Thousands attend the Cinco de Mayo parade and festival in South Omaha. This is the third year that Summit Dental Health has participated in the parade.

Summit Dental Health at the South Omaha Cinco De Mayo Parade

Cinco de Mayo has become a favorite festival for the Omaha community and the Summit Dental Health family.  This year marked the third year Summit Dental Health participated in the South Omaha Cinco de Mayo Parade. In honor of its rich Mexican heritage, Nebraska’s South Omaha Latino community has been hosting Cinco de Mayo events in Omaha for decades.  Festivities include a parade, authentic Mexican food and entertainment for the whole family.

Summit Dental Health team members gather outside of our 24th & E Street location in the heart of South Omaha.

Summit Dental Health team members gather outside of our 24th & E Street location in the heart of South Omaha.

Pearl, our Summit Dental Health ambassador, even made it out for the Cinco de Mayo parade.

Pearl, our Summit Dental Health ambassador, even made it out for the Cinco de Mayo parade.

Our team members love bringing their families to participate in the many community events Summit Dental Health takes part in throughout the year.  The South Omaha Cinco de Mayo parade is one of their favorites.

Our team members love bringing their families to participate in the many community events Summit Dental Health takes part in throughout the year. The South Omaha Cinco de Mayo parade is one of their favorites.

 

Charley's Heart Logo

Sioux City, South Sioux City and Omaha are Dropoff Sites for Books for Charley

​­Throughout the month of May, new children’s books can be dropped off at the Sioux City Summit Dental Health location (2114 Pierce Street), the South Sioux City Summit Dental Health location (2600 Cornhusker Drive) and our Omaha locations in honor of the 6th Annual Books for Charley initiative through the Charley’s Heart Foundation. The books will be donated to St. Luke’s Hospital Pediatric Unit and Omaha Children’s Hospital.

Since it started in 2011, Books for Charley has collected over 11,000 books for children’s hospitals and pediatric units. Books for Charley is an annual book drive in memory of Charlotte (Charley) Ritchie, daughter of Matt and Kristen Ritchie. Charley was born with a congenital heart defect. After numerous hospital stays, procedures and open heart surgeries, Charley passed away on May 31, 2011, just two weeks after celebrating her first birthday.

After losing Charley, her family knew that they needed to do something to help keep her memory alive and to stay involved with other families with children with congenital heart defects. “Charley’s Heart was formed in an attempt to help provide support to others in the heart community, fund continued research for congenital heart defects, raise awareness, and above all, to celebrate Charley’s life,” says Kristen Ritchie, Charley’s mom.

“At Summit Dental Health we believe in demonstrating our values every day and in everything we do and we proudly support charities that are near and dear to our patients and team members,” says Dr. Nick Kanning, Summit Dental Health President. Dr. Hal Ritchie, a Summit Dental Health doctor, is Charley’s grandfather.

Community members are encouraged to drop off new children’s books at one of Summit’s locations. More information on Summit Dental Health is available on www.summitdentalhealth.net or by calling 402.799.1166.

For more information on Books for Charley or Charley’s Heart Foundation, visit www.charleysheart.com.


 

­ Contact: Amanda Buzzell, Communication Consultant 402.679.6170 amandabuzzell@gmail.com

Man looks at missing tooth in mirror

Why should I replace missing teeth?

According to the American College of Prosthodontists, over 50% of people in the United States are missing at least one tooth due to gum disease, tooth decay or injury. And 12.8% of Utah’s seniors are missing all of their teeth. If you’re missing one or more, you’ve probably thought about getting a replacement before, but don’t know which option is right for you – or if you can even afford it. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you every step of the way.

First of all, why should I replace my missing teeth? Obviously everyone loves a nice toothy smile, but don’t forget the real reason we have teeth – for chewing our food. And for each missing tooth, you lose about 10% of your chewing ability. Your jaw is designed to operate with 28 teeth and as soon as one is out of the equation, the surrounding teeth start to drift into the empty space. This not only makes your good teeth more prone to decay and gum disease, but it can also change your appearance. Because after an extraction, the bone that supports the teeth begins to shrink over time and your face adjusts with it. Of course no one wants to look and feel older than they really are! But the longer you wait after a tooth is extracted, the more bone volume you lose. And the more bone volume you lose, the more expensive and difficult it becomes to get teeth replaced.Bone Volume after Tooth Loss

There are plenty of options to replace missing teeth. But finding the option that works best for you requires a look at your dental health and some collaboration between you and your doctor.

