A Great Achievement in Dentistry

Dental implants have been hailed as one of the truly great advances in the field of dentistry, and with good reason. Implants are an artificial tooth root that is surgically implanted into the jaw of a patient, to replace a missing root. The implant, in turn, can support an artificial tooth; multiple implants can anchor a set of dentures. Dental implants are available from Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO.

But first, there are times when we have to take a moment and marvel at human ingenuity. The idea of dental implants actually goes back at least a thousand years. Ancient implants were a far cry from what we know today: sea shells, pieces of metal, and even bits of bone were placed in the patient’s jaw. We don’t know if any of them were any good, but the idea was there.

Implants as we know them today date back to the early 1950s. The implant is most often made from titanium. One of their great benefits is that they help to prevent bone loss, which is common in people who have lost one of their natural teeth.

In practical terms, the great thing about single implants is that they function like a natural tooth. The titanium post fuses to the patient’s jaw, and integrates with the bone so well that the body seldom recognizes them as a foreign object. Rejection is rare.

Conventional dentures may be more affordable than implant-anchored dentures. But because they are removable, most patients find that traditional dentures can be unreliably loose. They can also affect the ability to enjoy food. These are not issues with implant-supported dentures.

Dental implants from Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette are the closest thing to getting back a natural tooth. Find out more by scheduling a consultation today. We also provide general and family dentistry, and pediatric dentistry.

Contact Gordon West DDS – Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026


Dental Care For ICU Patients Lowers Infection Risk

Lafayette best family dentist

This blog post from Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO focuses on an article that appeared recently on ScienceDaily.com.

The article describes a study of Brazilian ICU patients that compared infection rates of those who received enhanced oral care instead of routine oral care. The patients who received the more intensive dental care were 56 percent less likely to develop a respiratory infection during their hospital stay.

“Enhanced dental care included teeth brushing, tongue scraping, removal of calculus, atraumatic restorative treatment of caries, tooth extraction and topical application of chlorhexidine corresponding to each patients’ needs four to five times a week. Comparatively, regular treatment consisted of mechanical cleansing using gauze followed by topical application of chlorhexidine three times a day.”1

“Bacteria causing healthcare-associated infections often start in the oral cavity,” said Fernando Bellissimo-Rodrigues, MD, lead author of the study. “This study suggests that having a dentist provide weekly care as part the ICU team may improve outcomes for vulnerable patients in this setting.”1

If a member of your family has serious health concerns, you may want to talk to their doctor about the oral health implications of their condition.

Though this study pertains to ICU patients, it is also a reminder to all of us. Receiving consistent quality dental care and practicing proper daily oral hygiene is essential for everyone. Some patients have an inaccurate view of oral health – they seem to have the notion that it exists autonomously. It is actually interdependent with general physical health.

At Boulder County Smiles, we see ourselves as key members of your healthcare team and are dedicated to your physical, mental, and emotional health. Our services include general and family dentistry, and specialties like dental implants. Schedule an appointment today.

1Wanessa T. Bellissimo-Rodrigues, Mayra G. Menegueti, Gilberto G. Gaspar, Edson A. Nicolini, Maria Auxiliadora-Martins, Anibal Basile-Filho, Roberto Martinez, Fernando Bellissimo-Rodrigues. Effectiveness of a Dental Care Intervention in the Prevention of Lower Respiratory Tract Nosocomial Infections among Intensive Care Patients: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, 2014; 35 (11): 1342 DOI: 10.1086/678427

Contact Gordon West DDS – Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 6828

Hiccups In Your Dental Routine

Boulder County cosmetic dental veneers

The most common times people stop to brush their teeth are morning and night – either before or after breakfast, after dinner, or at bedtime. Common concerns that come with this routine involve hiccups in the schedule, from family life, shift work or exhaustion.

Sometimes after dinner isn’t super cut and dried. Many Boulder families face irregular weeknight routines. As the school year progresses, some have games to attend, band concerts, play practice, youth groups or other weeknight commitments. An irregular schedule commonly disrupts regular dental maintenance.

Many people have daily commutes or shift work to battle with. Due to the changing landscape of the job market and the greater variety in shift schedules, we see patients who are adjusting to irregularities in sleep patterns. This leads to exhaustion and often sleep takes priority over consistent brushing – either morning or night.

The most important time to be sure to brush is after eating sugar or carb-intensive foods. These foods kickstart bacteria growth on the teeth without vigilant attention.

Highly acidic foods weaken the enamel, so it is best to swish with water immediately after consuming acidic foods to diminish the acid. Then brush about 30 minutes later when the mouth is less acidic. The fluoride in toothpaste helps remineralize the enamel.

