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27 Nov 2022
November 27, 2022 by David CaseBlogDental ServicesDental Technology

Lasers: A “Groovy” Tool for Dentists

At Family Dental Health, we take pride in staying ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest and greatest in dental treatments and technologies. That’s why we think dental “lasers” are truly smashing. And if you’re worried about paying one million dollars, rest assured laser treatments are more accessible and affordable than ever. Austin Powers jokes aside, we’re here to tell you how lasers work in dentistry and how they can benefit your smile—and make for a more comfortable dental experience!

How do dental lasers work?

Advanced laser technology has been one of the most important improvements in modern medicine and dentistry, allowing us to hang up our other tools while providing treatments that are less invasive, more comfortable, and with healthier results than ever before.

All lasers work by creating energy in the form of light, but the precise function in dentistry depends on the type of procedure. With surgical and other types of restorative dental treatments, the laser functions as a cutting device, replacing sharp dental tools, or as a vaporizer of diseased or decayed tissue—leaving healthy tissue intact. For teeth whitening, the laser functions as a heat source to speed up and enhance the effects of bleaching agents.

No Fear Here

One of the greatest things about dental lasers is they are great for patients with any level of dental anxiety. They eliminate the sharp tools, so you don’t have to hear or feel the scraping on your teeth, or the sounds and vibrations of the dental drill. Lasers create a calmer, more relaxed dental experience that can eliminate dental anxiety for many patients. 

Laser Cleanings

Don’t you just love good teeth cleaning? No? While some folks do enjoy that fresh-from-the-dentist clean feeling, most don’t enjoy the cleaning itself. Lasers can help with that! Rather than using sharp tools to scrape plaque and tartar off your teeth and around the gum line, low-level lasers target and disintegrate plaque and tartar buildup without the invasive techniques. Where traditional cleanings can irritate the gum tissue, causing bleeding, swelling, and pain, laser cleanings leave healthy tissue alone, so you can have a more comfortable cleaning.

Laser Gum Disease Treatment

Similarly, we can also use lasers to provide periodontal therapy or gum disease treatment. Where a laser cleaning focuses mostly on the visible crown portion of the tooth and buildup along the gum line, periodontal therapy goes deeper—under the gum line, removing plaque and tartar while targeting and killing the infection and leaving healthy tissue intact. 

Traditional gum disease treatments involve sharp tools and invasive techniques like scaling and root planing, gum grafting, and gum surgery—and these techniques only treat the physical symptoms of the disease. Laser periodontal therapy, however, gets to the root cause of the problem—treating the infection at the bacterial level and creating a healthier environment for the gums to reattach to. Laser gum disease treatments are more comfortable, more conservative, and garner healthier results so you don’t have to treat and retreat.

Tooth Decay & Root Canals

If you have a cavity or an infected tooth, lasers can help with that, too! Lasers can be used to remove areas of decay from within a tooth and prepare the surrounding enamel for a tooth-colored filling to be placed. If your tooth is infected and you’re in need of a root canal, lasers can help us carefully and conservatively remove the infection and save the tooth.

Biopsies & Lesions

Lesions and tissue abnormalities in the mouth are serious business, so it’s a good thing we’ve got laser technology on our side! Lasers can be used for biopsies, which involve taking a small sample of tissue from the mouth so that it can be screened for oral cancer. Laser biopsies are less invasive and more comfortable than traditional biopsies. Lasers can also be used to remove lesions in the mouth and treat canker sores. What a relief!

Teeth Whitening

By far the most popular cosmetic dental treatment, teeth whitening can be assisted by our trusty dental lasers to speed up the in-office bleaching process. First, we apply a special peroxide bleaching solution, which is then activated further by the laser light which heats up and speeds up the whitening power to full throttle, so you can leave with a dazzling smile after a single visit.

Mr. Powers could have benefited from dental lasers, himself, don’t you think? If you’d like to learn more about laser dentistry and how it can make for a healthier mouth and a more comfortable dental experience, we would love to speak with you. Contact your Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health today to schedule a visit. We would love to help make your smile… groovy baby! Yeah!

