Colony Square Dental Associates

Dental Temporaries

While you are “Under Construction”

At Colony Square Dental Associates we are quite familiar with the term “Under Construction”, especially as Colony Square undergoes a transformation. However, we are appreciably more knowledgeable about dental reconstruction. Whether the patient’s goal is to enhance the esthetics of their smile with porcelain dental veneers or ceramic dental crowns, or a tooth or teeth are damaged due to an accidental injury or dental disease, Drs. Hochberg and Diora and their treatment team are on hand to guide patients throughout the process.

Oftentimes, constructing or reconstructing teeth entails treatment over a period of time. There may be decayed or fractured teeth that require the fabrication of one or more crowns, onlays, or inlays. In other cases the teeth are non-restorable and must be removed; dental implants or a bridge are necessary to replace the missing teeth. Most often there is a healing period after extraction or dental implant placement; an ‘in-between’ time prior to the final restoration. Even root canal therapy can present conditions when our dentists want to ensure that the tooth has settled down prior to permanently sealing the tooth’s canal; the tooth is temporized. Irrespective of the plan of care, it is essential that patients leave Colony Square Dental Associates able to chew in comfort and with their smiles intact. To achieve this end, the patient will leave with an interim filling, crown, partial, or denture – ‘in temps’.

 

The type of interim solution, until the permanent restoration can be placed, is dependent upon the treatment planned. Will there be porcelain veneers on the upper anterior teeth to enhance a smile? A crown on a posterior molar? An anterior bridge? One or more dental implants to support a new tooth or teeth. Or a partial or fully implant-supported denture? Either Dr. Hochberg or Dr. Diora will discuss the temporary or provisional interim measures designed to carry you through from the initiation of care to the final restoration.

While oftentimes the terms temporary or provisional are used interchangeably, there is a difference. The treatment planned, the number of teeth involved, the location of the teeth (in the front or the back of your mouth) will dictate the nature and purpose of the interim that is fabricated. For example, when treatment entails the esthetics of anterior teeth or there are a series of teeth that will be replaced with dental implants, a waxup is fabricated by the laboratory from which the interim is designed. This detailed measure provides the patient with the opportunity to have a glimpse of the shape and size of the final restoration(s). Modifications can be made before the final prosthesis is fabricated. In other instances the patient’s occlusion (bite) will benefit from modification; a provisional interim allows the patient to speak and eat for a period of time to determine that they are comfortable with the changes. If there are not anterior esthetic concerns or a change in occlusion – perhaps it’s a single crown or a 3-tooth bridge in the posterior area – these type of restorations typically do not require a waxup and an in-office fabricated temporary to protect the tooth or teeth pending the cementation of the permanent crown(s) is sufficient. However, there are commonalities between the terms for the interims. Temporary or provisional restorations serve to:

  • Minimize the tooth’s sensitivity.
  • Approximate the final restoration. A provisional interim offers a glimpse at the final result.
  • Maintain the space that was occupied by the full sized tooth or teeth, ensuring that the adjacent teeth do not shift and the opposing tooth above or below the temp does not drift downward or upward.
  • Cover and protect the exposed dentin, which is the softer material and via the tubules could allow bacteria to enter once a tooth has been reshaped.
  • Keep the gum in its original position.

We hope that you bear with us during the modernization of the Colony Square complex; and we will to do our utmost to work with you during the reconstruction of your smile. And just like any construction project, there is a period of time during which we await the desired end result and abide a bit of inconvenience … on a temporary basis!

Teeth Whitening | How to determine which shade of white is right for you!

The number one requested service in most dental offices is tooth whitening. Perhaps this is driven by the fact that wherever we look, be it the movies or magazines, we see models and movie stars with whiter than white teeth. Whether they are young … or in their mature years … oftentimes their smile is not only the first thing you see, but sometimes it’s the main thing you see. Why? With today’s over-the-counter products and the advanced technology and skilled ceramists, dentists are able to offer designer smiles. But, actors and models may have goals that are different from yours. As the patient, it’s important to communicate your preferences. Before you decide whether a Hollywood neon smile is what you want, take some time to think and discuss options with your dentist. Answer the question – What’s right for me? Then talk with Drs. Hochberg and Diora as to determine the best way to meet those expectations.

