The Fairfield Post

Non-Invasive Cavity Treatment for Kids

Posted by Fairfield Dental Associates

Oct 13, 2017 7:00:00 AM

non-invasive treatment for cavities in kidsChildhood cavities have reached epidemic proportions across the United States. Dental professionals have grappled with a way to stop this trend. Just this week, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) issued a first-ever evidence-based guideline to treat cavities in children. Fairfield Dental Associates read that officials now recommend silver diamine fluoride (SDF) to treat active cavities in pediatric and special needs patients. The AAPD hopes their recommendation will lead to wider adoption of the cavity treatment which is more effective in eradicating tooth decay. They say cavities are one of the most widespread chronic infectious diseases among children, affecting six out of 10 by the age of eight. Untreated cavities in baby teeth can easily spread. This causes decay that can include permanent teeth.

Silver diamine fluoride was approved by the FDA in 2014 to treat tooth sensitivity in adults. Dentists have since used it to treat cavities by painting it on teeth. AAPD president Dr. James Nickman calls SDF possibly the single greatest innovation in pediatric dental health in the last century. Dr. Yasmi Crystal at NYU College of Dentistry is also a big advocate.

 "Silver diamine fluoride gives us another simple and safe option to treat cavities in children who can't cope with getting traditional fillings," said Dr. Yasmi Crystal, clinical associate professor of pediatric dentistry at NYU College of New Call-to-ActionDentistry. "Prevention is our number one priority, but if a child does have a cavity, we need to treat it before the child develops pain and infection. However, we also want to make sure they have a good experience at the dentist, so this is a good way to do both."

An AAPD press release says a systematic review of research showed no significant adverse effects of SDF other than it can turn cavities black. It is a viable alternative for treating cavities in young children and a better option than sedation or general anesthesia which can carry higher health risks.

The AAPD recommends every child over age one visit the dentist every six months for regular cleanings and check ups. That includes children with cavities that are treated with silver diamine fluoride. SDF needs to be monitored and re-applied twice a year for it to have a sustained effect.

Good Dental Care Must Start Early

What many parents don't know is cavities can become a serious problem in preschool children if they don't see the dentist. Dental experts now recommend that children have their first dental exam in the first year. Many parents wait Click here to schedule an appointmentuntil age two. By that time, a lot of damage can be done to baby teeth. The biggest source of dental cavities (caries) in little ones is bacteria that develops with a baby bottle or sippy cup. The American Academy for Pediatric Dentistry says a dental visit in the first year sets the stage for cavity prevention. Parents learn proper dental care for infants and toddlers and foods to avoid. (Sugar and starches are the biggest offenders.) Tooth development can be assessed at this early stage too. That is extremely important in a developing mouth.

Dr. Katherine Finkel with Fairfield Dental Associates is an expert in pediatric dental care. She says a dental exam in the first year is crucial. Primary (baby) teeth are just as important as permanent teeth, and require professional care and consistent daily hygiene. Dr. Finkel says teeth should be cleaned as soon as they erupt to avoid tooth decay. Parents should brush their children's teeth until they can brush them on their own, typically by age 8. The best times to brush are after breakfast and before bedtime.

All Children Need to See the Dentist

all children need to see the dentistDental visits for all children are important because: 

  • Dentists can detect dental decay and gum disease early, before there are problems.
  • Dentists can see if adult teeth are erupting correctly and if there are any problems with misalignment that can affect your child's speech, chewing or appearance.
  • Dental decay can be caught early, before it impacts your child's performance in school. It does. We wrote a blog on that too.

Preventive dental care is within reach of your child. Dr. Katherine Finkel at Fairfield Dental Associates is a highly skilled family dentist who can address the dental needs of all ages of children from baby on up to adolescent. She is very gentle with little ones and can educate you on proper oral care for your child for a lifetime of beautiful smiles.

Be sure to Contact Our Office with any questions you may have.

