COVID-19 Office Update

It is always our number one priority to keep our patients safe. We will continue to use our universal precautions. We will be adding additional precautions recommended by the CDC and ADA due to the current threat of the COVID-19 virus.

Please be advised of the following:

  1. If you have traveled outside the country, you must be in the USA for 14 days symptom free before being seen in the office.
  2. If you are experiencing a fever or cough, you must reschedule treatment after you have been symptom free for 5 days.
  3. If you are over the age of 80, you should not have elective dental treatment at this time.
  4. Regardless of age, if you are dealing with systemic issues, you are at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If treatment is not a true emergency, either contact your primary care physician or Dr. Zac before proceeding with elective dental treatment. These conditions include:
    1. Uncontrolled cardiac conditions or congestive heart failure
    2. Chronic respiratory conditions
    3. Diabetes
  5. If you are of the ages 60-79, and healthy, you are at a slightly higher risk than younger ages. We are comfortable treating you unless you wish to postpone treatment at this time or wish to consult your primary care physician before treatment

In our front office we have removed all refreshments, toys, and reading material. The front reception, bathroom, and all common services will be wiped down every 60 minutes. The back will continue to use our already established and effective universal precautions against the spread of disease.

Before patients are treated:

  • they will be required to rinse with 1.5% hydrogen peroxide
  • have their temperature taken

Please be aware that Dr. Zac reserves the right to reschedule patients at any time for the safety of staff and other patients.

Thank you for your cooperation!

We want to donate a family for Christmas and we need your help!

Did you know showing gratitude makes you a happier person? 

It’s the time of year where we take time out of our busy lives to pay appreciation for the things we have in our lives. It’s no surprise that when the holidays are here we tend to be happier and more grateful in our everyday lives. Did you know that showing gratitude actually makes you a happier person? Studies have shown that being grateful does amazing things for your mind, body, relationships, and your career.

“Gratitude reminds us that other people have helped us, and therefore we feel that emotion and we want to pay them back and go above and beyond. Gratitude is entirely about the future, not the past…when you feel grateful, it makes you willing to accept sacrifices to help other people, those who have helped you or even to pay it forward.” -David DeSteno

A Harvard study went out to prove that being grateful is associated with greater happiness. It allows you to feel more positive emotions which in turn can benefit your health and your relationships! In the study performed by two Psychologists, they had all of the participants in one group write about what they were grateful for that had happened in their week. The second group had write about their daily irritations or things that had displeased them. The third, and final group, wrote about things during their week that had affected them with no emphasis on positive or negative.

“After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic, and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.”

In conclusion, trying to be grateful for what you have throughout the year instead of just around the holidays can greatly benefit your overall happiness. Gratitude is a way to appreciate what you already have instead of looking for happiness in something new. I know all of us at Dentistry for Families are grateful for each and every one of our patients that help us to thrive and succeed. Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

We are looking to give back to our community this holiday season and would like to adopt two families for Christmas. If you have a family in mind you think could benefit, write a brief summary of why, and please include how many people are in the family, and what ages the children are.

We will be providing these families with a Christmas meal and gifts from Santa. Please submit your narratives before December 10th to [email protected].


Don’t forget our 2nd patient appreciation night is approaching quickly! The link will first be posted on Facebook and Instagram so be sure to subscribe and like to make you are on the list!

Let us buy your candy and win a free electric toothbrush!

The month of October is dedicated to practicing good oral hygiene. Did you know that an unhealthy mouth, especially if you have gingivitis or periodontal disease, may increase your risk of very serious health problems? These include, but are not limited to, heart attack, stroke, poorly controlled diabetes, and preterm labor. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, periodontal disease is the most common cause of tooth loss among adults, NOT tooth decay. Periodontal disease is inflammation of the gums and supporting structures of the teeth due to a buildup of plaque and tartar that is left on the teeth for prolonged periods of time. This triggers your body’s inflammatory response, and over time chronic inflammation leads to the breakdown of your bone and supporting structures around your teeth.

