Dentist With Patient in Surgery

Help Dental Phobia with Oral Sedation

Do you hate going to the dentist so much that you avoid going at all? You’re not the only one. It is estimated that 9% to 15% of Americans avoid seeing the dentist because of anxiety or fear. A lot of them are worried about pain or feeling embarrassed. Others have dental phobia. No matter what is causing you stress, oral sedation dentistry can help.

 

What is Oral Sedation Dentistry?

 

Sedation dentistry is when patients take medication to relax during dental procedures. There are different levels of sedation from minimal sedation, where you are still awake but relaxed, to general anesthesia, when you are unconscious. There are several different types of sedation dentistry. At Howard Family Dental, we offer IV sedation and oral sedation.

Oral sedation involves taking a small pill an hour before your appointment. This pill, typically Halcion, is just as safe as taking a Valium. After you take the pill, someone else drives you to your appointment where we deliver exceptional care in a comfortable, anxiety-free atmosphere. Patients are awake during the procedure but many have very little memory of the visit. Some patients may fall asleep during the procedure, but can be woken with a gentle shake.

Reasons patients choose oral sedation:

 

Is Oral Sedation Dentistry Safe?

 

Oral sedation dentistry allows you the experience dental procedures feeling relaxed and comfortable. Time will pass by fast and many patients report an amnesic effect, meaning they don’t remember the visit at all! While you’re relaxed, your dentist can perform the procedure confidently because they know you’re safe and carefree.

Oral sedation dentistry is even safe enough for children. Parents will need to take a little extra care to ensure their child is relaxed, but we trust you’re already a pro at looking after your loved ones. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has posted some really helpful guidelines on preparing for your child’s sedation dentistry visit.

If your child experiences dental fear or anxiety, please call our pediatric dental specialists at Kid’s Dentistree in Richmond Hill. We offer a kid-friendly atmosphere, fun activities in the waiting room and team members trained especially for caring for children. Take a tour of one of our offices by clicking here!

 

Is Oral Sedation Dentistry Right for Me?

 

Oral sedation dentistry is a safe, minimal sedation method that can allow even the most anxious patients to have their dental needs taken care of. Most treatment plans are simple and take one or two appointments. But even the most extensive treatment can be provided using oral sedation dentistry. Don’t let fear or anxiety keep you and your family from having beautiful, healthy smiles.

 

Resources for People with Dental Anxiety and Dental Phobia

 

Howard Family Dental reacts to AP Flossing Report

By now, you’ve probably seen or heard about the AP flossing report that claims the “medical benefits of dental flossing [are] unproven.” Needless to say, it has been causing quite a stir in the Howard Family Dental offices! Not because it’s changing our opinions about oral hygiene – but because the article itself is a little misleading. Read the report here, then we’ll tell you what the dental community has to say, including a response from Andrea Edelen, a Registered Dental Hygienist and the National Director of Hygiene at Mortenson Dental Partners.

 

A lack of good research doesn’t prove something is ineffective.

 

As you’d imagine, a number of dental groups have already publicly shown their support for flossing since the AP report was released. The American Dental Association (ADA) and American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) were both quick to address the duration of these studies, which in general have been conducted only over short periods of time. In the AAP’s official statement about flossing, their president acknowledges that “much of the current evidence does not utilize a large sample size or examine gum health over a significant amount of time. Additionally, many of the existing studies do not measure true markers of periodontal health such as inflammation or clinical attachment loss.” And that “because the development of periodontal disease is slow in nature and because a variety of factors can impact its progression, studies that examine the efficacy of daily flossing are best conducted over a number of years and among a large population.”

What the studies in the AP report failed to incorporate in their research were very important factors, primarily family history and the presence of other health issues. One doctor even said he doubted the patients in the study flossed correctly. So although there may be conflicting conclusions about the efficacy of flossing, it’s worth remembering that flossing is only one aspect of maintaining good oral health. Just like maintaining a good diet is only one aspect of physical health.

