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Our Blog

Keeping Your Bristles Straight When Brushing Helps to Protect Your Teeth
Posted on 10/20/2017 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
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Is it Better to Use Waxed Floss or Unwaxed Floss?
Posted on 10/10/2017 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
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Reasons Your Teeth May be Misaligned When You Wake Up
Posted on 9/25/2017 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
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Why Bread Is So Bad for Your Teeth
Posted on 9/15/2017 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
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Think You Are Too Old for Sealants? Think Again!
Posted on 8/23/2017 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
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Things to Remember with Dental Veneers
Posted on 8/13/2017 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
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You Need to Regularly Sanitize Your Toothbrush
Posted on 7/30/2017 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
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Benefits of Getting Oral Sedation
Posted on 7/23/2017 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
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Why the Bacteria in Your Mouth Dislikes Vitamin C
Posted on 6/23/2017 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
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Why Raw Diets are Stressful for Your Teeth
Posted on 6/13/2017 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
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How You Can Tell You May Have an Abscessed Tooth
Posted on 5/25/2017 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
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How You Can Improve Your Smile Cosmetically
Posted on 5/15/2017 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
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Benefits of Eating Spring Greens for Your Teeth
Posted on 4/23/2017 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
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5 Ways Smoking Hurts Your Mouth with Every Puff
Posted on 4/13/2017 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
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If There is Something You Don't Like About Your Dentist, Speak Up!
Posted on 3/23/2017 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
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How Your Quality of Life Can Improve with Dental Implants
Posted on 3/13/2017 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
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Fighting Back Against Dry Mouth
Posted on 2/25/2017 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
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Falling and Hitting Your Teeth Can Leave Lasting Damage
Posted on 2/15/2017 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
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Whitening Your Teeth with Partial Dentures
Posted on 1/25/2017 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
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When Dental Care is Overdue, You Shouldn't Let Fear Stop You
Posted on 1/15/2017 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
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Getting Something Out from Between Your Teeth Requires Finesse
Posted on 12/25/2016 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
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Getting a Confident Smile for Your New Job
Posted on 12/15/2016 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
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Dangers Associated with Toothbrush Sharing
Posted on 11/23/2016 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
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Common Risk Factors for Cavities
Posted on 11/13/2016 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
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Your Tonsils Are Swollen - Should You See Your Doctor or Dentist?
Posted on 10/25/2016 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
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Your Dentist Can Help You Quit Smoking
Posted on 10/15/2016 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
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Being Responsible Even When You're Afraid of the Dentist
Posted on 9/27/2016 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
When you live worried about going to the dentist, you may not take as good of care of your mouth as you should. This could be a pattern that you share with those around you, intentionally or not. If you are a parent, even with grown children, you need to make sure that you are being responsible about taking care of your mouth because you have others who are going to follow in your footsteps. Being a Good Example is Important Even being nervous about going to the dentist, but still going, teaches your family the importance of taking proper care of your mouth. If you happen to be nervous, tell your dentist. Talk with them and explain what it is you are nervous about, and let them calm your fears about what is going to happen at each visit. The more open you are when you speak with your dentist, the more they are going to be able to help, and the less afraid you are going to be each time you sit in that chair. Make sure you are also honest with those around you, namely your kids. Tell them that you are nervous and explain to them the basics of why. From there, you can tell them what you did to get over that fear and how your dentist is working with you and helping you overcome that fear. Show the dentist in a positive light to help show them that the dentist is nothing to be afraid of, and before you know it, you will be believing it, too. Don't let being nervous about a dental visit stop you from taking care of yourself. Leaving your oral health to be dealt with another time is never a good option. The more you take care of your mouth now, the longer your pearly whites will last. Please contact usif you have any questions about overcoming your fear of the dentist....
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Benefits of Exercise on Your Oral Health
Posted on 9/17/2016 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
Exercise is important to your health. It is great for your heart, keeps your muscles strong and keeps excess weight off. Exercise can also be beneficial to your oral health too. Lowered Risk of Gum Disease Gum disease is a devastating oral health problem. It starts with gingivitis, which affects only your gums. As it progresses, your teeth and even your jawbone can be affected. Bacteria gets below the gum line, causing infections. Once the infections enter your bone, they can get into your blood stream and spread throughout the body. As they travel, they can cause other significant health issues like heart disease and stroke. Studies have shown that people who are physically active are over fifty percent less likely to suffer from gum disease. Reduces Inflammation Regular exercise increases the body's inflammatory response, meaning that it can fight inflammation. Because of this, you are less likely to suffer from gum disease. Better Use of Nutrients Exercise aids in better digestion. Better digestion means that nutrients are more readily available and your body can more easily absorb them. Among these nutrients are those that are important to oral health, including calcium and phosphorous, which help build and maintain strong teeth. Better Circulation One of the touted benefits of exercise is that it improves circulation. Good circulation is just as important to your oral health as it is to your overall health. Blood cells transport oxygen throughout the body. They also carry the aforementioned nutrients to your gums and teeth. Prevents Diabetes Diabetes can have a detrimental effect on your oral health as well as the rest of your body. It can create dry mouth, which creates an environment conducive to bacterial growth. The saliva you do produce may contain higher levels of sugar, giving the bacteria more food to feed on. Exercise is beneficial to your whole body, including your mouth.Contact our officeabout setting up a routine that will work best for you....
