Category

Featured

Bleeding Gums

What causes bleeding gums?

By | Featured, Health & Wellness

It’s human nature to avoid things that cause discomfort, and bleeding gums are pretty uncomfortable! It would seem logical to avoid irritating them further by brushing and flossing, and possibly even to seek medical attention. Bleeding gums are primarily caused by plaque which is irritating the gum line. As the gums become irritated and inflamed, they become more sensitive to brushing and flossing and may bleed. Although it is counterintuitive to continue to brush or floss when your gums are bleeding, it is necessary. Bleeding gums are a sign of Gingivitis, the earliest form of gum disease. Gingivitis is preventable with good oral hygiene and regular dental care.

Nearly half of all people – and nearly 70% of adults 65 and older – have periodontitis, or the more advanced form of gum disease. Periodontitis means the plaque has spread beneath the gum line. At this point, the plaque is forming a space between the gum and the tooth causing more space for it to grow and more irritation. Periodontitis can lead to deterioration of gum tissue and eventually tooth loss.

If your gums are bleeding, keep brushing! Also check with your dentist to make sure there are no serious health concerns. Even if you brush regularly, there is likely plaque that only a dentist’s instruments can remove.

 

Grand Rapids Chamber Spotlight

Grand Rapids Chamber: Member Spotlight

By | Featured, Grand Rapids Blog Article, News & Announcements, Uncategorized

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

No one likes going to the dentist.

Or do they? For clients at Smile Dental Partners, dreading the dentist is a thing of the past, thanks to a unique approach to dental care that includes providing exceptional customer service.

Dr. Darren Riopelle, owner of Smile Dental Partners, says that is the most satisfying part of his job: engaging a group of people and showing them there is a different way to go about dentistry that creates a fun, enjoyable experience for both staff and patients.

“There’s an ‘aha!’ moment,” Riopelle said. “People can’t always pinpoint exactly what it was, but they know they had an expectation of what going to the dentist would be, and what they experience with us is something totally different.”

Smile Dental Partners is a team of general dentists, pediatric dentists and orthodontists all under the same roof working together with the same patients. This allows their team to address the whole family’s needs, from birth to adulthood, without needing to refer anyone out. Additionally, Smile Dental has a separate building that provides all the back-office support, so the practices can focus strictly on the patient rather than worry about answering calls or billing insurances. When a patient is in the office, he or she is the top priority.

“It’s really great for families,” Riopelle said. “They don’t need to worry about filling out multiple insurance forms, getting referrals or finding additional offices. It all happens in-house, so the continuity of care is a lot better.”

As Riopelle says, dental care offers an opportunity to have face-to-face interactions that are becoming less frequent in today’s world of technology. With this opportunity comes a responsibility to engage people on a personal level.

Smile Dental Partners is dedicated to doing this on a variety of levels. Each of their locations offer separate wings for children and adults. When patients walk into the practice, they are greeted warmly and directed to the right or left, into the pediatric wing or the adult wing. The pediatric wing is completely “kidded out” with child-friendly décor, including a large concrete tree, a six-foot long fish tank, the area’s largest treasure chest, and a giant touch screen to play games.

The adult side, too, has a unique touch. Each room has a door that can close for patient privacy and all dental chairs are situated facing the door, ensuring dentists are making eye contact upon greeting.

Aside from providing excellent customer service, Smile Dental also sees community involvement as a top priority. They have coordinated a variety of community initiatives, from their free dental clinic to the annual Halloween candy buy-back program, and interactive presentations at area schools in February for Dental Health month.

“We have a really fun program where we go into local second grade classrooms, and some preschools, and we teach the kids how to brush and floss. It’s fun and interactive and I absolutely love it,“ Riopelle said. “I don’t have much time for it, but I like to participate and stay in touch with the program because it’s such a good time.”

An exciting new service in Grand Rapids

Smile Dental is partnering with Anesthesia Practice Consultants, PC in Grand Rapids to start Daydreams PC. Daydreams will provide pediatric and other dental care under general anesthesia.

