Tag Archives: general dentistry

Amalgam Fillings: Are They Worth It? | Palm Harbor Dentist

When we develop a cavity, it is important to get it treated before it gets worse. So, we make a trip to see the dentist, and they make us good as new with a filling. But have you ever thought about what makes up those fillings? Let’s take a closer look…

For a more traditional look, dental amalgam is a common material used to fill cavities. They are the kinds of fillings known as silver fillings. Silver fillings have been used for years to replace holes made by cavities or other tooth related injuries. Unfortunately, over the years, concerns have been raised about the use of amalgam because it contains mercury.

Mercury is a neurotoxin that, at high levels, may cause neurological issues, autoimmune disease, chronic illnesses, and mental disorders.  Amalgams are 50% mercury laced with a combination of silver, tin, and copper. At a high level of exposure, OSHA is claiming that they are unhealthy.  Because of these concerning factors, amalgam fillings have made a huge impact on the dental world. As of recently, the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination surveyed 31,000 adults and found that the number of dental fillings correlated to the incidence of cancer, mental conditions, thyroid conditions, neurological issues, and diseases of the eye. While statistics show for themselves, research still must be done in the search for a sure reason to take amalgams off of the market. At the same time, they are also responsible for saving millions of teeth around the world.

If you’re interested in learning more about amalgam fillings, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and surrounding areas.

Your Bad Habits May Be Ruining Your Teeth | Palm Harbor Dentist

Do have a bad dental habit? Believe it or not, most individuals have acquired bad dental habits over the years. What’s worse is that if this habit affects our teeth, it can lead to many issues down the road. The problem is, most of the time we are unaware we even have a habit, much less know we’re doing damage to our teeth. Here is a list of some bad habits that does a lot of damage to your teeth:

Chewing ice. After you’ve finished a drink, you might have the habit of chewing the ice that is leftover. Little did you know, the cold and hardness of the cubes can actually do damage to your teeth by chipping or cracking them.

Using your teeth as a tool. Using your teeth to crack open nuts, or tear through plastic can be incredibly detrimental. Just like chewing ice, using your teeth as a tool may cause damage to your teeth.

Drinking soda. While this isn’t a surprise, we’re adding the usage of sugar free sodas as well. Sodas are acidic and incredibly harmful to teeth.

Nail biting. Perhaps one of the most common bad habits, biting your nails itself is not only damaging to your nail beds, but also to your teeth.

Grinding your teeth. The official term for this habit is bruxism and is a common occurrence at night. But grinding your teeth wears them down. While this is difficult to control, a dentist could suggest using a nightguard to help you get it under control.

If you’re interested in learning more about bad dental habits, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and surrounding areas.

Could Gum Disease Be Linked to Alzheimer’s? | Palm Harbor Dentist

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 64 percent of senior Americans (65+ years) have moderate or severe gum disease. Alzheimer’s disease also serves as the prelude or leading cause of dementia, and affects more than 5 million Americans. Why the stats? There may be a link between the two.

In 2013, Health Day News published an article pertaining research results that found a linkage between Gum Disease and Alzheimer’s. During this study, researchers analyzed brain samples of 10 individuals with Alzheimer’s and 10 individuals without a brain disease; the results were startling. Those with Alzheimer’s showed gum disease-related bacteria in the brain, while no bacteria was found in the brain samples from individuals without Alzheimer’s.

More recently, a 2016 study by University of Southampton and King’s College London set out to determine whether or not periodontitis or gum disease was linked to the severity of dementia. The subsequent cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients and seem to back up the original theories. Researchers concluded that because bacteria can enter the bloodstream from the mouth, the bacteria can travel its way through the blood and to the brain, causing potential hazards in the neurological region.

Growing evidence from a number of studies links the body’s inflammatory response to increased rates of cognitive decline, suggesting that it would be worth exploring whether the treatment of gum disease might also benefit the treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Just one more reminder that it is important to keep up with our daily dental routines.

If you’re interested in learning more about periodontitis, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and surrounding areas.