In essence your mouth is the gateway to your body. The recommendation from the American Dental Association is to brush your teeth two times daily for two minutes with a fluoridated toothpaste. They also recommend to floss daily to remove the plaque from between your teeth. Plaque is essentially a soft sticky film that consists of millions of bacteria. Those bacteria are what are responsible for cavities and gum disease. If left on the teeth long enough, plaque will turn into “tartar” or “calculus.” Once plaque has hardened it is only able to be removed by your dentist or dental hygienist.

To encourage all of our patients to practice good oral hygiene, we will be doing a giveaway! We will have a jar full of candy corn in our office and posted to our social media pages. Whoever guesses the correct or closest to the correct number will win an ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH! We look forward to seeing your guesses and helping you to practice great oral hygiene!

Tired of all the candy your child brings home or did you buy too much candy and nobody showed up to your house? Well stop eating it! Didn’t you know that candy is bad for your teeth, especially the hard sticky kind? We want to take it off your hands so you aren’t tempted to eat it. Just bring it to the office, we will weigh it and then give you cash for it! Candy will be purchased at $1/pound with a 5 pound limit per person.

Meet our new Hygienist, Lindsay

Lindsay was born in Southern California, and moved to Vermont when she was two years old. She attended the University of Vermont for two years prior to transferring to Vermont Technical College School of Dental Hygiene where she graduated in 2014. Lindsay had always wanted to go into the medical field and a large decision in becoming a hygienist was because of her mom. Continue reading “Meet our new Hygienist, Lindsay”

Service Spotlight: Teeth Whitening in North Las Vegas

teeth whitening

We would probably all like to have some A-list, movie-star good looks, but as your dentist, I can only help with your teeth. Fortunately, teeth whitening is a quick and effective way to improve your smile and roll back the effects of time.

Our teeth become discolored for two primary reasons.

We typically start out with sparkling white teeth, which have a surface composed of porcelain-like enamel. Enamel protects the teeth from the rigors of chewing and the chemical composition of our food, but eventually it starts to wear down.

While enamel is the outermost layer of your tooth (and is a bright white), most of your tooth is made from dentin. It’s a light, yellowish color, and when your enamel becomes too thin, that yellow starts showing through.

Additionally, chewing can cause microscopic cracks in enamel. Cracks can be filled with stains that dull the appearance of the teeth.

What Causes Tooth Stains?

There are a variety of factors that can affect the color of your teeth. In no particular order:

Genetics: Not everyone’s teeth can be perfectly white. Your teeth have a genetically-determined natural color. That include light shades of yellow, brown, green, and grey. Without whitening treatment, that color will intensify over time. Some people have teeth that are nearly translucent, which means there is little pigment to whiten during treatment.

Age: Enamel thins as we age, particularly if teeth aren’t cared for. Stains from other factors have had time to accumulate. Generally speaking, teeth darken over time.

Diet: Certain foods and beverages have a stronger effect on teeth than others. Regular consumption of coffee, soda, berries, or red wine can cause significant staining over a length of time. Acidic beverages and foods, even if they are healthy, can contribute to enamel erosion.
Smoking: Despite being very hard on the surface, teeth behave like sponges. They have pore-like structures that can absorb the strong colors of things you regularly consume. Smoking is one habit that will darken your teeth, at least until you whiten them.

Grinding/Trauma: If you’re a grinder, that trauma to your teeth causes excessive microscopic cracks in your enamel, allowing stains to penetrate. It will be more noticeable on the biting surfaces as they start to darken.

I Want to Be Forever Young

Home whitening systems, whether they be trays, strips, or gels, incorporate low-dose bleaching agents that can take weeks to show a visible effect. They can be useful for touch-ups and maintenance, but they aren’t great for someone who wants to make an impactful difference in their appearance.

Professional whitening means that you get the good stuff. Chairside whitening treatment is not only the safest form of whitening, but it yields results that are visible immediately. Teeth whitening can make you appear up to 10 years younger.

What to Expect From Teeth Whitening

Treatment is straightforward, and is not uncomfortable or painful. However, your teeth might be sensitive following whitening. Sensitivity is simply a result of your teeth being dehydrated, reducing their ability to insulate their nerves from temperature change. It’s normal and will subside within one to two days.

