DeWitt Dental Blog

Premier Dentistry for Denver, Cherry Creek & Englewood, CO

March 11, 2019

Woman covering mouth

The keto diet (ketogenic diet) is a low-carb, high-fat diet that has grown in popularity over the past several months. Many people have found this type of eating can help with weight management. Many have also found it can come with a particularly unpleasant side-effect: “keto breath.”

Ketosis breath is typically described as smelling of acetone or ammonia and may come with a metallic taste in the mouth. Partially a result of ketones being released through respiration, this breath can make close encounters very uncomfortable and may even make some people feel ill.

The liver creates three types of ketones, one of which is acetone. While it is the least abundant, it is also the most volatile and is often excreted through the oral passageway. This type of keto breath is usually temporary and often subsides within the first few weeks of the diet. The second type, however, is a direct result of the foods favored in the keto diet.

VOCs

The types of food eaten on a keto diet can encourage halitosis in two ways:

  1. Excess protein is not always easily digested. Undigested protein fermenting in the gut will produce ammonia that can be fairly potent on the breath. Ammonia is also one of the ketones created by the liver. The only solution for this is eating less protein. The issue can be mitigated by chewing gum and frequent tooth brushing
  2. Volatile organic compounds (VOC), like those found in patients with black hairy tongue, can also cause bad breath in people on the keto diet. Bacteria will ferment protein sources stuck in between the teeth and in the crevices of the mouth. This fermentation process will produce volatile organic compounds, like sulfur, which cause halitosis. This issue can be treated through proper oral hygiene

Denver dentist Dr. Michael DeWitt and his team understand how embarrassing halitosis can be. When it is a consequence of dietary choices, changes in diet can make all the difference. When it is a consequence of poor oral hygiene, however, there are a number of things that may need to be done to address the issue.

Professional and Daily Care

The first step in battling halitosis is brushing your teeth. To do this:

  • Select a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Choose an appropriate fluoride toothpaste (i.e. No abrasives if you have veneers or crowns)
  • Brush for two minutes with a manual brush or one with an electric
  • Repeat when you wake, after every meal, and again before bed

Brushing alone will make a significant impact, but flossing should not be overlooked. Those protein sources stuck in between the teeth are the largest cause of VOCs and they are best removed with floss. Use a clean selection of floss to run from below the gum line to the tip of each tooth’s crown. Floss before you brush your teeth both morning and night.

Lastly, visit our Denver dentist for professional cleanings every six months to help keep halitosis and keto breath under control. During these visits, we will carefully clean all surfaces of your teeth and remove tartar and plaque from below the gum line. This helps keep the teeth optimally clean and can significantly reduce halitosis related to a protein-heavy diet. These visits also give us an opportunity to address underlying oral health issues like tooth infection, gum disease, and cavities that may contribute to chronic bad breath.

Contact our Denver Dentists

If you are ready to schedule an appointment, call Dewitt Dental Associates at 303-321-5656 today. Located in the Cherry Creek area, we welcome patients from Englewood, Highlands Ranch, Littleton, and all Metro Denver communities.

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February 14, 2019

A Drawing of a Dental Implant and Toth CrownDental implants are small titanium screws that are inserted into the jaw to replace missing tooth roots. Unlike other forms of tooth replacement, dental implants are secured into bone where they work to preserve jaw structure and create an immovable anchor for your final restoration.

If you are missing one or more teeth, DeWitt Dental Associates can help. Give us a call at 303-321-5656 to schedule your consultation at our Cherry Creek office today.

Comparing Tooth Replacement Options

Because they are secured by bone, dental implants enjoy several benefits over other forms of tooth replacement. Below, these benefits are explored in greater detail.

Dentures (Not “Implant Supported”)

  • Secured by: Adhesives
  • Prevent Jaw Shrinkage: No
  • Must be Periodically Adjusted: Yes
  • Life Expectancy: 1-7 years

Dental Bridge (Not “Implant Supported”)

  • Secured by: Adjacent teeth
  • Prevent Jaw Shrinkage: No
  • Must be Periodically Adjusted: Yes
  • Life Expectancy: 7-10 years

Dental Implants

  • Secured by: Bone
  • Prevent Jaw Shrinkage: Yes
  • Must be Periodically Adjusted: No
  • Life Expectancy: Lifetime

Dental implants do not rely on adjacent teeth for support. This helps reduce damage to healthy teeth and works to preserve as much of your natural smile as possible. Dental implants are also better able to prevent adjacent tooth slippage and accelerated tooth loss. Implant supported dentures and bridges serve a similar purpose and can make those restorations stronger, more reliable, and longer-lasting.

