News - Isbell Dental

Happy New Year!

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We want to wish everyone a Happy New Year! 2016 was great and 2017 will be even better! Let’s take a look back at some of the good times we had here at Isbell Dental:


Dr. Isbell Presented with the Jack Wilson Award!

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Drs. Gordon Isbell, left, and Loren Feldner receive the Jack Wilson Award from the American Dental Political Action Committee May 3 at the Washington Leadership Conference.













More images from the event:


Teeth Grinding

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“Keep a stiff upper lip” or “get a grip!” That’s often the advice we get—and give—on how to cope with stress. If you take it literally, the result could be grinding your teeth or clenching your jaws. It’s called bruxism, and often it happens as you sleep.

Teeth grinding can be caused not just by stress and anxiety but by sleep disorders, an abnormal bite or teeth that are missing or crooked. The symptoms of teeth grinding include:

  • dull headaches
  • jaw soreness
  • teeth that are painful or loose
  • fractured teeth

Your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth during sleep. In some cases, your dentist or physician may recommend taking a muscle relaxant before bedtime. If stress is the cause you need to find a way to relax. Meditation, counseling and exercise can all help reduce stress and anxiety.

Teeth grinding is also common in children. However, because their teeth and jaws change and grow so quickly it is not usually a damaging habit that requires treatment and most outgrow it by adolescence.

Although in adults teeth grinding is often the result of stress, the same is not always true with children. Other possible causes of teeth grinding in children include:

  • irritation in the mouth
  • allergies
  • misaligned teeth

If you’re concerned about your child’s teeth grinding, ask your dentist about the potential causes and, if necessary, the possible solutions.

The above text is from the ADA @

Getting a good night’s rest is really important to your busy and productive day. Loss of sleep can lead to so many other issues, but we can help you!  Give us a call today if you would like more info on getting a night guard or a splint to stop teeth grinding at night.


Presi-dental Health: 4 Strange (But True) Tales

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From the ADA site

Presi-dental Health: 4 Strange (But True) Tales

Hail to the Chief—and his teeth! You may remember their smiles and expressions from portraits and photographs, but do you know the stories behind them? Read on for some fascinating facts about our commanders in chief.

George Washington
Photo: Library of Congress

George Washington Never Wore Wooden Dentures

Tooth decay and tooth loss plagued George Washington throughout his adult life. The Journal of the American Revolution states the father of our country had his first tooth pulled at 24 and had only one left at inauguration. Mount Vernon, Washington’s estate, says his troublesome teeth made the president self-conscious and reluctant to speak in public.

While it’s true Washington wore dentures, they were never wooden. He had many pairs made with many different materials, including: hippopotamus ivory, bone, gold wire, copper screws, lead and even human teeth. His wife, Martha, also had a partial denture. “Well aware of her husband’s travails, Martha regularly urged her children and grandchildren to tend to the care of their teeth,”Mount Vernon states.


President Grover Cleveland
Photo: Library of Congress

Grover Cleveland Had Top-Secret Oral Cancer Surgery – On a Yacht

Near the beginning of his second term in 1893, Grover Cleveland faced two major issues. Nationally, the country was entering a depression. Personally, a bump in his mouth had formed, grown and was diagnosed as cancer. To prevent nationwide panic, a clandestine plan was hatched.

On June 30, Cleveland boarded a yacht in New York Harbor with six doctors. In a 90-minute surgery the next day, surgeons removed the cancerous tumor, five teeth and part of his upper left jaw. Cleveland sat in a chair attached to the mast of the ship. His only anesthesia was laughing gas and ether. Four days later, Cleveland got off the yacht in Cape Cod and finished recovering at his summer home. He was later fitted with a rubber prosthesis that helped him speak normally again.


President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Photo: Library of Congress

Dwight D. Eisenhower: Dental Emergency or UFO Coverup?

On February 20, 1954, Dwight D. Eisenhower was eating a chicken wing in Palm Springs, California, when the cap on one of his front teeth popped off. He spent his Saturday night at an emergency dental appointment, and the unexpected trip caused led to many false reports (including an Associated Press report that he had died of a heart attack).

