Category Archives: Clearwater Dental

Does Sugar Cause Cavities

Does Sugar Cause Cavities?

A diet high in sugar certainly promotes the formation of cavities, but sugar itself isn’t the only culprit behind tooth decay.

Cavities are formed when bacteria living in the mouth digest carbohydrates left on the teeth after you eat. This includes refined sugars found in cookies, candy or other treats, however they may also come from healthy foods like whole grains, vegetables and fruits.

When digesting carbohydrates, bacteria in your mouth produce an acid that combines with food debris and saliva and forms plaque.
It’s the plaque — not sugar — that directly leads to tooth decay. Plaque starts building up after every meal, and if it isn’t brushed away frequently, it can erode the hard, outer enamel of a tooth, resulting in tiny holes in the tooth’s surface. These holes mark the first stage of cavities and can do a lot of damage to a tooth if left untreated.

Eventually, acid and bacteria in plaque can eat through the other layers of your teeth, as well — from the softer layer of teeth under the enamel, known as dentin, to the third layer (the pulp), which contains your teeth’s blood vessels and nerves. Cavities affecting the pulp of a tooth, as well as the bone supporting the tooth, can cause severe toothaches, sensitivity, pain when eating and even abscesses in the mouth.

It is important to know that the kinds of foods and drinks you consume, and how you are consuming them is also important to oral health.

Sticky foods — like hard candy, breath mints, raisins and dry cereal — can get stuck in the grooves and crevices of your teeth, where they could cause decay. Fruit and yogurt, on the other hand, wash away easily with saliva and are, therefore, less likely to cause plaque buildup.

Quickly finishing a can of soda does less damage to your teeth than sipping on it throughout the day, because the acid created by mouth bacteria stays in the mouth around 20 minutes after eating or drinking. Every time you eat carbohydrates, sugary food, or take a sip of soda, you restart the plaque-production clock and increase your risk of developing cavities.

In addition to a high sugar content, soft drinks and sports drinks also contain phosphoric and citric acids that erode tooth enamel. Eating or drinking highly acidic foods — even healthy foods, like citrus fruits — can lead to tooth decay if oral hygiene is not properly maintained.
None of us can totally avoid eating all carbohydrates, sugars, or acidic foods all of the time but we can limit the amount and more importantly the frequency of consumption. And we can also work on effective and regular plaque control by using oral hygiene aids to remove the plaque colonies which are forming constantly on the teeth.

Dr. Britten recommends brushing at least twice a day with a power toothbrush for two minutes as well as cleaning between the teeth at least once a day using floss or other interdental aids. For more information on effective oral hygiene and plaque control visit our website or call the office at 727-586-2681.#wednesdaywellness


Are you a candidate for an implant denture?

If you’re tired of high maintenance and uncomfortable dentures, you might be able to have implants placed to support your denture. An implant-supported denture is used when a person doesn’t have any teeth in the jaw, but has enough bone to support implants. An implant supported denture snaps into place on dental implants. This prevents the denture from slipping or coming loose in the mouth. It also removes the need for denture paste or adhesives. The implant supported denture can be removed at night for cleaning or, if you have a fixed implant supported denture placed, your dentures will act as permanent teeth.

There are two types of implant supported dentures, bar-retained dentures and ball-retained dentures. Both types of dentures require two or more dental implants to be placed and both will provide you with a beautiful, natural smile.

Bar-Retained Dentures

In the bar-retained type of denture, three or more implants are surgically placed in the gums. Attached to these implants is a metal bar that runs along the gum line. The denture then rests on the metal bar and is attached using clips or other types of attachments. This type of implant-supported denture holds the denture in place without the steel studs used in ball-retained dentures.

Ball-Retained Dentures

Ball-retained dentures, also called stud-attachment dentures, use a ball-and-socket design to attach the dentures to the implants surgically placed in the gums. Traditionally, the denture is fitted with sockets and the implants have a ball on top of them. The denture and implants snap together where the ball and sockets meet.

Many patients prefer implant-supported dentures to traditional dentures because they alleviates much of the discomfort and rubbing of traditional dentures. The denture is held in place far more securely and is less likely to come loose. Dr. Britten is a dental implant specialist who can evaluate to see if you are a candidate for implant-supported dentures. Call us today 727-586-2681 or visit


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Thanks to sinus augmentation procedures, more patients can reclaim their smile and oral health with dental implants

A sinus augmentation graft procedure makes it possible for many patients to have dental implants when years ago there was no other option besides wearing loose dentures.

An indirect sinus lift is less invasive than a direct sinus augmentation lift and is performed by preparing the bone for the dental implant as normal. Once the floor of the sinus has been reached, bone is gently packed in the preparation and pressed upward. This motion will tent the membrane of the sinus upward and create additional room for the full length of the implant. Care will be taken not to damage the sinus and this procedure will have no effect on sinus pressure or affect people that suffer from seasonal allergies.

Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry is a periodontal practice offering patients personalized dental care in implant dentistry in Clearwater, Florida. Dr. Todd Britten received his Bachelor of Science & Doctorate of Dental Surgery from University of Florida, a Master’s Degree and Certificate in Periodontology and Implant Dentistry; and completed extensive training at the Institute of Advanced Laser Dentistry. He is one of the only board-certified periodontists in Pinellas County. He is a member of the American Academy of Periodontology, American Dental Association, Florida Association of Periodontists, Upper Pinellas County Dental Association, Hillsborough County Dental Association, Hillsborough County Dental Research Association and Florida West Coast Dental Association.

To learn more about Dr. Britten and his dental services, call us (727) 586-2681. For more in

3 Parts of A Dental Implant by Your Clearwater Periodontist

1. The Fixture
The fixture is the bottom of the implant and is the part that is embedded below the gum line, fusing with the jawbone.  It is like the root of the tooth. The fixture is made of titanium and has a cylindrical, screw-shaped design. It is often coated with a material known as hydroxyapatite, which can assist with the process of fusing the implant to the jaw bone. This part is placed first and appropriate healing has to take place before the restorative phase, which includes placing the abutment and crown.
2. The Abutment
The abutment is screwed into the fixture and will eventually hold the actual tooth portion that you see in your mouth. It is a small piece that lies right around the gum line.
3. Implant crown
The crown is cemented or screwed into the abutment. If the prosthesis is a crown or bridge, or snapped onto the abutment if the prosthesis is a bridge or denture.
Dental implants are designed and constructed to be extremely strong and able to last decades, becoming a permanent solution to replace missing or chipped teeth.

If you have any questions about Dental Implants, please contact our team or make an appointment. Our incredible staff will give you the best dental care possible. Contact us today:



What You Should Know About Immediate Dental Implant Placement

Immediate dental implants are often necessary due to a non-restorable fracture of a tooth. In some cases, there may be infection associated with the cracked or fractured tooth. The procedure begins with an exam, 2-D and 3-D x-rays. A diagnosis is made and treatment options are discussed. An immediate dental implant is the treatment of choice. Any pre-operative study models that are needed are taken.

Surgical Procedure:  The patient is generally well sedated with either oral or IV sedation. Just like any other procedure, topical anesthetic is applied prior to local anesthesia administration. Impressions of the teeth are taken if necessary prior to the tooth extraction. The fractured tooth is removed very carefully to minimize any damage to any surrounding bone. At the time of surgery, Dr. Britten can determine if immediate implant placement is possible. This is the part you don’t always know until you get there. Additional bone grafting is often necessary to fill the voids between the dental implant and the remainder of the extraction socket. In addition, a membrane, soft-tissue graft or platelet graft (L-PRF) may be used to protect the bone graft.

As an implant specialist, Dr. Britten is highly trained and experienced in the most advanced and current technologies used for long-term implant health and success. He believes in using the best diagnostic tools as well as the highest quality implants in his practice. Dr. Britten works closely with the best restorative dentists in the Tampa Bay area to obtain the best possible outcome for his patients’ implants.  For more information, contact us at 727-586-2681 or visit

How Deep Cleanings Can Save Your Smile

How scaling and root planing procedures can help treat gum diseaseThe human mouth is filled with bacteria.  These bacteria, along with mucous and other particles form a sticky film called plaque is constantly forming and which adheres to the teeth.  This plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing.  When the plaque is allowed to remain on the teeth, the bacteria involved become more harmful, and more difficult to remove, creating an environment that is more toxic to the tissue.  The plaque itself can harden creating a cement like substance (calculus) that cannot be removed with brushing and flossing alone.

Your gum tissue does not attach directly to your teeth. There is a space or pocket between the gum and the tooth before it attaches. The pocket gets deeper when plaque, tartar and inflammation are present. This leads to inflammation and gum disease. The gums become irritated and begin to separate from the tooth, creating a periodontal pocket.

The bacteria and infection causing the detachment needs to be addressed.

Scaling and Root Planing

Non Surgical Periodontal Therapy includes a very important option known as scaling and root planing or “a deep cleaning” This is often recommended as the first step in periodontal therapy. Treatment is usually done by one of our hygienists using local anesthesia to provide comfort for the patient as the root surfaces in deep periodontal pockets are debrided to remove calculus or “tartar” and to smooth the root surfaces to remove bacterial toxins. This may take more than one visit with the hygienist and is followed up with a visit with Dr. Britten in four to six weeks to evaluate the periodontal tissues.


If you have any questions about gum disease or its treatments, please contact our team or make an appointment. Our incredible staff will give you the best dental care possible.


Why Healthy Gums and Braces Go Together

If you have crooked teeth, you should schedule a visit to your dentist and ask about braces. Your dentist will likely send you to an orthodontist who will explain you in detail all the benefits of the treatment, the risks and the costs involved.

The number one reason people want braces is to have a beautiful smile. But crooked teeth are not only a cosmetic problem. It is also often a health problem.

