Category Archives: Oral Sedation

April Is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Know The Warning Signs!

Ask most Americans which cancers are the most deadly and you’ll likely hear replies of pancreatic, prostrate or breast cancer. While these cancers are widespread and can be deadly, you rarely hear about oral cancer.

What makes Oral Cancer so deadly is its ability to progress long before symptoms emerge. By the time they do, it becomes a difficult cancer to battle. Treatment is often very disfiguring. Even worse, it is known to be one of the deadliest of all cancers, taking the life of one American every hour of every day.

In the majority of dental offices, regular dental exams include an annual screening for Oral Cancer. However, a 2014 Gallup poll showed that one-third of American adults have not seen a dentist in over a year (http://www.gallup.com/poll/168716/one-third-americans-haven-visited-dentist-past-year.aspx), leaving a significant percentage of adults unchecked. If a key component in catching Oral Cancer before it becomes deadly involves a dental visit, the challenge will continue until more individuals are in a dental chair.

For many individuals, dental fear can be a deterrent to having regular dental care. This is why we offer oral and I.V. sedation. These relaxation options, in addition to providing a gentle touch, have opened the doors for many fearful adults to have regular dental care. Still, there are an estimated 70 percent who have fears or anxiety when it comes to dental visits. Some are so fearful that they avoid dental visits altogether.

Those with the highest risk are adult males, with Black males being the most susceptible. Oral cancer risk also increases with age, especially after age 50. Risk levels generally peak between ages 60 – 70. The highest rates have been noted with males between ages 50 – 59.

Other risk factors (for all ages) includes tobacco and alcohol use. However, a particular factor that is spiking numbers in younger age groups is the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV).

A National Cancer Institute Survey shows a 15% increase in oral cancer rates over the past three decades. Still, many people assume “if it doesn’t hurt, then nothing’s wrong.” I believe this has lead to such high levels of periodontal (gum) disease and subsequent adult tooth loss. And, as rising Oral Cancer statistics show, the casual attitude toward dental exams can result in far worse than losing teeth.

April is National Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Begin by becoming familiar with the symptoms. Acting on these early warning signs means we can take prompt, appropriate action. These include:

•    A sore, irritation, lump or thick patch in the mouth, lip, or throat
•    White or red patch inside the mouth
•    Feeling something is stuck in the throat
•    Difficulty chewing or swallowing
•    Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
•    Numbness in the tongue or other areas of the mouth
•    Unexplained swelling of the jaw
•    Pain in an ear without hearing loss

While these symptoms do not always indicate Oral Cancer, anything in the mouth that does not go away on its own in 10-14 days should be examined immediately. Early treatment can mean the difference between resolving the problem simply or disfiguring surgeries, and even death.

Call 586-739-2155 for an examination appointment if you have not had regular dental check-ups. In the meantime, learn more about Oral Cancer at the American Cancer Society’s web site:

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/oralcavityandoropharyngealcancer/detailedguide/oral-cavity-and-oropharyngeal-cancer-key-statistics

Gentle Dental Care + Sedation = Confident Smiles!

If going to the dentist invokes feelings of anxiety, nervousness or fear, you are in good company. Over 70% of American adults are estimated to have some level of fear or anxiety associated with dental visits.

For many adults, this keeps them from having regular dental care. And, it’s the regular cleanings and exams that help to prevent problems in the first place. Because fear holds many people back from having these appointments, their needs become gradually more complex as a result. As a matter of fact, many high-fear adults only see a dentist when a problem becomes so painful they are forced to set their fears aside to achieve pain relief.

As far as who has dental fear, it certainly doesn’t discriminate. With fearful adults, there is no typical age group, income level, or gender and it effects all ethnic groups.

As a dentist who has built a reputation for a gentle touch, I see a number of patients who come from a wide vicinity because of their fear issues. Sadly, by the time they arrive, many high-fear patients have already lost natural teeth and are at risk of losing more. A large percentage have some level of periodontal (gum) disease.

In addition to being the nation’s leading cause of adult tooth loss, the bacteria of gum disease has been found to trigger inflammatory reactions elsewhere in the body. This infectious bacteria has been associated with heart disease, stroke, some cancers, arthritis, diabetes, impotency, preterm babies and more. This greatly amplifies the need for good oral health.

