Professional Teeth Whitening Versus Over-the-Counter Whitening for Colorado Springs Patients

A common question Dr. Hill receives is “Why would I whiten my teeth at a dentist’s office when I can purchase teeth whitening products over-the-counter?” While those of us at Dr. Hill’s Colorado Springs, CO dentist’s office understand the question, we also know it’s an easy answer: tooth whitening at Dr. Hill’s office offers significantly more dramatic results than over-the-counter teeth whitening options.

In Office Whitening: The Benefits

The chief reason for this difference is that professional teeth whitening services from a dentist like Dr. Hill can “prescribe” gels that are significantly higher in peroxide content than their over-the-counter counterparts. This can be as big a difference as 300 percent higher peroxide and therefore whitening content. Because Dr. Hill can assess your teeth, he can determine if the stronger whitening components are right for your teeth and will not cause added sensitivity. Teeth Whitening
Dr. Hill specifically utilizes Opalescence Gel Regular 35%, a gel that uses carbamide peroxide plus fluoride and potassium nitrate to whiten your teeth while protecting against sensitivity. This gel is applied to custom whitening trays Dr. Hill creates for his Colorado Spring cosmetic dentistry patients. The custom trays are an added benefit from typical over-the-counter products because they are made for your teeth and your teeth only. This means whitening gel goes only where it is supposed to go: on your teeth. Non-custom whitening trays, gels or strips mean whitening gel can migrate to your more-sensitive gums, which can lead to burn-like damage.

How Do whitening Trays Work?

With regular wear for 30 minutes twice a day for a week or more, the Opalescence whitening system can remove red wine, coffee and tea stains from your teeth, turning back the hands of time on your smile. Because the custom trays are yours to keep, all you need is to purchase the gel to renew your initial results.
If you have further questions about professional teeth whitening, we encourage you to call our Colorado Springs, CO cosmetic dentist office at (719) 540-3983. We will be happy to answer any questions and further explain how the whitening process can help you experience whiter teeth.
By Jonathan Hill
March 28, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: oral health  

The Secret to Optimal Oral Heahth: Regular Dental Visits!
Have You Visited Your Colorado Springs Dentist?

As a child it is often engraved in our brains that we must visit the dentist twice a year.  However, as we get older we often find ourselves skipping dental visits due to fear or other excuses.  While fear is common, it is important to understand why skipping the dentist isn’t an option.  Routine visits to Dr. Jonathan Hill, our dentist in Colorado Springs, are vital in maintaining your oral health. Routine Visits

Why visit your dentist?

It’s simple. We visit the dentist to maintain optimal oral health care.  By visiting Dr. Hill, you are helping to prevent many dental problems from occurring. To begin with, a trip to see Dr. Hill twice a year helps you to prevent gum disease, which is the leading cause of adult tooth loss.  By visiting our dentist, gum disease can be diagnosed in its early stages in which it can be treated and reversed. When treatment is not received, a more serious and advanced stage of gum disease can develop.
A trip to your dentist also helps in preventing oral cancer.  Every hour of every day, someone in the United States alone dies from oral cancer.  By visiting Dr. Hill for your regular dental check up and cleaning, he will complete an oral cancer screening for early diagnosis.  When oral cancer is diagnosed early, it is highly curable, which makes regular dental visits important.
Additionally, you can help to prevent dental emergencies by visiting Dr. Jonathan Hill.  Toothaches and other emergencies can be easily avoided when you visit your Colorado Springs dentist at least twice a year. Dr. Hill can detect early signs of problems with your teeth and gums, such as cavities, broken fillings and gum disease. 
If you cannot remember the last time you visited the dentist, contact Dr. Jonathan Hill immediately.  As a general and implant dentist in Colorado Springs, Dr. Hill is available to help you maintain optimal oral health care. Schedule an appointment today to ensure your oral health.

Metal braces are often considered a rite of passage for teenagers whose teeth need straightening. While some teens have no problem with this, others are more self-conscious and would like a less noticeable and less restrictive form of orthodontic treatment (“ortho” – to straighten; “odont” – teeth). After all, traditional braces can sometimes require diet modification, regular tightenings can cause discomfort, and the hardware itself can irritate the inside of the mouth. All of these things can limit a teen's ability to function normally during an already difficult stage of life.

That's why many teens today are opting for removable clear aligners, which have been popular with adults for years. In this system of orthodontic treatment, transparent, flexible, plastic “trays” are custom-made to move an individual's teeth into better alignment in a step-by-step fashion. Each tray moves the teeth a little bit further, according to a precise plan developed with specialized computer software by an orthodontist, or a general dentist who has received special training. It's not available from every dentist, but we are happy to be able to offer it here.

