All posts by writeradmin

writeradmin writes blog posts on behalf of Dr. Kasia Lopez

I’m embarassed by my smile but can’t afford porcelain veneers

I’m hoping you can give me some guidance. I am really embarassed by my smile. My teeth are crooked and stained.  I don’t even smile anymore. I don’t want braces because I’m an adult and have to face co-workers, but I can’t afford porcelain veneers. I’m feeling desperate. Do you have any recommendations for me?

Stacey A. – Vermont


I understand your feelings and I have a couple of suggestions for you. There have been so many advances in orthodontics over the years, that there is now a way to straighten your teeth without wearing braces.

You could get Invisalign to straighten your teeth.  They work faster than braces and no one will no that you’re wearing them. Depending on the condition of your teeth and gums, your dentist might be able to let your aligners double as teeth whitening trays. That would enable you to straighten and whiten your teeth at the same time.

This blog is brought to you by Chicago Holistic Dentist Dr. Kasia Lopez.

Will an anterior repositioning splint really work?

I’ve been diagnosed with TMJ. My dentist wants me to wear an anterior repositioning splint.  I just wondered what your opinion is on whether it would really work. It seems a little simplistic for a solution to such a complicated issue.

Deanna S. – Little Rock, AR


Depending on your specific TMJ situation, an anterior repositions splint can be a great solution.  It’s designed to realign the condyles that are part of the temporomandibular joint, in other words the hinge in the jaw. This is meant to keep your jaw in the right position. Generally, you’d wear it about 3 months.

I haven’t seen your case in order to give you a real diagnosis, but unless your case is much more complicated. In the most extreme cases there is a need for some reconstruction. But, if your dentist is recommended an anterior repositioning splint, you’re likely not one of the most extreme cases.

It’s also possible that you’ll need a more aggressive treatment, but your dentist is being conservative in his treatment.  It’s always good to use the least intrusive solution if there is a chance it could work.  You could always go to a more aggressive treatment later if it is still needed, but you can’t go back from intrusive treatment.

This blog is brought to you by Chicago Dentist Dr. Kasia Lopez.

What is the difference between mercury free and mercury safe dentists?

I keep hearing the phrases mercury free dentist and mercury safe dentist tossed around.  What is the difference?

Paul P. – New Hampshire


The terms can be confusing. Mercury free dentist is pretty self explanatory.  These dentists don’t use fillings that contain mercury.  Over 50% of dentists fall into this category these days. However, the more we learn, the more we know that you need to take certain precautions when removing the silver fillings a person has. You don’t want the person to ingest any of the mercury during the removal process. you also want to elminate as much of the mercury vapors as is possible.

Mercury safe dentist is a fairly new term. It refers to dentists who  take those precautions. It’s generally called a sanitary amalgam removal. If you don’t need any amalgam fillings removed, you’ll be perfectly fine with either a mercury free or a mercury safe dentist. If, however, you are looking to have some of your old silver fillings removed, then I highly suggest you ask your dentist is they practice sanitary removal.

This blog is brought to you by Chicago Holistic Dentist Dr. Kasia Lopez.

Why do I have to have invisalign buttons?

My friend Shanna doesn’t have to have buttons for her invisaling, but I do. It doesn’t seem fair. Why do some people have to have them and not others? Can they put them behind my teeth?

Missy M. – Nebraksa


I understand that it doesn’t seem fair that your friend doesn’t have to wear the buttons, but you do. I’ll tell you there is a reason.  You already know that everyone’s smile is a little different. That also causes everyones smile to move diffferently.  Some teeth require a little extra help to move.  If you didn’t wear the buttons, your teeth wouldn’t move properly into position, or they would, but it would take much, much longer.  Generally, Invisalign works in about half the time of traditional braces, so you won’t want to stretch it out.

Unfortunately, the buttons can’t be placed behind, except for possibly on your premolars, but it isn’t easy to do.  The good news is,  they blend in with your teeth much better than traditional metal braces. They won’t be unattractive, if that is what you’re worried about.

This blog is brought to you by Chicago Holistic Dentist Dr. Kasia Lopez.

Can I fix a tooth gap without braces?

I have a space/gap between my front teeth. It is really embarrassing. Is there a way to fix this without having to get a full set of braces?

Melissa S. – Pennsylvania


I’m not sure if you’re asking if you can fix this without traditional braces or without any orthodontics whatsoever.  I’ll answer both just in case.

There is a way to straighten your teeth without the traditional metal wire/bracket braces.  Invisalign, uses invisable aligners to straighten your teeth.  They’re much more comfortable. Plus they work faster than braces.

If you were wanting to avoid orthodontics all together, you could go the cosmetic route.  Much of this depends on how large the gap is.

Dental bonding can close up the gap, but will do nothing else for the appearance of your teeth.  A dentist will put a composite resin onto both your front teeth to “sculp” them together.  If you use a skilled cosmetic dentist, it will blend into your natural teeth perfectly.  No one will know it’s there and your gap will be gone.

