Posted in Oral Surgery, Sedation

Don’t Let Dental Anxiety Stop You.

We’ve all been nervous at some point in our life. Some fears are irrational while others are well earned from negative experiences. We understand what it’s like to feel uneasy and anxious. That’s why your comfort is always at the top of our mind! With sedation, you can have a more relaxing visit while taking care of your oral health needs.

Types of Sedation

Nitrous Oxide Sedation – Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is most often used for patients who are mildly or moderately anxious. It’s administered by placing a small mask over the patient’s nose. As the gas begins to work, the patient becomes calm, but is still awake and can communicate. When the gas is turned off, the effects of sedation wear off almost immediately.

Oral Sedation –Patients who are more anxious may require something stronger than nitrous oxide. With oral sedation, the patient may be sleepy but can also be aroused if necessary and can respond to simple commands.  Minor side effects such as nausea or vomiting can occur with some medications. You may need assistance to get home after sedation, and patients may need to stay for a short observation after dental treatment has been completed.

Body ImageIV Conscious Sedation – IV conscious sedation is usually used to help patients relax during surgery or more advanced dental procedures that take a longer to complete. During this form of conscious sedation an IV is placed in the patient’s vein in order to give the sedative medication. A patient is still able to respond to verbal commands and is aware of what is going on but the patient will not remember much of what happened during their procedure. This helps when dealing with a long procedure or patients that have a great deal of anxiety about surgery or their specific procedure.

General Anesthesia (IV Sedation) – General anesthesia puts a patient into a deep sleep. He or she is unable to feel pain or to move around. General anesthesia may be recommended if the patient:

  • Can’t relax or calm down enough for treatment to be performed safely, even with conscious sedation and other behavior management techniques
  • Needs oral surgery or other dental treatment that would be difficult for the patient to tolerate while awake
  • Needs a lot of dental work that can best be done in one long appointment rather than many shorter visits
  • Has a medical, physical or emotional disability that limits his or her ability to understand directions and be treated safely as an outpatient

We have many years of experience, and will use the safest and most effective medications appropriate for you. So, if you’re ready to relax in the chair with sleep dentistry, give us a call and schedule today.

Dr. Thomas Hoover, Dr. Neil Covin, and Dr. Satya Molleti
3401 Wooddale Avenue South
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Phone: (952) 920-9209

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Posted in gum disease

4 Tasty Foods to Avoid with Gum Disease

Gum Disease can be painful at any stage. If you have Stage 2 or Stage 3 periodontitis dietary changes will be bittersweet. You may already be finding yourself naturally gravitating to softer foods in effort to avoid discomfort. It’s important to mention foods themselves don’t really contribute to gum disease, but are troublesome for the exposed root surfaces from a dental caries (cavity) perspective. Here are a few surprises that could aggravate your condition.

  1. Pickles and Relish

PicklingWhile not typically considered something to avoid for oral health, vinegar is the prime suspect here.  As you may know, it’s highly acidic, and acid is notorious for quickly wearing down tooth enamel. So, it’s important to keep this in mind when eating anything pickled while your tooth roots are exposed.

  1. Peanut Butter

You either love it or hate it. You may even be particular in how you eat it, straight from the jar or only in a sandwich… Have you ever tried it with pickles? This easy to digest, childhood staple can be a healthy snack when opting for the “no added sugar” variety. While it may take some getting used to, it’s the sugar that helps peanut butter better stick to your teeth and tooth roots.

  1. Dried Fruit

Dried FruitLoaded with sugar, the stickiness in dried fruit may or may not be something you’re still able to enjoy. Even in small doses, there’s a high chance of this sweet treat getting stuck deep in your teeth and gums. Once lodged, it feeds the bacteria and can further dental erosion.

  1. Crackers

There’s crackers for every occasion, and this appetizer favorite is not typically associated with dental problems. However, consuming an abundant amount of refined carbohydrates is a known cause of inflammation. Avoid exacerbating your situation by limiting carbs.

Having a perio treatment plan with a dedicated hygiene routine will keep your smile on a healthy track. Periodontitis is treatable. Avoiding sticky, sugary and pickled foods is best for patients suffering from gum disease. If you have any questions about what dietary changes are necessary for your oral health, speak with your periodontist directly. We have the best understanding of your unique situation.

Dr. Thomas Hoover, Dr. Neil Covin, and Dr. Satya Molleti
3401 Wooddale Avenue South
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Phone: (952) 920-9209

Posted in gum disease, oral health

4 Risk Factors of Gum Disease

Have you ever had something caught in your teeth for days? It’s likely because it was lodged deep between a tooth and your gums. That gum tissue is what keeps our chompers in place. There are three stages of gum disease. They’re all are treatable and it starts with an infection of bacteria under the gum line.

gingivitis_2The mild form of gum disease is Gingivitis. This is where plaque and other byproducts irritate the gums. It makes them swollen, tender, and more likely to bleed. Periodontitis is stage two. The gum tissue starts deteriorating as it detaches from the teeth forming pockets around the roots. These pockets can have a depth up to 7 millimeters. Finally, Advanced Periodontitis can set in. Tooth pockets get deeper as the severe gum recession leads to bone loss impacting your total well-being. Depending on how quickly and destructive your case is determines if surgical or non-surgical treatment is the best option for you.

