Dentistry at Pelham Pointe

Celebrating Shera Davis, RDH

Dental Hygenist Shera

Dental Hygienist: Shera Davis, RDH

May 31, 2017 is a special day for us and for our hygienist, Shera Davis.  It marks 35 years that Shera has been treating patients in this practice.

Dr. Chad and I both feel it is a tremendous honor and privilege to work with Shera.  That seems like such an understatement.  It is hard to put into words what Shera means to us, this practice and her patients.  I suppose it is best explained by the love and respect Shera’s colleagues and patients have for her.

Shera loves being a hygienist.  And I can tell you– she is an absolutely AMAZING clinician.  A hygiene visit with Shera is one that just can’t be compared.  She is dedicated to her profession in every way.  She is always researching new products and new techniques to improve the lives of her patients.  She has been honored by her colleagues through out the state by being selected as Hygienist of the Year.

We love you, Shera!  Thank you!  Congratulations!

-Dr. Jill

The Latest Addition To Our Digital Workflow: Digital Impressions

We are introducing our new digital scanner!

Our scanner allows us to capture precise true color, 2D and 3D digital images of teeth.   No more gagging or waiting for goopy impression material to set!

This scanner will integrate with our digital workflow of planning implants as well as fabricating crowns, bridges, Clear Correct aligners, occlusal guards, and other appliances.

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Precise Implant Placement with 3D Imaging and Custom Surgical Guides

Dr. Chad Colson, a fellow in the International Congress
of Oral Implantologists, has successfully placed and
restored over 300 dental implants since 2008.

By utilizing our 3D imaging device and treatment planning
software, Dr. Colson plans and performs the
implant surgical procedure in virtual reality based upon
the ideal placement of the eventual restoration (i.e.
crown or bridge). From this virtual model, he fabricates
a custom surgical guide that directs the implant
placement in the mouth to the precise location in which
it was virtually planned.
The guided-surgical technique results in a minimally invasive
surgery, a faster recovery time, and a better
final restoration for the implant. This precision cannot
be replicated by traditional surgical techniques.
Implants will integrate or “bond” to bone regardless of
their orientation or position; an improper orientation/
position of a dental implant can be a restorative
nightmare for the dentist. Dr. Colson eliminates this
problem through the guided-surgical technique and
produces unequivocal results.

Thanks for reading–until next time…

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A Comparison of Digital Radiographs: What It Means For You

OUR BITEWINGS

OTHER BITEWINGS

The above images are both considered bitewing radiographs that a patient would receive at a routine dental hygiene visit.  Do they  look the same to you?  Which would you prefer?  The radiograph that shows all of your tooth? Or just 1/3- 1/2 of your tooth?  What if I told you the larger image that shows more of your tooth has significantly less radiation exposure than the smaller image?  

The larger image is from our Planmeca Promax imaging machine.  Here is why is it better…

1 Better patient acceptance.  No sensor goes in the mouth so there are no issues with gagging or discomfort.

2 Faster.  The image on the top takes less than a minute, while the other takes 5-10 minutes.

3 More diagnostic.  There is a greater field of view.  You can’t diagnose any issues if you can’t see them.

4 Less radiation exposure.  The image on the top has FIVE times less radiation than the image on the bottom.

The image on the top was taken in 2015 and the image on the bottom was taken in 2014.  Because the larger image shows a greater field of view,  we were able to diagnose an abscess (see arrow pointing to dark areas) that would have been missed if an image such as the one on the bottom was made.  The patient was completely asymptomatic and unaware of any infection.  The infection was able to be treated and resolved before the patient experienced the painful effects of a potentially life threatening infection.

Thanks for reading!

Dr. Jill Colson

Happy New Year!

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Dr. Chad and I would like to thank our patients for the time we have shared together in 2016.  Be it in our office, on Facebook, participating in one of our fun competitions, or bringing us snacks to enjoy–thank you.   It means the world to us!

We’d also like to recognize our wonderful team.  Shera, Kathy, Natalie, Becky, Hayley and Jordan support our patients in all aspects of dental health and support us, personally, as clinicians.  It is a pleasure and a blessing to work with such extraordinary people.

