Do you have a fear of needles?

do you have a fear of needles in Lincoln NE
do you have a fear of needles in Lincoln NE

Fear Of Needles

If you have anxiety about receiving dental injections, know that you are not alone. This is a legitimate fear that many patients have. The level of anxiety patients have about dental injections varies from person to person. Some patients only have the fear of needles in a dental office, while other patients try to avoid injections at all cost.

Most people who suffer from needle phobia have had a negative experience associated with dentistry, injections or pain during a medical procedure in general. We would like to help patients understand the reasons why dental injections can be painful and ways that we try to minimize discomfort as much as possible.

woman thinking about dental procedure about fear of needles

Location of Injection:

If the injection has to be administered in an area where the tissues are dense or tight, it is more likely to sting more than areas with looser tissues. For example, dental injections administered around upper molars are typically painless because the tissues in this area are soft and loose, allowing the anesthetic solution to slowly disperse throughout without stretching and causing pain.

In our office, clinicians use a technique which allows us to start administering the solution to areas with loose tissue, allowing the anesthetic to disperse and numb adjacent areas before continuing to numb other areas. This helps patients ease the fear of needles by only experience a minimal amount of discomfort even if the patient requires several areas to be numbed for a procedure.

time ticking fast

Administering the anesthetic too quickly:

Some clinicians make the mistake of administering local anesthetics too rapidly. This causes too much pressure from the solution against the tissues. Stretching and micro-tears occur, which causes pain and fear of needles for the patients and prolongs postoperative discomfort. It is best to administer injections slowly to allow the solution to disperse into the tissues without increasing pressure. Depending on the injection site, more time may be necessary to reduce discomfort.

In our office, providers ensure that they have set adequate time aside to spend with each patient to avoid rushing through this process. It is important to us that our patients have a positive experience, especially during the administration of a local anesthetic to avoid the fear of needles in patients. Our clinicians will slowly deliver your anesthetic over the course of several minutes depending on what areas need to be anesthetized.

gentle dental hands for fear of needles

Not making the tissue taut and injecting gently:

In some areas, it is more comfortable for the patient if the tissue being injected is stretched taut during the injection to allow the anesthetic to move through the tissue more smoothly. Some clinicians apply pressure, vibration or use a q-tip to help block out pain transmission in different areas of the mouth during the injection. Applying pressure during injections on tighter, denser tissue like the palate during the injection helps to block nerve signals and reduces pain, decreasing patient’s fear of needles.

hot temperature for fear of needles

Causes of Burning Sensation During Injections:

Sometimes a burning sensation can be felt during a dental injection. There a few reasons for this. One reason is that the anesthetic may be delivered too rapidly. Another reason can be that the level of acidity in the tissue is much lower than the anesthetic solution. This can be a result of infection or inflammation. This sensation does not last more than a few seconds and is not acutely painful, but some patients may be more sensitive to it. As the tissue starts to become numb, this feeling dissipates.

Our providers inject slowly to ensure patients are as comfortable as possible. Topical anesthetic only works on the surface of the tissues. By delivering a slow injection, this allows the solution to diffuse throughout the tissues, creating a more comfortable injection and reducing postoperative soreness. Typically, providers will spend about one minute or longer delivering a single carpule of anesthetic.

dentist showing empathy about fear of needles

Lack of Empathy:

Over the course of a dentist’s career, they see patients with painful teeth, abscesses and dental injuries. They may have pressure to work within stressful time constraints. This may create a level of desensitization toward empathy for their patients. It is ideal to find a dental provider who has not lost their compassion and empathy for patients and will spend the time required to utilize these techniques to create a more comfortable injection experience for patients diminishing the fear of needles.  If you are feeling anxious about dental treatment, let us know. We know that many patients have anxiety about treatment and legitimate fears based on negative experiences they have had in the past. We will do our best to help you feel calm and comfortable before and during the administration of local anesthetic.

topical anesthetic gel to help fear of needles

Not Using a Topical Anesthetic (Numbing Gel):

It is not impossible to administer a dental injection painlessly without using topical anesthetic in certain areas, but it should always be used for injections that could cause more discomfort. If it is left in place long enough, it is very effective for numbing the soft tissue and preventing patients from feeling the initial needle stick.

In our practice, we thoroughly dry the area where topical is applied to help the topical get direct contact with the area. Excess saliva will prevent the topical from contacting the tissue and make it less effective. Leaving the topical in place for at least 1-2 minutes is ideal.

dull needle for fear of needles

Using a Dull Needle:

Disposable needles have eradicated this issue for the most part, but it was once a common reason for painful dental injections and fear of needles. If a needle is used for several consecutive injections it can become slightly dulled and make the injections more uncomfortable. Ideally, a needle should be changed after 3-4 injections to prevent this issue. For a patient with memories of painful injections in the past, this may have been the reason for fear of needles.

Our providers typically utilize more than one syringe to avoid this problem but will change the needle during anesthetic administration after 3-4 injections.

allergic title

Allergy to Local Anesthetic?

