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Julie M. Gillis, DDS, PC Blog

Does Marijuana Affect Your Dental Health?

October 5, 2017

Filed under: Customer Service,Dental Health — Tags: , — Dr Gillis @ 4:45 am

Does Marijuana Affect Your Dental Health?

Peace ?

Some of this information is from the January 2016 issue of AGD Impact and from the July/August 2017 issue of Discover

Why should your dentist care whether you use Marijuana?  Because Marijuana can affect your dental health and your dental treatment!

As the use of Marijuana becomes more common, we will continue to see more of the possible side effects.  Thankfully, the legalization of this drug has made it easier for patients to report drug use.  Turns out marijuana can affect your dental health!

  • The rate of decay can increase. We have seen disastrous examples of this in patients using chewables especially when combined with a dry mouth from other drugs they are taking or diseases.
  • Marijuana use may make you more likely to consume sweet, salty, or foods containing a lot of refined carbohydrates and you may be less likely to maintain proper hygiene – a double whamy in terms of decay.
  • Marijuana use may leave a slimy dark stain in the tartar or calculus that forms on the teeth that may be difficult to remove. More slime, more tartar, more bacteria, more gum disease and periodontal disease, and more decay.
  • By using Marijuana, you may be at a higher risk of contracting HIV.
  • Marijuana abuse can lead to frequent vomiting which can severely harm the teeth by acid erosion. (there are some studies that THC can be helpful with nausea from chemo)
  • Long-term use can lead to panic disorders and psychosis. Repeated exposure can negatively affect the areas of your brain dealing with forming memories.  (remember to brush and floss correctly and eat healthy!)
  • And, yes, you can develop a dependence. If you are trying to kick the habit (Yea!) expect mood swings, trouble sleeping, changes in appetite.

Everyone may think they are immune to the risks.  The benefits must be compared with the risks.  Some risks can be minimized by proper oral hygiene (just a friendly tip).  So, what are the benefits?  I’ll have you ask your medical doctor for that one.   It is difficult to compare studies due to how the studies are fashioned and the doses and forms of cannabinoids used.

Marijuana

In the January 2016 issue of AGD Impact the following was noted:

Because Marijuana use can affect your dental health, it is important to be straightforward in informing your dentist about any drugs that you are taking as many can have oral side effects.  Even herbal, medicinal and recreational Marijuana.  Marijuana use has increased steadily over the last 10 years especially among adolescents, who may not really understand the risks.

Please keep this in mind if you are having a dental procedure completed, “Topical application or local injection of products containing epinephrine, which can dangerously prolong tachycardia, should be avoided . . . as they can lead to complications in the operatory (treatment room).”

What does this mean for you?

If you have recently used cannabis, and you are having any procedure that includes either topical anesthetic (a hygienist may use a solution or gel to make your cleaning more comfortable) or a shot and you need to inform the dental team.  Just tell your dentist or hygienist about your recent cannabis use and request that no epinephrine be used for your procedure.  Epinephrine could cause extended time with a high heart rate which can cause problems. Avoid marijuana for at least seven days before a scheduled dental appointment that includes anesthesia.

Not Marijuana

Your health history is confidential and the information you provide should help your dental team take the best care of you.  Let your dentist and dental team know the following:

  1. Recent use (smoking or ingesting)
  2. Type of use (edibles, smoking, both)
  3. How long have you done this?
  4. Purpose (for pain, recreation)?

More information will continue to surface about marijuana use and its affect on your dental health as the use continues and increases.  Our office will try to keep you posted.

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS, PC

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health

 

 

All Porcelain Crowns or Porcelain Fused to Metal?

September 25, 2017

Filed under: All Porcelain Crowns,Crowns — Tags: , — Dr Gillis @ 11:25 pm

All Porcelain Crowns or Porcelain Fused to Metal Crowns?

Porcelain fused to metal crowns may be strong, but they often look fake.

