All posts by Dr. Charles R. Kimes

Tooth Replacement: Restore Your Missing Tooth with a Dental Implant

dental-implant

Dental Implants: When Ancient Innovation and Modern Technology Meet!

Although considered by many to be one of the greatest innovations within the modern dental field, the origins of today’s dental implant can actually be traced back to around 600 AD!  Long ago, ancient civilizations such as the Mayans and Aztecs were among the first known people to conceptualize the idea of replacing a broken or damaged tooth. However, as evidenced by ancient society’s utilization of seashells as makeshift replacements, or the ivory (not wood) set of dentures worn by George Washington during his presidency, finding an adequate replacement for something as vital as a tooth is no easy feat! 

Fortunately for us, we live in an age where the dental implant has evolved into a marvel of modern dental technology, thus allowing dentists to provide patients everywhere with a seemingly flawless replacement that is certain to exceed expectations!

 

Dental Implant: Purpose and Function 

To gain a full understanding of dental implants, one must first understand why it is necessary to replace missing teeth in the first place. While obviously having missing teeth make it exceptionally more difficult to chew and break down food, something you might not realize is that underneath a tooth’s crown (or exposed portion of the tooth) is what’s known as the root (or lower half of the tooth). Much like the submerged portion of an iceberg, the root of the tooth descends far beneath the gum line, and serves to both keep your tooth securely anchored within your mouth, in addition to providing the tooth with the sustenance needed to survive. If a tooth is damaged or destroyed; however, the sensitive nerves and vessels required to nourish the root are left exposed to any hazardous bacteria within your mouth. Without necessary protection from bacteria, the exposed tissue will surely become infected, thereby causing gum disease to develop.

Related Article: Gum Disease: Know Thy Enemy and Protect Your Health 

Due to the potentially serious complications associated with gum disease, a replacement should be sought out as soon as possible. While there are several different options to choose for replacing a tooth, it comes at little surprise that dental implants have emerged as one of the most popular options. 

As you may know, dental implants come in the form of a screw-like device that is designed to act as a base for the newly created dental crown. Once surgically inserted within the patient’s mouth, the crown is securely screwed into place, ultimately creating a sturdy replacement that will look and function like a natural tooth. With a long-term success rate of approximately 98%, implants are indeed the most effective option for replacing a missing tooth. Despite this however, it’s important to remember that implants are not for everyone and might not always be the correct solution, in the section below we will highlight the requirements needed to receive a dental implant and what situations could prevent someone from receiving an implant. 

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Dental Implant: Are You a Candidate?

If you wish to receive a dental implant, a dentist or oral surgeon must first determine whether you are a candidate to receive one. While the vast majority of people are able to meet the candidacy criterion, there are certain conditions that could possibly hinder a patient’s eligibility or outright disqualify them from implant candidacy, such conditions are listed as follows: 

Youth: First and foremost, you must understand that a dental implant is NOT a quick fix. An Implant is a long-term replacement for missing teeth and is not recommended for adolescents or patients whose jawbone might still be developing. While temporary solutions can be made available for younger patients, implants are generally reserved for adults who are otherwise in good overall health. 

Smoking: Although this might be a deal-breaker for some, it is important to realize that despite their high success rate, implants are far more likely to fail if the patient receiving them is a regular smoker. Due to the increased probability of failure, dentists may be unwilling to perform the procedure on patients who smoke and will often request the patient to quit prior to receiving an implant.

Gum Disease: Periodontitis or gum disease as it is commonly known, is a progressive infection of the gum tissue in which (if left untreated) can significantly damage the teeth, gums, and jawbone, and could trigger additional illnesses through the body. Indeed, gum disease can be the cause of tooth loss, however it is essential that the condition be treated prior to undergoing implant surgery. 

Pregnancy: For mothers who are currently expecting, your dentist will likely ask you to postpone receiving a dental implant until after childbirth, thereby avoiding any unnecessary stress during pregnancy. 

Untreated Diabetes: If you suffer from diabetes, you can still be eligible to undergo dental implant surgery; however, you MUST have the condition under control first! Only when you have sought out the proper medical treatment and stabilized your condition, will you be a viable candidate for treatment. 

Medications: While the majority of prescription medications shouldn’t present a problem, certain medications such as steroids or any drugs that may suppress the immune system (such as blood thinners) can increase the risk of complications during implant surgery. Therefore, it is imperative that your dentist be informed as to any and all medications you are currently taking prior to the implant treatment. 

Related Article: Are You a Dental Implant Candidate?

 

Dental Implant: A Few Things to Remember!

