Bleachorexia: When to Call it Quits on Teeth Whitening

MH_bleach_390x220.ashx

Bleachorexia, or as I like to call it, bleachomania, is what occurs when someone over-whitens their teeth. I liken it to body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), often but not limited to teenagers, where one is continually finding fault with their appearance.

While most of us would like to have a brighter, whiter smile, especially around the holidays, the bleaching process can certainly be overdone. When this occurs the teeth can become irreversibly pinkish-gray, almost translucent at the edges and quite sensitive.

There are many options to achieving a whiter smile including over the counter whitening strips, in-office bleaching, at home bleaching, whitening toothpastes and if all else fails, porcelain laminate veneers. You can find more information at Mouth Healthy, an information website by the American Dental Association or by visiting my website page on teeth whitening.

The most important consideration is that you choose the option right for you. That’s where professional advice is critical. While white strips may be fine for some, I’ve seen so many problems with whitening occur over the years that I would recommend professional supervision with almost any technique.

It’s what folks don’t know that can get them into trouble and potentially ruin that smile that we all want for the holidays!

Any questions on tooth whitening or any other oral health issue, feel free to contact me or the staff at my office, Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA with any questions or concerns or to schedule your next visit so we can talk more about this.

Porcelain Veneers – The Best Thing I Ever Did!

porcelain veneeers patient, Dr. Larry Stone

I was thinking about this the other day and one of the best things I ever did (for myself that is) was to get porcelain veneers. My teeth were healthy, but discolored, retroclined (angled inward), worn down from grinding and had spaces between them. I already had orthodontic treatment to correct some of the spacing, but it just didn’t look right and I noticed this in a picture of myself with a good friend’s daughter at her wedding.

Being a dentist I sometimes take these things for granted, but speaking with some of my patients who have taken my advice made me realize what a powerful improvement veneers can be. Veneers are custom made, very thin, but strong shells of porcelain that are bonded to the teeth. They usually require very little preparation and therefore cause very little discomfort.

I’ve made hundreds of veneers for people over the years and can honestly say that no one has ever regretted having this done. I’ve included some before and after pictures of one of my patients so you can be the judge! If you have ever thought about doing something to improve your appearance please ask us about veneers. You may just find that this treatment is one of the best things you’ve ever done for yourself!

Any questions? Don’t hesitate to contact me or the office, Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA, today to schedule your next appointment and we can talk more about this. See you soon!

Do Dental Services Come With a Warranty?

You may be surprised…most of ours do.

Warranty Brochure for Laurence H. Stone DDS

Occasionally people ask me half-jokingly if I offer a warranty on the dental work we perform. Obviously they weren’t aware that I actually do offer a limited warranty on all dental services we provide. After all…why wouldn’t I?

You deserve it and I’m proud of the work my staff and I do. We use first class dental labs and superior materials. My staff is well trained and has to endure the daily rigors of working for me. (Not in itself any easy task – just ask them!) We are continually striving to provide the best dental care available by attending regular continuing education programs and keeping abreast of the latest that modern technology offers.

Most of our services are guaranteed for 3 to 5 years depending on what was done. The only requirement we have to maintain these warranties is that you keep your regularly scheduled maintenance visits. For all the specifics on our warranty policy just ask for a copy of our warranty brochure the next time you are in the office or call and we will be happy to send one to you.

Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or suggestions you may have or contact Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA today to schedule your next appointment and we can talk more about this. See you soon!

 

Getting Numb at the Dentist with OraVerse

The Best of Both Worlds

37276-hi-Oraverse

My motto has always been: “You can never be too numb”; certainly true if you are having extensive dental treatment done. But one of the things people hate most about the dental office is being numb.

What to do? Now we have OraVerse, a drug that has been used safely in other medical applications for over 50 years. Clinical trials have shown that the active ingredient in OraVerse, phentolamine mesylate, is safe and effective in reducing the amount of time it takes for the numbness of local anesthesia to go away by more than 50%. That’s right, you can return to normal activities after your dental treatment in about half the time!

How does it work? OraVerse is thought to work by causing vasodilation of the blood vessels in the area of the injection site, thus allowing the body to more quickly metabolize and eliminate local anesthetics, the effectiveness of which are enhanced by vasoconstriction. Essentially the drug allows the body to send more blood circulating into the area to flush away the Novocain!

Is it safe? Clinical trials have shown OraVerse to be safe and effective in adults and children over the age of 6 and weighing more than 33 pounds. The most common side effect was shown to be slight discomfort in the area where the medication was administered.

Bottom line? It’s relatively new to dentistry and safe. It works. We’ve got it and if you want it you too can have it. Just ask us next time you’re numb!

 

Afraid of the Dentist? – Part 2

fearfulwoman

In my earlier blog I outlined some of the reasons why people seem to be afraid of the dentist. Now it’s time to discuss what to do about it!

Here are some strategies for coping with fear of the dentist that you may want to try. Some of these techniques can even be applied to other stressful situations that you may encounter:

  1. Breathing techniques – Deep slow breathing can reduce stress, lower your pulse rate and blood pressure and reduce your anxiety. Just breathe in slowly through your nose and out through your mouth for a few minutes and see how you feel.
  2. Muscle relaxation – Progressive muscle relaxation can also slow the heart rate and reduce anxiety. It is accomplished by alternately tensing and relaxing one muscle group at a time.
  3. Hypnosis – I’ve had several patients over the years that have either practiced self- hypnosis or utilized the services of a professional hypnotherapist. You may be one of those people who thinks that it will never work for you, but trust me…it works!
  4. Desensitization – This technique works by gradually increasing your familiarity with what and how we provide treatment. In my experience there are two kinds of people…those that like to know what I am doing while I work, and those that don’t want to know. If you are one of the former, then this approach might work for you!
  5. Distraction – Listening to music or focusing your mind on something else may be all that is needed to help you through a difficult procedure. We have a selection of music available in the office and head phones to go with it, or you may choose to bring your own.
  6. Nitrous oxide – Nitrous oxide, commonly referred to as “laughing gas” is a colorless, odorless gas that when inhaled produces a sense of euphoria or well-being. Combined with oxygen, it is completely safe and immediately reversible. It reduces anxiety within minutes and is very helpful for many patients.

So there you have it…several of my favorite tactics for helping patients deal with their anxiety and overcome their fears so that they can receive the dental care they need.

Please feel free to contact us if you have questions regarding any of these techniques. See you soon!

Afraid of the Dentist? Part One

fearfulwoman

Recently an article appeared in the advice column of my local paper relating to fear of the dentist, a very common problem. In fact it is estimated that there are 80 million dental “phobics” in this country! Coupled with the fact that only about 40% of the people in the U.S. see a dentist on a regular basis, one can understand why this could present such a huge problem in maintaining the dental health of the nation.

It has been suggested that three of the most common triggers for being afraid of the dentist are fear of injections, the smell of the dental office and the noise of the drill. I’ve also found that most cases of dental fear relate to a bad experience from a childhood visit.

Recognizing that most of these concerns are of an emotional nature and not grounded in reality of the situation, one of my own pet theories is that people of any age revert to childhood as soon as they cross the threshold of my front office door.

Recognizing this reality can certainly present a challenge for me and the staff, and we have developed many strategies over the years to deal with patients fears in order to help people get the care they need. In the next issue of this blog I will present some of the techniques we have found useful in alleviating these fears.