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What is a tooth crown?

Getting a tooth crowned kind of sounds painful, doesn’t it? Just what exactly is a crown, what does it do, and when do you need one?

What is a tooth crown?

Basically, a crown is a tooth shaped cap designed to cover a tooth. It helps to restore the size, shape, strength, and aesthetic value of a tooth. Once the tooth is prepared, the crown covers the existing visible tooth from the gum line, and is cemented in place. Crowns come in a variety of appearances and materials ranging from stainless steel, to porcelain or ceramic. Below are a few of the purposes of crowns:

  • Tooth damage – If a tooth has been damaged by decay, cracked, or worn down, a crown can be added to help protect it. In some places, it can be added to cover a large filling where not much of the tooth remains, to help support it.
  • Bridge Support – A crown can be placed on either side of a gap, if an individual is missing a tooth or teeth, with the missing tooth or teeth in the middle.
  • Cosmetics – Crowns can be used to cover discolored or misshapen teeth. If a person has chipped front teeth from an injury, crowns can be used. They are also used to top off a dental implant.

Remember, if you have any questions regarding crowns or anything regarding dental care, contact Dr. Gray’s office to speak with someone or to schedule an appointment!

How do braces work?

Braces can be an excellent way to help straighten your teeth, and achieve a great smile. But, how do braces work anyway?

How do braces work?

Braces can be dated back to ancient times. In fact, archaeologists have found the mummified remains of people with metal bands stretch across their teeth. Even Cleopatra was known to have worn a type of dental aligners. Braces work by applying constant pressure to the teeth, which over time, will move the teeth to their desired position. As the tooth loosens to move to the new position, new bone will actually grow to support the tooth in its altered position. Today, there are different types of aligners, but we will look at the two most common.

  • Traditional wired metal – These aligners are stainless steel, and sometimes a combination of titanium is used. This traditional method is still the most common. These implement a metal bracket with rubber band ties that hold the wire on to the metal brackets. This method will require more frequent adjustments and cause a bit more tooth discomfort. Another method is self-aligning braces, which do not require the use of rubber bands, as the wire itself will go through the bracket. This method involves less discomfort and fewer adjustments are needed as with the first method.
  • Clear – This system involves clear, plastic aligners that are worn over the teeth to gently direct them into the desired position. Photographs, x-rays, and dental impressions are sent to a lab, where the aligners will be produced. With clear braces, you can remove them whenever you eat, brush, and floss. Since they are virtually invisible, most people will be unaware you have them. These will decrease dentist appointments and your discomfort level!

As always, if you have questions regarding tooth alignment, or are looking for a dentist in the Edmond area, please contact Dr. Gray’s office to schedule an appointment!

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Dentist Edmond: Beware the effects of pool water on enamal

Dentist Edmond recommends monitoring pH levels in pools

It’s starting to get hotter outside and the pools are close to opening up for the Summer. One of the best ways to cool off during a hot summers day is to relax by or in the pool! Especially if the pool is in your backyard! You may have never considered that the chlorine levels in the water might not be properly balanced. But if they’re not, they can damage the enamel of your tooth. Dentist Edmond is here to share some more information from the New York University of Dentistry about this subject.

A few years ago, Dr. Leila Jahangiri, the clinical associate professor and the chair of NYUCD’s Department of Prosthodontics, spoke about what was found when homeowners attempted to maintain pools of their own. It’s understandable that homeowners would want to save some money by avoiding having to hire professionals to help maintain their pools, it can be dangerous decision. Not having a professional help maintain your pool can often lead to improper pH levels in your water which can, according to Jahangiri, “result in irreversible damage to one’s teeth.”

She also added that “it is difficult balance to maintain home pools properly” and that “proper pool chlorine and pH levels need to be monitored and maintained on a weekly basis.”

Our dentist Edmond knows you might be wondering what a little lab work research could really prove, but rest assured it was more than an educated guess. Jahangiri observed first-hand, in a 52-year old male patient, the effects of improper pool pH levels. His teeth were extremely sensitive and had dark staining and rapid enamel loss over a short, 5 month period. This was a result of his 90 minute swimming exercise routine.