Are Dental Implants Right for Me?

Dental implants offer the longest-lasting and most reliable solution for tooth replacement, but they are not the best fit for every smile. If you do not have enough bone density to support an implant, bone grafting may be necessary. If you are not a good bone grafting candidate, a narrower or shorter implant may be an option, though these will not offer the same results as a full implant.

Additional considerations for dental implant candidacy include:

  • Your general health
  • Your oral health
  • Your willingness to follow pre and postoperative directions

Once an implant is placed it can be several months before it is ready to be restored. During this time, taking care of your implant will be essential for its longevity. Failure to properly care for teeth and gums after an implant has been placed may result in implant failure or additional tooth loss.

Of course, it’s impossible to tell if a surgical procedure is right for you without first meeting with a qualified and experienced dentist. Call DeWitt Dental Associates at 303-321-5656 to schedule your dental implants consultation and learn if this procedure is right for you.

February 05, 2019

Man Asleep in Dentist Office

Sedation dentistry, also known as “twilight” or “sleep” dentistry, is used to help patients find optimal comfort during and after their procedures. Sedation dentistry may be performed with oral medications, nitrous oxide, or intravenously (IV sedation), all of which enjoy an impressive safety record. It should be kept in mind that not every type of sedative is appropriate for every patient. This makes choosing an experienced and attentive sedation dentist an important step in protecting your health and happiness.

A Closer Look at Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas,” is an inhalational anesthetic, meaning it is administered by inhaling it. With both anxiolysis (anti-anxiety) and analgesic (painkilling) properties, laughing gas often works well for men and women with mild to moderate dental phobia or who require more pain relief than a topical or injected medication may offer.

Nitrous oxide is delivered via nasal cannula and can produce euphoria and relaxation within seconds. These effects wear off quickly, though, requiring a steady flow of nitrous oxide to maintain its relaxing and pain-relieving effects.

Hypoxia, a condition in which tissues in the body become deprived of oxygen, is the biggest risk with nitrous oxide. This risk has been countered through modern delivery methods that provide patients with nine percent more oxygen than found in ambient air. When performed by an experienced, qualified, and watchful sedation dentist, nitrous oxide is incredibly safe and effective for the treatment of dental anxiety and pain.

A Closer Look at IV Sedation

Intravenous sedation, commonly called IV sedation, involves delivering medications through a tube placed into a vein. These medications, like nitrous oxide, have both pain-relieving and anti-anxiety benefits.

IV sedation is often best for patients who suffer extreme anxiety or dental phobia, or for those who may be undergoing a more involved procedure. This method of dental sedation has a long and reliable history of safe and efficacious use, but The best way to learn if it would be ideal for you is through a one-on-one consultation with a sedation dentist at our comfortable and welcoming Cherry Creek office.

At DeWitt Dental Associates, patients receiving IV sedation can still breathe on their own, but vitals are carefully monitored throughout. Constantly vigilant, our sedation dentists remain aware of how the patient is responding, enabling us to take swift action should the need arise.

IV sedation is very safe when administered by a trained and experienced sedation dentistry team. During your initial consultation, we can discuss this in greater detail to help you determine if twilight dentistry is the best option for you.

Our Sedation Options

We offer nitrous oxide and IV sedation, but do not offer oral sedatives at this time. The types of dental sedation we offer have shown to be highly effective at producing optimal comfort for patients struggling with, among other conditions:

  • Dental phobia
  • General anxiety
  • TMJ
  • Very sensitive teeth
  • An overactive gag reflex

Sedation can be beneficial for anyone who finds dental visits uncomfortable - emotionally or physically - and can help those who avoid dental care get the services they need for peak oral health and beauty. If you have been avoiding the dentist out of fear, give us a call and schedule a sedation dentistry consultation where we can listen to your concerns, assess your candidacy for various types of sedation, and guide you towards the most effective solution to your needs.

Serving Metro Denver and all surrounding areas from our Cherry Creek location, please call DeWitt Dental Associates at 303-321-5656 to schedule your sedation dentistry consultation today.