Cavity Prevention Is in Your Hands | Palm Harbor Dentist

A cavity occurs when plaque produces enough acid to eat through tooth enamel. The effects are usually reversible through extensive dental treatments, but there’s an easier way to deal with cavities – prevention. Just follow these three simple tips:

Watch your diet. People who love sugary treats are more likely to suffer from cavities, as well as other dental problems, compared to those who don’t. Frequently snacking on sweets leaves sugar and starch on your teeth, causing plaque and eventually resulting in cavities. To minimize the risk, cut back on your sugar intake, if not avoid it all. By making the decision to eliminate sugar from your diet, you’ll not only improve your oral health, but your health overall.

Visit your dentist. Plenty of people suffer from cavities because they rarely pay a visit to their dentist. If it’s been a while since your last appointment, consider scheduling a visit ASAP. Your dentist will examine your entire mouth and give you a proper assessment of how good (or bad) your oral health is.

Take care of your teeth. Make it a habit to brush your teeth every day and floss regularly. People tend to forget to floss, but it gets in spots a toothbrush can’t. If you don’t know if you’re brushing or flossing your teeth properly, make it a point to ask your dentist. Gargling mouthwash will also go a long way in eliminating plaque buildup, so don’t forget to ask your dentist for any brands they recommend.

If you’re interested in learning more about cavity prevention, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and surrounding areas.

Do I Have TMJ Disorder? | Palm Harbor Dentist

Individuals suffering from Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMJ, experience many symptoms such as discomfort and pain in areas surrounding the face or jaw. But what is TMJ? TMJ is the joint where your lower jaw is attached to your skull, so you have TMJs on both sides of your face. Problems related to said joints are classified as TMJ disorders. Common examples of TMJ disorders are frequent migraines, having trouble sleeping and difficulty in closing, as well as opening the mouth. TMJ may also result in a number of other problems, including:

  • Pain in your facial area.
  • Pain in your ears, ringing, as well as congestion.
  • Popping and sometimes pain in the jaw when opening and closing the mouth.
  • Pain and stiffness in the shoulder, back and neck.
  • Numbness in your arms, more specifically your hands and fingers.
  • Problems with posture.

There are a series of remedies recommended in order to alleviate tension found in those areas. Some of these include:

  • Facial exercises such as stretching, relaxing, or massaging the muscles found around the jaw
  • Evading actions such as yawning, singing, or excessive chewing.
  • Learning new stress relieving techniques including but not limited to: meditation, breathing exercises, or personal stress relievers.
  • Formulating an exercise plan in order to increase our pain tolerance.

Patients suffering from TMJ should follow these few techniques in order to alleviate TMJ pain and symptoms. If symptoms worsen, you are encouraged to schedule an appointment immediately with our friendly staff. There are various treatments a sleep specialist can offer.

If you’re interested in learning more about TMJ disorder, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDSat 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and surrounding areas.

CEREC: Fix Your Smile in a Day | Palm Harbor Dentist

dental crown and bridge palm harbor flWe all consider our time to be very important. And that’s one of the reasons we offer the advanced CEREC technology, capable of producing a dental crown in just one day! CEREC is a CAD/CAM technology, computer-assisted design and computer-assisted manufacture system and allows your dentist to make you a customized crown in just one visit.

A crown is a functional covering that dentists put over a damaged or decayed tooth or teeth after the dentist has removed the defective area to strengthen a tooth and improve appearance.

Before, making crowns consisted of multiple visits. First, is the consultation. They take a dental impression to make a mold of your tooth, then send it to the lab to make your crown. After a few weeks your crown is ready, so you would come back to have it placed. But with advancements in dental technology like the CEREC system, you can get all of this done in one day, saving you lots of time.

Another advantage of the CEREC technology is precision. The scanner the dentist uses takes excellent 3D images of your jawline and the computer the dentist uses takes excellent images of the area for the crown. Instead of porcelain, these one day crowns are made with an enamel-like material. No metal is used, making the detection of cavities easier.  And because we know that how your teeth look is important to you, they can color your crown in a day to match your existing teeth.

