David M. Barney, DMD
April 17th, 2018
Many varieties of fillings are available at our Beaverton, OR office. Most people are familiar with traditional amalgam fillings: those big silver spots on top of teeth.
Made from a mixture of silver, tin, zinc, copper, and mercury, amalgam fillings have been used to fill cavities for more than 100 years. They offer several advantages, including:
- High durability for large cavities or cavities on molars
- Quick hardening time for areas that are difficult to keep dry during placement
- Reduced placement time for children and special-needs patients who may have a difficult time keeping still during treatment
Although dental amalgam is a safe and commonly used dental material, you might wonder about its mercury content. You should know that when it’s combined with the other metals, mercury forms a safe, stable material.
The American Dental Association, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U. S. Food and Drug Administration, and World Health Organization all agree that based on extensive scientific evidence, dental amalgam is a safe and effective cavity-filling material.
Newer, mercury-free, resin-based composite fillings (white fillings) are also available at our Beaverton, OR office. Composite resin fillings are made from plastic mixed with powdered glass to make them stronger.
Resin-based fillings offer several benefits for patients, including:
- They match the color of teeth
- Less tooth structure needs to be removed than with amalgam fillings
- BPA-free materials can be used
Resin-based composite fillings also have some disadvantages, including:
- Higher cost than amalgam fillings
- Inlays may take more than one visit
- Requires more time to place than amalgam fillings
There’s a lot to think about when you have to get a cavity filled. We recommend you do your homework and speak with Dr. David Barney before deciding what’s best for you or your family.
April 10th, 2018
In our continuing efforts to provide the most advanced technology and highest quality care available to our patients at Barney Family Dental, we proudly screen our patients for oral cancer. The fact is, every hour of every day in North America, someone dies of oral cancer, which is the sixth most common diagnosed form of the disease. The five-year survival rate is only 50 percent, and oral cancer is one of the few cancers whose survival rate has not improved.
Oral cancer can occur on the lips, gums, tongue, inside lining of the cheeks, roof of the mouth, and the floor of the mouth. Symptoms of oral cancer may include a sore in the throat or mouth that bleeds easily and does not heal, a red or white patch that persists, a lump or thickening, ear pain, a neck mass, or coughing up blood. Difficulties in chewing, swallowing, or moving the tongue or jaws are often late symptoms. While there is no way to predict exactly which individuals will get oral cancer, there are some potential causes we want you to know about. In some cases, it is possible to minimize these risk factors.
- Age (most patients diagnosed with oral cancer are over the age of 40)
- Tobacco use, either from cigarettes or smokeless chewing tobacco
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Persistent viral infections, such as HPV16
- A diet lacking or low in fruits and vegetables
Finding out you have oral cancer can be devastating news. If you are concerned that you might be at risk for developing oral cancer, talk to us about screenings and other things you can do to reduce your risk. Through a routine visual inspection, Dr. David Barney and our team at Barney Family Dental can often detect premalignant abnormalities and cancer at an early stage, when treatment is both less expensive and more successful, and can potentially save your life. Ask Dr. David Barney and our team at Barney Family Dental about a screening at your next appointment!
April 3rd, 2018
Happy Oral Cancer Awareness Month! We know oral cancer can be kind of a scary topic, but it’s worth using this opportunity to learn about the disease and spread knowledge so everyone becomes more aware. The more we know, the better we can work to prevent it!
Oral cancer is exactly what it sounds like: cancer that occurs anywhere in the mouth. It could occur on the tongue, the lips, the gums, the tongue, inside the cheek, or in the roof or floor of the mouth. Every year, more than 8,000 people die from oral cancer. It’s a truly deadly disease.
The reason oral cancer scores a higher death rate than other common cancers such as testicular cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, thyroid cancer, cervical cancer, or even skin cancer, is because it often goes undetected until it’s become too advanced and has spread to another part of the body.
So what causes this devastating disease? There is no clear answer, but some potential causes have been identified. By being aware of these, we can be alert and promote prevention of this illness:
- Age: Most patients who develop oral cancer are above the age of 40. If you’re over 40, make sure your doctor checks for signs of oral cancer and that you stay on your dental hygiene regimen.
- Tobacco: Excessive tobacco use, whether in the form of cigarette smoking or tobacco chewing, can be a substantial contributor and cause of oral cancer. So that’s another reason, among many, you should avoid tobacco.
- Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption can put you at risk because alcohol converts into a chemical called acetaldehyde, which damages the body’s DNA and blocks cells from repairing the damage. When paired with tobacco, the dehydrating effects of alcohol make it even easier for tobacco to infiltrate mouth tissue.
- Sun exposure: Your lips need SPF, too! Repeated sun exposure increases your risk of contracting cancer on your lips, especially the lower lip.
- Diet: Not getting all the nutrients you need, from vegetables and fruits for instance, can weaken your immune system and make you more vulnerable to the disease.
Obviously, many of these causes relate to lifestyle choices, which we have control over. It’s all about balance, being aware, and making small tweaks to our habits if we need to.
If you’re concerned that you may be at risk for oral cancer, give us a call to talk about a screening. And if you’ve been putting off a visit to our Beaverton, OR office, now is an excellent time to schedule one. Regular visits to the dentist can be the first line of defense against oral cancer!
March 27th, 2018
Guilt is a powerful feeling. It can keep you from doing many things, including going to the dentist. The good news is that Barney Family Dental is a judgement-free zone, and coming back (even after an extended period of being MIA) can be easier than you think. Our goal is to make you as comfortable as possible during your first appointment back with us — so here’s a little overview of what you can expect.
We’ll start with a series of dental X-rays, which are usually taken every three to five years. The set of X-rays will depend on your individual needs and it will help us get a more thorough look at what’s going on with your dental structure and keep an eye out for any prominent dental issues.
Next up will be your hygiene appointment. That appointment will consist of a review of your medical history and be followed by a thorough cleaning of your teeth. This is the perfect time to share concerns you may have about your oral health and ask us questions.
You’ll finish up with a comprehensive exam, which will review everything you covered with the hygienist. Dr. David Barney will go over your medical history with you and address any dental concerns that might remain. If any special treatment is needed for such issues as cavities or broken fillings, we will discuss that with you as well.
Once all that is done, you’ll head over to the front desk to talk about payment and scheduling your next appointment. And that’s it! Your first visit back is an important step toward continuing to look out for your dental health.
Just because you slacked for a little while or life got in the way, this doesn’t mean things have to stay that way! We’re happy to help you get you back on track, so schedule an appointment at our Beaverton, OR office today!