A crown is not a crown is not a crown!  If you are deciding what type of crown is best for you – an all porcelain crown or a porcelain fused to metal crown – this blog will help by describing and showing you these types of crowns and explaining their advantages.  Your dentist should also be able to tell you the advantages and disadvantages of different types of crowns and why one type may be best for certain situations.   In our office can show you many photos of crowns that we have completed and we would be happy to answer your questions to find the type of treatment that is right for you and for your teeth!

When they are done well, an all porcelain crown is strong and beautiful!

Porcelain fused to metal crowns may be strong, but they often look fake.

In the photos shown here, you will see both all porcelain crowns and porcelain fused to metal crowns to restore the front teeth.  Although the porcelain fused to metal crowns have functioned well for years, they are not aesthetic.  Our patient was unhappy with her smile.  Her main concerns were the following:

 

  • The crowns do not look real, they look like fake teeth
  • The crowns are too opaque and too dark
  • There are gaps between the teeth that often look like I have something stuck there
  • The crowns make the teeth look old

 

In a porcelain fused to metal crown, the tooth is covered in a thin layer of metal before the porcelain is added to make the crown ‘tooth colored’.  How can you tell if the crowns are porcelain fused to metal?

  1. You will often see a dark or black line at the edge of the crowns where the metal shows through
  2. The crowns are often opaque due to the opaque layers of porcelain that must be used to hide or masque the metal
  3. On a dental x-ray, you cannot see the tooth through the crown

Note the much improved smile with the use of all porcelain crowns on the front teeth!

Why would dentists use porcelain fused to metal?

  1. Porcelain fused to metal used to be the strongest type of crown that was still tooth colored.
  2. Porcelain, especially older porcelains, can be prone to fracture and the metal below the porcelain provides support.
  3. The crown could be metal on the inside or tongue side of the tooth and metal is kind to the teeth chewing against the crown.
  4. All porcelain crowns should ideally be bonded to the teeth and there may be conditions where it is not possible to bond the crowns in place and the crown must be cemented.
  5. Sometimes a dentist will only do the types of crowns that they have been doing for years and porcelain fused to metal crowns have been around for years.
  6. The dentist’s laboratory may not be skilled at doing all porcelain crowns.

Our office completed a thorough examination and noted that the gums were very healthy and the teeth looked great on an x-ray.  We replaced the unaesthetic porcelain fused to metal crowns with all porcelain crowns and achieved a much more natural looking result.  Our office and our patient were very pleased with the result!  We still place porcelain fused to metal crowns in some situations and we would be happy to let you know the best type of crown for your teeth and your specific situation!  You can find more information about types of crowns in our other blogs or by visiting our website at www.juliegillisdds.com,  We appreciate the opportunity to provide you with the best dental care! Weather you live in Grand Junction, Colorado, Fruita, Colorado, Palisade, Colorado, Delta, Colorado, Montrose, Colorado, or any neighboring city; we would love to see you!  We see many patients from Utah as well.

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS, AAACD

Restoring Teeth/Restoring Smiles

 

 

 

Crooked Teeth? Correct with Braces or Veneers?

August 31, 2017

Crooked Teeth –  Should You Choose Braces or

Porcelain Veneers?

If your teeth are crooked and it bothers you, now is a good time to do something about this!  But what should you do?  Do you have crooked teeth – should you choose braces or porcelain veneers?  This blog will review a case that could be treated with either option or both.  See if you agree with our patient’s choices.  The right answer for you and your crooked teeth is something that requires evaluation of your smile and your concerns with a dentist who understands that the ‘best’ treatment option is different for different people. Braces may mean straightening the teeth with Invisalign, Clear Correct, an Inman Appliance or similar or limited orthodontics with braces.

Crowded and poorly aligned teeth detract from this smile!

Crowded and poorly aligned teeth detract from this smile! Note crooked teeth!

Your dentist should be able to review with you the advantages and disadvantages of one option over another to treat crooked teeth and help you make the decision that is right for you and for your smile.  If you have crooked teeth and you have made the decision to improve your smile, you probably want to do this right away!  That usually means having your dentist prepare your teeth for veneers or crowns that make it look like you have spent years in braces and were born with a beautiful smile.  While this may be the fastest decision, it is not always the best solution for crooked teeth.  You will have to live with the result for many years and your dental health – the health of your teeth should be one of your concerns.

