We all know about the negative health effects of sugar, especially when it comes to teeth. Fortunately, artificial sweeteners don’t have the same effect on teeth as sugar, and can help you have a much healthier smile. One artificial sweetener, xylitol, even has positive effects on teeth. Here’s everything you need to know about Xylitol from a dentist in Apex, NC.
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is categorized as a sugar alcohol. That means that it combines traits of sugar molecules and alcohol molecules to create a structure very similar to that of sugar. However, Xylitol has much fewer calories, doesn’t raise blood sugar levels, and actually kills the harms the bacteria that live on your teeth and cause tooth decay.
Is Xylitol Natural?
Despite the pharmaceutical-sounding name, Xylitol is found in many fruits and vegetables, and is even produced in small amounts by the human metabolism. It can also be processed from trees like birch, or from a plant fiber called xylan. For these reasons, most health professionals consider it to be a safe, natural substance.
How Xylitol Helps Your Teeth
Xylitol functions a lot like a “mousetrap” for the bacteria that live on your teeth. Normally, these bacteria ingest sugar and carbohydrates and convert them into acid, which destroys the tooth enamel. After the bacteria ingest xylitol, however, they are no longer able to absorb glucose. With their energy-producing pathway clogged up, they end up starving to death. That’s why many dentists recommend using xylitol-sweetened chewing gum: it’s one of very few things that can actually kill harmful tooth bacteria.
Why Xylitol is Toxic to Dogs
If you buy gum or candy that contains Xylitol, it is very important to keep it away from any dogs in your house. When a dog eats xylitol, its body mistakes it for glucose and starts producing large amounts of insulin. Then, the dog’s cells start absorbing glucose from the bloodstream, which can lead to hypoglycemia, low blood sugar, and even death. Xylitol may also have detrimental effects on liver function in dogs, with high doses causing liver failure.
It only takes 0.1 grams per kg of body weight for a dog to be affected. To put that in perspective, a 6 pound Chihuahua could get sick or die from eating a single piece of xylitol chewing gum.
Need a General Dentist in Apex NC? Call Hansen Dentistry
If you are in need of a dental cleaning, oral surgery or other dental service, be sure to contact our general dentist in Apex NC. At Hansen Dentistry, we will do our best to make you feel relaxed and at home while receiving expert dental care. To schedule an appointment, click here.
Though inconvenient, a dental emergency is not something you want to ignore. However, you should know the difference between a true dental emergency and a situation that can wait at least for the night. Dr. Rylan Hansen and his team at Hansen Dentistry in Apex, NC are here to provide expert emergency dental care should you ever be in need of immediate treatment. Contact us at (919) 363-8444 to schedule an appointment.
What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?
Often, a tooth will break, chip or crack because you bit something hard, such as ice cubes, an apple or hard candy. Opening chip bags, plastic containers or “easy open” pill bottles with your teeth can sometimes result in the same thing. Some dental emergencies are the result of a traumatic injury or accident. Children can fall on the playground or get hurt at practice or you could be involved in a car accident. If the injury is just a chip or minor fracture, you could decide to wait and seek attention when the dental office opens. However, a severe injury is a different story.
Examples of dental emergencies:
- Severe crack or fracture
- A large piece of a tooth is missing
- A tooth has been knocked out completely
- A nerve has been exposed
What to do in a Dental Emergency
Here are some things you can do if you (or your child) sustain a tooth injury.
Cracked tooth – See the dentist as soon as possible, especially if there is any pain. Even if the tooth looks “okay” you should still be cautious. If the tooth hurts when you drink something hot or cold come in right away, as it could be a sign of nerve damage within the tooth. Another sign of a crack is if the tooth hurts after you release your bite.
Broken tooth – There is usually no mistaking a broken tooth. If there is a large fracture, chip or part of the tooth is missing see the dentist ASAP as there could be nerve damage.
Before you go to the dentist:
- Rinse your mouth with warm water.
- If there is bleeding, apply pressure with a small piece of gauze.
- If the bleeding won’t stop, try using a wet tea bag.
- Put a cold pack or ice on your lips or cheeks over the area of the broken tooth to reduce swelling.
- If you absolutely can’t get to the dentist right away, cover the tooth with temporary dental cement from a drugstore.
Tooth is knocked out completely – First, try to put the tooth back in the socket. If it will not go back in, clean off the tooth as best you can and store it in a sealed container with milk or your saliva. Apply a cold compress if there is any bleeding.
What to do for Tooth Pain
If you develop sudden – or suddenly increased – tooth pain, see the dentist as soon as you can. It could be a sign of tooth decay or damage to the nerve. You can probably wait until normal hours to go in, although it might feel like an emergency if the pain is severe or it hurts when you try to eat or drink.
