Is fluoride safe?

Teeth #'s 8 and 9 - Examples of teeth that have had fluoride. Frosty white appearance.

Anytime a child has their teeth cleaned in our office, the question is always asked, “Is it OK if we apply fluoride to your child’s teeth?” I notice there are many times the parent hesitates to have the fluoride treatment for their children’s teeth. Parents concern: is fluoride safe? Through the years I think I have heard many of the theories against Fluoride. “It’s all about money, the dental industry is ripping off the general public.” As a dentist on this side of the fence, trust me, nobody in the dental industry is getting rich off of fluoride. Or how about this one? “Fluoride causes cancer”.  This one is hard to argue with.  From what I understand a lot of quality … Continue reading →

Mommy needs to have her teeth cleaned.

Lanita holding her baby.

I remember the summer of 1985, when my wife of four years came up to me and told me “I want a baby.” I remember being taken aback. Really? I remember thinking, “Why would anybody want one of those.” Don’t get me wrong. I like kids, and the thought of spending a few hours babysitting could be fun. Going to Disneyland, or taking them to the park for an afternoon could be enjoyable. But I was fascinated by the idea that my wife, an intelligent women, would actually WANT a baby. At the time, I couldn’t understand why anybody would have those desires. I must admit, the moment I held my firstborn in my arms, I felt a surge of … Continue reading →

Why are crowns recommended after root canals?

Tooth #3 - Lingual cusp is broken off.

We had an interesting emergency visit recently. A guest from out of state asked if we could remove a tooth for him. He was not interested in saving it, he just wanted it out. He had a root canal that was done a number of years back, and unfortunately he never had a crown done afterwards, and the tooth had cracked. From what I could see the tooth was not infected, and my inclination was that the broken part of the tooth was tugging on the gum tissue causing discomfort while eating. A dental crown could have prevented this. We recomend crowns on all posterior teeth that have had root canals, as soon as possible.  We have seen situations where a … Continue reading →

Grandma’s Fine China – Is there one missing from the family heirloom?

Grandma's China Heirloom

Have you ever thought of teeth as fine china?  I do.  What is a complete set?  Everybody’s set is unique and different.  In some situations the perfect set could be 32, in other situations 24. How about a perfect 27?  Is it possible to have a  perfect set with a odd number?  I think it’s possible. Unfortunately, time can go by so fast. As we all know, time can be hard on the fine porcelain.  Every once in a while, even though all precautions have been taken to maintain and protect,  something goes awry. A few years back we had a patient in that very situation: The patient had a perfectly beautiful set of 28 teeth. Unfortunately, one had to … Continue reading →

Our young patient gets a good check up at his dental cleaning.

Good news at the dental office.

This morning a young boy came in to have his biannual teeth cleaning and fluoride, and this is what we saw. The baby tooth had split in half, with the permanent tooth pushing its way through. Even though the baby tooth was split in two, the patient was not having any discomfort. The remnants of the baby tooth were very loose. The hygienist joked “If he were to sneeze the pieces could come flying out.” Seasons of Smiles Dental recommendations? Go chew on some carrots, or maybe some hard crunchy bread, anything that will encourage the pieces to come out.  Everything else looked healthy! Great checkup! This is the patient’s last baby tooth, as he will be turning 13 this … Continue reading →

Dentures – Frequently Asked Questions FAQ – Conclusion

Video thumbnail for youtube video Dentures - Frequently Asked Questions FAQ - Seasons of Smiles Dental

  If you or a loved one has questions regarding dentures and would like to meet with us, we can be reached at (207) 236-4740. We would love to help you have the best possible denture possible. Where do we go from here? Where do we go from here?  It would be fun to do another denture for a patient for Donated Dental Services.  What can we do to make a better denture?  What can we do that is “New and and Improved“? Dentures with Color Characterization One of my pet peeves with dentures is the pink acrylic. We like dentures that look natural. It’s a dead giveaway to a denture when someone smiles widely and you can see the … Continue reading →

Dentures FAQ – The First Visit

X-Rays showing teeth #'s 22,27.

This is our first visit with Mike, and in the back of my mind I knew that I wanted to do a write up, a step-by-step journal with pictures on what it takes to make a new set of dentures. There are so many concerns and anxieties expressed about dentures, and we’ve been looking for a way to share the process; dispel the fears and anxieties; and answer the many questions about dentures. But if we are to share this with our Internet friends, I wanted to work with an ideal denture candidate. What, you might ask, makes an ideal denture candidate? Every case is a bit different. If you would like to meet with us to discuss your options, … Continue reading →

Dentures FAQ – The Second Visit

Dr. Medina and Anastasia at work removing extracting teeth #'s 22 and 27.

We have set the photos up as a slide show, if you press on the photo, you can proceed slide by slide and read the captions to get an idea what we did for the day. Day 2 – This is a busy visit! We administer nitrous oxide to Mike so we can extract two teeth and take master impressions that will lead to his new smile. It is a few weeks before Christmas and we are wondering if we can get this project done before the holiday. This second visit is a long one; we will break it up into three parts. In the first part, Dara lends a hand as we take photo records. Dara takes photo records … Continue reading →

Dentures FAQ – The Third Visit

We are done for the day! We will be sending this off to Eliason Dental Lab. Thank you, Julie Skelton, for all your help; Eliason Dental Lab has offered to do this work for us at no charge. They can be reached at Eliason Dental Lab, 190 Riverside St., Unit 6B. Portland, ME 04103 (207) 774-7881

We have set the photos up as a slide show, if you press on the photo, you can proceed slide by slide and read the captions to get an idea what we did for the day. In today’s visit, the first thing we do is check to see how Mike is doing. The extraction sites are healing nicely. I’m happy for Mike: he will never have another tooth ache, ever again. Remold, Reshape, Recontour The lab has sent us upper and lower wax rims for today’s visit. The wax rims are a starting point: we take the wax rims and remold, reshape, recontour them to the shape we think would be ideal for Mike’s mouth. Also in this visit, we … Continue reading →

Dentures FAQ – The Fourth Visit

We visually check to see how the denture looks.

