Phone: (920) 734-9148  

Oral and Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month

Because April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month we wanted to stress once again how important it is to get periodic routine dental exams.

Dental exams every six months really can save lives. At Timbercrest Dental Center, Dr. Luther looks at more than just your teeth. He’ll do a visual and tactical external and oral screening which encompasses your teeth, gums, tongue, cheek, palate, floor of the mouth, lips, lymph nodes, throat and jaw joint.  Periodically, a Panoramic radiograph  (x-ray) will be recommended  to allow him to see the entire jaw bone, tips of the roots of all the teeth, the jaw joint condyles and sinuses, and to check for cysts, tumors, abscesses, bone loss, faulty restorations, etc.

The sad fact is, oral cancer takes the life of one American every hour; because of this, your dental office often serves as a first line of defense against oral cancer.

oral cancer cell

Oral Cancer cells in pink – courtesy of

At your initial and each periodic exam, Dr. Luther and staff will perform a visual screening to determine if there are any changes to your oral health.   While most oral “sores” or “lesions” are harmless, there are some that may require additional testing to rule out a dangerous change. Dr. Luther will determine if further testing is needed. Read More »

Dental crown

Sometimes people think us dentists aren’t aware about where we fall on their “stuff I’d like to spend my time doing” lists…

Oh we know, even if we had a great soundtrack the most soothing voices and a professional masseuse on staff (two out of three ain’t bad, though), there is still a huge list of places you’d rather be. Read More »

diabetes gum disease connection

Gum Disease and Diabetes Image courtesy of WDA

I was told the bacteria in my mouth is linked to my diabetes.  How is this possible?

Diabetes and Gum Disease – Related?

Gum disease begins when plaque (that soft sticky substance that forms on the teeth) doesn’t get removed, either by brushing or flossing.   If not removed it will eventually harden into calculus, or what you may call tartar.

Gingivitis is the early stage of periodontal, or gum disease. Periodontal diseases are serious bacterial infections that destroy the attachment fibers that support bone and hold your teeth firmly in your mouth.  When this happens, your gums separate from your teeth and create pockets that hold more bacteria which create more plaque, thus starting a vicious cycle.  The more advanced the periodontal disease, the more advanced the infection and the deeper the pockets.

Read More »

By this point, you know that your teeth are our bread and butter.

Oh and hey, speaking of bread and butter…


Okay that’s not true, but chances are you’ve seen headlines like this on Facebook or Pinterest. “You mean to tell me that I can save money and use up that jar of pickle seeds, while other doofuses are paying out their nose for Hollywood smiles?” Read More »

Question? What is one of our favorite things to write about on this blog?

If you answered oral hygiene, then you’re right! Other acceptable answers include general dentistry, animals, and Broadway musicals (though I’ve a sneaking suspicion the latter are being snuffed out by our editing team).

Usually when we discuss oral hygiene it’s within the context of dental health, but we’re going to zoom out a bit today and talk about the big picture. The truth is that your oral hygiene has many health implications that go beyond just your mouth. Read More »


There are those who dread going to the dentist. They’ve had bad experiences, rude dentists, or experienced a painful appointment. We’re here to tell you there are reasons to get excited about going to the dentist!

These 10 reasons will get you excited about going to the dentist, too!

 1. Going to the Dentist is good for your overall health

Your dental health affects more than just your teeth and gums. Proper dental hygiene can help prevent heart disease, stroke, and respiratory problems.

2. Dentists are there to help you

Their job is to help you achieve a healthy and beautiful smile. Ask them questions and follow their advice. When your dentist tells you to floss every night, do it!

3. Dentists are people too

Tell them why you’re nervous before your exam and they will try to make it better. Even the grumpiest of grumps will understand that you’re nervous and try to help.


4. Prevention is the best way to catch and treat any dental issues

Hey, if they do find something, as long as it’s caught early it’ll be easier to fix (and less costly) too! Dentists can look for signs of other diseases such as diabetes.

5. Save Money!

Yes, if your dentist is able to catch dental issues early, those early treatments will cost much less than if you waited.

