Halloween is almost here if you’re looking for some interesting Halloween costumes check out some of our top (tooth related) picks:


Its hard to turn down a classic! And, if you want to get creative you can cut a little chunk out and color the edges brown, carry a bag of candy and be a tooth with a cavity.


If you’re looking for something a little creepy then maybe this costumes for you. Nothing says scary like this bloody dentist!


If you’re looking for a couples costume Life sized toothbrush and floss make a great pair. Just don’t try and give toothbrushes out as a treat, trust me I know from experience, it doesn’t go over well…..


If you’re feeling a little silly try this costume on for size. One look at this costume and the kids will be hiding their baby teeth.


And finally, For the little ones.


Have a great day and a safe and Happy Halloween!


Fotolia_45158534_XS-300x200Stem cell research has been a hot topic for the past few years. It seems as if every aspect of health care has been exploring the potential for stem cells, and dentistry itself has not been left untouched. So what is the potential for stem cells in dentistry? Stem cells are cells in the body that have the potential to generate into a variety of different types of cells. They can be found in a variety of areas of the body, you may not have  known this, but they are also located in the  dental pulp tissues. The dental pulp or area in the center of the tooth where nerve tissue and blood supply for the tooth is located. Although research up to this point has been limited, it is known, as stated by researcher Pamela Robey, Ph.D., that ” the cells from dental pulp in baby or wisdom teeth have the ability to make dentin and pulp and they might have the ability to make bone but right now that’s all we really know for sure.” Continued research and clinical trials are being completed to learn more about the potential for regeneration of bone as well as to evaluate any regenerative endodontic techniques. There are many companies that have begun capitalizing on stem cell storage which at this stage may be premature due to the lack of research for practical and/or possible applications of these cells. There is definitely a lot of room for research and if you are planning on storing stem cells keep that in mind. In my opinion, it is a topic that is incredibly exciting and worth keeping an eye on.

Human Mandible Bone Defect Repair By the Grafting of Dental Pulp Stem/Progenitor Cells and Collagen Sponge Biocomplexes. RICCARDO D’AQUINO, ALFREDO DE ROSA, VLADIMIRO LANZA, VIRGINIA TIRINO, LUIGI LAINO, ANTONIO GRAZIANO, VINCENZO DESIDERIO, GROGORIO LAINO AND GIANPAOLO PAPACCIO Clinical Study: Development of a Model to Evaluate Regenerative Endodontic Techniques Using Extract Human Teeth Human Dental Pulp Stem Cells: From Biology to Clinical Applications. RICCARDO D’AQUINO1, ALFREDO DE ROSA2, GREGORIO LAINO2, FILIPPO CARUSO2, LUIGI GUIDA2, ROSARIO RULLO2, VITTORIO CHECCHI3, LUIGI LAINO1, VIRGINIA TIRINO1, AND GIANPAOLO PAPACCIO1

fotolia_17582018_xs-resized-600better options for treats for the holiday. If you are looking to give away sugar-free treats but aren’t too keen on being known as the worst house on the block, there are some great sugarless or sugar-free options out there.  Here are some of our favorite  ideas for Halloween treats that are dentist recommended!

  • One way to avoid the sugar-free candy conundrum completely is by stopping in your local supermarket or party store and picking up some party toys or favors. Our favorite picks are Sticky Hands and Halloween themed blow up balls. If you go the toy route just be sure to pick something that does not have small parts or could be a choking hazard.
  • Another great idea is packaged popcorn or pretzels.
  • Stickers are always a great non-candy related treat as well.
  • Trail-mix or almonds are another healthy choice. However, it may be a good idea to keep a nut-free option as well for children with nut allergies.
  • If you are to the crafty side, you can create apple ghosts. Buy small apples from your local grocery store, cover with a white dinner sized paper napkin and twist tie the opening. Using a black magic marker and make a spooky face. What you will have are adorable and healthy treats!
There are very few sugar free candies that kids go crazy for, but if you know of any that your kid loves, please let us know! If you do  give out candy for Halloween try and avoid sticky caramels and taffy’s. These types of candy are difficult to clean from the teeth. If you are going to enjoy some Halloween candy yourself a good way to help avoid cavities is to try and limit the number of times you expose your teeth to candy in a day. It is better to eat multiple pieces at once, rather than one piece at time, multiple times during the day. Happy Halloween Everyone!! If you are a dentist looking for great treats to give away the ADA and PopCap games have teamed up with a campaign called “Stop Zombie Mouth” The campaign offers trading cards with links to free game downloads.  ]]>

Fotolia_39251248_XS-300x200It’s the same scenario, you get to the dentist, sit in the chair and try and remain calm. But, as you look around at the various instruments all you can think is how each of them makes you want to throw up… literally. This brings me to today’s post: Dentistry and Gag Reflex. In dentistry there are various things that can stimulate a gag response. Most severe gagger’s are swarmed with anxiety before and during their appointment. Some is towards the actual dental procedure but, most is due to the fear that they will start to gag and be unable to control it. As a dentist we try and alleviate those fears and manage the response as best as possible. Gagging can be defined as a response ” In which the body attempts to eliminate instruments or agents from the oral cavity by muscle contraction at the base or the tongue and the pharyngeal wall”. Various things can cause this response whether it be from physical stimulation or psychological stimulation. With psychological stimulation certain sounds, smells and even thoughts can induce feelings of fear and stress thereby trigger a gag reflex. When I treat a patient with a sensitive gag reflex there are some methods I use to try and manage the symptoms.

  • Initially, I focus on methods of desensitization combined with  relaxation. To do this a topical anesthetic is placed on the palate and back of the mouth. Then, I have the patient  find a focal point, such as a corner or a tile. Once a focal point is found breathing exercises are employed. We focus on keeping a steady pace of deep slow breaths while the procedure is completed.
  • If this fails we move to a distraction technique. During the procedure the patient is instructed to lift one leg slowly up and then down. They are told to alternate their legs while focusing on breathing slow deep breaths. As silly as this seems,  it tends to work well with a mild gag reflex.
  • If coping mechanisms do not work in conjunction with topical anesthetic then, pharmacological techniques will be offered if the patient is a candidate.  Nitrous oxide is the first pharmacological intervention that is used.  Nitrous is helpful for patients because it tends to distract as well as remove some of the anxiety of the dental procedure and the possibility of gagging. However, If the nitrous oxide is not effective then a different type of pharmacological treatment may be recommended such as Conscious Sedation. Conscious Sedation helps to reduce the anxiety associated with treatment as well as help to eliminate the physical reflex as well.
  • Other therapies that are used by some practitioners are: acupressure and acupuncture
If you find that you have a sensitive gag response and are terrified of your dentist making you sick… literally. Then, speak to your dentist and let them know what it is that makes you gag. They may be able to tailor their treatment to help reduce your gag reflex.  
Gag Reflex: No More A Gag To A Dentist The Behavioral Techniques, Pharmacological Techniques, Acupressure and Acupuncture in Controlling the Gag Reflex – A Review Shriprasad S1, Shilpashree HS2
The use of relative analgesia in the prosthetic treatment of the ‘gagging’ patient.Packer ME, Joarder C, Lall BA.
Management of Exaggerated Gag Reflex Using Intravenous Sedation in Prosthodontic Treatment Harushi Yoshida1), Terumi Ayuse1), Satoru Ishizaka2), Shingo Ishitobi1), Tomoyuki Nogami1), Kumiko Oi1) 2)