Category Archives: Alexandria Dentist

iTero Digital Scanner is here- say goodbye to messy impressions!

Dental and orthodontic procedures are often limited by technology. Improper crown and mouth guard fits, prosthetic devices that don’t quite match the bite of a patient and cumbersome molds are just a few problems that this limitation creates.
Advances in technology are allowing dentists and orthodontists to provide a new level of quality in their work.
Technology like the iTero™ scanner represents one of the most essential tools needed for any professional dealing with oral restoration.

Let’s explore the benefits that the iTero™ scanner enjoys over traditional impression technologies that have existed for decades without any radical changes.

What Does the iTero™ Scanner Do?

The iTero™ Intraoral Scanner is designed to make the process of measuring a patient’s mouth easier and more comfortable than ever before while offering a significantly higher degree of precision.
There are two parts to the iTero™: the wand and the station itself.
The wand employs incredibly precise imaging technology capable of capturing even the smallest details about a patient’s mouth. This occurs without the need for cumbersome impressions or movement of the patient’s mouth.
The wand captures thousands of images in the patient’s mouth that it then sends to the station. It does so automatically.
The station processes the data that the wand captures. It turns it into a 3D model that can be updated in real time.

Why Use the iTero™ Scanner Over Traditional Methods?

Traditional methods of creating an impression require the use of  impressions taken with material that gradually hardens.
The problem with both of these methods is that patients tend to feel uncomfortable in these situations. This can dramatically alter the results of these impressions.
Because the patient must adjust their mouth and keep it stationary for the best image, their bite may be artificially adjusted.
This can make everything from mouth guards to braces fit incorrectly, which can have long-term effects on a patient’s skeletal structure.
The iTero™ scanner doesn’t have these problems. It allows for a free impression of the patient’s mouth that automatically accounts for many of the deviations that tend to present themselves with other imaging techniques.
This allows for impressions that:
Are more accurate than other methods can provide.
Tend to be faster to record.
Are less prone to errors.
Require fewer retakes than other methods.
Create more accurate prosthetic devices that require less fine tuning.
Can be used to create devices faster due to the lack of needed modeling.
Tend to allow for a higher degree of comfort to the patient and care provider.

The iTero™ Scanner: Bringing a New Level of Quality to the Office The iTero™ scanner allows for dentists to give their patients significantly more accurate and comfortable work.
It makes appointments faster and reduces the amount of error encountered during the creation of devices made to fit in a patient’s mouth.
This means the iTero™ scanner represents a new level of quality when it comes to taking tooth impressions.
This allows for a higher degree of care that lasts longer, which ultimately benefits the patient and the care provider.

Join our office

Thursday, January 24th from 4pm – 7pm

to learn more about iTero scanning and

how it can benefit you!

Call now to reserve your spot for a free scan!

703-835-9251

Don’t leave money on the table!

If you have a flexible spending account, or FSA, time is running out to spend down your balance.
FSAs, which are typically offered as a benefit through your employer, give you the option of putting money directly from your paycheck, tax-free, into an account so they can be used to pay medical-related expenses throughout the year. The max contribution this year was $2,650 per person.  Dental appointments are generally covered so if you still have money available now is the time to call us for an overdue cleaning or any outstanding treatment.  Call us NOW at 703-548-8584.

Thanksgiving Dental Tips

5 Thanksgiving Dental Tips
Happy Thanksgiving!

Dr. Mullaney and the entire team hope you are able to spend quality time with your family and friends while enjoying a feast of foods. Keep in mind, this celebration is no time to slack on your dental care! Having to deal with a filling or dental emergency could put a damper on the holiday season. To help you have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving, we’ve compiled these five tips:

Five Thanksgiving Dental Tips
Shorten Your Meal Time. Perhaps the most damaging aspect of a typical Thanksgiving meal is its length. Enjoying the company of friends and family for hours is an important part of the day, but try to avoid dragging the meal out too long. Continuing to expose your teeth to the acids in food makes it easier for cavity-causing bacteria to build up in your mouth. Instead of passing the time by munching, focus on sharing stories, watching movies, or playing games.

Stay Hydrated. It’s always a good idea to drink lots of water, but especially when you’re eating lots of rich, sweet foods, staying hydrated can help wash away debris and prevent plaque formation. In addition to providing a light rinse for your mouth between bites, drinking water helps improve your saliva flow, which further fights cavities. Water is also an excellent replacement for more damaging drink options like juice or soda.

Brush and Floss. You need to be especially diligent about dental hygiene on Thanksgiving. Even if you go to a friend or family member’s home for the holiday, make sure you bring a toothbrush and floss. About thirty minutes after you’ve finished eating (so that your teeth have time to produce important protective minerals), quickly duck into the bathroom to brush and floss. If brushing your teeth proves difficult at another person’s house or you forget your toothbrush, at least floss. You can also bring xylitol gum to chew after the meal, which could help wipe away leftover food particles on your teeth, improve your saliva flow, and assist with your digestion.

