All posts by Dr. Charles R. Kimes

Are You a Dental Implant Candidate?

Dental Implants: An Ancient Solution for The Modern World!

As a child, losing a tooth often coincides with a visit from the Tooth Fairy, along with the exciting prospect of finding a shiny coin (or crisp bill) under your pillow the next morning. Unfortunately, much like Santa and the Easter Bunny, once you reach adulthood, visits from the Tooth Fairy seem to no longer apply, thus losing a tooth just means a whole lot of trouble! Fortunately, your friends at Overland Park Dentistry are here to help you in such a situation. And while we may not be the Tooth Fairy, we do have something special that that is certain to get you smiling again; something known as dental implants!

While dental implants have recently come into vogue amongst the general public, dental implants have actually been around for much much longer than that. Recently, archaeologists have actually unearthed evidence of ancient dental implants used by the Mayan civilization around approximately 600 AD! That’s right, the practice of replacing missing teeth has been employed for much longer than most people realize, and while today’s dentists might not use seashells to replace missing teeth, (as the ancient Mayans did) we trust that you will find your custom-fitted replacements more than satisfactory!

Dental Implants: What Are They?

Beneath your gumline you have what are called roots. Your roots act as a tooth’s life source by connecting the pulp and blood vessels to your jaw, while simultaneously keeping the tooth anchored securely within its socket. However, if a tooth is destroyed, then it is necessary to not only replace the tooth itself, (which is known as a crown) but also to find a means of anchoring the tooth in place. Therefore, acting as artificial tooth roots, a dental implant is fitted within your jawbone, creating a base for the crown to be held in place. These screw-like devices are attached to the crown via a connector and can be designed to support multiple crowns, ultimately resulting in a sturdy replacement that looks and functions like natural teeth. Dental implants are unquestionably the most effective method of tooth replacement available, and if you meet the candidacy requirements, dental implants are generally your most viable option. But, are you a dental implant candidate?

Dental Implants: Candidacy Requirements

Although dental implants are often an ideal solution, it’s important to realize that implants are not for everyone and there is a certain criterion that you must meet to be a dental implant candidate.

Listed below are some of the following requirements for candidacy:

  • First and foremost, to be a dental implant candidate, it is important to be in good oral health. While you may have sustained a broken tooth, (hence the need for a replacement) if the surrounding gum tissue has remained healthy enough to sustain the minor surgery needed to insert the implant then you’re in the clear! While gingivitis is a relatively common condition that causes the gums to become slightly irritated or inflamed, if left untreated it can eventually lead to periodontitis or gum disease. Periodontitis is an infection of the gum tissue, and like any infection is prone to spread and worsen over time. If you have developed periodontitis, you should seek treatment prior to receiving implants or any cosmetic procedures as this condition can be very serious.
  • Another requirement to be a dental implant candidate is that the patient has to have a healthy, fully developed jawbone. If you have suffered from previous mandible ailments such periodontitis or oral cancer, there is a possibility that you may have sustained bone loss and therefore may require a bone graft prior to receiving dental implants. Additionally, if the patient is a juvenile and has not stopped growing, implants should not be employed until the jaw fully develops.
  • While it may sound silly or trivial at first, a final but equally as important candidacy qualification, is the understanding that the implanted teeth must receive exceptional care from you the patient. Although tough and very durable, dental implants DO have limits and CAN fail if neglected or improperly managed. While routine visits to your dentist are certainly important in ensuring the success of your implants, it is imperative that you practice daily oral hygiene; including brushing 2 to 3 times a day and flossing regularly. Additionally, if you are a smoker or struggle with substance abuse, it is highly advised that you discontinue use and resolve such addictions before receiving dental implant treatment.

Dental Implants: Tooth Replacement Done Right!

From the rudimentary replacement methods first employed by the ancient Mayans, to the state-of-the-art technology used by Dr. Kimes and his staff today, replacing missing teeth has always been important. Therefore, if you have a broken or missing tooth, there’s no need to suffer when there’s a fantastic solution that has helped people for many years and can certainly help you. Don’t wait; contact our offices at Overland Park Dentistry and let’s see if you are a dental implant candidate if that is an effective course of treatment for you!

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.

Avoid Tooth Decay: Halloween Candy is a Spooky Subject for Your Teeth

Trick or Treat

With Halloween right around the corner, it’s the time of year in which little ghosts, vampires, and gholuls from all over, take part in the door-to-door quest for sweets. While this is always an exciting and of course spooky time of year for kids, for parents it can be a bit spooky for a totally different reason!

As surely, we’ve all heard by now, sugar is bad for your teeth. Although this is a commonly known fact that has been drilled into the collective conscious of our society for many years now, many people still struggle to grasp the seriousness of tooth decay as well as the overall importance of oral hygiene. Therefore, in a season in which the treats are a plenty, we will shed some light on the effects of tooth decay, as well as identifying which treats are the worst for causing tooth decay, and providing some insight on how to avoid tooth decay from frightening you this Halloween!