6. Set a good example for your kids

Are you nervous about the dentist? If so, it will rub off on your children! Help get them excited to visit the dentist by being excited yourself. Don’t tell them any horror stories until they’re much older.



7. Save you hours of work

Americans lose 164 million hours a year of work time due to dental issues. Preventative care can save you lost wages and hours of sitting in a dentist’s chair.


8. The fresh clean feeling of your teeth

Come on. What’s better than that “fresh from the dentist” clean-mouth feeling? Show off those pearly whites!


9. A dentist appointment gets you out of work for a couple hours!

On the bright side, a dental appointment can get you out of work for an hour or two. Who says you can’t stop by Starbucks on your way back?


10. You’re taking great care of your health

You’re among the 61.2% of Americans who visit the dentist and take great care of their teeth. Smile!

Oral Cancer is a devastating disease when detected in its later stages; in the later stages it usually involves major surgery and has about a 50% success rate.  Oral Cancer kills more people nationwide than either melanoma or cervical cancer.

Good News About Oral Cancer

But…when Oral Cancer is detected early by your dentist, the chances of a complete cure are highest (around 90%)!  Regular dental checkups, which include an exam of the entire mouth, are essential in the early detection of both cancerous and precancerous lesions.

Oral Lesion BrushBiopsy

Oral Lesion Brush Biopsy – Courtesy of Oral CDX – OralScan Laboratories, Inc.

Oral sores and lesions are extremely common, with the majority being totally harmless.

But some can contain abnormal cells and be potentially dangerous.  It’s sometimes impossible to visually determine whether a sore or lesion is a problem.  Thankfully, your dentist can perform a quick and painless test (called a brush biopsy) that can help to identify any lesions requiring further treatment from the harmless ones.

Read More »

Cold sore season is fast approaching.

image of cold sore

Cold Sore Blister on Lip – courtesy of

As you may know, cold sores are extremely contagious.

More than 85% of the American population is infected with the contagious virus that causes cold sores, and with 40% of the population suffering from recurrent, painful cold sore outbreaks, the coming season is often viewed with trepidation.

Besides being painful and unsightly, cold sores are the leading cause of non-impact blindness in the U.S.  Keratitis results from touching the cold sore and then simply touching the eye.

Sporting an oozing cold sore can also be dangerous around newborn babies because they have weakened immune systems.

But we have good news! Read More »

There is still time to use dental insurance benefits this year.


If you need a filling, crown, etc. and/or a dental cleaning, there is still time to access unused dental insurance benefits for 2014.

While space is getting very limited, there are still a few openings in December, 2014.

Dental insurance may be included in your (or spouse’s) employee benefit package, but it only truly becomes a benefit to you if you use it.
Call Timbercrest Dental Center to schedule your needed work 920-734-9148.



Let’s face it…kids like to suck on thumbs.  And fingers, and pacifiers.

Its a natural reflex that relaxes them and makes them feel safe and happy.  But, if they continue or overuse this habit, problems can occur with proper growth of the mouth and alignment of the teeth.

This can manifest in an open bite where the front teeth don’t meet or the top front teeth are flared out to make room for the thumb or pacifier.

Open bite due to thumb sucking

Child’s open bite due to thumb sucking – Photo credit to Giorgio Fiorelli

Your child should grow out of his or her finger or thumb sucking habit by age four; while children should not use pacifiers after age two. Read More »

Anybody who has pets know that they are a member of the family. You grow accustomed to their personality and behaviors as much as any other person beneath your roof.

Along with providing love and safety, you strive to provide for all of their needs and take care of them. You probably even feel like you should be able to claim them as a deduction on your income taxes (No? Just me?). Read More »

Halloween Infographic

Losing a tooth can be one of the worst feelings in the world. Not only can it make you feel self-conscious but the strange sensation in your mouth where the tooth used to be can keep you from staying properly nourished.

A popular solution to broken or missing teeth is dental implants. Dental implants fuse to your jawbone and allow fake teeth to be mounted with the use of an abutment (or connecting element placed between the false teeth and the implant screw).

Dental implants have been around since ancient China, and archaeological evidence shows that, over time, people have dealt with the problem of missing teeth by trying to fill the gap with anything from seashells to ivory to precious metals.

