile up to 10 shades whiter in just one session. Teeth that are stained due to smoking, foods, drinks or aging respond best to this amazing whitening system.

Porcelain Veneers

If the imperfections you are dealing with can’t be addressed with bonding or contouring then veneers will be your lifesaving cosmetic treatment. These wafer-thin porcelain shells are bonded to the front of your teeth to improve the shape, color and size of your smile. This is a great option for those who are dealing with uneven and misshapen teeth, as well as those who are dealing with minor crookedness but don’t want to get braces.

Cosmetic dentistry can truly be an amazing gift to your smile. Imagine a smile that’s straighter, whiter and more even. If this is something you’ve been dreaming of for a long time, then it’s time to call our Lansing, MI dental office to make this dream a reality.

By Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS
October 05, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Dentures can truly give you something to smile about whether you have one or many missing teeth. If filling in your gaps is on the top of dental implantsyour priority list, dentures could be just what you need. However, understanding the types of dentures available from your Lansing, MI dentist plays an important role in determining which style is best for you. Learn more about dentures with Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler.

The Benefits of Dentures 
Dentures fill in your smile, boost your confidence, and allow you to chew the foods you love. Before dentures, you may have found chewing or eating difficult. This, in turn, can cause digestive problems from food being improperly broken down by the teeth, thus improperly broken down by the stomach. Additionally, this problem with eating could cause you to eat only soft foods like applesauce or yogurt, which do not contain all of the nutrients required for a healthy diet.

Types of Dentures Available in Lansing, MI

  • Full Dentures: Full dentures replace an entire arch of teeth. If you are missing all of your teeth, a set of full dentures replaces both the top and bottom arch.
  • Partial Dentures: Patients who have some healthy teeth left behind may find partial dentures the most beneficial. The design of the denture leaves openings for these healthy teeth to slide through, holding the denture in place and giving the teeth the stimulation they require to remain healthy.
  • Immediate Dentures: If a patient has remaining teeth that are not healthy, they may require extraction before wearing their denture. Patients wear an immediate denture directly after their extraction.
  • Implant-Supported Dentures: Implant-supported dentures use dental implants to anchor the denture permanently in place. While your dentist can remove the denture to adjust it, it remains in your mouth at all times, held in place by the implants.

If you think dentures could benefit you, your dentist can help fill in your smile for good. For more information on dentures or which type is best for you, please contact Dr. Scott-Hetchler in Lansing, MI. Call (517) 487-6333 to schedule your appointment for a denture consultation today!

By Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS
July 21, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral cancer  

Be on the lookout for these early telltale signs that you may have oral cancer.

While not often talked about as much as other types of cancers, oral cancer can be life threatening because it is often discovered much oral cancertoo late. One way to detect oral cancer as soon as possible is to keep up with those six-month dental appointments with our Lansing dentist Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then it’s time you made your way to our office for a checkup.

What are the signs and symptoms of oral cancer?

Oral cancer can develop anywhere in the mouth including the lips, tongue, pharynx, larynx or sinuses. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms for more than two weeks then you need to call our Lansing, MI general dentist right away:

  • Swelling or lumps in or around your mouth
  • Red or white lesions on your lips or in your mouth
  • Pain or soreness in your mouth or tongue
  • The feeling of a lump in your throat
  • Difficulties chewing, speaking or swallowing
  • A chronic sore throat
  • Numbness in the tongue or throat

What can cause oral cancer?

There are certain lifestyle habits such as tobacco consumption or heavy alcohol use that can increase your risk of developing oral cancer. It’s also more common for people over the age of 40 to develop oral cancer.

Sun exposure can also cause cancer to develop on the lips, so it’s important to wear sunscreen everyday (remember to apply it about 15 to 20 minutes before going out in the sun). Also, there has been an increase in oral cancer incidences due to human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually-transmitted disease.

What should I expect from an oral cancer screening?

The screening our Lansing family dentist performs is fast and painless, and can be done at your next routine checkup. During this evaluation, we will visually inspect your lips, face, tongue, throat, and mouth for any of the above signs of oral cancer. If we find a suspicious lesion or growth we will recommend getting a biopsy.

Early detection is key to protecting your oral health. By coming into our Lansing dental office every six months for routine exams you could just save your own life. If it’s time for your next appointment, contact Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler today.

By Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS
May 25, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental bonding  

Your Lansing dentist, Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler, places a high priority on complete oral health for the whole family. She is also passionate dental bondingabout cosmetic dentistry, desiring the best possible smile aesthetics for young and old alike.

One of the many cosmetic dental treatments Dr. Scott-Hetchler offers is composite resin bonding. Using a combination of acrylic and glass, composite resin bonding repairs dental defects, artistically fills in small smile gaps and smooths mildly overcrowded teeth. Durable and wonderfully color-matched, this innovative material strengthens teeth and gives them a really nice, natural look--without the defects.

Here's How Bonding Works

Let's say you have a small chip off a front tooth. The tooth is perfectly healthy, but you're embarrassed about the defect when you smile or laugh. So, you tend to cover your mouth. This is the exact kind of situation your Lansing cosmetic dentist and her caring team wish to avoid. In just one short visit to her office, Dr. Scott-Hetchler repairs that chip quickly, painlessly and within anyone's budget.

First, the dentist smooths the surface of the chip and lightly etches it with a special priming liquid. Next, she uses the putty-like composite resin to fill-in the chip. She sculpts it to form a seamless repair and then uses a special hardening light to cure it. After some minor polishing and bite adjustment, the bonding treatment is complete.

Other Applications

Frequently,composite resin bonding is part of a total smile makeover, used in conjunction with porcelain veneers, teeth whitening and porcelain crowns. Composite resin bonding works well to hold periodontal splints affixed to the lingual side of teeth with compromised alignment due to bone loss related to gum disease.

Caring for a Bonding Repair

The American Dental Association says that teeth refurbished with composite resin require no special care. Just brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss daily as usual to remove plaque. Also, get 6-month examinations and hygienic cleanings with your Lansing dentist.

Bonded teeth are very durable. However, don't expect them to withstand biting pencil tops, ice cubes, fingernails or peanut brittle. Treat them with respect just as you do the rest of your teeth. With good care, a bonded tooth keeps its good looks for 10 years and beyond.

Find out More

Are you interested in some simple cosmetic dental work? Find out how your smile can improve with cosmetic bonding. Call the offices of Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler for a personal consultation: (517) 487-6333.

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