Same Day Crowns – Magic!

One thing that many people definitely do not have is patience. Whether they are sitting in traffic or awaiting test results, many people find happiness in instant gratification. When it comes to their smiles, people are no different, wanting results as soon as possible. From teeth whitening to correcting a misalignment, many people opt for the easiest, quickest way to see results. When it comes to crowns, you may think that you have to wait in order to have a custom-made crown delivered, but thankfully, Dr. Adam Still is able to give you a beautiful crown in a single appointment thanks to CEREC ‘Same-Day’ Crowns.

The first thing we do in order to get you ready for your crown is to prepare your natural tooth – any old filling material is removed along with decay. After that, a special camera will study and image your prepared tooth and the areas surrounding it, and send the information it has acquired to a computer. When the computer has translated the information it has received, a picture of your new crown is displayed on the computer screen. Our in-office milling machine will then begin to sculpt your crown from a single block of porcelain that matches your natural tooth color, ensuring it blends in seamlessly with the rest of your smile. In fact, you can watch your new crown being made! Dr. Still will place then place it on your prepared tooth and bond it in. At the end of your appointment, you are left with a beautiful, smile!

What is CEREC?

CEREC is an acronym for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, or CERamic REConstruction. Translated, it means that we can restore damaged teeth in a single appointment using a high-quality bio-compatible ceramic material that matches the natural color of your other teeth.

A tooth-colored restoration means no more silver fillings discoloring smiles. The filling is natural-looking, compatible with tissue in the mouth, anti-abrasive and plaque-resistant. The CEREC process eliminates you having to come back for the second visit because the CEREC equipment resides in Smile Sarasota’s office. Given this new process, here are some advantages of this CEREC crown technology for patients over traditional dentistry:

  • The patient only needs one visit instead of two or more
  • The computer-aided design ensures an exact fit eliminating biting problems and return visits
  • The patient does not have the bother of a temporary crown
  • The CEREC dental crowns are made out of ceramic, use no metal and are aesthetically pleasing

If you are ready to make an appointment Dr. Still for a CEREC crown, contact our Smile Sarasota office today! We are happy to take care of whatever general, cosmetic, and restorative dental need you may have. We are proud to serve patients in the downtown Sarasota, Longboat Key, and St. Armand’s communities.

Take a look at this video showing Dr. Still doing the procedure on one of Smile Sarasota’s patients:

Why We Take Dental X-rays

A couple of years ago, we published a Blog about the benefits of digital X-ray vs. ‘the old fashioned way’ of taking X-rays.  In this Blog, we will discuss more about WHY we take X-rays.

Dental X-rays (radiographs) are images of your teeth that Dr. Still takes to evaluate your oral health. These X-rays are used with low levels of radiation to capture images of the interior of your teeth and gums. This can help him identify problems, like cavities, tooth decay, infections, abscesses, periodontal disease (bone loss) and impacted teeth. Dental X-rays may seem complex, but they’re actually very common tools that are just as important as your teeth cleanings.

Dental X-rays are typically performed yearly, or more often if Dr. Still is tracking the progress of a dental problem or treatment. If you’re a new patient to Smile Sarasota, we take a full series (18 digital images) so Dr. Still can get a clear picture of your dental health. This is especially important if you don’t have any X-rays from your previous dentist – if you do, we are glad to request and use them if they are of good quality and within the past two years. Typically, we take a full series every three years, and four checkup ‘bitewings’ once per year.

Patients will sometime say “I don’t need X-rays – nothing is bothering me”. Early tooth decay and periodontal disease do not tend to show many physical signs. Sometimes the tooth looks healthy, but we will be able to see from an x-ray whether you have any decay under the enamel or under a crown or old filling, any possible infections in the root, or any bone loss around the tooth. X-rays can also help our dental team to see in between your teeth or under the edge of your fillings. Finding and treating dental problems at an early stage can help ward off painful conditions and save both time and money.

