Is there anything new you’ve learned over the past year?
Dr. Bakke and I both graduated from the American College of Integrative Medicine and Dentistry in July. We learned about the relationship of dentistry to the whole body and how we can help our patients more holistically with our metal free dentistry and metal free implants.
Are their changes in how you replace silver fillings?
Yes, those silver fillings are around 50% mercury. Mercury vapor escapes from the filling no matter how long it has been in the mouth. Mercury is a known neurotoxin. The mercury also causes corrosion and expansion, so it cracks the tooth as it ages. When I remove the mercury, I protect the patient, myself, and my dental assistant so we don’t breathe the harmful vapors.
If a tooth breaks, are there any alternatives to crowns?
Yes, due to advances in our dental adhesives, we can create porcelain pieces that replace the missing part of the tooth without grinding down the whole tooth. It fits into the tooth like a puzzle piece, replacing just the part of the missing tooth. The less we drill on a tooth, the fewer traumas to the nerve.
What’s new in the field of cosmetic dentistry?
Many Americans have narrow dental arches stemming from eating processed foods, sugar, and flour as children. Their mother’s did not breastfeed them, so their dental arches did not develop normally. Many children also had teeth pulled during their childhood braces that could create narrow arches. As adults they may develop TMJ and sleep apnea and come to see me with a variety of problems. We now have removable appliances that can broaden adult arches and open the airway. We also have ceramic esthetic braces and white wires that are quite discreet for our adult braces. Of course, for those patients that are looking to correct their smile more quickly, porcelain veneers last for years and create a beautiful smile in a matter of weeks.
What’s new in veneers?
I now have a 27 year track record with veneers. They are holding up amazingly well. Our porcelains are much harder than they were even 5 years ago and the colors are better. Veneers are as popular as ever for giving people a dazzling smile and come in many designs customized to satisfy the patient.