Florida Dental Centers Blog

Can I Go To A Dentist For An Oral Cancer Screening?

Cancer in any form can be absolutely terrifying. That’s why making sure you see the correct specialist will help tremendously with the process. The short answer is yes, you can see a dentist for oral cancer screening in Largo, FL. But what are some common signs of oral cancer? Here at Florida Dental Centers, we strive to provide accurate information to all who visit us. Here are some of the basics about oral cancer.

 

What To Look For

Oral cancer may take on a few different forms depending on the region of the mouth it is affecting. If you have a lip sore that does not seem to go away, that could be a sign of one form of oral cancer. Another type is a white or reddish patch inside your mouth. Some other common symptoms of oral cancer are loose teeth, mouth and ear pain, difficulty or pain when swallowing, and sharp pain while chewing.

Now, some of these symptoms could be from a number of other conditions such as a severe case of gum disease. But, if these symptoms are persisting, you should definitely visit a dentist. Why? Well, no matter what condition it may be, these conditions are serious and could lead to life-threatening, or potentially fatal, outcomes if left untreated.

The risk factors for oral cancer are the same for many other types of cancer. The most common risk factors for developing oral cancer are smoking, heavy alcohol use, excessive sun exposure, sexually transmitted diseases, and a weakened immune system. Whilst cancer continues to be studied for further causes and new cures, there are ways to help prevent cancer that help with both general oral health and good overall health.

 

Preventing Oral Cancer

Of course, some of these are directed towards the common risk factors. Stopping the use of controlled substances like alcohol and tobacco will greatly reduce your risk factor of developing oral cancer. Avoiding direct sun exposure to your lips is also a great way to reduce your chances of cancer.

But the number one way to prevent oral cancer is by visiting your dentist. Here in our office in Largo, FL, we have worked with hundreds of patients to help treat them with their oral cancer. Dr. Kieth Hutchinson has decades of experience in supporting patients with oral cancer with many success stories of those he has managed to help through to recovery.

If you or a loved one is struggling with oral cancer, the best thing to do is to visit a dentist. So why not visit a dentist with a proven track record in helping oral cancer patients? Consider calling us at (727) 507-9090 to get in touch with our staff to help schedule you an appointment. The sooner you call, the sooner we can help protect you from this fatal disease.

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Is Professional Teeth Whitening Worth The Cost?

Having bright, clean, white-colored teeth is a great sign of dental hygiene and beauty. But many of our teeth slowly lose their white glow as we age due to a number of factors. Diet, stress, smoking, age, and many other factors can slowly degrade the coloring. Many turn to teeth whitening products to show off their smile in confidence. But there is a huge difference between professional whitening in Clearwater, Florida and over-the-counter whitening products.

 

Over-The-Counter vs. Professional Whitening

Over-the-counter options are great if you fit the narrow minority of people who they are trying to help. Over-the-counter whitening products use a one size fits all approach to teeth whitening. The problem though is all teeth are different which makes this approach super effective for the few and unhelpful for the many. Generally speaking, an over-the-counter whitener will help the majority of people but will take a much longer time than any other product, sometimes taking over a year to see minimal results!

Professional whitening options are much more effective as the approach can be tailored depending on your teeth. These custom approaches allow for a much quicker turnaround of starting time and fantastic results. Since these treatments are also handled by professionals, many of the risks such as damaging gums or teeth enamel can easily be avoided. Professional treatments are also much longer-lasting than anything over-the-counter.

 

The Cost of Whitening

Despite knowing this, many people still opt for over-the-counter whiteners rather than professionals. The cost difference is fairly large with over-the-counter ranging between $15-$60 typically and professional costing anywhere from $250-$500 in some cases.

This decision is made without considering the length mentioned above though. If you are trying to whiten your teeth and it takes 6 months, 12 months, 2 years even to start getting the results you want, those over-the-counter options start adding up quickly. Because professional treatments are much longer-lasting, the initial cost is worth the results. Not only will the professional treatment save time to get that pearly white finish, but they will also cost less in the long run as whitening treatments are less frequent and further between.

 

Want Whiter Teeth Today?

