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  • 1472 Jordan Hills Court Clearwater, FL 33756

Dentistry

The human mouth is filled with bacteria. These bacteria, along with mucous and other particles form a sticky film called plaque is constantly forming and which adheres to the teeth. This plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing. When the plaque is allowed to remain on the teeth, the bacteria involved become more harmful, and more difficult to remove, creating an environment that is more toxic to the tissue. The plaque itself can harden creating a cement like substance (calculus) that cannot be removed with brushing and flossing alone.

This leads to inflammation and gum disease.

Good oral hygiene can drastically reduce the incidence of gum disease and tooth decay…

Watch this fabulous video from Spear Education

What treatment is best for a cracked tooth depends on the extent and the severity of the damage. If a small crack is detected early enough, it’s often possible to seal the fissure with restorative materials. For larger cracks that involve the pulp of the tooth, root canal treatment is generally required. Afterward, the visible structure of the tooth may be restored with a crown or “cap.” Sometimes, additional procedures may be recommended to try and save the tooth. In the most severe cases, however, the tooth will need to be extracted.

The preferred treatment for cracked teeth is — you guessed it — prevention! Wearing proper protective equipment (including a custom-fitted mouthguard) when playing sports, and staying alert to dangerous situations (like distracted or impaired driving) can help keep you safe. So can regular dental checkups, where your teeth are examined carefully for early signs of a problem. However, if you experience any symptoms that could indicate a cracked tooth, don’t wait: The sooner it’s treated, the better the chance that we can save it.

Watch this video from Spear Education

Do you ever wake up with an aching jaw, tooth sensitivity or notice that your teeth seem to be shifting or loosening? Clenching or grinding your teeth can put excessive force on the supporting tissues of the teeth and could speed up the rate at which periodontal tissues are destroyed. Teeth grinding or clenching can also cause abnormal wear and tear on the teeth which will prematurely age and loosen them, causing problems such as hypersensitivity (from the small cracks that form, exposing your dentin). Clenching or grinding, known as bruxism, can also lead to chronic jaw and facial pain, as well as headaches.

If no one has told you that you grind your teeth, here are a few clues that you may suffer from bruxism:

Your jaw is sore often, or you hear popping sounds when you open and close your mouth.

Your teeth look short or worn down.

You notice dents in your tongue, especially along the edges.

A common therapy involves use of a special appliance worn while sleeping which your dentist can custom fit for you.

Dr. Britten can evaluate you for evidence of clenching or grinding and make the appropriate recommendation to avoid further damage to your teeth, gums and TMJ.

If you have any questions or concerns about bruxism, please contact our office at 727-586-2681.

For those suffering from TMD, relief begins with a proper diagnosis, understanding of the underlying causes and often trying the more conservative methods first before considering surgical intervention.

If you feel you may be suffering from TMD, contact us today for more information!

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Please watch this informative video from Spear Education

https://spearedu.co/yn7d6NQ

In the past, traditional dental x-rays were only able to provide limited information about the condition of a patient’s teeth and jaw bone. Advances in technology now allow us to see fine detailed tooth and jaw anatomy to diagnose conditions that may have been previously hard to detect. Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry is now offering the only dental 3D CT Scan that is FDA approved for use on pediatric patients as it delivers the lowest dose of radiation possible on both children and adults.

The VATECH PAX-i3D GREEN cone beam CT Scanner offers fantastic imaging detail and is the only cone beam system considered a “Green CT” due to its extremely low dose, equivalent to only a short time out in the sun. This technology also assists in the digital planning of dental implants for precise accuracy, safety and optimal results. It can also assist in planning for bone grafting, tooth extractions, particularly third molars (wisdom teeth) and suspected pathology such as infected cracked teeth or impacted teeth.

The Green CBCT scanner by VA Tech America provides innovative technology for ultra-low-dose x-rays in 5.9 seconds and minimizes radiation to both patient and operator.

“I am excited about not only the excellent image quality for diagnostic purposes, but also the increased protection for the health and safety of our patients. The VA Tech Cone Beam CT scanner is perfect for claustrophobic patients.” – Dr. Todd Britten. “I am excited about not only the excellent image quality for diagnostic purposes, but also the increased protection for the health and safety of our patients. The VA Tech Cone Beam CT scanner is perfect for claustrophobic patients, as it is an ‘open air’ scanner. Patients are positioned and stand very still, and in less than six seconds, the scan is done.”

