3 High-Tech Dental Tools We’re Obsessed With Right Now

Dental News in St. Louis, MO

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We live in a high-tech world, and that includes high-tech dental tools! We’re always investing in the latest and greatest technology so we can design better smiles for you. In fact, we think embracing innovation in the world of dentistry is what sets us apart from some of the other family dentists in our area.

Your oral health is important, and if you’re spending your hard-earned money on a dental service, we want to make sure you get the best treatment and care possible. These three high-tech dental tools make it easier for the Precision Dental Care team to do just that. 

Intraoral Scanner (No Impression Trays!!)

We know how to make a great impression! A tooth impression, that is. Back in the day, if you were getting a crown, bridge, implant, or even aligners, you would have to bite down on a dental tray filled with a messy goo for several minutes. Then, the dentist would take this mold of your teeth to create your restoration or custom aligner.

These days, it can all be done digitally. No more gagging on gooey substances. Our intraoral scanner can take 3D video scans of your mouth in seconds. We can send these digital impressions to our lab, and they can use the information to create your perfect restoration or aligner. The best part? It often takes less time than the traditional method. Yep, you get a better experience in less time. Talk about a win/win situation!

Alpha Stim

The Alpha-Stim cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) device is a drug-free treatment that helps to manage anxiety, pain, insomnia, stress, muscle tension, headaches, and depression. We use it in our office to help patients who may experience fear or anxiety during dental visits. We also use it as an all-natural way to relieve pain. 

How does it work? The device delivers a tiny microcurrent through the brain to stimulate certain nerve cells. The signal is delivered via small clips that we attach to your earlobes. Most people don’t feel a thing… well, except for relief of course!

Not only is this device easy to use, it provides long-lasting effects without any tolerance issues to worry about. Our patients feel alert, yet extremely relaxed. We think this solution is infinitely better than prescription painkillers or more invasive options. For our patients with dental anxiety, this technology is a life-saver and we are SO proud to be able to offer it as an option in our office!

ViziLite Oral Cancer Screening

According to Cancer.org, about 53,000 people will get oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer this year (2019) and an estimated 10,860 people will die from these cancers. Clearly, we need to be vigilant about early screening so you don’t become part of these statistics. 

Our ViziLite tool is AMAZING at quickly and painlessly screening for oral cancer. It works by detecting tissue abnormalities, which we can then look at more closely to determine if it is actually oral cancer. 

We highly recommend our patients participate in oral cancer screening annually, because early detection is key to a positive outcome. Men over 40 are the most prone to oral cancer, but everyone should be tested, especially if you smoke or have smoked in the past. Daily alcohol use, viruses like HPV and HIV, and poor nutrition are also common risk factors. 

If you want to learn more about the technology we use in our St. Louis dental clinic, or you’re ready to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (636) 461-2255. You can also request an appointment online!

Microscope Dentistry, and Why We Love It at Precision Dental Care

Dental News in St. Louis, MO

Ever wonder why our practice is named Precision Dental Care? Well, by its very nature, dentistry is all about precision. We’re working with a very small part of the body, and making very tiny adjustments to make your smile function and look its best. However, there’s another reason this name worked for our practice specifically, and it has to do with Dr. Ochoa’s passion for Microscope Dentistry.

What is Microscope Dentistry?

Microscopic enhanced dentistry (or microdentistry) is a type of dentistry that utilizes the power of magnification to allow dentists like Dr. Ochoa to see teeny tiny details that are simply impossible to pick up with the naked eye. The enlarged 3D image that is produced by the microscope allows Dr. Ochoa to provide her patients with a more thorough diagnosis and precise treatment.

You might think all dentists would be using this technology, but very few actually do. In fact, less than one percent of general dentists use microscopes to perform examinations. Dr. Ochoa has taken the lead in her field with her passion for Microscope Dentistry, and it’s because of her unwavering belief in the power of technology and her commitment to serving her patients at the highest level possible.

Benefits to the Patient

A lot of times, fractures in the teeth and even small cavities are difficult to see with the naked eye. Many dentists use loupes, which are glasses with magnification in the lenses. However, these are not even strong enough to pick up certain dental issues. Microscope Dentistry gives Dr. Ochoa an advantage when it comes to spotting the smallest details, which for our patients can mean the difference between a healthy, happy smile and a future oral health issue.

Another advantage is the ability to project what’s being examined by the microscope onto a large monitor. Not only does this help Dr. Ochoa get a better look, patients can also see exactly what she’s seeing. When she performs a treatment, patients can watch… if they want to. 