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

13 Nov 2022
November 13, 2022 by David CaseBlogDental ServicesDental Technology

Silver Diamine Fluoride: An Affordable Filling Alternative

Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is an antibiotic topical liquid solution brushed onto teeth to halt the progression of tooth decay. Research has shown the effectiveness of SDF in cavity prevention and arrest, and it has been used safely and successfully worldwide with patients of all age groups. Family Dental Health uses silver diamine fluoride to help our patients alleviate and battle tooth decay in a noninvasive, affordable way. Read on to learn more about SDF and what it can do for you or your child’s oral health!

What is Silver Diamine Fluoride?

Silver diamine fluoride combines fluoride to promote mineralization, silver to act as a microbial, and ammonia to stabilize the high-concentration solution—so the silver kills bacteria while fluoride prevents further breakdown of the tooth structure. Since it is applied topically with a brush, it requires minimal disruption of the natural tooth—meaning no drills or fillings! Future dental restoration will almost always be necessary, even following SDF treatment, but it can drastically reduce the severity of damage and postpone the need for more extensive dental work.

What Does SDF Do?

SDF has been used worldwide for more than 80 years, particularly in Japan and China. In 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared SDF for the treatment of sensitive teeth in adults 21 and older, and it is marketed under the brand name Advantage Arrest™ in the United States. 

SDF can accomplish the following:

  • Relieves hypersensitivity in teeth
  • Inhibits bacterial growth on teeth
  • Hardens teeth, making them more resistant to acid erosion and abrasion
  • Stops cavity growth
  • Prevents new lesions on teeth where it’s been applied
  • Stains areas of dentin and enamel that are not sound, providing important clinical feedback to the dentist for a more effective plan of action for treatment

When is SDF a Good Choice?

SDF is effective for use in teeth with healthy pulp that is free of infection and necrosis (which means localized, irreversible death of living tissue). Because it is a noninvasive treatment, but it does stain the teeth where it’s applied, it is a good choice for children, people with disabilities, people who cannot tolerate conventional dental methods or those who have limited access to dental care and traditional restorative treatment for dental decay.

Since SDF has been used successfully overseas for decades, there is plenty of research to back its safe and effective use for children—dentists now treat pediatric patients “off-label” with SDF with positive results and positive experiences in the dental chair. It is a good stopgap measure for kids with baby teeth, and it can be used to treat primary teeth as well, both for cavity arrest and prevention as well as to combat sensitive teeth.

If you are interested in SDF treatment for yourself or your child, Dr. David Case and our dental team in Portland would love to talk more with you about it. Contact us today!

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

27 Sep 2022
September 27, 2022 by David CaseBlogDental Services

5 Natural Ways to Sleep Better

We think fondly of it, we all want it – why is it so hard to find? We’re talking about sleep, of course. A poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that 60% of adults report having trouble sleeping almost every night, with 63% saying their sleep needs are not being met. 

Like water, a healthy diet, and breathing, sleep is essential to support every part of your health. Sleep is when our bodies rest, repair, and run a lot of self-maintenance. Studies show that not getting enough sleep can harm your memory, your heart health, your immune system, and make you gain excess weight.

Sometimes sleep loss is a real medical issue that needs to be treated by a doctor (your Portland dentist can help with sleep apnea). But if you’re just dealing with the common troubles of settling down and enjoying your sleep, we’ve got sleep tips that are all easy to incorporate into your life…starting tonight! 

Set the Tone

Think of everything you do to set the right tone for a dinner party or even a study session. Every event needs some preparation. You can do a lot of little things to immediately make your environment more conducive for sleeping:

  • Turn your phone off
  • Dim the lights
  • Clean up if it will make you feel better
  • Light a candle
  • Use blackout shades to keep out any remaining sun or street light
  • Lower the air conditioning to 65-68 degrees 
  • Write a to-do list for the morning so you can stop thinking about ongoing tasks and let your mind rest

Make the Time

When it comes to sleep, timing is everything. Yes, you need to find about 8 hours each night when you can actually close your eyes. But just as important is the hour you spend before going to bed, as well as the time you wake up. If you want to sleep better:

  • Start winding down at the same time each night. 
  • Try to be in bed with lights out at the same time each night.
  • Wake up at the same time every day, including weekends. 