Allergies to local anesthetics used today are quite rare, and only a few cases have been reported worldwide. Typical reasons for reactions to local anesthetics are more related to preservatives that are contained in the solution. Usually, when patients describe their reactions to anesthetics, they describe heart palpitations, shaking, sweating and feeling faint. These are not allergic reactions. These symptoms are related to the epinephrine found in anesthetic which is present in the solution to allow it to last long enough to complete the treatment in the area. This feeling typically lasts only 5-10 minutes immediately after local anesthetic is administered. We always let our patients know this is a very common part of receiving this medication so that they know it is not an allergy, nor is it an anxiety episode. Knowing this feeling is normal is very reassuring to patients, and will make the process easier for you.

cold temperature

Using Cold Anesthetic

Making sure that anesthetic is delivered at room temperature ensures that patients will experience less discomfort during the injection.

dr barth helping patient with fear of needles

Mandibular Anesthesia: The High Approach

Over the years, many patients have expressed concern about receiving adequate anesthesia during treatment due to negative experiences in the past. Some areas of the mouth are notoriously difficult to numb using traditional techniques. One of these areas is the lower jaw. Traditional techniques are not always reliable due to the variation in normal anatomy between individuals. Our providers use a proven alternative technique to numb the lower jaw, ensuring complete anesthesia for patients. Our technique is a hybrid of a few traditional techniques and allows us to target the exact location of the nerve branch. This technique is called the high approach to the mandibular block. The insertion point and angulation of the needle for this injection ensures that the anesthetic can target the nerve branch, ensuring effective and fast anesthesia.

Nebraska Family Dentistry has multiple Lincoln Dental Clinics!
Choose any location “dentist near me” convenient for you.

Free Kindergarten Dental Checks

free kindergarten dental checks by children's dentists

Free Kindergarten Dental Checks

The Importance of Dental Care and School Performance

If your child is entering the school system this year, they’ll need an oral check-up to ensure good health. Nebraska requires an oral check for all kindergartners in public schools. Fortunately, parents can help them prepare for this requirement by seeing us at one of our free kindergarten dental checks this summer.

Our children’s dentists are willing and ready to help children and parents alike feel comfortable with the dentist. We often see kids leave our office excited to come back for more visits! This is ideal, especially for children, since they’ll need to start building habits for a long life of good health.

childrens dentistry lincoln ne

Children’s dentists on: Tooth Decay in Children

When it comes to chronic illnesses in children, tooth decay is at the top. Childhood tooth decay is incredibly common, affecting about 2 out of every 5 kids. For this reason, oral checks have become a requirement for kindergartners in every public school classroom. While the oral check-up only consists of a short, visual inspection by children’s dentists, the results are very telling for school officials.

Experts say that oral health is the most consistently neglected health need in young children and adolescents. During this check-up, licensed children’s dentists will visually examine the mouths of children to ensure adequate oral health. They’ll look for signs of dental infection and any other outlying dental care factors.

Seeing children’s dentists is key. Regular check-ups can begin as soon as your child has teeth. Consistent check-ups thereafter will help your kids start and stay healthy. Further, these appointments will allow children’s dentists to see any potential problems before they arise. Catching tooth decay, infection, and any other problems before your child’s kindergarten check-up will enable them to avoid referral for further dental work. That’s why we decided to offer free kindergarten dental checks for all children entering school.

To learn more about kindergarten check-ups in Nebraska and beyond, check out the resources below from our children’s dentists:

State Laws on
Dental Screenings for Kids

Children’s Dentists on Child Dental Care and School Performance

Any parent will tell you that it takes a lot to care for children. They’ll admit that it’s worth it though, as they watch their children grow up and succeed. Recent research has discovered a correlation between a child’s dental health, their school performance, and ultimately, their well-being. This information, while newly reported, has been considered true in the dental field for a time. For many children’s dentists, this was the driving force behind their decision to commit to dental care.

childrens dentistry nebraska family dentistry lincoln

In this recent research, it was found that reductions in school performance were common among children with dental problems. The same was discovered with regards to a child’s well-being. Children with mild to severe amounts of tooth decay were found to be more shy, self-conscious, and to have missed more school. They went on to say that dental health, as opposed to just overall health, has a huge impact on the social development of youth, a key factor in school performance.

For more information about this correlation, you can check out one of the multiple studies on this topic here.

health group for free kindergarten dental checks in lincoln ne nfd

Why Children’s Oral Health  Important? Our Children’s dentists explain

Oral health is necessary for everyone! Many people don’t realize the relationship between good oral health and excellent overall health. Since everything you consume passes through your mouth, it seems clear that such a relationship exists.

However, it’s more important for children to have good oral health. While adults have their habits developed (for the most part), children are only learning. If you can teach children the right way to take care of themselves from a young age, they’ll follow lifelong patterns of good health. The same can be true of oral health: a child that learns how to brush and floss well will never have to un-learn bad habits or re-learn good ones.

