My Blog

Posts for: December, 2015

By Scott A. Terry, DDS
December 24, 2015
Category: Dental Care
Tags: Teeth Whitening  

What Can I Do to Make My Smile White Again? The facts about tooth whitening treatments.

When you smile, you may notice that your teeth are growing darker, more yellow and dull. Now, instead of smiling when you meet people, you’ve become self-conscious about your teeth. It’s time to see what can be done to bring back your dazzling Teeth Whiteningwhite smile. It’s time to see Dr. Scott Terry, your family dentist in North Vernon, Indiana, and talk about tooth whitening treatments.

Teeth can grow darker for many reasons, but the main cause is aging. As the years go by, tooth enamel gets thinner. At the same time, the layer underneath the enamel, called the dentin, darkens. The more transparent enamel allows you and other people to see the darkened dentin underneath, making your entire tooth look dark and dull.

If you aren’t happy with your smile because of darkened teeth, you are not alone. In fact, according to the American Association of Orthodontists, nearly 90% of patients have requested tooth whitening.

Many of these same patients have tried over-the-counter treatments including whitening strips, toothpastes or rinses, only to find that the results were minimal and didn’t last very long.

Dr. Terry can talk with you about a much more effective, more permanent treatment to help give you back your white, bright smile. He offers different options for tooth whitening treatments, custom-made to fit your needs. Among the treatments he will discuss are:

Home whitening treatments which are a set of trays, custom-made to fit your teeth, combined with a whitening solution. You place the whitening solution inside the trays and wear the trays for a short period of time. The entire process usually takes two to four weeks.

In-office bleaching which requires bleaching gel to be placed on the teeth, and enhanced using a special laser or light. In office treatments take about an hour.

If you’ve been thinking about how nice it would be to have a bright, white smile, you need to take action. You need to stop by and discuss tooth whitening treatment options with Dr. Scott Terry, your dentist in North Vernon, Indiana. See what he can do for your smile. Do it today!


Although we’ve made great strides over the last century making dental visits more pleasant and comfortable, many people still feel a little apprehension about them at one time or another. For a few, though, this apprehension escalates into high anxiety — so high they may even avoid important dental treatment altogether.

If you have a significant phobia regarding dental visits and treatment, here are some things you can do to reduce your anxiety and feel more comfortable when you undergo treatment.

Let us know about your feelings of anxiety. We’re conditioned by society to regard such fears as irrational or “silly,” and so we tend to hide our negative emotions. Dentists, however, have been trained to work with fearful patients to reduce their anxiety levels. Being honest with us about your fears and nervousness is the first step to developing an anxiety-reducing strategy that will make your visits more pleasant.

Counteract bad experiences with good. For most people the fear they have during dental visits stems from earlier unpleasant experiences at the dentist. The fear can be so ingrained that simply trying to convince yourself or to be told “there’s nothing to be afraid of” will have little to no effect. Instead, build a memory collection of positive and pleasant dental visit experiences that serve to counteract the unpleasant. To do this we might first get you acclimated to routine visits and then gradually transition to more invasive procedures. This may increase the normal time for dental treatment, but the reduction in anxiety is worth the extra time.

Consider sedation therapy. In addition to modifying your experiences, you may also benefit from sedation medications that reduce anxiety, especially in the early stages of treatment. Depending on your medical history and current status, we can prescribe a sedative for you to take an hour or so before your appointment to help you relax. We can also increase the level of anesthesia (from local to intravenous or gas anesthesia, for example) if your anxiety is especially acute.

Taking proactive steps to minimize dental visit anxiety will increase the probability that you’ll obtain needed dental care. Your teeth and gums will be healthier for it.

If you would like more information on coping with dental visit anxiety, 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 “Overcoming Dental Fear & Anxiety.”


Want to know the exact wrong way to pry open a stubborn lid? Just ask Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC-TV’s popular “Tonight Show.” When the 40-year-old funnyman had trouble opening a tube of scar tissue repair gel with his hands, he decided to try using his teeth.

