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July 2, 2018

See the Dentist in Southfield to Care for You and Your Smile

Filed under: Preventive Dentistry — Tags: , — dr_solomon @ 12:16 am

Woman in dental chairThey say that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. When considering the human body, all of the parts that make up the whole are quite interconnected. But there is probably no part more connected to the rest of the body than your mouth. You know, of course, that your mouth is the main point of entry for foods and drinks that provide nourishment. But did you know that the condition of your mouth could affect the health of your body? Read on for more information about the oral-systemic connection from your dentist in Southfield.


March 31, 2011

Cosmetic Dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Solomon of Southfield, MI Provides Patients With Beautiful Dental Veneers

Dr. Jeffrey Solomon, Cosmetic Dentist of Southfield, MI Provides Patients With Beautiful Dental Veneers.

Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are another fantastic tool used in cosmetic dentistry to help create that perfect smile. Unlike crowns which cover the whole tooth, dental veneers are wafer-thin shells of porcelain which are just bonded to the front of your teeth.

Porcelain itself it a fairly brittle material but the bonding process adds additional strength to a veneer leaving you with a beautiful, durable and completely natural looking tooth. Dental veneers take on the appearance of enamel and provide the means for a truly remarkable cosmetic restoration.

Although porcelain has amazing crushing strength it doesn’t react well to twisting so once you have had a tooth or your teeth veneered you need to avoid foods that will require any kind of gnawing or twisting action.

Dental veneers have a variety of uses with veneers being used as an alternative to tooth whitening, braces, crowns and other cosmetic dentistry techniques. Porcelain veneers can be used to disguise discolored or chipped teeth, close gabs, straighten teeth, assist with realignment and reshape your smile.

Veneers have a distinct advantage over dental crowns in that there is no requirement for the tooth to be ground down prior to the veneer being bonded to the tooth. In addition, veneers tend to be more aesthetically pleasing providing you with an even more natural appearance.

Given the nature of a veneer, in that it is bonded to the front of your tooth, veneers are only of any use for cosmetic restoration of front teeth.

Getting a veneer is so easy and a great alternative for those hate the dentist chair. An initial visit will involve your cosmetic dentist taking an impression of your teeth and you may require some minor contouring work. The second visit will be purely for the veneer to be bonded into place providing you with an instant and fantastic looking result.

With teeth that are too damaged for a veneer, you can use a veneer in conjunction with a crown to obtain a perfect finish.

Dental veneers are basically used for aesthetic purposes so are unlikely to be covered by your dental insurance although you might get some level of discount if you have a dental care plan.

Dental Veneers: A Makeover for your Teeth

Dental veneers are custom-designed shells of tooth-like ceramic material that, when applied over the surface of a tooth, can cover worn tooth enamel, uneven tooth alignment, or spacing and chips or cracks. Dental veneers fall into the category of because they create a bright, white smile with beautifully aligned, shapely teeth. Even better, the translucent ceramic quality of today’s veneers provides a more natural look than what’s been available in the past. Regardless of what causes unattractive teeth, dental veneers may solve most or even all of your cosmetic dental issues, including:

Worn tooth enamel: Over time, the thin, hard white substance covering your teeth (enamel) may become worn, dulled, and discolored. Such wear and discoloration may be natural or the result of a genetic predisposition; however, it is often a result of your habits (soft drink, tea, or coffee consumption, smoking, medication use, etc.).
Wear and tear: Teeth naturally wear down as people age. Aged teeth are more likely to have chips, cracks, or a generally uneven appearance.
Genetics: Certain people may be born with abnormal spacing between the teeth that grows wider as they age.
Uneven teeth: Uneven teeth can result from tooth grinding or general wear and tear.

Porcelain Veneers and Composite Resin Veneers
The two most common materials used in the manufacture of dental veneers are porcelain and composite resin. Both porcelain and composite veneers may be fabricated by a dental technician in a dental laboratory; composite veneers can also be directly fabricated inside your mouth at the dental office. Dental veneers that are indirectly fabricated – fabricated in a dental laboratory – are bonded to the teeth with various types of resin cement. Of the two options, porcelain veneers are longer lasting and more expensive.
When are Veneers Appropriate?
Bonding often serves as an inexpensive and effective restoration for small chips and cracks in the teeth. Such minor problems may be functionally and cosmetically repaired with a compositewhite filling.” A composite resin material is bonded to the tooth in order to fill in the chip or crack and better protect the surrounding tooth structure. But for more severe cases of dullness, wear, discoloration, mild chipping, cracking, spacing, or uneven teeth, dental veneers may be recommended as a more appropriate solution.