Conservative treatment with a combination of orthodontic movement of the teeth and porcelain veneers made a big difference in this smile!

Conservative treatment with a porcelain veneers made a big difference in this smile!

In the case shown here, the teeth are very crooked and crowded.  You can see a very thin, worn area on the left front tooth that is almost see through.  The right lateral incisor appears to have an odd shape.  If the teeth were moved into better alignment with braces, these problems would still need to be addressed.  Our office likes to do study models of your teeth to show you the results you can expect with different types of treatment.  One of our concerns is being very conservative with the preparation (grinding!) of your teeth because we want you to have your teeth your whole life.

It is best to select a dentist for this type of treatment who is willing to show you before and after photos of patients they have treated in their office so that you can observe for yourself the quality of the dental care.  Anyone can post beautiful photos with amazing results, but your concern should be whether your dental office can do the dental work that you desire.  For this type of treatment, the dentist should have advanced training in cosmetic dentistry beyond just listing that they do porcelain veneers on their website.  The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) has an accreditation process that includes completing a written examination and presenting several different cosmetic cases for evaluation in front of a panel of experts in cosmetic dentistry.  An accredited dentist has met these rigorous standards with their dental treatment and can help you achieve your smile goals.

Before treatment

Before treatment

After movement of the teeth any further correction becomes very easy to accomplish!

After movement of the teeth any further correction becomes very easy to accomplish!

 

Our office carefully examines different treatment options and we can tell you approximately how long treatment will take and the advantages/disadvantages of doing different types of treatment.  In the case shown here, orthodontic treatment can be used to improve the alignment before the teeth are prepared for porcelain veneers.  As a patient you can decide if the small amount of additional time for the orthodontic treatment (six months) can fit into your schedule.

If you are trying to improve your smile and you would like to know your options, we would love to help!  Dr. Gillis is an accredited member of the AACD and now serves as an examiner for other dentists going through the accreditation process. She serves on the American Board of Cosmetic Dentistry and is the chair of the Written Examination Committee for the accreditation process.  Our office wants you to achieve your smile goals in the best way possible for you!

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS, AAACD

Restoring Teeth/Restoring Smiles

 

Should Gingival Recession Be Treated?

August 21, 2017

Filed under: Gum Recession — Tags: — Dr Gillis @ 6:53 am

Should Gingival Recession Be Treated?

Please see our previous blog on what IS gingival recession.

Should gingival recession be treated?  The answer is, it depends!  This blog will explore some of the reasons to treat or not to treat gingival recession.  We hope you enjoy it!

We care about gingival recession for many reasons.  Mostly because we want you to save your teeth for a lifetime and gingival recession is not a normal process of aging.  Most importantly your dentist should help you determine the cause of your gingival recession and then tell you the things you can do to prevent it from continuing.

Gingival Recession

Several areas of gingival or gum recession noted

The gingival recession pictured here is severe.  The patient has been informed as to the likely causes of his recession (Orthodontic movement of the teeth combined with excessive and hard tooth brushing) and instructed in how to prevent it from getting worse.  Our patient really wants to have a better looking smile!  The following are the patient’s main concerns:

  • Dark colored front teeth
  • Short side teeth (lateral incisors)
  • Poor alignment of the front teeth
  • Gingival recession is only a minor concern

Now, please look at the photo of our patient’s smile.  Even with a wide smile, the gingival recession cannot be seen.  The most noticeable things about the smile are the discolored or dark front teeth and the short side teeth that seem to stick out.

The patient's concerns are apparent in this smile photo.

The patient’s concerns are apparent in this smile photo.

