Monday, November 26, 2012

Crowns or Veneers: What is the Difference?

Before After 1
You finally decided you need to visit someone who does Boston cosmetic dentistry and now you are going in for a new smile design. You may have heard your dentist using the terms veneers and crowns, but you probably don't know what they mean. This is a handy guide to the difference between the two. So you can understand what your dentist is talking about.


How they work

A crown is a cap usually made of porcelain or ceramic that is placed over the entire visible portion of the tooth. In order for this to work the dentist trims off a large amount of the enamel. The crown is then cemented directly to the dentin. The process is very involved and can require a number of visits. Typically the first visit consists of tooth reduction and preparation for bonding. On the second visit a crown, that has been manufactured specifically for you, is attached.

When they are used

Crowns are used when the patient has had a great deal of tooth damage, when restructuring is necessary, or if a root canal has occurred. Crowns are a good option because they are very strong and can take a lot of wear. They also can be used to make drastic changes in the shape of the tooth which is advantageous if the teeth are impeding the proper function of the mouth. Cosmetically, crowns make the teeth even and change their color, making them look much better.


How they work

Veneers are thin coverings for the front of the tooth. They are usually made of the same substance as crowns. To attach them, your dentist only needs to remove a small amount of enamel. This is generally better for the tooth, since more of the healthy structure is preserved, and for the patient, because there is less discomfort as well as less time and cost involved in the procedure.

When they are used

Unlike a crown, a veneer only covers the front of the tooth so any structural changes will be minimal. Changes to tooth coloration are also less drastic because most of the tooth is still intact behind the veneer. Although they are made of the same substance as crowns, veneers are slightly less durable because they are thinner. But when used correctly they produce the same even white teeth as crowns.
Now you know some of the basics of cosmetic dentistry. For more specific information you should consult your Boston dentists and get an expert opinion.
Image Credit: Dr. Alper, DMD, Cosmetic Dentist, on Flickr

Herbal Depression Medicine: A Viable Alternative To Depression Prescription Drugs?

Herbal depression medicine is commonly promoted as a viable alternative to pharmaceutical treatment of depression. However, the final verdict on the usefulness of herbal depression medicine needs yet to be made. While the effectiveness of herbal anti depressants has to be analysed on a case-by-case basis it can be said that a general problem with assessing the potential of herbal depression medicine lies in the fact that not much clinical, statistically relevant data exists. Also, there seems to be only limited interest from medical establishment to embark on studies testing the effectiveness of most herbal depression medicine. So what is the evidence that herbal anti depressants are effective depression treatments?
St John's Wort
St. John's wort (Hypericum Perforatum) is the most well-known and best studied of the herbal anti depressants. It has been known as herbal depression medicine and ailment for other diseases for centuries. In Europe, where this herbal depression medicine is commonly prescribed by medical doctors, a number of clinical studies have shown St John´s wort to be an effective herbal anti depressant in cases of mild to moderate depression. However, two clinical studies in the US have recently indicated that St. John´s wort extracts were no more effective than a placebo in major depression (it has to be noted though that one of the studies was funded by the pharmaceutical industry). Further studies with this herbal depression medicine are underway, but it may take years before a definite verdict can be made on St John´s wort. The exact mode of action of this herbal depression medicine is unknown, though some evidence exists that it acts on serotonin production or -activity. Despite all limitations and open questions, St. John´s wort currently stands as the only herbal depression medicine with a clinically demonstrated effect in certain types of depression.
Other herbal depression medicine
Other herbal anti depressants commonly mentioned are Gingko Biloba and Siberian Ginseng. For each of those alleged herbal anti depressants circumstantial evidence exists that seems to show their potential as herbal depression medicine. However, no clinical studies have been conducted so far that prove or disprove any claims made with regards to their effectiveness as ailments for depression.
An additional major problem with all herbal depression medicine, apart of limited clinical evidence, is that the quality of different marketed herbal extracts may vary substantially and that there may be purity and effectiveness issues. Furthermore, the common misconception that herbal depression treatment is natural and hence does not have any side effects is outright wrong and the depressive patient should be aware of the potential risks of taking herbal anti depressants without consultation through a medical professional.
Concluding it must be said that, although herbal depression medicine is widely used, on the whole there is (maybe with the exception of St. John´s wort) no definitive evidence for the usefulness of herbal anti depressants. Especially when compared to standard prescription drugs for depression herbal depression medicine usually does not stand out as a first choice treatment option. However, when other more established treatments fail, or in particular in the case of St. John´s wort, in cases of mild depression, using herbal depression medicine may be worth trying. In any case the user should realise the limitations and potential dangers of herbal depression medicine.

What Does Natural Depression Treatment Involve?

