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Emergency Dental Care: When Disaster Strikes!

When Disaster Strikes!

From breaking a tooth, to a filling falling out, to a painful toothache, a dental emergency is never a desirable situation to be in, and while its always a good idea to take certain precautions to prevent such an event, accidents DO happen! Fortunately, your friends here at Overland Park Dentistry understand this and are certainly willing to be here for you in your time of need, while breaking a tooth will never be a welcome surprise, we hope you can rest a little easier knowing that we’re always here for you, especially when you need emergency dental care.

Emergency Dental Care: What happens  

As mentioned previously, there are several reasons why dental emergencies happen, but usually it comes back to one cause, decay! Tooth decay, even in its earliest stages, is a danger to teeth and if left untreated can put a great strain on your oral health and lead to additional health complications as well. While certainly no one intentionally neglects their teeth, unfortunately it can be very easy to fall into poor or improper hygiene habits, causing your teeth to slowly deteriorate and eventually decay. While its important to realize that decayed teeth are considerably weaker and easier to break, accidents resulting in physical trauma (falls, occupational hazards, sports injuries) are not uncommon ways to break a tooth either and can happen anytime.

Emergency Dental Care: What to Do and Steps to Follow:

While the reasons for emergency dental care may sound believable in theory, often people assume that they will never need such a service; that is until it happens to them! So hypothetically speaking, ask yourself:

“If you truly found yourself faced with such a crisis as a broken tooth what would you do?”

Here is the best plan of action…
  1. Find the tooth: First things first, whether the tooth (or teeth) has broken off into one piece or several, its important locate these fragments and bring to your dentist for examination. Remember if the tooth is still relatively intact, it may be possible to save and re-implant it.
  2. Clean and preserve the tooth: If the broken tooth has gathered any dirt or debris, it is certainly a good idea to rinse and clean the tooth, while simultaneously being careful as not accidently wash away any of the tooth fragments. Once cleaned, your next step is to preserve the tooth and prepare it for transportation, which can be achieved by filling a small airtight container with milk (most use Tupperware or basic food storage container) and sealing the tooth inside. This keeps the tooth from drying out and its root surface from swelling up, thereby preserving it for an extended period of time.
  3. Make the call: Because Dr. Kimes cares a great deal about his patients and wishes to provide them with assistance in the instance of an emergency, by contacting our offices at Overland park Dentistry and giving your name and reason for your call, you are certain to receive a swift response. Dr. Kimes has performed many emergency procedures for patients in the past and will certainly do the same for you! 
  4. Find a driver: Breaking a tooth can be a very painful experience, and if you are in severe pain then driving might not be a good idea. In this case, acquiring the assistance of a friend or family member might be a necessary final step. While breaking a tooth is certainly a serious issue, it is absolutely not an issue worth the risk of causing any potential harm to yourself or others, by attempting to drive in such a condition.

Emergency Dental Care: Other Scenarios

Although breaking a tooth is typically the worst-case scenario, as mentioned earlier, there are additional situations that may warrant emergency dental care treatment as well. While the best course of action is always to call and make your emergency appointment, below are some of these potential issues as well as some additional tips and remedies that may prove useful in the given situation.

  • Broken or lost crown: In the instance of a dental crown (or filling) breaking or simply falling out, clean the area by rinsing it with warm saltwater as an initial good step to take. Additionally, if you are unable to make an emergency appointment, patching the afflicted area with toothpaste or denture cream may suffice as a temporary solution.
  • Severe toothache: While it may sound a bit silly, sometimes a plain old toothache can cause enough pain to almost completely incapacitate a person, requiring immediate care. Like the previous scenario, rinsing and swishing your mouth with warm saltwater may alleviate some of the discomfort, as well as the use of ibuprofen or basic over the counter pain relivers. Keep in mind however, a severe toothache may indicate tooth decay or other oral health issues, so scheduling a dental appointment is still a necessity.
  • Out of town emergency: Perhaps one of the most difficult situations would be having a dental emergency while out of town or on vacation. In this scenario, contacting a local dentist or visiting the emergency room might be required to provide temporary relief, however contacting your regular dental provider and scheduling a follow-up visit should be your first move upon returning home.

Emergency Dental Care: Be Prepared

There’s no telling when an accident may occur, being properly prepared can make a big difference in ensuring things get resolved quickly and effectively during an emergency dental care situation. While we certainly hope the various steps and guidance tips may help you in such a scenario, keep in mind that Dr. Kimes and his staff at Overland Park Dentistry are always prepared to help you and address all your dental needs.