Avoid Tooth Decay: A Truly Scary Thing!

Tooth decay is a problem that can affect children and adults alike and is perhaps one of the most commonly encountered issues within the realm of professional dentistry. Tooth decay is progressive destruction of a tooth’s enamel, in which the protective out lining of the tooth is slowly broken down, thus rendering the tooth vulnerable. In this state, the tooth is essentially at the mercy of whatever substances it may encounter, particularly substances with high acidity levels or containing excessive amounts of sugar. Therefore, if binge snacking on such treats continues, it’s inevitable that the teeth will begin to decay, ultimately resulting in a cavity or additional damage to occur.

Related Article: Tooth Decay Dangers: Can it kill you?

Avoid Tooth Decay: Candy Types and Affects

Obviously sugary candy isn’t the best the for your teeth, it’s important to realize that some types of candy are much worse than others. For instance, classic chocolate treats (such as Hershey’s bars, Hershey’s kisses, Chocolate or Peanut M&M’s) remain arguably the most popular type of candy in the world today, however because the chocolate residue from these products can be easily removed from teeth by a proper brushing, these basic chocolate treats are actually a much better choice regarding your child’s oral heath than the majority of candy types out there. Conversely, chocolate bars containing a chewy filling can be much more harmful due to their contents sticking to teeth.

Related Article: The Consequences of Poor Oral Health

In the section below are a list of different types of candy and how they can be bad for teeth if consumed in excessive amounts.

  • Hard Candy: While hard candy such as Lollipops, Lifesavers, Jawbreakers, and Jolly Ranchers are certainly in high demand around Halloween, unfortunately treats such as these can be tough on teeth due to both their highly sugary contents, and hard structure. If a tooth has already been weakened by any previous damage or decay, chomping on some hard candies are certain to not make things any better!
  • High Citrus Sweets: Regardless of whether it’s a high citrus beverage or a citrusy snack, excess citrus can absolutely wreak havoc on a tooth’s enamel, causing the enamel to erode at a very quick rate. Some popular candy products containing particularly high amounts citric acid include: Sour Patch Kids, Lemonheads, Sour Skittles, and various other sour-based candies.
  • Chewy Candy: Gummy or chewy candies are perhaps among the worst types of candy when it comes to causing or progressing tooth decay. When chewy treats are consumed, the sticky remnants may to cling to teeth or even get caught in gaps or small crevasses in one’s smile and continue to expose the teeth to their sugary contents. Many different types of candy fall into this category including: Skittles, Starbursts, Gummy Bears, Laffy Taffy, and the classic Halloween staple known as Candy Corn.
  • Caramel Chocolate: As mentioned previously, unlike their more basic counterparts, caramel-filled chocolate products such as Snickers, Milk Duds, Twix, or Milky Way bars are not as easy to wash away with a simple brushing. Rather, these products tend to act much in the same vein as the aforementioned chewy candies, often getting stuck to teeth and finding their way into those hard to reach regions of the mouth. If the substance is not removed, it will likely remain lodged in place and will eventually decay, thus highlighting the importance of flossing after eating.
  • Cold Chocolate: Just a word to the wise; please do not put chocolate in the refrigerator! Biting down on an ice-cold chocolate bar can break a tooth quicker than you can say dental crown!

Related Article: Your Halloween Candy Survival Guide

A Decay-Free Halloween!

Okay, let’s make ourselves perfectly clear, it IS okay to enjoy a few treats here and there, and we certainly DON’T want to spoil you or your kiddo’s festivities this Halloween. Our goal here is simply to make both kids and parents a little more aware of how some of those beloved treats can potentially affect their smile and encourage everyone to practice a little moderation when enjoying those tasty treats to avoid tooth decay.

Remember, Halloween just isn’t Halloween without being a little scary, but tooth decay certainly isn’t the kind of scare that anyone wants!

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.

Tooth Decay Dangers: Can it Kill You??

Tooth Decay Dangers: The Ugly Truth

As one of the most fundamental oral health issues that you can face, Tooth decay remains a serious but often overlooked aspect of one’s overall health.

While once considered as little more than a minor nuisance, in more recent years, various long-term health issues have been discovered to be linked to (or directly caused by) tooth decay.  While such recent discoveries have forced the health industry to reevaluate their stance on tooth decay and take the issue much more seriously, according to The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, approximal 85% of American adults between the ages of 20-64 have some form of tooth decay in a statistic that unfortunately continues to remain stagnant. But as sobering as this statistic might be, tooth decay isn’t really THAT dangerous is it?

