All posts by Dr. Charles R. Kimes

Mask Mouth and Oral Health: In the Shadow of COVID -19

“Mask Mouth” Sparks Dental Concerns

It’s been almost a full year since COVID-19 first appeared in the United States, and in that time life behind a mask has become the “new normal” for the vast majority of people both in the United States and abroad. While many of us wait to receive our vaccination, it is still important to maintain proper social distancing and continue to wear in any and all public spaces. However, there are other things that need to be assessed in the meantime, and unfortunately one issue has become very apparent to both the American Dental Association and us, here at Overland Park Dentistry.

As reported in various media outlets, in addition to the heath complications related to the COVID-19 outbreak, many dentists both in the U.S. and U.K. have begun reporting a startling rise in the number of oral health issues among their patients. Obviously, it’s no coincidence that this steady increase was first noticed when a nationwide mask mandate was first requested during the past year, and its certainly no coincidence that this number is continuing to increase to this day! The practice of wearing a mask in public may help contain the spread of the virus, but alas these same masks are indeed the cause of this dilemma now known as “Mask Mouth.” In the following sections, we will elaborate on what causes face masks to affect your oral health, what signs and symptoms to watch out for, and finally what you can do to prevent mask mouth from become a problem for you!

Mask Mouth: Causes

Sure, a term like “Mask Mouth” might sound a bit little silly at first, but the affects of mask mouth are certainly nothing to snicker at! Obviously tooth decay and periodontal disease are two of the most potentially serious oral health issues that can affect a person, and if left untreated, mask mouth can lead to such conditions. Surprisingly, the key triggers for causing mask mouth are relatively mundane and seeming easy to avoid. Keep in mind however, sometimes it’s the most basic things that are easiest to overlook!

Learn more about How Oral Bacteria Can Impact Your Pretty Smile

Dry Mouth:  

Dry mouth or Xerostomia, is perhaps the most basic trigger for mask mouth. Xerostomia occurs when your salivary glands fail to produce necessary amount of saliva to keep your mouth moist and might be indicative of or result in dehydration. Because saliva helps protect teeth from harmful bacteria, the lack of saliva will create a much more fertile breading ground for bacteria, thus causing the gums to become infected and the teeth to decay.

Rapid Breathing:

When a person breathes naturally, they are generally taking slow controlled breaths using their diaphragm. However, recent studies have shown that when wearing a facemask, many people tend to take accelerated shallow breaths, thereby reducing the saliva in their mouth.

Poor Air Quality:

When you have a mask constricting your breathing zone, the concentrated carbon dioxide forces you to reuse and recycle the air that you breathe. While the recycled carbon dioxide is not particularly harmful, it will heighten the level of acidic buildup within your body, ultimately putting you at a much greater risk of developing tooth decay and other health issues.

Mask Mouth: Signs and Symptoms

Foul Breath:

Perhaps one of the most common complaints with regards to wearing a mask, is the fact that many people find themselves bothered by smell of their own breath. Indeed halitosis (or bad breath) is a frustrating problem; however, this also might be a sign that your mask is affecting your oral health. In this situation we would highly encourage you to reevaluate your both your oral hygiene and dietary habits. Remember, wearing a facemask can exasperate all kinds of inner-oral issues, no matter how small!

Related Article: How to Stop Bad Breath: It’s a Stinky Situation

Chronic Dry Mouth:

As mentioned in the previous section, dry mouth is a telltale sign that your facemask could be having an adverse effect on your oral health. If you find your mouth is feeling dry on a consistent basis, you ARE in greater jeopardy of developing additional problems and therefore should address this issue right away!

Gum Inflammation:

As a progressive infection within the gumline, gum disease typically begins with inflammation. If your gums are dark pink, tender, or have a tendency to bleed, then you have likely developed gingivitis. Stemming the excess bacteria, plaque will slowly begin to build up in your mouth until it reaches the gum tissue. Once the gum tissue has become infected you will experience swollen and bleeding gums, which are hallmark signs of gingivitis. If the condition is left untreated however, the infection will eventually progress into full blown gum disease.  

Related Article: Dental Health Awareness: Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Mask Mouth: Solutions                      

Washing or Replacing Masks:

To put it simply, a dirty mask makes a dirty mouth. By repeatedly using the same mask over and over, you are giving bacteria a place to survive and thrive! We recommend washing and rotating several cloth masks at a time, or simply throwing away disposable masks after each use.

Keeping Hydrated:

Sure, it can be easy to forget sometimes, but we cannot stress enough how necessary it is to drink plenty of water while using a mask for a prolonged period. Obviously, water does the body good in more ways than one, so don’t deprive yourself!

Proper Oral Hygiene:

With facemasks continuing to be required for daily use, proper oral hygiene is now more important than ever. So please take the time to reassess your daily hygiene habits. While taking a few extra minutes twice a day to thoroughly brush and floss your teeth might not seem like it makes much of a difference, believe us … IT REALLY DOES! Also keep in mind that by brushing between meals, you are really doing your teeth a huge favor. Much like taking a refreshing shower after work, a mid-day brushing really helps rejuvenate your smile AND freshen your breath.

