Aaron M. Schertzer DDS PC

5445 Telegraph Road
Saint Louis, Missouri 63129
(314) 892 -2120

 

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Posts for: January, 2020

By Advanced Dental Arts
January 28, 2020
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry

If you have a cavity, it's likely your family dentist in Oakville, Dr. Aaron Schertzer will use natural-looking composite resin or another innovative material to restore your tooth to full form and function. Learn more about the benefits of tooth-colored fillings.

What is tooth decay?

Tooth decay undermines the structure and health of literally millions of teeth across the US. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research says that 26 percent of Americans between the ages of 20 to 64 have untreated cavities, or holes in tooth enamel. Unaddressed and unrestored, decay leads to dental abscess and even tooth loss.

Much of tooth decay is preventable. By limiting sugary foods, brushing and flossing to remove plaque and tartar and getting semi-annual check-ups and cleanings with your family dentist in Oakville, you can protect your smile from decay.

When tooth decay happens

Despite our best efforts, tooth decay still may occur. If it happens to you, rest assured that Dr. Schertzer and his team have the diagnostic techniques and tools to detect and treat it successfully.

Instead of old-style amalgam fillings, Dr. Schertzer offers tooth-colored materials that are strong, flexible and natural-looking. They match surrounding tooth enamel in color and texture, and they require far less enamel reduction than older restorative processes.

Benefits of tooth-colored fillings

Besides providing strength, beauty and flexibility, today's filling materials are lifelike. Not only do these materials restore tooth enamel, but they can also, as necessary, bond directly to inner dentin.

Here are the materials your dentist may choose to restore your decayed tooth:

  • Composite resin, composed of plastic and glass particles. Dr. Schertzer layers this material into the prepared site and cures each layer with a special light.
  • Glass ionomer, this material works well for decay on the sides of the teeth (non-chewing surfaces in between teeth or on the tongue- or cheek-side.
  • Porcelain inlays or onlays, computer designed and manufactured, or created by a dental lab, to restore back teeth which have deep decay or larger fillings which have deteriorated.

Obviously, then, modern fillings are versatile, preserve tooth function and mimic natural functionality.

Your Oakville family dentist...

He's the one to see when you are concerned about tooth decay. Dr. Aaron Schertzer and his team provide quality preventive, restorative and cosmetic care you can rely on for better oral health. Phone us today to learn more about how tooth-colored fillings can help your smile: (314) 892-2120.


By Advanced Dental Arts
January 25, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  
ImproveYourBrushingandFlossingTechniquesforaHealthierMouth

Five minutes a day: That’s all it takes to do something that could change your life. It may not seem like a lot of time, but it’s one of the most profound things you can do for your well-being.

So, what is this life-changing activity? Daily oral hygiene—good, old-fashioned brushing and flossing, just like your mom made you do. Along with regular dental visits, daily hygiene is crucial to keeping your teeth healthy. And healthy teeth are key to a healthy life.

Part of the magic is “showing up every day.” The main driver for tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease is dental plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles that accumulates on teeth. Clearing away this daily buildup with brushing and flossing drastically reduces the likelihood of disease.

The real advantage, though, is in brushing and flossing effectively. Plaque can cling stubbornly to teeth, especially around the gum line and other hard to reach surfaces. What’s left behind interacts with saliva to form a hardened, calcified form called calculus (also known as tartar) that could increase your risk for disease. And it can’t be removed by brushing and flossing.

You can minimize calculus formation with proper brushing and flossing techniques. When brushing, for instance, use a circular motion and make sure you brush all tooth surfaces, including around the gum line (a thorough job takes about two minutes). And avoid aggressive brushing—you could damage your gums. Be gentle while you brush and let the toothpaste and brush bristles do the heavy lifting.

Don’t forget to floss to remove plaque from between teeth your brush can’t access. Wrap the ends of about 18 inches of floss thread around the middle finger of each hand. Using a combination of your index fingers and thumbs to maneuver it, work the floss between the teeth and then snug it to the tooth surface. Go up and down the sides of each tooth a few times until you hear a squeak (this only happens with unwaxed floss). Move then to the remaining teeth until you’re finished.

Focusing on these techniques will improve your ability to keep daily plaque accumulation low. And that means your teeth and gums have a better chance of staying disease-free and healthy.

If you would like more information on proper oral hygiene, 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 “Daily Oral Hygiene.”


By Advanced Dental Arts
January 15, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tooth decay   tooth erosion  
DontLettheAcidinSportsandEnergyDrinksRuinYourToothEnamel

Sports and energy drinks — two different types of popular beverages. But though different they have one thing in common: they can both wreak havoc on your tooth enamel.

That's because each contains high concentrations of acid. And acid is tooth enamel's mortal enemy — prolonged exposure with it causes the minerals in enamel to soften and erode, a process called de-mineralization.

Demineralization becomes even more pronounced when the mouth's pH levels fall below 4.0 into the acidic range. A sampling of various brands of sports and energy drinks reveal mean pH levels below even that threshold. Energy drinks are especially harmful to enamel because the type of acid they contain is more concentrated.

So, what can you do to minimize this threat to your dental health? The optimal thing to do is avoid such beverages altogether, especially energy drinks. If you currently re-hydrate after hard work or exercise with sports drinks, consider switching to water, nature's hydrator.

