Weighing the Risk of Unregulated Dental Care


Many Americans are seeking dental treatment outside of the United States.  This is a growing trend due to mainly the rising costs of dental care and that many Americans are under-insured.  Many people, particularly those living in California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas travel to Mexico to receive expensive oral health services at an astonishing fraction of the  US costs. Other countries such as Germany, Greece and Spain are also dental tourism hot spots where patients can expect to pay 70% less for their dental needs.

Lack of dental benefits is the primary reason why dental tourism is growing in popularity. Although paying significantly less for services in other countries seem like a good idea, it comes with the burden of knowing that these dental services are not regulated with same strict regulations here in the United States.  American dental professionals must earn a minimum level of education and must obtain licensure ensuring competency and safety.  In addition, dental material safety and quality used abroad are not subject to the same criteria here in the states.  Furthermore, dental facilities located outside the US may not follow the same infection control standards that are strictly monitored here in the US.  It is also important to keep in mind that if one seeks dental care outside their home country and emergency results from treatment, it may be difficult to find emergency care.

While it is inevitable that dental tourism will continue to grow because of the cost of dental care and lack of being insured, it is important that one weighs the benefits and risks entirely before making a decision.  

BrookeWritten by Brooke Good, Registered Dental Hygienist at Cedar Rapids Smile Center.  Cedar Rapids Smile Center is a general dentistry practice located at 1260 3rd Ave SE in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Please call 319-540-8088 to schedule.

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Mouth Breathing Can Create Health Issues


Do you suffer from seasonal allergies? You could also be suffering from mouth breathing, which can in turn cause physical, medical and social issues. Some of the medical and physical effects can be easily identified by your dentist, or medical physician. People who have untreated mouth breathing can experience abnormal facial and dental developments, such as; gummy smiles, gingivitis, narrow faces and mouths, narrow palates or high palatal vaults, crooked teeth, and most often swollen tonsils accompanied by a sore throat. Patients who are mouth breathers commonly have poor sleeping habits, and can also suffer from attention deficit disorder, or hyperactivity.

Some of the medical issues that can be identified with mouth breathers are, but are not limited to; high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and heart problems. Treatment is available for mouth breathers, and is most beneficial when caught early. Your physician or dentist may suggest getting your tonsils and adenoids removed, if they are swollen.  Dentists can often help by widening the sinuses and open nasal airway passages by the use of an expansion appliance. Some of the co-morbities include; asthma, obesity, snoring, halitosis, chronic ear or sinus infections, TMJ, and even sleep apnea. If you are a mouth breather consult with your primary care physician or dentist at your next check up!

Don’t want to wait until your next dental check up?  Call us today at 319-540-8088 to schedule an appointment.

HannahWritten by Hannah Boteler, Registered Dental Assistant at Cedar Rapids Smile Center.  Cedar Rapids Smile Center is a general dentistry practice located at 1260 3rd Ave SE in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Please call 319-540-8088 to schedule.

Do Your Gums Bleed When You Brush or Floss?


50% of the adult population has periodontal or gum disease.  This is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation, bleeding and bone loss.  The bacteria form colonies or biofilm that attach below the gumline, deep into the sulci.  If these “pockets” increase beyond 3 millimeters, brushing and flossing alone are no longer effective.  Often surgery is  needed to treat periodontal disease.

A new therapy is available that delivers medication under the gum tissue into these deeper pockets.  Perio Protect is a comfortable, custom made tray with an internal seal that keeps the medication in the tray and forces it deep into the pocket.  Initially you will be asked to wear the trays 2, 3, or 4 times a day for 10-15 minutes.  Results are seen within two weeks (less bleeding).  Long term use for most patients is one time a day for 10-15 minutes.  This way you can manage the bacteria at home on a daily basis.  Treatment can be discontinued and started again if pockets get reinfected.

Hydrogen Peroxide oxygenates the pocket destroying, breaking down and eventually killing the bacterial colony.  Initial thorough cleaning of the teeth is required prior to treatment with Perio Protect trays and three month recare visits are needed during treatment the first year.

If you or someone you love is interested in learning more, please call our office at 319-540-8088.

Want to learn more about Perio Protect? Watch this video below:

Ellen Kuster, RDHWritten by Ellen Kuster, Registered Dental Hygienist at Cedar Rapids Smile Center.  Cedar Rapids Smile Center is a general dentistry practice located at 1260 3rd Ave SE in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Please call 319-540-8088 to schedule.

Want Cash For Your Halloween Candy?