 

Of course, we all agree that an attractive smile boosts self-confidence. We want to smile proudly, without embarrassment, and share our good feelings with others. If you are displeased with the esthetics of your smile, the first step is to identify what it is that you don’t like. Is it discoloration? Coffee, tea, wine, and many foods can contribute to surface discoloration. Or yellowing and darkening can occur from smoking. Maybe your home health dental hygiene regime is a bit underwhelming. Remember that the outer portion of the tooth, the enamel, can be damaged or thinned due to many factors, revealing the yellower dentin, which is underneath this layer.

 

If tooth color is the only concern, after a professional cleaning by a dental hygienist and once any areas of active decay are treated, in-office procedures, such as Zoom! Tooth Whitening, can lighten natural teeth shades whiter. There are also trays that can be fabricated and worn at home as well as over-the-counter products. However, how many shades whiter these treatment options can take your teeth is dependent on the thickness of the natural tooth’s enamel and the darkness of the dentin that is showing through. Expectations must be realistic. And excessive use of OTC whitening products can actually cause damage to the teeth – the teeth develop an excessive translucency at the edges and appear to be see through and appear unnatural.

 

When topical applications will not meet the desired results or modification of the size and shape of the teeth is also indicated, porcelain veneers are often the answer. Many of the Hollywood stars’ smiles are the result of cosmetic dentistry and the fabrication of veneers or dental crowns. They can be any shade that you want. They can be ‘whiter than white’. Or the shade selected can be more natural. This is a your decision, one that needs to be discussed prior to selecting a shade for your veneers or crowns, as you will be sporting your new smile for quite some time. While it’s tempting to ask for teeth that are as white as possible, before you choose the brightest white, as they say ‘similar to our porcelain toilet’, consider the full picture. When tooth color becomes excessively white the teeth can actually appear fake – similar to the dentures from years ago that were Chiclet white; they were obviously false teeth. And when teeth are too white, they become the sole focal point of your face, diminishing the rest of your facial features and taking away the warmth that comes from your eyes. Balancing the decision between an unnaturally white smile and ‘wow’ than can comes from a bright, white smile that is a bit more natural will let your personality shine through. For years, the typical rule of thumb was that your teeth should approximate the shade of white in your eyes. Of course, tooth shade is not the only factor that contributes to a natural smile. The size, shaping, and translucency of the veneers and crowns help to make your smile unique to you. A combination of the artistic skills of your dentist and the ceramist are the tools to create a smile designed just for you.

 

The wonderful news is that with in-office or at-home whitening or with porcelain veneers and ceramic crowns, we at Colony Square Dental Associates can work with you to evaluate the numerous treatment options available. Today’s cosmetic dentistry and tooth whitening products enhance the smiles of countless patients. Just remember, take the time to discuss with your dentist your specific expectations and goals and answer this question for yourself, “How white is white enough”? We are here to help you look your fantastic best!

Fun Dental Facts for 4th of July

As many of you prepare for summer cookouts, time with family, and festive events for this 4th of July holiday, we wanted to share some fun and interesting dental facts that date all the way back to the year of independence, 1776.

  • 1768-1770 The infamous, Paul Revere, placed advertisements in a local newspaper offering his services as a dentist. A few years later, Revere verifies the death of his friend by identifying a bridge he constructed for him. This was the first known case of post-mortem dental forensics.
  • 1789 A Frenchman by the name of Nicolas Dubois de Chemant received the first patent for porcelain teeth.
  • 1790 An American dentist, Josiah Flagg, constructed the first chair made for a dental patient complete with an adjustable headrest and an arm extension to hold dental instruments.
  • 1825 Porcelain teeth began to be manufactured commercially.
  • 1832 The first luxury reclining dental chair was invented by James Snell.
  • 1833-1850 Two brothers from France, the Crawcours’, introduced amalgam filling material for cavities to the United States.
  • 1846 A dentist named William Morton conducted the first successful public demonstration of the use of anesthesia for surgery.
  • 1859 The American Dental Association (ADA) was formed by twenty-six dentists that met at Niagara Falls.
  • 1866 The first women to earn a dental degree was Lucy Beaman Hobbs. She graduated in 1866.
  • 1871 The first patent for an electrical dental engine (self-contained motor and hand piece) was given to George F. Green.
  • 1890 After a dentist, Willoughby Miller, wrote a book on micro-organisms of the mouth, it sparked an interest in oral hygiene and started a movement to promote regular brushing and flossing world-wide.
  • 1895 The first dental x-ray of a living person was taken in the US by a prominent dentist in New Orleans, C. Edmond Kells.
  • 1917 The first dental hygiene license was received in Connecticut by Irene Newman.
  • 1937 The first dental screw implant was placed.
  • 1938 The first toothbrush made with synthetic bristles (nylon) appeared on the market for purchase.
  • 1945 Cities in New York and Michigan began water fluoridation by adding sodium fluoride to their public water systems.
  • 1950 The first toothpaste containing fluoride was placed on the market.
  • 1960 Lasers were developed, produced, and approved for soft tissue work such as when treating periodontal disease.
  • 1990 New restorative materials were introduced beginning an era of cosmetic/esthetic dentistry. These tooth colored materials increased use of crowns, veneers, etc.

