New Drill-Free Technique for Cavities in Children

Child at the dentist

Courtesy of

Dr. Norma Hall, a Scottish dentist, developed a new technique for fixing cavities in young children that doesn’t require a drill, using a local anesthetic, or placing a dental filling. The technique, aptly called the Hall technique, involves capping a baby tooth with a stainless-steel crown to seal the decay. The crown then remains on the afflicting tooth until it naturally falls out with the arrival of the permanent tooth. According to recent research, the process is 20 minutes faster than the traditional filling and has a higher success rate.

More importantly, recent research on the technique has found that this drill-free technique can reduce dentist anxiety in young children. Dr. Lyndie Foster Page and Dr. Dorothy Boyd trained ten dentists to use the Hall technique, and then studied its effects on dentist anxiety in about 200 young children versus conventional methods. One hundred of the children had the Hall technique, and approximately 90 children had a traditional filling. The children were aged between 5 and 8.

They found that the children who received the Hall technique reported less dental anxiety than the children who received fillings. Nearly 90% of the children with the Hall technique reported that they enjoyed their dental visit, whereas only 52% of the children who received a filling said the same.[..Read More]

Porcelain Veneers Can Broaden Your Narrow Smile

Narrow Smiles

Courtesy of Nourished Kitchen

Porcelain veneers are most commonly used as a method of teeth whitening and as a way to cover chipped or broken teeth. However, porcelain veneers can be used for other tricks, such as covering up a gap in your teeth or broadening a narrow smile.

Dentists call a narrow smile one where most of the teeth point downward or inward, while the two front teeth angle out or appear to be more prominent. Narrow smiles often shadow the other teeth, causing them to appear darker than they really are.

Orthodontics are often recommended to correct this, but porcelain veneers are a great option for those who don’t need braces for other reasons. Veneers can be bonded to only the teeth you need to broaden, thereby exposing more teeth in your smile and reducing the prominence of your front two teeth.[..Read More]

Recovering from Gum Graft Surgery

Finally, let’s talk recovery from gum tissue graft surgery. You will not have to be hospitalized or anything like that; you can go home immediately after your surgery, but you will need a ride home.

Until the area has healed, do not brush or floss the gum lines that were affected. Instead, rinse your mouth with a special, dentist-prescribed mouthwash to clean the area and help prevent plaque buildup. Additionally, your periodontist may prescribe an antibiotic to cull the risk of infection.

For at least a week post-gum graft surgery, eat only soft, cool foods. For example, you can eat eggs, gelatin, yogurt, cottage cheese, pasta, ice cream, and well-cooked (super soft) vegetables. Definitely keep raw vegetables and crispy fruits, such as apples and pears, out of your diet until you are completely healed.[..Read More]

What to Expect in a Gum Graft Procedure

Now that we’ve gone over why you might need gum graft surgery, let’s discuss what you can expect during said procedure.

Depending on the periodontist and his or her policies, what anesthesia you receive will vary. Some will only numb the areas directly, some will offer IV anesthesia, and some will offer relaxing meds on top of the anesthesia. The relaxers could be nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or prescription tranquilizers for the patient to take before the procedure, such as Valium.

There are three different types of gum grafts. Since not every patient has the same condition for needing a gum graft, not every patient needs the exact same procedure.[..Read More]

Gum Tissue Graft Surgery – Why Do I Need it?

Any surgery always sounds scary, and no one is really ever that thrilled to have to “go under the knife.” If you’ve had your wisdom teeth removed or a root canal, the thought of having any other oral surgery will be less appealable than usual. But if you’ve been told by your dentist or periodontist that you need a gum graft surgery, you can relax a little. It sounds far worse that it is, and it doesn’t have nearly the painful recovery of a root canal or wisdom teeth extraction.

So why do you need this type of surgery at all?

Most gum grafts are prescribed due to gum recession, which can be caused by gum disease or aggressive brushing. Gum recession is a process where the gum line that surrounds your teeth starts to recede toward your jawbone and expose the root. With the root exposed, your teeth will become more sensitive to temperature, home dental care, and dental cleanings. If left untreated, some foods–such as those with high sugar content–can actually become painful to chew on the side of the exposed root. At the extreme scenario, gum recession can cause tooth loss.[..Read More]