Although many of the aforementioned conditions could possibly prevent you from being a candidate for dental implant surgery, it’s important to remember that each patient’s situation is different and there might be ways to reestablish your candidacy depending on the given circumstance. While obvious examples of this such as quitting smoking, treating diabetes, and postponing surgery until after pregnancy, have already been discussed, there are several additional procedures that can restore one’s candidacy as well. If a patient has sustained any sort of bone loss, (due to facial trauma, periodontal disease, or other illnesses) procedures such as bone grafting or a sinus lift can be effective methods of restoring a patient’s jawbone, thereby providing it with the strength necessary to support a dental implant. 

If you have a missing tooth and would like to schedule a consultation to determine your candidacy for a dental implant, contact your nearest Overland Park Dentistry location!

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.

Gum Disease: Know Thy Enemy and Protect Your Health

gum-disease

As we have discussed in previous entries, your teeth have many natural enemies and while teeth might be tough, that beautiful pearly-white smile of yours certainly needs all the help they can get! That’s why in this entry, we hope to shed some light on one of the most dangerous obstacles that your smile can possibly encounter: a condition known as Gum Disease.

While indeed we have discussed gum disease at great length in some of our previous articles, with a recent spike in oral health problems across the country, (Due to COVID-19 masks causing dry-mouth) we believe it is necessary to reexamine and reevaluate the cause of illnesses such as gum disease in order to prevent this trend from continuing any further!

Related Article: Vaping Causes Gum Disease and Damages Your Oral Health

Gum Disease: Gingivitis Vs. Periodontitis 

Although Gum Disease might not sound all that bad at first, it’s important to understand that it is a progressive infection that will significantly worsen over time and may eventually spread throughout the body. Gum disease is split into two different phases: Gingivitis and Periodontitis. While neither of these phases are something to take lightly, to gain a comprehensive understanding of the disease as a whole, it’s important to understand how exactly gingivitis and periodontitis differ, and how each can affect you.

Gingivitis:

As the first stage of gum disease, gingivitis is gum inflammation that occurs when excess bacteria accumulate between teeth and gum line. Typically characterized by swollen or pinkish gums, the afflicted gum line will be tender to the touch and may bleed when brushing or eating.

However, by making a concentrated effort to practicing proper oral hygiene habits, you may reverse the condition thereby slowly forcing the infection to dissipate. While, this can be accomplished without a dentist’s supervision, we highly recommend that you DO consult with your dentist to ensure that the correct measures are being taken.

Periodontitis:

Rest assured, Periodontitis is a word that you never want to hear your dentist say! Periodontitis is the second (and more advanced) stage of gum disease, which occurs when the infection has begun to spread throughout the patient’s mouth and has stated causing irreparable damage.

As our body’s immune system struggles to fight off the infection within the gum line, the toxins and poisons produced by the overflow of bacteria begin to break down the bone and connective tissue. If left untreated and allowed to continue, this could eventually lead to the teeth, gums, or entire jawbone being destroyed!

Additionally, once this advanced disease has reached its latter stage, the likelihood of it triggering additional illnesses or interacting with pre-existing conditions becomes a serious concern, that may even prove to be life-threatening. Learn More about the Health Risks of Gum Disease HERE.

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

 

Gum Disease: Don’t Be Another Statistic! 

Make no mistake, gum disease IS a nation-wide health crisis with nearly half of all Americans 30 years or older affected by some form of this disease and with the recent increase in oral health-related complications, more people TODAY are at risk of developing Gingivitis and Periodontitis than we’ve seen in recent years.

Fortunately, in the face of such mounting statistics, Dr. Kimes and his staff at Overland Park Dentistry stand ready and willing to oblige when it comes to cutting down such numbers and allowing patients to get back to their lives happy, healthy, and of course, gum disease free! However, we cannot take on such a huge task without your help. By taking time to thoroughly brush and floss at least twice a day, in addition to scheduling your two annual appointments with us at Overland Park Dentistry, a menace like gum disease doesn’t stand a chance!

If you have any concerns about gum disease, or are simply due for your annual checkup, come see us at Overland Park Dentistry and 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.

Receive Your Oral Cancer Screening During Exam

oral-cancer-screening-during-exam

The Season of Life

Despite March being the month that officially bridges the gap between winter and spring, April and May are the months in which the spring truly arrives! Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes of the harsh dismal winter, green sprouts of life begin to appear, and as flowers begin to bloom, it’s certainly a beautiful time to be alive! Therefore, perhaps it’s only fitting that we at Overland Park Dentistry take the time to discuss a significant public health concern known as Oral Cancer. After all, in a time where we can observe life around us in all its alluring infancy, what better time is there to reflect upon our OWN life and health?

