About the Expert
Dr. Lowrance graduated with a bachelor’s degree in science from West Texas State University and a DDS from Baylor College of Dentistry in 1981. His Rockwall dental practice opened that same year. His studies continued at Midwest Implant Institute of Columbus, Ohio, in 1991, where he received the Presidential Award. He also completed a fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry in 1991.
What are the latest trends and developments in dentistry?
Instead of using the old, gooey impressions that patients are familiar with, we now have innovative technology to thank for the introduction of digital impressions. Digital impressions provide a more comfortable experience for patients and are used to make night guards, crowns, Invisalign devices, and much more.
Also, trending is ICON Resin Infiltration, a minimally invasive restorative treatment for post orthodontic white spots, requiring no anesthetic or drilling. ICON re-mineralizes teeth’s enamel while removing the white spots frequently left behind after braces. We’ve seen tremendous results from this exciting new development that is less invasive and less expensive than alternative solutions like fillings or veneers. The end result is similar to natural tooth enamel.
How often should I replace my crowns and/or fillings?
There is no definitive timeline or specific time stamp for replacement. A filling or a crown should be replaced when it’s failing. The real question here is what’s causing a patient’s crown to fail or fillings to wear? A variety of factors contribute to needing a replacement, including teeth grinding, diet, oral hygiene, and natural wear and tear.
Should I be concerned if teeth grinding becomes a daily habit? Can it damage my teeth?
If you’re a habitual teeth-grinder, TMJ (temporal mandibular joint) disorder may be the cause. Most damage from teeth grinding occurs at night. Grinding and clenching your jaw puts excessive pressure on the teeth, causing pain and inflammation in the TMJ. If not corrected, repetitive teeth grinding can wear down the surface of teeth – even cracking them – leading to more extensive treatment down the road. A clear night guard will help relax the jaw and further prevent clenching and grinding and provide relief for chronic headaches and facial muscle pain.
Will cosmetic bleaching weaken teeth’s enamel over time? How safe are teeth bleaching kits?
As long as the cosmetic bleaching kits and in-office bleaching are within the American Dental Association’s guidelines, they won’t cause damage to the teeth if used correctly and according to manufacturer’s instructions. I see some patients using the new, trending charcoal products for whitening, but we’ve discovered they are not safe and can abrade the tooth’s surface. We always recommend you discuss with your dentist before using any whitening products on your teeth.
What are your office’s updated safety measures as a result of the pandemic?
We follow all ADA and CDC rules regarding personal protection equipment for everyone’s safety. We offer the ability for patients to check in from their cars with a smartphone. Before entering the office, patients’ temperatures are taken and health-screening questions are asked. They’re guided to their room without crossing other patients along the way. After each patient leaves, treatment rooms are wiped thoroughly with disinfectant and fogged with electrostatic water to sterilize surfaces and the air. The entire staff is covered in disposable gowns over scrubs, an N95 mask, gloves, and a face shield for maximum protection and prevention of pathogens.