Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dental care in a down economy.

Before I start, I would like to recognize that some of the materials that are mentioned may seem repetitive. This is due to the fact that various tips and recommendations are relevant to different topics and circumstances. One such recommendation is a minimally invasive approach to oral health in conjunction with a preventative and comprehensive philosophy.
In a down economy the last thing you should be doing is avoiding the dentist completely. It is very important to maximize your care by continuing all routine visits such as bi-annual cleanings and examinations. This will ensure that firstly, the status quo is maintained and any potential problem is avoided(preventative approach). Second, if a pathology is diagnosed, it can be treated in a timely manner before it progresses and require more aggressive treatment in the future(minimally invasive approach). Finally, in those instances where multiple pathologies need to be treated, seeing the whole picture will allow you and your dentist to devise an appropriate treatment plan with beneficial sequences(comprehensive approach).
Remember that just as in life in general, ignoring potential and/or existing problems will usually lead to bigger ones.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tooth Whitening

Many people are not pleased with the appearance of their own teeth and one of the easiest methods of improving this appearance is by tooth whitening.
Enamel, the first layer of tooth surface, is actually semi-translucent, or clear. The layer underneath the enamel, known as dentin, is typically yellow, but may be gray, brown or black. This hue is what is seen penetrating through the enamel. In order to whiten the dentin, a peroxide solution is placed on the enamel. This process opens the pores of the enamel, allowing the solution to reach the layer of dentin. The solution will then begin to lighten the dentin, resulting in the appearance of whiter teeth.
As far as specific techniques and systems go, there are three basic categories. The first and least effective are over-the-counter products such as whitening strips. The second used to be the only professional option and consists of trays that are made by dentists and worn at home by the patient. The newest and most effective are chairside methods in which the entire procedure is preformed in the office over the course of approximately two hours. In this system a special light is used in conjunction with the whitening agent in multiple applications.
The good news for the patient is that many options are available nowadays and many are proven safe and effective.