Monday, July 15, 2013

White Spots on Your Teeth

There are a number of reasons that there are white spots on your teeth.  It can range from an issue called fluorosis, which means that a person has had too much fluoride and it has affected the tooth structure.  What people forget is that many mouth washes have fluoride, major metropolitan areas have fluoride in the water,toothpastes, bottled water and on top of that some dentists do fluoride treatments after a cleaning.  These things make it easy to get white spots on the teeth when you are a kid and the teeth are growing.  There are other types of white spots- after wearing braces with wires, around the brackets, which were glued to the teeth  people will get white spots. These spots are due to poor oral hygiene around the brackets. Poor oral hygiene will also cause white lines at the gum line of the teeth.
    These are the common causes of white spots that can be reversed easily and with minimal invasiveness.  What it requires is scrubbing the teeth, cleaning them with a gel and then using a calcium paste to force calcium back into the tooth, repeat if needed. It's Simple and  effective.  If this method doesn't work then you can move onto more invasive techniques like composite(bonding), veneers(porcelain facings) or decide that the spots aren't so bad after all.
    There is one last type of white spot that hasn't been covered. Sometimes when a person gets a cavity the tooth can turn a dull white.  This gives the patient and dentist no option but to treat the decay.

Monday, July 8, 2013

News Flash-Your nose's on your face!!

Alrighty, I am going to start this blog up...again.  Let me tell you doing this blogging thing is not as easy as it looks. Today's topic is the New York Times article "Rethinking the Twice-Yearly Dentist Visit".
    I am amazed at the confusion caused by the routine things in dentistry.  The article (paraphrased) says that a cookie cutter approach to treating patients might not be the best way to care for a patient. The reaction to this article ranges from "wow, I knew the dentist was ripping me off" to "Isn't science great and what will they discover next".
    First off, the origin of the twice a year cleaning is murky.  It either come from  "Amos and Andy in the middle of the last century" or a toothpaste jingle ,where you need to use this toothpaste and see your dentist twice a year.  It doesn't really matter where it comes from. What matters is that a one size fits all is a terrible way to treat a patient. I don't know when it happened, the patient devolved from being an individual  with needs, quirks,and desires to being a  widget that is plugged into a one size fits all regimen. Then out comes amazing new information! The patient is a person!
   The time between cleanings should be based on the patients needs and desires.  I have some patients that I see once every three years.  Why should I see them more often?  They don't need to have a cleaning and are not prone to getting cavities.  I am sure they have better things to do than going to the dentist.  I have other patients I see every three months.  Why? Because they need to.
    So, is the dentist ripping you off?  No,  how often you get a cleaning should be decided between you and you're dentist.  Wow, mind blowing. What will they think of next?