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Clearwater Periodontist Shares What You Need to Know About Dry Mouth

Have you ever noticed bad breath due to dry mouth?

Do you experience pain or discomfort from dry mouth?

Have you had changes in your oral health – like sudden decay or worsened gum disease?

Do you get sores in your mouth or on your tongue frequently?

Does your dry mouth interfere with your sleep?

Do you avoid certain foods because they are too difficult to eat with dry mouth?

Do you have trouble swallowing due to thick mucus?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, be sure to ask your dentist about dry mouth.  Chronic dry mouth is a condition that can be painful, or even unnoticed by a patient sometimes because they have gotten used to living with the discomfort or incovenience of choronic dry mouth.  It can occur due to medicine, medical conditions, or even lifestyle choices.  It can lead to significant oral health issues like cavities, gingivitis, periodontitis, or problems eating or wearing dentures.

We have also found in our practice that different remedies help different patients combat chronic dry mouth. Here are some possible suggestions and options for patients with dry mouth:

 

1. Some patients find comfort from carrying water with them throughout the day and taking small sips.  Cold water may help soothe and calm fiery red tissues. For those without high blood pressure or an adversion to sodium, you can mix a pinch of baking soda in their water and swish and spit this mixture out throughout the day. Baking soda is alkalizing and can protect from decay.

 

2. A combination of over the counter Biotene products (gels, rinses, sprays, lozenges) used 5 times a day (A combination and routine of these products can usually be recommended by your dental health professional).  Many patients find Biotene Gel to be extremely comforting to their dry oral tissues, especially before bed time.  Patients using C-Pap appliances should use an oral gel as these devices often blow air which aggravates this condition greatly.

 

3. There is a product available via prescription called Neutrasal. Neutrasal works like saliva to help restore a healthy mouth. A powder pack is mixed and dissolved in one ounce of water, and swished for 1 minute before spitting.  It can be used 2 to 10 times a day, depending on what your dental health care provider recommends, and you should avoid eating or drinking for at least 15 minutes after use.

 

4. PerioSciences’ Anti-Oxidant Gel can also be helpful for our patients suffering from dry mouth.

 

5. Many patients with dry mouth should be on a strict caries prevention program, which can include prescription toothpaste, rinse, gel, trays, or in-office treatments.  Calcium and phosphate are often included in some of these products, which are minerals that help rebuild weakened enamel.

 

For more information, call us today at 727-586-2681 or visit our website at www.brittenperio.com

 

Dr. Britten, your dentist, or dental hygienist will review the cause of dry mouth, as well as your risks for periodontal disease or tooth decay.

 

Talk to your dentist about your dry mouth symptoms to see which dry mouth treatment is best for you!

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#toothtogumratio What does it mean? How can we help?

#toothtogumratio is trending on Twitter today! What does this mean? How can we help?
 
Dr. Britten performs cosmetic crown lengthening procedures in his Clearwater periodontal office.
 
What is cosmetic crown lengthening?
 
This periodontal procedure is designed to expose more tooth structure prior to restorative and cosmetic dentistry and/or to improve the esthetics of your gum line. A frequently asked question is whether we can change the esthetics of a gummy smile because the teeth appear somewhat short. Your teeth can actually be of proper length and just covered with excessive gum tissue. In such circumstances, a crown lengthening procedure will correct this by exposing the shape of your natural teeth.
 
Crown lengthening can also be done to single teeth to “even out” your gum line and create a more symmetrical smile.
 
If your teeth are decayed, fractured at or below the gum line or have insufficient tooth structure for new crown retention, a “Clinical crown lengthening” procedure may be recommended by Dr. Britten to enable your general dentist to perform a restorative and/or cosmetic dental procedure. For more information, call us today 727-586-2681
 
 

Clearwater FL Periodontal Office Serving Those Who Have Served Our Country

Dr. Todd M. Britten and the team at Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry is gearing up for their 3rd annual Free Dental Day for Veterans.  The event is scheduled for November 3rd, 2017.

“We all know someone who has served or is currently serving in the military. We have heard stories, we have seen families living apart during deployments, we have seen veterans with disabilities both physical and emotional, we have seen families devastated by the loss of loved ones.  Veterans make the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” said Dr. Todd Britten.  “Many of us ask ourselves, ‘What can we do?’, ‘How can we make a difference?’”