What happened next wasn’t funny: Attempting to remove the cap, Fallon chipped his front tooth, adding another medical problem to the serious finger injury he suffered a few weeks before (the same wound he was trying to take care of with the gel). If there’s a moral to this story, it might be this: Use the right tool for the job… and that tool isn’t your teeth!

Yet Fallon is hardly alone in his dilemma. According to the American Association of Endodontists, chipped teeth account for the majority of dental injuries. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers a number of great ways to restore damaged teeth.

If the chip is relatively small, it’s often possible to fix it with cosmetic bonding. In this procedure, tough, natural-looking resin is used to fill in the part of the tooth that has been lost. Built up layer by layer, the composite resin is cured with a special light until it’s hard, shiny… and difficult to tell from your natural teeth. Best of all, cosmetic bonding can often be done in one office visit, with little or no discomfort. It can last for up to ten years, so it’s great for kids who may be getting more permanent repairs later.

For larger chips or cracks, veneers or crowns may be suggested. Veneers are wafer-thin porcelain coverings that go over the entire front surface of one or more teeth. They can be used to repair minor to moderate defects, such as chips, discolorations, or spacing irregularities. They can also give you the “Hollywood white” smile you’ve seen on many celebrities.

Veneers are generally custom-made in a lab, and require more than one office visit. Because a small amount of tooth structure must be removed in order to put them in place, veneers are considered an irreversible treatment. But durable and long-lasting veneers are the restorations of choice for many people.

Crowns (also called caps) are used when even more of the tooth structure is missing. They can replace the entire visible part of the tooth, as long as the tooth’s roots remain viable. Crowns, like veneers, are custom-fabricated to match your teeth in size, shape and color; they are generally made in a dental lab and require more than one office visit. However, teeth restored with crowns function well, look natural, and can last for many years.

So what happened to Jimmy Fallon? We aren’t sure which restoration he received… but we do know that he was back on TV the same night, flashing a big smile.

If you would like more information about tooth restorations, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers” and “Artistic Repair Of Front Teeth With Composite Resin.”

By Scott A. Terry, DDS
December 03, 2015
Category: Dental Care
Tags: Cavities  

Find out everything you could ever need to know about dental decay.

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), about 92 percent of adults between the ages of 20 to 65 have experienced cavities.Cavities This is a significant portion of the population that has already dealt with decay. While you’ve probably heard a lot of talk about cavities, perhaps you’re not really sure what they are and how they occur. Find out more about cavities and when to see your North Vernon dentist Dr. Scott A. Terry for treatment.

What is a cavity?

A cavity starts as a very small hole in the enamel of your tooth. This hole is the result of bacteria that is eating away at healthy enamel. Now that this hole has developed, bacteria can then get into the tooth. Over time that bacteria then destroys the dentin, or softer portion of the tooth, which your dentist in North Vernon will then need to remove and refill in order to preserve the tooth.

Sugar's Role in Cavities

While sugar definitely plays a role in the development of cavities, it’s not just sugar that is causing problems for your smile. Acidic food is another culprit that can alter the pH in your mouth and leave you more susceptible to cavities. So, what kinds of acidic things should you stay away from? Sugar-caffeine combos are a major no-no for your smile. That means caffeinated soft drinks, energy drinks and sugar-laden coffees can do some serious damage to your smile.

Snacks and Your Smile

Enjoy that afternoon chocolate bar that you hope will get you through the rest of the workday? Even though that little treat may only satiate your appetite for a little while it affects the health of your teeth for three hours. This is how long the pH in your mouth is affected and how long bacteria have the opportunity to create plaque and eat away at enamel. So remember to brush, floss, chew gum or rinse your mouth out with water immediately after snacking if you want to protect your smile.

If you haven’t had your six-month cleaning then it’s time to schedule that much-needed visit with your North Vernon, IN dentist today. Even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms, it’s still important to come in regularly. Sometimes the only way to catch a cavity is by coming into our office. Our goal is to protect your beautiful smile from decay, so call us today.