Learn More about Oral Health

Oral Cancer: Your Mouth’s Worst Nightmare! 

The pandemic has forced many of us to reconsider our personal health, as well as the health of our loved ones. Indeed, while COVID-19 may eventually be a thing of the past, with approximately 7,500 annual deaths in the U.S. alone, Oral Cancer continues to remain one of the most dangerous types of cancer in the world today!

Related Article: Mask Mouth and Oral Health: In the Shadow of Covid-19

Much like other inner oral health issues, the initial symptoms of oral cancer are relatively mild and sometimes easy to overlook. The earliest symptoms of oral cancer may include but are not limited to: mouth or lip sores that are slow to heal, mouth or ear pain, an unusual harshness to one’s voice, and increased pain or difficulty when swallowing. While these symptoms are not necessarily indicative of oral cancer, if you have been experiencing any such symptoms on a persistent basis of two weeks or longer, then we highly recommend you schedule an appointment with your doctor or dentist to receive a proper oral cancer screening, which we will discuss in detail below.

While it should probably come as little surprise that oral cancer is primarily caused by use of tobacco products, additional factors such as heavy alcohol intake, prolonged sun exposure to your lips, and certain types of sexually transmitted diseases can greatly increase your risk of developing oral cancer or hasten the advancement of a preexisting oral cancer diagnosis. However, due to its seemingly benign early symptoms, those suffering from oral cancer are often unaware of their illness and could remain so pending a formal diagnosis.

Unfortunately, if the disease continues to remain undetected and is allowed to progress to advanced stages, the resulting damage will likely be irreversible and might become potentially life threatening. Certainly, such a bleak prognosis is not the news that anyone wishes to get, but please remember… It doesn’t have to be that way!

Learn more about April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month.

Dentistry’s Secret Weapon: Oral Cancer Screening During Exam

If you have ever heard the old adage, “The best defense is a good offence” then you can probably surmise how it applies here; the best way you can fight oral cancer is to prevent yourself from ever getting it in the first place! Indeed, there are several of ways you can go about preventing oral cancer, and while there are obvious lifestyle changes, (such as giving up tobacco use and practicing moderation when consuming alcohol) there is a less obvious but equally important prevention measure to take.

Routine Oral Cancer Screenings are without doubt a key component in stopping oral cancer dead in its tracks and preventing it from causing any further harm to both your oral and overall health. Now, if you are questioning as to what an oral cancer screening is and how to receive one, chances are you’ve had one before and just didn’t know it! As one most important and underappreciated procedures within the dental industry today, Oral Cancer Screenings are a quick and painless procedure that Dr. Kimes preforms as part your standard dental exam.

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

When you come in for your routine dental checkup, you are simultaneously receiving an accurate screening for any early signs or symptoms of oral cancer. While you might not be aware that you are receiving an oral cancer screening during exam, rest assured this is an imperative measure to take in identifying and treating oral cancer within its earliest stages and is often the best bet in fully overcoming the disease due to the cancer not having enough time to progress or spread.

Is COVID an Issue? NO Way!

While we cannot stress enough how important it is to receive your oral cancer screening during exam at Overland Park Dentistry, we also understand that there are some patients out there who might still be reluctant to make an appointment due to continued concerns over COVID-19.

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

Obviously if you have contacted COVID-19 or been in close contact with someone who has recently been diagnosed with the virus, then certainly you need to reschedule your appointment and quarantine. However, we can assure you that at Overland Park Dentistry we take the health, safety, and well-being of our patients and employees extremely seriously, you WILL be safe!

If you find yourself worrying over the possibility of developing oral cancer or are just in need of a routine dental exam, remember you don’t have live in fear of COVID or oral cancer!

So please contact our offices at Overland Park Dentistry and let us put your fears to rest and of course… keep you 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.

Help Us Celebrate World Oral Health Day on March 20th

be-proud-of-your-mouth

On March 20th, 2013, the World Dental Federation officially established the first annual “World Oral Health Day” with the hopes of raising worldwide awareness to the significance of oral health. The mission of this campaign is not only to generate global awareness effort to highlight the importance of oral health, but also to help provide people across the world with the tools, information, and resources necessary to maintain proper oral hygiene habits. Since its inception, World Oral Health Day (or WOHD) has come to be recognized by dentists and patients in over 70 different countries and continues to remain one of the most essential health causes of its time.

Although an international campaign, World Oral Health Day is generally broken down into a community-based effort in which dentists and medical practitioners alike, work alongside schools, churches, and other local groups, in asking community members to compose a personal action plan to practice proper oral hygiene techniques and encourage others to follow suit. While indeed everyone can appreciate a beautiful smile, the aesthetic aspect is only a portion of the affect oral health can have on one’s life. As you will read in the following sections, oral health has a great influence on both an individual’s health and overall quality of their life, ultimately highlighting message of World Oral Health Day so it may ring loud and clear: “Your Teeth ARE Important!”

