Tag Archives: media

Stuff That May Be in Your Teeth is Back in the News… Again

This stuff looks cool, just not in your toof...

Quicksilver. A brand of car. A god. A planet. The lead singer for the rock band

"Uh this thing... Amal-gam... I just... can't handle it..." Really, you're not supposed to touch it


Queen. Liquid metal. Toxin. Filler of holes in teeth. Mercury!! Depending on what you think of when you hear mercury, it may or may not be a good thing. And therein lies the problem… no one can decide if it’s a good or a bad thing.

I’ve talked about this before, and I thought that the Food and Drug Administration had settled the debate once and for all. Alas no.


Dentist or Mad Hatter. You decide. P.S. nice hair dude

Dentist or Mad Hatter. You decide. P.S. nice hair dude

Let’s recap shall we.  Mercury is found in lots of things: thermometers, blood pressure meters, various types of light bulbs, and your teeth. It also used to be used to make hats. The thought was that the mercury made the hat makers crazy and thus the saying “as mad as a hatter.” Mercury makes up approximately 50% of the filling material amalgam, which has been used to fill teeth since it was first introduced in France in the late 19th century.

We are molars and we are storing your mercury. Our cousin lives in a thermometer.

It’s also a toxin. Yup. Toxin as in it is bad for your central nervous system, kidneys, endocrine system, and other organs. Long term exposure to mercury has been linked to several syndromes and neuropathies. It’s bad stuff.

So the concern now is whether the mercury contained in your fillings are causing

ADA Headquarters. The mothership of dentites everywhere


any of these health problems. Some say yes, some say no. Those who say that mercury is harmless include organizations like the American Dental Association, the Food and Drug Administration (sort of), dentists (not all), and the amalgam making people (I assume).

Those who claim that amalgam fillings are bad include a bunch of health do-gooders, and now some scientists and doctors. They may be right.

So now I’ll get to my point. The previous statement by the ADA and the FDA was that dental amalgam fillings are ok except for maybe pregnant women and children. Well, as of this week they may be revisiting this. Lots of petitions have been presented and doctors are now saying that the vapors released by mercury containing fillings may be harmful to everyone. See, even Katie Couric thinks there may be a problem… watch the video here

I’m not sure what to tell you. As a dentist I’ve always been told that these fillings are ok, but if I spill amalgam in the office, I have to treat it as a hazardous substance. However, it’s sill ok to put it in your tooth.

I’ve never told anyone to remove their amalgam fillings because of the mercury

Look out! There's a giant ball of mercury right behind you !


content, but I rarely use the material to fill a tooth. If the claims that the vapor from this material is bad, you may actually release more vapor during removal of the filling. That stinks because I remove that stuff all the time… maybe I’ll turn into a mad hatter.


So I guess maybe the FDA and ADA are going to look at this whole safety of mercury fillings thing again. Who knows what they will decide this time but I assume it will be more waffling… mmm waffles.

Let me know what you think. Are you concerned about the mercury  in your fillings affecting your health? Do you want to replace them with a non-mercury material?

If you have questions about  mercury, hats, or would just like to get together and sing a few Queen songs, give us a call at 615-298-2385 or mosey on over to our website at www.MusicCitySmiles.com .

Floss on my friends, floss on…





The “Great Oz” Speaks, But He’s No Tooth “Wizard”

I am the great Oz!! But I don't know much about teeth!!!

We’ve all heard of Oprah’s prodigy Dr. Oz, right? Right. He’s got his own show which he tells the public about ways to live a healthier life. I think it’s kinda cool how he brings out organs to show how they are destroyed by smoking and bad diet. It’s fabulously gross!!


Hi. I am much healthier than you

Recently he devoted a portion of his show to teeth and the thing s that discolor them. He even picked an audience member to participate in a little game of “pick the stuff that makes your teeth yellow.” Overall I think he dished out some good advice and made it fun in the process. I think maybe we should try a game at our office, because nothing says “fun” like a tooth game.

