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4 More Dental Advancements You Need to Hear About

We recently published a piece on the top three dental advancements but felt like we were leaving some very significant innovations out. Also, as a dental site, we do want to make sure you take care of your teeth because dental health is far more relevant to your overall health than you realize. That said, here are 4 more dental advancements you need to hear about!

Better Tooth Preservation Thanks to Thinner Veneers

Previously, veneers required some rather extensive preparation. Dentist had to shape and scrape your actual teeth in order to prepare them for the protective coating known as a veneer. Given the thickness the shaping and scraping had to accommodate, some damage could be done to your actual teeth.

Now, new materials are allowing veneers to be significantly thinner thereby reducing the amount of preparation on your natural teeth. When more of your natural tooth is left intact the tooth retains its intrinsic strength. This is a positive for sure. Amazingly, the thinner veneers have not lost any strength, as one might suspect. So, it’s a win-win. You get the strength and attractiveness of the veneer while doing less damage to your natural teeth!

New Bonding Materials and Techniques

No more worrying about matching porcelain colors as if you were decorating your bathroom. No, dentists have recently switched to resin as a filler of choice. There are more color choices available in the resin material they are using to bond and repair teeth.

Resin, which is essentially plastic, can be layered to strengthen damaged teeth. In addition, it’s shinier and stronger than the previously utilized materials. So there are a number of benefits to using resin instead of porcelain or other color-based amalgams.

Improved Dental Implants

You see advertisements for dental implants pretty regularly. There are places that profess to be able to complete your whole mouth, a full set of implants, in one day. So what’s the deal? Well, implants are essentially titanium screws set into your jaw bone that stick out of your gums. Then a crown is placed on top and voila they look like real teeth!

In previous times, implants were not very successful. However, today’s research says that 95% of those preformed now, are! Unfortunately, the advertising may be a bit misleading because implant surgery isn’t an end all be all to your dental problems. In fact, implants are only supposed to last 15 years; don’t think you’re out of the woods once you get them done unless you’re 90!

Better Gum Disease Treatments

This section is probably the most amazing. Here’s the thing about gum disease, basically your gums start receding because there’s not enough tissue to support your teeth (there are a number of causes therein but we’ll have to leave that for another piece). Anyway, this pulling away causes pockets to develop and that’s where the nastiness begins.

Bacteria, plaque, food fragments, whatever, gets hung up in the pockets and starts to erode your teeth. The decay can get really bad if you don’t have it rectified. Previously, dentists would clean the roots, remove the plaque and tartar and if they really had to, perform gum surgery. However, today’s innovations allow for additional choices that include the use of proteins, membranes and bone grafts to stimulate tissue growth. Translated: they’re getting your gums to become regenerative! We told you this one was super cool!

Go to the Dentist

There really is no reason to avoid the dentist at this point. Unless of course your real issue is money and lack of dental insurance. We’d love to offer you some support there but we’ve all mostly got the same problem. However, if you’ve got decent credit there is a program called Care Credit that’s designed to assist with medical bills or, if you’ve got enough money to put down, some dentists offer their own payment plans.

You’ll just have to do your research, but saying you’re afraid of the pain, or the amount of time necessary, just won’t cut it anymore. Truly, there are far too many advancements for that to be an accurate statement! As always, you’re welcome to share your experience or advice in our comments section!

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Top Three Dental Advancements

Going to the dentist is probably not on the top of your bucket list. No doubt it’s probably not even on your to-do list. Who wants to go to the dentist? However, given the multitude of advancements in dental procedures you might find yourself a more willing candidate. Ideally, you’ll make an appointment before things get too far out of hand. Unfortunately, a good number of us wait until we simply must have something done. So, for those pre-planners and those wait-until-the-pain-is-unbearable people, here are some of the newest dental procedures available for your well-being!

Digital X-Rays vs Conventional

Recall the amount of time conventional dental x-rays required. You’d have to sit there forever with that gag-a-rific thing in your mouth, repositioned an infinite amount of time. Then, when you’d finally endured that until you thought you’d walk out, there was the wait time for the dentist to review the x-rays. Which, but the way actually translated to the amount of time it took to develop them and then slap them up on the lighted wall thing.

Now, with the advent of digital x-rays, which some dentists are embracing, the wait time is significantly decreased. Of course, we’d love to tell you that the gag-a-rific plate has been removed from the equation but they still have to stick something in your mouth to record the picture. However, that something can now be readily uploaded to a computer, no more developing. Dentists can save the images and keep an eye on changes (so long as you make regular visits).

Cavity Detection with Lasers!

Yet another seeming ancient dental device, that thing they refer to as the explorer. You know the one, it’s got a sharp point and they poke your teeth with it. Whenever it sticks they do some more investigation because soft teeth mean decaying teeth. Well, now, they’ve got something far cooler!

