Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Is a Smile Makeover Right For You?

There are many different techniques or procedures that can be used to transform your smile.  Dr. Clark has had great success with many patients over the years, and he would love to help you!  Being self conscious about your smile can be very frustrating, especially if it hinders your daily interaction with people.

What a difference a healthy, appealing smile makes!

In an article entitled Smile Makeover:  Considerations and Components of Smile Design, by Alison DiMatteo, she discusses different components that play into deciding what your underlying issues might be and which procedures will bring the best results.  "A smile makeover takes into consideration your facial appearance, skin tone, hair color, teeth (color, width, length, shape and tooth display), gum tissue and lips to develop your ideal smile.  Smile makeovers are performed for many reasons and customized according to your unique considerations".

Some techniques that Dr. Clark uses currently are:

  • Porcelain veneers, thin wafers of porcelain that are bonded onto the front of teeth, is the most common method. A small amount of tooth structure is shaved from the front of your teeth, and then beautiful porcelain veneers are bonded to them, creating the shape, color, and alignment of teeth that you desire.
  • Tooth whitening can be used just to lighten the teeth - if you're happy with their shape and position. 
  • Invisalign is another smile makeover technique. With invisible braces, your teeth can be made straight. Many people combine this treatment with tooth whitening for a complete smile makeover.
  • Snap On Smile - a relatively new restorative device that can be fitted in 2-3 visits.  It is designed to "snap on" to your existing teeth to mask the smile deficiencies that you have such as gaps, missing teeth, abnormal rotation, discoloration, etc.  It forms a seamless transition with your gum line and the end result is excellent!
  • Porcelain crowns and bridges
  • Porcelain crowns on implant A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is surgically anchored into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge in place.
  • Dental Bonding -  Some people want to have dental bonding used to create a new smile. While this can be cheaper than porcelain veneers, when dental bonding is used over a large area, it only looks good for a year or two. Compared to porcelain veneers, that can look good for ten or twenty years, dental bonding ends up being very expensive.

Because so many different factors need to be taken into consideration in order to find the right solutions for you, Dr. Clark offers a free consultation visit to discuss your best options.  During your visit he will share his expertise and suggestions with you and would welcome any questions or concerns that you might have.

Your Smile Says A Lot About You, Let Us Help You Make the Most of it!

Call us today to schedule your Free Consultation! 
(541) 451-1440 or TEXT us at 541.6DC.DDS2

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Self-Help Tips for a Sore Jaw

In an article entitled, "Help Yourself First-Remember More is Less!" published February 11, 2011 by the TMJ Association, LTD, they share nine simple things that you can do at home to decrease pain that you might be experiencing from teeth grinding or dental abfraction.

If you are still experiencing pain after implementing these steps, please do not hesitate to contact our office.  We will help you to become pain free once again.  Pain is a warning sign from your body.  It should not be ignored.

Often jaw problems resolve on their own in several weeks to months. If you have recently experienced TMJ pain and/or dysfunction, you may find relief with some or all of the following therapies:
  • Moist Heat: Moist heat from a heat pack or a hot water bottle wrapped in a warm, moist towel can improve function and reduce pain. Be careful to avoid burning yourself when using heat.
  • Ice: Ice packs can decrease inflammation and also numb pain and promote healing. Do not place an ice pack directly on your skin. Keep the pack wrapped in a clean cloth while you are using it. Do not use an ice pack for more than 10 - 15 minutes.
  • Soft Diet: Soft or blended foods allow the jaw to rest temporarily. Remember to avoid hard, crunchy, and chewy foods. Do not stretch your mouth to accommodate such foods as corn on the cob, apples, or whole fruits.
  • Over the-Counter Analgesics: For many people with TMJ Disorders, short-term use of over-the-counter pain medicines or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen, may provide temporary relief from jaw discomfort. When necessary, your dentist or doctor can prescribe stronger pain or anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, or antidepressants to help ease symptoms.
  • Jaw Exercises: Slow, gentle jaw exercises may help increase jaw mobility and healing. Your health care provider or a physical therapist can evaluate your condition and suggest appropriate exercises based on your individual needs.  A recent study found therapeutic jaw exercises brings earlier recovery of jaw function compared to splints! Click here to read the specific jaw exercises used in this study.
  • Relaxation Techniques: Relaxation and guided imagery can be helpful in dealing with the pain that accompanies TMJ dysfunction. Deep, slow breathing enhances relaxation and modulates pain sensations. Some have found yoga, massage and meditation helpful in reducing stress and aiding relaxation.
  • Side Sleeping: Sleep on your side using pillow support between shoulder and neck.
  • Relax Facial Muscles: Make a concerted effort to relax your lips, and keep teeth apart.
  • Yawning: Use your fist to support your chin as you yawn to prevent damage to the joint and to prevent your jaw from locking open.
In addition, avoid:
  • Jaw Clenching
  • Gum chewing
  • Cradling the telephone--this may irritate jaw and neck muscles

 Dr. Clark has had great success helping patients to become pain free from the effects of teeth grinding.  There are many options that can be used and he would love to visit with you and discuss which option or options will bring you the best results.
If you are concerned about teeth grinding or a sore jaw, 
please call us today!
You can call us (541) 451-1440 or TEXT us at 541.6DC.DDS2

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Are You Aiding & Abetting an Enemy of Your Teeth?

Sports and Energy Drinks Responsible for Irreversible Damage to Teeth

The time of year for outside sports and activities is upon us.  Sports enthusiasts pack up the coolers with plenty of liquid to keep themselves or their children hydrated, but many might not know they are putting themselves or their family members at great risk for tooth decay.