Veneers or Whitening?
Teeth whitening may provide a white smile for mildly discolored teeth, and lasers may be used to treat specific discoloration spots on a tooth. Some people who are interested in veneers will find that their cosmetic dentist will steer them to the simpler alternative of whitening, perhaps combined with some simple orthodontic alignment. The placement of dental veneers requires the “shaping” or “prepping” of all teeth being fitted with the custom-designed shells. This process permanently alters the teeth that are treated and is therefore not recommended if your natural teeth are functionally and esthetically adequate.If you have a severe case of dull or discolored teeth, you may have to opt for dental veneers. Veneers do have the added benefits of longevity and a proven ability to enhance the appearance of the mouth, smile, and possibly other areas of an aged face that would be better supported by properly shaped teeth. Although veneers require a much larger commitment than teeth whitening, the results are typically well worth it.
A Restorative Benefit to Veneers
In addition to being esthetically pleasing, dental veneers can also serve a functional purpose by protecting the surface of a damaged tooth. In some cases, veneers may replace the need for a dental crown, eliminating the need for more invasive tooth preparation.Because dental veneers are so thin, they might require little-to-no tooth reshaping when bonded onto the tooth. They are incredibly strong and may last up to 15 years, assuming they are properly maintained through regular brushing and checkups.

Porcelain Veneers
The Smile You’ve Always Wanted

Are you happy with your smile? Do you wish you could change the size, shape or color of your teeth? Porcelain veneers could be your answer.

Porcelain veneers are often referred to as “instant orthodontics” because they can straighten, reshape and even whiten the appearance of your teeth. They can also close gaps between your teeth. Best of all, you can have the smile of your dreams in just two to four dental visits.

What are porcelain veneers?
Porcelain veneers are very thin porcelain facings. They are used to change the shape, color, size and spacing of your teeth. They have a lifelike appearance with the strength, beauty and durability that only porcelain restorations offer. In addition, they will not discolor or wear like natural tooth enamel.

Do all porcelain veneers look the same?
No, porcelain is very lifelike when done correctly. The difference in the porcelain is the skill of the technician. Also, your smile is custom-designed specifically for you. There are various shapes in veneers. You can choose a smile design that is sporty, natural or has that Hollywood look. Creating the perfect smile requires a blending of precision dentistry, perfect planning and an eye for detail.

How do I know the end result will be what I want?
Producing a perfect smile is an art, as unique and individual as a person’s features. The components that produce a beautiful smile require great attention to detail on a tooth-by-tooth basis. With proper design measurements, the exact proportions of a new smile can be achieved. Meticulous records, measurements and photographs are used to evaluate your smile needs and determine what it will take to produce the perfect smile for you. A waxed model is made from an impression of your teeth before you begin, allowing you to see the result that can be achieved with porcelain veneers.

Computer imaging is also used to show you a simulation of how your new smile can look. Before-and-after photographs can be viewed, giving you the ability to see the positive change that porcelain veneers can make in your appearance.

Designing a patient’s porcelain restorations begins with a photography session. A multimedia presentation is then made to help the laboratory technicians understand the needs of the patient. For example, the gum height and length ratio, the length of the patient’s teeth and the color of the restoration are all conveyed in this presentation. Models are also taken of the patient’s teeth and these are also given to the laboratory. A blueprint of how the patient’s teeth will look is the model used to make the patient’s temporaries. Interaction that is both face-to-face and visual gives our patients the assurance that their porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns will be made to the highest standards.

Come visit the Southfield dental office of Dr. Jeffrey Solomon to find out how dental veneers can makeover your smile!

March 25, 2011

Southfield Dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Solomon Stresses The Importance Of Dental Health and Your Overall Health

Southfield Dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Solomon Stresses The Importance of Dental Health Related to Overall Health.

Nutrition and Oral Health

Choosing the right foods in your diet is an important aspect in having healthy teeth and good oral hygiene. Establishing good nutritional habits in kids and teenagers can be especially beneficial for good eating patterns and food choices throughout their lives.

The foods that you eat come in contact with the germs and bacteria that live in the mouth. If you don’t brush, plaque will accumulate on the teeth. Plague thrives on the starches and sugars that are found in a great deal of foods. When plaque combines with the sugars and starches, an acid is produced that attacks enamel on the teeth, and eventually causes decay. According to the American Dental Association, the acid attacks the teeth for 20 minutes or more.

Choosing a healthy diet may sound easy, however, fruits, milk, cereals, bread and some vegetables contain sugars and/or starches. Carbonated sodas, sweet fruit drinks and sugary snack foods should be limited.

