3904 South Lynn Court
Independence, MO 64055
Call Us Today: (816) 252-0055

July 15, 2017

An Oral Cancer Screening Can Save your Life

If you cannot remember the last time you had an oral cancer screening, it is time to call and schedule an appointment for a comprehensive dental examination with Dr. David Schaefer. Dr. Schaefer and his team will give you a complete and thorough dental checkup that will not only detect tooth decay and gum disease, but can also alert your attending physicians if there is anything unusual about your mouth, including your teeth, gums, neck, tongue, and throat.

When you schedule an appointment with Dr. Schaefer and his team for an oral cancer screening your tongue, throat, the roof of your mouths and your gums will be examined to check for anything unusual.

According to the American Dental Association, an astonishing 75 percent of all neck and head cancers start in the oral cavity. With early detection, you have a much better chance of survival.

Although there is no conclusive evidence, scientist believes that certain factors could increase your risk of any type of oral cancer. You may be in the high-risk category if you:

  • Use any type of tobacco including pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco cigarettes and a Hookah pipe
  • A heavy alcohol drinker
  • Have been diagnosed with oral cancer in the past
  • A history of sun exposure, which increases lip cancer risk

Signs that you may have Oral Cancer include:

  • Sores that don’t heal
  • Sores that bleed
  • Lumps or growths in your mouth
  • A lump or growth on your cheeks, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Loose teeth
  • Ill-fitting dentures
  • Teeth pain
  • Jaw stiffness or pain
  • Pain when chewing or swallowing
  • Persistent sore throat

Oral cancer can develop on your:

  • Gums
  • Lips
  • Tongue
  • Cheeks
  • Roof of your mouth
  • Floor of your mouth

If you would like more information regarding an oral cancer screening, or would like to schedule an appointment for an oral cancer screening with Dr. David Schaefer and his team, call or click.

Early detection really can save your life. Call or click now.

June 15, 2017

Oral Hygiene More than Brushing and Flossing

Oral hygiene is imperative if you want to maintain your overall health. According to the Dr. David Schaefer from Schaefer Dental, practicing good oral hygiene can actually keep your heart healthy.

Although the jury is still out, researchers are beginning to see a link between gum disease and other health problems including stroke, heart disease, and even Alzheimer’s.

Brushing twice and flossing once each day is just part of good oral hygiene, however, good oral hygiene is much more than brushing and flossing.

What is Plaque?

Your dentist explains that bacteria cause tooth decay and gingivitis and lives in your mouth. Plaque, that layer of film that everyone has on their teeth, will eventually eat away at the enamel on your teeth causing cavities and gum disease.

What causes Plaque?

Your mouth is loaded with bacteria, both good and bad. The foods you eat will cause bacteria buildup in your mouth producing acids. Sugary and starchy foods are notorious for plaque accumulation. The substances that are produced by plaque will irritate your gums. If left untreated, plaque accumulation will cause gum recession forming pockets in between your teeth and gums. If you do not see a dentist for gum disease, the bone that surrounds your teeth could be destroyed, which will cause tooth loss.

How to Remove Plaque

The best way to get rid of your plaque is to brush and floss every day. Use a soft bristled brush and a good fluoride antimicrobial toothpaste that has been recommended by the American Dental Association, this will help with tooth decay. Floss first and brush second to remove all of the debris. Watch your diet as certain foods can cause plaque accumulation. Use a mouth rinse and schedule regular dental checkups and professional cleanings.

Oral hygiene is an important part of overall health, and if you cannot remember the last time that you saw your dentist, call or click and schedule an appointment with Dr. David Schaefer from Schaefer Dental today today.

May 15, 2017

Root Canal Therapy is it Necessary?

Root canal therapy may be necessary if you have been ignoring that small toothache. Unfortunately, tooth decay will not go away, and if you have cavities, you could be asking for problems.

According to Dr. David Schaefer, root canal therapy removes the dead nerves and tissue. Called, pulp, those nerves and tissue are what tells you that you have tooth decay. However, not all cavities will present themselves, making it nearly impossible to detect the need for root canal therapy. Only a dentist can determine if therapy is necessary.

Endodontic treatment is necessary if the pulp in your tooth becomes inflamed or infected. There are a variety of issues that could cause the problem, including chips or cracks in a tooth or teeth, repeated dental procedures, large cavities, and teeth that are deeply decayed.

Avoiding root canal treatment could cause infection and even an abscess. If left untreated an abscess could cause serious problems and even death.

