Archive | October, 2014


31 Oct

TePe_miniflosser_500x500_grandeIf you find it hard to handle floss, use an interdental cleaner — such as a special wooden or plastic pick, stick or brush designed to clean between the teeth.


#Sedation Recommended For Anxious Or Fearful Patients In The #Dentist’s Chair (via @medicaldailycom)

31 Oct


“It’s nothing personal or anything — I’m just never coming back!” Unfortunately, your friendly neighborhood dentist hears these harsh words more times than you might think. A new study finds patients who are fearful of pain avoid going to their dentist, while other patients have such extreme anxiety, a simple cotton swab on their gums makes them flinch. “Pain and anxiety control is critical in dental practice,” wrote the researchers in their guidelines governing the use of sedatives.

To Sedate Or Not To Sedate

While moderate sedation helps to calm anxious patients, not all endodontists are qualified to administer it, since the procedure is not generally taught in most graduate programs, explained Dr. Thomas A. Montagnese, assistant professor in the Department of Endodontic at Case Western Reserve School of Dental Medicine. To remedy this, Montagnese’s department introduced training for moderate sedation into its curriculum just last year. The training follows rules and regulations set by the Ohio State Dental Board, and the American Dental Association Guidelines for the Use of General Anesthesia and Sedation by Dentist Guidelines.

However, Montagnese and his colleagues were not satisfied with these general rules so they conducted their own study in order to understand when it is best for a dentist to use moderate sedation. To begin, they compiled records of 84 patients who received care and moderate sedation during a dentist visit at a Case Western Reserve’s clinic between 2010 and 2012. The mainly women patients (63 percent) ranged in age from 8 to 88. Next, the team of researchers analyzed dental practices as they related to each patient’s age, sex, and existing medical conditions, such as heart trouble, high blood pressure, and diabetes, all of which require consideration during treatment.

After calculating the numbers, the researchers discovered the most common medical conditions among these patients were hypertension (17 percent of all patients), asthma (15 percent), and bipolar disorder (eight percent). Further, the reasons cited by dentists for the use of moderate sedation were to calm anxiety (54 percent of all patients), to conquer the fear of needles (15 percent), to overcome local anesthesia failures (15 percent), to prevent severe gag reflex (eight percent), and to ease claustrophobia caused by the rubber dam (also eight percent).

“Moderate sedation is a useful adjunct in managing a variety of conditions that make it difficult or impossible for some people to undergo certain dental procedures,” wrote the researchers, who noted the ability to use sedation permits a dentist more options when treating a patient, especially those who are anxious and fearful. Much better, we patients believe, than having to avoid the dental chair completely.

Source: Setty M, Montagnese TA, Baur D, et al. An Analysis of Moderate Sedation Protocols Used in Dental Specialty


Programs: A Retrospective Observational Study. Journal of Endodontics. 2014.


29 Oct


When flossing, take it one tooth at a time. Slide the floss into the space between your gum and tooth. Use the floss to gently rub the side of the tooth in an up-and-down motion. Unwind fresh floss as you progress to the rest of your teeth.

#InTheChairWithDrSmith: @DrAndreaSmith Blogs about #MiniDentalImplants

29 Oct

Mini Dental Implants Graphic
Dental Implants have been used for many years and are fast moving towards becoming the standard of care in dentistry. Chances are if you have lost a tooth in the last 10 years, the option of receiving a dental implant to replace that tooth was offered. Traditional, larger diameter, implants have replaced missing teeth and stabilized their share of loose dentures.

However, with the concept of minimally invasive medical procedures becoming more favorable not only to the patient but also to clinicians as well, Mini Dental implants have come onto the scene and are achieving success rates comparable to the larger size implants. Mini dental implants offer all the same tooth replacement and denture stabilization benefits but are about half the cost. Not only that, mini dental implants do not require bone augmentation as is often required to fit larger implants. Instead, patients with very little bone quantity can have this procedure without the need for bone augmentation. This fact makes the procedure minimally invasive. Patients who have been missing a tooth for more than three months have lost a substantial amount of the bone previously surrounding that tooth; making bone grafting to augment the quantity of bone an absolute necessity in order to receive a larger traditional implant.

Mini dental implants are minimally invasive, require significantly less healing time, have less discomfort after placement, and the procedure placement time is significantly decreased. Denture wearers can immediately secure loose dentures easily and no longer have to buy an endless supply of denture adhesives. Patients missing single teeth can replace that tooth immediately. These are but a few of the many advantages of mini dental implants.

In Sacramento California, Dr. Andrea Joy Smith has placed over 1000 mini dental implants since 2007. As a practicing dentist for over 20 years she has attended many conferences on implant dentistry weighing the pros and cons of traditional vs mini dental implants she has decided to exclusively place mini dental implants. As a Master in the International Academy of Mini Dental Implants, she is an experienced clinician offering patients a great alternative to the more costly traditional implant procedure.


28 Oct


Be gentle. Guide the floss between your teeth using a rubbing motion. Don’t snap the floss into your gums. When the floss reaches your gumline, curve it against one tooth.

Top 8 Foods for Healthier Teeth (via @SpaWeek)

28 Oct

nerd cheese lover on brown background _ horizontal

These foods will help keep your enamel shiny, gums healthy, and teeth plaque-free. Say hello to the “No Cavity Club!”


Cheese contains the basic salt alkali, which combats the acid erosion that occurs from eating certain foods. Cheddar is the best cheese for you because it contains the highest levels (via Lowenberg, Lituchy and Kantor) –luckily it’s tasty, too!


Crunchy apples help to mechanically remove food from teeth, making them a great snack post-meal (via Lowenberg, Lituchy and Kantor). Maybe they should change the saying to “An apple a day keeps the dentist away”! Insider tip: Gala and Lodi apples are the best varieties for summer pickin’.


Carrots contain beta carotene, an essential nutrient for strong teeth (via Lowenbery, Lituchy and Kantor). Like apples, they also require a lot of chewing, which generates saliva to remove particles from our mouth. Bonus–they’re great for your eyes, too! If carrots aren’t your go-to veggie, think about expanding your horizons. There are WAY more varieties of carrots than you could ever imagine.

Tap Water

Okay it’s not quite a food, but tap water from over 10,000 US communities has added fluoride–you know, the stuff in toothpaste. So naturally it must be good for our teeth! Fluoride re-mineralizes teeth’s enamel, keeping it strong and healthy. Check out our tips on drinking more water for inspiration!

Sesame Oil

Unlike some other condiments (cough, ketchup, balsamic vinegar), sesame oil is a tasty and safe way to add flavor to your meal. It’s great for your teeth as it helps to reduce plaque, and won’t stain at all!


They may not freshen your breath, but onions help reduce bacteria that causes tooth decay. They are best for your eaten raw, so layer some sweet or red onions on your salad–just make sure to have a tic tac handy.


Not just a Spice Girl! That white stuff on the side of your sushi plate has anti-inflammatory properties. Our gums are sensitive and can be easily irritated or inflamed. Ginger can help calm them. Mashed at the bottom of drinks, it adds delicious flavor!

Sugarless gum

This one was a shocker, as we didn’t think any gum would be recommended for healthy teeth. However sugarless won’t harm your teeth, and gum helps generate saliva which helps the mouth naturally clean. Chew away! Side note: Do NOT let this anywhere near your pets, it could be fatal.


Daily Dental Tip: FLOSS DAILY!

27 Oct


You can’t reach the tight spaces between your teeth and under the gumline with a toothbrush. That’s why daily flossing is important