Monday, November 11, 2013

What Restorative Materials Are Best?

Restorative materials have traditionally led the charge in changing the way in which dental patients are treated. Composite resin had largely supplanted the older silicate restoration by the early 1970s, as a result of its superior durability and aesthetics. Today, we are witnessing a worldwide shift away from amalgam restorations. Amalgams are durable, easy to place, and safe when properly prepared and placed. But can they continue to be used in the face of the public's growing fear of "mercury fillings"? Neither metallurgical science, nor a century of data showing amalgam restorations to be generally safe and cost-effective, means much to antiamalgam activists, not all of whose claims can be dismissed as irrational. Some concerns are valid, such as the environmental impact of residual mercury in improperly mixed amalgam.

From the patient's viewpoint, most would agree that amalgam is not the best aesthetic choice, especially for anterior teeth, and some patients refuse amalgam for that reason alone. Tooth-colored resins, although the technology has advanced regularly and spectacularly, aren't always a satisfactory substitute. They require more attention to technique, their cost is generally higher, and they typically must be replaced more frequently over the patient's lifetime. This not only costs more but also exposes the patient to more of the risks, however minimal, associated with restorative dentistry.

In the case of amalgam, I see the choice of restorative material being based increasingly on preference rather than evidence. The preference could be that of the individual patient (which we have seen evolving in the United States) or that of the electorate, implemented by government fiat. On the other hand, environmental issues could ultimately trump all others.


Monday, October 28, 2013

The Best of Dentistry Communities on Google Plus.

We are dentists and patients talking about dental matters we care about in local regions of America: dental match making, experience sharing, referral, comment, Q& A,  fun, facts and more...

We organize around the Best Dentists communities for regional topics such as dentist referral, and the Best of Dentistry community for general topics.

The idea behind these communities is that somethings are better online than offline.  For example, we all know how uncertain it is to find a good dentist. We ask for referral from friends, and the experience is often less than expected. The difficulty is a result of the great range of differences in individuals, patients and dentists. More over, there are differences in business models at dental offices and circumstances of the patients. As a new patient, we can better choose a dentist if we have the information relevant to our desire. When dentists and patients participate in the conversation and the conversation is available for those who wish to listen in, we are pretty sure that  dentist-patient matching and mutual understanding can be a lot more pleasant and reliable.
83% of people: teeth more important to appearance than hair, eyes.

Unfortunately, so far that is proven not possible in the real world. The information or lack of it is in the data. You can read more on that below. These communitites are created to improve those aspects of the dental experience.

The good thing about G+ is that we have the good ideas and solutions collectively arrive at and make available to any and all patients who seek them. This is the greatest advantage online communities have over the real world.

So come join us on Google +, participate in and enjoy the conversation.