We are looking forward to 2017!  We have plans in motion for a new and exciting project.  Stay tuned–we can’t wait to share!

Happy New Year,

Drs. Jill and Chad Colson

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Decisions…

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As the end of the year approaches,  you or someone you know may be changing or losing their existing dental insurance.

We realize the cost of dental care is a concern for many people.  For this reason, we offer the Dentistry at Pelham Pointe Dental Savings Plan.  Unlike traditional dental insurance, this is an in-house dental savings plan without monthly premiums, yearly maximums, deductibles, missing tooth clauses or waiting periods.  If you have recently lost your dental insurance, never had dental insurance, or haven’t been pleased with your dental coverage, this may be the right choice for you.

Contact us for more information or to sign up and start saving today!

 

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National Dental Hygiene Month

Dear Patient, 

October is National Dental Hygiene Month.  The purpose of NDHM is to promote good oral health maintenance to the public.  At Dentistry at Pelham Pointe, we are taking this opportunity to educate and increase our patient’s knowledge of the impact oral health has on their physical well-being.  For this reason, we have adopted as our theme, 

“Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body.”

Good health is a lifestyle.  We cannot create and sustain our dreams if we step over our health to get there.  The impact that the condition of our mouth has on the overall  health of our body is well documented in research.  Unfortunately, little has been done to spread this knowledge to the public.

The purpose of our celebration of NDHM is to inform and to educate our patients of four very important factors affecting total body health.  These factors are periodontal disease, inflammation, nutrition, and the mouth-body connection.  We want our patients to understand how all of these factors, if left uncontrolled, will cause major issues with our mouth and a multitude of systemic diseases.  

In today’s world, foods are chemically altered and full of sugars, carbohydrates and empty calories, which make them cheaper to produce and more addicting to consume.  This craving-packed “carboholic” culture tempts us at every turn and entices our children.  It is no wonder most Americans are sicker and heavier than ever. 

Dentistry is entering the greatest era of opportunity ever seen—the era of health and wellness.  By addressing oral inflammation and overall health, dentists will help save lives.  My hope is that you will take time at your leisure to read over the material posted in this blog.  As always, we are here to answer any questions that you may have.   

Sincerely,

Shera Davis, RDH

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In dentistry, we continuously deal with chronic inflammation in the mouth, primarily in the form of periodontal disease.  We teach our patients how to resolve inflammation with proper home care, diet, and medication.  We also educate them on how this inflammatory condition is not isolated to the mouth—it is evidenced throughout the body. 

INFLAMMATION

Every chronic disease, from cancer to the common cold, has one common denominator:  inflammation.  If we learn how to prevent and reverse inflammation, we can prevent and reverse almost all disease. We will also live longer, active lives.

What is inflammation?  Inflammation is how the body responds to injury or infection and is a natural, healthy process.  The body responds by neutralizing harmful microorganisms to help repair the wound and heal the injury.  When the causes of the inflammatory process are not removed, chronic inflammation sets up residence which overwhelms our natural defenses and damages DNA.  Inflammation is beneficial when needed, but it is disastrous when chronic.

Chronic inflammation signals that our immune system is “out of balance.”  Uncontrolled, chronic inflammatory conditions lead to more serious disease processes, such as:  allergies, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, cancer, diabetes, gastritis, heart disease, osteoporosis, and periodontal disease.  This list is by no means complete, but each disease does have the common denominator of inflammation. 

In order to prevent or reverse chronic inflammation, you have to know the five most common causes of inflammation:

  1. NUTRITION

       a.   The standard American diet is pro-inflammatory and a major source for increasing chronic disease.  It is too rich in refined carbohydrates,  specifically genetically-modified sugars and white flour products.  The average American consumes more than 160lbs. of sugar and 200lbs. of white flour per year.  This increases blood sugar which in turn releases pro-inflammatory chemicals.  

       b.  Acidity is another problem.  Ingredients that increase acidity are far too common in the American diet:  too much salt, sugar, white flour, dairy, meat and soft drinks.  The latter is one of the biggest culprits   affecting our health and waistlines, which includes sodas, juices, sports/energy   drinks, teas and coffees.  Chronic inflammation results from this increase in the   body’s acidity, which increases the likelihood of heart attacks, obesity, cancer,   type II diabetes, and dementia.

