Welcome to Z-Talk


Posted 16:11PM on September 13 2013 by Andy | Categories: Tooth Colored Fillings

Long before Beaver Stadium made national headlines during the storied 2005 “White-Out” game versus Ohio State, the dental profession had a dramatic white-out of its own kind.  Advances in modern dental materials and techniques began offering methods to create a more aesthetically beautiful smile.  White, composite, or tooth-colored fillings, are a great option for patients who want their teeth to look natural when they talk, laugh and smile.   In fact, my wife came to me shortly after we were married with this very request.  She says that it has given her greater confidence about her every day interactions.  It is almost impossible to identify the fillings in her smile.  At your next appointment, we can review my “Before and After” case studies  featuring this cosmetic procedure.  I am proud of the results my team has achieved.

Because they blend well with tooth enamel, white fillings are  the best option if your tooth restoration is near the front of your mouth.    The majority of tooth colored fillings can be completed in just one visit,  but may take a bit longer than silver fillings.  After decay is removed and the tooth is kept free of saliva, an adhesive is applied along with thin layers of white composite.  The restoration is then hardened with a curing light for less than a minute.  The result:  white-out!

You should also know the advantages of tooth colored fillings:  they require less of the healthy tooth structure to be removed to hold the filling in place because composite materials bond to teeth adhesively.   This is a benefit to your health.

Although I find cosmetic dentistry compelling,  I realize that you may not want to read about the history, science and artistry behind this procedure.   For those of you that would like more in-depth information, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, of which I am a Sustaining Member, has more information at http://www.aacd.com/index.php?module=cms&page=579 

 You don’t have to wait for the Michigan game for your white-out!


Sports Mouth Guards: Protect Your Athlete

Posted 08:40AM on February 23 2012 by Andy Zimmerman, D.D.S. | Categories: General

AACD SuperFact: Athletes are 60 times more likely to damage their teeth when not wearing a mouth guard during athletic activities.  More than 5 million teeth are "knocked out" in sporting activities each year.  While this statistic is astonishing, the American Dental Association estimates that more than 200,000 oral injuries are prevented every year thanks to the use of sports mouth guards.

The mouthguard I prefer to use in my practice is called the PlaySafe sports mouthguard.  Customized to fit your mouth, statistics show that when worn properly, a protective mouthguard decreases the risk of injury by 99 percent.  When worn properly, a mouthguard can prevent dental trauma such as fractured teeth or concussions.

While many sporting goods stores sell mouthguards, these versions are not as effective as the PlaySafe sports mouthpiece offered at Zimmerman Dental Care.  This is because store-bought boil-and-bite mouthguards cannot be altered and require you to keep your mouth clenched for maximum protection.  PlaySafe, however, is made using an exact duplication of your mouth and will stay in place with no effort.  This allows the athlete to put their attention where it belong:  on the game!

I personally use a PlaySafe mouthguard when I play basketball and highly recommend them for my patients.

Porcelain Crowns

Posted 19:43PM on November 22 2011 by Andy Zimmerman, DDS | Categories: Smile Makeovers


This is a smile makeover case that we recently completed with porcelain crowns.  The before picture shows a stained, worn and aged smile.  The after picture shows a brighter and more youthful smile.  I am very pleased with the result and the patient cannot stop smiling!  Thank you to our team at Zimmerman Dental Care who made this case a success and to our valued patient for entrusting us to make this treatment plan a reality.

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry website (www.aacd.com) of which I am a Sustaining Member thoroughly explains the Porcelain Crown Procedure:

Dental porcelain can be sculpted to closely replicate the look of natural tooth enamel, while providing desirable strength and resilience. Porcelain crowns are an excellent choice when recreating the form and function of a damaged tooth, because a crown basically replaces the entire external portion of the tooth down to the gum level. Crowns are not limited to simply replacing the original tooth, but can be designed to create an even better esthetic appearance.

