San Antonio Dentist Blog for Cosmetic and Sedation Dentistry | William J. Stewart Jr. DDS

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Why a Water Flosser Might be a Good Idea

On January 26, 2018, in Cosmetic Dentistry, by PM Blogger
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San Antonio should I use waterpik?

Today, we’re discussing the water flosser, also known as interdental cleaner, interdental irrigator, or water jet. The first water-shooting device for cleaning between teeth was developed in the early 1960’s by Colorado dentist Dr. Gerald Moyer and John Mattingly, a hydraulics engineer. The apparatus is now known by the brand name Waterpik, though many people use the term generically. Since its inception, several other companies have entered the market with similar products. (Note: William J. Stewart Jr. DDS does not necessarily endorse any particular brand.)

A water irrigation tool oscillates a stream of water through a small, targeted tube to shoot out bits of food and plaque from around and between teeth. To use it, you insert the tube into your mouth, turn it on, and then lean over the sink with your mouth slightly open to let the water dribble out as you navigate the stream of shooting water around the gumline, stopping momentarily at each gap between neighboring teeth.

There have been over 65 studies that have confirmed the safety and effectiveness of water flossing for calculus reduction, plaque biofilm removal, bleeding reduction, inflammation reduction, and gingivitis treatment.

Should I Use a Water Flosser?
If you don’t floss at all, absolutely. If you have gingivitis, maybe. It may also help you keep your teeth and gums healthy if you have dental bridgework.

First, meet with Dr. Stewart to obtain an oral care treatment plan that factors in your tooth and gum health, physical dexterity, and lifestyle. The following factors may impact whether or not Dr. Stewart guides you to use an interdental irrigation device.

Braces or other orthodontic appliances
A physical limitation that reduces ability to brush and/or floss
Gingivitis
Gums that bleed when flossing
Bleeding around dental implants when flossing
Aversion to flossing
Sensitive teeth

The patient-centered and detail oriented team at William J. Stewart Jr. DDS would love to help you learn the best suited techniques for keeping your gums pink and healthy and firmly attached to cavity-free teeth. To schedule an appointment, call 210-428-6535.

Sources:
Jacquelyn L. Fried, RDH, MS, “Interdental Cleansing,” The American Dental Hygienist Association, https://www.adha.org/resources-docs/7123_Waterpik_Irrigation.pdf, accessed March 10, 2017
Carol A. Jahn, RDH, MS, “The Water Flosser: Your Tool For Optimal Oral Health,” https://www.waterpik.com/oral-health/pro/education/pdf/Waterpik_WaterFlosser_ContinuingEducation.pdf, accessed March 10, 2017
“Water Flossing,” MouthHealthy (ADA), http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/w/water-flossers, accessed March 10, 2017

Contact William J. Stewart Jr. DDS:

h4>210-428-6535

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

13220 Huebner Rd
San Antonio, Texas
78230

 

implant dentures San Antonio

Today’s dental technology has solved the trouble of bothersome loose-fitting dentures with a fantastic tooth replacement option.

Instead of relying on your tongue, a weak suction, and some dental adhesive to keep false teeth in place, dental implant posts can anchor full or partial dentures. The dentures are secure enough to allow the wearer to eat an apple, chew a thick sandwich, or share a hearty laugh with confidence.

If you are missing a single tooth, many teeth, or all of your teeth, we invite you to learn more about industry-leading implant-anchored dentures.

Implants can anchor either removable or fixed dentures. Due to the way each tooth space is correctly fitted with a beautiful restoration, implants frequently fit better than traditional dentures. Dentures anchored with implant posts are comfortable, functional, and pleasing.

Call Dr. William Stewart at William J. Stewart Jr. DDS (210-428-6535) for an appointment to explore breakthrough implant-anchored dentures.

Dr. Stewart, a an extraordinary dental professional, has been practicing dentistry since 1981.

At William J. Stewart Jr. DDS, we focus our efforts on complete patient satisfaction. Each member of our patient-centered and detail oriented team is passionate about providing each patient with personal attention and the highest standard of care. Our patients enjoy our relaxed atmosphere while benefitting from our cutting-edge technology and extensive experience.

Whether you are interested in sedation dentistry, dental crowns or root canals, call 210-428-6535 to schedule an appointment. We are located at 13220 Huebner Rd in San Antonio.

Improving Patient’s Lives Through Their Smiles

Contact William J. Stewart Jr. DDS:

210-428-6535

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

13220 Huebner Rd
San Antonio, Texas
78230

 

San Antonio sleep dentistry

Dental anxiety and the more severe dental phobia impact many San Antonio people, including some William J. Stewart Jr. DDS patients. Today’s post answers some questions asked about this vital topic.

