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By Tampa Dental Wellness of Westchase
September 22, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: sedation dentistry  

If the thought of seeing your dentist makes you panic, you might be suffering from dental anxiety. This common condition could cause you sedation dentistryto avoid seeing your dentist, even for simple examinations and cleanings. Luckily, sedation dentistry can help you get through your dental appointments and procedures calmly and without fear. Find out more about sedation dentistry with Dr. Amy Creech-Gionis and Dr. Lennie Stern at Dental Wellness of Westchase in Tampa, FL.

Can sedation dentistry help me? 
Sedation dentistry becomes helpful in several situations, including patients who:

  • have dental anxiety
  • require more than one procedure at once
  • require a complex procedure
  • have a very sensitive gag reflex
  • have teeth sensitivity issues

If you feel that you could benefit from sedation dentistry, you should ask your dentist about which options may be best for you.

What kinds of sedation are available? 
Your dentist offers sedation dentistry on several different levels. The first is mild sedation, which simply helps patients relax and “zone out” during their procedure. Mild sedation is often referred to as “laughing gas”. Moderate sedation using oral sedative medication will leave the patient feeling even more relaxed.

Sedation Dentistry in Tampa, FL 
If you think you could benefit from sedation dentistry, consult with your dentist to determine if this is the best treatment for your dental anxiety and, if so, which level of sedation works best for you. For more information on sedation dentistry, please contact Dr. Creech-Gionis and Dr. Stern at Dental Wellness of Westchase in Tampa, FL. Call (813) 855-CARE (2273) to schedule your appointment with your dentist today!

By Tampa Dental Wellness of Westchase
September 20, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gum recession  

If you’ve noticed some of your teeth seem to be “longer” than you remembered, it’s not because they’ve grown. Rather, your gums have shrunk back or receded to expose more of the underlying tooth.

It’s not just unattractive — gum recession could lead to severe consequences like bone or tooth loss. But before we begin treatment we need to find out why it happened. Knowing the true cause will help us put together the right treatment plan for your situation.

Here are 4 of the most common causes for gum recession and what we can do about them.

The kind of gum tissues you have. There are two kinds of risk factors: those you can control and those you can’t. Because you inherited the trait from your parents, your gum tissue thickness falls into the latter category. Although there are degrees within each, gum tissues are generally classified as either thick or thin. If you have thin tissues, you’re more susceptible to gum recession — which means we’ll need to be extra vigilant about caring for your gum health.

Tooth position. Normally a tooth erupts during childhood in the center of its bony housing. But it can erupt outside of it, often resulting in little to no gum tissue growth around it. The best solution is to move the tooth to a better position within the bony housing through orthodontics. This in turn could stimulate gum growth.

Over-aggressive brushing. Ironically, gum recession could be the result of brushing, one of the essential hygiene tasks for dental health. Consistently brushing too hard can inflame and tear the tissues to the point they begin to recede. Brushing doesn’t require a lot of force to remove plaque: use gentle, circular motions and let the detergents and mild abrasives in your toothpaste do the rest.

Periodontal (gum) disease. This, by far, is the greatest cause for gum recession: an infection caused by built-up bacterial plaque. The weakened tissues begin to detach from the teeth and recede. Gum disease can be treated with aggressive plaque removal and supporting techniques; but it’s also highly preventable. Practicing daily brushing and flossing and regularly visiting your dentist for thorough cleanings and checkups are the best practices for keeping your gums as healthy as possible.

If you would like more information on gum recession, 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 “Gum Recession.”

By Tampa Dental Wellness of Westchase
September 13, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

Whether you have a cavity or simply want to improve your appearance, cosmetic dentistry procedures can help you look and feel better. cosmetic dentistryOur Tampa, FL, dentists, Dr. Amy Creech-Gionis and Dr. Lennie Stern of Dental Wellness of Westchase, discuss a few common cosmetic dentistry services.

Tooth-colored fillings

Do you find silver amalgam fillings unattractive? Tooth-colored fillings offer the same benefits as amalgam fillings but are completely unnoticeable. The fillings are made of composite resin, a flexible material that is tinted to resemble common tooth colors. Tooth-colored fillings require less destruction of healthy tooth structure than amalgam fillings and don't expand and contract when exposed to hot or cold temperatures.

Teeth whitening

Are you looking for a quick and easy way to enhance your smile? Teeth whitening only takes about an hour in our Tampa office and often offers dramatic results. Professional whitening is the quicker, safer alternative to over-the-counter teeth whitening kits. Take-home kits that include whitening gel and custom-made trays are also available.


Is your smile less than perfect due to minor imperfections in your teeth? Hide those small flaws with dental veneers. Thin dental veneers attach to the fronts of teeth with dental cement and provide an excellent way to conceal gaps, chips, discolorations, cracks, crooked and short teeth. Because veneers are resistant to stains caused by foods and beverages, they also provide an effective way to whiten all of your teeth.