We have set the photos up as a slide show, if you press on the photo, you can proceed slide by slide and read the captions to get an idea what we did for the day. On the last visit, we took the wax rims and sent them off to Eliason Dental Lab in Portland, Maine.   They took the wax rims and replaced the wax with the teeth we custom selected for Mike’s new smile.  These dentures may look real but only the teeth are real, everything else is wax. I have heard stories of patients taking their wax dentures home to show their families and drinking hot coffee! As you can imagine, the wax melts — a dental … Continue reading →

Dentures FAQ – The Fifth Visit

. . and a wonderful laugh!

We have set the photos up as a slide show, if you press on the photo, you can proceed slide by slide and read the captions to get an idea what we did for the day. The final dentures are back from Eliason Dental Lab and boy, do they look great! The dentures go in a little tight. Mike liked the idea of leaving them tight and I agreed, knowing that I would see him in 24 hours for the routine denture check, when we could start adjusting out the sore spots. Unfortunately, because of transportation issues we were not aware of, Mike was not be able to come in for another week. I think it was a long sore week … Continue reading →

When Crest Whitestrips are a mistake.

Central incisor showing translucency.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Crest products. My personal favorite toothpaste is Crest ProHealth, the regular version. I just love the taste.  I’m also a big fan of their ProHealth mouth rinse. In the office we have Listerine mouth rinse and Crest ProHealth mouthrinse.  When I’ve had onion or garlic for lunch, and I want to blister my breath with something strong, I will reach for the Listerine.  But in general, I prefer Crest’s ProHealth mouth rinse.  It has a much nicer flavor. So what about Whitestrips? The first time I saw Crest Whitestrips was at Yankee Dental a few years back, a yearly Dental Convention that is held in Boston. I just had a bad feeling … Continue reading →

How can a fixed bridge replace a missing tooth?

Chewing surface of a bridge

I just love the idea of family heirlooms. Heirlooms that are passed down from generation to generation. My wife has her grandmothers china from the 1920s, and on special occasions, we set the table. A beautiful white set, with a green leafy theme, and gold trim around the rim. We also have a china set that we purchased when we were married.  Four kids and 30 plus years later, as you can imagine, we have a few bowls and cups that have broken, and are missing.  A few years back I remember scouring the internet and searching eBay.  It was so satisfying, whenever I could find a match, that we could purchase to add to our set. Do you have a … Continue reading →

I can’t afford two new crowns

The mesial buccal cusp is broken off tooth #14.

This summer we had a patient call our office.  She asked if she could set up an appointment to have her tooth looked at.  She noticed that a piece of her tooth was missing, and she didn’t know if a piece of the tooth had broken off, or a piece of the filling was gone. After looking at the tooth, The filling looks pretty much intact. The way I see it, a piece of the tooth broke off. If you look closely at the tooth you can see other cracks. The tooth does have the potential of more pieces breaking off. The patient wasn’t having any discomfort or pain, and so, for the sake of completeness, we asked if we … Continue reading →

Tooth Fillings – Before/After Photos Herculite

Before photo - Tooth #9 with decay.

Have you ever been at a fast food counter, and noticed that the sales clerk has black decay in between her teeth?  I know I have.  I have never handed them my business card, but I have been tempted, because these can be so easy to repair when they are caught early.  Recently we did a case where a patient came in for a routine cleaning and we noticed decay on her front tooth. Here are the before and after photos of her front tooth. In this case we were able to remove all the decay, gaining access from the back side of the tooth we were able to leave all the enamel on the front side of the tooth intact.  The … Continue reading →

IPS e.max Before/After photos.

This is an "after" photo showing how beautiful a restored tooth looks like with e.max.

New, better and improved!!!   Traditionally when a crown was needed where aesthetics and strength were a concern, porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crowns were our #1 choice.  The strength came from the metal, and the porcelain stacked on top of the metal gave the crown it’s tooth color.  PFM crowns get their strength from the underlying metal.  Unfortunately, as the crown ages, the metal can show, or on a bright sunny day, when the light hits the tooth, you can see the difference.   Have you ever noticed a tooth that has a “grey line” along the gum line?  That may be the metal showing through underneath the porcelain. IPS e.max Crowns We now have another option to offer … Continue reading →

Sealants – An ounce of prevention is . . .

After photo - filling on #19, sealant on #20.

It’s a beautiful Thursday morning, the sun is out. And I am looking at a set of the most BEAUTIFUL teeth. We are scheduled to place sealants on all his back teeth, and one small filling. A sealant is placed over the grooves to seal out decay. A well placed sealant will prevent teeth from getting cavities in the grooves. All of a sudden the thought hits me, I need to share this teachable moment, I can take some before and after pictures. Before and After photos … Continue reading →

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