All posts by Dr. Charles R. Kimes

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!

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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

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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.

COVID-19 UPDATE from Dr. Kimes

Hello Friends,

During our current National Emergency concerning the COVID-19 virus, we would like to assure you that at the offices of Overland Park Dentistry, your health, safety and well-being is our highest priority.

We will remain open for all treatment & services, including preventative wellness visits.

You can feel safe knowing that all our clinical areas are, and always have been, treated with standards that far exceed all state and federal guidelines. Our team is highly trained annually, using guidelines set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Our training, coupled with our commitment to the highest standards of care, will see us through this unusual time calmly and successfully.

In addition, you can feel confident that we are taking the following precautionary measures in the common areas:

  • We will be increasing the frequency of disinfecting all door handles, reception area surfaces, furniture, credit card terminals, restrooms and more.
  • We have removed all shared magazines and newspapers.
  • Remember, all New Patient Forms are available on our website to print & complete at home, before your appointment.
  • All non-essential items at the check-out desks such as pens, business cards and candies will be removed from the counter and still available by request.

We are counting on you to help us get through this as well. If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, or if you, or someone you have been in contact with, have traveled out of the country in the last 21 days, please call our office at 913-647-8700 to discuss rescheduling your appointment. (There will NOT be appointment cancellation charges at this time.)

Please know that we are closely monitoring the evolving situation and are following all CDC and ADA guidelines.

Related Articles:

CDC Guidelines: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

American Dental Association Infection Control: COVID-10

American Heart Association: Coronavirus and Heart Health | (COVID-19) Resources 

According to the American Diabetes Association, People with Diabetes face a higher risk for complications … here’s what you need to know

Thank you for your understanding and support during this time. Please be assured that we are here for you, and we welcome all communications.

Stay healthy and keep Smiling!
Charles R. Kimes, DDS & Team

Confidence Is Key: Smile with Invisalign

Confidence is something that people from all walks of life should have. Whether you’re a hardworking professional managing the rigors of the business world, or a blossoming teenager navigating through those formative (and sometimes tedious) high school years, learning to carry one’s self with confidence is a skill that everyone can benefit from. However, there are numerous obstacles in life that can hurt or be a hindrance to your confidence, and if you are self-conscious about your smile, this can certainly be an issue. We can help you smile with Invisalign!

Smile with Invisalign

Sadly, according to a recent survey conducted by the American Association of Orthodontists, approximately one-third of the U.S. population today report being unhappy with their smile, with many people saying that their smile would be the first thing that they would that they would like to change about their appearance. With such staggering statistics, it’s clear that a person’s smile can have a major positive or negative impact on their confidence, and with so many new innovations in dental technology, there’s simply no reason for your smile to bring you down!

Therefore, at Overland Park Dentistry, we have introduced a fantastic new technology to our patients known as Invisalign.  As an alternative to traditional braces that has allowed us to restore the smiles of patients of all ages and helped them regain their confidence!

Related Article: Brace Yourself for Invisalign Teen

The Skinny on Invisalign

Invisalign comes in the form of thin, removable, transparent aligners that are customized to fit over your teeth. These soft, but resilient aligners are designed to be worn on a daily basis, and only to be removed when eating or brushing your teeth. Each aligner is to be worn approximately one to two weeks, after which being discarded and replaced with a new one, thus consistently adjusting and realigning the patient’s teeth. The realignment process in its entirety can take anywhere from 6 to 18 months depending on each individual case and requires the user to make relatively few changes to their daily habits. Due to their transparency, minimally invasive nature, and of course overall effectiveness, Invisalign is an ideal solution for those who are eager to straighten their teeth, but self-conscious about doing so as Invisalign can effectively improve your smile while remaining virtually unnoticeable.

Related Article: Smile Bright with Invisalign Invisible Braces

Invisalign & Braces: What’s the Difference?

In contrast to the newly introduced Invisalign, standard metal braces have been used for many years, and have been well established as the primary method to straighten one’s teeth and correct their jaw alignment. However, while sturdy and effective, the downside of braces is the fact that they do require an extra amount of care and unfortunately, they will require you to avoid certain food products. Food items such as popcorn, hard fruits, hard candy, chewing gum, and corn on the cob, are all products that you are recommended not to eat while wearing braces, as they are likely to compromise the brace’s structure or get caught between the metal brackets or wires. Additionally, other less than desirable aspects of braces is the relative discomfort that users sometimes experience while wearing the devices, as well as their appearance causing occasional social anxiety. As mentioned previously, these key differences from braces are perhaps what has led to the recent surge in Invisalign’s popularity, and while Invisalign isn’t right for everyone, it has provided an ideal solution for many.