It’s much easier for people to learn healthy habits while still young. At that point, their brains are still developing, and their neural pathways for behavior can change and cement more than those of adults. Don’t be mistaken, however; adults can still learn and grow too! However, teaching a child how to behave can last a lifetime. The same applies to their oral hygiene habits.

free kindergarten dental checks up 2019

Our Children’s Dentists Offer Free Kindergarten Dental Checks for Children Entering School

At Nebraska Family Dentistry, we want to ensure that your kids are taken care of. Between caring for their general well-being and helping them be prepared for school, oral health check-ups are crucial. If you want to help your kids the best you can, please feel free to give us a call at any of our locations. You can also ask us any questions you may have at our free kindergarten dental checks all summer.  Call to find out the dates for Free Kindergarten Dental exams.

You can call any of Nebraska Family Dentistry locations to set up a free kindergarten dental checks appointment with children’s dentists

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Nebraska Family Dentistry has multiple Lincoln Dental Clinics!
Choose any location a “dentist near me” convenient for you.

Should I have My Mercury Fillings Replaced?

dr.k alderman on amalgam filling
Image asking "Amalgam fillings/Mercury fillings, what's all the fuss?

Dr. Alderman, your Biological Dentist in Lincoln, NE on Amalgam Fillings: Should Amalgam (Silver) Fillings be replaced?

As a Biological Dentist in Lincoln, NE who has been practicing dentistry for years, I will share my thoughts on Mercury fillings through this blog.

The Composition of Mercury Fillings explained by Your Biological Dentist in Lincoln, NE

Mercury makes up about 50% of the most common fillings in the world called Silver-Mercury amalgam fillings. This amalgam material also contains other metals such as Zinc, Copper, Tin, and Silver. Because of the high Mercury content, these fillings are Silver in color when they are first placed. Hence the name, “Silver” filling. After being in the mouth for a bit of time, it is at that point that the Mercury starts reacting chemically resulting in black corrosion. The darker the filling, all the more tarnish that has taken place. These fillings do have an electrical current that can be measured. The current and release of Mercury are directly proportional. Therefore, the higher the current means, the faster that Mercury is being released. Dating back to 1976, ADA sponsored high Copper amalgam started taking over the market and is now a patent holder. Mercury is released around 50 times faster than the “conventional” amalgam before that time.

As of today, by weight, dental amalgam fillings contain between 48 to 51% Mercury. Copper comes in a close second and is now leading the markets.  Amalgam can be composed of up to 24 to 33% Copper. The higher the amount of Copper, the faster both Copper and Mercury are released from the fillings. A Gold crown anywhere in the mouth can also increase the rate of release of Mercury.

Image from biological dentist in Lincoln, NE showing a tooth with mercury fillings Lincoln, NE

Is it possible for Mercury to leak from Amalgam (Silver) Fillings? Your Biological Dentist in Lincoln, NE explains…

YES! It is undeniably true that Mercury vapor and byproducts are released from amalgam fillings. Scientists do agree that any Mercury absorbed in high enough amounts, will cause health issues. It is known that Mercury vapors are released from amalgam fillings. But the agreement is that the amount is far enough below what is accepted by the FDA-a daily intake of .4 micro-grams per kilogram of body weight. It is still somewhat unclear, however, as to how much Mercury would have to be absorbed to cause any problems.

Dr. Chew has found in some university studies that within the first two years following placement, amalgam fillings release roughly 34 micro-grams per filling per square centimeter of exposed filling, each day. Daily tests were conducted on fillings placed in pure water. Many contributing factors can cause Mercury to be released faster. As previously mentioned, any other metals such as Nickel crowns, Gold crowns, and or removable bridges will increase the rate of release. Chewing food also increases the rate of release dramatically. Hot liquids, such as coffee can also increase emission by thousands of percent. This however, will last on average, roughly 10 to 15 minutes. Likewise, as published by the ADA, abrasion that comes from chewing gum also increases the release by 1500%. Bruxism, commonly known as teeth grinding either during waking or sleeping hours, also increases the release of Mercury vapor. It is the electrical charge on a filling that gives us an idea as to how fast Copper, Mercury, and other metals are released. As previously stated, the higher the current measured, the quicker the release of Mercury is taking place. The total amount of Mercury released can be challenging to measure. There is, however, enough information to say that the current measurements are enough to contribute significantly to many disease processes. For example, the mouth is a perfect habitat. Inside the mouth it’s warm and encounters acidic foods, chewing gum, bruxism, eating food, and multiple bacterial strains.

image from Biological dentist in Lincoln, NE showing mercury vapor being released from a tooth after being rubbed by an eraser.

Mercury Fillings and Toxicity

Where does all the Mercury go? Find out from Your Biological Dentist in Lincoln, NE

