November 28th, 2013
Phoenix dentist Dr. Donald Wilcox and the staff of DesertSmiles continue to provide the latest in quality dental care for Glendale and Peoria patients. The latest addition is the OralID cancer screening device to our hygiene department. The size of a small flashlight, the OralID is the first device to combine proven fluorescence technology with no need for nasty tasting rinses or dyes prior to its use. The fluorescence technology allows us to utilize a specific blue light to be able to identify oral cancer, pre-cancer, and other abnormal lesions at an earlier stage, thus saving lives. Identifying abnormalities not seen with the naked eye, OralID allows to locate possible life threatening conditions in their earlier stages, where the survival rate is much higher.
Oral cancer kills one American every hour. 42,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with oral cancer in 2013. Of those 42,000, 18,000 will not be alive in five years. Due to its late stage recovery, the mortality rate for oral cancer is higher than the rates for many common cancers such as cervical, testicular, thyroid, and skin cancer. But now with the push of a button, we can distinguish between healthy and abnormal cells, as abnormal cells have a lack of fluorescence, or appear dark. If you live in Phoenix or Glendale and want the latest in preventive dental and systemic health, give our Glendale dental office a call at 602-978-1790. For more information about the finest in cosmetic and sedation dentistry in the Phoenix area go to www.DesertSmiles.com.
Posted in infectious diseases, Oral cancer, oral systemic connection, Preventive Dentistry | No Comments »
November 23rd, 2013
At our Glendale dental office, cosmetic and sedation dentist Dr. Donald Wilcox and the entire staff at DesertSmiles strive to provide the latest in quality and preventive dental care. The Perio Protect method we offer our patients was recently praised by practicing periodontist (gum specialist) Dr. Bruce Cochrane in Dental Products Report. He discussed the fact that this tray technique helps control bleeding better than anything he has seen. He finds much less need for gum surgery in his practice and concludes, “In a generation, trays are going to change the face of dentistry.” Phoenix dentist Dr. Donald Wilcox uses this product himself. This minimal invasive procedure uses safe chemical treatment to break up the biofilm (oral bacteria growing under the gum) and deter its further growth. Over the last 20 years disease after disease has been found to be associated with periodontal disease and the bleeding and resulting systemic inflammation it causes.
For more information regarding how patients from Phoenix and Glendale are enjoying greater health by controlling the oral systemic connection, visit Glendale dentist Dr. Donald Wilcox. For more information visit www.DesertSmiles.com. If you struggle with snoring or CPAP intolerance visit www.SnoreArizona for more information about mouthpieces designed to control sleep apnea.
Posted in General Dentistry, gum health, heart disease, infectious diseases, oral systemic connection, Perio Protect | No Comments »
November 19th, 2013
One of the very first things people notice about others is their teeth. Straight teeth that are white and bright can elicit a great first impression. If you have missing teeth or large gaps between your teeth, your self-confidence may be suffering. Are you hesitant to smile for fear that the imperfections in your teeth will show? There is no need to suffer any longer if you are a good candidate for dental implants.
Phoenix residents with missing teeth or large gaps in between their teeth often opt for dental implants. Dental implants are a highly successful dental procedure.
Prior to being considered for dental implants, Dr. Wilcox will evaluate the following:
- Jaw Bone Quality and Density – Your jaw must have sufficient bone density and be of high quality because dental implants must be fused to your jawbone. Adequate bone support is extremely important.
- Your Health - If you are not in good overall health, you may not be a good candidate for dental implants. Individuals who smoke or have serious medical conditions such as diabetes often have issues with oral health, which can impact the success rate of dental implants.
- Teeth Clenching - If you clench your teeth you may not be a good dental implant candidate. Clenching the teeth can cause dental implants to fail. However, this is a problem that might be treatable.
If you are suffering from missing teeth or if you have excessive gaps between your teeth, you may be an excellent candidate for dental implants. If you are located in or around Phoenix, please contact Desert Smiles today to schedule your free dental implant consultation.
Posted in dental implants | No Comments »
November 18th, 2013
Many of our Scottsdale patients have asked us about replacing their old metal amalgam fillings with tooth colored fillings. This is actually a very common inquiry. The primary reason our patients ask for this service is that they believe tooth colored fillings are less noticeable than metal fillings. And they are correct!
