You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category.

Hello Friends!

It’s that time of year again!  And no, I’m not referring to the upcoming holiday season. I’m referring to the end of the dental benefit year.  Woo Hoo!  Exciting? Hardly.  But it is important.  Why?  For the vast majority of patients with dental insurance, the policies run on a calendar year and it’s “use ’em or lose ’em” time.

There are exceptions, of course (some government or educational agencies come to mind as examples).  But for the most part, if you don’t use your dental benefits, you lose them.  What does that mean exactly?  When you are given a dental insurance policy, either through your employer or one you purchase yourself, the plan typically covers a set dollar amount, a “maximum” amount you are allowed for the year.  Most plans do not roll over into the next year.  So the benefits you pay premiums for are lost.

Calling to schedule your dental appointment sooner rather than later will ensure that you will receive the appointment time that works for you.  It will also allow time for the doctor to create a comprehensive treatment plan should you need one and allow time to schedule before the end of the year.  Holidays become very busy in a dental office.  Many people try to take advantage of having time off work or school, so it may become difficult to schedule.  Also, should you need to schedule an appointment with a specialist, there is still time to do that as well, without the end of year time scramble.

The good news is that it’s still early enough to schedule.  The bad news is that we can’t help you if you don’t call.

Of course if you have any questions regarding insurance or anything else, we are always happy to help.  We look forward to hearning from you soon:)

Your Friends at

Brunner Prast Family Dental

734.878.3167

http://www.brunnerprastdental.com

 

*This blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only and not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.  If you have any questions or concerns, please consult a healthcare professional.

Advertisements

Hello Friends!

You may have heard the term “gum disease” but what do you know about it?

More than half of men and a third of women over age 30 have some degree of gum disease.  Everyone is susceptible because even healthy mouths can have the bacteria that can cause gum disease.  The bacteria, along with food residue, build up to create a sticky, colorless film called plaque.  Left untreated, plaque can trigger inflammation and infection.  Mild inflammation (gingivitis) can usually be corrected with improved oral hygiene.  Without proper preventive care however, the bacteria can make the gums recede or pull away from the teeth, forming infected pockets that can destroy bone and gum tissue – a condition called periodontitis.  Here are nine ways to manage this common ailment.

Preventive

  1. Brushing  Of course you say. Everyone knows brushing your teeth prevents cavities.  But it’s important to realize that brushing benefits your gum tissue as well. Brushing your teeth for at least 2 minutes 2x a day prevents bacteria from building up.  Brushing in a gentle, circular motion is the most efficient way.
  2. Flossing  It is important to floss your teeth because it reaches plaque that brushing alone can’t. The floss should form a “C” around the tooth so that goes down along side the gum rather than slicing across it.
  3. Regular cleaning Even with meticulous home care, you’ll inevitably miss some plaque, leaving it to harden and turn into tartar (or calculus), a tough, bacteria laden substance that further damages teeth and gums.  You can’t brush or floss it off.  It can only be removed with a professional dental cleaning.  Typically every 6 months is recommended.

Home Remedies 

  1. Good-for-gums food  Eating foods high in antioxidant nutrients like Vitamins A,C and E, such as apples and sweet potatoes, can make periodontitis less severe in non-smokers. (Smoking increases the risk of gum disease). Calcium-rich foods are associated with lower rates of periodontal disease.
  2.  Dental Aids  Use your toothbrush or tongue scraper to remove material from your tongue. Scrub larger gaps in between teeth with an inter proximal brush  – a small pipe-cleaner-like tool that may remove material from wider spaces better than floss alone.
  3. Mouthwash  Swishing with an antimicrobial rinse can prevent plaque build up and reduce gingivitis.  But you still need to brush and floss to get the best results. Rinsing alone is not enough to remove the build up.

Medical Treatments

  1. Deep cleaning  If your gum disease had progressed to periodontitis, the gold standard treatment is a professional cleaning called scaling and root planing.  Your dentist first scrapes away plaque and tartar below the gum line, then smooths the surface of the tooth roots to get rid of the pits and rough spots that bacteria can easily cling to.
  2. Oral Surgery If bacteria have formed infected pockets between the gums and teeth, the dentist or periodontist can perform pocket reduction surgery, which involves making small incisions in the gum, pulling the tissue back to expose the roots for more effective scaling and root planing, and then suturing the gums back in place.
  3. Implants  When treatment has failed and localized gum disease has caused so much damage that the tooth can’t be saved, it can be replaced with an implant – a metal(usually titanium) insert that your periodontist places in an outpatient setting, under general anesthesia.

