DeWitt Dental Blog

Premier Dentistry for Denver, Cherry Creek & Englewood, CO

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.

May 25, 2018

There are an overwhelming number of tooth whitening products available through retail stores, some of which don’t work well at all. There are myriad claims made about foods that whiten teeth, or oil pulling for tooth whitening, or using activated charcoal to brighten your smile, but these treatments range from mildly effective to useless and, in the case of charcoal, downright dangerous. So how can you determine which teeth whitening option is best for you?

The short quiz below can help you determine which type of staining you have and which options for tooth whitening may be best for your needs. If, after taking the quiz, you have questions for our cosmetic dentists, call DeWitt Dental Associates at 303-321-5656 to schedule your consultation today.

May 10, 2018

In most cases, sedation dentistry refers to one of two things:

  • Oral sedation, which is accomplished with prescription medication
  • Nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas”

These types of dental sedation work quite well for many patients, enabling those who struggle with issues such as dental phobia, sensitive teeth, or TMJ to enjoy a pain and stress-free experience. However, some patients cannot find comfort while still conscious regardless of the typical efficacy of medications administered. For these patients, deeper IV sedation may be the best solution.

Benefits of IV Sedation

IV Sedation Denver | Sedation Dentist Cherry CreekIV sedation is typically administered in mild to medium doses. These doses allow for deep relaxation without putting the patient to sleep. Even though awake, this level of sedation allows for little if any memory of the procedure.

For particularly nervous, fearful, or sensitive patients, we may recommend deeper IV sedation. With this option, the patient is placed in a  sleep-like state for the entirety of the procedure. While under this level of IV sedation, there is no awareness of the sights, sounds, smells, or actions taking place, and no memories of the procedure upon waking.

During your initial consultation at our Cherry Creek office, we will listen to your concerns, review your medical history, and help you choose the type of dental sedation best suited to meet your needs.

IV Sedation Safety Concerns

Injury from IV sedation is extremely rare. Leading risks include respiratory depression, which is typically a result of over-sedation, and hematoma formation at the site of needle placement. Studies into risks associated with IV sedation in dentistry have found that at-risk groups tend to be those with existing health conditions. We will carefully review your medical history before recommending IV sedation to help protect you against these risks.

At DeWitt Dental Associates, deep IV sedation is administered by a nurse anesthetist to help ensure patient safety. Vitals are constantly monitored while under sedation as well, enabling us to react appropriately should issues arise.

DeWitt Dental Associates is State-Certified to provide IV dental sedation.

What’s Best for You

We offer a range of sedation dentistry options to meet the needs of each patient. Our IV sedation certification enables us to offer deeper sedation than most Denver-area dental offices,  though we continue to offer milder nitrous oxide and conscious oral sedation options as well. It is our goal to meet the exact needs of each patient. We look forward to meeting with you to discuss your needs and to help you determine if sedation dentistry is the best fit.

To schedule your consultation at our Cherry Creek office, please call 303-321-5656 today. DeWitt Dental Associates serves the Metro Denver area and all surrounding communities.

April 16, 2018

Treating Black Hairy Tongue | Cherry Creek Cosmetic DentistsBlack hairy tongue. The name alone is fairly awful, and the condition it describes, at least visually, lives up to the name. But what, exactly, is black hairy tongue?

Projecting from the tip, sides, and top of your tongue are lingual papillae. These papillae have taste buds at their tip, enabling you to experience all five known tastes: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami. Typically flesh-colored, lingual papillae are essentially unnoticeable under nearly all circumstances.

Just like all cells in your body, papillae are designed to grow, serve their function, and die off to allow new growth. Lingual papillae shed once their purpose has been served but, just like cells elsewhere in the body, they do not always do what they're supposed to do. When lingual papillae continue to grow, they can reach 15x their normal size, producing the look of hair on the tongue.

It is the papillae that comprise the “hairy” part of black hairy tongue. But what makes them change color?

  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Bacteria
  • Yeast

Black hairy tongue is somewhat of a misnomer: sometimes the color changes caused by foods and beverages, bacterial growth and yeast overpopulation are more greenish or yellow in color. Other colors, such as brown, red, and even purple are not impossible, but any lasting change in the color and texture of the papillae will fall under the same black hairy tongue umbrella.

Highly visible, black hairy tongue can result in issues with self-esteem and confidence. And it can last for months or even years. Accompanying the unsettling appearance of a discolored tongue, this condition may also result in:

  • Chronic bad breath
  • Glossopyrosis (burning sensation)
  • Gagging
  • A metallic taste in the mouth
  • Frequent nausea
  • A tickling sensation in the mouth

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or if your tongue has taken on a new and unsettling color, please call DeWitt Dental Associates at 303-321-5656 to schedule a consultation today. Located in Cherry Creek, we serve all surrounding Metro Denver communities.

How is Black Hairy Tongue Treated?

Black hairy tongue is almost entirely caused by lifestyle choices. While more common in men, some of the leading causes of this embarrassing condition are:

  • Tobacco use
  • A poor oral hygiene routine
  • Dehydration
  • Excessive consumption of coffee or tea
  • Excessive consumption of red wine
  • Using medications containing bismuth
  • Using a mouthwash containing peroxide, witch hazel, or menthol

Using a mouthwash with peroxide, witch hazel, menthol, or alcohol can also damage the bonding that holds restorations, such as one-day-dental-crowns, in place. If you are a fan of mouthwash, it is a good idea to discuss which type is best for your oral hygiene needs with one of the experienced dentists at our Cherry Creek office. We can help guide you to the mouthwash that will be the most beneficial and the least harmful to your overall oral health.