Dentists and dental specialists are using ConeBeam 3-D CT scans more and more frequently as a diagnostic tool for ultimate treatment efficiency and precision, particularly for dental implants, however, they can provide information for full mouth treatment when needed or localized to third molars or even the Temporomandibular Joint. New Green CBCT technology allows your dentist or x-ray technician to select specifically the desired scan while managing radiation dosage to their patients.

“This is a very powerful treatment tool in our practice,” says Dr. Britten. “With it, we can work together with our referring dentists to more confidently map our surgical and restorative treatment plans and place and restore implants with accuracy, while protecting our patients and our staff with lower radiation. I have read thousands of CT scans of the jaws but am still amazed at the fine details that I am now able to see in our VA Tech scans. We often see hairline cracks in people’s teeth that were previously unclear on traditional x-rays, yet causing them discomfort.”

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The mouth is a window into the health of the body. It can show signs of nutritional deficiencies or general infection.

Functions of teeth

Food needs to be broken down and chewed before entering the digestive system so that our body can easily absorb nutrients from them.

Teeth can help us pronounce accurately.

Teeth can help us look better by giving us a good profile.

Baby teeth can reserve spaces for permanent teeth. Once the permanent teeth start to erupt, the deciduous teeth will fall out and give room for permanent teeth.

Watch this video from Spear Education​:

https://spearedu.co/QjIFQls


“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.”: Thich Nhat Hanh

Dental anxiety affects many patients and can hinder them from taking the next step to achieve their oral health care goals.

Dental anxiety and dental phobia are extremely common. Many people have at least some anxiety about visiting the dentist.  But for a patient with a dental phobia, a dental visit can be terrifying. Up to 15 percent of Americans report they avoid seeing the dentist due to severe dental anxiety or dental phobia.  Some people will put off dental care for years or sometimes even decades! This can lead to advanced gum infections (periodontal disease), pain, or even broken or decayed teeth.  The price of dental phobia can include a higher risk of gum disease and can lead to tooth loss. Other people have to live with a loss of self-esteem or reduced quality of life due to embarrassment over how their smile looks, inability to eat well, or discomfort.

There are many different degrees of dental anxiety or phobia. In the case of a dental phobia, there can be a complete avoidance of the dentist – sometimes for years! Some will go to their appointment, but they may not sleep the night before or feel sick before or during their dental appointment.

When people are feeling tense, they may have a lower threshold for pain and may need extra anesthetic or other pain treatments. They may also suffer from headaches or muscle tension in their back, neck, arms or legs while in the dental chair.

Symptoms of dental phobia or anxiety

  • Tense muscles or trouble sleeping the night before a dental appointment
  • Increasing nervousness or feeling ill while in the waiting room.
  • Feeling like crying or getting overly emotional when you think of going to the dentist.
  • You panic, gag excessively, or have trouble breathing during a dental appointment.

What are the causes?

Those suffering from dental anxiety or phobia report the main triggers as:  pain, a feeling of helplessness and loss of control, embarrassment, or negative past experiences as the cause for their fear of the dental office.

The major triggers of dental anxiety or phobia, and how they may be handled:

Pain – Some people have had a previous dental experience that may have been uncomfortable, had trouble getting numb or have very sensitive teeth or gums.  Some of these experiences may have happened before many of the advances in “pain-free” dentistry.  These days, we have many pain control techniques, analgesics and anesthetics available.

  • Before and during the appointment: different comfort choices can be offered including headphones, music, blanket, a relaxed environment, distraction, mental imaging, sleep mask, breathing techniques, a bite block, or other comfort measures. Dental professionals have different local anesthetic and topical rinses, liquids, sprays or subgingivally applied gels that can be used.  Tooth desensitizing agents are also available.  Your dental professional will be very knowledgeable about what is available and can select the appropriate method based on the type of procedure, length of procedure as well as your individual needs and preferences.
  • For surgical or more intensive procedures, IV conscious sedation or oral sedation is often an option. Sedation dentistry can provide a calming experience for patients who have experienced high levels of anxiety related to dental treatment.  Some dentists are highly trained and certified in IV conscious sedation or oral sedation.

IV CONSCIOUS SEDATION

Intravenous (IV) Sedation helps even our most anxious patients remain relaxed and comfortable during procedures. Many patients feel as though they, “went to sleep” during the sedation. The goal of IV conscious sedation is not to provide general anesthesia but instead to allow patients to remain conscious and relaxed with minimal risk during the procedure.

