Weston Dentist

Sleep Deprivation Weston Sleep Disorder Dentist Explains the Risks

Weston Sleep Specialist Explains the Risks of Snoring and Sleep Deprivation

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Stephen J. Pyle DDS, a Weston dentist and expert on sleep apnea wants the community to understand that persistent heavy snoring is not just an annoyance but could be a sign of a serious medical condition. If you or your partner routinely snore loudly or wake up gasping for air you may be suffering from sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat collapses blocking your airway. Obviously when the airway is blocked oxygen is not getting to your brain, heart or other organs and muscles that thrive on oxygen. This oxygen deprivation can lead to stroke, heart attack, diabetes and an array of other serious medical conditions.

Just as dangerous as the actual oxygen deprivation is the fatigue and drowsiness that the condition can leave you with. If you are spending your night constantly interrupting your sleep due to sleep apnea you are opening yourself up other, everyday hazards that go with drowsiness.

5 Dangerous Effects of Sleep Deprivation

  1. You wouldn’t drive drunk. You know the hazards of operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. But did you know that driving drowsy has essentially the same effect on your reaction time as driving buzzed? According to a National Geographic documentary driving fatigued is the top cause of high-severity crashes.
  2. Studies show that women are more likely to suffer serious effects from sleep deprivation than men. Fatigue is linked to greater psychological distress and that distress appears to be more severe in females placing them at a higher risk for sleep related disease.
  3. Sleep deprivation puts you at a disadvantage when it comes to developing mental disorders such as depression. Sleep deprivation doesn’t cause depression but makes the person more susceptible to developing it than a person with a healthy, regular sleep pattern.
  4. A full night’s sleep “flushes” your brain. That sounds pretty strange but in 2013 the NIH found that a good night’s sleep does in fact flush toxins that develop during waking hours that result in a “dirty brain” if not adequately flushed at night.
  5. Finally the National Transportation Safety Board says that losing sleep degrades or impairs decision-making, reaction time, situational awareness, memory, communication to the tune of 20% to 50%.

The good news is if your poor sleep habits are caused by sleep apnea the condition can be easily treated and you can end the everyday fatigue. While Dr. Pyle cannot offer a diagnosis, as a dentist he is often the first medical professional to see the conditions that lead to sleep apnea and refers many patients to sleep disorder MDs. He works closely with those doctors to treat patients with a simple dental appliance that resembles a sports guard worn at night.

If you believe you suffer from sleep apnea, call our Weston dental office today for an exam to scan for the condition!

Weston Dental Office Tips on Summer Travel Oral Health Routine

How to Maintain a Good Oral Health Routine During Summer From Weston’s First Dental Office

Summer is here which means school is out and traveling for many families. It is easy to forget your oral hygiene routine when you’re out of your usual schedule or on the road. Here are some oral hygiene tips for summer travel:

  1. Visit your dentist before you go away for the summer. Having major tooth problems and having to make an emergency appointment somewhere while on vacation is no fun.
  2. Remember to brush or rinse after every meal
  3. Take it easy on the snacking especially on long car rides
  4. Bring sugar free gum with xylitol
  5. Be sure to brush and floss before bed

 

Here is a list of some essentials to bring with you on your summer travels to help keep up your dental hygiene.

  • Travel Sized Mouthwash and Toothpaste
  • Bring your floss and remember to floss at least once per day
  • Electric Toothbrush & Charger
  • Travel size Waterpik
  • New toothbrush—get one for your trip and throw it out at the end of the vacation.
  • Toothbrush Holder—a simple and cheap way to keep your toothbrush clean

 

Maintaining your oral health routine on the road can be a challenge but by following these few tips you can have a happy smile all summer.

Tips for Choosing a Weston Pediatric Dentist

What to Look for in a Pediatric Dentist Weston’s Top Family Dentist Explains

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Finding a good kid dentist who has both the training to care for your child’s teeth and that your kid trusts and likes can be a hit and miss exercise unless you know what to look for. Weston pediatric dentist Stephen J. Pyle DDS has been treating kids for over a quarter century and offers some important tips for parents looking for a child dentist and who are new to the Weston/Davie area or who have a child ready for their first trip to the dentist.

How to Choose a Pediatric Dentist

One thing to keep in mind when searching for a kid dentist is geographic location is not always a limiter. Dr. Pyle has parents bringing their children to his Weston dental office from as far away as Fort Lauderdale. They find the extra drive time a small price to pay to have children who don’t have anxiety over a trip to Dr. Pyle’s place.