If you live in Clearwater, Florida, and are looking for a smile you can wow anyone with, consider coming to the Florida Dental Center located at 2194 Drew Street, Clearwater FL. Dr. Hutchinson has plenty of experience with patients from all walks of life and all sorts of dental needs. Having worked and managed Florida Dental Centers since 1998, Dr. Hutchinson is always excited to meet new clients and provide a comfortable and custom treatment for them.

If you would like to set up a consultation to meet with Dr. Hutchinson or any other of our providers, call us at (727) 462-5555 to find a time that works for you. We are looking forward to meeting you and working towards the smile you deserve!

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What Is The Recovery Time After A Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Whenever possible, dentists prefer to offer patients conservative treatment options. However, tooth extractions can be necessary including wisdom tooth removal. In fact, simple and complex wisdom teeth extractions in Clearwater, FL are very commonplace, not to mention extremely safe when performed by a trained dentist and team.

Of course, it can be tough to answer one of the biggest patient questions that come with any wisdom tooth removal: “How long will it take for me to recover?” The best response, as with so many medical procedures, is that recovery time depends on a number of factors.

Take a look at three of those factors below.

 

Recovery Timeline Factor #1: How Many Wisdom Teeth Are Going to Be Removed?

A patient who has one wisdom tooth removed will naturally spend less time in surgery than a patient who has all four wisdom teeth extracted. Therefore, the patient who only had one wisdom tooth removed may feel less discomfort afterwards and be able to return to chewing regular foods faster, at least on one side of the mouth. On the other hand, the patient who has all four wisdom teeth removed may take longer to recover because each spot will heal at its own rate.

Recovery Timeline Factor #2: How Impacted Are the Wisdom Teeth?

In some cases, wisdom teeth have to be extracted because they are impacted. In other words, they have not fully erupted through the gums. Impacted wisdom teeth usually take longer to remove due to their awkward shape or placement. Consequently, the affected area may experience more trauma during surgery than if the wisdom teeth were not impacted at all. And that can lead to a little longer recovery.

Recovery Timeline Factor #3: How Well Does the Patient Comply With Post-Op Instructions?

After a wisdom tooth extraction in Clearwater, FL, a patient will receive a list of post-operative instructions to do and follow. These instructions may include everything from taking over-the-counter pain medications and applying ice packs to a sore jaw, to avoiding certain foods and staying home from school or work for a couple days. Patients who follow their dentists’ recommendations tend to have shorter, healthier, and more comfortable recoveries than those who do not.

 

Is a Wisdom Tooth Extraction in Clearwater Necessary?

It can be tough to tell if you need to have one or more of your wisdom teeth removed by a trustworthy dentist in Clearwater, FL. The best way to find out for sure is to make an appointment with a friendly, knowledgeable professional like Keith Hutchinson, D.M.D. and team. For more than 20 years, Dr. Hutchinson has built a reputation as a compassionate, highly skilled dental provider. To make an appointment with us, please call our Florida Dental Centers office in Clearwater, FL at (727) 462-5555!

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How Can Gum Disease Lead to Dementia?

As the field of western medicine continues to progress, so does our understanding of holistic health. We are finding more and more as the days go by that all our health systems are linked together. This is the same between our dental and cognitive health. Recently, studies showed that chronic periodontitis, commonly known as gum disease, has a likely link to dementia. But how is this the case?

Here in Largo, Florida, we work to provide the most up-to-date knowledge on advances in dental health. That is why we believe it is important to discuss this link and share good information about it.

 

The Links Between Gum Disease and Dementia

A study conducted by South Korea’s National Health Insurance Service-Health Screening Cohort found there is a six percent increase in patients who had gum disease to develop dementia than those who did not. This risk increases in those who have or develop Alzheimer’s disease significantly compared to those with Alzheimer’s who never had gum disease.

Six percent may not seem like a huge deal but considering that the number of people who will develop dementia will triple over the next three decades, it is important to recognize the implications of this study.

There are three different theories as to how these conditions are linked. The first is related to the bacteria that cause gum disease. This bacterium, known as Porphyomonas gingivalis, is a big driver in inflammation. This bacterium is believed to travel through the bloodstream and pass the blood-brain barrier which then leads to inflammation in and around the brain which leads to dementia. This theory is supported as the bacteria has been found present in patients’ brains who have dementia.

The second theory is similar. The bacteria mentioned causes inflammation in the gums and then leads to a state of perpetual inflammation throughout the body which causes inflammation in and around the brain.

