A Dental Approach To Stem Cells

Nov 5th, 2017
Easton Dentists Dec 5th, 2017

Researchers at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas have developed a new method for extracting the pulp from the roots of teeth. This new method allows for the harvest of four times as many stem cells as compared to other pulp extraction methods.

Stem cells may be the key to developing new, more effective therapies and treatments for many chronic and terminal diseases. Stem cells can be extracted from nearly any living tissue, but gathering enough to work with and keeping them alive until they are needed often poses a serious challenge for researchers. One promising source of stem cells is the pulp of extracted teeth. When healthy teeth are extracted, such as during wisdom tooth surgery or orthodontic treatment, they contain viable pulp from which stem cells can be extracted.

The pulp of a tooth is home to two important types of stem cells. The first, called pluripotent stem cells, can become any cell within the organism from which they are extracted. The second kind, called multipotent stem cells, can become a specific type of cell within the organism from which they are extracted. These stem cells can, theoretically, be stored and used later in the life of the person to whom the tooth belongs if this person develops an illness that stem cells can cure. Currently, however, we are unsure how long-term storage might affect these cells.

As the researchers began their attempts to extract stem cells from the pulp of teeth, they found that their methods for reaching the pulp resulted in the destruction of many viable stem cells. So, they invented a device called the “Tooth Cracker 5000.” This device allows for the clean split of a tooth and, consequently, for the preservation of most of the pulp’s stem cells.

The researcher’s new-found ability to harvest comparatively large quantities of stem cells from the pulp of teeth offers a hopeful step toward future medical innovations and the development of life-saving cures.

The First Dentist

Nov 5th, 2017
Easton Dentists Dec 5th, 2017

Dentistry has been practiced for at least 9,000 years and tooth extraction and remedies for toothaches have likely been around in some form for much longer. The first dentist whose name we know is Hesi-Re. He lived during the Third dynasty of Egypt sometime around 1600 B.C. In recovered documents, he is referred to as “Chief of Dentists and Physicians” and “Doctor of the Tooth.” He is recognized as the first person to discover periodontal disease.

Even before Hesi-Re, however, the practice of dentistry was well under way. The earliest evidence of dentistry has been found in present-day Pakistan. The evidence shows that members of the Indus River Valley Civilization cured dental issues with the use of bow drills. Essentially, the bow drill was the ancient, hand-powered antecedent of today’s dental drills. These drills predate the invention of anesthesia, which means treatment with them would have been very painful.

By about 4,500 B.C., fillings were being used. The oldest evidence of the use of dental fillings was found in present-day Slovenia and was found to be about 6,500 years old. It is possible that fillings of one sort or another were used before this time, but evidence has yet to be discovered. The filling that was found was made of beeswax and was packed into a tooth with a deep cavity. This beeswax filling was likely effective in reducing the pain and swelling that the cavity caused.

In the dark ages, advances in dentistry, as in many other fields, were lost. Dentistry was, for a time, no longer considered a unique practice and dental work was performed in large part by barbers and, sometimes, medical doctors. Barbers primarily focused on extracting teeth.

In 1723, modern dentistry was born with the publication of Pierre Fauchard’s The Surgeon Dentist: A Treatise on Teeth. This treatise offered a comprehensive approach to the care and treatment of teeth.

The dentists of today owe their knowledge to the innovators of 9,000 years ago and of yesterday, who did not settle with the status quo of dental care and who made today’s treatments possible. If you’re in need of today’s finest dental treatment, visit The Dental Center at Easton Town Center today.

Does Whitening Damage Teeth?

Oct 30th, 2017
Easton Dentists Nov 6th, 2017

The answer to this question is, unfortunately, not a simple “yes” or “no.” It’s more of an “it depends.” The reason this question is so hard to answer is two-fold. The first issue is that every person’s dental health is different and, as such, something that will damage one person’s teeth will not damage another’s. The other issue is that there is a huge range of whitening products available and each one will affect teeth differently.

Individuals with unhealthy teeth or gums are generally advised against whitening their teeth. There is no one, precise qualification for when a person’s oral health is or is not well-suited to whitening, but, generally speaking, individuals with extremely sensitive teeth, gum disease, worn enamel, acid erosion, cavities, or gum recession should not whiten their teeth unless they have been cleared by a trusted dentist. If you have these conditions, you should be advised that attempting to whiten your teeth may worsen your symptoms or, in the case of cavities, cause extreme pain. For these reasons, it is absolutely vital that you visit your dentist before deciding to undergo any sort of whitening treatment.

