Six-Month Cleanings Without The Dread!

Being in the dental profession, it’s not unusual to hear, “I hate going to the dentist,” or “I’d rather (insert various phrases) than go to the dentist.” Yet, there ARE those who actually enjoy having their teeth cleaned and their smile brightened every six months!

If you dread dental cleanings, it’s likely because it’s uncomfortable. The reason it’s not comfortable is probably because you don’t floss daily. Daily flossers remove particles between teeth before they begin to breed bacteria. If not removed, these particles rot and bacteria accumulate. This forms a sticky substance known as plaque. When plaque is not sufficiently removed on a daily basis, it hardens into tartar that the Hygienist must scrape away with special tools.

Oral bacteria not only eats away at tooth surfaces (causing cavities), they attack gum tissues, which causes inflammation. This makes your gums tender and sore. When the hygienist scrapes tartar off teeth that are surrounded by inflammed gum tissue, it’s not going to be without sensations.

However, you can prevent all of this in just two minutes a day! Commit to daily flossing and you’ll soon find yourself in the habit. If you need help, ask our Hygienist to work with you so flossing is easy and you are doing it effectively. Brush at least twice daily (for a minimum of 2 minutes each time) and use a tongue scraper to remove embedded bacteria.

Your breath will be fresher, you’ll save time and money by avoiding dental repairs, and you will hopefully change your dread of dental visits to actually looking forward to 6-month cleanings!

If you are experiencing tender gums that bleed when you brush, you are in the initial stages of periodontal disease. This will only worsen without treatment. Call us at 1-866-9-Smiles for an appointment.

2014 Scholarship Winner Announced!

For the 13th consecutive year, Dr. Ban Barbat has awarded a local high school senior the Ban R. Barbat, DDS-PC Scholarship. This year’s recipient is Eisenhower High School senior Alaina K. Bernard. Excelling in subjects including math and science, Alaina’s choice of a pre-medical Chemistry major seems an appropriate path for this next journey in her life. She will be attending Michigan State University in the Fall.

This scholarship is awarded annually by Dr. Barbat to provide financial support for students pursuing a health-related career. While there were many excellent candidates, Alaina stood out in many ways. In addition to a high GPA and class rank despite a rigorous curriculum, Alaina has contributed to her family through part-time positions while also helping a brother with learning disabilities.

Eligibility for the Ban R. Barbat, DDS-PC Scholarship

Dr. Ban Barbat with Alaina Bernard, the 2014 Scholarship recipient.
Dr. Ban Barbat with Alaina Bernard, the 2014 Scholarship recipient.

requires the student to have a 3.5 GPA or higher, provide verification of acceptance into a college or university and include letters of recommendation.

Think Dentures Are ‘Easy’ Solution For Oral Problems?

To some, dentures seem like such a simple solution to oral problems. They’re not. Research has shown that adults who are totally edentulous (missing all of their natural teeth) die at an age that is ten years earlier, on average, than those who have their natural teeth. Research also indicates a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes.

A new study links fewer teeth and bleeding gums with a range of cardiovascular problems, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Poor dental hygiene and bleeding gums could allow up to 700 different types of bacteria to penetrate the bloodstream. Once bloodborne, this bacteria can increase heart attack risk regardless of how fit and healthy the adult is otherwise.

Past studies show that an individual’s number of natural teeth affects their potential for systemic inflammation. A Swedish study of over 15,000 adults showed that the fewer teeth remaining, the higher the levels were of an enzyme that increases inflammation and promotes hardening of the arteries.

Along with higher cardiac risk, few teeth was related to higher cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and waist circumference. Those with fewer teeth also had greater chance of having diabetes. However, it’s not just keeping your natural teeth. Your gum health plays a significant role as well.

Initial signs of gum disease are bad breath and sore, bleeding gums. If untreated, plaque build-up on teeth can result in cavities, receded gums and tooth loss. While bleeding gums are associated with higher levels of cholesterol and blood pressure, reducing the risk of developing heart disease can occur through periodontal treatment and regular dental check-ups.

Although it may seem ‘easier’ to have teeth removed or cheaper to avoid dental visits, the long-term health repercussions will eventually emerge in costly ways — physically, emotionally and monetarily. Once your mouth is restored to good health, it’s easy to keep your smile healthy through a good home care routine and regular dental check-ups – all simple and affordable steps. For those contemplating dentures to ‘solve’ their dental problems, ask someone who has worn dentures for over ten years, if they could go back in time, would they have made more effort to keep their natural teeth?

Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles for a free consultation – your first step to a healthy smile.

Is Dental Fear Ruining Your Smile?

