Lansing's Dental Discussion

Posts for: July, 2013


Rock star Steven Tyler fell and broke his two front teeth while on tour with his band Aerosmith not long ago. But Tyler was back on stage the very next day, thanks to modern dental implant technology.

Dental implants are the most optimal tooth replacement system in use today. The reason we say “system” is because replacing teeth with implants involves two, or sometimes three, components: the implant itself, which replaces the root-part of the tooth; the dental crown that sits on top of it to replace the part of the tooth that's visible in the mouth; and a connecting piece placed in between the implant and crown, known as an abutment.

The implant itself, made of titanium, is placed directly into the jawbone with a minor surgical procedure. Titanium has the unique ability to fuse to bone, creating a very strong connection. An implant provides virtually the same function as a natural tooth root, including stabilizing the bone underneath and preventing its loss — something that naturally occurs when a tooth is lost.

This fusion process takes a period of weeks, which is why the implant needs time to heal before a permanent crown is attached. One reason for early implant failure is “loading” them with biting forces too soon. But in experienced hands, implants are extremely successful. Documented research and clinical studies indicate success rates of over 95% — which is higher than any other tooth replacement option. Once integrated and functional, implants can last a lifetime. That's why, though they are a bit more expensive initially than other tooth-replacement options, they are more cost-effective in the long term.

Of course, another advantage of implants is that they look and feel completely natural. Just ask Steven Tyler!

If you would like more information about dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants.” Dear Doctor also has more on “The Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth.”

By The Office of Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler
July 24, 2013
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: NASCAR  

This is a great article about The American Dental Assosciation and Nascar teaming up!


NASCAR’s Greg Biffle races to victory with Give Kids A Smile paint scheme

Education at Michigan International Speedway reaches 6,000


Brooklyn, Mich.—Greg Biffle's victory at Michigan International Speedway on Father's Day June 16 capped off a great weekend for the Give Kids A Smile/NASCAR oral health education campaign.

For this race, Greg's No. 16 3M Ford Fusion sported the GKAS logo, and he lauded the program from victory lane.

"It is a pretty special day for us all together," said the NASCAR star and GKAS ambassador. "We were able to make a lot of kids smile with our Give Kids A Smile car today.  It was Emma's first Victory Lane on Father's Day, so that was even more special. This program is great in that it helps teach parents and kids about good dental care for children, and provides education, screenings and treatment for thousands of kids in need each year. It's an honor to be part of Give Kids A Smile and to take them to Victory Lane."


Father’s Day victory: NASCAR’s Greg Biffle and his daughter show off their smiles before the start of the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 16. Mr. Biffle won the race in his No. 16 3M car that featured a Give Kids A Smile paint scheme.


"It was a great day for the Give Kids A Smile program," said Dr. Robert Faiella, ADA president. "You can see the enthusiasm that Greg Biffle has for this program and the way he shares that message with fans of all ages is incredibly powerful. The partnership with Greg and with NASCAR helps shine the spotlight on the need for dental care among our underserved children. And the children we connect with through NASCAR learn lifelong smart oral health habits that will truly impact their lives."

Dr. Faiella joined representatives from the ADA, the Michigan Dental Association, 3M and Henry Schein June 19 to see the GKAS booth in action. About 6,000 fans heard the Ad Council oral health message to brush for two minutes two times a day ( and received ARM & HAMMER Spinbrushes, donated by Church & Dwight.

On June 15, 30 children from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Lenawee County, Mich., spent the day at the track. Not only did they hear a presentation from Greg Biffle and GKAS co-founder, Dr. Jeff Dalin, they received oral health education and goody bags with education materials, floss, toothpaste, Trident sugar free gum, a die-cast model of Greg's No. 16 3M car with the GKAS logo and an ARM & HAMMER Spinbrush.


Smiles: Dr. Robert Faiella, ADA president, left, and Dr. Jeff Dalin, Give Kids A Smile cofounder, right, present NASCAR’s Greg Biffle with the dinosaur teaching tool used at the GKAS/NASCAR dental education booth during race weekend at Michigan International Speedway.
Mr. Biffle and GKAS NASCAR sponsors—the ADA Foundation, Henry Schein Cares, CareCredit and 3M ESPE Dental—are reaching out to race fans during 11 NASCAR race weekends nationwide this season, offering fun family activities and oral health education at the 3M display in the track midways. They expect to reach more than 600,000 people with oral health messages during this season.


"Greg's victory not only brought national attention to his incredible driving skills and the No. 16 3M Give Kids A Smile Ford Fusion car, but also to the critical importance of good oral health and hygiene," said Michele Penrose, director of Professional Relations for Henry Schein Dental, the exclusive professional products sponsor for the ADA Give Kids A Smile Day program. "All of us at Henry Schein were proud to watch Greg drive home this important message."

John Stefanick, director of Industry Relations for 3M ESPE, hailed the event as a great success.


