My Blog

Posts for: March, 2016

By Brenna Hamrick-Stotts, DDS, Inc.
March 30, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: composite resins  

Restoring chipped, stained or decayed teeth with dental porcelain is a tried and true method that’s been used for decades. In recent years, though, restorations made with composite resin have become a popular alternative.

Made of a plastic-based matrix with added glass filler, composite resin can be molded and bonded to teeth to replace missing structure with color to match. While they can’t be used for every problem situation, they’re an efficient and economical way to transform your smile.

Here are 4 advantages for using composite resin to restore moderately defective teeth.

They require very little tooth preparation. Crowns, veneers and other porcelain restorations require removing some healthy tooth structure to accommodate them. With the development of stronger bonding materials, composite resins can restore even many large defects in teeth caused by decay or trauma with little structural removal and still remain durable.

Most composite resin restorations are “single-visit” procedures. Unlike porcelain restorations, applying composite resin doesn’t require a dental lab, a process that can take multiple visits. In most cases, a skilled dentist can apply them during a single visit.

They have excellent color matching capabilities. We usually think of teeth as one single shade of white — actually, a single tooth can have varying gradations of color from the root to the tip. As mentioned before, composite resins can be prepared to match those color shades precisely, so your restored teeth look natural and blend well with your other teeth.

Composite resins can be an effective temporary fix for young injured teeth. Because children’s teeth are still developing, permanent restorations for traumatized teeth aren’t usually advisable until they’ve fully matured. Composite resin can be used to restore a young tooth’s form and function until it’s ready for a permanent solution.

If you would like more information on restoring teeth with composite resin, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Artistic Repair of Front Teeth with Composite Resin.”

By Brenna Hamrick-Stotts, DDS, Inc.
March 15, 2016
Category: Oral Health

A woman as gorgeous and funny as Sofia Vergara surely planned to be a model and actress from the get-go, right? Wrong! Sofia’s first career choice actually was to be… a dentist! That’s right, the sexy star of TV’s Modern Family actually was only two semesters shy of finishing a dental degree in her native Columbia when she traded dental school for the small screen. Still, dental health remains a top priority for the actress and her son, Manolo.

“I’m obsessed,” she recently told People magazine. “My son thinks I’m crazy because I make him do a cleaning every three months. I try to bribe the dentist to make him to do it sooner!”

That’s what we call a healthy obsession (teeth-cleaning, not bribery). And while coming in for a professional cleaning every three months may not be necessary for everyone, some people — especially those who are particularly susceptible to gum disease — may benefit from professional cleanings on a three-month schedule. In fact, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to having professional teeth cleanings — but everyone needs this beneficial procedure on a regular basis.

Even if you are meticulous about your daily oral hygiene routine at home, there are plenty of reasons for regular checkups. They include:

  • Dental exam. Oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease are much easier — and less expensive — to treat in the earliest stages. You may not have symptoms of either disease early on, but we can spot the warning signs and take appropriate preventive or restorative measures.
  • Oral cancer screening. Oral cancer is not just a concern of the middle aged and elderly — young adults can be affected as well (even those who do not smoke). The survival rate for this deadly disease goes up tremendously if it is detected quickly, and an oral cancer screening is part of every routine dental visit.
  • Professional teeth cleaning. Calcified (hardened) dental plaque (tartar or calculus) can build up near the gum line over time — even if you brush and floss every day. These deposits can irritate your gums and create favorable conditions for tooth decay. You can’t remove tartar by flossing or brushing, but we can clear it away — and leave you with a bright, fresh-feeling smile!

So take a tip from Sofia Vergara, and don’t skimp on professional cleanings and checkups. If you want to know how often you should come in for routine dental checkups, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor articles “Dental Hygiene Visit” and “Dental Cleanings Using Ultrasonic Scalers.”

By Brenna Hamrick-Stotts, DDS, Inc.
March 03, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: laser dentistry  

Discover some of the advantages of choosing laser dentistry.

When people think of the reasons why they don’t like the dentist, many fear the sound and the pain associated with the dental drill. If laser dentistryyou’ve ever had a dental procedure that used a drill, perhaps it has you steering clear of your Redlands, CA dentist Dr. Brenna Hamrick-Stotts more than you should. But now, we offer a painless way to get the treatment you need without needing a dental drill. Find out more about laser dentistry and if it’s right for you.

What problems can laser dentistry treat?

It’s important to know that while laser dentistry can certainly handle a lot of dental issues, it isn’t right for all treatments. Laser dentistry in Redlands, CA can remove tooth decay, as well as bone or gum tissue, while leaving the areas surrounding it unaffected. Besides removing decay or disease gum tissue (to treat gum disease), it can also remove lesions for biopsies and can whiten teeth faster.

What are the pros of using a laser for your dental procedure?

When comparing our lasers to traditional drills you can expect,

  • Less pain and less need for anesthesia
  • To feel less anxiety and fear as you would if we were using a drill
  • Less bleeding and swelling after treatment
  • Less pain after your procedure, which can often reduce the need for pain medications
  • Using a precise laser rather than a regular dental drill conserves more of your tooth’s healthy structure
  • A reduced risk of hairline fractures in teeth with laser than with standard dental drills

Laser dentistry makes it easier and more convenient for patients to get healthier smiles without having to worry about the pain, heat and pressure that you might experience with a dental drill.

Want to know more about laser dentistry in Redlands, CA and how it can benefit your smile? Then it’s time you called Brenna Hamrick-Stotts, DDS, Inc. to protect your oral health for life.