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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Brighton Family Dentistry, PLLC
July 23, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Around one in ten U.S. adults have diabetes, a metabolic disease that can disrupt other aspects of a person's health like wound healing and vision. It could also cause complications with dental implants, the premier replacement choice for missing teeth.

There are two basic types of diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone needed to regulate the amount of sugar glucose in the bloodstream. With the more prevalent type 2 diabetes, the body either doesn't produce enough insulin or doesn't respond efficiently to the insulin produced.

Uncontrolled diabetes can contribute to several dangerous health conditions. In addition to vision impairment and poor wound healing, diabetics are at higher risk for other problems like kidney disease or nerve damage. Drastic swings in blood glucose levels can also cause coma or death.

Many diabetics, though, are able to manage their condition through diet, exercise, medications and regular medical care. Even so, they may still encounter problems with wound healing, which could complicate getting a dental implant.

An implant is composed of a titanium metal post imbedded into the jawbone. Because of its affinity with titanium, bone cells naturally grow and adhere to the implant's metal surface. Several weeks after implant surgery, enough bone growth occurs to fully secure the implant within the jaw.

But this integration process may be slower for diabetics because of sluggish wound healing. It's possible for integration to not fully occur in diabetic patients after implant surgery, increasing the risk of eventually losing the implant.

Fortunately, though, evidence indicates this not to be as great a concern as once thought. A number of recent group studies comparing diabetic and non-diabetic implant patients found little difference in outcomes—both groups had similar success rates (more than 95 percent).

The only exception, though, were diabetic patients with poor glucose control, who had much slower bone integration that posed a threat to a successful implant outcome. If you're in this situation, it's better if you're first able to better control your blood glucose levels before you undergo surgery.

So, while diabetes is something to factor into your implant decision, your chances remain good for a successful outcome. Just be sure you're doing everything you can to effectively manage your diabetes.

If you would like more information on diabetes and 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 “Dental Implants & Diabetes.”

By Brighton Family Dentistry, PLLC
July 22, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental crowns  

Crowns offered by your Brighton, MI, dentists, Dr. Brian Petersburg, and Dr. Brian Giammalva of Brighton Family Dentistry, protect and strengthen damaged or fragile teeth. Restorations can help you avoid broken teeth or even prevent tooth loss in some cases.

The benefits of dental crowns

A cracked tree branch is bound to break sooner or later. A minor gust of wind may one day send the branch plummeting to the ground. The same is true of teeth that are cracked or weak. Your tooth may seem fine for a little while, only to break when you take a bite of a sandwich.

Adding a crown to the tooth prevents it from breaking. When you bite and chew, the surface of the crown absorbs biting forces, keeping your tooth safe. Crowns are hollow restorations that fit over the top of teeth. They're cemented to your tooth once your dentist reduces the size of the tooth slightly. Crowns are made of durable materials that look just like tooth enamel, including porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal, ceramic, and resin.

Crowns can help you:

  • Prevent Breaks: Once your crown is in place, you'll no longer have to worry about your cracked or fragile tooth breaking. Depending on how the tooth breaks, you may be at risk of losing your tooth if you don't protect it with a dental crown. If a break extends into the root, the only option may be tooth extraction (removal).
  • Restore Broken Teeth: If you already have broken teeth, your Brighton, MI, dentists can use dental crowns to restore the normal appearance of your tooth.
  • Avoid Pain: Exposing the ends of broken teeth to the air can be very painful, unfortunately, that happens every time you open your mouth. Covering the tooth with a crown ends your pain.
  • Making Chewing and Biting Easier: Whether you're worried about a cracked tooth breaking or you've already broken a tooth, chewing can be difficult when your tooth is damaged. Adding a crown gives you peace of mind if you have a cracked or fragile tooth and restores the chewing surfaces of broken teeth.

Protect your teeth with dental crowns! Call your dentists in Brighton, MI, Dr. Petersburg and Dr. Giammalva of Brighton Family Dentistry, at (810) 227-4224 to schedule an appointment.


Dorit Kemsley isn't shy. Best known to fans as an outspoken and sometimes outrageous cast member of the reality show Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Kemsley is never reticent about “mixing it up” with fellow castmates or their significant others. Recently, though, she confessed to something that left her less than confident: her smile.

Kemsley has been self-conscious about her smile because her teeth looked noticeably short, worn down from an unconscious habit of grinding her teeth. Although teeth grinding is more common among children (who normally grow out of it by adolescence), it can persist into adulthood, usually from difficulties managing high stress (a likely component in the fashion designer/reality show star's busy life).

Stress-induced teeth grinding can occur during waking hours or, more likely, during deep sleep. The accumulating, long-term effects from the habit can lead not only to worn teeth but to weakened gum support, a high risk of tooth fracture or jaw pain and dysfunction.

So, how do you know if you grind your teeth, especially if it's only happening at night? Typical signs include sore jaws after awaking from sleep, increased tooth pain or sensitivity or, like Kemsley, a noticeable difference in your tooth length. Your family or sleeping partner may also complain about the “skin-crawling” noise you make during the night.

