Health
July 19, 2019
link to facebook link to twitter
More Stories
 Five cybersecurity tips for older adults Summer’s sun damages the skin All of us make mistakes Using Medicare when on foreign land Why are seniors targets for scams? What causes sensitive teeth to hurt Dental scanning technology improves dental care Recognizing and reporting elder abuse When hard things happen How to fail well The spirit of Alzheimer’s learning Part II Tips for keeping calm in the midst of crisis Fall risks are sometimes simple, yet fatal Is multi-generational living for you? Increasing West Nile Virus activity in Ca. Natural disaster threats call for preparedness plan to protect seniors The spirit of Alzheimer’s learning  Winter sun safety: What to know about protecting yourself during colder months Tending to spiritual distress with aging and illness Blood pressure control a focus of American Heart month Home your own way March is colorectal cancer awareness month Safety at home for seniors Yoga for relaxation & healing How to prevent bad breath War on opioids in California Help families make time for seniors during the holiday season Helping seniors with vision and hearing impairments Holiday stress-busters for harried caregivers It’s what’s inside that counts! Dental emergencies Don’t wait until it hurts! Does spring mean allergy season for you? Top 10 products to help seniors stay home How to take Tylenol safely The role companionship plays in aging Is it elder abuse or neglect? Improving the state of aging in America Fight flu this season by getting immunized Confirm your preparedness plans for Seniors Did you get your flu shot? If not why not? A message from the heart Using anxiety to your advantage Youth, women and dementia The long-reaching impact of dementia Children’s dental health month Ten tips for healthy aging Planning for aging at home Thirty-four years as a dentist Tooth friendly Easter tips Feeding my hungry heart Important: women and periodontal health Senate passes Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding October’s most celebrated event Our Feelings Come From Our Beliefs Making sense of the season for seniors Cultures differ on what makes a beautiful smile! How to have a better year Falling in love is easy, but staying in love is very special A confession Women in dentistry Plan for where you want to age Three ways a senior can fund a home remodel Cannabis as medicine-Changing the face of aging May is skin cancer awareness month A brain is a reason to join the Alzheimer’s fight Returning home is bittersweet How to know if you are in danger of compression fractures Psychology Today The Art of Resilience: I Have I Am…I Can The advantage of dental implants Too much of a good thing for seniors and the holidays What families’ caregivers need to know about Recommendations for screen time Resolutions for your oral health Super Bowl, Joe Montana and blood pressure Open heart surgery – Thoughts from the other side Chewing gum - Helpful or harmful? Five tips for a healthy smile I will– I should– I can– I’ll try Rightsizing for seniors doesn’t have to be painful The Joy of Sadness Human Touch: The role companionship plays in aging at home Becoming who we really want to be Living with Lupus Erythematosus Un-retiring in a changing economy Coping with the unpredictable life of caregiving Double duty tools: toothbrush and floss Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Tips for living with low vision  Keep your Medicare costs down The freedom and choice to again place at home Put dementia on the agenda for 2019 Free app shows what Medicare covers The reason “Four” is the magic number? Preventing tooth decay in children Laughter is the best medicine Sports mouth guards-keeping teeth safe  Help your senior loved one avoid preventable hospitalizations Amazing results with Arestin Navigating the aging journey Smoke and stress maintenance and recovery How to lower your surgery costs Know your pharmacist… Know your medicine as drug prices will jump in 2019 Influenza activity is increasing throughout California Show your kids’ teeth some love this Valentine’s Day! New life and stormy weather Your Medicare rights and protections Summer snacking and your child’s teeth Back to basics 10 summertime activities for seniors Three ways to boost your self-esteem Healthy eating habits can benefit you and your teeth How does the body heal? Apply or renew Covered Ca. Health insurance by Jan. 15 Guilt from holiday eating Toothbrush tips Three reasons for a root canal Seniors: Say no to “free” genetic tests Three gifts you can give yourself Don’t stress, clench or grind! Gratitude and positivity can inspire caregiver self-care Medicare helps seniors use opioids safely A free cheek swab test What happens to our teeth and gums as we age? Reduce wear and tear As Autumn begins, a reminder flu season can hit seniors hard Overcoming fears surrounding End-of-Life care Cannabis symposium Sept. 19th The importance of immunization Osteoporosis, osteonecrosis and dental health How dentistry handles gastric reflux disease Use it or lose it- Muscle mass as you age  Twice a victim Finding a path forward after an accident Use it or lose it- Muscle mass as you age  If it is not broken, don’t fix it! Managing your mental health with or without insurance coverage Why gardening is the most recommended exercise for seniors

Halloween pirate’s gold

By: George Malkemus
October 26, 2018

Halloween is almost upon us, with fun and silly costumes of ghosts, goblins, witches and pirates.  Thinking about pirates may conjure up entertaining images of eye patches, treasure chests and swashbuckling battles on the high seas. But have you taken a good look at their teeth? Crooked, rotting, pirate teeth are ugly and unhealthy, but gold crowns can provide strength and flair.  Could a pirate with a black eye patch, a hook, a peg leg and a gold tooth be healthy?  Arrrrgh!