You don’t have to avoid these foods, just keep in mind that you should eat a balanced diet, brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily.

While eating healthy foods and avoiding snacks and drinks that are high in sugar are good ways to prevent cavities, a good dental regime is essential in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing thoroughly and a visit to our office can detect any signs of early decay. If you have a severe sweet tooth, try starting out by replacing one snack a day with healthy choices.

Poor Oral Health Ties to Other Health Conditions

A recent study at New Castle University, shows that there is considerable evidence to support the theory that poor oral health, especially the extent and severity of periodontal disease, may put you at significant risk for a variety of systemic conditions including heart disease. A quote from the study reads “Now that we know for sure that there is a strong link, patients with periodontitis should try to reduce their risk factors and take preventive measures at an early stage,”
Improving your oral health and especially periodontal conditions has been shown to improve control in diabetics, reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes and improve surrogate markers that may be of benefit in patients suffering from coronary heart disease.

The Mouth -An Early Warning System

The mouth can act as a very effective early warning system. Problems in the mouth can signal trouble in other parts of the body. Saliva, like blood and urine, can be used to detect and measure many compounds in the body. Saliva collection has the advantage of being noninvasive. Saliva could potentially replace blood testing for diagnosis and monitoring of many diseases.

Recent studies point to associations between oral infections – primarily gum infections – and diabetes; heart disease; stroke; and preterm, low-weight births. To date, there is not enough evidence to conclude that oral infections cause these serious health problems. Research is under way to determine if the associations are causal or coincidental.

Gum infections have been called “the sixth complication of diabetes,” because people with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease. Researchers are exploring a possible two-way connection between the conditions to see if treating gum disease improves diabetic control.

Recent studies also point to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke in people with gum infections; the risk increases with the severity of the oral infection.

Some studies have found that mothers of preterm, low birth weight infants tend to have more severe gum disease than mothers of normal birth weight babies.

Regular dental check-ups continue to be the front line in detection of other problems in the body.

The team at Signature Smiles takes very seriously the research that suggests that improving your oral condition may also improve or prevent other health problems. The importance of good oral routines and regular visits to our dental office has never been more critical.

Southfield Dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Solomon appreciates playing a central role in your overall health care and looks forward to seeing you at our practice soon.

March 24, 2011

Dental Implants Performed At Signature Smiles in Southfield, MI by Dr. Jeffrey Solomon

Dental Implant Dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Solomon of Southfield, MI Takes Great Care of His Patients.

Dental Implants

Thanks to the field of oral implantology, or dental implants, a new standard of care has emerged and teeth can now be restored for both functionality and aesthetics. Dental implants can also help people with increased chewing capacity, and improved speech in addition to their appearance.

Tooth loss can result in shrinkage of gums and jawbones, and up until recently there were many folks with partial tooth loss who could not live normally. Dental implants and oral rehabilitation has opened the doors and mouths with increased treatment possibilities for many patients. Let’s face it – we need our teeth for chewing functionality and to eat, not just for looks.
Dental implants rely on the bone for support and are substitutes for natural tooth roots. If you are missing one or more of your natural teeth, oral implants might be the right solution for you. The chance for implants to integrate can for example be jeopardized by the presence of intra-oral bacteria and inflammatory reactions. People with adequate bone level and density who are not prone to infection and can maintain the best oral hygiene would be good candidates for dental implants.

There are varying types of implants that are available but the basic definition is that it is a device, or fixture, that is surgically placed into the jaw bone to replace one or several lost roots of teeth. Dental implants are designed to replace the root of a tooth. Implants are the surgically placed part which goes either into, or sits on top of the jawbone, while the actual tooth or teeth that go on top of the implant(s) are referred to as the prosthesis.

There are basically two distinct phases to the implant procedure, including a surgical phase, and a prosthetic phase. The surgical phase includes all that’s concerned with getting the implant into or onto the bone and getting it ready for the prosthetic phase. The prosthetic phase includes putting a single tooth or teeth on top of the implant(s). After the implant is placed into the jaw bone, a process that is called “osseointegration” allows the bone to grow and tighten around it. This process takes a few months, but after it has integrated with the bone successfully, the next phase can begin.  The second procedure includes a metal attachment that is placed to the implant onto which the final restoration replaces the missing tooth. Once the third part or the crown is screwed onto the abutment, the dental implant is complete.

If you are missing one or more of your natural teeth, no matter what age you are, dental implants may be your best solution. They are a long-lasting and pleasing alternative to missing teeth.