If your dentist has cleared you for whitening, you may be asking yourself which treatment is right for you. This is a decision that should be made under the guidance of your dentist. If, however, you opt for at-home treatments, there are a few in particular that you should be wary of. One such treatment is whitening strips that you apply to your own teeth. These strips are difficult to apply correctly and tend to whiten the flat parts of a user’s teeth well, while neglecting the rounded or crooked parts of their teeth. This can result in an unsightly contrast between the shades of different parts of your teeth. In addition, at-home remedies can cause real damage to your teeth. For example, sucking on lemons is a fairly common at-home solution for yellowing teeth. Although this seems like a natural and safe solution since, after all, you’re just sucking on a fruit; the acidity of the lemon can cause significant damage to the enamel of your teeth. In addition, even relatively safe whitening treatments can cause serious damage to your teeth if they are overused.

The safest way to avoid damaging your teeth when whitening them is to have a trusted dentist perform the whitening procedure for you. At The Dental Center at Easton, we’ll help you to get the white teeth you want as safely as possible.

Top Ten Dental Procedures Performed

Oct 29th, 2017
Easton Dentists Nov 6th, 2017

Dental health is intimately connected to full-body health. For this reason, it is absolutely vital that you visit your dentist regularly and get the dental treatments you need as soon as you need them. Ten of the most common dental treatments are explained below.

1. Braces
Braces correct the misalignment of teeth and bite-related problems by applying constant pressure to the teeth. Over time, this pressure acts to straighten the teeth and to correct bite issues. By correcting these issues with braces early, you can help to prevent more severe issues as you age.

2. Bonding
If you have a tooth that is decayed, cracked, chipped, or discolored, bonding may be the right treatment for you. Bonding can address all of these problems and is a fairly simple, non-invasive procedure. Essentially, a resin is painted over the affected tooth, and then firmly bonded to it with the use of a special hardening light.

3. Dental crowns
If you have a damaged or cracked tooth, a dental crown may be the right choice for you. The crown is placed over the visible part of the tooth above the gum line and can improve the appearance and strength of your damaged tooth.

4. Bridges
If you are missing one or more teeth, a bridge can be used to replace them. There are several different types of bridges that may be applied, but the most common is a fixed bridge.

5. Implants
Another possible solution for a missing tooth is an implant. These implants replace the missing tooth and are firmly held in place with a frame or metal post that is fixed into the jawbone

6. Fillings
If you are suffering from cavities, a filling can be used to restore your affected tooth where the cavity has compromised it.

7. Veneers
If you have decayed, chipped, or stained teeth, a strong, thin piece of resin or ceramic, known as a veneer, can be bonded to the tooth to refresh your smile.

8. Sealant
If your teeth are prone to decay, you may wish to have a sealant applied. Sealants bond to the teeth and form a protective coating over the enamel that acts as a barrier against the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Sealants are typically only used on the back teeth.

9. Root canals
If you are suffering from a diseased or abscessed tooth, you may require a root canal. During this procedure, the tooth is opened and cleaned to remove the infected tissue that is at its center.

10. Antibiotics
If your gums bleed when you brush your teeth, you may be suffering from gingivitis. Depending on the stage of the infection, a course of antibiotics may be the best option for restoring the health of your gums.
Only a dentist can determine what dental treatment is right for you. Visit The Dental Center at Easton to receive the care you need.

What Smiling Says About You and Why You Should Do More of It

Oct 23rd, 2017
Easton Dentists Oct 23rd, 2017

Smiles, Dentist Columbus, OH

You might’ve guessed that smiling can make you happier … but did you know it also helps you live longer?
It’s true!

Smiling also helps with attraction and happiness in more ways than you may have imagined. Looking for a romantic partner, or a new job this year? Then, get ready to flash those pearly whites!
More than a century ago, philosopher Charles Darwin and scientist William James suggested we might be able to adjust our mood simply by assuming the facial expressions representative of our goal. The first step to happiness is to start smiling!

Ever since Darwin and James proposed their theories, scientists have researched and discovered some interesting side effects to smiling along the way.

