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Amalgam vs Composite. What color is your filling?

What color is your filling? Dental fillings can be made of numerous materials. The most common are 1) composite or tooth colored fillings, and 2) amalgam or metal fillings. What is the difference between the two? Dr. Ross, a Loveland, CO DDS explains the difference between the two fillings. There is a lot of controversy surrounding amalgam or metal fillings. Amalgam fillings are made up of a mixture of mercury, silver, tin, copper, and other trace metals. The amalgam comes in little capsules that contain liquid mercury and powdered silver, tin, copper and the other trace materials. Before a filling is placed, this material is shaken up in a chair-side machine which allows it to form a durable substance that can be molded into the tooth. Once it is in the tooth, it will set up into a hard structure that is the filling. The mercury in amalgam is what bonds the other materials together. Amalgam has been used as a filling material for years; it appears to have been used in the United States dating back to 1844. The reason amalgam is used in the dental field is because it is long-lasting, it is the least expensive filling material, and it is not as sensitive to saliva as composite fillings. There is a lot of controversy surrounding amalgam fillings due to the fact that it contains mercury. There are many websites out there that claim that the mercury in amalgam will cause health concerns and fetus defects. However, none of those health concerns or fetus defects have been proven. There have been many studies done on this matter,... read more

What is the best Toothpaste out there?

Toothpaste There are so many brands of toothpaste out there! It seems like there is always a new type that can make your smile whiter, brighter, and cleaner. What could be wrong with that? Toothpaste is a key component of your dental care because it helps remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth. So what toothpaste is right for you? An important way to determine what kind of toothpaste is best for your oral health is to know what ingredients are actually in the toothpaste. The best ingredient in toothpaste is fluoride, but there are others. The following ingredients were found on the ADA website. Potassium nitrate or strontium chloride is known to help reduce sensitivity. This ingredient will be good for you if you have general sensitivity and/or if you have recession. Stannous fluoride and triclosan is known to help reduce gingivitis. This ingredient will be good for you if you have red, puffy, bleeding gums. Pyrophosphates, triclosan and zinc citrate is known to help reduce calculus. Calculus is plaque that has been sitting on the teeth and has hardened over time. You cannot remove the calculus once it has developed on the teeth, but these ingredients will help reduce the calculus from forming. This ingredient will be good for you if you build up calculus quickly. However, it is not good if you have tooth sensitivity, because it can be abrasive. Modified silica abrasives or enzymes can help whiten teeth by physically removing surface stains. This is a good ingredient if you are concerned about surface stains on your teeth. However, it cannot whiten the teeth like... read more

What is TMJ?

Do you know what TMJ is? Most people think that if they have TMJ it means they have pain in their jaw, but that is not the case. TMJ stands for Temporal Mandibular Joint. This joint is a hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of the skull. Everyone has this joint. The TMJ moves our jaw up and down, and side to side. It allows us to open our mouth and allows chewing function. < So, what causes the pain in this joint? The pain and disorder of the TMJ is called TMD. TMD stands for Temporal Mandibular Disorder. Pain in the joint can stem from multiple things; each person that suffers from TMD can have different causes. The muscle that helps hinge the joint can be one cause of pain. There are two muscles that attach to this joint; the Masseter muscle and the Temporalis muscle. The Masseter muscle is the key muscle that pulls the mandible back up. The Temporalis muscle controls the retraction and elevation of the mandible. If there is a lot of grinding or clenching of the teeth, it can cause muscle pain; just like if you would constantly overwork any other muscle in your body, it can become very sore and painful. Trauma like whiplash or a heavy blow to the face can cause muscle pain in the TMJ. The TMJ is a joint, and just like any other joint, it can develop arthritis. A heavy blow to the face can cause the joint to break or dislodge. What can be done if you suffer from TMD? There are multiple... read more

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