Technology and Dentistry

Some dentists believe that the old-fashioned way of taking care of teeth and treating patients is best. The truth is, technology is changing at a rapid pace, and we believe that by embracing this, we can give our patients a better experience in the dental chair and a better quality of life. You can see all of the technology that we’ve invested in — and how it helps our patients — here on our website.

Dr. Ochoa believes that early detection and being proactive is what her patients deserve. With Microscope Dentistry, there’s no need to “wait and see” what’s going to happen. She can prevent painful and expensive situations down the road by addressing them early. 

In addition to Dr. Ochoa’s dedication to Microscope Dentistry, we also are passionate about sleep solutions, orthodontics, and cosmetic dentistry services for the entire family. If you’ve been looking for an honest dentist who truly has your best interests in mind, we’d love to meet you! Give the Precision Dental Care team a call at (636) 461-2255 or request an appointment right on our website. 

Three Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing Invisalign®

Dental News in St. Louis, MO

Straight teeth doesn’t have to mean two years of metal braces. Although we still love traditional braces for teeth straightening and jaw alignment, they’re not the perfect option for everyone. Some patients prefer Invisalign® for a more inconspicuous and shortened treatment time, in many cases.

Designed with sophisticated software and 3D digital models of your teeth, Invisalign® consists of a series of clear plastic trays made out of medical-grade plastic. The trays apply gradual pressure to your teeth to shift them into place very little discomfort. Every two weeks, you will switch to the next tray in the series until we achieve the desired results!

Every person — and every mouth — is different, so it’s important to think through your options and consider which orthodontic treatment best fits your lifestyle. To help you out, we’re going to share three questions you should ask yourself before deciding whether Invisalign® is right for you or your family member:

Question #1 – How committed are you to oral hygiene?

One of the most difficult things about braces is the hygiene involved. For kids and teenagers (and some adults), properly brushing and flossing several times a day between all the wires and brackets is difficult. Do you have the patience to take care of your teeth while you’re wearing braces?

If the answer is an honest “no” then Invisalign® may be a better option for you. With Invisalign® you can eat or drink whatever you want, and you can just remove the trays when it’s time to brush and floss. No need to worry about which foods are “prohibited” and taking care of your teeth is just as easy as it always was.

Question #2 – Will you really wear your trays?

You know yourself best. Can you commit to wearing your aligner trays consistently? In order for this treatment option to be successful, you need to wear your trays at least 22 hours per day. We see people get too excited about the fact that they can take them out, and they end up taking them out way too much. Really, you should only be removing them to eat and brush (and floss), then they need to go right back in.

Invisalign® is awesome, but the truth is, you’re going to get annoyed by the trays at times. Adults and responsible teens typically have no problem following these guidelines, but you want to be honest with yourself and decide if you can commit to wearing the trays as much as you possibly can.

Question #3 – Are you looking for fast results?

Generally, Invisalign® usually takes 8-18 months versus 24 months for traditional braces. Invisalign® also requires fewer checkups, which saves you money and effort — we know how hard it can be to come in for routine appointments if you have a busy schedule!

If you’re looking for faster results with fewer appointments, we’d definitely recommend that you consider this option. Though you may pay a little bit more than you would for traditional braces, the fact that you have to come in less means fewer days off work and fewer co-pays. It might end up being around the same once it’s all said and done.

Aligner treatments like Invisalign® are effective in 90% of straightening cases. Some smiles that require more intensive straightening may not be a good match for Invisalign®, but we can always discuss that with you and give you our recommendations. Give the team at Precision Dental Care a call at (636) 461-2255 to schedule an appointment or request an appointment on our website. We can’t wait to find the perfect solution for your smile!

Pediatric Sleep Disorder Could be the Cause of Your Child’s Behavior Issues

Dental News in St. Louis, MO

When we think of sleep-disordered breathing, we generally think of a middle-aged (or older) male with sleep apnea. However, people who experience sleep issues range in gender, age, and lifestyle. Even the smallest children can suffer from sleep disorders! Unfortunately, because they’re children, they can’t tell us about it as they either don’t have the language to explain what they’re experiencing or they’ve been living with it their whole life and assume it’s normal.

Often the most difficult part about pediatric sleep disorders is the fact that it can lead to other issues. Namely, behavior issues like aggression, tantrums, hyperactivity, even a low IQ. In fact, if you were to put children suffering from sleep disorders in a room with children that have ADD, even the most knowledgeable experts in child behavior would have a hard time telling the difference.