Related Article: Oral Health and Hygiene: Keep Your Immune System Strong

Diet:

This might be more of a suggestion, rather than an actual solution, if dry mouth and bad breath are really proving to be a problem for you then perhaps you should consider altering your diet. While it doesn’t have to be permanent, temporary dietary changes could be a key factor in reducing these issues. Commonly used substances such as caffeine or alcohol for instance, both expedite the rate of dehydration, thus worsening the affects of mask mouth. By limiting your consumption of sugary, alcoholic, acetic, caffeinated, or tobacco-based products, you can diminish such concerns in a major way.

Routine Dental Exams:

In a world where masks are mandatory, it’s imperative for the health and future of your smile that you continue to receive dental exams every 6 months. By giving Dr. Kimes and the staff at Overland Park Dentistry the chance to assess your current oral health and make note of any changes or concerns.

Related Article: Dental Safety: Is it Safe to Visit the Dentist?

Let’s Flatten the Curve!

Obviously, wearing a mask can be a hassle, and we realize that the issues caused by mask mouth are an inconvenience; however, right now we’renot advocating that you stop wearing a mask (when mandated)!

As we have been told, wearing a face mask isimportant for the health and safety of both you and the public.

While mask mouth is legitimate health concern, and we considered it our obligation to make you aware of this issue, please remember that by attending routine dental checkups and adhering to solutions and guidelines mentioned above, mask mouth can be successfully prevented. If you have any concerns about mask mouth or are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, please contact our offices.

From all of us here at Overland Dentistry stay safe and Keep smiling!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with preventativerestorative or cosmetic dentistry. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Cosmetic Dental Options to Enhance Your Smile

Goodbye 2020 … HELLO 2021!!

2020 Is finally over and it’s the dawn of a new day, and while 2020 wasn’t the year many of us hoped it would be, with 2021 comes the promise and encouragement of a fresh, new start! How do cosmetic dental options fit into New Year Resolutions? Let’s dive in…

For many of us, a fresh start can mean a multitude of things; maybe 2021 will be the year you receive that big job opportunity that you’ve worked so hard for, or maybe 2021 will be the year that you finally realize your fitness goals and attain that toned physique that you’ve been dreaming of.

Indeed, having a set list of new year’s resolutions is a fantastic way to start off a new year. However, in this article, we would like to discuss an equally as important, but very personal goal that you might want to consider accomplishing this year as well.

Don’t Hide Your Smile

While it might not come as a big surprise to hear that there are many people unhappy with their smile, what you may not know is that one third of Americans today, report being dissatisfied or even self-conscious about their teeth! Regardless, whether it’s the color, shape, or alignment of your teeth; if your smile is not up to par, it can certainly be a major source of embarrassment or anxiety.

If you or anyone you know of struggles with such a dilemma, then perhaps 2021 is the year to change that. In this article we will discuss the numerous cosmetic dental options and procedures that we offer at Overland Park Dentistry, and how these procedures can help you enjoy 2021 with a smile!

Cosmetic Dentistry Options: The Six to Fix!

Although “cosmetic dentistry” is sometimes written off as strictly appearance-based dentistry, in fact it is something of an umbrella term. Cosmetic Dentistry encompasses multiple procedures, which are performed for a wide variety of different purposes. These purposes, (while cosmetic in nature) can improve one’s oral heath, and overall quality of life, not to mention boost self-confidence.

In the section below, we list six different cosmetic dental options, and how they can help enhance and improve your smile.

1. Professional Teeth Whitening

As you may have read in our previous blogs, professional teeth whitening is a relatively simple procedure that is performed to diminish any staining or discoloration that your teeth may have. As we age, our teeth sustain a certain amount of wear tear over the years which will give them a worn-down, dull appearance.  However, by having your teeth professionally whitened, you can reverse this process and restore your smile to its youthful glory!

Related Article: Brighten Your Smile with Professional Teeth Whitening

2. Invisalign Invisible Braces

As one of the premier services provided by Overland Park Dentistry, Invisalign is an innovative new technology that has changed many of the tried-and-true methods in both dentistry and orthodontics.  Invisalign are transparent custom fitted aligners that are designed to straighten and ultimately realign your teeth. The purpose of the Invisalign device is not only to improve the aesthetic appearance of your teeth, but also to correct any jaw alignment issues or irregularities, such as underbite, overbite, crossbite, and more.

Related Article: Invisible Braces: Invisalign vs. Smile Direct Club

3. Porcelain Veneers

Despite a seemingly simplistic appearance, dental veneers are designed for the complex task of not only creating a seemingly pristine smile, but to simultaneously shield your teeth from hazardous outside elements as well. Appearing as a clear, soft, porcelain covering, veneers can be fitted on your upper and lower teeth, thereby creating a sort of protective skin that surrounds the outer layer of your teeth.

Related Article: Don’t Hide Your Smile: Smile BIG with Porcelain Veneers

4. Dental Implants

While not a treatment that is typically associated with cosmetic dentistry, it’s obvious that implants can provide significant cosmetic improvement to your smile if you are missing a tooth. Typically made from titanium, dental implants are screw-like devices which are attached to the crown via a connector and can be designed to support single or multiple crowns, ultimately resulting in a sturdy replacement that looks and functions like natural teeth.

