Weston Dental

Weston Dental Practice Welcomes Dr. Patricia Ramirez

Weston, FL, October 20, 2015:  Weston Florida Dentist Stephen J. Pyle has welcomed a new addition to his practice Dr. Patricia Ramirez. Dr. Ramirez is a graduate of Xaverain University Dental School in Bogota Colombia where she received her dental degree. She also received an additional degree from Xaverain in Esthetic and Cosmetic Dentistry as well as a degree from Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida.

“I am thrilled to be a part of Dr. Pyle’s outstanding dental team,” stated Dr. Ramirez.

Dr. Ramirez is a member of the American Dental Association, the Florida Dental Association and the Atlantic coast District Dental Society.

Born in Medellin, Columbia she practiced dentistry in Columbia for 10 years before relocating to the US in 2001.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Dr. Ramirez to our practice she will no doubt be a great addition.” stated Dr. Pyle who opened Weston Florida’s first dental practice in 1986.

For more information contact Dr. Pyle’s office at (954) 894-7953.

Dental Anxiety – Weston Dental Blog

What is dental anxiety?

Dental anxiety is a fearful response to dentists and dental office visits.  About 75% of Americans experience some form of dental anxiety, most often mild apprehension.  However, for a smaller fraction, dental anxiety is much more serious.  Serious dental anxiety occurs in up to 10% of the population, and can lead to behavior such as difficulty making appointments, panic attacks, or extreme anxiety leading up to and during a dental appointment.

Why is dental anxiety problematic?

A person with severe dental anxiety may avoid dentists entirely.  Their teeth will decay without regular dental cleaning, which can result in pain, embarrassment, ugly teeth, bad breath, and most critically can lead to poorer general health.

What are common symptoms of Severe Dental Anxiety?

General panic symptoms are typically seen with Severe Dental Anxiety, including difficulty breathing, sweaty palms, racing heart, lightheadedness and feeling queasy.

How can Dental Anxiety be Managed?

One of the easiest and most effective ways is to learn relaxation techniques, such as breathing or meditation, which can help relax them during an appointment.  A similar option that we make available to our Weston Area dental patients is dental hypnosis, which is very effective in relaxing a willing patient.

Just knowing that there is a problem can allow our dental staff to address phobias, such as by telling our patients what we are doing in each step, or avoiding a particular procedure if at all possible.  We can make arrangements for you to signal us to pause during treatment while you calm down and relax.  We also offer other relaxation aids such as TVs and music and a beautiful salt-water living reef aquarium in our state-of-the-art Weston dental location: Read More



Dental Care at Summer Camp | Weston Dental Blog

How can I ensure that my child’s teeth stay healthy while they are away at camp over the summer?

The best way to keep your child’s teeth healthy over the summer is to make sure they follow the same good dental habits they do at home.  Remember to pack them a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss, and remind them that just because they not at home doesn’t mean they do not have to take care of their teeth.

In addition, many camps allow you to pack your child a meal or snacks. Nuts, fruits, cheese and crackers, and seed mixes are not only healthy, but also much better for your child’s teeth than a sugary packaged snack would be.  If your child is not yet using products containing Xylitol, now would be a good time to start.

Why Xylitol?

Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener found in various fruits, berries, and vegetables. Studies have found that Xylitol promotes oral health, and is also thought to promote the repair of damaged enamel.   Xylitol is available in both gum and candies.   So when your child is eating at camp and a toothbrush is not readily available, chewing Xylitol gum is the next best alternative to brushing after the meal.

Mouth Protection

Finally, many summer camps (especially sports camps) involve a lot of strenuous physical activity.  All of this provides plenty of opportunities for a mouth injury.  If you know that your child’s camp will involve sports or other demanding activities, consider getting a mouth guard. Mouth guards prevent a variety of injuries, including jaw damage, loose or knocked out teeth, cuts in the mouth, and can even protect braces.

We advise our Weston area dental patients that with a little thoughtful preparation, they can prepare their children to have both a fun time at summer camp, as well as insure that their teeth stay healthy! : Read More


Getting the Facts about Dental X-Rays

What are Dental X-Rays?

Dental X-Rays are X-Rays used by dentists to examine your mouth and teeth.  These X-Rays can be used to check for cavities, bone loss, and tissue masses, cysts, or tumors, as well as to examine the jaw and jaw joints.   X-Rays can also be used to examine new teeth (in children, or wisdom teeth) and tooth damage that cannot be seen just by looking in the mouth.  Dental X-Rays are generally useful for monitoring the state of your oral health, and are good at detecting oral health issues early before they become major problems.

What are the different types of Dental X-Rays?

There are several different types of Dental X-Rays, each of which focus on different parts of the mouth.

Periapical X-Rays focus on showing an entire tooth, including the tip of the root and the surrounding bone structure.

Panoramic X-Rays give a quick overview of the whole mouth, including the jaw and nasal area, but are not as detailed as other types.

Occlusal X-Rays are used to view either the floor or roof of the mouth.

Bitewings are a type of X-Ray that show the tops of the upper and lower back teeth and how they fit together.  They reveal cavities between the teeth and bone level around the back teeth.

How often should I have Dental X-Rays?

On average, an adult patient should receive bitewing X-Rays every 1 to 3 years.  However, this frequency is based on a variety of factors.  Younger children and teens need bitewings more frequently; children should receive bitewings every 1 to 2 years, and teens every 1 to 3 years.  Adults with a history of tooth decay are at higher risk of continued tooth decay, and so should also receive bitewings more frequently, with the exact frequency to be determined by your dentist.  For more information, visit our website at http://www.firstwestondentist.com

What is TMJ disorder and TMD? | Weston Dental Blog

What is TMJ disorder and TMD?

