All posts by Dr. Charles R. Kimes

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.

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.

Vaping Causes Gum Disease and Damages Your Oral Health

A Cause for Concern

As businesses began to reopen and people everywhere began to regain a sense of normality, continued concerns surrounding Covid-19 have forced our Nation to reassess our stance on our health and the various health concerns that we as a society face.

For decades, one of the biggest health issues amongst people in both the U.S. and abroad has been smoking. Over the years, the dangers of tobacco smoking have been widely publicized and scrutinized amongst various media outlets, and although tobacco smoking (particularly cigarette smoking) has declined in recent years, it still remains a persistent issue. However, coinciding with the decline of tobacco users in the world today, a new trend as emerged under the guise as a safe alternative to tobacco smoking.

While this new trend known as vaping may in fact be a healthier alternative to smoking, that certainly does not mean there is not a plethora of negative health consequences that vaping itself can cause. At Overland Park Dentistry, we have unfortunately seen firsthand how vaping can affect a smile and trust us, it isn’t pretty! Therefore, in addition to giving you the scoop on some of the effects vaping has on oral health, we will also provide some helpful tips and insight into how you may possibly go about quitting this habit, in order to keep yourself healthy and smiling!

Related Article: A New Trend: The Dangers of Vaping

Vaping: The Ugly Truth!

Whether it be a quick search via Google or a simple chit-chat with Dr. Kimes or any of his staff at Overland Park Dentistry, the unfortunate truth is that vaping can cause a great deal of harm to one’s oral health over time.

Much like smoking, vaping allows its user to receive a nicotine kick by ingesting smokeless vapor, using a vapor-generating electronic cigarette (typically known as e-cigs or vape pens). While the significant amount of nicotine present in vapor products allow them to act as a substitute for cigarette smoke, the excess nicotine also exponentially increases the risk of developing gum disease. So, we truly believe that vaping causes gum disease among other dental and oral concerns.

Gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis, are an infection of the gum tissue which if left untreated, can spread rapidly throughout the mouth causing irreversible damage to the teeth, gums, and jawbone. Additionally, periodontitis (which is the more severe type of gum disease) also has an alarming tendency to interact with other preexisting health issues or even spread to other regions of the body, thus becoming a potentially fatal issue!

Related Articles:

While some advocates for vaping are quick to point out that periodontitis AKA severe gum disease is a progressive illness in which time is required for the disease to spread. It is important to realize that the nicotine from vaping also causes portions of the gums to slowly die off, making it increasingly difficult for your dentist to detect the infection, thereby allowing the infection continued time to progress and worsen. Once again, this gives us cause to believe that vaping causes gum disease — sooner or later, it’s going to be a dangerous problem.

How Can I Quit Vaping?

If you have ever been (or previously been) a smoker, you will certainly understand how tough it can be to quit. Much like smoking, vaping can be a tough habit to break and may require a certain degree of soul searching and support. Although quitting isn’t an exact science, there are a number of methods and strategies that you may employ to aid you in this endeavor!

The information below includes some are some useful tips and things to consider when undertaking the quitting process.