Related Article: Tooth Replacement with Dental Implants

5. Dental Crowns

Dental crowns (or fillings) are not necessarily applied for strictly cosmetic purposes; however, you cannot deny the cosmetic benefits that a dental crown can provide. As you probably know, a crown is a composite cap that is fitted over a damaged or decayed tooth after it has been treated and sealed; this completes treatment of a large cavity, root canal or dental implant. Designed to resemble the tooth’s previous appearance, a crown is created to restore the tooth cosmetically, and protect it from incurring any future damage.

Related Article: Reasons You May Need a Dental Crown

6. Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is an easy and relatively inexpensive procedure in which a composite resin is applied to a damaged or decayed tooth, ultimately to repair and restore the tooth to its former self. While bonding is generally used to repair chips and cracks in teeth, it can also be done to fill in troublesome gaps, close spaces between teeth, and reshape teeth.

Related Article: Teeth Bonding: What You Need to Know!

A New Year, A New You!

With an entire new year in front of us, 2021 has the potential to be whatever you want it to be! So, if you find yourself feeling self-conscious about your smile, why not make this the year for a change?

Please contact our offices at Overland Park Dentistry, so we can help keep you smiling all year long!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with preventativerestorative or cosmetic dentistry. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Introducing… Angel Hale, DDS at Overland Park Dentistry

Dr Angel Hale at Overland Park Dentistry

Just A Small-Town Girl

As one of the newest members to our staff, Angel Hale, DDS is a welcome addition to our offices here at Overland Park Dentistry! With her passion for dentistry and dedication to helping others, there is little wonder as to why Dr. Hale has quickly developed a strong following amongst our loyal patients. However, while Dr. Hale might be a fresh face to the patients of Overland Park Dentistry, she is anything but a stranger to our offices!

For Angel Hale, her connection to Overland Park Dentistry can be traced back to Sedalia Missouri, as she is the daughter of none other than Serenna Thornton, one of our most well respected and longest-tenured employees. Growing up around professional dentistry, young Angel was greatly inspired by Sedalia-based periodontist and close family friend Dr. John W. Love, who at the age of nine sparked a desire in her to one day become a dentist herself. Throughout her youth Angel kept in touch with Dr. Love, often assisting him with various tasks at his office.

“As a kid I was always eager to help out Dr. Love,” she laughed, “When I got older I would sometimes try to come up with excuses to go help him instead of going to class!” Thanks to Dr. Love’s encouragement, and her mother’s longstanding relationship with Overland Park Dentistry, Angel made the decision to pursue her dream!

Movin On Up!

Upon graduating from High School, Dr. Hale attended University of Central Missouri, where she received her Bachelor of Science degree, before going on to complete her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s School of Dentistry in 2013. While extremely proud to have finally realized her life-long dream, and excited to be working in the Kansas City metropolitan area, Dr. Hale soon found herself feeling a bit homesick. However, with her career aspirations bringing her ever closer to the Overland Park area, Dr. Hale was struck by how much the city reminded her of her hometown of Sedalia.

“Overland Park is like Sedalia in so many ways,” says Dr. Hale, “Everyone seems to know each other and there is just such a homey feel to it.” Obviously with her mother Serenna still a loyal employee of Dr. Kimes, it seemed only natural to Dr. Hale, that she should find her rightful place alongside her mother and Dr. Kimes at Overland Park Dentistry.

Angel Hale, DDS – Joining the Team

Officially joining the staff in 2017, Angel Hale, DDS relocated to Overland Park and eagerly dove into her new position on the team!

“Teamwork is everything at Overland Park Dentistry, everyone helps out to make sure the patient has the best experience possible.”  Indeed, Dr. Hale’s energy and enthusiasm instantly made her a perfect fit with the team at Overland Park Dentistry, thus earning her respect and admiration of her colleagues. Even so, what has stood out more than anything is Dr. Hale’s undeniable devotion to helping patients.

“Taking care of people is without doubt, the best part of dentistry!” she exclaimed, “helping patients get out of pain but also educating them as well, because there are many misconceptions about the procedures that dentists perform, I like to put those myths to bed whenever I get the chance.” Because of this, Dr. Hale says she considers root canals to be one of the most rewarding treatments that she is able to perform for patients.

“Despite popular belief, root canals are actually meant to alleviate pain, not cause it,” she says. “I think it’s very very important to make sure all patients understand that.”

Here to Make You Smile!

Now residing in her new home of Overland Park along with husband Steven Hale and newborn son, Mavrick, Dr. Angel Hale brings her passion and expertise to the patients of Overland Park Dentistry with the goal of making them smile! If you or someone you know need quality treatment from a world-class dental staff, then please come visit Dr. Hale and the rest of our staff here at Overland Park Dentistry.

Until next time … keep smiling!

Local dentists, Charles R. Kimes, DDS, Angel Hale, DDS and the team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with preventativerestorative or cosmetic dentistry. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Dental Insurance Benefits Expire: Use It OR Lose It

As most of us would probably agree, 2020 has been a year rife with unexpected twists and turns and while the year might be winding down, it’s important to remember we still have a couple months left to go! With so many things going on these days, indeed it is easy to forget or simply overlook something as seemingly insignificant as a dental appointment. However, this is an ill-advised misstep as any dental insurance benefits expire that have been left unused will ultimately be lost! As unfair as it may seem, the simple fact is that the vast majority of insurance providers will almost always automatically reset their insurance benefits to their defaults at the beginning of each new year, regardless of whether these benefits have been fully utilized or not. By allowing these unused insurance benefits to expire, you are not only missing out on a great opportunity to save money, but you may be inadvertently putting yourself at risk as well!

Routine Exams: More That They Appear!

As mentioned previously, while it may be easy to dismiss the insurance benefits of such a seeming minor procedure such as a basic dental exam, but the truth is that routine checkups are perhaps one of the most beneficial procedures not only your oral health, but your overall health too.

What many media outlets fail to adequately publicize is that while receiving a standard dental checkup, a patient is also simultaneously undergoing a simple but highly important dental procedure, in which we discussed at length in previous blogs. Check out this article about Oral Cancer Screenings: Oral Cancer Screenings are the Dental Industry’s Best Kept Secret. As you may surmise oral cancer is perhaps one of the most devastating progressive illnesses known to modern medicine, and while much progress has been made in light of the illness becoming a national epidemic, oral cancer is still responsible for approximately 7,500 deaths in the U.S. annually.

Related Articles:

How Can Oral Bacteria Impact Your Pretty Smile?

Dental Health: Poor Oral Health is Risky Business

Fortunately, in an effort to combat this crisis, dentists everywhere have received specific training to recognize and identify any sighs of early onset oral cancer, in order to address the condition before it is able to progress. To properly assess oral cancer or any of the other oral health associated illnesses, dental practitioners generally recommend minimum of two routine check-ups per year with an approximant six-month gap between each appointment.

As such, the majority of insurance providers have plans to provide coverage for exactly this, (two yearly appointments) and at Overland Park Dentistry we accept the coverage plans of many of the most well-known and commonly used providers. Aetna, Cigna, Delta, Guardian, Humana, MetLife, and United Healthcare are all among our accepted providers, and we can provide all necessary forms and paperwork for you upon your next scheduled visit!

Restorative Treatment

Unlike basic exams and preventative oral cancer screenings, restoration-based treatment are the more advanced procedures that result from sustaining kind of damage or decay to your teeth. Treatments such as crowns, bondings, and implants all fall under the umbrella of restorative dentistry, and while they will typically be covered by insurance providers to a varying degree, keep in mind that the more advanced dental procedures can require an extensive bit of work on the part of your dentist and sometimes require multiple appointments to properly assess.

Learn more about Restorative Dentistry Treatments HERE.

While certainly Dr. Kimes and his staff would be willing to help you come up with an arrangement that best allows you to maximize your insurance benefits while receiving the treatment needed, this window of opportunity will only stay open for a bit longer. Keep in mind, while it might be easy to put dental care on the back burner due to its slow progressing nature, oral health issues can be a slippery slope that CAN become very serious if neglected.

Don’t Delay!

As 2020 finally winds to a close, it’s clear that a new day is on the horizon, and while we may be anxious to ring in the new year, it’s important not to forget about the unused dental insurance benefits expire on December 31st. At Overland Park Dentistry, we want you to get the most bang for your buck! Therefore, if you (like most people) rely on your dental insurance to help cover the cost your dental care, we highly encourage you take this opportunity to maximize your insurance now benefits now before they are gone forever!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with preventativerestorative or cosmetic dentistry. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Sugar Affects Teeth: The Magic of Halloween!

In a world where COVID-19 remains a lingering public concern and endless political advertising dominates all media outlets, a little Halloween fun is perhaps just what the doctor ordered! Thankfully, with Halloween right around the corner, kids and parents alike will have a chance to let off a little steam and partake in the timeless fall tradition that we all know and love. However, while trick or treating is sure to put plenty of smiles on young faces, keeping those little smiles healthy can put a bit of a scare into parents this season!

Sure, a little candy is fine every now and then, but as parents; which ones could be harmful for kid’s teeth? As a frequently asked question for us here at Overland Park Dentistry, we believe it is a good idea for all parents to have a firm grasp on which types of candy to be on the lookout for during the Halloween season. Therefore, in this article we will discuss here how sugar affects teeth, as well as highlighting the worst types of candy for teeth and a few types of candy that might provide a healthier alternative instead!

Related Article: Oral Health and Hygiene: Keep Your Immune System Strong

Halloween Havoc: How Excess Sugar Can Harm Teeth

While It’s no secret that sugar is bad for teeth, how exactly sugar affects teeth is not something that everyone fully understands. Once sugar enters the mouth, it quickly interacts with the sticky film that surrounds your teeth, commonly known as plaque, thereby creating a chain-reaction. When sugar comes into contact with the plaque, it is absorbed by the bacteria within the plaque, thus releasing acid as a waste product. The acid produced will in turn, begin to dissolve the tooth’s enamel, ultimately causing the tooth to slowly decay.

Obviously, tooth decay is a progressive issue that often affects people more as they get older. However, it’s important to realize that children who develop oral health issues at a young age are likely to carry these issues along with them into adulthood, in which they are likely to worsen. This underscores the significance of instilling proper healthy oral hygiene and lifestyle habits amongst children as preventing any such issues before they occur is always the best route.

Related Article:

How Can Oral Bacteria Impact Your Pretty Smile?

