12780 W. North Ave., Brookfield, WI 53005, 262-860-1500

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Posts for: February, 2020

By Geary Dentistry
February 20, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tooth decay  
ManageTheseRiskFactorstoReduceYourRiskofToothDecay

Tooth decay doesn't occur out of thin air, but is the end result of bacteria feeding on sugar, multiplying and producing acid. High acidity erodes tooth enamel and creates an environment for cavity development.

Modern dentistry can effectively treat cavities and often save the tooth from further damage. But you don't have to wait: You can reduce your chances of cavities by managing risk factors that contribute to decay.

Here are 4 top risk factors for tooth decay and what you can do about them.

Poor saliva flow. Saliva neutralizes acid and helps restore minerals to enamel after acid contact. But your enamel may not have full protection against acid if you have diminished saliva flow, often due to certain medications. You can help increase your saliva by consulting with your doctor about drug alternatives, drinking more water or using a saliva boosting product. Smoking can also inhibit saliva, so consider quitting if you smoke.

Eating habits. High sugar content in your diet can increase bacterial growth and acid production. Reducing your overall sugar consumption, therefore, can reduce your risk of decay. Continuous snacking can also increase your decay risk, preventing saliva from bringing your mouth back to its normal neutral pH. Instead, limit your snack periods to just a few times a day, or reserve all your eating for mealtimes.

Dental plaque. Daily eating creates a filmy buildup on the teeth called dental plaque. If not removed, plaque can then harden into a calcified form called calculus, an ideal haven for bacteria. You can help curtail this accumulation by thoroughly brushing and flossing daily, followed by dental cleanings at least every six months. These combined hygiene practices can drastically reduce your cavity risk.

Your genetics. Researchers have identified up to 50 specific genes that can influence the risk for cavities. As a result, individuals with similar dietary and hygiene practices can have vastly different experiences with tooth decay. Besides continuing good lifestyle habits, the best way to manage a genetic disposition for dental disease is not to neglect ongoing professional dental care.

If you would like more information on managing your tooth decay risk factors, 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 “What Everyone Should Know About Tooth Decay.”


By Geary Dentistry
February 18, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental crowns  
Having dental issues? Dental crowns could be the answer to your problems. These tooth-shaped caps are fitted over compromised teeth dental crownsto restore their look, strength, size, and function. When attached, the crown will only cover the tooth’s visible portion.
 
Dr. Terence Geary and Dr. Emily Eckdahl of Geary Dentistry, here in Brookfield, WI, utilize dental crowns for restoring, covering, and safeguarding damaged teeth.
 
 
Why Would I Need a Dental Crown?
You might need to be fitted with a dental crown to:
​​​​​​​
  • Restore a severely worn or damaged tooth 
  • Protect a weakened tooth from completely breaking apart
  • Secure a bridge in place
  • Support and cover a tooth that requires a huge filling that it can'’t quite support
  • Cover and safeguard a dental implant
  • Protect and cover a tooth that has undergone root canal treatment
  • Cover a severely stained or misshapen tooth
 
What is a 3/4 Dental Crown and Onlay?
3/4 dental crowns and onlays are basically crowns used for covering just a portion of a tooth. By contrast, a traditional crown is used for covering all parts of the tooth. Your dentist in Brookfield, WI, may recommend these types of dental crowns if your tooth has sufficient structure remaining. When applying 3/4 crowns and onlays, your dentist will need to get rid of the affected areas first and then reshape the remaining tooth structure to prepare it for the crown.
 
How Do You Take Care Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns don’t really require any special maintenance. But you still need to protect the remaining natural tooth structure against gum disease and decay. Therefore, you should continue practicing proper dental hygiene, which includes brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing at least once a day.  Fluoride can provide an added benefit particularly around the portion where your tooth meets the gum.  In addition, you should refrain from biting or chewing hard foods like popcorn kernels and ice to avoid damaging your dental crown.
 
How Long Does a Crown Last?
Generally speaking, crowns could last five to 15 years. It’s vital to note, however, that a crown’s service life would significantly depend on how much wear it’'s exposed to and how well you care for it. Additionally, going to your dentist for regular checkups will go a long way towards ensuring that your dental crown and general oral health will always be in top shape.
 
Think that Dental Crowns Will Work for Your Damaged Teeth?
Contact Geary Dentistry at Brookfield, WI, by dialing (262) 860-1500. You can consult with Dr. Terence Geary and Dr. Emily Eckdahl to determine your eligibility for dental crowns.

By Geary Dentistry
February 10, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: chipped tooth  
OneVisitMayBeAllYouNeedtoRestoreaChippedTooth

As tough as teeth are, life can take its toll on them and sometimes lead to parts of them chipping off. Although it might not affect a tooth's overall health, it can certainly downgrade its appearance.

But we can restore a chipped tooth like new, and it may not require extensive dental work. Thanks to a versatile dental material called composite resin, we can often bring back a tooth's natural appearance in just one visit.

Tooth-colored resins have been around for decades, but their application has been limited due to issues with durability. Recently developed bonding techniques, though, have made them a workable option for restoring mild to moderate tooth defects.

We do this by applying and bonding the composite resin to a tooth to “fill in” the missing portion. While it's often a short process, it does require a thorough understanding of tooth anatomy, function and aesthetics.

We begin with a comprehensive exam to assess the true condition of a chipped tooth. Some dental defects might be better served with a porcelain restoration like a veneer or crown for best results. Still, there are a wide range of defects for which composite resins is a solid repair choice.

Once we've determined bonding is appropriate, we prepare the tooth by first roughening its outer surface and then etching it with an acid solution to increase bonding strength. We then apply a luting agent, a kind of dental cement, also to aid with bonding.

We then begin applying the composite resin in liquid form, one layer at a time. This layering process helps simulate the color depth and shape of the tooth, and to further incorporate strength into the restoration. We're also careful at this point to match the variations of color with those of the surrounding teeth so that it looks as natural as possible.

As we finish each layer, we apply a curing light to harden the resin. We can then polish the finished product and make adjustments for the bite. The end result is a tooth that not only looks whole, but natural and blended with the rest of your teeth. Bonding could truly change your smile in just one visit.

If you would like more information on cosmetic dental restorations, 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.”