Your Comfort Is Important To Us ALWAYS!

As a Dentist who has helped hundreds of patients overcome dental fears, I’m still broken-hearted when I meet a new patient who has avoided dental care for years as a result. A large percentage of fearful patients avoid dental visits until they are in such pain it becomes a necessity.

It saddens me to hear these patients, many of whom are on the verge of losing natural teeth due to gum disease, share tales of torture in a dental chair because of an uncaring dentist. Some are brought to tears as they recall the pain and helpless feeling that has caused such trauma that they come to avoid dental visits altogether.

Although some have a diligent oral hygiene regimen at home, regular 6-month check-ups and cleanings help to remove plaque build-up that is impossible to brush or floss away. Through these, combined will a thorough home care commitment, you can avoid problems in the first place.

While you are in our hands, we assure you that YOU are in control. I will stop anytime you feel uneasy or a sensation that has you worried. I can also provide oral sedation, which is taken prior to your appointment. This relaxes you and relieves tension during your treatment, although you’ll be able to respond to requests, such as “Turn your head a little towards me,” for example. Along with oral sedation, we administer numbing medication to the areas being treated to ensure total comfort throughout your care.

Usually, patients relax just by realizing their comfort is a priority here. This is helpful to many, in itself. However, it’s important that each patient move at a pace that feels comfortable. Often, we begin with a consultation that allows us to discuss their concerns face-to-face in a comfy consultation room. This room is away from the clinical side of the practice and is a living room setting. From there, patients can decide when or if they are ready to proceed.

Today’s dentistry should never have you ‘in pain.’ If you have avoided dentistry due to fear, let’s restore your oral health and help you begin a dental relationship in an environment that is a positive part of your lifestyle. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles for a free consultation for yourself or someone whose smile you adore!

Can A Healthy Mouth Help You Avoid Stroke, Cancer & More?

If you ever needed added reasons to be fully committed to your oral health, you’ll find the follow list very interesting. Research has pinpointed numerous health problems that are related to oral bacteria.

While you know that periodontal (gum) disease can destroy gum tissues and the bone that supports teeth, tooth loss can also occur. Yet, the damage doesn’t stop there. Oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream through tears in tissues. This bloodborne bacteria is then free to travel throughout the body and can contribute to a long list of serious health problems, including:

• Heart Disease and Stroke – 
If you have full-blown periodontal disease, research has shown that you are twice as likely to develop heart disease. This is due t clot causing proteins that occur from oral bacteria that can clog arteries, including the carotid artery that supplies the brain with blood.

• Dementia
 – Studies have shown that tooth loss from oral bacteria is a risk factor for memory loss and early stage Alzheimer’s disease. Apparently, oral infection cause inflammation triggers that can lead to the destruction of brain cells.

• Cancer – 
Researchers found that men with gum disease are 54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, nearly 50% more likely to develop kidney cancer and 30% more likely to have blood cancers.

• Diabetes
 – Because people with diabetes are more susceptible to infections, 95% of also have periodontal disease.

• Infertility – 
Research has found that gum disease can complicate attempts for a female to become pregnant.

• Erectile Dysfunction – 
Men with periodontal disease are 7 times more likely to have erectile dysfunction (ED).

• Premature Birth – Nearly 13% of U.S. babies are born premature, which can lead to breathing issues and infections. Infection in the mother’s body, which includes infection from periodontal disease, can create inflammatory reactions that are related to premature and low birth weight babies.

• Respiratory Problems – 
When bloodborne bacteria from gum disease reaches the lungs, people with respiratory problems are at higher risk of pneumonia and acute bronchitis (COPD).

It has been said that the mouth is the gateway to the body. To keep your teeth and gums healthy, brush at least twice a day, floss daily, eat a minimal amount of sugar, and be diligent about keeping your 6-month dental exams and cleanings. Your overall health and well-being depend on it, in addition to your smile!

If you have been less than regular with your dental visits or home hygiene care, call us toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange a consultation and initial visit. We’ll help you feel good about this part of attaining a more healthy lifestyle!

