I. Stephen Brown, DDS
(215) 735-3660

The Perio Group Blog

The Bright Future of NuCalm Sedation Dentistry

December 26th, 2012 by sbrown

NuCalm Brightens the Future of Sedation Dentistry

In traditional sedation dentistry, dentists use controlled substances to calm nervous patients. Fortunately, thanks to NuCalm dentists no longer need to use drugs to sedate their most anxious patients. NuCalm is a proven, safe, chemical-free, sedation-dentistry system. The dentist neither injects drugs into patients nor requires them to breath “laughing gas”. NuCalm system components consist of dietary supplements, a cranial electrical stimulation (CES) device, calming music with neuroacoustic sound, and light-blocking glasses that reduce distractions.

How NuCalm Works

At the beginning of a dental appointment, the dentist (or dental practitioner or hygienist) administers the NuCalm system through four steps:

1. The dentist gives the patient NuCalm proprietary chewable dietary supplements that contain only natural ingredients. These supplements are formulated to help the patient relax by counteracting the effects of adrenalin. A nervous person’s body produces adrenalin, which amplifies the nervousness.

2. The dentist places NuCalm microcurrent electrode patches behind the patient’s ears, connects wires from the electrodes to the CES device, and then turns it on. The low current helps the patient feel calm and happy.

3. The patient puts on NuCalm noise-cancelling headphones, and the dentist connects them to an MP3 player to play neuroacoustic software, which is mixture of soothing music and computer-generated sound. This neuroacoustic music and sound has been programmed to set the patient’s Alpha brain waves to a pre-sleep frequency, between 8Hz and 12Hz.

4. The patient puts on NuCalm light-blocking glasses, which can be either opaque or tinted. The light-blocking glasses limit visual distractions so the patient can relax more easily and completely.

The Benefits of NuCalm

The NuCalm system benefits both patients and their dentists. For example:

The near-sleep state induced by the NuCalm system keeps the patient remain calm and unafraid during a dental procedure. Therefore, the dentist can focus on the procedure without worrying about whether the patient is too nervous.

Though a patient who is in a near-sleep state can respond to a dentist’s vocal instructions, the patient otherwise ignores most of the procedure. A patient who ignores a procedure tends to worry less about it.

A fully relaxed patient is less likely to move unexpectedly. Therefore, injuries to the patient and dentist are less likely.

There is no recovery time after a procedure because the NuCalm system is drug free. Therefore the patient can drive immediately.

For many people, fear of dentistry is so intense it prevents their seeking adequate and timely treatment. People who avoid dental treatment for too long not only risk losing some or all teeth, they also risk other serious illnesses, including jaw infections and digestive disorders. Therefore, if you are fearful and reluctant, make an appointment with a dentist who uses the NuCalm sedation-dentistry system. You will find that you can experience pleasant, stress-free dentistry.

Dr. Brown Talks about LANAP on The Wellness Hour Show, hosted by Randy Alvarez

December 17th, 2012 by sbrown

Because so many of you have expressed an interest in learning more about LANAP PROTOCOL and the benefits to patients looking for an alternative to conventional periodontal surgery, I am enclosing a link to an interview I recently completed about this revolutionary procedure for The Wellness Hour Show, hosted by Randy Alvarez.

The presentation covers frequently asked questions about LANAP. In sprite of broad acceptance, questions about treating gum disease with a laser still remain. I am proud to have been the first to bring this technology to Philadelphia. I hope that sharing the show will answer your questions and open your eyes to the amazing possibilities of LANAP.

I encourage you to consider this unique alternative to traditional gum surgery for yourself, a close family member, or patients you know who are undergoing or have been recommended for traditional cut and sew gum surgery. The results have been extraordinary and most importantly, patients tell us they have minimal discomfort, and none of the trauma associated with traditional gum surgery.

Better yet: You can view video testimonials on our website by patients who have experienced this revolutionary approach to treating gum disease. Or, if you would like to speak to a patient, we will be happy to provide you with contact information of patients who are ecstatic with the results of their treatment.

I welcome your feedback, comments, and questions. I hope you’ll share the video with your family, friends and loved ones who might benefit from this treatment.

