DeWitt Dental Blog

Premier Dentistry for Denver, Cherry Creek & Englewood, CO

November 26, 2018

Woman listening to a seashellArcheologists have found evidence of tooth replacement as long as 5,000 years ago. Using pebbles or seashells, depending on location, peoples of the Bronze Age fashioned tooth-like objects to insert into the holes left by missing teeth. Clearly, even prehistoric cultures could see the value of a full set of teeth and used these objects to prevent issues such as adjacent tooth slippage, uneven tooth wear, and additional tooth loss. How they looked aesthetically and how long they lasted, however, likely left much to be desired for ancient peoples who were missing teeth.

Titanium Alloys

Today’s dental implants are made from titanium or titanium alloys. Stronger than steel but only slightly heavier than aluminum, titanium is resistant to corrosives, impervious to high temperatures, and able to withstand bite tension and force from chewing. Equally important, titanium is biocompatible, which allows the metal to be accepted by your jaw as a new tooth root.

Unlike pebbles and seashells, even unlike dentures and dental bridges, dental implants are inserted directly into the bone of the jaw. Once there, osteoblasts and connective tissues insert into microscopic holes on the surface of the implant, securing it into bone. This process, called osseointegration, is what allows dental implants to stay in place forever. It is their material, however, that prevents them from disintegrating or breaking, and allows them to continue providing a strong and reliable anchor for your replacement tooth.

During prehistory, a replacement tooth may have been whatever was closest at hand. Now, our Cherry Creek cosmetic dentists use advanced tooth replacement options including same day dental crowns, enabling us to restore damaged restorations during a single office visit. Our one-visit crowns are made of high quality ceramics that can be shaped, sized, and shaded to fit perfectly into your smile. When placed over a dental implant, these crowns can produce a beautiful and fully functional smile that you can feel absolutely confident in. Unlike dentures and bridges, dental implants are secured by bone and will not come loose, fall out, or otherwise fail when you need them. During your initial consultation at our Cherry Creek office, we can discuss this with you in greater detail to help you determine if dental implants are the best fit for you.

We Are Here to Help

At DeWitt Dental Associates, we want to make sure each of our patients is provided the services they need to achieve the strong, healthy, and attractive smiles they deserve. If you are missing one or more teeth, you could put a pebble in the hole and hope for the best - or you could call our office, schedule an appointment and learn how we can help.

And remember, if you have an HSA or FSA, now is the time to schedule oral surgery. Money left in these accounts will be lost forever on January 1st. Call us at 303-321-5656 to learn how you can put yours to good use.

DeWitt Dental Associates is a full-service family, general, neuromuscular, and cosmetic dentistry practice located in Cherry Creek. Our experienced and welcoming dentists serve all surrounding Metro communities including Littleton, Englewood, Highlands Ranch, and neighborhoods surrounding the Denver Country Club.

November 12, 2018

Man Smiling in Dentist Chair After Using HSA to Pay for TreatmentIf you have a flexible spending account (FSA) or a health savings account (HSA), now is the best time to schedule dental care. Most FSA and HSA plans reset at the beginning of the year, taking with them any unused money. To avoid losing money that you have saved for health care expenses, it is best to schedule planned or needed dental services before year’s end.

An FSA will cover dental expenses that are included in your dental insurance plan, while an HSA provides a bit more flexibility in terms of services. Most HSAs will cover any service that offers restorative benefits so long as the procedure is not strictly cosmetic. However, in either case, it is best to speak with your plan administrator before scheduling treatment to ensure your chosen procedure is covered by your benefits. In cases where it is not, we can discuss any available alternatives.

