Cosmetic Dentist - Schoolcraft
529 N Grand St
Schoolcraft, MI 49087
269-679-5584











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Posts for: February, 2013

By David E. Habecker DDS
February 26, 2013
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: oral health   oral hygiene   tooth decay   x-rays  
UnderstandingTheImportanceOfDentalX-Rays

Because our main goal is to help you maintain optimal oral health, we use the latest proven technologies, techniques, and treatments to ensure we achieve them. One tool, radiographs or x-ray pictures, has been around for a long time with an inordinate amount of scientific research backing up both its safety and value. Here's a brief summary of why.

X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation just like natural daylight, except that they can easily penetrate soft bodily tissues, such as skin and muscles, without causing any harm if used properly. And as you may have guessed, we use them to examine what we can't see with the naked eye. For example, they enable us to see inside tooth structure, bones, and joints of the jaws. This ability makes x-rays a critical tool that we rely upon to monitor your oral health.

How often you need x-rays really depends upon your individual health needs and often is different from family member to family member given their age and oral health. During adolescence, we may need to take x-rays more often, so we can closely monitor the development of the teeth and jaw to check for normal growth and abnormalities, which can be corrected with early diagnosis. We may also need to use x-rays to diagnose trauma if you or any family member has experienced injury or disease. This will enable us to ensure the correct treatment is given and, in fact, is working and that there are no other related concerns.

Today's ultra-sensitive technology uses extremely low dosage x-rays and ensures early diagnosis and monitoring of your oral and dental health in safety and with confidence.

Learn more about the safety of x-rays by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “X-ray Frequency And Safety.” If you need to schedule an appointment, contact us today.


By David E. Habecker DDS
February 15, 2013
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   oral cancer  
AreYouatRiskForOralCancer

Often perceived as a cancer that only affects older adults who have a history of heavy tobacco and alcohol use, oral cancer is now on the rise among younger adults as well. New research has found a link between oral cancers, and the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), a disease that is primarily spread through oral sex.

Importance of Screening: If you're concerned about oral cancer, rest assured that our office routinely carries out a cancer screening exam on every patient. We have several ways to painlessly detect abnormal tissues in their earliest stages. In addition, please contact our office if you experience any of the following signs or symptoms:

  • White and/or red patches in the mouth or on the lips
  • A bleeding or ulcerated sore in the mouth
  • A sore anywhere in your mouth that doesn't heal
  • Persistent difficulty swallowing, chewing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue

Although all of these symptoms can also be signs of less serious problems, be sure to alert our office if you notice any of the above changes.

Prevention: you can take a proactive role in preventing oral cancer by:

  • Conducting an oral self-exam at least once a month. Use a bright light and a mirror, look and feel your lips and front of your gums, the roof of your mouth, and the lining of your cheeks.
  • Scheduling regular exams in our office. The American Cancer Society recommends oral cancer screening exams every three years for people over age 20 and annually for those over age 40.
  • Refraining from smoking or using any tobacco products and drinking alcohol only in moderation.
  • Eating a well balanced diet.
  • Practicing safe sex.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss any questions you may have regarding oral cancer. Read more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Risk Factors for Oral Cancer.”


By David E. Habecker DDS
February 10, 2013
Category: Dental Procedures
DesigningANewSmileWhatsinvolved

Quiz: What Is Smile Design?

All cultures worldwide recognize a smile as positive nonverbal communication. Yet many people are insecure about the way their smile looks. Modern cosmetic dentistry can completely change your smile through a comprehensive technique called Smile Design.

Take the following quiz to find out how much you know about your smile and smile design.

  1. What is the basic reason we consider straight, healthy teeth to be attractive?
    1. An article in a beauty magazine.
    2. An instinctive understanding of health and survival.
    3. Our first grade teacher said so.
    4. A talk show on television.
  2. What must we take into account in designing an attractive, balanced smile?
    1. The shape of your face.
    2. Your skin color and complexion.
    3. The form of your lips.
    4. All of the above.
  3. As your dentist, we consider each of the following in evaluating your current smile except:
    1. Your marital status.
    2. The health of your bone and gum tissues.
    3. How your jaw joints function.
    4. The stability of your bite.
  4. What do we use to evaluate your smile?
    1. X-rays and photographs.
    2. Models of your teeth and gums.
    3. Photographs and computer graphics.
    4. All of the above.
  5. Bonding is one method that may be used to test or enhance your smile. It is used as:
    1. A way of making friends with your dentist.
    2. A way of training secret agents.
    3. A method of repairing chipped, broken or decayed teeth and testing changes before they are made permanent.
    4. None of the above.

Answers

  1. b. What we consider an attractive smile is rooted in instinctive understanding of health and survival. We value straight, white, healthy teeth — only a few centuries ago, a person with few or no teeth was likely to starve.
  2. d. All of these factors must be taken into consideration in order to design a smile that is in balance with your face.
  3. a. While satisfaction with your life partner may make you smile, our priority in smile design is to make sure that the basic structures of your teeth are healthy and function properly.
  4. d. All of the above are used in evaluating your current condition to design a new smile.
  5. c. In bonding, a composite resin tooth colored material is shaped and physically bonded to a tooth or teeth that are chipped, broken, or decayed to restore both aesthetics and function.

After careful analysis and planning, a variety of techniques can be used to redesign an attractive and healthy new smile, so you can feel confident about smiling and sharing it with the world. To learn more about Smile Design, read “Beautiful Smiles by Design.” Or contact us to discuss your questions or to schedule an appointment.


By David E. Habecker DDS
February 03, 2013
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers   prepless veneers  
DontLiketheDrillNowTheresDrill-FreeCosmeticDentistry

If you have a tooth that just doesn't look good because of decay or injury, a porcelain laminate veneer is probably a good way to make it look as good as it ever did — and maybe even better! Dental veneers are composed of thin layers of dental ceramic material. They essentially replace the original tooth enamel and require preparation of the tooth by removing a small amount of enamel to allow room for the placement of the veneer.

Recently, more and more dentists have been using minimal prep or prepless techniques that do not require this preparation. In such cases, the porcelain is bonded directly to the outer layer of the tooth's enamel. Highly skilled dental technicians can design a custom-fit veneer that feathers into the tooth just short of the gum line.

Prepless techniques cannot be used in all situations, but when they are used appropriately the results are beautiful and very stable. Should you get prepless veneers? The following is a list of advantages and disadvantages of prepless veneers.

Advantages of prepless veneers include:

  • Tooth preparation or reduction is not needed, leaving the original tooth whole.
  • They are not placed under the gum tissue, eliminating the possibility that the restorations negatively impact the gum tissue.
  • They can be used to change the appearance of teeth that are too small or misshapen making the teeth look larger and eliminate unwanted spacing.
  • They can be used to “lengthen” teeth that have been worn down by grinding.
  • Since the underlying tooth has not been reduced, prepless veneers are reversible and practically risk-free.

Disadvantages include:

  • There are many cosmetic situations in which they cannot be used, and traditional veneers (requiring preparation) must be used instead.
  • Prepless veneers cannot be used in cases in which orthodontic treatment is recommended to move the teeth, such as improper tooth position, poor bite, or a poor facial profile.
  • Since they are added on to existing tooth structure, they do not work for teeth that are relatively large or in a forward position in a smile.
  • They do not usually work for lower teeth because of space restrictions.
  • They cannot replace lost or damaged enamel.

Working with prepless veneers requires special skills and training. Please discuss our credentials and experience with us when you inquire about this technique. We can assess your specific situation and let you know whether restoration without the drill is appropriate for you.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your questions about prepless veneers. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Porcelain Veneers Without the Drill.”