This therapy is truly a win/win for everyone!

 

Warm Regards,

Dr. Steven Brown

The Lowdown on Implant Supported Dentures

December 11th, 2012 by sbrown

Do you currently wear dentures? Are you tired of the hassle and fuss?  Would you like to eliminate denture adhesives from your life? Maybe you are considering dentures as a tooth replacement option. There is something better new denture design: implant-supported dentures.  Because they are amazingly comfortable and secure, they alleviate most of the issues that make regular dentures unacceptable. This means you spend less time worrying about your smile and more time enjoying life!
What Is It?
Implant-supported dentures are most frequently used in the lower jaw because lower dentures are much less stable. This is because the movement of the tongue displaces the denture. However, implant-supported dentures can be made to secure upper or lower dentures.
The dentures are made to look exactly like the gums of your mouth and the porcelain teeth are very cosmetically pleasing. The best part is that the dentures don’t rub, slip or become displaced when you eat or speak.
The Implant Process
Implants, used to support the denture are gently placed in the jawbone. Jawbone has NO NERVES so there is NO PAIN! The number of implants needed to support the denture varies based on individual factors. Usually two to four implants are sufficient. There is no need for an implant to replace each missing tooth.
The time frame to complete the implant process also depends on many factors.  Depending on a number of factors, the time frame from the implant process to insertion of the denture is approximately 3- 4 months. At no time will you be without teeth!
What Can You Expect From Your Implant-Supported Denture?
Initially you will notice first how much more stable the implant-supported denture is than a regular denture.  You will also have an easier time speaking, with less worrying about the denture coming loose and slipping out of your mouth.  You will immediately be able to eat foods that you could not eat before. Fresh, crisp apples, corn on the cob and other foods you crave will be available to you.
With upper jaw implant-supported dentures, you will also notice a much more natural feel because the denture will no longer need to cover the roof of your mouth. This results in an entirely new and improved taste and feel of your food.

Contact us today to find out more about implant-supported dentures and to schedule a consultation.

Cosmetic Gum Surgery Can Restore a Brilliant Youthful Smile

November 29th, 2012 by sbrown

Surgery of any type can cause apprehension. However, cosmetic gum surgery performed by a qualified cosmetic dentistry expert is relatively simple and can greatly improve the appearance of your smile.

Cosmetic surgery is the best solution for two types of problems: The “Long Tooth Look” and the appearance of a “Gummy Smile.” These conditions are usually caused by aging, gum disease or poor oral hygiene. They are likely to become progressively worse with age. Cosmetic gum enhancement can also help people with collapsed gums in the area of a missing tooth, blackened areas between crowns and bridges, and tooth sensitivity caused by receding gums.

The “long tooth” look may be caused by receding gums or a bad bite. As we age, unhealthy gums often shrink and recede. This can leave your teeth overexposed at the gum line.

The “gummy smile” is caused by excess gum tissue, which causes the teeth to appear too short. People with a gummy smile often feel self-conscious about the amount of visible gum tissue when they smile.

How is Cosmetic Gum Surgery Performed?

The two main types of cosmetic gum procedures used to correct the long tooth look and the gummy smile differ. The gummy smile corrective treatment gently reduces the excess gum. The cosmetic dentist may use a laser to perform this type of gum enhancement, or the excess tissues may be “manicured” to achieve the desired result.

The procedure for correcting the long tooth look is an additive procedure in which healthy tissue is added in areas where it is needed. The result is a more natural looking gum line.

Will I Be Awake for This Procedure?

There are two possibilities: You may have these cosmetic procedures done in a series of office visits, or all at once. They are performed with a local anesthetic (Novocaine). There is no pain! For those patients who have fears surrounding dental work, we offer light sedation dentistry (twilight sleep). You will awaken fresh without pain, and NO memory of the procedure.

What should I do first?

Before undergoing any type of cosmetic gum surgery, discuss the procedure thoroughly with us. This procedure may be just one aspect of an overall plan with several components to improve your smile. Cosmetic gum surgery might be complimented with other cosmetic dental procedures to get your smile looking its best.

