If you’re looking for a South St. Louis dentist (63109) there are a few different choices, but only one dental office out of them all will provide you with the best service, naturally. St. Louis Hills Dental Group is that office and here’s what makes us different.
Our state of the art equipment, instruments, and procedures provide the maximum comfort level and the shortest visit possible. If a crown is what you need, we have the “one visit crown,” the CEREC crown. We can have your custom crown made and placed most of the time in less than two hours.
At St. Louis Hills Dental Group, we feel it is better to prevent problems of the teeth and gums before they can occur. If you wish, we can also identify foods and other factors that damage your teeth and gums. We will be happy to show you how to prevent decay and gum disease by helping you learn to care for your teeth. Regular brushing and flossing of your teeth will go a long way towards optimal dental health. Prevention of dental disease is less painful, less time consuming, and less expensive than letting dental disease progress until more extensive treatment is needed.
At St. Louis Hills Dental Group, we are always looking for ways to improve our patient care. Please see other information in our "5 Star Reviews".
At St. Louis Hills Dental Group, we have recently added another service to help our patients continue to receive consistent dental care. We now can better communicate with our patients electronically to keep our patient service high.
With the quick and constant changes in today’s world it is important that we are able to confirm our patient appointments with as little disruption in their lives as possible. Our new system allows us to notify our patients by text or email and get a return response from them confirming existing appointments. Quick and easy!
We are also able to allow our patients the ability to help their families or friends by referring them to our office by the same electronic means. We can also ensure quality appointments for our patients by allowing them take a quick survey to let us know how we are doing. This allows us to catch any developing problems as early and easily as possible.
Electronic newsletters and birthday wishes also better personalize our patient experience at St. Louis Hills Dental Group.
We are constantly looking for new and better ways to enhance the experience or our patients as we see them at St. Louis Hills Dental Group. Please let us know what you think.
Interest in whitening teeth continues to increase at a rapid rate. At St. Louis Hills Dental Group, we have been at the leading edge for information on bleaching systems from the first product available years ago. According to the most recent information available and verified by current scientific research, the system we now use offers the best results with the fewest side effects. No bleaching systems are covered by insurance but the one we use only costs $110. In addition, some systems require application times of 90 minutes to several hours while ours only requires 15-20 minutes. All of us at St. Louis Hills Dental Group are available to answer any questions you may have on bleaching. Please let us know if you are interested in bleaching.
Quality Service and Ethics
At St. Louis Hills Dental Group, we are proud of our quality of care and our ethics. We have always been rated as A+ by the Better Business Bureau and are now happy to inform everyone that we have been selected for membership by that organization. This means that our office will continue to be held to the high ethical standards of the Better Business Bureau.
FIRST RESPONDERS AND ST. LOUIS HILLS DENTAL GROUP
At St. Louis Hills Dental Group, we are very fortunate to be able to include many first responders as our patients. Police and Firemen from both the city and county have made us their choice for dental care for many years. Our Team takes great comfort in knowing that they are available to help us as the need would arise. We thank them individually and as a group for their service to the community.
Dental coverage for patients who are uninsured, retirees or on Medicare
There have been few options for dental insurance available to retirees or Medicare recipients. Coverage is not available or too costly. Sometimes “dental coverage” is included with Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare Advantage coverage is often a free add-on and provides very limited benefits.
The St. Louis Hills Dental Group, PC has put together a dental plan that helps our patients maintain optimal dental health. This is our second calendar year to offer a plan to our retiree of Medicare recipients. We have expanded this calendar year to include ALL patients, regardless of age, who are not insured through their employers.
Our plan is simple. It includes two checkup appointments and a 20% discount on any additional dental work, if needed. There is no fine print to read. This prepaid plan is $420 per year, this comes to only $35 per month! Just the checkup appointments and exams could total up to $551. It’s a great deal.
What is covered?
• Two cleanings in 2018
• All necessary x-rays in 2018
• Up to three doctor exams in 2018
• 20% reduction in fees on any dental work, including whitening and implants
Plan cannot be put on hold and is for calendar year 2018, January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018. Plan is non-transferrable and non-refundable.
Please let us know if you would like to take part in this plan.
Does Flossing Work? Our View!