It also birthed a UFO conspiracy theory. Some believe the dental visit was a cover up for a secret meeting with aliens at Edwards Air Force Base. “In the most recent version of this story, alleged in several books dating back to the late 1980s, two aliens offered to share their knowledge with earthlings if Ike would eliminate America’s nuclear weapons,” according to the Bulletin of Dental Education (July 2004).

Thanks to Eisenhower’s long military service and time as president, his dental records are thorough and document many troubles with that particular crown. Still, the theory lives on with believers because the dentist who treated Eisenhower passed away without leaving record of the visit.


White House dental office
Photo: Harry S. Truman Library & Museum

The President Doesn’t Go Far to Visit to the Dentist

In fact, the dentist comes to him. The White House has had a dental office since the Hoover administration. President Barack Obama told Jimmy Kimmelfirst learned about it when he thought he had a loose cap. “Got the whole chair, everything is all there set up in the basement,” he said. (The image above is what the room looked like in 1948, when Harry S. Truman was president.)

Composite Veneers

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Dr. Ross Isbell recently did a Composite Veneer case and this is the before and after shot. This patient won’t have to worry about showing that beautiful smile! If you are hesitant about greeting people with a smile, give us a call (256-547-3589) today and let us help you restore your confidence!


The Promises From ADA Dentists to Their Patients

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Dr. Isbell is a 35 year member of ADA. He presently serves as VP of the Alabama Dental Association. He has served nationally as chairman of the Council on Dental Practice for ADA and as co chair of ADA’s ADPAC (American Dental Political Action Committee) in Washington D.C.. 

The following is information from the ADA’s site:

Ethics: The 5 Promises ADA Dentists Make to Their Patients

When it comes to choosing a dentist, character counts. In a 2015 survey by the American Dental Association, 69 percent of people polled said they were more likely to choose an ADA member the next time they were looking for a dentist. 

The reasons why are simple. Patients who took the survey said they appreciate the patient-first promise that ADA dentists make as part of the association’s code of ethics. “To me, nothing matters more than doing what I do ethically, honestly and to the best of my ability,” says American Dental Association spokesperson Dr. Matthew Messina. 

Here’s a breakdown of the 5 pledges dentists make in the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct and what you can expect at your next appointment. 

Respect for a Patient’s Wants and Needs

As a patient, you have the right to be involved in decisions about your treatment and to expect privacy and confidentiality. “The code reminds all dentists that they have the duty to put the patient first, to involve the patient in treatment decisions in a meaningful way and to treat the patient taking into account the patient’s desires, as long as those desires are within the bounds of accepted treatment,” says Dr. Linda Himmelberger. 

Do No Harm

Your dentist’s duty is to keep you safe and healthy. Part of this is keeping his or her knowledge and skills current and referring patients to specialists when necessary. “To ‘Do No Harm’ is really the Golden Rule,” says Dr. Jane Gillette. “Dentists practice ‘Do No Harm’ in many ways, but one universal expression is dedication to keeping their knowledge and skills up-to-date. New science and technology can quickly emerge. In response, dentists complete a tremendous number of hours in continuing education annually to provide patients with the highest level of science-based effective and safe care.” 

Do Good

This means your dentist provides high-quality and timely treatment, while considering your needs, desires and values. “To do good for a dentist means to consider each patient as an individual and whatever is in their best interest. We discuss treatment options together so we come to an agreement about what’s best,” says Dr. Cathleen Taylor-Osborne, Director of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Bureau of Oral Health. “It’s also important to use scientific evidence for the public good, such as fluoridation.” 


Your dentist does not discriminate and will provide dental care without prejudice. “Everyone is treated fairly, regardless of race, creed, religion, socioeconomic background, ethnicity and current health conditions,” Dr. Taylor-Osborne says. 


The best doctor-patient relationships are based on trust and honesty. “Truth in diagnosis and treatment planning is so vital,” Dr. Taylor-Osborne says. “Once you and your dentist have that trust, you can be partners, which will help you both gain so much going forward.” 

