Smile in Your Photos with Santa | Walnut Creek Dentist

Now that we are smack dab in the midst of the holidays, it is important that we don’t forget to take care of our smiles this season. With holiday parties and other events to attend, you’ll be sure to eat delicious meals, treats, even a few cocktails. While enjoying all of the delightful food and beverages the holidays have to offer, keep in mind these simple steps to maintain a healthy mouth this holiday season:

Avoid holiday stress. Holidays can be a stressful time of year. From trying to choose the perfect gifts to the cooking the perfect holiday meal, your mouth can take a hit from the excess anxiety and stress, like jaw clenching and teeth grinding.

Have your treats and eat them too. Candy canes and gingerbread men will create more bacteria from the excess sugar, which leads to cavities. Make sure to brush and floss twice as day, drink lots of water and chew sugar free gum to increase your saliva flow to wash away excess bacteria.

Red and white wine. White and red wines are extremely high in acidity, which are no good for your teeth. Acid can eat away at your tooth enamel, leaving your teeth more prone to tooth decay and cavities. If you’re enjoying wine this holiday, make sure to drink water in between glasses to rinse your teeth of any excess acid.

Natural cleaning. There are some vegetables and fruits that can naturally clean our teeth and mouths by stimulating saliva flow, which is a natural defense against cavities. So, make sure to mix it up this holiday season.

For more information about holiday dental hygiene tips, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serves patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding areas.

Don’t Become Obsessed with Your Abscess | Walnut Creek Dentist

There is nothing more painful than a toothache. Not only does your mouth hurt, but it feels like your skull is about to explode from the throbbing pain. It’s time to call the dentist – you may have yourself an abscessed tooth.

An abscessed tooth is an infection at the root of a tooth or between gums caused by decay, trauma to the tooth, gingivitis or other gum diseases. An abscessed tooth begins when bacteria infect the pulp (the soft tissue core) of a tooth, through a cavity or cracked tooth, and progresses until pockets of pus begin to form at the root of the tooth creating an abscessed tooth.  Symptoms of an abscessed tooth include toothache, sensitivity to hot or cold, a bitter taste in mouth, bad breath, swollen glands at the neck or jaw and painful chewing. Symptoms as well as the severity of these symptoms vary depending on the patient. Some patients feel excruciating pain right away, on the other hand, other patients do not know they have an abscessed tooth until they go in for a routine dental exam.

An abscessed tooth can become very dangerous if left untreated. An untreated abscessed tooth can spread infections to other areas of the mouth causing loss of teeth, facial disfigurement due to infection rotting facial bones, and put immune system at risk of developing other health problems. If an abscessed is allowed to grow and spread through tissue, it can cause dramatic outward facial swelling called cellulitis and in rare cases death.

For more information about abscessed teeth, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serves patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding areas.

How to Cope with TMJ Disorder | Walnut Creek Dentist

TMJ disorder affects millions of adults and children in the United States today. Nerves, tendons, ligaments, and muscles are all interconnected with TMJ. When any one of those malfunctions, the system is thrown off balance, causing more TMJ symptoms such as pain, or loss of functionality in certain areas. To get a full diagnosis, a dental professional needs to give you an evaluation entailing a review of the patient’s medical history, and a detailed clinical exam to include jaw movement, skeletal structure and posture, airway and dental health, as well as cranial and neurological examination and muscle palpitations.

While you are waiting for your appointment, it can be a very painful time. The following are just a few suggestions for you to help cope with the pain:

  • Ice packs are excellent in reducing pain and muscle spasm. Place ice packs over the temple area and side of the face for ten minutes, three or four times a day.
  • Place yourself on a soft, but not liquid, diet. Avoid foods like salads, apples, chips, corn on the cob, hard breads, raw vegetables, steak, etc. When it comes to non-eating times, make sure you keep your jaw relaxed and slightly apart.
  • If possible, it is best to sleep on your back, with a pillow under your knees and along your sides, discouraging tossing and turning. Refrain from sleeping on your stomach. Lastly, do not sit or sleep under ceiling fans or vents as this will aggravate sensitive muscles and joints.
  • When it comes to day-to-day activity, focus on posture, protect your yawns by placing your fist under your lower jaw to prevent an extra wide opening and keep from supporting the phone with your shoulder.

For more information about TMJ Disorder, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serves patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding areas.

Poor Dental Hygiene Can Harm You | Walnut Creek Dentist

When it comes to our mouths, good oral hygiene is pertinent to keeping your bodies healthy. And you can’t limit your hygiene to just brushing. Brushing your teeth every day doesn’t always prevent harmful bacteria from growing inside of your mouth. And that harmful bacteria can lead to gum disease, an infection of the tissue that surrounds and supports your teeth. The following represents just a few ways gum disease can affect your overall health:

Your heart. Several studies have shown that gum disease is associated with heart disease. It has been proven that gum disease increases the risk of heart disease and worsen existing heart conditions.

