Monday, August 16, 2010

A good smile becomes great

Just wanted to post a few photos of a smile change I completed last week. Even people with good smiles want their smiles improved. I think this made a huge difference.
Full Face Before
Smile Before
Full Face After
Smile After
Side by Side Comparison

Brandy wasn't happy with how her smile looked. She didn't like several of the restorations that she had done, wasn't happy with some of the spaces, and didn't think her smile was bright enough. Her smile was dramatically improved through porcelain crowns and veneers in less than three weeks. She says she has never been happier to smile!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Adult Orthodontics?

Interestingly enough, one of the fastest advancements in dentistry is in orthodontics. Yes, braces. And believe it or not, for adults! As we get older, teeth tend to drift causing crowding and spacing. Almost every adult over the age of 50 has crowding on their lower front teeth. Not only is this a cosmetic concern, but it also creates areas where food and plaque can accumulate, leading to an increase in cavities, periodontal disease, and even premature tooth loss. So, what are your options... and I know you don't want that "train track" "brace face" look. Keep in mind, these advancements were designed with adults in mind.

As with everything in dentistry, it depends on your current condition. Often times if a patient of mine has just a small amount of crowding or spacing, I do what's called Smart Moves. These are thin, clear trays, which are very similar to bleach guards, except they are very rigid. These trays are strong enough to move teeth gently into their proper position. Another plus is that these are fairly inexpensive, but again, they are just for extremely minor movement.

For patients with more advanced crowding or spacing, we have a couple options. Invisalign is a great way to straighten teeth. Like the Smart Moves, patients wear these clear trays throughout the day and night (except when eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing). These trays are replaced every two weeks with a new tray which progressively make your teeth straighter and straighter. Most cases can be treated in approximately 12-18 months. On the negative side, I find that patients get a little tired of dealing with trays once they hit the 12 month point and often times it takes extra time to fine tune the results. Also, these tend to be more expensive due to the high material cost and treatment time.

What I have become so excited about is something "new". I say "new" because it is a new technique using somewhat traditional materials. It is called Powerprox and not many people know about it yet, but they will. I can fix most smiles in SIX MONTHS!!! This is obviously a huge benefit. By starting today, I could have someone finished by Thanksgiving. By using clear brackets and clear wires and a newly developed technique, smiles are straightened quickly, comfortably, and in record time. Plus, in my opinion, you end up with a better result than with Invisalign because it is much easier to put the finishing touches on cases with Powerprox than with Invisalign. And, Powerprox is less expensive than Invisalign due to the shorter treatment time.

I offer complimentary consultaitons to anyone interested in possibly straightening their teeth. If you know of anyone who might be interested, pass my information along to them. You'd be surprised how many adults are getting the smiles they've always wanted!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Could this be.... cancer?

Most of the time, I love my job. I actually don't think of it as a job I like it that much. But, there are times when I wish I could just crawl in a hole and leave the dirty work to someone else. No time is that more true than when I find a suspecious lesion in someone's mouth that could be the dreaded C word.

See, my family has a long history with cancer. I lost my father to it at the young age of 48, as well as both of my grandfathers. I hate cancer... almost as much as telling someone they might have it.

With oral cancer, there are a couple of things that should be known, primarily what factors contribute to it, where is it generall found, and how is it detected. Oral cancer is especially deadly due to the fact that it is often found after it has metasticized to other organs, including the lungs, brain, and lymph nodes.

So, what causes it? I can't answer that for you, but there are several habits that increase your odds of getting it. First is tobacco use. Smoking cigarrettes and chewing tobacco are known to significantly increase your odds. The nicotine content and long contact time are a deadly combination. Quit smoking (or never start) and your odds of never getting it go way up. Also, alcohol abuse and HPV (yes, the STD) can cause oral cancer.

In terms of where it is found, the most common area is the side of the tongue towards the back. But, that is certainly not the only area. Other common places include the soft palate, insides of the cheeks and lips. These areas should always be checked by your dentist and general physician.

Several newer tests to find oral cancer are the Velscope and ViziLite, which use a special light to detect tissue changes. These tests certainly do have their place, but should not be the sole means of detecting oral cancer. I always perform and visual check first and then sometimes I will follow that with one of the two "light tests". These tests only show that something is different, but does not tell me if it is a bacterial lesion, fungal infection, traumatic lesion, or cancer. If I still see something that concerns me, I will send my patients to an oral surgeon for a biopsy. A biopsy is a small tissue sample which is then run under a microscope to view the cells. This is the only way to truly tell if there is cancer or not.

As I said, I really do love my job. But if I never saw another patient who I thought had oral cancer again I'd be pretty damn happy.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Unhappy with my smile

I was talking with a friend of mine the other day and somehow the topic of smiles came up. I came to the realization that EVERYONE wants to improve their smiles. Some want their teeth a little brighter, some want a complete overhaul. So, what's the best?

