The PearlFection Blog

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PearlFection Dentistry’s orthodontist and orthodontic team have made the decision to expand their operating hours to accommodate patient demand in the Frederick Maryland and Urbana Maryland areas.  With this decision, PearlFection Dentistry will now have orthodontic hours on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 

PearlFction’s General Manager Stewart Stringer attributes the growing demand for orthodontic services at the practice to several factors.  Firstly, he believes that having one of the best orthodontists in the region, who also is very personable, is a huge asset, chairside manner matters to patients.  Second, having multiple disciplines including Orthodontics, Oral Surgery, Periodontics, Prosthodontics, Endodontics and General Dentistry, under one roof makes patient care easier for both patient and the dental team the third reason we believe we are busy and need to expand hours, is the fact that we have such a strong reputation in the community.  In fact, we are the number one reviewed dentist in Maryland. The 4th and finally thing that makes PearlFection different is our attention to exceptional customer service.  Those attributes have helped propel PearlFection Orthodontics to be one of the leading providers of orthodontic services in the Frederick and Urbana Maryland areas

Dr Tigani and his orthodontic team offer both traditional braces, Invisalign and Tigani clear aligners.  The choice of which orthodontic technology to use will be a decision made between the doctor and the patient, every situation is different.  Some patients what clear aligners, others want blue brackets, others want the braces not to show  or to show as little as possible.  There is  no one size fits all.

We will see new orthodontic patients, we will see orthodontic patients who are referred by other general dentists, we will see complicated orthodontic cases, we will see easy  orthodontic cases, we will see orthodontic cases where all the patient needs is a retainer and we will see orthodontic patients who simply need a night guard.  We will see adults who need orthodontic care and we will children who need orthodontic care. We will see orthodontic patents who only need a little movement in the front teeth to close a diastema who will be in braces for 2 months and we will see orthodontic patients who have teeth coming out of the middle of their pallet who will be in braces for years.  Bottom line, we will see any orthodontic patient and we will give them exception dental and orthodontic care. 

The really unique thing about PearlFection Dentistry, is that we don’t need a patient to go outside our practice to have specialty procedures done before beginning orthodontic treatment.  Sometimes an orthodontist will need a few teeth pulled.  No problem, Dr Brian Chang, PearlFection’s Oral Surgeon, will step in to do the extractions. Sometimes an orthodontic patient will need to have a periodontal issue cleared up before orthodontic treatment or braces can be started.   No problem, Dr Ashley Seals, PearlFection’s periodontist will do an evaluation and perform any periodontal surgery, deep cleaning or some other periodontal procedure so orthodontic treatment can begin.  Sometimes orthodontic work requires both orthodontic work and prosthodontic or dentures or partials dentures or even implant supported dentures.  When this happens, it can be incredibly complicated coordinating between so many specialists.  Not to fear, at PearlFection Dentistry, you will have one primary doctor who will act as the quarterback and coordinate all the specialists so you get the treatment and outcome you deserve without things getting lost in the cracks.

We encourage anyone in the Maryland, Virginia and DC area to come in for a free orthodontic consultation.  Our orthodontist, Dr Tigani, will spend some time with you and your family, he will work with you to determine the best orthodontic appliances for you, and then work toward a cost effective solution that gets you to the outcome you want.  We even offer orthodontic financing if necessary.  When it comes to orthodontic treatment in Frederick Maryland or Urbana Maryland, we strive for excellent outcomes and happy people with straight, healthy teeth, we stand behind out work and we can be your dentist for life.  Call us for an appointment in Frederick Maryland 301-663-5550 or Urbana Maryland 301-831-8303

www.pearlfectiondentistry.com – Frederick Dental Practice

www.pearlfectionurbana.com   - Urbana Dental Practice

February 06, 2019
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Does Gum Disease Increase Risk of Heart Disease?

Overview

Recently, dentists, researchers, and doctors have begun to examine the link between oral health and overall health. One area they’ve focused on is the relationship between gum disease and heart disease.

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is inflammation of the gums. It can lead to the breakdown of the gums, teeth, and bone tissues that hold them in place. Heart disease refers to a broad set of conditions, including heart attack and stroke. Heart disease is caused by the narrowing or blockage of important blood vessels.

