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Treating Tooth Cavities Without The Drill? Yes we can!

April 17, 2014

In September 2009 DMG America came out with a new product for dentists known as ICON

Our Treatment Assistant, Regina, shares these notes about this exciting new product for treating small areas of decay or decalcification without using the drill as would normally be done for dental fillings!

ICON carrier between two teeth.

ICON carrier between two teeth.

ICON stands for infiltration concept.

Dentists with the use of this new technology can treat incipient tooth decay upon discovery without the use of a dental drill!  Many cavities begin between teeth and in order to get to this decay, a dentist must drill away the healthy tooth structure over the top of the decay allowing the dentist to remove the decay and restore the tooth.  ICON stops the progression of tooth decay when treated in the early stages. This increases the life expectancy for the tooth and is minimally-invasive. Previously dentist had to “wait and watch” until the decay was big enough to justify drilling the tooth, sacrificing healthy tooth structure and then filling the area that was drilled away.

The special carrier is porous on one side only so only the tooth that needs to be conditioned (see green) is treated!

The special carrier is porous on one side only so only the tooth that needs to be conditioned (see green) is treated!

A curing light is used to fuse the infiltrate into the pores of the tooth. The weak area is effectively sealed from further progression of decay!

A curing light is used to fuse the infiltrate into the pores of the tooth. The weak area is effectively sealed from further progression of decay!

ICON works by placing a few solutions that spontaneous flows around the area being treated then hardened by a light which bonds the material to tooth. The area is then evaluated annually with bite-wing x-rays. A variation of this same ICON technique can be used to treat white spot lesions to stabilize demineralized enamel area, and give teeth the appearance of the surrounding healthy enamel.

Our office in Grand Junction, Colorado is very pleased to offer this service for our patients!  Our phone number is (970) 242-3635.  Learn more about our practice on our web site at www.juliegillisdds.com.  We would love to have you “LIKE” us on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/juliegillisddspc

Yours for better dental health, Regina and Julie Gillis, DDS

What Would YOU Do To Replace A Missing Tooth?

February 18, 2014

What Would YOU Do To Replace A Missing Tooth?

 

Having a missing tooth can be very embarrassing!  We have seen some pretty innovative ways to fill in the gap left by a missing tooth but this was a new one for our office!

The toilet tissue tooth!

The toilet tissue tooth!

 

When we first saw this patient, the upper left lateral incisor was extremely loose and protruding towards the lip.  The patient refused to smile and held a hand over the protruding tooth during all conversations.  The tooth came out on its own after a couple days and the patient needed to have some replacement for the missing tooth until we could do something more permanent.  So in the meantime, the patient creatively folded toilet tissue into somewhat of a tooth form and filled the gap in the smile with this.  The patient notes a need to  replace the tissue several times daily!

Severe periodontal disease and the Tissue Tooth!

Severe periodontal disease and the Tissue Tooth!

 

Sometimes people with missing teeth– with or without periodontal disease – are embarrassed about their mouth to a point that it is difficult to even come to a dental office.  Please don’t be afraid to go to your dentist to see what your options are!  In our office, we believe every person has many reasons for having their teeth in their current condition when they arrive at our office.  By making an appointment and walking in our door they have taken the first step to see what can be done about their missing tooth or teeth or any dental concern, even if that is just to get out of pain.  We have been in practice in Grand Junction, Colorado for over 20 years.  (Almost 24 years if you are counting!) In that time we have helped a lot of people improve their oral conditions and not be afraid to come to the dentist.  This can be life changing!  We want you to feel as comfortable as possible coming to see us,  and we will  try to present several options until we find the dental solution that is right for you.  Our phone number is (970) 242-3635.

Small Cavity or Chipped Tooth? Your Best Fix is a Bonded, Tooth-Colored Restoration!

January 14, 2014

Bonded, Tooth-Colored Restorations –Still the Best Restoration for Small Cavities or Small Chips!

Small chip in tooth due to trauma can be easily restored.

Small chip in tooth due to trauma can be easily restored.

 

Tooth-colored composite material fills in the chip and is bonded  to the tooth.

