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There is a common belief that e-cigarettes and vaping are less harmful and have less health risks than standard cigarettes and other tobacco use.
E-cigarettes use a cartridge to deliver nicotine. The cartridge contains dilutants, flavorings, and nicotine. A device heats the cartridge to produce an aerosol. The aerosol looks like a vapor or mist—hence the term vaping. The aerosol contains fine particles of toxic chemicals.
Various levels of nicotine are available. Some e-cigarette devices can have the nicotine equivalent of 1 pack of 20 cigarettes in one device. Why is nicotine such a concern?
- Nicotine is addictive
- Nicotine is known to cause cancer
- Nicotine reduces blood flow—if this happens in your gums, it will contribute to gum disease and recession of your gums. Because of the reduced blood flow it may seem that your gum disease has gotten better—but in reality, the reduced blood flow is also reducing the ability of your gums to heal and repair the damage that’s been caused
- Nicotine reduces saliva production. Without saliva to rinse away food particles and bacteria, you are more likely to develop dental cavities
- Nicotine fires up muscles, including those that contribute to bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding)
As far as dental cavities, the sweeter flavors of e-cigarette liquids (such as cotton candy or bubblegum) appear to contribute to dental cavity development and, as already mentioned above, reduced saliva flow also can cause dental cavities.
Early studies on the effects of vaping show:
- Changes to lungs
- Changes in DNA
- Damage to blood cells
- Increased risk of heart disease,
- Negative impact on immune system
Teens may begin using e-cigarettes because they think they are less harmful than conventional tobacco products or because they “look cool” but instead they may be getting addicted to the nicotine in addition to having many of the negative effects begin at a young age.
If you are already a smoker and are trying to quit, the e-cigarettes may have a temporary place in the quitting process by allowing you to slowly reduce the levels of nicotine, but you should ask your doctor about the quitting regimen before switching to e-cigarettes and try to adhere to the regimen you’re given.
*Note: Information in this article is not meant to replace the clinical judgement of your healthcare providers.
Many people call a tooth crown a cap. A crown (or cap) restores your tooth to its normal size and shape. It strengthens weak teeth by completely covering and surrounding them. Crowns can also be used to change the color of your teeth.
Crowns may be recommended for:
- Fractured teeth
- Cracked teeth
- Large filling on a tooth with little remaining tooth structure
- After root canal treatment
- For teeth with excessive wear from grinding or clenching
- Teeth with discoloration or uneven shape
- As a support for a cemented (fixed) bridge to fill in a gap
- To restore a dental implant
There are three types of crowns in use today.
- All metal crowns are often precious metals (gold, platinum etc.). They last a long time and are less damaging on your opposing teeth. They are usually metal (gold or silver) colored so some people don’t like their looks. Metals have also gotten very expensive so sometimes this type of crown is more expensive than other options.
- Porcelain Fused to Metal (or PFM) crowns: the metal offers strength while the porcelain provides cosmetics. (The porcelain is a tooth colored material.) If used in areas of thin gums (such as front teeth) there is often a grayish color at your gumline. There is also a chance that the porcelain can break off the metal—the metal usually remains to protect the tooth, but it does create a cosmetic issue in some locations.
- All ceramic crowns are made entirely of tooth colored materials. They blend well with your surrounding teeth and look the closest to your natural tooth enamel. They have been known to break under certain conditions and usually need to be done again if that happens.
Things to consider when choosing your crown type:
- Location of tooth in your mouth (front tooth or back tooth, do you see it when you smile?)
- Your bite and your dental habits
- Amount of tooth and gums that shows when you smile
- Color and shade of your tooth (and color and shade that you want)
- Your own personal preferences
- Your dentist’s recommendation
Once you’ve decided on a crown, your dentist prepares your tooth and takes an impression. Crowns are most often made at a dental laboratory though some offices may have a CAD/CAM system. The dental laboratory has more options available to it for material types whereas the CAD/CAM system usually works with only one type of material. In either case, your crown is custom-made to fit your prepared tooth and the way your teeth come together.
If your crown is being made at a dental laboratory, you will have a temporary crown placed on your prepared tooth to hold the space created by the preparation and to protect your tooth until the final restoration can be placed. This temporary should remain on your tooth until your dentist is ready to place the custom-made crown.
Most crowns last a long time, but they can decay around the edge where the tooth and crown meet (what we call the margin), so it is important to continue your brushing and flossing at home.
You can find out more about dental crowns here: Crowns & Bridgework
*Note: The information in this article is not intended to replace the clinical judgement of your healthcare providers.
Jennifer G. Robb, DMD is a general dentist who sees both adults and children.
You’re busy and you want to maximize what’s done at each appointment you have. But don’t fall for those claims that you’ll get dental implants in one visit. If you look at the fine print details, you’ll find that the steps to getting your dental implant are pretty much the same no matter where you go.
