New Port Richey and Trinity, FL Dentist
James C. Lewis, DMD
4101 Little Rd
New Port Richey, FL 34655
(727) 372-7887
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4101 Little Road
New Port Richey, FL 34655

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Posts for: October, 2017

By James C. Lewis, DMD
October 27, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tmj disorders  
WhytheTreatmentModelforYourJawJointDisorderMatters

Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ), located where your lower jaw meets the skull, play an essential role in nearly every mouth function. It’s nearly impossible to eat or speak without them.

Likewise, jaw joint disorders (temporomandibular joint disorders or TMD) can make your life miserable. Not only can you experience extreme discomfort or pain, your ability to eat certain foods or speak clearly could be impaired.

But don’t assume you have TMD if you have these and other symptoms — there are other conditions with similar symptoms. You’ll need a definitive diagnosis of TMD from a qualified physician or dentist, particularly one who’s completed post-graduate programs in Oral Medicine or Orofacial Pain, before considering treatment.

If you are diagnosed with TMD, you may then face treatment choices that emanate from one of two models: one is an older dental model based on theories that the joint and muscle dysfunction is mainly caused by poor bites or other dental problems. This model encourages treatments like orthodontically moving teeth, crowning problem teeth or adjusting bites by grinding down tooth surfaces.

A newer treatment model, though, has supplanted this older one and is now practiced by the majority of dentists. This is a medical model that views TMJs like any other joint in the body, and thus subject to the same sort of orthopedic problems found elsewhere: sore muscles, inflamed joints, strained tendons and ligaments, and disk problems. Treatments tend to be less invasive or irreversible than those from the dental model.

The newer model encourages treatments like physical therapy, medication, occlusive guards or stress management. The American Association of Dental Research (AADR) in fact recommends that TMD patients begin their treatment from the medical model rather than the dental one, unless there are indications to the contrary. Many studies have concluded that a majority of patients gain significant relief with these types of therapies.

If a physician or dentist recommends more invasive treatment, particularly surgery, consider seeking a second opinion. Unlike the therapies mentioned above, surgical treatments have a spotty record when it comes to effectiveness — some patients even report their conditions worsening afterward. Try the less-invasive approach first — you may find improvement in your symptoms and quality of life.

If you would like more information on treating TMD, 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 “Seeking Relief from TMD.”


By James C. Lewis, DMD
October 12, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   plaque  
TacklingDentalPlaque

The American Dental Hygiene Association has designated October as National Dental Hygiene Month. Good dental hygiene is the best weapon against your mouth’s number one enemy: dental plaque.

Plaque, a sticky biofilm that forms on your teeth, is an accumulation of bacteria, other microorganisms, food debris, and other unpleasant components. It can make your teeth feel fuzzy or slimy. And worse, the bacteria in plaque can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

The best way to keep plaque at bay is by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. But even though you can remove much of the plaque in your mouth with a toothbrush and dental floss, there are nooks and crannies that are hard to access with these basic oral hygiene tools.

Staying on top of dental plaque is an ongoing challenge. Immediately after teeth are cleaned, plaque starts to form again. And the longer plaque stays on teeth, the thicker it grows. Minerals in saliva become incorporated into the biofilm. As plaque takes on more minerals, it becomes calcified. This is when it hardens into calculus, or tartar. At this stage, tooth-brushing and flossing cannot disrupt the hardened layer of buildup, sometimes visible as yellow or brown deposits around the gum line.

This is why it’s important to schedule regular professional dental cleanings. At the dental office, we have special tools to remove tartar and get at those hard-to-reach places that your toothbrush and floss may have missed. If you have questions about dental hygiene, plaque control or another oral health issue, we are happy to talk with you. We are your partners in fighting plaque for a bright, healthy smile!

Read more about the topic in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Plaque Disclosing Agents.”


By James C. Lewis, DMD
October 10, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Laser Dentistry  

Laser Dentistry. Are the two words actually compatible? Aren't lasers part of rock concerts, sci-fi movies and making metal sculptures? laser dentistryWell, laser dentistry is one of today's most innovative, effective and patient-friendly ways to treat oral health issues quickly and precisely. The National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery says dentists have used lasers in inventive ways since 1960. Today, Dr. James Lewis in New Port Richey and Trinity, FL offers laser dentistry options. Let's explore just a few of these amazing treatments.

What worries you most?

When it comes to your teeth and gums, what concerns you? Cavities, gum disease, and appearance usually appear on everyone's list. Well, dental lasers address many of those issues, and Dr. Lewis and his team have the skills to use laser diagnostic and restorative tools effectively for the best possible outcomes.

Take, for instance, gum disease. This devastating condition is the number one cause of tooth loss among American adults, says the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Yet, many people avoid the very thing which would heal their infected and deteriorating gum tissue--periodontal therapy. They avoid it because many traditional gum procedures involved cutting, bleeding, sutures and significant recovery time.

LANAP

Difficult and anxiety producing periodontal treatments take a backseat to Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedures. Nicknamed LANAP, these innovative gum procedures use the amazing Lightwalker Laser to:

  • Gently penetrate deep gum pockets
  • Disinfect and debride gums
  • Smooth root surfaces
  • Speed healing and re-attachment of gums to tooth roots
  • Stimulate gum and bone re-growth

Done by Dr. Lewis right in office, LANAP removes the fear and pain previously associated with treating periodontitis. Results are amazing, and patients resume their normal activities right away.

Other uses of the dental laser

Besides gum therapy, laser dentistry in New Port Richey and Trinity may remove excess gum tissue for orthodontic, restorative or cosmetic reasons. Additionally, many dentists use lasers for professional teeth whitening and to prepare decayed teeth for restoration with fillings or crowns.

Frankly, laser dentistry has no downsides. Patients and oral health care providers alike love that lasers are quiet, quick, comfortable, precise, clean and conservative.

Could laser dentistry in New Port Richey and Trinity help you?

Dr. Lewis and his team can tell you what preventive, restorative and cosmetic services are best for your smile. Some may involve today's most innovative dental tool--the laser. If it's time for your semi-annual check-up and hygienic cleaning, why not call Dr. Lewis today for your appointment? Ask about laser dentistry and its many benefits. Phone (727) 372-7887.




Dentist New Port Richey FL James Lewis DMD

James Lewis, DMD

Dr. James Lewis prides himself on establishing personal relationships with his patients so he can help make their dreams of having a beautiful, healthy smile come true...

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