Waterford, MI Dentist
Lloyd H. Alpert, D.D.S.
4025 Highland Road
Waterford, MI 48328
(248) 682-6010

Posts for: May, 2012

By contactus
May 30, 2012
Category: Dental News
Tags: Dental Emergencies  

Dental emergencies may be categorized as toothaches, injuries or broken appliances.

Toothache If a toothache develops, using a brush and floss, clean the suspected area. Rinse with warm salt water. Do not place an aspirin on the gums or tooth [this may cause a burn]. Apply a cold compress to any facial swelling. Take acetaminophen [Tylenol] and call us as soon as possible.

Avulsed Tooth If a permanent tooth is knocked completely out, time is of the essence. Immediately call us for an emergency appointment. It is critical to get the person and their tooth to us within one half hour. This makes it possible to re-implant the tooth with a high degree of success. Find the tooth, and holding it by its crown, gently rinse it to remove dirt and/or debris. Do not scrub the tooth. If possible, gently place the tooth back in its socket as a means of transport. Otherwise, transport the tooth in a cup of milk, saline [salt water], or saliva [place tooth between cheek and gum, unless child is too young]. If none of these are available, use a cup of plain water.

Extruded Teeth If a tooth is pushed either inward or outward, try to reposition the tooth using light finger pressure. Do not force the tooth into its socket. Try to get the injured person to us as soon as possible. The tooth may be stabilized and held in place with a moist tissue or gauze on the way over.

Fractured Teeth First rinse your mouth with warm water to keep it clean. Immediate dental care is necessary. The treatment will depend on the severity of the fracture and could range from smoothing out the chip to bonding with a resin [tooth colored] material to placing a crown [cap]. If there has been pulp [nerve] injury, root canal may be necessary at once or at a later date.

Soft Tissue Injury The tongue, lips or cheeks may be bitten, lacerated [cut] or punctured. If there is bleeding, apply firm pressure with a gauze or clean cloth. If bleeding doesn’t stop within 15 minutes, bring the person to our office or a hospital emergency room. Sutures [stitches] may be necessary. Otherwise, clean the area with warm water on a gauze or clean cloth. Apply an ice compress to the bruised or swollen area. Contact us for further instructions.

 


By contactus
May 23, 2012
Category: Dental News
Tags: Composite fillings  
When it comes to fillings, most people think of amalgam, or silver. That’s no surprise. Dentists have used amalgam to fill cavities for over 150 years and for good reason: Amalgam is one of the most durable and long-lasting restorative materials used in dentistry.
 
But what amalgam offers in affordability and endurance, it lacks in aesthetics. Composite resin, on the other hand, matches your natural tooth color. No one – not even you – can see composite fillings with a naked eye.
 
So what is composite resin?
 
Composite resin was first introduced to dentistry in the 60s and is made of a tooth-colored plastic mixture filled with silicon dioxide (glass). Early on, composite fillings were only used to restore front teeth because they weren't strong enough to withstand the chewing pressure produced by back teeth.
 
Today's composites not only look more natural but are also tougher, more versatile and can be used to:
 
· Restore small- to mid-sized cavities
· Reshape chipped teeth and broken teeth
· Replace amalgam fillings
 
Composite fillings have other benefits, too. If you have sensitive teeth, composite fillings may make them less sensitive to hot and cold. And with composites, more of your tooth structure stays intact – that’s not the case with silver fillings. Composite fillings are also easily fixable if they’re damaged. 

By contactus
May 16, 2012
Category: Dental News
Tags: Seniors  
As we entered the new millennium, it was discovered that seniors were getting more dental cavities than children. Today, children and seniors are still the two highest at-risk groups for tooth decay. Aging puts us at greater risk for dental problems. The wearing away of tooth enamel, receding gums and loss of jawbone are signs that our mouths are aging along with our bodies.

Fortunately, there are now dental technologies and treatments to keep our smiles intact longer. That's great news for seniors. The bad news is anyone with natural teeth can get dental cavities. And the longer we have our teeth, the more we expose them to the elements that can cause tooth decay.

Unfortunately, geriatric teeth are less able to handle the normal wear and tear of those in younger generations. There are several reasons why seniors may be prone to more dental cavities:

· Difficulty brushing & flossing

· Not enough fluoride

· Gum disease

· Dry mouth

· Poor diet

There are several ways seniors can stay cavity-free. A diet low in sugar and high in calcium promotes tooth health. Fluoride toothpastes, mouth rinses or tablets can help. Drinking water, sucking on sugar-free candy or chewing sugarless gum promotes saliva production and reduces dry mouth.

