3/3/2017 8:00:00 AM |
Often, a family trip to the dentist will feature the use of an x-ray camera. The dental hygienists will cover you or your children with a heavy apron and make you chomp on some bitewings, while the camera moves and clicks around you. Of course, the images produced by the x-rays have a purpose: cavities, jawbone degradation, and other oral health issues are made easily visible, allowing the dentist to address these issues directly. However, x-rays are a form of radiation, and some people are concerned with that exposing someone to dental x-rays will cause cancer. These concerns are especially strong for parents taking their children to the dentist.
X-rays are a type of ionizing radiation, and ionizing radiation has been shown to cause cancer. Ionizing radiation, upon passing through the body, strip electrons from the atoms this energy passes. The resulting protons, known as free radicals, then can damage the cells of the body. While these cells return to normal most of the time, on rare occasions the cells will heal with some abnormalities. These abnormal cells, consequently, can grow into cancer. From this alone, people believe that dental x-rays will cause cancer.
However, you’re always exposed to ionizing radiation. On average, your body is exposed to 3.1 millisieverts (mSv) of natural radiation alone per year. At .005 mSv, the radiation you receive from the aforementioned dental x-ray is less than 1.6% of your daily background radiation exposure. You are exposed to the same level of radiation just from sunlight each day. Additionally, each x-ray is an individual dose rather than constant exposure, which is another factor in the cancer risks of radiation exposure. X-rays only increase the odds of dying of cancer by 1 in 2,000; compare this to the natural 1 in 5 chance you have of dying of cancer.
Moreover, there are precautions in place for younger patients to help minimize their exposure. Technically, children do have a higher risk of developing cancer from radiation than adults, so dentists make up for it with stricter safety measures. Lead aprons are almost ubiquitous, but many doctors will also reduce the amount of radiation emitted by the camera when taking x-ray images of pediatric patients. The same precautions can be given to pregnant women, as fetuses are assumed to be just as vulnerable as children. Your children could be receiving special considerations regarding radiation exposure risks already.
Ultimately, the benefits of detecting an oral health issue as early as possible far outweighs the negligible cancer risk. Not only are healthy teeth and gums alone something worth keeping, but many recent studies have shown connections between oral health and overall bodily health as well. Being able to detect and address these issues is paramount to your health and your children’s health. So, the next time your dentist readies the bitewings and camera, don’t be afraid. The benefits are high, the risk is low, and the dentist is likely being extra careful with your children anyways.
12/21/2016 11:05:00 AM |
When you hear jingles in the stores and see decorations on your neighbor’s house, you know that the holiday season has arrived. Among other traditions, you can also expect food to play a big part during the holiday, whether it’s snacks for a party or a family dinner. Unfortunately, a lot of traditional holiday foods can be harmful to your teeth, from sticky candy canes to alcoholic eggnog. Thankfully, there are also lots of seasonal dishes and treats that can keep your smile as healthy as ever.
You probably already have a sizable list of foods you know to be bad for your teeth: soda, coffee, and candy. However, what about the crackers you set out as hors d’oeuvres? Even without extra-sweet ingredients added in, bread and related snacks are full of carbohydrates – that is, sugar – and their crumbly, dissolvable nature means that these bacteria-feeding carbs get stuck to your teeth. Alcohol, not counting the sugar it is often made of or mixed with, will dry out your mouth; dry mouths are the perfect environment for bacteria. Even the cough drops you take for colds and the flu not only have sugar in them, but also expose you to that sugar over a long period of time. Cough syrup, despite having similar amounts of sugar in it, is quickly swallowed and doesn’t expose the teeth to that sugar too long. Simply put, too many holiday edibles encourage the decay of your teeth.
Not to worry! Lots of holiday foods diminish, if not reverse, the damage other foods can do. Two common party snacks, for example, are meat and cheese. The calcium and proteins provided by meat and cheese can actually strengthen your teeth and gums. Nuts, like meat, also provide your mouth with a burst of protein and saliva production that help defend your teeth from bacterial build-up. Instead of sweetened cranberry sauce in your dishes, try using fresh cranberries; they can interrupt the bonding process of the decadent bacteria. Though dried fruit is a bad idea, crunchy fruit and raw vegetables can help scrub plaque off of your teeth.
The holidays and their traditions are fast approaching. If you eat too much of the wrong kinds of traditional foods, or you find yourself chewing on that food for a long period of time, your teeth can suffer. However, holiday tradition have also given us a lot of food to protect and strengthen our teeth as well. So, when planning out the next holiday party or dinner, keep these foods in mind. They may just save your smile.