So, remember when disaster strikes, you know who to call!

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.

Oral Cancer Screenings are the dental industry’s best kept secret

In the time of year when the cold bitterness of winter slowly begins to taper off and warm rays of sunlight slowly begin to take its place, we witness the time known as Spring. Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes of the harsh dismal winter, green sprouts of life begin to appear. As flowers begin to blossom, certainly it’s a beautiful time to be alive!

Perhaps it’s only fitting that in a time known for rebirth, and renewal, we take the time to reflect upon one of the most essential aspects of our lives; our health. While certainly it can be easy to take one’s health for granted; however, with the innumerable health hazards that one may encounter in life, it’s always in one’s best interest to maintain a keen level of awareness of any serious illnesses.

Oral Cancer: A Deceptive Foe

As one of the most notorious and feared diseases among people across the globe, cancer in all its forms is a serious and potentially fatal illness that has claimed the lives of countless people in the past and continues to do so to this day. As one of the most vicious types of cancer that one can encounter, approximately 7,500 annual deaths in the U.S. alone can be attributed to oral cancer.

Often manifesting within the mouth and neck region, oral cancer is primarily caused by tobacco use, but can be further aggravated by factors such viral infections or excessive alcohol intake. Some of the early signs/symptoms of oral cancer, may include a harshness or gravelly tone to one’s voice, or unusual swelling surrounding the mouth or throat. While such minor nuisances may not exactly seem to be a serious cause for alarm, they can in fact be more than they appear.

As mentioned previously, deception is a key factor in oral cancer’s modus operandi, thus an individual may be suffering from early stages of oral cancer without even knowing it! Unfortunately, if the disease continues to remain undetected (as it often does) and is allowed to advanced stages, it may already be too late.

Related Article: New Year’s Resolution: Stop Smoking

Oral Cancer Screenings: Dental’s Best Kept Secret

Since its inception, the dental industry has developed an array of different treatments to asses a patient’s oral health needs. While certan treatments such as fillings, whitenings, and more recently dental implants, have become well known among the general public essentially becoming synonymous with the dental profession. However, there’s a lesser known treatment that has slowly gained recognition as one of the most significant and life-saving procedures within the industry; oral cancer screenings!

Oral cancer screenings may in fact be the dental profession’s best kept secret, as most patients are unaware that they are receiving the screening even as it happens! Oral cancer screenings are a quick and painless procedure that Dr. Kimes preforms as part of your standard dental exam at Overland Park Dentistry. When you come in for your routine dental checkup, you are simultaneously receiving an accurate screening for any early signs or symptoms of oral cancer, which is something that can be a deciding factor. Identifying and treating oral cancer within its earliest stages is often the best bet in fully overcoming the disease, as the cancer is not given the time to cause damage and spread, therefore it is paramount that you let Dr. Kimes take the time to give you that crucial oral cancer screening during your next dental appointment!

Related Article: Oral Cancer Screening: Prevention Saves Lives

Oral Cancer: Join the Fight!

While much of the information provided above may not exactly present the bright and cheerful message that you may be accustomed to this time of year, please remember that the purpose of this article is to remind you that there’s still time to change this! Therefore, if you do have any concerns or anxiety over your chances of developing oral cancer, taking the time to schedule a routine dental checkup/oral cancer screening, is unquestionably the right decision.

Although far too many people have been dealt the cruel hand of oral cancer in the past, and have tragically had to face the consequences, YOU have the power to change this for yourself!

So Please – don’t become another statistic, let’s take a stand against oral cancer together!

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.

Say ‘Cheese’ with Cosmetic Dentistry Options!

cosmetic-dentistry-options

In an age of social media, iPhones, tablets, and of course selfies galore, certainly you always want to look your best! While this can be achieved through dressing nicely and always being mindful of the latest fashion trends, if your smile fails to meet your expectations, then life in an era of selfies may prove to be a bit challenging. While unfortunately this is the case of some people, such a situation does not have to persist any longer than necessary. As with social media and other new technology, modern cosmetic dentistry has come a long way in recent years and only continues to get better!

Are Cosmetic Dentistry Options for You?

Through a quick Google search of the term “cosmetic dentistry options” you will undoubtedly receive various definitions and results. Indeed, cosmetic dentistry options is something of an umbrella term that generally refers to image-based dental procedures, ultimately seeking to improve the appearance of one’s smile. To put it simply; cosmetic dentistry is like getting a makeover for your smile in order to restore it to its former glory. However, this “smile makeover” is not strictly for appearance purposes, as it also servers to improve your overall oral health and keep your teeth both beautiful and strong.