Emergency Dental Care at Hansen Dentistry
Tooth pain can interfere with your ability to eat, drink, work, sleep and even think. A cracked, broken or missing tooth constitutes a real emergency that requires care as soon as possible. Dr. Rylan Hansen and his team at Hansen Dentistry in Apex, NC are here to help, with extended hours, same day emergency appointments, and Saturday appointments. Even if you are not in pain from a cracked or lost tooth, it is still important to come in as soon as possible. The first several hours can mean the difference in saving your tooth. If you ever need emergency dental care, contact us at (919) 363-8444 to schedule an appointment.
If you have ever dreaded the idea of visiting the dentist or have postponed scheduling dental work you knew you needed, you are not alone. Dental procedures have changed for the better, and at Hansen Dentistry in Apex, NC, we blend proven techniques with outstanding customer service.
Would you believe us if we told you that you could receive customized, natural looking crowns or bridges that fit perfectly, in a single office visit? Believe it! Dr. Rylan Hansen and provides custom dental crowns and bridges using the CEREC system: where old school service meets state-of-the-art technology.
What is CEREC?
CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic. Like the name suggests, each restoration the system produces is made from ceramic (read: no more metal!).
If you opt for a CEREC crown or bridge, you will not need to endure traditional putty impressions that often cause gagging. Instead, Dr. Hansen will use a 3-D imaging system to gather all the data necessary. You also will not wait days or weeks while a lab technician creates your restoration, then return for a second visit to have the restoration placed. Even better, you won’t need to wear a temporary crown that could come loose and cause embarrassment or hassle.
How does CEREC work?
After imaging your teeth, Dr. Hansen will use CEREC software to design your custom restoration, for a secure fit and balanced bite. He will insert a CEREC Block that matches the shade of teeth surrounding the location of the restoration in your mouth. The CEREC Block will be turned, sculpted, and contoured in the system’s milling unit. This process takes about an hour.
After the dentist provides a local anesthetic to numb the affected area, he will seat the custom-made crown or bridge. Once he determines that your bite is properly aligned with the new restoration, Dr. Hansen will permanently cement it in position. Your CEREC restoration will look and feel totally natural, and it will endure for many years to come.
With same-day service, you will save time and leave your first visit with a restored smile. No metal, no waiting, no fuss. This is certainly not your father’s dentist!
Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic (CEREC) is changing the way we think about restorative dentistry. CEREC is an effective, affordable service that brings together the customer service and care that patients expect and the high-tech performance and outstanding results they want.
Give CEREC a try.
Dr. Rylan Hansen and our team at Hansen Dentistry proudly serve our patients, listening carefully to all concerns, and providing solutions for great oral health. Learn more about the variety of dental services we offer, including family and pediatric dentistry, along with cosmetic, restorative, and surgical procedures. Our office is located at 800 West Williams Street, Suite 240, in Apex, NC.
It’s nice to imagine a world where looks aren’t important, but we don’t live there, do we? The truth is, the majority of the population will initially judge us based on our appearance. The first attribute most people notice is the eyes, followed closely by the smile. Crooked, discolored, or missing teeth send the message that a person does not take good care of himself. An unattractive smile also conveys poor health and can make you look older than you are.
What They’re Really Thinking
These aren’t just assumptions. They’re facts. The American Association of Cosmetic Dentistry has published polls telling us that with an appealing smile, a person is more likely to be thought of as healthy, confident, wealthy, and friendly. A study by Kelton Research went further to state, after teeth whitening, job applicants were more likely to be hired and receive a higher salary.
Strip the emotional sting of being judged by looks out of the equation, and it makes sense to improve your smile’s appearance if you don’t naturally have an appealing smile.
What is an “attractive smile?”
The traditional attractive smile in the United States has:
- No missing teeth
- Straight teeth
- White teeth
- Teeth with the traditional tooth shape, no imperfections
- No chipped or cracked teeth
- No metal dental work
- Teeth have natural reflectivity (don’t look dull or fake)
- Teeth that are proportionate to the facial features
- Symmetrical teeth, right and left
- Only a small amount of gum tissue showing above top teeth
- Healthy gums
- Fresh breath
How can cosmetic dentistry help?
Correcting your smile’s imperfections is possible with cosmetic dentistry. Dr. Hansen will need to talk with you about what you love and hate about your teeth, and he’ll also conduct a thorough oral health examination. All cosmetic restorations should be build upon a healthy foundation, so they’ll endure the test of time. Oral health is also paramount to overall health, and your health is of utmost importance to us.
