1583 Common Street | New Braunfels, TX 78130 | (830) 629-1954

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All Posts Tagged: Family Dentist New Braunfels

Why Oral Cancer Screening is Important

During your regular oral exam your doctor will also be on alert for any signs of oral cancer. Oral cancer is a serious disease which kills more people than other cancers such as thyroid, cervical, and other forms of the disease. One of the reasons oral cancer is so deadly is not because it is hard to treat, but because many times it is not discovered until it has developed into the late stages of the disease. This is why oral cancer screening is so important. Here are some sobering facts about oral cancer:

  • Almost 50,000 people in America will be diagnosed with pharyngeal or oral cancer this year.
  • Oral cancer will kill over 9,500 per day which is roughly one person per hour, 25 hours a day.
  • Of those diagnosed just a bit more than half will survive over five years. This is because of the advanced stage oral cancer is diagnose.

Oral cancer is also so dangerous because many times there is no pain or obvious symptoms noticed by the patient. Your best defense against this disease is regular oral cancer screening done during regular dental exams.

Oral Cancer Screening

Screening for oral cancer takes only minutes. Your doctor will examine your gums, hard palette, and soft tissues of the mouth, look for any changes in tissue, and may take digital images. This includes the inside of your gums, tongue, and lips. Your doctor will also examine your neck and the symmetry of your face. Your doctor will also feel you neck for any swollen lymph nodes. Your doctor may do other procedures which are used for screening.

If any suspicious areas are found, your doctor may perform a biopsy. A biopsy is a sample of tissue which is then sent off to the lab for evaluation. A biopsy may be a simple swab sample, or you may need a surgical biopsy depending on where the area is and how far your doctor feels the disease may have advanced.

Don’t take chances with your health. If caught early, oral cancer has a high survival rate. Call and set up regular oral cancer screenings today.

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Is it Sleep Apnea or Just Snoring?

Many people snore, some snore more than others. But did you know snoring is a symptom of a very serious condition known as sleep apnea? Sleep apnea occurs because the soft palette in your throat relaxes while you sleep blocking off your airway. This is known as obstructive sleep apnea. Another type of sleep apnea is not as common and known as central sleep apnea occurs when the brain “forgets” to tell your body to breath during sleep. Sleep apnea is directly related to serious health issues such as high blood pressure and stroke, and if left treated even death.

Between 50 to 70 million in the United States suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea disrupts your natural sleep pattern leaving you feeling exhausted and tired in the morning. Since you stop breathing your body is not getting the oxygen it needs. This can occur several times a night causing your blood oxygen levels to drop to a dangerous level. You or your partner may notice you stop breathing or snore very loudly and often. Some of the other symptoms of sleep apnea include the following:

  • Waking up gasping for air
  • Rapid heartbeat upon waking
  • Feeling exhausted during the day
  • Falling asleep during the day
  • Entering REM sleep (the sleep stage in which you dream) as soon as you close your eyes
  • Waking up with a headache
  • Waking up with a dry mouth
  • Confusion
  • An inability to concentrate
  • Irritability

If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms speak to your doctor. Treatment of sleep apnea is fairly simple and straightforward. Some patients use a CPAP or Bi-PAP machine to provide positive airflow during the night while others may find relief with a mouth guard or dental appliance.

A dental appliance is custom fabricated to pull your lower jaw out a bit to keep your airways open. Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth as well as digital images and send them to the lab. Once your appliance is finished you will return for a fitting and wear your appliance while you sleep. Many people find relief from sleep apnea using a dental appliance.

If you experience any symptoms related to sleep apnea talk to your dentist and doctor to formulate the best treatment for your case. Sleep apnea is a serious condition, but it is easily treated so you can stay healthy for many years.

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Why Smith and Cole?

In the Austin area you have many choices when selecting a dentist. You want a doctor who is experienced, caring, and easy to talk to. You want the practice to have friendly and caring staff as well as a modern clean clinic. At Smith and Cole you’ll get all this and more. Our staff is dedicated to serving your entire family. Our doctors care about you as a person and listen to your concerns and address them in easy to understand terms and language. They are happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have at each visit. Our staff loves their jobs and it shows in the level of expertise and courtesy they show each and every visitor. At Smith and Cole it is our people who make the difference.

Caring and Experienced Doctors

Dr. Todd Smith and Dr. Michael Cole both attended Abilene Christian University for their undergraduate work. They received their Doctorate degrees from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Both doctors have participated in several missions trips abroad and are dedicated to their faith in God. They live in the area with their wives and families.

Dr. Kristin Soileau completed her Advanced General Dentistry in the US Army. She spent the first seven years of her career serving in the Army and has been at Smith and Cole Dentistry for two years. She has participated in several mission trips and is an active member of her church. She lives in the area with her husband and children.

Dr. Albert Ouellette recently retired from the US Air Force after serving for 21 years. He is a Board certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon (OMFS) and completed his Advanced Education in General Dentistry program in 1995, and his OMFS residency in 2003. He is now a member of the Smith and Cole Dentistry Family and thanks God for the opportunities provided to him. He lives in the area with his wife and children and is an active member of his church and loves to participate in mission trips.

Compassionate and Skillful Staff

We feel we have the best team available, it’s that simple. Our staff is dedicated to your comfort and oral health and this shows in the level of compassion and care you receive from the moment you are greeted to the time you check out. Many of our staff have been in the dentistry field for many years. They are skilled and experienced with the latest in dental technology and practices to give you the most up to date and pain free treatments. Once you visit our practice you will see it is truly our people who set Smith and Cole Dentistry apart from every other dentistry practice in the area.

Call or contact us today and schedule a visit to our practice. We’d love to meet you and your family and show you around. We’re confident you’ll see and feel the difference here and make Smith and Cole Dentistry your home for all your dental needs.

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What’s Zoom Whitening?

Your teeth may become discolored for a variety of reasons. Drinking tea, coffee, or red wine can cause your teeth to yellow. Some medications, smoking, and aging can also discolor your teeth. If you find your teeth are not as white and bright as you like, you can get them whitened easily and quickly at your dentist’s with Zoom whitening. Zoom is a safe and easy way to lighten your teeth and get a bright smile.

How Zoom Whitening Works

Zoom whitening uses a 25 percent hydrogen peroxide solution which is applied to the teeth. Your teeth are then exposed to the special Zoom light. The light reacts with the hydrogen peroxide and as the hydrogen peroxide breaks down it allows oxygen to enter the enamel and dentin of your teeth bleaching the stains and whitening them. The structure of your teeth are left unchanged but they appear much brighter and whiter.

The Zoom Whitening Procedure

Before the procedure begins your dentist will examine your teeth and gums. A regular teeth cleaning may take place before the Zoom whitening procedure. To begin the Zoom whitening session you lips and gums are covered and your teeth are left exposed. Zoom hydrogen peroxide whitening gel is applied to the teeth and is left in place for 15 minutes while begin exposed to the Zoom light. During this time you can watch TV or listen to music. This is repeated two more times for a total of three 15 minute treatments (45 minutes). Right after the last treatment a sensitivity reducing fluoride paste/gel is applied to the teeth.

After Zoom Whitening

Your doctor will give you an at home kit to use for touch ups. This kit contains custom fit whitening trays and your doctor will instruct you on their use. Avoid things which will stain your teeth such as red wine, coffee, tea, and smoking. Continue to brush and floss and keep up on your regular dental visits. Your doctor may also recommend a whitening tooth paste to help maintain the whitening effect.

With the Zoom whitening service you can have a bright smile which will boost your confidence and make you feel great. Call or contact Smith and Cole Dentistry today and ask about Zoom whitening.

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