There are ways to lessen the effects of teeth grinding. The first step is to have us verify the underlying cause for the habit. If it's tension from stress, then you might reduce the habit's occurrences by learning better stress management or relaxation techniques through individual counseling, group support or biofeedback therapy. We can also fit you with a mouth guard to wear at night or through the day that reduces the force generated during teeth grinding.

And if you've already experienced accelerated tooth wear like Kemsley with a resultant “small teeth” smile, you might pursue the same solution as the RHOBH star: dental veneers. These thin, life-like wafers of porcelain are custom-made to mask imperfections like chips, staining, slight tooth gaps and, yes, worn teeth.

Veneers are often less expensive and invasive than other cosmetic techniques, yet they can have a transformative effect, as Kemsley's Instagram followers have seen. In conjunction with other dental treatments needed to repair any underlying damage caused by a grinding habit, veneers are an effective fix for the smile you present to the world.

If you suspect you may have a grinding habit, see us for a complete examination. From there, we'll help you protect your teeth and your smile.

If you would like more information on teeth grinding habits and their effects, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Teeth Grinding.”

By Brighton Family Dentistry, PLLC
May 07, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Root Canal  

Although it's a good plan to try to avoid ever needing one, having a root canal in time can save your tooth, and eliminate discomfort. If you would like to learn more about the procedure, get in contact with your Brighton, MI, dentists Dr. Brian Petersburg and Dr. Brian Giammalva of Brighton Family Dentistry.

Understanding the Anatomy of Your Tooth

A tooth is made up of layers, and the outermost one that encases it is called enamel. It's a very strong substance, the strongest in your entire body. But the majority of the tooth's structure is made up of the next layer called dentin. Both of these help to protect the soft inner center to which we refer to as the pulp of the tooth.

The pulp contains connective tissue which is linked to the rest of your body through narrow canals located on the roots of your tooth.

What Requires a Root Canal

The primary reason why a root canal may be required is when this soft center is threatened. This may be due to injury or decay. One of the most common telltale signs that something is wrong is the presence of pain, and it's what drives many of us to the dentist's office.

Trauma can chip or crack teeth deep enough that the inner pulp loses its protection. But the acids produced by bacteria can produce a similar effect, as they can wear away the protective enamel on our teeth.

Root Canals in Brighton, MI

A root canal is performed by first removing the infected structures on the tooth, and then creating access into the pulp so that it too can be removed, all the way through the root's canals, hence the name. This prevents decay from spreading and endangering the rest of your mouth and also relieves your pain. Because of how much of the tooth is lost, a crown is typically required to protect the tooth going forward.

If you are concerned you may need one don't put it off any longer, make an appointment today with Dr. Petersburg and Dr. Giammalva of Brighton Family Dentistry in Brighton, MI, by dialing (810) 227-4224.


Ashley Graham has a beautiful and valuable smile—an important asset to her bustling career as a plus-size model and television host. But she recently revealed on Instagram a “confrontation” between one of her teeth and a frozen oatmeal cookie. The cookie won.

Holding her hand over her mouth during the video until the last moment, Graham explained how she sneaked a cookie from her mom's freezer and took a bite of the frozen treat. Taking her hand from her mouth, she revealed her broken tooth.

Okay, maybe it wasn't an actual tooth that was broken: the denticle in question appeared to have been previously altered to accommodate a porcelain veneer or crown. But whatever was once there wasn't there anymore.

Although her smile was restored without too much fuss, Graham's experience is still a cautionary tale for anyone with dental work (and kudos to her for being a good sport and sharing it). Although dental work in general is quite durable, it is not immune to damage. Biting down on something hard, even as delicious as one of mom's frozen oatmeal cookies, could run you the risk of popping off a veneer or loosening a crown.

To paraphrase an old saying: Take care of your dental work, and it will take care of you. Don't use your teeth in ways that put your dental work at risk, tempting as it may be given your mouth's mechanical capabilities.

¬†Even so, it's unwise—both for dental work and for natural teeth—to use your teeth and jaws for tasks like cracking nuts or prying open containers. You should also avoid biting into foods or substances with hard textures like ice or a rock-hard cookie from the freezer, especially if you have veneers or other cosmetic improvements.

It's equally important to clean your mouth daily, and undergo professional cleanings at least twice a year. That might not seem so important at first since disease-causing organisms won't infect your dental work's nonliving materials. But infection can wreak havoc on natural tissues like gums, remaining teeth or underlying bone that together often support dental enhancements. Losing that support could lead to losing your dental work.

And it's always a good idea to have dental work, particularly dentures, checked regularly. Conditions in the mouth can change, sometimes without you noticing them, so periodic examinations by a trained dental provider could prevent or treat a problem before it adversely affects your dental work.

We're glad Ashley Graham's trademark smile wasn't permanently harmed by that frozen cookie, and yours probably wouldn't be either in a similar situation. But don't take any chances, and follow these common sense tips for protecting your dental work.

If you would like more information on care and maintenance of cosmetic dental work, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers: Strength & Beauty as Never Before” and “Dental Implant Maintenance.”