Category Archives: Broken Teeth

Leading Cause of Tooth Loss?

I pretty much make a habit of watching CBS Sunday morning every week at the

McGee abode. I love the mix of stories and how they delve into the topics a little deeper than the typical news entertainment show.

This weekend was no exception, and with it being Halloween and all, they had a correspondingly creepy mix of stories this week. So how does this relate to teeth, losing teeth,  and or the dentist, you ask?

Dreams. Specifically nightmares. They did a story on nightmares, how many of us have them, and what they might mean. Turns out, one of the most common nightmares concerns losing one’s teeth. Yeah. But it’s not what you might think. Apparently when you dream about losing your teeth it’s not by the traditional means like gum disease, cavities, and fractures, but in your dreams they just come out.

Now, I can tell you a lot about losing your teeth while you are awake, but once your tooth issues start invading your dreams, I’m out of my league. I checked into it though, and it turns out that a dream in which you lose your teeth may have some meaning behind it.

Things such as fear of growing old, fear of change, fear of powerlessness, financial instability, and missing your 6 month check up (ok, I made that one up) may be manifested in a dream of losing your teeth. Here is an article about these fears and this toothy dream.

Turns out that teeth made the top 10 list of popular dreams right up there with celebrity, food, flying, and sex! Who knew?

Anyway, if you live in the Nashville area and want to know more about how NOT to lose your teeth during waking hours, I’m your dentist. If you’re dreaming of losing your teeth, not so much.

In case you are interested (and hopefully you are by now) in this story I saw about dreams/nightmares, watch it right here…

For more information on preventing tooth loss check us out online at www.MusicCitySmiles.com or call us at 615.298.2385

 

 

 

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Your Filling Got In My Crown! Your Crown Got In My Filling!!

I have found myself have a discussion with patients lately about something called an onlay. Leave it to dentists to use a lot of dental tooth-speak technical jargon to confuse patients. So what is this “over-lay” thing Dr. Matt? Actually it’s an onlay, but never mind what it’s called, let me tell you what it is and why I love them.

An onlay is kind of like a mix between a filling and a crown. The onlay gives you the strength of a crown, but only for the part of the tooth that needs it. So here is a list of some of the benefits of one of my favorite types of tooth restorations (I know. I should get a life…)

1) Better Fit. Since onlays are made outside of the mouth and then bonded to the tooth, they can be fabricated with a superior fit. This means that the tooth will be sealed better and provide better longevity.

2) Durability. Onlays are made of materials such as porcelain, composite, and gold. These materials are manufactured under well-controlled conditions to provide better mechanical properties when compared to fillings. This means that onlays are made of stronger materials to last a long time.

3) Supports weakened teeth. The more of a tooth that has been destroyed by a cavity, the weaker the tooth, and the more susceptible the tooth is

Here are some examples of onlays. See how they look like a piece of a puzzle to fit in the tooth.

to fracture. Onlays can support teeth that have been weakened and help prevent fracture of the tooth. Fillings typically do not provide any support.

4) Conservative. This one I really like. Onlays provide the strength and support of a crown, but only where it is needed. So in other words, you don’t have to remove as much tooth structure as you would with a crown. The result is a strong restoration that fits into the tooth like a piece of a puzzle fits.

These are just a few of the reasons that I like to recommend onlays to patients. They are a great option when replacing old fillings to help prevent placing a crown on the tooth.

Our office has the technology to place these onlays in a single visit. CEREC technology allows us to use a computer to make the onlay in the office so you do not have to wear a temporary for two weeks while it is being made in the lab.

Here’s an example of a tooth that we worked on recently. The old silver amalgam was removed, and a ceramic onlay was placed. All in a single visit!!

silver filling in the tooth before

tooth colored onlay in the tooth after

Summertime Smile Safeguards

Well summer is finally upon us, and even though it’s a billion degrees and a thousand percent humidity, people her in Nashville are engaging in their favorite outdoor activities. Now, I don’t want to be a downer here, but did you know that studies have shown that about 40% of all sports injuries involve the face. Ouch. Yeah, that stinks doesn’t it.

I had a conversation with a patient the other day, and I told her that you’d be surprised how many people have front teeth that have been chipped, broken, or totally lost due to some type of injury. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that you know someone who has had one of these injuries and their smile may have had a little repair work.

So since summertime sees more outdoor sporting activities, I’d thought it would be a good time to re-iterate the importance of summer dental care. Here’s my list of tips to help keep your smile from looking like this…

1) Wear a mouthguard. This can really help reduce mouth injuries due to summertime sports activities. Not only does a mouthguard protect you teeth from projectiles flying at your smile, it can also protect from injuries where your body sustains some type of impact that forcefully slams your teeth together. Mouthguards can be purchased over the counter, or custom made by your dentist. the over the counter mouthguards have the advantage of being cheaper, but they are often bulky and can be uncomfortable. Mouthguards made by your dentist are custom fitted, thin, and flexible resulting in a more comfortable fit.

2) It’s always important to stay hydrated in the heat, and people often turn to sports drinks. Be careful with these drinks because they contain a high amount of sugar which can lead to cavities. Careful attention to oral hygiene and staying current on your dental cleanings can help reduce the chance of developing cavities.

3) Know what to do in case of emergency. If your dentist has an on call number, be sure to have it handy in case of emergency. Summertime sports related injuries often happen on weekends when your dentist’s office may not be open, and getting help quickly can make a huge difference when dealing with these types of injuries.

So have fun this summer, stay cool, and don’t forget to protect your smile. If you have any questions about dental injuries or any other dental health issues, please feel free to contact our office at 615.298.2385.

Um, there’s a little extra crunch in my cereal this morning…

Has this ever happened to you: you’re just minding your own business and chewing your food and …CRUNCH! Uh Oh. This can’t be good. Your tongue does a quick assessment of your mouth and discovers there’s a little more crunch in your Captain Crunch. Your tongue has also discovered that one it’s enamel covered neighbors is missing something. Then it sets in… I’ve broken something. At least it doesn’t hurt. I’ll just wait until I see my dentist at my next cleaning. NOooooooooo.

Here’s the culprit, a broken filling. This can happen to even the most diligent of brushers and flossers. I actually saw this tooth this morning.

“But Dr. McGee, I don’t have time to come in and take care of this. Anyway, it doesn’t hurt, so why bother?” Well, our patient this morning did the right thing and came in to take care of this ASAP.

People often delay dental treatment because they aren’t experiencing any pain, but this almost always ends up leading to bigger and more painful problems.

Teeth are designed to have a specific shape and size to ensure that food and other debris does not collect between and around them and develop cavities. At your regular dental cleanings, we check to make sure that your teeth and filling are all intact and are free of fractures that could lead to additional problems. So even if your are not experiencing pain, your teeth may need a little reconstruction.

So what became of the little tooth that was broken? Well, it’s owner did the right thing by coming in and restoring it back to it’s full size before it was subject to further damage.

“What should I do if I break a tooth Dr. McGee?”

1) Avoid chewing in the area of the broken tooth if possible.

2) Keep the are as clean as possible

3) Call your dentist ASAP!!