Helping our patients maintain a healthy mouth and smile is the main goal of general dentistry. We prefer to provide more minor, preventive care than to see patients suffer with more intensive treatments from a problem that was not managed in time. We want to ensure that your oral health is in its optimal state and positively contributing to the health of your entire body. We are here to brighten your smile and pave the way for a brighter life.
- Preventative Dentistry
- Cleanings And Exams
- Teeth Whitening
- Root Canals
- Emergency Care
- Oral Cancer Screenings
- Night Guards
- Sports Mouth Guards
- TMJ Treatment
- Wisdom Teeth Extractions
- Dry Mouth Treatment
- Fluoride Treatment
- Halitosis Treatment
- Non-Surgical Gum Treatments
- Thumb Sucking Treatment
- Your Child’s First Dental Visit
It is important to brush your teeth at least twice daily to help remove plaque and food particles that get stuck to your teeth. It is recommended that you brush your teeth for two minutes (or longer), though most people rush through this time. You need to make sure that you reach every side of each tooth, including the inside and outside. To help keep your breath fresh, you should also brush your tongue. Then, you can begin flossing.Request An Appointment
CLEANINGS AND EXAMS
Having a dental practice perform a checkup and regular cleaning gives a preventive approach to dental care. These general dentistry treatments help prevent problems with your teeth, gums and jaw bones, or they catch and manage problems before they worsen. During your visit, our doctors will take a picture of the current standing of your dental health and what would be needed to keep your oral hygiene in its best state.Request An Appointment
A common request we receive is how to make a smile whiter and brighter. This is a relatively simple and quick treatment option that can be performed periodically. Certain foods and beverages, such as wine and coffee, stain the teeth and contribute to discoloration. The teeth whitening process provides a solution that lightens the shade of the teeth. Additionally, the process actually rids the teeth of plaque and tartar that tend to lead to dental problems.Request An Appointment
Composite fillings act as a dentistry solution for problems such as tooth decay or cracks. A composite filling is a tooth-colored plastic and glass mixture used to restore decayed teeth. This procedure is also utilized for cosmetic improvements of the smile by fixing any discoloration or reshaping any disfigured teeth.Request An Appointment
Root canals are needed when decay and bacteria spread for too long without treatment. At a certain point, this decay makes it to the pulp inside the tooth. This pulp includes nerves, therefore infection generally causes a lot of pain. Since this is happening on the inside of the tooth, you won’t necessarily see the damage. Instead, you could feel it through pain and notice other signs that include bleeding, swelling and bad breath.Request An Appointment
An extraction is performed to remove a tooth, whether because of disease, crowding, or damage. When extractions are required, the area around the tooth will be numbed and your dentist will remove the tooth. A small amount of bleeding is normal, as your mouth will replace the removed tooth root by forming a blood clot in the area.Request An Appointment
Our highly trained doctors and staff are ready to manage all of your concerns. We have methods to alleviate the pain and help you feel calm during your emergency dental visit.Request An Appointment
ORAL CANCER SCREENINGS
Nobody wants to hear that they may have oral cancer. Although it can be fatal, it is easier to treat the earlier it is caught. For this reason, we are proud to assist our patients with an oral cancer screening. We want to help our patients survive this often fatal disease.
Oral cancer will typically show up as white or red patches or lesions inside of your mouth. You may even notice the lesions on your tongue or on the floor of your mouth. Many people experience a hard time swallowing, bleeding in the mouth, or even swelling in your face or neck.Request An Appointment
When we apply a dental sealant, we paint a plastic coating on top of your teeth. This makes your teeth smooth getting rid of the rough edges, depressions, and grooves that are commonly found on teeth. It is essentially a protective coating against tooth decay and cavities.
The most common place to paint sealants is on back teeth since they are often irregular. They can also be very hard to reach, even if you brush your teeth regularly. We use it more on children though we do perform sealants on adults too!Request An Appointment
It can be beneficial to use a guard, or covering, to protect your teeth from grinding while sleeping. Similar to how a mouthguard protects teeth during sports, this layer prevents damage to the teeth that can occur naturally.