ORAL SEDATION

A prescription medication can be given that can relieve anxiety patients feel before and during their dental procedure. It allows patients to respond verbally and physically to directions all while in a very “restful” state. Patients using oral sedation will need to be driven to and from the procedure.

  • After the appointment: Warm saltwater rinses, over the counter or prescription pain medications are available to assist in a person’s recovery after the procedure. Having post-appointment care information in writing as well as given verbally is also helpful.

Helplessness or loss of control — in the dental chair, a patient has to stay still, they can’t see what’s going on or predict any potential discomfort.  It’s common for people to feel helpless and out of control, which may trigger anxiety.  A patient’s state of mind is very important especially when one has dental anxiety or phobia.  For some patients, a clear explanation of what procedures will be done, what to expect, and how to indicate if they need the operator to stop or give them a rest can help immensely.

Embarrassment — People may feel ashamed or embarrassed to have a stranger looking in their mouth.  Some people lack self-confidence or are ashamed of how their teeth look, and may be afraid they’ll be judged or ridiculed. Dental care also involves an invasion of a person’s personal space as dental treatments require physical closeness. During a treatment, the hygienist’s or dentist’s face may be just a few inches away. This can make people anxious and uncomfortable.

Negative past experiences — many that have had pain or discomfort during a previous dental procedures, often in childhood, but it could be any other time, are likely to be more anxious.

To cope with dental fear, it is best to tell your dentist about your feelings, concerns and fears so they can help you overcome these feelings by adjusting your comfort and care in the dental office.

Through the specialty of periodontics & implant dentistry, we at Britten Periodontics strive to deliver comfortable care and ethical treatment in a welcoming environment.  Our goal is to deliver exceptional dental care with compassion, using the latest research based techniques. With education and encouragement, our goal create a strong relationship with our patients and a comfortable experience.

Our team members understand that the treatment provided is not always pleasant or comfortable but they possess the personality to make the patient feel at ease in spite of this.   As a team, we partner with other caring healthcare providers to deliver patient treatment with honor and dignity. A healthy, satisfied patient is our ultimate reward!  For our surgical procedures, Dr. Britten is highly trained and certified in both IV conscious sedation and oral sedation. He is one of the few Periodontists in the Tampa Bay area who offers IV sedation.

Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry is a periodontal practice offering patients personalized dental care in implant dentistry in Clearwater, Florida. Dr. Todd Britten received his Bachelor of Science & Doctorate of Dental Surgery from University of Florida, a Master’s Degree and Certificate in Periodontology and Implant Dentistry; and completed extensive training at the Institute of Advanced Laser Dentistry. He is one of the only board-certified periodontists in Pinellas County. He is a member of the American Academy of Periodontology, American Dental Association, Florida Association of Periodontists, Upper Pinellas County Dental Association, Hillsborough County Dental Association, Hillsborough County Dental Research Association and Florida West Coast Dental Association.

To learn more about Dr. Britten and his dental services visit his website at https://www.brittenperio.com or call (727) 586-2681.

 

Successful placement of dental implants depends on precise placement of the implants in the jaw bone. Cone Beam imaging to assist in the replacement of missing teeth with implants.

Dr. Todd Britten has been using Cone Beam technology in his Clearwater, Florida Dental Implant Specialty Practice since 2014 for a better understanding of his patients’ anatomy. He states that this technology has allowed him to place dental implants in exactly the right place and more effectively replace missing teeth. “This is a very powerful treatment tool in our practice,” says Dr. Britten. “With it, we can work together with our referring dentists to more confidently map our surgical and restorative treatment plans and place and restore implants with accuracy.” Britten says he looked long and hard for the right machine for his specialty dental implant practice. That is why he chose The Green CBCT scanner by VA Tech America. This unit, he says, provides innovative technology for ultra-low-dose x-rays in 5.9 seconds and minimizes radiation to both patient and operator. Dr. Britten says the Green CBCT scanner protects both his patient and the x-ray technician while delivering a high quality 3-D imaging. “I am excited about not only the excellent image quality for diagnostic purposes, but also the increased protection for the health and safety of our patients. The VA Tech Cone Beam CT scanner is perfect for claustrophobic patients, as it is an ‘open air’ scanner. Patients are positioned and stand very still, and in less than six seconds, the scan is done.”