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Topics: Childhood cavities, cavity treatments

U-N Las Vegas Hits Jackpot By Cracking Wisdom Teeth

Posted by Fairfield Dental Associates

Oct 11, 2017 7:00:00 AM

UNLV hits dental stem cell jackpotThe use of a person's own adult stem cells shows great promise in treating disease, regenerating parts of the body or reversing aging. As Fairfield Dental Associates has read, the problem is collecting enough of them so they can be useful in treating disease. Wisdom teeth and baby teeth are a great resource because they contain both pluripotent and multipotent stem cells that can be turned into many types of cells. Collecting them from teeth has always been the biggest hurdle.

University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) researchers have developed a revolutionary technique to extract stem cells Tooth Cracker 5000from wisdom teeth that seems to have solved the problem. It’s called the “Tooth Cracker 5000” and is designed to scoop up more stem cells from the root pulp in a patient’s tooth without doing any damage. 

Wisdom teeth are the perfect candidates for harvesting dental stem cells because many patients have them removed. The trick is removing them without ruining the tooth and the dental pulp. UNLV professor Dr. James Mah, his colleagues, and students designed a device which uses a clamp to hold the tooth in position so a cutting tool scores the surface, while a blade cracks it open without shattering it. The instrument perfectly slices a wisdom tooth in half with no damage or contamination to the root pulp. University researchers were able to successfully recover 80% of the stem cells completely intact. Dr. Mah says their technique holds great potential.

“Saying the test results were promising is a gross understatement,” Dr. Mah said in a university article. “We realized we’d invented an extraction process that produced four times the recovery success rate for viable stem cells. The potential application is enormous.

Dr. Mah’s colleague and co-researcher Dr. Karl Kingsley was also optimistic about the potential for their research.

“Scientists around the world are trying to figure out what type of stem cells can be coaxed into becoming new cells or different tissue types,” Kingsley said. “We already know some populations of dental pulp stem cells can be converted into neurons, which could become therapies for cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.”

Kingsley says people could prepare for their future health by donating stem cells found in their teeth and having them preserved for future needs. It would be much like donating one’s own blood before surgery or preserving umbilical cords when an infant is born.

“The work Dr. Kingsley and I are doing is part of a paradigm shift,” Dr. Mah said. “Our fracturing process could hasten the collection and cryogenesis process, thereby preserving a high stem-cell count that furthers research into how using these cells can aid healing and potentially cure diseases.”

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Bank on Your Teeth for a Lifetime

The tremendous potential of stem cells extracted from baby and wisdom teeth has been known by scientists for quite a while. Parents have actually been saving their baby's teeth cryogenically for a decade. The numbers of stem cells in baby teeth are enormous. These cells actually decline after the age of 30 so banking them early is recommended. Stem cells are extracted from the dental pulp, grown into a culture, and frozen and stored for the future. Sites like Store-A-Tooth actually do the processing and storage. UNLV research may prove to be invaluable in future medical treatments for people who save their teeth.

The question today is what do we do with the teeth we keep? Healthy teeth are absolutely necessary for everyone - and especially for children. Good dental care starts early. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry says one tooth equals one dental visit. So, when your baby has his/her first tooth – it’s time to see Fairfield Dental Associates. Dr. Katherine Finkel is great with kids and quite an expert on pediatric dental care. She was interviewed on the topic by

Click here to schedule an appointmentShe can work with you and your child on developing a healthy dentalregimen to help keep your child cavity-free for a lifetime. She can also recommend dental sealants applied to the chewing surfaces of your child's teeth to block out cavity-causing bacteria.

As always, Dr. Finkel is available to answer your questions and work with you on effective family dental care methods you may not have considered. 



Contact our office with any questions you may have for all your family dental care.

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Topics: dental stem cells, wisdom teeth

Asthma Patients More Prone to Gum Disease

Posted by Fairfield Dental Associates

Oct 5, 2017 7:00:00 AM

asthma leads to gum disease?A recent gum disease study reported by the Oral Health Foundation reveals that asthma sufferers are 18% more likely to develop gum disease. The study reported by the foundation examined 21 papers from 1979 to 2017 for the relationship between asthma and oral health.