If you do, however, continue to drink these beverages, then follow a few precautions to lessen the acidic levels in your mouth:

Wait until mealtimes. Saliva is your body's way of neutralizing acid in your mouth, but it takes about 30 to 60 minutes for it to fully buffer acid. If you're sipping between meals on acidic beverages, saliva can't keep up. So, wait until you eat or limit your sipping time on a drink.

Rinse with water. Since water's pH is neutral, swishing some in your mouth right after drinking a sports or energy drink will help reduce acidity.

Wait an hour to brush. Your enamel will begin demineralizing as soon as it encounters acid. If you brush right away you could be sloughing off miniscule amounts of softened minerals. By waiting an hour you give your saliva time to buffer and help re-mineralize the enamel.

Although popular, especially among teenagers and young adults, overindulgence in sports and energy drinks could damage your teeth and increase your risk for tooth decay. With a little moderation and common sense, you can keep your enamel strong and healthy.

If you would like more information on the effects of sports and energy drinks on dental 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 “Think Before you Drink.”


By Advanced Dental Arts
January 10, 2020
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

Cosmetic dentistry procedures help you keep your smile strong and healthy. If you're concerned about a dental issue or want to improve your smile, your Oakville area cosmetic dentist, Dr. Aaron Schertzer, can help you decide if one or more of these procedures is right for you.

Tooth-colored fillings

Thanks to tooth-colored fillings, no one has to ever know that you had a cavity. The fillings are made with composite resin, a flexible material that's tinted to match common tooth shades. After the filling material is added to your tooth, it's exposed to a curing light that hardens it in just a few minutes.

Teeth whitening

Have you been disappointed with the whitening products you've found at Oakville area stores? The teeth whitening gel applied to your teeth at the dentist's office contains a stronger formulation of hydrogen peroxide, the active ingredient in whiteners. Hydrogen peroxide safely bleaches away stains, leaving your teeth three to eight shades whiter. In-office whitening treatment only takes about an hour.

Dental implants

If you've lost a tooth, you're not alone. The American College of Prosthodontists reports that 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. Restoring your lost tooth with a dental implant improves your appearance, improves biting and chewing ability, and helps you keep your jawbone strong.

Dental implants replace missing tooth roots with titanium posts implanted in your jawbone. The posts gradually bond to your jawbone and are then connected to dental crowns to create a brand new tooth.

Porcelain veneers

Veneers offer a simple way to change the appearance of teeth without extensive dental work. The wafer-thin porcelain shells fit over the fronts of teeth and are attached with dental cement.

Porcelain veneers can lengthen teeth and improve their shape. They're an excellent option if your tooth is crooked or oddly shaped or just doesn't look like your other teeth. Veneers are also used to hide chips and cracks, keep discolorations out of sight, whiten all of your teeth, or close slight gaps between teeth.

Are you ready to renew your smile with a cosmetic dentistry procedure? Call Dr. Aaron Schertzer, your cosmetic dentist in Oakville at (314) 892-2120 to schedule your appointment.


By Advanced Dental Arts
January 05, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dentures  
WearingDentures247MayNotBeaGoodIdea-HeresWhy

Today’s technologically advanced dentures aren’t your grandparents’ “false teeth.” Now made with superior materials and processes, you could almost forget you’re wearing them. But don’t let that cause you to leave them in for the night: While it may seem like a harmless thing to do, wearing dentures 24/7 may not be good for them or your health.

For one thing, around the clock denture wearing could worsen bone loss, already a concern with dentures and missing teeth. The forces generated when we chew on natural teeth stimulate new bone growth to replace older bone cells. When teeth go missing, though, so does this stimulus. Even the best dentures can’t restore this stimulation, so bone loss remains a risk.

And, dentures can accelerate bone loss because of the added pressure they bring to the bony gum ridges that support them. Wearing them all the time deprives the gums of any rest, further speeding up the pace of bone loss. Losing bone volume not only affects your overall oral health, it will gradually loosen your dentures’ fit and make them uncomfortable to wear.

Another problem: You may clean your dentures less frequently if you don’t take them out at night. Lack of cleaning can encourage bacterial growth and lead to disease. Studies show that people who don’t take their dentures out at night have more dental plaque accumulation, gum inflammation and higher blood counts of the protein interleukin 6, indicating the body is fighting infection.

And that’s not just a problem for your mouth. Continuous denture wearing could make you twice as likely to develop life-threatening pneumonia as someone who routinely takes their dentures out.

These and other concerns make nightly denture removal a good practice for your health’s sake. While they’re out, it’s also a good time to clean them: Manually brush them for best results (be sure you’re only using regular soap or denture cleanser—toothpaste is too abrasive for them). You can then store them in clean water or a solution designed for dentures.

Having said all that, though, there may be one reason why wearing dentures at night might be beneficial—it may help prevent obstructive sleep apnea. If you have this condition, talk to your dentist about whether wearing your dentures at night has more advantages than disadvantages. And, if bone loss created by wearing dentures is a concern, it could be resolved by having implants support your dentures. Again, discuss this with your dentist.

Taking care of your dentures will help increase their life and fit, and protect your health. And part of that may be taking them out to give your gums a rest while you’re resting.

If you would like more information on denture care, 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 “Sleeping in Dentures.”