Esthetically-Pleasing Replacements for Metal Fillings and Crowns

Categories: Restorative Dentistry
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Published on: May 11, 2012

Metal dental restorations were once very common, and many older patients have at least one silver-amalgam filling. While effective at restoring teeth, silver fillings and metal crowns are unattractive and can make you self-conscious about your appearance. To help you regain your confidence and maintain the integrity of your teeth, Dr. Seal can replace unsightly restorations with tooth-colored fillings or all-porcelain crowns.

Silver-Amalgam Fillings and Metal Crowns

Amalgam fillings are made from an alloy of silver, tin, copper, mercury, and other metals. Amalgam has been steeped in controversy in recent years because of its mercury content, with critics arguing that mercury vapors released from these fillings can contribute to chronic health problems. While the FDA has deemed amalgam fillings safe for everyone except pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children under 6, many patients are opting to have these fillings replaced with more biocompatible options, for both health and esthetic reasons.

Crowns made of metals, including gold, palladium, silver, or nickel, are most often used on molars. While very durable tooth restoration options, metal crowns are conspicuous and unattractive. Even porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns can be unnatural looking, as they have a metal substructure and often show a gray edge along the gum line. (more…)

Cosmetic Fixes for Chipped or Worn-Down Teeth

Categories: Cosmetic Dentistry
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Published on: April 20, 2012

You may think that correcting the imperfections in your teeth involves a lengthy treatment process, but Dr. Seal can easily fix common problems such as chipped, discolored, or worn-down teeth in as little as one or two office visits. Cosmetic bonding, porcelain veneers, and tooth reshaping are the most conservative and commonly-used approaches to address these problems.

Cosmetic Bonding

Cosmetic bonding employs the same composite resin that is used to fill cavities. Made of a soft, tooth-colored material, bonding can cover imperfections such as cracks in the enamel or discolorations. It can also reshape a tooth that is chipped, misshapen, or worn down due to the normal wear and tear that occurs with aging. Bonding often does not require anesthesia, can be done in one office visit, and is a very conservative treatment for correcting imperfections, as it can be placed without removing any of your healthy tooth structure. Dr. Seal will simply etch your enamel to ensure a strong bond and then place the soft resin material to your tooth, sculpting it to the desired shape. Once the material is hardened, he will make further adjustments and polish the tooth, ensuring that the color perfectly matches your other teeth. (more…)

Special Considerations for Patients with Pacemakers and Defibrillators

Categories: Dental Hygiene Visits
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Published on: April 20, 2012

You provided Dr. Seal with a complete medical history at your first visit, but it is vital to update him regularly on the state of your health. As your oral health affects your overall well-being, he must know about every new development in order to provide you with the best dental care. For instance, you may not think that an irregular heartbeat is something you need to report at a routine oral hygiene appointment, but if you have a pacemaker or defibrillator, a simple cleaning of your teeth and gums can interfere with the functioning of your cardiac device.

What is a pacemaker or defibrillator?

If your heart beats at an irregular rate, your cardiologist may treat the condition with a pacemaker, which is a small device implanted into the chest to help regulate the heartbeat. If you are also at risk of cardiac arrest, your physician may recommend an implantable defibrillator instead. This device contains a pacemaker but can also shock your heart if a life-threatening disturbance occurs in your heart rhythm. Both of these devices use electrical impulses to stimulate the heart. (more…)

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