Traditionally, dental professionals used dental x-rays to determine what a patient’s dental structure was like. These x-rays only provide a limited picture of the patient’s mouth and jaw. Recent developments in technology have led to Cone Beam imaging, which produces 3D, high-resolution images of the mouth.
Cone beam imaging is different than a traditional dental x-ray because it uses an x-ray beam that is shaped like a cone rather than using a fan shape. Dr. Britten is highly experienced at reading and interpreting these generated images.
Dental professionals often use this type of imaging to determine the precise placement of dental implants. Dr. Britten recommends implants as the leading permanent tooth replacement solution for patients with missing teeth. After evaluating images generated by cone beam imaging, Dr. Britten determines whether or not implants are a good option for each patient, based on factors like jaw bone density. The images will reveal if the patients’ jaw bone is at a healthy enough degree of density to support implants. If the bone looks healthy enough, Dr. Britten will place the implants by first placing a titanium base in the bone of the jaw. An abutment piece and natural-looking crown will then be attached to the base. Patients will then care for the implants as they would their natural teeth.

Cone beam imaging can make for easier and more effective implant placement. Dr. Britten, also a board certified periodontist, can also use the same CT scan technology to see fine detailed tooth and jaw anatomy to diagnose conditions that may have been previously hard to detect. To learn more about cone beam technology and tooth replacement, interested parties can visit www.brittenperio.com

About The Doctor
Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry is a periodontal practice offering patients personalized dental care in implant dentistry in Clearwater, Florida. Dr. Todd Britten received his Bachelor of Science & Doctorate of Dental Surgery from University of Florida, a Master’s Degree and Certificate in Periodontology and Implant Dentistry; and completed extensive training at the Institute of Advanced Laser Dentistry. He is one of the only board-certified periodontists in Pinellas County. He is a member of the American Academy of Periodontology, American Dental Association, Florida Association of Periodontists, Upper Pinellas County Dental Association, Hillsborough County Dental Association, Hillsborough County Dental Research Association and Florida West Coast Dental Association

As a periodontist, Dr. Todd Britten enjoys making a positive impact on his patient’s lives by improving their smiles as well as their comfort and health. He has patients that were once told they would lose all of their teeth, but through periodontal care, even after many years still have every one of them!

Sometimes, a basic understanding of what are teeth are made of, and how they are held in our mouths is the first step in understanding why they are so important, and how to properly care for them.

Please watch this great video about teeth from Spear Education

https://spearedu.co/QmKFtsg

It is unfortunate when someone loses a tooth, but there are usually several options to replace it.

  1. Removable Partial Denture
  • Worn during the day, can replace one or many missing. We recommend taking them out at night and soaking them in a cleaning solution.  teeth.  Sometimes a partial denture may need metal clasps to help it stay in the mouth.
  • Unfortunately, these metal clasps may be visible when speaking or smiling.
  • They can move a little when speaking or eating, which can be uncomfortable.
  • No need to file down any teeth.
  • This option is often the most economical.

2.  Temporary Partial Denture

  • A short term solution for a missing tooth.
  • We call it a “flipper” because it flips in and out easily.
  • This is used when the tooth will be restored in the future with a bridge or an implant, but is worn during the healing phase.
  • Much like a removable partial denture, but usually less sturdy, less bulky, and less expensive.
  • No alteration to adjacent teeth

3. Bridge

  • A bridge is a fixed solution that stays cemented in the mouth and does not come out.
  • This method involves cutting down the teeth on either side of the missing tooth to be able to connect them together.
  • We recommend floss threaders, which slide under the bridge, to keep it clean.
  • The disadvantages for bridges are cutting down teeth that might be perfectly healthy, and sometimes bridges in the lower jaw do not last as long since the jaw flexes and the unbendable bridge can spring a leak on one side or the other that allows for decay or bacteria to seep in.
  • A bridge can replace one or two missing teeth easily, and sometimes more if there is enough support.

4. Dental Implant

  • A great way to replace a missing tooth.
  • This solution feels and acts the most like a natural tooth when chewing, brushing or smiling.
  • The implant replaces the actual root of the missing tooth and heals in the bone for several months.
  • We then place an abutment, to which a crown will be cemented.
  • A major advantage is no need to alter any other teeth when placing an implant.
  • An implant is a great solution for a single missing tooth, and even more implants can replace many missing teeth.
  • When smiling or talking there is no way to tell the difference between an implant and a natural tooth

5. Do Nothing. There is always the option to do nothing.

  • When a tooth is removed, the bone melts away and the other teeth in the area will shift to fill the gap.
  • This can sometimes create a difficult place to clean and lead to other problems like bone loss or decay around the existing teeth.