Dental Visits During the Coronavirus Outbreak

dental visits during coronavirus

dental visits during coronavirusRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Update: Effective immediately, Hartrick Dentistry has decided to reschedule elective dental procedures, such as preventive care and dental cleanings until after April 6th. Our office will contact you to reschedule. If you experience a dental emergency during the next few weeks, please contact Dr. Hartrick’s office directly by calling (248) 549-0950 or contact us online. You will be asked prescreening questions to ensure the healthy and safety of our employees, and other patients that may visit our practice for necessary care. Thank you, for your continued cooperation during this time.

The pandemic of the coronavirus or COVID-19 has been the focus of media coverage and has raised concerns about the outbreak across the United States. Your dental provider in Royal Oak, Dr. Nancy Hartrick, understands your concerns. Therefore, Hartrick Dentistry is sharing information about the virus and how your health and safety is a top priority when attending your dental visits during the coronavirus outbreak.

What precautions should I take during the coronavirus outbreak?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that everyone practice social distancing, avoid group gatherings of more than 10, and stay home as much as possible. To help protect yourself, the CDC recommends washing your hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap, covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, and remain in your home if you are sick. If you are an elderly patient or suffer from chronic health conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, or hypertension, your risk of experiencing complications from the virus increases, according to the CDC. Therefore, your Birmingham dentist at Hartrick Dentistry recommends speaking with your primary care physician to determine your level of risk in contracting the COVID-19 virus.

Should I cancel my dental appointment during the coronavirus outbreak?

The American Dental Association currently encourages all elective dental appointments, including preventive care and cleanings, be postponed for a few weeks. Hartrick Dentistry will be calling our patients to reschedule their upcoming appointments. We understand this is a challenging time for everybody, and we appreciate your patience as we navigate through this pandemic together.

If I have a dental emergency, should I still go to the dentist?

Dental emergencies seem to happen at the least convenient times. Even in the wake of a pandemic, a dental emergency still needs to be addressed, especially if you are in pain. Dental pain is typically a sign of a more serious condition that could indicate an infection is present. If treatment is not sought, the infection could spread to your brain or your heart and could be life-threatening. When you have dental pain, our emergency dental office in Birmingham at Hartrick Dental should be called to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. For other dental emergencies such as a loose crown or a minor chipped tooth, it is still recommended that you call to schedule an appointment right away.

How is Hartrick Dentistry protecting patients against the coronavirus?

Rest assured that Hartrick Dentistry is a clean dental practice in Royal Oak. The doctors and staff on the Hartrick Dentistry team are trained in OSHA standards for the cleanliness and sanitization of patient rooms and equipment that is used for patient care. As a general dentist in Royal Oak, Hartrick Dentistry uses EPA-approved disinfectants that are specifically formulated for use in the healthcare industry to kill bacteria, viruses, and blood-borne pathogens. Also, our clinical team that has direct contact with patients must wear protective gear such as gloves, surgical-grade masks, and goggles. To further protect the health of our patients, the CDC’s recommendation for hand hygiene is used between appointments and after handling used dental tools and equipment, even though gloves are worn. Stringent sanitizing and sterilization methods are practiced within our Royal Oak dental practice, regardless of an outbreak, to maintain a safe and healthy environment to protect our patients.

When should I cancel my appointment and not go to the dentist?

For the safety of our patients and team, we request that you contact our office before your appointment if you are running a fever, have a cough, have recently traveled, or have been around someone who has traveled outside of the U.S. In addition, if you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus, we recommend contacting your health care provider or seek medical assistance for testing.

Additional measures that you can take to prevent spreading the virus, should you become sick, is to change out your toothbrush once you are symptom-free, and regularly clean your oral appliances, such as dentures or mouthguards. Also, be sure that you wash your hands thoroughly before and after brushing or flossing your teeth, as well as when you need to remove your oral appliance.

Dental Care During the Coronavirus Outbreak in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan

Even though the coronavirus is spreading across the U.S., there is no need to panic, and you can continue to attend your regularly scheduled dental appointments if you are healthy and not showing any signs of COVID-19. If you have questions or concerns about Hartrick Dentistry’s sanitation process or need to schedule an appointment, feel free to call (248) 549-0950 or contact us online. Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram to receive updates regarding the effects of COVID-19 and your dental care.

