How this Dental Office is Different

We, at Prosper Family Dentistry, are thrilled to be a multiple-time winner of the living magazine’s “Best Of” series of awards.  We have won Best Cosmetic Dentist and Best Family Dentist for several years in a row.  We also added Best TMJ Dentist to our list of awards.

In light of that, we are using this blog to explain how we are different, and why that makes us the best.

Risk Management Approach

Risk ManagementAt each dental evaluation that you have with Dr. Jill and Dr. Cara, we assess and discuss your particular risk areas with you.  Did you know that some people naturally have a very low risk for cavities?  Others stay at a consistently high risk, despite good oral hygiene and diet choices.  By knowing your unique risk levels for things like cavities, gum disease, teeth grinding, or airway problems, you are able to take action to prevent future problems.

Our goal is educating each patient on his or her specific risk areas.  Then, we make preventive recommendations based on where your risk lies.  By following this risk management approach, patients are able to reduce their overall time spent in the dental chair.

Conservative and Preventive

At Prosper Family Dentistry, we are proud to perform conservative dentistry.  We believe that nothing is better than your God-given enamel, and we make every effort to maintain it whenever possible.  In many instances, we can preserve natural tooth structure by restoring a broken down tooth with a bonded filling rather than covering it completely with a crown.

We offer conservative cosmetic options like Clear Correct teeth straightening, at-home teeth whitening, and contact-lens thin veneers so that you can improve your smile while preserving as much of your natural teeth as possible.

With our unique risk management approach, we are able to provide preventive dentistry options that help you manage and even reduce your risk for dental problems.

Besides placing sealants on high-risk teeth, we also prescribe various oral care products, which will up your oral hygiene game at home.  The oral hygiene education you receive from our fabulous dental hygienists, Staci, Kenneth, and Carli, helps you to be preventive at home.

Advanced Dental Technology

18359285_1526900464011373_1868767279732043164_oOur dental practice is equipped with the latest dental technology, which enables us to care for you more safely, effectively and efficiently.

We use dental lasers to perform conservative gum treatments and surgeries.

We take the highest quality three-dimensional images of the entire head and neck.  This gives us an up close and personal view of the TMJ (jaw joints), all of the jawbone surround each tooth, and many soft tissue structures, including your airway.  With 3D imaging, we are able to see factors outside of the mouth that contribute to problems with the teeth and jaws.

One of our favorite new technologies is three-dimensional intraoral scanning!  This technology allows us to obtain an identical model of your teeth without gooey, gag-inducing dental impressions.  Now we can create a replica of your teeth with a small wand that takes thousands of tiny pictures and stitches them together into a 3D model.

We also offer a diagnostic tool that detects cavities without any radiation at all, called the CariVu!  We are committed to using the best technology to provide our patients with the best care.

Superior Dental Materials

Dentists have a wide selection when it comes to dental materials.  They have the choice to use cheap materials of inferior quality when performing restorative dentistry for their patients.  The majority of patients would never know.

At Prosper Family Dentistry, we use only materials that are of the highest quality and have been proven in scientific research to perform better than other, cheaper materials.

The dental work that is fabricated in dental labs (like crowns and veneers) falls into this category.  We use only dental labs that are located in the United States with Dental Lab Technicians who are certified by the National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology.

Commitment to Lifelong Learning

52905326_2310947492273329_8914847759840837632_oDr. Jill and Dr. Cara are lifelong learners.  They understand that all industries grow and evolve with new developments over time.  In order to provide all of the patients at Prosper Family Dentistry with the utmost in dental care, they consistently complete more than 5 times the amount of continuing education required by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners.

They have each completed advanced training in the areas of cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics with clear aligners, implant dentistry, and TMJ disorders.  The time and money they invest on these advanced courses is well spent because it always improves the level of care they provide to patients.

Relationships20139976_1601045609930191_5101727556926516178_n

Our relationships with our patients are built on trust, and that takes time.  Our long-term patients can attest to the fact that we genuinely care for each person we treat.  We go above and beyond the personal greeting.

Our hygienists have been known to jump out of their chair to hug a patient walking down the hallway.  We have attended grand openings and funerals.  We have cried with patients, and they have cried with us.  We want every patient to know that they are considered part of the PFD family.

Curious about Prosper Family Dentistry?

If you are not a patient of ours, we would love to meet you and convince you that you should become one!  Call us at 972-347-1145 today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jill or Dr. Cara.

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How Prosper Family Dentistry Treats Cavities Without Drilling

An exciting dental material has been in the news recently.  You may have seen it in a 2016 New York Times article. It was also featured last year in a PBS Newshour special.

The material is Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF), and the reason it is exciting is because it has the potential to stop cavities.  That’s right:  stop them.

How Cavities Work

Bad teeth, closeup

Cavities, a.k.a. tooth decay, are caused by the acidic by-product of the bacteria in our mouths.  The bacteria eat sugar (or any simple carbohydrate), digest it, and produce acid.  When you don’t brush and/or floss perfectly, these bacteria hang out on the teeth.  The acid they create etches (softens and weakens) the underlying enamel.  This weak spot allows the bacteria to begin working their way into the tooth.  Once they infiltrate past the enamel, they continue to produce acid, which continues to soften the tooth.  This is the inevitable, and historically unstoppable, growth process of a cavity.

How Traditional Dental Fillings Work

One way to stop this inevitable growth is through a traditional dental filling.  The decay, which includes the softened tooth structure and the bacteria, is removed until only healthy, hard tooth structure remains.  The resulting hole, or cavity, is filled with a dental restoration.  Traditional dental filling materials will only adhere to healthy tooth structure.  This is why drilling is necessary.  Because drilling on a tooth causes pain, this is also why local anesthetic (an injection) is necessary.