Connor Deegan’s Case

On our website, we share a video about Connor Deegan, a child who suffered from undiagnosed pediatric sleep disorder throughout his entire childhood. He had trouble behaving at school, displayed signs of self-hatred, and had difficulty controlling his negative feelings and reactions.

He was almost expelled from fourth grade when his mom decided to have him undergo a number of tests to try to determine what was causing his issues. These tests showed that he was suffering from a combination of allergies and pediatric sleep disorder, which was causing him to be exhausted all the time. This exhaustion lead to him acting out and struggling in school.

Why do we share Connor’s story? It’s so important to think outside the box when trying to identify the cause of a child’s behavior issues. Most parents have no idea that sleep apnea and other sleep-disordered breathing can cause behavior that looks just like ADD/ADHD, learning and adaptive problems, and/or aggression.

What To Look For

If your child experiences any of the following on a regular basis, there’s a chance they may be suffering from pediatric sleep issues:

  • Loud snoring
  • Restless sleep
  • Bedwetting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Snorting, coughing, or choking
  • Night terrors

For a parent, dealing with these things can be scary and maybe even frustrating at times. Your child is likely feeling the same way. Addressing the issue sooner rather than later will not only help everyone’s peace of mind, it can help your child live a better life… and they deserve that.

Come See Us

We believe that every child deserves a healthy start, and that’s why we are so proud to offer the Healthy Start System, which is an oral appliance that not only addresses pediatric sleep issues, it can correct alignment issues in the teeth, eliminating the need for braces in the future!

If you want to learn more about the Healthy Start System or have your child evaluated for pediatric sleep disorder, give Precision Dental Care a call at (636) 461-2255, or you can request an appointment online. We can’t wait to see you!

Bad Breath

Dental News in St. Louis, MO

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dentist in st louisDue to the anxiety or embarrassment it can cause, halitosis – or bad breath – can be difficult for many people to face. However, clean-smelling breath may be easier than you think. Try these solutions to overcome halitosis and regain your confidence.

 

  1.    Maintain oral care – Brushing and flossing your teeth is incredibly important to warding off bad breath. Make sure to brush at least twice a day and floss once a day.
  2.    Quit smoking – Cigarettes and other tobacco products are a common cause of halitosis, in addition to more serious concerns like oral cancer or gum disease.
  3.    Chew sugar free gum – Carry a pack of sugar free gum to chew between meals. It can stimulate saliva flow, mask odors, and prevent tooth decay that might indirectly cause bad breath. Avoid gum that isn’t sugar free, as this can introduce more sugar to your teeth that might contribute to decay.
  4.    Mouthwash – While it is only a temporary solution mouthwash can be a quick way to provide relief from halitosis. However, if you feel you need to use mouthwash several times each day, contact our office for an exam to check for the underlying cause of your bad breath.
  5.    Clean your tongue – When brushing your teeth, make sure not to ignore your tongue. Brush it gently with a wet toothbrush or use a tongue scraper with care. This helps remove bacteria and food particles that can collect on your tongue and cause bad breath.
  6.    Dental visits – Tooth decay, gum disease, and many other dental health issues can be the source of halitosis. By maintaining your recommended schedule of cleanings and examinations, we can work with you to treat any underlying causes of bad breath and ensure your optimal oral health.

 

Halitosis can be prevented by targeting underlying concerns such as tooth decay. Schedule a visit with our office for a cleaning and an examination and enjoy the clean taste of fresh breath

 

Precision Dental Care of St. Louis 1280 Main Street, Imperial, Missouri 63052 (636) 461-2255

The Dangers of Grinding

Dental News in St. Louis, MO

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dentist in st louisTeeth grinding, known as bruxism, is a habit many get into without even realizing it. Grinding your teeth can be damaging for several reasons. If you or your child have been struggling with teeth grinding, make an appointment to see us. We will assess the damage to the teeth, as well as assist you in addressing solutions. Here’s what you need to know about teeth grinding.

Why Do We Grind Our Teeth?

Teeth grinding does not have a single cause. Instead, it can occur for several different reasons. Stress and anxiety, an improper bite, and sleep disorders are all potential causes. If your teeth are not aligned properly, they can rub against each other while you bite or chew. Many people grind their teeth without even realizing what they are doing.

