Dental Services Group (DSG) is a network of over 40 North American laboratories that provides dentists with the best of both worlds: the personal relationship and care of a local laboratory, combined with the technical expertise and full suite of offerings of a national laboratory. West Virginia has two DSG dental labs that have shown their dedication to quality of product and education of technicians, dentists and patients. They are members of the National Association of Dental Laboratories. We are proud to provide this section to promote better communication between patients and their oral healthcare providers.
Your dentist and staff are best suited to provide answers to your questions about your oral care. DSG Standard and DSG Tincher/Butler Labs are happy to provide this basic information to help in your communication.
Q – What are Dental Caries (Cavities) and the causes.
A – Dental Caries (Cavities) is the scientific term for tooth decay or cavities. It is caused by specific types of bacteria. They produce acid that destroys the tooth’s enamel and the layer under it, the dentin.
Q– What is malocclusion and what causes it?
A – Occlusion refers to the alignment of teeth and the way that the upper and lower teeth fit together (bite). The upper teeth should fit slightly over the lower teeth. The points of the molars should fit the grooves of the opposite molar. Malocclusion is most often hereditary. This mean the condition is passed down through families. It may be caused by a difference between the size of the upper and lower jaws or between jaw and tooth size, which results in overcrowding or abnormal bite patterns. Your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist if your malocclusion is severe. Depending on your type of malocclusion, your orthodontist may recommend various treatments. These can include: braces to correct the position of the teeth.
Q– My dentist says I need a root canal treatment. What does this involve?
A – A root canal is a treatment to repair and save a badly decayed or infected tooth. The procedure involves removing the damaged area of the tooth (the pulp), cleaning and disinfecting it and then filling and sealing it. The common causes affecting the pulp are a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, repeated dental treatment to the tooth or trauma. The term “root canal” comes from cleaning of the canals inside the tooth’s root. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form.
Q – How do I whiten my teeth and is it safe?
A – Tooth whitening lightens teeth and helps to remove stains and discoloration. Whitening is among the most popular cosmetic dental procedures because it can greatly improve how your teeth look. Most dentists perform tooth whitening. Whitening is not a one-time procedure. To be on the safe side, pregnant women or nursing mothers should postpone teeth whitening. Porcelain or composite dental crowns and bondings won’t lighten up. So if you change the color of the teeth around them, you might wind up with an uneven smile. For the most natural esthetics teeth should be no lighter than the whites of your eyes.
Q– I brush at least twice a day. Why is flossing so important?
A- The American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day to help remove plaque from the areas between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. This is important because plaque that is not removed by brushing and flossing can eventually harden into calculus or tartar.
Q – I have dentures. Why do I still need yearly dental exams?
A – Although a person may no longer have natural teeth in their mouth, there are many benefits from yearly exams. Dentures that fit are imperative for an individual’s comfort and proper function. If dentures are properly fitting, there is no need for over-the-counter pastes and adhesives. Often dentures that have lost suction can be repaired or improved by the dentist. During a routine dental visit, the dentist will remove the denture to check the health of the tissue under it. If any sore spots exist, the denture can be adjusted to eliminate this issue. An oral cancer screening exam is an important part of a routine dental visit since it is the soft tissue in the mouth where oral cancer occurs. Oral cancer screening is especially important for denture wearers since many people who lose their teeth are older and may be at greater risk for oral cancer.
Q– What are the specialty categories in dentistry and what does each treat?
A – The American Dental Association recognizes the following specialty areas in Dentistry:
Dental Public Health: Dental public health is the science and art of preventing and controlling dental diseases and promoting dental health through organized community efforts. It is that form of dental practice which serves the community as a patient rather than the individual. It is concerned with the dental health education of the public, with applied dental research, and with the administration of group dental care programs as well as the prevention and control of dental diseases on a community basis.
Endodontics: Endodontics is the branch of dentistry which is concerned with the morphology, physiology and pathology of the human dental pulp and periradicular tissues. Its study and practice encompass the basic and clinical sciences including biology of the normal pulp, the etiology, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases and injuries of the pulp and associated periradicular conditions.
Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology: Oral pathology is the specialty of dentistry and discipline of pathology that deals with the nature, identification, and management of diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial regions. It is a science that investigates the causes, processes, and effects of these diseases. The practice of oral pathology includes research and diagnosis of diseases using clinical, radiographic, microscopic, biochemical, or other examinations.
Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology: Oral and maxillofacial radiology is the specialty of dentistry and discipline of radiology concerned with the production and interpretation of images and data produced by all modalities of radiant energy that are used for the diagnosis and management of diseases, disorders and conditions of the oral and maxillofacial region.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: Oral and maxillofacial surgery is the specialty of dentistry which includes the diagnosis, surgical and adjunctive treatment of diseases, injuries and defects involving both the functional and esthetic aspects of the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region.
Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics: Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics is the dental specialty that includes the diagnosis, prevention, interception, and correction of malocclusion, as well as neuromuscular and skeletal abnormalities of the developing or mature orofacial structures.
Pediatric Dentistry: Pediatric Dentistry is an age-defined specialty that provides both primary and comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health care for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health care needs.
Periodontics: Periodontics is that specialty of dentistry which encompasses the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth or their substitutes and the maintenance of the health, function and esthetics of these structures and tissues.
Prosthodontics: Prosthodontics is the dental specialty pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation and maintenance of the oral function, comfort, appearance and health of patients with clinical conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth and/or oral and maxillofacial tissues using biocompatible substitutes.
Q – How does an impression copy my tissue and teeth structure?
A –Impressions are molds of your teeth and soft tissue that technicians can pour up in a plaster or stone to use to make your dental appliance fit. Impressions may be taken several ways – with water-based alginate, or a poly-vinyl material that is placed in a tray and then pressed in the mouth around the teeth to produce the mold. There are also extremely accurate intra-oral scanning cameras that can record a digital image of your teeth and soft tissue and then this digital record can be used to print a model to be used to fit your appliance.
Q –Who makes my partial, crown, or other appliance when the doctor sends it out?
A – When your dentist has work done outside his office for you, it is sent to a dental laboratory – one that specializes in the manufacture of dental appliances. These laboratories employ technicians to fabricate your unique appliance. In DSG Tincher/Butler Lab, we employ three technicians who have tested and passed their requirements to achieve certification for their competency by the National Board for Certification. They are required to re-certify yearly by attending courses on techniques, health, and safety. DSG Tincher/Butler is also DAMAS Certified which ensures that they use good manufacturing practices, FDA approved materials, and maintain excellent records.They also must submit records and/or be inspected Yearly to be re-certified.
Q – Do electric toothbrushes do a better job than manual toothbrushes?
A – The electric toothbrush is being used by more and more people but how does it actually compare to manual brushing? “The function of a toothbrush is to remove plaque and to stimulate the gums. Nearly all toothbrushes do a good job if used properly. Manual toothbrushes have been used effectively for many years and have several advantages. They are readily available and affordable. In addition, manual toothbrushes give the user more control over the pressure placed on the teeth and gums. Excessive pressure may wear away enamel causing pain, sensitivity and possibly tooth decay. However the electric toothbrush may be the best choice for older people or people who have less manual dexterity orthose who have arthritis. Also, persons with limited ability to move their shoulders, arms, and hands can benefit from the larger handle and powered brush of an electric model.
Q. Why do dentures get loose over time?
A – Research shows that once the teeth are removed, the jaw bone shrinks and changes shape. Typically, dentures should be checked every year, and often they should be remade when they lose their fit and are loose in your mouth or after 5-10 years of use. By using dental adhesive, you may have masked the loose fit of your dentures. Even though you have adapted to these dentures, you are not receiving the function and appearance you deserve. Also, it is important that you take your dentures out at night to allow your gum tissues to rest and decrease the possibility of sore spots. Throughout time jawbones that do not have the support of tooth roots lose height … Some people find it difficult to get used to a denture, even when it fits well. A good solution is the placement of an implant-supported denture. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants may be an option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. The type and manufacturer are determined by the diagnosis and doctor placing them. DSG Standard and DSG Tincher/Butler Labs work with all major manufacturers to ensure the highest quality restoration. Dental implants may replace one tooth or retain full and partial dentures.
Q. How long will implants last?
A – With proper care and routine dental check-ups they should last a lifetime- the same for natural teeth. However, we all can site examples where teeth have not lasted for a person’s lifetime. Because dental problems mostly stem from improper home care or lack of treatment when needed, there can be no standard answer. No one can give guarantees because the health of an implant is dependent upon the patient’s health and many factors which are out of the control of the dentist -proper nutrition, proper hygiene, genetics, and disease for some examples.