The long-lasting option: Dental Implants.

Dental Implants: Single tooth, Implant Retained Bridge, Implant retained denture

If you are missing teeth and your gums and jaw are healthy, you may benefit from dental implants, which are replacement teeth that are implanted surgically into the jawbone. With good oral hygiene, dental implants can last for 20 years or more without the need for replacement. Dental implants are often a popular choice for people who have only one or two teeth missing, but they can be an alternative to dentures if you have several missing teeth. As long as your gums and jaw are healthy, two or more implants can serve as a base of support for several replacement teeth.

Dental implants are generally the most expensive option but for patients with good oral health, they are likely going to be your best choice to avoid further tooth decay or loss. Whenever you replace a tooth, you hope it’ll be the last time. Dental implants give you the best chance of keeping your remaining healthy teeth.

Another option is a fixed bridge.

Fixed Bridge

If you’re just replacing a single tooth and have healthy gums, a fixed bridge might be a less expensive option for you. These normally last about 10-12 years. In order to make a bridge, the adjacent teeth are prepared by reducing their size and then prosthetic teeth are placed over the existing teeth and empty space. The problem with fixed bridges is the irreversible damage they do to your adjacent teeth. In the end, you might end up paying for it with more expensive dental work and more implants, bridges or more missing teeth.

The classic choice: Dentures.

Types of Dentures: Partial, Complete and Implant Supported

Most people who have heard of dentures (a.k.a false teeth) have also heard that they can be a nuisance – slipping while speaking, discomfort while chewing and of course soaking them by your bed every night – but dentures have come a long way in recent years. Most commonly when people think of dentures, they think of complete dentures which are recommended when a patient is missing all of his/her teeth or has weakened bone. Partial dentures are dentures that only replace some of your teeth. They rely on the surrounding teeth for support, and so can cause additional damage to those surrounding teeth and gums. Implant supported dentures are recommended when a patient is missing all of his/her teeth but has a healthy enough jaw to support implants.

What will it cost you? That really depends on which option you and your dentist decide on together, as well as how much your insurance will cover. If you’re currently without insurance, we offer a comprehensive dental plan and accept CareCredit at all of our locations. Call us today to set up an appointment and let us help you replace your missing teeth!

Call (402) 799-1166 to schedule your appointment now!

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

“Close to 48,250 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year. It will cause over 9,575 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. Of those 48,250 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years.” Oral Cancer Foundation

 

This is the harsh reality of oral cancer, a disease that is easy to diagnose, but often discovered too late.
The Facts: The death rate of oral cancer is higher than cancers we hear about more frequently, including cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, and endocrine system cancers such as thyroid. In fact, there are more deaths from mouth cancer each year than there are from road accidents. If you expand the definition of oral and oropharyngeal cancers to include cancer of the larynx, the numbers of diagnosed cases grow to approximately 54,000 individuals, and 13,500 deaths per year in the U.S. alone. Worldwide the problem is much greater, with over 450,000 new cases being found each year.

The median age of diagnosis is 62 years old, with the highest percentage of deaths falling within the 55-64 age group. Oral cancer is more common in men than in women, with two men affected for every woman. And those with a history of tobacco or heavy alcohol use account for nearly 75% of all oral cancers diagnosed. Smokers are 6 times more likely than nonsmokers to develop mouth or pharyngeal cancer, and approximately 90% of people with oral cancer are tobacco users.  Over the past 10 years, its incidence has increased in the younger population due to increased contraction of human human papilloma virus (HPV), which is now considered the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancer.

 

Signs and Symptoms: If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms that last for more than two weeks (14 days), you should consider scheduling an appointment with your dentist or doctor for a screening. Remember, early detection is critical.

  • A sore that doesn’t heal
  • A lump or thickening of the skin or lining of your mouth
  • A white or reddish patch on the inside of your mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Poorly fitting dentures
  • Tongue pain
  • Jaw pain or stiffness
  • Difficult or painful chewing
  • Difficult or painful swallowing
  • Sore throat

 

Get Involved: If you’d like to spread awareness this month and beyond, there are plenty of ways to do so.

