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Afraid of the Dentist? Fear not!

By Gates Family Dentistry | July 31, 2017 | Comments Off on Afraid of the Dentist? Fear not!

A plan to manage anxiety goes a long way with dental visits Not many people enjoy visits to the dentist. Fortunately, we as dentists understand this and strive to create a friendly, relaxing environment for our patients. As your Wilsonville family dentist, I am trained in handling fearful patients and offer a variety of methods and treatments to help reduce this stress.Patients who have a lot of anxiety about an exam or procedure need to communicate these fears to their dentist and staff. By being aware of your concerns, we can create a plan to manage each persons’ anxiety. I find sometimes all it takes is explanation of the procedure and what to expect. I like to: Take the time to explain the procedure and materials used. Make sure that the patient knows what they will soon feel and for how long. I give patient cues to inform me if they are uncomfortable or need me to stop prior to starting any work I encourage patients to listen to their favorite music or radio during the procedure to aid in stress reduction. Use sedation methods where indicated for patients who need it. We will create a stress reduction management plan for you! No two people are the same and no plan for dental anxiety management will be the same. Simply inform us next time you are in and we will work to create the ideal stress reduction management plan catered to your needs. I take great pleasure seeing patients leave my Wilsonville family dentist office feeling good about their visit and, most importantly, with a smile that helps them feel their best.

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Oral Cancer Screenings an Important Part of Dental Care

By Gates Family Dentistry | June 14, 2017 | Comments Off on Oral Cancer Screenings an Important Part of Dental Care
Wilsonville dentist reviews

At Gates Family Dentistry, our Wilsonville dentist reviews each of our patients’ health records to determine his or her risk of oral cancer as part of our patient evaluation process. That’s because oral cancer screening has become a key component in protecting our patients’ long-term health. However, many of our patients are surprised that a visit to the dentist includes more than just a checkup of their teeth. A lot of patients don’t expect head and necks exams because they are unaware of their risk of oral cancer. In the U.S., approximately 50,000 Americans will receive an oral cancer diagnosis this year, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. The disease will result in the deaths of over 9,700 patients, roughly the equivalent of one person an hour, 24 hours a day. Of those nearly 50,000 patients newly diagnosed with oral cancer, only slightly more than 50 percent will still be alive in five years following their diagnosis. While these numbers seem to suggest that oral cancer ranks as one of the hardest forms of cancer to treat, the truth is that when caught early the survival rate of an oral cancer diagnosis is remarkably high. Unfortunately, the majority of oral cancer diagnoses occur late in the disease’s development, well after the cancer has had a chance to metastasize to other areas of the body. This makes early detection of oral cancer a key component in successfully treating the disease. With increasing awareness of cancers is should come as no surprise that in our Wilsonville dentist reviews and has implemented screenings for head/neck and intraoral cancers into our daily practices. Oral Cancer Screening Process What does a screening entail? The first part is palpation of lymph nodes and glands along the head and neck region.  Feeling under the chin, along the jaw, the joint, into the temporal region, along the base of the skull then down along the muscles of the neck to the clavicle.  There are important glands, lymph nodes and muscles…

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Continuing Our Look at the Causes of Cavities

By Gates Family Dentistry | March 26, 2017 | Comments Off on Continuing Our Look at the Causes of Cavities
Wilsonville Dentist