Here’s what the whitening process generally looks like:

  • A cheek retractor is inserted into the mouth, exposing all the “esthetic zone” teeth (teeth that are visible when you smile).
  • A liquid rubber dam or hardening resin is painted onto the gum tissue to protect against any irritation caused by the bleaching gel.
  • A bleaching gel containing hydrogen peroxide is applied to the esthetic zone teeth and kept on for approximately 15 to 30 minutes.
  • The bleaching gel is suctioned or washed off, and fresh gel is applied for one or more additional periods of 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Some whitening treatments incorporate an intense light that is focused on the teeth and is said to activate or enhance the bleaching process. Opinions vary as to whether this light improves the bleaching outcome.
  • Between gel applications, the teeth are checked to see how well they have whitened, and whether more bleach needs to be applied.
  • After the final gel application, the cheek retractors are removed, the patient rinses, and the immediate post-treatment shade change is measured. The teeth may whiten by as few as two to three shades or as many as eight (out of a total of 16). Part of the whitening effect is due to dehydration during the bleaching process, which makes the teeth look whiter than their true new color. That color will emerge after a couple of days.

For best results, we recommend a cleaning prior to whitening. Schedule a consultation with our North Las Vegas dental team to get started on your whitening treatment.

Have a little bit of coffee discoloration? Not to worry! Dr. Soard and his team can help you get that pearly white smile you’ve been after…give us a call, today.

~Dr. Zachary Soard

Halloween, Candy, and Cavities: A North Las Vegas Horror Story

Halloween in North Las Vegas

Halloween approaches, and we all know what that means: a tsunami of Halloween candy. I love Halloween in North Las Vegas, but as a dentist, I see the direct consequences of the massive sugar consumption.

To get an idea of just how much candy we consume this time of year, let’s take a look at the numbers.

Money spent on Halloween

Halloween candy consumption

Pounds of candy
GRAPHIC FROM: https://visual.ly/community/infographic/food/how-much-candy-do-we-eat-halloween

 

Why do I care? Because all that candy can have a massive impact, particularly on children.

Don’t Become a Victim of Halloween

The average kid that goes trick-or-treating can consume 7,000 calories from candy on Halloween. That comes out to about 675 grams of sugar, or about three cups. But it’s not just Halloween that I’m worried about. A day or two of binging might be something you can recover from, but general consumption of sugar is a massive problem as well.

The CDC estimates that the average child (ages 2–19) consumes 124 grams of sugar on a daily basis. Teenagers are the worst offenders, averaging 161 grams per day. It comes from processed foods, sugary drinks, and sodas.

‘But Dr. Soard, how much should they be having?’

The American Heart Association recommends that children consume fewer than 25 grams of added sugar daily.

While adults are responsible for themselves, children need a little more guidance. Young children, especially, need some extra help. Dentists have seen some disturbing trends as younger and younger children are getting more and more cavities.

40 percent of children ages 2–11 have had tooth decay in their primary teeth.
30 percent of children ages 2–5 currently have tooth decay.
20 percent of children ages 5–11 have at least one untreated, decaying tooth.

Tips for Preventing Cavities

My advice for cavity prevention applies to both parents and their children. Help them form healthy habits at a young age so that they won’t have to do damage control as adults.

Switch to Water
The name of the game in tooth decay is prevention. Switching from juice, milk, and especially soda and drinking mostly water is tremendously helpful. The damaging aspect of sugar (as far as your teeth go) comes from time.

The longer sugar is able to hang out in your teeth, the more it can react with bacteria in the mouth to produce enamel-destroying acids. If you’re drinking sugary beverages all day, that sugar has all day to work on teeth.

Ration Sugary Sweets, or Switch to Healthy Ones
On a day-to-day basis, avoid sugary snacks between meals. They’ll add some unwanted pounds in addition to damaging teeth.

But what do you do with your child’s Halloween horde? There are a few strategies, including rationing it out a piece at a time. I recommend candy buybacks to allow them to trade their candy for cash. Alternatively, donate it to the troops, nursing homes, or charity organizations directly.

