Dental Crowns in Garland, TX: Just the Basics

Dental crowns in Garland, TXPlacing dental crowns, a common restorative dental procedure, takes less time, results in a more natural appearance, and uses more durable, modern materials to achieve results far superior to those in previous decades. Dr. Vi Mai, who offers dental crowns in Garland, TX, believes you should not have to choose between functional and aesthetically pleasing dentistry.

Dental Crowns Then and Now

We commonly use dental crowns to reinforce a tooth that has sustained severe damage to the point that it cannot function as intended. The tooth may not grind your food, or it may interfere with normal speech. In the past, dentists used gold, silver, and other metals to create fillings. Unfortunately, these materials often contained mercury or caused irritation in patients who have metal allergies. While durable, metals were hardly discrete and could be seen whenever the mouth was open.  They served their purpose by restoring the tooth rather than extracting it, but did little else.

Modern Materials for Dental Crowns

Metal amalgam, though not commonly used these days, still works well for damaged back teeth, as they are not as conspicuous when the patient opens his or her mouth. Another option, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, offers the durability of metal and the attractiveness of porcelain, making them ideal for subtly treating back teeth. When teeth near the front and sides of the mouth require dental crowns, Dr. Mai most frequently uses porcelain. This creates an extremely natural appearance, and these teeth do not endure as much force and wear as your back teeth.

Dental Crowns are Highly Versatile

Dr. Mai uses dental crowns for several purposes. If you have chipped, fractured, or cracked your teeth, a crown reinforces the damaged structure, making them ideal for patients who have sustained dental trauma, such as with sports injuries or car accidents. Teeth that have been badly compromised by tooth decay and infection also benefit from the support afforded by crowns. When decay is to blame, Dr. Mai must first remove the debris and infected tissue from the tooth, a procedure called a root canal treatment. After removing the tissue, she cements the crown in place. If you have dental implants but have lost the replacement tooth that attaches to the surgical post, you may require a dental crown.

Questions about dental crowns in Garland, TX? To learn more about restorative and family dentistry, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Vi Mai, contact our office at 972-530-0552. We welcome patients and their families living in Allen, Dallas, Murphy, Wylie, and the surrounding areas. Spanish and Vietnamese-speaking staff members are available.

Worried About Metal in Your Mouth? Try Tooth-Colored Fillings

Composite resin fillings in Garland, TXWhen patients hear that they have a cavity in need of a filling, a flash of metal is the first thing that comes to mind. Metal and silver amalgam, once considered the go-to materials for dental fillings, have since fallen out of favor. Dr. Vi Mai, a family dentist who offers dental fillings in Garland, TX, explains how and why composite resin has replaced metal as the preferred filling material in modern dentistry.

The FDA Weighs In…and Out…and In Again

It’s no secret that the Food and Drug Administration once openly endorsed metal fillings. In fact, the glint of metal can still be found in many a mouth, maybe even your own. At one point, the FDA backtracked a bit, adding a caveat suggesting that while metal fillings serve most patients well, neither young children nor pregnant women should receive metal fillings. By the time 2009 rolled around, the FDA had changed its tune again, downplaying these risks. Just as the dental community prepared taking this decree to heart, a 2010 statement reflected another flip-flop, upgrading the risk for amalgam fillings from “low to no risk” to “higher risk,” where it stands today.

Advantages of Composite Resin Fillings

Risks aside, composite resin fillings offer several advantages over traditional amalgam fillings. When you visit our office for a filling, Dr. Mai will carefully remove all traces of decay and debris from within the affected tooth. Compared to metal fillings, composite resin requires your dentist to remove less of the healthy tooth structure to accommodate the material. After preparing the tooth, Dr. Mai will fill the cavity with resin and allow it to cure and harden. Once hardened, the filling is gently sculpted to give the appearance of a natural tooth. The material can be shaded to match your natural tooth color, too, making it less conspicuous than metal. Resin is hypoallergenic, so you need not worry about metal allergies or traces of harmful mercury. We also use resin for dental bonding, a cosmetic procedure that masks badly stained, chipped, or cracked teeth.

Do you need a dental filling in Garland, TX? To learn more about restorative dentistry, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Vi Mai, contact our office at (972) 530-0552. We treat patients of all ages, and our staff speaks English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Dr. Mai welcomes patients living in Wylie, Murphy, Allen, Dallas, Plano, and the surrounding areas.

Are You Down With the Crown?

Dental crowns in Murphy, TXOf all facial expressions, none are so powerful and immediately recognizable as your smile. If you’ve lost your tooth, or a large part of it, smiling freely proves more difficult. On one hand, you don’t want others to perceive you as standoff-ish, but at the same time you don’t want them to see your broken tooth or gap. It’s not just a matter of appearances, says Dr. Vi Mai. Mai, who provides dental crowns in Garland, TX, explains that damaged teeth can also have an adverse impact on your oral health. Dental crowns address both the cosmetic and functional aspects of tooth loss.