The Treatment

If Dr. Schaefer recommends root canal therapy, the infected nerves and tissue will be removed using special instruments to thoroughly clean the area. After the inside has been cleaned, the tooth roots will be disinfected and cleaned before filling and sealing. In some cases, a dental crown may be recommended to strengthen the damaged tooth.

Front teeth have one root canal while your back teeth have multiple root canals. Root canal therapy usually requires between one and three visits dependent on which tooth requires the treatment. If you have curved roots or more canals, you may need additional dental appointments to complete your root canal therapy.

A healthy mouth starts with regular dental checkups, and if you have been skipping your dental visits because of a nagging toothache, it is time to call or click and schedule an appointment with Dr. David Schaefer.

Don’t risk infection or a dangerous abscess, call or click and schedule a comprehensive dental examination with Dr. Schaefer today.

December 15, 2016

Preventing Cavities ~ Timing Could Be Everything

Preventing cavities is imperative, but it’s not just what you eat that increases your risk of tooth decay. According to the American Dental Association, how often you enjoy a meal is equally as important as what you put in your mouth. Have Grandma’s sugar cookies with a meal and you will be doing your teeth a big favor.

According to your Dr. David Schaefer, when you eat your meals can have long term effects on your oral health and in preventing cavities. Learning how the food you eat, and when you eat it affects your teeth and gums is your first step to a healthier mouth.

Immediate Changes

The minute you eat certain foods your mouth will begin to produce acids. Those acids will begin the cavity process.

So What Happens

All carbohydrates will eventually become simple sugars breaking down into fructose, lactose and maltose. Carbohydrates that ferment will break down in your mouth. Other foods will not break down until they get to the digestive tract.

Fermentable carbs join forces with the bacteria to create acids that will decay your teeth. Obviously cakes, cookies, candy and soft drinks are at the top of the list when it comes to the worlds most sugary foods, but other foods such as cereal, bananas, crackers and bread can also wreck havoc on your teeth.

Certain types of bacteria in your mouth will use the sugar you just enjoyed producing acid that will begin to dissolve the minerals inside the tooth eating away the enamel known as demineralization. Remineralization occurs when the teeth regain their minerals with the help of saliva. Fluoride and certain foods such as cucumbers and celery can also help with remineralization as can cheese and certain dairy products.

This holiday season watch what you eat and remember to keep an eye on, “When,” you eat as well when it comes to preventing cavities, and don’t forget to schedule your annual dental checkup with Dr. Schaefer today.

Happy Holidays from the team from Dr. David Schaefer and the team from Schaefer Dental!

September 15, 2016

Men and Womens Oral Health Differences

Men and Women’s oral health can be described in one word, different. One would assume because a man and woman’s mouth look exactly the same, lips, tongue, cheeks, teeth and gums, that oral health would be the same, but there are some differences. Just like means and women’s bodies differ, so do men and women’s mouths.

Dr. David Schaefer explains that noth men and women are susceptible to oral cancer, tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath; however, the biggest men and women’s oral health differences lie in the female anatomy.

Unlike men, women go through life changes. Puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause affect all women and have a profound effect on oral health, and although men are less likely to look after their teeth and gums, research indicates that men don’t floss, as often, they don’t have to be concerned about women’s life changes and oral health.

Women need to brush at least twice each day. Floss daily or more if you need to. Make sure you use a good oral rinse and schedule regular checkups with your dentist. If you notice anything suspicious, get to the office as soon as you can. Research shows that oral cancer has a higher cure rate if detected early. During your regular checkups, ask your dentist to do an oral cancer screening.

Puberty

Puberty brings on the sex hormones and in girls and that means swollen gums. If you or someone you know is going through puberty watch for red and bleeding gums.

Menstruation

Some women suffer from Menstruation Gingivitis. This condition causes red, swollen, and bleeding gums a week before a period begins and usually stops after it starts.

Pregnancy

The only thing that changes in a man when his partner is pregnant is his stress levels. He may gain some weight and, “Pretend,” that he is expecting, but he won’t experience the gingivitis that occurs in a high percentage of pregnant women. If you are pregnant, pay close attention to your teeth and gums and if you notice any swelling or bleeding call your dentist. If left untreated, gingivitis and periodontal disease can cause premature and low weight births.

Post menopause

Women deal with serious hormonal fluctuations during post menopause including dry mouth, burning sensations and a change in taste. When women are in post menopause it can affect oral health. Schedule frequent dental appointments if you are affected by post menopause.

Both men and women need to take good care of their teeth and gums. Call or click and schedule an appointment with your dentist today.