 

We hope you enjoyed these fun facts dating back to when our country found its independence. We wish all of our patients, visitors, and staff a great and healthy holiday! HAPPY 4th!

Do Wisdom Teeth need to be removed?

But they aren’t bothering me! And for many patients their third molars, typically called wisdom teeth, can remain in place for their lifetimes. However, that is not always the case. The last teeth to erupt, and the furthest back in our mouth, Drs. Hochberg and Diora tell us that many times these teeth present problems that can impact adjacent teeth and even your overall oral health.

This set of molars, which are usually seen when patients are in their late teens or early twenties, don’t always come through the gumline fully, can erupt in a crooked manner, or they may even remain buried under the gumline. While this may not cause you discomfort at the moment, there is the potential for the development of problems down the road, causing the need for removal when it’s a more complicated and difficult procedure for the patient. The reason? As we age, the bone that surrounds the newly formed teeth becomes denser and hardens. And the roots are well formed, making them more challenging to remove.

When our wisdom teeth come in straight, upper and lower teeth are in good alignment, and the jaw has adequate room, our third molars serve to help in chewing. But these strong teeth also make us work a bit harder. While it’s said that they are called wisdom teeth due to the age at which they form, maybe part of their name is due to the fact that we need to be wise to properly care for them. Why? They are difficult to reach and clean properly when brushing and flossing. This is why so many patients who retain their wisdom teeth need fillings or crowns down the road in order to maintain them. And when the tooth is partially impacted (not completely erupted through the gum) there is often a space between the tooth and gums giving bacteria an open door policy that sets the site for infection. When the tooth is fully impacted (completely embedded in the bone) it often rests on the roots of adjacent teeth. The impacted tooth pushes on the root and can cause the healthy tooth next to the wisdom tooth to shift or can cause it to decay. When teeth shift and your occlusion, bite, is impacted, TMJ (temporomandibular – jaw) discomfort can develop. Also, impacted teeth must be regularly monitored if not removed.  Cysts can develop, and until the problem is advanced, is only detectable through x-ray. This creates voids in the surrounding bone and can also damage the roots of the adjacent tooth.

So, when you visit your hygienist at Colony Square Dental Associates, it is important that Dr. Hochberg or Dr. Diora take an x-ray to monitor your wisdom teeth. They can evaluate the growth and positioning of the teeth as they mature and continue to observe them. If they recommend removal of the teeth they will explain the reasons for their concern. Whether the tooth is fully erupted, partially impacted, or fully impacted, will help determine whether our doctors can provide for your care in the office. If not a referral to an oral surgeon will be made. In this case we will advise the surgeon’s office of our concerns, and when available, a current x-ray will be sent to their office. Either our doctors or the oral surgeon will explain the details of the procedure and what to expect. As each patient’s needs, due to the location and position of the tooth, varies, each patient will respond differently to treatment. And, age matters. Younger patients have less bone density and the roots are not fully developed – oftentimes a consideration in choosing to remove wisdom teeth when young when it’s apparent that positioning will cause problems down the road.

Be diligent about your teeth – all your teeth. It’s the wise thing to do. After all, oral health is part of overall wellbeing. Have regular dental cleanings and examinations so your wisdom teeth don’t outsmart you!

CSDA Visits the Big Apple

Traveling with our staff each year is something we don’t take for granted. Although most of our trips are planned to attend continuing education courses, occasionally we have an opportunity to vacation together in a more relaxed and team building environment. Last month we were privileged to experience the great city of New York. The sight-seeing, food, broadways, and shopping were second to none. We are delighted to share our memories with you.