Ditch the sticky sides. Cranberry relishes are a dentist’s worst nightmare; they’re acidic, sweet, and stick to your teeth for hours to come, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to infect your gums and eat through your enamel. Other sticky offenders are pecan pie and mashed potatoes. If one of these is your favorite, just make sure you swish with water after eating and brush your teeth to wipe away the gummy remains.

Make a Post-Holiday Cleaning Appointment. We all know the holiday season can be bad for your weight, but the desserts and long meals are also tough on your teeth. If you’re concerned about cavities or gum disease, this winter might be the perfect time to schedule a cleaning appointment.  Gina will thoroughly clean your teeth and Dr. Mullaney can examine your mouth for any signs of disease. That way, you can prevent issues before they become more uncomfortable or costly. We can also perform cosmetic treatments to give you a brighter smile for holiday photos or celebrations.

Be Thankful For Your Dental Health
Having beautiful, healthy teeth is certainly something to be thankful for this holiday season. Keep them that way by using our Thanksgiving dental tips and coming in for regular check-ups. Contact Dr. Kathleen Mullaney  with any questions or to schedule an appointment.

 

HPV and Oral Cancer

FDA Approves HPV Vaccine For Men And Women Aged 27 To 45.

The New York Times (10/5, Grady, Hoffman) reported that the Food and Drug Administration has approved the HPV vaccine “for men and women from 27 to 45-years-old.” The article noted that the vaccine “had been previously approved for minors and people up to age 26.” The HPV vaccine “works against the human papillomavirus, HPV, which can also cause genital warts and cancers” including “tumors affecting part of the throat – called oropharyngeal cancers” which are on the rise.

CNN (10/5, Lamotte) reported that Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said, “HPV vaccination prior to becoming infected with the HPV types covered by the vaccine has the potential to prevent more than 90 percent of these cancers, or 31,200 cases every year, from ever developing.”

The Washington Post (10/5, McGinley) reported that the approval “represents an important opportunity to help prevent HPV-related diseases and cancers in a broader age range,” said Dr. Marks.

 

HPV is linked to Oral Cancer and oral cancer is on the rise in the US- we complete a visual inspection for oral cancer at each visit and once a year we use our Velscope machine for a more in depth screening.  This screening is quick and painless!

Diabetes, oral cancer and women

Diabetes-

A new study found that there is an  increased risk of cancer for women with diabetes vs men.

Previous research identified the link between diabetes and cancer risk, but this study looked at whether that risk differs between men and women.

The takeaway: Among people with diabetes, women have a 6 percent higher risk of cancer than men, the researchers said.

And based on the researchers’ analysis of data from 47 studies, diabetics of both sexes are at greater risk of cancer than people without diabetes.

For women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, the cancer risk is 27 percent higher compared to other women. And men with diabetes have a 19 percent higher cancer risk than men who don’t have the blood sugar disease, the findings showed.

The researchers also examined specific types of cancer in people with diabetes and found that, compared to men, women have a 15 percent higher risk of leukemia, a 14 percent higher risk of stomach cancer, a 13 percent higher risk of oral cancer, and an 11 percent higher risk of kidney cancer.

But women have a 12 percent lower risk than men for liver cancer, according to the report.

“Further studies are needed to clarify the mechanisms underlying the sex differences in the diabetes-cancer association,” the study authors concluded.

The report, from Toshiaki Ohkuma of the University of New South Wales in Australia and colleagues at the University of Oxford in England, was published July 19 in the journal Diabetologia.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 8.7 million deaths in 2015. About one in four women and one in three men will develop cancer during their lifetime, the study authors noted in a journal news release.

(excerpts from Health Day July 20, 2018)

Why we don’t use silver fillings


amalgamandcomposite

Since amalgam(silver colored) fillings are not bonded to your teeth, they do not strengthen teeth which have been weakened from the cavity and associated loss of healthy tooth structure. A tooth restored with amalgam does not reinforce your teeth and it is common to see cracks and ultimately fractures of your teeth caused by the way the tooth is wedged with a metal filling between its cusp tips. Also, amalgam fillings require additional removal of healthy tooth structure in order to fit the minimum criteria of depth and size for the amalgam material to perform satisfactorily.

As composites have evolved, they have become the restoration of choice for fillings. In our office, we only use composite restorations for fillings because we can perform a better, more conservative, safer, and more cosmetically pleasing treatment. If placed properly, a composite filling can last longer than amalgam fillings and accomplish conservative treatments not possible with amalgam fillings. Composite fillings only replace the portions of your teeth that have been damaged and no additional reduction of healthy areas of your teeth is required. Additionally, composite restorations are bonded to your teeth. When properly placed with maximum bond strength, the composite restoration can strengthen the weakened tooth.  If you have questions or concerns about your old amalgam filling we would be happy to answer them at your next appointment! Call us NOW to schedule.

Better for you Popsicles!

Who doesn’t love popsicles in the summer!  Instead of sticking to the sugar-laden store-bought kind, make your own with yogurt. Dairy can increase pH levels and prevent cavities. All you need is a blender, some yogurt, fruit and ice pop molds to stick in the freezer.  Keep your teeth safer with this recipe and with anything moderation, brushing and flossing are still the key!