Doing this naturally guides your circadian rhythm—the important hormones that direct your body clock for sleeping and waking over 24 hours. This will teach your body to expect sleep at a certain time and to actually be ready for it.

Establish a Routine

Harness the power of psychology and classical conditioning. Remember Pavlov’s dogs? Use the same stimulus to trigger your mind and body that it’s bedtime each night. For many children, even the first line of their bedtime song will trigger a yawn. You can trigger sleepiness for yourself by lighting the same candle, playing the same song, brushing and flossing your teeth and putting your pajamas on in the same order each night.

Herbal Supplements & Aromatherapy

There’s a lot to be learned about the power of herbs and aromatherapy when it comes to aiding a healthy lifestyle. Consider taking melatonin—a naturally occurring hormone that balances sleep; magnesium—a mineral that can calm your nerves and muscles; or valerian—an herb that helps you fall asleep faster and deeper. These are completely safe and natural supplements you can take regularly to help with sleep.

Similarly, using lavender, vetiver, or sandalwood oil can calm your body and induce better sleep. Try diffusing oil into the air or put drops on your pillow. Some supplements and methods will work better for you than others and they all do different things to the body. So talk with your doctor before taking any new herbs or supplements.

Meditate & Read

How you spend the hour before bed can do a lot to help you sleep better. According to the National Sleep Foundation, watching television or looking at any screen before bed can seriously hurt your chances of a good night’s rest. Instead, try reading something in actual paper and ink. It doesn’t have to be hard literature; even a magazine or light read is better than a screen and social media. Whatever you read is bound to make for a better conversation-starter throughout the week, too.

This might be especially difficult for people who feel they have to work on their computers late into the night. If that’s you, remember that you’re only human and you’ll be more productive the next day if you get the sleep you need. 

You can also try meditating, praying, or remembering things for which you’re grateful before you fall asleep. Your brain needs time to cool down and relax before totally shutting off and sleeping. This can help end the cycle of thoughts and worries that prevent many folks from finding restful sleep.

Sleep Help from the Dentist

As a professional healthcare provider, Family Dental Health wishes all of our patients the most optimal health and wellness, including quality sleep! In some cases, oral health issues such as TMJ, grinding and clenching (bruxism), or sleep apnea might be physical barriers keeping you from getting enough sleep. Your dentist can help you address and treat these issues.

If you are looking for a Portland dentist to help with these or any oral health needs, make an appointment at our office Family Dental Health today!

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

13 Dec 2021
December 13, 2021 by David CaseBlogDental Services

Could White Teeth Help You Land a Job Interview?

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health explains how whiter teeth can help your career, improve your salary, and land you a second date!A recent, three-part study by Crest® puts numbers to what most of us already knew – white teeth are beautiful and powerful! The study used both qualitative and quantitative measures in multiple settings to determine what effect white teeth can have on a person’s life. 

In a portion of the study on employment, researchers found that whiter teeth greatly increased a person’s chance of being offered jobs but also of receiving higher pay. In a portion of the study on romance, subjects went on simulated dates and found the dates were more successful after their teeth had been whitened. 

Dr. Dacher Keltner, a smile psychologist and psychology professor, says, “This study provides some of the first findings that speak to the powerful benefits of having a whiter smile.” 

Why We Like White Teeth

There’s no arguing it, people like white teeth – on themselves and on others. Perhaps this is because white teeth appear healthier and cleaner. Some scientists also guess that having white teeth is a sign of good genetics, which is attractive to potential mates. Dr. Keltner says a white smile is “the intense focus of what other people look at, and a sign of our warmth, confidence, and health.”

Why Some Teeth are Whiter

Healthy, white teeth come in a variety of hues and shades. We are all unique, and so are our smiles. The white of your teeth actually comes from the outer layer, the enamel. Healthy enamel is like a strong bone and protects the inner layers of your teeth. Protecting your enamel is a good way to maintain white teeth.

Some people still have naturally whiter teeth than others. Maybe it’s a result of good oral hygiene, maybe it’s just good genetics, or maybe they’re just young enough that their teeth haven’t started yellowing yet. Unfortunately, all of our teeth tend to yellow and discolor with age. 

