There are still 2 days left to help us give back! We have pledged to donate $5 for every new Facebook Like or Twitter follower to the Peter Figoski Scholarship Fund up to $1000 dollars.

The Peter Figoski Scholarship Fund was created to help support the four daughters of Peter Figoski, one of New York’s police officers who was killed in the line of duty. The fund was created to honor and remember Peter for his selflessness in protecting the city of New York.

Please help us reach our pledge of $1000 by sharing this story with all of your friends and family.

Yes, flossing is an essential part of proper daily oral hygiene.  Although studies have not necessarily shown flossing to decrease cavities, it has been shown to help prevent periodontal disease!

Gingivitis is the initial presentation of periodontal infection, and signs of gingivitis include bleeding gums, inflamed gums, and red gums.  Gingivitis is easily reversible by proper brushing techniques and flossing daily.  After a week of good home care, all signs of gingivitis will disappear.

Periodontal disease, on the other hand, is a more severe infection of the gums and can lead to bone loss around teeth.  This bone loss can result in the loss of teeth!  Although periodontal disease can be diagnosed ewrly and halted, its destruction cannot be reversed.  The best way to prevent periodontal disease is by visiting your dentist regularly, brushing twice a day, and flossing daily.

So YES, you should floss….but only if you want to keep your teeth!

Humans have 20 baby teeth followed by 32 permanent teeth, USUALLY!

The most commonly absent of the 32 adult teeth are the 2 maxillary (top) 3rd molars (aka Wisdom teeth).  The second most commonly absent are 2 mandibular (bottom) 3rd molars (the other Wisdom teeth).

Some say that because 3rd molars are not useful to the adult dentition, and are often problematic (causing infection, pain, etc.), that humans are evolving beyond wisdom teeth and that is why either 1, 2, 3, or all 4 are sometimes absent.

I don’t know if a person should want all 4 present, and thus have wisdom, or have all 4 absent, and thus be evolved…

Just thought that would interest you.

-Zach

Brush twice a day, everyday.  Use a pea-to-chickpea size amount of toothpaste, and make sure it has fluoride which is essential in preventing cavities.

How to Brush Your Teeth

Angle the soft bristles of your brush towards the gums as to remove as much plaque as possible.  Don’t scrub, this can damage the enamel and cause your gums to recede. 

Remember, 2 minutes of brushing twice a day = a healthy smile!

Check out www.pearlinbrite.com for our Aloe Vera Fluoride Toothpaste and Nano-Silver Soft Toothbrush.

Recently there was a long cover article in the New York Times regarding the overuse of Conebeam CT scans in dentistry.  This article brought up some of the negatives of these types of scans, primarily the amount of radiation associated with them.  However, there are uses for these machines in dentistry, and when used appropriately, they provide diagnostic and planning information that cannot otherwise be obtained.

Radiation

The average digital panoramic radiograph in a dental office exposes the patient to about 8-15 μSieverts (μS) of radiation <  a dental conebeam CT is anywhere from 10-100 μS, depending on the size of the scan area and location <  a cross-America flight exposes a person to ~60 μS < a medical CT ~2000 μS < annual background radiation ~2500μS.  Therefore, the amount of radiation actually received by patients during a conebeam CT scan is minimal when compared to the amount of background radiation a person gets in a year, ~50/2500 μS = 2%.

Pros

Conebeam CT scans give 3-dimensional images of hard structures in the head and neck region.  That means they can let you see every aspect of the jaw, teeth, joint, skull, etc.  You can see the distance of structures from one another, and the location of abnormalities.  In dentistry, these scans are particularly useful in Implant dentistry.  A conventional dental x-ray, whether a periapical (small) film or a panoramic (large) film, only give the dentist a 2-D picture of a structure.  However in order to place an implant in the best location in bone, sometimes the third dimension is required in order to avoid missing the bone, hitting nerves, or severing arteries.  Conebeam scans also are useful in endodontics (root canal therapy), orthodontics (tooth movement), and of course general dentistry.  3D images which allow cross-sectional viewing in dentistry are extremely useful tools that will allow dentists to be more precise in their procedures.

Cons

The only true con of these machines is the radiation.  As discussed above, there is a significant dose delivered, however it is minimal in comparison to other medical scans and even normal activities like flying.  The primary concern demonstrated in the NYT article about conebeams is their overuse.  While these devices do have a great role, they should be used only when necessary.  Not all implants require scans, most orthodontics and endodontics do not require them either.  Therefore it is extremely important for dentists to properly diagnose when a conebeam CT is necessary for a patient.

Kodak 9000 3D Conebeam CT

Dr. Jan Linhart is proud to announce that he has recently added the Kodak 9000 3D Conebeam CT to his office. We chose the Kodak machine because it allows us to take a scan of a small area, thus giving it the lowest patient radiation dose of any conebeam on the market.  In addition, the Kodak unit allows us to take independent digital panoramic x-rays without delivering the radiation dose of a conebeam.  This is a unique feature that many other machines lack.

Dr. Linhart, as well as the specialists in our office including Dr. Roger Bronstein (periodontist), have been trained to identify exactly when a conebeam CT is necessary, and will only take scans when indicated!  We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments regarding this new addition to our office.  I can be reached directly at Zachary@drlinhart.com

Finally, for the 4th installment of the tooth whitening section, let’s talk a bit about whitening toothpastes.

Mechanical Means

Most whitening pastes act by mechanical means.  They use an abrasive agent, usually silica, to scratch the stains off the surface of the teeth, revealing the whiter enamel underneath the stains.  This mechanical removal of stains is effective, however continued use of these pastes, or over use, can cause significant abrasion and harm to the teeth.

Chemicals

Other whitening toothpastes use chemicals to help whiten the teeth.  These pastes usually resort to the tried-and-tested peroxide route.  Whether it be hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide, urea peroxide, they all create a chemical reaction that whitens the teeth moderately without removing any of the tooth structure.

What’s Right for You?

Which mechanism of tooth whitening toothpaste is right for you?  Well that is for you to decide.  However none of these toothpastes will be nearly as effective as an in-office whitening session with take home trays.

Stay tuned for more articles soon, and I welcome any questions.

Many major companies that you have all heard of, Colgate, Crest, etc, are now selling whitening products that you can easily purchase at your local pharmacy or grocery store.

These include non-custom trays with whitening gel, whitening strips, or whitening pastes that can be applied to the teeth in accordance with the instructions in order to whiten.

Because of the wide variety of products in this category, it is impossible to accurately review them all.  But in general, these products are a large step below in-office and custom tray whitening.  Usually the levels of whitening gel are significantly decreased, tooth contact is decreased, and overall effectiveness is thus diminished.

That is not to say that you should never use these products.  In the case of a quick touch up, nothing major, just to get your teeth to that sparkling white again after one too man cups of coffee that day, these products may be exactly what you need.

However in the case where your teeth have been tarnished by years of wear and tear, coffee, wine, and other stainers, in office teeth whitening or long-term custom tray whitening are certainly superior to these over-the-counter products.

Keep a look out for next weeks post on Whitening Toothpastes like PearlinBrite, Colgate, Arm+Hammer, and others!

The most typically recognized tooth whitening is at-home whitening with custom trays.  These trays are generally fabricated by the dentist by using an exact replica of your teeth.

Custom Whitening Tray – PROS:

A custom tray is desirable over a generic tray in that it keeps the whitening gel exactly where it is wanted, on the teeth.  Whitening gel can bleach and even burn the gums, so keeping it on the teeth only is very important.

Custom trays can be filled with either hydrogen peroxide (usually .5-1 hour use) or carbamide peroxide (usually overnight use) gels of varying percentages.  These gels are less concentrated that the gels used by dentists in order to maintain the safety of the patient.

Tray whitening at home is a great way for just about anyone to whiten their teeth, and is also great as a follow up to in-office whitening to maintain the brighter shade.

Tooth Whitening – CONS:

The main disadvantage of tooth whitening is sensitivity.  Often after whitening, pateints will experience transient sensitivity that ranges from mild to severe, hours to days.  Dr. Jan Linhart’s PearlinBrite laser whitening is specially formulated to REDUCE sensitivity, however elimination of sensitivity cannot be assured.

How to Reduce Sensitivity:

There are ways, however, to moderate and reduce sensitivity following whitening.  These include

1.) Brushing with a high fluoride/sensitivity toothpaste for a couple of weeks prior and after whitening (eg Sensodyne, Prevident 5000)

2.) Taking an OTC painkiller immediately following the procedure (eg Advil, Tylenol)

3.) Making sure to apply gel only to whites of teeth, and not exposed roots or gums

Stay tuned for part 3, at home OTC whitening products!

In-office tooth whitening is, with little questions, the most effective and quickest form of tooth whitening available to the general public.  In-office whitening usually involves applying hydrogen peroxide gel to the teeth, and then increasing their effects by activating them with light and/or lasers.

PearlinBrite Laser Whitening

PearlinBrite Laser whitening, developed by Dr. Jan Linhart, DDS, uses different percentage Hydrogen Peroxide gels, specially formulated by our own chemist, to obtain the maximum effect.  Freshness and quality of the gel is extremely important to achieve maximum whitening effect.  After the gel is applied, it is activated by two different lasers in order to increase oxidation.  This procedure was created by Dr. Linhart, from his 30 years of experience in the dental profession.

Other In-Office Options

Other in-office whitening systems, such as Zoom(R) and BriteSmile(R), also use gels and lights in the dental office to achieve whitening.

Time Requirements

In-office tooth whitening usually takes between 1-3 hours, and can significantly increase the brightness and whiteness of your teeth.

Post-Treatment Maintenance

Usually, in-office whitening is followed by at home gel applications in custom trays, which is used to touch-up and enhance the effects of the in-office system.

Our next post will talk about these at-home whitening systems, and talk about the negative effects whitening may have.

You see and hear about teeth whitening everywhere, in the paper, magazines, on the radio, and on TV.  Laser whitening, light activated whitening, take home whitening kits, whitening strips, whitening toothpastes, are all different ways that you can whiten your teeth.  But, there are significant differences between the different methods, and different end results.  Here I will break them down one by one, in a 4 part series, so that you can choose which is best for you.

Hydrogen Peroxide vs. Carbamide Peroxide

First, we need a bit of background though.  There are two main types of tooth whitening gels that are used in a variety of the whitening techniques.  They are Hydrogen Peroxide and Carbamide peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is generally used for short applications, such as a 1 hour session, and comes in ranges from 5%-20% (at home) and 20%-50% (in office) gels.  

Carbamide Peroxide

Carbamide peroxide, similarly, comes in a range of strengths for different uses, but tends to be used for longer periods, like overnight use, as it breaks down to form hydrogen peroxide.

This 4 part series, over the next week or so, will be on these topics:

1) In-office professional tooth whitening (PearlinBrite Laser Whitening, Zoom, BriteSmile, etc)

2) At-home gels (carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide with custom trays)

3) At-home OTC products (White strips, prefab trays, etc)

4) Whitening toothpastes (PearlinBrite, Crest, Colgate)

Stay tuned for part 1 in the next few days!