Mark D. Phipps, D.D.S. - Implants & General Dentistry
Ask Dr. Phipps

Dr. Phipps awarded Mastership Status in ICOI

Dr. Mark D. Phipps, DDS, MICOI has earned Mastership status in The International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI) on January 9, 2018. 

The awarding of Mastership status is an honor which ICOI bestows to active members to recognize their efforts in education, research and actual clinical experience.

Dr. Phipps has been successfully placing implants in his practice for over 16 years.

The International Congress of Oral Implantologists is a tax-exempt, non-profit, worldwide dental educational organization. It is dedicated to communicating scientific knowledge and improving the clinical practice of dental implantology worldwide. It conducts numerous scientific symposia each year and supports research and education through its Implant Dentistry Research and Education Foundation (IDREF). 

The Office Remodel is Complete!

We are getting back to "normal" here and want to thank our patients for their patience! If you have not been in to the office in the past few months, you will notice immediately that things have changed in a really good way.  

We have taken over the top floor and expanded our office to six treatment rooms. There is a new reception area, consultation room, sterilization bay and laboratory. We have the most up to date equipment, delivery systems and sterilization available today. Even the water that is delivered to the handpieces that are used in the patient's mouth is filtered through a special system!

We are excited for you to see the "new" office.

Other exciting news, Dr. Phipps son Don Phipps DMD has recently graduated from University of Nevada Dental School and will be joining the practice! Dr. Don Phipps was the only one in his class to have his father present his diploma!  

We also welcome two new staff members. Alexys Hubka RDH is joining the practice as our second hygienist. Alexys is an absolute delight and we are sure you will love her.  Michelle Skurka RDH is still available Monday through Thursday. The second new staff member is Oksana Protasova.  Oksana has been training with us this past year to become a dental assistant, she has recently taken her x-ray exams and is looking forward to her Registered Dental Assistant exams this fall.  

Stop by, say hi and let us give you a tour!

Summer Time! George Washington's Teeth and Corn On The Cob!

Summer Time!  When I think of summer, well the first thing that pops into my head is bar-b-que, corn on the cob and home made ice-cream!  Big slices of juicy watermelon.  I’m sure you all have your favorites that evoke that feeling of wonderful summers gone by.  It also makes me think about things of a patriotic nature like our first President, George Washington.  He would have had a difficult time with that bar-b-que and especially that corn on the cob.  

You may remember from your history classes that George Washington wore dentures.  Lots of stories have circulated about how his teeth were made of wood.  Actually this is not true.  During his life, Washington had nine different dentists.  His favorite dentist was John Greenwood.  John Greenwood made four sets of teeth for George Washington and none of them were made from wood.  They were carved from hippopotamus and elephant ivory.  Sometimes the teeth were set in gold.  His dentures had gold springs to hold the upper and lower teeth together.   Washington was not able to travel to New York where John Greenwood had his office because of his responsibilities as a general and then as President.  Instead, he had to send his teeth through the mail to be repaired or adjusted.  Sometimes he fixed his own dentures.  He wrote letters to John Greenwood describing his problem and asking for the right tools to fix them.  He requested files to adjust his teeth, scrapers to clean them, and pincers to fasten the wires.  Once he even asked for material to make an impression of his mouth for new dentures.   Washington started losing his teeth in his 20’s!  His dentures were held together by coiled springs and gold wire.  He had an untreated infection from the old root fragments left in his gums which contributed to his death.  His dentures hurt his mouth and would give him frequent headaches.   He suffered from deafness caused by an unnatural motion of the lower jaw when he wore his dentures.  He was embarrassed to speak in public because the dentures changed the shape of his face and the sound of his voice.   

For me, the most interesting part of the story about Washington’s teeth is the mechanism of their fabrication. The upper and lower gold plates were connected by springs which pushed the upper and lower plates against the upper and lower ridges of his mouth to hold them in place. Washington actually had to actively close his jaws together to make his teeth bite together. If he relaxed, his mouth would pop open. There is speculation that this is the reason that the Father of Our Country always looks so stern in his portraits. Take a look at a dollar bill. Washington isn’t upset - he’s just trying to keep his teeth in!!!   

So it’s pretty safe to say that 222 years ago, George Washington was not enjoying corn on the cob.  So many changes have taken place in the world of dentistry since his time.  Why today, George would have undoubtedly been fitted with dental implants, he would have experienced the comfort and ease of having teeth that are as secure and feel as natural as your own. Corn on the cob, steak bar-b-que, a crisp apple, would have been no problem.   Getting up in front of folks, speaking in public would have brought new confidence for our First President, no worries about his dentures slipping when he spoke, with dental implants his speech as well as his smile would be very natural.    

