Protect Your Teeth and Gums:
A Dental Health Guide For Adults
Photo via yanlev – Fotolia.com
Dentists today are more successful than ever before at preserving, repairing, and replacing teeth. It’s not impossible to achieve that picture-perfect movie star smile. Whether it’s whitening your teeth a few shades, fixing broken teeth, or learning what it takes to receive a complete smile makeover, local dentists weigh in on the latest trends and advancements.
According to the american academy of periodontology, 50 percent of Americans said someone’s smile is the first facial feature they notice, and a staggering 80 percent of all Americans are not satisfied with the appearance of their own smile.
One of the most common complaints from dental patients is that their teeth are discolored and not bright enough. Professional in-office whitening procedures and laser bleaching can whiten teeth dramatically in as little time as an hour. Bleaching—where the actual color of the teeth is changed by removing deep and surface stains—is an established procedure in cosmetic dentistry.
“Carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide, the active whitening ingredients, have been used safely for many years in the treatment of gums and other oral soft tissue,” says Dr. Drew Spencer of Edina 5-0 Dental, located in the heart of Edina’s 50th and France shopping area. “Our products also contain patented amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP) which restore enamel luster, so not only will you have whiter teeth, you will have a bright, white, healthy smile.”
At Linden Hills Dentistry, they use the Kör whitening deep bleaching system, says Dr. Kordie Reinhold. This method is effective because the oxygen from the whitening gel is absorbed deeply into the tooth, dissolving stain molecules. It produces very little to no sensitivity, dramatically whitens teeth, and lasts—with periodic home maintenance.
“Our patients love the outcome,” Dr. Reinhold comments.
Bleaching, however, isn’t for everyone. “Bleaching is not recommended for pregnant or nursing females,” says Dr. Ned Windmiller of Windmiller Distinctive Dentistry. No studies have been done to determine the safety of teeth whitening during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, so most dental professionals recommend their patients wait.
If you choose to use a bleaching product, you should do so only after consulting your dentist, according to the American Dental Association’s official statement on tooth whitening. “This is especially important for patients with many fillings, crowns, and extremely dark stains. A thorough oral examination, performed by a licensed dentist, is essential to determine if bleaching is an appropriate course of treatment. The dentist and patient together can determine the most appropriate treatment. The dentist may then advise the patient and supervise the use of bleaching agents within the context of a comprehensive, appropriately sequenced treatment plan.”
Photo via Kurhan – Fotolia.com
MORE REASONS TO SMILE
The main difference between a general dentist and a cosmetic dentist is that a cosmetic dentist will perform a smile design consultation. Many dentist today provide both types of dentistry. Cosmetic dentistry is a “self-esteem service.” Common aesthetic dental procedures can be performed to correct misshaped, discolored, chipped or missing teeth. They also can be used to change the overall shape of teeth.
Dr. Nancy Norling of Minneapolis, an accredited fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, is dedicated and committed to enhancing smiles. Described by patients as “truly an artist,” she has helped patients fix chipped or cracked teeth—common dental issues—by offering options, depending on the situation and severity of the chip or crack. “Porcelain veneers and crowns would be choices if the cracks and chips are large and involve more of the tooth surface,” she says. “Composite bonding would be a good option in cases that involve smaller fractures.”
Veneers can change almost everything about a person’s smile. Crooked teeth? Veneers can make teeth appear straight. Spaces between teeth? Veneers can close the gaps. Stained or discolored teeth? Veneers can make even the darkest teeth appear bright white. Long teeth can be made to look shorter; short teeth can be made to look longer. Veneers have the power to dramatically change a person’s smile in just a few visits.
Since veneers are individually sculpted for each patient, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between a veneer and a natural tooth. Unlike natural teeth, custom-made veneers resist coffee and tea stains, as well as cigarette smoke because they are made of high-tech materials.
Dental bonding is a procedure in which a dentist adheres a tooth-colored resin material directly to the tooth to modify the shape, color, or contour, blending naturally and seamlessly with the patient’s existing teeth. A laser (or high intensity light) is then used to cure the composite material, hardening and reinforcing it to the surface of the tooth. The advantages to porcelain veneers over bonding is that veneers are much longer lasting (and stronger) than composite bonding material, requiring less repair.
