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Tuesdays with the Team


Education made simple – Provided by our Dental Assistant, Apryl!

Have you ever been listening to someone tell you how something is built and you don’t have a clue what they’re talking about? It’s certainly happened to me, and not only do I mentally start trailing off, but I leave the conversation feeling frustrated! Because I realize through my own experiences how easily this can happen, I try my very best to explain dentistry so that everyone can understand. For example, let’s say someone has an old silver filling in their tooth and it’s just broken your tooth. WOW! That’s a lot to take in. But if I broke it down in terms everyone could understand, I’d probably tell it like this:

Your old silver filling is expanding and contracting when you eat hot and cold foods and beverages. (I would be using my arms in this situation, like an elevator door opening and closing.) When you eat cold things, the silver contracts, making a small space open up between your tooth and where the filling meets. Bacteria (that we ALL have in our mouths) loves to creep down between this space of filling and tooth. When you eat hot foods, the silver filling expands, cracking your precious tooth.

You might wonder why it cracks. That’s easy! Because the silver filling is not ‘glued’ to the inside of your tooth, it’s simply ‘pushed’ into your tooth. This is called ‘mechanical’ retention. The tooth ‘cracks’ over time because 1) the bacteria has been able to eat under and around the silver filling, and 2) the constant expansion and contraction finally breaks the tooth. The funny part of it all is that most people come in and say they were “just eating a sandwich and their tooth broke!” This is because the suction of bread finally pulled the piece off that was cracked and decaying around that old silver filling. This is a super common cause of tooth breakage, and being able to explain this process makes me happy.

This is just one example of how educating can be made simple.

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