What are the long-term consequences of dental anxiety and dental phobia?
The most harmful consequence is when a dental phobic patient delays dental care until a pain becomes excruciating. At this point, the trouble is usually extremely advanced and requires extensive treatment.

Furthermore, there are usually many other dental issues in varying stages of progression. Many oral conditions eventually cause malfunction in other vital systems risking general health and well-being.

There is also another anxiety at play, albeit a very ironic one. In addition to the emotional distress about dental treatment, the patient who avoids dental care starts panicking about the sorry condition of their teeth.

If I have dental phobia or anxiety, what should I do to protect my oral health?

Schedule an appointment with me, Dr. William Stewart of William J. Stewart Jr. DDS in San Antonio. There are several specific fears associated with dental anxiety and dental phobia. Fear of pain, fear of the unknown, fear of loss of control, and extreme embarrassment because of poor dental health are the most common concerns. During your consultation, we will address each of your individual fears and discuss them.

I have helped many patients manage their anxiety during dental exams and treatment. First off, we take things slowly. I explain exactly what is going to happen before each procedure. If the patient is embarrassed about their lack of daily oral hygiene or dental cleanings in the past, I assure the patient that I have treated many people who have neglected their teeth and nothing going on in their mouth will shock me. I never, ever give stern lectures on proper oral care – though I do give friendly instruction if requested.

If local anesthetic is necessary, I employ my finely-honed methods which cause zero to minimal discomfort. We agree upon a nonverbal signal, such as raising a hand, to cue me to remove my instrument from the patient’s mouth. Then he/she can take a break, breathe deeply, regain composure, ask questions, and learn the status of the procedure.

These practices go a long way to calm anxious dental patients. At the very least, they help the patient get through the treatment that is necessary immediately. With each subsequent visit, the patient is comforted by increased familiarity, greater confidence, and a strengthened relationship with me and my patient-centered and detail oriented team.

What if I need more help to get through treatment?
In the San Antonio dental community, the terms “sleep dentistry” and “oral conscious sedation” are both used, however, they are not exactly the same thing. There are three main types of sedation used in dentistry.

Level 1: Nitrous Oxide
Nitrous oxide, or, informally, “laughing gas” is safe and effective. Nitrous oxide has been used in San Antonio cosmetic dental offices for decades because in many ways it is the ideal mild sedative. It goes to work at the first inhalation, relaxes the patient during the treatment without rendering them completely unconscious, and wears off quickly after the mask is removed. And no needles are required – an essential feature for the needle-phobic.

Level 2: Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral sedatives don’t start working as quickly as nitrous oxide, but they help most patients achieve a deeper level of relaxation. These medications, however, do not usually cause complete unconsciousness. Thus, oral sedatives and nitrous oxide are used in “conscious” sedation. Two common sedatives used by San Antonio dentists to assuage patient’s fears are diazepam and triazolam.

Level 3: IV Sedation
IV sedation produces actual “sleep dentistry.” Most patients are completely oblivious to the dental procedures they are receiving. IV sedation is beneficial for root canals, wisdom teeth extractions, multi-procedure smile makeovers, and oral surgery.

To learn more about overcoming dental anxiety, sedation dentistry, or any other dental topic, call William J. Stewart Jr. DDS at 210-428-6535.

Contact William J. Stewart Jr. DDS:

210-428-6535

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

13220 Huebner Rd
San Antonio, Texas
78230

 

What You See And What You Don’t

On January 5, 2018, in Uncategorized, by PM Blogger
0

invisible braces San Antonio

If you have had restorations, orthodontia, or a complete smile redesign, you want people to notice the final outcome – your unforgettable smile. There is a lot, however, that is going on behind the scenes. Today’s post talks about three essential smile makeover components that are not readily apparent when you smile, but are often necessary for the successful result.

Invisible Braces
Not everyone in San Antonio wants to flash a metal smile while their teeth are being straightened. Invisible braces keep your secret safe because it is nearly impossible to see them while they are being worn.

White Fillings

If you have metal fillings, you might be interested in replacing them with composite fillings that match your surrounding teeth. You can’t undo the decay, but you can make the metal disappear.

Tooth Implants

A dental implant is a metal (usually titanium) rod implanted into the bone to replace the missing root after a tooth extraction. The crown and supporting structure are securely and permanently attached to the post. Titanium is super strong and well tolerated by the jaw bone. When the final crown is placed, your new tooth is indistinguishable from the others. Dental implants have many critical advantages over dental crowns. If you are missing teeth, schedule a consultation with Dr. William Stewart to discuss your options.

William J. Stewart Jr. DDS is located at 13220 Huebner Rd in San Antonio. We have been providing quality dental care since 1981. In addition to the services previously mentioned, ask us about veneers, tooth whitening and sedation dentistry. We look forward to meeting you. Call us today at 210-428-6535.

Contact William J. Stewart Jr. DDS:

210-428-6535

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

13220 Huebner Rd
San Antonio, Texas
78230

 

Smile Makeovers: First Things First

On December 22, 2017, in Cosmetic Dentistry, by PM Blogger
0

smile design San Antonio

Hello, I’m Dr. William Stewart of William J. Stewart Jr. DDS. Thanks for visiting my blog. In today’s post, we will focus on something that happens occasionally when a patient requests cosmetic dentistry.

Let me set the stage. The patient comes in for a consultation about a smile makeover. We’ll call him Mr. Jones. The dentist listens carefully as he explains the esthetic problems that he wants to remedy. Mr. Jones wants to fix two chipped teeth, replace a missing tooth with a dental implant, and whiten his whole smile. He describes what he envisions for his smile after undergoing treatment.

The dentist performs an examination of his entire mouth and takes x-rays, discovering some additional problems in the process. He has moderate to severe tooth decay throughout his mouth. Mr. Joes also suffers from gum disease and severe jawbone recession.

The dentist explains that these troubles need to be addressed before the smile makeover. Mr. Jones says that the smile makeover is his first priority and plans to deal with the other problems sometime in the future.

How does the dentist advise him? He will probably explain that the lasting success of a cosmetic dental procedure such as porcelain veneers, dental bonding, or tooth whitening is influenced by the condition of the mouth at the time of treatment. There must be a solid, healthy foundation, so to speak, on which to build the smile makeover.

First things first. It makes no sense to attach a veneer to a decayed tooth that may need a root canal. A dental implant may not integrate with the surrounding bone structure if placed at a site where there is bone recession. Tooth whitening will probably not produce favorable results where there is gum disease and exposed tooth roots.

Can Mr. Jones ever have his dream smile? Yes! There are treatments to repair all of the problems mentioned previously. But just like many other things in life, the order of operations is critical.

If you are interested in a smile makeover or simply need a check-up, schedule an appointment by calling 210-428-6535. I look forward to discussing both your oral health and esthetic concerns.

Contact William J. Stewart Jr. DDS:

210-428-6535

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

13220 Huebner Rd
San Antonio, Texas
78230

 

Suspect A Bite Problem?

On December 15, 2017, in General Dentistry, by PM Blogger
0

malocclusion examination San Antonio

Hello! I’m William Stewart, DDS, of William J. Stewart Jr. DDS in San Antonio. Thanks for visiting my dental blog. The topic of today’s post is malocclusion – literally – “bad bite”.

Edward Angle, a pioneer in modern orthodontics invented the term malocclusion. Malocclusion is fairly common in the population as a whole but, fortunately, in most cases the misalignment is so slight that it causes no troubles.

When you combine multiple teeth on two arches and a jaw joint with a considerable range of motion, it is easy to see how these elements can fail to align properly. In fact, it is a wonder that they work correctly for most people – allowing them to talk, eat, and breathe without giving it a second thought.

There are many causes of malocclusion – some originating with the teeth and some originating with the jaw. Misshapen teeth, extracted teeth, impacted teeth, crowded teeth, and widely spaced teeth can impact the bite. Injury to the jaw can also cause malocclusion as well as improperly fitting restorations and other dental appliances.

Children with a normal bite can develop bite issues with prolonged pacifier use, thumb sucking or bottle drinking. In rarer cases, oral tumors can move a bite out of alignment.

The treatment for malocclusion depends on the cause. Orthodontics can move teeth into alignment to fix bite troubles. Overcrowding often requires extraction of one or more teeth. Misshapen teeth that affect the bite can often be repaired with crowns or dental bonding.

If the jawbone is significantly misshapen or misaligned, maxillofacial surgery may be necessary. Jaw surgery is a serious undertaking with significant risks and a long, painful recovery. While the jaw heals, it is secured with wires and screws. Ouch!

If your jaw hurts or you observe unusual wear to your teeth, it is vital that you are examined by a professional. Call 210-428-6535 to schedule an appointment with Dr. William Stewart.

Our patient-centered and detail oriented dental team has been serving patients at our comfortable San Antonio office since 1981. We can give you more details about malocclusion, root canals sedation dentistry, or teeth whitening.

Dr. Stewart also advises San Antonio parents about essential issues such as tooth development, thumb-sucking, water fluoridation, dental sealants, oral sports protection, and orthodontia. If you suspect that your child has any degree of malocclusion, schedule an exam ASAP. Untreated bite issues in <~URVChildren> can inhibit proper nutrition, breathing, tooth development, and speech development.

Contact William J. Stewart Jr. DDS:

210-428-6535

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

13220 Huebner Rd
San Antonio, Texas
78230

 

Kids Who Like Dental Visits?

On December 8, 2017, in Family Dentistry, by PM Blogger
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friendly children

At William J. Stewart Jr. DDS, we are proud of the fact that the majority of our young patients love visiting our office for their checkups, cleanings, and treatments. We believe that creating a relationship with an experienced, friendly dentist is a crucial responsibility for parents.

The Oral Health-Physical Health Connection

Optimal physical health for children is impossible without the oral health component. Though this fact seems obvious, tooth decay in children is a national epidemic, and, for the most part, is preventable. Regular checkups are just as essential as well child exams and immunizations.

The health of your child’s teeth and gums impacts their speech development, eating habits, academic success, mental health, and social relationships. At William J. Stewart Jr. DDS, we love working with you and your child to establish habits that ensure a healthy smile for life.

The Good News

Today’s children are far less fearful of the dentist than their grandparents’ generation. Part of the reason is that today’s dental tools have advanced significantly and rarely cause any pain. If you are old enough to remember the whining dental drills of fifty years ago, you probably have a greater appreciation for the technological discoveries that make dental treatment far more pleasant than in years past.

But advanced tools are not the only reason that our youngest patients look forward to dental visits. At William J. Stewart Jr. DDS, there is a pleasant, inviting atmosphere that puts patients of all ages at ease. If you are looking for a top dentist for your child, rest assured that our patient-centered and detail oriented team will make your child feel comfortable during their dental visit.

When Should A Child Have Their First Dental Checkup?

We counsel parents to bring their toddler in for a first exam before age one, or when their first tooth erupts. During the initial visit, we can discuss dental treatments such as sealants, fluoride treatments, brushing and flossing techniques, and orthodontics.

Bring Your Questions

We also give moms and dads advice about thumb-sucking, pacifiers, and other habits that influence dental health. When your child starts participating in sports, let’s talk about custom mouthguards. Remember to call us immediately at 210-428-6535 if your child suffers a tooth injury.

In addition to offering children’s dentistry, we deliver restorative and cosmetic dentistry. Ask us about sedation dentistry, dental crowns, and root canals.

Contact William J. Stewart Jr. DDS:

210-428-6535

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

13220 Huebner Rd
San Antonio, Texas
78230

 

Best Practices For A Healthy, Beautiful Smile

On December 1, 2017, in Oral Health, by PM Blogger
0

cosmetic dental San Antonio

Even if you value a healthy smile, it’s easy to become somewhat lax about smile-friendly lifestyle choices. In today’s article, our goal is for you to scrutinize where you stand and consider whether you could step it up a notch. Committing to oral health best practices can prevent future problems and support your quality of life.

Brushing

Good: Brush teeth once a day.
Better: Brush teeth properly after each meal.
Best: Brush after each meal and floss thoroughly before bed.

Dental Checkups

Good: See your dentist if you get a toothache.
Better: See Dr. Stewart once a year even if you don’t notice any dental issues.
Best: Twice-yearly, have an intensive dental exam and professional dental cleaning at William J. Stewart Jr. DDS.

A White Smile

Good: Use a whitening toothpaste.
Better: Use a whitening product at home.
Best: Schedule an in-office tooth whitening treatment.

Missing Tooth

Good enough for some people: Ignore it. (We don’t recommend this.)
Better: Get a quality dental bridge.
Best: Restore your smile with a beautiful, durable, and natural-functioning dental implant. (Consult with Dr. Stewart to find out if you are a good candidate for an implant.)

Smile-Friendly Nutrition

Good: Eat a nutritious diet.
Better: Eat a healthy diet and limit sugary snacks and beverages.
Best: Eat a sensible diet, limit between-meal snacking, eat lots of calcium-rich foods, steer clear of sugary snacks, abstain from energy drinks and soda, and sip water throughout the day to keep acid at bay.

For Young Smiles

Good: Never put your child to bed with a bottle. When your toddler starts drinking from sippy-cup, don’t let them sip juice or milk all day.
Better: Follow the previous advice and schedule his/her first dental checkup before the first birthday.
Best: In addition, communicate with Dr. Stewart about dental sealants when your child is young. When your little athlete starts participating in sports, make sure he/she wears a protective mouthguard. Set a good example of daily dental hygiene and healthy lifestyle choices.

Hello, I am Dr. William Stewart. At William J. Stewart Jr. DDS, we are dedicated to the best in dentistry. We invite you to call 210-428-6535 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to meeting you.

Contact William J. Stewart Jr. DDS:

210-428-6535

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

13220 Huebner Rd
San Antonio, Texas
78230

 

When Mommy Is Scared Of The Dentist

On November 24, 2017, in Family Dentistry, by PM Blogger
0

sleep dentistry San Antonio

If you are dreading some upcoming dental treatment, you may want to consider oral conscious sedation. First off, oral conscious sedation or sleep dentistry is perfectly safe. At William J. Stewart Jr. DDS, we have been providing sedation since 1981. We offer different levels of sedation and a choice of medication including oral analgesics, nitrous oxide, and IV sedation.

When choosing a type of sedation, it is helpful to consider the type of anxiety (fear of immobility, fear of loss of control, fear of pain, etc), the specific procedure(s) you will undergo, the length of time necessary to complete the treatment, past experiences during treatment, and any complicating health issues. Call 210-428-6535 to schedule a consultation with Dr. William Stewart to discuss your options.

Perhaps you have a dentist-wary child who needs treatment. For simple dental procedures, topical anesthetics are applied to the gums and other tissues reducing sensation. If your child requires more sedation, nitrous oxide and general anesthesia are both safe options.

Perhaps Mommy is the one who is anxious about her child undergoing dental work. Sorry – we can’t sedate you while your child is being treated – but you can take comfort in the fact that we take excellent care of our youngest patients. We make sure they are comfortable, relaxed, and understand exactly what is going to happen. Our team of child-friendly dental professionals have been putting children at ease since 1981.

Regular dental check-ups are vital for your child’s lifelong oral health, so it is important that your child has a positive experience during dental visits. If possible, don’t let your child know that you have dental anxiety. If he/she already knows, explain why your fears are unreasonable and why you are having treatment regardless of your anxiety. Show them how brave Mommy is because she wants healthy teeth.

William J. Stewart Jr. DDS offers full-service dental care including root canals, clear braces, and sedation dentistry. Thanks for visiting our blog. Check back for more helpful dental information from William J. Stewart Jr. DDS in San Antonio.

Contact William J. Stewart Jr. DDS:

210-428-6535

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

13220 Huebner Rd
San Antonio, Texas
78230

 

5 Critical Oral Cancer Facts

On November 17, 2017, in Oral Health, by PM Blogger
0

oral cancer dental checkup San Antonio

 

Dental Checkups Are Not Just About Cavities

At William J. Stewart Jr. DDS, we urge people to come in twice a year for a dental examination and cleaning. If you avoid semiannual dental checkups because you don’t believe you have any dental caries, perhaps getting an oral cancer screening is a more convincing reason to see your dentist regularly. (While your dentist is checking for oral cancer, we urge you to have a thorough dental examination as well!)

In the last few decades, lung and breast cancer have attracted a lot of public attention. Overall, we’re less aware of oral cancer even though it claims almost 10,000 lives every year in the United States. If you smoke or have acquired HPV, you have an increased risk for developing oral cancer. 

At William J. Stewart Jr. DDS, we work to raise awareness of oral cancer and the significance of early diagnosis. Courtesy of the CDC, Oral Cancer Foundation, and Johns Hopkins Medicine, here are 5 essential things to know about oral (mouth) and oropharyngeal (back of mouth and throat) cancers.

1. About 80% of men and women with oral cancer use some kind of tobacco (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, pipes).

2. 40% of men and women who receive late-stage diagnosis of oral cancer pass away within five years. The survival rate for early stage diagnosis is 90%.

3. In many cases, it is extremely challenging for the individual to detect oral and oropharyngeal cancers because they can produce unobtrusive symptoms or no symptoms at all. Any abnormality in the mouth or throat, even if small and painless, should be evaluated by a dentist or doctor.

4. HPV (the most common sexually transmitted disease in the US) is the most common cause of oropharyngeal cancer. Of the copious strains of HPV, HPV16 is the one most repeatedly linked to oropharyngeal cancer.

5. Black males have a higher risk of dying from oral cancer than whites.

Sources:
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/oral_health/oral_cancer_and_tobacco_85,P00900/
http://oralcancerfoundation.org/understanding/hpv/hpv-oral-cancer-facts/
https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/conditions/index.html

Contact William J. Stewart Jr. DDS:

210-428-6535

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

13220 Huebner Rd
San Antonio, Texas
78230