7/2/2019 7:34:17 PM |
At Solomon Dental Group, we do not promote amalgam fillings.
Composite (white) v. Amalgam (silver) Fillings
Traditionally, dentists have used what’s known as amalgam, or special metal alloys, to fill cavities. However, modern dental medicine has advanced to the point that we can offer our patients a much better option for filling holes caused by tooth decay. It’s called composite fillings. What are the benefits of tooth-colored, composite fillings?
Historically, the choices for dental restoration materials were limited. Records show that amalgams (mixtures of silver, mercury, tin or copper) have been used widely for more than 1300 years.
There have been a number of scientific disputes (referred to as the amalgam war) over the health concerns of using mercury, but the American Dental Association has always defended the safety of amalgam fillings. Until recently, amalgam fillings were favored because of their strength, resilience, and relative ease of preparation and placement. In spite of their positive qualities, amalgams have three main drawbacks:
- They are not aesthetically pleasing and may corrode or stain teeth.
- They require the removal of some healthy tooth structure.
- They expand and contract, which can cause teeth to crack.
Modern dentistry offers many options for dental restorations. At Solomon Dental Group we prefer composite fillings because they are:
- Can be placed in a single visit
- Require very little removal of healthy tooth structure
- Allow for easy identification of tooth decay nearby
- Bond extremely well to enamel
Composite resin fillings are made from powdered glass and plastic. They are placed directly on the tooth in thin layers, then shaped and polished. We use a special curing light source to accelerate the bonding process.
Composite fillings are generally more durable than porcelain, significantly less expensive than gold, and do not expand and contract like amalgam fillings. Most patients prefer composite fillings because they look just like natural teeth.
Our Amalgam Policy
Solomon Dental Group does not place amalgam fillings and does not inventory, or have on the premises, materials for making or placing amalgam fillings. We exclusively use composite materials or other non-amalgam materials for placement in dental procedures. We do not promote or advise patients to remove or replace amalgam fillings or otherwise plan amalgam removals unless such fillings have failed in an unexpected or emergency circumstance in the judgment of a dentist at Solomon Dental Group.
5/5/2019 6:00:16 AM |
These days you can’t even walk down the toothpaste aisle of your local grocery store without seeing a variety of DIY tooth whitening options. Although many people choose to try their hand at whitening, in our professional opinion the procedure is easier, safer and more effective when conducted in a dental office. Here is a little more information about DIY and professional whitening, and how to choose what is right for you.
How Do DIY & Professional Treatments Compare?
There are two main varieties of tooth whitening products – those that focus on extrinsic, or surface whitening, and those that provide intrinsic, or internal whitening. The main difference between DIY whitening products and the treatments offered at Solomon Dental Group is the fact that over-the-counter products typically focus on extrinsic whitening, while our professional whitening is designed to target deeper-set stains. In fact, while over-the-counter products typically contain low levels of peroxide, dentists have access to higher concentrations, making whitening faster and more effective.
What Do We Recommend?
While some DIY tooth whitening products are safe to use at home, we recommend that you see us for a consultation before trying any teeth whitening method. We have the expertise to detect problems like decay and tooth fractures which must be addressed before exposing those areas to whitening gel of any type. In addition, we’ll discuss the best whitening options for you – tailored to your goals, timeline and budget. We also have access to products designed to work with UV light, speeding the process.
Whether you’re looking forward to graduation, a wedding, a first date or job interview, when you are ready to brighten your smile in the safest, most comfortable and effective way possible, let Solomon Dental Group help. With multiple tooth whitening options (and price points), our team will help you achieve the perfect level of white for your smile and personal preferences. Call us at 281-367-4007.
4/18/2019 6:00:44 AM |
Share these fun facts about animal teeth with your little ones to get them more excited about their own oral health!
- There are species of snails that can have upwards of 20,000 teeth! They use their teeth to scrape or cut food. No utensils needed!