Some bad habits that stain your teeth include:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Drinking red wine
  • Drinking coffee
  • Drinking cola
  • Eating dark-colored berries
  • Taking certain medications (i.e.,tetracycline) 

How You Can Get White Teeth

People have used a variety of products and procedures since the beginning of time to brighten their smiles. In ancient Egypt, white teeth were a sign of beauty and wealth. The ancient Egyptians used a paste made of ground pumice and wine vinegar to whiten their teeth.

Modern bleaching with peroxide and trays was an accidental discovery. Dentists knew that peroxide was a good antiseptic and used it to treat gum disease. As they tried to find ways to keep the peroxide on the gums for prolonged periods of time, they saw the peroxide also made teeth whiter! Today, whitening products come in all forms: strips, trays, paste, rinses, and laser lights to speed up the process.

Not all teeth have to be blinding or unnatural looking to pass the test. Your dentist can help you determine the best shade of white for your own teeth based on the rest of your coloring. Excessive teeth bleaching may increase your tooth sensitivity, so consult with your Portland dentist before you start any whitening treatment.

If you’d like a consultation for teeth whitening or any other oral health goals, contact us today! 

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

13 Jul 2021
July 13, 2021 by David CaseBlogDental HealthDental Services

Local Anesthetic – Is it Safe?

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health explains anesthesia and the difference between local anesthetic and general anesthetic.If you get to go on a tropical vacation, your ability to feel the warm sun and the smooth sand is crucial to enjoying the atmosphere. There are, however, times in life when you would rather not feel anything. Getting a dental procedure can be one of those times—as important as the procedure might be. In that case, thank goodness for modern medicine and anesthesia. 

Ancient dentists used a number of herbs and drugs to numb their patients. Thankfully, today, you have the option of completely safe and effective anesthesia. Dr. David Case, Portland dentist shares more below about what anesthesia is and when you might need it.

What is Anesthesia?
Anesthesia is a type of medicine best known for dulling pain. The root-word “an” means without and “aesthesis” means feeling. Anesthesia literally means “without feeling.” That perfectly describes how most people want to feel if they need to get a cavity filled or a tooth pulled. Anesthesia can also help you feel relaxed during your treatment and ease your pain afterward.

Besides numbing your sensation to feel, anesthesia can also contain chemicals that help the medicine get into your blood and stay in your system as long as necessary. Millions of patients every year receive anesthesia from their dentist.

Local Anesthetic

There are two kinds of anesthetics: general and local. If you have major surgery, even oral surgery, your doctor might recommend general anesthesia to numb your entire body and cause you to sleep for the duration of the procedure. This might sound scary, but many people really enjoy the chance to take an amazing nap.

Most often, dental work only requires a local anesthetic. Local anesthetic blocks your nerves in a small, specific part of your body. In your dental office, this is usually administered by injection. A topical anesthetic can first be placed on your gums or inner cheek to numb you from feeling the injection. 

If you have a toothache, you might consider an at-home topical anesthetic to ease your pain until you can get in to see your Portland dentist. Orajel™ is a popular topical numbing gel for adults and teething babies. Your local drugstore should have plenty of options depending on your specific needs.

Side Effects of Local Anesthesia

Anesthesia, when administered by a professional dentist, is very safe. Still, it’s important you know the potential side effects—especially if you have other health issues that might interact with your procedure. Talk to your dentist before agreeing to any medicine or treatment.

Potential side effects of local anesthesia are:

  • Hematoma: a blood-filled swelling at the injection site
  • Numbing and loose muscles in other parts of your face, beyond your mouth
  • Nerve injury at the injection site

Local anesthesia is commonly used safely and effectively with little to no side effects. 

After Your Appointment

If you receive a local anesthetic at the dentist, the numbing effects may stick around for a few hours after your appointment. Be careful not to bite down on your mouth where you don’t have any feeling. Plan on having some difficulty speaking, eating or drinking. (This is probably not the best time to schedule a first date or job interview!) You will be able to safely drive yourself home.

You can keep treating your pain at home with Tylenol or ibuprofen. Ask your Portland dentist for a recommendation.

With general anesthesia, however, you will need transportation to and from your appointment, and someone should stay with you for several hours afterward while the effects wear off.

If you need any dental work or just a good professional cleaning, contact Family Dental Health today.