Tooth Pain: What is Causing My Toothache?

Not all Halloween Candy is the same!

Although no candy is genuinely good for your teeth, its only natural to indulge in a few treats during Halloween! Nonetheless, it’s important to realize that some candy is considerably worse for teeth than others. In the list below we have compiled some types of candy that you should try to avoid and some that are healthier to enjoy based on how sugar affects teeth.

Sugar Affects Teeth: Candy to Avoid

  • Chewy Sweets: From gummy worms, to caramel chocolate and taffy, unquestionably some of the worst candy for your teeth has to be the chewy or gummy type of candy. As they are chewed, this sticky material covers your teeth, while proceeding to get stuck in any gap or crevice it can find.  This can lead to a (no pun intended) very sticky situation as removing the material can be quite difficult, however if the sugary substance is not removed, the cavity-causing bacteria will most certainly have ample opportunity to flourish.
  • Hard Candy: Certain types of hard candy, such as jawbreakers, jolly ranchers, or even lollipops, can prove to be problematic for a couple of reasons, the first and perhaps most obvious reason is the fact that biting down on hard surface of the candy may break or cause damage to the tooth. However, another less than obvious reason would be the simple fact that one would likely keep this candy in their mouth for a prolonged period of time, thus causing the excess sugar to get into your saliva, and continue to wash over and continuously coat your teeth. 
  • Sour Candy: Although increasingly popular among kids today, the highly acidic sour candy treats can easily weaken and damage the enamel of your teeth, thus making them more vulnerable to cavities

Sugar Affects Teeth: Candy to Enjoy

  • Milk or Dark Chocolate: As easily one of the most popular and beloved candy choices out there, regular chocolate is also a relatively smart choice regarding one’s teeth due to its ability to be easily removed. While particularly hard or frozen chocolate would certainly be an exception, regular milk chocolate treats are a perfectly safe candy choice, so long as your teeth are properly brushed afterwards.
  • Candy with Nuts: Believe it or not, candy bars with nuts can actually help break up the sticky resin that chewy or gummy candies leave behind. However, just remember not to put these bars in the refrigerator!
  • Sugarless Candy: Okay hear us out on this one! While sugar-free treats have gained something of an unpopular reputation among candy lovers as being a bit bland tasting and therefore less than satisfactory. In recent years however, this has changed as sugar-free candy has improved considerably by using sugar substitutes to become much more flavorful, and thereby much more enjoyable.

Overland Park Dentistry Can Help You Stay Cavity-Free This Halloween

There are few events more fun then Halloween, and at Overland Park Dentistry, we hope you and your kiddos get to enjoy yourselves during this season of thrills and chills! While we certainly advise a bit of caution when indulging in some of the treats listed above, perhaps the most important tidbits to remember are keeping up with proper oral hygiene habits and to practice a little good old-fashioned moderation!

From all of us here Overland Park Dentistry we wish you a happy and cavity-free Halloween, until next time keep smiling!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with preventativerestorative or cosmetic dentistry. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Reasons You May Need a Dental Crown

With a multitude of new types of technology coming into the industry at once, dental crowns (or fillings) continue to remain as one of the tried and true procedures that have come to define the dental profession over the years. However, despite this stellar reputation, crowns also remain a somewhat misunderstood commodity amongst the general public, with many patients unsure as to the reason for needing a dental crown.

Indeed, there are a number of situations in which crowns are necessary in restoring a patient’s smile. Therefore, in order to shed some light on the trusty dental crown, we will discuss some of the reasons why crowns are necessary, as well as highlighting some of the exciting new advancements in the modern dental crown.  

Dental Crowns: The Rundown

First, lets refresh your memory on just what exactly a dental crown is. As you probably know, a crown is a composite cap that is fitted over a damaged or decayed tooth after it has been treated and sealed. Designed to resemble the tooth’s previous appearance, a crown is created to restore the tooth cosmetically, and protect it from incurring any future damage. Once fully restored, the newly crowned tooth will become fully functional once again, with the crown ultimately providing a durable solution that will last for many years.

Related Article: How Can Oral Bacteria Impact Your Pretty Smile??

Reasons for a Dental Crown

As mentioned previously, there are numerous reasons for a dental crown and we’d like to explain why applying a crown to a tooth is required, some of these reasons are listed as follows:

  • Restoring the appearance of a damaged or severely decayed tooth
  • Holding a cracked or broken tooth together
  • Covering a dental implant
  • Concealing a deformed or misshapen tooth
  • Helping keep a dental bridge in place
  • Covering and protecting a tooth that has incurred significant loss

As you can see, one of the main reasons for a dental crown is if you have a tooth that is in need of repair. If that’s the case, you’re probably experiencing dental pain. Here’s an article about Tooth Pain and What May be Causing Your Toothache. If you’re experiencing any tooth pain, please contact us at Overland Park Dentistry to schedule an Emergency Dental Appointment.

CEREC Crown: A Crown for a New Era!

It’s often been said never too late to teach an old dog some new tricks, and when it comes to dental crowns this is certainly the case!  As you may have read in some of our previous blog entries, a new slew of cutting-edge technology has come to revolutionize the dental industry throughout the twenty-first century thus far. All these various types of technology have led to unprecedented growth within the dental industry and have led to a renewed sense of public interest in the profession.