Dentists emptied their seashell collections in 1965 when the first titanium implant was placed at Sweden’s Gothenburg University and following this genesis, the practice has seen rapid progress leading to the advanced state of the industry we are in today. Read More »

With the kids back in school and crisp autumn days approaching, we automatically think football.  But along with school sports comes the protective sports mouthguard.

While our minds don’t automatically jump to mouthguards in the fall, keeping your smile and teeth healthy and protected is a big job for this small dental appliance. A fitted, custom-made mouthguard will help absorb the shock and spread the impact of a blow to the face in the event of an injury.

Broken or knocked out teeth, broken jaws and cuts to the lips and mouth can occur when playing sports.  The American Dental Association (ADA) states an athlete is 60 times more likely to suffer harm to the teeth and mouth when nor wearing a mouthguard.  And you don’t have to be a professional athlete to have damage to your mouth or teeth.

Read More »

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know how important oral hygiene is for us…and you.

Coming from a dentist, this might sound like a cliché, but there are few things as important to your overall health as brushing and flossing twice a day.

For the majority of us, we come home to a toothbrush in the medicine cabinet or our gym bag. When it’s time to replace our trusty toothbrush (every three months, by the way), we head down to the local drugstore or Walmart and grab a new one for 1.98. Easy. There has never been a “Great United States Toothbrush Shortage,” or “Toothpaste Drought of 1911.” These items are always around us as they have always been. Read More »

Baby teeth start to come in at around six months of age and your child

should have all 20 baby teeth between age two and three.


Teething Tips

When teeth start to erupt, some babies may have sore or tender gums. Read More »

Come celebrate with us as we celebrate Go Valley Kids’ 1st year! Go Valley Kids has become an amazing go to spot for Northeast Wisconsin’s families looking for events and local resources . Come connect with other families and join us for ice cream, princesses, children’s activities, music and more!

Go Valley Kids SocialGo Valley Kids has partnered with Outagamie School’s Back to School Program which has been providing needy students in grades K-12 with a backpack & basic supplies for that very important first day of school since 1990!
The event is free but ask that you bring a school supply donation (or suggested donation $5).
Suggested donations (items must be new):
Backpacks, Markers, Glue Bottles, Filler paper, Colored Pencils, Folders,  Notebooks, Glue sticks, and Erasers

Friday, 08 August, 2014
6:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Patriot Park
2950 W Darling St
Appleton, WI 54914

Amanda Chavez
Email: [email protected]
Go Valley Kids Facebook Event Page

Does a spoonful of ice cream or a sip of hot coffee sometimes become a painful experience for you? Does brushing or flossing make you wince occasionally? If so, you may have sensitive teeth.

Sensitive teeth are the result of stimulation of the cells within tiny tubules that run from the outside of the tooth into the center of the tooth where the nerve and blood supply is located. Where healthy enamel covers the tooth surface, you usually don’t feel pain, but when the hard enamel is worn away or exposed, teeth can become sensitive by eating or drinking foods and beverages that are hot or cold (think soup or iced soda), by touching the tooth (even with a toothbrush) or by exposing them to cold air (breathing through your mouth in the dead of winter). Read More »


Cats Flossing Teeth

Image credit to Craig Wyzik | Flickr


Although your dentist has the delicate task of taking care of your mouth and monitoring your oral health, most of what will be done in your life to maintain your smile comes down to oral hygiene.

It’s true that oral hygiene can be confusing with lots of conflicting opinions about what is effective and what is not. Here are some of the straight facts:



Read More »

Oh no – what can I replace my missing tooth with?

If you’re missing one or more teeth, you may be aware of the impact on your appearance and dental health.  A missing tooth in front affects the way you speak, chew and smile.  Missing teeth in the back can cause your mouth to shift and your face to look older than your years.

The good news is, there are three options when it comes to replacing a missing tooth:

  1. Dental Implant
  2. Fixed Bridge (aka “Fixed Partial Denture” or “FPD”)
  3. Removable Bridge (aka “Partial” or “Partial Denture”)

Each option has advantages and disadvantages, and Dr. Luther can help you choose the best option for you. Read More »