The Amazing Bioactive Glass Filling

The Amazing Bioactive Glass Filling

It’s about that time of year when your kids are going to unload pillowcases full of candy. Even if you’re not tempted (kudos to you, you’re doing better than most of us), it probably reminds you of the sweet sticky memories of your own Halloween’s past. Maybe all that sugar led to a cavity of your own, or maybe you had a filling pulled out by a tootsie roll. Whatever the case may be, the fact of the matter is: candy can cause cavities.

Shocking I know, but cavity-havers can breathe a small sigh of relief. Scientists in London have developed new dental material for their fillings, Bioactive Glass. This new material not only blocks decay development, but it can repair any decay that may start to grow. Fillings made with bioactive glass have been proven to make fillings last not only as well as traditional materials, but also for a lot longer.

Eventually all fillings will fail. It’s the nature of things. Bioactive glass has been shown to slow secondary tooth decay and provide minerals that could replace those that have been lost. The antimicrobial effect of bioactive glass is proving to be great for the mouth’s ecosystem. The glass releases ions such as those that are from calcium and phosphate that usually have a toxic effect on oral bacteria, but actually are neutralizing the local acidic environment. The bioactive glass composites release fluoride as well as calcium and phosphate, the needed materials for tooth minerals. Compounds such as silicon oxide, phosphorus oxide, and calcium oxide are the compounds that land the glass its ‘bioactive’ surname. These oxides interact with the body, unlike polymer and other modern tooth fillings.

Even though technology keeps improving our mouths at an astonishing rate, good ol’ oral hygiene habits go a long way. So whoever’s eating the candy this month, (yeah, we know you are too) be sure your little ones are brushing all that gunk off of their teeth. Don’t forget to floss! If you notice a post trick-or-treat toothache, be sure you schedule an appointment with me so we can get you all taken care of.

A Nasal Spray to Numb Teeth?

A Nasal Spray to Numb Teeth?

Is there anything more uncomfortable than getting a shot in your gums? Even if the numbing relief soon follows, the thought alone is enough to set most people’s teeth on edge. Unfortunately, it’s been one of the necessary evils in dental work, that is, unless of course you have Superman’s pain tolerance. However, fret no more, because a new nasal spray anesthetic will take all that pain away without the need of invasive needles.

Kovanaze has been approved by the US Food and Drug administration as a ‘nasal spray anesthetic’ and will soon be available for clinical use. Basically dentists, like myself, can now spray the nose to numb the upper teeth. Since so many procedures require a numbing of the gumline to perform, Kovanaze will be easier to administrate and safe for almost everyone.

Since your sinuses are connected to your mouth, it only makes sense that an anesthetic could be administered nasally. By restricting the blood vessels around this cavity, it makes a successful solution and effective anesthetic. The pain that travels through these nerves can be centralized to reduce discomfort during dental procedures.

Nobody likes needles. My patients get nervous about needles and even most dentists get nervous about administering them. They’re uncomfortable and a little scary, especially when working with kids. We’re excited about this option in my office. Alleviating discomfort on any level is important to us and a nasal spray would certainly help take away a little of the anxiety that comes with most procedures.

Knowing there’s a safe, comfortable way to better treat my patients is always top priority in my book. Using top of the line products like this will ensure that my patients are happy and content sitting in my chair.

Guided Bone Regeneration

Guided Bone Regeneration

Guided bone regeneration surgery is a dental procedure that uses the barrier membranes in a patient’s mouth to help guide and direct the growth of new bone and tissue in areas with insufficient volumes. This procedure is mainly for prosthetic restoration in patients with dental implants although esthetic restoration is sometimes used as well.

Guided bone regeneration is applied in the oral cavity to support new hard tissue growth to allow stable placement of dental implants. A very reliable and successful procedure when using bone grafting with guided bone regeneration.

The use of barrier membranes to help direct bone regeneration is not a new practice and the theoretical practices date back to 1959. By excluding unwanted cells from lining healing sites, the growth of desired tissues is much easier. Positive clinical results of regeneration led to the focus on the potential for re-building alveolar bone defects using regeneration. The theory of regeneration was challenged in the use of dentistry for awhile, but is now seeing a resurgence in positive clinical trials as a safe and effective treatment.

With the use of dental implants becoming widespread and predictable for the restoration of missing teeth and other cases, it’s clear the regenerative technique is an important step which assists the process of bone regeneration. The clinical success of implant therapy was taken from the direct anchorage of the implant in the bone tissue without the interposition of fibrous tissue. Clinical trials have been positive in proving to promote bone growth.

