Pregnancy, Newborn & Oral Health

pregnancyWe have put together an info sheet on facts regarding pregnancy, newborn and oral health.  This info sheet contains the main points we go over with our patients who are expecting or have recently given birth.  We know pregnancy can be a very hectic time for new moms so we have distilled down the most important points to remember in this info sheet so new moms can have one less thing to worry about.

Taking care of your gums and teeth during pregnancy not only benefits the mother but recent research has shown that there is a link between gum disease and preterm birth.  Therefore make sure you keep good oral health by brushing twice per day for 2 minutes each and flossing daily.  Due to the hormonal changes, your gums might swell up and bleed more often, so please keep up with the brushing and flossing or else gum disease might set in.  We are more than happy to see you in our office during pregnancy, it is safe, beneficial, and can help make sure you do not have any dental emergencies during your pregnancy!

flossingAfter giving birth, taking care of your newborn’s oral health is equally as important.  You might think that your baby might not have teeth yet, but we have found that by starting young, even before first eruption of their teeth can help improve your child’s future oral health.  At birth we recommend you use a soft moist towel and start wiping the inside of their mouth, cleaning their tongue and gum.  This way your baby can be familiar with you cleaning their mouth and when their teeth erupts around 6 months, it will be easier.  When your newborn do get teeth coming in, please brush them twice a day and if the teeth are touching, please start FLOSSING them!  Equally important, if they do feed at night, make sure your baby’s teeth are brushed before they go to bed.  If they do wake up to feed during the night, please do a quick wipe with soft cloth.  This will dramatically reduce the risk of cavities in your newborn!

Here is the link to download the full info sheet (in PDF format).

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Pregnancy & Newborn Info Sheet

 

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If you do have more questions, feel free to contact us anytime!

 

We’re going to Give Kids A Smile Day!

Give_Kids_A_SmileThe team at Little Big Smiles is heading to the annual Give Kids A Smile Day (GKAS) organized by the North Texas Dental Society.  We are volunteering our time and expertise to help provide free dental services for the under-served children of the North Texas area.   This event will take place on April 2nd, 2016 at the Collin College Dental Hygiene Center.  We will be providing free screening/exams, x-rays, cleanings and fluoride treatment to the children that day.

We are all excited here to participate in the Give Kids A Smile Day. We truly value the community we serve, that is why it is important for us to give back to our community.  We love to see kids of all ages smile, so going to this event lets us provide valuable services to our community.   There are a lot of work to be done and not all can be finished at that day.  Therefore we are committed to bring some of these patients back to our clinic and see if we can help them financially to get the necessary treatments done.

The Give Kids A Smile Day is a national program from the American Dental Association.  In the North Texas area, the North Texas Dental Society is taking the charge in organizing this event here for our residents.  The GKAS program is available to children who are unable to access dental care through traditional private practice facilities.  To qualify for this event, the parents of these children must demonstrate financial need through their participating schools. Local school nurses have signed up to assist in the selection and enrollment of under-served children in their schools.  If you are interested in learning more about this event please let us know or you can visit this page for more information: NTDS Give Kids A Smile Day

 

Give Kids A Smile

 

We are turning ONE year old!

We are turning one! Can you believe it?  We certainly could not believe it will be one year since we first started serving our community here.  Along the way we have definitely had many fun times treating families in the Frisco and surrounding communities.  We are blessed to have you as a part of the Little Big Smiles family so we are putting on a Ribbon Cutting ceremony, not only to highlight our major milestone, but also to share this special moment with you, our patients!  We would not be able to be here without your continued support.

The Ribbon Cutting will be held on Tuesday, November 17th, 2015 right in front of our office.  We will have yummy donuts from Donut Delight  along with coffee and drinks.  So if you have the time, come join us!

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Introducing… Sarah to our Team!