Your teeth were designed to last a lifetime, but sometimes they don’t! Replacing missing teeth is important to your general health and to the health of your other teeth. Not only do you lose chewing ability when a tooth is lost, but unreplaced teeth can cause other teeth to be lost, tipped or crowded and create subsequent problems. Also, there are the obvious problems of poor appearance and loss of self-esteem caused by one or more missing teeth.

Dental implants should always be considered as an option to replace a failing or missing tooth. Replacement of lost teeth with dental implants has been used for treating missing teeth for more than 50 years and is recognized as an effective treatment choice. Treatment is considered more predictable than bridgework, resin bonded bridges and endodontic treatment.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are substitutes for the roots of missing teeth. They act as an anchor for a replacement tooth or “crown” or a set of replacement teeth.

Am I a candidate for a dental implant?
Implant patients are of all ages and implants may be the right choice for anyone missing one or more or even all of their teeth due to injury, disease or decay. They are especially practical for patients who can no longer wear removable dentures. Your dentist can determine if you are a candidate for dental implants after a careful evaluation of your dental and medical history.

Are there different kinds of implants?
There are many shapes, sizes and brands of implants available.  Implant dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Solomon will know which implant is the right one for you.

Do I have enough bone?
It is important for a patient to have enough bone to support the implant. If you do not have enough bone, there are many safe and effective ways to correct bone deficiency. Your dentist will assess this and advise you if additional bone material is needed.

Will this take a long time?
Treatment time can vary greatly depending on your needs. Each situation needs a separate evaluation; Dr. Solomon will be able to give you an approximate timetable.

Whom should I consult for my implant treatment?
Your general dentist is your first resource for this service. The key is the implant dentist’s training, experience and credentials.  AAID credentialed dentists include general dentists, periodontists, prosthodontists and oral surgeons who perform the surgical and/or restorative procedures.

Do you currently wear dentures, but are tired of the hassle and fuss? Are you considering dentures as a replacement option? We would like to let you know about a new denture design: implant-supported dentures. Because they are more comfortable and secure, they alleviate some of the issues found with regular dentures which means you spend less time worrying about your smile and more time enjoying life!

What Is It?
Typically, implant-supported dentures are made for the lower jaw because dentures tend to be less stable in this area, while dentures for the upper jaw usually do not require this added stability. However, implant-supported dentures can be made for either areas of the mouth and are easily removable.
The dentures are made with an acrylic base to look like the gums of your mouth with porcelain or acrylic teeth attached to look like natural teeth.

The Implant Process
Implants, used to support the denture are placed in the jawbone at the front of your mouth. The number of implants needed to support the denture varies based on individual factors, which we can discuss with you in a consultation.  The time frame to complete the implant process also depends on many factors. The shortest time frame from the implant process to placement of the denture is approximately five months for the lower jaw and seven months for the upper jaw. However, in some cases the entire process could take up to a year or more.

What Can You Expect From Your Implant-Supported Denture?
Initially you will notice first how much more stable the implant-supported denture is versus a regular denture. You will also have an easier time speaking with less worrying about the denture coming loose and falling out of your mouth as well. Generally, you are also able to eat foods that you could not eat before, with exception to hard or sticky foods that can cause damage to the denture.

With upper jaw implant-supported dentures, you will also notice the more natural feel because the denture will no longer need to cover the roof of your mouth.

Contact the office of Southfield dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Solomon today to find out more about implant-supported dentures and to schedule a consultation.

March 22, 2011

Southfield Dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Solomon helps relieve Dental Anxiety

Southfield Dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Solomon helps with Dental Anxiety

Perhaps there is no other health care profession like dentistry that has the unfortunate (and false) reputation of wanting to cause pain rather than prevent it. For all the good that dentists do to improve our well being, there are many patients with fears about sitting in the dentist’s chair.

Perhaps it has something to do with not liking sharp metal objects put into your mouth or a distaste for fluoride, no matter how strongly the hygienist insists it is “cherry flavored”. But whatever the reason, there are many people (young an old), who have dental anxiety.

For your teeth’s sake, there are ways to combat dental anxiety, a condition sure to cause cavities. If positive reinforcement, learning to control fear and other behavior management techniques don’t do the trick, dental sedation could ease your mind and allow you to get your teeth cleaned.

Sedation can occur through inhalation (nitrous oxide aka laughing gas), intravenously or orally through a pill or liquid. All of these are safe and can address most forms of dental anxiety by allowing you to get dental work done and simultaneously relieving the anxiety you feel inside. Usually these forms of sedation do not relieve pain, so a local anesthetic is still needed. They do however relieve stress and allow you to have a healthy smile without all of the worry.