Bring your unopened Halloween Candy to 1260 3rd Ave SE in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, November 1 from 3pm-6pm and earn $1.00 per pound of candy donated (limited to 5 pounds per person).  All candy is shipped to Operation Gratitude who then disperses the candy into care packages for deployed troops.

We will gladly accept any left over candy from trunk-or-treats or your home.  You don’t have to be a child to bring in your candy!

The first 100 children will receive a goodie bag and will have a chance to win an iPad mini!  Say hello and take pictures with some local soldiers.  We will have supplies available to make cards that will be sent along with the candy.

AND you can enjoy Balloon animals by Sparkles the Clown while you wait!

Special thank you to our spook-tacular co-sponsors for helping with prizes and shipping costs:

balloons-etcei-endo morgan-morio-os

gehring dr-olin-logo

eios cros-2016

Katrina

Written by Katrina Rice, Front Office Coordinator/Marketing Coordinator at Cedar Rapids Smile Center.  Cedar Rapids Smile Center is a general dentistry practice located at 1260 3rd Ave SE in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Please call 319-540-8088 to schedule.

Why Do I Need A Cone Beam CT?


At your regular recare appointments you may remember the different types of 2-D x-rays that we recommend, such as a bitewing, a panorex, or a periapical.  Now at the Cedar Rapids Smile Center, we have a special type of x-ray equipment that can produce 3-D image of your teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways, and bone in a single scan.  

Your doctor may recommend this type of imaging for more complex cases.  Some of these indications include:

  • Implant surgeries

    Dr. Yossi in iCat -edited
    Dr. Dennis Yossi was our test patient during training on the new machine.
  • Removal of impacted teeth or wisdom teeth
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
  • Evaluate the jaw, sinuses, nerve canals, and nasal cavity
  • Detect  jaw tumors or pathology
  • Reconstructive jaw surgery
  • View bone structure and tooth morphologies
  • Detect a root fracture or tooth abscess
  • Evaluate airways in regards to sleep apnea
  • Orthodontic treatment planning

Cone beam CT is painless and is a very accurate tool in diagnosing and treatment planning.  When indicated, it provides more information than our conventional dental x-rays. This new technology allows the doctors to provide more precise treatments and most importantly, the best care for our patients.  

Dr. Kristyn WatsonWritten by Kristyn Watson, Associate Dentist at Cedar Rapids Smile Center.  Cedar Rapids Smile Center is a general dentistry practice located at 1260 3rd Ave SE in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Please call 319-540-8088 to schedule.

What is a crown?


Dental restorations may be necessary at some point to help restore strength, shape, function and appearance of teeth.  A crown, or otherwise known as a cap, is a type of dental restoration that covers your tooth.

Crowned toothA crown can help restore the tooth to its natural function, shape and size.  A crown can make a weak tooth stronger and can prevent a cracked tooth from further damage.  This restoration usually takes place in two dental visits.  The first visit your dentist will prep the tooth and place a temporary crown.  The second visit usually takes place 7-10 days after the initial visit.  At this time your dentist will place the new and final crown.  Some technologies will allow for this process to take place in one day.

In some cases a restoration called a post and core build-up may be necessary if the tooth is severely decayed or broken.  The dentist will use a material to “build up” the tooth.  Once this material has hardened the tooth can be prepped for the crown.

There are different types of materials that can be used for your crown.  A crown can be made of porcelain, gold or a combination of porcelain and metal.  Numerous factors are considered when choosing the appropriate material such as; the shape, color, size and location of the tooth in your mouth in addition to your bite.  The dentist can determine the best type of material based on your needs.

After the crown is placed you will want to avoid excessive chewing of hard foods such as ice to prolong the life of your crown.  In addition, good brushing and flossing habits with regular dental cleanings can keep your crown in great shape.

BrookeWritten by Brooke Good, Registered Dental Hygienist at Cedar Rapids Smile Center.  Cedar Rapids Smile Center is a general dentistry practice located at 1260 3rd Ave SE in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Please call 319-540-8088 to schedule.

Dental Emergencies and Children


What should I do if my child accidentally knocks out a permanent tooth?

Remain calm and locate the tooth.  Be sure to pick it up by the chewing surface and NOT the root area.  If you are sure that the tooth is clean and not chipped, you may want to reinsert the tooth and have the child hold the tooth in place by biting on a clean piece of cloth or gauze and go directly to your dentist.  If the tooth is dirty, do no reinsert the tooth but rather put in a glass of whole milk and take it and your child to your dentist.  The quicker the tooth can be reinserted, the likelihood of the tooth being successfully re-implanted is much greater.