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we help you maintain your dental health. In addition to general and family dentistry, our services include dental implants and treating serious conditions like sleep apnea. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Gordon West DDS – Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 6829

Flossing: The Detail Work

Whenever you’re in our Boulder County Smiles office in Lafayette CO, the dentist reminds you to brush and floss every day. (You’ve notice?) In general, we say brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss at least once. Too many patients heed that first bit of advice, but unfortunately ignore the second.

Flossing between your teeth is every bit as important to your dental health as brushing is, but it has a different role. Where brushing removes plaque from the surface of the teeth and along the gum line, flossing gets into the tight spaces between your teeth. It loosens the debris that always gets wedged in, and any plaque building up.

In short, it gets those places that your toothbrush can’t.

Should you floss before brushing, or after? The jury is out on that one. Some research suggests that flossing first can make brushing more effective. The idea is that after flossing, there is less gunk between your teeth. The fluoride in your toothpaste is able to get in there better.

Before or after? Do whichever you prefer. Just don’t forget to floss!

We think of flossing as the detail work. Brushing gets most of the work done, but it takes floss to get into those tight places, and leave your mouth as clean as it can be.

That’s why, for the best of dental health, Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO urges you to brush AND floss. Our services include general and family dentistry, and dental implants. We also treat conditions like sleep apnea. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Gordon West DDS – Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026


5 Critical Things To Know About Periodontal Disease

gum disease exam Lafayette

Periodontal disease is inflammation or infection of the gums. For the most part it is preventable. Also known as gum disease, this condition is so common in the United States that it has been called a health crisis. At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we provide effective gum disease treatment.

Here are five important things to know about gum disease.

  1. If left untreated, it can cause irreversible damage such as tooth loss.
  2. Practicing proper oral hygiene and having 6-month dental exams are the best way to prevent periodontal disease.
  3. Periodontal disease can occur without the presence of tooth decay.
  4. Almost half of all 30+ adults in the US have periodontal disease.
  5. In some cases, periodontal disease produces no noticeable symptoms.

Risk factors for gum disease include tobacco use, poor oral hygiene (especially failing to floss), genetics, teeth grinding, inflammatory conditions, and poor nutrition.

Preventing gum disease is just another reason to see us every six months at Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO. We provide a full range of services, including dental implants and sedation dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Gordon West DDS – Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 7464

Clear Aligners: Almost Invisible

Clear braces are an increasingly popular option in orthodontics. They produce excellent results, but are so discreet that some people call them invisible. At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we offer MTM clear braces.

Unlike traditional metal braces, clear braces have no wires, brackets or rubber bands. They are so subtle that people standing just a few feet away from you may not realize you’re wearing them.

They look a lot like an athlete’s mouth guard. The proper term for this style of braces is “aligner.” They are a customized series of trays made of clear plastic that are worn over your teeth. After about two weeks, you receive the next in the series. And in as little as a year’s time, your teeth are brought into alignment.

One of the things that people like best about clear braces is that they are removable. You can take them out at mealtime, and when you brush your teeth at night. You should wear them while you sleep, however. For the best results it’s recommended they be worn for at least twenty-two hours each day.

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we offer MTM clear braces. To find out whether they are right for you, schedule a consultation. We also offer dental implants, and general and family dentistry. Make an appointment with us today.

Contact Gordon West DDS – Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026


Don’t Skip the Dentist! Sedation Dentistry

If you tense up just thinking about going to the dentist, you may benefit from sedation dentistry offered by Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO.

Millions of Americans stress out because they have to see the dentist, so if that sounds like you, you aren’t alone. It is referred to as dental anxiety. There is a more severe form, too, called dental phobia. In both, some people would rather skip the dentist altogether than sit down for a checkup. This puts their dental health at risk.

There are lots of reasons why people develop anxiety or phobia over dental care. It often stems from a bad experience they had with a dentist as a kid. Fear of pain of often involved, as well as a fear of anesthesics and possible side effects.

Whatever the cause, sedation dentistry has helped millions of people get through their dentist appointments. Boulder County Smiles offers three types:

  • Anxiety reduction. For this, we use acupressure, music, and a relaxed environment to prepare you for the appointment. This is best in cases of mild to moderate anxiety.
  • Oral conscious sedation. You take a sedative an hour or so before the appointment. You won’t sleep, but will be in a deeply relaxed state. When the appointment is over, someone will have to drive you home.
  • General anesthsia. Usually done in a hospital, this is the highest form. It’s a good option for those with severe dental phobia, or with special needs.

Whatever your issue is, it is essential that you do not compromise your dental health by skipping the dentist. Sedation dentistry from Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO may be just for you. Our services also include general and family dentistry. Schedule an appointment today!

Contact Gordon West DDS – Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 


Three Great Reasons to Floss Your Teeth

Three Great Reasons to Floss Your Teeth by Gordon West DDS - Aesthetic & General Dentistry

Flossing is a bit of a chore. It comes after “brushing your teeth” in things a lot of us intentionally forget to do. It takes a little extra time, and if you haven’t flossed in a while, it can even be painful. But the team at Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO is constantly reminding patients to brush and floss … brush and floss!