The Journal of the American Dental Association found that smoking and alcohol result in an increase in teeth grinding. In fact, smokers and people who drink alcohol were found to be twice as likely to experience bruxism as those who do not have these behaviors.

What Grinding Does Your Teeth

Grinding wears down your teeth causing damage, increased sensitivity, and even loosening teeth. Teeth are like bones. They can crack or fracture, and grinding has been known to cause both issues. Your teeth can also be flattened from constantly rubbing against one another. Grinding not only damages your teeth, but it leaves you more susceptible to other complications in the future, as well. Beyond your teeth, grinding can lead to jaw pain and headaches. If you wake up with a sore, tired jaw on frequent occasions, this could be a sign that you grind or clench your teeth throughout the night.

What We Can Do

If grinding is an issue for you, make an appointment to see us. First, we will assess the extent of the damage that may have already occurred due to grinding. We will then work with you to identify a solution that will keep your teeth strong and healthy. In some cases, we may recommend wearing a mouth guard at night to prevent your teeth from pressing against one another. Though it can be challenging, if your grinding is caused by stress, the top priority will be to find ways to reduce stress and anxiety. Stress is a more common cause for adults than children. The primary cause of grinding in children is improper alignment.

If grinding your teeth has become an issue, please do not wait until it leads to sensitivity and pain. Schedule an appointment to see us for an evaluation and treatment plan. Our professional dental team will work with you to address the cause of your grinding, and determine a solution that will protect your teeth from any further damage.

For more information on keeping your teeth strong and healthy, please contact our office. We look forward to assisting you!

Precision Dental Care of St. Louis
1280 Main Street, Imperial, Missouri 63052
(636) 461-2255

Common Brushing Mistakes

Dental News in St. Louis, MO

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Brushing your teeth is the cornerstone of your oral health care – but is there room for improvement? Use our guide to determine if you’ve fallen into these common brushing habit mistakes, so you can keep your smile healthy and bright.

  1. Not brushing long enough – The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth for two full minutes at least twice daily. Studies show that most Americans fall short. To ensure you are brushing the full 2 minutes, try using an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer, a clock, or the stopwatch on your smartphone. There are even podcasts designed to act as both a timer and entertainment while you brush.
  2. Improper technique – Aim your brush toward your gums at a 45-degree angle when brushing the fronts and backs of your teeth, and don’t forget the chewing surfaces. Avoid using too much pressure when you brush, as this can cause wear that damages the enamel.
  3. Using an old brush – The ADA recommends replacing your toothbrush (or brush head, if that part is replaceable) every three to four months – sooner if the bristles begin to fray. A toothbrush kept in service too long will become less effective over time due to wear. Moreover, the bristles on an older toothbrush can harbor harmful bacteria.
  4. When to brush, or not brush – Whenever possible, it is best to brush after eating meals or snacks. When you can’t, rinse with water or chew sugarless gum to help remove food particles and neutralize acids. When eating or drinking sugary or acidic items, rinse your mouth and wait 30 minutes to ensure the sugars and acids are washed away by saliva before you brush.
  5. Ignoring your tongue – Use your toothbrush or a tongue cleaner to carefully clean your tongue each time you brush your teeth. This helps clear bacteria and prevent bad breath.

Improper brushing habits can contribute to tooth decay, bad breath, and other oral health issues. Contact us for more information on home care or to schedule your next cleaning.

1280 Main Street
Imperial, MO 63052

Phone: (636) 461-2255

Look 10 Years Younger

Dental News in St. Louis, MO

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Your smile is one of the first things a person will notice when you meet.  If you would like to improve your smile with a simple procedure, teeth whitening may be a great option for you, especially if you have stained, dull or discolored teeth. Our dental office is providing teeth whitening services to new and existing patients.

Regardless of how well you care for your teeth, over time, discoloration will occur.  The main causes of stained teeth are genetics, antibiotics, tobacco and certain foods. As we age, our teeth darken as well. While preventing tooth discoloration is nearly impossible, our experienced team can help reverse the effects of discoloration by helping to create a whiter and brighter smile.

Whether it’s an in-office treatment or at-home treatment, the principles of teeth whitening are the same.  A special whitening agent is applied to the teeth in order to bleach the stains and brighten your smile. Our expert dentist will discuss your whitening needs and goals with you to determine which option is best for you.

In-office teeth whitening is the quickest method to a brighter, whiter smile.  With the supervision of an experienced dental professional, a stronger bleaching solution can be used than with at-home kits. Optimal results are achieved much faster with the professional whitening treatment, and in many ways the results are much better given the nature of the bleaching agents that are used. On average, patients find they appear up to ten years younger just by restoring the bright, white smile of their youth.

