Oral Health

Smile Savers Dentistry Now Offers the VELscope® Vx Enhanced Oral Assessment System for Oral Cancer Screenings

Posted on December 3, 2016. Filed under: Oral Cancer Screening, Oral Health, Smile Savers Dentistry | Tags: , , , |

doc-velscopeSmile Savers Dentistry is pleased to now offer cancer screening in our Columbia, MD office with the VELscope® Vx as part of your routine dental hygiene cleaning and exam. VELscope® Vx is a sophisticated technology that helps us find diseased tissue deep below the surface, long before it’s visible to the naked eye. The VELscope® Vx is one of the newest methods of detecting cancerous and precancerous growth. And if we are able to catch it early, there’s an 80 percent chance of curing the disease.

It’s a staggering number, over 48,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer by the end of this year. Worldwide the problem is even greater, with over 450,000 new cases being discovered each year. Unfortunately oral cancer, in its early stages, may not even be noticed by the patient. The physical symptoms are not always obvious and its often painless. This makes this disease all the more dangerous because it is usually not detected until it’s quite advanced. When oral cancer is discovered late in its development, the survival rate is usually quite low, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. 

Early Detection is Key.

When discovered early, the 5-year survival rate for oral cancer patients is about 83%. While the VELscope® Vx does not diagnose cancer, it alerts us to areas of concern earlier than ever before. During the exam, the award-winning VELscope® Vx uses a harmless blue light that is absorbed by the molecules in your mouth. The exam is quick (about two minutes), safe and painless. If we do happen to find a suspicious area during the exam, we’ll talk to you about the next steps. And if a VELscope® Vx exam that shows normal, healthy tissue can instantly give you peace of mind.

At Smile Savers Dentistry, our doctors and staff care about your oral health and are dedicated to providing high-quality, personalized patient care using the latest technology to the Howard County community. VELscope® Vx is one more way that we continue to give you the best care possible. Call the office at 410-730-6460 to schedule an appointment today.

Sources:
VELscope™
Oral Cancer Foundation
Dentistry IQ

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The Relationship Between Sugar And Your Oral Health

Posted on October 13, 2016. Filed under: Dental Care, Dental Cavity, Dental Hygiene Tips, Oral Health, Oral Health and Nutrition | Tags: , , , , |

pumpkin-cookieFall is in the air and it seems you can’t go anywhere without pumpkin-flavored something or other staring you in the face. And around the corner is Halloween, the unofficial kickoff for celebrating all things sweet and sugary. 

Most people think that sugars in their food and drink are what play a major role in the development of tooth decay. But it’s not the sugar itself that does the damage. Certain bacteria feed on the sugars, use it as energy and then release acid, which gradually dissolves tooth enamel. The acid produced by plaque can eventually create a small hole in the enamel. Left untreated, dental cavities can eventually progress into the deeper layers of the tooth to the nerve, causing pain and possible tooth loss.

Dental caries (tooth decay) are the most common cause of tooth loss in young people. While everyone is at risk of tooth decay, children and teens are most at risk. 

One needs to stay on their toes to avoid the negative effects of sugar on teeth. The first step is to pay attention to the amount of time your teeth are exposed to sugar. Eating a cookie is much better for your teeth than drinking a soda or fruit juice, as it is a shorter exposure to the sugar.

• Brush and floss twice a day.
• Avoid snacking on sticky-sugary items (ex: gummy bears, fruit chews)
• Reduce your consumption of sugary drinks.
• Limit sugary foods to mealtimes.
• Rinse with water after eating sugary foods.
• Maintain regular dental check-ups and cleanings.

Add regular dental visits to the mix, and you and your loved ones have the best shot at winning the battle against tooth decay.

Call the Smile Savers Dentistry office in Columbia, MD today to schedule your dental hygiene appointment at 410-730-6460. We want you to keep your teeth healthy for your lifetime. We’re currently accepting new and emergency dental patients in the Howard County area.