Foundation officials say the recent research confirms people with asthma were 18.8% more prone to periodontitis. They encourage these patients to pay special attention to their oral health.

"We have known for some time that there are close links between oral health and systemic disease, such as heart disease and diabetes,” said Dr. Nigel Carter, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation on their website. “This new study is hugely significant as it could help many millions of asthma sufferers from having to deal with further significant health problems.”

Just as Fairfield Dental Associates has always stressed in our informative blogs, Dr. Nigel recommends prevention like good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist for asthmatic patients.

"The good news is that avoiding gum disease can be as simple as brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, using interdental brushes daily and regular visits to the dentist, explained Dr. Nigel in the OHF article. "While gum disease can be treated very effectively, the best approach is certainly prevention and making sure we do not fall foul of it at all.

When caught early, gum disease does not have to lead to tooth loss. Nigel says asthmatic patients should be extremely mindful of early signs of gum disease (gingivitis) such as red, inflamed gums, bleeding when brushing or persistent bad breath.

New Call-to-actionDetecting Gum Disease

Half of everyone over 30  have some form of periodontal disease. It is caused by plaque and bacteria buildup that forms on the teeth. Plaque must be removed through professional cleanings and daily brushing/flossing.

Certain people are more at risk for gum disease. Fairfield Dental Associates are specialists at reducing your risk factors. Risk factors include:

  • a predisposition due to genetics
  • poor oral hygiene
  • smoking
  • pregnancy
  • diabetes
  • steroids, anti-epileptic drugs and contraceptives

New Call-to-actionYou need to see the dentist if you have any of these symptoms:

  • bleeding gums
  • swollen, red or tender gums
  • loose teeth
  • bad breath
  • a change in the way dentures fit
  • a change in your bite

Be aware that children are also subject to gum disease too. So don't ignore their smiles either. Dr. Katherine Finkel at Fairfield Dental Associates can treat and often reverse gum disease. If you are the 50 percent who may have periodontitis and not know it, you need to find out. Have questions?

Be sure to contact our office

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Topics: Gum Disease Study, asthma

New Bacteria Discovered in Kids Who are Cavity-Prone

Posted by Fairfield Dental Associates

Oct 3, 2017 7:00:00 AM

why cavity-prone kids get cavitiesSome children just seem to be prone to cavities with tooth decay every time they turn around. This is frustrating to kids and parents alike. Fairfield Dental Associates recently read that researchers at Umeå University in Sweden have discovered why some kids are more cavity-prone. These children apparently carry a highly virulent form of Streptococcus mutans that causes tooth decay. This strain of bacterium adheres better to teeth which increases the risk for dental caries.  The bacterium has unique adhesive proteins (called SpaP and Cnm) that improve its ability to survive antibacterial saliva in the mouth.

The results of the Swedish research were published in the journal EBioMedicine..The five-year study found that kids at high risk for cavities carried a strain of S. mutans was much more aggressive. A more acidic pH in the children’s mouths made it a perfect environment for the bacteria to grow and do damage. Children in the high risk category for developing cavities developed tooth decay regardless of lifestyle.

"Caries is a life style condition often caused by eating and oral hygiene habits that lead to an acidic pH in the mouth. The pH level has a damaging effect on the enamel and further promotes the growth of acid producing bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans," said Nicklas Strömberg, professor and Head at the Department of Cariology at Umeå University and Västerbotten County Council in a press release.

The more virulent form of S. mutans also makes people more prone to cardiovascular and other systemic diseases later in life, so effective treatment is essential. University researchers say their discovery could lead to better ways of identifying patients more prone to cavities and aid in developing effective treatment regimens. 

Fairfield Dental Associates Prevent Tooth Decay

New Call-to-actionThe newest research could certainly shed some light on why there are so many children with tooth decay in the United States. The CDC has reported it has reached epidemic proportions. Children and cavities do not have to be synonymous. Your child does not have to be a statistic. One good way to prevent tooth decay is to see a dentist like Fairfield Dental Associates.