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To Rinse After Brushing or Not - Which Is Better for Your Teeth?
Posted on 8/30/2016 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
Most people struggle when it comes to figuring out the best way to keep their teeth safe and healthy. There are so many conflicting studies that it is hard to know what is best to do. If you have been trying to figure out the best ways to care for your teeth during your oral hygiene routine, then you should talk with your dentist. He or she can tell you what is going to be best based on what you currently do and the condition of your teeth. The Pros of Rinsing After You Brush If you rinse your mouth after you finish brushing, you are going to be able to rinse the bacteria you just brushed off of your teeth away. This means that you are not going to swallow all of those germs, potentially making you sick. The Cons of Rinsing After You Brush By rinsing immediately after you brush your teeth, you are also rinsing off all of the fluoride that you just added to your mouth by using the right toothpaste. You need to brush for at least two minutes for the fluoride to start to penetrate your teeth, so if you rinse it all off right after brushing, it doesn't soak in and give you the decay benefits that fluoride is known for. One way to make sure that you are doing as little damage as possible is to rinse with a mouthwash that contains fluoride, so you are losing as little as possible. No matter which argument you and your dentist decide is best for you, just keep it consistent. You should make sure that you are brushing for at least two minutes, flossing daily, andcontacting our officeregularly. This will help you keep your teeth in tip-top shape and leave you with fewer dental issues than those who don't....
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Things to Know About Your Teeth as You Age
Posted on 8/20/2016 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
As you get older, things change. You may notice some physical changes, such as graying hair and a few wrinkles on the face. Perhaps you have slowed down a little. Your health changes too. You become more prone to certain illnesses and you find yourself visiting several doctors. The dentist should be on that list as well. As you age, your teeth change, and their health should not be neglected. Worn Enamel Your teeth have seen a lot of use. After years of chewing, especially on hard foods, edges flatten. Your enamel also wears away, exposing dentin, where hollow canals that lead to the roots of your teeth live. Exposure to acidic foods - citrus, coffee and tea for example - also eat away at the enamel. This can lead to tooth sensitivity as well as an increased risk of tooth decay. Receding Gums Your gums naturally recede over time as you get older. In doing so, the roots of your teeth become exposed. This greatly increases your chances of both gum disease and tooth decay. Not only that, but it can lead to loose teeth that are liable to fall out. Dry Mouth As you get older, you may find yourself on any number of medications. Some of these medications can cause dry mouth. Saliva is the mouth's natural defense against bacteria, so having a dry mouth creates the perfect environment for bacteria to live. Can Indicate Other Health Issues Your mouth can also give clues as to the rest of your health. Aging makes you more vulnerable to issues such as diabetes and heart disease. Early indicators can actually be found in the mouth. Visit the Dentist Regularly Making regular visits to your dentist is just as important now as it was in your younger years. In doing so, you can assure that your teeth stay as healthy as possible. Getting older doesn't have to mean you wind up with dentures. Your teeth will naturally change, just as the rest of you will, but taking good care of them and regularly visiting your dentist can assure you stay healthy. Please contact usif you have any questions about aging teeth....
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What are Dental Sealants?