However, I think he dropped the ball a little at the end. He revealed his natural home remedy for whitening teeth. Ok Oz, spill it… the secret is lemon juice and baking soda. Dip a cotton ball in this secret potion and apply it to your teeth and they will turn white.

Sorry, but I’m gonna ask you to click the heels of your ruby slippers and come back to reality. Methinks it won’t work, and it may even be harmful.

But Dr. McGee, it’s cheap, and Dr. Oz said so.

please don't pour lemon juice on me

Here’s the problem… he’s telling you to put a highly acidic substance on your teeth. Bad. Acid is what causes cavities. We’ve already been over this, and if he would have been keeping up like the rest of you, he would have known better. The acid in the lemon juice can erode teeth just like you see here in this photo.

The other thing about this natural home remedy is that even if the stuff wasn’t acidic, it’s not on the teeth long enough to do any good. The professional strength bleaching solution we use has to stay on the teeth at least 30 minutes to be effective, and it takes 10 days or so to get good results. I just don’t see how lemon juice on the teeth can be a good thing.

Here’s the video of Dr. Oz and has teeth whitening advice…

Naturally Whiten Teeth, Pt. 2

If you would like whiter teeth and a nice smile, or if you simply have questions about your dental health, please feel free to give our Nashville dental office a call at 615-298-2385 . We hope to hear from you soon!!

A Mission Trip to the USA… Helping Those Who Can Not Afford Dental Care

Remote Area Medical (RAM) is an organization near and dear to my heart. It was founded in 1985 with the purpose of providing basic medical care to people in remote areas of foreign countries with no access to care. When RAM began, they airlifted doctors and dentists into the middle of nowhere to help people.

Nashville dentist Dr. Matt McGee with RAM founder Stan Brock

RAM founder Stan Brock has now realized that there is a health care crisis right here in America, and has focused RAM’s efforts on helping people here at home. Many of RAM’s “missions” are conducted in or near Tennessee and are often held in remote communities that are underserved by the health care community, and have a population that is very poor.

RAM relies on a corps of volunteers that include health care providers including dentists, physicians, optometrists, and veterinarians. Other volunteers are just workers to help with auxillary functions such as patient registration, instrument sterilization, and food prep. Mmmmm, loved those donuts.

Dental clinic at a RAM event in Harrogate, TN

The events are held in a large facility ,such as a gymnasium or a community center, which is transformed into a health care clinic for a weekend. Patients are treated on a first come first served basis and are permitted to see as many health care providers as needed.

Oh and by the way… ALL HEALTH CARE SERVICES ARE FREE! Zip. Nada. 0. So, you can imagine that there is a high demand, because it don’t get any cheaper than free.

The following videos had a big impact on me and moved me to volunteer with RAM. It was an amazing experience. PLEASE WATCH THESE VIDEOS!! You will cry (or you’re heartless), but it is so worth it…

RAM video part 1

RAM video part 2

Someone please get me a Kleenex. Ugh. This breaks my heart.

By the way, did you notice that Stan Brock was the dude on Wild Kingdom? He got to wrestle hippos and snakes and stuff like that so he’s a bad-ass.

Ok, here’s the good news… RAM will be holding an event here in Nashville. Now, Nashville isn’t exactly remote, but the service will be provided all the same. So as a Nashville dentist, I plan to participate.

Here’s the details…

Feb 19-20 Davidson County, Nashville, TN – McGavock High School D, Vis, M

D= dental    Vis= vision   M= medical… you get the idea.

They’ll need lots of volunteers so I hope you’ll sign up. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

Can You Guess the Celebrity Smile?

The Country Music Association awards are tonight in Nashville. This is a pretty big deal here in Music City and around the country. Get it… country. Anyhoo, there will be tons of celebrities strutting downtown dressed to impress in their finest attire and accessories.