Nitrous Oxide (N2O)Nitrous Oxide Gas, often referred to as laughing gas, is an effective anesthetic that has many benefits for those seeking dental treatments.Nitrous oxide is used in roughly one-third of dental practices in the United States. The benefits of nitrous oxide are many, and the risks are few. We administer the gas with a comfortable mask placed over your nose, at which time you would be instructed to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. As a precaution, you should not eat anything for about two hours prior to use of the gas. As you breathe in the nitrous oxide, you’ll begin to feel a pleasant level of sedation within minutes. Your cheeks and gums may also begin to feel numb.Interestingly, nitrous oxide is one of the safest anesthetics available. Nitrous oxide is also routinely used by anesthesiologists for general anesthesia, in combination with other more potent gases.We find nitrous oxide especially useful for those who fear dental visits, as well as young children. The effect of nitrous oxide is remarkable, easily calming those who are anxious about their visit, in just a minute or two. Because nitrous oxide is so effective treating those with dental anxieties, we rarely need to prescribe Valium to be taken before an appointment.

In our practice, we use nitrous oxide on a case-by-case basis. We would be happy to discuss the many positive benefits of nitrous oxide, answer any questions or discuss your anxieties about visits to the dentists.


Mrs.  Bronson has suffered from dental anxiety since childhood. Yet the 39-year-old  art director is completely unperturbed as she reclines in the chair at our dental  office. With a red blanket draped across her lap, she has that faraway smile of someone who is very happy.

And with good reason.

Just before being driven here by her husband, she took a prescription sedative – a 0.25-milligram-strength triazolam (tri-a´zo-lam) better known as Halcion and commonly used as a prescription sleeping aid.

At the office, we give her a second, equal dosage – we chop it up and pour it into her mouth via a small envelope. A pulse oximeter attached to a finger monitors her pulse, blood pressure and oxygen saturation rate.

We turn the lights down and let her relax.

What we are doing is known variously as sedation dentistry, oral sedation or conscious sedation.  Proponents of sedation dentistry point to a 1998 article in Journal of the American Dental Association finding that 30 percent of Americans are, “somewhat nervous, very nervous or terrified about going to the dentist.”

Mrs. Bronson certainly fits that bill.

“When I was very young, I had a fever, and my molars didn’t close completely,” she explains, several days before her dental appointment. “So decay was inevitable. At a young age, my molars had to have fillings. And when I had braces, they had to pull four teeth to make room for my wisdom teeth. And I had to have a root canal. This was all before age 13. So it seemed to me my teeth would always be my Achilles heel.”

After college, she just stopped going. But last year, after her husband read an article about sedation dentistry in Popular Science, she looked into it. So far, she’s glad she did. Before this latest work, she had made it through a previous four-hour appointment.

“This way I’m not completely out, yet I’m relaxed and not concerned and had no sense of time. And afterward, I slept very hard.”

While such sedation looks to become more popular, it’s not for everyone who gets nervous in a dentist’s chair. Because patients must be driven by someone else and then must sleep off the effects of the sedation, it’s most appropriate for those needing significant dental work.

If you experience dental anxiety, contact the Southfield, MI office of dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Solomon to find out how sedation dentistry can help you.

March 17, 2011

Dental Crowns by Southfield, MI Dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Solomon

Dental Crowns in Southfield, MI

While dental crowns may not have the luster of the crowns of royalty, they can have a powerful effect on saving your smile. Often when we don’t take proper care of our teeth, they can wear away and lose their strength and shape. There are a number of things that can contribute to tooth decay including skipping regular dental visits, eating hard candy and the obvious: not brushing one’s teeth.

When our teeth wear away, break off, or deteriorate due to cavities, we can place a crown to cover, protect or restore the broken or decayed teeth. Dental crowns can even be used cosmetically to cover up other implants or discolored teeth.

The material that your crown is made of is dependent on many factors, such as severity of tooth decay or location of the tooth in your mouth, but generally, dental crowns are made up of the following:

• Porcelain, usually more esthetically pleasing
• A durable plastic
• Metal: gold, nickel or chromium

Dental crowns can generally be placed in a couple of visits. And if properly taken care of, can last for years without being replaced.

Call the office of Southfield dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Solomon to see if your mouth deserves a crown.

February 25, 2011

TMJ Dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Solomon of Southfield , MI Cares For The Southfield Community!

TMJ Dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Solomon of Southfield, MI Cares for the Southfield Community!

