You may have heard this word being thrown around lately: Xylitol, the not-so-new product that is starting to pick up steam in the health and dental field (if you haven’t heard about it, don’t worry, you are about to).
But what is Xylitol? Xylitol is a naturally occurring carbohydrate that looks and tastes like regular table sugar without its harmful side effects. Xylitol has fewer calories and doesn’t raise blood sugar levels.
Most importantly though, how does this relate to your dental health? After 40 years of studies, it has been proven that Xylitol helps prevent the growth of bacteria. It also helps reduce acidity levels in your mouth, which are directly related to tooth decay.
I believe that Xylitol is beneficial in small amounts for almost everyone, but I most strongly recommend it for those that are at higher risk for dental cavities. It can also be beneficial for those who have dry mouths, high sugar/acidic diets, or even children.
Xylitol is easily added to daily routines, making the 5-7 gram per day “dosage” simple to achieve. With many existing products such as: mints, gum, mouthwash, toothpaste and cooking substitution, this helpful carbohydrate is easy to find.
Xylitol is a SMALL addition to your routine that can make a BIG difference!
Please let me know if you would like to know more about Xylitol.
There are many different kinds of crowns to choose from.
For this blog post, I would like to talk about EMAX crowns/veneers. EMAX is a brand name from Ivoclar Vivadent, not a specific restoration. It's made out of lithium disilicate and zirconium oxide (Zn).
-How it is made-
EMAX comes in small blocks for a conventional wax & press technique and is also available in blue block(pre-sintered) for CAD-CAM. EMAX can be waxed and pressed, so you will be able gain accurate fit and increased strength (400MPA). EMAX also can be designed with CAD and milled in the blue block stage. Through this method, there will be a very good fit, but slightly weaker strength (360MPA) compared to the wax & press technique.
EMAX is considered to be the best match for natural teeth because of its transparency. Lately, Zirconia has an improved opaque appearance with high translucency. In my opinion, however, EMAX offers the best combinations of translucency, opacity, chroma, hue, and value by far.
Because chemical bonding can be done with an EMAX restoration, conservative veneers (less tooth is adjustments) can be made out of EMAX. Back in the old days, feldspathic veneers made out of porcelain powder were the only option for ceramic veneers. They looked very nice, but were technically hard to fabricate and were easily chipped. In the 1980's, the first pressable ceramic with leucite created 'Empress' (a brand name). It was introduced for veneers that are now stronger and easier to fabricate. Nowadays, I have observed that EMAX generally provides patients with the strongest, bondable veneers.
I do not believe that 400MPA is enough for some patients in certain situations. Due to this limited strength, I would not recommend that bridges (which connect the space between two teeth) be made in EMAX at this time.
The materials in dentistry are always changing at a rapid pace. I remember when porcelain crowns (restorations without a metal core) were being introduced into dentistry 25+ years ago along with many claims. Some of these claims came true, but a lot of them did not work as advertised. For the past 10+ years now, in my opinion, EMAX crowns have provided an excellent service for many of my patients with its natural looks and fracture resiliency, especially in the anterior of the mouth.
Below are two examples of the material in use, demonstrating the possible aesthetic improvements.
-Braeside Dental Center
Going to the dentist and getting a filling is a common experience for most of us, but not all of these experiences are the same.
When bacteria (that are ever present in our mouths) are allowed to rest, undisturbed, against the surface of our teeth, their metabolic byproducts (their poop!) can start to damage and weaken our teeth, more specifically, the enamel and dentin. The excavation, or removal, of the damaged tooth structure produces a hole (a cavity) in the tooth that now needs to be returned to its original form and function.
Now, I can choose from several materials to fill the hole we created. One of the traditional materials used is dental amalgam. These are your typical silver or metal fillings and are compromised of 50% mercury (!) and 50% other metals (typically silver, copper, tin, etc., but each product has their own specific combination). While the material is low cost, durable, and easy to place, it has a high mercury content which can be worrisome. In addition, dental amalgam is not bonded to the tooth, it is simply mechanically retained in the tooth. (Imagine putting your hand in the cookie jar, grabbing the cookie, and then not being able to get your hand out!!). The “hole” made in the tooth is made wider in its deepest portion and narrower at the top so that when the material sets, it is “locked” into the tooth.
This is good (the filling stays in), but it also has the drawback of making the tooth weaker overall. The bigger the filling, the weaker the tooth!
Another alternative, and the one most commonly used on a daily basis at the clinic to restore teeth directly, is a white, composite material. Basically a plastic material compromised of different sized particles of resin (or plastic) found together in a mixture of other smaller particles. Not only can the material be matched to your tooth colour, but the science of the insertion into the hole allows us to bond (on stick!) the filling to the tooth. Wow! This not only allows us to make a smaller hole, but it also reduces the amount of microleakage the filling will suffer over time.
All dental materials “leak”. From the moment we put any material in the tooth, the bacteria in your mouth are trying to get back in! Microleakage has been studied right alongside all the other risks and benefits of a given material prior to entering your mouth. These white, composite fillings not only allow us to be more conservative with the removal of tooth structure, but also enable us to seal the tooth as best we can. It is a great material that continues to improve (I think we’re up to the 9th generation of bonding materials) and has applications for 8-80 year olds from the repair of “baby teeth” to the “at risk” tooth surfaces of seniors.
The name says it all! Braeside Dental Centre is in the heart of the family community of Braeside.
Our practice has been the dental home of so many families within the Braeside Community. As families grow and children establish themselves in their own homes, we have been proud to have the next generations make us their dental home. It does not seem to matter whether these families remain in Braeside or move to other areas of the city. Some families will even travel to Braeside from rural areas or neighbouring cities. This community makes it easy because it is conveniently situated in the South West quadrant of Calgary. There is direct and easy access to the main arteries of the city, making the commute from anywhere relatively quick and efficient.
It is always fabulous to have new and returning patients share how they found us. An even greater pleasure is when a proud grandparent will come in simply to share pictures of the newborn members of their own family. Personally, I look forward to seeing our “Happy Visit” patients grow and walk through our doors on their own.
Braeside Dental prides itself on being a family practice. One of the things I love most about working here is seeing children as young as 12-36 months for their first visit. We refer to a child’s first appointment as the “happy visit”, an important moment that begins the relationship between child and dentist that lasts for the rest of their lives. Consequently, we want their first visit to be as comfortable and non-threatening as possible, ensuring a great start for their future.
The assistant and doctor will introduce themselves at the first appointment. It’s always a joy to see new smiles and faces. The dental chair is so big we usually have the little one sit on Mom or Dad’s lap. It’s always fun to give them both a little ride in the chair, showing them how the chair goes up and down. We also show them the mouth mirror and tooth counter, taking away some of the unknown. Since we always wear gloves and masks in the operatory, we make sure to explain the reasoning behind it (limit the spread of germs), and that the child has already been introduced to us. This way, the whole experience is less frightening and a lot more comfortable. Televisions are also a good distraction, for both the young and old. I must say that Tree House is usually a big hit.
The dental office can be a confusing place for the little ones. There is always something going on and there are lots of new sights and sounds. We try to make it fun. The child will usually lie on Mom or Dad’s lap, head facing the doctor. Depending how the visit is going, the dentist will take a look in the mouth, taking note of the teeth and soft tissue state.
This is also a very important appointment for Mom and Dad. If you have any questions about your child’s teeth, don’t be afraid to ask. When the happy visit is completed, we will have a goodie bag ready with a toothbrush and floss. If they have been a good patient, they also get to pick a prize. Who doesn’t like the sound of that? We want everyone to leave with a smile on their face.
Important dental care tips for your toddler: