Humans Are Imperfect, But Give Your Smile Your Best

Occasional excuses for not flossing, forgetting to brush one’s teeth once in a while, or consumption of too much sugar is common for most Americans. We’re humans and prone to not always being ‘perfect.’ Fortunately, these occasional errors in judgement can be undone by quickly resuming our oral hygiene regimen at home and maintaining our six-month oral hygiene cleaning appointments to remove plaque build-up that has occurred as a result.

These occasional oversights become true problems that involve treatment time and costs  when “occasional” becomes “frequent.” Too, when people assume those six-month check-ups can be delayed and become annual visits or longer durations, repairs are not an “if,” they are a “when.”

If you over-indulge in a Snickers bar here and there, so be it. If you miss brushing your teeth while on vacation a couple of times, that’s okay. If you don’t floss every night each week, your teeth won’t drop out of your head. However, all things considered, do the best you can and keep those six-month check-ups and cleanings so you’ll save yourself a great deal in the long run in dental repairs.

After all, the best type of dental procedures we can provide are none at all!

Your Teeth Are First Step In Digestive Process

For adults who wear dentures, many feel their ability to bite and chew comfortably and securely is the most difficult part. When chewing, dentures tend to slip and move, causing discomfort. When food particles (such as berry seeds or pieces of nuts) become trapped underneath the denture, they can pierce tender gum tissues. This can cause denture wearers to avoid these foods altogether along with other foods that require rigorous chewing. The tendency is to select soft foods that dissolve easily in the mouth, bypassing protein rich meats, fibrous fresh fruits and vegetables, and others that supply ample vitamins and minerals.

Teeth are a major part of the digestion process, which begins in the mouth. When chewed food is ground into fine particles, digestive juices can break food down for more efficient processing by the body. Digestion begins with chewing as saliva mixes in during the process. Saliva contains an enzyme that converts some of the starches to sugar.

After chewing and swallowing, food travels down the esophagus and into the stomach where gastric juice in the stomach starts protein digestion. However, when food is not processed thoroughly in the mouth through chewing, the digestion process is compromised. It is a fact that denture wearers have more gastrointestinal problems and take more drugs than adults who have natural teeth.

One of the biggest benefits of dental implants is their ability to restore biting and chewing strength and stability. Our dental implant patients are thrilled to resume a diet of healthy foods they love since they feel confident and comfortable eating again.

If you wear dentures and would like to discuss dental implants, call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to request a free consultation. I’ll be happy to answer your questions and explain all your options.

Cheap Dentistry Is A Risky Investment!

When deciding on a new roof for your family’s home, would you pick the cheapest company, realizing the materials and workmanship will likely be inferior?

Occasionally, our phone staff receives calls from people who are calling dental offices to check fees. While we all want to spend our money wisely, these types of comparisons don’t generally provide an ‘apples to apples’ accuracy.

Take, for example, the inquiry, “How much are Dental Implants?”  Is the caller wanting the cost of the implant and placement procedure? Or, does he want to know the added cost for the replacement tooth? And, since one implant can hold more than one tooth (in many cases), calculating the cost of 3 implants and 3 replacement teeth may be far more than is necessary, when 1 implant and a bridge of 3 teeth will suffice.

It’s also difficult to answer cost questions since no two mouths are alike and fees can vary according to the type of implant that’s best suited to the individual’s need. Or, for example, for the fees to repair a ‘gummy’ smile, the number of teeth involved largely determine the rate. However, veneers or crowns may be recommended for some of the teeth involved in treatment to improve or protect them. These fees are extra.

Another issue with cost comparison is even more concerning when people try to ‘phone shop’ for cheap rates. While a particular dentist may have higher fees for certain procedures, there is often a good reason. Ensuring your treatment provides a natural look and feel, gives exceptional longevity, and does not compromise bite alignment (which could lead to headaches, chipped teeth, sore jaws, etc.) is worth the extra for a dentist who is highly trained, skilled, and uses superior techniques and materials.

Be committed to finding the right dentist to do the job to the highest standards. A healthy, appealing smile is an investment that’s worth the very best! Begin with a no-cost consultation to learn the fees involved for treatment that’s best for your smile. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles.

The Latest On Dental Fear & Comfort Options

As a dentist, I want my patients to feel good about coming to our office. I’d like to have each one smiling as they arrive, and smiling even more as they leave! Yet, it’s never a surprise when I meet a new patient who has arrived in an “emergency” situation from delayed care due to their dental fear.

While fear of dentistry affects an estimated 75% of the U.S. adult population, nearly 10% are deemed “dental phobics.” These are adults who have such a severe level of dental fear that they avoid going to the dentist until it’s no longer a choice, but a dire necessity.

Most often, we discover that this fear is the result of a traumatic dental experience in the past. Since I’ve treated hundreds of formerly fearful patients, I’ve heard some pretty awful tales. Many felt ‘pinned down’ in the treatment chair while a dentist worked on them even though they were in pain. Some tell me it’s the noises and smells that conjure up uncontrollable sweating, shaking or perception of pain even before anything is done.