Oral Health Mirrors Overall Health

November 26th, 2012 by sbrown

The Health of Your Mouth Mirrors Your Overall Health
Your mouth is a mirror that reflects your overall health and well-being, according to Donna E. Shalala in the Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health. It’s also a key determinant of your nutritional status and your self-esteem. “Oral health means more than sound teeth. Oral health is integral to overall health,” she said.

The report, which was the first that the U.S. Surgeon General has undertaken to assess the nation’s oral health, is intended to “alert Americans to the full meaning of oral health and its importance to general health and well-being.”

But what is oral health?
First of all, the word “oral” refers to the mouth, which includes not only the teeth and gums and their supportive tissues, but also the roof and the floor of the mouth (the hard and soft palate), the tongue, the lining of the mouth and the throat (called the mucosa), the lips, the salivary glands, the upper and lower jaws, and the chewing muscles. Oral health also involves the branches of the nervous system, the immune system and the vascular system (blood vessels) that serve this part of your body.

So consequently, oral health means more than just being free from cavities and gum disease. Oral health, the report states, means overall health in the tissues that “allow us to speak and smile; sigh and kiss; smell, taste, touch, chew and swallow; cry out in pain; and convey a world of feelings and emotions through facial expressions.”

Oral health and overall health—an intricate interrelationship
The health of the oral tissues is indicative of the health of organs and systems throughout your body. Your dentist and other healthcare providers can gather an enormous amount of information about your overall health simply by examining these tissues.

  • A thorough oral exam can uncover nutritional deficiencies, microbial infections, immune disorders and some forms of cancer.
  • Clues to a disease can be discovered by analyzing saliva under a microscope.
  • Facial nerves have counterparts elsewhere in the body.
  • The jaw bones and jaw joint function like other musculoskeletal regions of the body.

Conversely, research is showing us that disease within the mouth—especially periodontal (gum) disease—is connected to ailments throughout the body. Infections in the mouth are a gateway for disease-causing bacteria to enter the bloodstream and provoke a number of diseases, including:

  • Heart disease and stroke
  • Respiratory infection
  • Diabetes
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Low birth weight or premature births

The answer?
Decay (also called caries or cavities) and periodontal disease are the most common, widespread dental diseases. They’re also the most preventable. Community prevention programs, such as fluoridated drinking water, dental hygiene instruction in schools, nutrition education, and tobacco cessation programs, save billions of dollars per year in public health costs, according to the report. And best of all, they help most people keep their natural teeth for a lifetime.

Source – “Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General”

 

Dr. Brown Addresses Dental Anxiety

November 12th, 2012 by sbrown

Perhaps there is no other healthcare profession like dentistry that has the unfortunate (and false) reputation causing pain rather than preventing or eliminating it. For all the good that dentists do to improve our well-being, there are many patients with fears about sitting in the dentist’s chair. But whatever the reasons, there are countless people (young an old), who have dental anxiety.

For your teeth’s sake, there are ways to combat dental anxiety, a condition sure to cause cavities. If positive reinforcement, learning to control fear and other behavior management techniques don’t do the trick, dental sedation could ease your mind and allow you to get your teeth cleaned.

What would it be like to snooze through your dental appointment and not even remember that you were here?

It sounds like it comes from the dream book of every anxious dental patient and yet it is here. Today with just a few small pills it is possible to have safe, comfortable dental care while you snooze. Not awake, yet not asleep. No intravenous needles. No general anesthesia. No anxiety, No pain.

Sedation can occur through inhalation (nitrous oxide aka laughing gas), intravenously or orally through a pill or liquid. All of these are safe and can address most forms of dental anxiety by allowing you to get dental work done and simultaneously relieving the anxiety you feel inside.

Usually these forms of sedation are used in combination with a local anesthetic (Novocaine), to insure maximum comfort. These methods relieve stress and allow you to have a healthy smile without all of the worry.

Other dental and medical professionals, with whom I have discussed this approach, leave our office amazed that such a gentle and safe method could accomplish so much. They observe first hand, an extremely nervous patient go for a snooze and have all of their dentistry done painlessly. This method is especially suited for having most of your necessary dental procedures done in a minimum number of visits.

If you, or anyone who you care about, family of friends, would like to have any dental care done while snoozing, we would be glad to help. Our whole staff has been expertly trained to make your dental visits easy and comfortable.

