825 Nicollet Mall, Suite 1737, Minneapolis, MN 55402, (612) 332-1164

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By Nicollet Mall Dental Arts
March 28, 2019
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: nutrition  
HeresHowtoManageSchoolSnacksandYourChildsDentalHealth

Besides daily hygiene and regular dental visits, the best thing you can do for your kids' dental health is to see that they're eating a nutritious diet. And not just at mealtime—healthy snacking also promotes healthy teeth and gums.

Healthy snack foods are quite similar to their counterparts at mealtime: fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy. At the same time, you should avoid providing processed snacks high in sugar, salt, unhealthy fats and calories.

Managing snack choices at home is usually a simple matter of discipline and follow-through. When they're at school, however, it's a bit trickier as they may encounter snacks sold on school grounds or offered by fellow students that don't meet your definition of a healthy food. Public schools follow nutrition guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on snacks sold on school grounds, but many dentists don't believe the standard goes far enough to protect dental health.

So, what can you do to combat these less healthy snack choices your kids may encounter at school? For one thing, you can work with your child's school officials to exceed the USDA guidelines or turn off snack vending machines right before lunch to lessen kids' temptation to skip lunch.

You can also interact with your children to better manage their schooltime snacking. But rather than issue blanket commands about what they should snack on at school, help them instead understand the difference between nutritional foods and less nutritional ones, and why it's important to choose healthy snacks for their life and health.

Finally, don't send them to school empty-handed—pack along nutritious snacks so that they won't seek out vending machines or their classmates to satisfy the munchies. You can supercharge your efforts with a little creativity (like a dash of cinnamon in a bag of unbuttered popcorn) that make your snacks fun and more enticing than other school ground options.

It's not always easy to keep your kids from unhealthy snack choices. But with a little commitment, interaction and ingenuity, you can help steer them toward snacks that are tooth-friendly.

If you would like more information on boosting your child's dental health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Snacking at School: How to Protect Your Child's Teeth and Promote Good Nutrition.”

By Nicollet Mall Dental Arts
March 18, 2019
Category: Uncategorized
BaseballsFranciscoLindorShinesasMrSmile

At the first-ever Players Weekend in August 2017, Major League Baseball players wore jerseys with their nicknames on the back. One player — Cleveland Indians shortstop, Francisco Lindor — picked the perfect moniker to express his cheerful, fun-loving nature: “Mr. Smile.” And Lindor gave fans plenty to smile about when he belted a 2-run homer into the stands while wearing his new jersey!

Lindor has explained that he believes smiling is an important part of connecting with fans and teammates alike: “I’ve never been a fan of the guy that makes a great play and then acts like he’s done it 10,000 times — smile, man! We’ve got to enjoy the game.”

We think Lindor is right: Smiling is a great way to generate good will. And it feels great too… as long as you have a smile that’s healthy, and that looks as good as you want it to. But what if you don’t? Here are some things we can do at the dental office to help you enjoy smiling again:

Routine Professional Cleanings & Exams. This is a great place to start on the road toward a healthy, beautiful smile. Even if you are conscientious about brushing and flossing at home, you won’t be able to remove all of the disease-causing dental plaque that can hide beneath the gum line, especially if it has hardened into tartar, but we can do it easily in the office. Then, after a thorough dental exam, we can identify any problems that may be affecting your ability to smile freely, such as tooth decay, gum disease, or cosmetic dental issues.

Cosmetic Dental Treatments. If your oral health is good but your smile is not as bright as you’d like it to be, we can discuss a number of cosmetic dental treatments that can help. These range from conservative procedures such as professional teeth whitening and bonding to more dramatic procedures like porcelain veneers or crowns.

Tooth Replacement. Many people hide their smiles because they are embarrassed by a gap from a missing tooth. That’s a shame, because there are several excellent tooth-replacement options in a variety of price ranges. These include partial and full dentures, bridgework, and dental implants. So don’t let a missing tooth stop you from being Mr. (or Ms.) Smile!

