Posts for: April, 2014

By James B. Howell, D.M.D.
April 28, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures

Eliminate Tooth Decay with a Dental Filling

At some point in our lives most of us will end up with a cavity or two.  A cavity brings attention to Dr. James Howell to remove the decay and place a filling.  A dental filling is a type of dental restoration that is used to fix minor damage in teeth.   Dental Fillings
 
Having a dental filling placed in Louisville can greatly reduce the discomfort caused by damaged enamel.  Dr. James Howell places only composite fillings which are metal free.  These fillings have the advantage of conserving or saving tooth structure, so your fillings are smaller and look better. This goes a long way towards improved oral health. 
 

The Procedure: Dental Fillings

At your regular dental check-ups with Dr. Howell, your gums, teeth and the supporting bone are thoroughly examined.  Dr. Howell will be able to spot places within your mouth that have been damaged.  When an area of decay is diagnosed, he will prepare your tooth or teeth to remove the decay and place the tooth colored filling
 
Regular dental cleanings will enable Dr. Howell to remove any remaining bacteria and food debris before proceeding with your dental filling in Louisville.  He will initially apply adhesives to the affected area before placing the composite material, which will be hardened using a special light source.  The end result is a natural looking restoration.
 

Prevent Tooth Decay and Avoid Dental Fillings

Of course, active prevention is the best way to improve oral health and avoid the need for fillings.  Follow these basic steps to prevent dental decay:
  • Brush three to four times daily with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss or use an interdental cleaner once daily
  • Eat a balanced diet low in processed sugars
  • Limit eating and drinking between meals
  • Visit our cosmetic dentistry office in Louisville regularly
  • Ask Dr. James Howell about dental sealants
Tooth decay is easily prevented by diet modifications, good home care and regular visits to Dr. James Howell’s dental office in Louisville.  It is always important to talk openly with your dentist to learn about the various ways you can protect and if necessary restore your teeth.  For patients in Louisville, dental fillings may not solve every oral health issue, but Dr. James Howell will be able to accurately describe the best treatment options for each individual case. 

ToothFairyBradyReiterWorksHerMagicforChildrensOralHealthCharity

Did you know that severe tooth decay is America's #1 chronic childhood disease? Actress Brady Reiter didn't know either — until she became the star of the movie Tooth Fairy 2, and then joined forces with the National Children's Oral Health Foundation: America's ToothFairy®.

“Before, I didn't even realize what can happen to kids if they don't take care of their teeth,” 11-year-old Brady recently told Dear Doctor magazine, after viewing photos of children suffering from severe tooth decay. “There are kids in America who don't know that it's important, or they just don't have the resources to be able to take care of their teeth or to go to the dentist.”

This young Tooth Fairy knows just how magical — and vital to a child's self-esteem — a beautiful smile can be.

“When you feel bad about opening up your mouth and smiling, a kid's confidence just goes down the drain,” she said.

NCOHF recently tapped 11-year-old Brady to head the America's ToothFairy Kids Club, which offers kids personalized letters from the Tooth Fairy along with lots of encouraging oral health tips and fun activities — free!

“I'm really excited to be part of it,” Brady told Dear Doctor. “Kids learn how to take care of their of smile by joining this club. By supporting America's ToothFairy, we can help kids in need get dental care and have a healthy smile too. It's really amazing!”

While lots of kids get an occasional cavity, millions of children have tooth decay so severe that it interferes with their ability to eat, sleep, and concentrate in school. The good news is that tooth decay, a bacteria-induced infection, is preventable.

“When kids join the club, they learn how to prevent tooth decay. When families support this great cause, we can help kids in need. And that's what feels great — that we really can make kids' futures better.”

If you would like to enroll your child in the club — it's free! — please visit www.AmericasToothFairyKids.org. And to make sure your child's teeth and your own are decay-free and as healthy as possible, please contact us today to schedule your next appointment.


By James B. Howell, D.M.D.
April 09, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: snoring   sleep apnea  
FiveThingsYouShouldKnowAboutSleepApnea

Sleep apnea, a form of sleep-related breathing disorders that is estimated to affect some 22 million Americans, is sometimes thought of as the “quiet culprit” lurking behind many other maladies. But ask anyone who sleeps alongside a sufferer, and you'll get a different response: It isn't quiet at all! Instead, it's often marked by loud snoring and scary episodes where breathing seems to stop. If you've ever worried that you or someone you care about may have this condition, here are five facts you should know.

1) Sleep apnea is a potentially deadly disease

For one thing, it leads to chronic fatigue that can make accidents far more likely — a special concern in potentially dangerous situations, like operating machinery or driving a vehicle. It also appears to be related to heart conditions such as high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, coronary artery disease, and even stroke. Plus, it can lead to weight gain, depression and mood disorders.

2) People with sleep apnea may wake hundreds of times every night

These “micro-arousals” may occur 50 or more times per hour, and may keep a person from getting any relaxing sleep — even though they retain no memory of the episodes. That's why people who suffer from sleep apnea often go through their days on the verge of exhaustion. And they aren't the only ones who suffer: Their bed partners may also be kept up throughout the night, becoming anxious and irritable.

3) Persistent snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnea

Snoring is caused when breath being drawn into the lungs is obstructed by soft tissue structures in the upper airway. Most everyone snores sometimes… but chronic loud snoring is a common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) — and the louder and more frequent the snoring, the greater the likelihood of OSA. To confirm a diagnosis of sleep apnea, a sleep study using special monitors may be conducted in a clinical setting, or an at-home test may be used.

4) Your dentist may be able to help diagnose and treat sleep apnea

What does dentistry have to do with sleep apnea? For one thing, sleep apnea is a disease that involves structures in the oral cavity — an area dentists are quite familiar with. Sometimes, fatigued folks who suffer from OSA begin snoring when they recline in the dental chair, showing their symptoms firsthand. But even if their patients don't fall asleep, dentists with proper training are recognized by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) as being able to provide first line therapy for mild to moderate sleep disorders.

5) An oral appliance is a good step to try before more invasive treatments

If it's appropriate in your situation, your dentist can custom-fabricate an oral appliance that may alleviate sleep-related breathing disorders. This device, worn while you're sleeping, helps to maintain an open airway in the throat and to reduce breathing problems. With a success rate of around 80%, in many cases it's comparable to the more complex CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) machines, but people often find it easier to wear. Plus, it's a non-invasive treatment that can be explored before deciding on a more involved treatment, such as surgery.

If you would like more information about dentistry and sleep problems, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Sleep Disorders and Dentistry” and “Sleep Apnea FAQs.”




Louisville, KY Cosmetic Dentistry
James B. Howell, D.M.D.
3936 Dutchmans Lane
Louisville, KY 40207
(502) 899-7766

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