How SDF Works

SDFThe silver in SDF kills bacteria and prevents future bacterial buildup on the site.  The fluoride in SDF remineralizes, or hardens, the tooth structure.  It does not replace missing tooth structure.

One application of SDF has an 80% success rate at stopping a cavity.  The highest success with SDF is achieved when it is applied to a cavity twice a year.

Because it is not a 100% guarantee, it is important for a patient receiving an SDF treatment to comply with all follow-up appointments.

How PFD Uses SDF

Dentist's teeth checkup, series of related photos

Dr. Cara Kessler revolutionized the way Prosper Family Dentistry treats cavities when she joined our practice.  She has been using SDF since 2015 and taught the PFD staff about its great benefits.

Although SDF has been used for over 40 years in Japan, it only recently gained popularity and FDA approval in the US.  At Prosper Family Dentistry, we use SDF for two different purposes.  1) Its FDA-approved use for treating hypersensitivity, and 2) its more common off-label use for stopping cavities.

What to Expect During an SDF Treatment

Whether the patient is you, your child, or an elderly person, the treatment is carried out in the same manner.  The area around the tooth to be treated is coated with Vaseline, and the tooth itself is isolated with cotton.  The SDF, which is a colorless, odorless liquid, is painted onto the tooth for one minute.

In order to increase the fluoride release from the SDF treatment (and therefore improve the success rate of the treatment), it is then covered with a fluoride varnish.  Fluoride varnish is the sticky material painted onto most children’s teeth at the end of a dental cleaning.

If the cavity is located between the teeth, the liquid is applied to the tooth using dental floss.

A follow-up appointment is scheduled for 2-4 weeks later.  At this follow-up visit, the tooth is closely evaluated and then any holes are restored with a filling material.  This filling does not require injections or drilling into the tooth.

Any holes in the teeth need to be filled because food impaction increases the risk for more cavities in the future.  Dr. Jill and Dr. Cara will discuss the exact details of the specific procedures you need to stop a cavity.

Who Should Have SDF

  • Children – The most common use for SDF is in small children. An SDF treatment requires no injections and no drilling.  It can be completed very quickly at the initial evaluation.
  • Elderly patients – Many elderly patients have complicated medical problems, which makes the use of local anesthetic and dental procedures less safe. They are also less tolerant of lengthy dental procedures.
  • Special needs patients – Patients with special needs have traditionally been sedated to treat dental problems. SDF treatment allows them to have a fast, easy treatment in the dental chair.
  • Cancer patients – Many patients undergoing cancer treatment experience dry mouth and tooth decay. SDF can be used in order to stop the tooth decay and put off any necessary treatment until after cancer treatment is completed.
  • Patients needing a large amount of dental work – Using SDF to stop decay is a great way to slow down the progression of dental disease. This allows dentists and patients to space out needed dental treatment for the sake of time and money.

Why Isn’t Every Cavity Treated with SDF

Some people and/or teeth are not candidates for SDF (see below).  The biggest con of SDF treatment is a dark brownish-black staining of the decayed area.  A dark spot will be seen if the cavity is in an area visible when a person smiles or speaks.  It just does not qualify as “cosmetic” dentistry.  For this reason, most patients do not want it used on their cavities.

Who Should Not Have SDF

The following are considered contraindications for treatment with SDF.

  • Silver allergy
  • Any current mouth ulcers or sores
  • A tooth which does not show enough tooth structure protecting the nerve (due to extensive decay)
  • A tooth that causes pain

How to Find Out if You Are a Candidate for SDF Treatment

Call our office at 972-347-1145 to set up a consultation with Dr. Jill and Dr. Cara.  They will assess any areas of decay and discuss your treatment options including SDF.

How We Create Custom Smiles, Step Three

beauty-1721069_1280The big day has arrived!  You have completed your “smile interview”, communicated well with Dr. Jill and Dr. Cara about your smile goals, and approved the mockup.  It’s time to get your new smile.

What Type of Dental Work Goes into a Custom Smile?

Great question! Continue reading “How We Create Custom Smiles, Step Three”

How We Create Custom Smiles, Step Two

This blog is part two in a series on our unique process of creating custom smiles at Prosper Family Dentistry.  If you missed part one, click here.  We recognize the tiny little nuances that make up a beautiful smile.  We love those almost unnoticeable characteristics, and we believe they are essential to creating custom smiles.

Continue reading “How We Create Custom Smiles, Step Two”

Teeth Whitening FAQs

We are constantly asked about teeth whitening.  It’s actually hard to find someone who does not want to whiten his or her teeth.  This blog will cover the questions most commonly googled about teeth whitening.

Is teeth whitening safe?whitening toothpaste

Yes.  Teeth whitening is safe and causes no permanent damage to the teeth.

In fact, there are scientific studies showing that teeth whitening can actually provide some benefits to your oral health.  The chemical used to whiten teeth can also kill bad bacteria in your mouth.  This reduces your risk for gum disease.

Continue reading “Teeth Whitening FAQs”

Whitening Options

A 2013 survey of 5,500 unmarried adults asked them to rank the qualities by which they judge the opposite sex on first meeting someone new.  Teeth was the highest ranked characteristic by a long shot (58% of men and 71% of women ranked it the #1 feature by which they judge a member of the opposite sex for attractiveness).  Americans spend $1.4 billion on teeth whitening products.  (Click here to see this and other interesting statistics about teeth whitening from research conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.)  Globally, teeth whitening is a $3.2 billion industry.  If you are on social media, you have probably seen at least one DIY whitening trend.  Teeth whitening is one of the quickest and easiest ways to improve a smile.

What is Teeth Whitening?

Continue reading “Whitening Options”