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

13 Oct 2020
October 13, 2020 by David CaseBlogDental ServicesPatient Care

How are Dental Savings Plans Different from Insurance?

Family Dental Health discuss financial options for Portland patients without insuranceUnderstanding any type of medical or dental insurance can be a challenge, especially for uninsured folks trying to find a plan on their own. According to the National Association of Dental Plans, about 74 million Americans had no dental insurance coverage at the end of 2016. One possible solution is dental savings plans (also called dental discount plans). 

Dr. Case would like to talk about plans like these and their potential to reduce out-of-pocket dental costs for patients (who doesn’t like to save money?).

How Do Dental Savings Plans Work?

With a dental discount plan, the consumer pays an annual fee, just as they would pay for a buyer’s club membership to Costco or Sam’s Club or for emergency roadside assistance insurance like AAA. In return, they get access to a dental network that offers special savings to plan members, usually in the form of percentage-off discounts. For example, if a participating provider offers a 40% discount on crowns, that crown will cost $600 rather than $1,000 for the dental savings plan holder.

There are no exclusions for preexisting conditions and no annual cap on costs under a dental discount plan. A patient is free to choose the plan offering them the most savings, pay the plan’s annual fee with the full knowledge they need extensive work done, and be in the participating dentist’s chair as soon as they can book an appointment for the procedures they need!

When Do Dental Discount Plans Make Sense?

If you already have traditional dental insurance and know you’ll need a lot of work done this calendar year that won’t exceed your policy’s annual limits, a discount dental plan is probably not necessary for you. However, if you are postponing a costly procedure until the next calendar year, or you have a child or teen that needs braces soon, a discount dental plan might be just the thing.  Before you sign up, do your research—find out what providers in your area are on the plan, which procedures the plan covers, and whether the discount the plan has the potential to actually save you money.

Differences Between Dental Savings Plans & Dental Insurance

  • Discount plans generally cost less than dental insurance.
  • Dental discount plans require services paid upfront (or a payment plan is negotiated at the time of service if the provider allows). There will be no reimbursement from the plan later—and as a result, there is no claim paperwork to complete. While paying for services upfront can present a hardship, there are also no surprises.
  • There are no annual maximums, deductibles, copays, premiums, or preexisting conditions with a dental discount plan.
  • Some dental discount plans cover elective services such as teeth whitening, orthodontics or other cosmetic dentistry procedures.
  • Some dental discount plans throw in bonus savings on chiropractic, vision, or hearing, particularly those plans that are geared toward seniors.

Family Dental Health loves to help our patients get the care they need in a way that will work for them. Contact your Portland dentist, Dr. Case today to learn more or schedule a visit!

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

13 Sep 2020
September 13, 2020 by David CaseBlogDental ServicesPatient Care

Types for All Stripes: Teeth Whitening

Teeth whiteningWhiter, brighter teeth are on the top of everyone’s smile wish list – and for good reason! White teeth look young and healthy. The good news is that teeth whitening is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to improve your smile, and the results are almost immediate. If you’re already taking good care of your oral health, whitening your teeth will truly put the polish on all of your efforts.

Teeth Staining 101

Your unique smile and lifestyle determine the color of your teeth. The hard, outer surface of every tooth is called enamel. Enamel is usually white or off-white, but health and environmental factors can make it turn yellow, brown, or gray. Your mouth may do the talking, but your teeth can say a lot about your habits and health.

  • Coffee, tea, red wine, soda, sports drinks, and tobacco are the biggest causes of stains in healthy teeth. Limit these to preserve your natural pearly whites.
  • One dark or discolored tooth may be the sign of a more serious problem. It’s important to see a dentist that can get an accurate diagnosis for a single discolored tooth.
  • Aging causes your enamel to thin. This causes yellowing and sensitivity in teeth.

Bleach & Brush

All teeth whitening involves either bleaching out stains or rubbing them away. Light abrasives can scrape surface-level stains off your enamel, but bleach moves through the layers of the teeth to remove deeper stains that give teeth their true color. Both options work by breaking down stains to make them less visible. 

Carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide are the two dental bleaching options. Carbamide peroxide may be preferred because it’s less acidic and works longer. Small amounts of these chemicals have been approved for teeth whitening without harming your teeth.