Cosmetic Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are indirect restorations that can be used to help an otherwise healthy tooth with a large filling. Inlays are placed within the grooves between the cusps (points) of a tooth, whereas onlays are placed within the grooves and over the cusp tips. Your AACD member dentist can help determine which restoration is better for you. Inlays and onlays can be used to replace old filings, and are more esthetically pleasing because they can be made to match a tooth’s natural color. Aside from improving a tooth’s appearance, inlays and onlays can strengthen the structure of a tooth because of their durability and longevity.


Crown Consultation

Crowns can be selected for necessity or cosmetic reasons. No matter what the case, the first step is to schedule an appointment with your AACD dental professional, Dr. Zimmerman. He will examine your teeth and in some cases will immediately see that a crown is the best option. In other situations where the problems aren’t so obvious, you may need to express your concerns and discuss your future smile goals so both you and your dentist have all the facts.

The Hows and Whys of Porcelain Crowns

Porcelain crowns replace the exterior portion of a tooth to re-establish its original function and to create a natural appearance. Crowns are the treatment of choice in situations where tooth decay has destroyed most of the original tooth, when a traumatic event has caused damage, or in cases of severe enamel erosion. They are also an option for people who grind and clench their teeth so much that the original structure of their teeth has been compromised.

The great benefit to porcelain crowns is they can not only replicate the original tooth in function, but can be designed to look like the original--or even better. When patients select a porcelain veneer for cosmetic reasons, they’re usually covering up the front portion of the tooth that has some esthetic flaw. A porcelain crown is thicker than a veneer and, in some situations, this thickness is needed. A porcelain crown can be used for cosmetic reasons, but it’s best to seek the advice of an AACD member dentist.

Crowns and veneers are situated and secured in the mouth in a similar fashion, using a light-sensitive resin placed between the original tooth and crown, and then hardening that resin with a special curing light.

Partial crowns, often referred to as onlays, are a type of restoration or filling that covers one or more cusps. An inlay is similar to a filling but the work resides completely within the cusps on a tooth’s chewing surface. These restorations are much more conservative than crowns, and can be imperceptible from your natural tooth.

Potential Crown Downsides

Porcelain crowns do require some laboratory time to be created and times vary according to the laboratory and its distance from ZDC, so expect to be fitted with a temporary, or provisional, crown for a while.

Some patients may experience sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures after porcelain crowns are attached. It’s best to consult Dr. Zimmerman for more information about your individual case.

While porcelain crowns are very durable, they do not have the flexibility of natural teeth, so avoiding certain foods may be necessary. Chronic tooth-grinders and jaw-clenchers will need to be fitted with a nighttime mouth guard to protect the porcelain from unnecessary and excessive pressure and use.

Maintenance of a Porcelain Crown

Maintaining porcelain crowns is actually quite simple. Much like your original teeth, they require routine brushing with non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste and regular flossing.

A follow-up appointment will be scheduled to evaluate the crowns shortly after they’re placed, so Dr. Zimmerman can review the work and see how your mouth is reacting to the crowns. Even if you think the crowns are successful, this follow-up appointment is an important part of your future oral health.

Use It or Lose It!

Posted 12:24PM on November 14 2011 by Andy Zimmerman, DDS | Categories: General

It's that time of year again!  Time for a friendly reminder that you may have pre-tax dollars (Flex Plan) or dental insurance benefits remaining for 2011.  Benefits that are not used by year-end may be forfeited.  If you have treatment that has not yet been completed or you are due for a routine cleaning and check-up, be sure to speak with us right away to schedule your appointment.

New Faces

Posted 22:13PM on November 03 2011 by Dr. Andy Zimmerman | Categories: Office News

If you have visited Zimmerman Dental Care recently, you may have noticed a new face.   Cassie has recently joined our team of Registered Dental Hygienists.  Welcome Cassie, we are thrilled to have you on board!

Welcome to Z-Talk: Teeth Whitening

Posted 22:03PM on November 03 2011 by Dr. Andy Zimmerman | Categories: General

Welcome to Z-Talk!  I am very excited to give you periodic updates on dentistry, our office and the services we offer.  What a great way to stay in touch with my patients and friends.  I am so grateful for my valued patients and exceptional staff in wonderful Centre Hall, PA.