The third possibility relates to damage sustained to the blood vessels because of gum disease. This damage leads to an increase of toxic proteins consistent with those that are proven to damage the brain in patients with dementia.

 

Have Those Gums Checked!

All of this is to note the high importance of having proper gum and dental care. What better person to take care of those gums than Dr. Keith Hutcinson. For over 20 years, Dr. Hutchinson has worked to provide kind and compassionate care to all who come to visit him. He has worked with patients to prevent smaller cases of gingivitis from developing into chronic periodontitis as well as working to minimize the negative impacts of gum disease.

If you have questions and are looking for an expert in gum disease, consider calling (727) 507-9090 to schedule a consultation with Keith Hutchinson, D.M.D. and team at our office in Largo, FL today! Let us help prevent your gum disease and fight against the risk of developing dementia later in life.

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Is Your Smile Gum-Centric? Crown Lengthening Can Help!

For the most part, everyone loves a beautiful, healthy smile. However, if your teeth are being overly covered by your gums, you may benefit from a treatment procedure known as crown lengthening. A dentist in Clearwater, FL can assess your teeth and gums to see if this procedure would be best for you and your smile!

 

About the procedure

Crowns are the caps on the top of your natural tooth that defines its shape. If you are interested in getting cosmetic dental procedures such as bridges or implants, a certain amount of tooth surface must be exposed or available. This may be a reason why this procedure may be beneficial for individuals that have gums that are excessively covering teeth, also known as a gummy smile. A common sign of a gummy smile includes “short” looking teeth. While this may or may not be related to genetics, having a gummy smile can be treated and cured by the crown lengthening procedure should there be a desire or want to do so. The crown lengthening procedure removes gum tissue, bone, or both, if necessary, to reveal more surface area of a tooth. Some reasons for reduced tooth surface area that may cause a need for tooth exposure can include:

  • Broken or cracked tooth at the gumline
  • Gumline extends too far along the tooth for it to receive cosmetic or restorative treatment
  • Weak tooth structure that is not viable for restoration
  • Crown or filling has fallen off or decay is present beneath it

Typically done by a periodontist, or gum specialist, the crown lengthening procedure usually begins with a review of your medical history and an X-ray of your teeth and gums. A dental specialist in Clearwater, FL may even suggest a teeth cleaning appointment before the procedure is done, to decrease risks of infection caused by bacteria or plaque. You may even receive a temporary crown on your tooth as a protection mechanism prior to the procedure. This allows the dental specialist to see how well the crown will fit on your tooth once the lengthening procedure has been completed. Your dental specialist will choose the best type of lengthening procedure, including a gingivectomy, surgical extrusion, and apically repositioned flap surgery, based on your individual needs.

 

The Options We Offer!

Dr Keith Hutchinson and the team of dental experts at Florida Dental Centers in Clearwater, FL offer fantastic procedures that address periodontal issues, including the crown lengthening procedure. The team also offers a range of treatment in periodontic dentistry, including:

 

If you are experiencing short teeth or a gummy smile caused by teeth being overly covered by gums, the crown lengthening procedure may be for you. Be sure to reach out to Keith Hutchinson, D.M.D. and team at our office in Clearwater, FL today to get started and schedule a consultation!

 

References

Crown Lengthening. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/gum-disease/crown-lengthening

Crown Lengthening. https://www.healthline.com/health/crown-lengthening#purpose

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Removable Dentures: Worth The Price Or Just A Fad?

Missing teeth are a common occurrence. More and more Americans are not making it through their whole life with their original sets of teeth. This is due to a variety of factors, but one thing is clear, we need teeth. There are plenty of options for replacing missing teeth but knowing which one is right for you can sometimes be a tricky option. A growing number of people in the Largo, Florida area have been looking to removable dentures as an option to replace their missing teeth as a cheaper alternative to full arch dental implants. But would removable dentures be best for you?

 

What Removable Dentures May Offer You

Partial removable dentures, simply known as removable dentures, are a form of dental implant where only certain teeth and regions of the mouth are replaced. As the name implies, these dentures are removable, being supported using the remaining healthy teeth or other dental implants. This is different from normal dentures which use adhesive to stick to your soft tissue to avoid shifting around.