Dr. Hansen will suggest the appropriate cosmetic dentistry procedures to brighten, straighten, and correct your teeth. He may also recommend a periodontal (gum tissue) procedure, if appropriate. You will have options. For instance, porcelain veneers can correct the size, shape, alignment, and color of your teeth. However, you may opt for dental bonding instead. Bonding does not last as long as veneers, but it also does not cost as much. However, porcelain veneers cover the entire front surface of a tooth and can look new for many years. Dr. Hansen will inform you of the pros and cons of various treatment options, so you and he can devise a practical treatment plan that will deliver the smile you want.
Schedule a Smile Consultation Today
Are you ready to discuss the potential for your smile? Call our Apex, NC dental office today at 919-363-8444 today. With the Hansen Dentistry Membership Savings Plan, you could save 20% on some cosmetic and restorative procedures.
At Hansen Dentistry, we know that raising and caring for a healthy family is one of the most important things in life. That’s why we’ve made our practice a place that helps every member of your family have the best oral health possible. From the youngest to the oldest, you’ll find that we are your one-stop family dental care headquarters. As a family dentist, Dr. Rylan Hansen is trained in caring for teeth and gums at every stage of life. Visit our Apex, NC dental office to learn more about our services.
The key to keeping children’s teeth healthy is prevention. Children should come in for routine oral care starting at their first birthday, with regular six-month visits. At preventive visits we give children a check-up, provide a gentle cleaning to remove tartar, and apply preventive treatments to strengthen and protect the teeth. If we find problems, we help parents try to identify what may be the cause of their child’s issues, to keep teeth healthy in the future. If there are cavities, we provide gentle and age-appropriate restorative treatments to keep your child’s teeth healthy and strong.
We love kids and we love giving them happy experiences at the dentist. Dental anxiety is a serious concern for both adults and children, and we believe the best way to prevent anxiety is by taking the time to make sure your children are comfortable with their treatment. We never coerce or force children into situations they are not comfortable with. We also give them plenty of time to get used to what happens during a dental appointment, and make sure they feel empowered to ask questions and communicate their preferences.
Adult Dental Care
As with children, prevention is the key to good oral health. Six-month visits give us the opportunity to remove tartar from the teeth, to prevent the formation of new cavities. They also give us the chance to spot potential problems before they turn into toothaches and major restorations. Even with routine appointments, its easy to develop oral health concerns, such as tooth decay, gingivitis and gum disease. It’s estimated that 99 percent of all adults have experienced some degree of tooth decay; routine visits allow us to treat problems in their earliest stages, before they turn into emergencies.
We also provide a full range of cosmetic dentistry treatments to help our adult patients look their best. As teeth endure years of hard usage, even the most beautiful of smiles may begin to look stained, chipped or misaligned. Cosmetic dentistry can restore the beauty of your smile, for greater confidence and a positive self-image. Whether you seek small improvements or dramatic smile makeovers, we can help you make your smile look new and bright again.
If you need a wisdom teeth extraction, dental implant placement or bone grafting, you’ll be glad to know that we provide these treatments in-house. Dr. Hansen performs oral surgery, which means you won’t need to find a separate oral surgeon to get the care you need.
If you’ve ever had a dental emergency, you know that it’s inappropriate to ask a patient to wait several days for an appointment! That’s why we make room for emergencies in our schedule and offer extended hours and Saturday appointments. Whether you are a returning patient or a new patient, we are always welcoming of emergencies. Put our number in your phone right now, as “emergency dentist” and you’ll be glad you did—should you have to deal with an emergency dental problem in the future.
Gum disease is a frightening condition that can rob you of your healthy gums (and teeth). Unfortunately, gum disease is also extremely common. There’s a fair chance someone in your family may one day need periodontal treatments. These cleanings can often be traumatic for sensitive gums, so we have invested in laser dentistry tools to provide gentler periodontal cleanings.
At Hansen Dentistry of Apex, NC, we want to be your family dentist. Call us at (919) 363-8444 to make an appointment for any children or adults in your family who are due for a check-up.
So you have a tooth that has a cavity and needs a filling. Now what?
Most people know that the two most common options are tooth colored fillings (called composite fillings) and silver fillings (called amalgam fillings). And most people would agree that the composite fillings are much more aesthetically pleasing than the amalgam fillings. Some patients prefer not to have amalgam fillings because they contain mercery. However, it is important to note that ongoing scientific studies conducted over the past 100 years continue to show that amalgam fillings are not harmful. Sometimes the aesthetic outcome is reason enough to choose a tooth colored filling, especially when the tooth is one that is visible when the patient smiles.
But there are other important reasons that most Apex Dentists these days are choosing to use tooth colored composite fillings rather than amalgam. And these reasons have to do with the major difference in the way they are placed in the mouth.
Composite fillings are resin-based and are chemically bonded to the tooth. Amalgams are not. They are held in place due to a physical retention. This means that after the dentist removes the decay, he also has to remove additional healthy tooth structure in order to create the proper undercuts and retention grooves to hold the amalgam in place. This process leaves less remaining tooth structure.