Restore Your Confidence With Invisalign!

At Overland Park Dentistry, we believe that a healthy dose of confidence is something that everyone deserves to have, and if your smile is hurting your confidence, then you owe it to yourself to change that! In addition to the highly sought after Invisalign technology, at Overland Park Dentistry we offer a multitude of different cosmetic, restorative, and preventive based treatments to keep your smile confident and healthy for many years to come! We can help you smile with Invisalign!

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 Health: Poor Oral Health is Risky Business

February is National Childrens Dental Health Month and we want to celebrate the benefits of building healthy habits when kiddos are small that will last a lifetime. That’s why the American Dental Association chose to focus on this particular topic … to bring together thousands of dedicated dental professionals, healthcare providers, and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers and many others. What’s interesting is that so many of the oral hygiene tips we give to adults should also be followed by children.

Your teeth are truly an amazing part of your body, and as beautiful as those pearly whites of yours can be, they are extremely important as well. Being responsible for breaking down food for consumption, obviously your teeth play a vital role in daily life. However, with such an important purpose, the hazards your teeth face on a regular basis are countless.

Indeed, your teeth are very tough, the constant wear and tear they endure is bound to take its toll.  Additionally, if your teeth are improperly cared for or neglected, this could spell disaster for your teeth in a variety of different ways!

First, let’s review the importance of oral hygiene.

Daily Oral Hygiene

It’s important for our littles to see us leading the way and setting an example. They pick up on our good habits AND our bad habits, that’s why oral hygiene is so important.

It can be way too easy to get into the habit of poor oral hygiene and you could be setting yourself up for unavoidable dental health issues.

Sadly, this has been the case for many people, as progressive diseases such as tooth decay and gum disease typically manifest slowly over several years, and rarely display any obvious symptoms until their latter stages.

Unfortunately, if these conditions have progressed to an advanced stage, the damage at that point may be irreversible.

Poor Oral Hygiene: The Consequences

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a condition in which harmful acidic particles build up in a person’s mouth over a prolonged period, slowly eroding the tooth’s protective outer layer and rendering it vulnerable. Unprotected, bacteria descend upon the tooth causing it to rapidly decay. Once a tooth has fallen into a state of decay, you are likely to experience increased tooth sensitivity, as well as the appearance of cavities and eventual breakage.

Related Article: Tooth Decay: A Sticky, Sweet Dilemma

Tooth Decay: Signs & Symptoms

While not all of the symptoms listed here are definitive signs of tooth decay, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we recommend you contact your dental practitioner to receive a formal checkup. 

  • Unexplained toothaches or spontaneous tooth sensitivity
  • Moderate to severe pain while consuming hot/cold foods or drinks
  • Visible holes, stains, or crevices on a tooth’s surface
  • Chronic foul breath (Read more here about how to stop bad breath)
  • Alterations in bite or difficulty while chewing
  • Discoloration of tooth and surrounding gum line

Gum Disease

Although gum disease is a relatively familiar term to many people, the condition is often misunderstood and simply written off as little more than a minor nuisance. However, the truth is that gum disease is an infection of the gum tissue caused by excess plaque/bacteria build up around the teeth and gumline. When the gum tissue has become infected, inflammation of tissue surrounding the teeth will occur. Your gums may bleed while eating or brushing, this is often a tell-tale sign of gingivitis, or an early stage of gum disease.

Once gingivitis has been detected, we highly recommend that you visit your dentist (if you haven’t already) and begin taking a proactive role in treating the condition before it can spread any further. If the infection is allowed to progress further, it will continue to spread throughout the mouth, eventually affecting the teeth and jawbone. This is what’s known as periodontitis or periodontal disease, which is a later stage of gum disease, and unquestionably when the disease is at its worst.

Periodontal disease causes irreversible damage to the mouth and may destroy the entire jaw if severe enough. Perhaps most troubling of all is periodontal disease’s tendency to spread to other regions of the body or interact with other preexisting conditions, which could pose serious problems not only to your dental health, but your overall health!

