Posts for: April, 2012

By Steven D. Dunning DDS
April 28, 2012
Category: Dental Procedures
DesigningANewSmileWhatsinvolved

Quiz: What Is Smile Design?

All cultures worldwide recognize a smile as positive nonverbal communication. Yet many people are insecure about the way their smile looks. Modern cosmetic dentistry can completely change your smile through a comprehensive technique called Smile Design.

Take the following quiz to find out how much you know about your smile and smile design.

  1. What is the basic reason we consider straight, healthy teeth to be attractive?
    1. An article in a beauty magazine.
    2. An instinctive understanding of health and survival.
    3. Our first grade teacher said so.
    4. A talk show on television.
  2. What must we take into account in designing an attractive, balanced smile?
    1. The shape of your face.
    2. Your skin color and complexion.
    3. The form of your lips.
    4. All of the above.
  3. As your dentist, we consider each of the following in evaluating your current smile except:
    1. Your marital status.
    2. The health of your bone and gum tissues.
    3. How your jaw joints function.
    4. The stability of your bite.
  4. What do we use to evaluate your smile?
    1. X-rays and photographs.
    2. Models of your teeth and gums.
    3. Photographs and computer graphics.
    4. All of the above.
  5. Bonding is one method that may be used to test or enhance your smile. It is used as:
    1. A way of making friends with your dentist.
    2. A way of training secret agents.
    3. A method of repairing chipped, broken or decayed teeth and testing changes before they are made permanent.
    4. None of the above.

Answers

  1. b. What we consider an attractive smile is rooted in instinctive understanding of health and survival. We value straight, white, healthy teeth — only a few centuries ago, a person with few or no teeth was likely to starve.
  2. d. All of these factors must be taken into consideration in order to design a smile that is in balance with your face.
  3. a. While satisfaction with your life partner may make you smile, our priority in smile design is to make sure that the basic structures of your teeth are healthy and function properly.
  4. d. All of the above are used in evaluating your current condition to design a new smile.
  5. c. In bonding, a composite resin tooth colored material is shaped and physically bonded to a tooth or teeth that are chipped, broken, or decayed to restore both aesthetics and function.

After careful analysis and planning, a variety of techniques can be used to redesign an attractive and healthy new smile, so you can feel confident about smiling and sharing it with the world. To learn more about Smile Design, read “Beautiful Smiles by Design.” Or contact us to discuss your questions or to schedule an appointment.


By Steven D. Dunning DDS
April 20, 2012
Category: Oral Health
IsThumbSuckingReallythatBad

If you asked a room full of parents about their opinions on thumb sucking and pacifiers, the odds are good that you would get a wide variety of opinions. The truth is that this habit is a perfectly normal behavior in babies and young children; however, it is something that parents and caregivers should monitor. This is why we want to share a few basic myths and facts to set the record straight.

So how early does thumb sucking start?
It is interesting to note that thumb sucking for some babies actually starts before birth. This fact is proven quite often when expectant mothers “see” their unborn child sucking fingers or a thumb during a routine mid to later term sonogram. Sucking for babies is absolutely normal; it provides them with a sense of security. It is also a way they test, make contact and learn about their world.

At what age should a parent be concerned if their child still sucks a pacifier, finger or a thumb?
Recent studies have shown that if a sucking habit continues after the age of two, there may be some long-term changes in the mouth that have can have a negative impact on jaw development and/or with the upper front teeth. (It can cause these upper front teeth to become “bucked” or protrude forward towards the lips.) The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents and caregivers encourage children to cease this habit by about age three.

Do children ever stop this habit on their own?
Absolutely! If left alone, many children will naturally stop sucking their fingers or thumb between the ages of two and four. The main points to remember are that sucking habits are totally natural and should stop on their own. You should not make it a problem unnecessarily. If, however, your child is getting older and still seems dependant upon this habit, feel free to contact us today to schedule an appointment for your child or to discuss your specific questions about pacifiers and finger or thumb sucking. You can also learn more about this topic by continuing to read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Thumb Sucking in Children.”