Keep reading to learn more about how these two conditions are related and what you can do to reduce your risk.

Gum diseases and other diseases

Gum disease and oral health may be related to other conditions, as well, such as:

  • Osteoporosis: Some research suggests that lower bone density leads to bone loss in the jaw. This may eventually lead to tooth loss due to a weaker underlying bone.
  • Respiratory disease: Bacteria in the mouth can move to the lungs and cause infections such as pneumonia. This is more common for people with periodontal disease.
  • Cancer: Some research suggests that gum disease may increase the risk of certain forms of cancer, such as kidney, pancreatic, and blood cancers. More research is needed in this area.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): Early research shows an association between RA and gum disease. However, more research is needed.

There are also some conditions that may increase your risk of developing gum disease. Research indicates that people with diabetes are at increased risk of developing gum disease. This is likely due to increased inflammation and greater risk of infections in general. The risk lowers if you manage your diabetes.

Pregnant women are also at increased risk of gum disease due to hormonal changes and increased blood flow.

Learn more: 5 ways to prevent and treat pregnancy gingivitis »

Symptoms and diagnosis

Gum disease symptoms

Regular visits to your dentist can help with early diagnosis and treatment of gum disease. You should also let your dentist know if you have any symptoms of gum disease, including:

  • persistent bad breath
  • swollen, red gums
  • tender gums that bleed easily
  • pain with chewing
  • highly sensitive teeth
  • receding gums or sunken teeth
  • loose teeth or changes in bite

Just because you have one or several of these symptoms doesn’t mean you have gum disease. A dentist will make a formal diagnosis by reviewing the severity and duration of your symptoms. They will also evaluate your teeth and review your medical history. During your visit, they may:

  • measure your gums with a tiny ruler to check pocket depth
  • evaluate your gums for signs of inflammation and plaque buildup
  • take X-rays of underlying jaw bone to look for bone loss
  • examine sensitive teeth for receding gums

Heart disease symptoms

If your doctor suspects heart disease, they will make a diagnosis based on your medical history, the severity and duration of your symptoms, and the results of a physical examination. The following are common symptoms of heart disease:

  • chest pain, also known as angina, resulting from your heart not getting enough oxygen
  • arrhythmia, also known as irregular heart beat
  • shortness of breath
  • unexpected fatigue
  • dizziness and lightheadedness
  • sudden confusion or impaired thinking
  • excess buildup of fluid, known as edema
  • heart attack

The doctor will also evaluate your blood and examine risk factors for heart disease, such as family history and body weight. They can confirm a diagnosis with the following tests:

  • EKG to record the heart’s electrical activity
  • chest X-ray to visualize the heart and other organs in the chest
  • blood tests to evaluate levels of proteins, lipids, and glucose
  • stress test to document abnormal changes in your heart beat and breathing during exercise

What’s the outlook?

Research shows some connection between gum disease and heart disease. Bacteria buildup and inflammation in the oral cavity eventually leads to narrowing and blockage of blood vessels. However, more research is needed to better understand the connection.

Prevention

There are many healthy lifestyle habits you can use to maintain good oral hygiene and reduce your risk of gum and heart diseases.

  • Brush your teeth and tongue at least twice per day with a fluoride toothpaste. Ask your dentist to demonstrate the correct technique for brushing.
  • Floss between your teeth and gums at least once per day.
  • Use mouthwash regularly.
  • Only use teeth cleaning products that have the American Dentist Association’s seal of approval.
  • Refrain from smoking or chewing tobacco.
  • Drink water that contains fluoride.
  • Eat a diet high in vegetables, high-fiber foods, low-sugar fruits, and vegetable-based proteins.
  • Maintain healthy levels of blood sugar, especially if you have diabetes.
  • See a dentist twice per year for regular cleanings and checkups.
  • Be mindful of early signs of gum disease, such as bleeding gums and constant bad breath. Let your dentist know if you have any of these symptoms.

Q&A: Gum disease

Q:

Can I reverse the damage caused by gum disease?

A:

Yes, gum disease can still be reversed if you are in the gingivitis stage of the disease, but not from the advanced form of the disease. To improve your gum health, brush your teeth twice per day with a fluoride toothpaste. Floss regularly using string floss, a water flosser, or special dental brushes and picks. Use mouth rinses, and have regular dental checkups and professional cleanings.