During a professional teeth whitening treatment, we will first clean the teeth.  They will apply a whitening agent to your teeth, carefully avoiding your gums and soft tissue.  Once applied, a laser light will be directed at the teeth to expedite the process.  For maximum results, the process may be repeated more than once.

If a visit to our office for professional whitening isn’t an option for you, at-home treatment may provide the whitening you need. While you will find a vast variety of at-home teeth whitening products on the market, including whitening toothpastes, over-the-counter gels, rinses, strips, trays and more, we can fit you with custom-made whitening trays that will more accurately fit to your teeth for a more even whitening result.

At-home teeth whitening results are less dramatic compared to those achieved at the dentist. While at-home teeth whitening is easy to use, it is not recommended if your teeth or gums are sensitive.

If you are looking to brighten your smile and look ten years younger, contact our office for more information or to schedule a consultation today.

1280 Main Street
Imperial, MO 63052

Phone: (636) 461-2255

Tobacco and Your Teeth

Dental News in St. Louis, MO

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Chewing and smoking tobacco are known to cause severe health problems, particularly in the lungs. But the risks to your mouth and teeth can be just as extensive and alarming. If you use tobacco, stop. Here’s what tobacco can do to your oral health.

Chewing Tobacco

According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), tobacco chewers increase their risk of developing gum and cheek cancers by 50 times. Tobacco dissolves the gums which leads to sensitivity from exposed roots. This also makes for an ideal location for bacteria to grow, leading to decay. If you are chewing tobacco, stop, and ask our experienced oral health team about what you can do to keep your mouth healthy.

Smoking

According to a report by the AGD, smoking one pack a day can lead to the loss of two teeth each decade of your life. Smoking increases your odds of losing teeth. Cigarettes and cigars are both damaging to your oral health. Smoking can cause staining as well, leading to an unattractive smile.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer can develop in several places in your mouth including on your tongue, lips, mouth floor, and gums. Those over 50, are at an increased risk of developing oral cancer, as are men. However, Oral cancer has been on the rise, especially for people under 30 according to the AGD.  Schedule an appointment with us to receive a thorough oral health examination, and ask us about an oral cancer screening, particularly if you are a tobacco user. Oral cancer screenings are often very quick as our dentist checks your mouth, teeth, and cheeks for signs of irregularities. If caught early, oral cancer can be treated.

If you are a tobacco user, we strongly advise you to quit. You can work with our professional dental team as well as your doctor to overcome tobacco use. Everyone should be receiving regular oral health examinations, but if you are a tobacco user, you need to be especially vigilant in doing so. Schedule a visit to our office so that we can work with you to identify any potential issues.

For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next visit to our office, please contact us.

1280 Main Street
Imperial, MO 63052

Phone: (636) 461-2255

Don’t Miss Your Screening

Dental News in St. Louis, MO

Dentist Imperial, MO

Oral cancer does not discriminate. It affects those of all ages, genders and races. Smokers do develop oral cancers at higher rates than non-smokers. However, this does not absolve the rest of the population from being at risk, as well.

It’s incredibly important to keep to your recommended schedule of oral health examinations. By visiting your general dentist at least twice per year, it is much more likely that our dental team will be able to identify potentially cancerous lesions in early stages. As you may know, the key to survival of most forms of cancer is early detection. Oral cancers are treatable, especially if caught before displaying obvious signs. The best results occur when oral cancer is identified and treated during early stages.

If your general dentist identifies a lesion that appears to be irregular, he or she may refer you to our team. We’ll recommend the next steps. Once pathology has been identified, we can proceed with treatment if necessary.

We will complete a biopsy to confirm whether a lesion is cancerous. It is not possible to confirm an oral cancer diagnosis without a biopsy. For this reason, try to refrain from making assumptions until we have confirmed your diagnosis. If it’s been more than 6 months since your last appointment or if you have noticed a lesion, bump or irregular patch of skin that doesn’t heal within a few days, consider an oral cancer screening by your general dentist. Know that your dentist will provide you with advice and may refer you to our team for a closer look.

If you have considered skipping the recommended dental visits that provide your first line of defense against oral cancers, please reconsider. It could save your life.

Precision Dental Care of Imperial
1280 Main Street, Imperial, Missouri 63052
(636) 461-2255