It used to be that clear aligners were not recommended for teens for two main reasons. For one thing, because they are removable rather than attached to the teeth, it was assumed a teenager would not be as conscientious as an adult about wearing them nearly 24 hours a day, which is necessary to achieve the desired results. Now, however, clear aligners for teens have colored “compliance indicators” that fade over time. With this new tool, dentists and parents — and teens themselves — can monitor compliance and progress.

The other main problem in prescribing clear aligners for teens had been that their second molars are still growing into position. This problem, too, has been solved. Clear aligners now have “eruption tabs” that serve as space-holders for teeth that have yet to grow in.

Finally, in recent years, improvements have been made to the whole clear aligner system that allow it to be used for more serious malocclusions (bad bites). So it's actually a viable option for more orthodontic patients in general — teens as well as adults.

If you would like to learn more about clear aligners for your teenager, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also find out more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Clear Aligners For Teenagers.”

By Jonathan Hill DDS
March 21, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   gluten  

If you have noticed white spots or enamel pitting on your teeth, something in your diet may be the cause. If accompanied by other general symptoms, these dental problems may stem from a possible intolerance to gluten.

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley or oats. Some people (an estimated one in 130 Americans) have a condition called Celiac Disease (CD) in which their immune system mistakenly treats gluten as a threat and initiates an attack of antibodies (individual proteins made by the immune system to target and kill specific foreign substances) against it. Tiny hair-like structures in the small intestine called cilia that aid in nutrient absorption may be destroyed in the process. As a result, the body can't properly absorb nutrients.

CD can be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms resemble other conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Typically, though, CD causes digestive issues like diarrhea, bloating and stomach aches, as well as fatigue, growth abnormalities and vitamin deficiencies. In the mouth, the most common symptoms are enamel defects like spotting and pitting. Patients may also lose a portion of their enamel in the grooves of the central incisors where the enamel may appear chalky or opaque rather than shiny, evidence of a condition called decalcification. CD may also cause canker sores.

Determining if you have CD is a two-step process. You must first undergo a blood test to see if antibodies are present for gluten. If the test returns positive confirming you have CD, the next step is a biopsy in which a small amount of intestinal tissue is removed and analyzed. This measures the degree of damage to the stomach lining, which will indicate whether or not you should remove foods containing gluten from your diet.

While research is ongoing to develop counteracting medications, removing gluten from your diet remains the most effective treatment for CD. Enamel defects caused by CD can also be treated with fluoride toothpastes and other aids to foster re-mineralization (restoring calcium and other mineral content to the enamel), and with cosmetic techniques to reduce any discoloration effect. CD patients should continue with normal oral hygiene efforts, with one exception: hygiene products (including polishing pastes and fluoride gels used in professional cleanings) should be gluten-free.

If you would like more information on how gluten may affect your oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Gluten & Dental Problems.”

By Jonathan Hill DDS
March 12, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral cancer  

Chewing tobacco, especially among young athletes, is considered fashionable — the “cool” thing to do. Many erroneously think it’s a safe alternative to smoke tobacco — it is, in fact, the source of numerous health problems that could ultimately lead to disfigurement or even death.

Chewing or dipping tobacco is especially linked with the sport of baseball. Its traditions in baseball go back to the late Nineteenth Century when players chewed to keep their mouths moist on dusty fields. The habit hit its greatest stride after the surgeon general’s warning on cigarettes in the late 1950s. Now, players wishing to emulate their major league heroes are prone to take up chewing tobacco at an early age.

But the habit comes with a price tag. Individuals who chew tobacco are more susceptible to oral problems like bad breath, mouth dryness, or tooth decay and gum disease. Users also increase their risk for sexual dysfunction, cardiopulmonary disease (including heart attack and stroke) and, most notably, oral cancer.

Derived from the same plant, chewing and smoke tobacco share a common trait — they both contain the highly addictive drug nicotine. Either type of user becomes addictive to the nicotine in the tobacco; and like smoking, a chewing habit can be very difficult to stop.

Fortunately, many of the same treatments and techniques for quitting smoking can also be useful to break a chewing habit. Nicotine replacement treatments like Zyban or Chantix have been shown effective with tobacco chewing habits. Substituting the activity with gum chewing (non-nicotine, and with the sweetener Xylitol), or even an herbal dip can also be helpful.

Like other difficult processes, it’s best not to try to quit on your own. You should begin your efforts to quit with a consultation with your doctor or dentist — they will be able to prescribe cessation medications and provide other suggestions for quitting. You may also find it helpful to visit a behavioral health counselor or attend a tobacco cessation support group.

Rather than just one approach, successful quitting usually works best with a combination of techniques or treatments, and perhaps a little trial and error. The important thing is not to give up: the improvements to your dental health — and life — are worth it.

If you would like more information on quitting chewing tobacco, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Quitting Chewing Tobacco.”

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Colorado Springs
4711 Opus Drive Suite 120
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
(719) 540-3983







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