From The Office Of Dr Andrew Kim

DENTALOPOLIS
MONTHLY

Check our dental blog every week for the latest news, advice, and information on oral health — plus get can’t-miss tips straight from the Doc himself!



tooth-aches-1200x628.jpg
18/Aug/2018

BECAUSE PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE and it is such a major part of good dental care, it’s critical to visit the dentist for regular checkups. In most cases, two regular dental cleanings a year will be all you need, but not always. So what are the signs that you shouldn’t wait until your next scheduled appointment to come back? For this blog post, we’ve listed the top five.

1. Aches Of Any Kind

If you’re experiencing tooth pain, that could mean a cavity has gotten to the point where the dental pulp is getting infected. Don’t tough it out thinking it’ll just go away on its own. Other types of pain you should bring to the dentist are an aching jaw and frequent headaches. These are often connected to oral health issues such as bruxism (teeth-grinding), and the dentist can help!

2. Mouth Sores And Bleeding Gums

Mouth sores usually go away on their own, but they can also be a sign of infection or disease, so it’s important to get those looked at when they appear. If you notice that you’re bleeding after brushing or flossing, it’s time to come see the dentist, particularly if you’re already using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Bleeding gums are one of the first symptoms of gum disease, so don’t ignore the signs!

3. Previous Dental Work

If you’ve had dental work done in the past and there’s a problem with it now, don’t wait until a regular appointment to get that fixed, because it will likely get worse. A cracked or chipped crown needs to be repaired quickly so that infection doesn’t set in. Worn-out fillings need to be replaced to prevent bacteria from thriving in the gaps between the tooth and the filling.

4. Serious Medical Concerns

Serious conditions such as diabetes, eating disorders, and gum disease affect our oral health more than we realize, and sometimes the treatments have negative impacts too. Many medications cause dry mouth, which can seriously jeopardize oral health. That’s why if you are diagnosed with a chronic disease and/or have new medications prescribed to you, your dentist needs to know about it.

5. Bad Breath

Few things are as mortifying as being in a social situation and realizing you have bad breath, but did you know that bad breath is sometimes a symptom of gum disease or other health problems? If you find yourself having an unusually hard time keeping your breath minty fresh, it’s a good idea to visit the dentist so we can discover the underlying cause.

Keep Up Your Regular Visits!

While we hope you come to see us right away if you notice any of these signs, we want to reemphasize the importance of scheduling regular appointments. Most dental health problems appear gradually, and an appointment every six months is enough to catch these problems before they become serious. To book an appointment with us, click HERE or call 832-510-3282 today!

Thank you for trusting in us to take care of all your dental needs!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


beat-the-year-end-rush-1200x630.png
18/Aug/2018

2017 IS ALMOST OVER, and that means it’s time to talk about dental insurance. Most dental plans don’t let the benefits roll over into the next year if they go unused. If you haven’t yet taken advantage of all your benefits, then now is the time to do so!

Is Your Coverage Compatible?

At Dentalopolis, we accept most PPO insurance.

To book an appointment with us, click HERE or call 832-510-3282 today!

Commonly Covered Procedures

Most PPO Insurance Holders: 100% Covered Exam, X-Rays, Cleaning!

New PPO patients at Dentalopolis also have the option to redeem a FREE Take-home Whitening Kit after they have their Exam, X-rays and Cleaning done.

We Can’t Wait To See You!

We’re always looking out for our patients and want to make sure you’re taking the fullest advantage of your benefits! If you have any questions regarding dental insurance, stop by or call us today and we can help!

The greatest benefits are to your dental health!


hurricane-harvey-blog-post.jpg
18/Aug/2018

This week’s post will not be about dental tips, our office has remained closed since Hurricane Harvey hit. Although we’d love nothing more than to get back to the work we’re so passionate about and welcome our community to our practice right now.

The extent of the storm was so much worse than we could have ever imagined. Just last week we were groaning about the next few days of being stuck inside. And now today we’re praying that Dentalopolis and our homes are without flood water.