Dr. Britten said that is exactly what he asked himself in 2015. He and his team were brainstorming idea for how they could use their skill set to pay it forward to others in the Clearwater community.  “Both of my grandfathers served in World War II and I remember hearing stories both from them and my grandmothers about what life was like during those times.  The sacrifices made by veterans and their families are truly astounding.  I was aware that dental coverage for veterans was very hard to attain, so we hit the ground running trying to deliver periodontal care to as many veterans as we could.”

Jennifer Daly, a surgical assistant at the practice served in the Airforce, “I am very proud of my service to my country and I am even more proud of this dental work that we are doing for my fellow veterans.”

The inaugural year the Clearwater, FL based periodontal practice provided over $10,000 worth of comprehensive dental treatment to a group of veterans, the following year over $15,000, “As word has gotten out, we have had an incredible response from the community and even were able to get the skilled and compassionate restorative dentists at Clearwater Dental Associates, Dr. Jim Hayslett, Dr. Keith Kiskadden and Dr. Matt Burton on board to help out with our event.” Stated Britten. “Having the Dentists and staff at CDA involved enables us to provide more comprehensive care to our veterans.  Being a periodontist, my specialty is really the surrounding structures of the teeth; roots, gum and bone.  My job is to help with the foundation.  Having the restorative specialists at CDA involved helps us to treat the whole mouth and really deliver comprehensive care to these veterans.”

For Britten and his team this event is something they look forward to all year long. They even keep in touch with many of the veterans.  “What I’ve enjoyed the most about this event over the past two years is the friends that we have made. My respect for servicemen and women has simply increased. Hearing their stories and getting to be a part of their health journey has been a very rewarding experience.”

This sentiment was mirrored by everyone on Britten’s team, “This is such a feel good event. I really enjoy getting to know all of the veterans. Their stories will bring tears to your eyes, and we are all so grateful to be able to pay it forward,” stated Ellen Byrd, a registered dental hygienist who has been in charge of scheduling and planning the event. “We have been working closely with the Community Dental Clinic, the Homeless Emergency Project, and social workers from local V.A. Branches.

Britten Periodontics and Implant Dentistry is currently doing initial exams on veterans to get them scheduled for treatment. “If you know of any veteran in serious need of dental care, please get in touch with their office right away, as these spaces are filling up quickly,” Ellen Byrd said. To reach them, you can call 727-586-2681, visit their website at http://www.brittenperio.com, or email ellen@brittenperio.com.

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.

 

 

 

 

Clearwater FL Periodontist Shares: Why Do I have to take Antibiotics to See the Dentist?

What is antibiotic prophylaxis or “premedication” for a dental procedure? How do I know if it applies to me?

Antibiotic prophylaxis, or premedication, refers to giving a patient a loading dose of antibiotics in preparation for a dental surgical procedure, dental hygiene visit or other dental treatment dealing with the teeth or gums. During some dental treatments, bacteria your mouth can enter your bloodstream. In most people, the immune system kills these bacteria. But in some patients, bacteria from the mouth can travel through the bloodstream and cause an infection somewhere else in the body. Antibiotic prophylaxis, or dental premedication may offer these patients extra protection. Patients that normally require antibiotic prophylaxis have fallen under 2 categories: those with joint replacements or certain heart conditions. Some other health issues such as breast implants, brittle diabetics or organ transplant patients may require dental premedication, based on a physician’s recommendations.

Up until 2012, antibiotics were recommended for two years after joint replacement surgery or for a lifetime. Since that time, physicians and dentists have become more concerned about the potential harm of antibiotics including risk for anaphylaxis (allergic reaction), antibiotic resistance, and opportunistic infections such as Clostridium difficile (C-diff) were included in creating the new recommendation.

The 2015 American Dental Association stated that “In general, for patients with prosthetic joint implants, prophylactic antibiotics are NOT recommended prior to dental procedures to prevent prosthetic joint infection.” However, many orthopedic surgeons are still recommended premedication with antibiotics for their patients for 2 years or a lifetime.  In patients with a history of complications associated with their joint replacement surgery, prophylactic antibiotics or premedication with antibiotics should be considered after consultation with the patient and orthopedic surgeon.