The short answer is, into your body. The areas inside your cheeks and under your tongue provide the fastest route of absorption. Of course, these areas are near any fillings, so the rate at which these materials can be absorbed is great. Through these tissues, Mercury can destroy adjacent tissues. Mercury can also travel to the lymphatic drainage system and directly into the bloodstream. From the blood, Mercury can go to any cell within the body. It can either disable or destroy the tissue. Mercury can also easily travel directly from the fillings into the lungs, and even the bloodstream-every cell can be a target. All of the compounds included in Mercury are masters at moving through cell membranes that are “lipid soluble.” Cell membranes are made up of roughly 40% fat and 60% protein. Nerve cells, however, are an exception. Nerve cells contain nearly 75% fat. These membranes that are rich in fat ultimately determine what can and can not enter the cell. Methyl Mercury is oxidized and is made into the “ionic” form of Mercury. The ionic form of Mercury is a very destructive and harmful form of Mercury. Methyl Mercury happens to be the most dangerous because of its ability to enter all cells and travel great distances. Ultimately, the ionic form disrupts metabolic pathways and internal structures that keep a cell alive. All of this destruction and travel defines Mercury contamination or toxicity. It may favor nerve tissue as a destruction target, but the kidneys are high up on its list of tissues to destroy. Unfortunately, Mercury toxicity can cause significant problems in any tissue that gets in its way. For this very reason, it can be tough to devise a change in the normal state and chemistry of the body.

What health problems are related to the exposure of toxins such as those in Mercury fillings? Your Biological Dentist in Lincoln, NE explains…

Diseases and Symptoms Related to Chronic, Long-Term Mercury Poisoning:

Mercury is not a radioactive material but rather a poisonous metal that can affect anyone’s health in a very aggressive manner. There is also good evidence that Mercury can in some ways, contribute to Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Mercury intoxication can greatly affect many areas of the body. The nervous system can be significantly impacted in addition to causing the following:

  • Psychological complications: Insomnia, irritability, loss of memory, and ataxia.
  • Gastrointestinal complications: Colitis and diarrhea.
  • Cardiovascular complications: Tachycardia, high/low blood pressure, irregular pulse, and pains in chest.
  • Neurological complications : Regular headaches, dizziness, movement disorders.
  • Respiratory complications: Bronchitis, shallow breathing, and asthma.
  • Weak immune system: More susceptible to becoming ill as the body’s line of natural defense has been compromised.

Clinical facts about Mercury fillings and disadvantages to using it as a material for a dental filling explained by Your Biological Dentist in Lincoln, NE:

As your Biological Dentist in Lincoln, NE, I know that mercury should be avoided if at all possible. Mercury “Silver” fillings are a combination of Mercury, Silver, Copper, Tin, and other trace metals. Together all of these metals are combined to form an alloy. Our bodies have NO need or use for Mercury. The less Mercury we have in our system, the better.

There is extraordinary evidence showing the release of Mercury in the form of vapor. This happens every time you stimulate the teeth. Examples may be drinking, eating, and brushing your teeth. Mercury vapors can easily pass through cell membranes, across the blood-brain barrier, and ultimately into your CNS (central nervous system). Once in the central nervous system, this is where psychological,  immunological, and neurological problems can occur. Children, including fetuses, whose brains are still developing, are most at risk, but anyone can be affected.

  • To place an amalgam filling requires that more of the tooth structure is removed. This is not the case with tooth-colored restorations that are currently being offered.  Because amalgams don’t bond to teeth, dentists have to place an undercut in a tooth to help keep it in place-this significantly undermines and weaken the tooth and can eventually lead to cracked teeth later on.
  • Since amalgam fillings don’t bond directly to the tooth structure, over time space is created between the filling and tooth structure allowing bacteria to get enter. Once bacteria have entered, a cavity can develop underneath the filling.
  • Amalgam fillings also contract and expand over time, working as a wedge inside the tooth and weakening the tooth over time. Additionally, this can lead to cracked teeth.  Teeth with large amalgam fillings are prone to Cracked Tooth Syndrome and most commonly are seen on your back teeth.
image of old silver mercury fillings with holes taken by your biological dentist in Lincoln, NE

What is a safer alternative at our office?

While in our care, your safety and comfort are always our number one priority. As a result, the use of Mercury in fillings is not done in our office. Our offices use only porcelain, ceramic, or composite restorations that are stronger and better looking. Also, these restorations are environmentally friendly while being placed due to decay, fracture or ill-fitting restorations.

Composite Benefits:

Composite restorations such as this one (middle tooth) are superior to Silver fillings. This type of restoration reinforces the tooth with a strong bond and has undetectable, smooth margins to help prevent leakage and recurrent decay.

Before and After
Pictures of replacing old Mercury Fillings

A before image from Nebraska Family Dentistry of Silver/ Mercury fillings before being replaced with tooth colored fillings
Mercury Fillings: Before White Filling Replacement
Example of tooth-colored, white fillings from your biological dentist in Lincoln, NE at Nebraska Family Dentistry
White Filling: After Mercury fillings Replacement

Composite restorations offer many advantages including:

  1. Cosmetic and aesthetic Blends in seamlessly and naturally.
  2. Smooth and bonded margins – Less plaque accumulation helping offset the chances for recurrent decay.
  3. Conservative – Less tooth structure is removed to make space for the new filling.
  4. Easily repaired – Any chips can easily be corrected with surface roughening and addition of composite material.
  5. Reinforces remaining tooth structure – Because the composite is bonded to the tooth itself, it significantly strengthens the remaining structure and helps prevent wedging forces from causing cracks and fractures with repeated chewing.
  6. Seals the dentin portion of the tooth from future decay

How is the exposure of amalgam minimized at our office for the benefit of the environment?