9/29/2016 11:47:00 AM |
What it is
Periodontal disease, known as gum disease or periodontitis, is one of the most common causes of tooth loss. In the United States, it is estimated that half of Americans aged 30 or older have advanced gum disease. While highly prevalent, this dental condition is preventable with a good oral health regimen.
Periodontal disease symptoms become apparent as bacteria and debris accumulate around teeth and below the gum line and hardens into tartar. If not removed by a professional, tartar and bacteria can cause inflammation of the gums and weakening of teeth.
There are variables that can increase your risk of periodontitis that range from genetic predisposition and underlying health conditions, to certain lifestyle habits. Diet, taking certain medications, decreased immunity, and hormonal changes can also increase your chances of developing gum disease.
Periodontitis begins with the onset of gingivitis. In this early stage, bacteria builds up, irritating the surrounding gums. As bacteria accumulate and plaque builds and hardens into tartar, there is a weakening of bone and connective tissue that keeps teeth in their sockets. As bacteria spreads, pockets that trap further bacteria begin to form around teeth and under soft tissue. In patients with advanced periodontal disease, teeth become loose and fall out.
One of the most difficult aspects of spotting periodontal disease without help from a dentist is that the condition can progress slowly in patients and may not always produce obvious signs. Patients may notice:
- Gum tenderness
- Gum recession
- Bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
- Loose teeth or a change in teeth alignment
Diagnosis of gum disease typically involves visiting a dentist for a visual examination of your oral condition, as well as charting pocket depths and using X-Rays to check bone loss in areas with deeper periodontal pockets.
Early diagnosis gives patients the greatest chance of reversing damage with nonsurgical treatments. These procedures include root scaling and planing, which removes tartar and bacteria from surfaces of teeth and beneath the gums and smooths root surfaces,. Antibiotics that are either taken orally or topically as a rinse, can also be used to reduce bacteria and inflammation.
For patients with advanced periodontitis, dental surgery may be the most effective option to reduce pocket size and restore the healthy appearance and supportive structure of soft tissue.
Periodontal disease is preventable by practicing consistent and good oral hygiene. As a rule of thumb, you should be taking between 3-5 minutes twice day to care for your teeth and gums by flossing first to loosen any food particles and bacteria, and brushing to clean all surfaces of teeth. You should also visit your dentist twice a year for thorough teeth cleanings. Patients displaying early signs of gum disease may require more frequent dental visits throughout the year.
If are exhibiting signs and symptoms of gum disease, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner you can receive treatment, the more likely you will be able to reverse any damage caused by periodontal disease.
9/9/2016 9:22:00 AM |
By the time they reach later adulthood, most people will have experienced the chipping, fracturing, or breaking of a tooth. While these incidents are fairly common, many people endure the pain without seeking the help of dentists because of fear or dental anxiety. Lake Dental Clinic hopes that by explaining the repair procedures for these various types of damaged teeth, we can allay the fears that keep you from mending them.
The most common type of damage repaired by dentists is a chipped tooth. Some of these chips can be purely aesthetic, taking off a piece of enamel from the face or top of the tooth. In cases where the chipped enamel leaves dentin exposed, patients can experience thermal and pressure sensitivity. Treatment for these types of damage are generally easy, fixed by bonding the broken portion back to the tooth, filling the enamel when broken off a molar, or capped with a crown.
Types of Cracks
Cracked teeth, unlike chipped teeth are not always as apparent, and can’t always be seen from the surface. Additionally, there are various types of cracks that can appear in teeth, meaning that the types of procedures required can vary greatly as well.
- Craze Lines: These cracks are purely superficial, appearing only in the enamel. It isn’t generally necessary to repair these cracks, but if you dislike the appearance, you can consult your dentist about filling them.
- Fractured Cusp: These types of fractures oftentimes occur in teeth that previously had fillings. Depending on severity, this fracture may or may not cause you pain, but should be treated to avoid a worsening of the break. Dentists treating these fractures by placing a new filling in the tooth, or placing a crown over the fracture so that it cannot break further.
- Cracked and Split Teeth: Teeth with cracks or splits can sometimes be treated, depending on the severity and depth of the crack. For teeth that are not cracked below the gum line, dentists will use a crown to prevent further breaking, with the addition of a root canal if the crack has reached the root. If the tooth is cracked below the gum line, or otherwise split entirely, you will often have to undergo an extraction, and later an implant or other restorative procedure to fill the gap.
- Vertical Root Fracture: These are fractures that begin in the root and move up to the surface of the tooth. In such cases, the affected tooth will not show obvious signs of damage, but can manifest infection in the surrounding areas. Dentists in such a case will either remove the tooth, or perform an endodontic surgery if the tooth can be saved.
