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Should Dentists Care About Your Marijuana Use?

October 24, 2017

Should Dentists Care About Your Marijuana Use?

Peace ?

Drugs and dentistry, specifically marijuana use and dentistry is a topic seen more often in the literature.  Marijuana use has a connection with your oral health.  So, yes, your dentist should care about your Marijuana use! This blogs reviews current findings and explains some of the dental associations related to Marijuana use and concerns your dentist may have.

Should dentists care about your Marijuana Use?  Definitely!  The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) published some of these concerns from a variety of sources in the January 2016 AGD Impact.

 

Marijuana

Peace Baby!

Marijuana use is increasing and is now legal in many states including Colorado.  The appeal of Marijuana is the association with pleasure, relaxing, perceived enhanced taste, sight and hearing.  Along with increasing use, studies are showing negative health concerns.  Our office recommends letting your dentist know about your Marijuana use and discuss possible oral health problems they may be able to see in your mouth.

 

 

The main concerns are the following:

  • Impaired thought processes
  • Impaired judgement
  • Increased consumption of carbohydrates and sugars
  • A weakened immune system
  • Irritated airways
  • There is a strong association with periodontal disease
  • Increased exposure to carcinogens

Increased eating of sweets may lead to more tooth decay.  In our office we have seen terrible tooth decay when marijuana chewables are combines with a dry mouth and a susceptible patient.  We care about your dental health and want to provide the best care possible for you.  We will always try to stay up to date with current recommendations related to your dental care.  Thanks for reading our blog!  We look forward to seeing you.  In the meantime, please see more about what our office has to offer on our website at www.juliegillisdds.com or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/juliegillisddspc.  We would love to have you follow us on Facebook!

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis, DDS

Restoring Teeth/Restoring Smiles

 

What is Disclosing Solution or Caries Detecting Dye?

February 1, 2017

Filed under: Cavities and Dental Decay,Fillings — Tags: — Dr Gillis @ 7:00 am

What is Disclosing Solution or Caries Detecting Dye?

This blog describes the use of disclosing solution which is the same as caries detecting dye and shows photos of caries detecting dye used during tooth preparation.

Cavity between teeth shows up on an x-ray as a dark shadow.

Cavity between teeth shows up on an x-ray as a dark shadow.

The decay is removed and the tooth looks pretty good. Time to test with disclosing solution!

The decay is removed and the tooth looks pretty good. Time to test with disclosing solution!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If your dentist is using disclosing solution or caries detecting dye that means they care about you and they care about your teeth!  Caries detecting dye or solution is like disclosing solution.  Both are composed of a liquid die that will stain bacteria and bacterial byproducts.

Disclosing solution or caries detecting dye is used by dentists and dental hygienists for the following reasons:

  • To show you where bacteria are sticking to your teeth
  • To improve your brushing techniques
  • To evaluate if there is decay on your teeth
  • To be conservative in tooth preparation by removing all the decay and leaving healthy tooth structure

You can see why these things would be good for you!  The photos included here illustrate the treatment of a cavity that occurred in the ‘flossing zone’ between two teeth.  The dentist has removed the obvious decay and shaped the tooth so that a tooth-colored restoration can be placed.  Dark, stained areas of decay have been removed.  The tooth looks ready to restore but it isn’t.  Now is the time to paint on the caries detecting dye! 

Disclosing solution or caries detecting dye is painted over the prepared cavity.

Disclosing solution or caries detecting dye is painted over the prepared cavity.

Disclosing solution or caries detecting dye is painted over the prepared cavity and then rinsed away. Remaining dye shows remaining decay!

Disclosing solution or caries detecting dye is painted over the prepared cavity and then rinsed away. Remaining dye shows remaining decay!

 The dye comes in several colors.  Red is the most common.  The dye is painted onto the cavity preparation and allowed to remain a couple seconds.  The excess dye is rinsed away and any stain that remains indicates the presence of bacteria or bacterial byproducts.  This is carefully removed by your dentist.  Since tooth-colored fillings or restorations bond to your tooth there is no longer a need to cut in undercuts to help hold fillings in.  Your dentist will want to be conservative in tooth preparation by removing all the decay and leaving healthy tooth structure.

The tooth is restored to ideal contours knowing that all decay has been carefully removed.

The tooth is restored to ideal contours knowing that all decay has been carefully removed.

