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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A Word From Dental Assistant CJ: Why Should You Straighten Your Teeth?

Posted on October 16, 2013. Filed under: Dental Assistant, Dental Braces, Dental Care, gum disease, healthy teeth, Invisalign, Invisalign Preferred Provider, Oral Health, Periodontal Disease, Quality Dental Care, Smile Savers Dentistry, Teeth alignment, Tooth straightening | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

CJ Burwell at Smile Savers DentistryMalocclusion and Periodontal Disease: A Destructive Relationship

So how are these two things related, and what do they even mean? Malocclusion simply means that the teeth are not aligned properly. This can cause pressure and force on your teeth that they are not meant to handle. These extreme forces can eventually cause trauma to your teeth, such as breaking or chipping which is painful, unpleasant and involves costly dental work. It’s the same principle as a chip in your windshield. At first it’s small and doesn’t seem to matter, except for aesthetic reasons, but you hit a bad speed bump and that small chip turns into a broken windshield. This all could have been prevented if that small chip was fixed! After straightening your teeth, the chance of them breaking is greatly reduced because the force of your bite will be evenly distributed to all your teeth rather than just a few.

Periodontal disease refers to a disease relating to the gums. The more crowded your teeth are, the harder it becomes to clean them. Plaque and harmful bacteria build up on all surfaces of your teeth and below your gums. It’s difficult to remove plaque from areas in your mouth with a lot of crowding because you can’t brush or floss as well there. After straightening your teeth, you will have better access to all the surfaces of your tooth reducing the need for more in depth cleanings, bad breath and the chances for cavities.
Invisalign dentist Columbia MD
Invisalign ® is a great first step toward keeping your teeth healthy for the rest of your life. People who have healthy teeth and gums live 10 years longer than people who don’t. When periodontal disease is left untreated, you are at a greater risk for heart disease, stroke and complications with diabetes. Adverse pregnancy outcomes and respiratory diseases are also side effects of periodontal disease.

But how are these things possibly related? They are related because the same blood that travels through your whole body also travels to your teeth and gums. When bacteria are lodged below the gum line or in between your teeth they begin to eat away your tissues. This allows more bacteria to grow and eventually they enter the blood stream. When the bacteria get into your blood stream they are free to flow to any part of the body blood travels to, including your heart.

I’ve been a dental assistant here at Smile Savers Dentistry for 5 years now and the best part about my job is helping my patients become as healthy as possible. It’s a great feeling knowing that I can change someone’s quality of life simply by informing them about how important it is to keep their teeth and gums healthy. I really care about my patients and their dental health, as it truly does have an effect on your overall health. If you have any questions about Invisalign, or anything else regarding your teeth, please give me a call at our dental office in Columbia, MD at 410-730-6460.

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At Smile Savers Dentistry You’ve Entered the No Judgement Zone: by Dr. Daniel Stewart

Posted on October 24, 2012. Filed under: dental fear, Dental Health, fear of dentist, General Dentistry, healthy teeth, Oral Health, Smile Savers Dentistry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Dr. Daniel Stewart at Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia MarylandToo often when a new (sometimes emergency) dental patient comes in, we are told it has been two, three … maybe even up to 5 years since their last cleaning or exam. When asked why they have waited so long, the main reason given is actually a tie. They have either had a bad prior experience with another dentist … or it has been so long since their last visit that they were too embarrassed to come in, so they continued to put it off until something was wrong.

The simple fact is, that as dentists, we really do see a lot of bad teeth … all of the time. Although you may think that your teeth need a lot of work, this is not new or unusual to what we see, sometimes on a daily basis. If shame, embarrassment or even guilt are keeping you away from making an appointment with a dentist, you’ve got a lot of company. That being said, don’t let any of those issues get in the way of getting the dental help you need and deserve.

At Smile Savers Dentistry, we don’t judge, yell or lecture. Our friendly and caring Columbia, MD dental staff wants all of our patients to be healthier and happier during and after their treatment. We believe that a healthy mouth helps to make a healthy body! We will help you take care of your oral health and keep your teeth looking beautiful and feeling healthy for as long as you are a patient of ours. After visiting our dentist office, you will have a healthy mouth and you can then feel proud that you overcame something that once seemed impossible!

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A Word From Dr. Stewart: Could Oral Bacteria Be Linked to an Increased Risk of Pancreatic Cancer?

Posted on October 3, 2012. Filed under: Dental Health, Dental Hygiene Tips, Dental Hygienist, Dental Treatment, gum disease, Gum Surgery, LANAP, Oral Health, Oral Health and Nutrition, pancreatic cancer, Periodontal Disease, Smile Savers Dentistry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Dr. Daniel Stewart at Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia MarylandThe British Dental Health Foundation published a report yesterday that gum disease and pancreatic cancer may be associated with one another. The study found that certain types of bacterium in gum disease are linked to a 2 times higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer. However, this is not to be confused with oral bacteria that is not harmful. If you have been told that you have periodontal disease, please don’t wait for it to further affect your health and well-being. Smile Savers Dentistry offers an excellent, proven alternative to gum surgery… more on that in a minute.

Researchers are saying that while they can’t yet prove that gum disease increases the risk of pancreatic cancer, the new research shows there is definitely evidence that there is a significant relationship between the two. It is not certain if certain bacteria found in gum disease is a cause or a result of pancreatic cancer. Breaking this down to the simplest point … this is yet another indication that good oral hygiene is crucial to one’s overall health. Did you know that only 4% of pancreatic cancer patients live for more than 5 years?