A few patients have told me they feel unable to breath during dental treatment. Because breathing through the nose is necessary during many procedures, this seems to cause some adults to feel ‘suffocated.’

One comfort option that has enabled many to overcome their fear is Oral Sedation. This is a pill that is swallowed at home so they are relaxed by the time they arrive at our office. This helps them to walk in without the anxiety they would typically experience. By the time we begin treatment, they are totally relaxed and often doze in and out while in the chair.

We also offer I.V. sedation, which is beneficial for those who prefer a “twilight sleep” state. This erases memory of the procedure afterward and, as one patient described, “sends me off to la-la land.” Although I.V. sedation requires a longer recovery, it helps some to have the treatment they desperately need.

We often find that once patients have either Oral or I.V. Sedation, they return and feel they no longer need this type of relaxation. In most cases, when patients feel a foundation of trust has formed, they relax in the chair on their own. Until that time, however, we move at a pace that is best for each individual.

I’m proud that our entire staff not only knows how to nurture fearful and anxious patients, we truly emphasize with them. I’m surrounded by a skilled and compassionate team, from the front office to our hygienists to the assistants. They’ve watched me interact successfully with these adults over the years and are equally as pleased when the fear dissipates and a healthy smile walks in our office from then on!

If you’re ready to “take that step” to a healthier, more attractive smile, let’s begin with a free consultation. This will be in our Consultation Room, which is a relaxed setting away from the clinical side of the office. From there, you can decide how you’d like to proceed, or not. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to speak with one of our friendly staff members to begin. It’s painless!

Is Your Smile Giving An Unflattering Impression?

A patient I’ve seen since he was in preschool recently graduated from college and got a good job with a solid company. During his 6-month cleaning and check-up, we were getting caught up and he mentioned he was ready for a relationship and had begun meeting girls through online dating sites.

When I asked if he was meeting compatible ladies, he shared that the only one, thus far, had seemed so ‘right’ for him in her pictures, on the telephone and through emails. Yet, when they met in person, he noticed she was missing an upper tooth on one side. “Everything had gone so great at first,” he described. “She was sweet and attractive, but when she smiled and I noticed that gap in her smile, that did it for me.”

He went on to explain that he could never form a relationship with someone who was “okay with losing a tooth” so much that her desire to replace it took a back seat.

This scenario sums up the tremendous impression your smile has on others. How it looks sends a message about your commitment to your health, standards, and values. Yet, I’m always surprised when a male or female patient declines a much-needed crown to protect a damaged tooth because they’ve already maxed out their insurance for the year. Or, saddened when a patient talks about their new car or boat, yet won’t replace a missing tooth because “it’s too expensive.”

Your smile can either make a positive impression, or a less-than-flattering one. And remember, first impressions are lasting impressions. Even if the “date” replaces her tooth and they have another dinner together, this young man’s opinion has been formed and I doubt it would change his mind.

As a female myself, I can imagine her preparations for this first meeting. The “date” may have bought a new dress, new shoes, had her nails done and may have even had her hair highlighted. Yet, the one thing that was the ‘make-or-break’ for this man was what was revealed in her smile.

To discuss a smile that makes a BEST impression, call us to arrange a free consultation appointment toll free 1-866-9-Smiles.

When A Dental Cleaning Isn’t Enough

Your six-month dental hygiene appointments include a ‘cleaning,’ which, among other things, removes plaque buildup that has formed around teeth between visits. This buildup typically occurs when daily brushing and flossing fails to remove bacteria accumulation in the mouth.

When bacteria multiply in the mouth, they soon form a sticky film that hardens on teeth. This hardened form of bacteria is ‘plaque.’ It eats away at tooth surfaces, gum tissues and eventually the bone that supports teeth. When plaque is above the gum line, our hygienists use special tools to scrape it off. However, when bacteria get below the gum line, a more rigorous line of treatment is required.

To rid bacteria below the gum line, one treatment is “soft tissue management.” This is a process of cleaning below the gums where oral bacteria now thrive. Although you may not perceive the presence of gum disease, this stage requires a more aggressive form of ‘cleaning’ beyond what a standard cleaning appointment can help, yet, not so severe that a more advanced level of treatment is needed.

Untreated gum disease will worsen and lead to severe tenderness, persistent bad breath, bleeding gums, pockets of pus that form around the teeth, and eventual tooth loss. At this stage, extensive periodontal treatment may be needed.

Gum disease will not go away without treatment. Brushing and flossing cannot remove plaque, nor will a basic cleaning remove bacteria that exists below the gums. Of course, the best way to deal with this problem is to avoid it in the first place. However, if you’re dealing with the consequences, the sooner you have treatment, the less cost and treatment time will be required. Remember, if tooth loss results, that brings a whole new round of expenses and appointment times.

Early treatment also helps to reduce the risk of oral bacteria contributing to serious health problems. Through tears in gum tissues, oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream. This bacteria has been associated with increased risks of heart disease, stroke, memory loss, diabetes, some cancers, impotency and preterm babies. Without a doubt, this bacteria is nothing to ignore for many reasons.

Our hygienists have advanced training to successfully treat many stages of periodontal problems, comfortably and efficiently. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to learn more or arrange a free consultation.