If gum disease is in the more advanced form, called periodontitis, you can take measures to control it. Scaling and root planning (deep cleaning), reduction of gum pockets (surgical treatment), and medication may be necessary.

- Christine Frank, DDS

Answers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.

February 06, 2019
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Gum infection linked to Alzheimer's disease, new study suggests

Alzheimer’s disease could be caused by a gum infection, according to a new study.

The study, published this week in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances, suggests the bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis that destroys gum tissue in the mouth is linked to dementia and Alzheimer's.

Researchers observed the bacteria in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. They also conducted tests on mice that showed the gum infection led to an increased production of amyloid beta, a part of the amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease.

"Despite significant funding and the best efforts of academic, industry, and advocacy communities, clinical progress against Alzheimer's has been frustratingly slow," Casey Lynch, author on the paper and CEO of pharmaceutical company Cortexyme, said in a statement. "The Science Advances publication sheds light on an unexpected driver of Alzheimer's pathology."

Cortexyme, which funded the research, is designing a series of therapies to treat the gum infection that plan to go to Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials.

More: A blood test may detect whether Alzheimer's will develop 16 years before symptoms show, study says

In this file photo, the brain of an older individual shows the early stages Alzheimer's disease. A new study suggestions a gum infection might be linked to the disease. (Photo: NONE, XXX DEPARTMENT OF ANATOMY AND NE)

While there have been previous studies linking periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s, researchers who aren't affiliated with the paper say there isn't clear enough evidence linking the two.

"In research we’ve supported to uncover the key risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease, gum disease hasn’t emerged as a major cause for concern," James Pickett, the head of research at Alzheimer’s Society who was not involved in the paper, said in a statement.

No cure currently exists for Alzheimer's disease, the most common type of dementia. The disease that begins with memory loss affects as many as 5 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Frederick Area Dental Practice is the #1 Reviewed Dentist in the State of Maryland

On January 17th 2019 PearlFection Dentistry crossed a milestone.  They became the first dentist in the State of Maryland and perhaps in the United States to cross the 500th review on Google, while maintaining a 5-star rating.  It took them 8 year to accomplish this goal.

How did they accomplish this feat, when industry statistics say an average person is 10 times more likely to write a negative review on-line than a positive review and when so many people have a fear of dentists?   

We went searching for answers as to what makes PearlFection Dentistry different and here’s what we learned about the practice:PearlFection Dentistry have never paid a patient to write a review

  1. For 8 years PearlFection Dentistry has maintained a 4.9-star review on Google
  2. PearlFection’s has 9 dentists working at the practices including four general dentists, an endodontist, an oral surgeon, an orthodontist, a periodontist and a prosthodontist and every one of these doctors has received 5-star reviews.  Having all these specialists means PearlFection Dentistry almost never needs to send a patient to an outside specialist, because all dental work can be done at the same place.
  3. PearlFection Dentistry is open 6 days per week and one of their practices, in either Urbana Maryland or Frederick Maryland is open approximately 12 hours per day and they do dental care on Saturdays and weekends
  4. PearlFection’s dental team is obsessed with customer service, from the first phone call to making sure that they don’t overbook, patient’s time and care is of the utmost concern.
  5. PearlFection takes all PPO Insurances, including Delta Dental, Cigna and United Concordia
  6. In December of 2017 PearlFection Dentistry in Frederick opened a state-of-the-art dental facility on Thomas Johnson Drive with 14 operatories and 2 surgical suites.  The practice grew over the years and needed more room.  They moved from 196 Thomas Johnson Drive, where they had been for approximately 20 years, to just down the road to 60 Thomas Johnson Drive. The practice bought the new building so they could control their own destiny and designed it, the parking area and landscaping and views with patient comfort in mind.
  7. PearlFection Dentistry can perform all levels of sedation dentistry for Frederick Maryland and Urbana Maryland regional patients including IV sedation, oral sedation and nitrous oxide sedation.
  8. PearlFection Dentistry treats pediatric patients, adults, and seniors.  Many of the nursing homes in Frederick send their residence to PearlFection Dentistry for care.
  9. PearlFection Dentistry tries to reserve same day dentistry open slots for emergency patients.  It’s not always possible but emergencies are given preferential treatment.
  10. PearlFection Dentistry is owned by their local doctors and has rejected offers by corporate, Wall Street types for any type of buyout because the owner doctors believe that corporate dentistry might sacrifice quality of dental care
  11. PearlFection Dentistry does not let insurance companies dictate treatment of patients and has successfully remained independent from State and private insurance carriers