       c.  Excessive omega-6 fatty acids are also pro-inflammatory; omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory.  When both of these are consumed in equal amounts, balance is achieved.  The typical American diet consumes 20-30 times as much omega-6 fats as omega-3 fats.  Omega-6 fats     are corn, safflower, sunflower, soy, canola and peanut oils.  Grain-fed beef,   poultry, farmed fish, processed foods, and fast foods are high in omega-6 fatty    acids.  In contrast, wild sources of fatty seafood, grass-fed beef and  heathy high-fat foods such as avocados, whole eggs, nuts, extra-virgin olive oils, and coconut oil are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids.  When a balance of fatty acids is “out of whack,” inflammation occurs.

       d.  Milk and milk products can cause inflammation because modern dairy cows eat grain-containing diets, which produce excess omega-6 fats.  Also, a large percentage of the population is allergic or sensitive to dairy.

       e.  Hydrogenated oils are also pro-inflammatory.  These “franken-oils” are in most  prepackaged foods like candy, margarine, peanut butter, and baked goods.   They are most commonly called trans-fatty acids, and our bodies lack the necessary enzymes to fully break them down, leading to more inflammation. 

2.  INFECTIONS

Infections trigger powerful inflammatory processes in order to destroy invading microorganisms.   Unfortunately, this same process damages our immune system.  A weak immune system can result in repetitive infections, which can  lead to more chronic inflammation—and a vicious cycle ensues.

3.  CHRONIC STRESS

Stress produces hormones which can increase chronic inflammatory issues such uncontrolled acne and gastro-intestinal crisis.  The latest research on stress shows it alters immune cells and prevents their ability to fight infection.

4.  SLEEP DEPRIVATION

Chronic sleep deprivation upsets the balance between normal hormonal and metabolic processes.  If your sleep suffers, so does your immune system.  

5.   POOR HYDRATION

Your body needs water! If you are feeling thirsty, you are already dehydrated.                                  

Through our lifestyle choices, we cause chronic inflammation and age ourselves prematurely.  This causes us to look old, to feel tired, and to suffer every imaginable disease.  Chronic inflammation is under your complete control—take steps to prevent the causes listed above.  

More often than not, dietary guidelines set by the government are not based on medical research but rather a means to drive mass production and increase profits, with no care or concern for the health of the public.

Richard DuBois, certified infectious disease physician has stated:  “The number one factor in determining the health quality of your life is nutrition.  Nutrition dictates the quality of your health and life—even more than exercise”.  (Refer to DuBois’s book, The Inflammation Solution:  When Everything Works and Nothing Hurts)

Through evidence-based research, we now know that nutrition plays one of the most vital roles in both causing and treating inflammatory conditions of the mouth and body.  An anti-inflammatory diet has a focus on taming the internal inflammation of our blood, lymph, and organs—thus balancing our bodies pH.  Do not confuse an anti-inflammatory diet with a traditional diet whose focus is on weight loss.  An anti-inflammatory diet should be a daily lifestyle diet.  

An anti-inflammatory diet includes increasing vegetables and fruits, decreasing trans- fats and unhealthy saturated fats, obtaining high quality omega 3 oils, reducing/eliminating refined foods/high sugar sources, increasing dietary fiber and water, and including spices such as ginger, curry and turmeric which have excellent inflammation-reducing properties.  (Refer to Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid)

A list of the Top 15 Anti-Inflammatory Foods can be found by going to the following web address:  www.draxe.com/anti-inflammatory-foods

So how does all this relate to your MOUTH and BODY?

PERIODONTAL DISEASE

First, let’s discuss inflammation and infection that is initiated in your mouth.  As bacteria build up on teeth, the gum tissue becomes more prone to infection.  The immune system attacks the infection and the gums become inflamed.  The inflammation continues unless the infection is brought under control.  Over a period of time, inflammation and the chemicals it releases eat away at the gums and bone structure that hold teeth in place.  The result is severe gum disease, known as periodontitis or periodontal disease.  This inflammatory process affects the rest of the body.  