Visit Our Restorative Dental Practice
If you are experiencing pain from a fracture or break in your teeth, or think that you may have one, then schedule an appointment
with Lake Dental Clinic, where we are proud to serve the Camdenton, MO area. Call today
8/23/2016 8:10:00 AM |
Veneers are a fast, efficient and transformative option for patients looking to bring out the best in their smiles. Patients choose veneers to resolve a multitude of cosmetic dental issues such as:
- Cracked or chipped teeth
- Misshapen, oversized or undersized teeth
Many cosmetic flaws are part of normal wear and tear; it’s natural for teeth to become worn, misshapen or less luminous in color over time. Veneers offer a single, all-encompassing solution for patients, one that gives them the ability to recover a beautiful, youthful, and natural looking smile.
The process is quick and simple, usually requiring only two appointments. The material used to craft veneers (porcelain) is especially durable and stain-resistant, meaning that you can cover up any existing stains all while preventing future stains from setting in. Veneers can also be used in conjunction with other cosmetic and functional dental treatments, such as bridges, fillings and tooth whitening regimens. If properly cared for your veneers will last for 10 to 30 years.
Veneers, A Fast and Comprehensive Solution for A Beautiful Smile
Veneers were invented in 1928 by a California dentist named Charles Pincus. They were used by film actors to amp up the wattage of their smiles to make them more screen-friendly. The materials and methods used in the construction and application of veneers have, of course, come a long way since 1928. Nevertheless, today, veneers are still seen as a relatively simple cosmetic process, but one that achieves reliable and brilliant results.
Veneers are bonded to the front surface of the teeth, occluding any and all imperfections of shape and color. Before placement, your veneers are custom built, based on for you in a dental laboratory.
Once your veneers are in place, you’ll enjoy a renewed smile that will light up the room and inspire greater self-confidence.
Your Smile Matters
Though it’s difficult to admit, your personal appearance has a profound effect on the quality of your life. A bright, confident smile will inevitably inspire powerful and positive first impressions. In possession of a radiant smile, you’ll be more self-confident and more comfortable in your own skin.
If you would like to change the aesthetics of your smile or find out more about cosmetic dentistry
in Camdenton, please contact our office
to schedule an appointment
8/5/2016 10:00:00 AM |
Proper oral hygiene is important for everyone, but especially for aging adults, who are more susceptible to gum disease. In fact gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. The good news is that you can prevent tooth loss and gum disease by visiting your dentist regularly and following a good routine for oral care. Here are some tips to help you keep your mouth and teeth healthy and strong well into retirement.
Brush Your Teeth at Least Twice a Day
When you eat, bacteria builds up on your teeth, leaving a thin film that eats away at the enamel. Brushing your teeth regularly will help remove this film. As you age, it’s especially important to brush away bacteria that forms around old fillings and receding gums.
Brush with a soft-bristled brush and fluoridated toothpaste at least twice a day. Brushing after every meal is even better. As you brush, keep the toothbrush bristles angled against the gum line, being sure to clean the inner and outer surfaces of each tooth. Brushing your tongue will help remove even more bacteria from your mouth.
Floss Your Teeth Every Day
As important as brushing your teeth is, your toothbrush can’t reach between teeth where bacteria can hide. Flossing will help keep your gums strong and prevent plaque build-up, minimizing your likelihood of developing gum disease. Floss your teeth once a day, preferably before bed. Flossing is the best way to remove plaque from between your teeth and below the gum line.
Eat Healthy, Balanced Meals
Did you know that some foods may actually defend against tooth decay? Antioxidants and other important nutrients found in fruit, vegetables, legumes, and nuts can improve your body’s ability to fight inflammation and infection. In addition, there are certain foods that provide an added benefit to your teeth and gums. If you’re having trouble trying to decide what to snack on, try these:
- Cranberries. Studies have shown that eating fresh cranberries prevents bacteria from bonding to your teeth.
- Calcium fortified foods. Calcium-fortified juices, milk and other dairy products help promote healthy teeth and bones. Cheese provides calcium that mixes with plaque and sticks to teeth, protecting them from decay and helping to rebuild tooth enamel.
- Fruits and vegetables. Crisp fruits and veggies like apples, carrots, celery, and radishes will naturally clean your teeth and freshen your breath.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
The health of your mouth often mirrors the health of the rest of your body. Regular dental check-ups are important for treating and diagnosing dental problems before they become serious, but they are also a way of maintaining good overall health. Unless you are concerned about your oral health, a cleaning and check-up every six months should be all you need.
