I started drinking coffee about twenty years ago. Doing some quick math, that makes about… 14,600 cups since I started my morning caffeine habit. And you know what? I don’t regret a single sip — but it sure hasn’t done the shade of my teeth any favors. We can’t do anything to prevent teeth from darkening with age, but thankfully, dentists like Drs. Christopher Holland and Chrysalis Heinkel can help to take the years off a smile with safe, effective teeth whitening in San Antonio. Keep reading to learn more about the amazing in-office brightening treatment you can find at New Image Dentistry: the Zoom 2! professional whitening system.
December 11, 2015
November 12, 2015
Choosing a dentist isn’t easy — here are some tips you can keep in mind to make choosing your San Antonio dentist simple this fall.
November 3, 2015
It’s the day of your dental appointment, and your heart beat is elevated, hands are sweating, and suddenly there is a laundry list of things you need to do instead. Dental anxiety affects a surprising number of patients every year, and is the second most cited reason for avoiding oral health care. At New Image Dentistry, we pride ourselves on offering patients gentle, expert dental services in a comfortable and inviting environment, but for some patients, even the most relaxing environment isn’t enough to reduce stress or anxiety. For those patients, we offer a variety of sedation dentistry options, so even the most anxious patient can relax and receive the dental care they deserve.
September 15, 2015
Flipping through the radio on my way to work the other morning, I heard something important that I wanted to share with you all. It was about how our sleep can affect our heart health — and they concluded that poor sleep habits, even at a young age, can put you at a higher risk for heart disease later on. Good sleep habits, on the other hand, can help develop a healthy heart. You may be wondering why you’re reading about sleep and heart health on your favorite dentists’ blog, but I want you to know that the connection between sleep, the mouth and your heart health are all closely intertwined. It’s estimated that 22 million Americans suffer from some form of sleep apnea — a condition which can cause severely interrupted sleep — and the problem, perhaps surprisingly, actually lies within the mouth. Read on to learn more about the condition from your San Antonio sleep apnea dentist.
June 26, 2014
Periodontal Disease and Diabetes
If you have diabetes, you know the disease can harm your eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart and other important systems in the body. Did you know it can also cause problems in your mouth? More than 9% of the adult population has diabetes, and the incidence and prevalence is increasing each year. The relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease has been extensively researched for more than 50 years. The most recent evidence based findings suggest that diabetics have a higher than normal risk of developing periodontal or gum disease. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gum and bone that hold the teeth in place. In advanced stages, it can lead to painful chewing problems and tooth loss. Like any infection, gum disease can make it harder to keep your blood sugar under control.
Patients with diabetes and periodontal disease have two chronic conditions that affect each other requiring more frequent dental evaluations and consistent monitoring. Thickening of blood vessels is a complication of diabetes that may increase risk for gum disease. Blood vessels deliver oxygen and nourishment to body tissues, including the mouth, and carry away the tissues’ waste products. Diabetes causes blood vessels to thicken, which slows the flow of nutrients and the removal of harmful wastes. This can weaken the resistance of gum and bone tissue to infection.
Studies show that controlling blood sugar levels lowers the risk of some complications of diabetes, such as eye and heart disease and nerve damage. Scientists believe many complications, including gum disease, can be prevented with good diabetic glycemic control. Poor brushing and flossing habits allow dental plaque — a sticky film of germs — to build up on teeth. The gums can become red and swollen and may bleed during tooth brushing or flossing. This is called gingivitis, the first stage of periodontal disease. Gingivitis can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing and regular cleanings by your hygienist. If it is not stopped, gingivitis could lead to the more serious type of gum disease called periodontitis.
At New Image Dentistry we strive to provide you the best evidence based dental care. If you are a diabetic patient we recommend taking a yearly panoramic radiograph to check the bone level surrounding your teeth and more frequent hygiene visits every 3 to 4 months.
April 24, 2014
Prophy: This procedure is performed on patients without any periodontal disease or history of disease. It includes removal of plaque calculus on the structure of the tooth above the gum line with hand instruments or Cavitron Jet-Polishing system. Routine cleanings should be performed on patients at a minimum of every six months, or more frequently for medical indications such as diabetes. A prophy is intended to control local irritant factors and helps reduce the risk of cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal disease.
Periodontal Maintenance: This procedure is done after periodontal therapy (“deep cleaning”, scaling and root planning, or periodontal surgery). The primary objectives are the prevention of new disease as well as the prevention of recurrence of disease. The maintenance phase represents supportive continuing care. Periodontal maintenance will continue at varying intervals, determined by the clinical evaluation of the dentist/hygienist for the LIFE of the dentition or implant replacements to maintain the progress that has been made. New Image Dentistry elects to treat periodontal maintenance aggressively to optimize your oral health and overall well-being. You can expect the hygienist to ask you to start with a pre-procedural chlorhexidine gluconate rinse (0.12%), followed by removal of bacterial plaque and calculus above and below the gum line, site specific scaling and root planning where indicated, chlorhexidine gluconate irrigation, fluoride treatment and flossing of the teeth. If new or recurring periodontal disease appears, additional diagnostic and treatment procedures must be considered. You will receive a summary of your periodontal status upon completion of your visit with Vicki or Faith.