Dental Procedures Covered by FSA/HSA

While each plan is different and not all will include each of these services, a majority of HSAs and FSAs cover the cost of dental services including:

Our Cherry Creek dentists provide a range of tooth replacement and repair options such as dentures, dental implants, and dental bridges. Because we use CEREC technology to craft and customize natural-looking restorations onsite, we are able to complete these restorations in a shorter period of time, sometimes by several weeks, than many other offices in the area - and the dentists at DeWitt Dental Associates have advanced training in tooth replacement and restoration, enabling us to meet the specific needs of each patient by providing individualized care and personal attention.

If you have been considering a dental treatment in the Denver area, we welcome an opportunity to meet with you and better understand your needs. From there, we can discuss all treatment options and provide you with information about those services that may be covered by your HSA or FSA.

Other Payment Options

We work with several insurance companies as a PPO provider. Please check with your plan administrator to learn if DeWitt Dental Associates is in your network. If we are not or if you do not have insurance, we would be happy to discuss other payment options including:

  • Cash or check
  • Most major credit cards
  • CareCredit®

CareCredit is a credit card that can only be used for uncovered medical expenses. Unlike an FSA or HSA, you can use CareCredit for cosmetic dentistry services as well, covering expenses like porcelain veneers, teeth whitening, and complete smile makeovers with competitive rates including 0% APR for well-qualified candidates. You can apply for CareCredit by visiting their website or by picking up information from our office during your visit.

At Dewitt Dental Associates, we take every care to ensure our patients receive the highest quality services and the most attentive and welcoming treatment during each visit. We pride ourselves on our patient care and strive to provide a single-office in which all of your dental needs - cosmetic, restorative, and general - can be addressed. If you are looking for a dentist in Denver, please call 303-321-5656 to schedule a consultation today.

DeWitt Dental Associates is a full service dental office located in the Cherry Creek area of Denver. Our dentists serve all surrounding communities, including Capitol Hill, Washington Park, Montclair, Park Hill, and nearby neighborhoods.

October 03, 2018

This short SlideShare presentation explores some of the worst Halloween candies for teeth along with some options that may help preserve oral health. Take time this Halloween to educate your children not only on the best types of candy to eat, but on taking care of teeth after eating it as well. This will help guard against cavities and acid erosion.

Please remember, it is best to wait for 30 minutes after eating candy to brush teeth, but brushing should be done each time candy is consumed. It is best to instruct your children to only eat candy once a day, making it easier to maintain oral health in between. And don’t forget to visit our office every six months for cleanings and examinations. These allow us to detect signs of decay and provide swift treatment before minor issues become something of concern.

To schedule your next appointment at our Cherry Creek office, please call 303-321-5656. Our Denver dentists welcome people of all ages living throughout the Metro area.  

August 31, 2018

Fluoride is added to Denver’s water supply to help prevent cavities from forming in residents of the Mile High City. Studies have found that municipalities that add fluoride to drinking water see a great reduction in the prevalence of tooth decay - by as much as 31.6% - making the practice something that several agencies and organizations, including the Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, the American Public Health Organization, the American Dental Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics encourage.

Fluoride works topically to remineralize teeth. When added to toothpaste, this mineral - which is the 13th most abundant element on earth - serves to strengthen enamel and guard against decay. The infographic below explores this topic in greater detail. If you have questions or if you are overdue for a cleaning and examination, call DeWitt Dental Associates at 303-321-5656 to schedule your next appointment today.  

August 17, 2018
Denver Dentist | Tooth Whitening Specials

From August 20, 2018 - September 21, 2018, DeWitt Dental Associates will be running an End of Summer Tooth Whitening Special! If you are unhappy with the appearance of your smile, we encourage you to call our Cherry Creek office to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you achieve the bright and brilliant smile of your dreams.

Our End of Summer Special gives you an option between two methods of in-office teeth whitening:

Option 1: Life-Like In-Office Whitening Includes:

  • One complete in-office whitening session and a periodic examination for $199.00 (Regularly $375.00). Add take-home bleach trays and one tube of professional strength bleach for a total of $250.00(Regularly $415.00).