  • Find your motivation: First thing first, it’s important to ask yourself: Why do you genuinely want to quit? Sure, this may seem silly or unnecessary at first, but by finding and firmly establishing a concise motive for quitting, you will be able to take a more structured and direct approach to accomplishing this, with a clear goal in mind.
  • Consider the timing: As with anything, another key factor to consider is timing. Whether you are attempting to quit cold turkey (often the most effective way) or gradually reduce the habit until it is no more, eliminating vaping from your daily routine is likely to cause a certain degree of stress. However, if this were to coincide with another potentially stressful life event, (changing careers, buying a new house, family/marital issues, etc) the excess stress may hinder your success or cause you to fall back into your vaping habit. While certainly life can be unpredictable at times, try to shoot for a time in which outside stress and interference will be relatively minimal, thus allowing you to focus on the task at hand.
  • Have a positive support group:  We all need help sometimes and having other people to both encourage and hold you accountable can have a huge impact on your ability to give up vaping once and for all. By surrounding yourself with group of friends or loved ones who will support your decision to quit and provide you with a safe and positive environment, you will have taken a crucial step in the right direction.
  • Identify triggers: What sort of things make you want to vape? Could it be stress or boredom? Or perhaps it’s simply the crowd you hang out with? Whether they be physical, social, or emotional, learning to recognize what triggers the urge to vape is essential in providing you with the necessary means to alter this behavior.
  • Make a game plan: In going along with the previous step, once you have identified what triggers you to vape, you can then begin to develop a strategy to manage or avoid these triggers. One of the most effective strategies that has helped many people in the past is to find a replacement activity for vaping. Do you have a particular hobby that you rarely find time to do? Perhaps this could be the opportune time to rekindle your interest in said hobby or to even pursue a new one.
  • Use resources: In a time where there are a number of tools available to you, it would be wise to take advantage of them. Known as nicotine replacement therapy, nicotine patches, gums, and other nicotine substitutes can play a major part in slowly diminishing the powerful dependence on nicotine caused by vaping.

Safer Does NOT Mean Safe

While indeed vaping has helped dissipate the amount of tobacco users across the globe, while providing a safer alternative to smoking, safer still does not mean safe! Remember, how we’ve mentioned that vaping causes gum disease? If you continue to vape, you will run the risk of damaging your smile, as well as developing additional (or even unknown) health complications later on.

If you are a former smoker, it is certainly understandable if you have taken up vaping as a substitute for smoking. Although we highly encourage you to please consider taking the necessary steps to put the habit behind you, as vaping is not the harmless alternative that many believe it to be. However, if you have never been a smoker but are interested in vaping, please do not start! Remember, in addition to harming your oral health, vaping is also very addictive, and once you get hooked it can be extremely hard to quit.

Overland Park Dentistry Can Help

If you have any additional questions about vaping, or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact our offices 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.

Invisible Braces: Invisalign vs Smile Direct Club

Alternative Methods

For many years, traditional braces were the primary means of realigning and straightening one’s teeth.  And while the tried and true metal braces are still frequently utilized, in recent years several alternative methods have emerged and have since changed the way a smile can be realigned, to improve its functionality and appearance.  

As perhaps one of the most renowned names within the realm of cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign has been providing patients from all across the world with beautiful smiles, while simultaneously giving traditional braces a run for their money!

With the soaring success of Invisalign, a number of similarly designed products have appeared in the years that have followed, with Smile Direct Club (SDC) as its primary opposition. However, it is important to realize that Invisalign and SDC are two separate products, that while similar, can produce quite different results! Therefore, in the columns below, we will break down some of the differences between two products and highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Invisalign vs Smile Direct Club: How They Differ?

As similarly designed devices, both Invisalign and Smile Direct are transparent aligners that are designed to be worn daily over your teeth, for the purpose of realigning them. This not only creates a smile that is straighter and more aesthetically pleasing, but one that is healthier and more effective as well!

However, the major difference between Invisalign and SDC is not only in the aligners themselves, but rather how the realignment process is performed.

  • At Overland Park Dentistry, Invisalign is one of the cosmetic treatments we offer, in which digital impressions are made of your teeth, allowing for custom aligners to be fitted to your teeth with pinpoint accuracy. Over the next 6 to 18 months, (depending on each individual case) Dr. Kimes and his team will work closely with you to monitor your progress and ensure that you achieve the desired effect.
  • Juxtaposing this, SDC is a remote process, in which you would apply for the procedure online, then visit your closest SmileShop to have your teeth scanned to determine your candidacy requirements. Unlike Invisalign however, one you have received your mail order aligners, you will not be under the supervision of trained professionals and will be required to manage the process in its entirety on your own, thus creating a much different experience.