Your lungs. Inhaling harmful bacteria at any time is bad for us due to the respiratory infections. Studies have shown that the bacteria growing in your mouth can be ingested into your lungs, resulting in infections like pneumonia.

Your blood. Those with diabetes are more susceptible to infection, and that includes gum disease. And to come full circle, gum disease can lead to increased blood sugar and diabetic complications.

Your brain. Some research has suggested there is a link between gum disease and the risks for developing Alzheimer’s disease. Other research has suggested that gum disease may also be associated with mild cognitive impairment, making daily life more difficult.

If you’re suffering from gum disease, make sure to keep it under control by brushing twice a day for two minutes, flossing once, and rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash. Also, remember to visit your dentist for regular checkups and professional cleanings.

For more information about dental hygiene, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serves patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding areas.

A Clean Toothbrush Is Key to Dental Hygiene | Walnut Creek Dentist

It is important to know that while your dentist is the professional at keeping your teeth clean and healthy, most of the work depends on you and your daily habits. The more you work to prevent bacteria from settling in your mouth and causing damage, the better off your dental checkups are every year. In honor of National Dental Hygiene Month, let’s focus in on the tools we need to keep our mouths the healthiest.

The best way to limit the bacteria in your mouth is to brush your teeth. And what do we use to do this? A toothbrush. But brushing your teeth is not enough. The best way to keep those cavity creeps away is to replace your toothbrush on a regular basis. In fact, the American Dental Association, or ADA, recommends throwing out your toothbrush every three to four months. If the bristles become frayed, you’re sick, or you have a weak immune system, throw it out even more often. If you use an electric toothbrush, throw out the head as often as you’d discard a disposable toothbrush.

Every time you’re tempted to skip brushing and flossing your teeth, remember how many bacteria lurk in your mouth – and that they cause gum disease, and decay, and bad breath. Make sure you’re brushing and flossing as often as possible to eliminate some of those bacteria. Rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash before or after brushing can also help reduce plaque-causing bacteria that can lead to early forms of gum disease.

For more information about dental hygiene, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serves patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding areas.

We are Proud to Announce the Newest Addition to Our Practice, Dr. Ulf Temnitzer

 

To Our Valued Patients,

Dr. Ulf Temnitzer & Dr. Curtis Barmby

We are Growing!

Our purpose has always been to provide the highest quality dental care to our patients—not only in treating what concerns them, but also empowering our patients to maintain robust dental health throughout their life. With this ongoing goal in mind, we are proud and excited to announce that Dr. Ulf Temnitzer, an exceptional prosthodontist who shares our vision, will be officially joining our practice this October.

Both Dr. Barmby and Dr. Temnitzer will be available for the following services: Esthetic Dentistry, Crowns, Inlays and Onlays (Porcelain or gold), Composite Restorations and Veneers, Full-Mouth Reconstruction, Implant-Supported Restorations, Complete and Partial Dentures, Pain Management (TMJ/TMD), Splints, and all Hygiene Services. Having two highly trained clinicians will make our patients experience even more efficient and effective!

Dr. Temnitzer earned his DDS from the University of the Pacific in San Francisco, at the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. He then completed a graduate residency program in prosthodontics at the University of Alabama where he also taught in the undergraduate program. Upon his return to the Bay Area, UOP was delighted to have its alumnus join the academic and clinical faculty as well as to treat patients in the faculty group practice. It was at UOP where Gail and I, as fellow faculty, have had the pleasure of getting to know Ulf during the past four years.

Anyone that has worked alongside him or under his tutelage can plainly see what a thoughtful and caring manner Dr. Temnitzer has with his patients. This has earned him the respect and admiration of students and faculty alike at the university. It is this devoted attention to his patients, as well as his technical excellence, that inspired and motivated us to recruit him to join our practice—and we feel very fortunate that he’s obliged us. His attention to detail is exceptional, which comes as no surprise given his curriculum vitae—prior to dental school, he trained in Switzerland as a Certified Dental Technician. When Ulf is not at work, he likes to ride his mountain bike or put on his hiking boots to explore the hills with his wife, Radka.

We are fortunate to have Beth and Kristi, our knowledgeable business administrator and treatment coordinator, Anne and Esperanza, our capable Registered Dental Assistants, and Janet and Mariann our exceptional Registered Dental Hygienists, to help you with all of your dental needs. Dr. Gail Frick will continue her work as a Clinical Assistant Professor at UOP—and the more important work of playing with the grandchildren Frankie (4) and Charlie (2)—and Dr. Barmby will continue to be here to provide his services for many years to come.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Ulf Temnitzer to our practice, Walnut Creek Prosthodontics.