Arguably what’s become one of the most popular new technologies to emerge in dentistry’s recent technology boom is what’s known as the “Chairside Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics” or CEREC crown.

Related Article: Receive a Same Day CEREC Crown

BEFORE CEREC Crown Technology:

Although the standard crown has proved itself as viable solution, the process of receiving a standard crown has always left much to be desired. When receiving a standard dental crown, the process requires at least two separate appointments, in which the patient would likely have to take time off work or adjust their schedules to accommodate.

Additionally, in waiting to receive a conventional crown, the patient would be given a temporary crown to wear between appointments. While certainly necessary in preventing future damage and providing a quick fix, the temporary crown has been unpopular with patients in the past, as they have been known to break easily, or sometimes to even fall out.

NEW CEREC Crown Technology at Overland Park Dentistry

Fortunately, thanks to the arrival of the CEREC crown at Overland Park Dentistry, this process of receiving a crown can now be completed in just ONE simple appointment! This is possible through the use of digital imaging, dentists now have the ability to scan the inside of your mouth to accurately pinpoint the precise dimensions of your new crown, and thereby create a near perfect replica of your natural tooth. With this newfound ability, the cumbersome temporary crown is no longer necessary thus eliminating the need for multiple appointments.

Here’s a guest blog that one of our patients submitted about her experience: My Same Day CEREC Crown Experience at Overland Park Dentistry.

Come See Us!

At Overland Park Dentistry, the CEREC crown has been a big hit, by successfully creating an elegant and convenient solution for our loyal patients. If you have sustained any damage to your teeth or have any questions about the CEREC crown or crowns in general, feel free to contact our offices.

Until next time keep on smiling!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with preventativerestorative or cosmetic dentistry. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Fan Favorite: Tooth Replacement with Dental Implants

Teeth are Indispensable

Obviously, your teeth are one of the most vital aspects of everyday life, whether it’s munching on your favorite snack or grinning ear to ear for a photo op, if you have one or several missing teeth, such a simple task becomes THAT much harder.

Fortunately, within the ever-expanding realm of dental technology, there are a variety of different ways to replace teeth that have been lost or significantly damaged. Many dentists will agree that tooth replacement with Dental implants are unquestionably the most effective method to replace a tooth, and if you meet the candidacy requirements, dental implants are generally your most viable option.

Dental Implants: The Best Option

The modern dental implant has become something of a fan favorite among the dental community for its ability to provide a cosmetically pleasing and durable solution for those in need of a permanent replacement. Hiding under your gumline, are what is known as your teeth’s roots. The roots keep your tooth anchored within its socket, while simultaneously connecting it to the nerves and blood vessels within the jaw, therefore essentially serving as your tooth’s life source. If a tooth is significantly (or entirely) destroyed however, then it is necessary to not only replace the tooth itself, but also its means of keeping itself in place. To achieve this, an implant platform is to be inserted within the jawbone, in order to create a base for the artificial tooth (or crown) to be held in place. Once in place, the platform and crown are connected via a small screw which can be designed to support one or several crowns, ultimately resulting in a sturdy replacement that looks and functions like natural teeth.

What Are the Candidacy Requirements?

As mentioned earlier, to receive a dental implant you do need to meet the candidacy requirements. While implants are typically the best solution for the majority of patients, it’s important realize that implants might not always be the right solution depending on a patient’s medical history. In the section below are several issues that could POSSIBLY disqualify a patient from receiving a tooth replacement with dental implants.

  1. Periodontitis: Also known as gum disease, periodontitis is an infection within the gumline which causes the gum tissue, teeth, and (in severe cases) jawbone to slowly deteriorate. Any patients suffering from periodontitis much have the condition treated prior to receiving implant surgery.
  2. Diabetes: While diabetes doesn’t automatically disqualify a patient from receiving a dental implant, the patient must have the condition under control, and are required to consult with a primary care physician before receiving the treatment.
  3. Smoking: Although smoking is personal choice, it’s important to realize that smoking does exponentially increase the risk of implant failure. Therefore, any patients receiving dental implants are strongly encouraged to quit.
  4. Youth/Pregnancy: Younger patients whose jaws might still be growing should wait until their jaw has fully developed before seeking implants. Likewise, women who are pregnant are also required to wait until after childbirth to receive treatment.
  5. Osteopenia: Patients with osteopenia suffer from low bone density and are generally not encouraged to receive dental implants. However, it should be mentioned that implants are sometimes possible in this scenario by way of bone grafting.
  6. Poor Overall Health: Although relatively minor, its important to understand that the dental implant process is a form of surgery and therefore a patent must be healthy enough to undergo the procedure. Therefore, if a patient has any additional underlying health issues or concerns that they are aware of, a proper assessment of such issues should be taken before any treatment can proceed.

Going Above and Beyond

While not all dental providers offer tooth replacements with dental implants, at Overland Park Dentistry we believe in going above and beyond for our patients. Therefore, as part of our restorative-based treatments, we have dental implants available to those in need of tooth replacements and are certainly willing to help you! If you are in need of a tooth replacement or would like to find out if you’re a candidate for dental implants please feel free to contact our offices and remember to always keep smiling! 

