Dr. Silve Stephen, DDS
5011 HWY 6, Missouri City, TX 77459
We accept most of the insurances.
Call us at: 281-206-4444
Free exam and X-ray
Free Consultation with X-ray and Exam Call Us Today 281-206-4444
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Faq

Early Detection

When found early, oral cancer patients have an 80 to 90 % survival rate. Unfortunately 40% of those diagnosed with oral cancer will die within five years because the majority of these cases will be discovered as a late stage malignancy. (see stage description in Oral Cancer section)

Oral cancer is particularly dangerous, because the patient may not notice it in its early stages. It can frequently prosper without producing pain or symptoms. As a result, Oral Cancer often goes undetected until it has already metastasized to another location.

Oral Cancer – Who does Oral Cancer Screening?

Dentists, Periodontists, Hygienists

Most oral cancer screenings are done by a Dentist or Hygienist

Periodontists routinely screen for oral cancer on all new patients

A routine “recall” exam usually includes a visual search for lesions and abnormal structures in the oral cavity

It is estimated that 60% of the patients visiting a dentist get screened at least once a year

At Designer Smiles Dentistry, we care for you. We offer free Oral Cancer screening with your cleaning.


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What is oral cancer?

Oral cancer is one of the cancers that occurs in the head and neck area. Oral cancer starts in the mouth or oral cavity. Oral cancer is common. If a doctor finds and treats it early, it is very curable. A doctor or dentist can usually spot oral cancer with a routine mouth exam. Of all people who get oral cancer, the majority smoke or use tobacco. Drinking alcohol is also a risk factor for oral cancer.

How does smoking affect oral cancer?

Tobacco use is the single most important risk factor in getting oral cancer. People who smoke or chew tobacco, dip snuff, or smoke pipes have a much higher chance of getting oral cancer than people who do not use tobacco. The more tobacco is used and the longer it’s used, the higher the risk.

Oral cancer most commonly involves:

  • the front 2/3 of the tongue
  • the lining of the cheeks and lips (the buccal mucosa)
  • the floor of mouth under the tongue
  • the roof of the mouth (hard palate)
  • the gums (gingiva)
  • the small area behind the wisdom teeth (the retromolar trigone)
  • the minor salivary glands

Stages of Oral Cancer

Stage I. The cancer is no more than 2 centimeters and has not spread to lymph nodes in the area
Stage II. The cancer is more than 2 centimeters but less than 4 centimeters and has not spread to lymph nodes in the area
Stage III. Either of the following may be true – the cancer is more than 4 centimeters; the cancer is any size but has spread to only one lymph node on the same side of the neck as the cancer.
Stage IV. Any of the following may be true – the cancer has spread to tissues around the lip or oral cavity; the lymph nodes in the area may or may not contain cancer; the cancer is any size and has spread to more than one lymph node on the same side of the neck as the cancer, to lymph nodes on one or both sides of the neck, or to any lymph node that measures more than 6 centimeters.
Recurrent. The cancer has returned after it has been treated. It may come back in the lip and oral cavity or in another part of the body.


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What Is the Treatment Process?

How long will treatment take?

The length of treatment depends on the severity of your case and can only be determined by your doctor; however, the average case takes about 12 months for adults. The length of time necessary for a teen patient may vary and can be determined by your doctor.

How do I get started with Invisalign?

It’s simple — first take our Smile Assessment to see if Invisalign is right for you. Next make an appointment with an Invisalign Provider. Many doctors offer free initial consultations. For the best experience, take the time to find the “right” doctor, one whom you feel comfortable with, and who has experience treating cases like yours. As with other important medical decisions, sometimes it is worthwhile to seek out a second or even third opinion. Make sure you trust your smile to our experienced doctor who uses the latest techniques.

How often must I wear my aligners?

We find that aligners are most effective when worn 20 to 22 hours per day and removed only for eating, brushing and flossing.

How often must I see my Invisalign doctor?

Your doctor will schedule regular appointments usually about once every four to six weeks. The goal of these visits is to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned.

My provider mentioned “attachments”. What are they and why would I need them for my Invisalign treatment?

Depending on your specific treatment, some of the movements may require either “attachments” or “ridges” to help the aligner grip the teeth. These bumps, or wells, are where the aligner grips the attachment the doctor places on your teeth. The attachments are actually small pieces of enamel-colored composite the doctor affixes to your teeth that are then gripped by bumps on your aligners. The ridges are slim indentations in your aligners. Your doctor will use one or both of these features to attempt to achieve the desired tooth movement.

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What Is Invisalign and How Does It Work?

What are aligners made of, and what do they look like?

The virtually invisible aligners, which are made of a thermoplastic material uniquely developed for the Invisalign treatment plan, look similar to teeth-whitening trays. A series of Invisalign aligners are custom-made for you, to move your teeth in the sequence determined by your doctor.

How do the aligners straighten teeth?

Over the course of treatment, you will be supplied with a series of aligners. Each aligner will make slight adjustments to tooth position, a process that is mapped out in advance by your doctor, specifically for your situation. When the aligners are placed on the teeth, they cause the teeth to gradually shift from their current position. After approximately two weeks, you will begin using the next set of aligners, which will continue the teeth straightening process.

How will Invisalign effectively move my teeth?