What Exactly Is a Dental Crown?

Dental crowns, which you may have heard of as “caps,” are placed over a badly damaged tooth to prevent further decay and destruction. Until recently, patients had limited options for crowns, most of which were made of gold, silver, or a mixture of metals. These materials, while very durable, are also very conspicuous. Metal crowns aren’t widely used in modern dentistry. All-porcelain crowns appear the most natural and can be tinted to closely match your natural tooth color. Dr. Mai notes that porcelain is hypoallergenic, and she often uses them on the front and side teeth. A third option, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, combines the advantages of both materials.

When Do Dentists Recommend Dental Crowns?

Crowns have many uses in dentistry. If you require a dental bridge to replace several missing teeth, Dr. Mai will use crowns to hold the bridge in place. When the extent of decay rules out a traditional filling, a crown is used instead. This restores function to your tooth and prevents the spread of decay. Other appropriate uses include:

  • Protecting the tooth after a root canal treatment
  • Salvaging a tooth that has not been entirely consumed by decay, avoiding extraction
  • Masking imperfections, such as misshapen or discolored teeth
  • Repairing an otherwise healthy tooth damaged during an accident

Dr. Mai emphasizes the importance of seeking treatment for damaged teeth, or even for a single damaged tooth. Tooth loss affects your ability to speak clearly and chew your food properly. If you have lost multiple teeth, your cheeks may appear to cave inward, appearing unhealthy and aged. The healthy teeth surrounding the broken tooth are forced to withstand more pressure from your bite, making them more susceptible to decay, chips, and cracks.

Has your tooth sustained severe damage? To learn more about restorative dentistry options, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Vi Mai, contact our Garland, TX dentist office at (972) 530-0552. We proudly serve patients living in Allen, Wylie, Murphy, Richardson, Dallas, and the surrounding cities.

From Baby to Big Kid, Brushing Is for Life

Family dentist in Garland, TX

All the cool kids are cavity-free

Compared to potty training, teaching your child how to brush and floss is virtually painless—less messy, too. Dr. Vi Mai, your Garland, TX family dentist, reminds parents that a little diligence goes a long way over the course of your child’s lifetime. Your child cannot have a truly healthy childhood unless his teeth and gums are at their healthiest.

The Early Makings of a Brilliant Brusher

Even though baby teeth will eventually fall out and be replaced, you cannot neglect their care. When your child’s first tooth erupts, it must be cleaned. We usually recommend cleansing the teeth and gums with a dampened wash cloth or a soft-bristled infant’s toothbrush. The first dental visit should take place no later than his first birthday. These appointments are essential because they educate you and your child on the special dental needs of little mouths, and they help your child become more comfortable in our office.

Link Brushing to “Big Kid” Behavior

As children grow, they relish the opportunity to demonstrate just how much they’ve matured. Encourage them to take an active role in their hygiene, and do so in a way that makes brushing fun. For example, you might let them choose their new toothbrush. We’ve seen toothbrushes that light up, play music, and feature popular cartoon characters. Remember, brushing isn’t enough. Your child may still need help brushing the right way, so it’s best to supervise brushing sessions.

Nutrition Is Important, Too

A nutritious, balanced diet benefits the entire body, not just the teeth and gums. Limit sugar intake, which promotes tooth decay. It’s nearly impossible to prevent your child from consuming any form of sugar, so use your best judgment. If you allow your child to eat a sweet treat, be sure that he brushes his teeth and rinses his mouth immediately after. Dr. Mai cautions that you should also watch what your child drinks. For example, many parents don’t hesitate to give their child fruit juice. However, even real fruit juice is loaded with sugar. If you offer juice in a sippy cup, understand that his teeth will be bathed in sugar each time he takes a sip. Bacteria living in the mouth use sugar as fuel, and they excrete acids that attack tooth enamel. Water is always the best choice. You may offer juice with meals, but only in a regular cup.

Children’s Medications May Affect Their Teeth

Many commonly prescribed and over-the-counter medications contains large amounts of sugar to mask an unpleasant taste. If your child has asthma, the mouthpiece of the inhaler may harbor bacteria. Always clean the mouthpiece after each use. Also, be aware that inhalers may cause dry mouth, which increases the risk of tooth decay. Unless otherwise directed by your child’s doctor, your child should rinse his mouth with water for 30 seconds after each dose of medication.

Questions about caring for children’s teeth? To learn more about family dentistry in Garland, TX, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Vi Mai, contact our office at (972) 530-0552. We are pleased to serve families living in Allen, Murphy, Wylie, Richardson, Dallas, and the surrounding cities.