Posted on 7/30/2016 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
Dental Sealants are a great advancement in dentistry. This simple, painless procedure can protect your teeth from caries or decay, by creating a barrier between your teeth and the bacteria that can cause cavities. In fact, increasingly, our young child patients are reaching adulthood without ever experiencing a cavity. Let your dentist discuss the placement of dental sealants with you to protect your and your children's teeth. How do sealants work? Dental sealants seal your teeth from coming into contact with food particles and debris. Sealants are a plastic coating that the dentist literally paints onto the surface of your back molars, which is the most susceptible area for debris to remain and then decay. Your molars are designed with lots of nooks and crannies allowing for chewing to occur. Your dentist will place this thin coating of plastic material into those nooks and crannies and coat the tooth to create a barrier between the tooth and food. The plastic material is painted on with a small brush in liquid form and then it will dry hard. The sealant material quickly bonds onto the surface of your teeth, forming a protective barrier that will remain in place for several years. Who can get dental sealants? Most dentists agree that there is a huge advantage to the placement of sealants on all of their child-age patients. Children are still learning correct hygiene practices and are known for missing areas when brushing. We can protect your child's teeth with the placement of dental sealants. We also recommend sealants for our adult patients who have had an ongoing problem with decay. We can help decrease the continuation of decay with the placement of dental sealants. This preventative measure can extend the life of your teeth, helping you keep a healthier mouth. Please contact usif you have any questions about dental sealants....
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How Can I Help My Child Have Clean Teeth?
Posted on 7/20/2016 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
Your child's dental care begins before they are even born. While pregnant, your nutrition and health can already affect the health of your baby's teeth. Prenatal care is just the beginning, the work to continue their dental care is ongoing, often tedious, and will most likely be a daily struggle. The foundation that a parent sets in their child's dental care can have lifetime effects on the overall health of their teeth and the relationships that your child builds with their current and future dentists. My child's teeth in the womb Besides the development of bone, your baby is also developing teeth while in the womb. Calcium and folic acid are very important to this development. Your dentist can tell you the importance of good vitamins and minerals for both you and your growing fetus. My infant's teeth before they have erupted You may be surprised to hear, but some babies have brand new teeth erupt with cavities already present. Your infant does not need any fluids beyond breastmilk, formula or water. There are myths that float around about the necessity of juices for infants, this is not true, it is unnecessary sugar that can lead to cavities. Once the first teeth have come in, we recommend taking a clean washcloth and wiping their teeth twice a day. This will help rid any plaque and start a daily routine of teeth cleaning care. Caring for my toddler's teeth We recommend beginning dental hygiene with your toddler right away. Taking your child to the dentist early will help them get comfortable with the idea and help us develop a good working relationship with your toddler. Begin brushing their teeth twice a day. A small toddler size toothbrush, with just the smallest amount of toothpaste is a good first step. Cleaning their teeth is important, setting routines and establishing good habits, helping them be comfortable with the idea is even more so. We want your child to start a path of good dental hygiene and together we can do it.Please contact usif you have any questions about helping your child clean their teeth....
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Four Oral Health Concerns to Expect When You Are Expecting
Posted on 6/30/2016 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
Pregnancy is full of changes, both physically and emotionally. However, many pregnant women don't consider the changes that might develop in their mouths. By knowing what you can expect in terms of oral changes during pregnancy, you can take the necessary steps to keep your mouth healthy. Gingivitis Early stages of gum disease are extremely common during pregnancy, as increased hormone levels can result in the growth of certain bacteria faster than normal. You may experience symptoms beginning in your second month of pregnancy, including bleeding and inflamed gums. Dry Mouth Some pregnant women have a difficult time regulating the moisture levels in their mouths. If you are experiencing dry mouth, try to sip on water throughout the day or to chew on sugar-free gum. These tips can help you to improve the saliva output found in your mouth and can help to keep it clean during brushing. Enamel Erosion Many women suffer from morning sickness during their first trimester, and unfortunately, this can be damaging to your teeth. Frequent vomiting can cause the enamel to wear away, as your vomit will contain high levels of acid. After you vomit, make sure that you aren't brushing your teeth right away. Instead, just rinse out your mouth and try to save brushing for at least 30 minutes. Soft Tissue Granuloma About 1-5% of pregnant women will experience granuloma of the gums. This involves small red bumps or nodules, typically along the gum line. Not much is known about the cause, but the issue is most likely to develop during the second trimester. These granuloma usually go away on their own after the baby is born. If you are expecting a baby, it is important to continue visiting your dentist as scheduled. Your cleanings will be more important than ever in order to ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy throughout your pregnancy. Please contact our officeif you have any questions about your oral health....
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Is Polishing Bad for Your Teeth?