Upon arrival, we were met by a luxury shuttle bus at the airport. Our driver, Paul, was incredibly informative and gave us a small history lesson on the way to the hotel. Who knew we would be staying at the stunning Intercontinental located directly on Times Square? After checking into our rooms we met in the lobby for a planned outing with the whole group. We arrived at a museum called “Gulliver’s Gate.” It is one of the most technologically advanced museums of miniatures out there. The intricate detail and master craftsmanship is astonishing. From a fully functioning mini-airport and a digital Niagara Falls, to hidden details and interactive moving parts, it was an absolute must-see. After touring the multiple floors, and observing the artists crafting in the workshops windows, we worked up quite an appetite and were ready for a delicious Italian dinner at the infamous Carmine’s.

The next day we were treated to a delectable brunch at a stunning historical restaurant called Tavern on the Green. Originally a sheep fold in the 1800’s, it was transformed into a public restaurant in 1934. Many people find the scenery recognizable as this was the backdrop of the popular movie, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. After we had our fill, we took a casual stroll to 220 Central Park South. There we were met by three coachmen of the Central Park Carriage Tours. We each hopped into a horse drawn buggy, and enjoyed the history and breathtaking views Central Park has to offer. Not to mention, the stunning Strawberry Fields, a 2.5 acre landscaped section of the park, which was dedicated to the memory of the formal Beatle, John Lennon. We were lucky enough to have experienced a local street performer strumming a soft tune of “Strawberry Fields Forever” nearby.

After a long stroll back to the hotel by way of window shopping on 5th Avenue, we prepared for dinner and the much anticipated Hamilton on Broadway. Bond 45 did not disappoint.This Italian kitchen and bar is known for their seasonal market vegetables and features an extravagant menu including house made pasta, thin crust pizza, and breakfast served all day long. Luckily, for our ladies that wore heels, the Richard Rogers Theatre was directly across the street.

 

Hamilton on Broadway was absolutely incredible. Words fail to describe the talent presented on one stage. Our seats were directly behind the live orchestra in the center section. (Leave it to Dr. Hochberg to spoil us with the very best.) The emotion, the soundtrack, and the performances were an experience of a lifetime and definitely the favorite highlight of our trip for all. The excitement continued well after the curtain closed and one lucky lady in our group reached out to a lead cast member on social media and received a response back! This was truly an encounter that will be remembered for many years to come.

The following day, Friday, we ventured out on the popular New York Subway to visit the National September 11th Memorial & Museum. Complete with a private tour, we reflected on the tragedy that affected so many Americans and their families. Although a somber experience, we learned so much about the events of the day, the individuals, and the unique perspective of what has shaped New York to become beauty from ashes again. The twin reflecting pools located on the plaza was a nice ending to always remember the lives lost. In fact, the names of each individual are inscribed into the bronze panels edging the pools. It is a powerful and constant reminder of the largest loss of life from a foreign attack in American history, of both general public and rescue personnel. A special thank you to our tour guide, Victor, for the attention to detail and impactful impression you left us with.

To complete our experience, we walked to the One World Trade Center, the main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center complex. It is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, and the sixth-tallest in the world. The elevator ride to the observatory deck had a floor to ceiling digital screen playing CGI animation of the development of Lower Manhattan, New York City in the last 500 years. There are no windows, but these elevators are high speed and oftentimes can make a riders slightly dizzy. It travels at 23 mph and transport passengers from the lobby to the observatory deck in a mere 47 seconds. Following a quick group photo, our staff was seated to lunch with an amazing view at ONE Dine, a restaurant located at the top of the tower with views of Midtown Manhattan, the East River, and The Hudson. The local chef inspired menu had great choices for everyone, from appetizers to finishing with dessert. After a quick descend back down, we were then on our way to The Hudson to see things a bit more at ground level.

We met at the docks of The Hudson River. A nice tour cruise boat awaited us and we enjoyed indoor seating in the VIP section, of course. The announcer gave detailed history on the bridges and buildings as we passed by. The most beautiful was that of Lady Liberty. Although it was a cloudy day, she stood tall and was seen for the first time by a handful of our team members. It was a bucket list item we were all happy to check off!