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease caused by groups of specific microorganisms.  The old model of periodontal disease focused upon specific periodontal pathogens.  The new model refers to a colony of multiple, different bacteria working together to initiate a microbial imbalance resulting in periodontal disease.  We refer to these colonies of microorganisms as “biofilms” which produce a sticky matrix on the teeth.

The sticky biofilm must be removed in order to prevent periodontal inflammation.  After brushing and flossing, electron scanning microscopes have proven that this biofilm still remains at the gumline, below the gumline, and between the teeth.  A more effective tool is needed to remove it—that tool is the WaterPik water flosser.  The pulsating technology of the water flosser breaks up the remaining sticky biofilm from the tooth surface and removes it.  No tool exists that works more effectively.  We recommend the WaterPik to all of our patients.

We also tailor a specific home-care regimen for each patient, which may include the following:  brushing twice per day, flossing at least once per day, using a water flossing device such as the Waterpik once per day, using other interproximal plaque removal devices and tools, and scheduling regular visits with your dental hygienist to remove calcified deposits as well as periodic oral examinations by your dentist.

THE MOUTH-BODY CONNECTION

The body is a complete system.  Inflammation from the mouth enters the bloodstream and travels throughout the body; chronic inflammation circulating throughout the body will have negative effects on other systems. 

ORAL HEALTH AND DIABETES—the relationship between diabetes and periodontitis may be the strongest of all of the connections between the mouth and the rest of the body.  Periodontal disease and diabetes have a two-way relationship.  The inflammation from periodontal disease impairs the body’s ability to utilize insulin.  High blood sugar, on the other hand, provides ideal conditions for infection to grow, including gum infections.  Managing either of these conditions can help bring the other one under control.  

ORAL HEALTH AND HEART DISEASE AND STROKES—50% of heart attacks and strokes occur in people with normal cholesterol levels.  INFLAMMATION is the key contributor to heart disease and cardiac events.  Over 90% of patients with heart disease have periodontitis.  Inflammation in the mouth causes inflammation in the blood vessels, which can increase the risk for heart attack.  Less blood can travel between the heart and the rest of the body when the lining of the blood vessel is inflamed.  This also raises blood pressure.  Because of the inflammation, a fatty plaque can break from the wall of a blood vessel and travel to the heart or the brain, causing a heart attack or stroke.

ORAL HEALTH AND PREGNANCY—Hormonal changes during pregnancy can increase a woman’s risk of periodontitis.  Infection and inflammation can interfere with the development of a fetus in the womb, contributing to premature or low birth-weight deliveries.  It is highly recommended to have a comprehensive periodontal exam if you are pregnant or before you become pregnant to identify this risk.  

ORAL HEALTH AND OSTEOPOROSIS—Researchers currently are testing the theory that inflammation triggered by periodontitis could weaken bone in other parts of the body.  

ORAL HEALTH AND SMOKING—One of the most important things you can do for your mouth and your body is NOT smoke NOR use smokeless tobacco.  A smoker’s risk of severe gum disease is three times higher than a non-smoker.  Nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict and interferes with the ability of gum tissue to fight infection.  Smoking will also interfere with treatment of gum infections, making recovery more difficult.  Smoking in the immediate post-surgical period after implants are placed delays healing thus increasing the chance of infection and early implant loss.  Many dental professionals will not place implants in the mouths of patients who smoke.

Clearly, the body and the mouth are not separate.  Taking good care of your teeth and gums will really help you live longer and better.   Here is what your hygienist wants you to know…

  1. SCALING IS SO IMPORTANT.  It can sound awful, but it really improves gingival

        tissue (gums) and periodontal health.  Periodontal disease is the most 

        common cause of tooth loss in adults.  Scaling removes hard deposits

        (calculus or tartar) and soft deposits (plaque or biofilm) where harmful

        bacteria make their home.  In turn, gums heal and deeper pockets reattach to  

        your tooth.  Basically, this is how we prevent and turn around periodontal 

        disease and it is the most rewarding part of a dental hygienist’s job.