 

The American Dental Association still defends flossing as an essential part of taking care of teeth and gums.

 

The AP report, despite all its claims that flossing is ineffective, still never fully endorses an end to flossing altogether. In fact, the report ends with a recommendation from Dr. Iafolla, a public health analyst at the National Institutes of Health: Office of Science Policy, to keep flossing once a day. “It’s low-risk, low-cost,” Dr. Iafolla said. “We know there’s a possibility that it works, so we feel comfortable telling people to go ahead and do it.” In an August 4 release, the ADA argues that the federal government has never changed its stance on flossing and “the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) made a deliberate decision to focus on food and nutrient intake (i.e., added sugar).”

“According to the American Dental Association (ADA), interdental cleaners such as floss are an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums. Cleaning between teeth removes plaque that can lead to cavities or gum disease from the areas where a toothbrush can’t reach. Interdental cleaning is proven to help remove debris between teeth that can contribute to plaque buildup.”

 

Dental hygiene care plans should be personalized.

 

The official statement from the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) endorses a dental hygiene care plan that is “personalized according to the individual’s unique oral health needs, general health status, values, expectations and abilities. Not all adjunct devices are appropriate for all patients, and it is important for dental hygiene professionals to work with their patients on which interdental cleaning method fits their needs.” For some patients, this could mean using a Waterpik®, or a water-flossing product that has been proven more effective than string floss at improving gum health. For others, like the dentist in the video above, the answer could be an old-fashioned wooden toothpick. Whatever decision you make, there is no better person to help you decide what’s right for you than the person who knows your teeth the best – your dental hygienist.

 

 

Now that you’ve heard how everyone else is responding, let’s hear what Andrea Edelen, a real-life Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH), has to say:

Professional Portrait of Andrea Edelen

Andrea Edelen, RDH, BS, National Director of Hygiene, Mortenson Dental Partners

“We believe in dental hygiene practice that is both evidence-based and patient-centered. Our standard of care emphasizes that the oral hygiene recommendations be personalized according to the patient’s unique oral health needs, general health status, and abilities. Not all adjunct devices are appropriate for all patients, and it is important for dental professionals to work with their patients on which interdental cleaning method fits their needs. The ADA supports flossing with proper technique among other interdental cleaners being beneficial to removing bacteria, biofilm, and food debris from interproximal areas that a tooth brush cannot access.”

Four F’s for a Successful Fourth of July Weekend

This Monday is the Fourth of July, a day when we celebrate declaring our independence from Great Britain in 1776. In that Declaration of Independence we talked a lot about fairness and freedom, but our founding fathers probably didn’t foresee some other F’s that would make our Independence Day the awesome holiday it’s become.

What’s your favorite F? Let us know by voting in our poll on Twitter.

 

Family & Friends

Mixed Race young people making selfie at garden party. Man from Jamaica Playing Guitar. Man on right holding smart phone on selfie stick. In background people holding American flag.

Oops, look at us – already cheating.  This first F is a two-for-one because it’s really all about people. A lot of families plan road trips this weekend to visit other cities, go camping or hit a theme park like Fun Zone Amusement & Sports Park. And friends will get together for grilling out, lawn games or just hanging out enjoying the weather. Whatever you decide to do, remember to pack a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste or some mouthwash to help those relationships get even closer!

 

Food

A patriotic fruit tart.

This one’s a no-brainer. We’re talking Potlucks on patios with pounds of potato salad and pints of patriotic ice cream flavors. There is nothing quite like a hamburger, hot dog or veggies off the grill in the summer. Throw in an ice-cold glass of sweet tea to wash it down, and you’ll know you’re doing it right.

Don’t forget to drink a glass of water after your meal to wash some of that sugar off your teeth!

 

 

Fireworks

friend running with fireworks on a beach afer sunsetWho doesn’t love running around with sparklers after dark or shooting roman candles into the sky and hearing them pop? It really doesn’t matter how many times you’ve heard “I’m Proud to be an American” blaring over a loudspeaker as you watch fireworks light up your city, it’s awesome every time. ‘Nuff said.