So here is where you want to start in your search for a pediatric dentist:

  • Ask your pediatrician for referrals
  • Ask your friends and co-workers who they take their kids to and, just as important, who have they tried and left
  • Once you have found prospective dentists find out what their training is and how long they have been treating children
  • Call the dental office or visit the dentist’s website to see what services the dentist provides children
  • Determine what dental technology the dentist uses i.e. digital x-ray, laser assisted treatment, preventive care
  • Does the dentist treat toddlers to teens
  • Is the dentist available for emergency dental care of kids

Of course nothing beats a trip to the dental office for a face to face with the dental staff and the dentist. If the office is all institutional décor and the staff appear to be all business, that’s a reflection of how the dentist runs his or her practice and that may not be the best environment to bring a kid into. That’s not to say the dentist is a bad dentist, that office may be the perfect solution for a busy adult patient whose schedule is just as tight as any health care provider but if you are put off imagine how your kid will react.

Child psychology is an important element in pediatric health care of any kind. You want a dentist with a friendly staff that welcomes children and a dentist who makes the visit a relaxed and fun experience.

At Dr. Pyle’s practice that’s the kind of office we run. If you would like more information or schedule an appointment for your child, please give us a call today to speak to our friendly staff.

Weston Sleep Apnea Dentist on Getting Your Husband to Stop Snoring

Weston Dentist Explains How to Get Your Husband to Stop Snoring at Night

If your husband’s snoring is becoming a serious domestic issue, you need to arrange an appointment with Dr. Stephen J. Pyle DDS, Weston’s snoring specialist. We all snore occasionally. Head colds, allergies and sinus problems can make all of us instant mouth breathers when we sleep and snoring can be a normal result of a blocked nasal passage.

But if your husband:

  • Snores regularly and loudly
  • Stops breathing for short periods of time
  • Wakes up gasping for air
  • Feels drowsy when he gets up in the morning and becomes easily fatigued during the day

Your husband may be suffering from a serious condition called obstructive sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea occurs when the airway is blocked by collapsed soft tissue and/or the tongue. It cuts off oxygen to the brain and can lead to stroke, heart attack and even diabetes. As difficult as life has become for you thanks to his sleep interrupting snoring, your husband may be at serious risk.

See a Weston Dentist for Snoring?

That’s not as counterintuitive as it sounds. A dentist who has been trained to identify the symptoms in the mouth and throat is in an excellent position to determine the risk during a routine dental exam. A dentist cannot diagnose obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) but he can refer you to a sleep disorder specialist.

Treatment of OSA has traditionally been a forced air system called CPAP. This is a machine that forces air down the throat keeping the airway open. It sends the forced air via a hose to a mask the patient wears at night. If you thought his snoring was disturbing, wait until he climbs into bed with a mask and hose.

The second treatment is a dental appliance, a far more natural treatment available from Dr. Pyle’s practice. The custom made appliance fits in the mouth and slightly repositions the jaw. Wearing the appliance does not impede speech and even allows drinking of liquids. This therapy, understandably, has a much higher acceptance rate by patients than the CPAP system.

While snoring sounds innocuous we know the stress it can cause in a relationship. When neither partner is getting sufficient sleep spats and disagreements are almost inevitable. However, if the snoring is caused by sleep apnea there is a relatively easy fix.

If you think your husband may be suffering from sleep apnea, call our Weston dental office today and arrange an evaluation.

Weston TMJ Dentist on How to Stop Clenching & Grinding Your Teeth

5 Ways to Stop Clenching & Grinding Your Teeth

Clenching and grinding your teeth (bruxism) at night can not only result in jaw pain and damaged teeth but could be indicative of other problems that only a Weston dentist trained in TMJ can identify. If you are constantly waking up with a sore jaw or what you believe to be an ear ache you should call our office and arrange for an evaluation.

Clenching and grinding teeth during the day is often caused by psychological reasons. For example grinding or clenching teeth is a common coping mechanism among children to help tem focus on a problem. However, grinding teeth at night may be caused by a medical problem including obstructive sleep apnea, acid reflux, abnormal alignment of upper or lower teeth and needs to be evaluated and treated by a trained dentist or sleep disorder specialist.

When to Visit a Dentist or Sleep Disorder Specialist

Often times people will grind or clench their teeth without even being aware that they are doing it. Grinding takes some time before there will be physical evidence of a problem so it may not be picked up in a regular dental exam unless you mention soreness in your jaw or other symptoms.

