Westfield's Dental Department

Posts for: March, 2015

By Krause Dental
March 30, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: teeth whitening  

Teeth Whitening A patient who has sensitive teeth will have trouble tolerating certain sensations, including cold and heat. Teeth can also be sensitive to certain substances, like the ingredients in over-the-counter dental whitening products. If you have sensitive teeth, your best bet is to have them whitened at a dentist’s office. Dr. Kenneth Krause is a popular Westfield dentist who offers patients teeth whitening and other in-demand cosmetic services at Krause Dental.

Tooth Whitening Options
A dental survey found that 80 percent of Americans aged 18-49 want whiter teeth. There are three main options that patients have for achieving this goal:

  • Test the effectiveness of over the counter products, like whitening strips, whitening pastes and mouthwashes
  • Visit the dentist for take-home whitening trays
  • Have your teeth whitened in the dentist’s office.

If you have problems with your dental health, including sensitivity, the best option is to have Dr. Krause perform the teeth whitening procedure at his Westfield dentist office.

Sensitive Teeth
Sensitive teeth are often caused by worn down enamel, a cracked tooth or an area where the root of the tooth is exposed (such as decay at the gumline). In some cases, it’s a general effect of aging. If you have sensitive teeth, using certain dental whitening products can cause pain and irritation. 

How Does In-Office Tooth Whitening Work?
The first step of having your teeth whitened is a dental examination to ensure that your sensitive teeth are healthy enough for the procedure. At the beginning of the treatment, your gums will be protected with a retractor device and the dentist will carefully apply a special whitening gel that is only available to dental professionals. Next, a bright curing light is used to activate the whitening agent. After about an hour, you’ll have a significantly whiter smile (up to eight shades brighter). 

Set an Appointment Time Today
The benefits of tooth whitening are fast and long-lasting. You can have whiter, brighter teeth for two or more years without needing another treatment. So if you’re ready for a better smile, call Dr. Krause’s Westfield office, Krause Dental, today at (317) 399-9329 for a teeth whitening appointment.

By Kenneth Krause, DMD
March 16, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral cancer  

Last year, over 1.5 million people heard the words no one wants to hear: “You have cancer.” While only a small portion of those — about three percent — were diagnosed with oral cancer, their survival rate isn’t as good as with other types of cancers: 58% five years after diagnosis.

Here, then, are some things you should know about this deadly disease.

Oral cancer is an “equal opportunity” disease. People from all walks and stations of life experience oral cancer. The disease has caused the untimely deaths of Ulysses S. Grant, Babe Ruth and George Harrison, one of the original Beatles. However, you don’t have to be prominent or famous to acquire oral cancer: it can strike anyone at any age, especially people 40 years and older.

Oral cancer is difficult to detect early. Oral cancer usually appears as a small, scaly-shaped sore known as a squamous cell carcinoma. Appearing in the lining of the mouth, lips, tongue or back of the throat, the early stages often resemble other benign conditions such as cold or canker sores, so they’re easily overlooked in the early stages. To increase your chances of an early diagnosis, you should see your dentist about any mouth sore that doesn’t heal in two to three weeks; it’s also advisable to undergo a specific oral cancer screening during your regular dental checkups.

Tobacco and heavy alcohol use are strongly linked to oral cancer. Tobacco smokers are five to nine times more likely to develop oral cancer while snuff or chewing tobacco users are roughly four times more likely than non-tobacco users. People who are moderate to heavy drinkers are three to nine times more likely to develop oral cancer than non-drinkers.

You can reduce your risk for oral cancer. Besides quitting tobacco use and moderating your alcohol consumption, there are other things you can do to reduce cancer risk: a nutritious diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables; limited sun exposure with adequate sunscreen protection and clothing; and safe sexual practices to avoid contracting Human Papilloma Virus (HPV16), strongly linked to oral cancer. And above all, practice effective, daily oral hygiene with regular dental cleanings and checkups.

If you would like more information on prevention and treatment of oral cancer, 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 “Oral Cancer.”

By Kenneth Krause, DMD
March 13, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Bonding  

BondingSome patients want a new and improved smile, but they don’t have the time or money at the moment for more advanced services, like veneers, crowns or braces. If this sounds like your situation and you want a quick fix to your smile, talk to Dr. Kenneth Krause at Krause Dental about dental bonding. 

