My Blog

By Three Fountains Family Dental Inc
November 19, 2021
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

Your smile is an important part of you. When you feel like you do not have a great smile it can really affect your confidence. If you are hoping to improve the appearance of your teeth, cosmetic dentistry in West Columbia, SC could be a good option for you. Dr. Peter Stoltz and Dr. Brooke Stoltz of Three Fountains Family Dental can help. Keep reading to find out if this option is right for you. 

What is Cosmetic Dental Treatment?

Cosmetic dental treatment is any type of dental treatment or procedure done to improve the appearance of teeth. These types of treatment are not directly related to preventive care or oral health. Cosmetic treatments can be an important part of your dental care, though. In some cases, restoring teeth through cosmetic procedures can protect the mouth and surrounding teeth from further decay or damage. 

Cosmetic Treatments and Dental Health 

Some cosmetic dental treatments will involve the removal of badly damaged or decayed teeth. If damaged or decayed teeth are left in the mouth, they can have a negative impact on the surrounding teeth and gums. Decay can spread to other teeth rather quickly. Broken or damaged teeth can also cause cuts or scrapes in the mouth, leaving wounds that could be susceptible to infection. 

Types of Cosmetic Treatments

Cosmetic dentistry in West Columbia, SC offers several different types of options. A few types of cosmetic treatments available include:

  • Teeth whitening
  • Crowns
  • Veneers
  • Implants
  • Dentures 

In order to understand which types of cosmetic treatments will be best for you, you will need to schedule a consultation with our doctors. During this consultation, you will be able to discuss your goals and expectations for treatment. The doctor will be able to give you a realistic idea of which treatments will be best for you. 

If you would like to learn more about our services, or if you are interested in cosmetic dentistry in South Columbia, SC, please contact Dr. Stoltz or Dr. Stoltz at Three Fountains Family Dental by calling 803-755-0039. 

By Three Fountains Family Dental Inc
November 18, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: teeth grinding  

We like to think we're more prone to stress in our modern, fast-paced world than those who lived in "simpler" times, but a finding from the recent discovery of Richard the III's remains in England suggests differently. Investigators noted the king had well-worn teeth, perhaps from grinding them out of stress.

We can't be sure this was the cause for the king's dental problems, or if teeth grinding was common in the 15th Century. But we are sure the problem exists today among adults.

Tooth grinding is the grinding, gnashing or clenching of teeth involuntarily when not engaged in regular dental functions like eating or speaking. It can occur while a person is awake, but most often while they're asleep.

The habit regularly occurs in children, but is not considered a major problem as most outgrow it by adolescence, usually with no lingering damage. Not so with adults: Because the habit generates abnormally high biting forces, teeth grinding can lead to accelerated tooth wear. It can also weaken teeth, making them more susceptible to fracture or disease.

People who grind their teeth will typically awaken with sore jaws or the complaints of family members about the loud chattering noise emitted during an episode. If you suspect a problem, you should see your dentist for a definitive diagnosis, and to learn how to reduce its occurrence and effects.

Treatments for the habit vary depending on underlying causes. They may involve lifestyle changes like quitting tobacco, limiting alcohol or altering your use of certain drugs or medications.  Because stress is often a major factor, learning better relaxation techniques through meditation, group therapy or biofeedback may also help reduce teeth grinding.

These treatments, though, can take time, so you may also need ways to minimize the effects of the habit in the meantime. One of those ways is for your dentist to create an occlusal guard that you wear while you sleep. The guard prevents the teeth from making solid contact, thus reducing the potential biting forces.

It's important, then, to see your dentist as soon as possible if you suspect you're grinding your teeth. Finding out as early as possible and then taking positive steps to stop or reduce its effect can save your teeth from a good deal of harm.

If you would like more information on teeth grinding, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Teeth Grinding.”

By Three Fountains Family Dental Inc
November 11, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Sealants  

Dental sealants are thin coatings painted over the chewing surface of back teeth to help prevent cavities. The sealants protect the teeth for several years, reducing the risk of developing molar cavities in children. Those looking into getting dental sealants for their children should speak with their West Columbia, SC, family dentists for additional information. Dr. Peter Stoltz and Dr. Brooke Stoltz at Three Fountains Family Dental understand the need to protect your family's oral health and are ready to discuss sealant options for greater dental protection. 

What are sealants? 

Sealants help prevent most cavities when applied shortly after the permanent molars come in. Dental sealants are thin coatings that get painted on the teeth, filling in deep grooves. Sealants harden immediately, so there is no downtime for your child, and they can eat and drink shortly after the procedure. Sealants can be applied by your family dentist in West Columbia, SC. 

Why use sealants? 

Sealants help eliminate the need for future dental treatments, which can be very expensive and invasive. Dental sealants are a quick and painless method to help prevent many cavities children get in their back teeth. The effectiveness of sealants can last for several years before they need to be reapplied. 

How are sealants applied? 

