Monday, January 31, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Dr. Josh Berd, San Francisco’s Cosmetic Dentist discusses the facts and fiction surrounding the amalgam filling toxicity debate.
The issue of safety of dental amalgam fillings has been a controversial topic in the news for quite some time. I’d like to shed some light on this heated debate and address common questions and misconceptions.
What is dental amalgam, and why does it contain mercury?
Dental amalgam is a material used to fill cavities in teeth broken down by bacterial decay. Amalgam is an alloy of silver, copper, tin, zinc and mercury. Mercury’s unique properties (it is the only metal that is liquid at room temp) allow it to bind the other metal particles to form a strong and durable solid filling.
Is dental amalgam toxic to the human body?
The California Dental Association states that dental amalgam ‘shows no toxicity and causes no adverse health reactions.’ Amalgam fillings are known to emit mercury vapor, although the amounts fall well within levels considered safe by the FDA.
Is it true that some illnesses or allergies can be caused/ associated with dental amalgam fillings?
The FDA, World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention have all reviewed the best available scientific evidence and determined that dental amalgam fillings are safe. This well-studied area has no connection to the development of any known neurologic or systemic disorders. People with known allergies or sensitivity to metals such silver, copper, tin or mercury should not get amalgam fillings. If you are allergic, dental amalgam might cause oral lesions or other contact reactions.
Can I have old dental amalgams safely removed/replaced?
The FDA does not recommend replacing amalgam fillings strictly for cosmetic reasons. Removing old fillings may result in loss of healthy tooth structure and trauma to the tooth’s pulp. However, dental amalgam can be safely removed by a dentist using a technique that isolates the offending tooth from the oral cavity.
I don’t like the dark color of dental amalgam, what are my other options?
A great alternative is a composite resin filling. This ‘tooth-colored’, body-friendly type of special plastic can be customized to match the shade of your natural tooth. It blends in with surrounding teeth and requires minimal removal of healthy tooth structure. Advancements in dental materials allow dentists to place composite resin fillings that are increasingly more durable and aesthetic.
Know that you have a better understanding of dental amalgam; you have the power to choose. Remember, your choice needs to be based on facts, and also take your cosmetic issues into consideration. It is important to have the right dentist who will explain your options and listen to your concerns.
Sources: FDA, ADA, CDA. Image: AACD
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Monday, January 3, 2011
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Dr. Josh Berd, San Francisco’s Cosmetic Dentist talks about using porcelain veneers, his own artistic eye and a personalized approach to dental care to transform a smile.
Have you ever seen a business woman walking to her penthouse office downtown in a perfectly fitted Dior suit, Louboutin shoes, Cartier watch…and gapped teeth? This woman puts immense emphasis on looks, but overlooks the one thing people see first – her teeth! It has been noted that in today’s culture, the appearance of your teeth and oral hygiene indicate your overall health, self-esteem and even status.
In the world of dentistry however, Veneers are mostly done for purely cosmetic reasons – they are an elective treatment. To most people that ask me if they need veneers, as a doctor, my answer is “No.” The reason for veneers is that you yourself don’t like how things look. In this particular case, the woman was unhappy with the diastima (large gap) between her central teeth and wished to have Veneers placed. Let me take you through the Four Step process…
First Dental Visit: Consultation
This is actually the longest of the four visits; it is the consultation that may require the most time since addressing the patient’s concerns and wishes are highly personalized. This visit also includes taking impressions, radiographic images and photos of the teeth to analyze the health and appearance of the smile. Next, I use the information gathered to work closely with a professional lab technician designing Veneers with the appropriate shape, size and color.
Second Dental Visit: Temporary Veneers Fitted
The patient’s teeth are minimally shaped and temporary Veneers are fitted. This step allows for adjustments to be made and for the patient to ‘test drive’ their new smile. Any revisions of the temp Veneers are incorporated into creating the final Veneers.
Third Dental Visit: Permanent Veneers Fitted
During this exciting visit, the final Veneers are placed and the patient walks out with a new smile.
Fourth Dental Visit: Follow-up
This appointment is for the finishing touches, including slight re-contouring, adjustments in bite, and photos of the brand new smile.
Feel free to contact Dr. Berd with questions regarding this procedure. www.joshthedentist.com