Do you sometimes feel like George Washington?  Embarrassed to speak in public, not happy with your smile, insecure about your teeth, don’t like the way they feel when you eat, unable to eat the things you would really enjoy?  Call us today and come in for a no cost consultation including in office digital x-rays, we’ll tell you if you are a candidate for dental implants and how they might just be the solution you’ve been waiting for!  Don't miss out on another summer bar-b-que!    

Dental Implants - Making You Smile, Modern Restorative and Esthetic Dental Solutions

Attractive, natural-looking teeth help us look and feel our best.  They let us enjoy the foods we love. And they allow us to be naturally confident where it really counts-at home, on the job, on the playing field, but especially on the inside. 
That is why the loss or damage of even a single tooth can have a considerable impact on everyday life and self-esteem.  Fortunately, modern dentistry offers a variety of ways to restore or replace teeth.  In fact, with today’s latest technologies and materials, individual teeth-or even entire rows of teeth – can be replaced for natural-looking appearance and restored function.
Missing teeth can and should be replaced.  This is because each and every gap in your tooth placement potentially poses problems to your long-term dental health.  In fact, even one missing tooth can ultimately lead to the loss of additional teeth and, ultimately, a permanent change in your facial appearance.
People lose their teeth for many reasons – from accident and illness to deficient care.  Whatever the reason, the immediate consequences can have a negative impact on one’s quality of life.  People may no longer eat many of the foods they once enjoyed.  Self-conscious about their physical appearance, they stop laughing and smiling spontaneously.
Unfortunately, these short-term changes may only be the beginning.  Adjacent teeth can collapse into the gap, while teeth in the opposing jaw can grow into the gap.  Long-term missing teeth also cause the bone to be resorbed – or to gradually break down.  This weakens the adjacent teeth until they, too, can fall out.  In short, the loss of even a single tooth can unleash a chain reaction which, left unchecked, can lead to even more permanent, irreversible physical damage.
Dental implants are artificial roots that serve as a replacement for missing teeth.  Research indicates that dental implants biocompatible surfaces actually stimulate  the required fusion with the bone.  Once that has been achieved, the crown, bridge, or whole tooth replacement can be fixed to the implant or implants to feel and function like natural teeth.
Dental crowns and bridges are replacement teeth that are individually produced to meet your own personal needs.  It is recognized that all-ceramic crowns and bridges offer the best esthetic solution.  They are custom shaded to match your own natural teeth.
Implants can be used for all kinds of restorations.  Unlike a traditional bridge, a single implant restoration replaces a tooth without the need to grind down the adjacent teeth.  Bridges anchored with an implant are free standing and do not rely on the support of the surrounding teeth.  Fixing a partial restoration on implants also avoids the need for less esthetic anchoring methods, like clasps.
Dental implants deliver a proven, successful solution, help you maintain a youthful appearance, preserve your healthy teeth, with a solution that is comfortable and lasts providing stable retention and security.
If you have been thinking about implants, you would like more information about, or would like to explore implants for yourself or a loved one, call our office today and schedule a Free Implant Consultation including in office digital x-rays.  530-885-0697  You CAN have the smile you want and the feeling of comfort and function that you desire.

Gum Disease Links to Heart Disease, Stroke and Diabetes

Gum disease in the US may be as much as 50% more common than previously thought, according to new research from the CDC and American Academy of Periodontology (AAP).
A pilot study of 450 American adults found significantly higher levels of periodontal disease than expected.
Previous estimates of periodontitis in the US relied on partial-mouth examinations. When full-mouth periodontal exams were conducted instead, researchers discovered significantly more perio disease, leading them to suspect that previous estimates may have underestimated the population's level of gum disease by up to 50%.
Why is this important? Researchers have found that people with gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease!  Several theories exist to explain the link between periodontal disease and heart disease.  One Theory is that oral bacteria can affect the heart when they enter the blood stream, attaching to fatty plaques in the coronary arteries (heart blood vessels) and contributing to clot formation.  Coronary artery disease is characterized by a thickening of the walls of the coronary arteries due to the buildup of fatty proteins.  Blood clots can obstruct normal blood flow, restricting the amount of nutrients and oxygen required for the heart to function properly.  This may lead to heart attacks.
Another possibility is that the inflammation caused by periodontal disease increases plaque build up, which may contribute to swelling of the arteries. 
Periodontal disease can also exacerbate existing heart conditions.  Patients at risk for infective endocarditis may require antibiotics prior to dental procedures.  Dr. Phipps and your cardiologist will be able to determine if your heart condition requires use of antibiotics prior to dental procedures.
Additional studies have pointed to a relationship between periodontal disease and stroke.  In one study that looked at the causal relationship of oral infection as a risk factor for stroke, people diagnosed with acute cerebrovascular ischemia were found more likely to have an oral infection when compared to those in the control group.
While it has been established that people with diabetes are more prone to developing periodontal disease, new research is suggesting that periodontal disease may, in turn, be a risk factor for diabetes.
When you come into the office for your regular dental cleaning, you will be asked questions that will help us assess your need for antibiotics prior to any dental treatment.  Dr. Phipps and the hygienist will determine an appropriate interval for you to return for your regular teeth cleanings based on your current periodontal condition and the effectiveness of your home care.  6 months is a general guideline for dental cleanings but that interval may be shortened if indicated.  If you have questions about your oral health, drop us a note or call our office, we are happy to answer them!