Grinding Teeth & Sleep Apnea May Go Hand-In-Hand

Bruxism (teeth grinding) can lead to worn teeth, pain in the jaw joints, headaches, and disrupt sleep that results in daytime fatigue. Bruxism is most often associated with bite misalignment, but researchers are finding that grinding one’s teeth during sleep can also be a symptom of sleep disordered breathing.

Sleep specialists are now working with neuro-muscular dentists (like myself) on behalf of their patients, and vice versa. Because teeth grinding and clenching can cause so much damage, we advise a custom made bite guard to wear during sleep. Custom designed versions are smaller and won’t interfere with your ability to be comfortable throughout the night. Additionally, the materials made from versions we provide won’t add to the urge to clench, like most boil-&-bite types.

Heavy snorers and sleep apnea sufferers can greatly benefit from oral appliances. Many individuals with sleep apnea find these far more comfortable that loud, bulky CPAP devices. Plus, patients are more compliant in wearing oral appliances. It is estimated that only 22% of individuals who have CPAP machines use them on a consistent basis.

If you are (or feel you may be) a grinder, call 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange an evaluation so we can determine if damage has occurred to your teeth. Once we correct bite issues, a more restful level of sleep should occur. If not, a sleep study may be warranted to pinpoint more severe issues.

Reducing Risk Of Dental Implant ‘Failure’

Although dental implants have one of the most successful rates of all ‘implant in bone’ procedures, there can be failures and/or complications. However, like any procedure performed on the human body, there are ways to reduce risk factors.

Over the years, I’ve seen tremendous developments made in implant dentistry. Some are well-suited for people who have experienced severe bone loss. Some types are appropriate for those who want ‘immediate’ placement of teeth. While most implant systems and placement techniques have been highly successful, naturally a few have proven to be less than ideal. Implant success often begins with the appropriate selection of implant type.

For example, when an implant is placed, it must be positioned at a proper depth in the upper or lower jaw bone. This gives the implant the same, secure foundation as that of natural tooth roots. The upper jaw is bordered by wide sinus cavity areas. The lower jaw bone has a nerve that runs through it horizontally. Dental implant placement must be to a precise depth and angle in the existing bone so these areas are not compromised.

Considering that the absence of natural tooth roots in the jaw initiates the process of bone ‘resorption,’ (shrinking of bone mass), knowing which types are best requires specific training and skills.

Begin with a consultation to discuss your goals for tooth replacement. After a thorough examination of your mouth and review of your medical and dental history, we will recommend the type of implant and number you’ll need to accomplish your preferences while achieving an optimal outcome.

Dental implants are a wise investment and a benefit to your oral and overall health. Pursue treatment as an informed consumer and you’ll enjoy a lifetime of confident, comfortable smiles as a result! Call to schedule a free consultation: 1-866-9-Smiles. (Also, ask about Summer Specials that include free oral sedation!)

Pace Tooth Brushing After Eating To Protect Enamel

You’ve probably heard the advice hundreds of times: “Brush your teeth after every meal.” While I agree with that wisdom to protect your oral health, I’d like to share a caution for those who rise from the table and go directly to the sink.

Foods and beverages create an acid attack in the mouth. While this acid helps to break food down so the digestive system can begin processing it more efficiently, it can also cause damage to teeth by eroding enamel.

Some foods and beverages even amplify the effects of this acid. Citrus, for example, when part of this acid attack, causes a more severe attack on teeth. Just as worse are colas, anything with sugar, pickled and vinegar-based foods, tomato-based foods, are only a few items that can accentuate the damage to tooth enamel.

By all means, BRUSH after each meal, but wait about 30 minutes. This allows time for oral saliva to ‘rinse’ the mouth as the acid attack subsides. If you’re at work and find it difficult to delay brushing after a meal, consider swishing with water followed by chewing sugarless gum.

It’s our goal to help you prevent problems from occurring in the first place and avoid the time and expense for repairs. Enjoy healthy meals and brush and floss – just pace things to an optimal advantage for your smile!