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

Complications from Poor Oral Hygiene

While tooth decay and gum disease may not sound all that scary at first, the complications of either condition can truly be a nightmare! As alluded to earlier, if the bacteria produced by either condition enters the bloodstream it may likely travel to other areas of the body, spreading and worsening the infection.

If the infectious bacteria reach the 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, thereby choking the heart and forcing it to pump faster while producing less and less efficiently.

As a result of this, individuals suffering from severe tooth decay or periodontal disease, (or both) have a three times higher likelihood of suffering a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular-based complications. Additionally, tooth decay and more particularly gum disease, can also lead to the worsening of other chronic illnesses such as diabetes, or various types of cancer, which is likely to have serious if not fatal results.

Common Dental Problems

Although some of the most common dental problems are not exactly terms that are unfamiliar, the resulting ramifications of such dental health issues can have devastating effects on not just your oral health, but your general health as well.

Of course, we’ve already discussed the dangers of tooth decay and gum disease, listed below are some of the most common dental problems and health issues affecting patients today.

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 is likely an additional oral issue to blame. Chronic foul breath can be indicative of numerous issues such as cavities, dry mouth, gum disease, buildup on tongue, or even oral cancer.  Read more about how to stop bad breath.

Toothaches:

Like foul breath, toothaches or tooth sensitivity can be a tell-tale sign that there may be additional dental health problems that perhaps have not been addressed. Tooth sensitivity may indicate undetected damage (such as cracks, chips or abscesses) or even the early symptoms of tooth decay. Regardless, if chronic toothaches are ignored, they are only likely to worsen over time.

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. Read more about oral cancer screenings and how they can save your life, here.

You may not know that these common dental problems can lead to additional health problems. Read more about additional consequences of poor oral health here.

Risk Factors

These dental health issues obviously pose some serious problems – not only for adults, but for children as well – however, by recognizing the various triggers or risk factors of some of these common dental problems, you may allow yourself to take the necessary precautionary measures to prevent such issues before they occur.

  • Improper Oral Hygiene: While this may seem like a given, unfortunately it can be very easy to fall into poor oral hygiene habits, and while this may not seem like a big deal, obviously it dose put you at a higher risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other related complications.
  • Dietary Habits: It’s certainly okay to enjoy the occasional treat, however if sugary drinks and snacks are a part of your daily diet, then you might consider cutting back on the sweets. Excess sugar can cause a number of alarming dental health concerns and oral problems are certainly no exception. If reeling in your sweet tooth is an issue, then it is essential that you practice proper oral hygiene.
  • Smoking/Tobacco Use: As you probably realize, excess tobacco use can be catastrophic on one’s oral health, and cigarette smoke is often the culprit of this. Tooth decay, gum disease, and of course oral cancer can all be caused by smoking, and the likelihood of tobacco users developing any of these issues is exponentially higher than that of nonusers. If you are a regular tobacco user, we strongly encourage you to seek professional counseling and to consider quitting. There’s also a new trend on the rise, vaping. Read more about the dangers of vaping.
  • Infrequent Checkups: As a rule of thumb, most dentists agree that a dental appointment every six months is the best course of action, effectively resulting in two appointments per year. It’s important to remember that your dentist is trained to not only take care of your teeth, but also to recognize the signs of any additional health issues (both oral and otherwise). By not giving your dentist the time to give you a proper examination, you are preventing your dentist from detecting any health problems and allowing dental health issues to progress and worsen. 

Prevention

When it comes to issues such as tooth decay and gum disease, prevention is always the best route, therefore Dr. Kimes and his staff at Overland Park Dentistry are more than happy to provide you with the best guidance and treatment to address all your oral hygienic concerns or needs.

However, despite the various quality services that are available, it’s important to remember that the determining factor between good oral health and poor oral health always comes back basic oral hygiene. By taking the time to make sure you are correctly brushing, flossing, and caring for your teeth daily you are taking a crucial step in preventing dental health issues before they occur.

Remember consistency is key! By taking a few extra minutes each day to ensure you’re practicing proper oral hygiene and incorporating this into your daily routine until it becomes a habit, in sense you are acting as your own daily dentist! However, while daily hygienic consistency is in your hands, you should still make a point to schedule a routine dental checkup twice a year to make sure that your hygiene efforts are paying off and your teeth are strong and healthy.

Related Article: Schedule Your Summer Dental Appointment

Remember, although taking a few minutes each day to correctly care for your teeth may just seem like a little thing, sometimes the little things can make a very big difference!

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.