My Blog

Posts for: April, 2018

April 26, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Find out how this simple oral device could help manage your sleep apnea symptoms.sleep apnea

Whether you’ve just been diagnosed with sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder, or you’ve had it for a while now there are many reasons to take the time to weigh your treatment options. While CPAP therapy tends to be the first course of action when it comes to treating sleep apnea it isn’t the only treatment. In fact, our New Hope, PA, dentist, Dr. Dawn Rickert, could even help you achieve better quality sleep.

What is sleep apnea?

When someone has sleep apnea this means that the airways become blocked throughout the course of the night, causing shallow breathing or pauses in breathing. As a result, the body and brain aren’t getting the sufficient amount of oxygen they need to function at their most optimal level.

Why should sleep apnea be treated?

Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that they have sleep apnea; however, if you find yourself having trouble getting out of bed every morning because you feel exhausted (even after a full night’s rest), then you might want to get evaluated by a medical professional.

Sure, we know that most people wake up feeling tired because they didn’t get quality sleep or enough sleep, but if you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night but still waking up extremely tired and feeling this way throughout the day then you need to see a sleep specialist as soon as possible.

Sleep apnea doesn’t just cause you to feel tired and drained all day (which is enough of a reason to seek treatment), it can also affect your mood, concentration, and work performance. Furthermore, untreated sleep apnea can also increase your chances for:

  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Type II diabetes
  • Asthma

What is oral appliance therapy?

Our New Hope family dentist can treat mild or even moderate cases of obstructive sleep apnea with this simple dental device. This oral appliance looks similar to a mouthguard; however, it’s specially designed to be able to keep airways open while you are sleep. It does that by repositioning the jaws in a forward position, which can prevent the tissues in the back of the throat from collapsing.

There are different kinds of oral appliances on the market, and we can help you choose the one that’s right for you based on your specific health concerns, needs, lifestyle, budget, etc.

New Hope Cosmetic & Family Dentistry is dedicated to providing the very best in dentistry to the New Hope, PA, area. From sleep apnea to dental veneers we handle it all so that you get the smile and care you want.

By New Hope Cosmetic and Family Dentistry
April 23, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

While the sport of golf may not look too dangerous from the sidelines, players know it can sometimes lead to mishaps. There are accidents involving golf carts and clubs, painful muscle and back injuries, and even the threat of lightning strikes on the greens. Yet it wasn’t any of these things that caused professional golfer Danielle Kang’s broken tooth on the opening day of the LPGA Singapore tournament.

“I was eating and it broke,” explained Kang. “My dentist told me, I've chipped another one before, and he said, you don't break it at that moment. It's been broken and it just chips off.” Fortunately, the winner of the 2017 Women’s PGA championship got immediate dental treatment, and went right back on the course to play a solid round, shooting 68.

Kang’s unlucky “chip shot” is far from a rare occurrence. In fact, chipped, fractured and broken teeth are among the most common dental injuries. The cause can be crunching too hard on a piece of ice or hard candy, a sudden accident or a blow to the face, or a tooth that’s weakened by decay or repetitive stress from a habit like nail biting. Feeling a broken tooth in your mouth can cause surprise and worry—but luckily, dentists have many ways of restoring the tooth’s appearance and function.

Exactly how a broken tooth is treated depends on how much of its structure is missing, and whether the soft tissue deep inside of it has been compromised. When a fracture exposes the tooth’s soft pulp it can easily become infected, which may lead to serious problems. In this situation, a root canal or extraction will likely be needed. This involves carefully removing the infected pulp tissue and disinfecting and sealing the “canals” (hollow spaces inside the tooth) to prevent further infection. The tooth can then be restored, often with a crown (cap) to replace the entire visible part. A timely root canal procedure can often save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted (removed).

For less serious chips, dental veneers may be an option. Made of durable and lifelike porcelain, veneers are translucent shells that go over the front surfaces of teeth. They can cover minor to moderate chips and cracks, and even correct size and spacing irregularities and discoloration. Veneers can be custom-made in a dental laboratory from a model of your teeth, and are cemented to teeth for a long-lasting and natural-looking restoration.

Minor chips can often be remedied via dental bonding. Here, layers of tooth-colored resin are applied to the surfaces being restored. The resin is shaped to fill in the missing structure and hardened by a special light. While not as long-lasting as other restoration methods, bonding is a relatively simple and inexpensive technique that can often be completed in just one office visit.

If you have questions about restoring chipped teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers” and “Artistic Repair of Chipped Teeth With Composite Resin.”

By New Hope Cosmetic and Family Dentistry
April 13, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tooth decay  

The classic movie Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder, still brings back sweet memories of childhood to people everywhere. Recently, the news broke that a remake of the beloved 1971 film is in now development in Hollywood. But at a reunion of the original cast members a few years ago, child star Denise Nickerson revealed that her role as gum-chewing Violet Beauregard caused a problem: she ended up with 13 cavities as a result of having to chew gum constantly during the filming!

It should come as no surprise that indulging in sugary treats can lead to cavities: The sugar in your diet feeds harmful bacteria that can cause tooth decay and other dental problems. Yet lots of kids (not to mention the child inside many adults) still crave the satisfaction that gum, candy and other sweets can bring. Is there any way to enjoy sweet treats and minimize the consequences to your oral health?

First, let’s point out that there are lots of healthy alternatives to sugary snacks. Fresh vegetables, fruits and cheeses are delicious options that are far healthier for you and your kids. Presenting a variety of appealing choices—like colorful cut-up carrots, bite-sized cheese bits and luscious-looking fruits and berries can make it easier (and more fun) to eat healthy foods. And getting kids off the sugar habit is a great way to help them avoid many health problems in the future.

For those who enjoy chewing gum, sugarless gum is a good option. In fact, chewing sugarless gum increases the flow of healthful saliva in the mouth, which can help neutralize the bacteria-produced acids that cause cavities. Gums that have the ADA (American Dental Association) Seal of Acceptance have passed clinical tests for safety and effectiveness.

But if you do allow sugary snacks, there are still a few ways to minimize the potential damage. Restrict the consumption of sweets to around mealtimes, so the mouth isn’t constantly inundated with sugar. Drink plenty of water to encourage saliva flow, and avoid sugary and acidic beverages like soda (even diet soda) and “sports” or “energy” drinks. Brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss once a day. And don’t forget to visit our office regularly for routine checkups and cleanings. It’s the best way to get a “golden ticket” to good oral health.

If you would like more information about sugar, cavities and oral health, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Nutrition & Oral Health” and “The Bitter Truth About Sugar.”