 

  • Smiling makes you more attractive: Research suggests we’re more attracted to people who smile than those who do not. While scientists aren’t exactly in agreement as to why this may be, there’s a perception that a smiling person makes others around them relaxed and happy. Basically, your smile is contagious … and therefore welcoming.
  • Smiles boost the immune system: It’s all about the neuropeptides, they say. Smiling (and also laughing) release these neuropeptides which help reduce stress. The result is less taxation on your immune system so you can remain healthy to combat any illness or stress that may come your way.
  • Smiling enhances your mood: Smile-science has a bit of a “chicken or the egg dilemma.” Does a smile make you happy, or do you smile because you’re happy? We can assume the latter is true, but what about the former? Recall those neuropeptides we mentioned earlier? Well, according to Psychology Today, when we smile, “feel good neurotransmitters dopamine, endorphins and serotonin are all released.” Your body relaxes, while your heart rate and blood pressure lower. This flood of feeling then places us in a better mood. Not bad for just crinkling up the corners of the mouth!

 

And, what about helping you live longer? Well, if the above three reasons aren’t enough for you, it seems, that, yes … smiling more can help you live a longer life. And the proof appears to be in the research. In 2010, a team of researchers aimed with an odd source material (The Sporting News Baseball Register), examined historical photographs of baseball players – tracking smile and life statistics throughout their lifetimes. From 1952 onward, these intrepid scientists crunched the numbers (and smiles), and discovered that, yes indeed, smiling did help these chaps live longer, healthier lives. They also remained married longer. Pretty neat, huh? You can check out a bit of the story on this fascinating study at Pacific Standard Magazine.

So, to wrap things up … we’ll leave you with this nugget of wisdom from cinema’s happiest of happy characters, Buddy, played by Will Ferrell in the feel-good Christmas film, Elf.
“I just like to smile! Smiling’s my favorite. Go forth and smile!”

Choosing the Dental Clinic that’s Right for You

Sep 29th, 2017
Easton Dentists Oct 9th, 2017

Whether it’s time for your yearly checkup and cleaning or you’re experiencing pain and discomfort and need to get to the dentist right away, you’ll want to choose the clinic that’s right for you. Choosing the right clinic involves many considerations, but we’ve outlined two of the most important considerations below.

1. What is the quality of the care you will receive?
This is an extremely important question to ask yourself when you are comparing dental clinics. Your dental health is intimately related to your overall health and you need to make certain that you will receive quality care. Of course, it can be difficult to compare the quality of care at dental practices you have never visited, but it’s worth the effort. We recommend asking friends and family members for recommendations. Or, you might want to check online comments and ratings to see how past patients feel about the clinics you are considering.

2. Is it covered by your insurance?
Dental procedures can be costly, so it’s important to choose a clinic that will accept your dental insurance. If you do not have dental insurance, you’ll need to compare prices and find the clinic that is most affordable for you.

At The Dental Clinic at Easton, our patients are always satisfied with their care and our prices. We work hard to earn glowing recommendations and to live up to the standards of our long-time patients.

3 New Dental Techniques That Could Spell the End of the Drill

Sep 29th, 2017
Easton Dentists Oct 9th, 2017

The drill might be on its way out. This is likely welcome news for anyone who has ever had to sit through a drilling at their dentist’s office because drilling can be painful and the sound can be extremely unsettling. Luckily for anyone who may be dreading their next visit to the dentists, three replacement techniques have recently been introduced, and a fourth should be available to the public soon.

The most common alternative to the drill is air abrasion. This involves shooting a stream of fine grit at the damaged tooth. The stream of grit works to remove the damaged portion of the tooth without causing the patient any pain and without the dreaded noise of the drill.
Another alternative to the drill is a gel called Carisolv. The gel is incredibly effective and easy to use. A dentist simply rubs in on a decaying tooth and waits. The gel acts to remove the decaying portion of the tooth without harming the healthy part.

Lasers are another possible alternative to drills. They are highly effective, but, unfortunately, their extraordinarily high cost will likely prevent them from becoming a common dentists’ tool, at least in the near future.

Air abrasion, Carisolv, and lasers are effective replacements for some of a drill’s duties, but cannot be used for fillings. That’s where the newest invention comes in. Electrically Accelerated and Enhanced Remineralisation (EAER) is a tooth-rebuilding technique that was developed at King’s College London and may spell the end for traditional fillings in coming years. The process involves the use of a small electric current to push minerals into the damaged area of a tooth that would normally require a filling. EAER is not yet available to the public, but it is extremely promising and dentists are hopeful that it will become widely available soon.