Chipped or Broken Tooth

A chipped or broken tooth may require immediate dental attention, even if it is not a permanent tooth.  Once a tooth has been broken, bacteria can enter the tooth’s pulp/nerve and cause an infection and pain.  It is important to have the damage assessed and the dentist seal the enamel to keep bacteria out and ward off infection.  To aid in controlling the child’s discomfort, you may want to give your child an appropriate does of Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen.

Laceration of the lip, tongue or cheek

A cut tongue, lip or cheek area can lead to bleeding, swelling and much discomfort.  Begin with applying direct pressure to the wound.  If there is swelling, reduce it by applying a cold compress.  A great example might be a popsicle.  Administer the appropriate does of Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen for pain control.  If lbeeding does not subside, see your dentist or go to an emergency room for further assistance.

Remember that assessing the situation quickly/calmly and taking the appropriate action will help your child to get quick treatment and a better outcome.

AngieWritten by Angie Faust, Insurance Coordinator & Registered Dental Assistant at Cedar Rapids Smile Center.  Cedar Rapids Smile Center is a general dentistry practice located at 1260 3rd Ave SE in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Please call 319-540-8088 to schedule.

Why You Should Chew Gum


Young girl outside blowing bubble with gum

Did you know that when your kids ask to chew gum, you shouldn’t always say no?  Certain gum is actually good for your teeth and will prevent cavities!

It Xylitol is one of the top 3 ingredients in it, let the kids (and yourself) chew away!  Trident is an excellent example of this, and it tastes great!  Using Xylitol five times per day provides the most effective oral health benefits.

Xylitol works because it prevents bacteria from sticking to your teeth, it also kills bacteria.  When you eat sugary foods, the bacteria in your mouth eat it and multiply, therefore causing tooth decay.  When you eat Xylitol, the bacteria thinks it is sugar, eats it, then dies.

Xylitol is most effective when products contain 100%.  It is added to some toothpastes, mouth rinses, chewing gums, and candies.  If you have any questions, ask us here at Cedar Rapids Smile Center, we have some great recommendations for your!

Kristi, RDHWritten by Kristi Pillard, Registered Dental Hygienist at Cedar Rapids Smile Center.  Cedar Rapids Smile Center is a general dentistry practice located at 1260 3rd Ave SE in Cedar Rapids, IA.  Please call 319-540-8088 to schedule.

The Importance of Medical Histories


The past few months we have been asking our hygiene patients to fill out a medical history form when they check in.  This is because we have gone to electronic charts and we no longer have paper charts to refer to.

We need to know what medications and supplements you are taking in case the doctor may need to prescribe a medication for you that might react to something you regularly take.  Also, it is very important for us to know if you are allergic to any particular medications or have had any bad reactions to something you have previously been prescribed.

Past surgeries or procedures especially for the heart or joint replacements may require that you take an antibiotic an hour before you have any dental work done.  We should also know if you are on blood thinners or have high blood pressure.

Please know that we pride ourselves on providing our patients with excellent care and by filling out this form you are enabling us to continue to do so.

KarenWritten by Karen Ackerman, Office Assistant at Cedar Rapids Smile Center.  Cedar Rapids Smile Center is a general dentistry practice located at 1260 3rd Ave SE in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Please call 319-540-8088 to schedule.

Caring For Tiny Teeth


As a parent we want what is best for our children.  If our child is sick, we take them to the doctor.  If they can’t see well, we visit the eye doctor.  So why is it that tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in children?  We need to educate parents with the seriousness of baby teeth and show them how important it is to take care of them.  Not only for the health and well being of our children’s mouths but also for their immune system and self-esteem.

Tooth decay is the destruction of the hard outer layer of teeth (the enamel).  This is caused from consuming sugary drinks either often or all throughout the day/night and lack of home care.  Other things may factor in as well.  The best way to protect our children against decay is to get them into a dentist at a young age and to create strong healthy habits at home.  This not only helps your child adapt to the dentist but also help with early detection which could be key to prevention.  A visit to the dentist can help with tips and tools for you to use at home to help better the oral health of your child’s mouth.

A dental home will help keep your young one’s mouth healthy and happy.  This will also assist you and your child with great habits in the years to come!!!

KristalWritten by Kristal Tippie, Office Assistant and Dental Assistant at Cedar Rapids Smile Center.  Cedar Rapids Smile Center is a general dentistry practice located at 1260 3rd Ave SE in Cedar Rapids, IA.  Please call 319-540-8088 to schedule.