The Temporomandibular Joints (TMJs) are the joints in your jaw. Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD, also frequently called TMJ disorder) refers to a number of possible problems that can arise within the TMJ or surrounding area. Low level TMDs may affect a large percentage of the population – up to 50% in one study. In some cases, TMDs can become severe, leading to chronic pain and limiting the movement of the joint. According to a recent survey, up to 9 million Americans suffer chronic pain from TMJ disorders.

What are symptoms of TMDs (TMJ disorders)?

Since TMDs are a family of problems, there are a large variety of symptoms. Common symptoms include clicking or popping noises coming from the jaw joints, pain in the jaw or nearby regions (face or neck), difficulty opening the mouth fully, a sticking or locking sensation in the jaw, or a feeling of discomfort when biting or pressing teeth together. Some forms of TMD can also cause headaches or earaches.

What are causes of TMDs (TMJ disorders)?

TMDs are generally caused by damage or misalignment of the joints and muscles in the jaw area. Accidents and sports injuries are one way this can happen. TMDs can also develop gradually, such as by grinding or clenching the teeth chronically, arthritis, or a misaligned jaw which receives stress when chewing. Diseases or substances (such as nicotine) that effect muscles can also cause TMDs to develop.

How are TMDs (TMJ disorders) diagnosed and treated?

If we suspect TMD in one of our Weston area dental patients, we will first look at X-rays of the jaw, and examine the patient’s bite action and jaw muscles. Further tests may then be needed to narrow down the severity and exact type of TMD. There are a variety of treatments for TMDs; one common treatment is to ‘rest’ the jaw by minimizing chewing and jaw motion, often involving a soft or liquid diet. Another option is to add a piece of plastic known as a bite splint to the teeth, which adjusts the way teeth fit together in order to minimize stress on the TMJ. Treatment is generally effective – the vast majority of cases treated by licensed dentists result in reduced or eliminated symptoms.


If you feel that you may have a TMJ disorder based on the symptoms you are experienced, please contact our Weston area dental office to make an appointment for a TMJ disorder assessment.

Detecting Oral Cancer | Weston Dental Blog

Stephen J. Pyle DDS

What is Oral Cancer?

Oral Cancer is cancer that occurs in and around the mouth.  The most common location for oral cancer is on the tongue, but it can also develop on the floor of the mouth, cheeks, gums, throat or roof of the mouth.  In fact, there has been a recent increase in the occurrences of cancers on the soft palate and in the throat.  Screening for Oral Cancer is part of the standard of routine dental care that we provide to our Weston area dental office patients, both adults and children.

What causes Oral Cancer?

Like many cancers, oral cancer appears to have a genetic component and is linked to aging; studies have shown that men over the age of 40 are the most vulnerable to oral cancer.  Oral cancer also has more concrete causes – studies have linked a variety of lifestyle choices to higher oral cancer rates.  One of the largest (and fastest growing) causes of oral cancer is the HPV (Human papillomavirus) virus.  Several HPV variants commonly cause oral cancer, so if you know you may have HPV be sure to notify your dentist.  Other major behavioral causes of oral cancer are tobacco usage and excessive drinking.  Oral Cancer has also been linked to poor oral hygiene, a poor diet (especially if it doesn’t include enough fruits and vegetables), bacterial infection, and rough surfaces within the mouth (either natural or artificial, such as caused by a poorly made denture).

What can I do about Oral Cancer?

The best way to prevent oral cancer is to not use tobacco; Smoking and other forms of tobacco usage account for up to 75% of oral cancers.  You should also try to avoid the other causes mentioned in the list above, especially by maintaining proper oral hygiene and eating fruits and vegetables.  However, all of this is no guarantee of preventing oral cancer. Fortunately, oral cancer that is caught early is very treatable (80 to 90% success rate).  In order to catch oral cancer early, our Weston area dental office recommends being screened for oral cancer at least once a year.  At our Weston office, this doesn’t require anything special – we check for unusual lesions and other early warning signs of oral cancer as part of our regular preventative dentistry appointment (for both adults and children).  Oral cancer is just one more reason why it is important to your overall health to schedule regular checkups at our Weston dental office.

What is high-fluoride toothpaste? | Weston Dental Blog

Stephen J. Pyle

How can I ensure that my teeth look good after my braces are removed?

High-fluoride toothpaste is a special type of toothpaste that has several times the normal amount of fluoride. Fluorides are used in a variety of dental applications – fluoridated drinking water leads to lower levels of tooth decay, and special fluoride treatments are used in patients that are vulnerable to tooth decay, including high-fluoride toothpaste.

How effective is high-fluoride toothpaste?

High-fluoride toothpaste has been shown to be very effective when traditionally used to prevent cavities. However, a recent study has shown that high-fluoride toothpaste is also effective in preventing the white spots that often appear after wearing braces – a study found that brace wearers that used a high-fluoride toothpaste developed significantly less spots, and that those that did develop were less severe.

How should I use my high-fluoride toothpaste?

We tell our Weston dental patients that a high-fluoride toothpaste should be used only once a day (use your regular toothpaste for the other times you brush your teeth!).  Apart from the usual advice to brush thoroughly and avoid swallowing toothpaste, when using a high-fluoride toothpaste it is best not to eat or drink for 30 minutes after brushing.

Brushing with a high-fluoride toothpaste is a good first step towards fighting cavities and white braces spots, but there are several other things that can be done to further reduce any marks.  We advise our Weston area dental patients to avoid eating a high-carbohydrate diet, as this promotes tooth decay and white brace spots. Finally, be sure to see your dentist, who can check for white spots early on, apply special high-strength fluoride treatments, or recommend other treatments to make your smile beautiful.