My Blog

Posts for: July, 2019

By H. David Allick, DDS, PA
July 24, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: sedation dentistry  
SedationcanMakeDentalTreatmentEasierforHighAnxietyPatients

Most dental procedures today only require local anesthesia to numb just the affected area. It's a safer approach than general anesthesia: the unconscious state created by putting someone "to sleep" can lead to some unpleasant complications.

But patient comfort involves more than preventing physical pain during a procedure. There's also the emotional factor—many people experience nervousness, anxiety or fear during dental visits. It's especially problematic for an estimated 15% of the population whose dental visit anxiety is so great they often try to avoid dental care altogether.

One option is to use general anesthesia for patients with acute anxiety rather than local anesthesia. This removes them consciously from their anxiety, but they must then be monitored closely for complications.

But there's a safer way to relax patients with high anxiety called intravenous or IV sedation. The method delivers a sedative medication directly into a patient's bloodstream through a small needle or catheter inserted into a vein. The sedative places the patient in a relaxed "semi-awake" state, taking the edge off their anxiety while still enabling them to respond to verbal commands.

Coupled with local anesthesia, they won't experience any pain and very little if any discomfort. And many of the sedatives used also have an amnesiac effect so that the patient won't remember the procedures being performed.

IV sedation does require monitoring of vital signs, but the patient won't need help maintaining their breathing or heart function. And although the medication can be adjusted to reduce any lingering after-effects, a patient will still need someone to accompany them to and from their visit.

For lesser anxiety or nervousness, dentists sometimes prescribe an oral sedative to take just before a visit. This can help take the edge off your nerves and help you relax. With either method, though, sedation can help you overcome fear and anxiety and have a more pleasant treatment experience.

If you would like more information on IV sedation, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “IV Sedation in Dentistry.”


By H. David Allick, DDS, PA
July 14, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   veneers  
VivicasVeneerstheMakingofaHollywoodSmile

What's an actor's most important feature? According to Vivica A. Fox, whose most recent big-screen role was in Independence Day: Resurgence, it's what you see right up front.

"On screen, your smile and your eyes are the most inviting things that bring the audience in" she said. "Especially if you play the hot chick."

But like lots of people, Vivica reached a point where she felt her smile needed a little help in order to look its best. That's when she turned to a popular cosmetic dental treatment.

"I got veneers years ago," Ms. Fox told Dear Doctor magazine in a recent interview, "just because I had some gapping that probably only I noticed."

What exactly are dental veneers? Essentially, they are thin shells of lustrous porcelain that are permanently attached to the front surfaces of the teeth. Tough, lifelike and stain-resistant, they can cover up a number of defects in your smile — including stains, chips, cracks, and even minor spacing irregularities like the ones Vivica had.

Veneers have become the treatment of choice for Hollywood celebs — and lots of regular folks too — for many reasons. Unlike some treatments that can take many months, it takes just a few appointments to have veneers placed on your teeth. Because they are custom made just for you, they allow you to decide how bright you want your smile to be: anywhere from a natural pearly hue to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Best of all, they are easy to maintain, and can last for many years with only routine care.

To place traditional veneers, it's necessary to prepare the tooth by removing a small amount (a millimeter or two) of its enamel surface. This keeps it from feeling too big — but it also means the treatment can't be reversed, so once you get veneers, you'll always have them. In certain situations, "no-prep" or minimal-prep veneers, which require little or no removal of tooth enamel, may be an option for some people.

Veneers aren't the only way to create a better smile: Teeth whitening, crowns or orthodontic work may also be an alternative. But for many, veneers are the preferred option. What does Vivica think of hers?

"I love my veneers!" she declared, noting that they have held up well for over a decade.

For more information about veneers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.


By H. David Allick, DDS, PA
July 10, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Crowns and Bridges  

Smile issues? You don't have to go through life with an imperfect smile. With options like dental crowns and bridges, your dental provider dental-crownscan take your smile from being so-so to extraordinary. Led by Dr. H. David Allick and Dr. Ghassan Jacklis, White Flint Dental Associates, (located in Rockville, MD) offers a complete range of dental services to the patients they serve. Read on to find out what crowns and bridges can do for your smile.