Related Article: Confidence is Key: Smile with Invisalign

Smile Direct Club: Advantages & Disadvantages

Advantages: Despite a certain amount of negative media coverage generated by the product, SDC has been praised for its economically friendly price values, which has allowed those with a limited budget to afford the product with relative ease. Another positive aspect of Smile Direct is as its name implies, the aligners can be easily purchased online and sent directly to you without requiring you to make a single dental appointment.

At Overland Park Dentistry we certainly love to see our patients’ smiling faces as often as possible; however, in the busy world we live in today, we can certainly understand that taking the time to come in for a dental appointment isn’t always the easiest thing to do.

Disadvantages: Make no mistake, realigning your teeth is a tedious procedure and if you choose to tackle this process without professional supervision, there is always the possibility that things might not go as planned. Although successful in many cases, many past users of SDC products have also encountered a multitude of issues such as the aligners compressing their teeth and causing their gums to bleed, or in more extreme cases; forcing the user’s jaw to align improperly, thus impairing their ability to chew or even bite down. With numerous instances of former users claiming that SDC aligners actually harmed their teeth as well as exasperated dentists and orthodontists reporting their attempts to correct the damage that these products have purportedly caused, there’s little wonder as to why SDC aligners remain shrouded in controversy.

Invisalign: Advantages & Disadvantages

Advantages: While the arrival of SDC may stolen some of its thunder, Invisalign continues to remain a hot commodity both inside and outside the dental community despite being initially introduced back in 1999. Perhaps the most obvious benefits offered by Invisalign, are the aligners uncanny ability to significantly improve the patient’s smile with while providing the most noninvasive experience possible, and that is exactly what you will get!

Invisalign’s clear and easy-to-remove aligners cause extraordinarily little discomfort, and are essentially invisible, thereby sparing users from any sort of embarrassment while simultaneously correcting their teeth. By opting to receive Invisalign, you will be treated under the guidance of highly trained professionals, who will work to ensure that you receive the treatment and results that you desire.

While SDC can be successful, Invisalign WILL be successful and will not present many of the same problems that have plagued SDC users in the past.

Related Article: Brace Yourself with Invisalign TEEN

Disadvantages: By using professional-grade dental materials in a licensed practitioner’s office, Invisalign is clearly a superior product when compared to SDC aligners. However, one drawback is that Invisalign does require the patient to make regular visits to the dentist’s office. As mentioned previously, a major part of Invisalign’s success, is the fact that it is performed under a professional’s supervision. Therefore, to ensure the success of the treatment, it is necessary that you visit your dentist’s office at least once every six weeks, so that your dentist may record your process and make any adjustments as needed.

Although there are numerous payment plans available depending on one’s insurance provider, it is also important to note that Invisalign will cost more than SDC due to services and quality of materials used. While this has been a deal breaker for some, keep in mind that by selecting the lesser quality SDC treatment, you may actually end up paying more should the treatment go awry and fail to produce the desired results!

Invisalign vs Smile Direct Club: The Choice is Yours!

Overland Park Dentistry Offers Invisalign for Adults and Teens

Obviously, the decision is ultimately yours to make, and while we at Overland Park Dentistry do certainly believe that Invisalign is a safer and smarter option when compared to Smile Direct Club, the most important thing to us is that you are able to receive the results that you want!

If you are unhappy with your smile or have any questions about realignment options, feel free to contact our offices and as always, 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.

How can Oral Bacteria impact your Pretty Smile?

Healthy teeth are about more than just a pretty smile. Your oral health has a major effect on the overall health of your body, not just in your mouth. By maintaining healthy teeth and gums, you can make your body healthier from head to toe.

Oral Bacteria and Health

Bacteria in the mouth cause tooth decay – by feeding on the sugars in the foods and drinks we consume – they leave behind the waste, in the form of a biofilm known as dental plaque.

Our mouths have lots of bacteria that is usually harmless. (Did you know that the bacteria in our body aids with digestion and other biological tasks?) However, if you do not brush or floss regularly, bacteria can reach dangerously high levels. When this happens, tooth decay, gum disease, and oral infections can be the nasty result.

