Dental Services

The health and safety of our patients and team has always been a top priority. We are closely following the CDC and ADA safety recommendations, as we know how important it is to keep up with your routine dental care.

We recommend that you do not delay your regular dental visits as they provide an essential role in evaluating, diagnosing, preventing and treating oral diseases which can affect your systemic health. Teeth are unable to heal themselves, so if you have a dental problem and it is left untreated, it will become more painful and require more extensive procedures. Your dental hygienist is considered a prevention expert as they will educate you on ways to improve your oral health.

We understand that you may feel anxious about visiting your dental hygienist. We hope to ease your mind as we are taking some additional precautions:

1. We are asking patients and staff members to stay home if they are sick.

2. We are asking patients to check-in from their vehicles to help limit the number of people you may come into contact with while you are here.

3. We are doing temperature checks and have a sanitation station at the door.

4. We are requiring all staff to wear proper PPE and our patients to wear masks.

Please feel free to call our office 701.237.4297 if you have additional questions regarding our safety precautions or visit our website at https://www.savingsmilesdentistry.com/covid-19-response/.

Take advantage of your dental benefits before they expire!

We know that 2020 has been especially busy and chaotic with the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of our patients and their families have had to make adjustments as they have navigated working and learning from home. With all the changes that have occurred, we want to remind you that most dental benefits expire December 31 of each year. Along with your insurance benefits, most FSA accounts are a “use-it-or-lose it” benefit and also expire at the end of the year.

Many patients realize this last minute and our November and December appointment times fill up very quickly. Please call us today to schedule a dental appointment for your next cleaning or any dental treatment that got put on hold with the crazy year!

We’d be happy to help you understand your dental benefits and answer any questions you may have to get your dental needs taken care of before the end of the year!

A denture is an appliance used for replacement of missing teeth. There are different types of dentures that patients can get, different quality levels of dentures and different ways to keep dentures in a person’s mouth.

Before we make a set of removable dentures for a patient, we have a conversation discussing how dentures are different than a person’s natural/original teeth. Most people who get dentures have an adjustment period of a year as removable dentures do not chew like natural teeth and many people must retrain themselves how to eat.

Below we will discuss the two most common ways to replace teeth with dentures:

Traditional Dentures

Traditional dentures are typically the preferred way to make someone a new set of teeth. Traditional dentures tend to provide a better fit with less adjustments and patients like being able to see what the teeth look like prior to finishing the denture.

The biggest downside is they take a little longer to make. Traditional dentures require the patient to be without teeth for 6-8 weeks to allow for adequate healing and bone remodeling post extractions. People who are having their second or third set of dentures made will have their new dentures fabricated this way.

Immediate Dentures

Most people who prefer immediate dentures are transitioning to having dentures for the first time. With this option, the patient will never go without teeth, as the day the natural teeth are removed the immediate dentures are placed.

The immediate dentures depend on the dentist and the lab speculating on how the bone is going to heal after the extraction of the original teeth.  Since the patient is unable to try-in the dentures to ensure proper fit prior to the completion of them, this can cause the dentures to have a poor fit. Normally the lab will have to reline the dentures 9-12 months after having the teeth removed to ensure proper fit.

Even with having dentures, we recommend patients be seen at least every 2 years to check the fit of the dentures and to monitor their gum tissues.

Over the years we have seen teeth broken and lost due to sports injuries. Even traditional non-contact sports such as basketball, baseball, and soccer have caused serious dental injuries to children.  Something as simple as slipping and falling can result in dental injuries. A traumatic dental injury can be life-changing to a child.

As a parent, encouraging your children to wear a mouth guard could save you a lot of money and pain helping your child through an unpleasant experience. Recent studies show that custom-made mouth guards with bilaminate material (2 thin plates), offer the best protection against broken and knocked out teeth, soft tissue lacerations and concussions.  Almost every sport offers some level of risk to the mouth that a mouth guard can help protect against.

Our mouth guards provide a more comfortable, less bulky fit and better protection when compared to generic “boil and bite” options available in sporting stores, as they are made with the bilaminate material. Not only will your kids protect their teeth but they will be able to choose from a selection of colors!

For your convenience, the custom-fitted mouth guards are made right at our office and only cost $40. These guards only require a quick 10-minute appointment for our team to take your child’s impression and are usually ready for pick-up in just a couple of days. Please call us today to get your child’s 10-minute appointment scheduled!

We have now been open for over a month after our COVID-19 related closure! We are so excited to be back helping our patients with their dental care!

For those with upcoming appointments, we wanted to give an idea of what to expect at your next visit:

PATIENTS

  • We will be contacting every patient prior to their scheduled appointment to confirm their appointment and to complete a COVID-19 screening. We will be rescheduling those patients with concerning symptoms, to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
  • We ask that patients do not bring anyone else with them to their appointments, unless absolutely necessary.
  • Once patients arrive for their appointment, they will wait in their vehicle and call or text us to let us know they have arrived.
  • A team member will come out to the patient’s vehicle to take their temperature with an infrared thermometer. Patients with a temperature of 100.4 or above will be asked to reschedule their appointment. Patients with a temperature below 100.4 will be given a COVID-19 screening form to complete similar to the pre-screening questions they were previously asked over the phone.
  • Once we are ready for the patient, we will contact them to come in.
  • We encourage patients to wear masks as they are escorted in and out of our office.
  • Patients will use hand sanitizer upon entry and exit of the facility.

 

PROVIDERS & TEAM MEMBERS

  • All hygienists, assistants and doctors will have additional protective gear for certain procedures including N95 masks, eye wear, face shields, etc. and non-clinical team members will have masks.
  • All team members will both be asked the same screening questions as patients and have their temperatures taken daily as they arrive to work.
  • Additional surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected between patient visits.