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with preventativerestorative or cosmetic dentistry. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Brighten Your Smile with Professional Teeth Whitening

Keeping Up Appearances

It’s often been said that “appearance isn’t everything” and while that is certainly true let’s face it, appearance IS a big deal! In a time in which the world is seeming broadcast all over various social media outlets (whether it be Facebook, Snapchat, TicTok, Instagram, or any other platform you can think of) people are obviously more aware of their appearance now than ever before. However, if someone were to have certain aspects of their appearance that perhaps causes them shame or embarrassment this constant media presence can result in unwarranted anxiety that individual and may be very harmful to their self-esteem.

Unfortunately, this scenario seems to be a reality for many people today, here are some stats:

  • as over half of Americans in the U.S. today have reported feeling insecure about their smile
  • according to a recent poll conducted by the New York Post, approximately 57 percent of American adults admit to covering their mouths when they laugh due to feeling self-conscious of their teeth
  • nearly 61 percent of interviewees expressed a strong desire to change something about their teeth; and the most desired change was unanimously whiter teeth

In light of this information, we will attempt to set the record straight on professional teeth whitening, by explaining the process and sharing finer points of the procedure. Having a white smile is not something that is out of reach, and certainly isn’t something to lose sleep over!

Related Article: Smile Pretty with Cosmetic Dentistry Choices in Overland Park

Professional Teeth Whitening:  

Being a cosmetic based procedure, the purpose of a professional whitening is to remove any stains or discoloration that your teeth have accumulated over time. As a staple of the dental industry for a number of years, a professional whitening is not exactly unfamiliar to the general public. However, with the recent arrival of various over the counter (OTC) whitening products, there has been a bit of confusion as to what exactly a professional whitening entails, and why it’s the most effective option for whiter teeth.

Brighten Your Smile: The Procedure

Prior to beginning the whitening process, your dentist will first take impressions of your upper and lower rows of teeth in order to provide you with your own custom-fitted whitening trays. Once the impressions have been taken, your dentist will then apply a protective coating to the surrounding gums, then a bleaching agent directly to the surface of your teeth. This process lasts approximately 30 minutes total, and once completed you will receive your own custom trays as well as a take home touch-up kit. This kit will include a set of detailed instructions on how to the trays are to be correctly worn and how to properly load the amount of bleaching gel into each tray in order to prevent any issues or mishaps.

Related Article: Teeth Whitening Options: Over the Counter vs. Professional

Brighten Your Smile: The Results

As mentioned previously, while OTC products have been made available in local pharmacies across the country, these products simply cannot produce the results that a professional whitening can. Once the appointment is over you will see instant results, as your teeth will be nearly 5-7 shades whiter!

However, improvement doesn’t end there as by continuing to utilize your whitening trays at home, you will achieve a seemingly flawless smile that can last up to 5 or sometimes even 10 years.

Related Article: Teeth Whitening FAQ: Is it the Fountain of Youth?

Face The World With A Smile!

While the glare of constant social media can be overwhelming, there’s certainly no reason to let that keep you from smiling. If your teeth are causing you embarrassment or forcing you to shy away from the cameras, then perhaps a professional whitening to brighten your smile is exactly what you need! Because we believe that people deserve to feel good about themselves, cosmetic dentistry is one of the primary services that we provide at Overland Park Dentistry. If you have any questions about a professional whitening, or any of our other services, please feel free to contact our offices.

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with preventativerestorative or cosmetic dentistry. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Oral Health and Hygiene: Keep Your Immune System Strong

Oral Health and Hygiene is More Important Than Ever!

With the recent outbreak of COVID-19, personal health has been brought to the forefront of nearly everybody’s minds, and while this might not be a new concern among some of the more health conscious folks out there, for some people this may be the first time that their health and personal well-being has been a source of distress.

Therefore, If you have read any of our previous entries, you will have certainly gained an understanding as to the significant impact oral health and hygiene can have on the body’s ability to ward off the amount of hazardous bacteria that surrounds us on a daily basis. Whether the pathogens are airborne or blood borne if our immune system is compromised, the body might not have the strength to fight off the virus, thus putting yourself at risk of experiencing serious or even fatal repercussions. In the sections below we will shed some light on some of these issues, to provide a more comprehensive understanding as to the prominent role that oral hygiene plays in your overall health. 

Oral Health and Hygiene: Why It Matters?

Although it might not seem like that big of a deal, make no mistake; oral hygiene is extremely important and while you might be able to get away with a couple slipups here and there, unfortunately, it’s a slippery slope as it can be extremely easy to get into the bad habit of providing your teeth with inadequate care.   If you allow yourself to fall into such habits, (improper brushing techniques, lack of flossing, failing to receive routine checkups) you are perhaps unknowingly setting yourself up for inevitable health issues, both orally and otherwise. Unfortunately, this has been a costly lesson for many people over the years, as progressive oral diseases such as tooth decay and gum disease typically manifest slowly over an extended period, and rarely display any obvious symptoms until they reach their advanced stages. If these illnesses have progressed to a later stage, the damage at that point may be irreversible and could in fact, trigger additional health problems or interact with pre-existing ones.

Related Article: How Can Oral Bacteria Impact Your Pretty Smile?