2.    HEALTHY GUMS DO NOT BLEED.  Bleeding is a sign that your immune 

        system is having to work overtime to fight the bacteria in your gums.  Never

        avoid the areas that bleed when you floss or brush.  That makes those 

        bacteria very happy because you are leaving them alone to do their thing!  

        By removing the bacteria, your immune system can take a break.  Moving

        forwards, remember this:  Bleeding is your cue to step up your home care

        and to visit your dental hygienist again.

3.    HOW OFTEN YOU VISIT YOUR DENTAL HYGIENIST SHOULD BE UNIQUE.  

       The old, standard routine of six months for everyone no longer holds up in 

       treating patients properly.  How often you visit your dental hygienist should

       be based on your periodontal health, medical history and cavity risk.

4.    DID YOU KNOW YOU SHOULD NEVER BRUSH YOUR TEETH RIGHT AFTER

       YOU VOMIT?  When you vomit, your teeth have just been exposed to acid and

        enamel is soft.  A small amount of enamel can be brushed away.  Rinse your

        mouth with water or baking soda/water to neutralize the acid.  The same

        principle holds true for those with acid reflux disease, especially untreated reflux.

5.    IF YOU CHANGE NOTHING, NOTHING WILL CHANGE.  If your gums bleed 

        and your dental hygienist tells you that you have gingivitis or periodontal    

        issues, then you need to make a change.  If you change nothing, gum 

        disease will advance.

 

 

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn

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Our summer hiatus from blogging is now over.  Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn!  Back into the swing of things!  Football, pumpkins, sweaters, bonfires– we are ready!

Back in May, we posted an article entitled ‘Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body’.  Over the summer, we started thinking a little bit more about that.  We really wanted our patients to know and understand how important this concept is.

We decided to incorporate the ‘Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body’ theme into our celebration of National Dental Hygiene Month this October.  We have a very informative packet that details the impact of oral health on your physical well-being.   It could change your life!  Plus we have a fun quiz to test your knowledge, stickers, prizes and much more!  Stay tuned! We’ll be keeping you posted with our blog and Facebook page.

Thank you for your interest!

Drs. Jill and Chad Colson

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Healthy Mouth-Healthy Body

 

Unknown    Healthy Mouth- Healthy Body   

There is a definitive connection there!  Your overall health and well being is correlated to your oral health.  If you have inflammation in your mouth it causes your body to manage it on a systemic level.  Chronic inflammation (that is not associated with the bodies healing process) damages the body and causes illness.  

What does oral inflammation look like?  Bleeding.  Swelling.  Ok, this is a little gross but we have to say it— Pus.  

Wouldn’t I know that I have that going on in my mouth? No, not necessarily.  When it reaches an exacerbated level, yes, you do know.  But often, we as clinicians are the ones to inform our patients of bleeding, swelling or pus.  Healthy gums do not bleed with flossing.  Even during a periodontal screening exam, when we are using instruments under your gum to measure periodontal health, your gums should not bleed.  There are a few exceptions, for example; a patient taking a blood thinner is going to have more overall bleeding.  

What factors contribute to inflammation in my mouth? Chronic inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, auto-immune disorders and obviously, periodontal disease are big factors.  Mal-aligned teeth that are difficult to clean, poor fitting dentures that continuously rub against tissue, open contacts between teeth and certain medications can also contribute to chronic inflammation in the mouth.  Another interesting factor is DIET.  Most grains increase insulin which causes your body to release Leptin— which has a strong association with inflammation.  On the flip side— chronic inflammation is also strongly suspected as being the root cause for many conditions such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and many cancers. Carbohydrate foods also influence the inflammatory process. In the body, chemical reactions between the sugars and protein produce pro-inflammatory compounds called AGEs (advanced glycation end products). 

What can I do to reduce inflammation in my mouth and overall?   –Reduce inflammatory foods in your diet.  Reduce bread, white potatoes, crackers, chips and other similar snack foods. Check out drweil.com for information.      -Exercise!  – Step up your daily oral disease control. Consider adding a water irrigator (Waterpik) to your routine.  We are happy to talk more with you about this when you are visiting the office.

Until next time!

Dr. Jill

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