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

The Perio Group Blog

Infection Control – Your Safety is Our Concern!

April 3rd, 2013 by sbrown

As you are probably aware, there is widespread news coverage involving the investigation of an Oklahoma oral surgeon for allegedly poor infection control practices.

I want you to assure you that in my periodontal and dental implant practice, we have in place significant infection control procedures.

– All staff are trained beyond state regulations, and undergo continuous infection control education and certification. We utilize hand washing, single use gloves, masks, eye ware, and gowns as necessary.

– We try to utilize disposable items, and after being used, they are placed in special containers for monitored disposal.

– Surgical instruments are cleaned and sterilized with a steam autoclave under heat and pressure. All items are bagged with chemical indicators and the autoclave is regularly spore tested to verify it is working correctly.

– We use sterile water and water that is distilled and treated on site. We also utilize water testing to check the water lines in the dental units.

– Before you enter the room and sit in the dental chair, all surfaces (dental chair, tray, dental light, handles, countertops care cleaned, disinfected, and plastic covers are placed as appropriate.

– Your well-being is the priority of my staff and me.

If you have any questions please call me at your earliest convenience so I can get you an answer.

Sincerely,

I. Stephen Brown, DDS, FACD, FICD

Identifying the Main Causes of Tooth Loss

March 12th, 2013 by sbrown

Tooth loss is a traumatic experience, regardless of how it occurs. Teeth are a major part of our lives, from chewing the food we need to digest, to enhancing a smile with a strong showing of self-confidence. While it can be a very hard time in your life, the exciting news is that modern day advanced dentistry allows you several options when considering the replacement of missing teeth.

 

Dental (Periodontal) Diseases

Periodontal diseases are regarded as the most common cause of tooth loss today. The word periodontal means around the tooth, signifying the typical location of the infection.

There are many key factors that contribute to periodontal disease, most specifically daily habits that would affect the teeth. To be more specific, the disease is caused by bacteria that, along with mucus and other particles, form plaque on our teeth. While daily cleaning of our teeth such as brushing or flossing helps remove plaque, it does not remove plaque that has hardened into tartar. While it’s true that a professional cleaning done by a dentist or hygienist can remove tartar, there is still a risk to your health if tartar is prevalent for too long.

Traditional treatment for periodontal disease requires blade surgery, extensive recovery time, and often leaves patients with scarring in the tissue affected. Dr. Brown is proud to offer the use of LANAP, a non-invasive laser gum treatment which serves as an alternative to traditional periodontal surgery.

To read more about periodontal disease, visit the section of our website dedicated to identifying and solving dental disease.

Trauma

Odds are high that you have experienced trauma to a tooth in your lifetime. Whether it’s from a sports incident when younger, or an accidental misplacement of your feet, any blunt force to the teeth often result in chipping or breaking off a tooth.

While trauma usually indicates a direct effect to the teeth itself, it can also mean as a result of outside influences affecting the jawbone, or other areas around the teeth. Individuals who have had defects of the jaw bone, such as following surgery or in an automobile accident, often require surgery to repair loss of jaw bone volume, which is often compounded with tooth replacement.

To learn more about how Dr. Brown helps individuals with tooth loss, visit the dental implants subsection of our website.

Congenital absence

The primary cause of congenital absence of teeth is widely debated, but is often agreed upon as being hereditary. How it comes to be is typically after a baby tooth falls out and there is no tooth to replace it. The teeth most often affected are the upper jaw lateral incisors and premolars.

You’ll often find that it is specific teeth affected by congenital absence, but in certain cases all permanent teeth are missing, making a full set of replacement teeth the solution.

 

Conclusion

There are many causes for missing teeth, but that doesn’t mean you have to live your life without them. It’s recommended to take steps to prevent teeth from falling out, but in the event of missing teeth, feel free to contact my Philadelphia office to discuss your options.

 

Recently Ranked #1 Dentist in Philadelphia County

February 12th, 2013 by sbrown

Dr. Brown is proud to have recently been recognized as the number one dentist in Philadelphia County. This is determined by the following categories: Accolades, Knowledge, Quality of Care, Respect/Influence, and Price.

This is only an encouragement to continue onward with complete patient satisfaction as Dr. Brown’s focus. If you have any questions regarding how Dr. Brown’s knowledge can positively effect your life, contact us and set up your appointment today.

OraVerse: Can Numbness Be Reversed?

February 4th, 2013 by sbrown

Ask your dental professional.


OraVerse®, a local anesthetic reversal agent has become a new staple of dental procedures which employ one of many available local anesthetics such as Novocaine.

If you’ve had a local anesthetic administered to numb your mouth for a routine dental procedure, you know how its numbing effects can sometimes last for hours after the procedure. Numbness can be limiting, affecting your speech, your smile, and your ability to drink. You may even catch yourself drooling. But now, as a result of the latest clinical research, you can get back to feeling normal faster than ever before, following your dental visit.

OraVerse®, is the first product of its kind to rapidly and effectively reverse the effects of local dental anesthetics. Typically, anesthetics can cause numbness for 3-5 hours after a procedure. OraVerse® can cut that time in half! That can potential provide hours more of your day that you can have back, free from the persistent numbness. It is approved for children and adults ages 6 and older.

The injection (administered immediately after the completion of the dental procedure) is pain free because it is given while the anesthetic is still in effect. There are no known side effects to using OraVerse® and can be used by almost anyone after his/her dental procedure.  Ask us if OraVerse®can be used in your next visit!

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!”