Amber M Allen, DDS
Creating Beautiful Smiles in Omaha, NE

Blog

ICON White Spot and Discolored Tooth Treatment

I consider myself a conservative dentist in recommendations that I give my patients. However, there is an intermediate position between simply “watching” conditions get worse and not doing any treatment, versus drilling them away. ICON resin infiltration is a tool in our toolbox that we can use for such a conservative approach.

ICON has been around for several years, long enough to have been used in many clinical situations and cited in countless dental journal articles.  It is very conservative, in that it involves no drilling of tooth structure.  It is best used for “early” decay, which is demineralization of the tooth that extends up to one third of the way into ...

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Extreme Makeovers… Don’t Need to Be So Extreme

Fifteen years ago, many of us watched the Extreme Makeover shows that were popular on TV.  They of course involved major dental changes, mostly in the form of porcelain crowns or veneers on multiple teeth.  It was amazing to see.  But what a lot of viewers didn’t realize, and what patients today even don’t often realize, is what it takes to put a porcelain piece on a tooth that will not only look good, but function well and last.

In most cases, a tooth must be “shaved down” a bit in order to get a porcelain shell (veneer) or cap (crown) over it that isn’t bulky or bigger than/protruding past the ...

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Xylitol: The Sugar that is Good for Your Teeth

Most people have never heard of xylitol.  It is a sugar alcohol, so has a low glycemic index and can be consumed safely by diabetics.  But its oral benefits were discovered by accident (as many things are it seems) through its use as a nasal spray to clear the sinuses of bacteria. 

When bacteria metabolize or “eat” its five-carbon sugar, it causes the bacterium to die.  In the last few years, its use in dentistry has really picked up due to its ability to alter the bacterial population of the mouth, especially for cavity-causing, acid-releasing bacteria such as Strep mutans. 

In fact, simply putting xylitol in your mouth and moving it around ...

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Bruxism (aka grinding of teeth)

Continuing with the subject of tooth conditions we encounter daily, bruxism is very common.  Estimates of prevalence of this damaging behavior based on studies range from 50 to 75% of the general population.  It wears the teeth down, and accelerates once the tooth wear has progressed past the enamel layer.  It also makes chewing muscles sore (such as the masseter and temporalis) which can then affect hyperactivity of other connected muscles in the neck and upper back.  

There is a lot that is not understood about bruxism.  Currently, theory states that it results from one (or more) of three causes:  neurologic (central nervous system-based behavior, and this includes effects of meds ...

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Blog Welcome and Silver Mercury Fillings

Welcome to our first blog post!  We thought it would be a fun way to chat a little about the things we encounter, study and think about every day in relation to not just teeth, but "bites", jaws, muscles, airways and whole bodies.  

One thing we deal with daily is silver mercury fillings.  This material had its time, as an alternative to losing teeth to dental caries (decay), but thank goodness we have alternatives now.  Not only is it not pretty to look at, but silver filling material is 40 to 50% mercury in content, which may affect systemic health.  It's also very hard on teeth... in most cases, ...

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