Three Tips for Busting Bad Breath in Garland, TX

General dentist in Garland, TXUnpleasant breath happens to the best of us every now and then, but what about those who battle halitosis, or chronic bad breath. Dr. Vi Mai, your Garland, TX general dentist, shares advice for maintaining a healthy mouth and fresh breath.

Brush Up on Basic Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene is the leading cause of a sour taste and unpleasant odor. The recommended dental care regimen for the average adult entails brushing your teeth for a full two minutes, twice daily, and flossing at least once daily. A significant amount of bacteria make their home on the surface of your tongue, especially near the back of your mouth. Using a tongue scraper to remove these bacteria could cut down on foul odors. Dr. Mai advises most patients to schedule twice-yearly dental checkups for professional cleaning and screening for oral cancer and gum disease.

Why does it work? In most cases, bad breath stems from a buildup of sticky plaque, a mixture of leftover food and bacteria. These bacteria, which accumulate on and between teeth, emit smelly sulfur compounds after they become trapped in the mouth.

Steer Clear of Breath-Befouling Foods

Two of the worst offenders, garlic and onions, don’t respond to vigorous brushing. Indeed, all of the breath mints in the world won’t quash that bad smell. Once these substances end up in your bloodstream, they travel on toward your lungs. You exhale, and guess what everyone smells? So powerful are these odors that the only way to avoid bad breath is to avoid eating them altogether.

Other foods, though not as offensive as onions and garlic, may still linger on your breath. Dr. Mai advises you to brush your teeth as soon as possible after eating. If you cannot brush, at least rinse your mouth with plain water for 30 seconds. You can also chew sugar-free gum.

Why it works: Rinsing flushes away leftover bits of food before they can mix with bacteria to form plaque. Plaque, which clings to the surface of your teeth,

Kick Your Cigarette Habit

Of all the health risks posed by tobacco, bad breath is the least of your worries. Even a few months of smoking cigarettes can leave your teeth yellowed, your tongue stained, and your risk of lung, throat, and oral cancer significantly higher than before. The same applies to cigars, pipes, and chewing tobacco.

Why it works: Tobacco use dries out the tissues in your mouth and gums. As a result, you become more vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease, both of which cause unpleasant mouth odors.

Concerned about bad breath? To schedule an appointment with Dr. Vi Mai, contact us at (972) 530-0552. We provide restorative, preventive, and family dentistry to patients living in Richardson, Murphy, Allen, Garland, and nearby cities across the Dallas area.

Relax, It’s Just a Dental Filling!

Dental fillings in Garland, TXCavity. It’s one of the most feared words in all of dentistry, capable of making even the most diligent brusher question the effectiveness of his or her oral hygiene regimen. When you visit Dr. Vi Mai for dental fillings in Garland, TX, you can feel confident knowing that this common procedure is simpler and more effective than you may have previously believed.

An Attractive Alternative to Metal Fillings

A decade or so ago, a patient who had a cavity had very limited options for filling materials, and most dentists used metal or silver amalgam to fill minor cavities. Although metal is extremely durable and lasts for many years, it’s not the most subtle means of filling teeth. As a result, patients often felt self-conscious when eating or speaking with others, believing they would be judged for their conspicuous fillings. Today, this is no longer the case. At Mai Dentistry, we prefer to use composite resin, which offers several advantages over gold, silver, and amalgam:

  • Dr. Mai will customize the shade of your composite filling so that it closely matches the natural shade of the surrounding teeth. When you speak or open your mouth, the filling will appear very similar to the rest of your teeth.
  • The resin is hypoallergenic, making it ideal for patients who have metal allergies or concerns about mercury.
  • Placing a composite filling requires Dr. Mai to remove less of your natural tooth structure. Metal fillings, on the other hand, often require larger parts of healthy teeth to accommodate the material.

Composite Resin Is Surprisingly Versatile

Although we often use composite resin to create dental fillings, it has many purposes in restorative and cosmetic dentistry. For example, did you know that we use composite resin for dental bonding? The tooth-colored resin, which can be easily sculpted and shaped, is a natural match for bonding, which fills gaps between teeth, masks cracks and chips, and improves the appearance of slightly uneven or crooked teeth. Dr. Mai begins by preparing the surface of the tooth, then painting on liquid resin. After carefully shaping it to suit your tooth, she allows the composite to cure and harden. The results? An attractive, long-lasting smile that requires very little prep time and suits all budgets.

Ready to experience composite fillings? To learn more about preventive and restorative dentistry at your Garland, TX dentist office, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Vi Mai and her team, contact us at (972) 530-0552. Fluent in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese, we provide compassionate, timely treatment for families living in Murphy, Allen, Wylie, Richardson, and throughout the Dallas area. You can also follow us on Facebook, where we share the latest news from our office.

