Lansing's Dental Discussion

Posts for: May, 2015

By Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS
May 23, 2015
Category: Oral Health
GiancarloStantonGetsMajor-LeagueMouthProtection

For major-league slugger Giancarlo Stanton, 2014 was a record-breaking year. After the baseball season ended, he signed a 13-year, $325 million contract with the Miami Marlins — the biggest deal in sports history. But earlier that same year, Stanton suffered one of the worst accidents in baseball: He was hit in the face by an 88-mph fastball, sustaining multiple fractures, lacerations, and extensive dental damage.

After the accident, Stanton didn’t play for the remainder of the season. But now he’s back in Spring Training… and he’s got a not-so-secret weapon to help protect him against another injury: A custom-made face guard designed to absorb impacts and keep him from suffering further trauma.

As sports fans, we’re glad that Stanton was able to overcome his injury and get back in the game. As dentists, we’d like to remind you that you don’t have to be a major-league player to feel the harmful effects of a sports injury — and you don’t have to look far to find a way to protect yourself. In fact, you can get a custom-made mouthguard right here at the dental office.

Mouthguards have a long tradition in sports like football, boxing, and hockey. But did you know that far more Americans are injured every year playing “non-collision” sports like basketball, baseball — and even bicycling? And it doesn’t take a major-league fastball to cause a dental injury: The highest incidence of sports-related dental injuries occurs in 15-to-18-year-old males. In fact, about one-third of all dental injuries among children stem from various types of sports activities. These injuries may result in countless hours being lost from school and work, and cost significant sums for treatment and restoration.

Mouthguards have a proven track record in reducing dental and facial injuries: They are capable of absorbing the energy of a blow to the mouth, and dissipating it in a way that prevents damage to facial structures and teeth. But not all mouthguards are created equal: Custom-fabricated mouthguards, which are produced from an exact model of your mouth made right here in the dental office, offer by far the best protection. They fit better and safeguard the teeth more fully than any off-the-shelf or “boil-and-bite” type can. Plus, they’re more comfortable to wear. And let’s face it: No mouth guard can protect your teeth if you don’t wear it.

What’s more, some recent studies indicate that custom-made mouthguards may offer significant protection against concussion. An increasing awareness of the dangers that concussion may pose to athletes is one more reason why we recommend custom-made mouthguards to active people and their families.

To get his face guard, Giancarlo Stanton reportedly went to a specialist sporting-goods manufacturer in Illinois, and paid around $1,000. But you can get a custom-made mouthguard for yourself or your loved ones right at our office for a fraction of that price. And the peace of mind it can give you is… priceless.

If you have questions about custom-made mouthguards, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “An Introduction to Sports Injuries & Dentistry” and “Athletic Mouthguards.”


By Office of Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS, PC
May 15, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: teeth whitening  

Teeth Whitening Find out more about what getting teeth whitening in Lansing can do for your self-esteem.

Want to feel better and more confident in your smile? It’s never too late to consider getting teeth whitening in Lansing. Find out what our in-office whitening session entails.

What should I expect when I get teeth whitening in Lansing?

Whitening sessions are simple, safe and effective for getting a whiter smile. When you come in for your treatment we will use a separator to keep lips and sensitive tissue away from the bleaching gel. Then we will apply a layer of whitening gel to the aesthetic zone of your smile (the teeth that are visible) and direct an activating laser at your teeth to activate the gel. After 15 minutes, we will remove the gel, reapply a fresh layer and reactivate it. One whitening session usually performs two or three different applications.

How white will my smile get with teeth whitening?

After your whitening session, we will pull out a shade chart to find out how much whitening has improved your smile. Some patients can get their smile up to 10 shades whiter with just one whitening treatment in Lansing. A lot will depend on the severity of your dental stains.

Is teeth whitening safe?

While some people may have concerns about the safety of using bleach on their teeth, there is no documented research that proves that this is unsafe or even damaging to tooth enamel. Especially since in-office teeth whitening is performed by your Lansing dentist, we know how to properly and effective us our highly concentrated gel to get the brighter results you want without worrying about the health of your smile.

Should I get teeth whitening in Lansing if I have sensitive teeth?

Many people with sensitive teeth are concerned that whitening treatment will only make things worse; however, not only can we monitor your sensitivity during your treatment but we can also tailor your whitening session so that you get the look you want without having to deal with the uncomfortable effects that whitening can sometimes have on sensitive teeth.

To find out just how much teeth whitening could improve your smile in Lansing, it’s time to talk to Dr. Holly today. Call our office today and start your journey to a brighter smile.


By Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS
May 08, 2015
Category: Oral Health
TreatingKidsSports-RelatedDentalInjuries

They work hard, and put in lots of time on the field and at home. They learn the rules of the game — as well as the unwritten rules of sportsmanship and teamwork. They receive the proper training, and wear appropriate protective equipment. But sometimes, in spite of everything, kids who participate in sports can be subject to injury. Fortunately, in today's dentistry there are a variety of treatments, as well as preventive measures, which can help.

When faced with serious dental injury, time is of the essence in saving teeth. So, don't delay — come in to see us immediately! If treated promptly, it's possible for teeth which have been dislodged — or even knocked out of the mouth — to be put back in position and stabilized. Afterwards, follow-up treatment will ensure that the tooth has the best chance of recovery.

The treatment of kids' dental injuries is sometimes different than that of adults. For example, in adults, a root canal would generally be necessary, followed by a tooth restoration (crown). But some kids may not need this treatment, since their teeth are still developing. Also, replacing a missing primary (baby) tooth may not be recommended, since it may hinder development of the permanent teeth. Based on his or her individual circumstances, we can develop an appropriate treatment plan for your child.

Luckily, the most common dental injuries aren't nearly as serious — they typically involve chipped or cracked teeth. Most can be repaired by reattaching the broken piece, or using a tooth-colored restoration. If a large part of the structure of a permanent tooth is missing, a crown or “cap” may be placed on the visible part, above the gum line. Smaller chips, even in primary teeth, can be successfully repaired by cosmetic bonding with composite resin materials.

Finally, if your child is involved in athletic activities — or if you are — consider obtaining a custom-made mouthguard. Numerous studies have shown that this protective gear can help prevent many dental injuries. Unlike the off-the-shelf types found in some sporting-goods stores, the ones we provide are individually fabricated from an exact model of the teeth. They're strong, fit comfortably, and offer superior protection at a reasonable cost.

If you have questions about the treatment of sports-related dental injuries, or about mouthguards, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Trauma & Nerve Damage to Teeth” and “Mouthguards.”




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