Before applying dental sealants, the teeth are cleaned of food particles and plaque. Then the teeth are thoroughly examined for any signs of tooth decay. Next, each tooth is dried, and a mild etchant is applied to roughen the tooth's surface to encourage a stronger bond with the sealant. Finally, once the etchant is removed and the tooth is dried again, the sealant is painted right onto the chewing surface area of the tooth. 

Sealants help provide greater dental protection for your family's teeth, ultimately reducing the risk of developing molar cavities. Call Three Fountains Family Dental today at (803) 755-0039 to schedule an appointment with your family dentists, Dr. Peter Stoltz and Dr. Brooke Stoltz, in West Columbia, SC, to discuss sealant options.

By Three Fountains Family Dental Inc
November 08, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: sleep apnea  

Morning tiredness, brain fog and snoring are just some of the indicators of a medical condition known as sleep apnea. And, it's worse than waking up on the wrong side of the bed—over time, sleep apnea could increase your risk for heart disease or other life-threatening conditions.

Sleep apnea occurs when air flow becomes restricted during sleep, usually by the tongue blocking the airway. As oxygen levels begin to fall, the brain signals the body to wake up to "fix" the air flow problem.

As this arousal may only last a second or two, you may not remember it when you awaken in the morning. But it can happen numerous times a night, depriving you of the deep sleep your body needs for rest and repair.

Fortunately, there are ways to treat sleep apnea. In extreme instances, you may need surgery to correct anatomical defects causing the condition. For most cases, though, the most common treatment is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which consists of a portable pump delivering pressurized air through a face mask that keeps the throat open while you sleep.

Used by millions of patients, CPAP can be quite effective. Some patients, though, feel uncomfortable using a CPAP machine for various reasons. If you're one of those unhappy CPAP campers or you would like to consider a possible alternative, your dentist might have the answer: oral appliance therapy (OAT).

An OAT device is worn in the mouth during sleep to prevent the tongue from falling back against the back of the throat and blocking the airway. There are various forms of OAT appliances, but they're all custom-made by a dentist to fit an individual patient's mouth. They work best for mild to moderate sleep apnea in which the tongue is the primary culprit in airway blockage.

If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, you should undergo a complete examination by a doctor or dentist to confirm it. If you've been diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea, talk to your dentist about an OAT device. You may find OAT can provide you the relief you need for a better night's sleep.

If you would like more information on oral treatments for sleep apnea, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “If You Snore, You Must Read More!

By Three Fountains Family Dental Inc
October 29, 2021
Category: Oral Health

Emma Roberts, star of American Horror Story (and niece of actress Julia Roberts), welcomed her first child at the end of 2020. She confessed that her love of sweets made pregnancy challenging. She couldn't get enough of cupcakes with sprinkles and a Salt & Straw ice cream flavor called The Great Candycopia. But Roberts isn't unique. Hormonal changes in pregnancy often bring heightened cravings for certain foods. Unfortunately, this can increase an expectant mother's risk for dental disease, especially if they're consuming more sugary foods.

In fact, around four in ten expectant women will develop a form of periodontal disease called pregnancy gingivitis. It begins with dental plaque, a thin film that forms on tooth surfaces filled with oral bacteria that can infect the gums. And what do these bacteria love to eat? Yep—sugar, the same thing many women crave during pregnancy.

So, if you're expecting a baby, what can you do to minimize your risk for dental disease?

Practice oral hygiene. Removing dental plaque by brushing and flossing daily is the most important thing you can do personally to prevent both tooth decay and gum disease. It's even more important given the physical and hormonal changes that occur when you're pregnant. Be sure, then, that you're diligent about brushing and flossing every day without fail.

Control your sugar intake. If you have strong cravings for sweets, cutting back may be about as easy as stopping an elephant on a rampage through the jungle. But do give your best effort to eating more dairy- and protein-rich foods rather than refined carbohydrates like pastries or candies. Not only will reducing sugar help you avoid dental disease, these other foods will help strengthen your teeth.

Maintain regular dental visits. Seeing us for regular cleanings further reduces your disease risk. We can clean your teeth of any plaque deposits you might have missed, especially hardened plaque called tartar that's nearly impossible to remove with brushing and flossing. We'll also monitor your teeth and gums for any developing disease that requires further treatment.

Undergo needed treatments. Concerned for their baby's safety, many expectant mothers are hesitant about undergoing dental procedures. But both the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Dental Association endorse necessary dental treatments during pregnancy, even if they include local anesthesia. We will make you have only a safe type of anesthesia, and we can advise you when it is prudent to postpone certain treatments, such as some elective procedures, until after the baby is born.

Emma Roberts got through a healthy pregnancy—cravings and all—and is now enjoying her new baby boy. Whether you're a celebrity like Emma Roberts or not, expecting a baby is an exciting life moment. Follow these tips to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your pregnancy, and be sure to let the dental team know of your pregnancy before any treatment.

If you would like more information about dental care during pregnancy, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Pregnancy and Oral Health.”

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