With Appreciation,

Curtis L. Barmby, DDS                                                          Gail E. Frick, DMD

The ABCs of Dental Implants | Walnut Creek Dentist

There are many options for replacing severally damaged or missing teeth. Dental implants are artificial roots that are integrated into your jaw bone to hold a replacement tooth. The following includes a simplified guide for a dental implant procedure. Once you’re presented with the best option, you will be provided with the following information:

  • The cost of the dental implant procedure
  • What is included and excluded with those costs
  • The potential risks and benefits of dental implants
  • If dental sedation is offered and if so, the cost
  • How many appointments will be required
  • What type of care the dental practice will offer
  • What level of commitment is required from you

You may be required to visit the dentist office two or three times, and may have x-rays or CT scans done to show your dentist the exact dimensions and density of the bone where your implant is going to be placed. During this time, the way your top and bottom teeth/jaws meet will also be accessed to allow the dental technician to replicate the way your jaw moves in the dental lab when they are finishing your permanent crown.

Once the implant is placed, you will leave the office and wait for the dental implant to properly heal. During the healing, your gum will heal over the implant and the dental implant itself will integrate into the jawbone, making this phase very important, taking anywhere from 3 to 6 months but will leave you with a lasting smile for years to come.

For more information about dental implants, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serves patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding areas.

Gum Disease Will Raise Your Doctor Bills | Walnut Creek Dentist

Oral Health

If you’re not keeping up with good oral hygiene, that harmful bacteria can lead to gum disease, which is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. Not only can gum disease cause bleeding gums and tooth loss, but recent studies have shown that it may also be linked to major health problems. Here are a few ways gum disease can affect your overall health:

It can harm your heart. Although the cause-and-effect link has not been identified, research indicates that gum disease increases the risk of heart disease. Gum disease can also worsen existing heart conditions.

It may affect your respiratory system. Studies have shown that the bacteria that grows in your mouth can be inhaled, causing respiratory infections including pneumonia, especially if they are suffering from gum disease.

It can make blood sugar tough to control. People who have diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease than those who don’t because those with diabetes are more susceptible to infection, including gum disease.

Your memory can suffer. Some research has suggested that people with gum disease may be at a greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, other research has suggested mild cognitive impairment, such as memory problems that make daily life or tasks more difficult.

You may have problems conceiving. Aside from pregnant woman having increased risks of developing gum disease, one study shows that gum disease can also cause problems with conception, making it harder to become pregnant and may increase the chances of miscarriage.

For more information about ways to ease your dental anxiety, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serves patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding areas.

Why Visiting the Dentist Is Not that Bad | Walnut Creek Dentist

Why Visiting the Dentist Is Not that Bad

If you ask 85% of Americans to name their biggest fears regarding their health, they will say, “I hate the dentist”. If you ask why that is, it will be one of two things: the needles or that numbness that seems to last long after the procedure is complete. Unfortunately, there are a lot of needles used in your typical dentist office, and in order to help relieve your anxiety, some type of sedation is administered during the visit. And for many, this makes something as simple as a dental check-up a dreaded fact of life.

Thankfully, there have been a lot of advancements in the world of dental procedures. Now we utilize the digital age by working with technologies like lasers, digital radiology and impressions. In 2012, Convergent Dental introduced an isotopic CO₂ dental laser that can perform more than 95% of restorative treatment WITHOUT the use of needles. No need for needles, no need for anesthesia.

Even more, braces are no longer metal cages surrounding all of your teeth since the development of Invisalign. With 3-D technology, invisible aligners can be custom made for you, and as you follow your treatment plan, these subtle aligners will begin slowly straightening your teeth week by week.

Now, what if you need a more difficult procedure, like a crown or veneers? Chairside Economical Restorations of Esthetic Ceramic (CEREC®) uses computers to design and manufacture ceramic restorations that are metal-free, tooth-colored and completely finished in one single dental visit.

For more information about ways to ease your dental anxiety, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serves patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding areas.

What to Do When You Chip a Tooth | Walnut Creek Dentist

The enamel that covers your teeth is considered the strongest tissue in your body, making your teeth very durable. But that doesn’t mean that your teeth can’t still break, crack or chip. Although very rare, your teeth can become damaged in such ways as a result of the following:

  • Biting into/onto something hard
  • Getting hit in the face or mouth
  • Taking a fall
  • Tooth decay or cavities that weaken the tooth
  • Large, old amalgam filling that doesn’t support the remaining enamel of the tooth

Unless a large enough piece of your tooth breaks, it likely won’t result in pain. However, if a large enough piece of your tooth does happen to break off, causing nerve damage inside of the tooth, it will result in pain. This is usually accompanied with tooth sensitivity, especially when you drink or eat hot or cold foods or beverages.

Now if you have a broken tooth, it’s important that you see your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist will be able to identify the cause of the break, and whether its caused damage to the tooth’s nerves. If the nerve is damaged, the tooth will usually require a root canal. Here are some things you can do until you are able to visit your dentist:

  • Rinse your mouth out really well with warm water.
  • To help reduce swelling and pain, apply a cold ice pack to your cheek or lips over the broken tooth.
  • Take over-the-counter pain reliever.

For more information about chipped tooth solutions, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serves patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding areas.