In our office, we may paint on the dye several times.  Each time removing just the areas where decay remains and saving as much tooth as possible.  This is just one of the many ways we would like our teeth to be treated and so that is the way we treat our patient’s teeth!  Please call our office if you have any questions or concerns.  We would love to see you!

Yours for better dental health,

                 Julie Gillis DDS, PC

     Restoring Teeth/Restoring Smiles

Can A Tooth Cavity Be Hidden?

September 26, 2014

Filed under: Cavities and Dental Decay — Tags: — Dr Gillis @ 4:18 am

Can A Tooth Cavity Be Hidden?

Healthy appearing molar - no symptioms.

Healthy appearing molar – no symptoms.

Without taking the time to really look at this tooth under different light conditions, and evaluating the grooves with a cavity detecting laser, this cavity or area of decay might be missed! The x-ray image was non-remarkable (no cavity or area of decay visible).  The surface of the tooth was very hard when felt with an explorer.  (Many of us have experienced a dentist or dental hygienist ‘poking’ at a tooth to see if their explorer ‘sticks’ as it often will in an area of decay otherwise known as a cavity!)  Our office noted the gray discoloration and tested the tooth with a cavity detecting laser.

See areas of concern. The cavity detecting laser will assist in determining if there is decay below the enamel of a tooth.

See areas of concern. The cavity detecting laser will assist in determining if there is decay below the enamel of a tooth.

Some cavities or areas of decay are easy to see and feel, while some are not!  If you are concerned about any of your teeth or gums please ask your dentist!  We are always happy to explain what is going on with your mouth and teeth. The enamel over the gray area on the tooth is carefully removed with a high speed handpiece and severe decay (seen in the photo as the large darkly stained area) was found below.  A conservative tooth colored restoration was placed to restore the health and color of this tooth.  Left untreated, the decay could easily have progressed into the nerve of the tooth!

Gross decay below enamel was causing the gray discoloration seen in the previous photos.

Gross decay below enamel was causing the gray discoloration seen in the previous photos.

As always, yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis, DDS

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health!

 

Please check our our office’s website, go to www.juliegillisdds.com for more information on tooth decay, dental procedures and our team in Grand Junction, Colorado.  Our phone number is (970) 242-3635.

Photo shows the left side of the mouth in the patient with the gray area on the tooth above.

Photo shows the left side of the mouth in the patient with the gray area on the tooth above. Note healthy looking teeth and gums.  Excellent oral hygiene.

Obvious decay in the grooves of this tooth!

Obvious decay in the grooves of this tooth!

Decay restored with a conservative tooth colored filling.

Decay restored with a conservative tooth colored filling.

 

Small Cavity or Chipped Tooth? Your Best Fix is a Bonded, Tooth-Colored Restoration!

January 14, 2014

Bonded, Tooth-Colored Restorations –Still the Best Restoration for Small Cavities or Small Chips!

Small chip in tooth due to trauma can be easily restored.

Small chip in tooth due to trauma can be easily restored.

 

Tooth-colored composite material fills in the chip and is bonded  to the tooth.

Tooth-colored composite material fills in the chip and is bonded to the tooth.

Bonded, tooth-colored restorations also known as composite restorations have stood the test of time, and they are still the best restoration for small cavities! 

For years dentists placed amalgam or silver fillings composed primarily of a 50/50 blend of silver and mercury.  First, the dentist would remove the decay, then the dentist would deepen, widen, and undercut the opening into the tooth just so that the silver filling would not fall out of the tooth.  Bonded, tooth-colored restorations or composite fillings can bond to the tooth – even to a flat surface – so the dentist can place a very conservative restoration removing just the decayed and weakened tooth and preserving more of your healthy tooth structure.

 

 

 

 

Decay often starts in the grooves of teeth as this area is hard to keep clean and food and debris packs here.

Decay often starts in the grooves of teeth as this area is hard to keep clean and food and debris packs here.

 

Cavity is removed and tooth health is restored with a bonded, tooth-colored restoration.

Cavity is removed and tooth health is restored with a bonded, tooth-colored restoration.

Some dentists are still placing amalgams or silver/mercury fillings.  We have not used them in our office since about 1995 when I decided that I would not put in someone else’s mouth what I would not want in my own or my children’s mouthes.  Our office prefers bonded, tooth-colored composite fillings when a bonded restoration is the best solution.  Over time, amalgam or silver/mercury fillings act just like any metal and they expand and contract as the temperature of your mouth changes such as when you have a cold or hot drink.  This can cause fractures in the adjacent tooth structure requiring replacing the filling or restoration with an even larger, deeper filling, or with a crown.  Tooth-colored composite restorations are more technique sensitive to place and are generally more time consuming then the older amalgam or  silver/mercury fillings.  But isn’t it worth it? Aren’t your teeth worth it?  We haven’t even touched on the fact that the mercury found in all amalgam or silver fillings is a poison and who wants this in their tooth!

