Plan Now To Complete Treatment By Year’s End

With the holiday rush, it’s not unusual for people to add dental treatment to their ‘wish list.’ Some want to take advantage of unused insurance benefits. Others prefer to have treatment during time off from work. And, we see quite a few who want to begin the new year with a healthy, attractive new smile.

Even though it’s early October, NOW is the best time to have a consultation, exam, and select your treatment plan. This will enable us to arrange your visits so they coincide ideally with your preferred procedure dates.

Additionally, many treatments take more than one appointment to complete. For treatment that involves a dental lab (for veneers, crowns, partials, etc.), you may be in ‘temporaries’ for a couple of weeks before your final porcelain results are ready to place.

Even the ‘immediate-placement’ All-On-4 dental implant system requires some waiting time before your final restoration is placed. Although you’ll be comfortable during this time with a temporary denture, the permanent ‘fixed’ result often requires a few months.

Our financial coordinator can be a valuable support person in planning your treatment. Once you’ve approved your treatment, you can meet with her so ideal scheduling can be arranged and insurance coverage determined. She’ll also explain our financial plans that require no down payment with no interest.

The key is to act NOW to arrange the ideal path to that ideal smile on your wish list! Call toll free 1-855-9-Smiles for a no-charge consultation. SOON!!!!

Ideas For The Best Holiday Gift EVER!

It’s not even October and already stores are setting up Christmas displays! As you begin to make holiday plans and think ‘Gifts’ (for yourself or someone special), consider a gift that will be enjoyed all day, every day! Smile enhancements tend to make people more outgoing with more confidence and greater self-esteem. In addition to creating a more attractive facial appearance, a terrific smile also projects a positive impression to others.

For those who are missing teeth, Dental Implants are a lifetime solution and an excellent investment! Many of today’s Dental Implants can have teeth attached immediately in a procedure that requires minimal time.

Know someone who is scared of dental visits to the point they avoid the care they need? Treat them to Oral Sedation. In pill form, this provides total tranquility with little or no memory of the procedure afterward. Plus, many patients who opt for sedation feel they no longer need it after a visit or two. We have many adults who have overcome their fear and truly enjoy their dental visits now.

Just want a brighter, whiter smile that takes a few years off? Our Zoom Whitening system provides a dramatically whiter smile with little or no sensitivity. And, the degree of whitening is far greater than the systems sold in drug stores with unsurpassed longevity.

A beautiful, healthy smile is a positive reflection on every face! Let your gift list include treatment that will be one of the BEST gifts ever given (or received)! Call toll free 1-855-9-Smiles for more details.

Don’t Let Periodontal Disease Be Surprise Diagnosis

Some patients are shocked to learn they’ve developed periodontal (gum) disease. However, the regularity of dental visits, condition of physical health, oral hygiene at home, and other factors can leave one individual more susceptible than other.

For example, if you only have once-a-year hygiene visits, rather than every six months, you may be surprised by a diagnosis of periodontal disease. Keep in mind that it only takes 36 hours for oral bacteria to begin plaque formation.

Many factors can play a part in the rate of how one develops gum disease. This is why those six-month check-ups are so important. They catch problems at early stages so they don’t become bigger ones. Too, your oral home care between visits plays a major role in the condition of your oral health at each visit.

Periodontal disease doesn’t just affect your oral health. Research has shown that the inflammation of gum disease can have adverse reactions elsewhere in the body. It has been linked to coronary artery disease, diabetes, and other serious health problems. Like many diseases that form in our bodies, periodontal disease begins silently and without obvious warning signs in earliest stages.

If your family physician gave you a clean bill of health at your annual check-up, but learn a tumor has developed at the next one, you would likely understand it had developed between the two visits. The same can happen with periodontal disease.

Should you learn that you have developed gum disease, the most important thing is for you to be treated promptly. Gum disease will only worsen without treatment. In many cases, our dental laser allows us to combat the bacteria of gum disease with optimal comfort and in minimal time. Call us toll free 1-855-9-Smiles for more information.

Terms You Should Know

You may occasionally hear unfamiliar dental terms related to periodontal (gum) disease. I felt it would be helpful to provide explanations of various terms along with their sequence in the development of periodontal disease.

Dental Plaque – is a sticky film that forms on the teeth. Dental plaque is an accumulation of bacteria and what causes periodontal disease. If plaque is not removed each day by brushing and flossing, it hardens into calculus.

Calculus – is dental plaque that hardens and cannot be removed by brushing or flossing, only by a dental professional using specific tools. Also referred to as tartar, calculus is typically rough and porous.