However, you know it’s time to visit the dentist when:

  • Your teeth are worn, damaged or sensitive
  • You have pain in your jaw, face or ear
  • Others complain that you make a grinding noise while you sleep
  • You have a locked jaw that won’t open or close completely
  • You have frequent dull headaches that seem to be originating from your temples
  • You detect damage to the tissue inside your mouth from biting

At your dental visit the dentist will do an exam but also ask numerous questions regarding stress issues in your life and medications you currently use. Once a diagnosis has been made there are multiple treatments including these 5:

  1. Mouth guard that is worn at night that prevents contact between upper and lower teeth
  2. Dental correction which may include reshaping chewing surfaces by use of crowns
  3. Referral to stress management
  4. Referral to a biofeedback programs
  5. Referral to a sleep disorder specialist who may prescribe muscle relaxants

Clenching and grinding is more than an annoying habit. Aside from the facial pain involved, over time it can cause serious damage to the way you chew. If you believe it’s time to have an evaluation, call us today and arrange an appointment!

 

 

Weston’s Top Kids Dentist Offer Tips on Your Child’s 1st Visit

Tips on Your Child’s 1st Dental Visit From Weston’s Top Kids Dentist

“Getting it right” starts with a kid’s parents. The world of a small child revolves around the home because that’s where mom and dad live, that’s where he or she feels safe, and that’s where they know they can satisfy their basic needs for food, attention and love. Small kids trust their parents and usually try to emulate them.

Take it from a Weston Dentist with nearly 30 years of experience providing dental care for kids; your child’s first dental visit is an important event that will influence her or his oral health for the rest of their lives. Getting it right the first time is far easier than trying to correct any negative perception a child might develop about a “trip to the dentist.”

It’s important to use that trust to prep a child for their first experience at the dental office.

The Role of the Parent and the Role of the Dentist

The primary responsibility for having a successful first visit belongs to the dentist. He or she needs to provide the parents with the information needed to prepare the child in a way that helps to eliminate the anxiety that children feel with any new experience. At our Weston dental office I often recommend:

  • Make a game out of counting teeth. Start this at least 6 months before the exam. You count the child’s teeth with your fingers and then let the child count yours. Do this on a fairly regular basis to get the child accustomed to having fingers in their mouth touching teeth.
  • When it’s time for the parent to have an exam, tell the child that the dentist is going to “count” the parent’s teeth to make sure they are safe and healthy. Take the child on the appointment and introduce him or her to the staff and the dentist. This visit becomes the child’s “first experience” with the dentist and it is a positive one. When it’s time for the child to get their own exam they will be going to have their teeth counted just like mom and dad do.
  • The dentist will do little more than a quick exam of the child’s teeth and gums. The idea of this first “real” visit s to build trust. A good pediatric dentist understands that at this stage psychology is just as important as any treatment.

Starting out correctly puts a positive spin on oral health and that’s exceptionally important in building good oral hygiene habits that will follow them the rest of their lives.

If you have a toddler ready for a dental exam, call our dental office in Weston and speak with a friendly technician on how to start preparing your kid for their first dentist visit.

This blog post was originally published here: http://firstwestondentist.com/dr-pyles-blog

Weston Dentist Explains Cerec Computer Aided Restorations

Weston Dentist Explains What You Need to Know About Cerec Computer Aided Restorations

Cerec™ is the unique CAD/CAM system that allows patients to receive ceramic restorations in just one visit. These computer-aided restorations include inlays, onlays, veneers and crowns. It’s the most used dental CAD/CAM system worldwide. Cerec allows us creates high aesthetic metal free restorations without the need for impressions or temporaries.

The process starts with a 3D scan of the teeth. By simply gliding the camera over the teeth a full color 3D model of the teeth is generated. The Cerec software allows us to design a restoration quickly and easily without compromising precision and beauty. The dentist then simply fabricates the restoration using a ceramic block. After finalizing it, it’s then seated in the patient’s mouth.

Here are some of the reasons we offer this revolutionary system to our patients:

  • Same day restorations
  • It allows us to save more of the healthy tooth tissue
  • The porcelain materials are chemically bonded to your tooth
  • They can be custom stained to match your other teeth.
  • The pure ceramic porcelain used is stronger than normal porcelain and are less likely to ever break
  • Often a partial coverage restoration (inlay or onlay) can be completed instead of needing a full crown.

If you’re looking for a Weston Dentist that offers family and cosmetic dentistry then make an appointment with us today.

CEREC® is a registered trademark of Sirona Dental Systems.

Dental Insurance Weston Dentist | Dental Practice in Weston

What You Need to Know About Dental Insurance to Start the New Year From Weston First Dentist

It’s the start of a new year and Dr. Stephen J. Pyle DDS, the first dentist to establish a dental practice in Weston, suggests that now is a good time to review your dental insurance plan. Dental insurance policies come with a benefit period (usually January through December) that defines the benefits that can be paid during a 12-month period.

Typically dental plans offer generous benefits for 2 preventive dental visits each year covering 80% to 100% of the cost. Preventive visits include regular exams, cleanings, sealants and x-rays. The insurance companies are no fools. They know that regular dental exams prevent more costly procedures like fillings, root canals, extractions and implants. The more healthy their insureds are the less thy have to pay out.