Option 2: Philips Zoom WhiteSpeed Light-Activated Whitening Includes:

  • One complete in-office whitening session with the innovative LED light, a periodic examination, take home bleach trays and professional strength bleach for a total of $395.00 (Regularly $550.00)

In-office tooth whitening can be accomplished in approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Please keep this in mind when calling to schedule an appointment to allow our Denver dentists sufficient time to brighten your smile.

With professional tooth whitening services, we can address stains caused by foods and beverages, the process of aging, and even tobacco. If your staining in severe, we may suggest additional services such as porcelain veneers or dental bonding for optimal results. During your initial consultation we can discuss these options as needed to help ensure you are provided with the most effective treatment possible.

If you are interested in learning more or if you are ready to schedule your appointment, call DeWitt Dental Associates at 303-321-5656 today. Located in Cherry Creek, we welcome patients from all Metro Denver areas.

August 08, 2018

When an adult tooth is knocked-out, it can likely be put back into place, but this dental emergency needs to be dealt with right away. The blood vessels and tissue that fed and secured the tooth cannot be saved. This places the responsibility of keeping the tooth safe squarely on your shoulders. Fortunately, preserving a knocked-out tooth is not incredibly difficult, but swift action is needed.

Please note: we make every effort to provide emergency dental services in the shortest amount of time possible, but DeWitt Dental Associates is not a 24/7 facility. If this is an after hours emergency, please visit the closest Urgent Care.

Cherry Creek Emergency Dentist | Steps to Save a Knocked-Out Tooth

Steps to Care for a Knocked-Out Tooth

Keep your tooth clean:

  • Only handle your knocked-out tooth by the crown. Be very careful to avoid touching the roots
  • Do not use a washcloth or any other cleaning implement to scrub your tooth. If it has become dirty, rinse it off, gently, with milk. If no milk is available, use a light stream of warm water
  • Do not scrub the tooth

Teeth that are not broken can often be placed back into the socket while you wait for your emergency dentistry appointment. If possible, gently slide the tooth back into place and leave it there until your dentist can address the issue. Be sure the tooth is facing the right way and be careful not to try and force it back into place.

If you cannot place the tooth back in the socket, take steps to keep your tooth moist:

  • Place the tooth in a glass of milk
  • If no milk is available, place the tooth between gum and cheek
  • If “cheeking” the tooth causes discomfort, spit in a cup and place the tooth in saliva
  • If nothing else is available, place the tooth in a cup of water

There are tooth preservation products you can purchase that will work to keep your tooth moist. These products can be useful if they are on hand, but saving a knocked-out tooth requires swift action. A trip to the store could push you past the 30-60 minute window you have for getting the tooth put back in place.

You will want to come into our office as soon as possible after a tooth gets knocked-out. Teeth that have been out for longer than 60 minutes may become impossible to put back in place. Once at our office, we will clean the socket, perform any needed treatments, and work to secure the tooth with a splint. The splint, made of soft wire and dental bonding, will need to stay in place for up to six weeks. Over this period, the tooth should reattach.

The success of this emergency dentistry service may not be known for three to six months. If the tooth fails to reattach or if infection is present, additional steps will need to be taken at this point.

What if My Tooth Can’t be Saved by Emergency Dentistry?

You have only a short window of time after having a tooth knocked-out to successfully have it put back in. If putting a tooth back in place is impossible, tooth replacement options can be discussed.

At Dewitt Dental Associates, we offer same day dental crowns, crafted with CEREC technology, that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. These crowns can be used for emergency dental bridges, allowing us to repair your smile during a single office visit. Dental implants can also be used to secure a crown, though the process is slightly longer.

When you come to our office for a dental emergency, all steps are taken to preserve the natural tooth. When this is not possible, we will discuss all other options and help you choose which method of tooth replacement will best meet your needs.

Are you having a dental emergency? Call DeWitt Dental Associates at 303-321-5656 right away. Located in Cherry Creek our emergency dentists welcome patients from all Metro Denver communities.