Oral Health Complications: Much Worse Than You Think

Although major oral health issues such as tooth decay and gum disease are obviously a serious problem, many are quick to write these issues off as strictly oral problems, without fully understanding the health ramifications behind them. However, as mentioned previously these issues go deeper than that, as they not only wreak havoc on your oral health but cause an excess of oral bacteria to build up as well. If the excess bacteria is able to reach the sufferer’s bloodstream, it will be allowed to travel throughout the body, thus significantly worsening issue. If the hazardous bacteria can reach the sufferer’s heart, it will inflame the heart’s vessels, resulting in the formation of numerous blood clots. These blood clots will slowly begin to cut off the flow of blood, ultimately strangling the heart and forcing it to pump faster while becoming increasingly less productive. As a result of this, individuals suffering from oral health issues have a three times higher likelihood of suffering a heart attack, or other cardiovascular-based complications, as well as becoming increasingly susceptible to harmful pathogens or the progression of chronic illnesses.

Related Article: Dental Health: Poor Oral Health is Risky Business

Don’t Let It Happen To You!

At Overland Park Dentistry, we passionately believe that prevention is the key to keeping your beautiful smile strong and healthy. Therefore, we employ what we like to call “The Six-Month Rule” which as its name implies, recommends six months between each routine checkup, thus rounding out to two checkups per year. Yes this may seem a bit excessive to some; however, with COVID-19 still posing a threat to the general public, maintaining your oral and overall health is NOW more important than ever.

Related Article: Tooth Decay Dangers: Can it Kill You?

You owe it to yourself, schedule an appointment to see us at Overland Park Dentistry, so you can stay healthy and smiling for years to come!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with preventativerestorative or cosmetic dentistry. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Dental Safety: Is it SAFE to Visit the Dentist?

In The Shadow of COVID-19

Although it’s been a couple months since the quarantine over both Kansas and Missouri has been lifted, there are many people who remain in self-isolation, as the threat posed by COVID-19 remains a major public health concern. Indeed, by following the standard protocol in public places (wearing a mask, keeping a safe distance from others, making frequent use of hand sanitizer, ect) you ARE taking a crucial step in protecting yourself and others. However, despite these precautions there are many people who still feel at risk when in public, thus begging the question;

“Is it safe to visit my dentist?”

While some skeptics may scoff at such a question, if you have underlying health issues or have elderly/potentially compromised individuals in your family, this is likely a source of concern for you. Therefore, in the sections below, we would like to address the concern of dental safety by highlighting all the precautions that the dental profession has taken, both in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak and the years prior to ensure the safety of both patients and practitioners alike.

Related Article: Dr. Kimes Welcomes Back Patients for Routine Dental Appointments

Dental Safety: HIV/AIDS

While the COVID-19 pandemic might be the first disease outbreak to significantly impact our society in quite a while, it is certainly not the first disease outbreak to affect the modern era. In 1981, the first cases of HIV/AIDs were reported within the United States. Throughout the remainder of the 1980’s the number of cases would increase rapidly, thus resulting in many changes in protocol within all major fields of the medical industry including professional dentistry.

Due to HIV/AIDS being a bloodborne pathogen, (meaning it’s primarily transmitted through blood) therefore the standard personal protection equipment (PPE) used by dentists everywhere was vastly improved upon. Such improvements included the utilization of medical masks, surgical gloves, and protective eye wear, which became requirements to wear at all times to increase dental safety for the dental team and the patient.

Additionally, sterilization became a central focus to prevent any dental safety risk of cross-contamination. This required each chair/operational space to thoroughly cleaned between patients, and any instruments used to be sanitized or disposed of properly. These new protective measures were extraordinarily successful, and quickly became required practice among dentists across the globe, thus setting a new standard.

However, in 2020 the world would again be taken by surprise, as the arrival of COVID-19 would once again require further changes to be made.

Dental Safety: COVID-19

Although not nearly as fatal as the before mentioned HIV/AIDS, COVID-19 is much more contagious. As you probably already know, COVID-19 is an airborne pathogenic disease, that can be transmitted from one infected person to another by simply sneezing, coughing, and or close personal contact. Therefore, we at Overland Park Dentistry, as well as other dental practices around the country have implemented new preventive measures to increase dental safety, to protect our patients and staff from contacting the virus.

One of our most noticeable changes is the fact that we now require patients to call our front desk prior to entering the waiting room, to limit our waiting room to one patient at a time. Once you have entered the waiting room, a member of our staff will administer a brief questionnaire to assess any recent travels or changes in medical history, as well as giving you a temperature screening to ensure that you are within normal range. Additionally, we require that you wear a cloth mask at all times during your visit, until a staff member informs you to remove it. While this may seem a bit excessive to some, please remember that these preventative measures are mandated by State Law in both Kansas and Missouri and would be required at any dental practice during this time.

Your Safety Is Our Priority!

At Overland Park Dentistry, the care and dental safety of our patients has always been our number one priority, and although these past several months have been difficult for everyone, your friends at Overland Park Dentistry will always be here when you need us. So, if you’re due for a checkup, but are worried about coming in, remember at Overland Park Dentistry you WILL be in safe hands!

Until next time stay safe and keep smiling!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with preventativerestorative or cosmetic dentistry. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.