As a Nashville dentist, I of course think that their most important accessory is their smile. So while most of you will be watching to see the dresses and the shoes, I’ll be checking out the grills for symmetry and the whitest whites. Maybe some of them out there have been to a cosmetic dentist to have a little, ahem… enhancement.

Ok, so I’m gonna give you all a little quiz to help you prepare to analyze smiles on the red carpet. I’m going to show you a smile, and you have to tell me which celebrity it belongs to. You can decide if they’ve had a little cosmetic dentistry to help them shine up on the stage…


The rest of your quiz can be found here…

For more information on finding a Nashville dentist, or on cosmetic dentistry in Nashville, please feel free to call our office at 615-298-2385 or visit our website at www.MusicCitySmiles.com

So how’d you do on the quiz? What makes a great smile and do you think it is the ultimate accessory?

Buying Toothpastes. So What’s the Deal?

Buying toothpaste is hard these days. There’s so many dang choices out there that it’s hard to sort through them all. Whitening. Tartar control. Enamel strengthening. I think I’ve even seen bacon flavored dental products!

A recent article has put some toothpaste to the test. Specifically those that claim to strengthen enamel. Here’s the Cliff’s Notes on that article: these toothpastes are really similar to normal-no-bells-and -whistles-attached toothpastes, they may just have a little more fluoride. So the toothpaste marketing people said “Hey, more fluoride=more enamel.”

The tricky thing about marketing and toothpastes is that there aren’t a lot of guidelines. Toothpaste is classified as a cosmetic according to the Food and Drug Administration. Now, that doesn’t mean you should rub it on oyur face to hide wrinkles, but it does mean that there is a lot of leeway when it comes to advertising. Basically, if the product doesn’t harm you, you can say just about what ever you want.

Products classified as drugs, on the other hand, must be able to prove that the treat a specific disease and are effective. It’s expensive to get your product classified as a drug. I would not want to go through the approval process.

My recommendation is to look for the American Dental Association seal of acceptance. This seal means that the product has gone through more test than you ever thought could be conducted on toothpaste, and came through with flying colors meaning it is safe an effective.

Here’s what it looks like… 

So when you are looking for dental products, just look for this seal and you’ll be good.

Now, I’ve got to design my own seal of approval…

Never Saw This One Coming…

Lately, we’ve been helping a lot of people here in Nashville get a whiter smile. I bet we’ve done more teeth whitening in 2010 than in any other year.

That means there’s a lot more people in Nashville with a whiter smile, but it also means that there may be a lot more people in Nashville with sensitive teeth. Teeth whitening, as great as it makes your smile look, can cause a great deal of teeth sensitivity as a side effect. Man, it seems we can’t do anything to teeth without a little sensitivity even if ti is temporary. Aaaah the price of beauty.

Well I have good news. It seems there was a study conducted recently that had some results that surprised me and a lot of other dentists out there.

It seems that these researchers in England were studying sensitivity after bleaching. Some of the people in the study were told to chew sugar free gum after bleaching (where do I sign up for this study) and rate their levels of sensitivity.

What they found is, are you ready for this…  the gum chewers had significantly less sensitivity. I would have never guessed that, but there you have it.

So maybe we can all chew a little gum to keep from being so sensitive…

For more information on teeth whitening, cosmetic dentistry, tooth sensitivity, or if you would like a stick of gum, please feel free to contact our office at           615-298-2385 or online at www.MusicCitySmiles.com

So, what your favorite kind of gum? Mine’s Big Red.

Whoppi Goldberg Shares Her Experience With Gum Disease

I typically try not to make a habit of watching The View, but this segment warrants some attention. It seems that Whoopi had neglected her oral health for years despite having good insurance, and it finally caught up with her.

She shares her story here, and talks a bit about the connection between oral health and overall health. She even says that going to the dentist is not the horrible experience that it used to be. See, even Whoopi likes us!