Misaligned or crooked teeth can cause problems with your bite. Over time, a bad bite can hurt your teeth and gums by causing wear to the enamel, fractured or broken teeth, and contribute to periodontal disease. A bad bite can also  the jaw bone and the TMJ joint. sometimes leading to lots of other medical problems such as headaches or migraines.

In addition, when your teeth are positioned in the correctly in your mouth, this provides the comfort and the ease of being able to clean your teeth properly.

Make sure your gums are as healthy as they can be before orthodontic treament! Your gums are the tissue that help hold your teeth in place. If your gums are not in good shape, the stress of moving your teeth with braces cause him recession, bone loss and also impact tooth stability.

Dr. Todd Britten works cohesively with the orthodontists and general dentists to provide you with the best care possible. This way, you can be seen by a team of dentists that focuses on the area that they are trained and most skilled at and work together to provide the best care.

Please contact us today with any aspect of dentistry that concerns you. Our very knowledgeable staff would be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today 727-586-2681 or visit

Clearwater Periodontist Shares: What is a Root Canal

What is a root canal?
When a cavity, or tooth decay, extends into the root, root canal therapy is often the most effective way to retain the tooth.
This video shows root canal therapy which can be performed by your general dentist, but in most cases referral to a root canal specialist, or endodontist, is recommended. A temporary filling is placed, and then a patient will see a general dentist for a permanent restoration, normally a crown.
At Britten Periodontics and Implant Dentistry, we do not perform root canals in our practice but work cohesively with the best endodontists and general dentists to provide you with the best care possible. This way, you can be seen by a team of dentists that focuses on the area that they are trained and most skilled at and work together to provide the best care.


If you have any questions about root canals (endodontic treatment), or any other aspect of dentistry that concerns you, contact our knowlegeable staff today at 727-586-2681.

Clearwater Periodontist Shares 3 types of restorations

These illustrations are showing the difference between 3 very different types of restorations – a tooth-colored gum line filling or composite bonding, a dental veneer and a dental crown.
filling vs veneer vs crown
1st row:  The top illustrations show abrasions in the enamel at the gumline from using a toothbrush that was too hard. Defects in the enamel at the gumline are also caused by a bad bite from misaligned teeth, or clenching and grinding habits, or can even be from decay. In the top illustration, the teeth are being filled in with tooth-colored filling, known as composite resin.

2nd row:  When bonded to the surface of teeth, porcelain veneers improve the outer appearance by camouflaging discoloration. They can also be used to close gaps or when other cosmetic improvement is needed.

3rd row:  Dental crowns are used to repair and restore larger areas of decay or damage for which tooth-colored fillings or dental bonding will not suffice. The crown covers and strengthens the natural tooth. A crown can be made from a variety of materials, based on the location of the repair and patient needs, including porcelain, ceramic, and zirconia.

We don’t do this type of restorative work in our office, but we like to use illustrations and videos to help our patients understand how the wonderful restorative dentists we work with can fix their teeth. If you have questions about your teeth or gums, contact us today at 727-586-2681 or visit our website

4 Ways to Replace A Missing Tooth

Fixed Bridge

A bridge is an option when there are teeth on either side of the missing tooth.

It stays cemented in the mouth and does not come out.

This does involve cutting down the teeth on either side of the missing tooth to be able to connect them together. Floss threaders, which slide under the bridge, should be used daily, to keep it clean.

The disadvantages for bridges are cutting down teeth that might be perfectly healthy. If there is a leak under the anchor teeth of the bridge, decay can occur below. A bridge can replace one or two missing teeth easily, and sometimes more if there is enough support.

Removable partial denture

A removable partial denture is worn during the day. This is used to replace one or many missing teeth.

-Sometimes amay need metal clasps to help it stay in the mouth which may be visible when speaking or smiling.
– They move a little when speaking or eating, which can be uncomfortable.
-We recommend taking them out at night and soaking them in a cleaning solution.

There is no need to file down any teeth, and this option is usually the most economical. A full denture can replace all missing teeth.

Dental Implant

An implant is a great way to replace a missing tooth.

This solution feels and acts the most like a natural tooth when chewing, brushing or smiling. A major advantage is no need to alter any other teeth when placing an implant. An implant is a great solution for a single missing tooth, and even more implants can replace many missing teeth. When smiling or talking there is no way to tell the difference between an implant and a natural tooth.

The implant replaces the actual root of the missing tooth and heals in the bone for 3 to 7 months and we then begin the restorative phase. We or your dentist then place an abutment, to which a crown will be cemented. Dental implants are usually a more costly option, at least initially, but are often the best long-term investment.

Do Nothing

There is always the option to do nothing.

Saves money, at least initially

When a tooth is removed, the bone shrinks away and the other teeth in the area will shift to fill the gap. This can sometimes lead to other problems like shifting of other teeth, causing bone loss or decay around the existing teeth as they become more difficult to clean.

If you have questions about replacing teeth lost to fractures, decay or gum disease, contact us today at 727-586-2681.