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

Health Risks Throughout the Body

There is evidence that the oral bacteria and high level of inflammation associated with the serious gum disease known as periodontitis can play a role in diseases in other parts of the body.

The following health issues and diseases are linked with poor gum health:

  • Infections from Abscesses: In some rare instances, severe tooth decay can lead to an abscess. The infection can travel to the heart, brain, or lungs, causing severe illness or even death.
  • Cardiovascular Diseases: There are researchers who suggest that heart disease, stroke and clogged arteries are linked to the inflammation and infections caused by too much oral bacteria.
  • Pregnancy and Birth Complications: Severe gum infection has been linked to premature births and low birth weight.
  • Endocarditis: This is an infection of the inner lining of the heart. This can occur when bacteria from other parts of your body, such as your mouth, move through your bloodstream and become attached to damaged areas in the heart.

The Impact of Gum Disease

Did you know that 85% of Americans suffer from gum disease, yet only 60% of those infected know they have gum disease? Gum disease is an infection of the tissues and bone that support your teeth and is the leading cause of tooth loss. However, the impact can extend beyond your mouth.

Also known as periodontitis, gum disease can significantly affect your general health.

Research shows that there is a connection between gum disease and other serious conditions such as:

  • osteoporosis
  • oral and pancreatic cancer
  • brain stroke
  • heart disease
  • gum disease may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia from oral bacteria that spread through the blood stream
  • gum disease also impacts those with diabetes by making it difficult to regulate blood glucose levels

If you have one of these systemic conditions, it is important to talk to your dentist about your risk for gum disease and the best treatment options.

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

Gum Disease Causes:

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Sugar and acid
  • Tooth abnormalities
  • Poor dental work
  • Wisdom teeth
  • Tooth grinding

Gum Disease Symptoms Can Range from:

  • chronic bad breath
  • red, swollen gums
  • bleeding when you brush
  • painful chewing
  • loose or sensitive teeth
  • sensitive or receding gums

Sometimes there are no signs of gum disease, which is why it’s essential to visit your dentist every six months for a checkup.

Related Article: How to Stop Bad Breath: A Stinky Situation

Gum Disease is Treatable

The three goals of treatment involve:

  1. reducing inflammation
  2. decreasing pocket depth (the space between your tooth and gum)
  3. stopping bone loss

Initial treatment options can include Laser Pocket Disinfection or scaling and root planning (also known as deep cleaning). There are surgery options for advanced gum disease.

Protecting Your Oral Health

By protecting the health of your teeth and gums, you can keep yourself healthier too. Practice good oral hygiene daily to prevent overgrowth of bacteria.

This includes:

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice per day
  • Floss daily to remove plaque between teeth
  • Avoid tobacco use, as this can cause irritation in your gums
  • Limit sugary snacks, which can feed bacteria and increase their growth
  • Replace your toothbrush every three or four months

Related Articles:

Poor Oral Health is Risky Business

Sugar Hurts Teeth: Do You Sip and Snack All Day?

You should also have regular dental checkups and cleanings. If you notice a problem with your teeth or gums, call for an appointment right away. The sooner these are handled, the sooner you will be back to full health. Charles R. Kimes, DDS provides general and family dentistry in the Overland Park, Kansas area to keep his patients healthy – including healthy teeth, healthy gums, and a healthy body. Time for your checkup? Call to schedule today.

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.

Dr. Kimes Welcomes Back Patients for Routine Dental Appointments

May 11, 2020

Dear Overland Park Dentistry Family,

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines, including routine dental appointments.

While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice, and you may have seen this during your visits to our office for dental appointments. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it is both safe and comfortable.

We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our
practice to keep patients and staff safe.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the:

We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up to date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next routine dental appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff.

For example:

  • Our office will communicate with you before your dental appointments to ask some screening questions. You will be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.
  • We ask that you call us from our parking lot, once you’ve arrived at our office for your appointment, so we can check you in. We will let you know when we’re ready for you and look forward to greeting you at the door, as this will help us with social distancing.
  • We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
  • You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
  • Dental appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you are offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
  • We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice.

