Westfield's Dental Department

Posts for: May, 2015

By Kenneth Krause, DMD
May 30, 2015
Category: Oral Health

A woman as gorgeous and funny as Sofia Vergara surely planned to be a model and actress from the get-go, right? Wrong! Sofia’s first career choice actually was to be… a dentist! That’s right, the sexy star of TV’s Modern Family actually was only two semesters shy of finishing a dental degree in her native Columbia when she traded dental school for the small screen. Still, dental health remains a top priority for the actress and her son, Manolo.

“I’m obsessed,” she recently told People magazine. “My son thinks I’m crazy because I make him do a cleaning every three months. I try to bribe the dentist to make him to do it sooner!”

That’s what we call a healthy obsession (teeth-cleaning, not bribery). And while coming in for a professional cleaning every three months may not be necessary for everyone, some people — especially those who are particularly susceptible to gum disease — may benefit from professional cleanings on a three-month schedule. In fact, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to having professional teeth cleanings — but everyone needs this beneficial procedure on a regular basis.

Even if you are meticulous about your daily oral hygiene routine at home, there are plenty of reasons for regular checkups. They include:

  • Dental exam. Oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease are much easier — and less expensive — to treat in the earliest stages. You may not have symptoms of either disease early on, but we can spot the warning signs and take appropriate preventive or restorative measures.
  • Oral cancer screening. Oral cancer is not just a concern of the middle aged and elderly — young adults can be affected as well (even those who do not smoke). The survival rate for this deadly disease goes up tremendously if it is detected quickly, and an oral cancer screening is part of every routine dental visit.
  • Professional teeth cleaning. Calcified (hardened) dental plaque (tartar or calculus) can build up near the gum line over time — even if you brush and floss every day. These deposits can irritate your gums and create favorable conditions for tooth decay. You can’t remove tartar by flossing or brushing, but we can clear it away — and leave you with a bright, fresh-feeling smile!

So take a tip from Sofia Vergara, and don’t skimp on professional cleanings and checkups. If you want to know how often you should come in for routine dental checkups, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor articles “Dental Hygiene Visit” and “Dental Cleanings Using Ultrasonic Scalers.”

By Kenneth Krause, D.M.D.
May 28, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Fillings  

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, nearly 80% of Americans have had a cavity in their lifetime. If you’ve had a cavity, you know how painful it can be. Thankfully, your Westfield family dentist can seal your cavity with a filling to help protect the tooth from further damage and Fillings decay.

What is a Filling?

A dental filling a process that uses safe materials to seal small holes in the teeth which are caused by tooth decay. After your dentist discovers a cavity, they will use a tool to remove the decay. Once the decay is gone, they will prepare the hole for a filling, which will protect the tooth and restore it to its full function.

Types of Dental Fillings

There are two major types of dental fillings that your dentist can use. Westfield dental patients can choose from either type of filling. Your dentist may recommend one over the other depending on your tooth condition and your budget.

  • Metal Fillings

Metal fillings have been used for over 100 years to restore teeth after dental work. Amalgam, otherwise called silver fillings, are quite inexpensive but very durable. Gold fillings are also durable but more expensive. Both types of metal fillings are very noticeable, which may bother some dental patients.

  • Tooth-colored Fillings

Tooth-colored fillings are a popular choice among patients who would prefer for their fillings to look more natural. They can be made of composite, porcelain, or acrylic and glass mixtures. These material are durable, but not necessarily considered as strong as metal fillings. Porcelain fillings resist staining, but are a more expensive option.

The type of filling you choose is a personal decision which should be made after talking to your dentist about your unique dental needs. The most important trait of any filling is that it protects your tooth from further damage and helps restore function and health to the tooth. Dr. Kenneth Krause from Krause Dental in Westfield, IN can remove your tooth decay and seal it with a filling. Schedule an appointment today by calling their office at (317) 399-9329.

By Kenneth Krause, DMD
May 15, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Implants  

Dental implants have become the standard for long-term tooth replacement. From mechanics to movie stars, people from all walks of life have discovered the advantages of replacing a missing tooth with an implant. Obviously, restoring your smile is a definite advantage, but an implant can also help to maintain the health of your jawbone and adjacent teeth.

The implant is a small, screw-like titanium post that is placed into your jawbone to function as the root part of the tooth. The living bone tissue will actually attach to the titanium post, fusing them together. This will not only provide a sturdy anchor for a natural-looking crown, but will provide stability for bridgework or dentures. You will then be able to smile, chew and talk as if all of your teeth are natural. The procedure will also help to stabilize the bone, reducing long-term bone loss that occurs when a missing tooth is not replaced.

At this point, if you are thinking that there must be a lot of pain involved, I have good news for you. There is very little pain involved after the procedure is completed and no pain at all during the procedure. Typically, it is a routine surgery that takes place in a dentist’s office under local anesthesia where the immediate area is numbed. If there is any apprehension at all about the procedure, we will offer alternative anesthesia or sedation options during the planning process.

To determine who will be a good candidate for the implant procedure, a plan must be in place to assure the success of the implant. Part of the plan includes:

  • Reviewing your past medical and dental history. We must know your complete past and present medical history and medication use, since good health is essential. There are certain conditions and diseases that can affect the healing of an implant.
  • Performing a comprehensive dental examination. An evaluation of your dental problems and needs will determine if implants are in your best interests. An assessment of the health and mass of the jawbone as well as the number and location of the implant(s) that are needed to restore your bite and smile back to health will also be determined.

When the implant procedure has been successfully completed, there is one more step. As with your natural teeth, preventive maintenance is crucial for long-term success. A daily routine of brushing and flossing along with regular professional dental cleanings and checkups will help ensure continued gum health and proper functioning of your implants.

If you are wondering whether dental implants are right for you, contact us for more information or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about dental implants by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implants” and “Dental Implant Surgery.”