My Blog

Posts for: July, 2017

By J. Michael Plyler, DDS, PA
July 20, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crowns  

So, you're about to have a tooth capped with a crown. Do you know what you need to know before you undergo this common dental procedure?

Here's a short true or false quiz to test your knowledge of dental crowns.

All crowns are the same. False — while all crowns have the same basic design — a life-like prosthetic tooth fitted over and bonded or cemented to a natural tooth — their compositions can vary greatly. Early metal crowns consisted mainly of gold or silver and are still used today. Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns — a metal interior for strength overlaid by a porcelain exterior for appearance — became popular in the latter 20th Century. Although still widely used, PFMs have been largely surpassed by newer all-ceramic materials that are stronger than past versions.

Crowns can differ in their artistic quality. True — all crowns are designed to replicate a natural tooth's function — in other words, enable the tooth to effectively chew again. But a crown's appearance can be a different story, depending on how much attention to detail and artistry goes into it. The higher the individual craftsmanship, the more lifelike it will appear — and the more expensive it can be.

With digital milling equipment, dental labs are obsolete. False — although technology exists that allows dentists to produce their own crowns, the equipment is not yet in widespread use.  The vast majority of crowns are still produced by a trained technician in a dental laboratory. And just as you base your choice of a dentist on your confidence in and respect for them, dentists look for the same thing in a dental lab — good, reliable and consistent results.

Your insurance may not cover what your dentist recommends. True — dental insurance will typically pay for a basic, functional crown. Aesthetics — how it will look — is a secondary consideration. As a result, your policy may not cover the crown your dentist recommends to function properly and look attractive. A new crown, however, is a long-term investment in both your dental function and your smile. It may be well worth supplementing out of pocket your insurance benefit to get the crown that suits you on both counts.

If you would like more information on crown restorations, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By J. Michael Plyler, DDS, PA
July 17, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Here are just some of the many ways you should rely on your dentist for care.restorative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry

Since most people visit our Hot Springs, AR, dentist, Dr. J. Michael Plyler, regularly for checkups they often think that they know everything there is to know about what we do. Of course, dentists are there for so much more than just making sure your teeth are healthy every six months. Here are just some of the other ways that we can improve the aesthetics and function of your teeth.

Teeth Whitening

A white, radiant smile doesn’t have to be out of reach. While those at-home whitening strips may not be giving you the results you want, this doesn’t mean that whitening treatment just isn’t enough for you. No other system is as effective at removing dental stains than the in-office whitening system our Hot Springs general dentist offers. Blast away stains and get teeth multiple shades whiter in just one session. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll see results.

Root Canal Therapy

Dealing with a nagging toothache? If so, this definitely warrants an immediate trip to our office. While there are many reasons for a toothache, one of them could be that decay or an infection has spread into the inside of the tooth and affected the dental pulp.

Once this has happened the only option is to remove the pulp and clean out the tooth to prevent bacteria and other problems from spreading. If left untreated, the infection or decay may spread throughout the tooth and even into the bone. A root canal is designed to preserve the tooth and even prevent complications such as bone loss.

Dental Implants

Missing a permanent tooth can quickly affect your appearance and your self-esteem; fortunately, dental technology makes it possible to replace your missing teeth with a restoration that is designed to look and act just like a real tooth. It’s truly the second best thing to natural teeth.

Implants work in much the same way as tooth roots, and they are placed into the jawbone where they bond with bone and tissue to become a permanent foundation. A single implant can support a dental crown (to replace one missing tooth) or multiple implants can be placed to support partial or complete dentures.

If you are interested in improving your smile health then it’s time you called our Hot Springs, AR, restorative dentist today to schedule your no-risk consultation. Your new smile is waiting!

By J. Michael Plyler, DDS, PA
July 05, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Cavities can happen even before a baby has his first piece of candy. This was the difficult lesson actor David Ramsey of the TV shows Arrow and Dexter learned when his son DJ’s teeth were first emerging.

“His first teeth came in weak,” Ramsey recalled in a recent interview. “They had brown spots on them and they were brittle.” Those brown spots, he said, quickly turned into cavities. How did this happen?

Ramsey said DJ’s dentist suspected it had to do with the child’s feedings — not what he was being fed but how. DJ was often nursed to sleep, “so there were pools of breast milk that he could go to sleep with in his mouth,” Ramsey explained.

While breastfeeding offers an infant many health benefits, problems can occur when the natural sugars in breast milk are left in contact with teeth for long periods.  Sugar feeds decay-causing oral bacteria, and these bacteria in turn release tooth-eroding acids. The softer teeth of a young child are particularly vulnerable to these acids; the end result can be tooth decay.

This condition, technically known as “early child caries,” is referred to in laymen’s terms as “baby bottle tooth decay.” However, it can result from nighttime feedings by bottle or breast. The best way to prevent this problem is to avoid nursing babies to sleep at night once they reach the teething stage; a bottle-fed baby should not be allowed to fall asleep with anything but water in their bottle or “sippy cup.”

Here are some other basics of infant dental care that every parent should know:

  • Wipe your baby’s newly emerging teeth with a clean, moist washcloth after feedings.
  • Brush teeth that have completely grown in with a soft-bristled, child-size toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice.
  • Start regular dental checkups by the first birthday.

Fortunately, Ramsey reports that his son is doing very well after an extended period of professional dental treatments and parental vigilance.

“It took a number of months, but his teeth are much, much better,” he said. “Right now we’re still helping him and we’re still really on top of the teeth situation.”

If you would like more information on dental care for babies and toddlers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Age One Dental Visit” and “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”