If you’re interested in learning more about CEREC crowns, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDSat 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and surrounding areas.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep – It’s Important | Palm Harbor Dentist

ThinkstockPhotos-475251719Good quality sleep is vital to everyday health. Poor sleep can cause loss of concentration, headaches and low energy. There are times it is possible to even lead to increased rates of infection, cardiovascular problems, and hypertension. One reason you may be experiencing poor quality sleep is a condition known as sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where sleep is interrupted by irregular breathing while in your various sleep stages. It can take the form of breathing pause (apnea) or very shallow breathing (hypopnea). Both can last from several seconds to minutes, and can occur as much as 30 times per hour. When breathing is paused, carbon dioxide builds up in the blood stream, and the brain signals the body to wake up and breath, causing the interruption in sleep.

The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OPA), which is caused by a physical obstruction of the airway while sleeping. When you snore, obstructive sleep apnea causes the muscles around the airway to relax and narrow, causing the air moving through the airway to make noise. Snoring is not a guaranteed sign of sleep apnea, a sleep test may be in order.

A way to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea is an overnight sleep study, where doctors will record your airflow, heart rate, oxygen and brain activity to determine whether breathing is impacting your sleep. If a sleeping issue is diagnosed, treatment options are available. Various techniques can help with airflow, like lifestyle changes, medical devices, or surgery.

If you’re interested in learning more about sleep apnea, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and surrounding areas.

Crowns and Bridges: For My Mouth? | Palm Harbor Dentist

461777879There are times in life where we will all lose or damage an existing tooth. In order to restore our flawed smile, we will require the use of a dental implant. Then you hear about crowns and bridges, and you’re confused. Which is which and what is the difference?

Dental crowns and bridges are dental prosthetic devices that are cemented onto existing teeth or implants. Unlike dentures, which can be taken out, crowns and bridges can only be removed by a dentist. Which procedure is right for you requires a dental examination and treatment plan.

First the bridge. Like a bridge we would encounter driving along, dental bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth, making the gap no longer existent. They are cemented to existing teeth or implants that surround an empty space, serving as anchors for the bridge. Porcelain is the most common material choice because it can be matched to the color of your natural teeth.

Bridges are dental restorations that span the gap left by missing teeth and is connected to the teeth adjacent to the space left behind. Typically, bridges consist of filler teeth, which are anchored or attached, then bonded to a crown or the surrounding teeth. The procedure for bridges is easy and rarely takes no longer than two visits, and rarely require surgery. This is a huge advantage to those that have dental anxiety. But dental bridges are cheap, especially when compared to the initial costs of other procedures, such as dentures and implants.

Dental crowns serve a different purpose; they cover a damaged tooth. They do not go hand-in-hand with bridges, as crowns used for lots of reasons, repairing the tooth’s appearance or shape, and to fix alignment issues.  As with bridges, crowns can be made of porcelain but as you can see, there are many dental issues that can be repaired with a dental crown:

  • To attach a bridge
  • Replace a filling when not enough tooth remains
  • Protecting weak teeth
  • Fractured tooth
  • Cover a dental implant
  • Cover a discolored tooth
  • Cover a tooth that has had a root canal

Crowns and bridges are fairly easy to take care of once applied. Practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing and seeing your dentist on a regular basis. Also, steer clear of chewing hard foods such as ice or hard candies. Follow these simple rules and your crowns and bridges could last a lifetime!

If you’re interested in dental crowns or bridges, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and surrounding areas.

Why Would I Get Botox at the Dentist? | Palm Harbor Dentist

Grandparent and daughterNo one likes change, but it’s bound to happen. No matter how hard you try to stop it, everything is going to continue to progress. Dial back to a decade or two ago, it was hard to convince dentists that tooth whitening and orthodontic procedures were necessary for cosmetic reasons alone. The main focus of dentists back then was simply to make sure that their patient’s teeth were healthy and that nothing was wrong with them. Other concerns, such as how teeth looked were often overlooked or dismissed as long as the teeth were “healthy”.