In my office, I see some pretty rugged guys — some who have fought in wars, have jobs that are physically challenging, and can cut massive logs into neat wedges for firewood as efficiently as a machine. I’ve also seen these men (and women) break down in tears as they recall a traumatic dental experience from the past. Often, these are one-time occurrences, yet they leave otherwise strong men and women with deeply embedded dental fears, so much so that many endure severe pain rather than walk into a dental office.

As a dentist with a reputation for a gentle touch, we see many patients who first arrive because their problems have become so severe they can no longer postpone treatment. Many have already lost natural teeth and are at risk of losing more. Most have some level of gum disease, which can trigger an inflammatory reaction in the body. Gum disease bacteria has been associated with heart disease, stroke, arthritis, diabetes, impotency, preterm babies and more.

I pride myself and our entire team on our commitment to providing exceptional care with a gentle touch. We add Oral Sedation to treatment when appropriate for patients, whether for fear, anxiety or even to be more comfortable during lengthy appointments. Some patients prefer I.V. Sedation (twilight sleep), which is also available.

No matter what your fear level, you CAN have gentle dentistry where you’ll feel relaxed before, during and after your visit. And, you CAN regain a healthy mouth and confident smile without having a white-knuckled experience!

Dental fear is nothing to be ashamed of and CAN be overcome. We have hundreds of formerly fearful adults who now come for their 6-month dental visits with a smile, have no discomfort during their exam and cleaning, and leaving feeling pleased their oral health is at an ‘A+’ level. You, too, CAN be one of  them regardless of the level of fear you have.

We’ll begin with a friendly discussion in our private Consultation Room that is removed from the clinical side of the office. Here, you can share your concerns and learn about options to help you move at a pace that’s right for you. There is no cost for this consultation. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange a convenient time.

In the right hands, you will find that dental visits are nothing to dread and can regain a healthy, confident smile in the process!

Small Changes Can Make Fabulous Improvements!

Your smile is a significant part of your facial appearance. A wide, attractive smile shows confidence and projects an upbeat personality. When people are unhappy with their smile’s appearance, they tend to smile less often or cover their mouth when smiling or laughing. This indicates a feeling of insecurity or shyness that is often not the true nature of the individual.

Often, people don’t pursue cosmetic dentistry enhancements because they feel the expense will overwhelm them. However, in many cases, we are able to drastically improve a smile’s appearance with changes to just 4 or 6 teeth.

Today’s porcelain veneers and crowns have an exceptionally natural appearance. In many cases, we begin by whitening the patient’s teeth and then place shade-matched crowns or veneers on front teeth most visible in their smile. Many treatments are completed in just one or two visits.

Cosmetic dental enhancements ARE affordable! We offer several financial plans so our patients can enjoy their new smile while making monthly payments that are budget-friendly. Throughout my years in practice, I’ve never had a patient feel their investment wasn’t one of the best decisions they ever made!

Begin with a free consultation so we can discuss your options. Call 1-866-9-Smiles. Your new, fabulous smile may be just days away!

Save Money By Avoiding Dental Repairs The Easy Way!

There is a reason why you should see your dentist for twice a year cleanings and exams. Some people delay these visits or assume they aren’t necessary until something hurts. However, you wouldn’t wait for your automobile’s oil light to go on before scheduling an oil and filter change, would you? Of course not, because you know the risk and potential expense that this delay could mean. Your mouth is no different.

In this office, we are a ‘no lecture’ zone, which means patients are always treated with respect. Yet, when presenting treatment plans and fees to repair problems that arose primarily from neglect, we know – and deep down, so does the patient – that, “This could have easily been prevented in the first place.”

Quality-care dentists want you to help you NOT need them and keep your natural teeth for a lifetime. This can be achieved by being committed to the following easy, simple steps!

– Brush with a medium or soft bristle toothbrush for at least 2 minutes twice a day. Use a fluoridated toothpaste.

– Use a tongue scrapper daily to remove embedded bacteria. Make several swipes starting at the back, rinsing after each pass. These are available in oral care sections of most drug stores. Or, use your toothbrush to go over your tongue thoroughly after brushing. Swish with water several times.

– Floss your teeth daily. This seems such a difficult task for adults, yet, once in the habit, it’s easy, fast, and you’ll be able to tell when you’ve missed a day.

– If you take medications that are drying to the mouth, drink lots of water and use an oral rinse to supplement the moisture needed. Saliva is a natural cleanser to the mouth. Insufficient amounts due to age or drying medications make you more susceptible to bacterial buildup.