All health care providers are sensitive to patients’ concerns about radiation. By using state-of-the-art digital radiography technology and staying knowledgeable about recent advances, your dentist knows which techniques, procedures and x-ray films can minimize your exposure to radiation. The amount of radiation received from a dental x-ray is extremely small. We get more radiation from natural sources, including minerals in the soil, and from our general environment. With modern techniques and equipment, risks are kept as small as possible. Smile Sarasota has been using digital radiography for more than ten years.

Dental x-rays are an extremely valuable part of dental treatment and without them, Dr. Still would not be able to properly diagnose or treat dental disease. If you have any questions about dental X-rays, feel free to call us and anyone on our staff can assist!

 

Sources and Credits: ADA.org, Dentalhealth.org, webMD

Why Are Teeth Cleanings Necessary?

We need teeth cleanings for two very simple but important reasons:

  • To prevent diseases in the rest of the body like heart disease, dementia, and complications of diabetes (You may be surprised about that!)
  • To prevent tooth loss

The mouth is an area that’s completely different from the entire body, and it takes quite a beating. Because it’s such a unique environment, it requires special care. Teeth cleanings remove the buildup of plaque and tartar. This buildup is for the most part natural…kind of like how a boat picks up barnacles just by being in the ocean. But too much buildup leads to gum disease. The reason tartar needs to be removed is because your body sees it as a foreign invader. As with any other foreign invader, like a flu bug or an infection, your body “sends in the troops” using the immune system to fight off the infection. There is a battle in your mouth at all times, and the war is never over. Teeth cleanings level the playing field by keeping things in check.

Gum disease is when your body’s immune system is responding to this tartar buildup with inflamed and bleeding gums. The immune system response is successful at killing off invaders like infection and flu bugs, but at a cost: like a war, there are innocent bystanders that get slaughtered. As gum disease progresses, so does the destruction to your bone and tissues in your mouth. Your immune system is meant only to fight off infection for a short period of time — chronic activation of the immune system means it can get worn out and it won’t be as strong to fight off an illness. Chronic activation of the immune system can lead to diseases in the rest of your body. That’s why preventing gum disease reduces risk of stroke, heart disease, and dementia. At a certain stage, this damage is irreversible, so prevention is the best way to maintain overall health and keep beautiful teeth for a lifetime — and teeth cleanings are a critical piece of this prevention.

So what Is a teeth cleaning? A professional teeth cleaning is done by one of our hygienists – both Claire and Ann practice in the same fashion. They use tools to include an ultrasonic Cavitron, to remove tartar from your teeth — both above and below where the gum meets the tooth. They will explain what work is being done, why it’s being done, and why your teeth may be sensitive or why your gums are bleeding. Imagine when you’ve cut your hand — it swells up. The same thing happens to gums that are inflamed by the buildup of tartar, even more so than swelling in other parts of the body because gums have an incredibly rich blood supply.

Discuss this with Dr. Still and make sure to talk about your own status when it comes to gum disease. Part of the gum disease diagnosis involves the depth of the spaces (or pockets) around your teeth. Dr. Still takes initial measurements during your new patient Comprehensive Exam and Claire and Ann will measure this yearly thereafter. If you would like  copy of your pocket readings, ask Claire or Ann to print it out for you so you can easily see your problem areas and where you need to improve on your home-care.  Just as you want to know what your blood pressure is, you want to know what your pocket reading is and be aware of how it’s changing.

For more about your pocket readings and what the measurements mean, click below:

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT WHY YOUR HYGIENIST IS CALLING OUT ALL THOSE NUMBERS!

As part of your teeth cleaning appointment, Claire and Ann will give you instructions on proper brushing and flossing techniques. Follow-through after a teeth cleaning is everything, so use this opportunity to get a full demonstration of what you should be doing at home to keep your mouth disease-free and healthy. Along with proper home care, they will tell you that it is extremely important to have your teeth cleaned and checked at least 2-4 time per year.

Finding the Right Dentist in Sarasota

Considering that you and your dentist will be partners in your dental healthcare for the long haul, choosing the right dentist is an important decision for you and your family. How do you go about finding the right dentist?