Botox injections, or Botox for short, is used in treating all sorts of condition in the medical field, mainly because of how it can cause the temporary paralysis of muscle activity. This makes it very useful for cases such as cervical dystonia or repetitive neck spasms, excessive sweating and overactive bladder. Though, there are also cases where Botox was used in treating crossed eyes, as well as chronic migraines. But, what does that have to do with Botox earning a place in dentistry? It’s not like teeth have wrinkles, right?

These days, more and more dental professionals have realized that function and esthetic go hand-in-hand in achieving optimal health. Our faces and mainly, our jaws do have muscles and they’re prone to suffering from constant muscle spasms. Conditions such as bruxism, TMJ and others involving facial pain have been proven to benefit from Botox injections, though not all dentists are aware of this.

Safe for treating conditions involving facial pain, Botox injections may also prove useful in many other dental cases. Botox, along with dermal fillers, are used and have been effective to some extent in treating high line cases without having to resort to far more invasive and aggressive forms of treatment. In orthodontics, the teeth of patients with strong mentalis muscles are prone reverting back to pre-therapy positions. Botox can help with this by making the muscles weaker to allow more normal movement and prevent the undoing of the effects of the current treatment. Patients who are still getting used to dentures can benefit from Botox, especially if they suffer from strong and consistent muscle contractions

While there are certainly concerns about how Botox should only be administered by doctors, it’s worth noting that most states allow dentists to use Botox for both therapeutic and cosmetic purposes. Not only that, but local anesthesia, which is far more frequently used by dentists, is also a lot more dangerous and have greater potential for complications, as well as negative reactions compared to Botox or dermal fillers.

If you’re interested in Botox injections, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and surrounding areas.

Scared of the Dentist? Don’t Be. | Palm Harbor Dentist

494183909If you ask anyone to name one of their biggest issues are regarding the upkeep of their health, a large percentage of them will say, “I hate the dentist”. If you ask why that is, chances are the response will be one of two things: the needles or that numbness that seems to last long after the procedure is complete. Unfortunately, there are a lot of needles used in your typical dentist office, and in order to help relieve your anxiety, some type of sedation is administered during the visit. And for many, this makes something as simple as a dental check-up a dreaded fact of life. And we ought to do this TWICE a year?!?! Yikes!

The problem is, one can never be too sure what will happen when they see the dentist, and this causes a lot of fear as the dental appointment slowly creeps up on us. In fact, there is an official diagnosis for this fear. It is called Dental Anxiety, or DA. So, see? You are not alone.

Thankfully, there have been a lot of advancements in the world of dental procedures. Now we utilize the digital age by working with technologies like lasers, digital radiology & impressions, and even social media. Yes, even social media can help ease your fears as a particular dental procedure looms near. The advancement that has come the furthest has been laser technology by far. In 2012, Convergent Dental introduced an isotopic CO₂ dental laser that can perform more than 95% of restorative treatment WITHOUT the use of needles. No need for needles, no need for anesthesia. Can you imagine?

It gets even better. Braces are no longer metal cages surrounding all of your teeth since the development of Invisalign. With 3-D technology, invisible aligners can be custom made for you, and as you follow your treatment plan, these subtle aligners will begin slowly straightening your teeth week by week. No popped wires, no head gear, no more awful selfies. It truly is a revolutionary development for all teenagers worldwide.

Now, what if you need a more difficult procedure, like a crown or veneers? A state-of-the-art procedure has been developed to not only make your procedure less painful, but also much more hassle-free than it’s ever been. Chairside Economical Restorations of Esthetic Ceramic (CEREC®) uses computers to design and manufacture ceramic restorations that are metal-free, tooth-colored and completely finished in one single dental visit. Yes, you heard it right. One visit. Are you starting to feel a little bit better now?

But what if you are one of those patients that will forever have a problem relaxing with a dentist? We know you’re nervous, but now we can offer you an oral sedative to settle those nerves enough for you to get through your visit, without IV sedatives or general anesthesia. At our Riverside dental location, we make it our business to provide you with the smile of your dreams, while making you feel comfortable at each visit by utilizing every type of dental technology available. So don’t be afraid. Give us a call to set up your next dental appointment. We aren’t your grandparents’ dentist anymore…

To find out more, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information regarding restorative dentistry.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and surrounding areas.