Posts for: February, 2015

By Thompson Lee & Chalothorn
February 23, 2015
Category: Oral Health

Here's an interesting tidbit of information on Wheel of Fortune host Vanna White: like many people, she grinds her teeth at night. In a detailed interview with Dear Doctor magazine, Vanna explained how she had to replace a filling in a back tooth several times because of her grinding habit. Eventually, she had her dentist make her a nightguard to protect her famous smile.

“I really try to sleep with it every night,” Vanna told the magazine. “I try to keep it on my nightstand so when I go to bed, I remember to put it in. Or I will put it by my toothbrush so I can put it in after brushing my teeth at night.”

The habit of teeth grinding or clenching is often associated with stress and/or sleep deprivation. It is referred to as “parafunctional” (“para” – outside, “function” – normal), meaning it can generate biting forces well outside the normal range — perhaps 10 times normal. This excessive force can affect many areas of the oral system. Teeth may become worn, chipped or loose; jaw joints or muscles can go into spasm; and some grinders (or “bruxers” as they are also called) may even experience discomfort of the head, ears, neck or back. Many times, a person with a grinding habit does not become aware of it until it is pointed out by a sleep partner or dental professional.

Like Vanna White's dentist, we often recommend a nightguard to those with nocturnal bruxing habits. It is made of a very thin, wear-resistant plastic that fits over the biting surfaces of the upper teeth only. The lower teeth are then free to glide or skate over the guard, which prevents them from biting into the upper teeth. Some people wear their guards during the day if they tend to clench their teeth when under stress.

If you are concerned about teeth grinding or interested in learning more about nightguards, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. If you would like to read Dear Doctor's entire interview with Vanna White, please see “Vanna White.” Dear Doctor also has more on “Stress & Tooth Habits.”

By TLC Dentistry
February 19, 2015
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Same-Day CrownsLearn more about same day crowns and if they are right for your smile.

If you have an infection or if trauma has damaged your tooth, then your Lexington family dentist has most likely recommended a root canal. If the trauma or damage is extensive enough then a dental crown will need to go over your tooth for additional protection. In the past, getting a dental crown meant a couple visits to the dentist before your smile was complete; however, with technological advancements we are now happy to offer dental crowns in only one visit.

What are same-day crowns?

Also known as CEREC crowns, same-day crowns are fabricated using revolutionary CAD/CAM technology, which can design and create an artificial tooth in only one dental visit.

How do same-day crowns work?

In the past, dental crowns were designed from impressions taken of your smile. With CAD/CAM technology we no longer have to fool with messy molds to get the measurements and precise shape of your tooth. Using a small, handheld camera we are able to capture 3D images of your tooth or teeth and immediately upload them to our computer.

We use CAD software to design the shape and color of the tooth, to make sure we create a crown that matches the rest of your smile. This technology creates a crown that fits more precisely, and looks more like a real tooth.

Once we have finished designing your crown, we will turn to the CAM technology to actually create the crown while you wait, after which we will fit you with it. The entire process takes only an hour.

Are same-day crowns a good option for my smile?

If you have a damaged tooth that can’t be treated with a simple filling, then a same-day crown might be ideal for you. However, if you have a crack in your tooth that goes past the gum line, same-day crowns won’t be the best course of action.

If you are interested in getting same day crowns or finding out more about this treatment, then contact your Lexington family dentist at TLC Dentistry today to schedule a consultation.

By Thompson Lee & Chalothorn
February 13, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: sensitive teeth  

Nothing ruins a thirst-quenching cold beverage or a dish of your favorite ice cream like a sudden pang of tooth sensitivity. If you're experiencing this problem — and especially if there are other triggers, like biting down — we encourage you to make an appointment. It could be something harmless and temporary, but it's always prudent to check. At the very least, you'll feel better once the underlying problem is identified and treated if necessary.

Here are some common sources of tooth sensitivity:

  • Enamel erosion — typically caused by acidic beverages/food, regurgitation of stomach acids (due to gastroesophageal reflux disease [GERD] or the eating disorder bulimia), or improper brushing
  • Tooth decay — a sugary diet and poor dental hygiene may be contributing factors
  • Tooth fracture or chipping due to tooth grinding (bruxism) or other trauma
  • Gum recession due to age, improper tooth brushing, or gum disease
  • Filling that needs repair or replacement
  • Residual effects of recent dental work

Some things you can try at home to minimize sensitivity include:

  • Ease up on the toothbrush; a light touch is all that's needed to dislodge daily plaque build-up
  • Try using fluoride-containing toothpaste like an ointment over the affected area (fluoride decreases fluid exchange from the oral environment to the nerve inside the tooth)
  • Take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen (use judiciously and according to the package insert guidelines)

Discomfort related to recent dental work should resolve on its own; give it several weeks. If you're feeling discomfort for another reason, even if the sensitivity subsides, the underlying cause may still require attention.

If you would like more information about tooth sensitivity, 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 “Sensitive Teeth.”

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