Gold crowns for pirates and landlubbers

A crown (sometimes called a cap) is an excellent solution to restore a damaged tooth. The crown completely covers and holds a tooth together to prevent a tooth from fracturing. Crowns also prevent plaque and bacteria from easily attacking the tooth. A crown gives strength to the remaining tooth structure and gives the tooth a smooth, natural shape.

Gold crowns have been available since at least the mid-1700s, a time that coincides with the “golden age” of piracy between the 1680s and 1730s. Gold crowns are basically unchanged except for the techniques used to prepare the tooth for the crown, including vast improvements in the drilling and impression methods.  Porcelain crowns are a much more recent phenomenon, from the 1960’s and they are continually changing and improving with new technologies. Porcelain crowns have become stronger and more esthetic over recent years.   Currently computer-generated, milled zirconium crowns are extremely strong and have an amazingly accurate fit. 

Crowns are recommended to:

Replace a filling, especially if there isn’t enough remaining tooth structure to support a new filling.

 Fix a decayed tooth with weak remaining tooth structure.

 Protect and hold a cracked tooth together.

 Restore a tooth after root canal therapy. Root canal teeth become brittle and can fracture.

 Cover a dental implant or hold a bridge in place.

 Provide an alternative for covering discolored teeth.

 Rebuild overly worn, ground down teeth.

Types of Crowns

Gold crowns can last the longest of all dental materials.  I have seen gold crowns that have lasted for over 50 years. But gold is a soft metal, so it is often worn away and a hole forms through the top of the crown. This happens particularly fast to a person who is a heavy grinder.  Gold crowns are cast and fit amazingly well due to the property of being malleable. This is why gold has been used to make beautiful jewelry for centuries.  Gold is recommended when the opposing tooth is made of gold for even wearing.

Zirconium is now replacing gold in most cases, due to its great strength, better wearing resistance and because it is tooth colored. Zirconium crowns are computer designed and milled to a precision fit.  I recommend zirconium crowns on back teeth, on non-aesthetic areas of the mouth and for patients that grind or clench their teeth. 

Porcelain crowns are beautiful with natural tooth translucency, but being made of glass, they are much weaker and can fracture.  They are also fabricated from a computer generated milling machine to fit accurately. Due to their weaker but more beautiful look, they are usually reserved for the front teeth. 

I allow each patient to make their own decision on the type of crown material after learning the advantages and disadvantages.  Many of my patients don’t want the bling of gold anywhere, others want gold on the back teeth for strength and a few others want the “bling, bling” of gold on front teeth – arrrgh, the pirate.    

Dustin Hoffman’s Crowns

An actor can take advantage of temporary, cosmetic procedures to bond veneers to his real teeth, making them look dramatically different.  Prior to the advent of veneers in the 1980’s, some actors would have crowns made for acting parts.  Dustin Hoffman had his front teeth ground down to look the part of a 120-year-old man in the 1970’s movie Little Big Man. He then had cosmetic crowns made that could be removed and changed for different movie roles. That is dedication to a job! 

Most actors and actresses have bright white Hollywood smiles 

from teeth whitening, veneers or crowns.  But it has always bothered me when I see an actor playing the part of a nasty pirate or vicious bad guy with perfect white, obviously fake teeth. Of course, I always zero in on teeth and smiles.  What can I say; I am a passionate dentist.  I admire Hoffman’s dedication to dental detail, though his painful role in Marathon Man set dentistry back about ten years. 

Pirate teeth for Halloween

Pirates and other people who have neglected their teeth are only postponing the inevitable. The situation will only get worse. An untreated tooth becomes more susceptible to bacteria, which can invade the tooth pulp and cause increasing decay, infection and pain. If the tooth breaks or needs to be extracted, this can escalate into problems with shifting teeth, a receding jawbone, gingivitis, periodontal disease and even more serious problems.

The best ways to minimize your chances of having teeth that look like a pirate’s are to brush and floss daily, maintain a healthy diet, and have regular dental checkups. However, masquerading your healthy teeth, as dark ugly pirates’ teeth can be fun on Halloween. Arrrgh!

Join the fun and participate on Halloween with some fake teeth or big lips.    Look for my gnarly slipover front teeth, Austin Power’s teeth, on Halloween.

Enjoy Life and Keep Smiling!

George Malkemus has a Family and Cosmetic Dental Practice in Rohnert Park at 2 Padre Parkway, Suite 200. Call 585-8595, or email info@ malkemusdds.com.  Visit Dr. Malkemus’ Web site at http://www.malkemusdds.com.