My Blog

Posts for: January, 2017

By Brenna Hamrick-Stotts, DDS, Inc.
January 19, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Thanks to the introduction of same day dental crowns, it's easier than ever to improve your smile. Dr. Brenna Hamrick Stotts, your dental crownsRedlands, CA, dentist, shares several advantages of the crowns.

The perfect solution for busy people

You've probably got better things to do than hanging around the dentist's office. With same day crowns, you no longer need to schedule two dental visits to receive a crown. If you've had a crown in the past, you know that the process used to involve two steps. During the first visit, your Redlands dentist filed your tooth, sent an impression of your mouth to a dental laboratory and created a temporary crown for you. Two or three weeks later, the lab sent the new crown to your dentist, and you returned to the office to receive your permanent crown. When you choose a same-day crown, you'll only need to visit the dentist once because your crown will be created in the office while you wait.

Forget about temporary crowns

Temporary crowns might just be the most inconvenient part of the crown process. Since hard or sticky foods can damage or loosen your temporary crown, it's best to avoid crusty bread, pizza, steak and many other of your favorite foods. Those two or weeks can seem very long when you have to think about every bite you take. Same day crowns eliminate the need for temporary crowns, making your life much easier.

Same day crowns offer high-tech benefits

Traditional crowns are made from impressions of your mouth made with a putty-like material. No putty is needed with you choose a same-day crown, thanks to computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM). Your dentist simply applies reflective powder to your teeth, then scans them with a wand. The wand generates a 3D digital image of your teeth, which she uses to create your crown. After she finishes the final step, the design is sent to a milling machine, which turns a block of ceramic into the perfect crown in just about five minutes. You'll leave the office with a brand new crown that blends in seamlessly with the rest of your smile.

Same day crowns offer all of the advantages of traditional crowns without the wait or mess. Call Dr. Hamrick Stotts, your Redlands, CA, dentist, at (909) 793-9711 to schedule an appointment for your new crown.

By Brenna Hamrick-Stotts, DDS, Inc.
January 18, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   veneers  

What's an actor's most important feature? According to Vivica A. Fox, whose most recent big-screen role was in Independence Day: Resurgence, it's what you see right up front.

"On screen, your smile and your eyes are the most inviting things that bring the audience in" she said. "Especially if you play the hot chick."

But like lots of people, Vivica reached a point where she felt her smile needed a little help in order to look its best. That's when she turned to a popular cosmetic dental treatment.

"I got veneers years ago," Ms. Fox told Dear Doctor magazine in a recent interview, "just because I had some gapping that probably only I noticed."

What exactly are dental veneers? Essentially, they are thin shells of lustrous porcelain that are permanently attached to the front surfaces of the teeth. Tough, lifelike and stain-resistant, they can cover up a number of defects in your smile — including stains, chips, cracks, and even minor spacing irregularities like the ones Vivica had.

Veneers have become the treatment of choice for Hollywood celebs — and lots of regular folks too — for many reasons. Unlike some treatments that can take many months, it takes just a few appointments to have veneers placed on your teeth. Because they are custom made just for you, they allow you to decide how bright you want your smile to be: anywhere from a natural pearly hue to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Best of all, they are easy to maintain, and can last for many years with only routine care.

To place traditional veneers, it's necessary to prepare the tooth by removing a small amount (a millimeter or two) of its enamel surface. This keeps it from feeling too big — but it also means the treatment can't be reversed, so once you get veneers, you'll always have them. In certain situations, "no-prep" or minimal-prep veneers, which require little or no removal of tooth enamel, may be an option for some people.

Veneers aren't the only way to create a better smile: Teeth whitening, crowns or orthodontic work may also be an alternative. But for many, veneers are the preferred option. What does Vivica think of hers?

"I love my veneers!" she declared, noting that they have held up well for over a decade.

For more information about veneers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Brenna Hamrick-Stotts, DDS, Inc.
January 03, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Have you heard about dental sealants? These preventive treatments have been available for many decades, and more and more children are taking advantage of them. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that around 30% of kids from 6 to 11 years of age have had sealants applied to their molars (back teeth). Sealants are designed to reduce the incidence of cavities by filling in or eliminating the pits or crevices found in all molars, where decay-causing bacteria can hide and your brush can't reach. But do they really work?

Now, the research is in, and the answer is clear — YES!

Two major studies, each of which reviewed the results of thousands of patients over several years, recently came to the same conclusion: Dental sealants are effective at reducing cavities, and their benefits can last for four years (or more) after application. In general, the studies showed that kids who didn't get sealants were twice, three times, or even more likely to get cavities, compared to kids treated with sealants.

Sealants themselves are protective coatings made of plastic resins or glass-like materials. They are applied in liquid form, and then hardened by a special light. When “painted on” to the chewing surface of a molar, sealants fill in the tiny crevices, or “pits and fissures,” that are found there. Uneven tooth surfaces form a perfect breeding ground for the bacteria that cause tooth decay; worse yet, the bristles of a tooth brush can't usually reach them. That's what makes these areas highly susceptible to tooth decay.

Applying sealants is a quick and painless procedure that doesn't require any numbing shots or drilling. Many kids start getting sealants when the first permanent molars come in, around age 5 to 7; they may have more sealant treatments when additional molars emerge, between the ages of 11 and 14.

Sealants are recommended by the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and have only a modest cost per tooth. On the other hand, having a cavity filled generally costs substantially more, and may result in more trouble (and expense) down the line — so sealants can make sense economically, as well as preventively. This is especially true for those at high risk for tooth decay.

If you have questions about dental sealants, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sealants for Children,” and “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children.”