Amalgam Fillings…..Friend or Foe?

Written by // Aesthetic Smile Designs

Most of us were drafted into the ranks of the American majority whose cavities were filled with silver, aka Amalgam. The tooth was prepared by drilling holes then filled with a mushy gray material which then hardened. Amalgam, used for it’s strength and durability, was the most routinely used material to restore decaying teeth. Seems friendly enough….right?

Did you know that the major component of a silver filling is NOT silver at all? It is in fact Mercury with a blend of silver, tin, copper, and zinc. Imagine having that volatile substance in your mouth for years and years! It expands in warmer temperatures and contracts in cold. Every time you enjoy a refreshing cold drink, your silver fillings contract and every time you bask in a piping hot cup of coffee, your fillings expands. So what does that do to the tooth that encompasses the filling? It weakens the tooth- thereby setting it up for additional decay, fracture, corrosion, and breakage. Not so friendly at all.

Scrap amalgam, the material left over after filling a tooth, under American Dental Association (ADA) procedural recommendations is handled much like nuclear waste. For example, one should not touch it. It should be stored under water in a sealed container. There are regulations for its disposal. Yet this same material is being placed in our mouths. Mercury, in its unbound state, is one of the most deadly poisons known to man. It can cause a variety of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Many of these symptoms are non specific therefore could easily be misdiagnosed as having resulted from other environmental contaminants or medical conditions. Is the only safe place to store amalgam in the teeth of human beings? Not likely.

When using amalgam for fillings, perfectly healthy portions of the tooth structure must be removed in order to wedge the material into the tooth to secure it. This compromises the structure of the tooth invariably leading to larger fillings, a cracked tooth, root canals then eventually crowns.

Advanced dental practice is to preserve as much of the healthy tooth as possible, fill the tooth early with biocompatible material, and reinforce the tooth to prevent future problems. There was a time when dentists hesitated to replace an amalgam filling with composite resin, for fear they would not last as long. We now know that amalgams have a lower wear resistance than correctly placed composite resign fillings.

In a nut shell, amalgam fillings can be hazardous to our health. Amalgam darkens the tooth it is placed in….giving the tooth an aged gray appearance. Amalgam has a lower wear resistance than correctly placed composite resin fillings. Amalgam causes the tooth to crack and break from expanding and contracting. Amalgam is a treatment compromise! Maybe it’s time to have your amalgam fillings removed?


What’s that smell?

Written by // Aesthetic Smile Designs

Have you ever walked up to someone and wanted to turn your head or cover your nose once you get close enough to smell their breath? Or maybe you are the person people want to avoid getting too close to? Bad breath is a common problem amongst many people. When bad breath persists from day to day it becomes a chronic problem. This chronic problem known as halitosis can be extremely embarrassing. Mints, mouthwash, gum, and toothpaste act as a temporary fix lasting only minutes. We know that certain foods such as garlic and onions or smoking cigarettes or cigars can be a common cause of temporary bad breath, but there are other contributing factors that cause true, persistent, halitosis. For some people dry mouth is the major cause of their bad breath. Saliva acts as a cleanser and rinses the food particles from your teeth that can later decay and cause odor. When saliva is non-existent odorous bacteria thrives. In some cases chewing gum may help by stimulating the saliva glands. Another major cause of persistent bad breath is gum disease. This includes gum abscesses and mouth sores. Good oral hygiene can contribute to the reduction of bacteria and decaying food particles trapped between teeth, gum pockets, and the small crevices of the tongue. Brushing or using a tongue scraper can remove bacteria from the tongues surface.

If you are suffering from chronic bad breath the first step towards eliminating it is to contact Dr. Bernie to get to the root of the problem. Eliminating bad breath can be life changing!


Are you listening to what your mouth has to say?

Written by // Aesthetic Smile Designs

There is much to learn from our mouths….and I don’t mean by listening to what comes out of them! The inside of our mouths can actually act as an illness indicator. Studies have linked oral health with your general health. Periodontal disease, aka gum disease, actually affects your health!!! Bad periodontal health compromises your overall health.

Do you have gum disease? Here’s what you should know:

  • Adults with gum disease may have an increased risk of stroke
  • Inhaling bacteria from the mouth and throat can lead to pneumonia or other lung damage
  • Gum disease in adults leads to an increased risk of a fatal heart attack and heart disease
  • Bacteria from the mouth may cause clotting problems in the cardiovascular system
  • Reduction in bone mass (osteopenia) is associated with gum disease and tooth loss
  • Chronic gum disease can interfere with the control of diabetes
  • Diabetes can be a contributing factor to bacterial overgrowth in the mouth
  • Diabetics that smoke increase their risk of tooth lose by twenty times
  • People with type II diabetes are three times as likely to develop gum disease than are nondiabetics
  • Women with advanced gum disease may be more likely to give birth to a preterm baby
  • Oral microbes can cross the placental barrier, put an unborn child at risk of infection

There are a number of oral care remedies available to help eliminate and cease the advancement of gum disease. Daily brushing alone isn’t enough.

A ritual of using antimicrobial mouthwashes and regular flossing are two easy ways to assist with the good health of your mouth and body…plus of course regular visits to your favorite dentist, Dr. Bernie.


Welcome to our New Dental Blog!

Written by // Aesthetic Smile Designs

Hello  and welcome to our Dental Blog!   Here we hope to cover dental issues you need to understand to achieve optimal oral health.  We will also cover a range of topics such as probiotics and nutrition to discussions about gum disease and diabetes.  We will let you know the current advances in dentistry and as well as what is coming up in the horizon.  At times, we will share with you what is going on in our office and the people who work here to make your dental experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

We hope you find the information we provide in this dental blog very useful and a very valuable resource for anyone looking for answers to your dental needs.  We  encourage you to tell your family and friends about us and give us your feedback on things you wish us to cover in the future.  If you are in the area, please stop by for some Cappuccino or Cafe Latte from our coffee machine and let us know what is going on with your life.  We will always be here for you.  See you soon

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