WhatYouCanExpectWithTreatmentOfGumDisease

At some point in every person's life, they will experience bleeding gums or gingivitis, a mild inflammation of the gingiva (gums), which is the first stage of periodontal (gum) disease. For example, when was the last time you were brushing or flossing your teeth and noticed that your gums were bleeding or that when you spit and rinsed there was some blood? When this occurs, it is a sign that you have gum disease, as healthy gum tissues do not bleed. And no, it is highly unlikely that your bleeding is from brushing too hard. You would have to use extreme force to make healthy gum tissues bleed. However, this is exactly how most people discount or ignore this warning sign.

If this sounds like you or another member of your family, here's what you can expect when you see us for treatment. Depending on the severity of your periodontal disease, all of these treatment options may not be necessary.

Behavior change: We will collect a thorough medical history to obtain facts about your oral hygiene, eating and other personal habits such as alcohol and tobacco use to determine their impact on your periodontal disease. Proper brushing and flossing techniques are necessary for everyone, whether you have early or late stage gum disease; however, you must commit to a good daily oral health routine if you want to achieve success and thus keep you mouth and teeth healthy.

Calculus (tartar) removal: Cleaning is not just your responsibility. We'll clean and polish your teeth to remove calculus (tartar), the calcified deposits of bacterial products that become glued to the teeth and roots that you can’t remove. In fact, routine visits to see us for a thorough cleaning will help ensure that all the unhealthy calculus (tartar) is removed from your teeth.

Evaluation: Usually after three or four weeks, we will want to see you to evaluate your progress and to see the response of your gingival tissues to the treatment thus far. And depending on the severity of your gum disease, we may need another follow-up exam to decide the best maintenance and monitoring regimen necessary to keep your mouth healthy.

Occlusal or Bite Therapy: This treatment, if necessary, usually occurs once your gum tissues have been stabilized and the inflammation and infection have been controlled. It is during this phase that we will address loose teeth or teeth that have shifted or drifted in position.

Surgical Therapy: For more severe cases of gum disease, you may need periodontal plastic surgery to repair and regenerate gum and bone tissue and their attachment to the teeth. It may also be necessary to replace missing teeth with dental implants.

If you are ready to talk to us about the current state of your mouth (or the mouth of another member of your family), contact us today to schedule an appointment. The first step towards achieving optimal oral health could start with this simple call. Or, you can learn more by reading, “Understanding Gum Disease.”


By Steven D. Dunning DDS
April 04, 2012
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: bonding  
DentalRepairwithCompositeResinBondingFAQs

What is composite resin bonding?
This term refers to a kind of tooth-colored material that is a mixture of a plastic resin and a glass filler. The glass gives the mixture, or composite, strength and translucency that is similar to a natural tooth. The composite is bonded to the tooth by slightly abrading or roughening the tooth so that the resin fills in small cuts in the tooth surface and bonds with it. The end result functions and looks like part of the original tooth.

What is bonding used for?
This technique is a good way to restore chipped or stained teeth or to change a tooth's shape or color. It can also be used to restore parts of a tooth near the gum line where the gums have receded and left the root partially exposed.

What are the advantages of bonding?
Composite resin tooth restorations have several advantages.

  • They take only a single dental visit because they are done right in the dental chair rather than having to be sent to a dental lab for preparation.
  • They are less expensive than many other dental restorations.
  • They leave most of the original tooth intact since little tooth preparation or drilling has to be done in order to make the composite material bond to the tooth.
  • They can be made in a wide range of colors and can be matched well with the teeth around them.
  • Because little of the original tooth has to be removed, they are a good choice for teens, whose dental arches (upper and lower jaws) are still developing.

What are the disadvantages of bonding?
The composite resin material is not as strong as the original tooth material, so the bonded restorations may not last over a long time. If it does last, the material may also stain as it ages.

When should you choose bonding?
Composite resin bonding is a good choice for a quick and attractive tooth restoration that may be replaced later by something more permanent, such as porcelain veneers.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your questions about bonding. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Repairing Chipped Teeth.”




Belton
561 North Scott Ave. Suite A
Belton, MO 64012
(816) 331-4333
fax: (816) 318-8178

Adrian
20 E. Main St.
Adrian, MO 64720
(816) 297-2297




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