My Blog

Posts for: May, 2019

By P Steven Wainess DDS
May 28, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Root Canal  

If you have questions about root canal treatment, we have answers.

Unfortunately the words “root canal” are often synonymous with worry, dread, pain and other unpleasant descriptors; however, our St. Clair Shores, MI, dentist Dr. P. Steven Wainess wants to dispel these awful myths surrounding this extremely common and fairly simple endodontic procedure.

What are the benefits of a root canal?

The most obvious benefit of getting a root canal is that this simple procedure could end up saving your tooth and prevent the need for an extraction in the future. The goal should always be to preserve a natural tooth whenever possible.

Once the tooth has been treated, Dr. Wainess will also place a dental crown over it to protect the weak tooth and to restore strength and resilience back into the tooth. Once the crown is cemented into place the tooth is fully restored so you can enjoy all of your favorite foods again.

But isn’t a root canal painful?

Before performing a root canal, our St. Clair Shores, MI, general dentist will numb the gums with a local anesthetic so you won’t feel anything.

In many cases, a patient discovers that they need a root canal because they were dealing with a painful toothache that didn’t go away. An infected dental pulp can cause some pretty intense and unbearable pain. In order to get rid of your pain, we will need to remove the infected pulp. So, in essence, a root canal is designed to eliminate pain not cause it. Some patients even report immediate relief once the infected pulp has been removed.

If you are dealing with a toothache or sudden tooth sensitivity these are classic warning signs that you might need root canal therapy. Don’t ignore your symptoms. Call our St. Clair Shores, MI, dental office at (586) 293-1515 today and let us know what’s going on.


If you're considering dental implants, they'll need to be surgically placed in the jaw bone. But don't be alarmed — it's a relatively minor procedure that usually requires nothing more than local anesthesia.

But that being said, it's still an invasive procedure that involves making incisions in gum and bone tissues. That could introduce bacteria into the bloodstream and pose, for certain individuals, a slightly greater risk of infection.

But infection risk is quite low for most healthy patients. As a result, implants enjoy a greater than 95-percent success rate ten years after installation. But some patients have health issues that increase their risk of infection. These include older adults with a weakened immune system, smokers, diabetics or those well under or over their ideal weight.

If you have these or similar health situations, we may recommend undergoing an antibiotic treatment before you undergo surgery. This can help prevent bacteria from spreading and reduce the likelihood of an infection.

Preventive antibiotic therapy is commonplace with many other dental procedures. Both the American Dental Association and the American Heart Association recommend antibiotics before any invasive oral procedure for patients with prosthetic (false) heart valves, past endocarditis, a heart transplant or other heart conditions. To lower the risk of implant failure due to infection, we often advise antibiotics for patients who fall in these categories, as well as those with similar conditions mentioned earlier.

Of course, whether pre-surgical antibiotics is a wise choice for you will depend on your medical history and current health status. We'll consider all these factors thoroughly before advising you. But if you are more susceptible to infection, antibiotics before surgery could potentially lower your risk for an implant failure.

If you would like more information on implant procedures, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.


How many actresses have portrayed a neuroscientist on a wildly successful TV comedy while actually holding an advanced degree in neuroscience? As far as we know, exactly one: Mayim Bialik, who plays the lovably geeky Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS' The Big Bang Theory… and earned her PhD from UCLA.

Acknowledging her nerdy side, Bialik recently told Dear Doctor magazine, “I'm different, and I can't not be different.” Yet when it comes to her family's oral health, she wants the same things we all want: good checkups and great-looking smiles. “We're big on teeth and oral care,” she said. “Flossing is really a pleasure in our house.”

How does she get her two young sons to do it?

Bialik uses convenient pre-loaded floss holders that come complete with floss and a handle. “I just keep them in a little glass right next to the toothbrushes so they're open, no one has to reach, they're just right there,” she said. “It's really become such a routine, I don't even have to ask them anymore.”

As many parents have discovered, establishing healthy routines is one of the best things you can do to maintain your family's oral health. Here are some other oral hygiene tips you can try at home:

Brush to the music — Plenty of pop songs are about two minutes long… and that's the length of time you should brush your teeth. If brushing in silence gets boring, add a soundtrack. When the music's over — you're done!

Flossing can be fun — If standard dental floss doesn't appeal, there are many different styles of floss holders, from functional ones to cartoon characters… even some with a martial-arts theme! Find the one that your kids like best, and encourage them to use it.

The eyes don't lie — To show your kids how well (or not) they are cleaning their teeth, try using an over-the-counter disclosing solution. This harmless product will temporarily stain any plaque or debris that got left behind after brushing, so they can immediately see where they missed, and how to improve their hygiene technique — which will lead to better health.

Have regular dental exams & cleanings — When kids see you're enthusiastic about going to the dental office, it helps them feel the same way… and afterward, you can point out how great it feels to have a clean, sparkling smile.

For more information about oral hygiene, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read the interview with Mayim Bialik in the latest issue of Dear Doctor magazine.

By P Steven Wainess DDS
May 08, 2019
Category: Sleep Apnea

How your dentist in St. Clair Shores, MI can help you sleep better

Did you know that your dentist can treat sleep apnea? It’s true! In fact, your dentist offers a revolutionary alternative to the conventional sleep-apneaCPAP machine. It’s called an Oral Mandibular Advancement Appliance and it can help relieve your sleep apnea symptoms. Dr. P. Steven Wainess in St. Clair Shores, MI, offers these sleep apnea treatment to help you sleep well at night—read on to learn more!


More about Sleep Apnea Treatment

So, what is sleep apnea? It’s a condition that causes your breathing to stop and start again periodically throughout the night while you sleep. Your airway becomes blocked because the tissue at the back of your throat relaxes and collapses, causing an inability to breathe. The oxygen flowing to your vital organs is reduced, causing problems with many vital systems and tissues. Some of the more serious medical conditions that sleep apnea can cause include:

  • A stroke
  • Heart failure
  • Memory impairment

Ask your doctor about undergoing a sleep study if you have any of these common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea:

  • Chronic loud snoring
  • A sensation of choking or gasping when you wake up
  • A sore throat and headache when you wake up
  • Loss of concentration, fatigue, and grogginess during the day

If your doctor discovers that you have sleep apnea, your dentist can custom make an Oral Mandibular Advancement Appliance that can fit precisely and comfortably in your mouth. This appliance works by keeping your lower jaw and tongue forward while you sleep, which allows your airway to stay open.

In the past, sleep apnea treatment involved wearing a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. However, many people find CPAP uncomfortable, difficult to maintain, and liable to build up bacteria if not regularly cleaned.

Luckily, the Oral Mandibular Advancement Appliance is comfortable to wear, and unlike CPAP, completely unrestrictive. It is also easy to clean, small, and very portable. The best part is that you can initiate treatment right here in the dental office!


Interested? Give Us a Call!

If you have sleep apnea, you owe it to yourself to find out about the advantages of the Oral Mandibular Advancement Appliance. Don’t settle for old-school sleep apnea treatment when you can have the ease and convenience of a dental appliance! To find out more, call Dr. P. Steven Wainess's St. Clair Shores office at (586) 293-1515 today!

By P Steven Wainess DDS
May 04, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

Today's dental restorations are truly amazing. Not only are they life-like and functional, they can endure for many years a hostile environment of bacteria, acid and heavy biting forces.

Even so, you'll still need to take care of your restorations to help them last. Here's how to extend the life of 3 common forms of dental work.

Fillings. We use fillings, both metal amalgam and tooth-colored materials, to repair holes or cavities in teeth caused by tooth decay. Although strong, dental fillings can break if you subject them to abnormally high biting force (like chewing ice). There's also a chance that if a slight separation occurs between the filling and tooth, bacteria can take up residence and reignite the decay process. To prevent this, practice a daily regimen of oral hygiene to clean away bacterial plaque—and reduce sugar in your diet, a prime food source for bacteria.

Veneers. Usually made of thin porcelain, veneers are bonded to the front of teeth to mask chips, stains, gaps or other blemishes. But although they're strong, veneers aren't immune to damage. Habits like biting nails, the aforementioned ice chewing or unconsciously grinding your teeth could cause a chipped veneer. And if periodontal (gum) disease causes your gums to recede, the exposed part of the tooth may look noticeably darker than the veneer. To protect your veneers and their appearance, avoid habits like ice chewing, and seek treatment for teeth grinding and dental disease.

Bridgework. Bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth. Traditional bridges use the natural teeth on either side of the gap to support the bridge; for a single missing tooth, implants are a preferable option because they don't require permanently altering the neighboring teeth to support it. With either option, though, you should brush and floss around the restoration to reduce the risk of dental disease. Infections like gum disease or tooth decay could eventually weaken the bridge's supporting teeth or gum disease can damage an implant's gum and bone support.

With any dental restoration, be sure to practice daily oral hygiene, eat a nutritious, low-sugar diet, and see your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups. Taking care of your dental work will help it take care of you for a long time to come.

If you would like more information on maintaining your dental restorations, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.