Posted on 6/20/2016 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
At the end of your dental visit - after your teeth have been thoroughly cleaned and examined - your hygienist will follow up by polishing your teeth. This process involves the use of a gritty paste applied by a rotating polisher. Some people opt out of this process, so it poses an important question - is polishing bad for your teeth? According to the International Journal of Evidence-Based Practice for the Dental Hygienist, while polishing might make your teeth feel smooth and clean, the procedure isn't exactly necessary. There isn't any health benefit associated with polishing your teeth, as it isn't going to have any effect on decay, oral cancer, or gum disease. Other organizations of authority when it comes to dental health have also stated that polishing isn't a necessity. The American Dental Hygienists' Association advises that polishing shouldn't be considered routine in a dental cleaning, so you can feel free to skip it. Additionally, dental professionals from the University of Bridgeport warn against using polishing as the only mechanism for stain removal, as to completely rid a tooth of stains, hygienists also need to be scaling to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth. Most dentist offices recommend selective polishing. This means that your dental hygienist should only be shining the stained portions of your teeth and not the entire set. That's because some research has shown that regularly polishing all of your teeth could result in enamel removal. However, if you do opt to have your teeth polished at your dental appointments, you should know that biannual polishing isn't a concern, as even using the harshest of pastes, polishing twice per year isn't often enough to cause any significant enamel damage. If you have questions about whether or not to polish your teeth at your upcoming dental appointment, be sure tocontact our office today....
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6 Ways that Smoking is Ruining Your Oral Health
Posted on 5/30/2016 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
We all know that smoking is bad for our health, and you may even have some idea that smoking can be bad for your teeth. For the most part, you may associate yellow, stained teeth with smoking, but there are other ways that smoking could affect your oral health. By better understanding how smoking can impact your teeth and gums, you can use this information to propel your efforts to quit. Gum Disease Smokers are at a greater risk for gum infections than nonsmokers. Gum disease can result in tooth decay, abscesses, and tooth loss. Dry Mouth A majority of smokers are living with dry mouth, as smoking causes inflammation in the salivary glands that can make it harder to produce saliva. A dry mouth is not only uncomfortable, but it can also promote enamel erosion and tooth decay. Oral Cancer One of the biggest risks of smoking on your oral health will be oral cancer. If you've smoked for several years, it is important that you are visiting the dentist regularly to look for signs of cancerous changes. Chronic Bad Breath When you smoke, your breath will smell bad right after you finish your cigarette, but you will likely suffer from chronic bad breath, as well. This can be due to dry mouth, decay, and gum disease. Tooth Loss Smoking has the potential to cause the jawbone to recede, and it also leads to decay and severe gum damage. All of these conditions can contribute to tooth loss. Tooth Discoloration As previously noted, smoking can lead to staining of the teeth. This is the result of tar and nicotine that are found in cigarettes, and the end result is yellow or brown stains. It can be extremely difficult to kick the habit of smoking, but if you want to get a healthier and brighter smile,contact our officeabout options that might be able to help you quit....
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6 Tips for Pain Relief after a Broken Tooth
Posted on 5/20/2016 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
A cracked or broken tooth could result in a painful toothache, and it is something that you should see your dentist about immediately. However, if it takes some time to get into your dental office, there are a few ways that you can relieve the pain on your own. Avoid Temperature Extremes If you are suffering a toothache after a break, you should try to avoid foods and drinks that are especially hot or cold. The dentin layer of the tooth has more than likely been exposed, so these extremes could cause pain. Sleep with Your Head Slightly Elevated Nerve inflammation inside the tooth after a break can be quite painful. Fortunately, if you sleep with your head elevated, you can relieve some pressure and may be able to feel some relief. Rinse Out Your Mouth with a Warm Saltwater Solution Try rinsing out your mouth with a warm solution of saltwater several times a day after a break. This solution will work like an antiseptic to remove bacteria in the infected area. Use an Over-the-Counter Medication Over-the-counter pain relievers can be extremely helpful in easing your discomfort after a broken tooth. These medications can reduce inflammation, but you should make sure to never put pain relieving meds directly on the tooth or gums. Avoid Foods High in Acid or Sugar Soda, citrus fruits, and other items that are high in sugar or acid should be avoided after a broken tooth, as they could increase your pain level. Use Oil of Cloves Also known as eugenol, oil of cloves can be found in many health food stores and is useful for its anesthetic properties. At home, you can blot some eugenol onto a painful tooth to get some relief. Just make sure you aren't swallowing any of the oil. Please contact usif you have any questions about broken tooth care....
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Can Your Attitude Affect Your Family's Oral Health?