In addition to providing respectful care with a gentle touch, we offer Oral Sedation or I.V. Sedation (twilight sleep) in addition to our standard relaxation features . We also pace your care according to what is comfortable for you. Patients tend to relax when they realize they are in charge of what is done at each appointment and how frequently those appointments occur.

No matter how you would categorize your anxiety when it comes to dental care, we know you can overcome these challenges and achieve a healthy mouth and confident smile. Many of our formerly-fearful patients have even overcome their dread of dental care altogether. We love seeing these patients walk in with a smile and leave smiling – and knowing that they love sharing their smile often!

Begin by calling 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange a no-charge Consultation. This is a discussion that takes place in a private, living-room style setting that is removed from the clinical side of the office. During this time, we’ll discuss your concerns and how we can help you move at a pace that’s right for you.

Let your smile be a beautiful reflection of who you are, inside and out! We’ll help you convert your fear of dental visits to the terrific smile you desire.

Dental Implant Types Designed For Individual Needs

As a dentist who stays on the cutting edge of the field’s latest techniques, technology and materials, I am pleased to have witnessed the impressive developments made over the years. One of the most remarkable areas, to me, has been in that of implant dentistry.

Modern implant dentistry is successful, safe, dependable and often immediate. And, seeing the transformations our patients undergo after treatment once their ability to bite, chew, speak and laugh is restored has been a highlight of my career.

One of the ways that implant dentistry has been so successful is in the unique design of various systems. Dental Implant designs have been fine-tuned for decades so different systems can accommodate various challenges and preferences. There are now implants systems designed for nearly every situation. These include:

Implants Supporting Non-Removable Teeth – For some, removable teeth, although firmly secured to the implants, are too similar to the denture they had (and detested). However, some of the more

All-On-4 Dental Implant System
All-On-4 Dental Implant System

affordable systems have been those that support removable teeth. Now, advanced systems such as All-On-4 are able to support non-removable teeth using just 4 or 6 implants. By positioning the implants at unique angles, these systems distribute the biting and chewing forces evenly among several implants. Another advantage of these systems is their ability to be placed in minimal bone. This is a tremendous advantage for long-time denture wearers who have experienced severe bone loss. Some of these denture wearers were previously told they had insufficient bone structure to support Implants and needed bone grafts prior to implant placement. This new system is able to overcome this obstacle.

 

Fast-Track Dental Implants – With advanced implant systems and computerized technology, implant placement and teeth attachment can now be done quickly in a number of situations. New designs are able to pre-select ideal placement positions for the implanted portions. For some, this means that immediate attachment of teeth can occur. While this option isn’t appropriate for everyone, it works well for certain implant patients. This is why it is important to have an experienced, skilled and highly-trained doctor coordinate your treatment. When your individual needs are carefully assessed, this increases your potential to enjoy a successful outcome versus a ‘clinic’ setting driven by corporate profit goals.

Traditional Dental Implants – The tried-&-true process for most dental implant treatments still today involves several steps. Placement of the implants is performed first. Then, the bone is allowed to grow around the implants for several months. This process is known as ‘osseo-integration’ and can be likened to tying a rope around a tree branch. Over time, the branch grows around the rope. Osseo-integration occurs in a similar fashion but at a much faster pace. After several months, the implant sites are uncovered and a post is positioned inside. Replacement teeth are then secured to the posts. In most situations, patients can wear their denture or partial comfortably within a day after the implant segments are placed. However, the final teeth are not attached until the implants are fully secured.

Dental Implants are the closest thing to the natural teeth you once had. They are also designed to last a lifetime, making them an excellent investment. The type of implant system best suited to your needs will be discussed after an examination and review of Panorex (jaw-to-jaw) imaging.

Begin by calling toll free 1-866-9-Smiles for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. We’ll discuss your needs and preferences and comfort options, including Oral and I.V. Sedation. If desired, our Financial Coordinator will be happy to explain easy payment options.

If You Are Afraid Of Going To The Dentist, Read This.