We’ve been keeping updated with the news and on social media: the videos of the flooding are in our community, places we frequent, and affecting people we deeply care about. Our close friends and patients are also sharing videos/photos through text and social media about the devastation –  some of their homes are flooded, some had to go through mandatory evacuation – it is heartbreaking. And with all the major roads into Houston blocked by flooding, the feeling of helplessness is consuming.

Our hearts go out to each and every one of you, your families and friends, who have been affected in any way by this disaster. We’re keeping all of you in our thoughts and prayers…

P.S.: Over the past few days we’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of our community. Throughout South Texas, neighbors have braved the storm and flooding to help one another. Strength. Faith. Determination. We’ll get through this together. HOUSTON STRONG!


healthy-food-for-sweet-tooth.jpg
18/Aug/2018

MOST OF US find ourselves craving something sweet every once in a while—or perhaps more often than that! Unfortunately, as good as sweet treats taste, they can have a big impact on our dental health. In this post we’ll share some healthy treats you can try so as to avoid excess sugars!

Sugar And Your Teeth

There are many ways that sugar is bad for us and Health Ambition offers a great overview of The Negative Effects Of Sugar on our overall health. But did you know that sugar is also specifically bad for our teeth? Our mouths are diverse microbiomes containing dozens of species of bacteria, both harmful and beneficial, that can reproduce multiple times per day. Sugar may taste good to us, but harmful bacteria love it. They eat the sugar that sticks to our teeth and excrete acid that dissolves tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay.

Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day is usually enough to keep the bacteria populations under control, but your teeth will thank your for avoiding excess sugar. So how can we satisfy a sweet tooth craving without also satisfying the cravings of millions of harmful bacteria? By cooking sugar-free desserts, of course!

Healthy Treats

There are a few ways you can cut down on sugar without cutting down on sweets when you’re cooking. Some of them can be pricey, so your budget might play a role in determining which one you use.

Rebaudioside A

Rebaudioside A is a polyol or sugar alcohol produced by Stevia, a leafy South American plant. The FDA has approved rebaudioside A as a safe food additive, which means we can cook with it. But what makes it better for our teeth than sugar? Well, all those hungry bacteria in our mouths can’t digest sugar alcohols. We get to enjoy the sweet taste, but they don’t! The only downside is that it can leave a bitter aftertaste if you use too much. Since you only need one teaspoon to match the sweetness of a whole cup of sugar, it’s easy to overdo it.

Xylitol and Erythritol

Xylitol and erythritol are two more sugar alcohols that serve as excellent sweeteners. You may be familiar with xylitol, because that’s what sweetens sugar-free gum. While it’s even better for your teeth than other sugar alcohols–which is why dentists recommend it–it might not be the best to cook with, as it can cause digestive discomfort if you eat too much of it. Erythritol doesn’t have that drawback, but it can be pretty expensive.

Fruit

Fruit is another great sugar substitute. If you’d rather work with ingredients you already know, unsweetened applesauce, bananas, dates, and figs are four great replacements for table sugar that you can use in many recipes. You’ll end up with desserts that are still sweet and moist, but which contain far less sugar, which your teeth will appreciate. Fruits are sweet because they contain fructose, a type of sugar, but you’ll use less sugar overall by using pureed fruit instead of table sugar.

Need some extra inspiration for a sugar-free treat? Check out this dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free cheesecake recipe below!

Keep Up With Your Oral Health Basics

Even if you completely cut out all foods that are bad for your teeth out of your diet, it’s still crucial to maintain good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and come see us for a cleaning appointment every six months! Also, we LOVE food, especially delicious healthy treats, so be sure to share your favorite sugar-free dessert recipes the next time you come visit us!

Your Dental Health Is Our Priority!

To book an appointment with us, click HERE or call 832-510-3282 today!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


back-to-school-dental-checkup-2017_700.jpg
18/Aug/2018

DID YOU KNOW THAT TOOTH DECAY is the most common chronic disease in children? An estimated 42 percent of children between ages two and 11 get tooth decay in their baby teeth, and it doesn’t stop there, with 59 percent of kids between 12 and 19 getting at least one cavity.