Posted in News and Updates

Look Younger just by Changing how you Breathe

change the way you breathe

change the way you breatheRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Anti-aging is a topic on every beauty website and promoted on the packaging of cosmetic products. Did you know that your dentist also could help you turn back the clock on your appearance? Your Royal Oak dentist Dr. Nancy Hartrick wants to educate you on how you could reverse signs of aging just by breathing through your nose.

Lists of potential anti-aging tips never mention nose breathing, but it helps. You can, in fact, minimize the prominence of fine lines and wrinkles by not breathing through your mouth. Night creams, moisturizers, and even changing up your diet or exercise routine improves your appearance and helps you look younger. But, what about nasal breathing? Let’s further explore this issue.

How You Breathe Matters

Over time, how you breathe affects not only your dental health but also your body. Nasal breathing creates more oxygenation in the bloodstream and encourages the production of nitric oxide. In addition to its anti-bacterial qualities, nitric oxide relaxes the body and every major system from cardiovascular to immune. Nitric oxide helps with other medical issues as well. Scientific research shows that nitric oxide improves conditions relating to digestive troubles, immune health, memory loss, and behavioral disorders.

The benefits of nitric oxide include:

  • Increases memory and learning abilities
  • Regulates blood pressure
  • Invokes healthy response to inflammation
  • Improves your quality of sleep
  • Increases both endurance and strength
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Encourages both healthy immune system and gut function
  • Reduces chronic pain
  • Reduces your risk of heart disease
  • Manages symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Slows signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines

There is no way to stop aging in its tracks. However, there is a difference between graceful healthy aging and the signs of aging appearing too quickly. Having healthy blood circulation, a strong heart, and a well-functioning cardiovascular system lowers your body’s stress levels. Between the anti-inflammatory abilities and its effects on blood flow, nitric oxide also encourages vibrant, natural, healthy-looking skin.

Am I Breathing Through My Nose?

You probably never think about how you breathe—whether you do so through your nose or mouth. After all, breathing is an unconscious bodily function unless you suffer from a condition that makes breathing more difficult. We’ve all seen or heard someone referred to as a “mouth breather.” That’s usually an insult related to intelligence, but also a negative association that doesn’t apply in this discussion.

At Hartrick Dentistry, we can help you decipher if you’re breathing through your mouth or not. We recommend looking out for these common symptoms:

Signs of mouth breathing while asleep:

  • Snoring
  • Drooling
  • Dry mouth
  • Waking up throughout the night (sometimes paired with the need to urinate frequently)
  • Teeth grinding (clinically known as bruxism)

Signs of mouth breathing while awake:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Cavities
  • Gum disease
  • Regularly occurring headaches that may feel like migraines

The Causes of Mouth Breathing

There are different reasons why you may not be able to breathe through your nose. Many of them relate to some obstruction in your airway. Mouth breathing, however, is a bad habit that may develop after chronic nasal congestion. Or it could be temporary if it’s related to an issue like allergies. It may need some form of medical treatment. Mouth breathing has been linked to enlarged adenoids, tonsils, and nasal polyps. It may be due to the shape of your nasal passage or having a constricted airway, which can lead to obstructive sleep apnea. You may be suffering from a deviated septum or TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder).

Treating Mouth Breathing in Royal Oak

Mouth breathing is not healthy, but an airway-centric dentist like Dr. Hartrick provides treatment for airway disorders. Dr. Hartrick may recommend a course of myofunctional therapy, which uses specific exercises to correct oral posture and promote nasal breathing. Ideal oral posture is with lips closed, teeth closed, and the tongue resting gently against the roof of the mouth.

If you or someone you love is breathing through their mouth, then call Hartrick Dentistry at (248) 549-0950. Our educated and experienced staff wants to help you stay as healthy, vibrant, and youthful as possible. Schedule a consultation today to treat your mouth breathing if you live in the areas of Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan.

Posted in Myofunctional Therapy

How a Royal Oak Dentist can Help you Sleep Better

dentist helps you sleep better

dentist helps you sleep betterRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Dentists play a vital role in identifying cases of sleep-related disorders. After all, your dentist sees the inside of your mouth more than any other physician. Dr. Nancy Hartrick offers airway screenings at her Royal Oak dental office. These screenings are available for patients of any age, including infants. Since sleep-related disorders often involve the airway, find out how Dr. Hartrick can help you sleep better.