Gingivitis – is the initial stage of periodontal disease. When the bacteria in dental plaque is not removed on a daily basis, gingivitis will cause the gum tissue to turn red, sore and bleed easily.

Periodontal Pockets – are created by toxins in plaque that attack the gum tissues below the gum line. As the gums pull away from the teeth, a pocket forms, which fills with plaque and infection. Eventually, the bone and connecting tissues around the tooth can become so damaged that the tooth will loosen and require extraction.

Root Scaling & Planing – is a non-surgical procedure that removes plaque and calculus from periodontal pockets and around tooth roots to promote healing.

Periodontitis – is the stage of periodontal disease that causes inflammation in supporting tissues of teeth as well as bone loss. Periodontitis is prevalent in adults, but can occur at any age. Research has shown this bacteria can contribute to inflammation elsewhere in the body, resulting in severe health risks.

When caught early, time and expense in treatment is far less than trying to combat periodontal disease in latter stages. If you suspect you have gum disease, please call toll free 1-855-9-Smiles promptly for an examination.

Sores In The Mouth

Both annoying and painful, mouth sores can also be a symptom of a disease or disorder. Any mouth sore that lasts a week or longer should be examined. Among the most common are:

Canker sores: Small ulcers with a white or gray base and a red border. Unlike cold sores, canker sores appear inside the mouth. They are not contagious but their exact cause is uncertain. Some experts believe that immune system problems, bacteria or viruses may be involved. Fatigue, stress or allergies can increase the likelihood of a canker sore. A cut caused by biting the cheek or tongue, or reactions from hot foods or beverages may contribute to canker sore development. Intestinal problems, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, also seem to make some people more susceptible. Canker sores usually heal on their own after a week or so. Over-the-counter topical anesthetics, steroid preparations,  and antimicrobial mouth rinses can provide temporary relief.

Cold sores: Also called fever blisters or Herpes simplex, these are groups of fluid-filled blisters that occur outside the mouth. Cold sores typically erupt around the lips, under the nose or around the chin. Cold sores caused by herpes virus type 1 are very contagious. Herpes lesions look like multiple tiny fluid-filled blisters that are most common around the edge of the lips. An outbreak may follow a fever, sunburn, skin abrasions or emotional upset. Cold sore blisters usually heal in a week by themselves. Over-the-counter topical anesthetics can provide some relief. Prescription antiviral drugs may reduce the duration of these kinds of viral infections.

Leukoplakia: A thick, whitish-color patch that forms on the inside of cheeks, gums or tongue. These patches are caused by excess cell growth and common with tobacco users. They can result from irritations such as an ill-fitting denture or chewing on the inside of the cheek. A danger is that leukoplakia can progress to cancer. If suspected, painless oral cancer screening will be performed to determine the need for a biopsy.

First Step To Overcoming Dental Fear

It is estimated that nearly 75% of adults in the U.S. have had a fear of the dentist at some point. One of the most common of all phobias, dental fear is also known as odontophobia. Interestingly, women seem to have dental fear more than men.

We see a number of once-fearful patients, who are now comfortable with their dental visits and relaxed in the treatment chair. Helping them to reach this, however, happens at a different pace for each. Most begin with an appointment where we meet and simply discuss their concerns in our consultation room. This room is away from the clinical side of the office without treatment chairs or instruments in sight. We sit in comfortable arm chairs behind closed doors and have a relaxed, private conversation.

Some people will share what sparked their dental fears in the first place. A few don’t remember what prompted their fear of dentistry; it just built over time. Regardless, I listen and then describe ways we can ensure their comfort throughout any procedure, whether its a simple cleaning or repairing cavities or gum disease.

Often, patients will request to have Oral Sedation added to their initial treatment. This is in pill form and taken prior to arriving at our office. By the time the patient arrives, they are very relaxed. Once the full effect of the medication has them totally relaxed, we administer numbing medications and begin treatment.

Oral Sedation is safe and recovery is quick. It also leaves no memory of treatment afterwards for most. Some may recall hearing my voice during treatment, but that’s typically all they tell me they remember.

As the patient realizes our desire is to care for them to the highest levels of comfort, they begin to feel a sense of trust. Many no longer need Oral Sedation after a visit or two.

If you have dental anxiety, or you know someone who has intense fear when it comes to dental visits, please know that we offer a free, no obligation consultation appointment. Our friendly phone staff are experienced in speaking with fearful individuals. At all times on the phone or in our office, you’ll be treated respectfully and warmly. Our toll free number is 1-855-9-Smiles. When you’re ready, we are just a phone call away.

Are YOU The Office Worker With Bad Breath?

Several months ago, I ran into a friend I had not seen in over ten years. We chatted for several minutes before we both had to scurry off. However, every time I think of him now, all I can remember throughout our conversation was her bad breath!