Many patients who suffer from depression are a bit suspicious about natural depression treatment.
They think its smacks too much of alternative medicine and they are not sure about it. This is mainly because our mindset has been brainwashed into accepting a pharmacological and or psychiatric approach to this type of mental disorder. We have a blinkered approach but let us try and open our minds to other possibilities.
Many depressed patients take anti depressants (Paxil, Celeza, Luvox and Zoloft ) which is fine for most of them, although some may have trouble with the side effects. The problem is that many of these patients do not make any lifestyle changes at all and they begin to become addicted and dependent on the prescription drugs for depression. I know some friends who have been on these drugs for years. This is fine for the pharmaceutical companies but the patients themselves are not making any progress at all towards a definitive cure. This is simply because they have never looked at a natural depression treatment either as an adjunct to their medication or as a totally new approach to an alternative cure.
What could be more natural than changing your diet? Avoiding alcohol in excessive quantities is essential as it is a depressant itself in the long term. Other patients opt for Vitamin B12 and B6 supplements because these have been found to help lift your mood. Then there are the famous fatty acids (Omega 3) which are found in fish oils and some types of fish. These do have a definite impact on your mood. In addition, you may be taking anti depressants for depression caused by an eating disorder so extra care should be taken with diet. Remember that some of the medications will cause weight gain so you will need expert help here, if you have this problem. Dietary changes are the one of the best natural depression remedies available.
If you decide to opt for herbal treatment, make sure you ask your doctor first as these do not mix well with the anti depressants so you want to make sure it is safe for you. A very good quality St.John's Wort herbal treatment can be not only effective in mild depression but may also help with severe depression. Other herbs such as Kava, camomile and gingko have been found to be effective as a a natural depression treatment
Perhaps the best natural depression treatment is having a support network of friends who will call you and also stimulate you to do things with them. They are also there to help and support you. Making sure that they call you or that you call them as a daily commitment, can help to give shape to your day and your routine. Friends like these are priceless and it has been shown that people with such strong networks in place suffer less from depression. This is the one of the best natural depression remedies around.

The Common Signs of Teen Depression

Teen depression may develop in teenagers who have personal, family, and social problems. It is not true that only adults suffer from this problem. Teens can also have this intense mental and emotional problem plaguing them.
For parents and guardians, it is important that you know the tell tale signs that your teenaged child is suffering from depression. Knowing of the illness before it becomes worse is crucial, if you want to restore the emotional and mental fitness of your son or daughter.
1. Frequent crying, intense sadness, and tearfulness
Sadness can be manifested in many way other than crying and showing tears. Some teens convey sadness through the way they dress. They can also use their ability to write and compose poems and stories. Some show it through the choice of music they want to hear. Always be on the lookout for these. If your teen seems to be displaying a sense of depression through their manner, there could be a problem somewhere.
2. Hopelessness
There are instances that your teenaged son or daughter feel their life is not worth living anymore. They could be overtly pessimistic and cynical about the general things around them. They could even do it to the extent they do not care how they looked like and how people percepts them. If you think your teen is doing this, be more on the lookout. He or she may be depressed.
3. Shows less interest in their otherwise favorite activity
If you teenager suddenly drops out of their sports or club either from school or with friends, there could be something wrong. Any individual who do not want to have fun to an elevated degree could definitely be depressed.
4. Low energy
If your teenage son or daughter seems to be bored all the time, no matter how enjoyable the activity is, he or she can be depressed. Low grades and lack of motivation to succeed can also be a sign of depression.
5. Social seclusion
A previously bubbly teenage who unexpectedly wanted to be alone more often than necessary is enough reason to be alarmed. If your teenager prefers to avoid parties and gatherings with friends or families, they should be given more attention. Even more so, if the teenager does not want to talk about his feelings or what is bothering him.
6. Lowered Confidence
A person who is suffering from dwindling self-confidence is a person who feels negatively about failures. A person, on the other hand, who feels guilt and negative opinions about their own self, is certainly on the verge of depression.
7. Irritability
Being irritable is a common reaction of a depressed individual, teen or otherwise. Teens who usually take out on their angers on their family are showing the signs of depression. They can also be sarcastic, critical, or even abusive to the younger ones.
8. Poor school performance
If your teenagers tend to be absent from school, or are causing trouble while there, they definitely problematic. Depression may be taking its toll on them, which is why their schoolwork is slowly being affected. The sadder part of this is that the root cause may be misdiagnosed. Parents and teachers may not even realize they are dealing with a depressed teen.
Teen depression is real. Parents need to stay engaged with their kids, and be aware of their kids' feelings and their physical condition. Communication is the key. Depression should not settle in to a person in their tender years. When that happens, it has to be treated right away.