With these facts under our belt, we caught up with Stewart Stringer, PearlFection Dentistry’s general manager and asked him, “Why, in this age of insurance driven healthcare, is PearlFection Dentistry able to provide such high-quality dental care, at fees below the regional average, and with such high customer satisfaction that you have over 500 reviews on Google?”  

Stew’s answer was, “It’s pretty simple, we have a great team, totally dedicated to an exception customer experience.”  

We continued, “but certainly lot of dental practices have great teams, what makes you different.”  

Stew answered, “Over the past 8 years, we have worked to bring together the best general dentists, the best hygienists, the best oral surgeons, the best orthodontists, the best periodontists, the best prosthodontists and the best endodontists, we eventually hit a tipping point, where it all jelled and almost all our dentistry was performed under one roof, by a team that was in constant communication, what happened next was simple exception dental care.  The doctors knew each other’s style and the result was some of the best dentistry in Maryland and for that matter in the region.  We don’t cut corners when it comes to care. We use the best equipment, the best labs and the best doctors and the result is great dental care.  The beneficiaries are our patients. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great dentists and specialists in this area, and we sometimes refer to them, but we have a unique practice.”

Some dental practices are content with a solid doctor team, but PearlFection Dentistry goes beyond that.  Each front desk member, each assistant and each hygienist spend hours and hours in training to not only provide great professional work but also exception customer service. At PearlFection Dentistry, it’s a total experience, from the first phone call to establish a new patient, to the clinical results, we want to provide an exception experience.

Sign me up!  500 patients who took time out of their busy schedule to write a review and tell the world about this hidden gem, right in our little town of Frederick and Urbana Maryland, can’t be wrong.

If you want to schedule an appointment at PearlFection Dentistry for either general dentistry, emergency dentistry, orthodontic or braces, wisdom teeth extractions, crowns, bridges, tooth whitening, even root canals or Botox, give them a call, Frederick’s phone number is (301) 663-5550 Urbana’s Phone number is (301) 831-8303.

By PearlFection Dentistry
November 13, 2018
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If you have ever been scared to go to the dentist and wish you could just go to sleep and wake up with all the work, that you have been putting off for years, done and have the movie star perfect smile, or you wish that bothersome tooth could be gone and with it the pain. If either of these sound familiar you might want to read on. You might want to learn more about sedation dentistry in Frederick Maryland and Urbana Maryland. Also, if you like the idea of all your dental care, from cleanings and Zoom Whitening, to major wisdom teeth surgery and implants, done in one place by the most competent team around, you may want to read on.

Sedation Dentistry refers to the use of drugs to calm and relax a patient prior to and during a dental appointment. The drugs belong to a class of drugs called sedatives, which exert their action by depressing the central nervous system, specifically those areas concerned with conscious awareness. In the dental field of medicine, doctors will use pharmacological chemicals, ranging from pills, to gases to intravenous drugs to achieve a level of sedation that is required to perform the procedures that the patient needs. Most dental patients require little more than local anesthesia, like an injection of Lidocaine or Novocain, but some patients require local anesthesia as well as some sort of sedation procedure.

There are different degrees of central nervous system depression, each corresponding to a level of relaxation which ranges from minimal, moderate, to deep sedation. Minimal sedation is refers to a state of consciousness where a patient is sedated but readily responds to verbal or physical stimulation, Valium or nitrous oxide are the most common examples of minimal sedation. With moderate sedation the patient is even more relaxed, and will respond to purposeful stimulation, but otherwise is not responsive. In deep sedation, the patient may not exhibit any signs of consciousness and therefore will be unresponsive to stimulation. A different level of training is required by a dental team to perform each level. PearlFection Dentistry is sanctioned and licensed by the State of Maryland to perform all levels of sedation, which is both rare for a dental practice and extremely useful when performing comprehensive dental care.