Let’s continue the discussion on decay we started last month as our Wilsonville dentist reviews the factors that play a role in getting cavities and preventing cavities. In our last post, Dr. Gates discussed bacteria and diet as two very important factors in decay. Now, let’s look at the role hygiene, saliva and additional protective factors play in the formation of cavities. Hygiene As you hear me say all the time, oral hygiene plays just as important role in preventing cavities as it does in maintaining any fillings, crowns or dental work in your mouth. Good oral hygiene includes flossing daily, brushing morning and night, and – depending on your personal preference – maybe some additional steps such as mouthwash, fluoride rinse, proxy brushes, water pick. Good hygiene aids in removing food debris and harmful plaque that feeds and houses the bacteria that creates the cavity forming acids. I want to touch a bit more on flossing as there was recent controversy in the media concerning whether the habit really makes a difference. We brush our teeth to remove cavity forming materials and bacteria that collect throughout the day, right? So how do you remove the materials in-between and at the corners of our teeth? Simple – by flossing. Teeth are not flat. They have some of the most amazing anatomy, and if you are not flossing you are simply not cleaning the side of your tooth. Finally, with hygiene it is not uncommon to be asked about the benefits of using electric toothbrushes. Research clearly shows improved plaque removal using an electric toothbrush over-hand brushing.  So, yes, I strongly recommended an electric toothbrush.  I have both Sonicare and Oral B/Braun electric toothbrushes at home for me and my family. I happen to enjoy using both. Saliva Saliva acts as one of our natural defenses against acids in the mouth. Our saliva contains minerals in it that both buffer the pH level of our mouth and aid in surface remineralization/maintenance of the crystalline structure of our tooth enamel. Calcium and phosphates found in…

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What Causes Cavities to Form?

By Gates Family Dentistry | February 28, 2017 | Comments Off on What Causes Cavities to Form?
Wilsonville dentist

Despite what you may have perceived as a child, cavities are not the direct eating of the tooth by bacteria or sugar. In fact, your Wilsonville family dentist may surprise some by saying each alone has little direct affect on the teeth. However, when combined, they create the deadly cavity forming substance – acid! When bacteria housed in the plaque left on our teeth break down sugars, they produce acid. This attacks our tooth enamel by removing vital minerals from the enamel that weaken the tooth structure. Over time, the weakened area collapses, causing a cavity to develop. The formation of cavities varies from person to person, depending on a variety of different factors that I would like to discuss with you. Bacteria Even the healthiest mouth contains millions, possibly even billions (depending on the last time you brushed) of bacterial strands. However, we all get different strains of bacteria. All bacteria produce acids in the process of breaking down the food and sugars consumed. While most of this oral bacteria is harmless, some of these strains are extremely “cariogenic,” or cavity causing. So how do you get your oral bacteria?  This occurs at a very young age.  What occurs is process called “seeding” during which your oral cavity becomes populated with bacteria from your environment.  One of the largest environmental factors is family. When people say, “my mom had bad teeth, and I got her teeth,” there is some truth to that. They likely got her bacteria, which was probably more cariogenic than dad’s bacteria.  This means that parents should keep in mind that you can directly pass bacteria to your kids when you start kissing, feeding, and caring for your little ones. This makes it important that parents maintain their oral health when caring for their children. By reducing the bacterial load you can pass on to your child, you reduce the risk of permanently damaging his or her long-term oral health. Of course, if bacteria was the only cause of cavities, dental fillings may…

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A thank you and welcome from Dr. Gates!

By Gates Family Dentistry | December 8, 2016 | Comments Off on A thank you and welcome from Dr. Gates!
Wilsonville Dental Office

Dear Patients and Friends, Thank you to all who attended the open house, and to those I have met at the office already. You have all been so kind – I feel very welcomed! What a pleasure it has been meeting and visiting with each of you. To those I have not yet met, I look forward to seeing you in the coming months. As you know Kim, Nahid, Linda and Imelda are invaluable to the practice, and they have been instrumental during this transition period. I feel very fortunate to have them as part of my team. We will likely be adding an additional member to the team soon to help Kim and Nahid with assisting and office duties. Please welcome this new person as warmly as you have me. Since many of you ask about my family, I thought I would let you know more about me. My husband Chris and I have been married for 12 yrs. Our children include Tyler (10 yrs old) and Alaina (8 yrs old) both of whom enjoy board games, reading and sports. My two-year-old daughter, Evelyn, loves drawing and pretending. She is a master at hosting a tea party with her stuffed animals. My youngest, Tucker (9 months), is loving his new teeth, and eating as much food as we will give him! With children of my own, I am very comfortable treating the dental needs of families. If you know of a family or anyone else looking for a dentist, please keep me in mind. We are accepting new patients, and I would love to have more patients who are as friendly as you. Once again, I greatly appreciate the warm welcome you have given me. I wish you and your family all the best during this holiday season. Denise Gates, DMD

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