The American Dental Association (ADA) offers these suggestions:

  • Ask family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers for their recommendations.
  • Ask your family doctor or local pharmacist.
  • Do a Google Search by ZIP code to fine a conveniently located office and be sure to look at the reviews. Ours are 5 Star.
  • Does the office have a dynamic, current website? Can you access it on your mobile phone or tablet? Go the websites of several offices to get a feel for the doctor, staff and type of office.
  • If they have a FaceBook page, check it out too. Smile Sarasota has a fantastic, fun FaceBook page.

While this is good, practical advice, when putting it into the context of our daily lives and overall healthcare plan, what other things should we really consider when choosing a dentist?

  • A big consideration may be whether or not the practice offers patient financing options such as Credit Care. Smile Sarasota does. As many practices require payment upfront, having a means to pay for the service insures you get the treatment you need. You cannot count on dental insurance to offer much assistance, nor should you let dental insurance dictate the care you need.
  • Are they members of professional associations such as the American Dental Association or the Florida Dental Association? Members of the ADA voluntarily agree to abide by the ADA Code. Dr. Still is a member of these organizations.
  • Is the practice up-to-date with technology? Smile Sarasota it totally digital and has been on the leading edge for many years.
  • Does the office adhere to stringent privacy practices? Smile Sarasota absolutely does.
  • Where is the office located? We are conveniently located in downtown Sarasota and easily accessible from St. Armand’s Circle and Longboat Key.
  • Are they convenient to your schedule?  Consider if it would be more convenient to have the office located near your work or home.  A big part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums is simply being able to make it to your regular appointments.  If it would be easiest for you to pop over to your dentist during your lunch hour a location near your work may make sense.
  • Does the practice offer new patient specials or do anything to show appreciation for current patients? Smile Sarasota is now offering a $100 discount on your first cleaning!
  • What happens in the case of an emergency? Dr. Still is available on weekends and evenings to all patients of record who are having a painful dental emergency.
  • Are treatment plans discussed up front and cost estimates given? Smile Sarasota always gives you a detailed, written estimate.

Take a look around the office.

  • Is it comfortable, neat and orderly? Smile Sarasota did an extensive remodel in 2015 and you will find our atmosphere bright and happy. We offer aromatherapy hot towels, gourmet coffee, tea and other hot drinks and your choice of music in the treatment rooms.
  • Does the dentist and staff wearing gloves and protective gear during patient treatment? We absolutely do.
  • Is the staff friendly and welcoming? The staff at Smile Sarasota has been with the practice for many, many years and our patients comment that we are like family!

While choosing a new dentist is an important decision, it doesn’t have to be a difficult one. Hopefully some of these tips will be helpful to you in your search. And of course, if you are looking for a new dentist, we invite you to call Smile Sarasota at 941-957-3311 to set up an appointment to see the facility and meet Dr. Still and our staff.

New Patients and Dental Emergencies

Our office welcomes new and existing patients with dental emergencies. Please contact Smile Sarasota at 941-957-3311 to arrange an appointment with Dr. Still. Listed below are some common problems and initial recommendations. Always seek professional help and call Dr. Still for definitive diagnosis and treatment.