Common Risk Factors of Periodontal Disease

  • Genetics – it’s hereditary and some of us are just unlucky! While you may be more susceptible to periodontitis, having a good oral hygiene routine with regular dental visits can help your smile stay healthy. Talk to us about finding the right balance for your needs.
  • Health – underlying medical conditions like diabetes and Crohn’s disease, as well as lowered immunity from illnesses and treatments often affect gum tissue. Medications, hormonal changes and obesity are also culprits and should be discussed.
  • Bad Habits – chewing on ice, not brushing or flossing daily and using tobacco are the most common behavior changes we encourage you to ditch. However, substance abuse and a diet lacking in vitamin C will also impact your smile.
  • Stress – it’s inevitable. But keep an eye on exactly how much it’s weighing you down. High levels or chronic stress can lead to poor hygiene habits. Anxiety can also lower your immune system from effectively fighting off bacteria that causes gingivitis (stage 1).

When to Seek Help

Common red flags of gum disease include:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Swollen or tender gums
  • Gums look bright red
  • Teeth wiggle

There’s no home remedy to cure gum disease. If not stopped quickly, serious damage to your gum and supporting bone will require much more aggressive treatment to save your teeth. Only professional treatment can help, so call today for a consultation (952) 920-9209.

Dr. Thomas Hoover, Dr. Neil Covin, and Dr. Satya Molleti
3401 Wooddale Avenue South
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Phone: (952) 920-9209

Posted in Frenectomy, Periodontal

Who Needs a Frenectomy?

Before the “who”, let’s start with the “what”— what’s a frenectomy? The short answer: a frenectomy is a minor dental procedure where excessive gum tissue is removed. Specifically gum tissue around the gum line. A frenectomy can be performed on one of two areas in the mouth: the lingual frenum or the labial frenum. Both are common and highly effective.

Lingual Frenectomy

The lingual frenum is beneath the tongue. Depending on growth, you’re likely just fine or may be a bit tongue tied. This is when the lingual frenum is tight enough to impede speech, and is really most common in children. In cases like these, having a lingual frenectomy will loosen your tongue to a greater range of motion allowing for clearer speaking. In some cases, it will also improve appetite if the excessive tissue was hindrance when eating.

Labial Frenectomy

The second type of frenectomy is on the labial frenum. It is much more visible as it’s the skin that’s attached to the middle of your upper gums. If there’s excess, it will pull your gums away from the bone. This often causes a gap between the two front teeth along with gum recession. If you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, you may be recommended to have a frenectomy to help close gaps in your smile zone. While denture patients may consider the procedure to have a more secure fit, as the frenum may rub against the prosthetic causing discomfort.

Am I A Candidate for a Frenectomy?Frenectomy - image

A frenectomy is a quick procedure that can take as little as 15-minutes to fix a life-long problem. As with any dental treatment, we can only be sure you’re a candidate based on your unique case. If you’re tongue tied, feel like your tongue has limited range of motion, getting ready for orthodontic treatment, or if you have dentures, call for a consultation.

Dr. Thomas Hoover, Dr. Neil Covin, and Dr. Satya Molleti
3401 Wooddale Avenue South
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Phone: (952) 920-9209

Posted in dental implants, Oral Surgery, Periodontal

Sinus Lift: what is it and do you need one?

A sinus lift is recommended when there is not enough bone height in the upper jaw or not enough room between sinuses for dental implants to be placed. The surgery adds necessary bone to the jaw and the sinuses on either side of your nose to build a stronger foundation in preparation for dental implants. The sinus membrane is lifted by a dental specialist (oral surgeon, endodontist or periodontist) to make room for the bone transplant.

Do I Need a Sinus Lift? Maybe…

shutterstock_133240190You may be a candidate for a sinus lift if you have bone loss due to periodontitis or resorption of bone after a prolonged period of having missing teeth (sunken jaw). It’s often necessary in these circumstances to augment the existing bone in the jaw in preparation for dental implants. The donor bone may come from your own body or other medically appropriate substitute. If the bone comes from your own body, it is most often taken from your hip or tibia. You will have x-rays taken to determine the anatomy of your jaw and sinuses, as well as a CT scan to accurately measure the height and width of your existing bone.

How’s a Sinus Lift Done?

The actual sinus lift procedure starts with your dental specialist creating an incision in the back of your mouth to reveal the bone, raising the sinus membrane up and away from your jaw. Then a small, circular shaped hole in the bone is opened. Granules of the bone graft are packed into this hole, and the tissue will then be closed with stitches.

Aftercare Instructions for Sinus Lift

don't sneezeAfter the procedure it is important to avoid blowing your nose or sneezing forcefully. These place you at risk for loosening the graft and stitches. You’ll have a saline wash to keep the inner lining of your nose wet, as well as an antimicrobial mouthwash that helps prevent infection at the incision site. Pain meds will be prescribed as will antibiotics. Be sure to complete the full round of antibiotics.