Our office decided to start with study models to show the patient what could be done to improve his smile.  Conservative treatment including four porcelain veneers on his front teeth would take care of his esthetic concerns.  We elected not to treat the gingival recession for these reasons:

  1. The gingival recession was not visible in his smile
  2. Gingival recession is very difficult to treat successfully
  3. We can monitor the recession over time and assure that it is not getting worse
  4. The patient has been instructed in the things he can do to prevent further gingival recession. This includes proper brushing and a gentle or no tooth paste.
  5. The gentlest thing next to gums is healthy tooth structure – not dental restorations
  6. Even with the recession, there is still adequate healthy gums around each tooth.

Stubler-10 G.Stubler6

When you look at our result compared to the before treatment photo, you can see how well the gum tissue is responding to the new porcelain veneers.  The improvement in the smile was perfect for our patient and addressed his cosmetic concerns while conserving healthy tooth structure and minimizing unnecessary surgery.

 

Our office would be happy to help you take the best care possible of your teeth.  You can reach our Grand Junction, Colorado office at (970) 242-3635.  Or visit our website at www.juliegillisdds.com for more information.  We would love to have you visit and like us on Facebook or Instagram.  Find us at Julie Gillis DDS on Facebook or DDSJulie on Instagram

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS, AAACD

Restoring Teeth/Restoring Smiles

 

 

What is Gingival or Gum Recession?

August 16, 2017

Filed under: Gum Recession — Tags: — Dr Gillis @ 6:48 pm

What is Gingival Recession?

This blog reviews what gingival recession is and the typical causes of gingival recession.  Photos display gingival recession on both front and back teeth.  By reading this blog is is hoped that you will become more aware of this problem and the ways that gingival recession can be prevented.  If gingival recession is already present, you will read how you can help prevent it from progressing.

Gingival Recession

Several areas of gingival or gum recession noted

What is gingival recession?  See the photo above.  Gingival recession happens when the gums recede or move away from their normal position near the edge of the tooth’s enamel and move toward the tip of the tooth’s root exposing the root surface of the tooth.  Once gingival recession has occurred, it will not go away on its own.  Typical causes of gingival recession are as follows:

  1. Overly aggressive tooth brushing
  2. Brushing the teeth with a hard-bristled toothbrush
  3. Brushing the teeth with an abrasive toothpaste
  4. A gum infection, periodontitis or gingivitis may cause attachment loss especially if not treated early
  5. Orthodontic movement of the teeth into an area of very thin bone so that the bone resorbs and the gums move down the roots of the teeth
  6. Trauma
  7. An ill-fitting appliance that presses on the gums
  8. Clenching and grinding of the teeth alone or combined with any of the above

We care about gingival recession for many reasons.  Mostly because we want you to save your teeth for a lifetime and gingival recession is not a normal process of aging.  Most importantly your dentist should help you determine the cause of your gingival recession and then tell you the things you can do to prevent it from continuing!

G.Stubler6

In the photo shown here, the gingival recession is present in most areas of the mouth.  As you can see, the front teeth have been beautifully restored with porcelain veneers.  The likely causes of the gingival recession is Orthodontic movement of the teeth combined with excessive and hard tooth brushing.  Look closely at the gingival recession present on the back teeth.  The exposed root is much softer than the adjacent enamel on the crown of the tooth and because this exposed part is softer, the root is more likely to be damaged or worn away by excessive tooth brushing.

So, what should you do?  If you believe that you have gingival recession you should talk about this with your dentist.  We recommend the following:

  • Use a soft toothbrush and a very mild or no toothpaste.
  • Your teeth will get clean if you dip your toothbrush in a mouth rinse for brushing. This eliminates the problem of the paste wearing away your tooth.
  • Review your brushing techniques with your dentist or dental hygienist.
  • Have photos taken of your teeth that show the recession and then compart the amount of recession over time. It should not get worse if you are doing the right things!

Our office would be happy to help you take the best care possible of your teeth.  You can reach our Grand Junction, Colorado office at (970) 242-3635.  Or visit our website at www.juliegillisdds.com for more information.  We would love to have you visit and like us on Facebook or Instagram.  Find us at Julie Gillis DDS on Facebook or Julie Gillis DDS on Instagram

 

 

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