Prevention is essential. It is important to get children started on a regular regimen of brushing and flossing twice every day. Making this a fun game and participating with your child when they brush will make it something that won't turn into a dreaded task. Good diet and nutrition also will lower the number of cavities and problems your child's teeth can have.

Adults with many dental and periodontal problems started off as children without adequate dental care. By not taking your child to the dentist you are actually dooming them to a lifetime of dental problems. Starting them early will remove the "fear factor" that so many people often have of dentists, and prevent problems before they ever start. It costs less when you start early too.

Under the new federal health insurance regulations, parents are required to carry a dental policy for their children. There are federal and state subsidies for families who are on a really tight budget. Fairfield Dental Associates believes in working with families to make sure their children get the dental care they deserve. We can answer any insurance questions you have and help you work out dental care for your child that you can afford.

Give our office a call

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Topics: children and cavities

Dentists Help Pinpoint Sleep Apnea in Kids

Posted by Fairfield Dental Associates

Sep 29, 2017 7:00:00 AM

fighting sleep apnea in kidsSleep apnea not only affects adults. Obstructive sleep apnea or OSA impacts almost 500,000 children in the United States alone, according to experts. The American Academy of Pediatrics published stats in 2002 showing that sleep apnea in kids can lead to respiratory failure and coma.

Kids with these conditions have a 226% increase in healthcare visits compared with those who don’t have this condition say researchers. Fairfield Dental Associates is keenly aware of the risks of OSA and can assist patients with this condition with referrals to specialists.

This condition is of such concern in the dental community that 1,200 dentists gathered to discuss OSA in Boston earlier this year. Often, dentists are the first to discover the condition in children and adults when the patient is sedated during a dental procedure and excessive snoring occurs. Snoring is a significant sign for OSA, with the severity of snoring considered a measurement. Another sign for OSA is excessive mouth-breathing. OSA is typically diagnosed in children in sleep studies to detect sleep disturbances. Their apnea-hypopnea index is measured with an overnight polysomnogram (PSG).

Virginia Commonwealth University conducted a pilot study this year to determine if pedicatric snoring was a good way to screen for OSA. Of 19 kids who completed the study, 59% of them snored. Parents filled out a sleep questionnaire. Of the kids who snored during pediatric dental surgery, there were five children who met the criteria for OSA. Similar results were obtained using a snore index – particularly type 1 and type 2 snoring which is found in OSA patients. Researchers concluded that snoring during dental procedures occurs more often with patients who have OSA.

Some studies show that the severity of snoring in relation to body mass index (BMI) is a major factor. It has been recommended that parents discuss the severity of snoring in their children during regular health visits.Click here to schedule an appointment

Fairfield Dental Associates Can Help

The National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery says sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea in children should be recognized as a public health problem. Experts say sleep apnea is not only dangerous to children, but causes sleep deprivation which can affect neuropsychological development and learning. Obstructive sleep apnea is one side affect of pediatric obesity.The most common cause for pediatric sleep apnea is adenotonsillar hypertrophy or enlarged tonsils and andenoids. The New Call-to-actionpeak age for this condition is three to six years.

Children who suffer from severe allergies and have enlarged andenoids, tonsils or swollen nasal passages can suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Signs of this condition include snoring, turned up nose, dark circles  under the eyes, mouth breathing, nasality when speaking and runny nose. Children with this condition may often be bed wetters, hyperactive and have a hard time concentrating in school.

If you suspect a sleep disorder, do not wait - especially if you have a child with the condition. The first person you may want to consult if you suspect a sleep disorder is your dentist. Dr. Katherine Finkel at Fairfield Dental Associates is trained to look for signs of sleep apnea. After a consultation and exam, she can determine if you or your child may have the condition and refer you to the proper specialist for more tests.

