Posts for: May, 2016

By Michael C Scheske, DDS, PC
May 28, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: sedation dentistry  

Making sure children are comfortable when visiting the dentist is an essential part of creating a lifetime habit of dental care. We recommend children start dental visits around their first birthday.

But for some children this may not be enough — despite parents’ and dentists’ best efforts they may still develop an inordinate fear of dental visits and even routine procedures. This kind of anxiety could inhibit them now and later in life from receiving needed dental care.

To relieve this anxiety, dentists have developed sedation therapy for children. Not to be confused with anesthesia, which numbs pain, sedation uses drugs to place a patient in a relaxed state. Depending on the drugs and dosage used, we’re able to achieve anywhere from a light state of relaxation to a deep suppression of consciousness. The approach is similar to one used with adults, although drug dosages and applications will differ with children.

 If we’re planning to use sedation with your child we recommend you feed them a low-fat dinner the night before and then refrain from any other foods or liquids until after treatment the next day. Just before the procedure (and after we’ve evaluated them physically to be sure they’re healthy enough for the sedation medication), we’ll administer the sedative, usually Midazolam and Hydroxyzine. Taken by mouth in a syrup form, this places them in a mildly relaxed state.

During the procedure a designated staff member will continually monitor their pulse, breathing, blood pressure and other vital signs. We may also take other protective measures like special chair positioning or immobilization to keep movement to a minimum.

After the procedure, your child will remain in the office until their vital signs return to pre-sedation levels. Once at home, you should keep an eye on them for the rest of the day. They should not return to school or regular activities until the next day.

As sedation medication and techniques continue to advance, they’re becoming a routine part of dental care. If your child experiences anxiety, this can help make dental visits more pleasant and more likely to become part of their life from now on.

If you would like more information on taking the anxiety out of children’s dental care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sedation Dentistry for Kids.”

By Michael C Scheske, DDS, PC
May 23, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Oral Surgery  

Oral surgery may be necessary if you experience an injury to your mouth or face or require surgery to treat a dental or jaw issue. Dr. Michael C. Scheske, your Union, MO dentist, explains why oral surgery may be needed.Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom tooth removal

When there's not enough room in your mouth for your wisdom teeth to erupt naturally, or if the teeth have erupted but are decayed or infected, extraction is the best option. If the teeth are impacted, the oral surgeon must break through your gums to remove them.

Dental implants

Dental implants offer an excellent way to replace a missing tooth. Your Union oral surgeon places the titanium implant in an opening in your jaw. Over the next several months, the implant bonds to the surrounding bone, replacing the roots of your missing tooth. Once the process is completed, a crown is added to the implant to allow you to chew and bite food. If your jawbone isn't thick enough to support the implant, your dentist may recommend a bone graft before proceeding with the implant.


Oral surgeons biopsy and remove growths from your mouth, face, lips and neck.

Tooth root infections

When pain lingers even after a root canal, an infection in the tooth root may be to blame. Oral surgeons treat the problem by making an incision in your gum and removing the tip of the root, as well as any inflamed or infected tissue.


Oral surgeons repair facial injuries caused by accidents, falls and sports injuries. They often repair cuts in the skin and treat injuries to your salivary glands and facial nerves. Facial fractures can be repaired by wiring the upper and lower jaws together or placing screws in the bones.

Bite issues

If your upper and lower jaws don't meet perfectly, you may develop bite issues that make it difficult to chew and speak. Misalignment of your jaw can be very painful and may be a contributing factor in the development of temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ). Although braces can be helpful in some cases, if the problem is severe, oral surgery may be needed.

Are you concerned about an oral health issue? Call Dr. Michael C. Scheske, your Union, MO dentist, at (636) 583-8100 to schedule an appointment.

By Michael C Scheske, DDS, PC
May 13, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: teeth grinding   stress  

Modern life can be demanding. The body helps us rise to the occasion through responses we collectively call stress.

But while stress can be a good thing, it can also overwhelm us and manifest in some harmful way: bouts of back pain, stomach ulcers or even acne. It could also trigger tooth grinding, often occurring as we sleep. And like other stress relievers, tooth grinding can be detrimental to your health long term.

Teeth-on-teeth contact occurs normally when we eat or speak, or simply as our jaws contact each other with glancing touches hundreds if not thousands of times a day. Such normal contact is beneficial because it stimulates healthy bone growth in the jaw. But if the forces created exceed the normal range as with tooth grinding (up to ten times), it can cause a bevy of problems to the teeth and jaws.

While excessive jaw motion during teeth grinding can cause inflammation and painful spasms in the muscles, the greater danger is to the teeth, which could even fracture from the high amount of force. The more common occurrence, though, is an increased rate of enamel erosion, which causes the tooth to lose vital structure and eventually appear shorter in appearance.

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce teeth grinding or its severity. The first order of business is to treat its effects by reducing its symptoms and ongoing damage. We can recommend some behavior modification techniques to alter the frequency of the habit or a night guard to protect the teeth from the intensity of the habit if you’re unable to change the behavior.

A custom-fitted night or occlusal guard, a retainer-like dental appliance made of smooth acrylic plastic is designed so that the lower teeth glide over the guard surface when grinding and can’t make solid contact with the upper teeth. This reduces the generated force and helps protect the teeth.

In the long term, though, you should address the root cause — how you’re handling daily stress. Treatment by a psychotherapist or counselor, for example, could help you develop ways to channel stress in more productive ways.

However your treatment strategy develops, it’s important to address stress and teeth grinding as soon as possible. Controlling it will have long-term benefits for your teeth and smile.

If you would like more information on dealing with stress that causes tooth grinding, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Stress & Tooth Habits.”

Union, MO
Family Dentist
301 US Hwy 50 W
Suite C

Union, MO 63084
(636) 583-8100



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