So, before you go diving into the cold, refreshing water in your backyard pool, the dentist Edmond hopes you’ll consider carefully how you plan to maintain proper pH and chlorine levels, for the sake of your pearly whites!

Should you feel the need to have a dental checkup and ensure that things are on the right track with your teeth, don’t hesitate to come and see our Edmond dentist. You may make an appointment with our Edmond dentist at Wallace Family Dentistry by calling 405-340-0411.

If you need a dental checkup, call Philip Gray, DDS, Dentist Edmond today at 405-330-5458 and schedule an appointment!

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Dentist Edmond and dental myths

Dentist Edmond talks about some common dental myths

There’s a ton of information out there on the internet. So of it’s good, some of it’s not. The dentist Edmond is here to dispel some of the more common ones.

Bad Breath=bad brusher: If you have bad breath, it must be because you don’t take care of your teeth as well as you should, right? Well, bad breath is actually caused by a number of factors. The foods you eat can play a big part in how your breath smells. Foods like garlic, for instance, can take over a mouth no matter how well you brush. Even certain sickness can cause bad breath.

Aspirin directly on a tooth will cure pain: It’s an old at-home remedy….and it doesn’t work. You should always swallow aspirin as it’s the only way it can work to relieve pain in your body. Another reason you shouldn’t put aspirin directly on an aching tooth is that it can react and cause a nasty chemical burn, giving you 2 sources of pain to deal with now!

Don’t brush your bleeding gums: It might make sense at first, if your gums are bleeding don’t agitate them by running a toothbrush over them. But in reality the opposite it true. Whenever your gums are bleeding, it’s a sign that plaque and other germs have gotten into your gums and are starting to cause damage. In order to get the gunk out, you need to keep brushing. If your flossing for the first time in awhile or doing pretty harshly it can also lead to your gums beginning to bleed. It might hurt a little but brushing is the best way to clean up your gums and get them to stop bleeding.

Schedule an appointment with Philip Gray, dentist Edmond, today and get your smile cleaned up!

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Edmond Dentist: Charcoal toothpaste fact or fiction?

Does brushing with charcoal really work?

You’ve probably seen it going around on nutrition blogs and on social media. Brushing your teeth with substances like activated charcoal will help make your teeth whiter and shinier. It sounds simple right? But does it really do anything for your teeth. The short answer is it can do something, but not in the way you’re hoping. The Edmond dentist is here to lay down what’s fact and what’s fiction about brushing with activated charcoal.

Activated charcoal is supposed to work by cleaning and polishing the enamel on your teeth to clear away the plaque and build-up around them. Elements within the charcoal and the abrasive texture scrub away the bad stuff and leave your teeth shining white.  That’s what it’s supposed to do anyway.

But, according to a study done by the Journal of the American Dental Association there simply isn’t any evidence that that’s the case. Furthermore, claims that brushing with charcoal was 100% safe also could not be verified. More studies are being done but at present there simply is no scientific basis that charcoal does anything for the teeth…except.

Remember when we said activated charcoal can do something? Well if the charcoal is too abrasive, and therefore not approved by the ADA, it can actually wear away the protective enamel on your teeth and expose the underlying dentin. It’s bad enough you might be brushing away your teeth’s best defense, but to add to it dentin is usually yellow meaning your teeth can actually look worse by brushing with charcoal.

So what are the best ways to keep your teeth healthy and shiny? The same ones that have always been: Brushing twice a day, not smoking, flossing, and regular dentist visits.

Schedule an appointment today with Philip Gray, Edmond dentist, and get your smile looking awesome!

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Edmond Dentist: One simple way to strengthen your teeth

Edmond Dentist: Ask about fluoride varnishes

Ice, coffee, sticky foods, and candy are the stuff of nightmares for teeth. Chomping down on these and other types of foods regularly certainly increases the chances that damage will be done to your teeth and possibly diminish your bright smile. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing are always recommended as the fluoride in the toothpaste will help to fight off decay and cavities from bacteria, but there is something even more protective that you can do. This treatment will require you to go to the dentist, but isn’t your smile worth a small dental visit?