Time Hop 1 Year Ago!

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Composite Dentist Of The Year006

How Often Should I Floss?

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lied about flossingWe’ve all done it, because no one wants to tell their dentist how often they ‘really’ floss, right? It’s important to always remember that your dentist is on your team and only wants to be a part of providing you the best oral health possible. So be honest and take their advice! How often should you floss? Here is some great information about flossing from the American Dental Association:

Flossing is an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums. The American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day to help remove plaque from the areas between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. This is important because plaque that is not removed by brushing and flossing can eventually harden into calculus or tartar. Flossing also helps prevent gum disease and cavities.

What Is The Best Time to Floss—Before or After Brushing?

A Spring 2015 poll asked readers if they brush before or after they floss. The results were close: 53% said they brush before, while 47% said after.

So who’s right? Technically, everyone. The most important thing about flossing is to do it. As long as you do a thorough job, it doesn’t matter when. Pick a time of day when you can devote an extra couple of minutes to your dental care. People who are too tired at the end of the day may benefit from flossing first thing in the morning or flossing after lunch. Others might like to go to bed with a clean mouth.

And don’t forget, children need to floss too! You should be flossing your child’s teeth as soon as he or she has two teeth that touch. Because flossing demands more manual dexterity than very young children have, children are not usually able to floss well by themselves until they are age 10 or 11.

Keep in mind that flossing should not be painful. If you floss too hard, you could damage the tissue between your teeth. If you’re too gentle, you might not be getting the food out. It’s normal to feel some discomfort when you first start flossing, but don’t give up. With daily brushing and flossing, that discomfort should ease within a week or two. If your pain persists, talk to your dentist.

What Should I Use to Floss?

There are several options for cleaning between teeth. You might choose to use dental floss or another product specifically made for this purpose like a dental pick, pre-threaded flosser, tiny brushes that reach between the teeth, water flosser or wooden plaque remover. Ask your dentist how to use them properly to avoid injuring your gums. It could be that you simply need to try another type of dental floss—waxed, unwaxed, thick or comfort floss. Stick with it and you’ll have adopted a healthy habit for life.

Talk to your dentist about what types of oral care products will be most effective for you. Look for products that contain the ADA Seal of Acceptance so you know they have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness.

Video from AGD annual meeting in San Francisco June 18-21

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Dr. Isbell was awarded the 2015 AGD Distinguished Service Award. It took place in San Francisco from June 18-21. The award recognizes an AGD council, committee or task force member who has exhibited outstanding leadership capabilities and whose contributions have resulted in significant and fundamental advances toward filling the AGD’s overall mission, according to a news release from the organization. Only 31 of AGD’s 39,000 members have received the award since its inception in 1986. Here is a video of Dr. Isbell’s acceptance of the award.

What is gingivitis? What causes gingivitis?

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The following is an article from It has some very helpful information about Gingivitis, it’s causes, diagnosis and treatment. 

Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums (gingiva). It commonly occurs because of films of bacteria that accumulate on the teeth – plaque; this type is called plaque-induced gingivitisGingivitis is a non-destructive type of periodontal disease. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which is more serious and can eventually lead to loss of teeth.

A patient with gingivitis will have red and puffy gums, and they will most likely bleed when they brush their teeth. Generally, gingivitis resolves with good oral hygiene – longer and more frequent brushing, as well as flossing. Some people find that using an antiseptic mouthwash, alongside proper tooth brushing and flossing also helps.

In mild cases of gingivitis, patients may not even know they have it, because symptoms are mild. However, the condition should be taken seriously and addressed immediately.

