Our office has been “mercury free” since 1991 meaning we do not use amalgam restorations on patients. According to The Science of Dental Materials: “An analysis of clinical restorations indicated a wide variation in mercury content, ranging from approximately 45-70%.”
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD)
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD), also referred to as TMJ occur as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw joint (TMJ) and surrounding facial muscles
What are the symptoms?
TMD often causes severe pain and discomfort. It can be temporary or last many years. It may affect one or both sides of the face. It is true that more women than men suffer from TMD, and it can occur at a wide range of ages, starting as early as 15 years of age, all the way to someone in their 70’s and beyond.
Common symptoms include:
- Pain or tenderness in your face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew or speak.
- Problems when you try to open your mouth wide
- Jaws that get "stuck" or "lock" in the open- or closed-mouth position
- Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when you open or close your mouth or chew. This may or may not be painful.
- A tired feeling in your face
- Trouble chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite—as if the upper and lower teeth are not fitting together properly
- Swelling on the side of your face
- You may also have toothaches, headaches, neck aches, dizziness, earaches, hearing problems, upper shoulder pain, and ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
Dr. Jeffrey Supple will perform a comprehensive TMD exam in order to diagnose specific areas of concern. A treatment plan and course of action will be presented to help correct any issues
A dental crown (also known as a cap) covers and protects a tooth that is damaged or decayed while restoring a normal appearance to the smile.
Dental bridges replace a missing tooth by attaching the false tooth to one or more crowns that are placed over nearby teeth for support and stability.
Tooth Colored Fillings
Tooth-colored fillings seal and protect cavities in the enamel after they have been cleaned with a composite resin material that is colored to match.
For small, cosmetic improvements to the smile, dental bonding and contouring fills in chips and gaps, then shapes the edges and surface of the teeth.
To mask cosmetic flaws, porcelain or cosmetic veneers are thin covers that are placed over the front of the natural teeth for a more attractive smile.
Dental restorations, like crowns and bridges, can be implanted for a longer-lasting solution to a missing tooth or teeth. The dental implant is placed into the jawbone like a natural tooth root and then allowed to integrate into the bone and gum tissue as the patient heals. Once the implant is secure, Dr. Supple can attach the custom restorations to the implant. Dr. Supple will match the shade and contour of the implanted teeth to match the patientʼs smile for a natural, attractive appearance.
Compatibility Testing of Dental Materials
We take further steps to determine which materials are suitable in order to decrease the likelihood of an allergic reaction to the dental materials. I.e., anesthetic, filling materials, porcelain restorations, implants, bonding agents, etc.
Mercury Vapor Testing of Your “Silver” Fillings
Our office uses a mercury vapor analyzer to test the vapor emitted from patient’s amalgam fillings. According to NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) the recommended airborne exposure limit (REL) IS 0.05 mg/m³ *(as mercury vapor) averaged over a 10-hour work shift and 0.1 mg/m³ (as Mercury), not to be exceeded at any time.
Applied kinesiology makes the use of muscle strength as an indicator of an organism’s orderly disturbed state of health. The arm (deltoid/shoulder muscle) offers the easiest access for muscle testing. Our office uses Kinesiology to gauge which dental materials are better suited for you than others.
In the simplest terms, if a dental product is suited well for a patient, their arm will generally “stay strong” and remain raised. If a dental product is not suitable for the patient, their arm will generally fall when pressure is placed. See the picture for reference.
Of course, Kinesiology is a tool to help us determine product compatibility. It is not a guarantee that a patient will not have any allergic/negative reaction to the dental materials used. If you are extremely chemically sensitive, please notify us and we will refer you to get blood drawn and mailed to a lab in order to provide a comprehensive booklet of over 2,000 dental materials that are tested and determined either “suitable” or “not suitable.” There is a cost for this service through the lab, Clifford Consulting and Research.
Basics of Muscle Testing
Our office uses the technologically advanced digital x-ray system rather than traditional x-rays. Some of the benefits are:
- Immediate processing of the image, whereas traditional film takes time to develop the image
- Less radiation exposure: roughly 70% less radiation exposure through digital x-rays
- Images are enhance-able: Dr. Supple can easily change the brightness, contrast, and size of the image to view problem areas
- The ability to store the image in a computer database making the transfer of images from doctor to doctor easy and less time consuming
- Environmentally friendly! The office does not have the need to purchase x-ray film and developing chemicals
Professional Cleanings for Your Family of All Ages
Our office does general cleanings and routine care! We have a WONDERFUL hygienist who our patients adore. She is thorough, yet gentle, and educates patients about their dental hygiene throughout the visit. She takes the time to inform patients of areas that need improvement and goes into detail on how you can achieve better results—rather than just lecturing “floss more” or “brush better.” She also treats periodontal patients with periodontal maintenance cleanings, and a special procedure called “scaling and root planning.” Patients who have commercial insurance don’t pay anything at the time of visit- we will send the claim to the insurance carrier to see what they cover, and the remainder will be billed to the patient at a later date. Usually insurance covers 50-80% of dental cleanings, x-ray updates, and exams.
Mercury Safe Removal Protocol
Dr. Jeffrey Supple uses The Safe Mercury Amalgam Technique (SMART) to reduce mercury vapor exposure to both patient and operators during the amalgam removal.
- The patient is covered with a disposable drape or oversized bib, eye protection and frequently-changed drapes.
- An RN administers an IV of Vitamin C which acts as a ligand, meaning it will bind to the free floating mercury as it is released and help flush it out of your system
- A high speed external industrial mercury vapor filtering system is utilized as close to the working area as possible, along with supplemental oxygen to avoid inhaling the mercury vapors.
- Copious amounts of cool water are used with the spray focused on the junction of the hand piece bur and tooth while the filling is being removed.
- The high volume evacuation is fitted with a Teflon Clean Up device to isolate the tooth and to remove the high volume of water, along with the amalgam particles and mercury vapor.
- Dental personnel are protected by using an industrial mercury vapor mask, face shield, surgical drapes, and head protection.
- The mercury fillings are removed into as large "chunks" as possible to reduce the amount of mercury vapor created.
- Once the removal process is complete, the patient’s mouth is thoroughly flushed with water and then the patient rinses with a charcoal slurry, chlorella or similar absorbent.
- After mercury removal, dental personnel must remove gloves, wash hands thoroughly, and re-glove.
- Our offices use a centralized mercury/amalgam separator which collects 99% of mercury, before it goes to waste water.
- The most bio-compatible and technically appropriate materials are chosen for the replacement restorations.