The truth of the matter is your annual dental insurance premium is significantly greater than the cost of 2 routine dental exams. You stay healthy and they make money. They make even more money if you miss one of those dental exams during the 12-month benefit period.

When your oral health requires more advanced treatment don’t be surprised when your dental insurance only picks up 50% to 80%. They are generous with their preventive benefits but not so much when it comes to advanced care.

Reviewing Your Dental Insurance Plan Now Minimizes Surprises in the Future

Let’s make this year the year you maximize the benefit of the premium dollars you invest. Planning for those things that can be planned for will help manage your household cash flow. Here’s where you need to start:

  • Understand your dental insurance policy. Take the time to learn the ends and outs of your policy including maximum benefit for 12 months, coinsurance rates for different classes of service, and any limitations on your choice of dentist and claims procedures.
  • Budget for medical expenses. If your employer has a Cafeteria Plan (and most do) you can reduce your taxable income and save on employment taxes by having your employer withhold a budgeted amount each paycheck to place in your “cafeteria account.” These funds can be used to reimburse you for almost any medical expense (excluding over the counter drugs) you incur during the year. Braces for the kids or Lasik eye surgery are popular “cafeteria” projects. Just make certain that you use your account up within the benefit period otherwise you lose any remaining balance.
  • Plan now for dental exams. It is not too early to flag a date for each person in the family to get their preventive exams. Your dentist may or may not accept appointments that far in the future but the important thing are you have a reminder set to ensure everyone gets their exams. Keep in mind that the “busy season” for most dental offices is October through January as patients try to meet their benefit period requirements.

Like health insurance, dental insurance can be confusing to understand unless you work with it every day. If you are a patient of Dr. Pyle’s feel free to call the office and we will be happy to answer your questions.

TMJ Weston Dentist Explains Signs and Symptoms

Weston’s First Dental Practice Explains the Signs You May Have TMJ

TMJ is a disorder that can cause pain in the muscles and joints around the jaw. In the majority of cases, the pain can be relieved through a combination of nonsurgical treatment and self-managed care.

Here are a few common symptoms of TMJ to look for:

  • Difficulty opening or closing your mouth due to the locking of your jaw
  • Pain in your jaw
  • Discomfort from chewing
  • Facial pain
  • Pain in and around your ears
  • Clicking when opening and closing your mouth
  • Inability to open or close you mouth completely

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you should seek medical evaluation from a Dentist or TMJ specialist.

Call our Weston Dental practice today for an evaluation at (954) 894-7953.

Weston Florida’s First Dental Practice Explains How To Choose a Toothpaste

There are dozens of brands to choose from and a ton of money spent on advertising to convince you one is better than another so how is a person supposed to make an informed decision?

Dr. Stephen J. Pyle, Weston’s first dentist, suggests that the short answer to the question is:

  • Stay away from any toothpaste that is made in China. The FDA discovered that some toothpastes made in China included the toxic substance toxic substance diethylene glycol and recommends that you not purchase any paste from that country.
  • Use a paste you like. Different people use different toothpastes for different reasons but the ultimate goal is to make brushing your teeth an everyday routine. Using a paste that you enjoy reinforces that habit.
  • Only use toothpaste that is ADA approved. If the product has the ADA seal it has been evaluated for effectiveness and safety by a board of dental experts.

But what about the “specialty” toothpastes? How do they work and are they effective.

Tartar Control Toothpastes

Tartar is the hard deposit that builds up on teeth when natural occurring plaque is not removed by effective brushing. Plaque is unattractive but more importantly, it can cause gum disease. Toothpaste that targets tartar will have one or more ingredients such as pyrophosphates and zinc citrate or even the antibiotic triclosan, which kill the germs that create the plaque. Generally speaking, the more anti-plaque agents a paste has the more effective the paste.

Whitening Toothpastes

Everybody wants white teeth so these pastes are easy to sell. None of the whitening pastes include bleach and the real difference between whitening and regular paste is the amount of abrasives included. Whitening pastes rely on polishing the teeth and scraping off stains. While some people are concerned about damage to enamel by the abrasive agents, studies show there is little risk.

Sensitive Teeth Toothpastes

For people who have teeth that are sensitive to cold or hot liquids, toothpaste that includes potassium nitrate or strontium chloride can block the path that leads to nerve endings located in the teeth. These “sensitive teeth” pastes can offer relief but typically require up to four weeks of use before offering full benefit.

Flavored Toothpaste

Almost all toothpastes have added artificial flavoring to cover up the actual taste of the ingredients while giving the user a sense of “minty clean” or fresh mouth. The additives are purely cosmetic and their principal benefit is to make brushing enjoyable.