My Blog

Posts for: February, 2015

By Thomas Kemlage DDS / Andrew T. Kemlage DDS
February 27, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
KellyClarksonGetstotheRootoftheProblem

Now that celebrities can communicate directly with their fans through social media, we’ve started to see dispatches from some surprising locations — the dental chair, for example! Take singer Kelly Clarkson, who was the first winner of American Idol, and perhaps one of the first to seek moral support via social media before having an emergency root canal procedure.

“Emergency root canal — I’ve had better days,” Kelly posted on her Facebook page, along with a photo of herself looking… well, pretty nervous. But is a root canal procedure really something to be scared about? It’s time to clear up some misconceptions about this very common dental procedure.

First of all, root canal treatment is done to save a tooth that might otherwise be lost to an infection deep inside it. So while it’s often looked upon with apprehension, it’s a very positive step to take if you want to keep your teeth as long as possible. Secondly, tooth infections can be painful — but it’s the root canal procedure that stops the pain. What, actually, is done during this tooth-saving treatment?

First, a local anesthetic is administered to keep you from feeling any pain. Then, a small opening is made through the chewing surface of the infected tooth, giving access to the central space inside, which is called the “pulp chamber.” A set of tiny instruments is used to remove the diseased pulp (nerve) tissue in the chamber, and to clean out the root canals: branching tunnel-like spaces that run from the pulp chamber through the root (or roots) of the tooth. The cleared canals are then filled and sealed.

At a later appointment, we will give you a more permanent filling or, more likely, a crown, to restore your tooth’s full function and protect it from further injury. A tooth that has had a root canal followed by a proper restoration can last as long as any other natural tooth — a very long time indeed.

If you have any questions about root canal treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “A Step by Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment.”


By Thomas Kemlage DDS / Andrew T. Kemlage DDS
February 12, 2015
Category: Oral Health
TheMajorBenefitsofEarlyChildhoodDentalVisits

For a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums, it takes a lifetime of personal and professional care. Starting your child’s daily hygiene with the first tooth eruption is a must; but you should also consider beginning regular dental visits in their early years, around or before their first birthday.

There’s evidence that early dental visits hold a number of benefits that could lead to reduced oral care costs over their lifetime.

Familiarity with professional dental care. Children need to feel comfortable and safe in their surroundings, especially new places. Beginning dental visits early improves the chances your child will view the dentist’s office as a regular part of their life. It’s especially helpful if the dental professional has training and experience with young children to put them at ease.

Early monitoring for dental disease or other problems. A young child’s teeth are highly susceptible to tooth decay. Dental visits that begin early in a child’s life increase our chances of detecting any developing dental problems early. In addition to treating decayed teeth, your child may also need preventative actions like sealants or additional fluoride applications to protect teeth if they are at a higher risk for disease. As the child develops, we may also be able to catch early bite problems: with interventional treatment, it may be possible to reduce future orthodontic costs.

Parental help and support. As we discuss your child’s dental care with you, we’ll be able to provide essential information and training for how to care for their teeth and gums at home. We’ll also be able to ease any common concerns you may have, such as thumb sucking or other oral habits, as well as give you sound advice and techniques for dealing with these problems.

As with other areas of childhood development, starting off on the right foot with oral care can make all the difference to their future dental health. The sooner you begin regular dental visits with your toddler, the better their chances for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

If you would like more information on dental care for children, 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 “Taking the Stress out of Dentistry for Kids.”


By Thomas F. Kemlage DDS / Andrew T. Kemlage DDS
February 09, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: teeth whitening  

While visiting Thomas F. Kemlage DDS and Andrew T. Kemlage DDS in Fenton for cosmetic dentistry is a fantastic way to achieve that beautiful white smile you've been dreaming of, what many Fenton residents don't realize is that cosmetic dentistry is only the first step. Once you go home, you have to continue good oral health habits if you want to keep your smile looking bright and white for years to come. Here are some things you need to do.

Avoid Foods and Beverages that Stain

Certain foods and beverages, including blueberries, soy sauce, red wine and coffee, are known to stain teeth. Consume too much of them or neglect to brush or rinse immediately after consuming them and your teeth are likely to stain as a result.

Brush and Rinse Frequently

While some foods are worse than others, any food has the potential to stain your teeth if you don't follow proper oral hygiene afterwards. Make sure you brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day and rinse after you eat - even if it's just with water - to keep your teeth clean and beautifully white.

Quit Smoking

Smoking isn't just bad for your health; it's bad for your teeth as well. Smoking--even infrequent smoking--can lead to tooth discoloration, among many other things. If you want to protect your teeth and your health, quit smoking as soon as you can.

Visit for Regular Touch-Ups

Teeth whitening isn't usually a one-time procedure. As we age and continue to eat foods that harm our teeth, it eventually becomes necessary to whiten them again. Visiting our practice in Fenton for touch-up cosmetic dentistry doesn't mean that the original treatment didn't work. It only means that you care about your teeth and you want to keep them looking great over time.

If you are seeking quality and professional cosmetic dentistry in Fenton, look no further than Kemlage Family Dentistry. We won't just help you achieve the perfect white smile; we'll help you keep it white as well. Call and make an appointment today.