What are sleep-related disorders?

One of the most common sleep-related disorders is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and it affects 18 million Americans. Unfortunately, many of these sufferers are unaware that they have this condition, which means they aren’t doing anything to manage it. Sleep apnea is characterized by pauses in breathing or low breathing while asleep. It also results in snoring, although you could have OSA and not snore.

What are the signs of sleep apnea?

Untreated sleep apnea leads to chronic daytime fatigue, frequent headaches, irritability, and dry mouth or throat upon waking up. Managing sleep apnea reduces these symptoms and helps you rest better. Because sleep apnea sufferers may have pauses in their breathing hundreds or more times a night, it is crucial to manage this disorder.

What does my dentist have to do with my snoring?

Sleep apnea screenings or airway assessments can easily be conducted during a routine dental exam or checkup. Dentists are most familiar with structures inside the mouth, including soft tissues of the throat and airway. While a dentist cannot diagnose sleep apnea, a screening proves useful in identifying the disorder. Dr. Hartrick can then collaborate with a sleep specialist to ensure you get the care that you need.

Dental Signs of Sleep Apnea

A sleep apnea assessment may include looking for these changes in a patient’s oral health. Here is what Dr. Hartrick assesses when conducting a sleep apnea screening.


Bruxism is clenching and grinding your teeth while asleep. Lots of people do this, even children, and aren’t aware of it. But, if your teeth look flat on the chewing surface, you suffer from jaw pain or unexplained dental pain and have frequent headaches, you could have bruxism. It not only damages your teeth, but you are more likely to have a sleep-breathing disorder. A customized oral appliance protects your teeth from the damage caused by bruxism.

Enlarged Throat Tissue

Tonsils and adenoids sometimes are enlarged, which formed this way naturally as a person developed. However, the enlarged soft tissue of the throat may easily block or restrict airflow while sleeping. Dr. Hartrick assesses throat tissue for any obstruction.

Breathing Habits

The best way to breathe to maximize oxygenation in the blood is through the nose. Many people mouth breathe, although this is detrimental to your overall health. Mouth breathing also indicates that you may have sleep apnea. Dr. Hartrick will observe how you breathe to determine if you are a mouth breather and could benefit from myofunctional therapy to correct this orofacial myofunctional disorder. Simple exercises can help train your mouth and tongue to function properly and rest in the correct position to facilitate breathing through the nose.

Addressing these dental concerns is part of managing sleep apnea. While a CPAP machine can be worn at night to force air into the airway, it is merely a band-aid and doesn’t address the underlying cause of a sleep-breathing disorder. Once your sleep apnea is well controlled, you will sleep better and feel rejuvenated. To find out more or schedule a sleep apnea screening in Royal Oak, call Hartrick Dentistry at (248) 549-0950. We provide airway screenings to the Royal Oak and Birmingham areas of Michigan.

Posted in Sleep Apnea

What your Child’s ADHD Symptoms have to do with the Dentist

adhd symptoms and dentist

adhd symptoms and dentistRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

A good night’s rest typically helps us wake refreshed and energized for the day. However, breathing problems or sleep disorders in children can keep them from getting the necessary rest the body needs. One of the most common sleep disorders is known as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your child’s throat blocks their airway while sleeping, causing a temporary disruption in airflow and disrupts their sleep causing “microarousals” that often go unnoticed by your child. Unfortunately, the lack of sleep can cause drowsiness, irritability, and behavior conerns that often are diagnosed as ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Find out what your child’s ADHD symptos have to do with your Royal Oak dentist, Dr. Nancy Hartrick.

Multiple studies have been conducted to further understand the relationship between sleep apnea and behavioral problems in children. In the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a major study was written and published by Dr. Karen Bonuck, who said, “We found that children with sleep-disordered breathing were from 40 to 100 percent more likely to develop neurobehavioral problems by age 7, compared with children without breathing problems. The biggest increase was in hyperactivity, but we saw significant increases across [other] behavioral measures.” Therefore, the correct diagnosis of the child’s behavioral problems is critical for the appropriate treatment to be provided to the child. Although sleep apnea requires the official diagnosis of the child’s physician or sleep specialist, a dentist that treats sleep apnea often collaborates with the child’s physician for treatment.

What treatments are available through Hartrick Dentistry to help children suffering from sleep apnea?