Gingivitis before and after-2
(Top) Severe gingivitis before treatment.
(Bottom) After mechanical debridement of teeth and surrounding gum tissues

There are two main categories of gingival diseases (1999 World Workshop in Clinical Periodontics):

  • Dental plaque-induced gingival disease
    Gingivitis caused only by plaque
    Gingivitis caused by systemic factors
    Gingivitis caused by medications
    Gingivitis caused by malnutrition
  • Non-plaque induced gingival lesions
    Gingival diseases – caused by a specific bacterium
    Gingival diseases – caused by a specific virus
    Gingival diseases – caused by a specific fungus
    Gingival diseases – caused by genetic factors
    Gum inflammations caused by systemic conditions
    Gum inflammations caused by traumatic lesions
    Gum inflammations caused by reactions to foreign bodies
    Gum inflammations without known causes

What are the signs and symptoms of gingivitis?

A symptom is something the patient feels and describes, such as painful gums, while a sign is something everybody, including the doctor or nurse can see, such as swelling.

In mild cases of gingivitis there may be no discomfort or noticeable symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of gingivitis may include:

  • Gums are bright red or purple
  • Gums are tender, and sometimes painful to the touch
  • Gums bleed easily when brushing teeth or flossing
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Inflammation (swollen gums)
  • Receding gums
  • Soft gums

What are the causes of gingivitis?

The accumulation of plaque and tartar

The most common cause of gingivitis is the accumulation of bacterial plaque between and around the teeth, which triggers an immune response, which in turn can eventually lead to the destruction of gingival tissue, and eventually further complications, including the loss of teeth.

Dental plaque is a biofilm that accumulates naturally on the teeth. It is usually formed by colonizing bacteria that are trying to stick to the smooth surface of a tooth. Some experts say that they might help protect the mouth from the colonization of harmful microorganisms. However, dental plaque can also cause tooth decay, and periodontal problems such as gingivitis and chronic periodontitis.

When plaque is not removed adequately, it causes an accumulation of calculus (tartar – it has a yellow color) at the base of the teeth, near the gums. Calculus is harder to remove, and can only be removed professionally.

Plaque and tartar eventually irritate the gums.

Gingivitis may also have other causes, including:

  • Changes in hormones – which may occur during pubertymenopause, the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. The gingiva may become more sensitive, raising the risk of inflammation.
  • Some diseases – such as cancerdiabetes, and HIV are linked to a higher risk of developing gingivitis.
  • Drugs – oral health may be affected by some medications, especially if saliva flow is reduced. Dilantin (anticonvulsant), and some anti-angina medications may also cause abnormal growth of gum tissue.
  • Smoking – regular smokers more commonly develop gingivitis compared to non-smokers.
  • Family history – experts say that people whose parent(s) has/had gingivitis, have a higher risk of developing it themselves.

Diagnosing gingivitis

A dentist or oral hygienist checks for gingivitis symptoms, such as plaque and tartar in the oral cavity.

Checking for signs of periodontitis may also be recommended; this may be done by X-ray or periodontal probing.

What are the treatment options for gingivitis?

If the patient is diagnosed early on, and treatment is prompt and proper, gingivitis can be successfully reversed.

Treatment involves care by a dental professional, and follow-up procedures carried out by the patient at home.

Gingivitis care with a dental professional:

  • Plaque and tartar are removed. This is known as scaling. Some patients may find scaling uncomfortable, especially if tartar build-up is extensive, or the gums are very sensitive.
  • The dental professional explains to the patient the importance of oral hygiene, and how to effectively brush his/her teeth, as well as flossing
  • Periodically following-up on the patient, with further cleaning if necessary
  • Fixing teeth so that oral hygiene can be done effectively. Some dental problems, such as crooked teeth, badly fitted crowns or bridges, may make it harder to properly remove plaque and tartar (they may also irritate the gums).

What the patient can do at home:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day
  • Bear in mind that in most cases, electric toothbrushes do a better job than we can do on our own
  • Floss your teeth at least once a day
  • Regularly rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash. Ask your dentist to recommend one.

What are the possible complications from gingivitis?

In the vast majority of cases, if gingivitis is treated and the patient follows the dental health professional’s instructions, there are no complications. However, if the condition is left untreated, gum disease can spread and affect tissue, teeth and bones, leading to periodontitis.