Finally the dreaded day arrived, Saturday. It would be our last full day in the Big Apple. Most of our staff made plans to enjoy the city on their own. Ezel was bit adventurous and took the Subway to Brooklyn. Angela and Dr. Diora met with friends. Kayla went to the spa and later met Karren to go shopping. Cheryl, Karen, and Sharon took Uber’s to visit the beautiful Met Museum. Although a bit scattered, we all were thankful for time to enjoy individual excursions on this trip. Ending the day, we met for a group dinner at La Masseria. (Italian is our go-to favorite, if you can’t tell.) Complete with homemade gelato, we finished our meal and prepared for a final Broadway show, The Lion King. “The movie come to life” is an understatement. The cast, the costumes, and the choreography was incredible. It was another late night, but well worth it.

Sunday morning we met in the lobby bright and early for checkout and to head to the airport. Dr. Hochberg was busy passing out Schmackary’s cookies to everyone as a little treat for the plane ride home. Some of us watched movies, others caught up on sleep, but all of us reminisced on what a wonderful trip it was. We are so grateful to be a part of a team that feels more like family. New York was the trip of a lifetime, and we cannot wait until Dallas!

To view our complete NYC photo album, please visit our Facebook page.

Preparing to Travel Out of the Country

Dental Tips & Information You Should Know Prior to Packing Your Luggage

Like many of you, the team here at CSDA is busy making travel plans for the summer. Our practice will be departing for New York City next week in fact, for our annual trip! However, not everyone has the convenience of bringing their dentist along with them. And for those of you who are traveling out of the country, it is especially important that you are prepped with the proper information needed should a dental emergency arise.

There are a few things to consider when you find yourself in need of dental care outside of the U.S.

  • How will you locate an experienced dentist with proper qualifications in a foreign country?
  • Do they accept U.S. currency, and if not, what is their method and/or fee to process your credit card payment?
  • Does your dental benefits cover treatments performed outside of the United States? And if so, to what extent?
  • If your procedure has a complication during or after, are you prepared to travel back to the out of country doctor who treated you? What are your legal rights?
  • Are the doctors treating you practicing safe infection control procedures? (The dentist should wear clean examination gloves and a mask. Also, the dental instruments used should always be properly sterilized.)

Before packing your luggage for your getaway destination, you might consider scheduling a precautionary appointment with Dr. Hochberg or Dr. Diora. It may decrease the need for an emergency based visit elsewhere. If there are any areas of concern, the doctors may be able to catch it quickly prior to your departure. And will then be able to prepare you with aftercare instructions and how to best monitor that area while you are away.

Enjoy your travels with a smile and worry less. We will be sharing all of our own adventures in NYC with you all very soon!

When should you schedule your child’s first dental visit?

Parents frequently ask, “When is the recommended age to schedule my child’s first dental appointment?” Some believe it’s best to wait until all his or her teeth have come in or if a dental related problem arises. However, the experts at the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) both recommend that a child’s first visit should be within six months after their first tooth erupts. And typically, primary teeth begin erupting around 6 months of age. Prolonging the visit any longer than age one, can increase your child’s risk of dealing with plaque build-up or cavities at their first dental visit.

Many assume that because baby teeth are temporary they do not require much attention and there is little point in caring for them. However, that is a common mistake. Your child’s permanent teeth are slowly developing under their primary ones and should be cared for until they are lost naturally. According to the AAPD, primary teeth are important for many different reasons including:

  • Helping to assist with proper chewing to maintain good nutrition.
  • Saving space for future permanent teeth.
  • Involvement in speech development.
  • Promoting a healthy smile that helps with confidence building.

The first dental visit at age one, isn’t purposed for any “real” work. We like to refer to it as “taking a ride in the dental chair.” It is more designed to begin building a relationship with your child and to introduce them to the office staff and the dentist in a fun, upbeat, non-threatening way. It is also a great time for the dentist to speak with you, the parent, regarding how to best care for your child’s teeth. Chances are, if you begin bringing your child to the dentist early, they will probably be too young to have dental jitters. However, if they are older (age 2 or 3) they may have reservations and anxiety at the time of their first meet and greet.

There are many ways to prepare your little one for an initial dental appointment. Some of them include:
Literature:  You may want to visit a local bookstore and find fun books geared toward children, teeth, and dental visits.
Role Play:  Take turns being the dentist. Count each other’s teeth and practice looking in the mirror at their tongue and gums. This can familiarize them with what an examination in our practice may look like.
Observation: Bring your child in to an older sibling’s appointment, and let them observe chair-side so they will know what to expect when it is their turn.

For this introductory appointment, the dentist will gently examine the oral cavity, ensuring everything in your child’s mouth is developing normally. Drs. Hochberg and Diora practice using child friendly language such as “sugar bugs” and “tooth counter” to begin building trust with your little one. They will speak with you about introducing toothpastes that contain fluoride, discuss any habits that may need addressing (thumb sucking, pacifier use, etc.) and evaluating if your child is at risk for tooth decay. Your child will receive a colorful toothbrush, and you will be given an informative brochure with great tips on how to continue healthy homecare practices.

Unless further treatment is recommended, it is advised that you schedule your child to come in for a dental cleaning every six months. Each visit, the dentist will build upon the last. Meaning, the first visit will be an examination, the second visit we may introduce polishing their teeth with a flavored paste, and finally a third visit applying a fluoride varnish. More or less may be done depending on your child’s comfort level. By the time he or she is age 3, they will be a pro at being independent in the dental chair and you can rest easy with a cup of coffee and a magazine, knowing your child is calm and is in the capable hands of trusted dental professionals.

Oral Cancer | You’re not in the clear!

Vaping and It’s Potential Risks

What is Vaping?
Vaping is the common term of using a handheld electronic device that vaporizes a flavored liquid for inhalation. This new fad, especially in our youth population, is increasing in popularity. What many people may not know is, most vaping liquids on the market contain nicotine derived from the tobacco plant. Pens, hookah pens, and electronic cigarettes are all types of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and are available to purchase by the American public. These devices are comprised of three basic parts – a battery, a cartridge containing the vaping liquid, and a heating element.


It is easy to see why electronic cigarettes would appear as a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes as it does not appear to contribute to tooth discoloration, plaque build-up, or bad breath. In fact, many people use them as a replacement when trying to quit smoking. However, e-cigarettes have not yet been fully studied and, therefore, consumers are unable to accurately determine the potential risks. The amount of nicotine and other prospectively harmful chemicals that are being inhaled during use is uncertain at this time. It is also unknown if this is a viable way to ‘cut down’ on traditional cigarette use or the beginnings of a new health risk.

Effects Vaporized Nicotine has on Oral Health:
• Whether nicotine is delivered via traditional cigarette, or otherwise, it harms the mouth, gums, and tongue. It can also contribute to the development of both gingivitis and periodontitis. And, there is the potential for gum disease which causes inflammation to develop throughout the body.
• It is imperative to include your intake of all nicotine products on your medical history form. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, meaning it constricts blood vessels, resulting in reduced blood flow. And as oxygen and nutrients are both vital for gums to stay healthy, nicotine consumption oftentimes makes it more difficult for Dr. Hochberg and Dr. Diora to diagnose gum disease. When bleeding gums aren’t present it may deceive the patient into believing they are in great periodontal health. However, if the progression of gum disease can’t be properly recognized, observed, and diagnosed, oral health can worsen without the proper treatment. Since nicotine masks the more obvious symptoms, your dental hygienist will also take a “pocket reading.” Pockets are essentially the space (or pocket) around each of your teeth. Deeper pockets may indicate that there is a breakdown of the gums to the teeth and can also be a tell-tale sign that gum disease is present.
• Nicotine also inhibits your body’s natural ability to produce saliva. Bacteria buildup, dry mouth, and tooth decay are all potential risks of inefficient lubrication.

 

More research will need to be done to fully understand the impact vaping can have on one’s overall oral health. However, we do know use of a nicotine product isn’t a good habit to begin. The safest recommendation to keep a beautiful and healthy smile is abstinence.

CSDA Springs Forward at Hinman 2018

Each spring, the Thomas P. Hinman Dental meeting is held right here in Atlanta, GA. With a noteworthy reputation, Hinman consistently aids dentists, hygienists, assistants, and front office team members with continuing their education and informing them of the latest advancements in dentistry today.