Our office has taken steps to help reduce your exposure to Mercury vapor during the removal process of old amalgam fillings. We can remove 99.5% of the total Mercury from the wastewater at our dental office, thus protecting the environment and the local community.

How to minimize exposure of amalgam at our office for your safety?

The most significant amount of exposure to Mercury from amalgam fillings is when they are placed and removed. Appropriate isolation and suction are also essential to help limit exposure to patients. Dr. Oz even suggests that if you have eight or more amalgam fillings, you should have them replaced. In response to his suggestion, I would say that removing eight fillings at once would create an abundance of exposure to Mercury.  Myself, I would tend to prefer addressing replacing a few amalgam fillings every few months, instead of removing them all at one time.

Steps for removing amalgam. The procedure for safe removal of Mercury fillings includes the following actions:

  1. Keeping the filling at a cooler temperature: Removal of amalgam fillings are done under a constant spray of cold water to keep the temperature low and reduce the release of Mercury vapor.
  2. Cutting the filling into smaller more manageable chunks: The removal procedure involves cutting the filling into smaller pieces that can be easily removed.
  3. Using a high-volume evacuation (HVE): The use of a high-volume evacuation system helps scavenge and collect Mercury vapors that are released. A suction tube does remain in the mouth during the procedure to ensure the removal of saliva and Mercury.
  4. Using an Isolite: We use a non-latex Isolite to prevent swallowing or breathing of toxic Mercury.
  5. Using an air filtration system: Our air filtration system allows all vapors to leave the office every 30-60 seconds.

Post-Procedure Treatment After Replacing Amalgam / Mercury Fillings Explained By Your Biological Dentist in Lincoln, NE:

  • Once the amalgam filling is removed, we recommend proper nutrition. Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamins and minerals. Eating better will aid your immune system during the detoxification process.
  • Taking charcoal, Emergen-C, and eating cilantro have all been found to be helpful detoxification materials.

Should I have my Silver Amalgam / Mercury Fillings Replaced? Your Biological Dentist in Lincoln, NE Explains…

Having a good understanding of amalgam fillings along with seeing mounds of supporting research, we do recommend changing Silver fillings if you have any of those following conditions:

Considerations For The Removal of Amalgam / Mercury fillings Explained by Your Biological Dentist in Lincoln, NE:

  • Patients who have defective margins or recurrent decay around their dental amalgam fillings.
  • Patients who have more than eight amalgam dental fillings.
  • Patients who have exhibited a sensitivity or an allergy to dental amalgam (lymphocyte proliferation test).
  • Patients who grind their teeth (bruxism).
  • Patients who consume high quantities of carbonated beverages and acidic foods-this has been known to cause prolonged levels of higher exposure to Mercury vapor from dental amalgam restorations.
  • Patients that have medical conditions that could be correlated with metal toxicity.

Dr. Oz on Mercury fillings…

Dr. Oz’s guests have discussed the reasons why you might be at higher risk and how to prevent toxicity. The belief is that grinding of the teeth combined with high acid levels (from coffee, soda, vinegar, oranges) elicit more Mercury vapor.  They suggest drinking soda and coffee with a straw. They also recommend incorporating garlic, cilantro, and Chlorella (a freshwater algae supplement) in your diet because they all help to bind and draw out Mercury from the body. They too suggest removing amalgams if you have eight or more, if you grind your teeth, or if there is a sign of decay or corrosion.

Mercury fillings video by Dr. Oz: Smoking Teeth – Toxic Gas

This video powerfully demonstrates that for anyone who has amalgam fillings, every time you eat, chew, drink hot coffee or visit the dentist Mercury vapors are released into your oral cavity. The oral cavity is where Mercury can be absorbed and enter your bloodstream. These poisonous vapors are odorless, tasteless, and colorless, so you won’t be able to tell that they’re there. A single dental amalgam filling could release as much as 15 micrograms of Mercury each day. The average individual has roughly eight amalgam fillings and could potentially absorb up to 120 micrograms of Mercury per day. In contrast, eating Mercury-tainted seafood would expose you to about 2.3 micrograms per day — and that alone was enough for experts to make a global warning dating back to 2006.

Additional Videos by Dr. OZ on Mercury fillings

Dr. Curatola, Founder of Rejuvenation Dentistry, Explains Dangers of Mercury Fillings Part 1
Dr. Curatola, Founder of Rejuvenation Dentistry, Explains Dangers of Mercury Fillings Part 2
Dr. Curatola, Founder of Rejuvenation Dentistry, Explains Dangers of Mercury Fillings Part 3

This blog was written by Dr. Kathryn Alderman, your Biological Dentist in Lincoln, NE. You can schedule an appointment online 24/7 with Dr. Kathryn Alderman at her East Dental Clinic Location of Nebraska Family Dentistry.

Nebraska Family Dentistry has multiple Lincoln Dental Clinics!
Choose any location “dentist near me” convenient for you.