Dental implants can give you the option of replacing a single tooth, a few teeth, or a whole mouth full. The implant itself is made from materials that are compatible with the body, like titanium, explains Dr. Stacy Roszkowski of Lifelong Dental Care in West St. Paul. “The post is placed where the root of the tooth once was within the bone. The bone integrates around the post and can then be restored with a crown by your dentist.”
Photo via Piotr Marcinski – Fotolia.com
MAINTAINING YOUR DENTAL HEALTH
Apart from brushing and flossing, a healthy diet is one of the most important things you can do to maintain good dental health, says Dr. Melissa Zettler of Cherrywood Dental Care in Savage. “Watching sugar, and acidic food intake is very important,” she says. Sugary and acidic foods can wear away tooth enamel and teeth can become sensitive and discolored.
Periodontal disease is the main cause of tooth loss in adults due to destruction of the tissue that surrounds teeth. Only a dentist or a periodontist can recognize and determine the severity and progression of gum disease.
The best way to avoid periodontal disease, say Dr. Walter Hunt of Personal Care Dentistry in Roseville, is to brush your teeth twice a day (with a fluoride toothpaste); floss regularly, get regular dental checkups, and don’t smoke.
Research suggests there might also be an association between gum disease and health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes. An investment in your dental health can not only improve your appearance and self-esteem, it could result in a longer, healthier life.
WINDMILLER DISTINCTIVE DENTISTRY
Photo by TJ Turner/Sidecar
Dr. Ned Windmiller is a founding member of the Minnesota Chapter of American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and accredited by the American Academy Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) and the American Society for Dental Aesthetics (ASDA), but he’s most proud of his private practice and his reputation for providing outstanding dentistry in the Stillwater and Wayzata communities.
“I see such wonderful, interesting people every day,” he says. “Patients become lifelong friends.”
He and his friendly, efficient, and professional staff care for people of all ages, from routine hygiene visits to full-mouth reconstruction—offering both general and cosmetic dentistry services. They stay ahead of the curve with innovative technology, particularly in the area of aesthetics and dental implants.
“Dental implants have become the standard of care to replace one or multiple teeth. They look and feel just like natural teeth,” he explains. “A new technology, 3D imaging, allows dentists to see exactly how much bone exists prior to placing each dental implant.”
These new advances result in longer-lasting and better-looking restorations than ever before.
Not only does Dr. Windmiller have the unique artistry to change smiles, he also has a gentle touch and proven record for being attentive and supportive. He is empathetic to his patients’ past history and works hard to build their trust. If a patient is still anxious, conscious sedation is an option.
There’s no limit in creating healthy, beautiful smiles, and Dr. Windmiller loves being part of each transformation.
It’s an honor, he says, “to see the joy that a new smile can bring.”
Stillwater Medical Arts Building
1701 Curve Crest Blvd., Stillwater, MN 55082
250 North Central Ave., Wayzata, MN 55391
Photo by TJ Turner/Sidecar
A dental practice can provide the most advanced technology and a dentist with years of training and experience, and yet—if that dentist isn’t empathetic and compassionate—their patients aren’t going to want to return.
That’s not the case with Dr. Stacy Roszkowski and the dedicated staff of Lifelong Dental Care in West St. Paul, offering comprehensive dental services including cosmetic, restorative, and preventive care and family dentistry. Dr. Roszkowski has extensive experience working with both adults and children. She understands that these two demographics have very different needs when it comes to dental care— adults want the best technology, a customized treatment plan, and the highest quality care; while it’s important to create fun, positive experiences for kids so they want to come back. The common thread, regardless of age, is treating everyone with dignity and respect.
“We want them to feel like part of the family,” says Dr. Roszkowski.
And when patients meet with Dr. Stacy, they can expect not only compassionate care, but a highly skilled dentist who regularly attends advanced training courses. Her patients leave with a smile they’re eager to share, giving them the courage to take chances both professionally and personally.
Personal Care Dentistry
Photo by TJ Turner/Sidecar
Doing what is best for their patients—and what they would want for themselves—guides the entire team at Personal Care Dentistry. “I call it ‘Golden Rule Dentistry,’” says Dr. Walter Hunt, who founded the clinic in 1977. “We listen to our patients and treat them with dignity, kindness, and respect. I know the kind of care that I demand as a patient, and that is the kind of care I strive to provide.”