Porcelain crowns

Porcelain crowns are hollow restorations that slip over the top of teeth to provide excellent coverage and protection. You may need a crown if you've recently had a root canal. Root canal therapy, large fillings and cracks in teeth tend to weaken them. Luckily, adding a crown protects at-risk teeth from breaking. Crowns are also used to restore fractured teeth, conceal imperfections, improve the shape of teeth or increase their length.

Are you ready to improve your smile or smooth out fine lines and wrinkles? Call Tampa, FL, dentists, Dr. Creech-Gionis and Dr. Stern of Dental Wellness of Westchase, at (813) 855-2273 to schedule your appointment.

By Tampa Dental Wellness of Westchase
September 12, 2017
Category: Oral Health

If you’ve lost some teeth you may eventually want to replace them with dental implants. Implants by far are the restoration of choice due to their life-likeness and durability. But those advantages don’t come cheaply — implants can be expensive especially for multiple teeth.

If you’re forced to wait financially for implants, you still have other intermediary options like a removable partial denture (RPD). The conventional RPD has a rigid acrylic base colored to resemble gum tissue supported by a metal frame with attached prosthetic (false) teeth at the missing teeth locations. They’re held secure in the mouth through metal clasps that fit over the remaining teeth.

But these conventional RPDs can sometimes be uncomfortable to wear and don’t always cover the bottom of the gum completely. If this is a concern, you might consider an alternative: flexible RPDs. The base of this RPD is made of a form of flexible nylon rather than acrylic plastic. They’re much more lightweight but still fit securely in the mouth with thin plastic extensions rather than metal clasps. The base can also be more easily formed to cover areas where gum tissue may have receded.

While flexible RPDs hold up better to wear and tear than their conventional counterparts, they must still be maintained like any other appliance. They can accumulate plaque (bacterial biofilm) responsible for tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease, so daily thorough cleaning is a must. And if there fit becomes loose they can be more difficult to reline or repair than other types of dentures.

They also share a common weakness with other dentures — they can’t prevent and may even stimulate bone loss. As bone ages, old cells dissolve and new ones form to take their place. As we eat and chew our teeth transmit the forces generated through the teeth to the bone to stimulate it to grow. RPDs and other dentures can’t transmit this stimulus, so the bone replaces much slower to the point that the bone volume can diminish.

That’s why it’s best to consider any RPD as a temporary solution until you can obtain an implant for a more permanent and bone-friendly option. In the meantime, though, an RPD can provide you with a great solution for both form and function for missing teeth.

If you would like more information on RPD choices, 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 “Flexible Partial Dentures: An Aesthetic Way to Replace Teeth Temporarily.”

By Tampa Dental Wellness of Westchase
September 04, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

If we could go back in time, we all probably have a few things we wish we could change. Recently, Dr. Travis Stork, emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors, shared one of his do-over dreams with Dear Doctor magazine: “If I [could have] gone back and told myself as a teenager what to do, I would have worn a mouthguard, not only to protect my teeth but also to help potentially reduce risk of concussion.”

What prompted this wish? The fact that as a teenage basketball player, Stork received an elbow to the mouth that caused his two front teeth to be knocked out of place. The teeth were put back in position, but they soon became darker and began to hurt. Eventually, both were successfully restored with dental crowns. Still, it was a painful (and costly) injury — and one that could have been avoided.

You might not realize it, but when it comes to dental injuries, basketball ranks among the riskier sports. Yet it’s far from the only one. In fact, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), there are some two dozen others — including baseball, hockey, surfing and bicycling — that carry a heightened risk of dental injury. Whenever you’re playing those sports, the ADA recommends you wear a high-quality mouth guard.

Mouthguards have come a long way since they were introduced as protective equipment for boxers in the early 1900’s. Today, three different types are widely available: stock “off-the-shelf” types that come in just a few sizes; mouth-formed “boil-and-bite” types that you adapt to the general contours of your mouth; and custom-made high-quality mouthguards that are made just for you at the dental office.

Of all three types, the dentist-made mouthguards are consistently found to be the most comfortable and best-fitting, and the ones that offer your teeth the greatest protection. What’s more, recent studies suggest that custom-fabricated mouthguards can provide an additional defense against concussion — in fact, they are twice as effective as the other types. That’s why you’ll see more and more professional athletes (and plenty of amateurs as well) sporting custom-made mouthguards at games and practices.

“I would have saved myself a lot of dental heartache if I had worn a mouthguard,” noted Dr. Stork. So take his advice: Wear a mouthguard whenever you play sports — unless you’d like to meet him (or one of his medical colleagues) in a professional capacity…

If you would like more information about mouthguards, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Athletic Mouthguards.”

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