We have been busy here with making our patients happy and cavities free, we forgot to formally introduce our newest team member to everyone (sorry!).  So without further delay, we like to welcome Sarah to Little Big Smiles.  Sarah has actually been working for us these past few months.  We were lucky to have Sarah as an intern at the beginning of 2015.  Since then she has made an amazing progress in learning as much about dentistry as she can.  Not only is Sarah a quick learner but she also excels at making sure our patients are as happy and comfortable as possible.  No matter how young or how “experienced” you are, we are certain Sarah will make your stay here an enjoyable one.  If you would like to learn a little big more about Sarah, please head over to our about-us page.

 

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We’re attending SouthWest Dental Conference!

SouthWest Dental ConferenceWe are attending the SouthWest Dental Conference!  This is one of the larger regional dental education conference in the Southwest and is held at our very own Dallas Convention Center.  The conference attracts many well known lecturers and educators from all over the world to provide exceptional educational experience for the entire dental team.

We are excited to attend this conference because at Little Big Smiles we believe in the continued education of our entire dental team.  The dental field is always evolving and introducing new things.  We do not want to be left behind.  This is why we are taking every opportunity to make sure we stay up to date.  This way we can make sure we are providing the best experience possible for our patients when they come to visit our office.

This year we will be learning various topics on creating exceptional patient experiences making sure your visit to our office is as effortless for you as possible.  We are also learning different ways to make sure our local anesthesia is effective so we can minimize the number of injections we give.  If you want to know more on what we have learned, feel free to ask us when you come in to visit!

Dr. Chen attends Arthur Merritt Lecture on Implant Augmentation

Arthur MerrittThis past weekend Dr. Chen attended the 44th Annual Arthur Merritt Lectureship on implant augmentation.  This is an annual event held by the Periodontic department of Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry.  Each year the Arthur Merritt lectureship invites distinguished speakers to share their expert knowledge in the advancing field of periodontics.  This year Dr. Chen had the pleasure of listening to Dr. Henry Greenwell sharing his research and clinical experiences on the topic of “The Role of Allografts in Implant Site Development and Root Coverage Procedures”

Not all patients who wants dental implants are candidates for implant treatments.  There are many factors we take into consideration when choosing the proper area to place the dental implant.  One of the major factor in determining the proper area to place the implant is the amount of bone left in the area.  Dental implants are used to replace areas where we have missing teeth, and it is in these areas where our bone can be the thinnest.  This is due to the fact that once our teeth are extracted or lost, the bone in that area can sometimes start to atrophy or goes away.  So by utilizing bone grafts and other techniques we can turn an otherwise inadequate implant site into an area where a dental implant can be stable and last a long time.  There are many different graft materials and techniques available to us and Dr. Greenwell was able to share with us the latest proven materials him and his team of specialists has been using so we can make sure we are providing the best treatments to our patients.

If you have further interest or questions regarding dental implants or bone grafting procedures, please feel free to contact us or Dr. Chen anytime!

Dental Crowns

Crown ToothIf the extent of your cavities is large there might not be enough tooth structure left for us to properly restore the tooth with composite filling material. In this case, we will recommend having a buildup placed in the tooth first then putting a dental crown on top. Think of the crowns as a protective helmet for your tooth. Having a large cavity weakens the structure of your tooth, and if we just place composite fillings in there it might not be strong enough to keep your tooth together. This can lead to tooth fractures in the future, which can lead to tooth loss if the fracture is deep or large. So with a dental crown the tooth will be fully covered and provided with the protection it needs.

There are many types of materials that we can use to make your dental crown. In our experiences and also in dental literature, gold crowns are still the “gold” standard in terms of bio-compatibility and durability. Not only is there rarely a report of patients being allergic to gold, gold is a softer and gentler material that does not wear away and damage the teeth that are biting against it. The only downside is the color. For obvious reasons a gold crown only has one color and it does not match the color of your teeth. For a more aesthetic crown we can either use a porcelain fused to metal crown (PFM), an all porcelain crown, or a full zirconia crown. Porcelain fused to metal crowns are what we usually make for our patients because it’s economical and it still provides good aesthetic results. For our PFMs, we use only high noble metals (high gold content) to ensure good resistance to corrosion and bio-compatibility. Then we have tooth colored porcelain layered on top. Since PFMs have metal underneath, it might not be very aesthetic in some cases, so for those times we will recommend all porcelain crowns. By using all porcelain there will be no metal underneath which can make the tooth look more natural with translucency coming through. This can also eliminate the dark lines that can sometimes develop near the edge of the PFMs. Even though porcelain is a strong material, it’s quite brittle if subjected to extreme force, so if you clench or grind your teeth, the zirconia crown is an option for you. Technically zirconia is classified as a metal, but it actually comes in various tooth color shades, so we can color match it to your surrounding teeth for a good cosmetic outcome.