Our team is unconditionally committed to providing your dental needs in a nurturing, caring and stress and anxiety free manner. Your comfort is our “Job Number One!”

Taking Advantage Lanap: Non-Surgical Periodontal Disease Treatment

November 5th, 2012 by sbrown

Lanap

Since the mid 80’s, I anticipated that lasers would play a major role in the non-surgical treatment of periodontal disease. More than 20 years ago, I took my first laser course in San Francisco, with American Dental Lasers.

In addition to promoting the laser’s potential to deliver non-invasive surgery, early lasers were marketed as an effective tool for sterilizing the pocket and killing the bacteria, which invade the soft tissue lining of the pocket.

Lasers were purported to detoxify the cementum of the root as well. It sounded great, but the marketing hype was not supported by my clinical experience. And, what was more troubling was that there were no published papers in refereed journals evidencing credibility for this approach.

I’m writing to tell you that the wait is over, the time is now, and we have at our finger tips, a powerful tool that was unimagined in the past! The “Gold Standard” Periodontists have been looking for since the specialty began is “New Attachment,” which means regeneration of lost Bone, Cementum and Periodontal Ligament.

I feel confident that my professional colleagues would not characterize me as a therapeutic “Cowboy.”  I value my professional and academic reputation too much to embrace controversial technologies or recommend unproven treatment methods to my patients, my colleagues, or my students.

For some years, I have been treating advanced periodontal disease with a laser rather than a scalpel!

We have been using LANAP, an FDA approved, patented laser protocol. The technique features a free running Nd:Yag laser, which has been proven to achieve pocket reduction and true periodontal regeneration. In short LANAP reverses, controls and corrects periodontal disease without a knife!

What is truly amazing is that patients experience virtually none of the postoperative pain and excessive gingival recession associated with traditional pocket elimination surgery.

Laser periodontal treatment is efficient and can be delivered in just a few visits.  Patient acceptance of this revolutionary approach to the management of periodontal disease is near 100%. Many of the patients referred, have either refused traditional surgery, have periodontal disease that has proven resistant to conventional treatment, or have medical issues, which preclude the usual invasive forms of surgical intervention.

But, don’t take my word for it! In 2007, Dr. Raymond Yukna published the results of a human block section study in the prestigious International Journal of Periodontics and Restorative Dentistry. Human block sections represent the highest level of research evidence. In every case, he observed gains of new attachment.

This article represents the quality science supporting the considerable benefits of this FDA approved and patented alternative to traditional periodontal surgery. A trusted friend and mentor, Ray Yukna, the principal investigator of this treatment method, is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Periodontics at the University of Colorado. His credentials as a researcher and educator are unparalleled.  

I am pleased to be the First Dentist in Philadelphia to offer this amazing new treatment modality, which offers the most effective alternative to conventional periodontal surgery to come along since I have been in practice.

 

I. Stephen Brown, DDS, FACD, FICD

A Confident Smile Can Change Your Day!

October 25th, 2012 by sbrown

Give them a smile: a happy, friendly, and genuine smile. Go ahead, flash it; its contagious, it’s infectious, it’s the universal expression of happiness.  A simple smile can change someone’s day.

Some people are a little nervous about smiling. They don’t think their smile looks good, or they think that too much smiling might look unprofessional or signal vulnerability. No matter how professional, intelligent, or “together” you think a serious face appears; people almost always respond more favorably to a smile. A great smile can be your greatest personal asset.

We all know of someone who has an “infectious” smile.  Infectious smiles always start with confidence.  If you’re not 100% confident in your smile, we’re here to help. “Smile Makeovers” are our specialty at The Perio Group.

While our first concern is keeping your teeth and gums as healthy as possible, we have the tools and the training to provide you with an enhanced smile that gives you confidence and one you’re excited to share with others.

Would you like to make a dramatic improvement in your appearance without taking any extreme measures? A smile makeover can provide you with a straight, even and exceptionally bright smile that feels as great as it looks.

A smile makeover takes into consideration your facial appearance, skin tone, hair color, teeth (color, width, length, shape and tooth display), gum tissue and lips to develop your ideal smile. Smile makeovers are performed for many reasons and customized according to your unique considerations.