The good thing is that amalgams usually lasts for a really long time. The bad news is that when they do wear out, they tend to cause larger problems because there is less tooth structure remaining to work with. That is why it is common for a very large amalgam to be replaced with a crown.
If a tooth has a composite filling, the dentist is able to be very conservative in how much tooth structure
he/she removes other than the decay. This could mean that years later when the composite filling eventually wears out, hopefully another larger composite filling can be placed, rather than a crown.
Another common issue is that teeth with old amalgams tend to develop more cracks. Because the amalgam filling is not bonded to the tooth, the enamel surrounding the filling is unsupported. Over time, that unsupported tooth structure microscopically flexes when stress is placed on the tooth. Years of this flexing can cause cracks to form. These cracks can lead to more extensive (and expensive) treatment, such as a crown, a root canal, or even loss of the tooth depending on the severity of the fracture.
Whether you have composite or amalgam fillings it is important to maintain your regular cleaning and check-up appointments with your Apex dentist. He/she can keep you informed about the condition of your fillings. That way when one does wear out (and they will, because unfortunately no dental work lasts forever), you can be pro-active, which typically leads to a less expensive and more conservative outcome.
WE OFTEN GET THIS QUESTION from our patients, “What’s the difference between plaque and tartar?” Many patients think they are the same thing. However, there is an important difference between the two. Understanding how they are different can help explain why a daily oral hygiene routine is so crucial, as well as twice-yearly visits to your dentist.
What Is Plaque?
Dental plaque is the soft, sticky film that builds up on your teeth and under your gums. It starts forming soon after you finish brushing. In other words, plaque is constantly accumulating on your teeth. And guess what? It contains millions of bacteria! When you eat—especially carbohydrates or sugar—you’re not the only one getting a meal…so are the bacteria on your teeth. After these bacteria dine on sugar, they produce acids that erode your tooth enamel and cause cavities.
That’s why good daily oral hygiene is essential to preventing tooth decay and protecting your smile from the bacteria in plaque. To prevent plaque buildup, remember to brush at least twice a day and floss once a day. Drinking water and chewing sugar-free gum after meals and snacks can also help!
What Is Tartar?
So if that’s plaque, what’s tartar? Tartar is what accumulates on your teeth when plaque is not removed. If plaque is left on your teeth for too long, it will harden into tartar and is much more difficult to remove. In fact, tartar can only be removed by a dental professional–you can’t get rid of it with regular brushing and flossing. Tartar removal is one of the reasons that visiting your dentist every six months is so important!
Plaque buildup that hardens into tartar can cause more than just cavities. It can cause tooth discoloration and sensitivity as well as gum recession and periodontal disease. To reduce plaque buildup and tartar from forming, make sure you are brushing and flossing daily.
Come And See Us Every Six Months
No matter how great your oral hygiene is, plaque and tartar formation are inevitable. So come in to see us every six months! Our job is to help you maintain a beautiful, healthy smile that’s plaque- and tarter-free!
Have you ever had dental pain or discomfort when biting into food or after eating/drinking something that is hot or cold? This pain or discomfort might not be constant like it is with a cavity, but intermittent. If so, it is possible you may have a cracked tooth.
There are several reasons that patients develop cracked teeth. Some situations that can result in fractured teeth are:
teeth with large fillings
teeth with root canals
clenching or grinding teeth
chewing ice or other hard foods
trauma to the tooth from an accident
too much pressure on one tooth as a result of the patient’s occlusion (the way the teeth come together in the mouth)
If the crack in the tooth does not extend further than the enamel, your dentist may not recommend any treatment. These cracks, known as craze lines, are common in adult teeth. Think of a teacup with a crack in it but that is still able to hold water without it leaking.
However, if the fracture extends beyond the enamel, it is very important to have the tooth treated. In this situation we have a leaky teacup! It can be difficult for patients to distinguish between the different types of cracks, so it is important to visit your Apex dentist so the fracture can be properly evaluated. Try to pay attention to exactly where the pain is coming from so that you can tell your dentist.
Molar are more vulnerable to cracks because they absorb most of the impact when chewing food. Front teeth are more commonly fractured due to trauma.
Your Apex dentist will determine a treatment plan based on the severity of the fracture. Treatment typically includes placing a dental crown on the cracked tooth. If the fracture effects the pulp chamber a root canal may also be necessary. If the tooth is split beyond repair, an extraction is likely necessary. In this situation tooth replacement is possible with implants or bridges.
Postponing treatment can lead to more serious complications such as an infection or a deeper fracture. That is why it is important not to ignore warning signs or dental pain and sensitivity. By seeking treatment early, there is a typically better prognosis for the tooth. which also usually results in a lower financial cost of treatment.