July 16, 2018

Tooth grinding (bruxism) is a serious problem that can result in long-term damage to your smile. The SlideShare below examines this oral health issue along with possible treatments and ways to prevent future occurrences.

If you are a tooth grinder, let DeWitt Dental Associates help. Call us at 303-321-5656 to schedule a consultation and learn more. Located in Cherry Creek, our teeth grinding treatment specialists serve all Metro Denver and surrounding Front Range communities.

July 11, 2018

Beer and Oral Health | Denver Cosmetic DentistAccording to Westword, within city limits, Denver has 55 breweries with taprooms that are open to the public. This does not include second locations or “gypsy breweries,” those with Denver addresses but out-of-city liquor licenses. Add those in and you get 66. And that number goes to 72 when you include second locations and larger breweries, all within a state that has hundreds of breweries throughout, acting as testament to our love of craft beer and craft beer culture.

If you are among the people in our state who love all things beer, you may eventually wonder, “What does beer do to my teeth?” That’s a reasonable question - and one with a fairly mixed answer.

Let’s start with the bad: beer contains acids that can quickly work to demineralize enamel, exposing dentin and increasing risks of sensitivity, infection, and decay. This is particularly true of sour beers, lambics, and red ales, but can be the case even with lighter beers like pilsner. Dark malty beers, while perhaps not as high in acid, can quickly stain and discolor teeth as well, allowing beers from all ranges to have at least some impact on oral health and beauty.

It’s not all bad news, however. Beer contains hops and hops have natural antibacterial properties that can help reduce bacteria in the mouth. Hops and malts, the other main ingredient in beer, contain silicon and calcium, minerals that are essential for healthy teeth. What’s more, beer has been shown to aid in digestion by controlling the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut. Moderate beer drinkers are also 40% less likely to develop kidney stones.

Tempering the Affect of Beer on Your Teeth

Clearly, beer offers both benefits and risks for oral health. So, while still enjoying a brew, how do you neutralize its impact on your teeth? Well, there are several ways:

  • Drink water while and after drinking beer
  • Select lighter, less acidic beers more frequently
  • Eat dark leafy greens while drinking beer
  • Only drink in moderation

And of course, brush after every meal and snack, floss both morning and night, and visit our Cherry Creek office every six months for cleanings and examinations. If beer has stained your teeth or eroded your enamel, our experienced dentists can help restore comfort and aesthetics, often in just one visit.

Call 303-321-5656 to schedule a consultation at DeWitt Dental Associates today. Located in Cherry Creek, we serve all surrounding Metro Denver communities.

June 15, 2018

Did you know that the average temperature for Denver, at this point in the season, is 79 degrees? While still hot, 79 seems almost balmy in comparison to the streak of 90+ degree days that Denver has recently experienced. And there is no indication that this trend is going to stop, meaning big business for the Mile High City’s many ice cream shops.

Denver boasts a number of unique ice cream parlors, many with interesting and unusual offerings alongside classics like chocolate and vanilla. These treats beckon on hot days - to adults and children alike - with the promise of something cold and satisfying. But what about the health of your teeth? Should worry about tooth decay keep you from enjoying ice cream this summer?

Denver Oral Health Questions | Is Ice Cream Safe?

Summer Treats. Summer Teeth.

How bad is ice cream for oral health? No worse than any other sugary treat - and much less than some.

The truth is, people with healthy teeth and gums should be able to enjoy ice cream in the same way they enjoy all other sweets: in moderation. Ice cream is soft and some of the sugar it contains can be rinsed off of the teeth by drinking water while and after consuming it. However, it is still best to brush your teeth within an hour of eating anything sugary. It is, in fact, best to brush your teeth after every meal and snack - ice cream or no.

