Posts for: February, 2017

By Today's Dental
February 16, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Are bleeding gums something you should be concerned about? Dear Doctor magazine recently posed that question to Dr. Travis Stork, an emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors. He answered with two questions of his own: “If you started bleeding from your eyeball, would you seek medical attention?” Needless to say, most everyone would. “So,” he asked, “why is it that when we bleed all the time when we floss that we think it’s no big deal?” As it turns out, that’s an excellent question — and one that’s often misunderstood.

First of all, let’s clarify what we mean by “bleeding all the time.” As many as 90 percent of people occasionally experience bleeding gums when they clean their teeth — particularly if they don’t do it often, or are just starting a flossing routine. But if your gums bleed regularly when you brush or floss, it almost certainly means there’s a problem. Many think bleeding gums is a sign they are brushing too hard; this is possible, but unlikely. It’s much more probable that irritated and bleeding gums are a sign of periodontal (gum) disease.

How common is this malady? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of all  Americans over age 30 have mild, moderate or severe gum disease — and that number increases to 70.1 percent for those over 65! Periodontal disease can occur when a bacteria-rich biofilm in the mouth (also called plaque) is allowed to build up on tooth and gum surfaces. Plaque causes the gums to become inflamed, as the immune system responds to the bacteria. Eventually, this can cause gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, forming bacteria-filled “pockets” under the gum surface. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious infection, and even tooth loss.

What should you do if your gums bleed regularly when brushing or flossing? The first step is to come in for a thorough examination. In combination with a regular oral exam (and possibly x-rays or other diagnostic tests), a simple (and painless) instrument called a periodontal probe can be used to determine how far any periodontal disease may have progressed. Armed with this information, we can determine the most effective way to fight the battle against gum disease.

Above all, don’t wait too long to come in for an exam! As Dr. Stork notes, bleeding gums are “a sign that things aren’t quite right.”  If you would like more information about bleeding gums, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bleeding Gums.” You can read the entire interview with Dr. Travis Stork in Dear Doctor magazine.

By Today's Dental
February 08, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

Let’s find out what cosmetic dentistry could do to revamp the appearance of your smile.cosmetic dentistry

Are you proud of your smile? While there are some people who are happy with their smile as is, there are others who feel embarrassed by discolorations, cracks, gaps between teeth and other issues. Luckily, our Houston, TX, dentists, Dr. Tiberiu Oancea and Dr. Jeromy Thornton, can easily give you the smile you want with cosmetic dentistry.

What kind of cosmetic dentistry is the right choice for you? Here are some of your options:

Teeth Whitening

If you are an avid coffee drinker, you may have the dental stains to prove it. Of course, besides the foods and drinks we consume, aging can also affect the brightness of our smile. Luckily, our fast in-office whitening system can often get teeth visibly whiter in just one one-hour session. Imagine coming into our office with dull, yellowing teeth and walking out of our office with a brand new, radiant smile? It’s possible when you turn to us for whitening.

Porcelain Veneers

Are you looking to hide some serious discolorations, chips and cracks? Do you have teeth that are misshapen or worn down? Does the gap between your front teeth bug you? If you truly want to change the size, shape or color of one or more teeth, dental veneers can mask all of these imperfections. Just by bonding these thin porcelain shells onto the front of your teeth we can get your smile whiter, straighter and more attractive. Traditional veneers will require some tooth preparation prior to applying the restorations, but it’s painless and minimally invasive.

Dental Implants

Losing a tooth can be disheartening but you’ll be happy to hear that our Houston general dentist offers an amazing way to restore your missing tooth or teeth for the long-term. Implants are the closest you’ll get to a natural tooth. They are surgically placed into the jawbone where over the course of several weeks they fuse together with bone and tissue. Implants are extremely durable, designed to last decades and can support everything from a single crown to a full set of dentures.

These are only some of the fantastic cosmetic dentistry options we offer in Houston, TX. Just remember that Today's Dental is dedicated to giving you a smile you just can’t wait to show off. If you think your smile could benefit from cosmetic dentistry, give us a call to schedule your consultation.

By Today's Dental
February 01, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: x-ray  

X-rays revolutionized dental care in the 20th Century. The same could happen in the 21st Century as cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) becomes a fixture beside the traditional x-ray machine.

CBCT made its debut in dental offices about a decade and a half ago. It utilizes the same invisible energy as traditional x-rays to create images of the face and jaw. But unlike traditional x-rays, which can only depict structures in the two dimensions of width and height, CBCT can create three-dimensional images in amazing detail.

The CBCT's x-ray projector rotates around a patient's head. As it emits a cone-shaped beam of x-rays, the device simultaneously collects anywhere from 150 to 599 distinct image views. It transmits these views to a computer that assembles them into three-dimensional images that can be viewed on a computer display.

From the data file of images, dentists can re-format a variety of views and angles of teeth, jaws and other facial bones at various levels of magnification. Because of this wide range of views, all in striking detail, CBCTs are highly useful among other things for diagnosis of malocclusions (bad bites), the size and location of infections, obstructions at possible implant sites, or jaw problems prior to surgery.

Because they expose a patient to higher doses of radiation than a standard x-ray machine, they're normally limited to more complex oral situations. That means you'll still undergo standard x-rays for most of your dental treatment needs. CBCT radiation levels are lower, however, than medical CT scans, which use a fan-shaped beam that can expose a patient to ten times the radiation of a CBCT. For dental care, a CBCT machine also produces greater image detail than an MRI.

Depending on your needs, CBCT may one day be a part of your dental care.  With their range and accuracy, it could play a major role in helping you attain good health.

If you would like more information on cone beam diagnostics, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Getting the Full Picture with Cone Beam Dental Scans.”