If you or a family member have incessant snoring, or are suffering from sleep deprivation, make sure you find out why. It could be a life threatening condition.

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Topics: obstructive sleep apnea, sleep apnea in kids

New Toothpaste with Glass that Repairs Cavities?

Posted by Fairfield Dental Associates

Sep 27, 2017 7:00:00 AM

toothpaste with glass that fights cavitiesThere have been many innovations in recent years in the quest to fight tooth decay. The latest one takes a very interesting approach. It is a toothpaste designed in the United Kingdom that contains “bioactive” glass. Yes, this is glass – but not as we know it. Fairfield Dental Associates read that the toothpaste designed by a team at Queen Mary University of London School of Dentistry (QMUL) contains a quick-dissolving glass that remineralizes teeth by forming a chemical that mimics tooth and bone minerals. It is able to replenish lost minerals in decayed teeth. Cavities occur when a tooth is demineralized. This weakens the tooth, causing a hole where bacteria causes infection. If teeth can be remineralized, the tooth can be restored.

The toothpaste with glass is called BioMinC. It uses Chloride-containing glass and is designed for people who do not want to use fluoride or are in areas where water is not fluoridated. UK researchers say it can help everyone who wants to stop tooth decay.

“This toothpaste is unique because it can put back the mineral lost from your teeth after consumption of an acidic drink, but without the use of fluoride,” said Professor Robert Hill from QMUL School of Dentistry. “This isn’t just for people who have bad teeth, everyone can potentially benefit from using this new toothpaste.”

The chlorine additive reduces abrasiveness and increases bioactivity which cavity-fighting toothpastes require. Last year Hill’s team launched a BioMinF toothpaste that has glass containing fluoride.New Call-to-action

Keep Your Enamel Strong

Enamel plays a very important role in protecting our teeth from tooth decay. It is the hardest substance of the body and gives our teeth their shine. It covers dentin which is the hard, dense substance in our teeth. Protecting enamel is essential for healthy teeth. Besides not seeing a dentist like Fairfield Dental Associates, one of the biggest mistakes people make is failing to properly brush.

New Call-to-ActionOur teeth are strong - but within reason. You wouldn't think of taking a scrubby pad to your teeth. Yet every day, people use a hard toothbrush or aggressively brush their teeth in hopes of removing tough stains and debris. This is much akin to scouring your sink. It harms your enamel, eventually leaving you with just the dentin layer below it. Abrasion is one of the biggest offenders to our enamel. So, is using your teeth as a tool, grinding your teeth, flossing incorrectly or consuming too many acidic substances - like soda.

Marathon brushing sessions are a big no-no. This can be avoided with an electric toothbrush. You are less likely to viciously scrub your teeth if you have a brush that does the work for you. If you exact too much pressure, the bristles on the brush will stop rotating.

As with everything in life, moderation is a good motto to follow when brushing your teeth. Fairfield Dental Associates can show you the proper way to brush and floss your teeth. We can also help you repair any damage you have caused to your pearly whites. Dr. Katherine Finkel is widely known for her restorative and cosmetic dentistry with a host of satisfied patients. She won't recommend anything that is not necessary and works to find the best solution for every patient.If you have done a number on your enamel - all is not lost. 

Have questions? Contact our office!New Call-to-Action



Topics: cavity-fighting toothpaste, toothpaste with glass

Researchers Question the Real Cause of Gum Disease

Posted by Fairfield Dental Associates

Sep 21, 2017 6:00:00 AM

Researchers believe they have found the true cause of gum diseaseGum disease afflicts about half of Americans over 30. What is perplexing is the condition (called periodontal disease) can affect people who regularly care for their teeth. Scientists have routinely blamed oral bacteria for the condition that leads to gum loss, tooth loss, jaw bone erosion, and a host of serious systemic issues like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. A new study at the University of Louisville (UofL) may finally create a cure by pinpointing the real cause of the disease.

UofL School of Dentistry researchers believe that chronic inflammation is the real culprit. They just received a $2 million grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research to continue their research and develop a treatment and possible cure.