March 28, 2014
It is imperative that patients communicate any recent surgical procedures with the dental health team.
If you have undergone a recent medical procedure or surgery your physician may want you to wait a certain amount of time prior to seeking dental care. During dental procedures instruments are used that may cause bleeding and mobilization of bacteria. Post operatively you may be vulnerable to infection. In order to protect you against the possibility of complications an antibiotic regimen may be prescribed for all dental appointments in the future. This is especially true for joint replacement, spine or neck surgery (especially fusion), organ transplant, and renal shunt procedures. Specific cardiac conditions included on this list are prosthetic valves, history of endocarditis, and some congenital heart disease. In addition to antibiotic treatment, patients on blood thinners may require adjustments in preparation for certain dental procedures.
For these reasons New Image Dentistry requires a signed medical clearance from your treating physician prior to dental care. We have forms available in the office to fax directly to your physician to facilitate the process.
June 20, 2012
Laser use in dentistry is on the rise. Depending on the laser in use, one can perform a range of procedures from periodontal therapy to oral surgery. We are excited at New Image Dentistry to soon be able to offer the use of laser medicine to treat periodontal disease. This cutting edge technology can be used in addition to non-surgical periodontal therapy like scaling/root planing, irrigation, and placing antibiotic microspheres like Arestin.
Lasers kill bacteria; since periodontal disease is a bacterial infection we can use lasers to kill the “bad” pathogens without affecting the surrounding healthy tooth structures. The “bad” pathogens secrete toxins that break down the periodontal tissue and lead to bone loss. After a complete periodontal examination and full mouth series of x-rays, the dentist and hygienist can determine what treatment is best for each patient.
If periodontal treatment is recommended it will usually consist of scaling and root planing, irrigating the pockets with an antimicrobial rinse and placing an antibiotic called Arestin. About 2 weeks after the initial treatment, the hygienist can use a laser to perform “laser pocket decontamination”. This decontamination should be done three times with 7-10 days in between each treatment. The hygienist uses the laser on a low setting on the outside of the periodontal pocket first and then on the inside to create a bigger kill zone of bacteria. Laser technology may revolutionize how we practice dentistry and approach periodontal disease.
May 16, 2012
If you snore, it could be a sign of sleep apnea. When you suffer from sleep apnea, your throat muscles and tongue collapse onto the back of your throat, block your airway, and make you stop breathing repeatedly all night. Luckily, your dentist may be able to help. A dentist can screen patients and determine if signs of sleep apnea are present. If signs are present, the dentist will direct you to your family doctor or refer you to a physician who deals with sleep apnea who will then conduct an overnight sleep study to confirm the diagnosis and severity. Based on that study, a sleep specialist will be able to tell you if a CPAP device ( a mask connected to a tube that gently blows pressurized air through your airway to keep your throat open as you sleep) or an oral appliance will work best. That’s where your dentist comes in. For an oral appliance, you will be referred to a dentist familiar with sleep apnea. Oral appliances often work best with people who are not obese and have mild to moderate sleep apnea according to Ferguson, MD. Oral appliances also may help patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea who refuse or cannot tolerate CPAP treatment, or as a device to be used when one is traveling. If you choose to have an oral device, one can be custom made for you by your dentist to help keep your airway open when you sleep. Although the CPAP device is still the gold standard of care, studies have shown that some people prefer the oral devices and tend to use them more. New Image Dentistry does fabricate custom oral devices and will be happy to be an integral part in treating your sleep apnea needs. Call today!
April 17, 2012
April is oral cancer awareness month. Over 30,000 cases of some form of oral or head and neck cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2012 resulting in more than 8,000 deaths. Oral cancer is now the 6th most common cancer that is often detected late in development. The dental community is making a concerted effort to increase awareness of oral cancer since public awareness of the disease remains very low. Although oral cancer has a multifaceted etiology, the major risk factors are tobacco use, especially cigarette smoking, and alcohol consumption. Tobacco use remains the single most important and preventable cause of this disease. Since early warning signs that alert health professional to presence of disease are often not visible, early detection is difficult. At New Image Dentistry, we have the latest technology in oral cancer screening with the VELscope Vx. The VELscope Vx is the most powerful tool available for assisting in the discovery of oral abnormalities. A simple 2 minute test can alert New Image Dentistry of any tissue abnormalities that may require further evaluation. For more information, go to oralcancerfoundation.org.