What is this “Miracle” treatment we speak of? They’re called Fluoride varnishes. When you visit your Edmond Dentist you can request that fluoride varnish protection be used to help prevent tooth decay. Here’s how it works:

The fluoride varnish gel is typically pale yellow in color that is softly brushed on. It sets on teeth quickly and starts working immediately. Fluoride is important, because it enters the tooth enamel and makes the tooth hard. Fluoride helps prevents any new cavities from forming while stopping current decay from worsening. If the varnish is applied at the beginning stages of tooth decay, the fluoride is powerful enough to reverse the decay and repair the tooth.

If you hate going to the dentist to get some work done and then leaving hungry or thirsty but being unable to eat anything, then there’s good news! One of the best parts about fluoride varnish treatments is that you don’t have to wait to eat, though foods should be softer for the first day.

It’s important to say that some brands of fluoride varnish can cause some teeth to look even more dull than before the application, but this is temporary. In such cases, refrain from brushing or flossing the varnish away for a full day. After the full day, brush your teeth and you will reveal a brighter, healthier smile.

Are you ready to strengthen your teeth with fluoride varnish? Then call our Edmond Dentist today at 405-330-5458.

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Edmond Dentists: Protecting you teeth from treats

Edmond Dentist: How to help protect your teeth from baked treats

The holidays are winding down but there’s still plenty of time for lots of tasty, sugary treats. Every year, we’re bombarded at this time of year with cookies, cakes, and candies. It can be very difficult to say no to these sweet, tasty treats and we’re not going to tell you not to enjoy them, absolutely do it’s the holidays after all! What are Edmond dentist will do, though, is give you some tips for protecting your teeth from becoming the victims to these holiday treats.

The reason sugar is so bad for your teeth is that it creates plaque that sits on your teeth. The more sugar you eat, the more plaque that grows. So, the less you sugar you eat the less plaque you’ll have! So, cutting back on the amount of sugar is important for your teeth, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up holiday treats all together.

The easiest way to approach holiday sweets is like this: Use half the amount of white, cane sugar to your recipes when baking. Vanilla, Nutmeg, and cinnamon can all serve as alternatives for your baked goods to help add some sweetness to your treats without relying on sugar.

Of course, our Edmond dentist also recommends that you brush your teeth as often as possible after consuming any sugary foods. Brushing your teeth will wipe away the sugar before it can form plaque and eat away at your teeth. If you’re going to be traveling, consider taking a travel toothbrush to help maintain your dental health.

On behalf of our Edmond Dentist, we wish you a Happy New Year. May you open the new year with your favorite foods and merry cheer! By following these tips, we hope you can have your cake and eat it too, without worrying about it eating into your teeth!

If you need to book an appointment with our Edmond Dentist, give us a call at 405-330-5458!

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Edmond Dentist: The Dangers of Sugar

Edmond Dentist: Keeping your Oral Health in top form

Think back to when you were a kid, did your parents ever tell you too much sugar will rot your teeth? Now, saying this may have helped avoid stomach aches and weight gain, it isn’t necessarily true. It’s true sugar is the main cause of tooth decay, maintaining oral health doesn’t require you to completely cut out sugar. Taking good care of your oral health and seeing you dentist regularly will help you avoid cavities and tooth decay even when your diet is high in sugar. The Edmond Dentist also has some things to look out for.

Sugar and Tooth Decay

Teeth decay occurs when sugar in the foods we eat mix with bacteria in your mouth and creates an acid that eats away at your teeth’s enamel. Once your enamel deteriorates it’s easy for the bacteria to cause further damage such as cavities and tooth loss. This tooth loss can become even more prevalent when a high sugar diet is mixed with poor dental hygiene, as people with poor dental hygiene lack the protection that brushing and flossing regularly give.

Prevention

Cutting down on sugar can be a scary thought. It’s nearly impossible to cut sugar out of a diet completely. Sugar is found in many healthy food products like bread, fruit, and milk in addition to the not-so-healthy options like soda, cookies and candy. However, you can mitigate the effects of sugar by getting it out of your mouth quickly. The less time sugar spends in your mouth, the less time it has to mix with bacteria and form acid that can damage your teeth.