Yellow teeth respond best to whitening procedures and can be brightened many shades. Brown or gray teeth may not respond at all and you should speak with a dentist first before attempting to whiten them.

Professional Whitening Treatments

  • Your Portland dentist can use the highest concentration of dental bleach in our office. To get professional whitening results in one visit, simply make an appointment and prepare to be amazed.
  • Your dentist can also make you a custom bleaching system to use at home over a couple of weeks. The kit includes a lower concentration of bleach and trays made to fit your mouth.
  • Some professional whitening treatments use lasers to enhance or speed up whitening results.
  • Veneers may be the best option for severely discolored teeth with the added benefit of being able to better shape or fill in your smile’s imperfections.

At-Home Whitening Treatments

  • Most toothpaste helps whiten teeth, though the results will take longer and not be as noticeable as professional bleaching. All toothpaste uses gentle abrasives to rub off surface stains. For bleaching toothpaste, look for the key ingredients: carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Whitening strips and gels are similar. Your results won’t be as dramatic, but these options cost much less than professional treatments and can be found right on your drugstore shelf.
  • Natural remedies for whitening teeth include oil pulling and activated charcoal. You can learn about these DIY options online, but nothing will replace the important role of your dentist who cares about your oral health. Find a holistic dentist if you’re interested in learning more about more natural teeth whitening.

Lasting Results

Teeth whitening results should last at least six months and can last much longer depending on each individual person and their oral hygiene habits. You can really prevent new stains by brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and limiting teeth-staining habits and substances. Talk with your dentist if your teeth feel sensitive after whitening. 

If you’re interested in achieving your brightest smile, call Family Dental Health today to make an appointment!

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

27 Aug 2020
August 27, 2020 by David CaseBlogDental ServicesDental Technology

Dental Implants: A Brief History of Tooth Replacement Innovation

Dental Implants: a brief history of innovationToday’s dental implants boast a long-term success rate of near 97%. Because implants support surrounding teeth, encourage new tissue growth and continued bone formation, and give patients back full chewing ability and a complete smile, they have become the industry standard for tooth replacement. 

Today, your Portland dentist, Dr. Case, would like to share some interesting history about dental implants and how we got to where we are today.

History of Dental Implants

    • 4,000 Years Ago: The first record of temporary dental implants were bamboo pegs used to replace missing teeth in China.
    • 3,000 Years Ago: The first recorded case of a metal replacement tooth (a copper peg) fixed to a jawbone occurred in the mouth of an Egyptian king. Experts believe it may have been placed after death due to how painful placement would have been to a living person. There is also evidence that the Egyptians tried to stabilize teeth with ligature gold wire around this same era.
    • 2,300 Years Ago: An iron tooth was found among real teeth in a Celtic grave in France. Experts again concurred replacement teeth like these were likely to have been placed after death.
    • 2,000 Years Ago: People replaced missing teeth with human teeth purchased from underprivileged people or teeth stolen from corpses or animals. Teeth like these would be rejected by the host due to infection.
    • 1,350 Years Ago: An excavation of Mayan ruins in Honduras uncovered a jawbone with what may be the oldest recorded permanent tooth replacement using seashells. The replacement tooth had actually begun the process of fusion with the jawbone, indicating that it was placed during life, not after death.
  • 800 AD: A stone implant was found among cultural artifacts from early Honduras.
  • 18th Century: A European doctor implanted a still-developing tooth into a rooster – and the tooth integrated with the rooster’s tissues.
  • 1886: A porcelain crown mounted on a platinum disc, silver capsules, corrugated porcelain, and iridium tubes were some of the materials to make implants during this time without much success.
  • 1930s: Drs. Alvin and Moses Strock are believed to be the first to place the first endosteal (in the bone) implant made of a biocompatible metal.
  • 1940s: A number of different doctors continued to experiment with and design implants made of different types of metal, perfecting the design along the way to allow for greater stability in the jaw.
  • 1952: A Swedish orthopedic surgeon named Branemark discovered titanium fused and regrew bone while studying blood flow in rabbits.
  • 1960s: The 1960s saw more innovations in implant design from many different doctors. Implant design expanded to allow for placement into the maxilla or the mandible and to accommodate more than one missing tooth. 
  • 1965: Branemark placed his first titanium implant into a live human volunteer. Branemark continued to research bone healing, performing experiments and publishing studies, eventually making dental implants a commercial endeavor in 1978. 
  • 1980s: The 1980s ushered in the use of titanium for implants, which have continued to improve to the present day. Recent developments include antibiotic coatings to prevent infection and even more biocompatible materials like zirconia and ceramic.