If you have a joint replacement and are unsure whether you should premedicate for your dental appointments or not, it is best to contact your orthopedic surgeon to determine what is best for you.

In patients with certain heart conditions, dental premedication is recommended to avoid infective endocarditis.  Infective endocarditis (IE), also called bacterial endocarditis (BE), is defined as an inflammation of the endocardial surface of the heart. Endocarditis generally occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of the body enter and spread through the bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in the heart. If left untreated, endocarditis can damage or destroy the heart valves and can lead to life-threatening complications.

The American Heart Association says that premedication for dental procedures is required for the following conditions:

  • “A prosthetic heart valve or who have had a heart valve repaired with prosthetic material.
  • A history of endocarditis.
  • A heart transplant with abnormal heart valve function.
  • Certain congenital heart defects including:
    • Cyanotic congenital heart disease (birth defects with oxygen levels lower than normal) that has not been fully repaired, including children who have had a surgical shunt and conduits.
    • A congenital heart defect that’s been completely repaired with prosthetic material or a device for the first six months after the repair procedure.
    • Repaired congenital heart disease with residual defects, such as persisting leaks or abnormal flow at or adjacent to a prosthetic patch or prosthetic device.”

Patients that have had stents placed in their hearts or a history of coronary artery bypass surgery no longer require to premedicate with antibiotics prior to dental procedures under the American Heart Association’s guidelines. Numerous scientific evidence concluded that the risk of adverse reactions to antibiotics generally outweighs the benefits of prophylaxis for many patients who would have been considered eligible for prophylaxis in previous guidelines. Concern about the development of drug-resistant bacteria also was a factor for the simplified guidelines.

The 2014 American Dental Association & American College of Cardiology guidelines add that optimal oral health is maintained through regular professional dental care and the use of appropriate dental products, such as manual, powered, and ultrasonic toothbrushes; dental floss; and other plaque-removal devices.

Antibiotic dosage and schedule

  • 1 hour before the procedure to allows the antibiotic to reach adequate blood levels. However, if the dosage of antibiotic is inadvertently not administered before the procedure, the dosage may be administered up to 2 hours after the procedure.
  • Patients not allergic to penicillin: oral amoxicillin 2g (50 mg/kg for children)
  • Patients allergic to penicillin or ampicillin: oral cephalexin 2g (50 mg/kg for children) or clindamycin 600 mg (20 mg/kg for children)

If you have questions about whether you need to premedicate for your dental procedures, we will be happy to answer any questions you may have. It is best to carefully consider this matter with both you and your physician or surgeon and we are always happy to communicate with both.  Contact us today 727-586-2681 with any questions or visit our website at http://www.brittenperio.com.

Dental Implants Clearwater, Florida Dr. Todd Britten hosts seminar

Clearwater FL Dental Implants Periodontist Dr. Todd Britten
Periodontal Maintenance Dental Implants Clearwater

On February 16th, we had the pleasure of hosting a seminar “Periodontal Maintenance of Dental Implants” with many local dental professionals. Dental implants have become the standard of excellence in tooth replacement. As is the case with natural teeth, patients and their dental professionals must work as a team to ensure the longevity of their dental implant.

Our educational seminar discussed the latest techniques and technologies available to help dental professionals monitor maintain the health of their patients’ dental implants. The seminar reviewed how dental professionals can help their patients achieve long-term implant health through state of the art monitoring techniques, regular professional dental hygiene care and patient oral hygiene education. It also reviewed fixtures of the many different implant systems (old and new) that exist as well as the most accepted and current methods of patient and professional maintenance.

Dental professionals realize that there are many variations of dental implant designs available, and an ever-increasing population of patients living with dental implants. As an expert in dental implant placement and dental implant health, Dr. Britten felt was important to share with his colleagues and their teams a continuing education course specific to dental implant care. “Dental implants are complex, sophisticated dental devices, and it is important that we as implant experts continuously stay educated on modern monitoring methods.” – Dr. Todd Britten

Dr. Gregory Oxford, a periodontist of 34 years and one of Dr. Britten’s professors at University of Florida and Dentsply-Sirona, a leader in dental products and the dental implant system Ankylos, partnered with Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry to provide a great continuing education course. The event was catered by Stephanie and Allie with Empamamas Food Truck. The food and service were spectacular! The Sweet Life Bakery even provided dental themed cookies for the event. So as always, we partnered learning with some food and some good food!

http://www.brittenperio.com

 

 

Clearwater FL Periodontist Dr. Todd Britten shares What to do in a dental emergency?

