Category Archives: Cosmetic Dentistry

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.

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.

 

I want a smile like Meghan Markles!

Meghan Markle

 

Royal wedding buzz is in full force with the upcoming nuptials of Harry and Meghan!  What are we hearing in our office, I want a smile like Meghan’s!  Everyone is fascinated with her beautiful natural smile, perfect color, shape and sized teeth- just sheer perfection.  So how do you go about creating this fabulous smile?  Finding a skilled cosmetic dentist, like Dr. Mullaney, is the first step.

A smile is a unique expression of a person.  There are a lot of factors that will affect how the final results will look.  Dr. Mullaney can give you a stunning smile, but whether or not it will look exactly like Meghan’s depends on a lot of things- some of them include:

  • Your face shape
  • Your jawbone structure
  • Your gumline
  • The condition of your teeth
  • Your lip shape

Your smile is much more than the shape and color of your teeth.

So how do you get to a beautiful Meghan like smile?  There are several things that may be considered to get you to your perfect smile, for example, you may need orthodontic treatment, do you have teeth that need to be replaced, are your teeth uneven?  These are all things Dr. Mullaney will discuss with you in the planning of your perfect smile.

We would love to discuss your smile and how we can enhance it- call our office now to schedule an appointment with one of the areas premier cosmetic dentists.  703-835-9251

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!

American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Annual Meeting

Our team were eager attendees and grateful participants in the Scientific session of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, held in San Diego, California, from May 15- May 20, 2006.  The event was inspiring – we were honored to learn from, and train side-by-side with, some of the world’s pre-eminent cosmetic dentists.

Tasha, our devoted dental hygienist, learned some further advanced periodontal therapies –  all designed to better serve our patients and to keep their teeth and gums even healthier over a lifetime.  She also visited many new product displays – demonstrating a discriminating eye in seeking out the very best and latest “tips of the trade” in home care intructions.  Tasha was also an enthusiastic participant in a team-building seminar and admirably showed her passion for dentistry during a high energy session with a leading motivational speaker.  Since returning, Tasha has put her new knowledge to great use and has shone even brighter. 

Jodi, our business assistant and the friendly voice you hear on the phone,  took several advanced cosmetic dental courses to gain increasing conversancy – for the benefit of patients-  in the many cosmetic options available in dentistry today.  From state-of-the-art whitening, to the newest techniques in porcelain veneers and tooth-colored restorations, Jodi can help you make informed decisions about your options for the latest cosmetic dentistry has to offer.  Jodi regularly displays a genuine passion for customer service.  Jodi is forever seeking ways to increase her already-impressive devotion to be the best “dental concierge” for our patient. 

 Juliette, our dental assistant, studied several advanced techniques in cosmetic dentistry and in patient comfort.  Juliette is committed to give our patients a “WOW” experience including the most beatiful dentistry delivered in a kind and gentle environment.  Juliette’s passion for dentistry comes through in everything that she does in our office.  She gets especially energized when we deliver beautiful porcelain veneers to a patient to help them to achieve the smile of their dreams.   Through advanced training in digital photography, she has been instrumental in capturing the beautiful before and after images of our patients who have received cosmetic dentistry.

My training at the cosmetic meeting included “hands-on” sessions with top clinicians to utilize the very latest techniques in porcelain veneers.  I had an opportunity to “try out” the newest lasers for tooth and gum recontouring.  In Dr. Eubank’s course, we studied how to help patients who have an “aged smile” caused by wear and tear of the teeth, jaw joints, and muscles.   It is so exciting to help a patient like this to achieve their dream smile.   I took back to my practice lots of updates on new materials, technology, and techniques which I have already begun using to benefit the cosmetic treatment of my patients.

 We also found some time in the evenings to have a little fun!  One memorable evening, we found ourselves sipping margaritas at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in Old Town, San Diego.  (This was a restaurant that I frequented in 1987 during my Navy dental residency at San Diego Hospital.)  We also dined on some terrific Italian fare in Little Italy.

 We all felt it was a very successful meeting.  Most importantly, we are all even more galvanized to give the very finest in cosmetic dentistry to our patients, for we realize…almost everyone is a candidate for cosmetic dentistry!