***************

FYI – did you know?  There are over 500+ number of different species of bacteria that live in the mouth!

***************

As always, if you have any questions or need more information, please visit our website at www.brunnerprastdental.com

Yours in good dental health

Your Friends at Brunner Prast Family Dental

 

 

***The above information was presented in the June 2017 issue of Prevention Magazine by Richard Laliberte

****The above information is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition.  Please see a dental professional to address individual concerns

Hello Friends!

Today’s topic isn’t a glamorous one, but important nonetheless.  Your gums are the foundation and cornerstone to your overall oral health and it’s imperative that you care for them.  Gums protect and support your teeth and the tissue that holds them to the bone. When they aren’t healthy, you risk tooth loss and damage to your overall health.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “gum disease”, but what is it?  What does it mean if you’ve been diagnosed with it?  Is it really that big of a deal?  WebMD featured an informative article on the topic and we’ve included some of that information below.gingivitis-symptoms

How Gum Disease Happens

It “usually starts in areas that you’re not brushing or keeping clean,” says Mark Ryder, DMD, chair of periodontology at the University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry. “Bacteria build up in a film on your teeth and you get a reaction to that bacteria — inflammation.”

Swelling of the gums (also known as gingivitis), can be one of the first signs of gum disease. Other symptoms include:

  • Gum redness
  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing
  • Receding gum line
  • Loose teeth
  • Constant bad breath
  • Mouth sores

Pain isn’t one of the first symptoms of gingivitis.

“What’s unique about early gum disease is that it doesn’t cause much discomfort at all,” Ryder says. “So you really have to pay attention to these other symptoms.”

Gum problems can get worse if you don’t get gingivitis treated.

“Infection and inflammation will spread deeper into the tissues that support the tooth,” Ryder says. “When that happens, the inflammation becomes destructive.”

The gums begin to pull away from the teeth, which lets in more bacteria. At this stage, gum disease is called periodontitis.

That condition “causes the tissues and bone that support the teeth to break down,” Ryder says.

This creates pockets where bacteria can grow.

“As you lose bone, your teeth get looser and looser, and eventually, they fall out,” he says.

What’s more, oral health affects your whole body. People with gum disease are more likely to get heart disease and are less able to control their blood sugar, studies show.

The CDC found that 47% of adults older than 30 have periodontitis. After age 65, that number goes up to 70%.

Your odds of getting gum disease are higher if you:

  • Use tobacco products
  • Are pregnant
  • Have a family history of gum disease
  • Have diabetes
  • Have high stress
  • Grind or clench your teeth

Some birth control, antidepressants, and heart medicines may also raise your risk. Tell your dentist about any medications you take regularly.

“Stop smoking, manage diabetes correctly, and if you’re pregnant, think about visiting the dentist more often during your pregnancy,” Ryder says.

How to Treat Gum Disease

Your dentist will remove the root cause: plaque on your teeth.

“The dentist would clean around all the affected areas, and really go down to the bottom of the pocket of the tooth, because that’s where the most harmful bacteria is,” Ryder says. This deep-cleaning process is called scaling.

Other causes will also be explored, like loose fillings or crowns. Your dentist may take X-rays to check for bone loss. You might need surgery if the disease is severe or doesn’t get better with time. You might visit a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in gum disease.

Tips to Manage Gum Disease

To keep it at bay, you should:

  • Brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day.
  • Clean between the teeth, with floss or another cleaning tool.
  • Swish twice daily with antiseptic mouth rinse.
  • See your dentist regularly.

 

It seems like common sense, but so often people underestimate the importance of maintaining their teeth and gums.  Oral health is often overlooked, especially if there is no pain involved.  But as is so often the case a little prevention can prevent a lot of trouble later.  If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or have any concerns about your oral health, contact your dental professional.

 

As always, if you have any questions or need more information, we would be happy to help.  Contact our office at http://www.brunnerprastdental.com.

 

Yours in Good Dental Health:)

Brunner Prast Family Dental

 

***The above information is for informational purposes only and not intended to diagnose or treat any condition or disease.  If you have any concerns please contact a dental professional.

 

Hello Friends!

It’s that time of year again!  And no, I’m not referring to the upcoming holiday season. I’m referring to the end of the dental benefit year.  WooHoo!  Exciting? Hardley.  But it is important.  Why?  For the vast majority of patients with dental insurance, the policies run on a calendar year.