A dental emergency is a frightening and often painful experience. Seeking treatment as soon as possible is is the best way to alleviate pain and to give the effected tooth or teeth the best possible chance of survival.

Teeth can become fractured by trauma, grinding, or biting on a hard object. Sometimes fillings, crowns, and other restorative devices can be damaged or fall out of the mouth completely. If there is severe pain, it is essential to contact your dentist immediately!

Pain from a dental emergency will almost always get worse without treatment, and dental issues, particularly infections can also cause other serious health issues!

Possible dental emergencies and how to deal with them

Tooth knocked out (avulsed)
It is essential to see a dentist immediately. Once out of the mouth, tissues, nerves, and blood vessels become damaged. If the tooth can be placed back into its socket within an hour, there is a chance the tissues will grow to support the tooth once again.

Here are some steps to take:

Call your dentist immediately.
Pick up the tooth by the crown and rinse it under warm water. DO NOT touch the root.
If possible, place it back into its socket – if it can not, tuck it into the inside of your cheek pouch.
If the tooth cannot be placed in the mouth, put the tooth into a cup of milk, saliva, or water as a last resort. It is important to keep the tooth from drying out.
Get to your dentist, quickly and safely.
They will try to replace the tooth in its natural socket. In some cases, the tooth will reattach, however, root canal therapy might be necessary.

Dislodged/loose teeth
When a tooth has been dislodged or loosened from its socket by trauma or decay, it might be possible to save it. If the tooth remains in the mouth still attached to the blood vessels and nerves, there is a good chance root canal therapy will not be necessary.
It is important to call your dentist immediately to make an appointment. In the meantime, use a cold compress and over-the-counter medications to relieve pain. Your dentist will reposition the tooth and may be able to splints the tooth to stabilize it. If the tooth fails to heal, root canal therapy might be required.

Lost filling or crown
Usually, a crown or filling comes loose while eating. The tooth may be incredibly sensitive to temperature changes and pressure.

What to do: Make a dental appointment as soon as possible. Keep the crown in a cool, safe place because there is a possibility that may be recemented. If the crown is out of the mouth for a long period of time, other teeth may shift or sustain damage.
If your dentist is not immediately accessible, here are the steps to take:

Clean the crown, and affix it onto the tooth with dental cement. This can be purchased at a local pharmacy.
If the crown is lost, smear the top of the tooth with dental cement to alleviate discomfort.
DO NOT use any kind of glue to affix the crown.
Your dentist will check the crown to see if it still fits. If it does, it will be recemented to the tooth. If decay is noted (which often is the reason the crown became loose) this will be treated and a new crown will be made.

Cracked or broken teeth
Teeth are strong, but they may still fracture, crack or break. Sometimes fractures are fairly painless, but if the crack extends down into the root, it is likely that the pain will be extreme. Fractures, cracks, and breaks can take several different forms, but are generally caused by trauma, grinding, and biting.

What to do:
Schedule an appointment as soon as possible!

If a portion of the tooth has been broken off, here are some steps that can be taken at home:

Call your dentist.
Rinse the tooth fragment and the mouth with lukewarm water.
Apply gauze to the area for ten minutes if there is bleeding.
Place a cold, damp dishtowel on your cheek if there is any swelling or pain.
Cover the affected area with over-the-counter dental cement if you cannot see us immediately.
Take a topical pain reliever.
The nature of the break or fracture will dictate what your dentist is able to do. If a fracture or crack extends into the root, root canal therapy is often the most effective way to retain the tooth. Some fractures may cause either eventual or immediate loss of a tooth. The extent of damage from a fracture can often be determined with radiographs or a CT scan.

If you have questions or concerns about dental emergencies, please contact our office or your restorative dentist.

For more information, go to http://www.brittenperio.com or call the office at (727) 586-2681.

Clearwater FL Periodontist Dr. Todd Britten Shares: What happens when a baby tooth does not erupt properly?