There is no simple answer to that question because it varies for different people. But, for someone that wants a drastically improved smile, porcelain veneers could be the answer. Porcelain veeners are ultra-thin pieces of porcelain that are adhered to the fronts of your teeth in order to dramatically change your smile. Depending on your situation, sometimes a small amount of your enamel needs to be removed prior (traditional veneers) or sometimes the porcelain veneers can be adhered directly on top of your natural teeth (Lumineers or prep-less veneers). These are fantastic ways to correct discolored, misshapen, chipped, or mal-aligned teeth in a very short period of time.

So, what's the down side to porcelain veneers? Well, as I mentioned before, for most people at least a small amount of your natural enamel must be removed in order to create a beautiful, natural looking smile. This means that it is something that must be maintained indefinitely. Also, the price of porcelain veneers can also cause someone to shy away from them. Porcelain veneers range from $1000-1500 per tooth. The difference in the cost from office to office has to do with the experience and training of the dentist and also the technician fabricating the veneer. I use a technician in California who I think does a phenomenal job making my patients look great! Take a look at one of my patient's smile transformations. She feels much younger and more self-confident with her new smile.

On a side note, my new office Kenwood Complete Dentistry is off to a great start. Our patients have been so happy with the comfort, convenience, and advanced technology. If you or your friends or family are looking for a new dentist, we are accepting new patients. 513.531.5050.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Back to dentistry... How bad are silver fillings?

I get asked this question all the time. Most people over the age of 30, if they have fillings, have silver (amalgam) fillings. Every day at my office I examine patients with these old fillings and have to make a decision. Either I tell the patient to leave them alone or tell them they need to be replaced. So, here is what is going through your dentist's head (well, at least if you are my patient).

Silver fillings in my opinion are not in of itself bad. For years and years, they were the material of choice. But, they do have some negatives. First and most obvious, are the cosmetics. There is nothing natural about a smile full of silver fillings. They make your teeth look darker and your smile not as clean as it could be. If my patients want these fillings replaced for this reason, I have no problems doing so.

Secondly, they cause teeth to crack. Virtually every day at my office, someone calls up and says they lost one of their old fillings. When they come in, their filling is right where it was for the past 20 years, but the enamel holding that filling in place has been broken off. The reason for this is that metal fillings expand and contract with temperature change and enamel does not. Once the enamel is cracked, all it takes is biting down on something the wrong way, and you have a broken tooth. Sometimes the fix is easy, but sometimes the tooth can break so badly that the tooth needs to be removed (see my previous post on dental implants).

The third, and most controversial, factor is mercury. This is a hot topic and one that people feel very passionate about on both sides. Some people believe that the mercury in these silver fillings cause all types of neurological conditions like Alzheimers, chronic fatigue syndrome, dimentia, etc. I personally don't know if this is true or not, so I don't recommend my patients have their silver fillings removed strictly because of the mercury. But, if a patient of mine feels strongly about it, I will do as they wish.

So, when someone comes in to my office and I see these silver fillings I ask if they bother them cosmetically and I check for any visual signs of cracks. If both of these check out, in my opinion there is no reason to replace them. But, if one or both of these is an issue, we will talk about replacement with either a tooth colored filling (called composite fillings), porcelain onlays, or porcelain crowns. Which one we choose depends upon the size of the filling, any decay present, or cracks in the enamel.

I hope this helps answer a few questions.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Kenwood Complete Dentistry is Open!

After many months of planning, Dr. Sherman and I are proud to announce that our office, Kenwood Complete Dentistry, is officially open. Monday, November 9 was our first day of seeing patients in our brand new facility. I am completely thrilled with how our office turned out, and I am so proud to show off a sneak peek.

A view of the exterior. We're located at the corner of Kenwood and E. Galbraith Roads
Our sign in the lobby
One view of the reception room. You can see our logo
wall, which is one of my favorite parts of the office.
Another view of the reception room
A view down the main hallway
The patient restroom
A glimpse inside one of the treatment rooms
The sterilization center
It's even better in person—very warm and welcoming and the perfect place for our patients and our staff to call home. A special thanks to virtually everyone we know for helping to create the dental office of our dreams and for continuing to spread the word. A very special thanks to our patients (new and existing), our staff, and our friends and family for your continued loyalty and support. We're so very excited to share this new beginning with you.

Kenwood Complete Dentistry
5050 East Galbraith Road, Suite C
Cincinnati, OH 45236

Sunday, October 4, 2009


We are now less than one month away from the grand opening of Kenwood Complete Dentistry. Walls are now up, painting has begun, and in the next two weeks, construction will be wrapping up. I thought I'd show a few more pictures.


Our front door

Front Desk

Main Hallway

One of the treatment rooms

We can't wait to start seeing patients on November 2nd!