- An elephant’s tusks are actually teeth! The longest tusk ever recorded was 11 feet. Elephants use their tusks kind of like hands, to maneuver items around, and they tend to be dominant in either their right or left tusk (just like humans are right or left-handed!).
- A narwhal has only two teeth, and one of them grows really long into the unicorn-like tusk. (See the picture above.) This tusk is porous, and is thought to be able to taste the water around them!
- Some animals’ teeth never stop growing. Zebras, beavers, and rodents are just a few. They must constantly gnaw on bark, leaves, and grass to shave down their teeth.
- A rattlesnake’s front teeth inject deadly venom into its prey. When a rattlesnake closes its mouth, these teeth fold up like a pocketknife to protect the inside of its mouth.
- Giraffes have the same number of teeth as humans: 32.
- Mosquitoes have teeth that help them saw into your skin. Ew!
- Sharks don’t get cavities, and their teeth are protected with a layer of fluoride. No need for them to spend money on toothpaste!
- Blue whales, some of the largest and loudest animals on earth, have no teeth! Because they can’t chew their food, they can only eat small prey. Imagine having to swallow all your food whole!
- You can tell the age of a dolphin by counting the numbers of rings on its teeth – just like a tree!
Make sure to share these fascinating animal teeth facts with your kiddos. Maybe it’ll get them more interested in their own dental health!
4/7/2019 6:00:27 AM |
It’s possible to eat your way to a cleaner mouth. When you don’t have a toothbrush or floss handy, try these six everyday foods to maintain your oral hygiene.
- Apples, carrots and celery
These snacks aren’t known as dental detergents for nothing. Crunchy fruits and vegetables increase the flow of cleansing saliva, giving your mouth a fresh feeling. Just be sure the fruits you choose between meals aren’t high in acid; they can be hard on your tooth enamel.
- Cheese or milk
Acid from the foods we eat can eat away at our teeth. But many dairy products can actually reduce the acid in your mouth. And a glass of milk or a piece of cheese is filling. It satisfies you as far as hunger goes, and sugar found in milk doesn’t contribute to tooth decay.
- Raw onion
Try a slice or two of fresh onion on your sandwich. Research at a Korean University showed that raw onions have powerful antibacterial properties. In an experiment, onions wiped out four strains of bacteria that can cause cavities and gum disease. Of course, after eating raw onions you may end up with killer breath!
Cashew nut shell oil has been shown to have microbe-fighting properties against bacteria that lead to tooth decay. Not only can these nuts help keep your teeth clean, they may also clear your skin – research shows cashew nut shell oil helps to fight one of the bacteria types that cause acne.
Are you a sucker for sushi? Now you have another excuse to snack on it. The wasabi that’s usually served on the side may have oral health benefits. Research in Japan has found that this spicy green cousin to horseradish can stop bacteria from sticking to your teeth.
Wash your mouth out with water! Drinking water can cleanse your teeth. In fact, water swished around in your mouth is as effective as mouthwash at removing bacteria. If you’re trying to control your weight, even more reason to make water your friend. Between meals, a glass or two of water can keep your tummy feeling filled.
If you have questions or comments about anything mentioned in this blog, please use “Leave a Reply” (below). We’ll try to respond as soon as possible. Thanks!
2/25/2019 6:00:46 AM |
It’s not unusual to feel anxious or nervous when visiting the dentist. In fact, we realize that many people have fears that make it difficult for them to even contemplate stepping into any dental office unless or until they are in extreme pain. Even if you are only slightly nervous when seeing a dentist, it’s nice to know that we at Solomon Dental Group have options to help you feel much more comfortable. One choice is to have oral conscious sedation.
With oral conscious sedation, you won’t be asleep during treatment, but you will feel deeply relaxed and calm. Some people may feel sleepy, depending on the level of sedation provided, as it is individually adjusted to suit the needs of each patient. The nice thing about oral conscious sedation is that it is very safe and afterwards it will only take a short while for the sedatives to wear off. It’s a great way to receive essential dental treatment such as root canal therapy or dental extractions. At Solomon Dental Group, we use two forms of sedation: Nitrous Oxide (“laughing gas”), or a sedative medication (such as Diazepam or Halcion). When needed, both treatments can be combined to help relieve more severe dental anxieties.