A woman walks in the office and claims to have TMJ (Tempromandibular Joint Disorder). We’ll call her “Edith”. She’s from the deep-south but has been living in Southfield now for the past 2 years. She has seen one doctor after another all who have treated her for her TMJ but have been unsuccessful in relieving her symptoms. Edith is noticeably clenching her teeth while she speaks, and unable to open her mouth wide enough to eat a sandwich. Her jaw is constantly sore, and suffers from frequent headaches. This has been an ongoing problem for more than 5 years, and has continued to worsen as time went on. At Edith’s initial visit, to Signature Smiles in Southfield, I lean her back in the chair and come to realize she’s wearing upper and lower dentures. The moment she opens her mouth, her upper denture comes flopping down and the lower denture starts dancing the electric slide. I ask Edith how old her dentures are, and she responds by telling me that the dentist who made them for her has been dead for over 40 years now. She hasn’t seen a dentist she likes since, but now that she lives in the Southfield area and got our advertisement in the mail she thought she’d give us a try. I go on to explain that due to the ill-fitting dentures in her mouth, she has no other choice but to clench her teeth while she speaks or else they’d fall right out. I remove the dentures from Edith’s mouth and have her open her mouth as wide as she can. Low and behold, she has a full range of opening. Big enough to park a semi truck in there. I explain to her that if we make her some well-fitting dentures she won’t have to suck steak through a straw any longer. She laughs and gives me a thumbs-up. I proceed to explain to Edith that with proper fitting dentures, she’ll no longer have to clench her teeth in fear that her dentures will hop out of her mouth. This will in turn take all the undue stress off her joints and keep her headache free. Edith looks me in the eye with disbelief and can’t fathom why she’s never been told this from anyone else. She goes on to promise me that if I’m able to solve her problem, she’ll refer her entire church congregation to Signature Smiles in Southfield! We get started on the new denture process and 3 weeks later she has the finished product in her mouth. She’s thrilled with the new secure fit, and now looks 10 years younger. Within the past several weeks, Edith has now sent 4 other patients to Signature Smiles in Southfield. As for Edith, No more clenching! No more headaches! No more limited opening! And best of all, no more straws!!

January 9, 2011

Dental Trivia and Tidbits From Southfield Dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Solomon

Dental Trivia From Southfield Dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Solomon

•Grapefruits arent just for breakfast anymore. According to researchers at Pace University, grapefruit extract in toothpaste can kill oral viruses. The researchers also noted that adding aloe, zinc, and grapefruit extract to mouthwash and toothpaste kills viruses in the oral cavity, and thus eliminates their passage into the body.

•Are you a wine drinker? According to a study at Guys Hospital in London, the acid in wine was shown to erode the enamel on teeth. A wine taster had been exposed to so much wine that only the fillings were protruding in some of the subjects teeth. Any individual who tastes or drinks wine often should clean his or her mouth at least twice a day. Typically, red wine causes the worst stains on teeth.

•Routine dental radiographs may be an effective tool in preventing strokes, according to researchers at the University of Buffalo. Stroke victims usually receive no warning of the impending stroke, but dental radiographs can help spot potentially dangerous calcium buildups in the carotid arteries near both ends of the jawbone. These buildups can choke blood flow to the brain and are cause strokes.

•Have you ever wished that your dentist would turn up the music while he/she is drilling your tooth? The American Dental Association recommends that patients listen to music in the dentist office as a form of distraction. A combination of music and an anesthetic during dental procedures can reduce the patients blood pressure and pulse rate more than an anesthetic alone. It has also been noted that patients who listen to music at the dentist office tend to have lower levels of stress-related hormones. Many dentists are aware of this anxiety-reliever and provide their patients with headphones.

•Does your child go through a tube of toothpaste in two weeks? Too much toothpaste early in life accounts for more than 70 percent of fluorosis cases (staining or mottling of tooth enamel that develops when children swallow fluoridated toothpaste), according to a study at the University of Connecticut. The problem is purely cosmetic, but it is recommended that children under six only use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and be reminded to spit it out after brushing.

Dental injuries are the most common type of orofacial injury sustained during participation in sports, according to the National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety. An athlete is 60 times more likely to incur damage to the teeth when not wearing a mouthguard. It is estimated that mouthguards professionally designed by dentists prevent approximately 200,000 injuries (such as concussions or dental and mandibular injuries) each year in high school and college football. The stock mouthguard, which can be purchased at sports stores without an individual fitting, provides only a low level of protection, if any.

