My Blog

Posts for: September, 2014

By Babcock & Morgan Family Dental
September 23, 2014
Category: Oral Health

Perhaps you've seen Nate Berkus on The Oprah Winfrey Show or watched his television program, The Nate Berkus Show. You may even have read his best-selling book, Home Rules: Transform the Place You Live Into a Place You'll Love. Regardless of where or how you discovered Berkus, you will surely have noticed his dazzling smile.

Berkus recently opened up about the facts behind his trademark smile during an interview with Dear Doctor magazine. First off, his smile is totally natural, as he never wore braces or had any cosmetic work, including porcelain veneers. However, Berkus does give credit to his childhood dentist for the preventative healthcare he received as a young boy. “I'm grateful for having been given fluoride treatments and sealants as a child,” he said. Nate also shared the important flossing advice he learned from his dentist that he still follows today: “Floss the ones you want to keep.” Berkus went on to say that he feels, “healthy habits should start at a young age.”

And we totally agree! For this reason we have put together the following list of facts and oral hygiene tips:

  • Over 50% of plaque accumulation occurs in the protected areas between teeth — a place that may be difficult or even impossible to reach with a toothbrush.
  • A thorough brushing may take up to two minutes at first, and it may feel awkward as you reach some places in your mouth.
  • Remember, more is NOT always better! Brushing or flossing too hard can be damaging to your teeth and gums. And never saw back and forth with your floss.

To learn more about oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing techniques, you can continue reading the Dear Doctor article “Oral Hygiene Behavior - Dental Health For Life.” Or you can contact us today to schedule an appointment so that we can conduct a thorough examination, review your brushing and flossing techniques, and discuss any questions you have as well as treatment options. As needed, we will work with you to teach you the proper brushing and flossing techniques so that you feel confident before you leave our office. And to read the entire interview with Nate Berkus, please see the Dear Doctor article “Nate Berkus.”

By Dr. Thomas Morgan
September 16, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Crowns   CEREC  

Restoration in One Simple Visit with CEREC

With new innovations in dentistry, many procedures are requiring less time in the dental chair, causing less discomfort and creating satisfying Dental Crowns results for patients and dentists. One breakthrough in dentistry is CEREC, which is an instrument that allows dentists to quickly restore damaged teeth with natural-colored ceramic fillings, saving patients time and inconvenience. CEREC has two decades of clinical research and practical experience to support its success and more than eight million restorations performed worldwide. Let’s take a look at what CEREC is and how our Prior Lake cosmetic dentist can help.

How Does CEREC Work?

With the CEREC system, our cosmetic dentist in Prior Lake can create beautiful life-like porcelain restorations for your teeth. An infrared camera takes images of your tooth after shaping. A CAD CAM computer program immediately downloads the images of your teeth to create a three-dimensional virtual model that can be viewed and manipulated on the computer monitor.

CEREC, which stands for Ceramic Reconstruction, is a recent innovation that many cosmetic dentists are using to provide natural looking crowns faster than traditional crown procedures. This is a computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing, or CAD-CAM, for the creation of your crown. This crown is created by a computer to fit your tooth perfectly. The computer aided technology eliminates the laboratory step in manufacturing your crown, which allows for your treatment to be completed in one visit.

Multiple Benefits in a Single Visit

CEREC brings a host of benefits to the restoration of your tooth, or teeth. One of the main benefits is that they can be created in a single visit, which saves time for you and your dentist. Potential discomfort is eliminated because there is no need for a temporary crown between procedures, which allows for a more comfortable experience. CEREC crowns also do not contain any metal, allowing them to be esthetically pleasing and natural looking.

CEREC crowns are also beneficial for your tooth restoration for these reasons:

  •     Less time is spent in the dental chair
  •     Hi-Tech accuracy
  •     Less tooth structure is lost in many cases
  •     Natural, tooth-colored restoration
  •     Less chance for complications with preservation of healthy tissue
  •     CEREC is environmentally friendly
  •     Precise for long-lasting results

A tooth-colored restoration means no more silver fillings to discolor your smile. The filling with CEREC is natural-looking, compatible with tissue in the mouth, anti-abrasive and plaque-resistant. Your dentist no longer needs to create temporaries or take impressions to send to the lab. CEREC restorations have been proven precise, safe and effective.

 With CEREC, you can have a fully restored, natural-looking crown made in one simple visit without a messy impression, or the discomfort of temporary crowns. If you are in need of crowns, contact our dental office in Prior Lake for more information on how CEREC works and if it is a good solution for your smile. A proper consultation with our Prior Lake dental office will allow for accurate results and an appropriate treatment solution to enhance and restore your smile.

By Babcock & Morgan Family Dental
September 08, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: sugar substitutes  

If you're watching your weight or living with diabetes, you probably know the advantages of satisfying your sweet tooth with sugar substitutes rather than the real deal. Did you know that sugar substitutes can also help reduce your risk for tooth decay? One particular sugar stand-in, xylitol, might actually promote oral health!

Sugar substitutes are food additives that mimic the taste of sugar but supply little to no food energy (nutrition) and therefore zero or few calories. This is because they generally cannot be digested and absorbed by the body. They pass through largely unused and have little to no effect on blood sugar levels. Oral bacteria aren't able to process sugar substitutes either. They get significant nutrition from “real” sugars that pass through the mouth — generating tooth-eroding, cavity-promoting acids in the digestive process. A diet of artificial sweeteners eliminates or significantly curtails the acidity problem and essentially starves the “bad” bacteria so more tooth-friendly bacteria can crowd them out.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved 6 artificial sweeteners (synthetically produced zero-calorie sugar substitutes) for use in the U.S.:

  • Acesulfame K — Sunett®, Sweet One®
  • Aspartame — Equal, NutraSweet
  • Neotame — a modified form of aspartame
  • Saccharin — Sweet'N Low, Sugar Twin
  • Sucralose — Splenda
  • Rebaudioside A — Truvia, Sun Crystals, Stevia in the Raw

There also are naturally occurring low-calorie sugar alcohols (polyols), used alone or in combination with an artificial sweetener. They are incompletely digested and absorbed slowly so the amount of calories they generate is minimal. Commonly used polyols include erythritol, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol. Research suggests that xylitol may help prevent tooth decay and promote oral health by reducing levels of the major acid-producing bacteria in the mouth, Streptococcus mutans.

Despite their virtues, there is debate regarding the safety of sugar substitutes — synthetic ones in particular. Currently the focus is on how they may affect taste perception, metabolism, and eating habits. From a dental perspective, however, the overall benefits for using xylitol are pretty clear!

If you would like more information about nutrition and oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Artificial Sweeteners.”