Treatment for your child’s sleep apnea will vary, depending on the severity of their condition, and their response to invasive treatments. If your child is older and their jaw growth is complete, there are other treatments available. For example, an oral appliance can be custom-made to fit your child’s teeth that they will wear while sleeping at night. The appliance fits your child’s teeth much like a retainer or a sports mouthguard. Oral appliance therapy can aid in maintaining an open, unobstructed airway through the night.

However, in some cases, the dentist may refer your child to a surgeon for a tonsillectomy, or the removal of the adenoids. Another procedure to help open the airway is to expand the child’s palate or the roof of their mouth through nonsurgical means. This may be accomplished through orthodontic therapy.

Sleep Apnea Screening for Children, Royal Oak

Behavioral problems in children are not caused simply because the child desires to be defiant. Often, there are underlying causes of bad behavior, and it is necessary to accurately diagnose the cause of their behavior. Although ADHD is often diagnosed in children, it could be that an undetected sleep disorder is present and is causing behavioral issues in your child. Therefore, it is important that you express your concern to your child’s physician and request a sleep study be conducted. If the child is officially diagnosed with sleep apnea by their physician or sleep specialist, Hartrick Dentistry can help you find the right treatment that will suit your child’s specific needs. Contact us today at (248) 549-0950 if you are seeking sleep apnea solutions for your child in the Royal Oak or Birmingham area.

Posted in Pediatric

4 Reasons Professional Teeth Whitening is Better

professional teeth whitening

professional teeth whiteningRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Your dentist has likely told you about the importance of good oral care. However, even if you are diligent about your dental hygiene, the appearance of your teeth can change. Age, lifestyle choices, and the consumption of certain foods and beverages can lead to stains developing on the surfaces of your teeth. You can remove those stains and brighten your entire smile by getting a professional teeth whitening treatment.

There are many products out there that promise a whiter smile: toothpaste, mouth rinses, or store-bought kits. However, for the best results and the utmost protection for your oral health, Dr. Nancy Hartrick can perform a professional dental whitening treatment at her Royal Oak dental office. Here are four reasons why a whitening procedure administered by your Birmingham cosmetic dentist is the best option for maintaining a sparkling white smile.

Reason 1) Ingredients are more powerful and provide consistent results

Teeth whitening products contain an active bleaching agent that removes surface stains. Any over-the-counter product is going to have a less potent active agent than the professional treatments used by your dentist. Whitening products that you purchase in stores are designed with a one-size-fits-all approach, and therefore, the bleaching solution is much weaker than what a dentist has to offer. Store-bought whitening products also will not last as long, meaning you will have to repeat treatments more often. At Hartrick Dentistry, all of our whitening treatments use powerful active agents that generate dazzling results that last.

Reason 2) Professional whitening treatments are safer

You may think that because our whitening treatments use stronger active ingredients, they can do more harm to your teeth. The opposite is true. First off, each of our treatments is administered by an oral health professional who is trained and experienced working with these products, minimizing risks of damaging your teeth. Our treatments also are safer because the results last longer. Any time you have your teeth whitened, your teeth need time to recover and remineralize. This occurs naturally, but if you repeat a whitening treatment too soon, your teeth don’t get a chance to remineralize as quickly. Your enamel serves as the durable protective outer layer of your tooth structure, so if it becomes compromised, your teeth are more vulnerable to decay and injury.

Reason 3) Professional whitening treatments are customized

No two people are the same. Your teeth and mouth are unique, too. That’s why, when you choose to receive professional teeth whitening treatment in Royal Oak at Hartrick Dentistry, we use trays that are customized for your mouth, ensuring that the bleaching agent touches as much of your teeth as possible, and not your gums. With an over-the-counter whitening kit, the trays and strips you use are constructed as a one-size-fits-all delivery method, which means the bleaching solution will likely smear on your gums and could be ingested.

Reason 4) Professional whitening treatments yield instant results

Our professional whitening treatments at Hartrick Dentistry provide profound results. Usually administered in less than an hour, our whitening treatments in Birmingham dramatically change the brightness of your teeth. By contrast, store-bought products take longer to work. The results will be less noticeable, or maybe even minimal. This means repeat applications, further risking the strength of your tooth enamel. Ultimately, store-bought teeth whitening kits aren’t worth the time and money.