There are exceptions, of course (some government or educational agencies come to mind as examples).  But for the most part, if you don’t use your dental benefits, you lose them.  What does that mean exactly?  Well, when you are given a dental insurance policy, either through your employer or one you purchase yourself, the plan typically covers a set dollar amount, a “maximum” amount you are allowed for the year.  Most plans do not roll over into the next year.  So the benefits you pay premiums for are lost.

Calling to schedule your dental appoinment sooner rather than later will ensure that you will receive the appointment time that works for you.  It will also allow time for the doctor to create a comprehensive treatment plan should you need one and allow time to schedule before the end of the year.  Holidays become very busy in a dental office.  Many people try to take advantage of having time off work or school to schedule, so it may become difficult to schedule.

The good news is that it’s still early enough to schedule.  The bad news is that we can’t help you if you don’t call.

Of course if you have any questions regarding insurance or anything else, we are always happy to help.  We look forward to hearning from you soon:)

Your Friends at

Brunner Prast Family Dental

734.878.3167

http://www.brunnerprastdental.com

 

*This blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only and not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.  If you have any questions or concerns, please consult a healthcare professional.

Hello Friends!

I came across this post and wanted to share.

CHOOSE DENTAL HEALTH. IT’S MUCH CHEAPER.

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

I recently had a patient cancel her appointment at the last minute. This happens sometimes. It’s frustrating for a dentist or hygienist when we’ve set time aside for a patient and they don’t come. Usually there’s a good reason. In this case, no reason was given.

As I sometimes do…I took it personally. Why did this person choose not to have the treatment done that we discussed? What could I have done better?

This particular patient has been coming to our office for years. She is someone you might describe as “skeptical” of dental treatment. I suspect she had some bad dental experiences before I even came into the picture. She’s at least mildly phobic of dental treatment, too. However, I think she’s probably one of those people that believe that when I come in the room that I’m simply looking for work to do, probably to line my pockets.

-Do I really need this crown--It’s a difficult spot for a dentist. Often times we’re both the internist that diagnoses the problem and the surgeon that fixes it. Patient see this as a conflict of interest. The guy who is telling me that I have cavities is also the guy who benefits from them being fixed. I completely understand this. I take my role as a doctor very seriously and I put my patient’s needs first. But can you blame a patient for being skeptical of a doctor’s motivations?

When I examine a patient I’m looking to see what level of dental health the patient has. And when I see a problem, I’m obliged to tell them about it. I have found what I believe is the most effective way to do this. I do all of my recall exams with a dental operating microscope. This microscope magnifies what I can see and has a very bright light that allows me to see parts of the mouth that don’t get lit up very often. I’ve attached an HD camera to the microscope with a monitor mounted over the patient to allow them to see exactly what I’m seeing…as I see it. I feel like this is a great solution to the problem of showing the patient what I see instead of me just describing it. I like it more than still photos because I can show it to them “live” as I’m describing it.

blog post scopeBack to my patient that chose not to come in today. I definitely examined her with the microscope and I definitely showed her what I was seeing. I recommended to some treatment because I saw some problems. I try and do this dispassionately. I try not to “sell” a patient on treatment by showing them what I’m seeing. I try to help the patient choose dental health by showing them what I’m seeing and describing what we can do to correct dental problems.

I have a suspicion that this patient still thinks what I’m describing isn’t a real problem. Like many dental problems, what I’m describing probably doesn’t hurt. Most cavities don’t hurt. Gum disease almost never hurts. Even broken teeth often aren’t painful. If you use pain as the threshold for dental treatment, you’re probably going to end up choosing the most expensive way to fix the problem or worse, sometimes the problem can’t be fixed leading to the loss of a tooth. A small cavity left untreated almost always becomes a bigger cavity, so what may have been easy to fix with a filling could end up needing a crown or even a root canal. This sounds like a scare tactic used by a dentist. Ask any dentist and they’ll explain that they see it. All. The. Time.

So I’m going to suggest that you listen to your dentist’s recommendation. The choice to treat is always yours. But almost always, the sooner you treat a problem, the less expensive and potentially painful the fix is.

The above post was from Dr. Alan Mead at Mead Family Dental and can be found at the following link:

http://meadfamilydental.com/2016/01/choose-dental-health-its-much-cheaper/?utm_content=buffer76438&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer.

Have you ever had difficulty deciding to complete your dental treatment?  Do you have confidence in your dental practice?  What are your biggest concerns making the decision? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Yours in good dental health,

Brunner Prast Family Dental

http://www.brunnerprastdental.com

 

The oral health information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. You should always consult a licensed dentist or other qualified health care professional for any questions concerning your oral health.