Sources:
http://www.actiononsugar.org/Sugar%20and%20Health/Sugar%20and%20dental%20caries/151885.html
http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/cavities/article/what-are-the-effects-of-sugar-on-teeth-1214
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-surprising-relationship-between-sugar-and-tooth-decay-232927761.html

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Overall Health: Yet Another Reason to Choose Invisalign

Posted on March 16, 2016. Filed under: Invisalign, Invisalign Preferred Provider, Oral Health, Teeth alignment | Tags: , , , , |

Invisalign Dentist Columbia MarylandOur dental office in Columbia, MD sees more and more adults who want their teeth straightened with Invisalign. One of the top advantages of these clear aligners is that the Invisalign trays are removable, which enable you to take great care of your teeth and gums. And if you’re taking good care of your teeth and gums, you’re most likely taking care of the rest of your body.

With Invisalign®, having a healthy, confident smile and reducing your risk for tooth decay and gum disease go hand in hand.

A study by the University of Florida Department of Orthodontics showed that the periodontal health of patients using Invisalign can actually improve during treatment. In the study, both gum pocket depth and bleeding were reduced in patients using Invisalign! Having teeth that are crowded or too widely spaced can lead to swollen, red gums. When teeth are in proper alignment, it helps the gums fit more securely around the teeth and this allows for the strongest and healthiest defense against potential periodontal problems. That’s where Invisalign comes in.

Invisalign Provider Dentist Columbia MDThe American Dental Association also agrees that straightening your teeth can actually significantly affect your overall health. Studies by the ADA have shown that oral infections can also lead to other more serious ailments such as heart disease, stroke, pneumonia and Type 2 diabetes. Invisalign aligners make daily oral hygiene easier, thus reducing the risk of these possible problems. Properly aligned teeth can also alleviate the issues that can be caused by an improper bite which include speech or chewing difficulties, jaw problems, and increased wear on the tooth enamel. Invisalign effectively addresses all of these issues, so you’ll have increase the likelihood of improved oral health and the confidence of a great smile!

If you would like to see if you are a candidate for Invisalign, please call our dental office at 410-730-6460 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Daniel Stewart. Smile Savers Dentistry is a preferred Invisalign provider in Howard County, Maryland and look forward to helping you keep your healthy teeth and gums for a lifetime. You can also request a dental appointment online.

Smile Savers Dentistry is currently accepting new and emergency patients. Dr. Daniel Stewart and his friendly staff strive to be the best dentist office in Howard County.

Mention this blog post for a free Invisalign consultation. Expires April 30, 2016.

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Regular Dental Visits – Why Are They Important?

Posted on February 10, 2016. Filed under: Dental Care, Dental Exam and Cleaning, Dental Health, Dental Hygienist, Oral Health, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

hygiene-blogWhy do we want to see you every 6 months? Yes, we truly enjoy catching up with you but more importantly, regular dental visits are important because they help keep your teeth and gums healthy for your lifetime! You should have a regular dental visit at least every 6 months for optimum oral health.

There are actually two parts to your regular dental visit.

One part is the check-up, the other is the cleaning. If X-rays are needed, these will be done first. A visual examination doesn’t tell us everything we need to know. Our hygienist will then check for cavities and to see if there is plaque or tartar on your teeth. If it’s not removed, it can harden and become tartar. You can’t remove tartar simply with brushing and flossing. If plaque and tartar are left to build up on your teeth, they can cause oral diseases. The hygienest also checks your gums. With healthy gums, the spaces are shallow. When people have gum disease, the spaces may become deeper.

During the cleaning part of your office visit, your hygienist will use special tools to remove tartar. After your teeth are scaled, they are then polished. In most cases, a gritty paste is used for this. It helps to remove any surface stains on your teeth. Your hygienist will then use floss to make sure the areas between your teeth are clean before Dr. Daniel Stewart comes in for the final check.

At Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia, MD, we care about your oral and overall health so please be sure to take care of your teeth and gums between your regular dental visits. Plaque is always forming on your teeth, but you can get rid of it by brushing and flossing regularly! If you are overdue for your next dental exam and cleaning, please call the dental office today at 410-730-6460 and get on our hygiene schedule. You can also request a dental appointment online.

Smile Savers Dentistry is currently accepting new and emergency patients. Dr. Daniel Stewart and his friendly staff strive to be the best dentist office in Howard County.