Brush Twice per Day, for Two Minutes Each Time
Brushing should begin at whatever age the first tooth appears, and then never stop. We always follow the “2 x 2 rule”—brush twice per day, for two minutes each time. Combined with fluoride toothpaste, effective brushing should be the foundation of your morning and evening routines.

Also, you don’t have to floss all of your teeth…just the ones you’d like to keep.

Don’t Let Your Family Fall Prey to Tooth Decay

Halloween in North Las Vegas doesn’t have to be a sugar buzzkill. Instead of making it all about the candy, focus on fun games and activities that bring people together.

If you have questions about your child’s particular case, please contact our office and we will be happy to help you out.

~Dr. Zachary Soard

Dental Implants and Dental Implant–Supported Dentures

dental implants

Teeth need to last a lifetime, but they don’t always make it that far. The average American lives to be around 78 years old—that’s a long run for a tooth! It’s estimated that 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth and that 40 million Americans are missing all of their teeth. Age is reflected in this data, as about 30 percent of adults 65–74 have no natural teeth.

Whether it’s a single tooth or all of them, there’s a good option available for patients—dental implants.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are small titanium screws that are inserted into the gums and attached to the jawbone. The implant is a full replacement for a tooth root and serves as an anchor for tooth restorations such as crowns and dentures that look and function just like real teeth. Dental implants are a permanent solution to tooth loss.

Who Needs Dental Implants?

Implants are effective for patients of any age. If you’re missing one or more teeth due to tooth decay or any other condition, dental implants are a safe and effective choice. Many choose dental implants because they are a permanent solution and don’t require extra maintenance or care, unlike dentures.

Implants may be a good choice if your missing teeth affect you in one of these ways:
cause pain
make it difficult to chew
distort your speech
affect your appearance

What Are Implant-Supported Dentures?

Traditional dentures mean your teeth spend a lot of time in a cup and not in your mouth. They may slip out, make it difficult to eat, and distort your speech. If you already have dentures or are missing several teeth, implant-supported dentures might be the best solution for you.

As implant-supported dentures are permanent, they look and function just like natural teeth and do not need to be removed for cleaning. There’s another important benefit that comes with implants—they protect your jawbone.

Missing teeth not only change the natural shape of your face and your smile but can lead to jawbone deterioration. When the underlying bones of your mouth aren’t being used to support teeth when chewing, they lose strength, and noticeable bone loss results. Dental implants stimulate bone strength and prevent bone loss.

What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

They are the closest thing to natural teeth. Implants are stronger than any other tooth restoration method. Your implants will look and function just like (perfect) natural teeth.

Dental implants are long-lasting. As they are more durable and require less maintenance than regular dentures or bridges, implants are a long-term solution. As many as 98 percent of dental implants will go 10 years before they need so much as a simple adjustment.

Improve your quality of life. Never be embarrassed by missing teeth, dentures coming out, or having slurred speech because of loose dentures. You’ll be able to eat your favorite foods, no longer avoiding food choices that might hurt or dislodge your dentures.

Dental implants are a healthier choice. Stimulate bone strength and prevent bone loss so that you can retain the natural shape of your jaw. While you should still care for your restored teeth the same as you would your natural teeth, you are no longer susceptible to cavities. Mom will be proud!

Should I Get Dental Implants?

Dental implants let you enjoy your life without worrying about your teeth. If you’re missing one or more teeth, consider a permanent restoration that is low-maintenance and looks natural. Schedule a consultation with our North Las Vegas dental practice to see if you’re a candidate for dental implants.

Schedule a consultation today!

~Dr. Zachary Soard

Top Tech to Go Back to School in North Las Vegas

back to school Las Vegas

When I was a kid growing up in Las Vegas, I had a box to keep my sharpened pencils in and always struggled to fit all my books into my backpack. Today’s students are sporting technology that would make a Bond villain jealous.

According to the Consumer Technology Association, 63 percent of Americans will buy some extra tech for school this year. In light of that, here are my top seven back-to-school gadgets for students in North Las Vegas.

Top 7 Tech Gadgets for School

Disclaimer: Recommendations below are my expressed opinion. I have no monetary investment or connection with the brands, products, or services mentioned below.