 

 

Floss Fun

Group of teen girls laughing and eating ice cream at the beach together

You knew we were going to do it, didn’t you? Well here’s your reminder to floss every day. But the last one is not “Floss” and it’s actually the most important F of the weekend: FUN. Our country has come a long way in its short history and though we’ve been through a lot, we have a lot to be proud of! So let’s remember this weekend to enjoy good company, good food and have a great time celebrating what makes us unique.

 

Have a safe and happy Independence Day!

 

Invisalign Days offered at HFD this summer!

photo of woman wearing Invisalign

It’s the season to smile!

Several of our offices are offering Invisalign Days this summer!

They will be providing free consultations to answer your questions about Invisalign treatment, the clear way to straighten your teeth. If you’ve wondered if Invisalign is right for you, make an appointment for this special event.

  • $500 off payment due at the time of service (valid on the office’s Invisalign Day).
  • No down payment and 24 monthly payments 0% interest for qualified patients.
  • Free teeth whitening for all existing patients that start Invisalign and are enrolled in our re-care program.
  • Space is limited to the first 15 appointments.
  • Consult must be scheduled before office’s Invisalign Day
  • The doctors and offices offering an Invisalign Day are listed below:

 

June 16th : HFD Wilmington
Christy Cole Harpring, DMD
206 Johnny Mercer Boulevard
Savannah, GA 31410
(912)897-9000

July 18th: HFD Bluffton
Adam Squicquero, DDS
10 Pinckney Colony Road
Bluffton, SC 29909
(843)593-9390

July 29th: HFD Pooler
Jason Howard, DMD
91 Brighton Woods Drive
Pooler, GA 31322
(912)748-4858

August 30th: HFD Midtown
Julie Howard, DMD
533 Stephenson Ave
Savannah, GA 31405
(912)7236-3557

Call today to see if Invisalign treatment is right for you!

Memorial Day

 

American flag for Memorial Day or 4th of July

“And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.”

-Lee Greenwood

Wishing you all a safe Memorial Day.

Hands are highlighted holding a stomach symbolizing stomach pain

Crohn’s Disease, Colitis and Oral Health

About 5 million people worldwide are living with Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis, also known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). These chronic diseases affect the digestive system and cause intestinal tissue to become inflamed, form sores and bleed easily. Crohn’s specifically can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract including the lips, mouth and even the esophagus. And in addition to the physical and emotional toll IBD has on the well-being of its patients such as weight loss, fever, nausea, diarrhea and anemia, it can also have a number of negative effects on oral health.

Sometimes it is difficult to tell what is causing changes in the mouth such as ulcers, soreness, dry mouth or cavities. Sometimes medications taken to treat Crohn’s disease interfere with normal mouth bacteria that can cause problems. IBD can also lead to nutritional deficiencies that affect dental and oral health. In other instances, it is the disease itself causing the problems. Your doctor can identify whether Crohn’s or colitis is interfering with the health of your teeth and gums with testing.

Closeup portrait of young man with tooth ache crown bridge problem about to cry from pain touching inside mouth with hand, isolated white background. Negative emotion facial expression feeling

Cavities & Tooth Decay

For 8-29% of patients with Crohn’s Disease, cavities can appear before any intestinal complications. Many patients have reported an increase in tooth decay and higher incidence of cavities as they have undergone treatment for Crohn’s. And studies have shown that changes caused by colitis in the mucus that lines the gastrointestinal tract have led to tooth decay in some patients. Patients who are using Prednisone for their symptoms might want to consult their physician and dentist as some patients have reported a link between the medication and cavities. In our research, this was a very common side effect of medical treatment and the connection should not be taken lightly.