Hello Friends!

Are you a “sipper”?  Do you have that delicious icy cold lemonade or sweet iced tea by your side all day long?  Maybe it’s that refreshing Coke or Pepsi by your side to quench that thirst.  Or maybe it’s that energy or sports drink you’re sipping.  Whatever you choose, unless it is plain water, it is important to remember not to sip continuously throughout the day.  The continuous exposure to the sugar and acids in these drinks makes a perfect environment for decay.

If you choose to drink these beverages, finish them in a short amount of time and rinse with water to minimize the risk for decay.

Sports Drinks info graphic

Have a great summer!!

Your friends at Brunner Prast Family Dental

http://www.brunnerprastdental.com

 

 

 

Dental Health Month

Hello Friends!

February is National Children’s Dental Health Awareness Month.  It’s a good reminder to instill good oral health habits at an early age.  Did you know that 50% of 7 – 9 year olds already have at least one cavity or filling?*  Parents and caregivers can help prevent cavities by following these tips:

1. Use a child sized tooth brush.  Small hands and mouths require a smaller brush.  Also,   proper brushing does require some dexterity and precision, so a good reminder is that a child needs help brushing until they are able to easily tie their shoes.

2. 2 x 2 Min  Remind your children to brush for 2 minutes twice a day.  Make it a routine, after breakfast and before bed.

3.  Use a fluoride toothpaste.  A smear until age three and a pea size drop until age 6.

4.  Floss.  Begin flossing once a day when teeth start to touch.

5.  Demonstrate proper technique.  Brush in small circular motions.  Using pressure that is too hard can cause gum recession and erosion.  Keep in mind that it will probably take a lot of practice and patience.  Be positive and consistent.  Remember that you’re creating healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

6.  Schedule dental visits.  Make and keep regular dental checkups to be sure teeth are developing normally and that any decay is detected early.  Dental professionals can reinforce healthy habits and answer any questions you may have.

Good reminders any time of the year!

As always, if you need more information we would be happy to help.  Visit our website at http://www.brunnerprastdental.com.

Your friends at

Brunner Prast Family Dental

* statistic info provided by Delta Dental

 

Hello Friends!

Happy New Year!  Hope 2016 finds you happy, healthy and ready for new adventures.  We decided to start off the new year with some suggestions for making your child’s visit to the dentist easier.  While some children are enthusiastic about visiting the dentist, others are more apprehensive.

  1.  Role Play.

Prior to their dental appointments, practice what will happen.  Explain in very basic terms about the visit.  Use child-friendly terminology; that the hygienist will “count teeth”, and use a “spin toothbrush” and a “Mr. Slurpee”.  Avoid using any reference to shots, fillings, drilling or tooth pulling.

2.   Discuss what to expect in the waiting room.

Discuss what to expect in the patient waiting room.  Especially if visiting a pediatric dentist, most lobbies have a section tailored to young children.  Toys, bright colors and child-friendly furnishings are common.  Prize boxes or “treasure chests” are also fun to look forward to after the appointment.

3.   Be prepared to reschedule

Don’t worry if your child isn’t ready to sit in the chair and complete their cleaning.  It’s OK!  Sometimes it takes a few visits to get comfortable with the surroundings and to build trust with the staff.  Especially with very young children, waiting a few months can make a huge difference in their maturity and the ability to sit still.  Unless there are serious dental concerns or issues, it may be ok to wait.  Don’t shame or threaten a child into staying if they are afraid.  The hygienist and/or doctor will be happy to give suggestions if necessary.

Remember – dental professionals are used to all types of behavior issues and work with patients of all ages.  If you have questions, concerns or feel your child may need special accommodations, please feel free to contact the office ahead of time.  Most offices will try to make the visit as pleasant as possible.

Hope these suggestions help:)  If you’d like more information please visit our website at http://www.brunnerprastdental.com.  We’re always willing to help.

Sincerely,

Your friends at

Brunner Prast Dental

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Friends!

We came across this excellent article at the Huff Post by Tim O’Neill, M.A. in Medieval Literature.  

Did you know?

People in the Middle Ages considered healthy, white teeth a sign of beauty and wrote of sweet smelling breath as a desirable attribute. So, not surprisingly, we have extensive evidence that people liked to keep their teeth clean and a large amount of evidence of tooth pastes, powders and treatments, as well as mouth washes and treatments for halitosis.