7. Chromebook
Many students are doing the majority of their schoolwork using a Chromebook, a limited laptop that lets them utilize Google for email, word processing, and backup. Chromebooks are great because they are inexpensive, easy to use, and have everything a student needs but limited access to things that might distract them from their studies. And even if the device is destroyed, students can simply log in on another device and their data will still be there in the cloud. A great option for value is the Acer Chromebook 14, but you can compare many top models to see which one meets your needs.

6. Carrying Case/Protective Cover
I would be terrified for my children to have a smartphone with no protective case, and I feel the same way about their laptops and Chromebooks. The biggest threats come from drops (particularly when in another bag) and spills, while we also have to consider utility. For my money, I like the TomToc laptop shoulder bag. It has soft padding all the way around, and the big winner is corner armor, a huge safeguard against drops. The material is spill resistant, and it has a shoulder strap and extra pockets to carry accessories. The trade-off is that it’s bulkier than other options.

5. Portable Power Bank
Laptops and cellphones have a limited battery life. This used to be a problem, but now it is mitigated by abundant charging options such as a portable power bank. Most are smaller than a phone and can charge devices up right quick. No longer will “my phone died” be an excuse for getting home late! I like the Anker PowerCore, a compact device that’s good for around three full phone charges.

4. Portable Memory
Most students frequently need USB flash drives to transmit data. It’s not necessary or even wise to get more expensive large-capacity drives (they get lost frequently); it’s probably better to get a few smaller drives so you always have a spare. I advise you to label flash drives with your student’s name, and choose products that are harder to lose. Take a look at this 5-pack of 16GB flash drives from SanDisk.

3. Amazon Kindle
While I love the feel of a paper book, I can’t deny the utility of the Amazon Kindle. Students will have immediate access to nearly every book in the public domain, able to carry every e-book they own with them wherever they go. Schools can also push PDFs and books to student devices with Whispercast.

2. Headphones
Not only do students need the ability to block out distractions, but parents need the ability to not listen to whatever it is their children are listening to. You have numerous choices regarding wires, design, features, and price points, though I suggest something with noise-canceling features like the Audio-Technica QuietPoint.

1. Philips Sonicare

You didn’t think I’d let you get away without talking about dental hygiene, did you? There are several great options for electric toothbrushes, but the Philips Sonicare Essence is a great starting point. I highly recommend a good electric toothbrush, as few people brush manually as effectively as they do with an electric toothbrush. They are especially great for children, who have a habit of not brushing as well as they should.

Head Back to School in North Las Vegas With a Smile

If your students haven’t been in for a regular cleaning lately, schedule one with our dental practice in North Las Vegas to make sure their smile is ready for the first day of school.

Don’t wait until the chaos of school begins to schedule your next appointment. Give us a call and book in advance to ensure a spot for you and your family.

Service Spotlight: Everything You Need to Know About Root Canals

North Las Vegas Root Canal

While prevention is the best medicine, sometimes a tooth that is badly decayed or infected needs a root canal. When most patients learn they’re going to need a root canal, their first question is, “Does it hurt?”

They used to, but modern root canal therapy is relatively painless and treatment is very effective.

Root canals, or endodontic therapy if you want to be fancy, is a procedure to eliminate infection. Left untreated, an infected tooth can kill you—in addition to being pretty painful, of course. Before dentistry, casualties from infection were much more common.

Fortunately, modern medicine is equipped to handily deal with infected teeth before complications can occur, and that’s where the root canal comes in.

Why Do People Need Root Canals?

Your teeth aren’t just solid bone. They’re made from dentin (a bone-like substance) and enamel on the outside, and on the inside there is the pulp. The pulp consists of connective tissues, nerves, and blood vessels. These enter the tooth via a small channel in the root, known as the “root canal.”

If your tooth is hurting, you’re well aware of the presence of nerves. The structures in the pulp of your tooth transmit sensations (such as “hot” or “cold”) through your nervous system.

The hard structures of dentin and enamel protect your teeth. However, tooth decay can result in cavity formation. When the hole in your tooth gets big enough and is left untreated, bacteria from your mouth can find their way into the pulp of your teeth and cause an infection.