After a sinus lift, contact us if swelling or pain gets worse over time. Should bleeding not stop after two days or if the blood is bright red and continuous, your bone graft may have become dislodged, call us immediately. Also let us know if you develop a fever as this could be a sign of infection. The healing process generally takes between four to nine months. This allows the bone graft to mesh with your bone, and after it’s healed, you will be ready for your dental implants.

If you are interested in dental implants or have questions about the sinus lift procedure, call us today at (952) 920-92

 

Dr. Thomas Hoover, Dr. Neil Covin, and Dr. Satya Molleti
3401 Wooddale Avenue South
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Phone: (952) 920-9209

Posted in gum disease, oral health, Periodontal

Periodontics and Untreated Cavities in the US

shutterstock_14313997With the vast advancements in the dental field this last decade, it may be surprising to learn that untreated cavities stemming from gum disease are still a prevalent and persistent issue for many people in the United States. More than one in five Americans has untreated cavities and periodontitis, according to Dr. Bruce Dye, an epidemiologist at the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “It appears that we haven’t been able to make any significant strides during the last decade to reduce untreated cavities” (Dye.) 

How do cavities relate to periodontal health?

shutterstock_125978177Bacterial plaque continually accumulates on your teeth at the gum line. The same bacterial acids that destroy tooth enamel can cause an infection of your gum tissue and the bone surrounding your teeth. When the plaque is not fully removed, it hardens in to tartar – giving the bacteria a place to thrive, in turn leading to cavities and gum disease that gradually breaks down tooth and bone.

Mother Daughter BrushingYou can reduce your odds of developing gum disease and cavities through engaging in healthy lifestyle choices. Practicing good dental hygiene by regularly brushing and flossing is essential.   Limiting sugary drinks and unhealthy snacks that feed the bacteria that lead to tooth decay and periodontitis is another controllable element in cavity and gum disease prevention.  Regular periodontal cleanings are also paramount. When problems are identified and treated early, it prevents the necessity for further costly and invasive procedures.  If you are experiencing sensitivity or pain, schedule an appointment today.

Dr. Thomas Hoover, Dr. Neil Covin, and Dr. Satya Molleti
3401 Wooddale Avenue South
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Phone: (952) 920-92

Posted in gum disease, Uncategorized

Do You Have a Dental Disorder?

The range of possible dental disorders is wide and some are more easily recognized than others. It could be a bit perplexing to consider you may have a dental disorder without realizing it, but it’s actually more common than you might think. Some disorders have obvious symptoms that may have you running to our office. Others can be more subtle. Do you feel tired, easily irritable, or have difficulty focusing? Do you have facial soreness or pain? Surprisingly, these may be the result of a dental disorder. Our goal is to educate our patients on common and uncommon symptoms that may be a sign to visit our office and receive the required care to remedy these conditions.

shutterstock_115032628-VECTOR

A dental disorder is a disruption of your body’s natural process relating to your oral health. Despite its origins, it is important to understand symptoms may be experienced elsewhere in the body. For this reason, many suffer from ailments they don’t consider relevant to tell their dentist. However, as we are a medical provider we encourage you to share things that may not seem related – you never know! Here are a few to keep on the lookout, so you can better identify signs should something be amiss.

Redness and swelling of the gums may indicate the presence of gingivitis, or early-stage gum disease. Left untreated, it can progress into full blown periodontitis that can threaten your smile and even cause tooth loss. Bleeding from the gums, tooth mobility, and soreness are all signs of periodontitis and should be checked.

Simple bad breath, or halitosis, is very common among adults and teens. While it usually isn’t cause for too much concern, we understand it can weigh on your self-esteem. We care about your health and happiness, and would love to work with you to address the root of the issue. Restoring healthy smiles is what we do; restoring confidence is a happy side effect.

Additionally, a dry mouth may not seem like a dire situation. However, if your mouth constantly feels dry it can lead to an increased risk of tooth decay. Saliva plays an important role in ridding your mouth of bacteria, it also aids in digestion meaning it can evolve into issues that transcend the health of your smile.

Dentist Looking Glass Teeth

While scary to confront, oral growths are a condition that can emerge as serious. It is possible for oral growths to be completely benign and harmless, but in other cases they can be the beginning stages of cancer. For this reason it’s important a medical professional diagnose and treat the growths accordingly. Even if you are certain it’s harmless (for example, perhaps you suffered trauma to the face that injured your mouth), it’s still worth an appointment to ensure you’re not at an increased risk for infection or other potential issues.

We understand some conditions may seem complex. Rest assured we are here to work with you to find a solution to your unique needs. If you feel one or more of these conditions may apply to you or a family member, call our office to begin seeking relief today. We are here for you.­­

Dr. Thomas Hoover, Dr. Neil Covin, and Dr. Satya Molleti
3401 Wooddale Avenue South
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Phone: (952) 920-920