A recent study published in the journal General Dentistry discussed the disturbing increase in the consumption of sports and energy drinks, especially among children and adolescents and how these drinks have rapidly come to dominate a large proportion of the commercial beverage market in the United States. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently reported that sports and energy drinks are being aggressively marketed to children and adolescents for a variety of inappropriate uses.

Sports drinks and energy drinks are significantly different from each other. While sports drinks contain carbohydrates and electrolytes, energy drinks add unregulated amounts of caffeine.  The Huffington Post quotes Jennifer Bone, DDS, MAGD, "Teens regularly come into my office with these types of symptoms [of tooth decay, sensitivity and cavities], but they don't know why," Academy of General Dentistry spokesperson Jennifer Bone, DDS, MAGD, said in a statement "We review their diet and snacking habits and then we discuss their consumption of these beverages. They don't realize that something as seemingly harmless as a sports or energy drink can do a lot of damage to their teeth."

Researchers examined the acidity levels in 13 sports drinks and nine energy drinks. They found that the acidity levels can vary between brands of beverages and flavors of the same brand. To test the effect of the acidity levels, the researchers immersed samples of human tooth enamel in each beverage for 15 minutes, followed by immersion in artificial saliva for two hours. This cycle was repeated four times a day for five days, and the samples were stored in fresh artificial saliva at all other times.

“This type of testing simulates the same exposure that a large proportion of American teens and young adults are subjecting their teeth to on a regular basis when they drink one of these beverages every few hours,” says Dr. Jain.

The researchers found that damage to enamel was evident after only five days of exposure to sports or energy drinks, although energy drinks showed a significantly greater potential to damage teeth than sports drinks. In fact, the authors found that energy drinks caused twice as much damage to teeth as sports drinks.

With a reported 30 to 50 percent of U.S. teens consuming energy drinks, and as many as 62 percent consuming at least one sports drink per day, it is important to educate parents and young adults about the downside of these drinks. Damage caused to tooth enamel is irreversible, and without the protection of enamel, teeth become overly sensitive, prone to cavities, and more likely to decay.

Dr. Bone recommends that her patients minimize their intake of sports and energy drinks. She also advises them to chew sugar-free gum or rinse the mouth with water following consumption of the drinks. “Both tactics increase saliva flow, which naturally helps to return the acidity levels in the mouth to normal,” she says.

Also, patients should wait at least an hour to brush their teeth after consuming sports and energy drinks. Otherwise, says Dr. Bone, they will be spreading acid onto the tooth surfaces, increasing the erosive action.  

Dr. Clark adds that if the drinks are sipped over longer periods of time the damage is worse and happens quicker.  We now offer a new fluoride varnish treatment which provides even more protection for your teeth from acid attack.

The cause for concern is very real.  We hope that as you reach for those cold beverages this summer season, you will think twice about what you are drinking or providing for your children to drink.  Nothing can compare with the refreshing taste of ice cold water, and that choice can make a huge difference in your overall dental health!

Call us to schedule an appointment to discuss 
your sensitive teeth issues.  We are here to help!
(541) 451- 1440

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Bad Breath and Health Problems

As we discussed yesterday on our Facebook Tuesday's Tip, 32% of American's cite bad breath as the least attractive trait of their co-workers.  While bad breath can make communication very uncomfortable, especially if it is in a professional setting, it can also be an indicator of an underlying health problem that needs your attention.

WebMD, in their article Dental Health and Bad Breath, examine several underlying causes of bad breath ranging from periodontal disease to liver or kidney disease.  Our bodies are amazing, and when working properly they are nothing short of a miracle.  Built in to these miracle machines are early warning signs and symptoms that can alert us to potential problems with our health.

So what can you do to prevent bad breath and keep our co-workers smiling?

WebMD has these suggestions:

Bad breath can be reduced or prevented if you:

  1. Practice good oral hygiene. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque. Brush your teeth after you eat (keep a toothbrush at work or school to brush after lunch). Don't forget to brush your tongue, too. Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months. Use floss or an interdental cleaner to remove food particles and plaque between your teeth once a day. Dentures should be removed at night and cleaned thoroughly before being placed in your mouth the next morning.
  2. See your dentist regularly - at least twice a year. He or she will conduct an oral examination and professional teeth cleaning and will be able detect and treat periodontal disease, dry mouth, or other problems that may be the cause of bad mouth odor.
  3. Stop smoking/chewing tobacco-based products. Ask your dentist for tips on kicking the habit.
  4. Drink lots of water. This will keep your mouth moist. Chewing gum (preferably sugarless) or sucking on candy (preferably sugarless) also stimulates the production of saliva, which helps wash away food particles and bacteria.
  5. Keep a log of the foods you eat. If you think the foods that you eat may be causing your bad breath, record what you eat. Bring the log to your dentist to review. Similarly, make a list of the medications you take. Some medications may play a role in creating mouth odors.

If you are concerned about chronic bad breath please give us a call!

(541) 451-4011  or TEXT us at 541.6DC.DDS2

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Your Donations Bless our Community!

Together We Can Make a Difference!

Thank you to our patients 
for donating
your old Crowns and Bridges
 to Community Organizations!!

Over several years, many of our patients have generously opted to donate their old crowns to the Lebanon Soup Kitchen and Local Boy Scout Units.  

Recently, Dr Clark cashed in the Crowns and Bridges you have donated and was shocked and pleased to receive $3132 dollars as payment for precious metals contained therein!

The entire amount has been donated to the following:

Lebanon Soup Kitchen  $ 756
 Cub Scout Pack 340   $ 396
 Cub Scout Pack 375   $ 396
 Cub Scout Pack 385   $ 396
Boy Scout Troop 340   $ 396
Boy Scout Troop 375   $ 396
Boy Scout Troop 385   $ 396

We are sure your donations will be a blessing to the individuals served by these wonderful community organizations.

Thank you again! 
Dr Clark and his Staff