Tooth-colored composite material fills in the chip and is bonded to the tooth.

Bonded, tooth-colored restorations also known as composite restorations have stood the test of time, and they are still the best restoration for small cavities! 

For years dentists placed amalgam or silver fillings composed primarily of a 50/50 blend of silver and mercury.  First, the dentist would remove the decay, then the dentist would deepen, widen, and undercut the opening into the tooth just so that the silver filling would not fall out of the tooth.  Bonded, tooth-colored restorations or composite fillings can bond to the tooth – even to a flat surface – so the dentist can place a very conservative restoration removing just the decayed and weakened tooth and preserving more of your healthy tooth structure.

 

 

 

 

Decay often starts in the grooves of teeth as this area is hard to keep clean and food and debris packs here.

Decay often starts in the grooves of teeth as this area is hard to keep clean and food and debris packs here.

 

Cavity is removed and tooth health is restored with a bonded, tooth-colored restoration.

Cavity is removed and tooth health is restored with a bonded, tooth-colored restoration.

Some dentists are still placing amalgams or silver/mercury fillings.  We have not used them in our office since about 1995 when I decided that I would not put in someone else’s mouth what I would not want in my own or my children’s mouthes.  Our office prefers bonded, tooth-colored composite fillings when a bonded restoration is the best solution.  Over time, amalgam or silver/mercury fillings act just like any metal and they expand and contract as the temperature of your mouth changes such as when you have a cold or hot drink.  This can cause fractures in the adjacent tooth structure requiring replacing the filling or restoration with an even larger, deeper filling, or with a crown.  Tooth-colored composite restorations are more technique sensitive to place and are generally more time consuming then the older amalgam or  silver/mercury fillings.  But isn’t it worth it? Aren’t your teeth worth it?  We haven’t even touched on the fact that the mercury found in all amalgam or silver fillings is a poison and who wants this in their tooth!

Very visible, stained restoration should either be replaced or polished.

Very visible, stained restoration should either be replaced or polished.

Our office wants you to have what is best for you and for your teeth!  If your tooth-colored restorations stain over time, it is sometimes possible to polish them. This will make them look significantly better, and allow the restoration to function well for much longer.

 

Most of the stain is removed and the restoration may last many more years.

Most of the stain is removed and the restoration may last many more years.

We decide to make the restoration last longer simply by polishing away the defective area!

We decide to make the restoration last longer simply by polishing away the defective area!

Our office would be happy to discuss with you options to restore your teeth or your children’s or loved one’s teeth.  Our goal is to treat you like we would want to be treated and to give you options about your dental care so you can make the right decisions for you! Please call our office to set up an appointment or to ask any questions that you might have. Our office is located in Grand Junction, Colorado.  Our phone number is (970) 242-3635.  You can email us at jgillis@juliegillisdds.com

Our office now has a Facebook page and we would love for you to ‘like’ us! On Facebook, find us at Julie M Gillis DDS PC.

As always, yours for better dental health,

 

Julie Gillis, DDS

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health

 

 

 

ICON – It’s New, It’s Cool, and It’s Good For Teeth!

November 21, 2013

Filed under: Cavities and Dental Decay,Fillings,Tooth Decay — Tags: — Dr Gillis @ 7:12 pm

When a tooth starts to decay, the tooth looses minerals in the affected area and gradually becomes weaker and weaker until a soft area or hole forms in the tooth – a cavity.  Early tooth decay may be treated as an area to ‘watch’ by your dentist. As the tooth decay progresses, the tooth is usually treated by drilling out the weak area and restoring the tooth with a filling.  There is now a way to treat early cavities WITHOUT drilling, and usually WITHOUT anesthetic!  If a cavity occurs between two teeth – as they often do – the only way to treat the cavity or tooth decay is to grind away the tooth structure above the cavity and restore the whole side of the tooth.

In September 2009 DMG America came out with a new product for dentists known as ICON, My treatment assistant, Regina, shares this information:

Rather than drilling out the decay, the ICON carrier is placed between the teeth to access the cavity.