High Sugar drinks like juice and soda are the most harmful because the liquid tends to sit in your mouth longer than a bit of cookie. The same can be said for candy, crunchy candy that you can chew and swallow quickly is better than a lollipop or jawbreaker that needs to sit in your mouth. Drinking water after consuming sugary foods can also help rinse away the sugar in your mouth.

You can also help fight tooth decay by brushing with fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride creates a layer over your teeth that makes them resistant to the acid that sugar and bacteria create. If you have a history of cavities, your dentist may add more fluoride to your dental routine to help further protect your teeth.

Maintain Dental Visits

While good oral habits and a good diet are the main ways you can keep your teeth healthy, it’s also vital to see your dentist regularly. Dentist will clear away decay causing bacteria that hides in your mouth and can spot the early signs of a cavity, helping you take steps to avoid further issues. If you live in the Edmond, Oklahoma area and have questions or want to schedule an appointment give The Edmond dentist a call today!

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Edmond Dentist explains X-Rays

Edmond Dentist talks about the different kinds of X-Rays

When most people hear the Edmond Dentist say “X-ray” they immediately think of a certain kind of X-rays, film X-rays. If you haven’t had X-rays done in a while though, you might not know that there is a new, digital form of X-Rays. So, what is the difference between film x-rays and digital x-rays? The Edmond Dentist has the answer and is here to share them with you. We’ll be talking a little more about these two types of x-rays to highlight they’re differences.

Film X-Rays: Film X-Rays date all the way back to 1895 by German Physicist by the name of Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen. Much like old film from a camera, X-Rays would have to be treated in a darkroom. As such, it would often take a longer period for doctors and dentist to receive results. Not ideal but it was the only option.

Digital X-Rays: In 1987, French inventor Dr. Francis Mouyen brought digital X-rays to life with his radiography system called RadioVisioGraphy. Nowadays, technology has made leaps and bounds even above what Mouyen did in 1987. The biggest benefit to these new digital X-rays is that patients and doctors now now longer have to wait hours, or even days, to receive critical information. Nowadays, dentist can see almost instantaneous results on a monitor next to the X-ray machine.

This means that your doctor can spot potential problems quicker and you spend much less time in your appointments. Additionally, having instant documentation of your teeth on a computer mean your dentist doesn’t have to make and maintain bulky storage files and your information is kept safer! The Edmond dentist values your time and privacy which is why we use the faster, safer digital x-ray option.

Need to schedule a visit? Book an appointment today with your Edmond Dentist by calling 405-330-5458!

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Dentist Edmond: Year end dental benefits

Dentist Edmond explains the best way to take advantage of your year end benefits.

The year is winding to an end and many people will be losing out on their dental health benefits. Are you about to lose your benefits? Not using your benefits is a little like having a pile of money, but you can only set it on fire. You wouldn’t ever want to do that. So why would you want to waste benefits that you paid for? Dentist Edmond has 3 reasons to visit a dentist and use your year end benefits.

1.) No Roll-over: Most dental plans allow for a yearly maximum benefit amount per person that you can use. If you haven’t used that allotted benefit, It’s not going to roll-over into the next year. Not using your unused benefits is basically throwing money away. You’ve already paid for the insurance, why not use it?

2.) No New Deductible: If you’ve already paid off your deductible for the year, any additional work you have done will not require additional deductible payments. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of these advantages once you have them. When the new year rolls around, the deductible resets and you’ll have to start paying again.

3.) No Wasted Benefits: Many dental services can be covered by the premiums you pay. Things like screenings, x-rays, cleanings and much more can all be covered. If you’ve already paid your premiums, why not take advantage of them and get the dental services you’ve paid for? Not only is it financially sensible, it’s the bet way to maintain optimal oral health.

By delaying dental treatment you could create the risk of needing more extensive and more expensive treatments later. To help you maximize your insurance benefits, we would love to schedule an appointment for you to see the dentist. The appointment slots will fill up quickly as many patients try to use up their benefits, so don’t wait too long to schedule your appointment.

Not going to the dentist means risking the need for more extensive (and expensive) dental work later. To maximize your insurance benefits, call today and schedule an appointment at 405-330-5458