We Take Every Precaution to Keep You Safe
When you visit Solomon Dental Group for treatment, we will go out of our way to help you feel relaxed and comfortable, but your safety is always our primary concern. We screen everyone extremely carefully before recommending oral conscious sedation and we’ll want to know your medical history to ensure this treatment is safe and appropriate. During your appointment, you will be in the care of expert staff and continually monitored at all times. Once treatment is complete, we will want to keep you with us for a short while and this is to ensure you are completely okay before we send you home.
Experience Our Gentle Dental Care
At Solomon Dental Group, we pride ourselves on taking great care of our patients, especially those who may be nervous or anxious. Many people may have dental fears or phobias due to a previous bad experience in the dental chair, but oral conscious sedation is one way to overcome that. Additionally, it’s important to remember that modern dentistry should be virtually pain-free, and that our treatment will always be provided at a pace that suits you. With gentle care by our experienced and compassionate dental team, you can comfortably achieve a healthy smile.
Ask us if oral conscious sedation is right for you.
1/20/2019 12:00:13 PM |
When it comes to tooth decay, prevention by regular brushing and flossing is the best approach. But what can you do if your tooth has already suffered damage? Traditionally, the only way to stop and restore cavities is to visit a dentist for a filling. However, research suggests that this may not always be the case. If the damage is minor, the human body may be able to restore tooth material naturally. The following guide helps explain how this process works.
How Do Cavities Form?
Cavities typically form due to bacterial activity in the mouth and exposure to acids—such as those found in soft drinks and citric juices. As bacteria spread, they form a colorless film known as plaque that adheres to the teeth. Brushing and flossing can help block plaque formation, but professional cleanings from dentists are also necessary to fully remove this naturally occurring substance.
How Can Your Body Fight Tooth Decay Naturally?
According to research published by the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association, decayed teeth can sometimes be remineralized through natural processes. Specifically, if the erosion has not yet penetrated the enamel, saliva can introduce calcium and phosphate ions to the tooth and help it recalcify. For this process to work, however, individuals must practice strict oral hygiene, eat a mineral-rich diet, and avoid sugary and acidic foods to sustain a balanced pH level in the mouth.
The National Institutes of Health also suggest that fluoride can help remineralize small lesions in teeth. Fluoride is particularly important for children, as it helps support the healthy growth of developing teeth. While this mineral may be found in tap water and toothpaste, dentists can also provide fluoride treatment to strengthen enamel.
Unfortunately, if tooth decay has progressed past the enamel layer, remineralization cannot occur. In these situations, dental fillings will be necessary.
How Do I Know If I Need a Filling?
Even if you believe you have tooth decay that can heal naturally, it’s important to visit your dentist for an oral exam and professional cleaning once every six months. During the evaluation, your hygienist together with the dentist will measure the extent of decay and determine if it is too deep and requires treatment or can be left alone until the next appointment. It’s likely you will need a filling if a tooth becomes painful, sensitive, physically damaged, or discolored.
If you’re concerned about your cavity risk, Solomon Dental Group offers comprehensive dental care services in The Woodlands, TX, to help. With a gentle approach, our experienced professionals will carefully assess the state of your teeth and gums and determine if treatment—such as fillings, root canals, and tooth extraction—may be necessary. In addition to restoring smiles, our doctors can also advise you on ways to preserve your teeth through oral hygiene and diet. For more information on these services, visit Solomon Dental Group. To schedule an appointment, call (281) 367-4007.
1/13/2019 12:00:08 PM |
Could Snoring Have Something to Do with Your Fatigue?
There are some things that are obviously the result of your snoring habit. For instance, if your partner is agitated because they can’t sleep, or if your mouth is excessively dry when you wake up in the morning. Yet, when snoring is consistent, there are also several other effects that might not immediately seem connected, such as tiredness and fatigue related to poor sleeping patterns. Patients in The Woodlands, TX and area, who experience chronic snoring can often alleviate it, and its various consequences, with the help of a custom-designed sleep appliance.
