Lansing's Dental Discussion

Posts for: October, 2015

By Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS
October 21, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dentures  
UsePartialDenturesWiselytoProtectYourFutureOralHealth

Dentures, removable restorations for missing teeth and gum tissue, can take a number of different forms, but are usually of two different types: complete and partial. A complete denture replaces all the teeth in a given arch. A removable partial denture (RPD), on the other hand, replaces several missing teeth while using the remaining teeth as support.

A common type of RPD formed of plastic is known as a “flipper” because it’s lightweight enough to be “flipped out” or moved around with the tongue. They serve an important purpose as a temporary appliance for use between periodontal treatment, implant placement and similar treatments before obtaining a more permanent restoration. In fact, they’re often referred to as “transitional” RPDs because they’re not designed for permanent tooth replacement.

Because of their low cost relative to other restorations, however, they often become the permanent choice for many people. While a well-constructed, properly fitting RPD in a healthy mouth can be an affordable alternative for people on modest budgets, their long-term use may increase the risk of dental disease and accelerated bone loss. Decades of research verify that people who permanently wear RPDs encounter more tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease than non-wearers.

This is because the attachment points of a plastic RPD to remaining teeth increases bacterial growth, which can cause both tooth decay and gum disease. This doesn’t only endanger the survival of the remaining teeth, it can lead to bone loss that will affect the RPD’s fit.

While the better course is to consider RPDs as a stepping stone to dental implants or a fixed bridge, there’s an intermediary RPD constructed of cast vitallium or gold alloy that could be considered a permanent choice. These are even lighter weight than plastic and less obtrusive in their attachments in the mouth, which can reduce plaque stagnation and promote a better oral environment.

Regardless of your choice in dentures, it’s always important to maintain good consistent oral hygiene with daily brushing and flossing and semi-annual professional cleanings and checkups. Keeping a healthy mouth will help reduce your risk of dental disease and increase your satisfaction with your denture of choice.

If you would like more information on RPDs and other denture restorations, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Removable Partial Dentures.”


By Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS
October 06, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers  

You too can improve your smile’s appearance quickly with dental veneers.

If you’ve been looking to get a brighter, straighter smile without the minor imperfections then look no further than your Lansing dentist Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler.

What dental problems do you need to hide to finally get that perfect smile? If you are currently dealing with any of these issues then Veneersdental veneers might be able to help:

  • Cracks and chips
  • Stains and discolorations
  • Minor crookedness and overcrowding
  • Spaces between teeth
  • Misshapen teeth

Dental veneers are a great way to change the color, length or overall shape of your smile without requiring invasive or painful procedures. Getting dental veneers is as simple as these three main steps:

Step #1: We won’t know if veneers are right for your smile until you come into our office for a consultation. There your dentist in Lansing, MI can take a look at your smile and also talk to you about your dental goals. Through this exam we can determine if dental veneers will give you the smile you want.

Step #2: Once you’ve been deemed an ideal candidate for treatment, the next step is to take impressions of your teeth, from which your veneers will be custom-made. Once impressions are taken we will also prep your teeth. Another advantage of getting dental veneers is that it only requires minimal tooth preparation. Before you can get your veneers we will need to shave down some enamel from your teeth to make room for the veneers. But don’t worry; this preparation doesn’t hurt!

Step #3: Once your veneers have been made (which takes anywhere from one to two weeks), you will come back in for a fitting. We will temporarily apply the veneers to make sure you are satisfied with you new look before applying dental resin between your veneers and your teeth. We will then harden the resin with a laser to secure the veneers to your teeth. Once this has happened you will be able to leave our Lansing dental office with a brand new smile.

Want to find out if dental veneers are right for you? Then schedule a consultation with your Lansing, MI dentist and get one step closer to that smile you want.


By Holly Scott-Hetchler DDS
October 06, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
JasonDerulosIdealMatch

When the multi-platinum recording artist, songwriter and TV personality Jason Derulo was recently asked about his ideal woman, his answer covered a remarkably broad spectrum. "There’s no specific thing," he said, "so I think it’s unfair to say what my ‘type’ is." But it turns out that there is one thing the So You Think You Can Dance judge considers essential: A beautiful smile.

"I’m not into messy teeth," Derulo said. "If the grill has spaces and different colors, it’s not my vibe."

As it turns out, he may be on to something: A number of surveys have indicated that a bright, healthy smile is often the first thing people notice when meeting someone new. Yet many are reluctant to open up that big grin because they aren’t satisfied with the way their teeth look. If you’re one of them, consider this: Modern cosmetic dentistry offers a variety of ways to improve your smile — and it may be easier and more affordable than you think.

For example, if your smile isn’t as bright as you would like it to be, teeth whitening is an effective and economical way to lighten it up. If you opt for in-office treatments, you can expect a lightening effect of up to 10 shades in a single one-hour treatment! Or, you can achieve the same effect in a week or two with a take-home kit we can custom-make for you. Either way, you’ll be safe and comfortable being treated under the supervision of a dental professional — and the results can be expected to last for up to two years, or perhaps more.

If your teeth have minor spacing irregularities, small chips or cracks, it may be possible to repair them in a single office visit via cosmetic bonding. In this process, a liquid composite resin is applied to the teeth and cured (hardened) with a special light. This high-tech material, which comes in colors to match your teeth, can be built up in layers and shaped with dental instruments to create a pleasing, natural effect.

If your smile needs more than just a touch-up, dental veneers may be the answer. These wafer-thin coverings, placed right on top of your natural teeth, can be made in a variety of shapes and colors — from a natural pearly luster to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Custom-made veneers typically involve the removal of a few millimeters of tooth enamel, making them a permanent — and irreversible — treatment. However, by making teeth look more even, closing up spaces and providing dazzling whiteness, veneers just might give you the smile you’ve always wanted.

If you would like more information about cosmetic dental treatments, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cosmetic Dentistry — A Time for Change.”




Contact Us

Please do not submit any Protected Health Information (PHI).

Our Location

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