A recent Associated Press article concluded that flossing does not work. The same article indicated that people would rather “wash dishes, stand in long customer service lines, or clean toilets” rather than floss. The article included a picture showing an incredibly inaccurate method of flossing. The American Dental Association stands by their recommendations that flossing does work and aids in deceasing dental decay and gum disease.
Flossing will never be as enjoyable as many other activities but is necessary to improve oral health of patients. Floss, floss handles, floss picks, water flossers, sonic toothbrushes, and other products help in the removal of plaque and bacteria in the mouth.
St. Louis Hills Dental Group still strongly recommends flossing. Ask us if there are ways we can help you keep your teeth and gums.
New Method for Dentistry
At St. Louis Hills Dental Group, crowns are designed with computer imaging and made in the office the same day. This avoids impressions, temporary crowns, and second appointments. For patients who have broken or badly decayed teeth this is a great advantage over the "old method".
Exercises of the Mouth Muscles
A recent study by the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation indicates that daily exercises of the tongue, lips, and jaw muscles improves saliva secretion, decreases mouth breathing, and improves tongue position during sleep. Exercises of these muscles also improve chewing and swallowing.
Tongue exercises include pushing the tongue against the roof of the mouth and also moving the tongue around all of the cheek areas. Lip exercises involve tightening the lips around any object for 5 seconds at a time. Two sets of the exercises three times a day are recommended.
The Journal study found that overall strength of the facial muscles improved 32% in two weeks. These exercises can be particularly helpful in older individuals or anyone with chewing or swallowing difficulties.
At St. Louis Hills Dental Group, we have changed the way we provide cavity preventing fluoride to our patients. In the past we used gel or foam fluoride on patients we saw at our office. The fluoride was placed in a soft tray and placed in the patient’s mouth. Often patients could not tolerate the trays and therefore did not receive the benefit from the fluoride.
New “paint-on” fluoride varnishes eliminate the need for trays and are better tolerated by all patients. The new material we use is ranked as best overall in a clinical test of the 19 brands on the market. The material also can be used on children of all ages and on adults who are prone to decay or sensitive teeth. The fluorides are also great for orthodontic patients who have brackets or wires on their teeth.
Ask us if fluoride varnish would be something that would benefit you or someone you know.
Dental X-Rays and Radiation
Dental x-rays are necessary to ensure the good health of teeth and supporting structures. Dentists and patients were mutually concerned about radiation received when old style x-rays were taken. In the past, there was always the issue of when to take x-rays and how many to take.
At St. Louis Hills Dental Group, we are have for years used digital x-rays which use substantially less radiation than the old style traditional x-rays. The most recent studies from Clinicians Report (the most respected research organization for dental procedures and equipment) have shown that digital x-rays no longer require the use of lead protective shields when patients are receiving x-rays. The studies show that a full set of x-rays on a patient expose the patient to radiation equal to a medium length airline flight and only one fifth that of a chest x-ray.
We would be happy to show you the conclusions of the studies and discuss any concerns you have about x-rays. We continue to do everything we can a St. Louis Hills Dental to protect your overall health.
Implants: The Other Natural Tooth
Do you need a tooth extracted or have a space where a tooth has been removed? There are options available for filling the space. An implant may be the best choice for your situation.
Do you have a partial or denture that does not fit well? A dental implant may solve that problem for you.
Implant advantages: • Similar to a natural tooth • Adjacent teeth don’t have to be involved in the procedure as they would in a bridge • Implants may decrease or help prevent shrinkage of the jawbone following tooth loss.
There are several steps with an implant. The total treatment usually takes 3 to 6 months, that all depends on the person and the healing of the bone to the Implant.
The implant can be used for several different circumstances. If you have an implant placed for just one tooth, later on in life that one implant can be used to help support a partial or denture.
Dental Insurance: Our View
At St. Louis Hills Dental Group our first responsibility is to provide quality dental care for the patients we treat. For patients who have dental insurance we do our best to balance the type of care needed with the amount of coverage provided by dental insurance plans. Most current dental coverage plans are group plans provided by companies for their employees and often family members. Plans vary greatly by annual maximums and co-payments for certain services. In some situations coverage differences are present in different segments of the work force in the same company.
We try to help our patients sort through all of the details and get as close as we can to the amounts of coverage available and the patient responsibility for services we provide. This can be very confusing with frequent plan changes and service fee denials encountered.
