Posts for: March, 2013
Dental Filling Options
When it comes to having a cavity filled, it’s important to know that you have options as to what kind of filling you can have. It is a good idea to have a consultation with your dentist, as to what treatments and materials are used for your dental care. Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler considers materials to use on an individualized basis, taking into account the size and location of your cavity. Cosmetic considerations, how long the filling could last, insurance coverage and out of pocket costs are some other factors you might want to consider. We encourage you to talk with your Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler, so that together you may choose the material that’s right for you. Everyone is different and what is right for one person, may not be right for another.
Here are some common dental filling options:
- Composite resins, or tooth-colored fillings, are a mixture of glass or quartz filler that provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small- to mid-size fillings that need to withstand moderate pressure from chewing. They can be used on either front or back teeth.
- Dental amalgam, sometimes described as "silver-colored" fillings, is made from a combination of metals that include mercury, silver, tin, and copper. Dental amalgam has been used for generations by dentists. Amalgam is very durable and more affordable than tooth-colored or gold fillings; however tooth-colored materials are more natural looking.
- Gold fillings, also called inlays or onlays, are composed of an alloy of gold, copper and other metals. Gold has been used in dentistry for more than 1,000 years due to its durability; however, gold is more costly than amalgam and not natural looking like tooth-colored fillings.
It's no surprise that plenty of teenagers go in for an orthodontic evaluation and come out wearing braces. But sometimes, an observant orthodontist may notice that an adult's smile could use a little bit of improvement, too. Even an adult like — Tom Cruise?
That's exactly what happened to the star of Top Gun, Rain Man and the Mission Impossible franchise. Cruise, then 39, was taking one of his children for orthodontic work when it was pointed out that the leading man's teeth were also out of alignment. So he opted for braces too.
“Yes, Tom Cruise has braces,” said his publicist when the star appeared, sporting his new orthodontic appliances. “To him, it's no big deal.” Cruise chose to get the relatively inconspicuous ceramic type, with only a thin wire visible in front of his teeth. He wore them for about a year and a half, having them temporarily removed when it was time to make a movie.
Ceramic braces are a popular choice among adult orthodontic patients, many of whom find that less noticeable orthodontic appliances fit in better with their personal or professional lifestyle. Clear aligners also provide a virtually invisible option. We can help you decide which appliance would best meet your needs. But the first step is a thorough evaluation of your periodontal health.
Is it Risky Business to get braces as an older adult? Not usually — but if you do show signs of periodontal disease, which is more prevalent in adults than teens, it's important to bring it under control before beginning your orthodontic treatment. There are also a few medical conditions, such as heart-valve disease, severe uncontrolled diabetes, and leukemia, which might preclude treatment.
For most people, however, orthodontics offers a great way to improve your appearance and boost your self-confidence — even if you're not a movie star. It is estimated that three-quarters of adults have some form of orthodontic problem; and studies have shown that orthodontic treatment can enhance an adult's career opportunities and social life.
So, if you're looking for a better smile at any age, don't hesitate to contact us or schedule an appointment to discuss your treatment options. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Orthodontics For The Older Adult.”
Is Your Diet Helping, or Hurting Your Oral Health?
We are often told that it is important to maintain a healthy diet in order to keep our bodies healthy as well. Many of us often undergo weight loss programs, which include both exercise and dieting, but did you know that your diet could also reflect the health of your teeth and gums? Your body is like a complex machine, and the foods that you choose to fuel your body, and how often, can affect your general health and that of your teeth and gums.
The foods that you choose to eat come into contact with the germs and bacteria in your mouth. If you do not brush your teeth, plaque, which thrives on the starches and sugars found in many of the foods you might consume, will accumulate on your teeth. Additionally, when plaque combines with the sugars and starches, an acid is produced that attacks the enamel on your teeth, eventually causing decay.
Choose a Healthy Diet
It may seem like an easy task to choose a healthy diet, but fruits, milk, cereals, bread and some vegetables contain sugars and starches that can harm your teeth. It is also important to limit the consumption of carbonated sodas, sweet fruit drinks and sugary snack foods. You may not need to avoid these foods, but you will need to keep in mind that a well-balanced diet is important, as well as brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily.
Here are some healthy tips to consider when altering your diet:
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat a variety of healthy foods from the five major food groups
- Limit snacking between meals
- Brush twice a day
- Floss daily
- Visit your dentist in Lansing, MI regularly
For a healthy mouth, enlist the following healthy foods into your diet:
- Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables
- Cheese, milk, plain yogurt, and other dairy products
- Sugarless chewing gum
- Lean red meat
- Chicken and fish
Food to Watch Out For
Foods that cling to your teeth promote tooth decay. So when you reach for a snack be sure to avoid soft, sweet, sticky foods such as cakes, candy and dried fruits. Instead of these snacks, choose dentally healthy foods such as nuts, raw vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese and sugarless gum or candy.
If you consume the following list of foods, do so in moderation, and be sure to practice good oral health care:
- Carbohydrates – bacteria feed on leftover foods in the mouth, which can produce acid.
- Sticky, chewy foods – raisins, granola bars, jelly beans, caramel, honey, and syrup stick to teeth and make it difficult for saliva to wash the sugar away.
- Sugary snacks – cookies, cakes, or other desserts contain a high amount of sugar, which can lead to tooth decay.
- Gum and candy – chewing gum and eating candy is very harmful to your teeth, as the sugar can coat your teeth.
- Carbonated soft drinks – soda contains an extremely high amount of sugar, which wears away the enamel on your teeth.
- Fruit or vegetable juices – these drinks tend to be high in sugar, which can damage tooth enamel.
In addition to eating healthy foods and avoiding snacks and drinks that are high in sugar, it is important to maintain a proper dental regime. Talk to Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler and her team for more information on what to eat for a tooth friendly diet, and how to maintain a good oral health care regimen.
As patients become more mobile, so does Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler, Lansing, MI dentist.
Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler, is committed to providing her patients with quality dental care by utilizing the latest techniques and most modern technology available. To improve patients’ ability to communicate and reach the office, Dr. Scott-Hetchler has recently launched her new mobile website.
The new mobile site for Dr. Scott-Hetchler, features all of the great tools that are currently available on the practice’s website, but are built for use on the small dimension’s of a patient’s smartphone or tablet device. Patients can quickly and easily navigate through Dr. Scott-Hetchler’s site to access click-to-call, door-to-door directions, the practice’s Facebook page and appointment requesting.
“The number of people using mobile devices to access the web from virtually any location and at any time is only going to expand,” said Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler, “Our practice wanted to cater to this growing demographic of mobile-savvy patients by making our practice available to them know matter where they go.”
Dr. Scott-Hetchler, an experienced, encourages her patients to take advantage of the available mobile website for all of their dental health care needs. While many patients are constantly on-the-go, Dr. Scott-Hetchler hopes that her new mobile website will help her patients remain up-to-date with important dental information.
This full-service practice offers a full range of dental services for the entire family, including teeth whitening, dentures and veneers, among others. The office is equipped with the latest digital x-ray, digital imaging and specialized computer programs to aid Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler and her team with treatment planning for optimal outcomes. By providing the most state-of-the-art care, Dr. Scott-Hetchler can offer patients maximum efficiency and performance so that appointments are comfortable and as short as possible.