Family Dentistry - Charlotte
2024 Lansing Road
Charlotte, MI 48813
Ph: 517-543-5230 Fax: 517-543-5011

 

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By contactus
July 10, 2012
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When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

This Buddhist proverb sinks in deeply for me today. It relates to a personal interaction with one of my patients who I consider a well seasoned writer and friend. For quite awhile I have not made a lot of time for writing--a passion I put aside while launching a dental office, nurturing two children, listening (most of the time) to my spouse, and trying to keep my body healthy and in shape. Thus, the writing gig has been hidden away for another day when I "have more time." But, apparently, the stars aligned and my teacher appeared recently. It turns out he is one of my patients, and he offered me his writer's book that contains every writer's essential guide to publishing his or her works. He also offered to meet with me to offer writing tips. I jumped at the opportunity. I blocked off my schedule. I passed on lunch with my own Mother, and for one hour of my life, I just listened to his story, and cringed with his adivce on my not perfectly edited web site. Writing is not easy. It takes effort to just do it, and then it takes even more effort to re-write it. And, then it takes more time to take advice from someone and re-write it again.

But, writing for me is a creative outlet to a very small ,detailed world that dentistry often confines me to. Do not get me wrong: I love dentistry. I truly love my "tools', the feeing of creating within someone's mouth, and interacting with some of the most fascinating people. But, writing is personal. It is a time for myself, and is a great stress reliever. It is something I should do more. It reminded me that taking the time to do something for yourself is important, and leads to less stress in a possibly stressful world. Since writing more--even blogging on my website--I find I am more relaxed. So, if you are perplexed with TMJ problems, teeth grinding, stomach issues, migraines or headaches, high blood pressure, and want to try something that does not require taking a pill, I would recommend writing. Or, do something for yourself if writing is not your interest. I hope that your "teacher" will appear in your life when you need it, and more so, I hope that you take the time to recognize it when he or she does appear.

Submitted by Lisa Knowles, DDS

 

By contactus
January 22, 2012
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As I mentioned on our facebook page, I had a patient come to my office last week with a crown off. The crown loosened around Thanksgiving, but she held off from coming into the office due to finances and the hope that she would be getting dental insurance in the new year. First, I want to say that most crowns never loosen or come off. But, there are reasons why crowns come off. From my opinion and years of experience, I see crowns loosen for a couple of reasons. 1) There is decay beneath the crown and something as soft as bread pulls the crown off because the foundation or base underneath the crown is now not healthy and has become compromised. 2) An extremely hard, sticky candy was being chewed and it became stuck on the crown, and when the patient opened with resistance, the crown came off. 3) Sometimes, if there was little tooth left to begin with, the crown is relatively short when it is prepared, and this makes a crown's strength a bit less than a full length crown with more tooth structure remaining. 

Crowns gain their strength from two ways: the way the walls of the tooth are tapered/prepared by the dentist and also from the cement/bonding agents used to place the crown on the tooth. So, if there is little length to the walls of the tooth, there is less resistance to keep the crown from being dislodged. Luckily, the cements we use today are very strong and can often make up for short walls or differences in parallelism/taper. 

The point of this blog is to tell you what to do if you happen to be in the same situation as my patient  was last week. If you call our office as soon as your crown loosens or comes off, I recommend seeing you as soon as possible. We can track down the reason of why your crown came off by taking an x-ray to look for decay and by examining your remaining tooth to see if the crown can simply be re-cemented. If there is decay, it is likely that the existing crown will not be able to be re-cemented because we cannot cover up decay and hope it will go away. Decay just does not go away on its own. A new build up filling and crown will likely be needed. (Note: ALWAYS SAVE YOUR CROWN and bring it in to the dentist). 

If, however, there is no decay, and a jolly rancher just happended to catch the crown right and dislodged it cleanly, we often can re-cement the crown back in place. BUT, and that's a big BUT.....if you wait for a couple of months, like my patient did last week, the teeth shift and make it much more difficult to put the crown back on. This tooth, in particular, shifted forward and the crown no longer fit down around the tooth into its previous little compartment. I adjusted the contacts to enable the crown to seat better--after several adjusts--but then the bite (or occlusion as we call it dentally) did not come together as it once did. This led to an extensive adjustment on the crown which weakened the top chewing surface of the crown. Ultimately, I recommended we schedule her back for a new crown in the near future because this one was now so thin from all of the adjusting.  My patient told me if she would have known that this could have happened, she would have come in sooner. I told her I would "blog" about it in hopes of sharing my knowledge with others so they may be able to save some money and know what to do when and if  their crown comes off. 