With the holidays just around the corner many of you will be attending parties, family gatherings and of course taking holiday portraits.  Did you know that one of the most economical and convenient ways to enhance your appearance is by bleaching or whitening your teeth?  According to the American Academy Of Cosmetic Dentistry, a brighter smile gives the impression of youth, vitality, radiant health, happiness, and warmth.  A bright smile is perceived as a happy smile.  If you are not happy with your smile, teeth whitening may be a good first step.  

I first bleached my own teeth while in Dental School (over 21 years ago!)  Even though the systems I used then were more cumbersome than the systems I use today, I was thrilled with the result and have been interested in whitening since that time.

There are several different bleaching systems available today, but I primarily use one that I think is the best for the patient.  This system consists of a custom made bleaching tray that is worn with a bleaching gel inserted for 30 minutes per day for 10-14 days.  This treatment is extremely effective, easy to use and reasonably priced.  Tooth whitening can last for one or more years, depending on how well you take care of your teeth, and if you’re following up regularly with a home whitening product for regular maintenance.  

Another method is in-office bleaching.  I have taken courses on in-office bleaching and have decided I would not, at present, use this type of system on myself.  Therefore, I won’t recommend this method for my patients.  It requires the patient to sit for approximately an hour with their mouth open and a special barrier in place to protect their gums from the powerful bleach.  Patients must also wear special glasses to protect their eyes from the bleaching light.  I have known patients who have had sensitivity after in-office bleaching.  In addition, some systems, such as ZOOM, require home bleaching trays to complete the bleaching process.  Independent research has shown the special lights to have little, if any effect on the bleaching result and these systems can be much more expensive than the price of take home bleaching kits.

Call our office today if you are interested in whitening your teeth for the holidays or in purchasing a bleaching kit for a loved one.  A beautiful smile is the gift that keeps giving!  Become a fan of Zimmerman Dental Care on Facebook during the month of November and be entered in a drawing to be selected for a free in-home whitening kit.    www.facebook.com/ZimmermanDentalCare

Not satisfied with your smile? You’re not alone.

Posted 14:59PM on August 18 2011 by Andy Zimmerman | Categories: General

According to an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) survey, only one out of every two people is satisfied with their smile. If you are one of the thousands of people who are considering enhancing your smile, then it is important to find a qualified cosmetic dentist that will meet your needs. Here are some AACD guidelines to help you when selecting your cosmetic dentist:

  • Be sure to find a dentist who will listen to your needs. Many dentists offer consultations, which allow you to discuss your needs one-on-one. Be prepared to discuss how you feel about your smile and what changes you would like to make to achieve a desired outcome.
  • Ask to see the dentist’s before and after photographs.
  • Ask for references. Accomplished cosmetic dentists are proud to share with you the names of other patients who have received the benefits of similar treatments.
  • Ask the dentist how he/she keeps up-to-date with new techniques and technology.
  • Be sure to find a dentist that matches your personality.
  • Expect the dentist to recommend a comprehensive examination before any treatment begins. The dentist should be able to assess all aspects of your dental health, such as gum disease, tooth decay, overall oral function, and the potential longevity of the completed cosmetic treatment.
  • AACD members care about their patients’ satisfaction with their new smile. That’s why they join the AACD and have the opportunity to participate in
  • the following AACD programs to enhance their clinical skills.
  • Annual AACD Scientific Session – Each year the AACD hosts the world’s largest scientific session based solely upon cosmetic dentistry. Dental professionals from around the world gather for a week of intensive continuing education courses intended to keep AACD members up-to-date and in-tune with the latest innovations in dentistry.
  • The Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry – The Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry is the #1 publication for cosmetic dentistry. Written and edited by experts in the field, The Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry is the leading print authority for clinical procedures in cosmetic dentistry.
  • AACD Credentialing – Accreditation represents the acknowledgment of a dentist’s or laboratory technician’s excellence in cosmetic dentistry. Accreditation and the examination process are administered by the American Board of Cosmetic Dentistry.