July 15, 2016

Professional Tooth Whitening for Dramatic Results

Professional tooth whitening is the most popular and affordable cosmetic dental procedure, and if you have always thought your smile could use a boost, call and schedule an appointment with Schaefer Dental who can determine if you are a good candidate for tooth whitening.

Your local pharmacy is filled with dozens of over the counter tooth whitening products, but those gels, pastes, strips, and mouth rinses will never do as good a job as professional tooth whitening will.

According to the American Dental Association, over the counter whitening bleaches do not have the same amount of hydrogen peroxide as professional tooth whitening products and will not give you the same results.

If your dentist has given you the okay for professional tooth whitening, if you have tooth decay or gum disease that will need to be taken care of first, you will be fitted for a custom set of thin plastic bleaching trays and bleaching solution. The custom fitted trays allow the gel to penetrate deep into the tooth helping to get rid of stains while strengthening your teeth. Your dentist recommends whitening each day for about 2 weeks to achieve the desired result.

Tooth whitening works great on yellow or stained teeth, but will not work on dental restorations such as cosmetic veneers, dental crowns, dental bonding, or dental implants.

After you have completed your tooth whitening procedure, your dentist may want to combine other cosmetic dental procedures such as porcelain veneers, braces, or crown and bridge therapy. Your dentist may even suggest dental implants if you have one or more missing teeth.

Having a beautiful smile boosts your self-confidence while improving your self-esteem. People who like to show off a healthy grin are more inclined to be outgoing and happy with the way they look and feel.

If you would like more information regarding tooth whitening or any other cosmetic dental procedure, call or click and schedule an appointment with Schaefer Dental today.

June 15, 2016

What You May Not Know about your Teeth

When it comes to teeth and gums, most people are aware that practicing good oral hygiene habits, including brushing twice, flossing once each day, a good healthy diet and regular checkups with your dentist are imperative, but according to Colgate there are a few things that you may not know about your teeth and gums.

  • Kid’s teeth are soft until around the age of 10.
  • A tooth that already has a crown can still have a cavity.
  • Your gum tissue is just as important as teeth.
  • Some prescription and over the counter drugs can increase the risk of cavities.
  • Some water filters that are used at home or the office will remove fluoride.
  • Most bottled water does not contain fluoride.
  • More than 19 percent of children between 2 and 19 have untreated cavities.
  • Allergies can cause tooth clenching or grinding.
  • Dried fruit and sticky candy are just as bad for your teeth.
  • Tooth enamel will not repair itself, although the cementum and dentin, the substances that surround your teeth might.
  • Your mouth harbors 300 different types of bacteria.
  • Chewing sugarless gum after you eat can help you remove food particles. Of course, you still need to brush, but if you can’t do so right away after a meal, sugarless gum will help keep your teeth clean.
  • Cavities don’t always cause pain until they have hit the nerve and the root in your tooth. Schedule regular checkups to prevent dental caries or detect them early enough to prevent large fillings or root canals.
  • Bone recession can cause tooth loss even without any decay present.
  • A recent study at Harvard University stimulated tooth growth in rats and human dental tissue using low-powered lasers to activate stem cells.

If you would like more information regarding your teeth and gums, or would like to schedule an appointment with your dentist for a checkup,

May 15, 2016

Five Bad Oral Health Habits

Healthy oral health habits including brushing twice and flossing once each day, however, your dentist explains that there are a few oral health habits that you should avoid.

Cough Drops

Just like hard candies, cough drops are loaded with sugar. Sucking on the hard lozenges will coat your teeth and react with the plaque and bacteria. The sugar will convert to acid and eat away the enamel on your teeth. If you must suck on a cough drop, make sure you brush and rinse well afterwards.

Don’t Use Your Teeth as an Opener

Using your teeth to open packaging, an envelope, or even worse, a bottle, may seem like a convenient thing to do, but this bad habit will make your dentist cringe. Using a tooth or teeth as a tool could cause chips and cracks. If you open a bottle with your teeth, you could even break a tooth. Keep a pair of scissors and a bottle opener handy instead of using your teeth.

Snacking

If you are one of those people who enjoy snacking all day, you could be damaging your teeth. Your dentist explains that snacking will produce less saliva than an entire meal. Snacking leaves bits of food in your teeth unless you rinse right away. If you snack all of the time, you could be setting yourself up for tooth decay. If you must snack, avoid starchy and sugary treats and go for celery or carrot sticks.