Well to answer that, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what exactly tooth decay is and how it’s able to manifest. The information provided below will hopefully present you with not only a basic understanding of tooth decay, but also what sort of hazards the illness may bring.

Tooth Decay Dangers: How It Happens

As its name implies, tooth decay is a condition in which the build-up of acidic material in a person’s mouth causes the outer layers of their teeth to slowly begin to erode and dissolve. When a tooth has lost its protective outer coating, it is left vulnerable to the elements causing the tooth to wither and begin to break down, thereby beginning the process of tooth decay. Being a progressive illness, tooth decay is not something that will display significant signs immediately, but rather will develop over an extended period, and gradually worsen over time. Certainly, the idea of damaged or rotten teeth may sound unpleasant, what truly makes this an urgent issue are the infectious complications that can occur as a result of tooth decay. If allowed to spread, the complications can be serious or even life-threatening if left improperly treated.

Read More: Tooth Decay: A Sickly, Sweet Dilemma

Tooth Decay Dangers: Signs & Symptoms

As mentioned previously, the early symptoms of tooth decay are relatively minor and easy to dismiss. Unfortunately, the tendency to ignore such conditions can be a very costly error as it allows the illness to progress and become increasingly difficult to treat. While not all of the symptoms listed here are definitive signs of tooth decay, if you are experiencing any such 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
  • Alterations in bite or difficulty while chewing
  • Discoloration of tooth and surrounding gumline

Read more here about how to stop bad breath.

Tooth Decay Dangers: The Domino Effect

As nasty as tooth decay can be, failing to recognize the symptoms and assess the condition can have terrifying ramifications! The crux of this concern is the propensity for bacteria to spread, thus setting off a chain reaction within the body. When teeth have decayed due to bacteria, the excess buildup of bacteria is certain to spread to the surrounding gumline thereby causing an infection in the gums, or what’s known as Periodontitis.

Related Article: Do you sip and snack all day? Read more about how sugar can harm your teeth and cause decay.

When a serious oral infection occurs, there is always the potential for the excess bacteria to spread to the bloodstream and possibly reach other regions of the body.

This is particularly dangerous for two reasons:

  1.  The bacteria’s uncanny ability to interact with and exacerbate certain pre-existing health conditions, (such as Diabetes).
  2. Perhaps an even greater concern is the affect the bacteria can have on the cardiovascular health of the individual.

As something of an umbrella term, cardiovascular or heart disease pertains to any such conditions that may block the heart’s valves or restrict its blood flow in anyway.

In severe cases of tooth decay, when the excess bacteria enter the body’s blood vessels, it will begin to travel throughout the body. If the bacteria can reach the heart, it will inflame its vessels thereby causing blood clots to develop and damage to occur. This damage will slowly began restricting the flow of blood, effectively choking the heart and forcing it to pump faster while producing less and less.

Given this, skeptics in both the dental and medical fields are quick to point out that despite the previous information, tooth decay does not guarantee an eventual heart attack. While this is certainly true, according to a recent study conducted by Harvard University, individuals afflicted with significant tooth decay have at least a two to three times higher probability of suffering a heart attack, stroke, or other sort of cardiovascular-based issue; sadly, proving the correlation to be self-evident.

Tooth Decay Dangers: Prevention Is the Answer!

So, to answer the question posed earlier, unfortunately the answer is: “YES”. If left untreated for too long and allowed to progress to advanced stages, tooth decay can be THAT dangerous and YES it CAN actually KILL You.

However, keep in mind that tooth decay requires time to reach this critical point, and much like a runaway train, severe tooth decay is only hard to stop or slowdown once it gets going, so the key is prevention! By preventing tooth decay before it starts or stopping it while it’s still in the early stages, are your best bet to preventing tooth decay.

Your friends at Overland Park Dentistry are here to help you keep tooth decay dangers at bay! By scheduling your routine six-month checkups with Dr. Kimes and his staff, you will help keep your teeth and gums healthy.

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.

Teeth Whitening Options: Over the Counter vs. Professional

White Teeth: A Universal Desire!

If you could describe your teeth in one word what would it be? While it might seem silly at first, contemplating over such a question might yield some interesting or perhaps even undesirable answers. Unfortunately, this is often the case for many people as according to several recent polls, approximately 65.9% of people across the globe reported being dissatisfied with the color/appearance of their teeth. While it’s important to consider that the dental care in some of the countries in question may lack the resources available to those within in the United States, clearly one’s teeth can have a significant impact on one’s sense of self-esteem!

Certainly, a beautiful white smile is a universal desire shared by folks from all walks of life; however, the question of how to obtain a picturesque smile of your own may vary depending on how you choose to do so. There are in fact, two different ways you can have your teeth whitened, and both of which may present aspects that can be both positive and negative depending on your given circumstances.

