Dental Fillings: A Brief Background

healthy smileFor over 150 years, silver amalgam restorations have been filling cavities in teeth. For a long time, amalgam was the only option for filling teeth. These days, composite resin fillings allow a more cosmetic approach to treating dental cavities.  However, some people look beyond aesthetics, and have concerns about the impact on environment and health from mercury (the chief ingredient in amalgam fillings). There are millions of people walking around with amalgam fillings, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). Lafayette dentistDr. Michael Young, offers information on the controversy surrounding amalgam-based dental fillings.

Mercury Concerns from the Past

Two French brothers invented amalgam fillings in the 1830s. After a mere decade, their product, called royal mineral succedaneum, was used in half of the dental restorations in upstate New York. You may be surprised to hear that mercury poisoning was a concern all the way back then, just like today. The American Society of Dental Surgeons (ASDS) made their members pledge an oath to ban amalgam material for dental fillings. Unfortunately, the only alternate material found to work for dental fillings at the time was gold. Most people were unable to afford gold fillings, so people (more…)

Lafayette Dentist Quizzes You on Gums

True or false HandGums don’t always have a place in people’s perception of your appearance. You may not even give your own gum tissues a second thought, unless you have too much or too little. Gingival tissues (i.e. your gums) are one of the major components which make up the anatomy of your mouth. Periodontal disease is one of the two most common and destructive progressive oral diseases. (The other is tooth decay). How much do you already know about your gums? Find out by attempting this periodontal quiz from Lafayette dentist, Dr. Michael Young.

Questions

Q1. True or false: Gum tissues are purely cosmetic.

Q2. True or false: It is normal for gums to bleed. (more…)

Post Tooth Extraction Tips

Close up Male SmileThere are many different types of dental surgeries. Some are simple, and others are a bit more invasive and challenging. Tooth extractions are usually one of the easier procedures. Generally necessary when one of your teeth is impacted, injured, or damaged beyond repair by infection, extractions may require little more than a local anesthetic. Extractions are also sometimes necessary when preparing for full dentures or dental implants. While sedation techniques can keep you oblivious and comfortable during the procedure, a bit of post extraction discomfort is to be expected. To make recovery easier, follow some of the following suggestions.

Keep it Soft

After your procedure, you will likely go home with an aftercare sheet that includes the advice “Stick to soft foods.” Don’t forget to also avoid chewy foods. Since you are likely to have some residual numbness following your extraction, any food that requires heavy chewing action puts you at risk for biting and injuring your inner cheeks, tongue, and/or gum tissues. Chunky food should also stay off the menu right after an extraction as food debris can get lodged in the socket and cause infection. For at least the first 24 hours after you have a tooth extracted, stick to liquid for nourishment as well as gelatin, yogurt, smoothies, cottage cheese, and scrambled eggs. (more…)

A Spicy Fourth of July

FireMouthAre you the type to celebrate holidays with lots of spicy foods to stimulate your taste buds? Hot chili peppers can add a little extra flavor and kick to any meal. Fiery spices have some benefits to your body, but you should beware of dangers to your smile, including burning mouth syndrome. Before you set of the fireworks outside, have you already had some going on in your mouth?

Pros of Spicing up your Life

Spicy foods act like a stimulant, waking up your body. Capsaicin is the ingredient responsible for the burning feeling that stimulates your nerve endings. When you bite into a chili pepper, your eyes begin to water, your mouth burns, and your body becomes more alert. The painful burning is actually waking up your senses and triggering your appetite.

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Downtown Art Walk in Lafayette

mother child and balloonsOn the second Saturday of the month, the next time being July 12, 2014, the Art Walk will take place in the Downtown Lafayette Cultural District. It is a fun and enjoyable evening filled with local color, great art, and live music. The Downtown Cultural Arts District continues to evolve and to grow into a local treasure for all generations to enjoy. Dr. Michael Young of Lafayette is a lifelong resident of the area and is very proud to serve his community in various ways from his comfortable, highly-advanced dental practice. (more…)

Symmetry in Smiling

beautiful symmetrical smileYou probably don’t need a professional opinion to tell you that straightening crooked teeth can significantly improve your smile’s appearance. Still, as an adult, you might be hesitant about wearing metal braces, especially if your image and confidence are an important part of your professional life. Unfortunately, vanity doesn’t change the fact that, without proper treatment, crooked teeth can do more damage than just making your smile seem asymmetrical. Misaligned teeth (malocclusion) can also negatively affect the proper function of your bite and lead to more serious issues down the road.    (more…)

Dentistry in the Dark Ages: Shakespeare and Pigs’ Teeth

Wisdom tooth extraction in Lafayette, LAWhen Shakespeare penned that “parting is such sweet sorrow,” he probably didn’t have dentistry in mind. Of course, a closer look at dental care in Shakespeare’s time suggests that this famous line could easily have applied to tooth extraction. General dentist Dr. Michael Young, who offers wisdom tooth extractions in Lafayette, LA, explains how far dentistry has come since those days and what it means for you. (more…)

Fun and Fascinating Friday Dental Facts

Fun on ComputerWe try to give you plenty of information about important topics in dentistry each week. Dentistry doesn’t always have to be serious, however. To lighten things up, enjoy some interesting (and sometimes amusing) dental facts, such as this: chocolate (of the dark variety and in moderation) is not only good for your heart, but also good for your teeth thanks to compounds such as theobromine. Read on for more interesting factoids related to the dental field from Lafayette dentist, Dr. Michael Young.

Dental Facts

  • If you get irritated by people talking on their cell phones in public, you’re not alone. In fact, a survey done by Time Magazine said that 59% of Americans would choose going to the dentist over being forced to sit next to someone talking on a cell phone.
  • A prisoner in West Virginia once escaped his cell with braided dental floss. His creative makeshift rope helped him to scale the outer walls of the jail and make his (more…)

“Chewse” Wisely When It Comes to Chewing Gum

Kooky Lady Blowing a BubbleIt’s a habit most of us enjoy as kids and many of us never grow out of as adults: chewing gum. We chew gum to freshen our breath after meals and to blow bubbles just for fun. When it comes to your oral health, gum can be a mixed bag: in some cases, gum can benefit your oral health. In other cases, chewing gum can create serious problems. Today we’re looking at the good, the bad, and the chewy of chewing gum. (more…)

Keep Your Whitened Teeth Whitened

woman with bright smile eating an appleYou have made a significant investment in your appearance by having your teeth whitened and your smile brightened by Dr. Michael J. Young. You want to know how to protect its value and how to let it generate a return on investment for years to come. Below are so helpful ways to safeguard your newly whitened teeth.     

Eat right.

What you eat is as important as what you should refrain from eating. There are many foods which can actually help keep your teeth white. Among those raw foods are:

  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Green beans
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots

These foods neutralize acid and generate the flow of saliva. (more…)