Closeup portrait, elderly business woman with tooth ache, crown problem, cavity pain, touching outside mouth with hand, isolated white background. Negative human emotion facial expression feeling

Mouth Ulcers & Vitamin Deficiencies

Inflammatory Bowel Disease is known to cause legions throughout the intestine, colon, esophagus as well as in and around patients’ mouths. Poor vitamin consumption, particularly of vitamin D, can lead to complications that range from small, painless lesions inside the mouth to ulcerations and swelling of the lips. This can lead to more serious issues like Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome, oral tuberculosis, cheilitis granulomatosa, sarcoidosis, or even contact allergic reactions. Pyodermatitis-pyostomatitis vegetans is also associated with Crohn’s disease, but only rarely. Symptoms include pustules (pimples) that can be yellow or whitish in appearance in the mouth. After the pustules rupture, they leave a superficial ulcer. The lymph glands under the chin can become swollen and there may be mild pain. Yeast infections and deficiencies in Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, zinc and Vitamin K are common.


Young woman holds side of her face and looks sad

Gum Inflammation & Gingivitis

Gum problems, such as swollen or bleeding gums, can be another complication of Crohn’s and may be the result of poor nutrition. Getting the right vitamins and minerals in your diet is crucial to good overall health and oral health, but the combination of Crohn’s and mouth problems can leave you with little appetite or interest in eating. You might need to work harder on the quality of your diet because the consequences of Crohn’s can prevent your body from taking advantage of all the nutrients in the foods you eat; instead, food is moved through your system without being fully digested. Some medicines can contribute to inflammation and gingivitis, so if you are using the following medications, you might want to talk with your doctor about possible alternatives: Steroids, Mesalazine and Methotrexate.


Portrait of a sporty young woman holding an apple and a bottle of water against a white background

Prevention

As always, we encourage you to discuss your symptoms and treatment options with your doctor or dentist. But the following tips will not only help your overall health, they might also prevent dental complications associated with IBD:

  • Avoid sweetened drinks like soda, juice and energy drinks
  • Limit the amount of dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt) you eat
  • Get plenty of sunlight or take a vitamin D supplement
  • Eat 5 or 6 small meals each day that are low in saturated fat, with lots of fruit and antioxidant-rich foods (beans, berries, apples)
  • Stop smoking!

If you have IBD, let’s talk! We’d love to help you find the right treatment for your oral health. Call 912-629-9000 today!

For Women with Osteoporosis, Dental Implants Improve Quality of Life

For women going through menopause, osteoporosis might be the last thing on your mind. But as you age past 50, bone density should be of greater concern to you. Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle — so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses like bending over or coughing can cause a fracture — and it often hits hardest after menopause. Osteoporosis has been linked to bone loss in the jaw which weakens its density and leads to tooth loss. Every day, women everywhere must choose between dentures and dental implants to replace their teeth, and we know the choice is hard. But a recent study suggests the answer is simpler than we thought: Dental implants might just improve your quality of life.

Researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine found that women with implants experienced increased comfort, speech, chewing function, and fit compared to other restorations. “Our research suggests that there are likely some comfort-related factors, some functionality, and some aesthetic reasons why an implant restoration bypasses the quality of the others,” says co-author Leena Palomo, DDS, MSD, an associate professor and director of the periodontics program at Case Western Reserve. “Intuitively it would make sense that an implant restoration is better in comfort and function compared to a fixed or removable restoration, but the collective effect of these factors is seen in distant psychosocial measures.”

The study surveyed 237 osteoporotic women with one or more adjacent teeth missing and asked them to rate their occupational, health, emotional, and sexual quality of life. The results showed that women with dental implants scored higher overall than those with fixed partial dentures, removable partial dentures, or no restorations.

Implant Fixed Partial Denture Removable Partial Denture No Restoration
Occupational Score 26.79 26.86 21.42 20.59
Health Score 26.45 21.32 20.05 19.23
Emotional Score 25.75 26.86 17.03 15.29
Sexual Score 28.59 24.84 15.26 11.45
Overall Score 107.58 99.88 73.77 66.56

If you’re dealing with osteoporosis and looking to enjoy life a little more, give us a call at (912) 629-9000! We’d be happy to schedule a consultation to discuss the best restoration for you.

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