Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Your Beautiful Smile - Should You Consider Replacing Amalgam (silver) Fillings?

Recently, the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network conducted a 24-month study to evaluate the long-term effects of amalgam and resin-based composite restorations. For decades, many dentists were leery of using composite resin for restorations, claiming that they often left open contact areas, pits and voids, tooth preparation margins and postoperative tooth sensitivity. However, there were problems with amalgam as well, including “difficulty in making tight contact areas, over-carving potential, overhanging amalgam material and postoperative sensitivity”. (Ref. 1)

Dental amalgam consists of a combination of mercury, silver, tin and copper. As a result, the finished product’s silvery color fails to take on the natural aesthetics of a living tooth. The closer the amalgam is to the front of the mouth, the more noticeable the silver color can be. Although many people have shown concern about the risks in mercury, it poses no threat when combined with the other dental material. (Ref. 2)

In the study, there was no conclusive evidence that favored the longevity of either resin-based composites, which blend in with the natural tooth and are more pleasing to the eye, or amalgam fillings. Instead, the variables that determined restorative longevity include age, sex, number and size of surfaces, and practice workload. Researchers suggest that clinicians should try to recognize risk factors on an individual basis in order to promote longevity. (Ref. 3)

While Dr. Palani would suggest replacing the silver amalgam with the more aesthetically-pleasing composite filling, the most desirable answer is to prevent the need for any fillings with daily brushing, flossing and routine cleanings. Our goal is to help our patients prevent the need for restorative care with professional exams and cleanings; providing you with a true Beautiful Smile!

Reference 1:
Christensen, G. J., D.D.S., M.S.D., PH.D. (1998, December). Amalgam vs. Composite Resin: 1998. American Dental Association. Retrieved June 16, 2013.

Reference 2:
Amalgam - Silver-Colored Dental Fillings. (n.d.). Mouth Healthy -American Dental Association. Retrieved from

Reference 3:
McCracken, M. S., Gordan, V. V., & Litaker, M. S. (2013). A 24-Month Evaluation of Amalgam and Resin-Based Composite Restorations Findings form The National Dental Practice-Based Research Network. JADA, 144(6), 583-593. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Anxiety-Free Dental Care with Sedation in Beverly Hills

Sedation provides comfortable dental care in Beverly Hills.
You can experience anxiety free
dentistry with sedation.

If you are preparing for a filling, root canal, crown, tooth extraction, or other dental procedure, you now have an option to relieve your dental anxiety. At Total SmileCare in Beverly Hills, there are several options available to our patients for relief of pain and anxiety during routine dental visits.

Conscious, or moderate sedation, allows patients to remain awake during dental procedures. Patients are able to interact with their dentists but do not feel any discomfort or pain. Moderate sedation can also help patients avoid more severe side effects of general anesthesia such as nausea, headache, vertigo and long-term drowsiness. This form of sedation generally causes the patient to not remember anything about their dental appointment other than a pleasant experience.

One of the most common forms of non-IV sedation is Nitrous Oxide, known as 'laughing gas'. Patients of all ages can use Nitrous Oxide with minimal to no side effects.

Make sure you tell Dr. Palani about any drug allergies or dependencies, existing prescriptions or over-the-counter drug use, medical conditions, changes in your health, history of anxiety, heart conditions or alcohol use before undergoing treatment. You and your Beverly Hills dental team will discuss the benefits and risks of each option. We will work with you to make sure you have a pain-free, anxiety-free, comfortable experience.

Sources Used: