Below are some of the most frequently asked questions patients have about dentistry and oral health issues. If you have any other questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, we would love to hear from you.
What is the Difference between Oral Sedation Dentistry and General Anesthesia Dentistry ; which is commonly referred to as “Sleep Dentistry” or “Deep Sedation Dentistry” in St. Louis, MO?
Oral Sedation dentistry involves a dissolved small pill to put the patient into an extremely "foggy" / "relaxed" state. You can still breath and respond to verbal commands; yet when the procedure is over, memory of the entire visit is vague at best.
General Anesthesia Dentistry (“Sleep Dentistry”) is considered by the MISSOURI Dental Board as being dentistry performed on a patient in a Deeply Sedated State (one wherein the patient is unable to breath on their own).
Importantly, General Anesthesia Dentistry may be performed one of two ways ...
1. by Board Certified Medical Doctors (MD Anesthesiologists) who are responsible for the Anesthesia - while the treating dentisty performs the dentistry (this is the case at PHD).
2. or the General Anesthesia may be performed by the treating dentist (who is in charge of BOTH the Deep Sedation/Anesthesia and the dentistry treatments). Dr. Schlotz does not consider this to be the best dentistry possible for his patients.
Therefore, at Plaza Health Dentistry, we prefer Premier Dental Anesthesiology (and Board-Certified Medical Doctors) to be responsible for the Anesthesia while Dr Schlotz performs the highly demanding technical skills required of Minimally-Invasive General Dentistry. This is a significant philosophical difference, and is in contrast, to both of these roles being performed by a solo dentist who performs “Sleep Dentistry”.
Can Porcelain dental work be "bleached" or "whitened"?
No, porcelain may not be bleached or whitened in the usual sense of the words. They may, however, be polished so that some "extrinsic" (outside) stains may be removed. Note, however, that "staining" of porcelain is rare.
Are Lumineers the most Minimally Invasive form of Veneers - today?
Lumineers are 20+ yr old technology - and no they are not the best available today. A product known as Lithium Disilicate is used by state-of-the-art conservative cosmetic dentists today. They are much better aesthetically and are significantly more fracture resistant than than Lumineers (see Ivoclar website for more details about this product).
What are the primary causes of tooth loss?
Dental Decay (cavities) and Periodontal (gum) Disease are the most common causes of tooth loss. Dental Decay is caused by bacterial deposits of acid onto the tooth (demineralizing the enamel) thus creating a cavity. As Decay progresses - it can involve the nerve canal (painful) - and then enter into the body (infection).
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, affects mostly adults. It is caused by bacterial invasion between the tooth and gum - and is actually worsened by the patient's own immune system. Thus, Periodontal disease is an both considered an "infection" and an "allergy" (see below).
What is Gum Disease?
Also called "Periodontal Disease" - it is both a bacterial infection and is very much like an "allergy" (some people much more susceptible than others). In its earliest stage, gum disease is known as gingivitis - and affects only the gums and is reversible. In later stages it affects the supporting bone underneath the gum tissue causing "bone loss" which leads to "loose teeth" and eventually, "lost teeth".
When should a child have his/her first dental appointment?
A child may have his/her first dental visit during 2nd/3rd years. The early visits should be called "happy visits" - and be handled accordingly. Early visits that are good ones set the tone for a life of "dental bliss"!.
Difference Btw Crowns vs. Onlays?
Is Oral Cancer a common disease and What are its causes?
Oral Cancer is one of the most frequently diagnoses types of cancer. It may be caused by Tobacco (cigarettes, pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco/ snuff). Adding in alcohol (heavy use) with tobacco is also known to be a precursor to oral cancer. Poor oral hygiene, prolonged irritation of the oral cavity, and extended exposure to strong sunlight on the lips are among other causes of the disease.
What are the warning signs of oral cancer?
Early symptoms of oral cancer include: a sore on the lip, in the mouth, or in the throat that does not heal; a lump on the lip, in the mouth, or in the throat; a red or white patch found anywhere in the mouth; unusual pain or bleeding in the mouth; swelling of the mouth; and any difficulty or discomfort felt in chewing or swallowing.
Best Dentist Websites – What are they all about?
Top-Best General Dentist listings can be confusing and misleading to prospective dental patients. Here is a breakdown of some of the listing types – and pros/cons of the system employed.
- Some Top-Best Dentist listings are “selected by (specialist) peers” (STL Magazine). These listings are created by “votes” from specialists in the area of dentistry. Votes from these specialists can be viewed, interestingly, a couple of ways. Most obviously, one would hope these specialists would vote based on the quality of care they can observe of referred patients from the general dentist office. They can see fairly clearly how talented a general dds is. Thus, it seems, would be perfect for “voting” w/out a bias. Unfortunately, yet not suprisingly, it is actually well known that specialists typically vote for or their referral base (the general dentist) regardless of quality. The conflict of interest (as the general dentist goes, so goes the specialist) makes this Peer Selection process, possibly, less than reliable.
- Other T-B DDS sites are based on years in practice w/out serious mis-treatment (read: malpractice). They are abundant, yet the due diligence is minimal.
- Some T-B DDS sites rely on Continuing Education and years in practice (experience) for their listings. These are beneficial, if only to a limited extent. They really don't reveal a great deal, however, about the patient experience to be expected.
- Still other T-B DDS sites simply a “Sign Up & Pay” a monthly fee and your listed. These sites almost always still do a perfunctory check of major dental license infractions.
- Today - the best way to learn about the Top-Best Dentists might be to carefully read multiple Review Sites. Although many reviews can be written to try and "extort" their way out of a payment - taken in whole they may be beneficial, and may give you a pretty good idea as to the Patient Experience you may expect.
Lastly, and to present our viewpoint at PHD, we’d like for you to believe that DDS integrity and quality begins with education. A dental office that exposes the most has very little to hide. Through this website we trust that you have been educated better and more efficiently than any other practicing dentist website. Further, since Dr William Schlotz has authored virtually ALL of this website’s content (and not sent it out to be professionally written), he would like you to conclude that the time spent creating and writing this website is a reliable indicator as to the type of care that you will receive as a patient at PHD (I write this in the 3rd person).