In addition to lifestyle choices, black hairy tongue may be linked to:

  • Being HIV positive
  • Antibiotic use
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chronic dry mouth

When black hairy tongue is linked to these issues, there may not be much that can be done about it. However, improving your daily oral care can go a long way in reducing the problem.

If you are suffering from black hairy tongue, we can help you determine some of the root causes during your next visit. Once identified, we can begin to work on changing behaviors that may be contributing to your condition.

Can Black Hairy Tongue be Treated?

The best defense against black hairy tongue is a healthy oral hygiene routine. This should include:

  • Brushing your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste after every meal and snack
  • Flossing both morning and night
  • Visiting our Cherry Creek office every six months for cleanings and examinations

Routine cleanings and examinations are one of the most effective ways to treat black hairy tongue as well. However, a thorough removal of yeast, bacteria, and discoloration may require more than at-home and professional cleanings.

You can help reduce your risks of developing black hairy tongue by drinking plenty of water throughout the day and by watching those habits that contribute to tongue discoloration.

If you smoke, quit immediately. There is literally nothing good that can come from that habit. Smoking increases risks for oral cancer 6x over. It also increases risks for gum disease, tooth decay, irreversible tooth discoloration, and persistently stubborn halitosis. April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month and a great time to consider quitting this useless and dangerous habit.

If you drink a lot of dark beverages, consider reducing your intake or drinking through a straw. Drinking dark beverages through a straw can also help reduce the risks acidic beverages pose to tooth enamel and may be an effective measure against severe tooth staining.

There is some evidence that eating a diet high in roughage is good for scraping bacteria and stain from the papillae. A diet high in roughage is likely high in many other nutrients as well and will serve to strengthen the entire body including the teeth and gums if maintained.

A tongue scraper may also be a good idea if you struggle with black hairy tongue. This ancient Ayurvedic practice can gently remove debris from the top of the tongue and has even been shown to reduce volatile sulfur compounds in the mouth, which can help reduce halitosis. Tongue scrapers can be found in most grocery and drug stores.

If you have black hairy tongue, we can discuss all possible methods of dealing with it during your next visit to our office.

Is Black Hairy Tongue a Dental Emergency?

Because it poses no threat to the health of your teeth and gums, black hairy tongue is not a dental emergency, but it can be terribly embarrassing. We will make every effort to get you in as soon as possible when you call our office with this condition. If it is noticed during your routine examinations, we can discuss treatment during regularly scheduled visits as well.

To learn how our Cherry Creek dentists can help with black hairy tongue and other oral health and beauty concerns, call 303-321-5656 and schedule an appointment today.

February 15, 2018

Our teeth are remarkably strong. Under ideal circumstances, brushing and flossing as recommended and visiting the dentist every six months for cleanings would be all that was required to maintain a strong and healthy smile. But we don’t live under ideal circumstances – and many people will face tooth wear despite their best efforts.

One of the leading causes of enamel erosion is improper brushing technique. Aggressive brushing, using a medium-bristled toothbrush, and using abrasive toothpaste can all lead to premature tooth wear and increase risks for sensitivity, cavities, infection, and tooth loss. In these cases, switching up your routine can be incredibly beneficial. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush, a nonabrasive toothpaste, and brush with less intensity to reduce the risks of accidentally damaging teeth while trying to care for them.

 Aggressive brushing is easy to stop. So too is the consumption of sodas, sports drinks, and fruit juices – all of which are directly linked to premature enamel erosion. Drinking these beverages through a straw can help minimize damage but avoiding them completely is always the safest bet.

Other causes of enamel erosion include:

  • Tooth grinding – also known as bruxism, tooth grinding can wear down enamel and make teeth easier to chip, crack, and brake
  • Bulimia – frequent vomiting will rapidly erode enamel, resulting in teeth that are brittle and almost translucent
  • Aging – as we age, even normal functions like biting and chewing can begin to wear teeth down

Of course, you can’t do anything about aging, but you can take steps to reduce your active contributions to rapid enamel erosion. Stress reduction is a great way to deal with bruxism. So too are the professional teeth grinding treatments offered by our Cherry Creek dentists.

Enamel Erosion Treatment | Denver | Bruxism | Bulimia | Cherry Creek

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, we cannot encourage you strongly enough to begin working immediately with both a physician and nutritionist. The Eating Disorder Foundation and EDCare (formerly the Eating Disorder Center of Denver) offer a number of resources for people struggling with bulimia, anorexia, and other eating disorders. These disorders are manageable and, with proper help, can be beaten. Once that’s happened, we can step in and restore those teeth that frequent vomiting and nutrient deficiencies have damaged.

Restoring Damaged Teeth

One of the easiest ways to address teeth that have become worn down is same day dental crowns. These are milled in our office and placed during a single office visit, allowing you to leave your appointment with a customized, natural-looking, and durable restoration designed to produce immediate benefits.

Dental bonding and porcelain veneers may also be considered to restore eroded teeth. These options will not cover a tooth in the same way as a CEREC dental crown, but they can strengthen and beautify teeth that have become worn down. The best way to learn which options are right for your smile is through a one-on-one consultation with Dr. DeWitt or Dr. Scott.

To schedule your appointment with one of our Denver cosmetic dentists, please call DeWitt Dental Associates at 303-321-5656 today. Located in Cherry Creek, we serve the entire Metro Denver area as well as those communities nestled in the Foothills and located along the I-25 Corridor.