The most recent addition to the team, Dr. Kyle Hunt, knows this philosophy well. He learned from the best—his dad. Whether being seen for an x-ray, cleaning, or cosmetic or general dentistry procedure, patients appreciate the friendly, welcoming staff (“I felt like a guest of honor,” one patient said), the honesty and integrity of the staff (described as a “pressure-free atmosphere” by another patient), the calming environment, and the most current treatment options. For the convenience of busy patients, appointments can be made as early as 6:30 a.m. and as late as 8 p.m. Same-day emergency appointments are also available.
For Dr. Walter Hunt, dentistry isn’t just a job, it’s a service, a commitment, and a connection to the community. “It’s my passion,” he says.
Cherrywood Dental Care
PHOTO BY TJ TURNER/SIDECAR
“At our office, we love people,” says Dr. Melissa Zettler of Cherrywood Dental Care, located in Savage. “We truly enjoy getting to know our patients, their families, and learning what is important to them in having a successful dental experience.”
Having a successful dental experience, for some, is keeping up-to-date on their six-month appointments (routine maintenance), for others it’s a cosmetic procedure, implants, or whitening, and for some it’s knowing that Dr. Zettler and her compassionate staff are willing to patiently work with them to overcome dental fears or anxiety.
“Listening is the most important thing,” Dr. Zettler comments. “We want to understand what they’re fearful of and be respectful of that.”
Dr. Zettler has a good time getting to know her patients, making small talk, trading jokes, and sharing stories. She is upbeat, kind, and thoughtful, qualities that serve her well in the dental profession.
Also serving her well is a friendly and helpful staff, an office with a welcoming atmosphere (blankets, headphones, pillows and views of a calming wetland), her experience and education, her dedication to the field, and a genuine interest in helping people.
“Everyone who works here is dedicated to making each visit a pleasant surprise,” she says. “I know I’ve done my job when people are shocked at how easy—and enjoyable—the experience was.”
14127 Vernon Avenue South Savage, MN 55378
Linden Hills Dentistry
Dr. Peter Hinke, Dr. Kordie Reinhold, and Dr. Chas Salmen of Linden Hills Dentistry
Linden Hills Dentistry is located in the heart of the Linden Hills neighborhood—a wonderful community with great restaurants and shops, just steps from Lake Harriet.
“We strive to provide hospitality and treat our patients in a warm, friendly, and generous way,” says Dr. Reinhold.
Together with Drs. Peter Hinke and Chas Salmen, they provide high-quality, comprehensive, and aesthetic dentistry.
“The latest technology in porcelain restorations, such as crowns and veneers, are extremely natural in appearance and more durable then ever,” explains Dr. Reinhold.
They take pride in helping their patients navigate the many options available to them today. Good communication is key.
They also offer the safe KOR whitening system, the most effective method available. Patients love the outcome.
Linden Hills Dentistry has been building relationships with family and friends for over 26 years. It is those relationships that give them the most satisfaction.
“We invite you to experience the Linden Hills Dentistry difference,” says Dr. Reinhold.
Tips and Facts from the Pros
- Floss your teeth every evening to prevent costly repairs. It only takes a minute to floss! Do it!
- Visit your dentist at least twice a year and keep your appointments (don’t wait until an emergency situation warrants an appointment).
- According to the American Dental Association, you should change your toothbrush about every three months, or after having the flu, a cold, or other viral infections.
- A study by the Academy of General dentistry revealed that the average person only brushes for 45 to 70 seconds a day—the recommended amount of time is two to three minutes.
- Sports injuries account for approximately 5 million missing teeth per year, so if you play contact sports make sure you wear a mouthguard.
- A tooth that has been knocked out starts to die within 15 minutes, but if you put it in milk or hold it in your mouth it will survive longer.
- An average person has 32 teeth. That number includes four wisdom teeth, eight incisors, four canines, 12 molars and eight pre-molars.
- Oral disease causes kids to miss 51 million hours of school per year; and their parents to miss 25 million hours of work per year.
- If you want to keep your teeth looking as bright and white as possible, make sure to rinse or brush right after drinking coffee, tea, dark soda, fruit juice, or red wine, or eating soy sauce or curry. Think of it this way: Anything that can stain a white cotton T-shirt can stain your teeth. One of the biggest offenders is nicotine.
- Strawberries, apples, celery, and carrots help to naturally whiten your teeth.
— courtesy of the Minnesota Dental Association, American Dental Association, and Academy of General Dentistry