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Posts for: February, 2017

By Hillis Family Dental
February 18, 2017
Category: Oral Health

The best way to prevent dental visit anxiety in your children is start those visits around their first birthday, and continue with them through childhood. Age One visits are the best way to ensure they're comfortable with the dentist now and that they'll continue the habit into adulthood.

But in spite of your best efforts and those of your dental provider, there's no guarantee your child won't experience dental visit anxiety at some point. If that happens, we recommend conscious sedation.

Conscious sedation is the use of certain medications to help a patient relax. It's not the same as anesthesia, which eliminates pain by numbing tissues (local anesthesia) or inducing unconsciousness (general anesthesia). During conscious sedation a patient remains awake or at the most in a dream-like state, can still respond to touch or verbal commands, and although monitored doesn't require assistance in heart or lung function.

We can induce this relaxed state in a number of ways: orally, with medication given by mouth a short time before the visit; intravenously, the medication delivered through a drip directly into the bloodstream; or by inhalation, usually nitrous oxide gas mixed with oxygen and delivered by mask.

Oral sedation is the most common. On the day of the procedure, we'll give your child one or more sedative drugs, usually in syrup form. For best results we advise they eat a low-fat dinner the night before and not eat or drink any food or liquid afterward. We typically use Midazolam and Hydroxyzine, both of which are proven safe and fast acting.

During the procedure, we'll also assign a team member to monitor their vital signs while they're under the influence of the drugs. We may also employ special positioning or immobilization equipment to keep movement to a minimum.

After the procedure, we'll continue to monitor vitals until they return to pre-sedation levels. The child should remain home the rest of the day to rest and return to school the next day.

Conscious sedation is regulated by states: providers must be trained and licensed to administer sedation drugs with continuing education requirements. Even so, the use of sedation for children is becoming more widespread and helps to safely ensure they're getting the dental care they need.

If you would like more information on comfortable dentistry for children, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sedation Dentistry for Kids.”

By Hillis Family Dental
February 08, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental visits  

Wondering about the dental services we offer and what could improve your smile?dental services

Seeing our St. Peters, MO, family dentist, Dr. Amanda Hillis, every six months is a crucial part of maintaining good oral health for everyone, from children to adults. Here at Hillis Family Dental we want to make sure that your entire family gets the dental care they need, which is why we offer a full range of dentistry services to fit those needs. Here are some of the things you can expect when you visit us:

Routine Exams

You should be visiting your St. Peters dentist every six months for preventive exams and cleanings. This applies to both children and adults. It’s time to schedule your child’s first dental visit around their first birthday (or sooner, if their first tooth has already erupted). These exams could protect your smile from cavities and gum disease. Plus, annual X-rays will help us detect minor decay and other issues that can’t be seen during a physical evaluation.

Preventive Care

Everyone wants to protect their smile from cavities. Besides coming in for bi-annual exams, fluoride treatments and dental sealants may also be able to help.

Cosmetic Dentistry

You want to love your smile but discolorations, chips, cracks and gaps between teeth are keeping you from the smile you truly want. If this is the case, we can help. We offer a variety of options—from dental veneers to tooth whitening—to help design beautiful teeth.

Restorative Dentistry

Even if you weren’t able to prevent cavities or other problems from befalling your smile, it doesn’t mean you are out of luck. Here at Hillis Family Dental we offer an array of restorative options like dental crowns, bridges, dentures and tooth-colored fillings. Whether you are dealing with tooth loss or cavities, we have the restoration for you.

Gum Disease Treatment

Whether you have been recently diagnosed with gum disease or you are dealing with swollen, bleeding gums, we offer treatment options to help you manage all of your gum disease symptoms. From nonsurgical options like scaling and root planing to surgical procedures designed to treat more severe cases, we are here to help you manage this condition for life.

Do you have questions about cosmetic dentistry? Need to schedule your six-month exam? Then turn to Hillis Family Dental in St. Peters, MO, for dental care you can trust.

By Hillis Family Dental
February 03, 2017
Category: Oral Health

When is the best time to floss your teeth: Morning? Bedtime? How about: whenever and wherever the moment feels right?

For Cam Newton, award-winning NFL quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, the answer is clearly the latter. During the third quarter of the 2016 season-opener between his team and the Denver Broncos, TV cameras focused on Newton as he sat on the bench. The 2015 MVP was clearly seen stretching a string of dental floss between his index fingers and taking care of some dental hygiene business… and thereby creating a minor storm on the internet.

Inappropriate? We don't think so. As dentists, we're always happy when someone comes along to remind people how important it is to floss. And when that person has a million-dollar smile like Cam Newton's — so much the better.

Of course, there has been a lot of discussion lately about flossing. News outlets have gleefully reported that there's a lack of hard evidence at present to show that flossing is effective. But we would like to point out that, as the saying goes, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” There are a number of reasons why health care organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) still firmly recommend daily flossing. Here are a few:

  • It's well established that when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth, tooth decay and gum disease are bound to follow.
  • A tooth brush does a good job of cleaning most tooth surfaces, but it can't reach into spaces between teeth.
  • Cleaning between teeth (interdental cleaning) has been shown to remove plaque and food debris from these hard-to-reach spaces.
  • Dental floss isn't the only method for interdental cleaning… but it is recognized by dentists as the best way, and is an excellent method for doing this at home — or anywhere else!

Whether you use dental floss or another type of interdental cleaner is up to you. But the ADA stands by its recommendations for maintaining good oral health: Brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste; visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups; and clean between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner like floss. It doesn't matter if you do it in your own home, or on the sidelines of an NFL game… as long as you do it!

If you would like more information about flossing and oral hygiene, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.