 

Cosmetic Dentistry Options and Procedures

Listed below are several procedures that fall under the cosmetic dentistry category, all of which are offered at Overland Park Dentistry and can be made available to you upon your request!

Invisalign:

As a cutting-edge innovation within the field of dentistry, Invisalign is now one of the most sought-after procedures within the industry today! Invisalign aligners are transparent, easily removable, custom-fitted dental aligners that are designed to realign and straighten your teeth and are minimally invasive. The Invisalign procedure requires approximately 6-18 months to complete and offers a much less invasive approach than traditional braces.

Related Article: Invisalign Dentist in Overland Park

Bonding:

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

Related Article: Got a Chipped Tooth? We’ve Got Options for YOU!

Teeth Whitening:

As its name implies, tooth whitening is a simple procedure in which the shade of ones’ teeth is exponentially brightened, creating a much more aesthetically pleasing appearance. The purpose of tooth whiting is to reduce any stains, blemishes, or signs of ageing. While basic dental whitening kits have been sold at convenience stores for years, these generic kits have been known to irritate users’ gums and sometimes cause a great deal of discomfort. Therefore, if you desire a brighter, healthier looking smile, its always best to have your teeth professionally whitened!

Related Articles:

Porcelain Veneers or Lumineers:

While terms such as porcelain veneers or Lumineers might still be unfamiliar to some, dental veneers have slowly become one of the most sought after and universally praised cosmetic dentistry options for restoring smiles. Appearing as a clear, shell-like device, veneers may not look like much. However, once fitted over your upper and lower rows of teeth, the veneers act as something of a rain jacket, effectively shielding your teeth from any hazardous elements they may encounter. In addition to the widely popular porcelain veneers, dental Lumineers have also recently been made available! Serving as something of a streamlined-upgrade from veneers, lumineers provide the same protection for teeth while eliminating the need for removing the tooth’s enamel or reshaping them.

Related Article: Porcelain Veneers: A hot new arrival

Dr. Kimes: Your Overland Park Cosmetic Dentist!

Born and raised in the greater Overland Park area, it was only natural that upon graduating from dental school at UMKC, that Dr. Kimes opened his practice in Overland Park, a community he knows and loves. Now with thirty plus years of experience and expertise to offer his patients, Dr. Charles Kimes is also a world class dentist with the ability to provide multiple dental services to those in need. While certainly preventative and restorative dentistry is very very important, cosmetic dentistry might just be his favorite!

“My favorite part of what I do is making patients smile” he said. “I’ve had so many people come into my office that have been unhappy with the appearance of their smile or ashamed and embarrassed by how their teeth look, and I love how happy it makes them when we fix that. It’s truly the best feeling in the world!”

Indeed, making people happy is perhaps what cosmetic dentistry is all truly about and there’s no better way to express ones’ happiness than by smiling. So, remember in a world where pictures are constantly being taken (and are always a click away from being uploaded for all to see) don’t let a simple stain or gap between your teeth keep you from smiling! Come see us at Overland Park Dentistry and keep on smiling!

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

 

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 dentistry options for 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.

Are You Experiencing Sudden Tooth Sensitivity?

sudden-tooth-sensitivity

What is Sudden Tooth Sensitivity?

Sudden tooth sensitivity is something that most people experience at some point or another and although a common problem, it can be quite a hindrance in your daily life. Sudden tooth sensitivity or dentin hypersensitivity can be caused by several different factors, and may come and go over time. Typically the most common symptom of sensitive teeth is a sharp pain when consuming products that are hot, cold, acidic, or particularly sweet. While this might began as simply a slight nuisance, this sudden sensitivity may likely worsen as time goes on. Therefore we highly recommend scheduling an appointment with your dentist, before this minor problem becomes a major one.

Causes for sudden tooth sensitivity and how we can help!

While there are many factors that can put wear and tear on your teeth and ultimately cause sudden tooth sensitivity, there are typically four main culprits behind this issue.