Teeth Whitening: Two Different Options

Now before we get into the two different teeth whitening options, lets first refresh your memory on what exactly a tooth whitening is and how it’s done. As a strictly cosmetic procedure, whitening your teeth is the practice of removing any stains or discoloration your teeth may have. As we age, our teeth sustain a significant amount of wear and tear over the years, thus accumulating various nicks and blemishes on the surface of your teeth. Therefore, the purpose of the whitening process is to effectively reverse the effects of aging and restore your smile to its former glory.

This is achieved by first applying a protective coating to the surrounding gums, then a bleaching agent directly to the surface of your teeth. This process can take  upwards of 30 minutes and can be administered a couple of different ways. Naturally, this is where the process may differ depending on your chosen option, as a professionally administered whitening can be performed by your dentist upon your request, or you may elect to undertake the procedure yourself via over the counter whitening products. Obviously, this decision entirely yours to make, however its important to realize the implications prior to making your selection as the results may vary accordingly.

Over the Counter Whitening: Pros and Cons

Pros: Generic name brand whitening materials have been sold at local pharmacies and convenience stores for years and are readily available upon visiting one. Due to the fact that Over the counter (OTC) whitening products are economically friendly and can be obtained relatively easily, these products have been somewhat popular amongst the general public in the past. While the popularity of these products has waned somewhat in recent years, OTC whitening products continue to remain a staple of pharmacies nationwide.

Cons: Whether you select whitening trays or strips, unfortunately there are a number of issues that have been reported by users of OTC products, which has perhaps led to their recent decline in consumer interest. One such issue reported in users of both OTC trays and strips is gum irritation due to exposure the bleaching solution, resulting in bleeding or painful blistering of the gums or throat. Additionally, the bleaching solution employed by OTC products has caused some users to complain of significant tooth sensitivity to particularly hot or cold temperatures, thus causing some to immediately cease use. Another counterproductive drawback is the occasional propensity of OTC whitening trays to stain or discolor teeth, due to the trays fitting incorrectly as unlike customized professional whitening trays, OTC whitening trays are a “one size fits all design” and might not meet your exact specifications.

Professional Whitening Options: Pros and Cons

Pros: A Professional dental whitening is unquestionably the safest and most efficient way to ensure your teeth look better than ever! A professional whitening treatment requires a visit to the dental office, where the dentist will assess the amount of whitening solution needed, (based on the degree of tooth discoloration as well as the preferences of the patient) and proceed to take impressions of the upper and lower rows of teeth, thus providing you with custom-fitted whitening trays. Once the whitening solution has been administered, you will receive your custom trays, as well as a take home touch-up kit. This kit will include a set of detailed instructions on how to the trays are to be correctly worn and how to properly load the amount of bleaching gel into each tray in order to prevent any issues or mishaps. By opting for a professional whitening, you will see instant results as well as receiving high quality materials to ensure the desired results.

Cons: While a professional whiting is clearly superior to all OTC systems, as far as the actual whitening procedure goes, obviously a professional whitening does require you to take the time to come in for an actual dental appointment. Although the treatment is relatively short, (rarely exceeding an hour) this can present an issue for some those with inflexible schedules. Perhaps the only other issue presented by a professional whitening, is the fact that the procedure does cost more than OTC products, and while the price may vary depending on a number of factors, this is something to consider when making your selection.

Related Article: Professional Teeth Whitening: Get the Smile of Your Dreams

The Choice is Yours!

While a beautiful smile is something that everyone wants, the way to achieve the smile of your dreams is up to you. At Overland Park Dentistry we certainly encourage patients to consider a professional whitening for the most effective results, however only you can decide which whitening method is the correct solution for you! Read more here about other Cosmetic Dentistry Options to achieve the smile of your dreams.

If you are unhappy with your smile, considering teeth whitening options, or simply have questions about getting your teeth whitened, please call us at Overland Park Dentistry, and let us help you get the smile that you desire!

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.

You Asked: What are the most common dental problems?

Your Teeth: A Thing Of Beauty!

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!

Common Dental Problems

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

Listed below are some of the most common dental problems and health issues affecting patients today.

Tooth Decay:

As one of the most widespread diseases in the United States (second only to the common cold) tooth decay is the condition in which excessive buildup of bacteria in the mouth breaks down the tooth’s enamel, thus causing the tooth to decay. Tooth decay can affect people of all ages, and although slow to progress, if left untreated tooth decay can cause permanent damage to your teeth and gums. Wanna know more about tooth decay, click here.

Periodontal Disease:

Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease is a progressive infection of the gum tissue, and much like tooth decay, can present a major problem if allowed to progress. If periodontal disease progresses to its later stages, it is likely to interact with and exacerbate other illnesses such as diabetes, or heart disease.

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.