Flossing is important, You’ll never hear one of us say “don’t worry about the flossing.” It just isn’t going to happen, and for three really good reasons. Here they are:

1. Bad Breath

Bad breath is something we all worry about. It’s part of our appearance, and we are all aware of how that can affect our relationships.

When we meet new people, speak with others in close quarters, or greet a partner, bad breath is on our mind. We worry about how bad breath affects first impressions.

It makes sense, then, that bad breath would be one of the things you might worry about.

Flossing is a great way to help you avoid bad breath.

Flossing your teeth helps reduce plaque buildup between your teeth. It also helps flush out pockets of bacteria. Together, plaque and bacteria can create bad breath.

To reduce your chances of being caught with bad breath, floss every day.

2. Cavities

When bacteria is allowed to concentrate on your teeth, cavities can occur. Plaque buildup is a concentration of bacteria. When plaque is allowed to remain between your teeth it gives bacteria a chance to destroy enamel and damage your teeth. Cavities are damage to your teeth caused by bacteria.

Flossing gets between your teeth where your brush can’t get and helps remove plaque buildup. It also loosens pockets of bacteria that can be removed with a quick rinse.

Flossing will help you keep plaque and bacteria from developing between your teeth. You will have fewer cavities and your visits to Gordon West DDS – Aesthetic & General Dentistry will be more productive.

3. Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is the softening of your tooth enamel by acids. Acids are created by bacteria when they feast on leftover carbohydrates in your teeth.

Flossing can help you in two ways. First, you will remove leftover food particles so bacteria have less to work with. By the way, the food particles we are concerned about aren’t always visible. Food between your teeth can be microscopic, and that’s why it isn’t good enough to do a quick tongue slide to check your teeth. The particles are too small to see or feel.

Second, flossing will help remove the bacteria from between your teeth, so there aren’t enough left to create destructive acids.

Avoid tooth decay with a regular flossing. How often, you ask?…

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we recommend you floss your teeth every time you brush. Our services include general and family dentistry, sedation dentistry, and dental implants. Make an appointment with us today.

Contact Gordon West DDS – Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 7780

7 Steps For A Healthy Smile

Boulder Extreme Smile Makeover

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Benjamin Franklin coined that phrase in the 1730s as advice for fire safety. But  like all timeless quotes, it applies to many more features of modern life, particularly dental health, one of our principal concerns at Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO.

Keeping your smile beautiful and healthy is done most effectively with preventative measures. Some important guidelines are highlighted here.

  1. Make a habit of brushing your teeth. Do it twice a day for 2 minutes. Be sure to use an ADA approved toothpaste and toothbrush.
  2. Don’t forget the floss! Flossing between your teeth daily will do wonders for your teeth and keep your gums healthy too.
  3. Wear a protective mouthguard when participating in an activity where your mouth could possibly be damaged.
  4. Don’t smoke. As if you needed yet another reason not to!
  5. Avoid piercing your lips, tongue, cheek, or any other part of your mouth that someone decided you should shove a metal bar through. Piercings put you at greater risk for chipped teeth, infection and nerve damage. It’s a dicey fashion that you’ll want to avoid.
  6. Stay away from snacks that have a lot of sugar or starch.
  7. Schedule regular dental visits, of course!

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, helping our patients establish good habits is important. Our services include general and family dentistry, and specialties like dental implants and sleep apnea treatment. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Gordon West DDS – Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 4625

What is Patient-Centered Dental Care?

cosmetic dentistry Lafayette

What is your perception of the patient-dentist relationship? Would you characterize it as one-sided? In other words, the dentist examines the patient’s teeth, decides on the course of treatment, and performs the procedure-while the patient is an unimportant participant. That is not the approach, at Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO.

It Starts With The Atmosphere

At Boulder County Smiles, you will recognize the difference when you first walk in our doors. You will discover a pleasant, inviting atmosphere. We don’t push patients through as if they were on an assembly line.

We see you as a whole person, not just an disembodied mouth full of teeth. When we meet with you, you will be able to talk about more than just your oral health. You will discuss your lifestyle, your past dental experiences, your goals, and your concerns. We want to create a long-term relationship with you—it benefits you and helps us do our jobs well.

We Listen

When we examine a patient and find a problem that needs treatment, there is rarely only one solution proposed. We take as much time as necessary explain the options and answer your questions.

By listening carefully, communicating clearly, and asking the right questions, we can fully assess the many vital factors that influence your present and future oral health.

Does This Sound Good to You?

Does patient-focused dental care make sense to you? If so, we invite you to become one of our valued patients. At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, available services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Gordon West DDS – Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 7499