We are providers for many dental plans and participate with Delta Dental Premier, Aetna PPO, UHC-PPO, and some Anthem PPO plans. We will do what we can to work with patients to reach acceptable financial arrangements to allow them to have dental treatment provided by St. Louis Hills Dental Group.
The worst thing that can happen to a patient is to have a need for dental treatment and not be able to have care because of financial reasons. Delaying treatment always will end up costing the patient more money or worse lead to a decline in the health of their mouths.
St. Louis Hills Dental Group we are committed to quality dental care at reasonable fees. If we can help answer dental insurance or financial consideration questions please e-mail us or call at 314-644-0440
Dental Care Considerations During Pregnancy
Since 2006, a few state organizations and dental associations have issued practice guidelines declaring that dental care is safe and effective at any stage of pregnancy, including diagnostic X-rays, cavity restorations and root canals.
OB-GYNs should check for bleeding gums or oral infection and refer a patient to a dentist if her last visit was longer than six months ago, according to the first national consensus statement on dental care during pregnancy, published in September by the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center at Georgetown University.
The statement advised dentists to provide emergency care in any trimester. OB-GYNs can be consulted, as necessary, if a pregnant patient is diabetic or hypertensive, or if general anesthesia is required.
Dr. Sally Cram, a periodontist in Washington, and a spokeswoman for the American Dental Association, said dentists she knows provide complete care. She added, “In the last 10 to 15 years, a lot of dentists have promoted the importance of pregnant women having regular cleanings.”
Delaying oral care can have serious consequences. Gingivitis, or gum inflammation, affects 60 to 75 percent of pregnant women, and left unchecked, it can become periodontal disease. Untreated periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss. And a mother with active tooth decay can spread cavity-causing bacteria to her child through saliva, perpetuating poor oral health.
Pregnant women with dental pain also may self-medicate inappropriately. In a March 2001 letter to the New York State Department of Health, a doctor described a patient who was unable to get urgent care for her abscessed teeth in upstate New York. She took such excessive doses of Tylenol that she developed acute liver failure, and the fetus died. That prompted the drafting of new state guidelines.
Still, some OB-GYNs do not address oral health during visits with pregnant women, an oversight that angers some dentists. “If you take your dog to the vet, the first thing they do is look in their mouth,” said Dr. Nancy Newhouse, a periodontist in Independence, Mo., and the president of the American Academy of Periodontology.
Many pregnant women simply don’t seek dental care, perhaps out of misplaced fear or neglect. Some states offer dental Medicaid benefits to low-income expectant mothers, for example, but utilization rates are low. Only 28 percent of eligible women seek and receive services in Oklahoma. In New York, 41 percent of pregnant women on Medicaid visited dentists in 2010, up from 30 percent in 2006.
Such a multifactorial problem requires a coordinated effort between OB-GYNs and dentists to reach mothers-to-be, said Dr. Stefanie Russell, a dentist and an epidemiologist at New York University. But for women with low-risk pregnancies, she said, “things will change when women realize dental care is their right during pregnancy.”
This information was written by Catherine Saint Louis and originally appeared in a May 2013 edition of the “New York Times”.
At St. Louis Hills Dental Group we have always provided oral cancer screenings for our patients. There is also an article in this website on how patients can conduct an initial self-screening and what to look for. Another concern is the increasing number of cases of human papilloma viruses being found in society. This is a very real threat, especially in younger populations.
We have recently added new technology that allows us to screen our patients for possible cancer and viruses using a fluorescing light to identify suspicious spots or lesions. This system utilizes a special light that brightens the oral tissues and shows questionable spots as dark areas. These dark areas can be identified and followed or they can be referred to an oral surgeon for a biopsy.
We want to do what we can to make sure our patients are healthy. We are constantly looking for ways to make sure that happens.
Self-Exam for Head, Neck, and Oral Cancer
Oral cancer rates are increasing. Our patients receive a thorough examination when visiting our office for regular appointments. We recommend that you also do a monthly self-exam each month. This exam is to be performed using a bright light and a mirror.
Look and feel inside the lips and the front of the gums
Tilt head back to inspect and feel the roof of your mouth
Pull the cheek out to see inside surfaces and the back of the gums
Pull your tongue out using a cloth or gauze pad to look at all surfaces
Fell for lumps or enlarge glands on the sides of your neck and jaw
Make note of any:
Red and white patches—erythroluekoplakia
A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily
An abnormal lump or thickening of the tissues of the mouth
Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
Difficulty in chewing or swallowing
A mass or lump in the neck
If any of these are noticed you need to call our office and we will see you to evaluate your condition and offer treatment options. At St. Louis Hills Dental Group we are constantly looking for ways to make sure you have good health.