Most people have heard of wisdom teeth that become impacted, however the upper canines, or eye teeth are the second most common impacted adult teeth. If a canine tooth does not erupt spontaneously, your orthodontist and periodontist or oral surgeon will work together to get these unerupted canine to erupt. Each case must be evaluated on an individual basis but treatment will usually involve a combined effort. The most common scenario will call for the orthodontist to place braces on the teeth (at least the upper arch). A space will be opened to provide room for the impacted tooth to be moved into its proper position in the dental arch. If the baby canine has not fallen out already, it is usually left in place until the space for the adult canine is ready. Once the space is ready, the orthodontist will refer the patient to the oral surgeon to have the impacted canine exposed and bracketed.

In a simple surgical procedure performed in the surgeon’s office, the gum on top of the impacted tooth will be lifted up to expose the hidden tooth underneath. If there is a baby tooth present, it will be removed at the same time. Once the tooth is exposed, your oral surgeon or periodontist will bond an orthodontic bracket to the exposed tooth. The bracket will have a miniature gold chain attached to it. The surgeon will guide the chain back to the orthodontic arch wire where it will be temporarily attached. Sometimes the surgeon will leave the exposed impacted tooth completely uncovered by suturing the gum up high above the tooth or making a window in the gum covering the tooth (on selected cases located on the roof of the mouth). Most of the time, the gum will be returned to its original location and sutured back with only the chain remaining visible as it exits a small hole in the gum.

Shortly after surgery (1-14 days) the patient will return to the orthodontist. A rubber band will be attached to the chain to put a light eruptive pulling force on the impacted tooth. This will begin the process of moving the tooth into its proper place in the dental arch. This is a carefully controlled, slow process that may take up to a full year to complete. Remember, the goal is to erupt the impacted tooth and not to extract it! Once the tooth is moved into the arch in its final position, the gum around it will be evaluated to make sure it is sufficiently strong and healthy to last for a lifetime of chewing and tooth brushing. In some circumstances, especially those where the tooth had to be moved a long distance, there may be some minor gum surgery required to add bulk to the gum tissue over the relocated tooth so it remains healthy during normal function. Your dentist or orthodontist will explain this situation to you if it applies to your specific situation.

 

Dr. Britten works with excellent pediatric dentists, general dentists and orthodontists in our area to surgically intervene in case of an impacted tooth.  Call us today if you have any questions!  727-586-2681 or visit our website at http://www.brittenperio.com

Clearwater Periodontist Shares Information on Screening Patients for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Check out our blog on our website:

Dentists are becoming more and more aware of the importance of screening patients for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.  

From the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine:

“Approximately 25 million adults in the U.S. have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which can cause them to stop breathing hundreds of times a night for anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute.

Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that occurs when your muscles relax during sleep, allowing soft tissue to collapse and block the airway. As a result, repeated breathing pauses occur, which often reduce your oxygen levels. These breathing pauses are followed by brief awakenings that disturb your sleep.

Common signs of sleep apnea include snoring and gasping or choking sounds during sleep. Like snoring, sleep apnea is more common in men, but it can occur in women too, especially during and after menopause. Having excess body weight, a narrow airway or misaligned jaw all increase the risk of sleep apnea.”

The AADSM (The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine) recommends dentists evaluate patients for the following conditions as possible indicators of Sleep Apnea:

• A thick neck (greater than 16 inches in a woman or 17 inches in a man)

• A short neck

• Lower-face abnormalities, which may include:

        * A large tongue

• A crowded posterior airway (such as caused by an enlarged, floppy uvula or enlarged tonsils)

• An enlarged soft palate that rests on the base of the tongue

• Obesity

• Complaints of being overly tired during the day, low on energy, depressed, or moody

• Falling asleep in dental chair

• Trouble opening mouth wide during dental examination


The most successful treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a CPA appliance, however, 60% to 83% percent of users cannot tolerate this device.

With the high rejection rate of the CPAP, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine designated dental sleep oral appliances as the No. 1 nonsurgical alternative for the CPAP intolerant. Numerous sleep appliances are available to the public and distributed through dentists.