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Why is the LANAP® Procedure Better for the Treatment of Gum Disease?

Posted on December 18, 2015. Filed under: Dental Treatment, gum disease, LANAP, Oral Health, Periodontal Disease | Tags: , , , , , , |

LANAP Treatment Columbia MD

Why is the LANAP® Procedure Better for the Treatment of Gum Disease?

So let’s define gum disease. It’s an infection; that happens over time, of the tissues that surround and support your teeth and is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Because gum disease is usually painless, you may not even know that you have it. Gum disease is caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth. If you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease, you do not have to resort to painful surgery.

With the LANAP® Procedure there’s no surgery – no cutting or suturing.

Laser-assisted new attachment procedure (LANAP) available in Howard County, MD is a surgical therapy for the treatment of gum disease, intended to work through regeneration rather than resection. There’s much less discomfort with the LANAP® Protocol than with standard surgery for gum disease – both during and after the procedure. LANAP® also takes less time than traditional, invasive surgery. All it generally takes is two 2-hour visits with the dentist and two follow up visits. Traditional gum disease surgery requires four sessions, with follow-up visits for suture removal and additional check-ups.

LANAP® gives better, longer-lasting results.

Your dentist will probably recommend a soft diet for a day or two after the procedure; and common sense should prevail, but in most cases, patients feel good enough to eat anything they want right afterwards. And 98% of LANAP® treated patients remain stable after five years!

Following the invasive, traditional gum disease surgery, recovery can take between to 2-4 weeks during which time patients can experience considerable pain and swelling, where they may be restricted to liquid or soft diets.

There’s less than 24 hour recovery period with LANAP®, so you won’t lose time from work.

The LANAP® Procedure is safe for patients with health concerns such as diabetes, HIV, hemophilia, or those taking medications such as Plavix or aspirin. Watch this LANAP® video presented by Smile Savers Dentistry for more information.

If you have been told that you have gum disease and would like to see if you are a candidate for LANAP®, please contact Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia, Maryland at 410-343-9900 for a free consultation with Dr. Daniel C. Stewart before December 31, 2015.

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Summer is a Great Time to Schedule Your Child’s Exam and Cleaning at Smile Savers Dentistry

Posted on June 1, 2015. Filed under: Childrens Dental Health, Dental Care, Dental Exam and Cleaning, Dental Health, Dr. Daniel Stewart, General Dentistry, Kids Dental Health, Kids Oral Health, Oral Health, Pediatric Dentistry, Smile Savers Dentistry | Tags: , , , , , , |

Call 410-730-6460 Today to Make a Summer Appointment Before Our Schedule Fills Up!

Summer Dental Appointment
Everyone wants to go to the beach in the summertime… but the dentist office? Sure, why not!? It’s a great time to come in to Smile Savers Dentisty in Columbia Maryland. No missed classes or tests to worry about. Well, that may be a better incentive for the parents than the kids… but you get what I’m saying.

It’s important to keep your children on a regular dental check-up schedule. The condition of a child’s teeth can change fairly rapidly. Even if their teeth were evaluated as healthy just six months prior, changes in diet or oral habits (for example, thumb sucking in younger children) can quickly render them vulnerable to decay or misalignment.

Dental X-rays are often the only way to identify tiny cavities in primary (baby) teeth. Though your child may not be feeling any pain, left unchecked, these tiny cavities can rapidly turn into large cavities, tooth decay, and eventually, childhood periodontal disease.

In addition to visual examinations, our hygienists provide thorough dental cleanings during each visit. These cleanings eradicate the plaque and debris that can build up between teeth and in other hard to reach places. Though a good homecare routine is especially important, these professional cleanings provide an additional tool to keep those smiles healthy. We may even decide to apply dental sealants to their back teeth (molars). This impenetrable liquid plastic substance is brushed onto the molars to seal out harmful debris, bacteria, and acid… an added preventive measure!

We’ve even made it easy for you to come in, you can request a dental appointment for your family online. Hope to see you and your kids in the office this summer. In the meantime, enjoy the beach!