Dr. Huizhi Wang,  of the Department of Oral Immunology and Infectious Diseases at UofL received the five-year research grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. He asserts that periodontal disease is a condition caused by the body’s uncontrolled inflammatory immune response to bacteria and fungi in the mouth. In some people, the immune system overreacts to P. gingivalis creating inflammation. It is the inflammation that causes periodontitis, not the bacteria, according to Dr. Wang.

Dr. Wang and his team identified a metabolic molecule they hope may  stop inflammation and periodontal disease it creates. The intracellular molecule, serum glucocorticoid-induced kinase-1 or SGK1 is usually involved with our metabolics or metabolism. Preliminary evidence shows SGK1 could assist in anti-inflammatory responses in other places of the body.

“Will this molecule work in a different system? That’s what we want to find out,” Dr. Wang said.

Dr. Wang’s study aims to develop a novel anti-inflammatory agent that can reduce or prevent P gingivalis-induced tissue destruction (in gum disease) as well as other chronic inflammatory disorders.New Call-to-action

See the Dentist to Prevent Gum Disease

Regular dental care is essential to prevent gum disease. Only a professional like Fairfield Dental Associates can see if you have early onset gingivitis (which leads to periodontitis) and stop it in its tracks.  Periodontal disease puts not only your teeth, but your overall health at risk.  That is why it is so important to see the dentist twice a year. Dr. Katherine Finkel at Fairfield Dental Associates is highly trained in detecting gum disease.

Even if it has been a long time since you have seen the dentist, it is not too late to get gum issues under control. Fairfield Dental Associates  can help get you on the right track to maintaining your oral and overall health. Dr. Finkel is a holistic dentist who knows how the mouth affects the body and what you can doto keep this delicate balance in check.

  • All patients are checked for periodontal disease. The pocket between the tooth and gums is measured using a periodontal probe.
  • If periodontal disease is discovered a special periodontal cleaning called scaling and root planning can be done, along with antibiotic treatment under the gum to heal gums and shrink pockets.
  • Periodontal surgery can be performed if gum pockets do not heal to reduce pocket depth.

Fairfield Dental Associates can assist you. You can’t afford to wait.

Be sure to Contact Our Office with any questions.

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Topics: periodontal disease, Gum Disease Study

Why You Can't Blame Your Family for Cavities

Posted by Fairfield Dental Associates

Sep 19, 2017 7:00:00 AM

why your family is not to blame for cavitiesThere are a lot of things we can blame for tooth decay like too much sugar or poor dental hygiene.  Failing to have regular check ups from a dentist like Fairfield Dental Associates can give tooth decay an advantage. We cannot however, blame our heredity even if we want to do that. A new study conducted by the  J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) in La Jolla, California proves that environment has a lot more to do with the types of microbes in our mouths that lead to cavities. It runs a bit counter to a study conducted in Switzerland that favored a genetic component for the tendency toward tooth decay. The JCVI research also supports the theory that children are not born with cavity-causing bacteria. Cariogenic bacteria are not native to a child’s mouth. They are introduced by the age of two by the caregiver when sharing eating utensils or cups and glasses. If a mother has tooth decay or a high level of S. mutans streptococcus or lactobacilli, this is passed on to the children.

JCVI researchers studied 485 identical and fraternal twins and tooth decay to determine if heredity played a major role in tooth decay. Identical twins did indeed share the same kind of microbiomes while fraternal twins did not. JCVI scientists also discovered the types of microbes we inherit are not the ones that cause tooth decay. Also, inherited microbes tend to decrease with age. Cavity-causing bacteria was more closely associated with sugar consumption and environmental exposure. In short, bad bacteria we acquire over time. We are not dealt that due to genetics. The biggest culprit that causes cavities? Sugar and the bad bacteria that likes it. Certain bacterial species and sugar consumption appeared to be the largest contributing factors according to JCVI. So, we are not born with those microbes. We acquire them.