It is hard to know what to do when something like this happens. But, I hope what you read above helps you understand the importance of acting quickly to avoid pain from underlying decay and to avoid paying more money by waiting longer to correct a problem. Finances are tight for many people right now, and our office understands that you want to get the best care for the least amount of money. By acting quickly and understanding WHY your crown came off,  you can make a choice of what to do once all of the options are presented to you by a dentist....and often this may save you time and money down the road. 

Submitted by Dr. Lisa Knowles

Dr. Knowles has had extensive training in emergency care from re-cementing crowns to re-positioning teeth that were knocked out or displaced from trauma. In the event of a dental emergency, we recommend a full examination for new patients to our practice. This begins with an appointment that includes x-rays, gingival and bone depth charting, oral cancer screening, and a thorough exam. For patients already in our practice, we offer immediate care, diagnosis and treatment. We hope you will not have to utilize our emergency services, but you can feel confident that Dr. Knowles will be there to help when needed. 

By contactus
December 21, 2011
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As the holiday season approaches, I hope to remind everyone to breathe this holiday season. It is easy to get involved in the hustle of the season, but I hope that many of you will take time for yourselves in addition to all of the events taking place. Get up a bit earlier to find a little peace in your day. Maybe stretch a little, meditate even, or just enjoy a good cup of coffee or tea. I find that taking this little time for myself makes me a better spouse, a better Mom, and a better dentist. It also helps me not clench and grind my teeth so much.  As my husband always reminds me, "Stress is what you make of it." May you not make your stress...."stressful"...and may you have peace, joy, and wonder this holiday season!

By contactus
November 21, 2011
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Many of you may know about a form of smoking called hookah smoking. If not, I can tell you that a hookah is a type of water pipe that has a smoke chamber, bowl, pipe and hose. There are hookah lounges springing up all around the nation and world; I believe the closest one to us is in East Lansing. I have to admit I was intrigued to know more about this place when I drove by a few weeks ago. I wondered if this form of smoking had less risks than cigarette smoking, and wondered what it actually does to your body. It just so happened that one of our hygienists on staff here brought me a great article entitled, "Troubling Tobacco Trends," by Victoria Patrounova, RDH, MHA. I am sorry to say Hookah smoking is no less harmful. According to this article, "One session of hookah smoking usually lasts an hour, increasing users' exposure to nictone and carcinogens. Lung and oral cancer, other lung diseases, and periodontal diseases have all been linked to hookah smoking. There are an estimated 300 hookah cafes and lounges in the United States, and the number is expected to grow."

I might also mention that many of the flavored tobacco, such as clove cigarettes, bidis, and shisha are amidst these troubling tobacco trends as well. These types of tobacco can give you more nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide than regular cigarettes.

Lastly, I wanted to discuss the article's view on those "neat" electronic cigarettes that light up and "feel" like a cigarette. Patrounova's article explains that these types of cigarettes (E-cigarettes) have a rechargable battery, a replacable cartridge, and an atomizer. The heat atomizer changes the contents of the cartridge into a vapor that is then inhaled. The problem is this: the vapor contains nicotine and other chemicals. These types of cigarettes have not been evaluated by the FDA and it is unknown how much nicotine and chemicals are in each one (1). To me, whether the FDA has approved it or not, is irrelevant. It's still damaging, and unfortunately may be advertised as an alternative to smoking.

Watch out for these tobacco hazards. Your lungs, heart and teeth are affected by these choices. If you are smoking and want to quit, check out the American Cancer Society's website and pick a quit date today!

Guide to Quitting Smoking - American Cancer Society

www.cancer.org/.../StayAwayfromTobacco/GuidetoQuittingSmoking

Lisa Knowles, DDS

1) Patrounova, Victoria. Troubling Tobacco Trends, Dimensions of DENTAL HYGIENE. September 2011

 

By contactus
November 03, 2011
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If your household is like mine the week after Halloween, you have way too much extra candy lying around. We have the over bought candy from trick-or-treating and the masses of candy gathered from the actual trick-or-treating event. So, the question becomes what do we do with all of this candy? From a dentist's standpoint, I can offer you a few pieces of advice:

1) Monitor how much candy your child is consuming and set limits as to how much can be consumed per day.(Watch out--kids are great at hiding and hoarding their precious candy).

2)Let your child eat the candy right after a meal, such as lunch or dinner, when their pH (acid levels) in his or her mouth is already at a lower level. 

3)Avoid candy before bedtime

4)Ensure brushing and flossing is taking place nightly before bedtime

5)Slowly remove the candy from your household

6)In my house, we allow our kids to pick out ten pieces of their favorite candy and then we abandon the rest over time.

Hope this helps you out!

Lisa Knowles, DDS

 





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