For seniors with mobility or dexterity problems, wrap tape or an elastic bandage around the toothbrush. If a wider grip is needed, try taping a tennis ball, sponge or rubber bicycle grip to the handle. An electric toothbrush may also be helpful for those who cannot maneuver a manual toothbrush easily. And daily flossing should not be forgotten, either -- floss holders and waxed floss may make it easier for seniors to continue their oral hygiene routine.

Because of the special dental needs of seniors, regular dental visits are still essential. We use this time to check for the dental problems that affect older patients, including cavities, gum disease, root decay and oral cancer. 


By contactus
May 09, 2012
Category: Dental News
Tags: Mouthguards  

A mouthguard is a flexible plastic appliance that is worn during recreational and athletic activities to protect the teeth from trauma or loss and to prevent jaw fractures, neck injuries and concussions. It has been estimated that wearing a mouthguard will reduce concussions by 50%. Mouthguards also minimize lacerated and bruised lips and cheeks by keeping these soft tissue areas away from the teeth. This is especially true for youngsters with orthodontic braces. The mouth is the most injured area of the body during contact sports. Wearing mouthguards is highly recommended for those participating in boxing, basketball, field hockey, football, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, soccer, wrestling, water polo and rugby. The American Dental Association for those partaking in acrobatics, gymnastics, volleyball, handball, racquetball, skiing, skydiving, squash, surfing, weightlifting, shot putting and discus throwing also suggests mouthguards. Participants in recreational activities such as skateboarding and bicycling should wear mouthguards, especially in competition. An effective mouthguard should remain in place during the activity while not interfering with speech or breathing. It should provide maximum protection while being comfortable to wear. There are three types of mouthguards from which to choose:

Stock (Ready-made) Most sports stores carry these, and they are the least expensive. They are available in various sizes and shapes, but cannot be adjusted to fit your mouth. Often, they are loose and bulky and may interfere with speaking or breathing. These are the least desirable.

Mouth-formed ("Boil & Bite") These are available in most sports stores and are relatively inexpensive. The plastic mouthguard shell is boiled in water for 10-45 seconds, cooled under tap water and molded and adapted directly in the mouth. Compared to custom-made guards, the fit is not as accurate, and it may not last as long.

Custom-made This type is highly recommended and the most effective. We make them at our dental office from a cast of your teeth. While they are a little bit more expensive than the store-bought variety, they provide the greatest protection and comfort. We know it’s well worth your safety and peace of mind.

Like any other sports gear, mouthguards can wear out and lose their effectiveness. They may have to be replaced after each sports season. However, proper care will increase their longevity. Heat is bad for mouthguards, because it may cause them to deform. Keep them out of direct sunlight and never leave them in a closed car. Rinse them under cold water with each use, and occasionally use soap and cold water to clean them. When not in use, either store your mouthguard in a well-ventilated plastic box or in a container immersed in water. Don’t handle or try to wear someone else’s mouthguard. 


By contactus
May 02, 2012
Category: Dental News
Tags: Invisibile braces  

Invisalign® utilizes 3-D computer technology with clear, plastic removable "aligners" to move teeth at a rate similar to traditional braces, but without any metal or wires. The "aligners" can be removed to eat and clean your teeth and are generally undetectable when worn. The computer imaging technology can predetermine and develop a treatment plan from the initial position of the patient's teeth to their final desired position. From this a series of custom-made "aligners" are fabricated. Each "aligner" moves teeth incrementally and is worn for about two weeks, then replaced by the next in the series until the final position is achieved.

For years, orthodontists and dentists have used removable appliances for limited treatment. Now Invisalign treats a broader range of cases with greater precision. The principal difference is that Invisalign not only controls forces, but also controls the timing of the force application. At each stage, only certain teeth are allowed to move, and these movements are determined by the orthodontic treatment plan for that particular stage. This results in an efficient force delivery system.

Most people experience temporary, minor discomfort for a few days at the beginning of each new stage of treatment. This is normal and is typically described as a feeling of pressure. It is a sign that Invisalign is working - sequentially moving your teeth to their final destination. This discomfort typically goes away a couple of days after you insert the new "aligner" in the series.

This procedure is especially popular for adults who previously had orthodontic treatment when they were younger and have experienced regression as they've aged. Rather than repeat the inconveniences and discomfort of braces all over again, Invisalign provides an appealing alternative.

A common concern is whether or not this treatment is covered by dental insurance. Because dental benefits differ significantly from policy to policy, each patient should review their coverage. However, if a patient has orthodontic coverage, Invisalign should be covered to the same extent as conventional braces. When treatment is complete, some patients might need a positioner, or conventional retainer. Other patients might need a clear plastic retainer similar to the ones Invisalign makes. Please discuss these possibilities with our office. Every patient is different and outcomes vary.  




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