Sometimes the infection results in an abscess, which is like a blister that forms around the roots of your tooth. Besides the discomfort and difficulty eating, the big threat from an abscessed tooth is that the infection could spread to your brain or heart, cause sepsis, or result in pneumonia.

Root canal therapy is the procedure to remove the infected pulp and replace it with a filling. After treatment, the tooth will function as it should and the infection will be cleared.

What Happens During a Root Canal?

Initial appointment

The patient likely came in because of a bad toothache. During this appointment, we make a good assessment and take X-rays to identify the exact shape of the root and the infected area. If we recommend endodontic treatment, we set that up as soon as possible with a trusted North Las Vegas endodontist.

2. Prepare the tooth for treatment. The first thing we do during treatment is numb the affected area. We then apply a rubber dam around the tooth to keep the working area dry. The dentist makes an opening in the crown of the tooth for clear access into the pulp chamber.

3. Clear the damaged material. The dentist removes the damaged and infected nerves from the crown of the tooth and the root canal. The area is then cleaned up a bit and shaped so that it can be properly filled.

4. Filling the tooth. The canal itself is filled with a special, rubbery material. The affected tooth gets a regular filling or a dental crown to restore it to full function. Sometimes, the initial crown is temporary and the patient returns in a few days to receive the permanent filling.

What Should I Expect After a Root Canal?

Your tooth and the surrounding area are probably going to be sore and sensitive for a couple of days after a root canal. Although your mouth will be sore for a little while, after the final sealing is complete, you can return to a normal oral hygiene routine immediately. Brush your teeth and floss as you normally would.

Do you have a tooth that’s bothering you? Afraid you need a root canal? Give our North Las Vegas dental practice a call and we’ll be more than happy to discuss your options together.

~Dr. Zachary Soard

North Las Vegas: Summer Fun Edition

Red Rock Canyon

North Las Vegas doesn’t always get the attention it deserves thanks to the monolith due south of us. My home and dental practice are here partly because it is more family-friendly than Vegas proper, less crowded, and less expensive.

You don’t have to miss out on any fun, though. There are still many great things to do in North Las Vegas.

The 5 Best Family-Friendly Things to Do in North Las Vegas

Skyline Helicopter Tours

Everyone gets a window seat on a Skyline helicopter tour! Nevada has some of the most beautiful scenery in the U.S., and it’s hard to fully appreciate it until you view it from above. See the neon lights of the strip, the beauty of Red Rock Canyon, or the alien volcanic formations of the Black Canyon just below the Hoover Dam. Skyline has an impeccable safety record and a sterling reputation, and their helicopter tours over the Las Vegas area start at only $95 a person.

Aliante Nature Discovery Park

Aliante Park is a nice little sanctuary in North Las Vegas. Great landscapes combined with a uniquely entertaining playground make this a great place to take the kids. A path loops around the park, and there are decent restrooms and covered picnic areas with charcoal grills. Just be on the lookout for dinosaurs among the rest of the wildlife. Rawr!

The Planetarium

At the planetarium, the stars are the star of the show! This facility, a part of the Cheyenne Campus of CCSN, is the only public observatory in Nevada. Future astronomers or those who are just sky-curious can enjoy a celestial presentation inside, followed by some telescope viewing if the weather permits. It’s a small theater and they won’t admit you if you’re late, so I recommend reserving seats and showing up early. Tickets are only $4–6!

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

If you feel the need for speed, then the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is the place for you! Multiple tracks mean you can see everything from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series to drag racing, truck races, and people with too much money racing luxury dream cars. You can even catch bull riding and spectacular Christmas light shows during the off season.

Las Vegas Natural History Museum

Do your kids like dinosaurs? Of course they do! Who doesn’t like dinosaurs? The Las Vegas Natural History Museum is a Smithsonian affiliate featuring interactive exhibits for young scientists and curious minds. While most adults will enjoy this place, too, it caters to youngsters. Various exhibits focus on subjects such as ancient Egypt, marine life, and dinosaurs (of course).

 

Share your family-friendly summer hot spots with our readers in the comments below! With four kids, my family is always looking for a new adventure!

~Dr. Zachary Soard