The first step is treatment planning. This involves diagnosing the condition of your mouth and teeth and developing a plan for treatment to overcome your dental problems. Any consultations with medical or dental personnel are part of this step. This step also involves dental x-rays, impressions, and other aids. Once a plan is developed, it should be discussed with you in detail so that you know what the plan is and are on board and committed to the treatment. This is not a step you want to hurry through. Planning is what sets the stage for long-term success! (Note: Often this step is when you will learn what the treatment will cost and determine how you will afford it. Depending on where you go, this step may be accomplished in one visit or in multiple visits.)
The second step is when your dental implant is placed. You will spend three (3) to six (6) months allowing the bone to heal and grow around the dental implant. You should receive regular monitoring visits during your healing. In some cases, you may have a temporary appliance of some sort. This appliance may be adjusted or relined during these monitoring visits.
The third step is when we start fine tuning how the implant and your jaw and/or other teeth fit together. More impressions may be taken to create your final appliance which can be a crown, fixed bridge, or removable appliance. This step often involves the help of a dental lab. Many times, you will be able to preview and approve your new teeth.
The final step is teaching you how to care for your dental implant(s) and placing you on a regular visit schedule to monitor your progress and check the implant and your restoration or appliance.
What those one (1) visit places don’t tell you is that you will have at least 2 visits with them before “the big day”. The first one being to evaluate you and present the treatment plan. The second visit is to get all the preliminaries done. This might include meeting the team that will be working on you, getting impressions, and getting measurements. It is at the third visit that you finally have your implants placed—and if they do put something on them that day, it is a temporary appliance—meaning you still need to go back at least one more time to get the real appliance or crown.
So, whether you go to one of the places that claims one visit implants or to an independent dental office, the process is pretty much the same.
*Note: The information in this article is not meant to replace the clinical judgment of your healthcare providers.
Dr. Jennifer Robb is a general dentist who restores (but does not place) dental implants. Her office, located at 1612 Cooper Foster Park Rd., Lorain, OH 44053 will assist in coordinating and scheduling with the doctor who places your implants. Please call us at 440-960-1940. You can also contact us via the form on www.drjrobb.com . We are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DrJenniferRobb
Are you throwing away money? It sounds silly when we ask that question, but if you have dental benefits and aren’t using them, that is EXACTLY what you are doing. Employers are taking money out of your paycheck to pay for your dental insurance—or in some cases you might be paying for your own.
Most plans cover at least one, possibly two, teeth cleanings and exams a year—often with no out of pocket cost to you. If you’re not taking advantage of that, any money you’re paying for the insurance is just being wasted. (And here’s a secret—often keeping up with your preventive care, such as this, means that you will have fewer big ticket dental items that you need to have done! So it will save you money in the long run.)
If you had your first cleaning late in the year (July or after) and are allowed two per year (not one every 6 months), you might be able to schedule another one before the end of the year to maximize your dental benefits.
If you’ve already paid your deductible (the dollars you have to pay before your insurance coverage kicks in) and have other dental care that you need to do, try to do it before you benefit period ends. Once the period renews (often on January 1!), your deductible starts over again too. Waiting for the new year could mean that you are throwing away the amount of your dental deductible.
Many insurances choose to pay for your crown, bridge, partial or denture when it is yours to wear home. So if you are hoping to get that appliance on this year’s insurance benefits, you need to schedule before December. Removable appliances such as partials or dentures can take two to three months to complete (meaning you'd have to schedule to start in October). Crowns and bridges are typically 3 to 4 weeks so schedule in November or early December.
If you are paying for your own dental insurance, it may be wise to look at how much you are paying and how much you are getting in return. There have been a few cases where people were paying quite a bit for minimal dental coverage. In some cases it might be wiser to find a different plan and in others it might be wiser to join our in-office plan for your cleaning appointments and bank the rest of what you'd be paying for the insurance coverage so that you have it if and when you need a more extensive dental procedure.
Hope you’ve enjoyed these tips to get the most out of your dental insurance. If you have questions on how to best use your dental insurance at Dr. Robb’s office, we’d be glad to assist. Call 440-960-1940.
Dr. Jennifer Robb is a general dentist who sees patients of all ages at 1612 Cooper Foster Park Rd., Lorain, OH. www.drjrobb.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DrJenniferRobb (Hint: If we do run specials, many times they are announced on Facebook, so follow Dr. Robb’s page now!)
Seeking Front Desk Person with some Assisting Duties. Primary responsibilities will be Dental Front Desk but there may be times when dental x-rays need to be taken or chairside dental assisting duties. Experience with Eaglesoft preferred but not required. Current Dental Radiography Certificate preferred (if candidate does not have, they must be willing to obtain). Workdays are Monday-Thursday with occasional other times needed. Hours are posted on our webpage; however, in dentistry, we cannot guarantee you will get out right on time every day--the workday ends when the last patient is checked out and duties are finished. Resumes can be emailed to email@example.com or faxed to 440-960-1941.