Oral Piercings

It may seem cool to have your tongue or lip pierced, but those studs and hoops can cause damage to your teeth. If you accidentally bite down on a stud in your mouth, you could chip or crack a tooth. If you play with the jewelry your gums may also become irritated, which could lead to gum disease.

Tobacco

Everyone knows the dangers of tobacco use, however, smoking and chewing tobacco can also cause stains, and chronic bad breathe and tooth loss. People who use tobacco products, yes, even a hookah pipe are also three times more likely to get oral cancer.

You were meant to have your teeth for life and can if you practice good oral health habits including brushing twice, flossing once each day and regular appointments with your dentist you may be one of the lucky ones. Call or click and schedule an appointment with your dentist today.

April 15, 2016

Custom Made Mouthguards for the Family

April is National Mouth Protection Month and if you and your kids play any kind of sports, whether recreational, amateur or professional, you need to schedule an appointment with your dentist who can fit you with a custom made mouthguard.

Although mouth protectors are mandatory in some sporting activities, the groups behind National Mouth Protection Month, the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Academy for Sports Dentistry, the American Association of Orthodontists and the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons believe that mouthguards should be mandatory in all sports whether group or individual sports. Surfers, people who play racquetball or people who enjoy skateboarding and mountain biking should all wear stock, boil and bite or custom made mouth protectors.

Your dentist explains that one of the most important reasons that you and your kids should wear a mouthguard is that it keeps your teeth safe. Not only does a custom-made mouth protector keep your teeth from breaking or fracturing, but a mouth protector can also help protect your teeth against tooth displacement or a knockout. Mouthguards are essential if you want to protect yourself and your family against soft tissue damage.

There are three types of mouth protectors, stock, boil and bite and custom made.

Stock-Although a stock mouthguard will provide you with some protection stock mouth protectors can be uncomfortable making it difficult to talk and sometimes breathe because you constantly have to bite down on a stock mouth protector.

Boil and Bite-Boil and Bite mouthguards are better than stock as you place them in boiling water to mold to your teeth and gums, however, these types of mouth protectors can also be bulky and uncomfortable.

A custom-made mouthguard is the best defense against a blow to the head as custom-made mouthguards are made from an impression taken of your own teeth and gums. Once made your mouth protector will fit perfectly giving you the protection you need.

Take care of your family’s mouth this spring and schedule an appointment with your dentist for custom-made mouthguards for everyone.

January 15, 2016

Cosmetic Dental Procedures You Can Afford

If you are constantly covering your mouth to hide your teeth, it’s time to schedule a no obligation smile makeover consultation with your dentist.

These days you do not have to put a second mortgage on your home to afford cosmetic dentistry. Thanks to modern 21st century dentistry, you can have the smile of your dreams for less than you would expect.

When you schedule an appointment with your dentist for a cosmetic dentistry consultation, you will be given a thorough exam making sure your teeth and gums are healthy enough for any type of cosmetic dental procedure. If you have gum disease or tooth decay, those issues will need to be addressed first before any type of cosmetic dental treatment can proceed.

During your consultation, you and your dentist will discuss what you do and don’t like about your smile and what can be done to improve it. Sometimes all that you may need is a professional tooth whitening to give you that red carpet smile.

Another affordable way to improve your grin is with cosmetic bonding. Cosmetic bonding, also known as dental bonding, is an amazing cosmetic dental procedure that can fix chips and cracks or change the shape of your teeth. With cosmetic bonding, you can also fill the gap between your teeth, make them longer or shorter, or replace your old silver amalgam fillings.

If your dentist decides that you are a good candidate for dental bonding, the entire procedure can be taken care of in as little as one appointment depending on how many teeth are being bonded.

Because dental bonding requires little if any enamel removal it can usually be done without the need for anesthesia. Anesthesia is usually only needed for fillings or to replace your old silver amalgam fillings.

Before the procedure begins, your dentist will select a color from the shade guide that best matches your natural tooth color. Once selected your dentist will etch or roughen up the surface of the tooth or teeth that are being bonding before applying a liquid conditioner. These procedures help the dental bonding material adhere to your tooth. After the conditioner is applied, your dentist will mold and shape the bonding material before smoothing and sculpting into the desired size and shape. Once satisfied the material will be hardened with a laser or ultraviolet light. After the resin has hardened your tooth or teeth will be trimmed and polished to match the rest of your natural teeth.

Cosmetic Dentistry doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Call and schedule an appointment with your dentist to see if you are a good candidate for tooth whitening or dental bonding.

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3904 South Lynn Court, Independence, MO 64055 USA
David A. Schaefer, DDS Independence MO dentist (816) 252-0055