Not only are tooth colored fillings more aesthetically pleasing, but they are also stronger and require less drilling than amalgam fillings.
Advantages of tooth colored fillings include:
- They do not appear as obvious as metal amalgam fillings
- They result in a natural look and feel
- They do not show when a person smiles or laughs
- They bond very tightly to teeth
- They are made of a composite resin instead of metal
However, it’s important to mention that not all amalgam fillings should be replaced with tooth colored fillings. We will examine the structure of your affected teeth and determine the size of each of your old metal amalgam fillings to determine whether replacing a filling will be sufficient or if more extensive dental work is required.
It is usually possible and not at all complicated to replace old metal amalgam fillings with tooth colored fillings. If you live in Scottsdale, Arizona, please contact Desert Smiles today for an evaluation.
Posted in Tooth | No Comments »
November 11th, 2013
Brushing and flossing are an important part of your oral hygiene regimen, but they are not sufficient to maintain optimal levels of oral health. You will also need to visit the dentist for regular checkups and professional teeth cleanings. These dental visits are the most important preventative measure you can take to reduce your risk of serious oral health conditions such as gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss.
During your teeth cleanings, Dr. Donald Wilcox will remove any plaque and tartar built up on your teeth and gums which you were unable to remove by brushing and flossing. He will also check for any signs of oral health conditions which may need to be treated. By catching these issues in their early stages, Dr. Wilcox will be able to recommend a conservative treatment plan that will preserve more of your natural tooth structure and keep your costs to a minimum.
In most instances, you should plan on visiting the dentist twice a year for regularly scheduled checkups and cleanings. However, recent research has found that for some people, this twice-a-year schedule isn’t necessarily ideal. A study published in The Journal of Dental Research in June 2013 found that the frequency of a person’s dentist visits should be based on their unique individual oral health needs.
For most people, this will likely still be twice a year. However, for some individuals who are at very low risk of oral health issues, once a year may prove sufficient. Similarly, patients who are at higher risk for oral health conditions may need to visit the dentist more often than twice a year.
The following factors may cause Dr. Wilcox to recommend more frequent visits to our Phoenix area dental office:
- Patients who currently suffer from gum disease
- Patients with oral cancer
- Individuals with a genetic predisposition to oral health problems
- Patients with diabetes
- Women who are pregnant
Please contact Desert Smiles today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Wilcox. We proudly serve dental patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale, Arizona.
Posted in Dentist Referrals | No Comments »
November 7th, 2013
Gum disease can mean a number of conditions affecting the soft tissue lining the mouth. Phoenix-area patients suffering from gum disease should first understand their symptoms before seeking periodontal treatment options.
Gum disease results from an excessive buildup of plaque or tartar within the mouth. Poor dental hygiene can compound this buildup, leading to a variety of problems:
- Inflammation and swelling of the gums
- Gingivitis: Gums become more inflamed, making them sensitive and prone to bleeding easily
- Periodontitis: More severe form of gum disease, where gum tissue pulls away from the teeth, leaving spaces where infections can develop; can also lead to bone loss
Good oral hygiene, augmented by a full checkup and cleaning with Dr. DonaldWilcox, is the first step toward avoiding gum disease. However, periodontal treatment can help offset the effect of conditions affecting the gums. Depending on the severity of inflammation, swelling or infection, Dr. Wilcox might use the following methods:
- Antibiotics to control infection
- Scaling and root planing: A deep cleaning that removes tartar from above and below the gum line, as well as problem areas on the roots; cleanings can be done manually or with technological devices like an ultrasound scaler and gentle soft tissue laser
- Flap surgery: Procedure where Dr. Wilcox makes an incision in the gum, creating a flap for easier cleaning of the root area
- Tissue grafts: Replaces lost gum tissue by removing soft tissue from an area like the roof of the mouth and surgically attaching it to the gum line
- Bone grafts: Offsets bone loss from gum disease by strengthening affected teeth through transplant of small fragments of bone to the mouth
If you suspect you may suffer from gum disease, please contact Desert Smiles today to schedule your periodontal treatment consultation. Dr. Donald Wilcox serves patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Glendale, Arizona.