Regards,
Dr. Daniel C. Stewart

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The Top Signs/Reasons That You Should See A Dentist

Posted on May 20, 2015. Filed under: Dental Care, Dental Health, healthy teeth, Oral Health, Smile Savers Dentistry | Tags: , , , , , |

Dental Care at Smile Savers DentistryFor one reason or another, over 100 million people in the United States neglect to see a dentist each year, even though regular dental exams and good oral hygiene can prevent most dental disease.

Visiting your dentist on a regular basis is important because some medical conditions or diseases have symptoms that can appear in the mouth. You could have oral health problems that only a dentist can diagnose. Visiting your dentist on a regular basis will also help prevent problems from developing. Remember: keeping your mouth healthy is an important key to your overall health.

Here are 16 signs that you should see a dentist*:

• Your tooth or teeth are sensitive to hot or cold
• You have persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
• Your gums are puffy and/or they bleed when you brush or floss
• You have fillings, crowns, dental implants, dentures, etc.
• You have pain or swelling in your mouth, face or neck
• You have difficulty chewing or swallowing
• You have a family history of gum disease or tooth decay
• You have a medical condition such as diabetes, heart disease, an eating disorder, or are HIV positive
• Your mouth is often dry
• You smoke or use other tobacco products
• You don’t like the way that your smile or teeth look
• You are pregnant
• You are undergoing medical treatment such as radiation, chemotherapy or hormone replacement therapy
• Your jaw sometimes pops or is painful when opening and closing, chewing or when you first wake up
• You have an uneven bite
• You have a spot or sore that doesn’t look or feel right in your mouth and it isn’t going away

At Smile Savers Dentistry, Dr. Daniel C. Stewart and his staff are proud to be proactive in dental care. We recommend that all of our patients stick to their regular six month check-up appointments and might even suggest seeing our at-risk patients more frequently. Call our Columbia, MD dental office at 410-730-6460 today and get on our dental hygiene schedule. We are currently accepting new and emergency patients. Hope to see you in the office soon!

*SOURCE: American Dental Association

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Smile Savers Dentistry Provides Quality Dental Care and Patient Education

Posted on March 25, 2015. Filed under: Dental Care, Dental Health, Dental Hygiene Tips, Dental Hygienist, General Dentistry, healthy teeth, Kids Dental Health, Oral Health, Patient Education, Quality Dental Care | Tags: , , , , , , |

Bonnie Carroll, RDH and Michaela Pashke, RDH

Bonnie Carroll, RDH and Michaela Pashke, RDH, Smile Savers Dentistry

Here at Smile Savers Dentistry we strive to provide quality care and education to our patients. Regular dental visits and proper home care practices are not only important for your teeth and gums, but also your heart! Your mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria that can potentially be harmful. If left undisturbed, this bacteria can lead to periodontal disease – chronic inflammation that causes bone loss, and eventually tooth loss.

Recent studies have shown a link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease (CVD). It was found on average, the risk for a CVD “event” (e.g. heart attack, stroke) was increased by 40% if periodontal disease is present. The reasoning behind this discovery is that the inflamed periodontal pocket forms an open wound in which harmful bacteria (plaque) from your mouth can enter the blood stream. Inflammation in general, as well as bacteremia (bacteria in the blood), can trigger a heightened amount of fats in the blood. Bottom line: minimizing the inflammation in your gums can reduce the rise of bacteremia and improves the overall health of your vascular system, which lessens your chance of a CVD event.

At Smile Savers Dentistry, we are proud to be proactive in the fight against periodontal disease. We recommend all of our patients stick to their regular six month check-up appointments and may even suggest seeing at-risk patients more frequently (3 or 4 month cleaning and check-up appointments). Call the office at 410-730-6460 today and get on our dental hygiene schedule. Hope to see you soon!