No matter what your needs are, we have many options to choose from. We know it can get confusing sometimes, so we will make sure we take help.toohacheour time to explain everything to you so that you can make the best decision to match your needs.

Dental Bridges

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What do you do when you have a missing tooth and you want to fill that gap? One of the many options we have here is a dental bridge. Dental bridges are basically 3 or more dental crowns linked together to cover up the missing area. We use your teeth around the missing tooth area as anchors for your dental bridge. Like dental crowns, dental bridges can be made from several different types of material. The traditional one is the porcelain fused to metal bridge. We use high noble metals here because they are more resistant to corrosion and also more bio-compatible. Then the porcelain is added on top so that it blends in with the rest of your mouth. With good tooth preparation and proper home care there will not be any metal showing. If you are interested in a more aesthetic option, instead of the metal substructure we can replace that with a zirconia frame. Although zirconia is technically classified as a metal, it actually can be made to match our tooth colors. So for zirconia bridges we can either use zirconia throughout or if your case is more aesthetically challenging we can still layer porcelain on top. These restorations are all customized for your mouth to ensure the best cosmetic outcome.

Dental Bonding

Teeth before and after treatment - dental composite filling.

In recent years, there have been many advances in the field of dental bonding materials. Unlike traditional metal based filling such as amalgam (silver fillings), we now have the ability to chemically bond materials to teeth. This chemical bonding can help in holding compromised tooth structures together, decrease the risk of fractures, and minimize the wedging effect seen in large amalgam fillings.

At Little Big Smiles Family Dentistry, we have chosen the best materials with a proven track record for providing the strongest and most durable bond currently available in our field. By using a strong and durable bonding material we can make sure whatever material we use will stay and last long in your mouth. As for the type of materials we use to bond to teeth, there are two major categories. One is the composite resin filling material and the other is porcelain, such as dental veneers or porcelain crowns.

Composite resin materials have also gone through many phases of advancement over the years. Now, we have materials that are not only strong and durable but also highly aesthetic. This new generation of composite materials have a chameleon effect that makes blending in with surrounding tooth structure virtually seamless. In our office we use composite resin materials for mid to small sized cavities in your mouth. When the tooth is ready for these filling materials we layer them in small increments to ensure the proper strengthening and setting of these materials. After placement we take the time to smooth and polish the edges. This is important because this way we can minimize the likelihood of these composite margins/edges picking up staining over time. We want you to be happy with all the restorations we place in your mouth, so if you have any problems or concerns after we’ve place these restorations, please do not hesitate to come back and let us know.

Now accepting CareCredit

At Little Big Smiles Family Dentistry, we strive to keep you smiling a beautiful and healthy smile. CareCredit is a service that aids you or your family that might not be covered by insurance. They help to pay for your healthcare needs, which includes your teeth, through special financing offers.  We know some of our treatments might seem to be out of your financial means, which is why we are now partnering up with CareCredit. We want to make sure financial issues will not be an obstacle for you to get the treatment you deserve.

We now offer zero interest payment options, making our dental work as affordable as possible for you and your family.  It is a convenient, flexible, simple, and straightforward service that helps you to finance for your healthcare needs.  CareCredit offers many flexible payment plans that will cater to your personal financial abilities.  With the special 0% payment plans and varying payment periods our dental work is now more affordable than ever before. We want to make sure that we will be able to give you all the options we can, so you can receive the necessary treatments that you deserve. Learn more about CareCredit and its benefits in our office.

CareCredit