Valentine's Day Requires Kissing Sweet Breath

Whether you call it bad breath or halitosis, it's an unpleasant contition that's cause for embarrassment.  Some people with bad breath aren't even aware there's a problem.  If you're concerned about abd breath, call us, we can help identify the cause and, if it's due to an oral condition, develop a treatment plan to help eliminate it.
What you eat affects the air you exhale.  Certain foods, such as garlic and onions, contribute to objectionable breath odor.  Once the food is absorbed into the blood stream, it is transferred to the lungs, where it is expelled.  Brushing, flossing and mouthwash will only mask the odor temporarily.  Odors continue until the body eliminates the food.  Dieters may develop unpleasant breath from infrequent eating.
If you don't brush and floss daily, particles of food remain in the mouth, collecting bacteria, which can cause bad breath.  Food that collects between the teeth, on the tongue and around the gums can rot, leaving an unpleasant ordor.
Bad breath can also be caused by dry mouth (xerostomia), which occurs when the flow of saliva decreases.  Saliva is necessary to cleanse the mouth and remove particles that may cause odor.  Dry mouth may be caused by various medications, salivary gland problems or continuously breathing through the mouth.
If you suffer from dry mouth, we may prescribe an artificial saliva, or suggest using sugarless candy and increasing your fluid intake.
Tobacco products cause bad breath.  If you use tobacco, ask us for tips on kicking the habit.
Bad breath may be the sign of a medical disorder, such as a local infection in the respiratory tract, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip. chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance, liver or kidney ailment.  If we determine that your mouth is healthy, you may be referred to your family doctor or a specialist ot determine the cause of bad breath.
Maintaining good oral health is essential to reducing bad breath.  Schedule regular dental visits for a professional cleaning and checkup.  If you think you have constant bad breath, keep a log of the foods you eat and make a list of medications you take.  Some medications may play a role in creating mouth odors.  Let us know if you've had any surgery or illness since your last appointment.
Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque.  Brush your tongue, too.  Once a day, use floss or an inter-dental cleaner to clean between teeth.
Mouthwashes are generally cosmetic and do not have a long-lasting effect on bad breath.  If you must constantly use a breath freshener to hide unpleasant mouth odor, call us.  If you need extra help in controlling plaque, we may recommend using a special antimicrobial mouth rinse.  A fluoride mouth rinse, used along with brushing and flossing can help prevent tooth decay.

Your Health History - What We Need To Know And Why

     Everyone hates to fill out health history forms, gosh, I know I do.  Especially when I just filled them out last year or the year before.  Isn’t once enough?   Well the simple answer to that is No.  It is important for us to know current and accurate health information which includes changes in medications, joint replacements, heart complications and any new developments since your last visit. 
     You can help make this process easier by bringing a current list of medications and the amounts that you take, both prescribed and over the counter, including aspirin, vitamins and any supplements, whether prescribed or not.  Bring this to each visit, particularly if there has been a change in your medications. 
     If you have had a joint replacement or have a heart condition, we will ask for the name of your treating physician and their phone number.  They will be contacted to determine the need for antibiotic prophylaxis.  Patients who have certain heart conditions and those with artificial joints may be at risk of developing an infection in the heart or at the site of the artificial joint respectively.  Antibiotics taken prior to dental treatment reduce this risk. 
     Certain diseases of the body can have a direct effect on your teeth as well.  If you have GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) the reflux of acid from the stomach back up into the esophagus can ultimately make its way to the mouth. Because this acid is in constant intimate contact with the teeth, it can demineralize or remove layers from them. In general, the enamel on the lingual, or the tongue and palate surfaces of the tooth, is affected rather than the outer or cheek side of the enamel of the tooth. It is also true that patients with GERD experience dry mouth, which intensifies dental bacteria and plaque and can lead to an increase in cavities and decay. Medications that GERD patients take can also dry out the mouth, which contributes to stronger dental plaque. A number of patients say that sucking on breath mints, candies, or lozenges soothes burning in the mouth. Sucking on lozenges can also stimulate saliva production, which helps to fight dry mouth. Beware of mints or sucking on candies that contain sugar, as they can also contribute to increased decay.
     Cancer and Chemotherapy is another important health issue we need to know about.  You may have certain side effects in your mouth from chemotherapy. Each persons experience may be different.  The problems depend on the chemotherapy drugs and how your body reacts to them. You may have these problems only during treatment or for a short time after treatment ends.  These can include:  painful mouth and gums, dry mouth, burning, peeling, or swelling tongue, infection,  and/or change in taste.  You may be surprised that your dentist is important in your cancer treatment. If you go to the dentist before chemotherapy begins, you can help prevent serious mouth problems. Side effects often happen because a person's mouth is not healthy before chemotherapy starts. Not all mouth problems can be avoided but the fewer side effects you have, the more likely you will stay on your cancer treatment schedule.
     Allergies are another area where we need accurate information.  What are you allergic to and what kind of reaction did you have.  If you check the box, allergic to antibiotics, we need to know specifically which one and what happened when you took it last.
     These are just a few examples of why it’s important to have an accurate health history completed and up to date.  Each item on the health history form is there for a reason and helps us provide you with the best care.

