My Blog

Posts for: June, 2016

By One Dental Care - Kunio Chan, DMD, MAGD
June 22, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Teeth Whitening  

Little things can make a big difference in the way you look. Coloring your hair, updating your hairstyle or even whitening your teeth can teeth whiteningturn back the clock and help you look years younger. Kunio Chan, DMD, MAGD, your Billerica, MA, dentist at One Dental Care, is here to share a few benefits of professional teeth whitening.

Teeth whitening helps erase the signs of aging

You've probably enjoyed your share of coffee, tea, cola, wine, berries or soy sauce over the years. Unfortunately, these foods and beverages tend to stain teeth. Aging can also make your teeth look dull or yellow. The effects of aging combined with the staining caused by bright or dark foods and beverages can cause your teeth to lose their luster. Fortunately, professional teeth whitening offers an easy solution to these problems.

Professional teeth whitening offers benefits that drugstore products can't

There's nothing more convenient than picking up a teeth whitening kit at the drugstore on the way home from work. Although those kits can lighten your teeth, the results may not be as impressive or long-lasting as the professional teeth whitening treatments your dentist offers. Kits, depending on the type, may only lighten your teeth for a few weeks or months while your smile will be whiter for as long as five years after professional teeth whitening. Professional whitening also saves you time. In just one one-hour visit, your teeth will be as much as three to eight shades whiter.

Professional whitening is the safer option

Over-the-counter whitening trays usually come in only one size, which obviously won't fit everyone the same way. Unfortunately, if the whitening trays don't provide a good fit, the whitening agent can leak into your teeth roots or gums, causing considerable pain and sensitivity. When you choose professional teeth whitening treatment, your dentist places a barrier in your mouth to protect your gums and teeth roots from the whitening agent. You'll receive excellent results without the pain that over-the-counter products can cause.

Are you ready for a younger-looking smile? Call Dr. Chan, your Billerica, MA, dentist at One Dental Care at (978) 667-0691 to make an appointment. Transform your smile with teeth whitening!

By One Dental Care - Kunio Chan, DMD, MAGD
June 17, 2016
Category: Oral Health

For anyone else, having a tooth accidentally knocked out while practicing a dance routine would be a very big deal. But not for Dancing With The Stars contestant Noah Galloway. Galloway, an Iraq War veteran and a double amputee, took a kick to the face from his partner during a recent practice session, which knocked out a front tooth. As his horrified partner looked on, Galloway picked the missing tooth up from the floor, rinsed out his mouth, and quickly assessed his injury. “No big deal,” he told a cameraman capturing the scene.

Of course, not everyone would have the training — or the presence of mind — to do what Galloway did in that situation. But if you’re facing a serious dental trauma, such as a knocked out tooth, minutes count. Would you know what to do under those circumstances? Here’s a basic guide.

If a permanent tooth is completely knocked out of its socket, you need to act quickly. Once the injured person is stable, recover the tooth and gently clean it with water — but avoid grasping it by its roots! Next, if possible, place the tooth back in its socket in the jaw, making sure it is facing the correct way. Hold it in place with a damp cloth or gauze, and rush to the dental office, or to the emergency room if it’s after hours or if there appear to be other injuries.

If it isn’t possible to put the tooth back, you can place it between the cheek and gum, or in a plastic bag with the patient’s saliva, or in the special tooth-preserving liquid found in some first-aid kits. Either way, the sooner medical attention is received, the better the chances that the tooth can be saved.

When a tooth is loosened or displaced but not knocked out, you should receive dental attention within six hours of the accident. In the meantime, you can rinse the mouth with water and take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen) to ease pain. A cold pack temporarily applied to the outside of the face can also help relieve discomfort.

When teeth are broken or chipped, you have up to 12 hours to get dental treatment. Follow the guidelines above for pain relief, but don’t forget to come in to the office even if the pain isn’t severe. Of course, if you experience bleeding that can’t be controlled after five minutes, dizziness, loss of consciousness or intense pain, seek emergency medical help right away.

And as for Noah Galloway:  In an interview a few days later, he showed off his new smile, with the temporary bridge his dentist provided… and he even continued to dance with the same partner!

If you would like more information about dental trauma, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Trauma & Nerve Damage to Teeth” and “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries.”

By One Dental Care - Kunio Chan, DMD, MAGD
June 02, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: antibiotics  

The development of antibiotic drugs is widely considered one of the greatest medical achievements of the last century. Their widespread use has turned life-threatening diseases like cholera, strep throat or bacterial meningitis into manageable, treatable ones. It’s no exaggeration to say antibiotics changed the face of healthcare, including dentistry.

But this gleaming sword for fighting dangerous diseases has a double edge because our biological “enemies” can adapt to the microscopic attacks against them. This has created an ironic conundrum: as antibiotics have proliferated in both the amount and frequency used they’ve become less effective against ever-resistant organisms.

This unfortunate situation has been helped along by a widespread, misguided practice in the medical profession, created by a “better safe than sorry” philosophy, to use them to treat any illness. This has morphed in recent decades into using antibiotics as a preventive measure in those not even exhibiting signs of disease, which then evolved into using antibiotics as a feed additive for livestock. As a result, antibiotic drugs have made their way into the food chain to accelerate, in many people’s opinion, bacterial and viral resistance.

What can we do then as “super-bugs” are on the rise, like Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) which is resistant to the most common antibiotics?

Certainly, continuing research into creating new antibiotics that address resistance is vital. But it won’t be enough: we — both healthcare providers and patients — must also change our approach and attitude toward antibiotics. This means putting in place better prescription guidelines that reduce the application of antibiotics for only those conditions where it’s absolutely necessary. And, we must restrict their use as a preventive measure, particularly in regard to their use in livestock feed.

This will take a change in everyone’s mindset, our professional standards and guidelines, and perhaps our laws. Thankfully, many are seeing the looming danger, and change is already happening. But time is of the essence, and the future depends on it — not just for people today but also for tomorrow’s generations.

If you would like more information on prudent antibiotic use, 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 “Antibiotics: Use and Abuse.”