Get Whiter Teeth in Royal Oak

At Hartrick Dentistry, we use three different whitening systems:
  • ZOOM!®, which uses a gel shined under a special light to produce dazzling results
  • Sinsational Smile®, a bleaching system that works in as little as 20 minutes
  • At-home whitening kits suitable for use at your leisure

To learn more about these treatments, contact Hartrick Dentistry today at (248) 549-0950 to schedule a consultation. We’re proud to provide state-of-the-art cosmetic dentistry to our patients in the areas of Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan.

Posted in Teeth Whitening

5 ways adults can Benefit from Myofunctional Therapy

myofunctional therapy

myofunctional therapyRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Have you ever heard of myofunctional therapy? This isn’t just a fancy-sounding word; it’s a form of therapy that has been successful in treating a host of different orofacial myofunctional disorders that affect people of all ages. Myofunctional therapists in Royal Oak want to make sure you’re aware of this therapy and its advantages. While myofunctional therapy is most often prescribed for children, adults can benefit from it too. Find out five ways that adults can benefit from this therapy.

Benefit 1: It’s convenient

In fact, myofunctional therapy is about as minimally invasive as any type of treatment out there. The exercises can be performed in a few minutes, and you can do them whenever you like: while waiting to pick up your kids from school, watching TV, or cooking. The key is repetition. While each patient is different, a typical course of myofunctional therapy starts to bear significant results after about six months.

Benefit 2: It improves and/or shortens orthodontic treatment

Many adults who want to straighten their teeth are self-conscious about getting braces because of the perceived social stigma associated with having them at that stage in life. Myofunctional therapy makes it possible to spend less time in braces or avoid them altogether. When you go through myofunctional therapy, the muscles in your cheeks and jaw are stronger, as is your tongue. This can make it easier for your mouth to support a removable method of orthodontic treatment, such as the clear plastic aligners used with Invisalign treatment. Having a removable appliance also makes it easier to clean your teeth and maintain a high level of dental hygiene.

Benefit 3: It can help relieve sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep breathing disorder that affects more than 22 million Americans. Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that must be treated by a qualified professional to alleviate. Patients living with untreated sleep apnea eventually face an elevated risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and depression. Myofunctional therapy actually can help treat sleep apnea. A course of myofunctional exercises can strengthen the mouth, tongue, and neck muscles, preventing soft tissue collapses that occur during sleep. When these muscles become stronger, it becomes easier to maintain an open airway while sleeping.

Benefit 4: It can improve your looks

Yes, myofunctional therapy actually can change your looks. If you breathe through your mouth all of the time, this can alter your appearance: narrowing dental arches and lengthening the facial structure. Myofunctional therapy addresses the root cause of mouth breathing by encouraging optimum oral rest posture—with lips closed, teeth closed, and the tongue resting gently against the roof of the mouth. The ideal oral rest posture encourages nasal breathing, which over time, can reshape your face. The younger a patient is when beginning myofunctional therapy, the more significant the facial changes will be.

Benefit 5: Myofunctional therapy works for almost anyone

And we do mean everyone. Although this type of therapy works best on children and adolescents, adults also can benefit. Your body is always changing and remodeling itself—and myofunctional therapy capitalizes on the fact that your jawbones are among the most dynamic bones in the entire body. That means they’re more receptive to the forces released when performing myofunctional therapy.

Myofunctional Therapy for Adults in Royal Oak

Now that you’ve learned about the benefits of myofunctional therapy, are you ready to experience it for yourself? At Hartrick Dentistry, we work with an experienced, licensed myofunctional therapist in the Royal Oak area. To find out more, schedule a consultation today by calling our office at (248) 549-0950.

Hartrick Dentistry is proud to serve patients in the areas of Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan.

Posted in Myofunctional Therapy

Protect your Health by keeping your Mouth Clean

protect your health

protect your healthRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Personal hygiene can play a large part in your overall health, especially when it comes to your oral care. When you take good care of your teeth, you reduce the presence of bad bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease. The presence of bacteria is everywhere, and it is a key component of the human life cycle. There are two forms of bacteria: good bacteria that help our bodies function and bad bacteria that cause damage. A new study links lung disease to the presence of mouth bacteria. Below are the findings of the study that will highlight the importance of oral care.