Sedation by pharmacologic methods may be obtained by three general routes. The inhalation route, where a gas is administered to the patient though a mask, where the sedative gas and oxygen are mixed in such a ratio so the patient losses some level of anxiety. The enteral route involves absorption of medication orally, through the digestive tract. This route includes medications that are either swallowed, absorbed through the mucosa of the oral cavity, or inserted rectally. The intravenous route, where pharmacological agents are injected via needle, into the patient’s bloodstream.

What are the Benefits of Sedation Dentistry


Sedation dentistry has become popular because it offers benefits for both the patient and the dentist. Patients who are simply too scared to have work done when they are conscious, can choose sedation as a way to simply not know what is happening. They go in to the office, have a drug administered and wake up with the work done. It’s easy and eliminates most of the fear. For the dentist, sedation dentistry, allows the doctors at PearlFection Dentistry to perform the work, quickly and without having to worry about the reaction of a nervous patient. For some patient groups, the use of sedation dentistry is the only way that they can get the dental care they need and improve their dental health.

Sedation Dentistry can offer:

  • Patient relaxation
  • Anxiety control
  • Increased comfort
  • Movement control
  • Patient co-operation
  • Control of gag reflex
  • Little or no memory of treatment
  • Blood pressure control
  • All work done in one sitting
  • Low cost
  • Availability for all ages needs patients

What Does Sedation Dentistry Cost?


Depending on type of sedation needed, costs range from a few hundred dollars per session to several thousand. The most expensive sedation option is Intravenous Sedation (IV Sedation) where a team of at least three must monitor the patient’s vital signs. The least costly sedation methods are oral medications and nitrous oxide. Most practitioners charge by the amount of time needed and insurance companies typically reimburse based on 15-minute increments. At PearlFection Dentistry, we charge by the 15-minute increment, unless it’s a very large procedure lasting several hours and then we will give a flat rate. When oral medication is used, there is no additional costs, except the cost of the drugs, which are purchased at the local pharmacy.

Why PearlFection Dentistry for your Dental Care and Sedation Dentistry?


At PearlFection Dentistry in Frederick Maryland and Urbana Maryland, patients come from hundreds of miles away, even across the country to experience what it is like to truly have a team approach for their most complicated dental procedures. PearlFection Dentistry, is a small practice with only two locations, one in Frederick Maryland and one in Urbana Maryland, but our reputation for quality care has become well known far from the local region. With our staff of board-certified Oral Surgeons, Periodontists, Prosthodontists, Endodontists, and renown Orthodontists, as well as our team of general, restorative and cosmetic dentists, and our ability to administer sedation dentistry, the care we provide during sedation, is second to none. While the patient is sedated, each specialist will do his part. If a patient needs several root canals, several extractions, dental implants, and crowns, bridges or dentures, each specialist will do what they do best and hand the patient off to the next specialist. By the time the patient wakes up, all the work is done and the patient recovers and only had to be in the chair one time. It’s a great option and the results speak for themselves.

How do I learn more about Sedation Dentistry and the Multi-Specialty Approach to dental care at PearlFection?


If you are nervous about dental care, really scared, or flat out petrified, you have read the right article and we can help. The first step is to have a consultation by calling (301) 663-5550 or visit our website and request an appointment www.pearlfectiondentistry.com or www.pearlfectionurbana.com . At the consultation there will be no pain. We will ask you some questions, we will take some x-rays and we will go over your entire mouth, one tooth at time, on a big screen with your x-rays displayed, so you can see what our doctors are talking about. We will discuss treatment options and sedation dentistry options. We will go over the costs and how much your insurance will cover. Once you have all the information and are comfortable with the plan we will schedule the work. From there, all you need to do is show up and we do the rest. We can perform, all your wisdom teeth extractions, all your root canals, all you implants, almost everything all at the same visit. We can even do extractions, implants and dentures the same day so you walk out with a new set of teeth in one appointment. Sound too good to be true? You owe it to yourself to see how sedation dentistry and the multi-specialty dental practice can help you get the dental work you need done, without the pain and fear you are worried about.