This year was no exception! The speakers were all informative and provided us with tools and knowledge to bring back to our office. From the interactive lectures, to the exhibition halls lined with new products and equipment, each team member had the opportunity for a personalized educational experience. Which is great, as we are always looking for ways to enhance our standard of care and shared what we have learned with our patients.

Meanwhile as our team wrapped up classes at the Georgia World Congress Center, Dr. Hochberg was boarding a flight headed back to Atlanta from Ontario, California. This was the first Hinman dental meeting he has missed in over thirty years, but for good reason. As current president of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), he was out-of-town congratulating the graduates of the International Chinese Implant Program at Loma Linda University. This a sponsored program located in Shanghai with the AAID. He was greatly missed, but quickly caught up to speed by Dr. Mira Diora and the rest of our team.

 

We look forward to applying what was learned to our day-to-day office practices, and attending Hinman once more in the year 2019!

HOW DO I PICK THE BEST TOOTHPASTE FOR ME?

Toothpaste Truths

 

One of our most frequently asked questions is ‘what toothpaste should I use?’ And the easy answer is one that you will use twice a day. But, that doesn’t quite narrow down your options with the numerous choices that are now on the market, especially when we are bombarded with daily radio and TV advertising touting the benefits of specific products, all seemingly ‘the best’.

 

The first part of our answer is to select one with the American Dental Association’s (ADA) seal of approval on the packaging. Still – there are countless products that meet these criteria. So, to best answer your question, speak with your dental hygienist and your dentist to see what product is best suited for your specific needs. After all, everyone’s oral health status and expectations are different. The standard clean and fresh is important, but you may also be interested in whiter teeth; you may have some bleeding when you brush; you may experience some sensitivity. And, so on.

With the caveat that we know all our patients are unique, when we asked our three experienced hygienists to give us some tips regarding products they recommend to our Colony Square Dental Associates patients, we received a multi-options answer. Given that all ADA accepted options contain fluoride, which helps fight decay, the remaining categories of toothpastes that they select from are those that:

 

  • Help decrease tooth sensitivity: Sensodyne® has been on the market for years and with their over dozen options, offers helpful solutions to reduce and manage sensitivity for many. Their active ingredients, sodium fluoride along with potassium nitrate, work together to reduce the sensations of discomfort. Sensodyne® has also developed toothpastes to address the other categories below, while increasing comfort. However, it should be noted that there are potential causes of tooth sensitivity such as overzealous brushing, infections, gum recession that exposes the tooth’s root, all of which may require active intervention by your dentist. So, if these over-the-counter toothpastes are not effective in meeting your needs be sure to schedule a visit.
  • Help reduce the buildup of plaque and calculus: Plaque, full of bacteria that when combined with acids from foods can damage the tooth’s enamel and is potentially cavity causing. And, when left on the surface of the tooth, it will harden and form calculus. Once this occurs, try as you might, it takes a professional to remove it. Left on the tooth, it can result in periodontal disease. So, brushing with toothpastes that inhibit the plaque from accumulating and if there, reduces the opportunity for plaque to harden, will help those who find they are ‘cavity prone’. Colgate Total® is one toothpaste option that we recommend for this. When bleeding gums are noted, another to consider is Paradontax™, which contains a very mild abrasive, helping to remove plaque that is irritating the gum tissue.
  • Help whiten and brighten teeth: It’s important to note that everyone is born with a certain tooth color. Some have whiter teeth than others; and as we age teeth most find that their teeth tend to yellow. And certain foods, drinks (such as coffee, tea, and red wine), and cigarettes oftentimes result in surface staining, causing teeth to appear discolored as they are stained. Many toothpastes that are on the market claim to whiten and brighten using one of two types of ingredients. They will contain either a mild abrasive (such as Crest 3D ®) to remove the surface stains or a chemical – hydrogen peroxide (found in Colgate® Optic White®) to lighten natural teeth. Of course, it’s important to remember that if the tooth’s internal structure(s) are discolored, neither toothpaste will prohibit the internal discoloration from limiting the toothpaste’s ability to enhance the appearance of your smile.

 

So, the good news is that today there are options to meet your and your dental health provider’s goals.

Don’t be intimidated by the dental health aisle in your pharmacy. It’s exciting to have opportunities to pick a product that is geared to specifically address ways to keep your smile healthy and bright. At your next visit take a moment to ask Drs. Hochberg and Diora, and your hygienist, what they recommend for you!