As alarming as these statistics are, childhood tooth decay can be prevented with good oral health habits and regular dental appointments. Help your kids get ready for school with a Back To School Dental Checkup!

Why Schedule A Back-To-School Dental Appointment?

When it comes to the health of your children’s teeth, an ounce of prevention is absolutely worth a pound of cure. If you wait until there’s an obvious problem, it’ll take more extensive (and expensive) treatment to fix. Teeth won’t start to hurt until decay has reached the dental pulp, so bring your children in for an appointment before it can get that far.

What To Expect At Our Office

During your child’s dental visit, the dentist will check for cavities, possible bite problems, and orthodontic issues (eg. if braces are needed). At your visit, x-rays are taken and there will be revision for flossing and brushing routines. Your children’s back-to-school dental exam will reestablish dental hygiene routines every morning and night before bed. If a fluoride swish or rinse program is not offered at your child’s school, your dentist may recommend buying a mouth rinse made specifically for kids that contains fluoride. Dentalopolis also offers a fluoride treatment at a regular dental visit to help protect teeth and prevent cavities.

What You Can Do For Your Child’s Teeth At Home

Help your kids have a healthy smile by making dental hygiene for kids fun! One way to do this is to brush and floss with your kids. Children tend to mimic what their parents do and this is definitely a good habit to keep. Another tip is to get a cute toothbrush and/or fruity flavored toothpaste to make tooth brushing special for your kids. Keep record of their dental hygiene with a gold star reward game – kids are given a gold sticker star to display on a board each time they brush their teeth and they win a prize for every 10 stickers they accumulate! How fun is that!

Here’s a few tips to keep your child’s oral hygiene on track in between appointments:

We’ll See You Soon!

Make sure your kids start off their school year right: with healthy teeth and the confidence to share their smile with new friends and teachers. Call now to schedule your child’s back-to-school dental examination! Call 832-510-3282 or book a visit online today!

Wishing your kids a mouth-healthy year at school!

Top image by Flickr user Personal Creations used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


overcome-dental-anxiety.jpg
18/Aug/2018

MANY OF US, even though we know that going to the dentist is a safe, normal, and important part of life, don’t find it particularly fun to lie flat on our backs while someone pokes around our teeth and gums. For some, though, the very thought of visiting the dentist fills them with anxiety, and it could even be a full-blown phobia. That’s why we’d like to put our focus on helping our patients overcome dental fear and anxiety.

Dental Fear Stats

Fear of going to the dentist is fairly common, with an estimated nine to 15 percent of Americans completely avoiding visiting the dentist because of anxiety and fear. That means up to 40 million Americans are taking a serious gamble with their dental health. Putting off a basic twice-a-year cleaning out of fear leaves patients much more susceptible to tooth decay and painful infection. It’s always better to view dental care as preventative, not just reactive.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Dentist

If you’re worried about going to the dentist, that might be because history and pop culture have given you the wrong idea. Before WWII made anesthetics the norm, dental procedures were uncomfortable, to say the least, but the field has come a long way since then. Modern dental offices maintain a high standard of comfort and care for patients.

Advice For Overcoming Dental Anxiety

  • Talk with your dentist and/or dental hygienist about your dental fear so they can explain what the procedure really entails and you know what to expect.
    • Patients often say that their fears were worse than the actual procedure. At Dentalopolis, we work hard to make our patient’s experience as comfortable and stress-free as possible. We help our patients know what to expect so they are less anxious.
  • Wear headphones during your appointment to help block out sounds.
  • Request a numbing agent. 
    • Everyone’s pain threshold is different. Don’t be afraid to ask for a numbing agent if you weren’t offered one or if you’re in pain.
    • At Dentalopolis, we offer patients numbing gel, IV Sedation and a cool technology: Dental Vibe to minimize pain.
  • Use our ceiling TVs located in our treatment rooms to watch your favorite Netflix TV during your procedure. Our treatment rooms is also equipped with a separate monitor to show you your x-rays and to help you to better understand your procedure.
  • Bring someone you trust to your appointment to help provide comfort and reduce dental anxiety.
  • Arrive early to your appointment. Stress management can start just by reading a magazine in the waiting room.