Guided bone regeneration has been reported as a reliable and successful means for augmenting bone regrowth in the case of vertical and horizontal defects in particularly edentulous patients. The data pulled from these implants suggests that GBR should be considered a safe technique to obtain bone formation and placing dental implants, especially in cases in which it would be otherwise impossible.

As patients with dental implants increase, so has the demand of treatment protocols that take less time and require fewer surgeries. With GBR, the patient undergoes a surgical procedure once, placed with initial stability, so the tissues regrow back without any pockets or problems that will cause the implants to uproot from there. It is clear that the use of a regenerative technique with dental implant placement is an important step which assists the process of a bone regeneration. Isolating the bone defect from the surrounding connective tissues provides bone-forming cells with access to a secluded space intended for the regeneration to take place.

The evolution of surgical techniques, awareness of tissue without the interposition of fibrous tissue, and the considerable research conducted to promote bone growth have all led to positive, safe, results.

Based on the research, GBR is not only a safe and effective technique for obtaining bone formation, but also makes dental implants available in situations where it would not otherwise be possible.

How Microscopic Dentistry Improves Results

How Microscopic Dentistry Improves Results

Using a microscope in dental procedures is a guaranteed way to achieve better and more accurate results. Cosmetic, root canals, crown procedures and fillings all serve to be improved by microscopic precision. This technique provides me with a feeling of thoroughness and professional enjoyment.
Most dental offices that do microsurgical endodontics use loupes that magnify at about 2.5-3 times the magnification. Our office uses a microscope that can magnify up to 16 times. This is to ensure the maximum possible accuracy when working on our patients.
Loupes are used to scrutinize and examine a patient’s oral cavity. In order to make improved diagnosis’s or allow for a better visualization of details, we can use a microscope. Looking at these details is important to many procedures. For example, I may want to determine how far a crack runs along the surface of a tooth. What is the risk of the tooth fracturing or having that crack extend into the nerve, thus needing a root canal. With a microscope a diagnosis can be made with a higher level of definiteness and the proper treatment can be provided or determined that no treatment is necessary
Studies have demonstrated a much higher success rate in procedures that utilize surgical operating microscopes. Even with all the positive attention garnered around using these tools, it still isn’t considered standard practice among dentists. These microscopes have a steep learning curve and require extensive practice and training to master. Yet, for me the ability to see at this higher level makes the daily grind much more enjoyable.

Top 5 Free Dental Apps for Your Smartphone

Top 5 Free Dental Apps for Your Smartphone

There’s an app for everything these days and if you’re both an app-dict and a tooth enthusiast, this is for you. We’ve compiled a selection of our 5 favorite and free apps for your smart phone to help hygiene feel fun. This is the start of a beautiful friendship between your teeth and your fingertips. Without it, these two body parts might not have ever even met. Enjoy all your fun together.

1. Brush D.J.
This app was created by a dentist and is raved about by hygienists and other dentists alike. It plays 2 minutes of music, taken at random or from a playlist from your library, and has a visual display indicating where to brush. It’s timed at what every dentist recommends to be the amount of time needed to properly clean your teeth. Award winning and fun, this app aims to entertain.

2. Dental Trauma First Aid
Lets face it, the last thing you think about in an emergency is your teeth – unless they’re yours or your kid’s. Most of us aren’t educated on how to take care of a dental-related accident and this app runs the gamut on what to do when something goes wrong. This app will show you what to do if a tooth is knocked out, or chipped, and how immediately necessary a dentist’s visit is. It’s a great medical guide informing the user of what actions to take.

3. Pediatric Dental Expert
This app is a parent’s guide to understanding the aspects of your child’s dental care. It covers all the important information you should know about your kids and their teeth. Advice is given on the best ways to minimize your little one’s fears and anxieties about going to the dentist and how to better care for their teeth at home. The extensive FAQ page entails advice and answered question from dental experts in their given field. This app will follow your kid through losing their teeth to the day they may or may not need braces or need their wisdom extracted.

4. Orasphere
Orasphere is an informative app that can be used for both patients and dentists alike. Dentists can use this app for instructional and educational videos for things like reducing liability or increasing patient case acceptance. Educating your patients is an easy way to calm their anxieties. Patients can use this app to figure out exactly what happens during a root canal, for example, and easily watch procedure explanations on their device.

5. Monster Mouth
This gaming app is geared mainly toward children, but we won’t judge you, it’s fun. They (or you) get to play as a dentist that takes on the dangerous task of fixing monster teeth. You’re challenged to perform a variety of dental feats within a time constraint. This game is an undeniably fun and funny app and also provides kids a graphically interesting way to grasp the real-life seriousness of plaque and cavities. It wasn’t initially invented to be geared toward teaching dental care, but inadvertently, it looks as though that’s exactly what it became.