 

If you have any questions about our additional protocols and processes, please don’t hesitate to contact us:

📱 701.237.4297 (call or text)
📧 info@savingsmilesdentistry.com

 

Did you know that it can take years for a cavity to form and get through the outermost layer of the tooth called the enamel? But once the bacteria that causes cavities gets to the middle layer, the dentin, it can take only a couple months for that cavity to grow large enough where it can start to damage the pulp.

Each tooth has three layers:

The outer layer (ENAMEL): This is the hardest substance in the human body (85% mineral).

The middle layer (DENTIN): The dentin is harder than bone, but nowhere near as hard as enamel (47% mineral).

The innermost layer (PULP): This is where the nerve and blood supply to the teeth is located.

Many times when Dr. Johnson or I perform our routine dental exams we place “watches” in your electronic chart to indicate the start of a cavity (the cavity is just in the enamel). If that cavity grows large enough where it reaches the dentin, we need to treat that cavity as soon as possible to prevent it from reaching the pulp. If the pulp is reached, you run the risk of having a painful (abscessed) tooth. Trust me, having an abscessed tooth is not fun!

Dr. Johnson and I are better able to monitor “watches” in your chart and help educate and encourage you to keep up with regular dental care when you come in for cleanings and checkups at least 2 times per year. The frequent visits also allow us to diagnose and treat cavities when they are small. If you start to miss your periodic exams, we could start seeing an increased frequency of large cavities, other issues and severe tooth pain.

Please make sure to continue with your regular dental care, even through this pandemic! Most dental offices, including ours, are taking steps to keep their patients and team safe, while continuing with routine dental care. Click here to see what we are doing to keep our patients and team safe: Saving Smiles Dentistry COVID-19 Response.

If you are at an increased risk of complications from the novel COVID-19 virus, please continue bushing twice per day for two minutes and flossing daily until you feel you are able to visit your dental office for your regular cleanings and exams. If you have any questions about keeping up with your dental health, please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.

Stay safe and healthy,

Dr. Kenny Bartholomew, DDS

 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most dental offices have put their team and patient’s health as the top priority and are only open for dental emergencies.

So what is a dental emergency? Here is a list of typical symptoms of a dental emergency:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Trauma
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • A crown that has fallen off

 

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your dental office immediately. They are your best resource on how to treat and manage your dental emergency. If you chipped or broke a tooth, call your dental office and discuss the situation with them. It is likely that your dentist will want to see you and visit about treatment options.

Many dental offices have limited hours and may not be available immediately. If you feel you need to be seen right away and are unable to get a hold of your dental office, try reaching out to another office. Remember that your dentist is here to help you during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dentists are trying their best to keep patients out of emergency rooms to both limit your exposure to the virus as a patient and also to help conserve essential hospital and clinic resources for those battling the virus.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions and/or for any dental emergency (tooth pain or swelling) concerns:

📱 701.237.4297 (call or text)
📧 savingsmilesdentistry@gmail.com

If we are unable to answer right away, we will get back to you as soon as possible!

If you had an appointment in November or December, we want to thank you for your patience with our construction zone, especially while in the waiting room! We were able to modify our existing layout to create an additional operatory that allows Dr. Johnson and Dr. Kenny to treat more of our patients each day.

A big shout out to Olaf Anderson, our Henry Schein Dental team, Jessica Watcher Art for the beautiful piece of art and of course Dan Francis Photography for the photos! We hope to see you soon and that you get to experience our new space!

Earlier this summer we explained what a crown is and why it might needed. For Dr. Johnson and Dr. Kenny to create a great fitting crown, extra steps are required. Here is what to expect when you come in for those appointments:

First, the assistant will take a mold of your tooth before any work is done. This mold will allow your temporary crown to be made. If the tooth is broken, don’t worry! We have pre-made crowns on hand, but our assistants can really work some magic to create a great temporary crown even if the tooth is broken. The assistant will also take this time to review your medical history, the treatment plan and take a blood pressure reading before the doctor comes in. The doctor will get that tooth numb, just like they do for fillings.

Next, the doctor will trim down the top and sides of the tooth to allow enough space for the lab to fabricate a crown to fit properly over your existing tooth. Depending on why your tooth needs the crown, the doctor may need to do what is called a build-up. This means material is being added back to the tooth to have enough solid structure for the crown to be cemented on. After the doctor is happy with the shape of the tooth, he will place some special cord just under the gum line. You may feel some pressure while the cord is being placed, but this insures a great impression for the lab and will be removed after the impression is completed.

The impression is up next. This is what the lab needs to make the crown custom-fit to your mouth. Thankfully we can utilize our scanner to take these impressions digitally and send the scans directly to the lab. At this point the doctor is done! The assistant will take over and make your temporary crown and go over any necessary after-care instructions.

When you return for the permanent crown, it is typically a much shorter appointment. Best of all, rarely does the doctor need to numb up the tooth! The assistant will remove the temporary crown and try in the permanent crown. The doctor will check it over making sure the fit is perfect before cementing it into place. We recommend nothing to eat or drink for 1 hour after your appointment, but then you’re good to use it like a regular tooth!

It’s hard to believe we’re already thinking about 2019 coming to an end, but we want to remind you that with most dental policies, any benefits not used by December 31 are gone with the new year.

If you’re overdue for a cleaning or haven’t had a chance to schedule the dental treatment recommended at your last visit, please call us to get those appointments scheduled. Our schedule fills up quickly this time of year and we’d hate for you to have to wait until next year to get your dental needs taken care of.

Our office is now open Fridays and we also have Dr. Kenny to help get our patients taken care of before we ring in the new year! Don’t be the person who forgets to use their insurance benefits and flex money, and then loses them! Call our office today (701) 237-4297.

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