Removable Partial Dentures

When multiple missing teeth need to be replaced, there are several options available for patients. For some patients, dental implants or fixed bridgework is not an option due to cost. Partial dentures offer patients a very cost-effective way to replace multiple missing teeth with a single prosthetic device. A partial denture can replace one or more teeth, unlike a full denture, which replaces all of the teeth in an arch. Partial dentures are a removable prosthetic device which is retained by clasping onto supporting teeth in the arch. In the areas where teeth are missing, the gum and bone ridge support an acrylic material.

Partial dentures can give patients some function and improve the aesthetics of their smiles at a much lower cost than implants or bridgework, making them a good choice for some patients.

happy wellness woman

It is important to note that when teeth are removed, a natural resorption of the bone in the sites where the teeth were extracted occurs over time. The only way to prevent this resorption is by placing dental implants. It is important to consider the types of partial dentures that are available and how many teeth are missing and the location of the missing teeth to determine which option is most ideal for you. Partials must be designed with certain factors in mind, for example, taking note of the number and distribution of existing natural teeth in the arch to help equalize the distribution of forces and minimize any rocking to occur when chewing. This type of pressure on the bony ridge can accelerate the natural bone resorption process. Partials should also be designed in a way that minimizes the pressure inflicted on the supporting teeth to help maintain them longer.

There are a few different types of partial dentures available. Your dentist will help you design a partial that will best serve your needs.

One tooth partial Picture one partial dentures

Removable Partial Dentures Option #1

For a patient who is only missing one tooth, a flipper is an option. It is made of an acrylic material. Flippers can be a permanent or temporary solution to a single missing tooth. These can be made in one day at our dental lab in Lincoln. Often patients who are in the healing phase of implant treatment use a flipper until the implant can be restored.

removable partial dentures

Removable Partial Dentures Option #2
Removable Partial Denture with Metal Framework

This type of partial is created using a metal framework with strong metal clasps. If the supporting teeth are healthy and have adequate bone support, this type of partial can provide very stable chewing function. Sometimes the metal clasps are visible on this type of partial, depending on which teeth are missing in the jaw. If patients have an unequal distribution of remaining teeth, it is possible that this type of partial can increase the forces placed on the supporting teeth, which can reduce the longevity of those teeth.

flexible partial partial dentures

Removable Partial Dentures Option #3
Removable Partial With Flexible Nylon Framework

This is a newer option for partial dentures. Instead of metal framework, it is made of a nylon material which is more flexible. This material is quite strong, and the framework is thicker than that of those with metal framework. Patients who have had a metal-framework partial in the past and then switch to a partial with nylon framework often tell us that the partial is more comfortable. There are no metal clasps, making these less noticeable than the metal framework partials.

Removable Partial Dentures Option #4
All Plastic Without Internal Framework

This type of partial is completely made up of plastic. It has a few clips to help stabilize it, but the rest of the partial is acrylic. If this prosthetic is used for chewing against natural teeth, it will eventually break. The areas where the partial fits between teeth are very narrow, which makes this type of partial quite fragile. If patients are using this type of partial and chewing against an acrylic denture, it will last longer. This type of denture is typically much less expensive, so if it is mostly intended for aesthetic and not chewing function, it may be a good option for you.

If you are missing several teeth and would like to discuss which option is best for you, call our office and schedule a consultation. Our dentists will go through each option with you and help design a partial to fit your needs.

Nebraska Family Dentistry has multiple Lincoln Dental Clinics!
Choose any location “dentist near me” convenient for you.

Insulin Resistance, Dental and Overall Health Connection

insulin resistance summery lincoln ne

The link between insulin resistance and chronic disease, including dental disease explained by your Lincoln, NE Biological Dentist

According to the CDC, by the year 2020 there will be approximately 250 million people affected by type 2 diabetes mellitus worldwide (1). Although the primary factors causing this disease are unknown, it is clear that insulin resistance plays a major role in its development. Evidence for this comes from (a) the presence of insulin resistance 10–20 years before the onset of the disease (2, 3); (b) cross-sectional studies demonstrating that insulin resistance is a consistent finding in patients with type 2 diabetes (3–6); and (c) prospective studies demonstrating that insulin resistance is the greatest predictor of whether or not an individual will later become diabetic. What’s does this all mean? Your Lincoln, NE biological dentist will explain.

Read more:

By Dr. Gerald I. Shulman

Cellular mechanisms of insulin resistance

Sugar is an important – and popular – part of our daily diet but how does it impact overall health and dental health?

Along with starch, it falls within the carbohydrate group as it consists of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms and acts as fuel for the body. In fact, carbohydrates are our main source of energy, converted by the body to power our cells and keep us alive and growing.

Image of sugar cubes.

However, many of us are overindulging in the white stuff, with the average adult consuming approximately 63 grams (2.2 ounces), nearly 16 teaspoons, of sugar each day. That’s over twice the recommended daily intake.

Sugar and Dental decay are correlated, with high amounts of daily sugar intake contributing to dental decay, which is the most common disease in the U.S. We know that the health of the mouth can tell us a lot about a person’s overall wellness. Kids who have a higher incidence of cavities are at a higher risk of childhood obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Dental problems cause kids to miss 51 million hours at school. For their parents,  this means 25 million hours missed at work every year. Adults that have dental problems tend to have other health problems as well.