Like foul breath, toothaches or tooth sensitivity can be a tell-tale sigh that there may be additional dental 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 And Prevention

The before mentioned issues obviously can pose some serious problems, 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 Daily Hygiene: While this may seem like a given, unfortunately it can be very easy to fall into poor oral hygiene habits, and while this many 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 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, thus 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 approximately every six months is the best course of action, effectively resulting in two appointments per year. Unfortunately, this rule is not always adhered to and while making at least one dental appointment per year might suffice in some cases, there are some people who won’t even do that. 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 issues, thereby allowing the issues to progress and worsen. 

A Smile Is A Terrible Thing to Waste!

Your smile is something you should love and take care of. But if you take it for granted, your beautiful smile not only won’t stay beautiful, but could also end up making you very sick! While all these common dental problems can potentially become a severe health crisis, keep in mind that almost all of these conditions can be prevented or successfully treated by taking the time to see Dr. Kimes and his wonderful staff at Overland Park Dentistry. 

Remember a Smile is a terrible thing to waste, Don’t waste yours!

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.

A New Trend: The Dangers of Vaping

The new fad of vaping has swept the nation, and although this craze has certainly generated its share of controversy and mixed emotions, for the time being it appears that vaping is here to stay.

Initially arriving on the public scene several years back, vaping was introduced as a healthier option as opposed to tobacco use. By allowing users to receive a nicotine kick through ingesting smokeless vapor instead of smoking or chewing tobacco. While these various types of vapor generating electronic cigarettes (sometimes known as e-cigs or vape pens) have quickly become a hit amongst the general populous. Ongoing debates between both critics and supporters continue to revolve around what health benefits, issues and dangers of vaping that may associated with this new trend.

While tobacco in all its forms has obviously remained an enemy to the dental profession for a very long time, the recent arrival of vaping certainly indicates a change in this dynamic (and of course, change can be good or bad). Therefore, in response to this we have compiled a list of some of the pros, cons  and dangers of vaping as opposed to smoking. As you will see in the following two columns, we break down vaping from an oral health standpoint, to better compare it with smoking and tobacco use. Remember although vaping might present less of a hazard to your gums and teeth than smoking, it does NOT mean it presents no hazard at all!

Vaping: The Pros

It’s no secret that prolonged tobacco use can absolutely devastate the oral health of the user, and when compared to vaping is significantly more dangerous.  While vaping is certainly not harmless, it is in fact the safer option of the two.

  • Won’t stain teeth: Despite much discussion and debate on this aspect, contrary to popular belief vaping will not actually discolor or stain your teeth, unlike cigars, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and other tobacco containing products.  
  • More hygienic:  Let’s face it, tobacco is gross and very messy; certainly with vapor products, any problems with basic oral hygiene will be considerably less prevalent. 
  • Won’t cause oral cancer: As one of its primary selling points, it should be reiterated that vaping will not cause oral cancer, nor lead to any other type of cancer that we know of. That being said, remember that vaping is still a relatively new type of technology, thereby certain long-term health concerns may not yet be known. 

Dangers of Vaping: The Cons

As mentioned previously, while promoting itself as a safer alternative as opposed to smoking, vaping is still not good for your teeth and if not regularly checked, can result in multitude of oral health problems.

  • Gingivitis & Periodontitis: Due to the significant amount of nicotine present in vapor-emitting products, users of such products are at an increased risk of developing gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Such gum infections if not diagnosed and correctly treated can become significantly worse overtime. 
  • Gum recession:  In addition to causing gum disease, the nicotine within electronic cigarettes may also cause the gum line to recede. Due to nicotine’s tendency to slow and reduce the flow of blood as it passes throughout the body, it ultimately cuts off the gums from receiving the necessary amount of nutrients and oxygen for survival, thus slowly killing the gum tissue.  
  • Hide symptoms/Prevent detection: To complete the trifecta of gum problems caused by vaping, by reducing the blood flow and killing off the gum tissue, vaping also hinders the dentist’s ability to detect the infection. Generally increased bleeding is a telltale sign that dentists look for in identifying gum disease; however, by suppressing the flow of blood, diagnosing the disease becomes increasingly difficult.  
  • Cause clenching and grinding: While this might not apply to everyone, if you do tend to clench or grind your teeth, then vaping might not be a good idea as nicotine is a muscle stimulant and may likely increase this tendency. 

To Vape or Not to Vape?

After all that is the question, right?

Well the correct answer may differ from a tobacco user to a nonuser, so we’ll put it to you like this; If you are a smoker/tobacco user who is trying to quit or looking for a safer alternative, then yes vaping can provide that. However, if you are a nonsmoker and are simply curious about the new vaping trend, then please don’t try it! Although not nearly as dangerous as tobacco, vaping offers little to no health benefits, and can damage your gums and teeth.