We Will Work With You!

Your care and comfort are our top priorities. If you or someone in your family struggles with dental anxiety and it’s interfering with getting needed dental care, we’d love to schedule a time for you to come to our practice so that you can get used to the facility and get to know our team. We can answer any questions you may have. CALL 832-510-3282 or book a visit instantly online!

We hope to see you soon!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


dental-x-rays.jpg
18/Aug/2018

EVERYONE WHO’S BEEN TO THE DENTIST is familiar with X-rays. You put on the lead apron, you’re given a rectangular contraption and told “put this between your teeth and bite down,” and then you hear that tinny beep. Have you ever wondered what the different types of dental X-rays are and what they’re for? Let’s take a closer look at three of the most common ones.

The Big Picture: Panoramic X-Rays

Has an X-ray technician ever had you stand on a circular platform and stand still for several seconds while the machine spun around your head? Then you’ve had a panoramic X-ray, which is the most common type of extraoral dental X-ray.

With these, we can see your entire mouth in one image, because the camera travels all the way around your head while taking the picture. These X-rays show incoming adult teeth and wisdom teeth, including any that are impacted, which is how we determine if there’s enough room for these teeth to come in and if they’ll come in on their own. Panoramic X-rays also make it much easier to detect things like tumors, cysts, and abscesses.

Glamor Shots: Bitewing X-Rays

As you might have guessed from the name, bitewing X-rays are the ones where the patient has to bite down on a piece of dental film before the image is taken. Because the dental film is inside your mouth, bitewing X-rays are a type of intraoral X-ray. Usually, there will be one X-ray taken for each of the four quadrants of your mouth.

Bitewing X-rays are taken to give us a clear view of the crevices between your teeth, which are difficult to see with the naked eye. With these images, we can easily check for tooth decay and cavities in those areas.

It’s Time For Your Close-Up: Periapical X-Rays

This intraoral X-ray is the close-up of the dental world. If a specific tooth or area in your mouth is bothering you, we’ll probably take a periapical X-ray to get a clear idea of what’s going on there, but they can also be taken alongside bitewing X-rays even if you aren’t aware of an obvious tooth problem.

For more information on dental X-rays and why they’re so important, watch the video below:

Dental X-Rays: Early Warnings For Healthier Smiles

All types of X-rays are simple, low-risk tools that help us catch dental problems early on, maybe before you’ve even noticed anything! However, in order for us to do that, it’s crucial that you come in for your regular cleanings and dental exams. Is your smile ready for its next close-up?

Call us or book an appointment to visit us today for a dental checkup or if you need a second opinion on anything related to teeth!

We’re so happy to welcome you to the dentalopolis family!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


infected-tooth.png
18/Aug/2018

TEETH ARE ALIVE, just like every other part of the body. That means they are susceptible to infection. Whenever an infection becomes severe enough, the tainted part has to go or else all the surrounding tissue will be compromised as well and the patient’s life will be at risk! That’s where a root canal comes in.

What Is A Root Canal?

Root canals are a way of getting rid of the infection in a tooth without getting rid of the actual tooth. A root canal won’t save your tooth—by the time you need one, it’s too late for that, but it will allow you to keep it.

A dentist will drill into the tooth to reach the infected pulp at its core. Next, the pulp is removed, leaving the tooth hollow. After the space is flushed out, the root is filled with sealer and the crown with cement, and the whole tooth is capped off with an artificial crown. This procedure ensures that no more bacteria can get inside the tooth and minimizes the chances of the tooth breaking.

To get a better understanding of what’s involved in root canal treatment, check out the video below:

When Do You Need One?