If you have been diagnosed with gum disease or feel you should be evaluated, call our Columbia dental office immediately for an appointment at 410-730-6460. Smile Savers Dentistry offers LANAP which is an FDA approved laser alternative to gum surgery. This laser-based approach to treating gum disease makes it easier for you to return your gums to health and the process is far more comfortable than gum surgery. You can visit our LANAP website for more information on this non-surgical treatment for periodontal disease.

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A Word From Dr. Stewart: Believe in Tomorrow

Posted on September 27, 2012. Filed under: Maryland Charitable Organizations | Tags: , , , , , |

Dr. Daniel Stewart at Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia MarylandA few weeks ago a friend of mine passed away suddenly. He was an amazing person. The number of people he touched in his short life was truly amazing. He was instrumental in revitalizing the Canton section of Baltimore and was literally known nationwide, but what impressed me the most about him was how caring he was. He was legendary for raising money for charities and would literally give the hat off his head if someone needed it. He left this world a better place. So while I sat at his funeral I decided that I would help fill the vacuum of his loss.

I plan to get involved in more charities. One in particular is the Believe in Tomorrow Children’s Foundation which, among other things, provides temporary housing for families of critically ill children getting treatment at Johns Hopkins. Different groups go to these houses and provide dinner for families every night so that they can come back after long difficult days at the hospital to a home cooked meal. My wife, children and I will be providing dinners over the next year, and we are looking forward to it.

You can help too. We would like to be able to donate a collective sum to Believe in Tomorrow by December 31, 2012. Please go to their website and learn more about this wonderful charity. We will take donations here at Smile Savers Dentistry and give them to Believe in Tomorrow by the end of the year. I will match the donations that come in by that time. You can send a check payable to Believe in Tomorrow to our dental office or drop one off during your next appointment. We will collect them and double the total amount by December 31, 2012.

Smile Savers Dentistry has also supported the Carol Jean Cancer Foundation in the past and I would like us to get involved with them in the upcoming year. You will hear more about that in future newsletters.

I am excited!

Dr. Stewart

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A Word From Dental Assistant CJ: Tooth Fractures

Posted on September 19, 2012. Filed under: Dental Health, General Dentistry, Smile Savers Dentistry, Tooth extraction, Tooth fracture | Tags: , , , , , |

CJ Burwell at Smile Savers DentistryAlthough your teeth are remarkably strong, they can chip, crack or even break. Believe it or not, it might not even hurt when you chip or break a tooth. Minor tooth fractures usually don’t cause pain, but if a large piece of a tooth breaks off, it will most likely hurt. This is because the nerve inside the tooth could be damaged.

Unfortunately, there is just no way to treat a cracked tooth at home. Sometimes the tooth may appear to be fine, but it hurts when you eat or when the temperature in your mouth changes. And if your tooth hurts all of the time, it may have a damaged nerve or blood vessels. Constant tooth pain is a serious warning sign that your tooth needs to be looked at.

If you do have a broken or chipped tooth, come see us as soon as possible. Dr. Stewart can figure out if the break was caused by cavities, and if the tooth’s nerve is in any danger. A damaged nerve usually will require root canal treatment. Minor chips don’t always need treatment. But with a vertical break, split root, or extensive decay, the tooth will most likely have to be removed. Don’t wait around, call the Smile Savers Dentistry office in Columbia MD today.

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A Word From Dr. Stewart: A Healthy Mouth

Posted on May 30, 2012. Filed under: Dental Health, Dental Treatment, General Dentistry, Kids Dental Health, Kids Oral Health, Oral Health, Oral Health and Nutrition, Smile Savers Dentistry, Teeth | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Dr. Daniel Stewart at Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia MarylandMany of you who have been with me for a while understand that prevention is the best way to keep your oral health from deteriorating. On your “new patient” visit we gather all the data and form a treatment plan that will get you into optimum health. I tell you that my goal is to get you healthy as fast as possible and then put you on a regimented maintenance program so you don’t have to worry about emergency treatment or losing teeth.

What I have found is that fifty percent of you actually do this but the other thirty percenters don’t do the maintenance part. This worries me. Why spend all of that time, money and nervous energy getting the dental work done and then don’t maintain it? Nothing in this world stays the same, just look at my hairline.

So starting this month I am making it our duty here at Smile Savers Dentistry to contact those of you who have fallen off the wagon. Don’t get mad at us if you are called a few times, just call us back and make the appointment or give us a really good excuse why you can’t. We have two great caring pro-active dental hygienists Beth and Natalie who are awesome and are here to help keep you healthy and on track.

Don’t be one of those patients who needs to call me on the weekend!

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A Word from Dr. Stewart: Happy 2012!

Posted on January 27, 2012. Filed under: Dental Health, General Dentistry, Smile Savers Dentistry | Tags: , , , , , , |

At this time of year it is hard not to be reflective. The other morning I was thinking to myself, “Why is it I am still a dentist?” I have asked many of you if you wanted to be a dentist and overwhelmingly the answer has been, “No!” Kind of funny, isn’t it?

So why am I still a dentist after 23 years? It is because I have great patients whom I enjoy taking care of; that is why. You all are fun and keep life interesting. Every day I learn something from one of you — from why the winter months are shorter, to what to expect from teenage daughters. All this information makes even the most mundane days enjoyable. I truly admire you all even if you have overactive salivary glands and an inquisitive tongue.

I guess in an obtuse way, I am saying that I am thankful for all of you and I am wishing you a Happy New Year. See you at your next appointment!

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