While some people are simply more susceptible to oral bacteria, these are simple, inexpensive steps can help to prevent the majority of problems that result in dental repairs. Additionally, you’ll be enhancing your overall health through lowered risk of systemic inflammation that oral bacteria can trigger. This has been associated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, preterm babies, and more.

If you’re behind on dental care or would like a no-cost consultation to discuss your needs, call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles.

The High Price Of Dentures

For most denture wearers, the reason that prevents replacing them with Dental Implants is the cost. Yes, Dental Implants are more expensive – upfront. Over time, however, their initial cost can save you greatly.

When a denture is first made, it conforms to your gum ridge. Although it may feel snug in the beginning, you’ll eventually notice a change. It will begin to move while you chew. Biting becomes less secure and even adhesives won’t help much. While relines help, the “re-fit” is only a temporarily fix.

Without tooth roots in the jaw bone, the ridge that once held natural teeth begins to shrink. Dentures add to this bone loss through the pressure they place on the ridge. For those who sleep in their dentures, this continual pressure accelerates the rate of bone loss even more.

It is a fact that denture wearers have more gastrointestinal problems, take more medications and are less socially active. Additionally, many sacrifice the fiber and protein-rich foods they once enjoyed for softer foods that dissolve easily in the mouth.

Dental Implants are tooth root replacements that halt bone loss. With the jaw bone as their foundation, your ability to bite and chew is stable. Plus, you can eat all the foods you love without worry of slips or uncomfortable rubbing.

Dental Implants are also designed to last your lifetime. Dentures and the detrimental problems they contribute to will require ongoing expenses – in your mouth and with your overall health.

When weighing the REAL cost of dentures vs. Dental Implants, look into the future. The higher, one-time expense of implants may be the best investment you ever made! Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange a free consultation.

Men! Impress Her With A Clean, Healthy Mouth!

Our Hygienists take pride in the close relationships they have with our patients. During these twice-per-year cleanings, many patients share ‘the latest’ on their personal or professional lives. For women in the dating world, it’s not unusual to hear female patients share how “turned off” they are by men with poor dental hygiene.

Some have shared that, after that first kiss, they knew they wouldn’t be kissing this man again. Some tell things like how men show up for a date with food stuck in their teeth or with bad breath.

Stained teeth is also a telling sign for women. When teeth are yellow or brown, females often associate it with poor oral hygiene. Our hygienists have heard several times, “If he doesn’t take care of his teeth, I don’t want to know what other poor hygiene habits he has.” Whiter teeth not only project a healthier smile, it can take years off your actual age.

Several years ago, a survey showed how oral care habits of men and women differ when it comes to the care of their teeth and gums. It found 86% of females brush their teeth twice or more a day while only 66% of males do.

The solution is so easy, fellas! Be committed to your 6-month oral hygiene visits, brush twice daily (at least 2 mins.), floss daily and use a tongue scrapper to sweep away embedded bacteria. A clean, healthy mouth helps you avoid bad breath and projects a positive impression to everyone, including the ladies you want to attract!

Call 1-866-9-Smiles for a no-cost consultation or to schedule an oral hygiene appointment to get you started. Also, ask about our Summer Invisalign Special! Straight teeth create a more attractive smile and are easier to keep clean!

Comfort Here In Many Forms

When most people think of dentistry, ‘comfort’ is not usually a word that comes to mind. Yet, our patients compliment us frequently on the level of comfort we provide.

Although we offer both Oral and I.V. Sedation (twilight sleep) for fearful patients or those having lengthy procedures, it is my belief that a gentle touch and communication with the patient enhances their comfort level regardless of sedation with their treatment.

Numbing medications begin with a swab placed on the area for injection. This has a numbing solution on it and removes the ‘stick’ you typically expect. Going slow with the needle and administering the novocain at a slow pace helps avoid those jolts that can result otherwise.

We also communicate with patients who are not sedated throughout the procedure. We find patients are more at ease when they know what is being done. We also reassure patients that, at any time during the process, they can signal that they are experiencing discomfort or need a break.

Additionally, our ‘Total Relaxation Room’ is a serene environment that anxious patients find especially comforting. The lighting, the aromatherapy and being covered in a warm blanket makes our patients feel like they are in a spa rather than a dental office! They can also enjoy their favorite music or watch a video during procedures.

Typically, after one appointment, patients who were once fearful or dreaded dental procedures realize that here they are actually pleasant experiences – with results that are well worth it!

If fear or anxiety is an issue for you, begin with a no-cost Consultation. We’ll sit together in a private Consultation room that’s removed from the clinical side of the office and discuss options that are appropriate for you specific needs. Call 1-866-9-Smiles to speak with one of our friendly staff members to begin!