The Study

The study was led by Dr. Yoshihisa Tamashita with a team of Japanese scientists from Kyushu University in Fukuoka. In a senior community located in Hisayma, Japan, the team gathered 500 elderly test subjects ranging in age from 70-80 years and analyzed their tongue microbiota composition. Then, the team used a scientific technique called genomic sequencing that revealed the presence of Prevotella histicola and Streptococcus salivarius, which is the same bacteria linked to pneumonia that resulted in death.

The Results

During the oral exams of the test subjects, these bacteria appeared in subjects with excessive amounts of plaque, decaying teeth, and in some cases, missing teeth. The first result shows that seniors with poor oral health typically ingest more dysbiotic microbiota from their tongue, potentially causing additional damage to their health. The second result shows that more research needs to be conducted to uncover the long-term effects the bacteria have on the overall health condition.

Keep Your Mouth Clean

Although there are microbes in our mouths that help fight off bad bacteria and aid in the digestion process, everything must remain in a delicate balance. When you eat foods that are high in sugar and simple starches, the bacteria that favors it can cause cavities and gum disease. To keep the bacteria at bay, Hartrick Dental recommends that you brush your teeth twice daily and floss at least once a day, get six-months checkups and cleanings at the dentist, and eat a healthy diet.

The American Heart Association states that no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar for most American women and 9 teaspoons of sugar for most American men should be consumed per day. Unfortunately, with hidden sugars in processed foods, it can be easy to over-indulge in the amount of sugar you consume. Think about this, if just one 12-ounce can of soda has eight teaspoons of sugar, after consuming the beverage, you will have exceeded the total amount of sugar that should be consumed in a day if you are a woman. The sugar that you consume sticks to your teeth and becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. Therefore, when you reduce the amount of sugar you consume over-all, you will reduce the potential for health-harming bacteria to attack your teeth.

The best way to prevent bacteria from building up is a regular regimen of brushing twice daily and flossing daily. In addition, it is important to see your local dental provider in the Royal Oak and Birmingham area, Hartrick Dentistry, for regular checkups and cleanings. At these dental visits, we will clean those hard to reach areas where plaque tends to hide and turn into tartar buildup that only special dental tools can remove.

Dental Checkups and Cleanings in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan

As we have seen, your oral health has a direct connection to your overall health. To prevent health complications, including respiratory illnesses like pneumonia, commit to a regular oral cleaning regimen, and contact Hartrick Dentistry at (248) 549-0950 to schedule an appointment today.

Posted in Oral Health

Everything you need to know about Dental Implants

what to know about dental implants

what to know about dental implantsRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Have you heard about dental implants? If you’ve been living with lost teeth and done any research on finding ways your Royal Oak dentist can restore your smile, you probably know that implants are the highest-quality tooth replacement on the market. These implants are nearly permanent. However, many people still have misconceptions about implants or how this type of dental procedure is performed. Dr. Nancy Hartrick of Hartrick Dentistry wants to help keep you informed about the best options for your dental care. To that end, we have compiled this list of the important information you should know about dental implants.

Here are the basics of dental implants

An implant has three parts: the implant screw itself, a crown, and an abutment that connects the two pieces. The implant screw serves as an artificial root for your tooth replacement. Once placed in your jawbone, it bonds naturally with your bone. This implant screw provides the sturdiest base for artificial teeth. The implant is topped with a crown made of dental porcelain, which mirrors the appearance of natural tooth enamel and can be made to match the shape, size, and color of your other real teeth.

How do you know if you need an implant?

Dr. Hartrick can install a dental implant in Royal Oak if you have permanently lost any teeth or are about to lose them due to damage or decay. However, implants are not advised for children or anyone who suffers from gum disease.

What makes implants different from other tooth replacements?

Two major differences set apart implants from other treatment options. The first is jawbone stimulation, which is more important than you might think. Your jaw gets constant stimulation from your tooth root. Without it, supporting bone will eventually experience deterioration. With dental implants, the screw replaces that root—something no other tooth replacement provides. The second difference is permanence. Dental implants are permanently attached in your mouth, and typically outlast other common tooth replacement restorations like partial dentures or a dental bridge.

How likely is it my implant procedure will be successful?