Posted on 4/30/2016 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
For a child, going to the dentist can be a scary experience. It may be their first time, or perhaps they had a cavity filled in the past and are worried about a repeat episode. As a parent, you are the one that needs to support your child as he navigates these difficult emotions. In fact, a recent study has shown that kids who had supportive parents were more likely to be cavity-free than children whose parents weren't as supportive. About the Study This study involved researchers who analyzed child behavior and parenting styles of over 130 parent/child groups who visited Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio for their first visit to the dentist. The children were 3-6 years of age. They then compared the children of authoritative parents (those who provided guidance and discipline while allow the child some freedom) to those who were permissive (those who did not control their child's behavior and tended to ignore poor behaviors). The findings identified that 80% of kids with authoritative parents were found to have cavities compared to a whopping 97% of permissive parents. Additionally, 93% of the kids of authoritative parents exhibited positive behaviors compared to only 42% of kids with permissive parents. Dental researchers believe that good parents who do the right things at home will develop kids who are careful, curious, and respectful. These are the same parents who are going to provide a child who behaves well and is relaxed at his first dental visit. These parents likely practice good oral hygiene with their kids at home and spent time discussing the first dental visit with their child so that they were not anxious or nervous about the experience. If your child's first dental appointment is coming up, a good attitude on your part is extremely important. If you have questions about how to prepare your child, pleasecontact our officefor tips....
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Dead Teeth and What You Can Do about Them
Posted on 4/20/2016 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
Do you have a dead tooth in your mouth? A dead tooth occurs when the nerve and other living tissues inside of a tooth have died or have been removed with root canal treatment. This can be caused by tooth trauma due to a physical injury or decay. If you suspect that you have experienced the death of a tooth, it is important to follow up with your dentist for treatment. Signs You've Got a Dead Tooth While your dentist will be able to confirm the death of a tooth, there are a few symptoms that you should look for: Treating Your Dead Teeth So, if your tooth is dead, what is the big deal about treating it? Can't you just leave it there? The answer is a definite no. This dead tooth is a perfect place for bacteria to hang out and breed, and an abscess can result if it isn't taken care of. So, you have two treatment options available to correct the problem - root canal and extraction. A root canal will clean out the tooth, remove the infection, and seal it up before placing a crown over the top of it. However, there are many cases where the tooth is just too far gone to repair, and an extraction is the only viable option. Please contact usif you have any questions about how a dead tooth effects your oral health....
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Silver Fillings or Tooth Colored Fillings

Which is Better/Safer?

Posted on 1/21/2016 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
I am asked by patients every day about the relative advantages/disadvantages of silver (amalgam) fillings and tooth colored (composite) fillings. My patients are primarily concerned with price, reliability and relative safety. The answer is not black and white. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, making the answer a shade of grey. I share with my patients that yes the silver fillings do in fact contain a small amount of mercury. This mercury is what allows the metal alloy to be compressed into the tooth in order to later harden. Mercury is toxic in its aerosolized/inhaled form and is related to neurological disorders and dysfunctions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. As dental personnel spend an extraordinary amount of time removing old silver fillings with a dental drill, effectively aerosolizing the previously bound mercury, they are a subject of much interest. Many studies have been completed on this population in order to determine if their incidence of neurological disorders is higher than the general population. Fortunately this has not been demonstrated. However, there is no argument that the incidence of these diseases are increasing in the general population. I believe this to be multi-factoral. In this day and age we are exposed to so many environmental influences both consciously and unconsciously, that it becomes difficult to point the finger at any one causative agent/influence. However, it is always wise to be as well educated and informed as possible and to make a decision that agrees with our individual sensitivities and sensibilities. On the flip side of the coin, (and there always is a flip side), silver fillings are more economical and can generally last three times as long as a similarly sized white filling. This is important, not just from the point of view of economics and time spent in the dental chair, but from a pulpal health standpoint. Pulpal health refers to the health of the nerve in each and every tooth. Nerves are fragile and susceptible to irreversible damage, necessitating root canal therapy. This damage can be caused by infection (a deep cavity), or inflammation. One source of inflammation is dental work. The more times an individual tooth is worked on through a persons’ lifetime, the higher the chance that the nerve, (which seems to have what I think of as a “cumulative memory”), reaches a point of irreversible inflammation and begins to go through the dying process. Dying teeth require root canals and crown stabilization. One final thought. The relative size of the filling needs to be taken into consideration as well. Small cavities are suitable for fillings of either material, whereas larger cavities, (or fractures), that comprise a large portion of the tooth structure, (in a case where a crown or “cap” for that tooth is not financially feasible), can sometimes be better treated by a tooth colored filling. This is due to the fact that tooth colored fillings help bond or “hold” a tooth together, rather than wedge it apart. Again however, the longevity of the filling becomes a consideration, and long term pulpal health enters the picture again. So you see, there is no real satisfactory answer here. The answer truly is a shade of grey (I have found this to be true of most questions I ask in this life, regardless of the subject…) I believe in making an informed, educated decision that is best for you or the loved ones under your care. There is no right or wrong answer – only what is appropriate for you personally – as you are the very important caretaker of your own mind and body....
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