Lake Dental Clinic has been serving the Camdenton area for more than 40 years. We are committed to helping you achieve optimal oral health now and far into the future. Give us a call
today to schedule your appointment
7/29/2016 6:53:00 AM |
When you think of foods that cause tooth decay, you probably think of sugary, sticky foods and drink, but did you know that acidic foods can be just as harmful? High-acid foods and drinks will slowly wear away the outer enamel protecting your teeth, causing cavities, sensitivity and discoloration. Does that mean you have to give up your favorite cup of coffee, glass of wine, or morning grapefruit? Absolutely not! Read on to find out how to prevent acidic foods from damaging your teeth.
How Do Acidic Foods Erode Your Teeth?
The enamel on the outside of your teeth is made primarily of calcium. Unfortunately, acid leaches the calcium from your tooth enamel, causing the protective surface to soften and break down. This process can lead to serious dental problems, so it’s important to pay attention to early warning signs like sensitivity and discoloration. Here are some common signs of tooth erosion caused by acidic foods.
Sensitivity. If you are experiencing pain when you consume hot, cold, or sweet food and drink, it means that your enamel is starting to wear away. The sensitivity will increase as more and more enamel wears away.
- Discoloration. Thinning enamel will eventually expose the underlying dentin, which has a yellowish tinge.
- Rounded teeth. Your teeth may appear rounded from the wearing away of the enamel. .
- Transparency. Your teeth may appear translucent, especially around the edges.
- Cracks. As the enamel continues to wear away, small cracks and fissures may start to appear on the surface of your teeth.
- Cupping. You may notice small dents on the chewing surface of your teeth.
High-Acidic Food that Damages Tooth Enamel
- Carbonated soft drinks. Sodas and soft drinks all contain high levels of acid, even diet options.
- Fruit juice. The most acidic options include lemon, cranberry, orange and apple.
- Citrus fruits. Oranges, lemons, grapefruit, etc.
- Candy. While all candy tends to damage the teeth, sour and chewy candies contain the most acid.
- Sugar. Although sugar doesn’t contain acid, it does promote the growth of bacteria that creates acid in your mouth.
You can Reduce the Effects of Acid on Your Teeth
You don’t have to give up your favorite acidic foods entirely, but you should use caution if you want to protect your teeth. Here are some tips to reduce the damaging effects of acid on your pearly whites.
- Stop snacking on acidic foods between meals. If you’re craving acidic foods or drink, eat them with other foods at mealtimes. This will reduce their contact with your teeth and help neutralize the acid.
- Drink water with acidic foods. This will help wash away the acid from your teeth.
- Use a straw. This will minimize the contact between acidic drinks and your teeth.
- Avoid carbonated drinks
- Don’t brush immediately after a meal. Acid softens your enamel, so brushing immediately after eating might actually harm your teeth. Instead, rinse your mouth with water and brush a half hour after eating.
At Lake Dental Clinic in Camdenton, we’re committed to your oral health. If you’re experiencing sensitivity, discoloration, or transparency, please schedule an appointment
7/1/2016 1:43:00 PM |
Dental health has a direct connection with overall wellbeing. A healthy lifestyle can lead to minimizing oral diseases and dental problems which improve a person’s quality of life. One of the most important things you can do for your dental wellbeing, and your wallet, is to regularly visit your dentist for checkups. Preventive dentistry and early detection help to minimize long-term costs for good oral health.
Many dental practices offer flexible and affordable programs to help their patients’ budget for treatment. This service is a significant help for patients with hereditary or medical dental problems, as well as those who are operating on a very tight budget.
Dental insurance is widely available and packages are created to address specific needs, such as providing discounts for families, or including wellness checkups at no extra cost to the patient. Most insurance companies offer an online customer service center and free tools, such as a cost calculator, or comparative rates so that you can fully review all available plans before committing to a policy. It’s also worth checking with your dental provider. The office manager or finance manager may be able to assist you in understanding benefits or available providers. Most dental offices will help you file paperwork to achieve the most benefit possible for your treatment.
Financing plans often function in the same way as credit cards. The healthcare credit card can be used to pay for preventive and, in some cases, cosmetic dental treatments and procedures. Two of the more widely accepted plans include Care Credit and Citi Health Care
- 6-month checkups and cleanings
- Emergency root canals or extractions
- Gum Disease treatment and maintenance
The financial plans do not require an annual fee, nor is there a fee to apply. Additional benefits to financial plans include:
- Navigational friendly online account management
- Flexible payment terms with low monthly payments to fit budget needs
- Family members’ dental care is covered under card
- Helps patients pay for their portion of treatment after insurance benefits are applied
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your insurance benefits, lack of insurance or need for more affordable dental plans, please contact our Camdenton dental office during business hours to schedule a consultation to discuss your payment options.