Family Dental Health can give you all the information you need about the history of implants and how they exist today and everything they can do to bring back your full, healthy smile. If you are curious to discover more about implants or wonder if you could be an implant candidate, contact us today!

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

13 Jun 2020
June 13, 2020 by David CaseBlogDental Services

Dental Inlays & Onlays

Dental inlays and onlaysCracked, broken, and decayed teeth require restoration or they will break down further until they become infected and/or require extraction. At Family Dental Health, our goal is to preserve your natural teeth for as long as possible.

Depending on the extent and location of the damage, we will likely recommend an inlay, onlay, or crown. Different levels of the same idea, these restorative dentistry treatments are custom-made to protect your tooth and restore it to its full, healthy, and functioning condition.

Another reason you may need an inlay, onlay, or crown is due to extensive tooth decay breaking down your tooth that requires more than a simple filling to fix, or an old filling that needs to be replaced. Here’s how these options compare:

  • Fillings: only fill a small, center portion of the biting surface of your tooth; is not a treatment for extensive damage
  • Inlays: fill a larger portion of the biting surface than a filling contained within the cusp
  • Onlays: fill and cover the biting surface of your tooth including up and over the rounded ridges (cusps)
  • Crowns: cover the whole tooth; all or most of the portion visible above your gums

Benefits of Inlays & Onlays

Inlays and onlays can be a great intermediate solution between a filling and a crown. Family Dental Health can help determine if you need an inlay or onlay. If you do, here are some of the benefits:

  • While considered a relatively “old” technique, inlays/onlays are still the most appropriate and most effective treatment in many cases.
  • Your tooth can withstand 50-75% more chewing pressure with an inlay or onlay.
  • Inlays/onlays are a restorative dentistry treatment that holistically heals your tooth.
  • Inlays/onlays can last longer than fillings.
  • Inlays/onlays are made with porcelain or resin to match your natural tooth color.
  • An inlay or onlay is less expensive than a crown.
  • Sometimes an inlay or onlay can be completed during one dental visit.
  • An inlay/onlay fits perfectly over your tooth so there will be no bulging that bothers your tongue, cheek, or bite.

Getting an Inlay or Onlay

If you’re in the Portland area and need an inlay or onlay, Dr. David Case has you covered! Depending on your case, the inlay/onlay treatment will either require one or two trips to the office.

For the two-visit process: the tooth is prepared by cleaning out any decay and taking an impression. You may be given a temporary filling just to protect the tooth from further damage. The inlay or onlay will then be made in a lab using your impression. You’ll return for a second visit to remove the temporary filling and have your inlay/onlay permanently placed on your tooth.

For the one-visit process: the tooth will still be prepared with a good cleaning. But instead of taking impressions, the dentist uses digital technology to take a photo of your tooth and create a perfect inlay/onlay right there in the office. You’ll relax until it is ready and they will place it on your tooth, all in one day.

Contact us today to make an appointment for a professional assessment of what kind of filling, crown, inlay or onlay you might need.

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

13 Apr 2020
April 13, 2020 by David CaseBlogDental HealthDental Services

Filling in the Gaps: Restoring Your Smile & Quality of Life

Life is full of unexpected surprises, and while we’d love for all of them to be smile-inducing, that’s not entirely realistic—and there may be many reasons you hide your smile. If you’re hiding your smile because of one or more missing teeth, we want you to know you’re not alone. In fact, 120 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth, and more than 36 million Americans do not have any teeth at all.

Whether the cause is tooth decay, gum disease—#1 on the list of reasons, with 50% of Americans over the age of 30 having the most severe form of periodontitis—illness, or injury, there are solutions. Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health would like to fill you in on your options, which have expanded and improved over the years thanks to technological advancements and continuing education.

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