Why snoring is a problem
Snoring seems problematic because of the noise, but it’s even more worrisome because of the common cause behind it. Snoring often occurs because your airway is partially clogged by mouth and throat tissues. This not only makes your breathing louder, but also more difficult. You have to fight harder for less air, and over time, this can have a negative impact on your overall cardiovascular health.
How it can cost you valuable sleep
In some cases, snoring is a preamble to sleep apnea, which involves the complete cessation of your breathing. Your airway becomes so clogged that no air can pass through it, which causes your body to panic just enough to wake up and start breathing again. This can interrupt your sleep pattern constantly, making it impossible for you to ever reach the deeper levels of sleep you need to rest properly.
What’s the best solution?
The good news is that chronic snoring and sleep apnea are often simple to address with the help of a custom-designed sleep appliance. We can design an appliance that offers optimal support for your lower jaw, ensuring that your airway remains clear and open while you sleep. This prevents the obstruction that leads to snoring and the cessation of breathing so you can once again enjoy the restful sleep that you need.
Alleviate your snoring or sleep apnea
If you’re losing precious sleep to chronic snoring or sleep apnea, we can help you overcome it and finally get the rest you need. That’ll be great news for you and your partner! To learn more, call Solomon Dental Group at 281-367-4007. We proudly serve patients and their families from The Woodlands to all surrounding communities.
8/19/2018 6:00:59 AM |
DDS vs. DMD: Which Dentist Is Right for You?
If you’ve recently explored your options for dentists, you may have noticed that while some have “DDS” following their names, others are listed as “DMD.” In fact, Dr. Carin Solomon is a “DDS”, while Dr. Helen Sergerie is a “DMD”.You’re likely wondering what the difference is between these two distinctions and which is right for you. The following guide offers some insight into both types and how to decide between the two.
A Guide to Two Types of Dentists: DDS & DMD
What Does DDS Stand For?
DDS is an abbreviation for Doctor of Dental Surgery. It was the original degree sought by dentists across the United States. In fact, until 1867, it was the only degree awarded to individuals who completed dental school. During that year, Harvard University coined a new term. It would be used as a moniker for the degree they would award attendees upon graduating from their dental school.
What Does DMD Stand For?
Because Harvard is known for naming their degrees after Latin phrases, the phrase “Doctor of Dental Surgery” wouldn’t fit with their theme. Instead, they decided to name their dentistry degree “Dentariae Medicinae Doctoris.” This phrase translates as dental medicine doctor. Nowadays, however, it is often used as an acronym for “Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry.”
What Is the Difference Between Them?
Perhaps surprisingly, there is no difference between the two degrees. It’s simply a different name for the same program with identical requirements for education and training. According to the American Dental Association, it is up to universities to choose which degree is awarded to students. However, they both indicate graduation from an accredited dental school.
Thus, when seeking out a dentist, it doesn’t matter whether the professional has “DMD” or “DDS” following her name. At Solomon Dental Group, you can always choose between a DMD and a DDS — and all our patients feel lucky to have both.
5/25/2018 1:46:21 AM |
It’s the end of another school year and you’re another year wiser, but how much do you know about wisdom teeth?
Our third molars have been referred to as “wisdom teeth” for centuries since they typically appear in our late teens or early twenties, when we transition from adolescence into a “wiser” adulthood.
Most people get four wisdom teeth, but some have more, fewer or even none. Sometimes wisdom teeth come in without any problems, but very often this isn’t the case.
If these teeth are so wise, why are they such troublemakers? Because they often become “impacted” — meaning they are trapped in the jawbone or beneath the gums, unable to grow in properly. This can damage the roots of nearby teeth, or create pockets in which bacteria can thrive and cause a gum infection.