Posted in teeth extraction | No Comments »
October 29th, 2013
This beautiful lady was not happy with the space between her front two crowns, the color of her teeth, and the unnatural proportions of her upper front teeth. With tray bleaching and four new emax porcelain restorations on the upper she has the smile she always wanted. At our Glendale cosmetic dental office, we provide smile makeovers for patients from Phoenix and Scottsdale. For the finest in cosmetic, sedation and implant dentistry, visit DesertSmiles and Phoenix cosmetic dentist Dr. Donald Wilcox. Visit www.DesertSmiles.com for more information.
Posted in Before and after cosmetic dentistry, ceramic veneers, Cosmetic Dentist Arizona, Uncategorized, veneers | No Comments »
October 25th, 2013
According a study published in the British Medical Journal, regular didgeridoo playing can reduce the negative effects of obstructive sleep apnea. In the study, half of a group of patients who complained of snoring and had apnea-hypopnea indices of 15-30 (a shortcut method for a rough diagnosis of sleep apnea) practiced the didgeridoo an average of 25.3 minutes a day, 5.9 days a week for four months. As a result, the people who practiced the didgeridoo had significantly decreased daytime sleepiness and reduced apnea-hypopnea indices. In addition, their sleep partners reported that they had significantly less sleep disturbances.
Researchers believe that the improvement was due to the training of the upper airways which made their airways less susceptible to collapse during sleep.
This study shows one example of the wide range of behavioral therapy options available for sleep apnea treatment. Although it may not be the only answer, for many people with sleep apnea, behavioral therapy can be a big help and lead not only to reduced symptoms, but increased overall quality of life.
Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition, made even more dangerous when it is not properly treated. If you snore or have any symptoms of sleep apnea, please contact Desert Smiles today to schedule your initial consultation. Dr. Donald Wilcox serves patients in Phoenix, Glendale, and Scottsdale, Arizona.
Posted in sleep apnea | No Comments »
October 19th, 2013
Although thorough sleep apnea diagnosis generally involves an overnight stay at the sleep lab, Dr. Wilcox is always working on new techniques that will improve the effectiveness and convenience of this process. In one technique, x-rays can be used to look at the position of the tongue and hyoid bone in suspected sleep apnea patients. Although the test is not currently very effective (allowing for only a 70% diagnosis rate), the hope is that future refinements may make it a substitute for the complete sleep study.
The hyoid bone is located in the neck, the only human bone not attached to any other bone. It is only attached to the muscles of the neck and the tongue muscle. Therefore, when the muscles of the throat relax, the hyoid bone can shift and become one of the main constrictors of the airway passage. By analyzing the position of the hyoid bone, researchers hope to use x-rays as a pre-screening tool to look for sleep apnea.
Since sleep apnea is significantly underdiagnosed, and since the x-rays that might be used are routinely given to teens in preparation for orthodontic treatment with braces, the assessment can be used to direct people to sleep apnea diagnosis at a young age, hopefully allowing them to avoid the dangerous health consequences of untreated sleep apnea.
If you suspect you may suffer from sleep apnea, please contact Desert Smiles today to schedule your initial consultation. Dr. Donald Wilcox serves patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale, Arizona.
Posted in sleep apnea | No Comments »
October 14th, 2013
Lumineers® are a specific brand of porcelain veneers that are thinner than regular veneers and have a quicker placement process. Lumineers® are designed to require little to no reshaping of your original teeth. This may benefit patients who have cracked or chipped teeth, since Lumineers® can act as a split to strengthen the tooth and avoid grinding it down further.
However, Lumineers® are limited in other notable ways. They are less customizable than regular porcelain veneers, which may result in a final appearance that does not seamlessly blend with the rest of your smile. Additionally, because the porcelain is thinner, it may not hide certain underlying imperfections as well as a traditional veneer.
Dr. Wilcox has years of experience placing different types of porcelain veneers. After examining your teeth and discussing your personal preferences during a consultation, he can recommend the type of veneer that will give you the best possible results.
If you have questions about the benefits and limitations of Lumineers compared to traditional porcelain veneers, please contact Desert Smiles today to schedule a consultation. Dr. Donald Wilcox serves patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale, Arizona.
Posted in veneers | No Comments »
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