While ice cream itself is not a huge oral health concern, many of the add-ons people put in and on this summertime treat are. Sticky and chewy foods and harder candy (or candies that harden when frozen) pose larger risks for tooth decay and may even damage restorations such as dental crowns. To reduce these risks, forego the gummy bears, candy-coated chocolates, English toffee, and other hard, sticky, or chewy additions and enjoy the treat in its simpler form.

Help! I’ve Damaged My Teeth!

Ice cream on its own should pose little to no risk for dental trauma. Sticky and hard candy, on the other hand, often do. If, while eating something sticky or frozen, you damage a veneer, crown, or other restoration, we can help. We offer emergency dental services for existing patients undergoing trauma as well as swift scheduling for new patients in need or dental care.

With advanced CEREC technology, we are able to produce same day dental crowns that look, feel, and function like your natural teeth, in addition to many other tooth-colored restorations. If you have damaged your teeth or an existing restoration, we welcome an opportunity to meet with you, discuss our many treatment options, and to help you find the best one for your needs.

If you live in the Metro Denver area and are in need of an experienced, caring, and effective dentist, please call DeWitt Dental Associates at 303-321-5656 today. Located in Cherry Hills, we welcome patients from all surrounding communities.

June 04, 2018

Oral Health and Systemic Health | Men's Health Month | Cherry Creek, COJune is Men’s Health Month and a great time to schedule a routine cleaning and examination with one of our experienced Denver dentists. Oral health is often overlooked in discussions about systemic health - as if the two things were somehow separate. But the truth is, oral health and systemic health are intricately linked, with each impacting the other in surprising ways.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease, is more prevalent in men than in women. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, men account for 56.4% of gum disease cases. For many men, this presents as gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease that is marked by red or swollen gum tissue that bleeds easily when brushed or scraped.

Gingivitis is easy to treat. In fact, many cases of this common oral health problem can be treated with a deep cleaning and more attention paid to your at-home routine. To fully treat gingivitis and prevent its recurrence, you must be committed to brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing at least once, and visiting our office every six months for professional cleanings. The addition of an antibacterial mouthwash may also be recommended, but this is different for each patient and, because mouthwash can also be harmful to oral health, should only be used when directed.

When left untreated, gingivitis will advance to periodontitis - and at this point, gum disease will begin posing serious health risks as well. Symptoms of periodontitis include:​

  • Chronic bad breath​
  • Persistent bad taste in the mouth​
  • Loose or shifting teeth​
  • Pus in between the teeth​
  • Gums pulling away from the roots of teeth​
  • Tooth loss

Oral health issues linked to periodontitis include jaw necrosis (bone death) which can result in a loss of bone in and around the jaw. This will result in facial collapse and shrinkage as skin adjusts to a loss of structural volume. Once lost, bone grafting will be necessary to rebuild those portions of the jaw.

Systemic Health and Gum Disease

In addition to jaw shrinkage and collapse, periodontitis is linked to a number of serious and potentially fatal systemic disorders and disease. Among these are:​​

  • Heart attack and stroke​​
  • Hypertension​
  • Kidney and liver failure​
  • Esophageal cancer​
  • Pancreatic cancer​
  • Dementia and Alzheimers

When a bacterial infection from the gums enters the bloodstream, bacteria can travel throughout the body with little to no impediment. This allows these bacteria to infect other parts of the body, increasing risks for a number of long-term health issues. Smokers and men who use alcohol excessively are at heightened risk, but anyone can develop gum disease if his oral hygiene routine is lacking.

This Men’s Health Month, detecting and treating gum disease may prove as important for your longevity as adopting a healthier diet and more progressive exercise routine. When committing to better health, truly commit. Take time this month to consider how all of your body’s systems work symbiotically - and take steps to protect each of these as they perform their individual and collective functions.

To schedule a cleaning and examination at DeWitt Dental Associates, please call 303-321-5656 and schedule your consultation today. Located in Cherry Creek, we serve men and women living throughout the Metro Denver area.