Monday, December 22, 2014

Is there a new way to help with sensitive teeth?

            Many people suffer from sensitivity on there teeth when eating or drinking something hot or cold. If there are no cavities or other issues, we would typically recommend trying to use sensitivity toothpaste twice each day. However, we found many people do not prefer the sensitivity toothpaste over their normal toothpaste. With compliance lacking, the sensitivity would often persist. But recently Crest rolled out a new product aimed to alleviate tooth sensitivity for up to 1 month per application.
            The Crest Sensi-Stop Strips are placed over the teeth and the gums for only 10 minutes, and this can help with sensitivity for up to a full month.
  • Advantages over sensitivity toothpaste:
    • Immediate relief in 10 minutes vs. days/weeks with toothpaste
    • As little as 1 time per month vs. 2 times per day
    • Lasts for up to 1 month vs. wearing off without consistent use
    • Delivery aimed to specific areas vs. being diluted through the mouth.
The strips use potassium oxalate gel to relieve the sensitivity, which is a common ingredient for treating historically sensitive teeth. The Crest Sensi-Stop Strips have found a way to harness that ingredient into the strip in a way that allows you to effectively deliver it to the problematic area.
            So what are the drawbacks or limitations of the strips? The first would be limited research when compared to the historical success of the sensitivity toothpaste. If you are having success with sensitivity toothpaste, I would suggest you continue with what is currently working. I would also recommend you consult with you dentist before using the strips to make sure there are no other underlying areas of concern or tooth decay. Otherwise the strips may mask an area of sensitivity that needs to be treated differently.
            The new Crest Sensi-Stop Strips look like they could be very helpful for a lot of people with sensitive teeth. If you are thinking about using these, I still strongly recommend you discuss the potential pros and cons of your situation with your dentist.

For more information, visit us at

Lee T. Brown, DDS

Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

How Important are Oral Cancer Exams?

            During each dental appointment, the dentist and the dental hygienist make an extra effort to screen for any signs of oral cancer. Oral cancer is a disease that occurs in the mouth or the throat. It can be found inside the lips and cheeks, the salivary glands, the gums, the tongue, the roof of the mouth, the floor of the mouth and the bone.
            When performing an oral cancer screening, some of the signs and symptoms we examine for are:
·        Patches of red, white, or a mixture of the two that are new or changing
·        Sores on the lip that do not resolve within 14 days
·        Unexplainable sores or bleeding in the mouth
You should also consult your dentist or physician if you have pain or difficulty swallowing, an abnormal lump in your neck, or an earache that does not go away.
            As we try to help limit the threat of oral cancer now and in the future, we need to be aware of potential risk factors that may increase your likelihood of developing an issue. Tobacco use is the most commonly known factor, but few people that the abuse of alcohol and/or exposure to ultraviolet light are also known to be a risk factors. There are also several studies that suggest a diet that is very low in fruits and vegetables may be linked in an increase risk in cancer.
            So how can we best diagnose the signs and symptoms of oral cancer? Some have easily identifiable symptoms or clinical presentations that cause us to seek immediate medical or dental attention. However, others types of oral cancer can reach a more advanced stage without manifesting as obvious signs to the patient or even the dentist. This is why it is so important to maintain regular dental check ups and x-rays. Early diagnosis is the best defense.
            When an area of the mouth is identified as suspicious, we may choose to monitor the area with photographs, measurements and return visit to see if anything has changed. If are area is deemed potentially more serious, we may recommend you see a specialist for an exam and possible biopsy. And if you have a history of prolonged tobacco use or other risk factors, we will use extra caution and make sure you see the necessary specialist as quickly as possible.
            If you have other questions regarding oral cancer or how we perform our examinations, please feel free to contact us or check our website for more information at

Lee T. Brown, DDS
Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Should I get a Dental Implant or a Dental Bridge?

            When faced with the question of how to best replace a missing tooth, the first two options discussed are a dental implant or a dental bridge. Each individual situation is unique, and our goal is to assist in making the best possible decision for your dental health.
            In the majority of cases, when replacing a single tooth in the front or the back, a dental implant is the standard of care. It is the closest we can get to restoring the feel and function of a natural tooth. Unlike a dental bridge, an implant allows you to brush and floss the area the same way you would a natural tooth. Even though gum disease around the implant can develop if proper care is not used, cavities can not exist on a dental implant or crown. Since there is no remaining natural tooth structure, there is no place for traditional tooth decay to attack.
Another major advantage of the dental implant is it does not require drilling or invasive work on the adjacent teeth. The entire procedure is isolated to one specific tooth. A bridge requires substantial work on at least two other teeth to work properly. Subsequently, if these adjacent teeth develop a cavity in the future, the entire bridge may need to be removed to treat the growing tooth decay.
When discussing the advantages of a dental bridge, we always talk about the original time commitment of the procedure. Dental implants can take up to 6-10 months to fully restore, but sometimes only one month is needed to complete a new bridge. Because of the time involved and the materials used, a bridge is often less expensive and can be more appealing to patients from a financial standpoint. However, depending upon the location of the bridge of the patient’s history, a bridge may end up costing the patient more in the long run if it needs to eventually be replaced.
Since each individual circumstance is different, the safest approach is to consult your dentist about your situation. Dental implants have become the standard of care in many cases when replacing missing or lost teeth, but dental bridges still have a very viable place in the modern dental practice.

For more information on dental implants or dental bridges, check our website at

Lee T. Brown, DDS
Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc

(513) 860-3660

Monday, December 1, 2014

In-Office Dental Savings Plan vs. Dental Insurance

            While the Affordable Care Act mostly effects the regulations concerning medical insurance, it has affected dental insurance indirectly. With rising health care costs for employers, many have cut back on their dental benefits they offer employees. In an effort to encourage good dental health while offsetting dental insurance limitations, we have instituted am ‘in-house’ dental savings plan. It is designed for patients who have very limited options through their employer or no longer have dental insurance.

What are some of the benefits of our dental savings plan?
  • No yearly maximum
  • No deductibles
  • No claim filing
  • No pre-existing condition limitation
  • No waiting period

What is covered under the dental savings plan?
  • Semi-annual dental cleaning
  • Annual dental x-rays
  • Semi-annual dental exams
  • Fluoride applications for children of the appropriate age
  • Percentage off all dental procedures, including cosmetic procedures.

How do you know if you are a good candidate for the dental savings plan?

            The value of this plan depends on your oral health. If you are generally healthy and typically only require professional cleanings and exams each year, this plan could offer significant savings over other options. These plans have been recommended for seniors by Forbes Magazine who have retired since it is likely less expensive than dental insurance plans not subsidized by an employer. This could also be a good option for single people or those with very young children and tend to be in good dental health.

            Please feel free to contact us with questions regarding our dental savings plan and whether or not it would be a good fit for you or someone you know. You can also visit us at for more details.