Image of a cavity from Nebraska Family Dentistry.

For adults and kids, diets High amounts of sugar do lead to higher rates of cavities but there is more to diets high in sugar, which will be explained in this article by your Lincoln, NE biological dentist.

Image of doughnuts covered in sugar which as explained by your Lincoln, NE biological dentist can be bad for you.

Find out below from you Biological Denist exactly what sugar does to your body.

Sugar in the body

When we digest sugar, enzymes in the small intestine break it down into glucose. This glucose is then released into the bloodstream, where it is transported to tissue cells in our muscles and organs and converted into energy. Beta cells in the pancreas constantly monitor the amount of glucose in the bloodstream and release insulin to control it. This means that if you consume more sugar than your body needs right away, it can be stored for later to keep your blood sugar levels constant. If your body stops producing any or enough insulin, or if your cells become resistant to it, this can result in diabetes, leaving your blood-sugar levels to rise to dangerous levels.

Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory condition that causes tissue and bone destruction and is one of the main causes of tooth loss in adults. Diabetes is a major risk factor for periodontitis. Diabetic patients are three times more likely to develop periodontitis. There is a two-way relationship between the level of hyperglycemia and severity of the periodontal condition. It is not completely clear through current evidence what exactly causes this relationship, but it is believed to be related to the decreased immune function of the diabetic patient. Research shows that people who have diabetes that is poorly controlled are more likely to suffer from other chronic inflammatory conditions, including periodontal disease.

Patients who have insulin resistance or have a diabetes diagnosis should seek regular dental care and be screened for signs of periodontitis due to the correlative relationship between glycemic control and active periodontitis. Your Lincoln dentist can not only help you to control your periodontal condition, but can help you find ways to reduce general systemic inflammation that can impact not just the diabetes, but other inflammatory processes.

Sugar on the brain
As humans, we are programmed to love sugar. Our primate ancestors evolved to seek out sweet foods for their high-energy content to increase their chance of survival when food was scarce. Nowadays food is much more readily available, yet we still can’t get enough of the sweet stuff.

The reason for this is all in the brain. When we eat sugar, the brain releases dopamine and serotonin, the hormones that boost your mood, which then stimulate the nucleus accumbens – the area of the brain associated with reward. This is a similar process that leads to drug addiction, which is why we get those sugar cravings. Regular sugar consumption can also inhibit dopamine transporters, which can lead to you needing to eat even more sugar to get the same pleasure-reward as before. In addition, fructose, which is used to sweeten many foods and drinks, doesn’t suppress hunger hormones like glucose does, meaning your body is unable to tell when you’ve eaten enough.

Where is sugar hiding? Your Lincoln, NE biological dentist explains where sugar can be hiding.

Watch this one:

Sugar comes in many forms but they typically have names ending in –ose. As well as glucose and fructose naturally found in fruit, vegetables, and honey, lactose and galactose can be found in milk and dairy products, and maltose in barley. These natural sugars are fine in moderation as they also come with other nutritional benefits. For example, a piece of fruit will also contain fiber, which helps limit the amount of fructose the body absorbs.

Added sugar, used to improve the taste and textures of foods and drinks, is the type that is considered unhealthy. This usually comes in the form of sucrose, or as a sugar substitute such as sucralose, saccharin, aspartame or high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS is artificially produced from corn and used in many processed foods and fizzy drinks. To find out how much sugar is in your food, check the ‘carbohydrates – of which sugars’ value on the label.

Diabetic testing supplies for insulin resistance from your Lincoln, NE biological.

You are showing signs of insulin resistance; What does that mean? Will you develop diabetes or can this be reversed? Your Lincoln, NE Biological Dentist explains…

Some people are genetically predisposed to insulin resistance while others may have a lifestyle history that has led to insulin resistance. Insulin is the most important hormone in our body when it comes to fat storage and breakdown. Insulin takes the carbohydrates that we eat and converts them into glycogen for energy which is stored in our liver and muscles. Once the glycogen stores in the liver and muscles are filled, the body stores any excess glucose from the carbohydrates as fat. Eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates can lead to excess fat storage on the body. There is evidence that an exaggerated insulin response to sugar is linked to several chronic inflammatory conditions besides type II diabetes like PCOS, high blood pressure, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Genetic Variability

The internet is filled with information with different opinions and advice on insulin resistance and how you can control it. Is there one answer for everyone? No. Everyone has different genetic predispositions to insulin resistance. What works for one person may not work for another. For example, you may know someone who can eat whatever they want, including bread, cake and pasta, yet have perfect lab results and not gain a pound. Other people eat nothing but veggies and fruit, lean protein and exercises daily but still have “abnormal” lab results. Why is this? It is possible that no matter what a person eats, they may be genetically predisposed to metabolic syndrome, a precursor to diabetes. Metabolic syndrome includes five major signs: obesity, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high blood sugar, and low HDL (good cholesterol).

This genetic variability is what keeps so many people working in the healthcare field so busy. Our knowledge about what causes chronic diseases and how we can prevent or reverse them changes every day.