To make an appointment, please call our office at 913-647-8700 or visit our website.

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.

Sincerely,

Charles R. Kimes, DDS

Tooth Pain: What is Causing My Toothache?

Toothaches can be a minor tinge letting you know that something is wrong or they can cause crippling pain… that’s why we wanted to share some common toothache causes and their symptoms.

What is a toothache? Pain or inflammation in or around the tooth, often caused by tooth decay or infection.

What are common causes of a toothache?

A toothache can have causes that aren’t due to underlying disease. Examples may include flossing, biting into something hard, getting something stuck in between the teeth, or braces. In children, it’s a regular part of the developmental process.

Common Causes of a Toothache:

  • Tooth decay
  • Tooth fracture
  • Broken tooth
  • Abscessed tooth
  • Infected gums
  • Damaged filling
  • Repetitive motions, such as chewing gum or grinding teeth

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Common Symptoms of a Toothache:

  • Tooth pain that may be sharp, throbbing, or constant.
  • In some people, pain results only when pressure is applied to the tooth.
  • Foul-tasting drainage from the infected tooth
  • Swelling around the tooth
  • Fever or headache

When Should I See a Dentist About a Toothache?

We recommend seeing your dentist as soon as possible about your toothache if:

  • Your toothache is severe
  • You have a toothache that lasts longer than 1 or 2 days
  • You have a fever, earache
  • You experience pain upon opening your mouth wide

What Happens When I Go to the Dentist for a Toothache?

First, your dentist will conduct a dental exam. He or she will ask you questions about the pain, such as:

  • when the pain started
  • how severe it is
  • where the pain is located
  • what makes the pain worse and what makes it better
  • does the pain wake you up in the middle of the night

Your dentist will examine:

  • your mouth
  • teeth and gums
  • jaws
  • tongue
  • throat
  • sinuses, ears, nose, and neck

X-rays may be taken as well as other tests, depending on what your dentist suspects is causing your toothache.

What Treatments Are Available for a Toothache?

Treatment for a toothache depends on the cause. If a cavity is causing the toothache, your dentist will fill the cavity or possibly extract the tooth, but only if there is no other way to save the tooth.

A root canal might be needed if the cause of the toothache is determined to be an infection of the tooth’s nerve. Bacteria that have worked their way into the inner areas of the tooth cause that type of infection. An antibiotic may be prescribed if there is fever or swelling in the jaw.

Related Article: Revealing the Facts and Busting the Myths about Root Canals

How Can Toothaches Be Prevented?

Since most toothaches are the result of tooth decay, following good oral hygiene practices can prevent most toothaches.

Good oral hygiene practices consist of:

  • brushing regularly with a fluoride-containing toothpaste
  • flossing daily
  • rinsing once or twice a day with an antiseptic mouthwash
  • seeing your dentist twice a year for professional cleaning and exam

In addition to these practices, ask your dentist about sealants and fluoride applications and make low-sugar or healthy choices on snacks, meals and beverages.

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We Can Get You Out of Pain

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.

COVID-19 Update from Dr. Kimes | Offering Emergency Dental Appointments

Further Updates

With 2020 still only a couple months old, we in both the United States and abroad, find ourselves facing a serious situation as a national pandemic known as COVID – 19 sweeps across the globe. And at this time, it is certainly extremely important to take the necessary prevention measures (such as washing your hands or limiting physical contact with each other) and to keep abreast of recent developments regarding the matter.

However, for those in need of dental care during this time, you can rest assured in knowing that at Overland Park Dentistry, our offices will remain open and accepting appointments for the foreseeable future, including emergency dental appointments. However, in wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the American Dental Association has recommended that dentists across the country postpone non-essential dental services until further notice.

Related Articles: COVID-19 Update from Dr. Kimes | Emergency Dental Care: When Disaster Strikes

Essential vs. Non-Essential Treatments

If you have visited our website or read some of our previous blog entries, you will know that there are three different types of dental services that we provide at Overland Park Dentistry, these are preventative, restorative, and cosmetic based procedures. While there is a certain degree of overlap between some of the procedures, to reduce any unnecessary health risks for both patents and staff alike, we will only be offering the essential treatments at present time, including emergency dental appointments.