Very visible, stained restoration should either be replaced or polished.

Very visible, stained restoration should either be replaced or polished.

Our office wants you to have what is best for you and for your teeth!  If your tooth-colored restorations stain over time, it is sometimes possible to polish them. This will make them look significantly better, and allow the restoration to function well for much longer.

 

Most of the stain is removed and the restoration may last many more years.

Most of the stain is removed and the restoration may last many more years.

We decide to make the restoration last longer simply by polishing away the defective area!

We decide to make the restoration last longer simply by polishing away the defective area!

Our office would be happy to discuss with you options to restore your teeth or your children’s or loved one’s teeth.  Our goal is to treat you like we would want to be treated and to give you options about your dental care so you can make the right decisions for you! Please call our office to set up an appointment or to ask any questions that you might have. Our office is located in Grand Junction, Colorado.  Our phone number is (970) 242-3635.  You can email us at jgillis@juliegillisdds.com

Our office now has a Facebook page and we would love for you to ‘like’ us! On Facebook, find us at Julie M Gillis DDS PC.

As always, yours for better dental health,

 

Julie Gillis, DDS

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health

 

 

 

ICON – It’s New, It’s Cool, and It’s Good For Teeth!

November 21, 2013

Filed under: Cavities and Dental Decay,Fillings,Tooth Decay — Tags: — Dr Gillis @ 7:12 pm

When a tooth starts to decay, the tooth looses minerals in the affected area and gradually becomes weaker and weaker until a soft area or hole forms in the tooth – a cavity.  Early tooth decay may be treated as an area to ‘watch’ by your dentist. As the tooth decay progresses, the tooth is usually treated by drilling out the weak area and restoring the tooth with a filling.  There is now a way to treat early cavities WITHOUT drilling, and usually WITHOUT anesthetic!  If a cavity occurs between two teeth – as they often do – the only way to treat the cavity or tooth decay is to grind away the tooth structure above the cavity and restore the whole side of the tooth.

In September 2009 DMG America came out with a new product for dentists known as ICON, My treatment assistant, Regina, shares this information:

Rather than drilling out the decay, the ICON carrier is placed between the teeth to access the cavity.

Rather than drilling out the decay, the ICON carrier is placed between the teeth to access the cavity.

 

ICON stands for infiltration concept.

The special carrier is porous on one side only so only the tooth that needs to be conditioned (see green) is treated!

The special carrier is porous on one side only so only the tooth that needs to be conditioned (see green) is treated!

IMG_4843

A very special material is infiltrated into the conditioned tooth to stop the progress of decay!

Now dentists with the use of this new technology can treat incipient or early tooth decay upon discovery without waiting for the tooth decay to progress into the soft tooth stage when anesthetic and drilling of the teeth is required.   The ICON treatment helps stop the progression of tooth decay when treated in the early stages. This increases the life expectancy for the tooth and is minimally-invasive.   Previously dentists had to “wait and watch” until the cavity or tooth decay was big enough to justify drilling which sacrificed healthy tooth structure.

ICON works by placing a few solutions that spontaneous flow around the area being treated then hardened by a light which bonds the material to the tooth.  The area is then evaluated annually with bite-wing x-rays.  This same technique can be used to treat white spot lesions to stabilize the demineralized enamel area, and give teeth the appearance of the surrounding healthy enamel.

Our office would be happy to tell you about what is going on in your mouth in as much detail as you would like.   Our office is located in Grand Junction, Colorado.  Our office phone number is (970) 242-3635.  You can email us at jgillis@juliegillisdds.com.   We would love for you to ‘like’ us on our office’s Facebook page!  Please find us at Julie M Gillis DDS PC.

As always, yours for better dental health,

 Julie Gillis, DDS

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health

You can see here the infiltrating material flowing through the special carrier into the conditioned tooth.

You can see here the infiltrating material flowing through the special carrier into the conditioned tooth.

A curing light is used to fuse the infiltrate into the pores of the tooth. The weak area is effectively sealed from further progression of decay!

A curing light is used to fuse the infiltrate into the pores of the tooth. The weak area is effectively sealed from further

progression of decay!

 

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