The dentists at The Dental Center at Easton are committed to providing our patients the most up to date, quality care possible and we’re hopeful that all of the aforementioned technological advances will soon be widely available to dental patients in the United States.

Porcelain or Gold?

Aug 30th, 2017
Easton Dentists Sep 11th, 2017

When you need a crown, your main focus is probably getting it as quickly as possible so you can get back to chewing and smiling with confidence. Before you rush into the procedure, however, you may want to consider which crown material is right for you. The choice usually comes down to porcelain or gold.

Gold is frequently the material of choice for crowns on the back teeth. Gold is a popular choice because it requires few alterations to the tooth it is placed over and is very compatible with teeth and mouths in general. Gold is, however, typically limited to the back teeth because, of course, it won’t blend in very well with the rest of your smile.

Porcelain tends to be the material of choice for more prominently displayed teeth because it will not stand out from the rest of your teeth. There are, however, some drawbacks to selecting porcelain over gold. For one, installing a porcelain crown requires removing a great deal of the original tooth. In addition, porcelain is much more likely to fracture than gold.

Choosing the right material for your crown can be difficult, but, at The Dental Center, we’ll help you make the choice that is best for your unique dental needs. In addition, we’ll be with you every step of the way and we guarantee you’ll be impressed with the ease and comfort of our crown-installation process.

The Dental Care Gap

Aug 30th, 2017
Easton Dentists Sep 11th, 2017

When they find themselves in severe pain, uninsured individuals tend to wind up in local emergency rooms. If their pain is caused by a broken bone or a ruptured appendix, they’ll receive the care they need immediately. On the other hand, if their pain is the result of rotting teeth and dental abscesses, they’ll receive little care. They may be given a pill for the pain or an antibiotic to fight the infection, but that’s it.

These individuals will then be sent home and forced to seek out their own dental care. Often, this means painstakingly saving money for months, taking loans they won’t be able to pay back, or waiting for an annual free clinic to come to town. As they postpone the care they cannot afford, these individuals are forced to live in agony for weeks, and even months, at a time. In addition, this wait can allow dental problems to worsen and can pose serious health risks.

Many people out there believe it is immoral to allow the poor to live in agony simply because they cannot afford dental procedures. Dental insurance should be provided for everyone who cannot realistically afford it on their own.

At The Dental Center, we’re committed to supporting increases in affordable dental insurance, but are still waiting for members of the government to step up to the plate. Instead, we’re taking action everyday to help uninsured individuals get the dental care they need. Through his work with the Dental OPTIONS program, Dr. Gilmer is actively improving the lives of the neediest members of his community.

 

 

Learn How To Get Child To Brush Teeth And Still Have Fun

Jul 20th, 2017
Easton Dentists Jul 20th, 2017

If you have a young child, there’s no doubt, getting them to brush their teeth can sometimes be quite challenging. The trick to getting little ones to brush their teeth regularly is to make it a fun activity. If you want to learn how to get child to brush teeth, you need to get into the mindset of the child. Standing there brushing their teeth can be boring to a small child, so turn it into a fun and exciting adventure.

You might be surprised, but many dentists recommend cleaning your child’s gums, before they even get their first tooth. Of course, it won’t be long before that first tooth appears, once that happens, it’s even more important to make sure you establish good dental hygiene habits. There are special brushes made just for babies and toddlers. For example, you can get a small brush with soft bristles, but you can also find a rubber tip that you put on the end of your finger; it has little silicone nubs that can gently clean baby’s teeth and gums. This is an easy way to make sure that you don’t accidentally poke your child when brushing their teeth.

You should also choose a toothpaste made for little ones. Remember, they won’t be able to rinse and spit out the toothpaste, so you’ll need something without fluoride. Of course, this baby/toddler toothpaste also tastes good; certainly, a benefit in getting the kids to brush.

Once your child is old enough to brush on their own, they should have a good idea how to do it; however, if they need a refresher, turn it into a game. One game many kids love is to pretend to look for hidden treasure, they open wide as you excitedly exclaim that you have found a unicorn or other fun treasure your child enjoys. As you discover each treasure the tooth brush goes in for a brushing. You can also sing songs, when a particular song is done, your child knows they are finished brushing.