If you’d like more information about oral health or cosmetic dentistry, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”

By Nicollet Mall Dental Arts
December 08, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: oral hygiene  
WhatYouNeedtoKnowtoBuytheRightToothbrush

If there’s one essential tool for protecting your dental health, it’s the humble toothbrush. The basic manual brush with a long, slender handle and short-bristled head is still effective when used skillfully. The market, though, is full of choices, all of them touting their brand as the best.

So how do you choose? You can cut through any marketing hype with a few simple guidelines.

First, understand what you’re trying to accomplish with brushing: removing dental plaque, that thin film of bacteria and food particles on tooth surfaces that’s the main cause of dental disease. Brushing also stimulates gum tissue and helps reduce inflammation.

With that in mind, you’ll first want to consider the texture of a toothbrush’s bristles, whether they’re stiff (hard) or more pliable (soft). You might think the firmer the better for removing plaque, but actually a soft-bristled brush is just as effective in this regard. Stiffer bristles could also damage the gums over the long term.

Speaking of bristles, look for those that have rounded tips. In a 2016 study, less rounded tips increased gum recession in the study’s participants by 30%. You should also look for toothbrushes with different bristle heights: longer bristles at the end can be more effective cleaning back teeth.

As far as size and shape, choose a brush that seems right and comfortable for you when you hold it. For children or people with dexterity problems, a handle with a large grip area can make the toothbrush easier to hold and use.

And look for the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance, something you may have seen on some toothpaste brands. It means the toothbrush in question has undergone independent testing and meets the ADA’s standards for effectiveness. That doesn’t mean a particular brush without the seal is sub-standard—when in doubt ask your dentist on their recommendation.

Even a quality toothbrush is only as effective as your skill in using it. Your dental provider can help, giving you tips and training for getting the most out of your brush. With practice, you and your toothbrush can effectively remove disease-causing plaque and help keep your smile beautiful and healthy.

If you would like more information on what to look for in a toothbrush, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sizing up Toothbrushes.”

By Nicollet Mall Dental Arts
August 04, 2017
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

When most of us hear the word ‘research’ we often think of labs, test tubes, and Petri dishes. While this type of research provides countless benefits and medical breakthroughs, it’s not the only way to answer some of medicine’s and dentistry’s questions and gain invaluable knowledge. And sometimes, the answers we get from lab research cannot be easily transferred to the everyday clinical setting. This is where practice based research comes in, to help provide some of those answers.

Different from laboratory research, practice based research aims to find solutions to a problem or situation by looking at treatment outcomes within a clinical practice, such as a dental office. The research is carried out by the practitioners in the office, like your dentist, assistant or hygienist. (1). Dental clinics serve as a ‘natural lab’, where data can be gathered in a “real-world” setting. Participating in this type of research has been shown to advance dental care by improving the quality of care, treatment of symptoms and identifying and preventing diseases. (2).

Here at Nicollet Mall Dental Arts Dr. Uppgaard and I are members of the National Dental Practice Based Research Network (NDPBRN). The name of the organization says it all, It is a practice based research network and its members span the United States. It is overseen and funded by the National Institute of Health. You may have noticed that we have been involved in several practice based studies. These include the Cracked Tooth Study, Risk of Oral Cancer Screening (ROCS), and most recently, ​Management of Painful Temporomandibular Disorders​. You may have even been a participant of one, thank you!

Recently, Dr. Uppgaard and I went to Chicago for a regional meeting with the NDPBRN. It was a great opportunity for us to meet with colleagues, participate in discussions, and learn about the results of some recent studies that have been completed. One study we found especially interesting was the Management of Dentinal Hypersensitivity.