Impaction isn’t something you’ll necessarily feel — at least not initially. That’s why it’s important to keep up your regular schedule of routine dental visits during the years your wisdom teeth are growing in — usually between the ages of 17 and 21. However, if you feel any pain or notice any other signs of wisdom tooth trouble before your next scheduled dental visit, be wise and call us (281-367-4007) right away!
5/6/2018 11:00:45 AM |
Sores on your mouth, lips, tongue and inner cheek are often caused by viral infections or minor injury.
Mouth lesions and sores rarely require immediate emergency medical attention, but they can be painful and embarrassing, especially if the sores are visible. A person with a mouth or tongue lesion has lumps, bumps, little ulcers, or cuts or sores inside or outside the mouth and lips.
The first thing to do if you have a painful mouth is to identify the source because there are many different kinds of mouth sores. Open your mouth and take a look inside, preferably in bright light with a magnifying mirror.
Sores can occur anywhere in the mouth, including the bottom of the mouth, inner cheeks, gums, lips, tongue, and the back of the throat. The sores may be very red, swollen, bleeding, oozing pus, or may have small white patches in the middle. Pull your tongue out to check for lacerations or swelling on the top, bottom, and sides.
Symptoms of mouth problems include pain and soreness, as well as a mouth and gums that look red, shiny, or swollen. You may notice small ulcers or sores in the mouth, on gums, or on or under your tongue. You may also see white patches or pus in your mouth or experience a sore throat or dryness of the mouth and throat.
What causes mouth sores and lesions?
Viral and fungal infections are the main cause of mouth sores. Two of the most common causes of recurrent oral lesions are fever blisters (also known as cold sores) and canker sores. Cold sores on the mouth are likely caused by the herpes simplex virus 1, or herpes, which affects nearly two-thirds of all adults worldwide. Canker sores are small mouth ulcers that usually go away by themselves.
Sores on the tongue or inside the mouth may also be caused or exacerbated by other infections, inflammation, stress, or, very rarely, cancer. Sometimes mouth sores ooze pus or bleed. Bleeding may sometimes occur if the ulceration is severe, irritated by an external agent or treatment, or infected.
If you are experiencing mouth cuts and sores and don’t have an underlying condition, try troubleshooting your dental care and hygiene habits. Some mouth sores and lesions are caused by sharp or broken teeth, dentures that don’t fit correctly, or braces with protruding wires.
Gritting or gnashing your teeth, especially while sleeping, can cause tiny bites on the inside of your cheeks. Gum disease and inflammation can cause bleeding in and around the gumline, and the blood might travel to your lips and the corners of your mouth.
Biting your tongue or chewing your lips can cause pain, swelling, and even small cuts. So can drinking hot liquids, ingesting acidic food and drinks, smoking cigarettes and cigars, and consuming alcoholic beverages. Brushing or flossing too vigorously or using a hard toothbrush can cause painful bleeding of the gums and mouth tissue.
Exposure to ultraviolet rays can also cause damage to the lips and skin around the mouth. Dry, cracked lips are prone to bleeding, especially in the corners, so always use a lip balm or lotion with SPF 15 or higher to create a moisture barrier and avoid sunburn.
Most mouth sores and blisters can be treated at home, either by avoiding the offending behavior or changing your habits. Self-treatment for mouth or tongue lesions may include swapping your hard toothbrush for a soft one, brushing and flossing more gently, or wearing a night guard to protect soft cheek tissue skin from teeth.
If you are prone to canker sores or bleeding cuts in your mouth area, try avoiding hot, acidic, or abrasive foods until they heal. Saltwater rinses, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin), or ice on the affected area can help alleviate pain. Medicated lip balms, especially those formulated for herpes 1 and canker sores, can also help. If these treatments don’t work and you are still experiencing persistent painful sores in your mouth area, see your primary care doctor or dentist. You may need antibiotics, stronger antiviral medication, an antiseptic mouthwash, or surgery.
reprinted from http://www.everydayhealth.com/mouth-lesions/guide/
By Brian Joseph Miller; Medically Reviewed by Sanjai Sinha, MD
Last Updated: 4/27/2017