 

Benefits of Crowns

Cosmetic– Crown those teeth and get ready to smile. Dental crowns can be used to improve the appearance, shape, or alignment of your teeth. They can improve the look of chipped, cracked, misshapen, and discolored teeth. If you want a better-looking smile, then dental crowns are the way to go. After getting dental crowns, you won’t stop smiling!

Protect Teeth– When teeth are severely damaged by trauma, tooth decay, or infection, they become weaker. This leaves your teeth prone to further damage unless your dental provider does something to preserve them. Teeth that have been weakened can be saved by covering them with dental crowns. Dental crowns are tough like natural tooth structure and extremely durable.

A Natural Look- Dental crowns can give you a natural-looking smile. Porcelain dental crowns resemble the appearance of your existing teeth because they mimic the translucency and luster of real teeth. Your dental provider can choose from over a dozen shades and give you a porcelain dental crown that is better matched to the shade of your teeth.

 

Benefits of Bridges

Replace Teeth- Missing teeth can ruin a beautiful smile. Your dental provider in Rockville can close the gap in your smile with a bridge. Dental bridges are used to replace missing teeth. A fixed bridge is made up of two dental crowns for the teeth on the sides of the gap and one or more fabricated teeth in between.

Prevent Shifting- Once a tooth is lost, the adjacent teeth begin to shift out of place at an accelerated rate. This may cause a collapse of bite support. A fixed dental bridge can help prevent your remaining teeth from shifting out of place. When a bridge fills in the gap in your smile, teeth are supported on all sides and have no place to shift.

Good looks- With a fixed dental bridge, not only will you close the gaps in your smile, you will also improve the shape and color of the teeth that you're crowning. Porcelain dental bridges look terrific and match the natural teeth well. With a porcelain dental bridge, you will enjoy the confidence of having an alluring smile.

 

Take the first step towards a brand new smile today. Don't delay- call White Flint Dental Associates at (301) 881-6666 right now to schedule a dental consultation in Rockville, MD. Dental crowns and bridges will do you and your smile a world of good. We want you to live your best life possible!


DiabetesDoesntHavetoStopYouFromGettinganImplant-ifitsUnderControl

You would love to replace a troubled tooth with a dental implant. But you have one nagging concern: you also have diabetes. Could that keep you from getting an implant?

The answer, unfortunately, is yes, it might: the effect diabetes can have on the body could affect an implant's success and longevity. The key word, though, is might—it's not inevitable you'll encounter these obstacles with your implant.

Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases that interfere with the normal levels of blood glucose, a natural sugar that is the energy source for the body's cells. Normally, the pancreas produces a hormone called insulin as needed to regulate glucose in the bloodstream. A diabetic, though either can't produce insulin or not enough, or the body doesn't respond to the insulin that is produced.

And while the condition can often be managed through diet, exercise, medication or supplemental insulin, there can still be complications like slow wound healing. High glucose can damage blood vessels, causing them to deliver less nutrients and antibodies to various parts of the body like the eyes, fingers and toes, or the kidneys. It can also affect the gums and their ability to heal.

Another possible complication from diabetes is with the body's inflammatory response. This is triggered whenever tissues in the body are diseased or injured, sealing them off from damaging the rest of the body. The response, however, can become chronic in diabetics, which could damage otherwise healthy tissues.

Both of these complications can disrupt the process for getting an implant. Like other surgical procedures, implantation disrupts the gum tissues. They will need to heal; likewise, the implant itself must integrate fully with the bone in which it's inserted. Both healing and bone integration might be impeded by slow wound healing and chronic inflammation.

Again, it might. In reality, as a number of studies comparing implant outcomes between diabetics and non-diabetics has shown, there is little difference in the success rate, provided the diabetes is under control. Diabetics with well-managed glucose can have success rates above 95%, well within the normal range.

An implant restoration is a decision you should make with your dentist. But if you're doing a good job managing your diabetes, your chances of a successful outcome are good.

If you would like more information on dental care and diabetes, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.