Contrary to the depiction of medieval peasants with blackened and rotting teeth, the average person in the Middle Ages had teeth which were in very good condition. This is substantially due to one factor – the rarity of sugar in the diet. Most medieval people simply could not afford sugar and those who could used it sparingly – usually as a seasoning or minor ingredient and almost never as a condiment or the basis of a dish. This means that most people used natural sugars such as those in fruits and honey and even then ate this kind of sugar sparingly. Taken with a diet high in calcium via dairy foods, high in vegetables and cereals and low in foods that cause decay, the average medieval person ate the way most modern dentists would recommend for good teeth.

Not surprisingly, tooth decay was actually much less prevalent in the Middle Ages than it became in later centuries, when mass imports of sugar from the tropics made it a staple rather than a rarity. Surveys of archaeological data from the medieval period show that an average of only 20% of teeth show any sign of decay, as opposed to up to 90% in some early twentieth century populations. A more common dental issue for medieval people was not decay but wear. Eating stone-ground bread daily as part of almost every meal meant medieval people’s teeth saw considerable abrasion from grit which, over years led to the teeth being worn down. To an extent this actually helped prevent decay, as their molars had less crevices in which plaque could accumulate. But in the long run it could lead to the complete abrasion of dentine and tooth loss.

Medieval people cleaned their teeth by rubbing them and their gums with a rough linen cloth. We have various recipes for pastes and powders that could be put on the cloth to help clean the teeth, to whiten them and to aid fresh breath. Sage ground with salt crystals was one popular mixture. Powdered charcoal from rosemary stems was another. A crushed paste of pepper, mint and rock salt was also used, and there were many more. Most consisted of an abrasive and a scented herb, though others included a range of spices such as cinnamon, mace and cloves.

Mouth washes tended to be wine or vinegar-based, with herbs and spices steeped in these acidic liquids. Again, mint features heavily in these recipes, along with marjoram and cinnamon. Chewing fennel seeds, parsley or cloves were the most common recommendations for bad breath.

The fact that dental hygiene was relatively good compared to later periods would have been a benefit to people at the time, given that dental surgery was pretty bad. Most treatment consisted of simply removing the tooth, which tended to be done by the local barber and with no anesthetic other than perhaps getting drunk before hand. More skilled surgeons had treatments for mouth cancer, involving the cutting out of affected tissue and then cauterization. We also have evidence of dentures made from cow bone or human teeth, though only for the very rich. On the whole though medieval dental hygiene was based on the same concerns as today – white teeth and fresh breath – and medieval people developed some reasonably effective ways of maintaining both.

So next time you are at a party and need a fun fact, feel free to share:)

And if you or someone you know need dental care or have questions, please visit our site at http://www.brunnerfamilydental.com  We would be happy to help:)

***The entire article can be seen by visiting the link below at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/quora/dental-hygiene-was-actual_b_7590896.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

Hello Friends!

I stumbled upon a great info-graphic* about handling common dental emergencies and thought it would be a great topic to review.

Pain and Sensitivity – Can be caused by an abscess or an exposed nerve from a lost filling or crown.  If tolerable, rinse with warm salt water to help reduce swelling.  Schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately, as an infection can spread quickly and become worse.  An abscessed tooth may need antibiotics and a root canal.  If the damage is severe, the tooth may need to be extracted.

Broken Tooth – Save any pieces of the tooth you may find.  Rinse your mouth and tooth fragments with warm water.  Apply gauze if there is bleeding and contact your dentist.  Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth may help with discomfort.  If decay is to blame, the nerve could be in danger and may need a root canal.

Knocked-out Permanent Tooth –   Hold the tooth by the crown (top) not the root.  Rinse the tooth with warm water if it is dirty, but do not scrub it.  Try to reinsert the tooth into the socket, making sure it’s facing the right way.  If you can’t, put the tooth in a cup of milk or warm salt water on your way to the dentist.  Contact your dentist immediately.  Knocked-out teeth have the best chance of being saved if treated within 1 hour of the trauma.

Of course, if you have any questions about the information listed above, please visit our website at http://www.brunnerfamilydental.com or give our office a call and we’d be happy to help.

Yours in good dental health

Brunner Family Dental

* The info graphic I found was thanks in part to Park 56 Dental in New York and can be seen at http://visual.ly/how-handle-common-dental-emergencies

The above information is not intended to treat or diagnose any condition or disease, but simply to provide information that may be beneficial.  Always contact your dental provider or seek medical attention for dental concerns.