There are a wide variety of different types of mouthguards, ranging from pre-formed pieces to ones that are custom fitted to your teeth and jaws. Some of these can even be formed at home through a boil-and-bite process.Request An Appointment
SPORTS MOUTH GUARDS
As dentists, we are determined to make sure your mouth and teeth are well protected during sports activities, no matter what your passion is. To do this, we offer many different types of mouth guards, depending on the types of activities in which you are involved. There are some mouth guards for low-impact sports and others for high-impact sports.
Mouth guards not only protect your mouth and teeth, but also have other purposes. Mouth guards will help decrease the impact if you get hit in the jaw. They have also been shown to increase an athlete’s performance.
Many people clench their teeth while playing, which can give them temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ). Clenching your jaw the whole time can be quite exhausting. Mouth guards help to relax your jaw, allowing you to completely focus on the game!Request An Appointment
At Dental Care Center of South Kansas City, we are proud to offer temporomandibular joint dysfunction, otherwise known as TMJ, treatments to provide relief for our patients. TMJ is caused by an inflammation in the temporomandibular joint, which acts as a sliding hinge that connects your jawbone to your skull.
What are the symptoms of TMJ?
TMJ causes pain and discomfort along the jawbone and can make it painful to even move your jaw. While jaw pain and discomfort don’t always equate to TMJ, if you are also experiencing headaches, trouble chewing, or pain in the face, jaw, and ear, you’re more than likely experiencing TMJ
WISDOM TEETH EXTRACTIONS
Wisdom teeth are the last set of molars. Most people start to get their wisdom teeth when they are teenagers, though some teeth don’t come in until you are in your early twenties.
Wisdom teeth have a purpose. They are another set of molars, but more often than not they cause more problems than they are worth. Wisdom teeth can come in misaligned, facing any direction. They can even try to come in horizontally, growing into your other teeth. This can damage your nerves and even your jawbone.
There are also times when your wisdom teeth can become impacted and are not able to come through the gums. They can also come in partially, allowing food to catch in the area and cause plaque to build up. This can lead to bacteria and infection, which will only get worse.Since wisdom teeth are often harmful, most dentists recommend their removal. The surgery goes much better if you get the teeth removed before any signs of problem. The recovery is easier also. Surgery and recovery are also easier when you are younger.
DRY MOUTH TREATMENT
Many people experience dry mouth as a result of certain medications or the natural aging process. Our experienced dentist at The Dental Care Center offer various treatments to help you manage this condition and keep your teeth and supporting structures healthy. We invite you to call us at 816-941-7788 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Gregory A. Stiver or Dr. Kurlbaum for your dry mouth treatment in Kansas City, Missouri.
Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a common dental concern, especially among people over the age of 50. Dry mouth may be caused by a number of factors, including medications and illness, disease, nerve damage, and chemotherapy or other radiation therapy.
While a dry mouth may not seem like a big deal, the saliva in your mouth plays an important role in your oral health and overall wellness. It works to protect your tooth enamel from harmful bacteria, breaks down food particles to promote good digestion, and makes it possible for you to chew and swallow. A lack of saliva increases your risk of developing tooth decay and may prevent you from getting the nutrients you need.Symptoms of dry mouth include:
- Dry, sticky feelings in the mouth and throat
- Difficulty in chewing, swallowing or tasting
- A burning feeling in the mouth
- Cracked lips
- A dry, rough tongue
- Infection in the mouth
- Persistent halitosis (bad breath)
Our dentist will work with you to determine the cause of your dry mouth and provide an appropriate treatment. In the meantime, we recommend that you:
- Sip water or sugarless drinks frequently, especially during meals
- Avoid drinks containing caffeine
- Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless candy to stimulate saliva flow
- Do not use tobacco products or drink alcohol
- Use a humidifier at night
- Take special care to keep your mouth healthy (brush and floss regularly, and keep all your regular dental appointments)
For more information about dry mouth and to schedule your appointment with our dentist, please contact our office today.
