Westfield's Dental Department

Posts for: July, 2015

By Kenneth Krause, D.M.D.
July 29, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Sedation Dentistry  

Alleviate dental phobias and anxieties by opting for sedation dentistry in Westfield.

Anywhere from about 9 to 15 percent of Americans actually avoid their dentist out of fear. That’s 30 to 40 million people who aren’t Sedationgetting the proper oral care they need to maintain healthy smiles. If you share the same sentiments as these millions of Americans then find out how your Westfield family dentist Dr. Kenneth Krause can help eliminate your fears.

About Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry uses certain medications to help you to achieve a more calming and relaxing dental visit that is free of all the worry you have regarding dental procedures and your dentist. There are two common forms of sedation dentistry in Westfield:

Oral sedation

Oral sedation comes in the form of a pill and is usually taken about a half hour before your treatment to give time for the medication to take effect. Oral sedation offers minimal to more moderate levels of sedation by taking an anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) medication like Valium or Xanax. Some patients may become drowsy or even fall asleep during their procedure. A gentle nudge is all the patient will need to awaken.

Inhalation sedation

Better known as “laughing gas”, the patient breathes in nitrous oxide through a mask that is placed over their nose. This gas will instantly relax you as your Westfield dentist Dr. Krause continues to control the amount of nitrous oxide you receive during your treatment. What makes inhalation sedation a great option is that the effects of the gas wear off quickly so patients can return to their daily activities or even drive themselves home.

There are different levels of sedation that can be achieved depending on the invasiveness of your procedure or how many procedures are being performed in a single visit. Your Westfield dentist Dr. Krause will determine which level of sedation is right for you.

The Right Way to Treat Dental Anxiety

So when should you consider getting dental sedation? If you suffer from any of these issues then talk to your Westfield family dentist about getting sedation dentistry for your next appointment:

  • You have fear or anxiety related to dental treatments or seeing your dentist
  • You have a sensitive gag reflex
  • You require several procedures performed at once
  • You suffer from back, neck or shoulder problems
  • You find it difficult to sit for long periods of time
  • You want to feel more relaxed during your dental visit

There are a countless number of reasons why sedation dentistry is a great choice for many patients who walk through the door nervous about the dentist. Interested in finding out if sedation dentistry is right for you? Your Westfield family dentist Dr. Krause is happy to sit down with you and discuss your sedation options for a stress-free visit.

Nothing is more important than a healthy smile. Our goal is to also provide good mental wellbeing with each dental visit. Call Krause Dental today!


Exchanging passionate kisses with big-screen star Jennifer Lawrence might sound like a dream come true. But according to Liam Hemsworth, her Hunger Games co-star, it could also be a nightmare… because J.Law’s breath wasn’t always fresh. “Anytime I had to kiss Jennifer was pretty uncomfortable,” Hemsworth said on The Tonight Show.

Lawrence said the problem resulted from her inadvertently consuming tuna or garlic before the lip-locking scenes; fortunately, the two stars were able to share a laugh about it later. But for many people, bad breath is no joke. It can lead to embarrassment and social difficulties — and it occasionally signifies a more serious problem. So what causes bad breath, and what can you do about it?

In 9 out of 10 cases, bad breath originates in the mouth. (In rare situations, it results from a medical issue in another part of the body, such as liver disease or a lung infection.) The foul odors associated with bad breath can be temporarily masked with mouthwash or breath mints — but in order to really control it, we need to find out exactly what’s causing the problem, and address its source.

As Lawrence and Hemsworth found out, some foods and beverages can indeed cause a malodorous mouth. Onions, garlic, alcohol and coffee are deservedly blamed for this. Tobacco products are also big contributors to bad breath — which is one more reason to quit. But fasting isn’t the answer either: stop eating for long enough and another set of foul-smelling substances will be released. Your best bet is to stay well hydrated and snack on crisp, fresh foods like celery, apples or parsley.

And speaking of hydration (or the lack of it): Mouth dryness and reduced salivary flow during the nighttime hours is what causes “morning breath.” Certain health issues and some medications can also cause “dry mouth,” or xerostomia. Drinking plenty of water can encourage the production of healthy saliva — but if that’s not enough, tell us about it: We may recommend switching medications (if possible), chewing xylitol gum or using a saliva substitute.

Finally, maintaining excellent oral hygiene is a great way to avoid bad breath. The goal of oral hygiene is to control the harmful bacteria that live in your mouth. These microorganisms can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath — so keeping them in check is good for your overall oral health. Remember to brush twice and floss once daily, stay away from sugary foods and beverages, and visit the dental office regularly for checkups and professional cleanings.

So did J.Law apologize for the malodorous makeout session? Not exactly. “[For] Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, yeah, I’ll brush my teeth,” she laughed.

Hemsworth jokingly agreed: “If I was kissing Christian Bale I probably would have brushed my teeth too. With you, it’s like, ‘Eh. Whatever.’”

If you would like more information about bad breath and oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bad Breath: More than Just Embarrassing.”


People mainly identify orthodontics with braces. But while they’re a major part of it, braces aren’t the only way this important dental specialty can make a difference in a person’s bite.

For example, orthodontics can help guide the development of a younger patient’s facial structure that could head off future upper teeth misalignment. The area of focus is the upper jaw and palate (the roof of the mouth) that jointly make up a structure called the maxilla. The maxilla is actually formed by two bones fused together in the center of the palate along what is known as the midline suture running from front to back in the mouth.

The two bones remain separated until puberty, which helps accommodate rapid structural growth during childhood. But problems can arise if the upper jaw is too narrow, causing a “cross-bite” where the lower back teeth bite abnormally outside the upper ones. This can crowd upper permanent teeth and cause them to erupt improperly.

Using a technique called palatal expansion we can correct this abnormality if we act before the maxillary bones fuse. The technique employs a custom-made appliance called a palatal expander that attaches to the posterior teeth of the upper arch. Expanders have two halves joined by a small screw device to increase tension against the teeth to widen the jaw. A parent or the patient (if old enough) increases the tension by using a special key to turn the adjustment screw a tiny amount each day. This may cause minor discomfort that normally eases in a few minutes.

The patient wears the device until the jaw expands to the desired width and then allows the bones to stabilize in the new position. This can sometimes create a small gap between the upper front teeth, but it often closes on its own or it may require braces to close it.

While palatal expanders are not for every case, they can help normalize development and improve the bite, and thus preclude more extensive orthodontic treatment later. But time is of the essence: after the maxilla has fused, surgery will be necessary to separate them and widen the palate. It’s important then not to delay if your child could benefit from this effective treatment.

If you would like more information on palatal expanders and other orthodontic treatments, 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 “Palatal Expanders.”