Through the use of our patented thermoplastic design, Invisalign aligners move your teeth through the appropriate placement of controlled force. The main difference is that Invisalign not only controls the force, but also the timing of the force application. During each stage, only certain teeth are allowed to move. These movements are determined by your doctor as he or she maps out your unique Invisalign treatment plan.

What are the primary benefits of Invisalign?

Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible. No one may even notice that you’re wearing them, making Invisalign a seamless fit with your lifestyle. Invisalign aligners are removable. For the best results and a timely outcome, aligners should be worn for 20 to 22 hours per day. However, unlike with braces, you have the flexibility to remove your aligners to eat and drink what you want during treatment. And you can also remove the aligners to brush and floss as you normally would, for fresh breath and good oral hygiene. There are no metal brackets or wires that could cause irritation to your mouth, an advantage over traditional braces. Plus, since your office visits during treatment don’t involve metal or wire adjustments, you’ll likely spend less time in the doctor’s chair. Invisalign allows you to view your virtual results and treatment plan before you start so you can see how your straightened teeth will look when your treatment is complete. Instead of imagining how much better it can be, you’ll be able to see it for yourself.

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How to Get a Great Smile FAQ

 

I don’t like my teeth or my smile – what can I do?

A wide variety of options are available to improve tooth function and how your smile looks. Check out our “Cosmetic Procedures” section to see how other patients with similar problems were helped and call us for a free consultation to get started on your new smile.

How much does it cost to get a great smile?

Like most services, cost varies based on the amount of time required and the difficulty of the procedure(s). Generally, improving a smile requires a combination of treatment options such as bleaching, reshaping gums, and using bonded materials (resin or porcelain) to improve the appearance of the teeth. A great way to start is by having a consultation with our dentist to determine how you can reach your goals. Improving your smile is an investment in you. Learn more about our dental financing.

I have dental insurance. Will it pay for my new smile?

Most dental insurance has very low total benefits per year, which may offset the cost for regular checkups, but probably won’t pay toward cosmetic services. Insurance is a business; thus, your carrier will often contract to pay for the least expensive option instead of the best solution for your particular needs or desires. Our dentists will work to maximize your benefits, and may have suggestions for alternative methods of financing so you can obtain the treatment of choice. Call us and ask more about dental insurance and financing.

What are some benefits of cosmetic dentistry?

A great smile should improve your self-confidence, which can have a positive impact on the social and professional aspects of your life. Cosmetic dentistry is not just about pretty smiles though. New techniques and materials are available for back teeth as well as those seen when you smile. Now your mouth can look great, get healthy, and function better, all at the same time. Ask our experienced dentist what’s available for you.

What is a dentist’s responsibility?

At Desingers Smiles Dentistry, our experienced dentists are responsible for giving their patients a complete oral and dental examination and then conveying those results to the patient in a clear manner. Their responsibility is to give a thorough examination no matter what procedure the patient is seeking.

How many office visits will it take to fix my teeth and improve my smile?

This varies with each individual, depending on the need. Sometimes, you can dramatically improve your oral health and appearance in just a couple of visits. Our dentists will work to make your treatment as convenient as possible, perhaps choosing slightly longer visits instead of frequent trips to the office. Discuss your goals and concerns with your dentist so the best plan can be developed for your individual situation. If you start today, a new smile can be yours sooner than you think.

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Which toothpaste should I use?

Many dentists will tell you that the way you brush is more important than the toothpaste you use.We believe that it is all important, but that different products work better for different people. During your initial oral wellness exam, we can suggest several toothpaste options for you to try, depending on your overall oral health.

How safe are dental X-rays?

 At Designer  Smiles Dentistry we use state of the art  digital X-ray machines that limit the radiation beam to the small area being X-rayed, higher speed X-ray films that require shorter exposure time compared with older film speeds to get the same results, and the use of film holders that keep the film in place in the mouth (which prevents the film from slipping and the need for repeat X-rays and additional radiation exposure). Also, the use of lead-lined, full-body aprons protects the body from stray radiation (though this is almost nonexistent with the modern dental X-ray machines.) In addition, federal law requires that X-ray machines be checked for accuracy and safety every two years, with some states requiring more frequent checks.

What are dental sealants, who should get them, and how long do they last?

Sealants are a thin, plastic coating that is painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth — usually the back teeth (the premolars, and molars) — to prevent tooth decay. The painted on liquid sealant quickly bonds into the depressions and groves of the teeth, forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth.

How can parents help prevent tooth decay?

Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then, the dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.

Are baby teeth really that important to my child?

Primary, or “baby,” teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.


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Does mouthwash help with gum disease
We do not recommend that you use an over the counter mouthwash to help “disinfect” your gums. It is important to know that your mouth, just like the rest of your body, hosts its own healthy microcosm of bacteria. (This is a good thing!) “Disinfecting” your mouth with harsh chemicals can actually make your periodontal.

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Is an electric toothbrush better for gum disease than a regular toothbrush?

Yes. Studies have shown that a good electric toothbrush reduced plaque by 11% and symptoms of gingivitis and periodontal disease by 6%. “Brushes with a rotation oscillation action removed plaque and reduced gingivitis more effectively than manual brushes in the short term and reduced gingivitis scores in studies over 3 months.” ² In our office,


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