Dr. Peter Attia is a great resource for information on insulin resistance. He is a physician and former surgeon who is passionate about the subject of increasing human longevity. Dr. Peter Attia describes insulin resistance as: an impaired response of the body to insulin, resulting in elevated levels of glucose in the blood (a key component of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome). Insulin resistance often will lead to developing cardiovascular problems, obesity and ultimately diabetes.

He compares insulin to gravity. Like gravity, insulin is a constant. It is both within our bodies and acting upon our cells whether or not we realize it. Gravity is something constant in the universe and is always at work, whether or not we realize it, accept it, like it, or care about it. Producing insulin is something that happens naturally, and our job is to control it.

In the article on insulin and gravity, Dr. Attia also posed a very good question asking, “What if our understanding between obesity and diabetes is wrong? Maybe we are fighting the war wrong—fighting obesity rather than insulin resistance?”

Image of an elderly couple with insulin resistance.

Medication vs Lifestyle changes

In many cases, doctors may recommend medications as well as lifestyle changes to manage or treat a condition. In some cases, medication is necessary, but why? Is taking a medication like putting a band-aid on something that we could prevent or reverse with lifestyle changes alone? Being an advocate for yourself, ask your doctor questions about what changes you can make that can enhance your treatment or eventually help you to no longer need the medication can improve the quality of your life and help to reduce the chance of further health complications from side effects.

Healthy heart for insulin resistance from your Lincoln, NE biological dentist.

“Perfect diet”

There are thousands of posts online about the relationship between dietary carbohydrates and insulin resistance. Some of this information can lead readers to believe that those who eat a very low-carb diet can induce insulin resistance. This is not true. Low-carb diets are not necessarily a bad thing for many people, but it is important to know that it may not work for everyone. People who do high-intensity exercise or who are pregnant require more carbohydrates than those who lead a less-active lifestyle. The important thing to remember is that moderation is the key.

Although pregnant women generally have a slightly higher daily requirement of carbohydrates, if there is consumption of an excess of refined carbohydrates, this can lead to gestational diabetes which is dangerous for both mother and child.

Excellent sources of dietary carbohydrates for everyone are unprocessed, complex carbs found in potatoes, sweet potatoes, fruit, and rice. Bread, pasta, cookies, and potato chips are not good sources of carbs.

Still confused about what to do? What’s the bottom line about insulin resistance? Can it be reversed? Your Lincoln, NE biological dentist or any dentist can help answer any questions you may have.

bright smiling young man with insulin resistance


Unfortunately, there is not a one-size-fits-all recipe for good health. We can try to live the healthiest lifestyle possible, but the truth is that some people are just more prone to health problems than others. Remember that even if the health claim you read about online has worked for 10,000 other people, it may not work for you and although it may be difficult to eat the “perfect diet,” it is possible to control insulin resistance by avoiding refined carbohydrates and exercising on a daily basis.

Daily exercise does not have to be intense or difficult. Doing something simple to stay active like taking an evening walk can help release feel-good hormones and reduce stress hormones like cortisol which contribute to inflammation and insulin resistance.

Even if you aren’t inclined to be a total health nut, consistently making good choices will eventually become a habit. If we get in the habit of making good choices like eating fresh fruits and veggies and exercising, it will start to feel as natural as brushing your teeth. Make some of your favorite high-calorie foods like cheesecake or bacon cheeseburger and fries a treat rather than a part of your daily routine. When you indulge, you’ll enjoy them more.

Image of a banana. Your Lincoln, NE  biological dentist says that some fresh fruit may help with insulin resistance.

Sticking to a healthy eating plan can seem like a daunting task for many of us who are busy with work, kids and extracurricular activities. Try to plan meals ahead and have plenty of good choices available so that it is just as quick as grabbing a bag of potato chips. It may not be possible to completely “cure” your diabetes, but is possible to control it. Changing your diet and exercising regularly have been shown to help reduce the amount of medication needed (insulin, metformin, etc).

On Dr. Attia’s website, one individual shared that his physician was considering removing his Type 2 diabetes diagnosis. He lost over 140 pounds in 500 days and now has normal lab results. He anticipated that at his next checkup, he and his doctor would review his bloodwork and potentially remove his diabetic diagnosis. How cool is that? Hard work really does pay off!

Remember that what worked for one person may not work for you, but don’t get discouraged. It is most definitely worth trying to be as healthy as possible for the quality and longevity of your life. Hopefully, you will be inspired help control your insulin resistance by making some changes to your diet and exercise habits.

About the author of this blog

Dr. Kathryn Alderman is Your Lincoln, NE Biological Dentist

At Nebraska Family Dentistry, Dr. Kathryn Alderman is your local, Lincoln, NE biological dentist serving patients at various locations throughout the community. Dr. Alderman is passionate about helping patients live healthier, happier lives and knows that having a healthy mouth can greatly impact a person’s overall well-being. Dr. Alderman will carefully review your medical history and help you treat your dental conditions using materials and techniques that will benefit your overall health. If you have concerns about older metal restorations that may require replacement or the safety of dental treatment for patients with specific medical conditions or dental anxiety, This Lincoln, NE biological dentist would be happy to meet with you and answer any questions you may have.

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