Bonnie Carroll, RDH • Michaela Pashke, RDH

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Periodontal Disease Patients in Howard County Looking for a Gum Surgery Alternative in Columbia, MD Can Now Receive Treatment from Dr. Daniel C. Stewart

Posted on March 11, 2015. Filed under: gum disease, Gum Surgery, LANAP, Oral Health, Periodontal Disease | Tags: , , , |

Dr. Daniel Stewart, DDS

Daniel C. Stewart, DDS

Dr. Daniel C. Stewart belongs to a select group of dental professionals who are certified to perform laser gum surgery, a minimally invasive alternative to traditional gum surgery. Only one percent of dental professionals in the country currently offer the Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP®), which uses sophisticated laser technology to eliminate periodontal infection. Dr. Stewart recently began offering patients with periodontal disease this gum surgery alternative in his Columbia, MD dental practice, Smile Savers Dentistry. The LANAP® treatment is the first FDA-cleared laser procedure for gum disease and periodontal treatment and is only available from a few dentists in Howard County.

Dr. Stewart states, “This is one of the most amazing procedures I have used in over 26 years of practice. My patients are so happy and thankful when the treatment is complete.”

Prior to LANAP®, traditional surgery was typically the only option available to patients whose gum disease had progressed into the moderate or advanced stages. Because of the pain and recovery time associated with traditional gum surgery, many people postpone seeking the care they need. If left untreated, gum disease eventually results in tooth and bone loss. Significant bone loss can even render a patient ineligible for tooth replacement solutions like dental implants. However, the LANAP® treatment is less invasive than traditional surgery, so patients typically experience less pain and a much shorter recovery period. At the same time, the LANAP® treatment offers all of the same health benefits as other gum disease.

Read more…

About Smile Savers Dentistry: 
Smile Savers Dentistry is located in Columbia, Maryland and has been serving the dental needs of the Howard County community for over 25 years. The office is convenient to Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The goal of Dr. Daniel C. Stewart and his staff is to educate and serve their patients in a relaxed and engaging environment. The practice offers regular and emergency dental exams and treatments, to the more advanced procedures like dental implants, veneers, crowns, Invisalign and LANAP laser gum surgery. Learn more at marylandlanap.com.

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February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

Posted on February 11, 2015. Filed under: Childrens Dental Health, Dental Care, Dental Health, General Dentistry, healthy teeth, Kids Dental Health, Kids Oral Health, NCDHM, Oral Health, Pediatric Dentistry, Smile Savers Dentistry | Tags: , , , , |

NCDHM 2015Children’s teeth are meant to last a lifetime, and a healthy smile is also important to a child’s self-esteem. With proper care, a balanced diet and regular dental visits, their teeth can stay healthy and strong throughout their entire lifetime.

Many parents issue a common refrain at dinnertime: “You’d better eat that – it’s good for you! And the other favorite: “Don’t eat that – it’ll rot your teeth!” Now more than ever, kids are faced with a bewildering array of food choices – from fresh produce to sugar-laden processed convenience meals and snacks. What kids eat and when they eat it may affect not only their general health but also their oral health.

Almost all foods have some type of sugar that cannot and should not be eliminated from our diet. Many of these foods contain important nutrients and add enjoyment to eating. But there is a risk for tooth decay from a diet high in sugars and starches. Americans are consuming foods and drinks high in sugar and starches more often and in larger portions than ever before. The average teenage boy in the U.S. drinks 81 gallons of soft drinks each year! A steady diet of sugary foods and drinks can ruin teeth, especially among those who
snack throughout the day.

So what can you do to reduce your children’s risk of tooth decay?

• Sugar and sugary drinks should only be consumed at meals. Saliva production increases during meals and helps neutralize acid production and rinse food particles from the mouth.
• Limit between-meal snacks. If kids want a snack, offer a nutritious one.
• If your kids chew gum, make it sugarless. Chewing sugarless gum after eating can increase saliva flow and help wash out food.
• Monitor beverage consumption – Instead of soft drinks all day, children should also choose water and low-fat milk.
• Help your children develop good brushing and flossing habits.
• And of course … Schedule regular dental visits!

During the month of February we are offering the Oral-B Pro-Health For Me Power Bundle for only $35. The bundle contains a rechargeable child’s toothbrush with 2 brush heads, mouth rinse, toothpaste, timer and floss picks. It comes in a nifty backpack. Call the Smile Savers Dentistry office near Ellicott City MD at 410-730-6460 to order one.

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