The Core of The Issue

As perhaps one of the most often overlooked aspects of a person’s health, it’s currently estimated that almost 90% of the world’s population will develop some type of oral disease in their lifetime! With such astronomical numbers, we need to ask ourselves: why do people allow their oral health to deteriorate? As you probably know, oral diseases are predominantly progressive illnesses which develop slowly over an extended period of time. Because of this, many experts within the World Oral Health Day campaign surmise that this is due to a lack of basic hygiene techniques established during one’s childhood. While a lapse in a few of the oral hygiene fundamentals might seem like just a minor oversight, if left uncorrected or unnoticed a small problem can eventually become a big problem as the person ages.

What’s the Worst That Can Happen?

So, you’re probably wondering what exactly can happen if inadequate hygiene habits are left undetected? Unfortunately, the answer is that a lot of things can happen and none of which are good. As mentioned previously, oral health issues gradually progress over time and become significantly worse in their later stages.

  • Foul Breath: The condition known as halitosis or bad breath can certainly be the cause of social anxiety or embarrassment, however if this remains a persistent problem, there might be an additional oral issue to blame. Chronic foul breath is often indicative of numerous additional issues such as cavities, dry mouth, gum disease, or excess bacteria buildup.
  • Gingivitis: The condition known as gingivitis, is the preliminary or minor form of gum disease. Although gingivitis is relatively common, if you have developed gingivitis, its important to take this seriously as the condition will continue to progress if not promptly treated.
  • Tooth decay: As one of the most widespread diseases in the United States (second only to the common cold) tooth decay is the condition in which excessive buildup of bacteria in the mouth breaks down the tooth’s enamel, thus causing the tooth to decay. Tooth decay can affect people of all ages, and although slow to progress, if left untreated tooth decay can cause permanent damage to your teeth and gums.
  • Periodontal disease: Also known as advanced gum disease, periodontal disease is a significant infection of the gum tissue and can cause a major health crisis if allowed to progress. If periodontal disease is allowed to worsen, it is likely to interact with and exacerbate other illnesses such as diabetes, or heart disease.
  • Oral cancer: Oral cancer is an extremely aggressive type of cancer that is responsible for approximately 9,750 annual deaths in the U.S. alone, and remains a major health issue nationwide. While treatable in its early stages, if allowed to spread oral cancer may not be able to be stopped, thereby having potentially fatal consequences.

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 Tips, Tools, and Techniques

  • Frequent Brushing: As a general rule, you should always brush your teeth AT LEAST twice a day! However, if you have consumed any chewy or sticky foods, it is also a good idea to brush between meals as such materials tend to become stuck or lodged between any gaps or crevasses in your teeth.
  • Proper Brushing Technique: Practicing correct brushing technique is one of the most important aspect of oral hygiene as failure to do so almost as bad as not bothering to brush at all! Proper brushing technique involves taking approximately two minutes to brush each upper and lower sections of your teeth gently, but thoroughly in approximately thirty second intervals. While It can be tricky to make this a habit, we assure you the results are worth it!
  • Consider using mouthwash and fluoride toothpaste: Although perhaps more of a suggestion than an actual rule, utilizing products such a mouthwash and fluoride toothpaste allow you to better cleanse your mouth of harmful acidic agents that cause tooth decay, thus providing additional protection for your teeth.
  • Always Floss: If you don’t already, please make flossing as mandatory as brushing! Remember, your teeth have numerous small and difficult to reach areas that your toothbrush simply can’t be expected to clean. Therefore, flossing is your primary means of reducing plaque buildup in theses areas and preventing your gums from becoming infected.
  • Practice Moderation: Obviously sugary and acidic products can be hazardous to your oral health, and while we are not asking you to avoid these products completely, we do encourage you to enjoy such products in moderation.
  • Follow the six-month rule: By adhering to the six-month rule, you should have at least two dental appointments each year. While it is very important to practice daily oral hygiene habits, it is also essential to visit your dentist’s office regularly, in order to catch and prevent any oral health concerns from becoming a serious health issue.

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

 Be Proud of Your Mouth!

As we celebrate oral health day today (and every day), now is the ideal time to examine the daily oral hygiene habits of you and your family. Although oral health issues continue to affect a large number of people across the globe, the key to overcoming this crisis is for each individual person to take the necessary steps in protecting their smile! If you have any concerns regarding you or your family’s oral health, please contact our offices at Overland Park Dentistry.

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.

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.