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Julie M. Gillis, DDS, PC Blog

You Just Had a Tooth Filling. Was It Done Well?

December 3, 2016

Filed under: Fillings,General Dentistry — Tags: — drgillis @ 12:13 am

POH dental floss. Note how the floss separates into a lot of very fine threads. If a tooth filling flosses well with this type of floss, it will floss well with any floss!

So, you just had a tooth filling?

  • Can you tell if it was done well?
  • Can you tell if your dentist is concerned about the quality of his or her treatment?
  • What should you expect to feel?

Was your tooth filling done well?  This can be a very difficult question to answer! This article discusses some of the things patients should be aware of to evaluate if their filling was done as well as possible.

At this point, you are probably seeing the photos of floss and wondering, “What in the world does shredded floss have to do with the quality of a filling or tooth colored restoration.?” I am so happy you asked!

What should your dentist do to check for a high quality tooth filling?

In our office, tooth fillings are always tooth colored.  We haven’t done a silver/mercury or amalgam filling since 1995!  I realized that If I didn’t want silver fillings in my own mouth, why would I do it on others?  Other blogs address the benefits of tooth colored fillings over silver fillings, so I won’t go into that here.  Here are some of the things we do to make sure our fillings are done as well as possible:

  • We make sure you are comfortable throughout the procedure.  This helps us achieve better quality tooth fillings. When our patients are calm, we can focus on you and your filling!
  • We use the highest quality filling materials and techniques to achieve the best result.
  • We assure that the area is clean and dry before the filling is placed.
  • We use special cleaning agents and medications to decrease tooth sensitivity and for a better, stronger bond to your tooth.
  •  We carefully shape your filling to restore the healthy tooth contours that should be present.
  • We adjust your bite so that you tooth will be comfortable and strong when you chew.
  • We polish the filling so that it will feel smooth to your tongue, and
  • We always check tooth fillings with two types of dental floss.

Note the wonderful shredding of POH floss. If your tooth filling is not smooth we will know it!

Finally!  The floss comes into play.  The two flosses I like to use to test fillings are Glide and POH.

Glide Glide floss is strong and a great way to tell if there is a solid contact present.  Because it shreds so easily,  POH floss is a wonderful way to see if the edges of the filling are smooth.  If there is roughness present, we polish until the POH slides through without catching or ‘snagging’.  We appreciate the opportunity to serve you and we strive to do the highest quality dentistry possible.  This is the type of dental treatment we would want completed on our own teeth!  Please call our office if you have any questions or concerns (970) 242-3635.

Julie Gillis DDS

Restoring smiles/Restoring Health

Are Athletes More Prone to Oral Health Problems ?

October 31, 2016

Filed under: Customer Service,Dental Health,Occlusion or Bite — Tags: , — drgillis @ 6:13 pm

Are athletes more likely to have oral health problems?

Playing sports may affect an athletes oral health.  Here are some reasons why.

An athletes oral health may be more prone to problems than the general population. I think most people would assume that the answer to the above questions is a resounding No. Actually, the answer is Yes!  Athletes in general, are concerned with their physical health.  For peak performance they need to maintain muscle fitness, eat properly, and they want to look and feel good.

A recent article in “Decisions in Dentistry,” “Managing Oral Health Challenges in Athletes”, October 2016 noted that “The training required of both professional and recreational athletes is physically demanding.  While sore muscles and overuse injuries are common among athletes, oral health can also be adversely affected.”  The most prevalent athletes oral health problems are the following:

  • Tooth clenching that results in excessive and irreversible wear of teeth
  • Tooth grinding or bruxism which also results in excessive wear
  • Tooth erosion which is the loss of tooth structure due to acidic attack as seen in people who drink excessive amounts of soda.
  • Xerostomia or mouth dryness

How are athletes oral health  more affected you might wonder?  One of the major muscles that closes the mouth is called the masseter muscle.  Studies have shown that when large muscles in the legs, arms and back are activated, the masseter is also activated.  We have all seem the ‘grimace face’ of weightlifters and sprinters.  The masseters are contracting and the teeth are touching forcibly which, over time, causes wear of the hardest structure in the body, the tooth enamel.

Severe tooth abrasion has created cupped lesions in the teeth.

Severe tooth abrasion has created cupped lesions in the teeth.

The the same article noted a study linking clenching your teeth with improved body stability.  This may affect participants in several sports.  Our office tries to let our patients know that your teeth could only contact if you are chewing or swallowing. Can athletes maintain the desired stability without clenching?  I would hope so for the sake of their teeth! Chronic bruxism or clenching can also lead to problems with the TMJ or jaw joint, the muscles of the jaw that make all the things we like to do with our teeth and our mouthed possible or the bone supporting the teeth may be affected.  Teeth could become loose or bone may be irreversibly lost.  Teeth, crowns and fillings could fracture.

Tooth erosion depends on the erosive agent and the amount of time that the teeth are exposed.  Competitive swimmers may expose their teeth to slightly acidic water for hours at a time.  Many endurance sports encourage mouth breathing which, of course, leads to a dry mouth (xerostomia) which can lead to increased decay and gum disease.  Plaque forms easier and is more sticky and damaging on dry teeth and tissue leading to problems with an athletes oral health.