"Limiting sugar consumption and acid buildup in the mouth have been part of the dogma of the dental community for some time," says senior author Karen Nelson, President of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) said in a press release. "This work introduces specific taxa of bacteria that can be acquired through the environment and that have the ability to induce cavities."Click here to schedule an appointment

The Dentist is the Best Defense Against Cavities

You may be one of those people who seems to be less prone to tooth decay. Nevertheless, you still need the dentist to make sure you keep cavity-causing bacteria under control. Tooth decay can still develop without the proper care and twice annual exams by a dental professional. 

New Call-to-ActionFairfield Dental Associates works to keep all our patients free of decay and gum disease. Dr. Katherine Finkel is highly trained in preventive and holistic dentistry. She knows how the body and the mouth interact and the risk factors that affect each patient differently. She can guide you with educational materials and at-home regimens to reduce or eliminate you and your family's chances of developing tooth decay or gum disease. 

Dr. Finkel  is great with kids and an expert on pediatric dental care. She will work with you and your child to develop a healthy dental regimen to keep your child cavity-free for a lifetime. She can recommend dental sealants applied to the chewing surfaces of your child's teeth to block out cavity-causing bacteria and ensure they stay cavity-free.

Stop tooth decay before it starts  - Schedule your dental check up today!

Contact our office with any questions you may have.New Call-to-Action


Topics: genetics and cavities

Detecting the Zika Virus in Saliva

Posted by Fairfield Dental Associates

Sep 14, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Saliva better way to diagnose the Zika virusThey say the mouth is the gateway to health. As Fairfield Dental Associates has written, it is also a repository for microbes and conditions that can also hold clues to disease. Never under-estimate how important our mouths are. Most recently, researchers at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University in Canada found that saliva is a far better way to diagnose the deadly Zika virus than sampling blood.

Zika has been difficult to diagnose with conventional methods because it is structurally similar to other diseases such as Yellow Fever and West Nile. It is in the same family of flaviruses that are carried by mosquitoes. Symptoms are not a reliable diagnostic either because only 20% of people infected with Zika ever present with symptoms.

W-U researchers analyzed the saliva of a mother infected with Zika along with that of her newborn twins. They were able to pinpoint the specific protein peptide signature that Zika carries in all three people's mouths. Why? It was easier to screen for Zika’s signature in saliva. Researchers are excited because quick and accurate detection means an infected person can have the virus and their symptoms monitored so action can be taken to stop the spread of Zika.

“Three months after the babies were born, we collected saliva from the mother and the babies, and the Zika virus peptides were present in the saliva of all three,” said Dr. Walter Siqueira DDS, PhD, a dental clinician-scientist and associate professor of dentistry at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry in a university release. “This is important because we are the first to identify Zika virus in saliva using proteomics.”

The study also suggests a direct vertical transmission of the virus between a mother and her developing fetus. Current testing methods used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention use blood tests to detect changes in viral RNA to diagnose Zika. That can take up to seven days after a person has been exposed. U-W researchers say the discovery could lead to antibody-based diagnostic tests. They have been granted a provisional U.S. patent to come up with a simple method that identifies Zika viral peptides in saliva outside of a lab environment.New Call-to-action

The Dentist Can Catch Disease

New Call-to-actionOur mouths hold clues that professional can decipher. Visiting the dentist could be one of the best things you can do for your health, if for no other reason than to rule out symptoms of other illnesses. Many diseases and conditions in have no symptoms in the earliest stages. Your dentist, along with a primary care physician could tip you off to something you really need to know about. Dentists are trained to look for signs of disease you can't see. According to your teeth even play a role in:

  • Alzheimer's - researchers say tooth loss before the age of 35 could be a precursor to Alzheimer's Disease.
  • Endocarditis - which often occurs when bacteria from other parts of the body like the mouth migrate through the blood stream and congregate in damaged areas of the heart. It is an infection of the inner lining of the heart.
  • HIV/AIDS - patients with this condition can suffer from painful oral mucosal lesions.
  • Sjogren's syndrome - an immune system disorder that often causes a dry mouth.