•Do your palms sweat and hear race when you arrive at your dentist appointment? Patients at the Dental Phobia Treatment Center of New York are offered foot massages, 3-D virtual reality goggles, and aromatherapy to alleviate their fears and help them relax during dental visits. About 35 million people in the US have dental anxiety.

•Patients don’t seem to be as concerned as they should be about the possible link between periodontal disease and strokes, heart disease, diabetes and low-birth-weight babies. Forty-two percent of dentists say that gum disease is the most pressing oral health issue, according to the 1998 ADA/Colgate Oral Health Trend Survey. Three out of four dentists plan to educate patients on possible links between this disease and other medical ailments.

•The next time your dentist asks if you are taking any medications, don’t forget to mention herbal remedies or alternative medicines, advises the Academy of General Dentistry. Patients tend to forget that multivitamins, ginseng tablets, and herbal teas are considered drugs. High consumption of beverages such as herbal teas, known for their relaxing and soothing qualities, can lower blood pressure and put people at risk of fainting in the dental chair. Keep your dentist informed to avoid any potentially harmful drug interactions during your dental procedures.

•Looking for an excuse to eat chocolate? Many dentists agree that raisins can cause more tooth decay than chocolate. Sticky foods, such as raisins and dried fruits, can stay on the teeth longer and cause more decay.

•Want to cure bad breath? Mouthwash, sugarless gum, and tongue scrapers are some modern remedies, but Thomas Vicery, a surgeon from the early 17th century, has a more unique suggestion: “Wash the mouth with water and vinegar. Chew mastic (a tree resin used as an astringent), then wash the mouth again with a decoction of annis seeds, mints and cloves soaked in wine.”

•The popular technique of baking pizza in wood burning stoves could be harmful to your oral health. The smoke from wood burning stoves can cause people to have two to three times the risk of mouth and throat cancers, according to the International Journal of Epidemiology. Wood stoves may be responsible for 30 percent of all such cancers. Cooking and heating stoves are used in more than half the worlds households and have been shown in many areas to generate a number of combustion products that are known, or suspected, carcinogenic agents.


•What do tree branches, wild boar hairs, and nylon have in common? The bristles of a toothbrush have been made from these items. People have been concerned about their dental hygiene since Egyptian times. Ancient tombs contained small tree branches whose ends had been frayed into soft fibers. In the 15th century, the Chinese made toothbrushes from the neck hairs of a Siberian wild boar. The present-day nylon toothbrush wasn’t invented until 1937.

•Powdered fruit, talc, honey, dried flowers, mice, and lizard livers were ingredients in ancient toothpaste and powder. Soap and chalk were suggested components in the 1800s. Modern toothpaste in collapsible tubes was introduced in the 1850s. Fluoride wasn’t added to toothpaste until 1956.

•Toothpicks haven’t always been made of wood. In ancient times, people used combination “tooth/ear pickers” made of bone, quills, silver, or gold. These “dentiscalpias” were used freely by even the best-mannered citizens.

•Americans purchased over 2.7 million miles of dental floss in 1996. Dental floss was first manufactured in 1882 when it was made from. Recently, some floss has been made of Gore-Tex.

•The term “indentured servant” has a story behind it. In the colonial days, debtors were shipped from Europe to America to work as servants. Instead of signing a contract, they sealed their agreement by leaving their dental imprint in wax.

•The defenders of the Alamo were the first to try chewing gum in America. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the Mexican dictator who fought Davy Crockett and his Texas comrades, introduced modern day chewing gum. His version of chewing gum was chicle, the latex sap of the sapodilla tree. Thomas Adams, an American inventor, used chicle as the base for commercial chewing gums. Rumor has it, chicle could be the source of the brand name “Chicklets.”

•Francisco Goya, a famous Spanish Artist, depicts a morbid dental custom of his time in the painting “A Caza de Dientas” (or “tooth hunting”). Dentists would quickly transplant live teeth, often stolen from the dead, into their patients empty alveolar sockets.

November 3, 2010

Don’t Take My Word For It!

I’m at the local 30 minute oil change place waiting for them to finish up. I want my oil changed and nothing more. No frills, no extras. Just change the oil, swipe my credit card and let me be on with my day. 15 minutes in, the mechanic swings the door open while carrying what looks like a mountain full of dark dusty disgustingness. He plops it down on the countertop in front of me and mumbles softly “this is your air filter sir; I think it’s about time you consider replacing it.” Really? Are you sure? That came out of my car? How could that be possible? I’ve had absolutely no perceived problems at all. Everything seemed to be working just fine. I’m in total disbelief that the air I’ve been breathing has been passing through this heap of dirt and debris. The mechanic doesn’t have to say much. He purses his lips and nods his head yes. He proceeds to ask me again, “sir would you like me to replace this for you?” Without hesitation, “of course I want you to replace it! I sure don’t want you putting that thing back in my car.”