Let’s face it. Most adults have a fear of something. Some have a fear of snakes, or heights, or flying. Some people are afraid of closed-in spaces and others have a fear of dogs. I’ve known people who are terrified of water and others who shudder at the sight of a spider.

Fear is not a bad thing, necessarily. It’s our brain’s way of steering us away from something that doesn’t feel right. Yet, for adults who have fear or anxiety associated with dental visits, it’s not unusual for its originating source to be from a traumatic dental visit in the past.

Having a painful or frightening experience at a dental office can easily embed itself in one’s subconscious and can follow many adults for years.  Just the mere thought of going to a dentist can triggers increased heart rate, sweating or crying for some (which includes both men and women).

Proudly, I have developed a reputation for a gentle touch and giving (in my patients’ words) ‘painless injections.’ I also find that going slow and at a pace the patient finds comfortable helps them to relax and feel that trust level that is so important to a good dental relationship.

I’m especially sensitive to helping all patients develop a sense of trust. They trust that I NEVER want them to be uncomfortable. However, for patients who suffer with deep-rooted fears associated with dentistry, we see no reason to withhold methods to enhance relaxation and even induce a sleep-like state when needed or desired.

Many fearful patients opt for Oral Sedation. This is in pill form and taken just prior to arriving at our office. Once here, patients are fully relaxed. As the pill takes full effect, we seat you in a comfortable treatment chair and cover you with a warm blanket. Some patients doze off and on but are able to respond to questions.

For some patients, I.V. Sedation is the preferred option, giving a ‘twilight sleep’ state. I.V. Sedation is administered in-the-vein and is a deeper level of sedation than Oral Sedation. Although this is a more reassuring option for those wanting a sleep state, the recovery period is longer than what Oral Sedation requires.

Both medications erase most or all memory of the procedure afterward. And, with both, numbing the areas being treated is delayed until the patient is fully ‘under.’ In both, you are also monitored by a trained staff member throughout treatment to ensure your safety and comfort.

Our office is committed to providing you with the highest level of skills and technology in every procedure. Creating a comfortable experience throughout each visit is a commitment I try to uphold in every aspect of care.

Our commitment to comfort goes beyond me. It extends to everyone involved in your care.. from the friendly faces who greet you to the clinical team who tend to your smile, we want every visit to be a positive experience.

We believe everyone deserves a healthy, confident smile. While we are sensitive to the needs of all our patients, we are especially attentive to those with dental fear.  If that is you, or someone you know, begin by calling toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to speak with one of our friendly staff members. You’ll be offered a no-cost, no obligation consultation appointment so we can privately discuss your needs.

Wobbly Denture? We Can Fix That – For Good!

When long-time denture wearers tell me about trying to eat, speak or laugh, they often use terms like “wobbly,” “rocking around in my mouth,” and “slippery.” Some even tell me they take their denture OUT in order to eat.

In this day and age, dentistry offers far better options than an ill-fitting denture when it comes to replacing teeth. This is because dentistry now does much more than merely ‘replace’ teeth. There is now an ideal way to restore the stability, security and dependability of natural teeth.

The key to having teeth that can bite and chew begins in the jaw bone. Why? Your upper and lower jaw bones are what once held your natural tooth roots. By having the jaws as the firm, sturdy foundation for your teeth, biting force and chewing stability are restored.

This is how Dental Implants work. They are implanted into your jaw to serve as replacement tooth roots. Your new teeth are then attached to the implants, giving you the look, feel and function of natural teeth.

Yet, it’s not just your ability to eat comfortably that you’ll reap as a benefit. Because you can resume eating a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables that are rich in fiber and vitamins and protein-laden meats, your overall health improves. You’ll be able to chew your food thoroughly and comfortable.

Eating with friends and family becomes a pleasure once again as well. Without the fear of embarrassing slips or clicks, accepting invitations that include food is no longer a concern. Research has shown that being socially involved is another bonus to your overall health.

In a recent study on the health benefits of social relationships, researchers found that social ties and involvement with family and friends contributed to increased survivor rates for breast cancer and heart surgery patients. A 2010 data analysis of nearly 150 studies showed that social connection doesn’t just help us survive health problems: the lack of it causes them. http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/streams-of-consciousness/the-importance-of-being-social/

Your smile is much more than a set of teeth, which of course dentures can mimic. It’s a part of your personality, appearance, digestive process, speech, confidence, self-esteem and kissability! Terms like “wobbly” and “slippery” should never describe something so valuable to your overall well-being.