6/16/2016 10:00:00 AM |
To prevent dental caries and cavities, it is important to keep teeth and gums clean and free of disease causing bacteria. With proper brushing and flossing home care and routine professional cleanings, it is possible to prevent tooth decay in between dental exams.
When you eat, sugars and starches tend to stick on the surface of the teeth, or take up residence in the tight spaces between the teeth. Bacteria that naturally exists within the mouth break the sugar and starches down, creating an acid that can erode teeth creating the cavity in tooth enamel.
To help get rid of the food and clean away any sticky residue, the American Dental Association recommends brushing teeth at least twice a day, and preferably after each meal. By using a fluoride toothpaste when brushing you are further strengthening the tooth’s enamel, replacing lost minerals, and helping to repair the minor damage done in the early stages of decay.
TIP – If you are not able to clean your teeth after eating, consider rinsing your mouth with water or chewing sugar-free gum to help remove remaining food debris from your teeth.
Flossing makes it possible to remove debris and dental plaque from the tight spaces between teeth, especially teeth that are misaligned, crooked or unevenly spaced, which are susceptible to cavities. Flossing after meals will help prevent plaque build-up to avoid gum disease.
TIP - Inter-dental cleaners are available in various forms, including flosses, brushes, and picks for easy dental care throughout the day.
Nutrition and Snacking
Tooth decay is often a cause of eating foods that are high in carbohydrates and simple sugars, such as candy, potato chips, and cookies. Avoid eating food that can get easily stuck in the natural grooves and cavities of the teeth and instead eat tooth-friendly foods, like fruit and vegetables. Chewing sugar-free gum, and drinking water are good ways of increasing saliva flow, flushing out the mouth and removing unwanted food particles.
TIP – Avoid hard candy, especially lollipops, if you cannot brush immediately afterward. These sugary sweets take time to dissolve creating a longer contact period with your teeth and gums, a bacterium’s dream world as it feeds off the sugary goodness.
Dental sealants – also known as pit and fissure sealants – are thin protective coatings of plastic that seal the grooves and crevices of the natural tooth, preventing the opportunity for decay. Sealants are usually applied to the back teeth (molars); the coating prevents the enamel from acidic erosion and can last up to ten years.
TIP – Most dentists offer this preventive techniques to children. Check with your dentist if they have sealants available for adults. The coating has a long life, but will not last forever; a reapplication might help you out especially if you have soft teeth or are medically prone to tooth decay.
Fluoride is available in various formats, from toothpastes and rinses, to professional concentrated fluoride delivery. Dentists and hygienists often offer professional fluoride treatments in-house in the form of a dental gel, foam, or solution. The treatment is applied to the enamel using a swab and is usually over after only a few minutes.
TIP – If you are going to have your children take fluoride supplements purchased elsewhere, talk to your dentist beforehand about amounts and length of use. Excessive fluoride can create white spots or streaks on developing teeth, called fluorisis.
As with all dental issues, the best in cavity prevention advice comes from your dental professional. Your dentist or hygienist at Lake Dental Clinic can custom design cavity prevention techniques and treatment plans to address your specific issues, budget and lifestyle. Contact our Camdenton dental office today!
6/3/2016 11:20:00 AM |
We've all heard the expression "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." But perhaps that should be changed to dentist. In addition to being good for your health, apples are also quite good for your teeth. In fact, if you find yourself without a toothbrush, an apple can fill in nicely.
Apples actually act like toothbrushes because of their fiber-rich flesh. This works like a scrub on not only your teeth, but your tongue and gums as well. An apple can also help remove food particles that are hiding out between your teeth and sticking to your gums.
As well as cleaning your teeth, because they are mildly acidic and slightly astringent, apples can also help get rid of plaque and stains. On top of that, apples can freshen breath. Is there nothing this super fruit can't do? The next time you have an after lunch meeting and forgot your toothbrush, head down to the cafeteria and grab an apple instead.
6/3/2016 11:15:00 AM |
We're excited to announce the official launch of our Lake Dental Clinic blog.
We'll be posting helpful dental tips, news from the dental industry, news from our practice, and more about the latest in dentistry.
We built our practice on the notion that we're there for our patients when they need us and we want our online presence to be a reflection of that principle. We hope this blog provides an extra level of service to our current and future patients.
If you would like to stay up to date on the latest from Lake Dental Clinic, simply click the RSS “Subscribe to feed” link located on our website and subscribe. Our subscribers will be updated when we make a new blog post.
Here's to your best oral health ever!