  1. Clenching/Grinding: clenching and grinding your teeth (or bruxism) might be a side effect of excess stress, excess frustration, malocclusion (jaw misalignment), or perhaps even a reaction to certain medications or stimulants. In addition to the onset of heightened or sudden tooth sensitivity, many patients also report facial pain or frequent headaches accompanying bruxism, thus causing additional discomfort. While making key dietary and lifestyle changes may help alleviate these symptoms, your dentist may also suggest a bruxism appliance or mouth guard. This is a custom fitted device created by your dentist, that provides your jaw with the necessary spacing and cushioning between and around your teeth. These devices can be worn during the day and at night, thus protecting your teeth from acquiring any excess wear.
  2. Fractured Tooth: Sometimes known as “cracked tooth syndrome” small cracks or abrasions on your tooth, although difficult to see sometimes, can cause a significant amount of pain and sensitivity in the affected tooth. Treating a fractured tooth typically varies depending on the size and positioning of the damaged area. The treatments can range from bonding, crowns, or in more serious cases a root canal. Although this may seem excessive for a small fracture, it’s important to realize that these cracks will likely grow in time. Therefore a proactive step would be to address the issue now instead of later.
  3. Tooth Decay: Simply put, tooth decay is the breakdown of the tooth’s enamel and dentin, due to overexposure to acidic bacteria. While this basic dental issue may seem like an obvious problem, it remains a persistent and easy to overlook issue for many. If detected early, your dentist may apply a sealant solution to protect and fill in the groves of your tooth. However if the enamel has been considerably destroyed, a filling will be needed.
  4. Gum Recession: Although periodontal or gum disease is a common issue that can affect people from all walks of life, how you choose to react to such an occurrence often determines how it may affect you individually. Gum disease is a gradual problem that occurs slowly over an extended period, and may initially present itself as inflammation and redness of the gum line. While this may not seem serous at first, the irritated gums may begin bleeding while growing increasingly sensitive to certain food products. This sensitivity is due to the root surface of the tooth becoming exposed resulting in abfraction. To combat this, you dentist may recommend desensitizing toothpaste or gels, as well as using a softened toothbrush to prevent further trauma.  Obviously continuing to practice proper oral hygiene under the supervision of your dentist may perhaps be the best solution for this issue as consistently ensuring your gum’s health is ultimately your best option.

Related Article: Sensitive Teeth – Causes and Cures

Schedule your appointment today!

As you can see, there are many ways in which we can help our patients with painful and sudden tooth sensitivity; however, you should certainly come see us to receive a formal diagnosis. By letting us help you, you are taking a necessary first step in getting to the root of the problem!

We look forward to having the opportunity to help you with any restorative care in the case of sudden tooth sensitivity. If you need to schedule a dental appointment, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Do You Need Emergency Dental Care?

emergency-dental-care

Emergency dental care is something we all hope we’ll never need… Having a dental emergency is not something any of us normally look forward to, nor is it something that is ever planned. Unfortunately, it happens to all of us at one point or another. And when it does, it’s nice to know what to do when you or someone close to you needs emergency dental care.

An unexpected dilemma

Imagine enjoying a wonderful holiday break with your family. As you sit down to have a meal together, you experience an unpleasant situation. When you bite into your food you feel a cracking sensation, followed by a sharp pain in your mouth. As the stinging in your mouth continues to worsen, the reality of your situation sets in; you have just broken a tooth! Unfortunately, this imaginary scenario has been a reality for many people; when you break a tooth it’s often a sudden, unanticipated problem that delays any immediate plans you may have. You experience needing emergency dental care.

Who are you going to call?

At Overland Park Dentistry we are prepared to assist our patients when a dental emergency occurs. When patients call in this type of situation, we always do our best to accommodate same day emergency appointments.

There are normally two reasons for emergency dental care, restorative and cosmetic.

We provide restorative emergency dental care to help our patients to get out of pain as quickly as possible.  There are cosmetic reasons for requiring an emergency visit as well. Perhaps you have a presentation to give, or an important meeting to attend, or maybe child has a school photo in the next couple of days.

These are both valid and understandable reasons for requesting an emergency visit, and here at Overland Park Dentistry we are willing to help address these unexpected issues when they arise.

What should I do if I need emergency dental care?

In the case of a dental emergency, before we can get you into one of our offices for an appointment, here are some helpful tips:

What if my tooth gets knocked out in an accident?
When trauma or an accident knocks out your tooth, you need to act quickly. First, locate your tooth (or teeth) and determine whether you have the entire tooth in one piece including the root or if the tooth came out in several pieces. Rinse any dirt or debris off the pieces you have gathered and avoid touching the root. Put the tooth in milk or your own saliva for transport.

Safely rush the injured person and tooth to our dental office. In an ideal situation, the tooth will be re-implanted. For a period of time, the tooth may be splinted with a wire to the adjacent teeth.

Broken Filling or Broken Tooth:
Temporary filling materials can be purchased at most pharmacies and can be placed over the sensitive area until you see Dr. Kimes. Use sugar-free chewing gum to cover the area as a last resort.