There are more conditions we haven't listed that can be detected with an oral exam. If we haven't motivated you to make an appointment for a dental checkup, perhaps this blog will. Dr. Katherine Finkel at Fairfield Dental Associates. is a highly qualified holistic general and cosmetic dentist who is trained to look for a variety of medical conditions. As a member of the American Dental Association and Academy of General Dentistry, Dr. Finkel stays abreast of the latest health concerns and dental technology through continuing education courses. Have questions? Feel free to contact us for a consultation.

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Topics: saliva, Zika virus

Using Aspirin to Reverse Tooth Decay

Posted by Fairfield Dental Associates

Sep 12, 2017 7:00:00 AM

The new cure for cavities may be aspirinImagine being able to magically make tooth decay just disappear without the dental drill. Fairfield Dental Associates has read that researchers at Queen’s University in Belfast believe they may have found the cavity cure with low-dose aspirin! They told the British Society for Oral and Dental Research recently that aspirin can actually enhance how dental stem cells function and help teeth repair themselves by regenerating structure lost to decay. Apparently, treating dental stem cells with low-dose aspirin significantly increases mineralization and the expression of genes that are responsible for forming dentin. Dentin is the structure of the tooth that makes it hard.

The U.K. scientists say the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving qualities of aspirin would also relieve tooth nerve inflammation and pain while the tooth heals itself. Principal study investigator Dr. Ikhlas El Karim says their discovery holds great promise.

“There is huge potential to change our approach to one of the biggest dental challenges we face,” explained Dr. El Karim in a university article. “Our initial research findings in the laboratory suggest that the use of aspirin, a drug already licensed for human use, could offer an immediate innovative solution enabling our teeth to repair themselves. Our next step will be to develop an appropriate delivery system to test the drug efficacy in a clinical trial. This novel approach could not only increase the long-term survival of teeth but could also result in huge savings for the NHS and other healthcare systems worldwide.”  New Call-to-action

The Dentist Stops Cavities Before They Start

No one wants a cavity. Fairfield Dental Associates works to keep all our patients free of decay and gum disease. Dr. Katherine Finkel is highly trained in preventive and holistic dentistry. She knows how the body and the mouth interact and the risk factors that can affect each patient differently. She can guide you with educational materials and at-home regimens to reduce or eliminate your chances of developing tooth decay. 

Not all cavities are alike and only professionals know the difference. The key here is the dentist. The only way to reverse the demineralization or breakdown of a tooth due to decay – is with active surveillance and dental X-rays. This active monitoring involving six-month dental visits is even more important for children. They have much thinner enamel in primary (baby) teeth making cavity progression a much faster process. 

WebMD  recommends children get sealants on permanent molars and premolars as soon as they erupt. That is Click here to schedule an appointmentusually at the age of six. By doing this, you are assured back molars are protected during cavity-prone years of six to 14. Even baby teeth are eligible. Your dentist can determine what is best. Some baby teeth have deep depressions and grooves. When they do, dental sealants are appropriate. Baby teeth need protection because they determine how permanent teeth will be spaced in the mouth when they come in. You don’t want your little onelosing these teeth too early. Tooth decay makes them disappear.


Fairfield Dental Associates are advocates of dental sealants for children. We are highly skilled in all types of pediatric dental care. Dr. Katherine Finkel can recommend when you should consider dental sealants for your child's teeth. Sealants are usually covered by insurance. We can assist you with that as well.

Contact our office to set up a consultation  to keep your child's teeth healthy.New Call-to-Action


Topics: Cavities, cavity cure, aspirin

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About this blog

This blog is a service of Fairfield Dental Associates. We are a family practice that believes in the importance of family wellness. Our warm environment and ultra-friendly staff make patients instantly feel at home and stress-free. We place great emphasis on patient education. We hope this blog gives you useful tips on how to maintain your family’s dental and overall health.







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