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Its all In THE SMILE!

Dr. Philips in the News…

To be healthy, wealthy and wise, you can work out, work hard and eat a well balanced diet. But to add success to such good health, experts say you’ll have to open your lips and smile.

In our fast paced, work society, stress is a contributing factor to illness and death. By itself, smiling will probably not be able to counteract the stresses of daily life, but it’s undoubtedly a good way to start. According to Jane Lyle, author of Body Language, many experts are convinced that smiling and laughing are beneficial to one’s health. There’s also growing evidence to suggest that laughter and a positive attitude can help boost the immune system and slow the progress of disease.

Lyle details some of the most compelling scientific research which supports this belief. It is well known, for example, that the brain produces neurotransmitters which affect a person’s mood and energy level. Psychologist Robert Zajonc has postulated that when a person smiles deliberately, even when feeling blue, the brain releases neurotransmitters which can override the sadness. In essence, when people smile through their tears, the brain can be tricked into making them feel better.

Not only does smiling have a positive effect on the smiler but there’s good reason to believe that it also has a powerful influence on others. Paul Ekman, a researcher at the University of California, believes that one of the reasons people are attracted to those who smile is because smiles are infectious. Confronted by a smiling face, one smiles in response, resulting in all the positive effects on one’s autonomic system.

That is also one of the reasons why people who smile may be more successful in their careers. Many psychologists believe that people who smile tend to manage, teach and sell more effectively.

Dr. Denis Waitley, a motivational psychologist, points out in his book The Winner’s Edge, how crucial a smile can be to a person’s success in life, and to one’s abilitiy to connect with others when he says: "Winners display a simple, radiating charm. They project that warm glow that comes from the inside outwards. Most importantly, self-esteem is transmitted with a smile, which is the universal language that opens doors, melts defenses and saves a thousand words."

You may be thinking to yourself, I now know smiling is good for me but I just wish I had a nicer smile to show the world. The reality is that anyone can achieve a beautiful smile with today’s cosmetic and environmental dental techniques and solutions.

Cosmetic dentistry is not a new concept for oral beauty and has always been in the eye of the beholder. Ohaguro was the name of a tradition in old Japanese social strata for the method of staining teeth black. In Mayan culture, teeth "enhancements" included grooving and notching. Marco Polo wrote in his travels that Chinese men and women covered their teeth with thin plates of gold. Centuries later among the Kilao of southwest China, wedding day brides had two incisors broken out as a rite of beauty.

Cosmetic and environmental dentistry respects the autonomy of the client more than traditional dentistry. The patient, beyond the pain and urgency of an abscessed tooth, can calmly consider the elective procedures. Health conscious people are asking for safer dental alternatives and progressive dentists are responding by getting in step with personal and environmental concerns. Nontoxic dentistry is the dentistry of the 21St century.

If you’ve decided to pursue a new and improved smile the first step is to find a dentist you are comfortable with; one who will discuss available options including a questionnaire asking you to offer your opinions, priorities and needs. And, one who will show you before and after photos of patients who have undergone similar procedures, simulate your cosmetic changes with digital computerized equipment and give you an estimate, contract and explain all about the techniques and materials as well as their limitations.

Currently Smile Whitening has become one of the most sought after elective dental procedures for people in search of whiter brighter teeth. The consumer has two choices, either whiten at home in about a week or have your dentist perform a laser treatment in a couple of short office appointments.

Almost every will benefit from the At Home Tooth Whitening Program. It will lighten natural teeth that have been discoloured due to aging, consumption of coffee, tea, colas, smoking, trauma, tetracycline staining, excessive fluoride and nerve degeneration. It’s actually a process that lightens discolorations of enamel and dentin. The program uses a mild solution retained in a custom-fitted appliance that fits over your teeth. As the active ingredient in the solution is broken down, oxygen enters the enamel and dentin, dissolves, and removes the coloured substances. The structure of the tooth s not changed, only the tooth colour is made lighter. Results are often seen after the first. use, but normally to achieve desired results the trays are worn for three to four hours a day for about a week. The teeth will always stay lighter than they were, however most people find they like to repeat the whitening procedure for a couple of days every year to combat their lifestyle choices that contribute to the darkening of the enamel.

The process for this program is simple. A dentist will take impressions of your upper and lower teeth and have a laboratory fabricate custom-fitted trays (similar to very thin sports guards). The trays and whitening kit are taken to the patient’s home. Inside the kit, there are carpules of gel that dispense into the trays which are placed over the teeth. The trays with solution are to be worn for about four to five hours each day for about a week. The patient can decide the most convenient time to wear them. And the trays can be worn overnight during sleep.

There are many at home tooth whitening programs available, so ensure you discuss your needs with a dentist experienced in home whitening. They will either stock or specially order the best product for you. Some of the most popular product names are Nite White, Opalescence, Rembrandt and Contrast PM. The active ingredient in these products is carbamide peroxide with a neutral pH. It has been used by dentists for over 50 years as an oral-antiseptic, for cavity prevention and as a tooth whitener. The side effects, if any, will be slightly sensitive teeth while using the product. This disappears within 48 hours after the treatment ends.

Glorified toothpastes and those "as seen on products just don’t work so don’t waste your money.

In Office Laser Whitening is the newest technology in smile whitening. The laser is simply a source of concentrated, light energy. A special whitening gel is placed on the teeth, and, when activated by the laser light, works quickly and gently to whiten the areas of stained enamel. Laser tooth whitening is effective on discolouration due to aging, consumption of coffee, tea, colas, smoking, trauma, tetracycline staining, excessive fluoride and nerve degeneration, similar to the At Home Whitening Program. The major difference is that the laser whitening produces immediate results. The procedure is usually performed in one or two 90 minute office visits.

These special lasers for tooth whitening have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and thousands of people have had their teeth whitened this way.

So what does your new, brighter whiter smile cost? The At Home Whitening Program ranges from $250 to $800, depending on the dental office and the products used. The In Office Laser Whitening fees can range from $800 to $1,500 for the complete treatment.

When inquiring about whitening services and fees you may want to ask the following questions:

Does your office take before and after 35 mm photos to compare the results?

Do you do a comparison, before and after whitening, using a dental shade guide to show how many shades your teeth actually lightened?

At the completion of treatment, if I have some stubborn stains that are still present, will you provide me with a higher concentrate gel to illuminate them? If so, is it complimentary?

Does the dentist perform the laser whitening?

Is my satisfaction guaranteed?

In today’s highly competitive world "a world in which one’s self image and the image one projects to others is so critical" more and more people of all ages are determined to present the best possible SMILE.