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Posts for: July, 2017

By Karls Family Dentistry
July 22, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Is having good oral hygiene important to kissing? Who's better to answer that question than Vivica A. Fox? Among her other achievements, the versatile actress won the “Best Kiss” honor at the MTV Movie Awards, for a memorable scene with Will Smith in the 1996 blockbuster Independence Day. When Dear Doctor magazine asked her, Ms. Fox said that proper oral hygiene was indeed essential. Actually, she said:

"Ooooh, yes, yes, yes, Honey, 'cause Baby, if you kiss somebody with a dragon mouth, my God, it's the worst experience ever as an actor to try to act like you enjoy it!"

And even if you're not on stage, it's no fun to kiss someone whose oral hygiene isn't what it should be. So what's the best way to step up your game? Here's how Vivica does it:

“I visit my dentist every three months and get my teeth cleaned, I floss, I brush, I just spent two hundred bucks on an electronic toothbrush — I'm into dental hygiene for sure.”

Well, we might add that you don't need to spend tons of money on a toothbrush — after all, it's not the brush that keeps your mouth healthy, but the hand that holds it. And not everyone needs to come in as often every three months. But her tips are generally right on.

For proper at-home oral care, nothing beats brushing twice a day for two minutes each time, and flossing once a day. Brushing removes the sticky, bacteria-laden plaque that clings to your teeth and causes tooth decay and gum disease — not to mention malodorous breath. Don't forget to brush your tongue as well — it can also harbor those bad-breath bacteria.

While brushing is effective, it can't reach the tiny spaces in between teeth and under gums where plaque bacteria can hide. But floss can: That's what makes it so important to getting your mouth really clean.

Finally, regular professional checkups and cleanings are an essential part of good oral hygiene. Why? Because even the most dutiful brushing and flossing can't remove the hardened coating called tartar that eventually forms on tooth surfaces. Only a trained health care provider with the right dental tools can! And when you come in for a routine office visit, you'll also get a thorough checkup that can detect tooth decay, gum disease, and other threats to your oral health.

Bad breath isn't just a turn-off for kissing — It can indicate a possible problem in your mouth. So listen to what award-winning kisser Vivica Fox says: Paying attention to your oral hygiene can really pay off! For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can read the entire interview with Vivica A. Fox in Dear Doctor's latest issue.

By Karls Family Dentistry
July 21, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

You are struck in the face with a softball, and a large piece of your front tooth breaks off. You save it and take it to your dentist in dental crownsWaunakee, Dr. Stanley Karls. Unfortunately, the fracture is too big to repair with composite resin bonding. A dental crown is your best treatment option, says Dr. Karls. So here are some details on dental crowns, what they are made of and how your professional team at Karls Family Dentistry places them. Dr. Matthew Karls and Dr. Stanley Karls can restore fully your tooth's appearance and functionality!

What exactly is a dental crown?

A dental crown is one of dentistry's most frequent restorations, next to fillings and root canals, according to the American Dental Association. Made from ceramic, porcelain fused to metal or all-porcelain, a crown (or cap as it is sometimes called) completely covers and protects a tooth damaged by:

  • Tooth decay
  • Injury
  • Dental abscess (infection)
  • Congenital malformation

Crowns also restore dental implants and support fixed bridgework made of one or more adjoining artificial teeth.

What's the crown procedure like?

Let's take a heavily decayed tooth as an example. This restoration takes two appointments at Karls Family Dentistry. First, Dr. Karls visually inspects the condition of the tooth. He also X-rays it to determine if it is healthy enough to receive a crown.

With that decided, your Waunakee preparest the tooth and shapes the remaining healthy structure. He then takes oral impressions to send to an outside dental lab. In the meantime, the patient wears a temporary crown.

At the lab, the technician uses Dr. Karls' material of choice. With porcelain crowns, the technician ensures that the crown color will blend with the patient's surrounding teeth.

At the next appointment, the dentist removes the temporary cap and cements the permanent one in place. Also, Dr. Karls checks that the size, color and bite are absolutely correct, and the restoration is finished.

The American College of Prosthodontists, specialists in preserving and protecting compromised tooth structure, say that dentists in the United States place literally millions of dental crowns each year. These expert dentists stress that keeping your natural teeth is important to your personal appearance, speech, ability to eat and overall oral function. Dental crowns, along with tooth-colored fillings, onlays, and inlays (partial crowns) play a crucial role in keeping smiles healthy and long-lasting.

Caring for a crown

Once placed, a dental crown should last about ten years, regardless of what it's made of. Dr. Stanley Karls and Dr. Matthew Karls stress diligent brushing and flossing at home to avoid plaque build-up around the margins of the crown. They also ask their patients to come to Karls Family Dentistry twice a year for complete oral exams and hygienic cleanings. These easy strategies will preserve your crowns--and your entire smile for that matter.

Worried about a tooth?

Just contact Karls Family Dentistry in Waunakee, WI for a consultation with your friendly dentist. Call (608) 849-4100.

By Karls Family Dentistry
July 07, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   shingles  

If you had chicken pox as a child, you're at higher risk for a painful viral infection later in life called shingles. Besides a painful skin rash and other symptoms that can develop, shingles could also affect your dental care.

About 90% of children contract chicken pox, a disease caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), which usually clears up on its own. But later in life, usually after age 50, about a quarter to a third of chicken pox patients will develop shingles.

The onset of shingles usually produces an itching or burning sensation on the skin that's either numb or overly sensitive to the touch. A red rash may ensue with crusty lesions, accompanied sometimes by pain, fever and fatigue. The rash often forms a belt-like or striped pattern along one side of the face or body.

For most patients this painful rash is the extent of their symptoms. But women who are pregnant, patients undergoing cancer treatment or people with compromised immune systems are at risk for more serious complications if they contract the disease. It's important for these at-risk patients to obtain a vaccination, as well as avoid contact with anyone with shingles.

Which brings us to your dental care: in its early stages shingles can be contagious, the virus passing to others through skin contact or by airborne respiratory secretions. That's why it's important if you're currently experiencing a shingles episode that you let us know before undergoing any kind of dental work.  Even a routine teeth cleaning with an ultrasonic device could disrupt the virus and increase the chances of it spreading to someone else. We may need to postpone dental work until the virus is under control.

Antiviral drugs like acyclovir or famciclovir are highly effective in bringing the disease under control, especially if treatment starts within three days of the onset of symptoms. And don't forget the shingles vaccination: the U.S. Center for Disease Control recommends it for anyone 60 or older regardless of a past history with chicken pox.

See your physician as soon as possible if you begin to notice symptoms. Don't let shingles interfere with your life — or your dental care.

If you would like more information on the impact of shingles and similar viruses on dental care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.