Medical – dental complications

By Carol | May 28, 2009

I am a patient of yours and my mother just moved here from my home town in northern Minnesota to be in an assisted care facility closer to me.  She has a hard time getting around and has some serious health problems.  Can she come in as a patient to your dental office?

Paul

Dear Paul,

Thank you for thinking of me as a dentist for your mother.  Although I have many patients with very complex dental issues, I usually refer people to another dental facility when they have the facilities to take care of patients with complex medical issues. 

I would recommend The University of Minnesota Physicians Dental Clinic.  They are located on the Riverside Campus where an inpatient dental hospital service is available if needed.  Their focus is on special needs medical patients.  And your mother would be in good hands.

Call 612-659-8689 or http://www.umphysicians.umn.edu. for more information.

Doctor  Carol

Dental Stem Cells

By Carol | May 22, 2009

Dear Dr. Carol,

I have been hearing about dental stem cells over the past couple of years.  How close are we to growing new teeth in people’s mouth?

George

Dear George,

Currently there are no human trials taking place with the postnatal cells and there are no clinical applications available.  Right now, cells from dental pulp in baby or wisdom teeth have the ability to make dentin and pulp.  There may be other uses in the future, but those advances in science have not yet been made.

For your information, the inside of the tooth where the nerves and blood vessels are is called the pulp.  The middle part of the tooth is called the dentin, and the outside part above the gum line, is called the enamel. 

For more information about stem cells, visit The Web page of the National Institutes of Health that features stem cell information: http://stemcells.nih.gov/info.

Dr. Carol

Plastic Water Bottles

By Carol | May 22, 2009

Dear Dr. Carol,

I was in your office recently for my first appointment, and at your receptionist offered me one of your plastic water bottles to take home after my appointment.  I am wondering if the plastic bottle is safe.

Betty

Dear Betty,

According to the JAMA, Journal of American Medical Association, September 16, 2008,

The BAD PLASTIC numbers are 3, 6, and 7.

The GOOD PLASTIC numbers are1, 2, 4, and 5.

Our bottles are labeled #1   Yes, the good plastic.

Dr. Carol

Over the Counter Whitening Strips

By Carol | May 21, 2009

Dear Doctor Carol, 

I am only in my forty’s, but my teeth look so old compared to many of my friends who are the same age.  I bought some over the counter whitening strips, but it didn’t seem to help.  What can I do?  

 Jeannie

 Doctor Carol’s response,

 Dear Jeannie,

     Although I have not met you or have examined your teeth, I have some general recommendations. After reading my response, you are welcome to schedule a no charge consultation with me to discuss your specific concerns.

     This is a common problem for many people who discover that their teeth have aged and they don’t know why, and they don’t know what to do about it.

     Let discuss the color of your teeth first.  Since the teeth whitening procedure didn’t work, there is a good chance that the laser teeth whitening that I offer at my office won’t work either. Reasons why the teeth won’t respond are:

  • Large white fillings that have gotten dark over the years cannot be whitened, they need to be replaced.
  • Teeth that have had more wear on the teeth than normal, such as grinding the teeth or a bad bite will respond by getting dark and discolored because the outside covering of the tooth becomes permanently damaged. Many times veneers are needed to recreate the original color and shine to your teeth.

     Another problem may be the shape of your teeth.  The shape of your teeth may be altered if you grind your teeth at night or have teeth that don’t fit together correctly. Your teeth may become prematurely shorter or uneven looking…. creating an older look.

     And finally, the position of your teeth may have changed.  Even if you have had braces as a child, your teeth can shift positions creating an unevenness which looks unattractive.

     Since you have noticed that your teeth look old, it also may be that they are getting weaker increasing the risk of severely chipping a tooth or loosing a tooth.  I  would recommend you come in for a consultation appointment to discuss setting up a comprehensive exam to evaluate the esthetics, function, and health of your teeth.

Dr. Carol

Why do I have Bleeding Gums?

By Carol | March 26, 2009

Bleeding gums may be caused by poor brushing and flossing………………oh no not that reason again and again!

Help for Aging Teeth

By Carol | March 11, 2009

Does your mouth give away your age?

When you think about aging, do you worry about your teeth and gums? After all, almost nothing gives away your age as much as ‘old’ looking teeth and receding gums.

Signs of ‘old’ teeth and gums:

  • Teeth that have yellow or brown stains?
  • Teeth that have old discolored fillings?
  • Teeth that have crowns that don’t match the rest of your teeth?
  • Crooked teeth?
  • Teeth that have gaps between your teeth?
  • Short teeth with flat ends.
  • Gums that are shinny and red?
  • Gums that are receding and don’t cover the teeth like they use to?
  • Gums that bleed when you brush them?

At Cross DentalCare we can help you regain your more youthful smile with techniques that restore the natural color and shape of your teeth.

Some techniques can be done in one appointment, such as teeth whitening and tooth contouring to subtract years from your teeth.

Other techniques are available to save your teeth if they are badly broken down.

All porcelain crowns, white fillings, porcelain veneers, composite bonding, and implants are other techniques to give you a younger smile.

Techniques to regain normal gums are available through treatment at Cross Dental and at periodontic specialists.