Dental implants have a 98 percent success rating, according to WebMD. That does not mean that you won’t have to keep up with your implants. Maintaining good oral hygiene is the key to having an implant that lasts the rest of your life. The success rate is also based on you finding a dentist with the right qualifications to perform the implant procedure. Remember, the placement of the implant screw itself is oral surgery. Any dentist performing an implant procedure should be experienced and educated on the latest restorative dentistry techniques, and communicate with you on every step of the process. That’s where Dr. Nancy Hartrick comes in to help.

Implant Dentistry in Royal Oak

Hartrick Dentistry has 28 years of experience in evaluating patients’ dental needs. We pride ourselves on our ability to help you make an educated decisions about your oral care. You should be aware of the benefits, risks, and the alternatives. Before beginning any implant procedure, your implant dentist should perform a thorough evaluation, consider your medical history, and discuss them with you. Dental implants could greatly improve how you feel about your smile. If you live in the Royal Oak or Birmingham, MI, area, call the office of Hartrick Dentistry today at (248) 549-0950 to schedule your consultation.

Posted in Dental Implants

Do you have Sleep Apnea? Watch for these 8 Warning Signs

do you have sleep apnea

do you have sleep apneaRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Does your partner complain about your snoring on a regular basis? Do your family members express concern that you’re gasping for air while you sleep? If you can answer yes to either of these questions, you could be suffering from a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea. Also known as OSA, obstructive sleep apnea is a medical condition that causes snoring and can lead people to stop breathing throughout the night.

Throat muscles often slack while you’re asleep, but if you have obstructive sleep apnea, your jaw and throat become too relaxed, leading to a collapse of soft tissue that blocks the airway. Estimated to affect 22 million Americans, many people suffer from this condition and don’t even know it, or they are aware of their condition yet do not seek treatment. It’s often that OSA sufferers find out from their loved ones that they snore while sleeping. Dr. Nancy Hartrick, a Royal Oak dentist that screens for sleep apnea, hopes that you’ll look out for these eight warning signs that you or someone you love may have obstructive sleep apnea.

  1. Snoring

Snoring is the most common symptom noticed when people suffer from sleep apnea. However, intermittent snoring, such as during allergy season or when battling a cold, may not be a concern.  On the other hand, snoring associated with sleep apnea is different. It sounds very loud, occurs almost continuously, and is heard by anyone who sleeps in the same room with the sleep apnea sufferer.

  1. Dry Mouth

Suffering from obstructive sleep apnea can be tricky to diagnose. But if you notice that you’re often waking up with a dry mouth and sore throat, you may have OSA. This is because people who often snore, breathe through their mouths, which inevitably dries it out and causes throat irritation.

  1. Headaches

If you’re experiencing headaches regularly, especially upon waking first thing in the morning, then this can be caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain caused by sleep apnea, and from not sleeping enough. Lowered oxygen levels cause widened blood vessels, which create vascular headaches. Your general physician can identify if you have this type of headache, which may indicate you’re suffering from sleep apnea.

  1. Daytime Drowsiness

As you do your normal daily tasks, you may notice that they’re becoming increasingly difficult. You may have trouble concentrating on the basics. Perhaps you’ve become more forgetful as of late. These are all signs of sleep deprivation, which can be caused by sleep apnea. If you have sleep apnea, each time you experience a blockage of your airway, your brain disrupts the sleep cycle to resume breathing. For someone with severe sleep apnea, these sleep interruptions may happen hundreds of times per hour—even if you never consciously wake up.

  1. Jaw Clenching

Stress can have us clenching our jaws, but jaw clenching sometimes is a sign of anxiety. Jaw clenching and teeth grinding—also known as bruxism—can be extremely destructive for your teeth. They cause enamel to weaken, leading to cracked teeth or damaged teeth. Hartrick Dentistry knows anxiety can cause teeth clenching and jaw grinding, but there is also a direct link between sleep apnea and bruxism. Both sleep apnea and bruxism can be influenced by some of the same health and lifestyle factors: misaligned bite, smoking, and being overweight.

  1. Anxiety

When you sleep less or get inadequate sleep, sleep deprivation may cause you to drink many caffeinated beverages throughout the day to keep yourself going. Partaking in moderate coffee consumption is fine, but drinking too many sodas, coffees, and other sugary drinks can lead to heightened levels of anxiety, while also raising your risk of tooth decay.

  1. Weight Gain

Many people struggle to lose weight, but with sleep apnea, it can become even more difficult. A healthy diet and regular exercise should produce positive results, but with sleep apnea, you’re not getting the sleep you need to keep your body functioning at its best. This can affect your metabolism and your ability to burn fat.