While of course you are ultimately the deciding factor, and if you chose to partake in this new trend, certainly the choice is yours. However, while vaping might be the latest fad, a beautiful smile is something that never goes out of style, so choose wisely! 

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.

Root Canal Therapy: Revealing the Truths and Busting the Myths

Root Canals: Some Kind of Monster?

It’s considered to be the most feared procedure within the annals of the dental industry and the name itself continues to invoke a since dread amongst patients across the world. Because of this, Root Canals have become etched in the psyche of the general populace, as dentistry’s equivalent of the boogeyman! However, despite its scary reputation, few people truly take the time to ask themselves just what exactly a root canal is?

Indeed, like many supposedly scary subjects, there are numerous misconceptions, and outright falsehoods that surround the root canal procedure. While some of these pretenses/beliefs can be dispelled as myths, others may contain partial truths or exaggerations, thus making it difficult to discern fact from fiction. Therefore, in the section below we will address some of the most common myths surrounding root canals in attempt to put some of these long-held fears to rest once and for all!

Root Canals: The Truth

The purpose for receiving root canal therapy is pretty simple; if the pulpitis or pulp of a tooth becomes infected, the exposed nerves will typically begin to ache and become extremely sensitive to the touch. This generally occurs due to an exposed root or cracked/damaged tooth and will undoubtably become worse as time goes on.

Therefore, to alleviate this pain you require root canal therapy! The term root canal; however, refers not to any dental procedure, but rather to the pulp-based chambers and canals within and around the tooth. Much like trees and plants, these chambers and canals serve as the inner source of nourishment or (to put it bluntly) guts/roots of the tooth.

The procedure often mistakenly known as a “root canal”, is correctly known as endodontic therapy, and rather than the boogeyman, this procedure is actually something of an angel in disguise. “Endo” being the Greek word for inside, and “Odont” being Greek for tooth, is (as its name implies) the maintenance and restoration of the inner anatomy of your tooth, which as you will see here is often not what its perceived to be.

Related Article: Root Canal Symptoms: The Root of Your Fears

Myth Busters: Common Root Canal Therapy Myths Busted

Myth: The root canal therapy / treatment hurts.

Busted: A root canal/endodontic therapy is not designed to create pain, but rather to alleviate it. As mentioned previously, when the roots and nerves of a tooth are exposed, there is a strong possibility that pain will occur. However, by treating the infected tissue and sealing them off from receiving any further damage (with a crown or filling) the pain will be reduced and eventually cease entirely.

Myth: A root canal can require up to four or five separate appointments to treat.

Busted: While it’s true that the endodontic procedure may require 1-2 appointments to fully complete, requiring an excess of four or five appointments is a bit of an exaggeration. Obviously, each case is different as the extent of the damage and infection varies from one patient to another and may require the assistance endodontist (or oral surgeon) however, the treatment process itself essentially remains the same.

Myth: A root canal is only necessary when pain occurs

Busted: Although exposed or damaged roots typically cause significant pain, if the tooth is already dead this might not be the case. If the pulp and nerves within the tooth have died, you will likely not experience as much pain. Unfortunately, in this condition a tooth is ripe for infection or might be infected already. Therefore, to prevent the infection from spreading and causing further damage.

Myth: A root canal is a temporary solution

Busted: This is common misconception that is perhaps the byproduct of those whose treatment hasn’t gone as well as expected. While there have been instances of a tooth breaking shorty after it has been restored, such mishaps are not typical and usually only occur when a tooth is very brittle to begin with. Fortunately, thanks to numerous advancements in dental technology, the endodontic root canal therapy is generally considered a permanent solution, with a much higher success rate than ever before!

Don’t Be Fooled!

As hopefully you can surmise from this juncture, in spite of the hype and less than stellar reputation, the highly misunderstood root canal therapy is truly nothing scary at all. Yes, like the Loch Ness Monster, the Abominable Snowman, and the Boogeyman, this so-called monster is nothing more than myth and at Overland Park Dentistry we are more than happy to prove this to you!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his expert team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with any preventativerestorative or cosmetic needs you or your family may have. 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.

Am I a candidate to receive a same day dental crown?

Dental Crowns 101: The Basics

As a primary aspect of the dental profession for many years, dental crowns, (or fillings) are perhaps one of the most well-known and commonly performed procedures within dentistry today. As you’re probably aware, a conventional dental crown (to put it simply) is a method of restoration in which a tooth-shaped cap is placed over a damaged or decayed tooth, thus effectively covering the entire the tooth that is exposed above the gum line. The purpose of this crown is not only to improve the patient’s overall oral health by restoring and strengthening the tooth, but to provide the patient with a smile that is aesthetically pleasing as well.