Dental Crowns at Mai Dentistry

 

Dental crowns in Garland, TXIn the past, patients with broken or decayed teeth had few treatment options. Most of the time, dentist would perform extractions, leaving a noticeable gap in the patient’s grin. Fortunately, a lot has changed since those days. Today, Dr. Vi Truong-Mai, who offers dental crowns in Garland, TX, assures you that extraction is no longer the go-to method of dealing with damaged teeth. You will appreciate that placing crowns now requires less of your time, and that the results are more precise and discrete.

Are You a Candidate for Dental Crowns?

We most frequently use dental crows to reinforce and protect teeth that have sustained severe structural damage. Compared to extraction, this approach preserves more of your tooth and offers greater protection. Crowns are versatile, making them an ideal solution for:

  • Teeth that have sustained significant damage due to decay
  • Teeth that have broken, cracked, or chipped
  • Teeth damaged by serious injuries to the mouth
  • A tooth damaged by traumatic injury
  • Teeth that have fallen out, as part of a dental implant

Modern Materials for Crowns

We create dental crowns using durable, long-lasting materials that can hold up to eating, biting, and the daily grind. If you desire a natural appearance or must treat a tooth near the front of your mouth, you will appreciate ceramic crowns. Artfully crafted and custom-tinted, porcelain crowns blend in with your existing teeth for a seamless, discrete solution. Dr. Mai also offers porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns and metal crowns, which are better suited to withstand the pressure on your molars. When you visit our Garland dentist office, you will discuss your concerns and preferences about which material to use.

Do you need a dental crown in Garland, TX? If so, or if you are unsure, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Vi Mai by contacting us at 972-530-0552. We serve patients living in Garland, Dallas, Plano, Allen, and the surrounding areas. You can also follow us on Facebook for the latest updates and insights from our office.

Going to the Dentist? Three Must-Read Books for Kids

Children's dentist in Garland, TXYour child’s first visit to our multilingual Garland, TX children’s dentist office marks one of the most important milestones in his life. As adults, we sometimes view dental visits as routine. For our children, however, the first visit may trigger feelings of anxiety. Studies show that children who understand the purpose for dental visits and the basics of oral hygiene will experience less apprehension, and will be less likely to resist when it’s time to sit in the dental chair. Dr. Vi Truong-Mai and the team at Mai Dentistry love a good book, and we have a feeling that your children will love these “friendly dentist” selections.

Smile Wide, Look Inside by Judith Dember-Paige

Smile Wide, Look Inside tells the story of Nicole, a bubbly young girl on her first dental visit. The book, written by a registered dental hygienist, is available in English and Spanish. Parents and children will appreciate the colorful images and simple explanations about the importance of oral hygiene.

Sahir Goes to the Dentist by Chris Petty

Petty’s multilingual tale focuses on Sahir, a young boy who has just lost his very first tooth. Yasmin, his friend, must also visit the dentist to repair a hole in her tooth. We like that Sahir Goes to the Dentist is available in more than a dozen languages, including English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese.

Show Me Your Smile! A Visit to the Dentist by Christine Ricci

For children who can’t get enough of Dora the Explorer, we recommend this fun, bilingual book. While Dora accompanies her mother to the dentist for an exam, she teaches readers about dental x-rays, dental equipment, and what happens if your child need a filling. Show Me Your Smile features English and Spanish terms throughout.

Why Children Love Visiting With Dr. Mai

We know a thing or two about catering to children, so it’s no surprise that we’ve added kid-friendly touches to our office and waiting area. Our clean, colorful play area features toys, games, and educational coloring books. Cuddly pillows and blankets keep your child warm and snug. Our gentle approach puts children to ease, and of course the stickers and post-visit grab bags don’t hurt, either!

Searching for a compassionate children’s dentist in Garland, TX? To schedule an appointment with Dr. Vi Truong-Mai, contact our Garland dentist office at 972-530-0552. We offer dentistry for the whole family, including patients living in Garland, Dallas, Murphy, Wylie, and surrounding cities, and we speak fluent English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. For the latest dental news and healthy living tips, follow Mai Dentistry on Facebook.

Extracted Teeth Could Be the Most Accessible Source of Stem Cells

Glowing CellFor decades now, stem cells have been a hot topic among medical experts and ethicists. There is little doubt that stem cells have enormous, even life-changing benefits. They can be used to generate new tissues, and scientists look to these cells to provide answers about genetic disorders, heart disease, and even cancer. However, stem cell research has also brought up serious ethical questions. Many oppose the use of embryonic stem cells, yet adult stem cells can be difficult to acquire. Recently, however, scientists have discovered that teeth hold a rich store of stem cells inside the dental pulp. It may be that the key to ongoing genetic research lies in tooth extraction. In this post your Garland, TX dentist explores this growing new technology and the exciting possibilities it could have for future scientific research. (more…)