Removal dentures come in a variety of materials to allow for patients to choose what works best for them. One option is cast metal partial dentures which is a metal alloy-based form attaching to teeth using the metal base. This is one of the most noticeable partial implants due to the way the metal base is formed. Another option is acrylic flippers which are made from a pink-colored material that rests on the soft tissue of the mouth. These are especially good for people who have advancing periodontal, or gum disease, issues. Flexible dentures are the final option which are made from a soft nylon material. These hold to the teeth directly and have the most natural look.

What this allows for is a more cost-effective way to have functional and natural looking teeth. Full arch dental implants are expensive, usually costing over ten thousand dollars! Removable dentures never tend to cost more than half that price depending on the individual case. Some people may even opt to have both dental implants and removable dentures. This improves the overall stability of the removable dentures by having strong and supported implant structures whilst saving on cost by opting for some teeth to be replaced using dentures.

 

Want Removable Dentures?

If you are still unsure about what is the best option for you, consider making an appointment to meet with Keith Hutchinson, D.M.D. and team at our office in Largo, FL. Dr. Hutchinson has performed thousands of dental implant procedures like crowns to dentures! With decades of experience in making patients comfortable and happy, Dr. Hutchinson is ready and happy to help you on your journey to better dental health. Call (727) 507-9090 to schedule an appointment now!

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Ways to Prevent Gum Disease

Although common, periodontal (gum) disease does not have to become a reality for you. It is often associated with symptoms such as gum swelling, tooth pain and discomfort, and if left untreated, can lead to systemic health illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Fortunately, there are a variety of things that you can do right now to reduce or eliminate your chances of getting gum disease in Clearwater, FL.

 

A few helpful tips to consider

  • Regular brushing and flossing: Brushing and flossing twice daily can significantly minimize your chances of getting gum disease. This is because gum disease is caused by bacteria or plaque buildup in or around the gum area, leading to inflamed and irritated gums. Brushing and flossing regularly can remove the bacteria that causes gum disease and keep your mouth and gums healthy!
  • Maintain a healthy diet: Eating a healthy diet including vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and plenty of water can help improve your oral health which can be a reflection of your overall health. Your diet should be well-balanced to help boost your immune system to fight off any bacteria that may be lurking and trying to cause an infection of the gums.
  • Eliminate or reduce smoking: Smoking can not only have an impact on your oral health but can also affect your overall health. Cigarette smoking can lead to unhealthy teeth and gums and should be avoided to help decrease the chances of developing gum disease.
  • Choose a good toothpaste: a gum disease fighting or preventing toothpaste should include fluoride and other plaque and bacteria eliminating agents to ensure your oral health remains in-tact.
  • Proper sleep: Getting a good night’s rest and reducing stress can help improve your immune system and overall health to make sure your body can remove any bacteria that can cause gum disease.

 

Contact Us!

Contact our doctors, Keith Hutchinson, D.M.D. and team, in our office in Clearwater, FL so we can help you learn and understand more about how to get or maintain a healthy mouth and gums to make sure you avoid getting gum disease. Be sure to reach out and schedule an appointment online today!

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Are Dental Implants Right for You?

If you are experiencing tooth loss or had a tooth extracted, you may be considering getting corrective dental procedures, such as dental implants, in Largo, FL. Before doing so, however, a dentist will need to assess your mouth to ensure you are a candidate for your new smile. There are many factors that can influence this and are discussed below.

The ideal candidate for a dental implant is in good general and oral health. Sufficient bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant, and the best candidates have healthy gum tissues with no signs of tooth decay or periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. If you are showing visible signs of gum disease, including swollen, red, tender, and bleeding gums, you may need to visit a dental specialist that focuses on treating gum disease, known as a periodontist. This is particularly important before potentially becoming a great candidate for dental implants.

As stated, good jawbone support is one of the main characteristics of being a candidate for dental implants. A strong jaw construction supports the implant once installed. The reasoning behind this is if the implant is not reinforced by a strong bone than it can become loose from chewing.

Candidates who are dedicated to oral hygiene are excellent applicants for implants. Flossing, brushing and using a good mouthwash several times in a day assist in removing plaque which in turn are protecting the applicant against infection during the implant procedure. Visits to a dentist twice per year for that routine checkup makes for a good candidate.