When you visit The Dental Care Center, our dentist and team will carefully check your teeth for signs of cavities. If we find that your teeth are prone to decay, we may recommend a fluoride treatment to help strengthen and protect your teeth so that you can continue to enjoy a healthy smile. Call us at (816) 941-7788 to learn more about the benefits of fluoride treatment in Kansas City, Missouri, and to set up your appointment with Dr. Gregory A. Stiver or Dr. Kurlbaum.
Fluoride is a mineral that is naturally found in water and many foods. While you receive a certain amount of fluoride from your diet and from using toothpaste with fluoride, we may recommend fluoride treatment to further strengthen your teeth and prevent cavities.
Fluoride helps to strengthen your teeth and protect them from tooth decay. As you eat and drink throughout the day, bacteria, sugars and acids constantly attack and demineralize the enamel of your teeth. Fluoride works to remineralize tooth enamel, preventing tooth decay and cavities. In addition, fluoride can strengthen teeth as they develop to make sure they are strong and healthy. This makes fluoride very important for children as their teeth grow in.Our dentist and team members may recommend professional fluoride treatment during your regular dental checkup. We may suggest further fluoride treatment if your teeth are prone to decay or if you are not receiving a sufficient amount of fluoride from other sources. Professional fluoride is available in the form of a gel, varnish or foam. Fluoride treatment is just one of the ways our team helps you keep your smile healthy for a lifetime. For more information about preventive dentistry and the benefits of fluoride, we welcome you to contact us today. We are eager to care for your smile!
Bad breath can be frustrating and embarrassing. Our dentist and team at The Dental Care Center offer halitosis treatments to help reduce and eliminate bad breath so that you can feel healthier and more confident. To learn more about our halitosis treatment in Kansas City, Missouri, and to schedule your consultation with Dr. Gregory A. Stiver or Dr. Kurlbaum, call us today at (816) 941-7788.
Several factors can cause bad breath, which is more formally known as halitosis. Bad breath may be caused by factors such as:
- Poor dental hygiene habits
- Certain foods, such as onions, garlic, etc.
- Dry mouth (xerostomia)
- Periodontal (gum) disease
- Certain illnesses and medications
- Tobacco use
- Morning time
- Tooth decay and cavities
Based on the cause of your bad breath, our dentist can help you find a solution.Because several types of illnesses and medical conditions may result in bad breath, it is important to check with your physician and our team to find out whether an illness or medication is causing bad breath. If you are healthy and suffer from bad breath, it may be caused by microbial deposits on the tongue. Simply brushing your tongue can reduce bad breath by as much as 70%. Another important way to prevent bad breath is to practice good oral hygiene. Be sure to brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. Be certain to visit us on a regular basis to make sure any conditions like tooth decay and periodontal disease are treated. Avoiding odorous foods like garlic and onions can help to keep your breath fresh, and quitting smoking or chewing tobacco can improve your breath as well.To learn more about bad breath and how to prevent and treat it, call us today!
NON-SURGICAL GUM TREATMENTS
Our skilled dentist provide non-surgical gum treatments to help you combat gum disease and keep your smile healthy. Our non-surgical treatments are designed to be both comfortable and effective so that you can once again enjoy good oral health. To learn more about non-surgical gum treatments in Kansas City, Missouri, and to make your appointment with Dr. Gregory A. Stiver or Dr. Kurlbaum, please contact The Dental Care Center at (816) 941-7788.
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a degenerative condition primarily caused by bacteria found in plaque. The bacteria inflame and infect the gum tissues, and when left untreated, the gums can eventually begin to pull away from the teeth. Untreated periodontal disease can result in bone loss, tooth loss and gum tissue recession.
If your gums are swollen, red or tender, or if your gums bleed easily, you may have periodontal disease. Other common symptoms of gum disease include loose teeth, painful chewing, persistent bad breath and receding gums that make your teeth appear longer than normal. Following an exam at our office, our dentist and team will be able to determine whether you suffer from periodontal disease.The treatment for gum disease is based upon your specific needs. Depending on the severity of the condition, our dentist may recommend additional professional dental cleanings, improved at-home oral hygiene, antibiotic treatment, scaling and root planing (deep cleanings), or gum surgery. We strive to help you restore your oral health and halt the progress of the disease. For more information on periodontal treatment, we welcome you to call or visit our office soon. We look forward to caring for your smile!
