Monday, December 3, 2007

Had Your Silvers Checked Lately?

Because I'm boring and can't come up with an original interesting blog on my own, I will just show some pictures of something we saw in the office this week.

So when we were kids, most of us got amalgam or "silver" fillings at some point. Silver fillings can last a really long time but when they decide to go, they go down in a blaze of glory.

Let's examine further...

Here is a tooth with a rather small silver filling. Our patient was complaining that it hurt when he chewed. Many older silver fillings break down around the edges and pull away from the tooth. This causes the filling to act like a wedge every time you bite down. The results are the fracture lines you see radiating from the angles of the filling towards the sides of the tooth. It doesn't look like much but many times these cracks run onto the root of the tooth which causes a lot of pain when you chew and the tooth flexes apart.

So when we started to remove the filling and see where the cracks went, the entire corner of the tooth literally fell off without any effort. The cracks had run across the floor of the tooth and to the other side. Luckily, the tooth fractured above the bone level and didn't involve the nerve so it can be repaired with a crown. Worst case scenario means the tooth needs to be removed or needs a root canal to save it.

The Finished Result

It's nice that we can repair these teeth with such a natural appearance and in a way that will last a long time. This is a porcelain crown that will bite and function just like the original tooth did.

The Moral of the Story
So make sure you have your dentist check your old silver fillings to see if you have any fractures. I see them in about 75% of teeth with silver fillings over 10 years old.

If you catch them on time, you can fix them with a filling or sometimes a crown. If you wait too long then you run the risk of needing a root canal or losing the tooth. And we don't want that!
Get them checked!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

How to do a Smile Makeover at Home

So our favorite procedure in the office is the Smile Makeover. On "Smile Makeover Day" everybody in the office is giddy with joy and excitement. If you've ever seen the movie "Empire Records", it is kind of like Rex Manning Day.

Anyway, here is a photo/dialogue of how to do a smile makeover, in case you wanted to try it at home.

Warning: Some of the pictures of the prepared teeth may shock you but just look at the end result!

This is our patient "Robin" (name changed to protect the innocent.
She didn't like the color and shape of her existing crowns and natural teeth.

Step 1: We put her picture in the computer and design a smile simulation so she can see what she could look like with a new smile. I love how much younger patrients look!

Step 2: Recontour the teeth to make room for the new all-porcelain crowns and veneers. When we started taking off her crowns we found that one had a fracture through the root and so the entire tooth needed to be removed! We replaced the tooth with a porcelain bridge.

Step 3: Once the teeth have been recontoured enough to make room for the new porcelain crowns, we use color mapping to determine the shade of the teeth and how to blend the porcelain colors to give her the desired color she wants.

I know it doesn't look pretty at this stage. This is usually when patients ask to go to the bathroom and I tell them not to look in the mirror but they do anyway and then they come back all freaked out and start to wonder if I am legit or just some guy off the street with a drill.

Step 4: Next, we put on her temporaries that are roughly the shape her permanent crowns and veneers will be. This way she can get a preview and still make any changes she wants to. Some patients cry when they see their temporaries because they look way better than what they had.

Before: After:

Step 5: Two weeks later, we put in her new smile and, voila!, a happy patient! (No, the small band-aid is not from where I slipped with the drill.) Look at how much more natural and pretty her smile looks in the final picture.

So there you have it; the easy, at-home, do-it-yourself, step-by-step procedure manual for your very own smile makeover. Call your friends and have a smile makeover party. As you can see, it is an easy 5-step process.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hate When People Don't Update

Don't you hate when people don't update their blog in forever. Ridiculous. Anyway, I need to get more on top of this so people with nothing better to do can see what goes on behind the scenes at our dental office.
I will have pictures to post this weekend...maybe...if I get around to it....

Monday, August 20, 2007

"Fighting Tooth and Nail"

So, at the office we got this great letter from a patient and we aren't sure who it is. I don't know if you can read the note or not but it says that they've been fighting "tooth and nail" to pay their bill, which we definitely appreciate.

Enclosed within the envelope was a HUGE toe-nail which they had delicately removed from their big toe and sealed with love in the envelope to make their point. How can you argue with that?

We aren't sure how to respond. It is the first time any of us have had a human body-part mailed to us. I think mostly everyone wanted to throw up. Hope you like the pictures and that they show the enormity of this thing!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Welcome to the Lakeside Cosmetic Dentistry Blog!

I will set aside my anti-blogness to join the world of the young and cool people of the world. Maybe its becuase I'm 30 next month and I feel a need to begin texting and blogging to hold on to my youth.
But mostly I wanted a blog to show people how much I love what I do and the team I get to work with every day. Seriously the most amazing people around. And they put up with my endless crap and stupidity.
Hope you enjoy our crazy world. I'll try to show a little of the fun stuff we do and the crazy things we see.