The way teeth become infected is through decay, cavities, or cracks from an injury, which means it’s usually an avoidable problem. If you’re brushing and flossing properly, your teeth are unlikely to reach a level of decay that allows bacteria to reach the living dental pulp inside them. However, some people are genetically more susceptible to tooth decay.

Infection can lead to an abscess at the tooth’s root or death of the pulp. If you have tooth decay extensive enough to require a root canal, you’ll probably be experiencing significant pain in and around the infected tooth. With an abscess, there will also be swelling and inflammation. Tooth pain alone isn’t always a sign of an infection, but it’s always worth checking out to make sure.

Other symptoms of tooth infection include:

  • Temperature sensitivity
  • Sensitivity to pressure (particularly when chewing)
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes under jaw
  • Rush of foul-tasting fluid and pain relief if abscess drains

Before You Get A Root Canal…

  • Is a root canal necessary?
  • Will my tooth recover?
  • Why did the pulp die?
  • Are there any alternative treatments?
  • What happens if I don’t do the root canal?
  • Should I skip the root canal and go right to the implant?
  • Will my infection spread to other teeth or to my bone?
  • How predictable is the treatment?
  • And finally: Should I see a specialist or can you do as good of a job as a specialist can?

Root Canal vs. Dental Implant

Ask your dentist about the predictability of success of a root canal and talk about the risks and benefits of alternative solutions like dental implants. Ultimately, this is something that you and your dentist have to decide together, after you consider all the options for your unique case. Learn more about dental implants here.

Keep Those Teeth Healthy!

Remember that preventing the problem is always better than needing a solution! Healthy teeth don’t need root canals, so keep brushing twice a day and flossing daily and cut back on sugary drinks so that your teeth will stay healthy! Call us or book an appointment to visit us today for a dental checkup or if you need a second opinion on anything related to teeth!

We appreciate you, our valued patients and friends!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


invisalign-smiles.jpg
18/Aug/2018

IF YOU WANTED TO STRAIGHTEN your teeth back in the day, you really only had one option–traditional metal braces. Nowadays, our patients have a variety of different options when it comes to how they would like to have their teeth straightened and what is most convenient for them. At our office, we offer Invisalign®! 

Invisalign® Treatment Provides Many Benefits

Not everyone is a good candidate for Invisalign, but if you are, it may be a great option to achieve your dream smile!

As the name implies, Invisalign trays are nearly invisible, allowing you to go throughout your daily activities with most people being unaware that you are undergoing orthodontic treatment! The aligners are custom-made for you, ensuring a perfect, comfortable fit.

Of course one of the best perks of choosing Invisalign is being able to eat whatever you want! Because you can take your aligners off while eating and drinking, you don’t have to worry about staying away from the foods that you love. Invisalign trays also don’t affect your oral hygiene routine like traditional braces do. You can brush and floss as you normally would!

You also won’t have to worry about getting used to metal brackets that may cut into your cheeks and lips at the beginning of treatment or during sporting events. With Invisalign, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort to get the smile you’ve always wanted.

Invisalign® vs. Braces

As an Invisalign patient, you’ll generally have less office visits than those with traditional braces. So if you have a busy schedule but still want to improve your smile, Invisalign might be just the thing for you!

Many patients chose Invisalign over Braces, watch the video below to hear why Fred chose Invisalign over traditional braces.

Talk To Us About Invisalign®

We want your treatment to reflect your unique smile, lifestyle and personality. Call us or book an appointment to visit us today to discuss any questions you might have about Invisalign! At our practice, we believe your smile deserves the very best.

We appreciate you, our valued patients and friends!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


Dentalopolis

3779 Riley Fuzzel Rd Suite 400
Spring TX 77386
832-510-3282
Request Appointment
Dentalopolis is a family & cosmetic practice dedicated to dental excellence and patient comfort.
Just like our family, we treat all patients with dignity and provide premium quality dental care. If you are looking for a dentist who will treat you with respect and compassion, Dentalopolis is here for you!

© dentalopolis 2017. All rights reserved.