 

About the Procedure

A dentist in Largo, FL will evaluate your oral health and assess your candidacy for dental implants. There are various types of implant options that a dentist will consider for your treatment plan. These can include:

  • Replacing a Single Tooth. If you are missing a single tooth, one implant and a crown can replace it.
  • Implant-supported bridges. These can replace several teeth If they are missing or damaged.
  • Implant-supported full bridge or full denture. These can replace all of your teeth if they are missing or damaged.

 

Contact Us!

Schedule a consultation today to discuss your questions and get started with dental implants! We invite you to meet our experienced and friendly doctors, Keith Hutchinson, D.M.D. and team, in our office in Largo, FL!

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Dental Implants: The Most Natural Tooth Replacement Option

Bring an end to your dental pain with dental implants! As opposed to other tooth replacement options, dental implants are the only option to provide the most natural look to your teeth and provide a long-lasting solution to your dental woes. But why are dental implants in Clearwater, FL so much better than other options? What are those other options even?

 

Non-Implant Options vs Dental Implants

An option you can get instead of dental implants is dentures. Dentures are made to fit the gaps in your teeth or replace an entire arch of upper or lower teeth. Whilst dentures can still give the look of natural teeth, they can easily fall out of place, irritate the gums, and have a hefty cleaning routine.

Another option would be dental bridging. Dental bridging is like a dental implant as they are usually porcelain or other strong material cemented to the teeth adjacent to the gap. But again, they can frequently become dislodged, especially when eating something hard to when switching between extreme temperatures of hot and cold.

Only dental implants can make a lasting impact! The process starts with sedation, then a trained dentist will remove any remaining root structure to the previous tooth. Following this, the dentist will drill a hole into the jaw to set a post, usually made of a strong material like titanium. Finally, a crown is placed on top of the post and shaped to fit your bite line to give it a natural look and feel.

Unlike dentures, dental implants are maintained like you would maintain your natural teeth through flossing, brushing, and other standard dental hygiene practices. Unlike both dental bridges and dentures, since implants are placed into your jaw, they will be able to handle crunchier foods and hot and cold foods with ease.

 

Get Dental Implants Today!

If you are in the Clearwater area, consider coming into our office in Clearwater, FL to talk further about a custom treatment plan to fit you! With tons of experience, Keith Hutchinson, D.M.D. and team can help talk through your anxieties about the treatment and find the best way to support you. Consider scheduling an appointment online or calling us at (727) 462-5555 so we can find a time that works for you! Give yourself the best chance at living a worry free life and consider dental implants today!

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Don’t Let That Blank Space in Your Mouth Fool You

So, you had teeth extracted and/or are missing a few teeth? No big deal, right? Do not fool yourself! There are plenty of issues that come with missing teeth in Largo, FL. You lose the confidence in your smile, you can’t chew the foods you use to enjoy, and so much more. Beyond these though, there are also adverse health effects to missing teeth.

 

What Happens When We Are Missing Teeth?

From gum disease to infection, there are several reasons why you should consider replacement of your missing teeth!

In many cases, the gums where the tooth used to be will get infected which will cause inflammation. This is known as gingivitis, commonly referred to as gum disease. Gingivitis can cause your gums to bleed when you floss, changes in your bite line, pain when chewing, pus to form between the gums and teeth, and other symptoms. This, of course, makes day-to-day life more difficult as the pain from chewing causes great amounts of anxiety about eating and can cause other teeth to loosen or fall out.

Another problem that may occur is weakness in your jaw and other teeth. Other teeth surrounding the missing one have to work harder to chew due to the lack of teeth and can cause jaw pain, weakness, and in some cases temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD). Your TMJ attaches your lower jawbone to the rest of your skull and when it is being worked on one side more heavily, it can cause disorders to form which will result in pain when chewing and many other issues.

 

Fill Those Gaps

To avoid these diseases and others that are caused by the loss of teeth, consider calling us at (727) 507-9090. Contact our office in Largo, FL to schedule an appointment with our doctors, Keith Hutchinson, D.M.D. and team, so we can give you our options to fill in that missing tooth! With years of experience in supporting those like you, we will work with you to find the best treatment option to fit your unique situation. We look forward to helping you!

 

References

Gum Disease (Gingivitis and Periodontitis), Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/health/gingivitis

TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Disorders, Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/health/tmj-disorders

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