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

August 15, 2017

Dental Checkups for Kids and Teens

If your kids have started school, or about to, and you neglected, or just plain forgot about dental checkups for your kids, call Dr. David Schaefer and schedule a dental exam for your children and your teens. Regular dental checkups, Dr. Schaefer recommends twice a year for healthy children and teens will help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Scheduling regular checkups can also help Dr. Schaefer keep any eye on your kids and teens bite. If a problem is detected, your kids or teens may be referred to an orthodontist for a further evaluation.

According to the American Dental Association, regular dental checkups for kids and teens can also detect any other oral abnormities. If you follow the Schaefer Dental Blog, you will know that oral cancer can be caught and even cured if detected early on.During the checkup, your kids and teens teeth and gums will be checked for tooth decay and gum disease. If gum disease is present, Schaefer Dental may recommend root planing and scaling. If cavities are present, a simple filling may be all that is needed, however, if the cavity is too deep and has damaged the pulp root canal therapy may be necessary. Scheduling twice-yearly dental appointments with Schaefer Dental can help prevent tooth decay, gingivitis, and the more serious periodontal disease.

If your child or teen has been complaining about oral pain, but is cavity and gum disease free, it may have something to do with his or her bite. Dr. Schaefer and his team will be able to determine if your children or teens require orthodontic treatment.

Scheduling regular dental appointments with Schaefer Dental is a necessary part of life, and if you haven’t made your checkups, call or click. Schaefer Dental can determine if your kids and teens have dental problems and get them back on the road to healthy teeth and gums.

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.

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.

August 15, 2016

Gum Disease Can Remain Silent

Gum disease affects the tissues that support and surround your teeth and is one of the main causes of adult tooth loss, and because it is usually painless, you may not even know that you have it.

A film of bacteria, also known as plaque, causes gingivitis, and the more serious periodontal disease. Brushing your teeth twice and flossing once each day along with regular dental checkups can help prevent gum disease.

Gum Disease Warning Signs

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad taste in your mouth
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Gums that are starting to pull away from your teeth
  • Loose adult teeth
  • Bite changes
  • Denture fit changes
  • Pain when chewing

Although poor oral hygiene is one of the main causes of gum disease, some other factors can increase the risk. According to your dentist, those factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Tobacco use
  • Genetics
  • Pregnancy
  • Crooked teeth that are difficult to clean
  • Diabetes
  • Medications including cancer therapy drugs, steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, oral contraceptives and calcium channel blockers

Early Gum Disease

Colgate explains that gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. If you have it, your gums may bleed easy, become swollen or red. During this stage, your gum disease is reversible and can usually be eliminated with a professional dental cleaning or a root planing and scaling procedure.

Advanced Gum Disease

Periodontal disease affects nearly 50 percent of people over the age of 30 in the U.S. If left untreated it will lead to tissue and bone loss. The more severe the disease the more chance you have of losing your teeth. Although it slowly gets worse, there could be times when it progresses rapidly.

Aggressive periodontal disease is highly destructive and can occur in people who have good overall health. Common features of advanced periodontitis include a rapid loss of bone and tissue that could occur in the entire mouth.

The Mouth and Body Connection

Although studies are ongoing, recent research is indicating a connection between periodontal disease and systemic diseases. While there is no conclusive link, severe periodontitis could be associated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s disease.

You may have gum disease, especially if you can’t remember the last time you saw your dentist. Regular dental appointments can catch gingivitis before it advances to periodontal disease.

Don’t wait until it gets worse. Call or click and schedule a thorough dental examination 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,

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.

August 15, 2015

Ignoring that Toothache Could Cause Problems

If you have been dealing with a nagging pain that comes and goes it’s time to schedule an appointment with your dentist who can determine what may be causing it.

One of the biggest questions that dentists often deal with is toothaches that come and go as they please. Dentists have often seen patients who had a toothache on Monday, but by the time they sat in the dental chair on Wednesday, the pain was gone.

The Mayo Clinic explains that a toothache can be dull and chronic or sharp and sudden, but there seems to be hundreds of cases that can be quite puzzling. The erratic symptoms may have something to do with your own body’s healing power, but dentists can also misdiagnose a condition that is totally unrelated. If that occurs the patient may have to deal with an unnecessary root canal or even an extraction.

If you have a toothache that seems to disappear only to reappear a month or two later, it is important that you see both your doctor and dentist. Your dentist explains that a toothache that comes and goes could be a sign that you have angina, an inner ear infection, or a sinus infection. If your doctor gives you the all clear, it could be a cracked tooth.

A cracked tooth that is on the inside is quite difficult to diagnose, as it will not always show up on your x-rays. From the onset, your cracked tooth will start with an acute and sharp pain as the cracks can irritate the pulp that is inside of your tooth. Over time your pulp will being to degenerate causing sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. If the crack in your tooth goes untreated, it may begin to ache on its own without any stimuli such as temperature changes, biting or chewing. However, that chronic pain could suddenly disappear depending on how your pulp reacted to the crack in your tooth. The pulp may die or heal itself within a couple of months, but in most cases, the pain will usually recur. If you do not see your dentist, you may have to deal with an abscess that will most certainly result in a root canal.

Toothaches should never be ignored, and if you are dealing with the mysterious disappearing kind, schedule an appointment with your dentist today.

July 15, 2015

Don’t Use your Teeth for That!

Most people are aware that teeth are meant for biting and chewing, but unfortunately, there are some folks who use their teeth for a multitude of things. Those things, including chewing on pen caps, can cause serious damage to teeth and gums.

The American Dental Association explains that good oral health habits, such as brushing twice, flossing once each day, seeing your dentist regularly and a enjoying a healthy diet are all part of taking good care of your teeth and gums, but what you do when you are not eating, brushing or flossing can cause real problems.

You use your teeth to chew and tear food, however, there are quite a few people who have forgotten or simply neglect what they should or shouldn’t be using their teeth for.

Although it may sound ridiculous, there are plenty of folks who have attempted to open a glass bottle, or even a plastic one, with their teeth. This party trick could end up with a trip to your emergency dentist. Although teeth are just as strong as bones, you should never use them to open a bottle. Your teeth may not chip the first time you attempt this, but they will eventually. Grab the bottle opener and try something else for your next party trick.

That bag of potato chips can be annoying to open, especially if you have been struggling for a second or two. It may be tempting to open the bag up with your teeth, but if you do, you could injure yourself. Paper cuts and cuts on your gums can happen because of the sharp edges on the package. The same goes for any type of package. Grab a pair of scissors or a knife and leave your teeth alone.

Professional and even recreational sporting activities can get rough. Even individual sports such as skateboarding, surfing, and gymnastics can be dangerous to your teeth and gums. Your dentist recommends that you schedule an appointment for a custom-made mouthguard to protect your teeth if you participate in any type of sporting activity. Mouth protectors are especially helpful if a fist or tennis racquet should connect with your mouth or jaw. Without a custom-made mouthguard, you could end up knocking a tooth out.

One of the worst things that you can do to your teeth is chew on ice. Ice is meant for your mouth, but should never be chewed. Chewing and chomping on ice will eventually chip your teeth, or cause problems for your fillings.

If you would like more information regarding what you should and shouldn’t put in your mouth, schedule an appointment with your dentist today.

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