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January 18, 2019

Nearly everyone aims to have a bright, white smile that portrays youth and vitality. There are various professional teeth whitening options available that can help you achieve the smile of your dreams. However, there are other at-home teeth whitening remedies that are gaining popularity, such as the use of charcoal. It's important to know the risks of this natural, at-home teeth whitening trend so you can help protect and maintain your healthy smile.

What is Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal is processed at extremely high temperatures, making it more porous than other types of charcoal. Typically containing charred bones, the shells or pits of certain fruits, coal, sawdust, or petroleum coke, activated charcoal has documented medical benefits for gut health. When consumed orally, activated charcoal absorbs toxins and chemicals, preventing them from being absorbed by the body. Due to its ability to attract toxins and chemicals, activated charcoal is commonly used in cases of poisoning.

Alternative healthcare professionals and bloggers have long touted the benefits of activated charcoal in gut health, particularly for acute treatment. But in recent years, some of these same professionals have begun to encourage its use as a tooth whitener as well - and this has a number of dentists concerned.

Is Activated Charcoal Good for Teeth?

Woman Brushing Teeth With Charcoal

In studies, activated charcoal has shown mixed results at best. Some anecdotal evidence suggests it may be about as useful as any abrasive ingredient at removing stains from teeth. Unfortunately, the minor benefits offered by activated charcoal are well overshadowed by its high potential for irreversible long-term damage. 

Fortunately, the benefits offered by activated charcoal are far from unique. In fact, you can get the same benefits by brushing with a whitening toothpaste, reducing your intake of dark foods and beverages, and following other steps to reduce staining. Water, for example, when consumed regularly throughout the day is one of the best ways to prevent staining.

No. Activated Charcoal is Not Good for Teeth

Charcoal is an extremely abrasive substance. When used as toothpaste, it can work its way into the inner layer of your teeth, called the dentin, ultimately damaging and removing enamel over time. In this way, activated charcoal actually works to yellow your teeth. Dentin is yellow in color and once exposed it cannot be treated with whitening products. The only way to address enamel damaged by charcoal is expensive cosmetic dentistry options like porcelain veneers.

Other long-term effects associated with using charcoal as a teeth whitening agent may include:

  • An uneven, blotchy appearance
  • Teeth are susceptible to deterioration and erosion
  • Gums and teeth become vulnerable to infection

You may lighten your teeth some, for a short period, with regular use of activated charcoal, but long-term use will likely damage teeth, cause irreversible yellowing, and lead to more involved cosmetic treatments.

Dangers of Activated Charcoal Tooth Whiteing Minfographic

A Better Option

Instead of opting for a teeth whitening solution that delivers inconsistent results while putting the health and beauty of your smile at risk, the dentists at DeWitt Dental Associates encourage you to learn about our professional teeth whitening solutions. We offer both in-office and take-home tooth whitening kits that actually work to lighten the shade of enamel and will not compromise the health of your teeth and gums. Better yet, results can be maintained with routine brushing and biannual visits to our Cherry Creek office for cleanings and examinations.

To fully determine which professional teeth whitening procedure is right for you, our experienced team will meet with you in person to discuss your oral healthcare goals and needs. Together, we will work to formulate your personalized treatment plan to help you get the smile you want to achieve.

If you are in the Denver area and would like to learn more about your teeth whitening options, give our office a call at 303-321-5656 to schedule your initial consultation.

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January 04, 2019

At DeWitt Dental Associates, our cosmetic dentists offer the strongest, most attractive, and most effective restorations for dental implants. Which one is best for your needs will be dependent on factors unique to your smile. To learn which dental implant restoration option will best restore strength and beauty to your smile, call our Cherry Creek office at 303-321-5656 and schedule a consultation today.

Dental Implant Anatomy Infographic

Dental Crowns

The most common restoration for single implants is a dental crown. At DeWitt Dental Associates, we offer same day dental crowns created with CEREC technology. These crowns are milled on-site and carefully crafted to match adjacent teeth in shape, size, and color, enabling our dentists to plan, produce, and place a customized restoration during a single office visit. Significantly faster than crowns milled by an offsite third-party that has never actually seen your smile, same day dental crowns are also exceptionally strong and may last for several years when cared for properly.

Dental crowns can be used to restore a newly placed dental implant or as an emergency restoration following damage to one already in place. Because they are made in our office, we can quickly and effectively replace damaged restorations to help you get back to normal as quickly as possible.