Rather than drilling out the decay, the ICON carrier is placed between the teeth to access the cavity.

 

ICON stands for infiltration concept.

The special carrier is porous on one side only so only the tooth that needs to be conditioned (see green) is treated!

The special carrier is porous on one side only so only the tooth that needs to be conditioned (see green) is treated!

IMG_4843

A very special material is infiltrated into the conditioned tooth to stop the progress of decay!

Now dentists with the use of this new technology can treat incipient or early tooth decay upon discovery without waiting for the tooth decay to progress into the soft tooth stage when anesthetic and drilling of the teeth is required.   The ICON treatment helps stop the progression of tooth decay when treated in the early stages. This increases the life expectancy for the tooth and is minimally-invasive.   Previously dentists had to “wait and watch” until the cavity or tooth decay was big enough to justify drilling which sacrificed healthy tooth structure.

ICON works by placing a few solutions that spontaneous flow around the area being treated then hardened by a light which bonds the material to the tooth.  The area is then evaluated annually with bite-wing x-rays.  This same technique can be used to treat white spot lesions to stabilize the demineralized enamel area, and give teeth the appearance of the surrounding healthy enamel.

Our office would be happy to tell you about what is going on in your mouth in as much detail as you would like.   Our office is located in Grand Junction, Colorado.  Our office phone number is (970) 242-3635.  You can email us at jgillis@juliegillisdds.com.   We would love for you to ‘like’ us on our office’s Facebook page!  Please find us at Julie M Gillis DDS PC.

As always, yours for better dental health,

 Julie Gillis, DDS

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health

You can see here the infiltrating material flowing through the special carrier into the conditioned tooth.

You can see here the infiltrating material flowing through the special carrier into the conditioned tooth.

A curing light is used to fuse the infiltrate into the pores of the tooth. The weak area is effectively sealed from further progression of decay!

A curing light is used to fuse the infiltrate into the pores of the tooth. The weak area is effectively sealed from further

progression of decay!

 

Cheese – A Delicious, Nutritious, Vitamin-Packed Cavity Fighter!

September 19, 2013

Filed under: Cavities and Dental Decay,Diet for Health,Tooth Decay — Dr Gillis @ 3:52 am

Yes, it’s true!

Research suggests that eating cheese may help prevent the development of cavities.  In a recent study published in General Dentistry, the Journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) found that consuming (eating!) cheese changes the pH in our mouths.  The pH is raised or becomes less acidic after eating cheese or at least the cheddar cheese tested.  And, this may help reduce the risk of tooth minerals being lost – the start of cavities – due to the acids produced by the bacteria in everyone’s mouths.  Tooth erosion from bacterial acids (crudely put as bacterial ‘pee’) causes tooth erosion and cavities or holes in the teeth.  The researchers randomly divided 68 subjects aged 12 to 15 into three groups and monitored dental plaque pH (dental plaque is basically bacteria and proteins and goo from our bodies and our diet) before and after the consumption of different groups

  • One group ate sugar-free yogurt
  • One group drank milk
  • One group ate cheddar cheese

The levels of pH were measured at 10, 20, and 30 minutes after eating or drinking.  A change in pH was only observed in the individuals who consumed cheese, whose oral pH rose at each time interval.  The act of chewing stimulates saliva production and is at least partly responsible for the rise in pH.  Compounds in the cheese may stick to the teeth which MAY provide additional cavity protection.

Cheese is good for you too – nutrient and mineral packed.  There are also a lot of calories so it is smart to consume responsibly.  We recommend regular brushing and flossing as well.  Cover your bases!

Coming soon – Is Chocolate Good For Your Teeth?

Our office believes in healthy teeth, healthy mouths, and your overall health.  A well balanced diet is part of this.  Brushing and flossing are like exercise for your teeth and we all know regular exercise is good for us.  Our office is located in Grand Junction, Colorado.  Please visit our web site at www.juliegillisdds.com for information about us!  We hope you will find us on Facebook and like us!  See Julie M Gillis DDS PC!  Our phone number is (970) 242-3635.

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS

“Caring For and Enhancing Your Smile”

 

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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