Education day: NASCAR’s Greg Biffle meets with kids from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Lenawee County, Mich., during a GKAS/NASCAR dental education event June 15 at Michigan International Speedway. The kids received oral health education and goody bags with education materials, floss, toothpaste, Trident gum, a die-cast model of Greg’s No. 16 3M car with the GKAS logo and an ARM & HAMMER Spinbrush, donated by Church & Dwight. GKAS/NASCAR sponsors include the ADA and ADA Foundation, Henry Schein Cares and 3M ESPE Dental.
"The collaboration between the ADA, Henry Schein Cares, the Michigan Dental Association and 3M ESPE was quite evident during the Michigan NASCAR weekend," he said, "as all of us came together to man the GKAS booth to educate thousands of race fans with Greg Biffle's endorsement of the Ad Council's message of brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes. Greg's support for the GKAS program has grown stronger as our NASCAR program has expanded to 11 tracks this year and we were pleased to be a part of his celebration in Victory Lane where he spoke of his No. 16 GKAS car and of the many kids that participated in the weekend activities."


The next GKAS/NASCAR event will rev up Aug. 23-24 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn.

In addition to following Greg's accomplishments on the track, race fans of all ages can put themselves in victory lane with him. Visit to create a photo with Greg Biffle on pit road or with the race-winning trophy in Victory Lane.   

By Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS
July 15, 2013
Category: Dental Procedures

If your teeth are stained and discolored, misshapen or too small, porcelain veneers may be just the opportunity to treat yourself to a beautiful smile that can last for decades. They may be used to restore a single tooth that is broken or stained, or many teeth that are worn or discolored. If you have small teeth with gaps between them, veneers can close the spaces.

Porcelain laminate veneers are thin layers of dental restorative material that are bonded onto your teeth. With porcelain laminate veneers you can change a tooth's shape, size, and color. They require a minimal amount of tooth preparation (reduction of enamel on the original tooth) and are a great way to help you have a beautiful smile now and for decades to come.

They can last from seven to twenty years or more. Part of what determines their exact longevity is the health of your mouth. Gum tissues may deteriorate and the gum line may shrink back away from the roots of your teeth. So brushing, flossing, and other good dental habits are important in maintaining your investment in your smile.

Veneers don't require special treatment, and you can eat nearly anything with them. Keep in mind one precaution, however. Porcelain, like glass, can break with too much stress. This means that biting something that applies a strong twisting movement to your teeth may cause the veneers to shatter. If you grind your teeth at night you may need to wear a night guard to protect your veneers. It doesn't happen often, but if a veneer detaches it can usually be rebonded to the tooth.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to discuss your questions about porcelain veneers and see if they are right for you to enhance or change your smile. You can also learn more about veneers by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Porcelain Veneers: How long will your porcelain veneers last?

Jaw Pain - TMJ Pain - Headaches: Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler in Lansing Can Help

For those who have a poorly aligned bite or missing teeth, health related problems such as frequent headaches or sleep disorders can become more pronounced because their jaw muscles are working harder to bring the teeth together, straining the surrounding jaw muscles, leading to TMJ disorder.  If you are experiencing any of this, you may be suffering from  a TMJ disorder, a painful condition that is often mistaken for other conditions that cause recurring headaches. 


Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)

The temporomandibular joints are the points at which the lower jaw attaches to the skull, and are among the most complex joints in the human anatomy.  If your jaw clicks or pops, this could be a sign of a TMJ disorder.  Joint sound is one of the most recognized signs of a TMJ disorders.  TMJ disorder symptoms include:

  • Clicking and/or difficulty when opening and closing your mouth
  • Frequent headaches
  • Neck and/or shoulder pain
  • Sensitive teeth when no dental problems can be found
  • Jaw pain or stiff jaw when chewing, biting, eating or yawning
  • Earaches without an infection

Between five and ten percent of Americans suffer from TMJ symptoms that require some form of treatment. 


Stressors May be Causing you Pain

Do you have too many things on your “to-do” list and not enough time to do it?  Are you worried about up coming events this year?  It is important to take a deep breath and stay calm when performing stressful tasks.  According to the Academy of General Dentistry, when a situation causes stress, many people grind or clench their teeth, which can eventually lead to temporomandibular joint disorder.

Overloading the tiny muscles in your jaw can cause a TMJ disorder.  When you experience many stressful situations, you may exhibit symptoms such as tightened jaw muscles without realizing it.  Over short periods of time, this habit is not detrimental, but long periods of time will prove to be problematic.  Prolonged grinding or clenching of your teeth while stressed can cause soreness of the jaw, as well as partial or full locking of the jaw. It can also cause cracks in your teeth.  In addition you may exhibit clicking in the jaw area, earaches that are not caused by infections and pain surrounding your temples. 

If your discomfort is more intense when you wake up in the morning, you may be clenching or grinding your teeth while you are sleeping.  This is very common.  At the end of the day, if your jaw hurts you may also be clenching your teeth at work, which is often caused by stress. 

If you are noticing pain, pay attention to where it is located, keep your teeth apart by placing your tongue between your teeth, stretch your jaw by gently opening and closing, and call Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler to ensure that there is no serious problem if your pain continues for several days. 


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Holly A. Scott-Hetchler DDS, PC 919 Chester RdLansing, MI 48912