Recommended Fluoride Water Levels
Four years ago the US Department of Health and Human Services proposed a level of fluoride in community water systems of 0.7 parts per million. Recently the Department after further study finalized that level as optimum for preventing tooth decay. Over 75 percent of Americans have fluoridated water.
St. Louis adjusted the fluoride levels in the water system when the recommendation first came out. The proposed levels prevent tooth decay but do not cause discoloration of children’s teeth.
At St. Louis Hills Dental Group we are strong advocates of water fluoridation having witnessed the devastating decay possible in areas that are not fluoridated. We are constantly looking for information and ideas to improve the dental health of our patients and our community.
Please contact us if you have any questions.
Pacifiers: What Age to Stop Using Them?
We are often asked at St. Louis Hills Dental Group at what age should children stop using pacifiers. The largest pacifier available in stores is one for an 18 month old child. We encourage parents to start weaning their children off pacifiers at that age if not sooner. There is an increased risk of children developing posterior cross bites or anterior open bites if a pacifier is used past the age of 2 years. In some situations these bite problems may not self correct if pacifier use is not stopped by that time.
We recommend a 6 week program to stop pacifier use:
Both parents need to be in agreement about the timing of stopping the pacifier.
In week two the pacifier can no longer leave the house. Don’t have it in the diaper bag or car rides or going to the store.
In week three the pacifier can no longer leave the bedroom.
In week four the pacifier can no longer leave the bed. If the child goes to daycare or a baby sitter this is a good time to get the child used to sleeping during the day without one. The child may have to have its back patted while going to sleep but things will get better.
In weeks five and six the child should be pacifier free 75% of the time. Parents can cut part of the tip off of the pacifier to decrease the suction of the pacifier. Sometimes even the whole tip can be cut off to eliminate the ability of the pacifier to be held between the teeth.
Some families decide to have the child give up the pacifier “cold turkey” giving it to Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, or a new baby in the family. The child can then be given a new toy, like a stuffed animal, to compensate for the pacifier.
Ethics and St. Louis Hills Dental Group
At St. Louis Hills Dental Group we take the responsibility of the care of patients very seriously. We are members of the American Dental Association, the Missouri Dental Association and the Greater St. Louis Dental Society.
The Code of Ethics of the American Dental Association is a 21 page document that guides us through our decision making on all of the aspects of our patient treatment. We are very proud of our opportunity to provide the best care possible for our patients by following the information in the “code”.
A recent study by the American Dental Association (ADA) showed that 70 % of patients are more likely to choose an ADA member knowing that those dentists follow the “code”. The same study also showed that 75% of patients would choose a dentist knowing they were ADA members.
At St. Louis Hills Dental Group we have a hard copy of the “code” available if any of our patients would like to see it. One of the monthly articles in the ADA Journal is on the “code” and questions from ADA dentists who encounter unusual issues. We are always reviewing the “code” to make sure we are doing the best for our patients.
Electric Toothbrushes: The Benefits
Some patients who are using manual toothbrushes have excellent oral health. Far more frequently this is not the case. Switching patients to a power toothbrush makes an immediate and positive impact on their oral health.
Power toothbrushes have many times the brush strokes of a manual brush. Some power toothbrushes have more brush strokes in one minute than a manual brush has on one month. Power toothbrushes are so significantly superior there is no comparison.
Using a power brush with fluoridated toothpaste helps remove biofilm, stains, and helps decrease tooth decay. Power brushes can also improve the gingival health of patients who have gum disease. All benefits of the use of a power toothbrush.
The brush heads of power brushes need to be replaced just as you would replace a manual brush. When the bristles become visibly splayed it is time to replace the head. Heads come in several sizes. Larger sizes are generally better because they have more bristles. In some patients with small mouths or hard to reach areas small heads are better. Small headed brushes may take longer to remove the biofilm, but the brushes have timers to help make brushing more effective.
When we see our patients at St. Louis Hills Dental Group, we are always looking for ways to improve their oral health. The benefits of power toothbrushes cannot be denied.