Memory Loss From Lack Of Sleep

When many people think of Texas Governor Rick Perry in his pursuit of the GOP pick for presidential candidate for the 2012 election, it’s often less about his policies than his zoning out during a 2011 debate. If you recall, Governor Perry forgot the third government department he felt should be eliminated at a crucial time at the podium.

With the embarrassment behind him, as well as missing out on the nomination, Rick Perry admits that the mental lapse was likely due to Sleep Apnea. Apparently, Governor Perry’s doctors stepped in afterward and arranged for sleep tests. The tests revealed that he not only had Sleep Apnea, it had probably gone undetected for years.

Whether or not you feel this was the presidential demise of Governor Perry, more and more adults are realizing that their mental acuity has a great deal to do with what occurs when their eyes are closed.

When you are asleep, your throat muscles relax. For some, this causes a block to their airway, obstructing oxygen supply. This repeated pattern of insufficient oxygen has been associated with tissue loss in the brain’s memory bank. Not surprisingly, Sleep Apnea has also been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.

When people are restored to restful and rejuvenating sleep at night, it’s amazing how their energy level improves and they are able to focus and feel sharper during the day. Yet, once brain cells are destroyed, they are gone forever. This is why it’s important to have treatment for Sleep Apnea sooner than later.

Begin by calling toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange a free consultation to discuss your situation. The solution may be as simple as a small, comfortable oral appliance worn at night.

Don’t Let Your Smile ADD Years To Your Appearance!

While stained, chipped or long teeth detract from a smile, these flaws can also add years to one’s appearance.

When gums recede, often from over-zealous brushing or even periodontal disease, teeth look longer. In many cases, a portion of the tooth root is visible, which is darker and indented. Long teeth can also occur when the tooth above or below is missing or broken. When teeth do not have an upper or lower ‘neighbor’ to help hold it in position, the tooth will elongate.

Stained teeth can be the result of consuming red wine, coffee, dark colas or smoking over time. Some deep staining can occur from medications the patient has consumed or their mother took during pregnancy. Varying tooth discolorations can occur from a ‘patchwork’ of dentistry. This often includes old crowns or bridges made from non-porcelain materials mixed in with stained teeth.

Broken or chipped teeth may be the result of an improper bite, which can lead to night-time clenching or grinding. For those who play contact sports, failure to wear a mouthguard can also result in broken teeth.

If you feel your smile is aging you beyond your actual years, there are many options in today’s dentistry that create an exceptional appearance, longevity, natural look, and are affordable. We provide a free consultation for adults who want to improve the health and appearance of their smile. Just call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange yours! You could be smiling away the years in just one or two appointments!

How Smoking Complicates Dental Implant Success

We all know that smoking isn’t good for your health. This also includes your oral health. Smoking complicates the body’s natural ability to heal. In the mouth, it has a drying effect on gum tissues and minimizes blood oxygen, resulting in a delayed healing process. Smoking also contributes to greater potential for bacterial build-up.

For dental implant patients, smoking adds a long list of challenges. To place an implant, both gum tissue and bone are involved in the process. I go through gum tissues to reach the bone, placing each implant at a precise depth and angle. Once the implant is placed, it can take several months to become fully anchored by the bone.

For proper healing during this time, you need normal blood circulation to ensure gum recovery and sufficient oxygen levels for the regeneration of bone. Failures most often occur during this ‘osseo-integration’ phase when the bone is growing around the implant.

For smokers who develop infections, medications have a limited effect since the potency of antibiotics does not work as well on smokers. When infection is not eliminated and works its way into the implant area, your risk for losing the implant is higher.

With all the negative effects of smoking, it’s highly advisable to stop prior to implant placement. Just like a hip or knee replacement, implants cannot be guaranteed because of the circumstances that can occur while the healing process is primarily in the hands of the patient. Implant success rates can be enhanced by quitting at least a week prior to the placement procedure and staying smoke-free until you are fully recovered.

Dental implants enable you to eat a healthy selection of foods while restoring chewing comfort and smiling confidence. Let your dental implant treatment motivate you to quit altogether. The many benefits you’ll reap with dental implants are well worth kicking the habit.