While conventional dental crowns remain a popular, and sought-after solution within the dental community, the process of receiving a crown has not always been the most desirable experience. When receiving a standard dental crown, the process requires at least two separate appointments, in which the patient would likely have to take time off work or adjust their schedules to accommodate. Additionally, in waiting to receive a conventional crown, the patient would be given a temporary crown to wear between appointments. While certainly necessary in preventing future damage and providing a quick fix, the cumbersome temporary crown has been unpopular with patients in the past, as they have been known to break easily, or sometimes to even fall out. Tedious as the process may be, the end product will typically be that of a sturdy and dependable crown to serve as a long-term replacement.

Although the standard crown will certainly prove its worth over time, it’s important to remember that the average lifespan of a regular dental crown is approximately ten years; however, this may certainly vary depending on both lifestyle habits and the routine practice of proper oral hygiene. That said, the conventional crown despite its flaws, is a tried and true solution that has helped patients for many years.       

The CEREC Crown: A Whole New Ballgame!

Alright… you might want to pay attention, because we’ve got quite the doozy for you! Now imagine if you can, a picture-perfect crown that can be both created and fitted in your mouth with just one single appointment!

Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it?

However, what you may be surprised to find is a mythical, and seemingly flawless same day dental crown that is in fact no myth at all. As the “Chairside Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics” or “CEREC Crown” is both very real and currently very in demand among both dentists and patients alike. Originally developed back in 1980, the “Chairside Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics” or “CEREC Crown” technology has taken modern dentistry by storm and has proven itself as a powerful new tool within the field.

The CEREC Crown is a specially customized same day dental crown, created specifically for you through digital imaging as opposed to simply using a goopy dental impression of your mouth to accurately pinpoint the precise dimensions of your new crown, and thereby create a near perfect replica of your natural tooth.

Related Article: CEREC Crown: Technology giving you a crown in One Day

This cutting-edge digital imaging allows Dr. Kimes to scan the inside of your mouth to accurately pinpoint the precise dimensions of your new crown, and thereby create a near perfect replica of your natural tooth. Once placed over a rotten or broken natural tooth, this masterpiece of modern dentistry provides a permanent replacement that is virtually unnoticeable and can even be customized to match the exact shade of your teeth! Although considerably stronger, presenting an exponentially improved appearance, many patients consider the convenient process in receiving the CEREC to be among their favorite improvements over the conventional crown. Unlike the afore mentioned conventional crown, the CEREC same day dental crown requires only a single appointment in which you may receive a fully complete, permanent replacement, thus sparing you the hassle of making multiple appointments and managing a temporary crown.  

CEREC Crown Candidacy Requirements

“So how can I get a CEREC crown?”

While such a straightforward question may typically warrant a simple answer, the truth of the matter (as it so often is) is a bit more complicated than that. For most patients needing a crown, (approximately 90%) yes, the cutting edge cerec crown is absolutely a fantastic solution, and the most efficient option available.

However, perhaps the only true exception to this would be in patients who may suffer from bruxism. Bruxism is a chronic condition, in which a patient may excessively (and sometimes unconsciously) clench their jaw, clenching or grinding their teeth. Although enormously popular and highly sought after, the only real issue presented by the cerec crown is the fact that due to its excess strength, it may present a bit more of a hazard when grinding against other teeth than that of its predecessor. Fortunately, if this is something you find yourself concerned with or suffer from chronic clenching, there are several types of mouth guards available for both daytime and night-time use that can be created by our team here at Overland Park Dentistry and made available upon request!

Related Article: Don’t Stress… Get a Mouth Guard for Teeth Grinding

Come See Us!

Although its not often that you see an old dog learn new tricks, in the case of the dental crown this is certainly true, as thanks to the crisp new cerec technology, the common dental crown has now received a major upgrade! The cerec crown has in many ways revolutionized the field of professional dentistry by ushering in a new era of 21st century technology and presenting patients with a level of quality that previously could not be provided.

Related Article: Receive a Same Day CEREC Crown at Overland Park Dentistry

But don’t take our word for it, if you are in need of a crown or filling, come see us at Overland Park Dentistry and find out for yourself!      

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his expert team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with any preventativerestorative or cosmetic needs you or your family may have. 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.

Brace Yourself with Invisalign Teen!

As something of a time-honored tradition, traditional metal braces have become something of a hallmark of one’s teenage years. While these metallic devices have never been the most fashionable, over the years they have proven themselves to be an effective solution in straitening teeth. However, despite their ability to correct misaligned teeth, traditional metal braces do not come without their share of drawbacks as well.

  • Clunky and cumbersome, traditional braces have been known to cause users a certain amount of discomfort, requiring frequent trips to the orthodontist for tightening and adjustments.
  • Braces also require several dietary and lifestyle changes, as standard braces prohibit patients from enjoying certain food products that are particularly hard, crunchy, or chewy, since the food particles may damage or get stuck in the wires or metal brackets.