What can be done for athletes oral health?

  • Mouth guards may protect the teeth from some of the effects of clenching and grinding.
  • Teeth that have been eroded can be aesthetically and conservatively restored (Ask Dr. Gillis! She would be happy to discuss options with you!)
  • Topical Fluoride treatments help form a protective barrier on the surface of teeth.
  • Over-the-counter fluoride rinses i.e., Listerine with Fluoride can help
  • Chewing gum during exercise especially sugar-free boosts protective saliva production – but use lozenges and gum during sports with caution to avoid choking!

Keep on exercising but take care of your teeth, your mouth and yourself!

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health


Meet Dr. Julie Gillis, her Team, Some of Her Office!

October 27, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — drgillis @ 4:43 am


Let us know what you think of Dr. Julie Gillis‘ first office video!

Dr. Julie Gillis would like to say thank you so much to my patients and my team! And a big Thank you to TNT Dental for helping to put together this video.  #nogrumpydentist, #COdentistjuliegillis, #cosmeticandgeneraldentistGrandJunction, #juliegillisdds, #juliegillisdentist A welcoming video for our patients current and future that showcases our office, our dentist, our dental team and a few of our patients!

Our office and Dr. Julie Gillis would love to meet you and we will do our best to meet your dental needs in a caring and comfortable environment.  Come and visit us in our Grand Junction, Colorado office.  Learn more about us on our website at www.juliegillisdds.com.  Or call our office at (970)242-3635.

Tips For Balancing Life, Part Two

September 22, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — drgillis @ 12:29 pm

Tips for balancing life with career, family, friends and self.

See part 1 on balancing life in a previous blog! Julie Gillis, DDS, AAACD submitted this article to the American Board of Cosmetic Dentistry to keep the membership abreast of what’s happening in the world of credentialing.  Dr. Gillis notes, “I am far from an authority on balancing life or life management but I do work on this daily and have found the following bullet points useful.”  These ideas are intended to assist dentists who wish to improve their cosmetic dentistry skills by pursuing accreditation in the AACD, but I think the general principles apply to most of us. Hopefully you will too!

  • Make time for family and friends.

Wake up each day and put a smile on your face.  Stretch in bed if it feels good. Each day is a gift. Smooch your spouse or significant other.  Hug your children.  Maybe bring them ‘room service’ by bringing a treat to their bedroom. Toss a ball for the dog.  When you come home from work take a breath before you drive into the driveway and enter your home with a smile.  This is family time (for me) time to hear about their day, what happened at school or sports, time to enjoy dinner. If you talk about work, share positive stories more often than annoying ones.

I’ve never been a big fan of ‘quality time’ but there is something to be said for doing something unique and special on a regular basis with the ones you love. Too often we miss out on the fun of the simple things in life.

  • Appreciate the little things.

That good grade your child received, the sparkle in a smile, bubble baths even if the dog jumps in, the extra chocolate chunks in the cookie you are eating, the sunrise, how handsome your spouse is, how well centered your 1:2 retracted photo of Case Type 1 turned out . . . Oh my goodness, I could go on and on.  Tiny special moments if appreciated, will fill your life with joy.

Showing a little 'necklace bling'

My dental team balancing life, giving back, and showing a little ‘necklace bling.’ The purchase of these necklaces benefits ovarian cancer research.

  • Simple is better, people are important, always strive for improvement.

This simple saying has made a difference in my life and I try to live with this philosophy daily.  I’m not sure who said this first, but for me it is a great quote!

  • Exercise with purpose sometimes and other times just for fun!

This is huge for me!  I exercise just about every day and I am always glad that I did even though sometimes I have to talk myself into it.  Choose different types of exercise from easy to hard.  Don’t let exercise be the thing you do ‘if you have time’.  You will only have time for the things you make time for.  I believe that your physical and mental health will be better with regular exercise.  I currently enjoy running, hiking, biking, swimming, paddle boarding, yoga, photography, cross training, and weight lifting.  Is cooking exercise?  I get outside for exercise in all types of weather and I almost always have fun.  I think this makes me a better dentist, wife, mom, and friend.  I have more energy to get things done and it feeds my personal and mental health needs.

  • Eat well.

I like this Greek saying that was inscribed on one of the temples I visited there. It said “Naught in Excess”.  (It was in Greek and this is how it was translated for me!)  I think this applies to all things (food, exercise, work, play, alcohol, etc.) So I try to eat foods that are good for me, tasty, interesting, and varied.  I remember the difficulties of feeding my family and trying to please my husband, my children and myself while selecting ingredients that were good for us. Even harder to do this while wishing you had the evening to yourself to work on your accreditation cases!  The answer seems to be balance.  Sure, have some dessert, a beer or two, and some salty chips but drink a healthful smoothie daily, eat lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and remember ‘naught in excess.’

  • Periodically ask yourself, “will this matter in a day, in a week, in a year” How you plan your time and focus your efforts should be related to this.