Abscess or Swelling:
• Potentially serious infection associated with the tooth and gums
• Usually requires antibiotics therapy
• Rinse mouth with a mild saltwater solution (1/2 tsp of table salt in 8 oz. of water) several times a day
• Contact our office as soon as possible
• Seek immediate medical attention if the swelling becomes life threatening
Bleeding After An Extraction
• Apply direct pressure and bite on a water moistened gauze sponge for 30 minutes
• If bleeding persists gently rinse the mouth with ice cold water and reapply packing and bite on gauze.
• Another option is to bite on a wet tea bag for 30 minutes
• If bleeding persists, call Smile Sarasota or the oral surgery office that did the extraction
Broken Tooth or Chipped Tooth:
• Rinse mouth with warm water
• Save any pieces
• Apply cold compresses if any swelling and to relieve pain
• If the area is very sensitive, you can use a cotton swab to apply clove oil (available from a local drug store or supermarket)
• Contact our office
Cracked Tooth:
• Symptoms include pain on chewing, pain with cold air, or pain for no reason at all
• Commonly occurring dental problem
• Teeth crack when subjected to the stress of chewing hard foods, ice, or hard objects. Usually associated with large silver or white fillings
• Avoid using the offended tooth
• The majority of cracked teeth (9 out of 10) can be treated by placement of a crown (cap). Complex cracks may involve the need for a root canal or extraction
• Contact our office for evaluation
Jaw Possibly Broken
• Go to the hospital immediately
• Apply cold compresses to the affected area
Knocked Out Tooth
• Save the tooth and rinse off gently if dirty. Do not scrub.
• If possible place back in the mouth and into the socket. Hold in place.
• If not, place the tooth in milk
• Get to the dentist as soon as possible
Lost Filling
• If no pain or discomfort, call for an appointment
• If needed, rinse the affected area and place a temporary patch filling to the area (Dentemp or similar from area pharmacies)
• If nothing else is available, sugarless gum can be placed in the cavity
Lost Crown, Lost Cap or Temporary Crown
• Make an appointment and bring in the crown
• In the meantime, attempt to seat the crown over the tooth using over-the-counter dental cement (Dentemp), toothpaste, or even a thin coat of Vaseline or denture adhesive.
• Do not use super glue
• If unable to do so and the tooth remains sensitive then place a little clove oil (local drug stores or supermarket) with a cotton swab to the site
Objects Caught Between Teeth
• Try to remove with dental floss or an interdental cleaner
• Avoid cutting the gums
• If you cannot remove the object contact our office
Soft Tissue Injury
• Injuries to the lip, cheek, and tongue can occur
• Clean the area gently with a cloth and peroxide
• Apply direct pressure to the area
• Apply cold compresses to reduce swelling
• If the bleeding does not stop or the wound is deep seek immediate medical attention
Toothache
• Call our office to make an appointment
• Rinse mouth with warm water
• Use dental floss or interdental cleaner to remove any debris
• Never place aspirin or any other pain killer directly on the site
• Take an over-the-counter analgesic (Ibuprofen or Tylenol)
• Placing an ice pack over the affected area can help
• If you have lost a filling or crown, dip a cotton swab in clove oil (available in pharmacies and supermarkets) and place it on the affected part of the tooth. Topical anesthetics such as Anbesol can also be used, especially for gum pain.

We are here for all your dental emergencies and Smile Sarasota welcomes all new patients!

Adam N. Still, D.M.D., P.L – What do all those ‘letters’ after his name mean?

dmd and ddsLots of people have asked us why some dentists have a “DDS”, after their name and some may be listed as “DMD”. Dr. Still is a DMD. The DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) and DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry or Doctor of Dental Medicine) are the same degrees. Dentists who have a DMD or DDS have the same education. It’s up to the universities to determine what degree is awarded. Both degrees use the same curriculum requirements set by the American Dental Association.

Did you know that the level of education and clinical training required to earn a dental degree is on par with those of medical schools? Generally, three or more years of undergraduate education (Dr. Still graduated from the University of Washington) plus four years of dental school is required to graduate and become a general dentist. (Dr. Still graduated from Boston University Dental School). Upon completion of their training, dentists must pass both a rigorous national written exam and a state or regional clinical licensing exam in order to practice. In order to keep their licenses, they must meet continuing education requirements for the remainder of their careers so that they may stay up to date on the latest scientific and clinical developments.

And what about that ‘P.L.’?  P.L. is short  for a Professional Limited Liability Company, also known as PLLC, or P.L.L.C.  A professional limited liability company is a business entity designed for licensed professionals, such as lawyers, doctors, dentists, architects, engineers, accountants, and chiropractors. It is simply a form of incorporation.