If there are other things you were wanting to change about your teeth, then porcelain veneers would be another option. It is more expensive than dental bonding, but lasts much longer and can change the shape, size, and color of your teeth.  It’s the cosmetic procedure people use when they want a total smile makeover.

Remember, though, if the gap is very large orthodontics will be your better option, so look into invisalign in that case.

This blog is brought to you by Chicago Holistic Dentist Dr. Kasia Lopez.

My mouth doesn’t always open all the way

I’ve been having trouble with my jaw lately.  Some days it is just popping, but other days it doesn’t open all the way. It’s very uncomfortable.  Is this dental or medical?

Janet L. – Kansas


Bear in mind I haven’t examined you, but it sounds to me like you’re dealing with TMJ disorder. It refers to a problem with the temporomandibular joint.  I suggest you see a TMJ dentist.  They’ll examine you to see if it is TMJ and what is the cause of the problem.

From there, the dentist will determine the first cause of action to try to relieve what you’re going through.  I want to issue a word of caution.  The underlying cause for TMJ can be difficult to diagnose.  You don’t want just any dentist.

Ideally, you want a TMJ specialist. I say that term to mean someone who’s had significant post-graduate training in neuromuscular dentistry.  You’ll have to ask about this yourself, because there isn’t a recognized specialty in TMJ. Any dentist can call themselves a TMJ dentist.

Look for someone who’s gotten their training from an institute such as the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies or some other equally reputable place.

This blog is brought to you by Chicago Holistic Dentist Dr. Kasia Lopez.

New dentist is mercury free- He thinks I should get rid of my silver fillings

My new dentist calls himself a mercury free dentist. He said that it is better for my health if I get rid of my silver fillings because they contain mercury and replace them with white fillings.  Is that accurate or is he just trying to get more business?

Alina M. – Austin, TX


The ADA has publicly declared that amalgam (silver) fillings are safe.  There have been studies saying they are.  There have also been studies saying they’re not.  This makes it a difficult decision for the patient.

Most mercury-free dentists take the stance that it is better to be safe than sorry.  They prefer not to place mercury in your body.  Composite (white) fillings have other advantages too, such as strengthening your tooth and less sensitivity.

One thing you want to be aware of before making a decision is whether your new dentist does sanitary amalgam removal.  You don’t want to expose yourself to unnecessary mercury vapors during the removal process.

Also, it may not be necessary to remove all of them at once.  Certainly if you have some that are leaking you’ll want to remove those immediately.

This blog is brought to you by Chicago Holistic Dentist Dr. Kasia Lopez.

Leaving country during invisalign treatments

I have an opportunity to go to France for six weeks.  If I did, it would mean missing two or three Invisalign appointments.  Is there a way to work this out?

Loreen M. – Nevada


No matter how much you want your teeth straightened, you don’t want to pass up six weeks in France.  Fortunately, it isn’t an either/or situation. You can have France and straight teeth.

Speak to your dentist and let him know you’re going on an extended trip. He can provide you with the Invisalign aligners you’ll need ahead of time.  Just switch out the aligners according to the schedule your dentist provides. It’s as simple as that.

Make sure  you go in to see your dentist as soon as you return to the states.  This way he or she can make sure everything is on the right track.

This blog is brought to you by Chicago Holistic Dentist Dr. Kasia Lopez.

I may have swallowed some of my mercury filling

I went in to get a mercury filling removed, because was concerned about the health effects. My dentist didn’t agree, but I finally wore him down.  During the procedure, chunks of it came off. I’m a little worried that I may have ingested some.  Am I in danger?

Lizzie S. – Oregon


It sounds like your dentist is a standard general dentist who just goes by the ADA guidelines, which says that the mercury in amalgam fillings is harmless. Holistic dentists tend to be more cautious about this sort of thing.

A holistic dentist would take precautions, such as using a rubber dam to keep particles and debris from falling into your mouth. They would also use additional suction, air movers, oxygen sources, supplementary barriers and other tools to ensure you, and everyone else in the room, were protected.

We don’t have any guidelines that says you’re in danger from teh mercury, but if you’re uncomfortable, I suggest you contact your medical professional and tell him or her your concern.

You’d also be better off making sure you use a holistic dentist the next time you wnat to have a filling…or have one removed.

This blog is brought to you by Chicago Holistic Dentist Dr. Kasia Lopez.

Holistic verse mercury free dentists

What is the difference between a mercury free dentist and a holistic dentist? I’m trying to find someone who will let me get white fillings instead of the ones with mercury in them.

Emily S. – Oregon


Both a mercury free and an holistic dentist will be willing to give you white fillings. A holistic dentist will go a little further than someone who just considers themself mercury free, but not holistic.

A holistic dentist will be a little more strict about things that can negatively impact your health. Many of them (not all) prefer homeopathic treatments and will avoid things like fluoride treatments and sealants.

Dr. Lopez is a holistic dentist.  She is not only mercury free, but BPA free.  she also triple filters the water to make sure what goes into your mouth is toxin free.

This blog is brought to you by Chicago Holistic Dentist Dr. Kasia Lopez.