If you’d like to discuss your options for replacing a denture, begin with a no charge, no obligation consultation. Call 1-866-9-Smiles to schedule a convenient time. During this, I can also have our financial coordinator discuss easy payment options that can break your fee into monthly payments that are manageable to most budgets.

If dental fear is an issue, please know that our office is known for placing a priority on comfort. We offer both oral and I.V. sedation and have an environment designed to relax and pamper you.

I look forward to meeting you!

Afraid Of Dental Visits? I Can Relate.

My entire team and I take much pride in providing our patients an office where all their dental needs are met, for every age or need. To support this, we have incorporated advanced technology and stay on the cutting edge of the latest techniques and materials.

Yet, if we were not fully committed to ensuring that each patient has a gentle, comfortable experience, all the advancements in the world would not overcome this one basic need for each individual… the expectation that they’ll experience NO PAIN.

Having fear associated with dental visits can affect both genders and at any age. Although many adults experience no fear at all, over 60% of Americans are said to have some level of dental fear or anxiety.

Many fearful adults are unaware of what prompted their fears associated with dentistry. Others can pinpoint it’s origin, often due to a traumatic experience in the past. Often to blame is a rushed, rough dentist who could  sense their patient’s discomfort but continued regardless.

In this office, our goal is to provide exceptional care and optimal comfort. We pace each procedure so it is comfortable for the patient so they come to expect a gentle touch, not pain. This, in conjunction with our advanced technology, adds to procedural comfort while providing excellent results.

I believe one of the reasons that I, personally, am so committed to helping fearful patients is because I have an immense fear of dogs. While many friends with cuddly, gentle dogs coax me to see their precious pets as they do – sweet, loyal and beloved members of their families – my fears simply hang on.

So, I understand when people arrive shaking, some near tears. Others are just nervous until they get into the treatment chair. I can see their white-knuckled grip as they try to put on a brave face. Like my doggy owner friends, the gentle dentist I know myself to be wants to tell them it’s okay and to just relax. But, my scared-of-dogs side puts me on the same wavelength. I truly get it.

Fear is fear. It can be as uncontrollable as shivering when it’s cold or sweating when it’s hot and humid. Somehow, it becomes so deeply rooted that ‘just releasing it’ is an absurd expectation. It’s like telling someone who is clinically depressed to just snap out of it.

This is why we offer Oral or I.V. Sedation for patients who prefer to have treatment while in a sleep-like state. As an added bonus, both sedation options erase most (if not all) memory of treatment afterward. With either option, you are closely monitored by a trained staff member who uses approved safety equipment throughout your treatment.

I often suggest that patients first try Oral Sedation. Oral Sedation has a quick recovery and, in pill form, is taken prior to your arrival at our office. This means that, by the time you enter our office, you’re already in a relaxed state.

Once you are seated in a treatment chair, the medication has taken full effect and you are totally relaxed. This also puts fearful patients in an relaxed state for numbing medications.

Because I.V. Sedation is also known as ‘twilight sleep,’ some patients prefer it, especially since it is more familiar to them. I.V. Sedation creates a deeper level of relaxation to the point of dozing. Some people are less inclined towards I.V. Sedation because it requires needles to administer. Others prefer I.V. sedation since, for them, intravenous delivery is a non-issue.

We have patients with no dental fears who opt for Oral Sedation during long procedures. Because it enhances relaxation, several appointments can be combined into one, longer visit, leaving the patient feeling refreshed after. For those with busy schedules or limited time, this greatly reduces treatment time.

Probably the best part of being a dentist is when I see a patient who was once highly fearful who now walks in with a happy, confident smile. I know this is because our patients come to trust us to ensure their comfort at all times.DrB Pt Mirror copy

If you have dental fears, you CAN achieve a healthy, confident smile without feeling scared or anxious. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to begin. We will start with a free, no-obligation consultation so I can learn about your needs and help you know more about our commitment to your comfort.