THUMB SUCKING TREATMENT
Many children suck their thumbs and fingers when they are small. While most children grow out of this habit naturally, sometimes children may need help to break the habit. Dr. Gregory A. Stiver and Dr. Kurlbaum provide habit-breaking treatments for thumb sucking so that your child can grow and develop properly and enjoy better oral health. If you have questions about thumb sucking treatment in Kansas City, Missouri, or to schedule an appointment with our caring dentist, please call The Dental Care Center at (816) 941-7788.
Thumb and finger sucking is normal in children under the age of 4, and most children will stop sucking on their own between 2 and 4 years of age. However, if this habit persists it can cause significant damage to the teeth and jaw, including open bites, horizontal overlap of the front teeth and crossbites. Likewise, the constant pressure of the tongue against the teeth when swallowing, speaking and at rest can force teeth and arches out of alignment.
There are many oral appliances available to help break finger sucking and tongue thrusting habits. While thumb sucking appliances work to simply discourage sucking habits, tongue thrust appliances usually involve a type of “physical therapy” that helps retrain the muscles of the tongue so that it no longer thrusts forward. When you bring your child to our office, our dentist will work with you both to help break these harmful habits so that your child can enjoy good oral health and a beautiful smile.In addition to oral appliances, our dentist may also recommend simple things that you can try at home, such as putting an article of clothing (like a glove or a sock) over the thumb and fingers or creating diversions at times when your child usually sucks his or her fingers. Your child may also suck his or her fingers due to anxiety and may stop if the source of this anxiety is found and soothed.
For more information and to schedule a consultation with our dentist, please contact our office today.
Bruxism is the habitual grinding and clenching of teeth, and it is one of the largest contributing factors to tooth damage. While it can occur at any time, bruxism is most common at night while asleep. Bruxism causes many problems for your oral health and quality of life, including:
- Broken, chipped and worn teeth
- Broken oral appliances
- Headaches and migraines, especially upon waking
- Earaches, ear ringing and sore jaw joints
- Tension and pain in the head, neck and shoulder muscles
- Pain and tightness in the jaw
YOUR CHILD’S FIRST DENTAL VISIT
Your child’s first dental visit is a stepping stone to a lifetime of good oral health and smiles. Dr. Gregory A. Stiver, Dr. Kurlbaum and our team do everything we can to help children feel comfortable in our office and build a trusting relationship with our dentist so that they can have positive experiences at the dental office. To schedule your child’s first dental appointment in Kansas City, Missouri, with our friendly dentist, please call The Dental Care Center today at (816) 941-7788.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children visit a dentist to receive an initial dental exam within six months of when their first tooth erupts. These first dental visits are designed to establish a dental home and help your child begin developing positive associations with visiting the dentist.
A typical pediatric dental appointment will include the following:
- The dental team will greet you and your child.
- We will review the health history of your infant and your family.
- Our dentist will ask about your child’s oral habits, pacifier use, diet and general development.
- We will perform a gentle examination of your child’s teeth and gums, during which we will note any teeth that may appear in coming months.
- We will provide advice on brushing, flossing, how to prevent oral injury, fluoride intake and other topics to help you keep your child’s mouth healthy at home.
- We will provide a description of your child’s current oral health in detail and make any needed recommendations about oral habits, toothbrushes and toothpaste, diet, and pacifiers.
- A schedule of regular appointments will be created by our team for your child.
- We will address your questions and concerns.
Remember, if you are calm, your child will feel calm. You can help your child feel happier and more comfortable in the dental office by being positive and calm yourself. You can encourage your child to develop positive associations with visiting the dentist by avoiding threatening language and providing positive explanations about what will happen during the appointment.
If you have any questions about your child’s first dental appointment, please feel free to contact our office.