However, working in an office near someone who has bad breath can seem like a daily punishment. And, worse yet, that ‘someone’ may be YOU! Remember, bad breath can be offensive and leave a lasting impression.

I recently read the results of a consumer survey by the American Association of Periodontists and found it NOT surprising that:
• 32% of Americans say bad breath is the least attractive trait of their co-workers.
That’s nearly a third of all Americans in the job market! Yet, the survey also revealed that:
• 73% of Americans would rather go grocery shopping than floss.

When I consider how little time each day that the act of flossing actually requires, I’m shocked. For some reason, adults dread daily flossing more than the chore of the cart, crowds, and lines of a grocery store! If you struggle with being able to floss comfortably and efficiently, ask our Hygienists for help at your next visit.

The survey also stated that:
• 50% consider a smile is the first feature they notice
• 80% are not happy with their own smile

Today’s dentistry offers a wide array of techniques and materials to create an attractive smile, and at affordable rates. We also offer payment plans so you can start enjoying your fabulous, new smile NOW while you make monthly payments. These plans require no down payment and are interest free.

A healthy mouth and an attractive smile always make a positive impression! Be the one in your office who, when people say things behind your back, the comments are: “What a great smile!” Call toll free 1-855-9-Smiles for a free consultation!

Give Dental Repairs A Solid Foundation With A Healthy Mouth

If you were building a home, you wouldn’t want to make the investment only to find it was built over a sinkhole. The same applies to having necessary periodontal (gum) treatment prior to restorative work (crowns, bridges, fillings, partials, etc.).

For example, say you need a new bridge. Placing it in a mouth that is compromised by gum disease is a recipe for failure. This is because the damage of gum disease can cause the crowned teeth supporting the bridge to fail.

Since there are no obvious symptoms in its initial stages, some people are unaware they have gum disease. Like many diseases, such as cancer, heart disease or diabetes, symptoms are not apparent in early stages and people are unaware they exist. When symptoms do emerge, however, it is because the disease is well underway and the body’s immune system can no longer combat its progression.

This is also the case with periodontal disease. As the amount of oral bacteria become greater than your defenses can handle, it destroys healthy bone and tissue. You likely won’t notice a problem exists until symptoms are obvious. Early symptoms include persistent bad breath, sore gums that bleed when brushing, receded gums that expose tender tooth roots, and gum tissue that is red in color rather than a healthy pink.

In our office, we use a dental laser to destroy the bacteria of gum disease. This technology also speeds the process and heightens your comfort, saving you treatment time with faster healing. We’ll be happy to explain the process during a no-cost consultation. Call toll free 1-855-9-Smiles to schedule a time convenient to you.

To protect your investment when it comes to dental repairs, start with a healthy foundation for many years of smiling comfort and confidence!

Even Worse Statistics For Nation’s Perio Health

The Journal of Dental Research recently published results from a National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), indicating that one out of two American adults over age 30 have periodontitis. The findings highlight the extent, severity and prevalence of periodontal disease in our population.

The findings reveal that over 47% of adults have periodontal disease, which jumps to 70% in adults over age 65. Men have a higher incidence than women (56% vs. 38%), with smokers at 64%.

What makes this survey unique is that the data collected was the first to use full-mouth periodontal examinations. Since 2003, the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) has been working closely with Centers For Disease Control (CDC) for an accurate accounting of periodontal disease in the U.S. The NHANES study was the first to use full-mouth periodontal examinations, rather than partial mouth protocols.

These findings support the need for greater awareness among our nation’s adults. Periodontal disease is the nation’s leading cause of adult tooth loss. Also, the relationship between periodontal disease and diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, create the need for periodontal disease to be acknowledged as a major public health concern.

Why Fluoride?

If your faucets bring fluoridated water into your home, your oral health benefits greatly. Most of the public water supplies in the U.S. now include fluoride. Studies estimate an 18–40% reduction in cavities when water fluoridation is used. It’s so beneficial that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control listed water fluoridation as one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th century.

Fluoride has proven effective in preventing cavities, promotes and remineralizes tooth enamel, alters the development process of oral bacteria, and combats some bacteria that lead to periodontal disease. Drinking fluoridated water also adds low levels of fluoride to saliva for a continual benefit to your oral health.

If you do not consume fluoridated water (perhaps you use a water filtration system or well water, for example), you can still prevent cavities from occurring. Always use a fluoridated toothpaste, use a tongue scraper daily, swish at least 30 seconds with a fluoridated oral rinse, and floss each evening before your final brushing. At your six-month check-ups, sealants can be applied for added protection.