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writeradmin writes blog posts on behalf of Dr. Kasia Lopez

I need more than mercury-free. I need non-toxic

I am trying to find a dentist who believes in non-toxic treatment. I have no problem finding a mercury-free dentist, but those same dentists don’t care what else they put in your mouth.  I’m looking for completely non-toxic fillings. Is there a way to figure that out ahead of time?

Genell A. – Syracuse, NY

Genell,

I understand your frustration.  A dental patient once wrote a letter saying that her new dentist, who advertised as holistic, considered himself so, merely because he gave you the option of not using fluoride.  That was it.  He still placed fillings laden with mercury, so there wasn’t even the mercury free dentistry thing as a possibility.

One of the things you can do when speaking to a mercury-free dentist, to ensure he or she is also toxic free, is to ask if their composite fillings are BPA free.

It is possible to have mercury free AND BPA free fillings, because Dr. Lopez does that. Make sure you check with the office ahead of time, because while you’re sitting in the operatory is too late.

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

Can you kiss with invisalign?

My name is Missy.  I’m trying to decide between braces and invisalign. I just wondered if you can still kiss with the invisalign?

Missy –  Alabama

Missy,

Most patients have no trouble kissing with invisalign. A few patients have said that it is awkward at first, but quickly got used to the difference.

I will say that it will be much more comfortable than kissing with braces. The wires and brackets can be quite uncomfortable and have even been known to cut someone’s gums or lips.  Not to mention that if you boyfriend is wearing braces as well, you could get linked together.

This blog is brought to you by Chicago Holistic Dentist 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

Stacey,

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

Deanna,

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

Paul,

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

MIssy,

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

Melissa,

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

Janet,

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

Alina,

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

Loreen,

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.