 

Share this infographic to show your support

 

Oral Cancer Facts Infographic

Woman holds mug with text that reads "Do's and Don'ts for a Whiter Smile"

11 Do’s And Don’ts for a Whiter Smile

When the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) asked people what they would most like to improve about their smile, a whiter smile was the overwhelming response.  A whiter, brighter smile gives the impression of youth and good health. As we age, the outer enamel of the teeth gets thinner so that yellowish dentin shows through. Teeth become darker, yellow, and more stained. Certain foods and beverages also undermine a white smile by staining teeth.

The American Dental Association (AACD) and celebrity dentist Jonathan B. Levine, DMD, offer several suggestions for whiter teeth. Follow these tips to achieve a more dazzling, engaging smile.


1. Avoid foods and beverages that stain teeth. Coffee, red wine, cola, tea, and cranberry juice are the main offenders. Soy sauce and blueberries can also stain teeth.

Smiling woman holding cup of coffee

2. Drink staining beverages from a straw. Drinking from a straw reduces the amount of contact staining liquid has with teeth.

Close-up of a woman drinking lemonade with a straw

3. Brush immediately after consuming a staining food or beverage.

Boy with braces brushing his teeth

4. Rinse after eating acidic fruits to prevent erosion of tooth enamel which can make teeth stain more easily.

Woman sipping water

5. Eat an apple or raw vegetable after consuming a staining food or beverage to help remove surface stains.

Healthy woman eating an apple

6. Replace your toothbrush every three months to clean properly and floss to prevent stains between teeth.

Old Toothbrush

7. Avoid certain lipstick colors. Dr. Levine cautions that red with a blue undertone will highlight yellow tones in teeth. Try a medium coral instead.

Woman applying red lipstick

8. Choose off-white clothing. Dr. Levine also finds that bright white clothing near the face makes teeth appear more yellow. This is especially important for brides or anyone selecting an outfit for a photo session.

Woman in rustic vintage California wedding dress

9. Avoid smoking. Tar and nicotine cause significant yellowing.

Young girl blowing a cloud of smoke

10. Consider cosmetic whitening. An overwhelming number of over-the-counter whitening toothpastes, gels, trays, and strips are on the market. While inexpensive, they are not as effective as in-office whitening because they remove stains rather than change the color of teeth. Also, the trays often fit poorly.

Woman smiles and points at teeth

11. Consult your dentist about in-office whitening. Bleach may not correct all discoloration issues. Some medications can cause discoloration. Yellow teeth respond better to bleaching than brown or gray teeth. Whitening may not be for you if you have caps, crowns, or fillings. If you are a candidate for whitening, your dentist can use stronger bleaching agents than over-the-counter products and may also use special light or laser. Your dentist can also send you home with properly fitted trays so you can maintain your new, whiter smile.

Teeth whitening

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

The American Dental Association (ADA) established National Children’s Dental Health Month over thirty years ago to promote the benefits starting young to achieve good oral health.  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in the country.  Tooth decay affects more children than asthma or hay fever. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 40% of children will have some tooth decay by the time they enter kindergarten. The good news for parents is that tooth decay is preventable!

The following recommendations will get your child off to a great start with good dental health.

  • Brush and floss twice each day

The best weapons available to a parent are a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. The ADA recommends that parents teach their children to brush for two minutes two times a day—morning and evening at bedtime. Use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and teach your child to avoid swallowing toothpaste.  Parents should provide help and supervision until a child is about seven or eight years old.

  • Limit sugary treats and drinks

This includes avoiding juice between meals. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends limiting juice to four to six ounces per day. Parents can also replace sugary treats with healthy snacks such as cheese, yogurt, and fruit.

  • Schedule a dental checkup

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents schedule their child’s first visit to the dentist when the child turns one year of age. First birthday equals first checkup.  However, if a parent detects discoloration or staining, they should schedule an appointment right away.

  • Make sure your water has fluoride

Fluoride helps teeth resist acid attacks by strengthening tooth enamel. If your local water supply does not have fluoride, talk to your dentist about fluoride drops or tablets.

National Children’s Dental Health Month is a good reminder that it’s never too early to start your child on the path of good dental health. Habits developed early tend to become lifelong habits.

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