Your dental professional can help you identify if a sleep appliance may help you. If you have any questions about OSA or dental sleep medicine, contact our office today at 727-586-2681 or visit our website at http://www.brittenperio.com

 

Clearwater Periodontist Shares Information on Screening Patients for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Clearwater FL Periodontist Dr. Todd Britten Shares “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 atwww.brittenperio.com or call the office at 727-586-2681.#wednesdaywellness

2nd Annual Free Dental Day for Veterans at Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry in Clearwater, FL

On Friday, November 11th, 2016 the team of Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry in Clearwater, FL gathered together to provide compassionate, comprehensive dental care to deserving veterans.  “There was something really special about coming into work today.  It was just so rewarding knowing that the office is filled with veterans and we are doing something great for them,” one dental hygienist stated.  Dr. Britten reflected that one of the patients who made a lasting impression on him was a young lady that served in the Marine Corps in Afghanistan.  This veteran’s armored transport unit had been hit with an explosive that left her with a traumatic brain injury.  “She was so proud of her Marine’s tattoo and showed me a photo of herself in action before the accident.  I could tell she was a Marine for life, right down to the bone.  It made me proud that we have men and women serving us that are so dedicated.”

 

This is the 2nd annual Free Dental Day Dr. Todd M. Britten has organized in his Clearwater, Florida periodontal practice.  A little over two years ago, Britten and his team were brainstorming ways to give back to the community. Britten stated, “Our veterans and their families have made so many sacrifices for our freedoms and I wanted to find a way that we could give something back.  Offering a day of dental work is the least we could do.”

 

After Dr. Britten and his team decided to plan the event, it was full steam ahead.  One member of the Britten Periodontics staff, Ellen Byrd, helped find patients in need and organized the event.  Byrd, a dental hygienist, reached out to local dentists and organizations such as the Community Dental Clinic to find patients in need of periodontal care.  Dr. Britten stated, “Ellen really stepped up.  She got the word out about what we were doing and was able to find an incredible group of vets both last year and this year that were in need of periodontal treatment.  We wouldn’t be able to do what we are doing without all of her hard work.”

 

Dr. Britten’s dental specialty, periodontics, often involves managing and treating advanced gum disease.  A periodontist is often able to help a patient in danger of losing teeth or with active oral infection to turn their health around.  The staff at Britten Periodontics expressed that if they could find Veterans in need of periodontal care they could improve their quality of life.  “Most of the time, periodontal disease is not painful until it gets to be very advanced.  Some of the veterans had been dealing with painful teeth for a long time,” Dr. Britten expressed his concern. “Even though we had to remove some teeth I felt better knowing these veterans do not have to be in discomfort anymore.”

 

The majority of the surgical and non-surgical dental procedures were performed on November 11th, however there was significant pre-operative work involved.  This included new patient exams, dental x-rays, medical history reviews, even post-operative care.  Dr. Britten performed the same comprehensive exam that he would for anyone under his care.  He wanted it to be a very personal compassionate experience for these veterans.  Dr. Britten stated, “It was a priority to make sure they were comfortable with us.  Many of our veteran patients have dental phobias and are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder so we needed to take the time, go the extra mile and treat them with the utmost respect.”

 

Veteran Chuck Pankow, one of the veterans referred by a local dentist said, “From the moment I walked in I have been treated so well.  This has been a really great experience.” Another Veteran, Chris Bode, referred by the Community Dental Clinic in Clearwater, was also pleased with his care, “Dr. Britten and his staff were amazing.  They put compassion over cost when it came to helping us out.  I am so grateful.”

 

imagejpeg_2Britten Periodontics & Implant dentistry has provided over $25,000 worth of dental treatment these past two years.  One of the best parts about this event is that it has already started to gain more participation in just its second year.  The team members and dentists (Dr. Matthew Burton, Dr. Nolan Allen, Dr. James Hayslett, and Dr. Keith Kiskaddon) of Clearwater Dental Associates were happy to partner with Britten Periodontics to provide general dentistry for as many veterans as they could.  Dr. Britten stated he and his staff were honored to hear that Clearwater Dental wanted to join in this cause.  Their hope is that with each year this event will grow and be able to help more veterans.  Nearly 95% of veterans are without dental coverage, making this a serious need in our community.

 

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 visit his website at http://www.brittenperio.com or call (727) 586-2681.