Posts for: October, 2016

By Pasadena Dental Implants Peter G. Cooper, DDS
October 26, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: fillings  

With all the new tooth-colored fillings for cavities, it's easy to overlook metal amalgam. While this mainstay of dental care for over a century might not be as attractive as composite resins or glass and resin ionomers, it still has the advantage of strength and durability.

Amalgam is a stable metal alloy usually made up of silver, tin, copper and mercury. The metals are proportioned and mixed precisely to guard against “free” mercury molecules, which could pose a health hazard. The mixture is pliable at first, but then sets hard once molded into the prepared area of the tooth.

Besides strength, amalgam's other advantages include low cost, high resistance to wear and biocompatibility (not toxic to the body or allergy-producing). At the same time, it can require more tooth structure removal to accommodate a filling and cause higher sensitivity to temperature for a while after installation. Its main disadvantage, however, is appearance — it's now considered unacceptable from an aesthetic point of view to use it in visible areas like the front teeth.

Because of this, materials resembling natural tooth color are coming into vogue, especially as their strength improves. Still, dental amalgam continues to play a useful role, especially in less visible back teeth with higher chewing forces.

One past concern about dental amalgam is the inclusion of mercury in the alloy. As mentioned before, mercury is hazardous in a “free” form when not knit microscopically with other metals; as such it can emit a vapor that could enter the bloodstream and damage the nervous system. But after several studies by various organizations, the American Dental Association has concluded amalgam's precise mixture prevents the mercury from taking this form: although some vapor is given off during chewing it's far too low in concentration to pose any danger.

Dental amalgam continues to be an effective choice for fillings. Whether it's the right choice for you will depend on the type and location of a tooth to be filled, and whether durability is a higher concern than appearance. If we do recommend an amalgam filling, you can be assured it's a safe and lasting choice.

If you would like more information on your choices for dental fillings, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Silver Fillings — Safe or Unsafe?

By Pasadena Dental Implants Peter G. Cooper, DDS
October 24, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental implant surgery is a way for your dentist to restore your smile when you have missing or damaged teeth. This surgery is a dental implantsspecialty of Dr. Peter Cooper at Pasadena Dental Implants, an office in Pasadena, CA that is committed to staying abreast of the latest dental technologies. Find out the many things that dental implants can do for you and your smile.

Replaces Missing Teeth Permanently 
One of the most important benefits of dental implant surgery is that it provides a permanent replacement for a missing tooth. Other treatments, like dentures and bridges are only temporary and superficial solutions that can be removed. After your Pasadena dental surgeon installs an implant, it will be as firmly rooted as the rest of your teeth. Your implant will be in place for a lifetime with good care.

Keeps Your Bone Tissue Healthy
When you opt for dentures to replace missing teeth, the appliance covers up your gums. Over time the bone tissue inside of your gums will begin to weaken and absorb into the body. With a dental implant, that's not an issue. The implant will help keep your bone tissue viable and strong. Bone grafting is also available at Pasadena Dental Implants—it's a treatment that strengthens and reinforces the tissue by adding new bone. 

Minimizes Chance of Future Decay
A dental implant is composed of two main parts. There's a device that is installed below the gumline and a porcelain crown that is installed on top. That crown is designed with porcelain material which is resistant to damage. With a dental implant, you can relax knowing that your new tooth will be protected from cavities and tooth decay. However, it is very important that you continue to brush and floss regularly to avoid gum disease when you have dental implants.

How to Schedule Dental Implant Surgery
Dr. Peter Cooper at Pasadena Dental Implants specializes in dental implant surgery and other restorative treatments that will help you regain confidence in your smile. Call the office in Pasadena, CA at (626) 796-1241 today to schedule an appointment.

By Pasadena Dental Implants Peter G. Cooper, DDS
October 11, 2016
Category: Oral Health

Exchanging passionate kisses with big-screen star Jennifer Lawrence might sound like a dream come true. But according to Liam Hemsworth, her Hunger Games co-star, it could also be a nightmare… because J.Law’s breath wasn’t always fresh. “Anytime I had to kiss Jennifer was pretty uncomfortable,” Hemsworth said on The Tonight Show.

Lawrence said the problem resulted from her inadvertently consuming tuna or garlic before the lip-locking scenes; fortunately, the two stars were able to share a laugh about it later. But for many people, bad breath is no joke. It can lead to embarrassment and social difficulties — and it occasionally signifies a more serious problem. So what causes bad breath, and what can you do about it?

In 9 out of 10 cases, bad breath originates in the mouth. (In rare situations, it results from a medical issue in another part of the body, such as liver disease or a lung infection.) The foul odors associated with bad breath can be temporarily masked with mouthwash or breath mints — but in order to really control it, we need to find out exactly what’s causing the problem, and address its source.

As Lawrence and Hemsworth found out, some foods and beverages can indeed cause a malodorous mouth. Onions, garlic, alcohol and coffee are deservedly blamed for this. Tobacco products are also big contributors to bad breath — which is one more reason to quit. But fasting isn’t the answer either: stop eating for long enough and another set of foul-smelling substances will be released. Your best bet is to stay well hydrated and snack on crisp, fresh foods like celery, apples or parsley.

And speaking of hydration (or the lack of it): Mouth dryness and reduced salivary flow during the nighttime hours is what causes “morning breath.” Certain health issues and some medications can also cause “dry mouth,” or xerostomia. Drinking plenty of water can encourage the production of healthy saliva — but if that’s not enough, tell us about it: We may recommend switching medications (if possible), chewing xylitol gum or using a saliva substitute.

Finally, maintaining excellent oral hygiene is a great way to avoid bad breath. The goal of oral hygiene is to control the harmful bacteria that live in your mouth. These microorganisms can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath — so keeping them in check is good for your overall oral health. Remember to brush twice and floss once daily, stay away from sugary foods and beverages, and visit the dental office regularly for checkups and professional cleanings.

So did J.Law apologize for the malodorous makeout session? Not exactly. “[For] Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, yeah, I’ll brush my teeth,” she laughed.

Hemsworth jokingly agreed: “If I was kissing Christian Bale I probably would have brushed my teeth too. With you, it’s like, ‘Eh. Whatever.’”

If you would like more information about bad breath and oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bad Breath: More than Just Embarrassing.”

Pasadena, CA Dentist
Pasadena Dental Implants
175 S. El Molino, Suite 4
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 796-1241
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