Dental Bridge

Dental implants can be used to secure a dental bridge in cases where more than one tooth is missing. In these cases, a bridge is attached to a dental crown placed over an implant on one or both sides of a gap. If a natural tooth is available on one side, it may be covered by a crown as well to prevent damage to tooth enamel. This is something that will be determined before the bridge is placed.

Because we mill our crowns on-site, we can place dental bridges during a single visit. As with all of our CEREC crowns, these will look, feel, and function like natural teeth. They are cared for just like natural teeth as well. Floss morning and night. Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste after every meal and snack. Further care instructions will be provided during your time our care. None of which are prohibitive or time consuming.

Dentures

Dentures can be secured to the jaw using strategically placed dental implants. In patients missing an entire arch of teeth, this may be the fastest and most effective option. Implant supported dentures are more reliable than those secured with adhesives and may even help prevent issues such as jaw shrinkage that can accompany missing teeth.

When an entire arch of teeth is missing, dentures offer the most comprehensive restoration. Implant supported dentures are still removable, utilizing either a clip or ball-and-socket attachment, but they can be fixed as well in patients who would benefit more from that option. During your time in our care, we will discuss all of your options and guide you towards the one that makes the most sense for your smile.

To schedule your dental implant restoration consultation, please call 303-321-5656 today. Located in Cherry Creek, DeWitt Dental Associates welcomes patients from all surrounding areas of Denver.

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December 19, 2018

Woman Sleeping in Dentist Chair. Sedation Dentistry.Sedation dentistry is used to calm anxious patients, to help quell dental phobia, and to provide comfort and relaxation during longer procedures. The type of sedation used for your procedure will be dependent on a variety of factors including your anticipated level of discomfort and your personal preferences. Before suggesting a specific method of sedation dentistry, one of our dentists will carefully listen to your concerns, assess your medical records, and guide you toward the most effective option for your needs.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is one of the most common types of dental sedation. Nitrous oxide is ideal for patients struggling with mild to moderate discomfort and can be advantageous because it does not require assistance to get home from your appointment. The effects of nitrous oxide rapidly wear off when the supply is cut off, though while it is being administered, a light euphoria can be expected.

Nitrous oxide is both an analgesic (pain reliever) and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety medication) that has few risks when administered properly by trained dental professionals. Dizziness is the most common side effect, though it should resolve shortly after the gas is shut off.

Nitrous oxide is a wonderful solution for some patients, but those who struggle with severe anxiety or dental phobia may need something more powerful. In these cases, some dentists turn to oral medications for “conscious oral sedation.” However, as with nitrous oxide, the patient is still awake and aware during procedures using oral sedation. At DeWitt Dental Associates, we address severe dental phobia and anxiety with IV sedation.

IV Sedation

Intravenous (IV) sedation is also known as “sleep dentistry” or “twilight dentistry.” With this option, medication is administered intravenously to produce a deep state of calm. It is unlikely that you will have any recollection of your procedure if you choose IV sedation due to the level of unconsciousness it produces. These effects can last for some time after your procedure making it important that you arrange a ride to and from our office if twilight dentistry will be performed.

DeWitt Dental Associates is state-licensed to administer IV sedation. Our highly trained and experienced medical professionals monitor patient vitals at all times during sleep dentistry procedures and take every care to ensure optimal safety and comfort. While IV sedation is deeper and more involved than nitrous oxide or conscious oral sedation, it has a long history of safety and efficacy. We can discuss this in greater detail along with your candidacy for IV sedation during your next visit to our office.

Is Sedation Right for You?

Sedation dentistry is a good solution for anxious patients. It can help address dental phobia and is very useful for those who avoid the dentist out of fear. Some types of dental sedation are also good solutions for:

  • Sensitive teeth
  • An overactive gag-reflex
  • TMJ

The best way to learn if sedation dentistry is right for you is through a one-on-one consultation with one of our experienced Denver sedation dentists.

If you believe sedation could help you feel more comfortable during your appointment, please call DeWitt Dental Associates at 303-321-5656 to schedule a consultation at our Cherry Creek office. Our compassionate and experienced dentists strive to provide a safe, comfortable and inviting experience for patients living throughout Metro Denver and in surrounding suburbs and communities.

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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.

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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.  

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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.  

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