Teeth Whitening - Turn That Smile Up A Notch

     Thinking about turning your smile up a notch with a professional teeth whitening treatment?  Teeth whitening is quick easy and painless.  It takes just 30 minutes to an hour to get results, however sometimes it can take multiple applications to get the results you desire.
     Custom trays are made here in our office for you to take home.  You can whiten your teeth in the privacy of your home any time you wish!
     Keep in mind, not everyone is an ideal candidate.  If you want to whiten your teeth, the best place to start is with a healthy mouth.  Tooth decay, sensitive or cracked teeth, infections or periodontal (gum) problems should be diagnosed and treated before any tooth whitening procedure.  Otherwise you could experience discomfort.  The whitening process may aggravate existing problems, or the whitening process simply may not be for you.
     Rather than heading to the local cosmetic counter or shopping mall in search of tooth whiteners, start with a dental check up.  I can evaluate, diagnose and treat any pressing oral health conditions and advise you about different options to safely and effectively whiten your teeth.  I can also determine whether whitening will work for you.  When I diagnose the cause of the discoloration - injury, stains from food or tobacco, antibiotic treatment as a child or other causes - a suitable tooth whitening method or product can be selected.  The diagnosis is important; otherwise you could be wasting time and money because whitening treatments work only on natural tooth enamel, not on crowns, veneers, bonding materials or tooth colored fillings. 
     The whitening treatment works best with yellowish teeth, grayish shades of discoloration may not respond as well to teeth whitening. 
     Many tooth whiteners are advertised on Web sites, television infomercials and the radio, as well as in magazines and newspapers.  The American Dental Association is concerned about the safety of tooth whitening chemicals and procedures that are performed without the care or supervision of your dentist.  If the chemicals used to whiten teeth are not applied properly, they could damage soft and hard tissues in the mouth.
     We invite you to mention this website when you come in to our office and we will provide you with a Free Teeth Whitening evaluation and 25% off your Teeth Whitening!  Now that's something to smile about!

Gum Disease Links to Heart Disease and Stroke

Preventing gum disease is gaining new urgency as research reveals a significant connection to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and pneumonia.
Gum disease (periodontitis) can contribute to these illnesses through a spillover of bacteria and inflammatory agents from the mouth into the bloodstream, which carries them to the rest of the body.
Diabetes and Gum Disease: Gum disease and diabetes counteract with ying-yang synergy; because diabetes can affectcirculation, it can restrict blood flow to the gums, making a person more susceptible to gum disease. Research suggests that treating periodontal disease can improve blood-sugar control. In fact some insurance companies already offer patients withdiabetes extended coveragefor periodontal treatments.
Heart Disease and Gum Disease: Having gum disease can increase a person’s risk of heart disease. Studies also suggest that adults with the highest levels of some oral bacteria have thicker carotid arteries, a predictor of heart attack and stroke. And people who suffer from angina (chest pain) and heart attacks have higher levels of certain oral bacteria. Plus, oral bacteria provoke inflammation, which may increase levels of white blood cells and C-reactive protein, known as CRP. This protein, which is found in the blood, has been linked to heart disease. In a recent trial, periodontal therapy reduced patients’ CRP levels. In a related report, it recommends that patients ask their doctors to test for CRP the next time their cholesterol is checked; that’s one of ten tips for a healthy heart.
Pneumonia and Gum Disease: Poor oral hygiene has been shown to contribute to fatal pneumonias in hospital patients and nursing-home residents. In those settings, lax oral hygiene can foster a buildup of bacteria capable of causing respiratory infections.
Follow the ABCs of good oral care:
  • Eat a diet high in calcium and vitamins C and D and avoid sugary foods.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily to remove plaque and bacteria.
  • Get your teeth cleaned at least twice a year.
  • If you smoke, have periodontal disease or diabetes, more frequent dental hygiene visits may be recommended.
  • You may be required to take antibiotics prior to dental procedures as determined by your medical doctor in consultation with Dr. Phipps.