A beautiful smile is an asset beyond measure. White, well-shaped teeth will make you look fantastic, feel better about yourself, and show others the real you. Complete smile makeovers change patients’ appearances and lives!

We’re more than happy to discuss the many options available to help you achieve a smile worth sharing and a smile that will change someone’s day, including your own.

Can My Headaches Be Caused By My Teeth?

October 22nd, 2012 by sbrown

People who experience recurrent headaches are often diagnosed as having TMJ Dysfunction. TMJ is an umbrella term which refers to acute or chronic inflammation of the Temporomandibular Joint, which connects the mandible (lower jaw) to the skull. The disorder and altered function that often accompanies it can result in significant pain and impairment. These problems often include jaw joint pain, clicking, dislocation, chronic headaches, sinus problems and even loss of hearing.

What Causes TMD?

The cause of TMJ Dysfunction is not clear, but dentists believe that symptoms arise from problems with the muscles of the jaw or with the parts of the joint itself.

Injury to the jaw, temporomandibular joint, or muscles of the head and neck – such as from a heavy blow or whiplash – can cause TMD. Other possible causes include:

 

 

Some common symptoms of TMD include toothaches, headaches, neck aches, dizziness, earaches, hearing problems, upper shoulder pain, and ringing in the ears (tinnitis).

A study headed by a well-respected researcher from the University at Buffalo’s School of Dental Medicine, showed that examiners could reproduce tension-headaches in eighty- two percent of subjects, by performing a comprehensive clinical examination, including palpation of the temporalis muscle, one of the key chewing muscles involved in TMJ Disorder.

Diagnosis for TMJ requires an examination by a physician or dentist who has advanced training and expertise in the area of head and neck pain.

If you experience any of the symptoms such as those listed in this article, you may be just an appointment away from being headache and pain free. Call us for a comprehensive examination. We can assist you in finding relief from these vexing symptoms.

Some worthwhile links you may want to use:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001227.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/tmj-disorders/DS00355/DSECTION=symptoms

Why You Should Get An Early Screening for Oral Cancer

October 19th, 2012 by sbrown

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer can develop anywhere in or around the mouth and has been identified as a variety of cancers associated with the head, neck, and associated anatomic structures.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer

Often there is no obvious explanation as to why one person gets oral cancer and others do not. However, dental medicine has identified several factors that are intimately associated with increased risk of oral cancer.

  • Tobacco and Alcohol Use: The majority of cases of oral cancer are related to tobacco and alcohol use. Approximately 90% of people who develop mouth cancer are tobacco users. Smokers are 6 times more likely than nonsmokers to develop cancer of the mouth. Those who drink alcohol are also 6 times more likely to develop oral cancer than those that don’t drink. Individuals who smoke AND drink are 15 times more likely to develop mouth cancer!
  • Sun Exposure: Excessive exposure to the sun can contribute to the development of lip cancer.  Consistent use of sunscreens and hats with a brim are often helpful in prevention. Smoking also substantially increases the probability of lip cancer.
  • History of throat or neck cancer: People who have been diagnosed with another form of throat or neck cancer are more likely to develop a second cancer in the region. A family history of head and neck cancer also statistically increases the probability of a similar diagnosis.
  • HPV (Human Papilloma Virus): The most sexually transmitted virus in the USA is now one of the primary risk factors. It is thought that this may be related to oral-genital contact.

 

Importance of Early Detection

Mouth cancers have a higher percentage of deaths per number of cases than breast cancer, melanoma and cervical cancer. However, overall survival rate is close to 60%. Survival rates with early discovery can be as high as 90%, thus the time line of detection is extremely important.

Since cancer is so prevalent in the mouth, in an effort to protect our patients we provide Vizilite Plus, Oral Cancer Screening. This is a painless, fast, and non-invasive test. An annual ViziLite Plus exam, in combination with a regular visual examination, provides a comprehensive oral screening and prevention procedure for patients at increased risk for oral cancer.

 

Some worthwhile Links you may want to use:

http://www.webmd.com/cancer/oral-cancer

http://oralcancerfoundation.org/