You cannot do everything so some things will fall behind and that is ok! Just apply the principle above often and I think you will find this useful.  For example, going to your child’s recital or soccer game.  Hugely important if it is important to your child.  Cleaning your house?  Maybe this can be delayed.  Stressing over a patient who left your office?  Not that important.  Ponder for a minute whether this matters in a day – maybe.  In a week? Less so.  In a year? Not at all.  You really don’t have to stress over every detail when it comes to accreditation either.

  • Finally, have something to look forward to, have someone to love and spend time with, and do rewarding work.

So there it is, or there they are, the things that help me try to keep balance in my life and achieve goals. Maybe some of these things will be useful to you. I hope so. Accomplish accreditation in small bits at a time, use your mentors, appreciate your team, love and appreciate your family and friends, Have fun!  Run or walk in the rain. Go for your goals and if you are a dentist, I do hope accreditation in the AACD is one of them!  Our office would love to hear your thoughts!

Yours for better health, Julie Gillis DDS, Restoring Teeth/Restoring Smiles

Balancing Life and Dentistry! Part One :-)

September 14, 2016

Filed under: Cosmetic Dentistry,Customer Service — Tags: — drgillis @ 7:50 pm

Tips for balancing life with career, family, friends and self.

This article was submitted to the American Board of Cosmetic Dentistry to keep the membership abreast of what’s happening in the world of credentialing.  I am far from an authority of life management but I do work on this daily and have found the following bullet points useful.  These ideas are intended to assist dentists who wish to improve their cosmetic dentistry skills by pursuing accreditation in the AACD, but I think the general principles apply to most of us. Hopefully you will too!

Keeping Life Balanced During Your Accreditation Journey!

Submitted by: Julie Gillis, DDS, AAACD

These before and after phtotographs display the enormous benefits to a patient choosing to have cosmetic dentistry by AACD accredited dentist, Julie M Gillis DDS. AAACD. Fluorosis stains on healthy teeth before and after treatment with porcelain veneers.

These before and after phtotographs display the enormous benefits to a patient choosing to have cosmetic dentistry by AACD accredited dentist, Julie M Gillis DDS. AAACD. Fluorosis stains on healthy teeth before and after treatment with porcelain veneers.

So, you have made the awesome decision to become a better cosmetic dentist by pursuing accreditation in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).  Great idea! The personal and professional rewards gained will make this process worth all of the effort you expend.  But first a word about keeping your sanity and your sense of fun!

Cardiologists Friedman and Roseman noted that some people in their waiting room – aka reception room in most dental offices – were unable to sit relaxed as they were waiting for their appointments.  Instead, this subset of patients waited impatiently sitting on the edges of their seats and standing up frequently.  The chairs wore down on the edges rather than the seat area as expected.  The doctors labeled this type of behavior as a ‘Type A personality.’ Research shows that people with this personality type run a higher risk of hypertension and heart disease. I want to minimize this!

Most dentists have type A personality and the process of accreditation in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) may occur during an especially stressful and busy time in a dentist’s career.  That’s okay!  You can do this! Based on a web search, people with type A behavior pattern tend to be competitive with themselves and with other dentists.  They also tend to be self-critical. They strive toward goals without feeling a sense of joy in their efforts or accomplishments. This may be related to a life imbalance.  There is no question that it is a juggle and possibly a struggle to manage a successful business, offer care, love, and support for a spouse and children, make time for family and friends, as well as having time and energy for personnel, spiritual and mental health.

I am certainly not an authority at life management. In fact, I work at this on a daily basis.  I will share the things that have made and continue to make a difference for me in the hopes that these ideas might be useful to others. Balancing life is especially difficult during times when you are challenged to push yourself to achieve the best possible results on a deadline as happens during the rewarding journey towards accreditation in the AACD!

  • Tackle the accreditation process in small portions and set reasonable goals.

When I became accredited, you were required to present all five cases at the same time in front of a group of accredited dentists/examiners at the AACD annual meeting.  And we had to use slides!  Imagine not knowing until the next day how your photos turned out!  The process is much more friendly, doable, and streamlined now.  Just pick your favorite case type or the ideal one that walks in your front door and work on getting just that one case documented and submitted. Just do it! Use your mentor and all the useful guides available through the AACD.  Your second, third, fourth, and fifth cases will be easier.  Really, they will!  If is okay to fail – like continuing education, the learning process improves your skills.  Someone very cool once said, “If you take risk out of life, then you take opportunity out of life.”

  • Enjoy a positive attitude.

You really do have control of your attitude and having a positive attitude will make your life better and the accreditation process easier!  Accreditation in the AACD is a time consuming yet fun process – not hard and stressful!  It is a simple matter of attitude!  i.e., Weeding the garden – fun, why? It will be like exercise, there is the potential of a suntan, the garden will look better, and I can pick the goods for dinner!

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1190 Bookcliff Ave. Suite 201, Grand Junction, CO 81501 USA
Julie M Gillis DDS Grand Junction, CO cosmetic, general, & restorative dentist. (970) 242-3635 (970) 242-8479 jgillis@juliegillisdds.com