Posts for: August, 2017

By Thompson Lee & Chalothorn
August 23, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   gum disease  
StayVigilantwithOralHygienetoAvoidAnotherBoutofGumDisease

Treating advanced periodontal (gum) disease takes time. If you have this destructive disease, it wouldn’t be uncommon for you to undergo several cleaning sessions to remove plaque from tooth and gum surfaces. This built-up film of bacteria and food particles is primarily responsible for triggering and fueling gum disease.

These cleaning sessions, which might also involve surgery and other advanced techniques to access deep pockets of infection, are necessary not only to heal your gums but to preserve the teeth they support. With these intense efforts, however, we can help rescue your teeth and return your reddened and swollen gums to a healthy, pink hue.

But what then — is your gum disease a thing of the past?

The hard reality is that once you’ve experienced gum disease your risk of another occurrence remains. From now on, you must remain vigilant and disciplined with your oral hygiene regimen to minimize the chances of another infection. You can’t afford to slack in this area.

Besides daily brushing and flossing as often as your dentist directs, you should also visit your dentist for periodontal maintenance (PM) on a regular basis. For people who’ve experienced gum disease, PM visits are more than a routine teeth cleaning. For one, your dentist may recommend more than the typical two visits a year: depending on the severity of your disease or your genetic vulnerability, you may need to increase the frequency of maintenance appointments by visiting the dentist every two to three months.

Besides plaque and calculus (tartar) removal, these visits could include applications of topical antibiotics or other anti-bacterial substances to curb the growth of disease-causing bacteria in your mouth. You may also need to undergo surgical procedures to make particular areas prone to plaque buildup easier to clean.

The main point, though, is that although you’ve won your battle with gum disease, the war isn’t over. But with your own daily hygiene maintenance coupled with your dentist’s professional attention, you’ll have a much better chance of avoiding a future infection.

If you would like more information on preventing and treating gum disease, 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 “Periodontal Cleanings.”


By Thompson Lee & Chalothorn
August 14, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

There's no way to disguise the fact that you've had cavities when your teeth are filled with silver amalgam fillings. Luckily, tooth-colored fillingsfillings make it impossible for anyone to tell that you've had dental work. Lexington, KY, dentists Dr. William Lee, Dr. Pada Chalothorn and Dr. William Cartee of TLC Dentistry discuss the advantages of tooth-colored fillings.

What are tooth-colored fillings?

Composite resin, a material made with a mixture of flexible plastic and powdered glass, is often used to fill teeth, repair damage or change the shape of a tooth. The material is an excellent choice if you want your dental work to blend in with your tooth enamel. Composite resin is available in a variety of shades tinted to match the most common tooth colors. Once the material is added to your tooth and cured with a hardening light in our Lexington office, your restored tooth will look just like the others.

What are the benefits of tooth-colored fillings?

Tooth-colored fillings offer several benefits in addition to a more natural appearance, including:

  • No Cracks: Silver amalgam shrinks and expands when exposed to heat and cold. Over time, these changes can result in cracks in your filled tooth. Cracks increase the risk that your tooth will break and also provide a pathway for bacteria to invade your tooth. Unlike silver amalgam, composite resin doesn't expand when it's exposed to temperature variations, which means cracking is less likely to be an issue.
  • Stronger Teeth: Filling a cavity involves removing part of the healthy tooth structure surrounding the decayed area. Removing the healthy structure can weaken your tooth and increase the likelihood of a crack or break. When a tooth-colored filling is used, less healthy structure needs to be removed. The fillings also bond to your teeth, which makes them stronger.
  • No Discolorations: As silver amalgam fillings age, they may darken your tooth. Because your composite resin filling matches the shade of your tooth, you won't have to worry about discolorations in the future.

Tooth-colored fillings improve your appearance and protect your teeth. If you're concerned about a toothache or need to schedule your next checkup, call Lexington, KY, dentists Dr. William Lee, Dr. Pada Chalothorn and Dr. William Cartee of TLC Dentistry at (859) 223-8987 to schedule an appointment.


FifthHarmonysCamilaCabelloChipsaToothbutConcertStillWorthIt

Everyone loves a concert where there's plenty of audience participation… until it starts to get out of hand. Recently, the platinum-selling band Fifth Harmony was playing to a packed house in Atlanta when things went awry for vocalist Camila Cabello. Fans were batting around a big plastic ball, and one unfortunate swing sent the ball hurtling toward the stage — and directly into Cabello's face. Pushing the microphone into her mouth, it left the “Worth It” singer with a chipped front tooth.

Ouch! Cabello finished the show nevertheless, and didn't seem too upset. “Atlanta… u wild… love u,” she tweeted later that night. “Gotta get it fixed now tho lol.” Fortunately, dentistry offers a number of ways to make that chipped tooth look as good as new.

A small chip at the edge of the tooth can sometimes be polished with dental instruments to remove the sharp edges. If it's a little bigger, a procedure called dental bonding may be recommended. Here, the missing part is filled in with a mixture of plastic resin and glass fillers, which are then cured (hardened) with a special light. The tooth-colored bonding material provides a tough, lifelike restoration that's hard to tell apart from your natural teeth. While bonding can be performed in just one office visit, the material can stain over time and may eventually need to be replaced.

Porcelain veneers are a more long-lasting solution. These wafer-thin coverings go over the entire front surface of the tooth, and can resolve a number of defects — including chips, discoloration, and even minor size or spacing irregularities. You can get a single veneer or have your whole smile redone, in shades ranging from a pearly luster to an ultra-bright white; that's why veneers are a favorite of Hollywood stars. Getting veneers is a procedure that takes several office visits, but the beautiful results can last for many years.

If a chip or crack extends into the inner part of a tooth, you'll probably need a crown (or cap) to restore the tooth's function and appearance. As long as the roots are healthy, the entire part of the tooth above the gum line can be replaced with a natural-looking restoration. You may also need a root canal to remove the damaged pulp material and prevent infection if the fracture went too far. While small chips or cracks aren't usually an emergency (unless accompanied by pain), damage to the tooth's pulp requires prompt attention.

If you have questions about smile restoration, please contact us and schedule an appointment. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers: Strength & Beauty As Never Before” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”




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