2 containers (6 oz each) Yoplait® Original yogurt French vanilla
2 cups cut-up fresh fruit such as blueberries, bananas, cherries, grapes, papaya, peaches, oranges or raspberries
1 tablespoon honey
  • In blender, place all ingredients. Cover; blend until smooth.
  • Divide mixture among 6 (5-oz) paper cups. Cover cups with foil; insert craft stick into center of each pop. (Or fill ice pop molds according to manufacturer’s directions.) Freeze about 6 hours or until frozen. Enjoypopsicles

 

Tooth errosion and GERD

gerd

Stomach acid—with a pH that’s lower than vinegar—that regurgitates into the esophagus and mouth can dissolve tooth enamel and create erosive lesions near the back of the mouth. While many people with GERD recognize it by the uncomfortable heartburn symptoms, some patients only experience GERD while they sleep and may not know they have it. Some patients complain of not sleeping well but do not even realize they are suffering from GERD.  Sometimes while doing your dental exam we see an increased loss of tooth enamel on your back teeth that is unexplained and we may advise you to check with your Doctor to be tested for GERD. Your Docor will prescribe a medication that will help inhibit the production of acid, which will in turn help with your GERD and help to save the enamel on your teeth.  If you have concerns about GERD and the condition of your teeth ask us at your next visit.

Could chewing gum help dectect infections in implants?

gumThe newest addition to your dentist’s grab bag of goodies might soon be gum. European scientists describe the development of a chewing gum that detects oral infections Tuesday in Nature Communications. The tech could prove particularly useful for diseases that present with minimal to no symptoms.
“It’s a great screening tool to help people test their health status easily,” Lorenz Meinel, a pharmacist at the University of Würzburg in Germany and senior author of the study, said.
From cavities to gingivitis, oral infections are widespread — 15 to 20 percent of middle-aged adults have gum disease — especially for people with dental implants. Dental implants stabilize crowns, dentures and bridges. While useful for the 30 percent of people over age 65 without teeth, the implants can become infected with bacteria and cause peri-implant disease. Constant prescription of antibiotics could be used for treatment, but Meinel said the tactic is impractical because peri-implant disease develops over a long timeframe (5 to 10 years). So he pivoted to the underlying problem. People do not often sense pain with dental implants, so infected gums go unnoticed. Meinel needed an alternative way to get patients to sense their illness. Luckily, a mouth comes with one of the best detectors on the planet: the tongue.

The tongue is highly sensitive to taste, and a vigilant monitor of your mouth’s chemistry. With this in mind, Meinel and his team designed a disease-sensing gum that capitalized on taste as its readout.
The taste alarm in the gum is a compound called denatonium — the most bitter substance known. As an evolutionary signpost for poisons, people are particularly sensitive to bitterness. The denatonium is diluted in the gum, but is still awfully bitter, Meinel said.
The researchers attached this denatonium to a biological tripwire — a molecule that gets chopped up by enzymes in the saliva of patients with peri-implant disease.
In healthy saliva, the biological sensor and denatonium are tasteless and do not dissolve. But, if peri-implant disease enzymes are present in the saliva, they chew away the sensor and expose the denatonium and bitter flavor.
To test its effectiveness, Meinel and his team mixed their sensor with saliva from people with peri-implant disease or saliva from asymptomatic patients with at least one dental implant. After only five minutes, peri-implant disease saliva released nearly three times more bitter compound than spit from healthy subjects did.
The researchers tested the bitterness of their chewing gum to see how folks might tolerate the taste. Rather than submit patients to a gross tasting excursion, the team measured the bitterness released by their chewing gum with an electronic tongue. This instrument senses sour, salty, umami and bitter flavors with electronic taste buds and measures the intensity of those flavors too. The researchers found the bitterness released by their chewing gum sensor was less than half (40 percent) that of denatonium alone.
Meinel and his team plan to try the gum in real people soon, but in the meantime, they are working on gum-based sensors for other infections, including ones to distinguish strep throat from sore throats caused by the flu.

 

Ovi’s Missing Tooth – the story of a Guard!

Ovi teeth

LET’S GO CAPS!!  Another playoff season is upon us in the DC area as the Cap’s battle for the Stanley Cup.  Alex Ovechkin lost his front tooth to a high stick he took in a game against the Atlanta Thrashers in 2007- hopefully no teeth will be lost in this series with any players.  How do these guys protect their teeth, with a sports guard!  Now these guards can’t prevent all accidents but it is the best way to try and keep your teeth safe while playing sports.  Another type of guard that people don’t give much though to is a night guard.  So many of us in the area have stressful jobs, horrible commutes etc and were does this stress come out- night time grinding of your teeth.  Most people don’t even know they are grinding at night, some people have symptoms of jaw pain or headaches when they wake up in the morning but don’t really know why.  We can see many signs of grinding when you come in for your visits.  A guard made specifically for night time grinding is a must if you want to save your teeth from this wear, just like athletes use them to save their teeth from sports accidents.  We would be happy to review the benefits of our guard at your next visit!  Call us NOW for an appointment- 703-548-8584- you will be glad you did and so will your teeth!