  1. Chronic Health Issues

Certain medical conditions can be caused by sleep apnea if it is untreated. Your OSA can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, acid reflux, gum disease, tooth loss… and even make you more vulnerable to certain types of cancer.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Royal Oak

Dr. Nancy Hartrick of Hartrick Dentistry wants to help you and your loved ones with customized treatment for your obstructive sleep apnea. Only a sleep specialist can diagnose OSA, but your dentist can provide customizable devices to keep your jaw stable and airway open while you sleep. Dr. Nancy Hartrick has 28 years’ worth of experience in treating her patient’s needs and customizing oral care plans that have helped people just like you. Don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation today that could change your life for the better. If you live in the Royal Oaks or Birmingham, MI area, call today at (248) 549-0950 to schedule your consultation with Hartrick Dentistry.

Posted in Sleep Apnea

Healthy Teeth, Healthy Life

healthy teeth healthy life

healthy teeth healthy lifeRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Having fitness goals is quite common. Many people take strides daily to improve or maintain their health, from exercising to eating healthy. But, fewer people include keeping their mouth healthy as part of that focus. Today on the blog, we are going to discuss how having healthy teeth means having a healthier life.

Oral health has a lot to do with the health of your body, and here’s how.

Gum disease increases the risk of heart disease and stroke

More than half of the adults in America are afflicted by gum disease, an oral disease that causes foul-smelling breath, puffy and bleeding gums, and loose teeth that eventually need extracting. The ironic part about it is that gum disease is entirely preventable in most healthy individuals. So, if you’re clocking miles on the treadmill or pumping iron in the gym in efforts of keeping your arteries clear, don’t stop there. Simply brushing and flossing daily, as well as seeing the dentist twice a year for routine checkups and cleanings can prevent gum disease from starting in the first place, and do a lot for your health.

Gingivitis is the most common form of gum disease, which is the initial stage. It presents as gums that are red, swollen, and bleed easily. At this point in the game, it can be reversed without any permanent damage being done to your oral health. But, ignore it, and you soon will find yourself dealing with progressing stages of periodontitis or gum disease. Keep your mouth healthy, and you could lower your risk of heart disease or a stroke.

Poor oral health interferes with blood glucose levels

Diabetes has a lot to do with blood glucose levels, and consequently, so does your mouth! Poor oral health that results in inflamed gums or gum disease is intricately connected to your body’s ability to regulate glucose levels. On the flip side, fluctuating glucose levels significantly impact gum health, so people with type 2 diabetes have to work extra diligently to keep their teeth and gums healthy. While eating a healthy diet that is low in refined carbohydrates and sugar, as well as exercising regularly can help decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes, so will keeping your mouth clean! Furthermore, if you are type 2 diabetic, be sure that you don’t skip out on going to the dentist. Studies prove that gum disease treatment can lower blood glucose levels in those with type 2 diabetes.

Flossing could help you lose weight

Now, before you start thinking that you can cancel your gym membership and floss to stay in shape, hang on a minute. That’s not what we are alluding to. However, studies report that poor oral health could actually cause you to have more cravings, which, in essence, could lead to weight gain. So, if you aren’t taking care of your teeth and gums, it could be part of the reason why you are packing on the pounds or struggling to lose weight. Results of one study also reported that people with a higher body mass index (BMI) are more prone to developing gum disease, which could be due in part to their diet of unhealthy foods and consuming more sugar. Point being, take care of your teeth, and you may see an improvement in your weight.

As you can see, the health of the mouth and body are connected. You can’t expect to be in impeccable health, yet neglect your mouth and vice versa. Maintaining your health should include attention to all areas of your body, such as exercising to maintain muscle tone and healthy bones, eating healthy to maintain the recommended BMI for your body type, and taking care of your oral health by brushing and flossing daily, and seeing the dentist for cleanings and checkups twice a year.

To schedule your next visit, just call Hartrick Dentistry at (248) 549-0950. We welcome patients from Birmingham and Royal Oak, Michigan.

Posted in Health

Contact Us





View our privacy policy

Dr. Nancy Hartrick, DDS
32609 Woodward Ave.
Royal Oak, MI 48073
Call: 248-549-0950
Fax: 248-549-1180