While the inconveniences of having braces remain par for the course for many American teens, a sleek new alternative known as Invisalign Teen has recently taken the dental industry by storm and looks to give traditional braces a run for their money!

Related Article: Smile Bright with Invisalign Invisible Braces

Invisalign Teen is A New Alternative

As one of the most popular new innovations within the dental industry, Invisalign teen invisible braces have quickly become the poster child for cosmetic dentistry as well as standing as a testament to the capability of modern dental technology.

As an alternative to the standard dental braces, Invisalign are transparent custom fitted aligners that are designed to straighten and ultimately realign your teeth. The purpose of the Invisalign device is not only to improve the aesthetic appearance of your teeth, but also to correct any jaw alignment issues or irregularities, such as underbite, overbite, crossbite, ect. The Invisalign aligners are temporary, interchangeable aligners that are to be changed every two weeks over a period of generally six to eighteen months or more, depending on the patient’s specific needs. Unlike traditional braces, the Invisalign aligners are easily removable, require patients to make relatively few (if any) lifestyle changes, and are virtually unnoticeable.

Here’s what current Invisalign Teen user, Isabella Russell, (14) has to say about her experience.

No one really notices my aligners unless I tell them. My friends who have braces can’t eat certain things or have their teeth whitened, but I can and I think they’re a bit jealous of that.”

Indeed, by eliminating any anxiety or embarrassment, that has been an issue among braces users in the past, Invisalign Teen has become one of the most sought-after commodities – not just the among the teenage demographic – but also for adults, with Invisalign users ranging in age from 8 to 80!

Invisalign Technology: The Sky’s the Limit!

As advanced as modern dental technology is today, chances are that it will only continue to further build upon and be improved, and the Invisalign technology is certainly no exception to this! With continuing advancements in technology, the Invisalign treatment will likely only get better in time, providing endless future possibilities! 

Related Article: Invisalign: Technology is Beautiful

So, if you are unhappy with you current smile or wish your teeth were straighter, come see us at Overland Park Dentistry, and see what Invisalign technology can do for you!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his expert team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with any preventativerestorative or cosmetic needs you or your family may have. 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.

The Consequences of Poor Oral Health

Although dentistry has always been part of the health community, for many years oral health was looked as a lesser health concern and was not held in high esteem among those in the heath industry as compared to other professions. Alas, in recent years this has been proven to be incorrect, as oral health has revealed itself not only be a much more significant issue than originally suspected, but also to be the root cause of numerous additional health complications. While the resulting ailments may vary in severity, some have potential to be quite serious or even fatal, if left untreated.

Poor Oral Health and General Health

Make no mistake, oral hygiene is extremely important, and while you might be able to get away with a couple slip-ups here and there; unfortunately, it’s a slippery slope to poor oral health. As it can be extremely easy to get into the habit of providing your teeth with inadequate care, thus setting yourself up for inevitable health issues.

For many in people in the past this has sadly been the case, as progressive 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 a litany of additional health problems as well! Whether it be gum disease, tooth decay, or other health complications, the consequences of inadequate oral hygiene and poor oral health are never pretty!

Health Complications

At first glance, the two major consequences of improper oral hygiene (Tooth Decay and Gum Disease) may strictly seem like oral health issues. However, in reality these issues go much deeper than that as their affects not only wreak havoc on your oral health but cause an excess amount of oral bacteria to build up as well.

If the bacteria produced by either condition can enter the bloodstream, it may likely travel to other areas of the body, thereby spreading and worsening the infection. If the infectious bacteria reach the heart of its host, 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 producing less.

Learn more about Dental Health Awareness and how Gum Disease and Heart Disease are linked here.

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.

Learn more about the link between Diabetes and Oral Health and its link to gum disease here.

 Prevention: The Six-Month Rule

It’s often said that “The best defense is a good offense” and when it comes to maintaining your health (both oral and overall) such an approach is perhaps the smartest route. If you have read any of our previous blog entries, you may be familiar with what we at Overland Park Dentistry refer to as “The Six-Month Rule”, and while this term is not yet widely known among the general populace, learning and adhering to the six-month rule is perhaps one of the best ways in protecting both your oral and overall health.

As its name implies, the six-month rule is the recommended amount of time between scheduled dental checkups, resulting two routine dental checkups annually. By taking the time to receive two checkups per year you are much more likely to correct poor oral health habits and prevent potential issues before they are allowed to become a threat to your well-being.

Learn why you should schedule your summer dental appointment here.

So, ask yourself:

When was my last dental appointment?


Just how often do I take the time to make sure I am properly brushing and caring for my teeth?

If you found yourself unable to honestly answer either of these two questions, we strongly encourage you to come see us at Overland Park Dentistry so that we may help keep both you and your teeth healthy!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his expert team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with any preventativerestorative or cosmetic needs you or your family may have. 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.