When a permanent (or temporary) crown comes off:
Brush the area, if it’s not too sensitive and rinse with warm salt water (below) to keep the area clean. Teeth can shift, making it difficult or impossible to re-cement the crown at a later date, so avoid leaving the crown out for more than a few days. Until your emergency appointment time, toothpaste or denture cream can be placed inside the crown before it is gently put back into place.

Toothache:
Rinse your mouth with a warm salt water* rinse (see below). Gently floss and brush the area to remove any debris or trapped food. If you can take Ibuprofen or other over the counter pain medications, this may help to sooth the pain. Sometimes Orajel or similar topical gels can help, but usually it will only sooth the pain for a short time. Even if the pain goes away, please call our office to see Dr. Kimes, because without proper dental care your condition could return or even get worse.

When you are in need of emergency dental care:  If it is after regular business hours, please call 913-647-8700. The more time that passes, the less likely your tooth can be re-implanted successfully. If you are out of town, visit the nearest Emergency Room or Urgent Care or contact a dentist in the area.

*To make salt water rinse: mix 1 teaspoon table salt with 1 cup warm water

For additional patient resources and frequently asked questions, please click here.

While you might not be able to anticipate when a dental emergency will happen, you can rest assured that you will receive swift, expert, emergency care when you call our office.

We look forward to having the opportunity to be help you with any restorative or cosmetic care in the case of a dental emergency. If you need to schedule an emergency dental appointment, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

 

How to Choose a Great Dentist in Overland Park

Boy at Dentist PictureHere in Overland Park, KS, there are plenty of dentists to choose from. So how do you find the dentist who’s right for you and your family?

The team at Overland Park Dentistry put together this helpful list of things to consider when choosing a new dentist. Check each item off the list to make the best decision in your new dentist.

Find a Dentist with a Good Reputation

  • Ask family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers for their recommendations.
  • Ask your family doctor or local pharmacist.
  • If you’re moving, ask your current dentist to make a recommendation.
  • Read online reviews to see if actual patients have had positive or negative things to say.

Make Sure the Dentist Meets Your Specific Needs

Different people want different things from their dentist. Take the time to research and make the right choice.

  • Are you looking for a larger practice that sees a high volume of patients so they can get in and out quickly?
  • Do you prefer a family-oriented practice that caters to kids over other amenities?
  • Are you particularly fearful of dental visits and adamant about the option of sedation dentistry?

Insurance Concerns

  • Does the dentist takes your insurance or are they in your network? You want to make sure your visits will be covered by your policy. Dental work can be expensive and you don’t want to find out by surprise that your root canal and crown aren’t covered.
  • Is the dentist in your network? Know your dental health benefits. Dental HMOs, for example, limit your choice of dentist to a member of the HMO network. If you have a PPO plan, visiting a network dentist can make a difference in your copayment levels.

Related Read: Insurance/Financing

Convenience

Proximity and ease of access are important factors to think about.

  • Do you prefer a dentist location near your workplace or your home?
  • If it takes 45 minutes to get to your dentist, is it really practical?
  • How flexible can you be when it comes to scheduling appointments?
  • Do you need your dentist to have office hours on Saturdays?
  • How far in advance do you need to set an appointment?

Qualifications

Interview your dentist or the dental practice. Just give them a call and ask a few questions.

  • Where did the dentist attend school?
  • How long they have been practicing?
  • What type of dentistry do they do?

Meet the Dentist

It’s important to feel comfortable with your dentist on a personal level. Just like medical doctors, dentists have a bedside manner.

  • Will you be able to explain symptoms and ask questions comfortably?
  • Could you ask for pain medicine, express any fears or anxiety, or ask questions about a procedure?

Related Read: About the Overland Park Dentistry Team

The Office Itself

Go to the dentist’s office and see what it’s like. Only an actual visit will give you the answers to these questions.

  • Is the tone down home or hi-tech or somewhere in between?
  • Do you prefer an office with TV monitors that let you watch movies while you wait?
  • Do you want the latest and greatest equipment and technology?
  • Are the staff friendly and welcoming?
  • How child-friendly is the office?

Choosing a dentist can take a little time and effort, but it will pay off in the long run when you’re happy with your dental care. We hope you choose Overland Park Dentistry. Please call us and we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about our practice, services, insurance plans, etc. We’d like to be your Overland Park dentist.

Call our South Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our North Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Overland Park Dentistry
Even though going to the dentist is one of my least favorite things to do, my experience with Dr. Kimes have always been good. They are both very kind and considerate and try to treat you as painlessly as possible.