Related Article: Your Overland Park Dentist: Charles R. Kimes, DDS

We’re All in This Together!

Although we will be temporarily suspending certain services, please remember that if you do require any mandatory treatments, including emergency dental appointments, you will be able to receive the care that you need at our offices. It is important that you do receive the necessary care as oral health problems will worsen if left untreated.

From all of us at Overland Park Dentistry, we would like to thank you all for your patience and understanding during this unprecedented situation, and we will be keeping a close eye on the situation as it progresses.

Remember, daily oral hygiene is as important now as ever … please check out our post: The Daily Dentist: Oral Hygiene is a BIG DEAL!

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our offices.

Stay Healthy and Keep Smiling!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his team at Overland Park Dentistry will continue to offer emergency dental appointments.

 They look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with preventativerestorative or cosmetic dentistry as well. 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.

Don’t Hide Your Smile: Enhance Your Smile with Dental Veneers

Dental Veneers: A Brief History

Despite coming into vogue relatively recently, the technology that would eventually come to be known as dental veneers actually dates back to the 1930s, in which they were used as a means to temporarily fix the teeth of Hollywood actors, to create the illusion of a perfect smile. While successful in creating what’s now known as the classic “Hollywood Smile” the rudimentary technology could not provide a permanent solution and was not practical for widespread use.

This changed in 1982 when the modern dental veneer was developed, and in the years that have followed, the veneer technology has only continued to improve thanks to numerous advancements in the dental field, and now is one of the most commonly preformed procedures within the realm of cosmetic dentistry.

What Dental Veneers Do

Although relatively simple, yet highly effective, veneers are a clear, soft, porcelain device that is designed to be sealed over both your upper and lower teeth, creating a sort of protective skin that surrounds the outer layer of your teeth. The purpose is to protect your teeth from hazardous outside elements, while simultaneously concealing any prior received abrasions or blemishes that your teeth may have. Once fully applied veneers are generally unnoticeable, thereby allowing wearer to eat, brush, and live as one normally would, with few (if any) limitations. With this amazing ability to deliver a seemingly flawless smile, there’s little wonder as to why veneers have become so popular among patients from all over the country.

However, despite their obvious benefits, there are a few drawbacks from receiving veneers that are important to keep in mind. The source of these drawbacks is the re-shaping process, which requires the removal of the tooth’s enamel, in addition to filing down the surface of the teeth. While this is necessary for the veneers to be successfully applied to your teeth, if the device is removed, your teeth will be unprotected against outside elements.

Veneers vs. Lumineers: The Difference

As something of an upgraded version of the dental veneers, Lumineers are very similar to veneers in both design and general functionality. Much like veneers, Lumineers are designed to fit over both upper and lower rows of teeth, thereby shielding them from troublesome food particles while shrouding it in a whiter but seemingly natural color tint that greatly improves the smile’s overall appearance. However, what truly gives Lumineers a distinct advantage over their predecessor, is that due to their much thinner nature. Lumineers can be applied to your teeth as they are without reshaping or removing the tooth’s enamel! By eliminating the invasive reshaping process, Lumineers not only provide a quicker, easier solution, but also succeed in preventing any issues in the long run.

Related Article: SMILE! We Have Dental Veneer Options for YOU!

A Flawless Smile Awaits!  

As mentioned earlier, although they were once only able to create the temporary illusion of a picturesque smile, thanks to modern dental technology dental veneers can actually deliver a smile that is both beautiful and permanent, and with the recent arrival of Lumineers, the process of receiving the smile of your dreams is now easier than ever!

If you are interested in receiving Lumineers, or have any questions about the procedure, please contact our offices at Overland Park Dentistry to schedule your consultation.

Related Article: Smile Pretty with Cosmetic Dentistry Options

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.