Dentinal hypersensitivity (DH) is a painful response of a tooth, or teeth, to an environmental stimuli such as sweets, heat, cold, or the touch of a metal instrument. After ruling out more serious conditions like caries, trauma, or cracked teeth dental hypersensitivity is a common problem, one we often see in our office. (3) The presentation of symptoms vary from patient to patient. It can occur in single episodes or chronically, and can be localized to one or two teeth, or more widespread. (4) The most common cause of DH is toothbrush abrasion (brushing too hard). Almost daily, we see patients with this type of sensitivity. It may appear as a dark color above the enamel at gum line and cause a twinge of pain after ingesting something sweet, hot or cold, or when our metal instruments touch the area. (4)

The study focused on how dentists diagnose DH and what treatment recommendations are most widely made. Most dentists believe gum recession is the most common predisposing factor to dentinal hypersensitivity. This was followed by abrasion (brushing too hard), erosion, attrition/abfraction lesions (wear on teeth), and lastly, bruxism (clenching). The results indicated that 99% dentists who participated in the study use multiple methods to diagnose DH. These include patients reported symptoms after excluding other causes through clinical examination(48%), blowing air on the area of sensitivity (26%), and applying cold water (12%). (5).

The study also concluded that the most common recommended products for treatment of DH is OTC sensitive toothpastes (55%). Next were fluoride products like rinses, toothpastes, or varnishes (41%). Lastly was a glutaraldehyde/HEMA treatment (3%).

To read the full study, click​​ here.

At Nicollet Mall Dental Arts, Dr. Uppgaard and his hygienists use current research and a combination of diagnostic methods to diagnose and treat DH. If you’re experiencing similar symptoms, ask Dr. Uppgaard or your hygienist at your next preventive visit. While you’re at it be sure to ask us about the current research we’re doing and how you can get involved!

Keeley Flavin, BSDH

Sources Referenced:

  1. https://www.creativityandcognition.com/resources/PBR%20Guide-1.1-2006.pdf
  2. ​https://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/factsheets/primary/pbrn/index.html
  3. Cummins D. Dentin hypersensitivity: from diagnosis to a breakthrough therapy for everyday sensitivity relief. J Clin Dent. 2009;20(1):1-9.
  4. Gillam D, Chesters R, Attrill D, Brunton P, Slater M, Strand P, Whelton H, Bartlett D. Dentine hypersensitivity--guidelines for the management of a common oral health problem. Dent Update. 2013 Sep;40(7):514-6, 518-20, 523-4.
  5. http://nationaldentalpbrn.org/tyfoon/site/fckeditor/AADR_abstract_MDH_DDS_questionnaire%20v%200%204.pdf
By Nicollet Mall Dental Arts
July 22, 2015
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: dental implants   crowns  
CementedorScrewedWhichImplantCrownAttachmentisBestforYou

In the realm of restorative dentistry, dental implants are king. A dental implant can replace a tooth with a permanent, life-like restoration with a solid reputation for durability.

Implants are also known for one other quality — variety. Not all implants are alike, and they have varied applications for use. Available in various shapes and sizes, they can be used for a single tooth or as part of a multiple tooth bridge or overdenture. And while their basic architecture is the same, you also have two options for how the permanent crown (the visible tooth portion) attaches to the implant: screwed or cemented.

A screw attachment can securely fasten a crown to an implant without the need for cement; it also allows for easy removal for repair or replacement should the crown become damaged or worn. On the other hand, it could pose a cosmetic problem — even though the access hole for the screw may be covered with a tooth-colored filling, it could still be distinguishable from the rest of the crown. There’s also a slight risk of the crown chipping around the access hole.

A crown cemented to the implant won’t have this cosmetic issue with an access hole, and will look just like a natural tooth. But unlike a screwed crown, removing a cemented crown can be more difficult. The cement may also cause gum inflammation and potential bone loss in sensitive patients.

The condition of your mouth, the type of implant you’re receiving and other circumstances will all factor into determining which method is best for you. If we’re “immediately loading” the crown (meaning we’re affixing a temporary crown to the implant immediately after placement in the jaw), then the screw method may be more advantageous. Aesthetically speaking, though, a cemented crown may be a better option in terms of final smile appearance.

But whichever method is used, you’ll still benefit from what implants do best — help you regain the function lost from a missing tooth and change your smile for the better.

If you would like more information on your options with dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “How Crowns Attach to Implants.”