Seeing is believing! Pictures are worth a thousand words! If the mechanic had just simply walked in to inform me that my air filter was dirty and needed to be replaced, I probably would have told him that I wasn’t having any problems now, and that I’d hold off until next time. Not that I don’t trust him. It’s just that I’ve already made up my mind that I was here for an oil change and that’s it. I wasn’t going to allow the mechanic to “up sell” me on any additional items that I had no perceived problems with.

The same holds true for dentistry!!!

A patient walks in for a check up exam and cleaning with no perceived problems. They want their teeth cleaned, credit card swiped, and out and on with their day! They’ve been “up sold” in the past and have their guard up from the start. I walk in to do the exam and point out one or more of the following: teeth with cavities, significant plaque buildup, faulty fillings, worn teeth and inflamed gums. The patient assures me that they brush and floss twice a day and that nothing in their mouth is problematic. Without the patient seeing these areas of concern with their own eyes, the words that come out of my mouth really don’t make much of an impact.

But what if you could see what I’m seeing? Well, now it’s possible!

Just like the mechanic plopping down that disgusting old air filter in front me, we can now show our patients exactly what we see. Even bigger! With the use of our intraoral cameras, it’s now possible for our patients to actually see what is going on in their own mouths without having to take our word for it. Seeing is truly believing! We don’t need to try to convince you that you should have an old broken filling replaced. We just simply take a quick picture of your tooth and show you for yourself. It’s that easy!

October 21, 2010

Judy’s New Smile

A patient walks into our office (we’ll call her Judy), and expresses her dissatisfaction of her smile. She points at her teeth and refers to herself as looking like a jack-o-lantern. After asking some qualifying questions it turns out Judy’s main concern is the generalized spacing between her teeth, predominantly the large gap between her two front teeth that she compares to the field goal on a football field. Judy wants a new smile desperately, but just can’t imagine what she’ll look like after the transformation. After all, the spacing between her teeth has been part of her for over 40 years. I sit down in front of Judy, look her square in the eyes, and ask her one simple question. “How would you feel if you were able to see what your new smile would look like before we even begin?” She sits back in the chair, wrinkles her brow looking inquisitive and says “you can do that? Of course I want to see what I’ll look like before we begin. That’s what’s been keeping me from changing my smile for the past 40 years!” I proceed to explain to Judy how a simple impression of her teeth and 10 minutes of her time is all I need for this to happen. She looks stunned. Judy tells me that she’s been to countless dental offices, and not once have any of them ever mentioned that she could see her “new smile” before the dentist ever revs up the drill.

The rest is history. I take an impression of Judy’s teeth, talk to Judy about the characteristics of her ideal smile and send her on her way. Two weeks later Judy comes back for her appointment. It’s unveiling time! Judy sits on the edge of the chair, knee bouncing up and down like a Mexican jumping bean, anxiously a waiting the big moment. Drum roll please… I pull the curtains (actually just lift up a piece of black fabric draped over a wax model), and there it is, a gorgeous model in pristine condition of Judy’s newly designed smile! She gasps in disbelief as her jaw hits the floor. Her eyes well up with tears as one rolls down her left cheek. She stands up while trying to keep her composure and wraps her arms around me giving me a giant bear hug. She’s in total awe as she loudly exclaims “I can’t believe that’s me! Is that really me? I want the new me!! When can we start?” How about now? Is that soon enough for you?

One hour later I sit Judy back up in the chair after the smile transformation is completed and the temporary crowns are in place. Hand her a mirror, and with one look, she begins sobbing with joy all over again. I remind Judy that these are just temporary, and if she thinks that these are incredible just wait for the permanents! The real deal will knock her socks off! Judy leaves the office gleaming ear to ear showing off her new smile to each and every person she passes in the hallway.

Have you ever looked in the mirror and wondered what you’d look like with a different smile altogether? What would you think if I told you that with modern technology now you can design your ideal smile and see what it looks like before you even open wide for the drill. Whether you have crooked teeth, spacing, crowding, or missing teeth, we have a solution for you. It makes perfect sense! Why wouldn’t you want to see the final outcome before even beginning? No Shot, No Drill, No Commitment! Just a simple impression of your teeth and 10 minutes of your time. It’s Easy; just ask Judy, she’ll tell you!

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