What Is Dental Bonding?

When you go in for a cavity filling on your back molars, the dentist uses a special compound that is the color of your teeth to fill in the spaces after drilling. The same compound (called a composite resin) can be used to restore other parts of the teeth, such as the front teeth and incisors. When hardened, this compound looks just like tooth matter. Dental bonding is the process of using this compound to improve the overall look of your smile.

How Can Bonding Improve Your Smile?

Dental bonding is a service offered at Krause Dental. Dr. Krause commonly uses this solution to fix unsightly chips and cracks in the teeth. He applies the composite material to the tooth, uses a curing light to harden it and then contours it to perfection. Bonding also helps to fill in spaces caused by too-small teeth, so you no longer will have trouble eating and chewing your food. When you have large gaps between your teeth, food particles can get stuck in between them, causing digestive problems and the risk of decay.

Just One Appointment

Dental bonding and contouring is a surprisingly quick procedure. In many cases it takes just one appointment and less than an hour to complete. Your dentist will first carefully examine your teeth to see where improvements can be made, then come up with a treatment plan and begin work (possibly all in the same appointment). Composite bonding is a temporary solution that will last a few years with good dental care before it has to be refreshed.

Find Out if Dental Bonding Is Right for You

Is dental bonding and contouring a viable solution for you? Call Krause Dental today at (317) 399-9329 and schedule a consultation visit with Kenneth Krause, DMD to talk about smile solutions.

By Kenneth Krause, DMD
March 06, 2015
Category: Oral Health

Vanna White has been a household name for the last 27+ years and is best known as the first female co-host of the game show, Wheel of Fortune. She radiates a warm, friendly, down-home appeal and says when describing herself, “what you see is what you get!” While this is quite true, there is so much more to her. She has received a star on the famous Hollywood Walk Of Fame, has starred in an NBC movie and written a book. She is even featured in The Guinness Book of World Records as TV's most frequent clapper, and most recently started her own line of yarn called Vanna's Choice with half of the proceeds going to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. And while any one of these accolades could serve as the highlight of a lifetime for most, for Vanna they fall slightly short. Her favorite job is being mother to her son, Nicholas, and daughter, Giovanna.

The following are excerpts taken from an exclusive interview in Dear Doctor magazine, the premier oral healthcare resource for patients and consumers.

What is the secret to her dazzling smile?
Vanna's oral healthcare routine is the same today as it has been since her childhood — and one everyone can follow. She brushes her teeth at least twice a day (morning and at bedtime) and flosses her teeth daily. She also has strong feelings about flossing. “I think that flossing is the most important thing. I believe that dental floss helps a lot as it keeps your gums strong and looking younger.”

What about bleaching, has she done it?
Absolutely! Vanna bleaches her teeth once or twice a year to help retain her naturally white teeth and to offset any discoloration from coffee and an occasional glass of red wine. “I have done over-the-counter and professional bleaching, but I do like the trays my dentist made because they fit perfectly.” She also states, “Anything you can do professionally is probably better because I would assume that a dentist's ingredients are stronger than over-the-counter products.”

Has she had any cosmetic dentistry?
When it comes to answering a question about cosmetic dentistry, Vanna is just as open and honest as she is about everything else — a trait for which she is known. “I had a bridge put in probably 30 years ago, where I had a tooth pulled and there was a space. And I did have a little tiny chip on one of my front teeth years ago that my dentist fixed. But that is it. Again, I feel very fortunate to have good teeth. The braces [from her childhood] straightened them out and there has been no need for any cosmetics since then.”

Does she do anything to protect her teeth?
While she admits to occasionally forgetting to use her nightguard, a protective mouthguard worn during sleep, she firmly believes in their need. “I do sleep in a nightguard because I grind my teeth. I have a filling in the back that probably has been filled five times from grinding.” She added, “Both of my children do have mouthguards that they wear for their sports.”

Want a smile like Vanna's?
Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to discuss your questions about bleaching, cosmetic dentistry or mouthguards. You can also learn more about Vanna by reading the entire interview in the Dear Doctor article, “Vanna White — The Smile Defining America's Favorite Game Show — Wheel Of Fortune.”