Yep, they are using lasers to detect cavities now. Shall we repeat it, lasers! These lasers allow the doctors to see our teeth glow. Actually, the less they glow the better off they are. Apparently decay gives off some sort of phosphorescence when this diode laser is aimed at it. Regardless, if it means less poking and prodding and less latex glove residue, we’re all about it!

CAD and CAM

Sounds like some Grimm’s fairy tale twin names, but actually they are representative of the newest technology aiding in cutting your dental visits down. Yep, CAD (computer assisted design) and CAM (computer assisted manufacture) are the new wave in crown and bridge construction.

If you’ve been unfortunate enough to have these dental procedures you know how long you had to wait. Traditionally the crown or bridge has to be molded first and then later constructed. This meant going in twice. Now, with these computer assisted methodologies both the crown and bridge can be completed in one visit. The dentist takes a picture and the computer tells the machine how to make your crown/bridge. That simple!

There’s So Much More

We’ve only touched on the amazing advancements the dental field is experiencing. However, we’re so excited about them that we’re going to have to do a second piece to share the rest! Which of these three have you had personal experience with? Share your story in our comments section. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Scam or Legit: Do I Really Need that Dental Procedure?

Unfortunately, the practice of medical bullying runs rampant in some dental offices. Dentists rely on their perceived authority to intimidate patients. Unaware patients agree to procedures they don’t need—and often times, can’t afford.

These types of scams are both unethical and terrifying. Few of us have the medical knowledge necessary to determine when a procedure is warranted and when it isn’t.

Here is a list of the most common forms of dental scams. Stick around because we’ll also tell you how to detect, avoid, and report scams. Read More

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Why We Have to Brush Our Teeth

Have you ever wondered why it’s necessary to brush and floss your teeth on a daily basis? Our ancestors (the ones far back enough, at least) never did anything to care for their teeth. Somehow, however, there’s no evidence that they suffered from tooth decay the way that we do today.

So what happened? It’s simple, really. The foods we eat today are much different than the foods we ate when were still a young species. Back then our diets contained more meats and absolutely no processed food. Read More

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Can Fortified Toothpaste Replace Vitamin B12 Shots?

For most vegetarians and vegans, getting enough of the nutrients that are commonly found in animal products – including protein, iron, and vitamin B12 – can be a struggle.

For example, vitamin B12 is made by organisms living in water, soil, and the digestive tracts of animals. Thus, people who do not eat meat can have a hard time getting this nutrient from diet alone. Read More

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Eat and Drink Your Way to a Healthier and Whiter Smile!

Stars like Jessica Alba and Scarlett Johansson need killer smiles for their livelihood, but for us mere mortals, a whiter, brighter smile can do wonders for our appearance and self-confidence. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and surveys reveal that one of the first things that people notice about others is their smile. Whiter, brighter teeth are the result of more than just regular brushing. The food and beverage choices you make impact the wattage of your smile too. Read More

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Drinking Water Containing Fluoride Cuts Tooth Decay In Adults

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Adelaide, Australia has produced the strongest evidence yet that fluoride in drinking water provides dental health benefits to adults, even those who had not received fluoridated drinking water as children. The study was conducted between 2004 and 2006 among random samples of the Australian adult population. Participants reported where they have lived since 1964. Researchers used this data to determine for what percentage of life each person lived in a community with fluoridated public water. The study found that those who spent more than 75 percent of their life living in an area with fluoridated public water enjoyed significantly (30 percent) less tooth decay than those who spent less than 25 percent of their lives in such areas. Read More

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Eating Healthy Plays Key Role in Oral Health

A strong connection exists between the food people eat and their oral/dental health, according to an updated position paper from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, May 2013, Vol. 113:5, pp. 693-701). Dental health and nutrition are mutually related, as the health of the oral cavity directly impacts a person’s ability to eat and intake nutrition. Conversely, what a person eats and even how they eat it can impact dental health. For example, heavy consumption of sugar (in soda, coffee, fruit drinks, candy, cookies, etc.) and especially slowly dissolving candies has been proven to increase risk of oral and dental disease. Foods and habits to improve dental health include eating a high volume of fresh fruits and vegetables; choosing whole-grain, low-sugar bread and cereal products; chewing sugar-free gum briefly after eating; and spacing food and beverage intake at least two hours apart. Read More

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Can’t afford Dental Insurance?

Can’t Afford Dental Insurance? Here are 3 Great Alternatives!

If you don’t have dental insurance you shouldn’t wait to see a dentist.  Seeing a dentist can be more important than it sometimes feels and unnecessarily stalling your visit will ultimately cost you more in the long run. Can’t get dental insurance coverage through your employer? If not, you may be tempted to skip dental cleanings and other treatments. But good basic care lowers your risk of suffering a major, expensive problem in the future. Three options if you are not covered by your employer include: Read More