“We made it a kid-friendly area to do sedation dentistry,” Riopelle said. “It’s general sedation, just like what happens at hospitals, but hospitals are often not a viable option due to the reimbursements and the typical wait-time can be 6-9 months. Our setup allows us to have them in and out within just a couple weeks.” Riopelle said. “It’s very unique and will be a dramatic shift in how kids are going to be treated.”

Daydreams will begin seeing patients on March 4 and is located at 4505 Cascade Road SE, Suite B.

Smile Dental Partners has three West Michigan locations, in Grand Haven, Muskegon, and the latest addition in Grand Rapids.

Sealants for Kids

Sealants for Kids

By | Featured, For Kids, Health & Wellness, Pediatric Dentistry

A protective barrier is a great way to keep the things we value safe. From fingernail polish to decks, we use sealants to protect a lot of things in our lives. Did you know there’s even a way to seal your children’s teeth from cavities?

Sealing your children’s teeth is an easy way to provide an added layer of protection against the sugars, bacteria, and acid in their mouths. Just as a sealant covers the inconsistencies, dents, and divots of a piece of wood, sealants for teeth cover the areas of your child’s tooth where sugar and food may be unlikely to be touched by a toothbrush or floss. Often, sealants are recommended for newly emerged molars, protecting the tooth as soon as it is exposed.

Sealing teeth is a quick and painless procedure that involves “painting” the sealant on a cleaned and dried tooth. It can be done during a regular visit to the dentist and does not take a significant amount of time. While there is an investment required to seal teeth, the cost is recouped with the first cavity avoided, not tot mention the savings of time and discomfort.

 

Will a vegetarian diet hurt my teeth?

By | Featured, Health & Wellness

A vegetarian lifestyle can have many health benefits, including a reduction in cholesterol, fat, and possibly even calories. Unfortunately, the removal of meat from a diet also reduces the intake and absorption of several important vitamins and minerals, a few of which can impact the health of your teeth. The Academy for General Dentistry has found that eating a vegetarian diet for a prolonged period of time can increase the risk for gum disease due to a potential deficiency in Vitamin D and Calcium.

The good news is that there are plenty of good habits and food choices that can help offset any deficiencies from a vegetarian lifestyle. A few of these include:

  • Avoid frequent snacking on high-carbohydrate foods, including dried fruit and sweets. A good rule for anyone since these high-sugar foods can be hard to clean from your teeth.
  • Eat a balanced diet of fruit, vegetables, legumes, and grains to ensure you’re receiving the proper nutrition.
  • Include green leafy vegetables in your diet every day. Meat and seafood include nutrients which help to remineralize teeth and neutralize the acidic environment in our mouths. Fortunately, most green leafy vegetables also have these demineralizing attributes.

Most importantly, do not skip your regular dental checkups! Your dentist is an important player on your healthcare team and may help identify any nutritional deficiencies before they become issues.

 

SDP Instagram

Join us on Instagram

By | Featured, Fun Stuff, Grand Haven Blog Article, Grand Rapids Blog Article, North Muskegon Blog Article, Orthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry

We’re all about smiles, especially selfie smiles! So the Smile team is launching our very own Instagram page to share some of those smiles with you. Whether it’s big smiles (Adult & Teen Dentistry), little smiles (Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry), or…well…shiny smiles (Smile Orthodontics), we’ll be sharing them all.

Join Smile Dental Partners on Instagram and show us your favorite smiles! Tag us so we can find you. #smiledentalpartners

 

DSC08616

Michigan’s first multi-specialty dental practice opens Grand Rapids location

By | Featured, Grand Rapids Blog Article, News & Announcements

After ten years of helping families smile along the Lakeshore, Smile Dental Partners is opening a new practice in Grand Rapids called Smile Cascade.

Since opening Smile Grand Haven in 2008, Dr. Darren and Paige Riopelle have been challenging the status quo of traditional dentistry with a high-quality, patient-centric, preventative approach. Today it is the only multi-specialty resource along the Lakeshore capable of comprehensive dental care from birth through adulthood.

The new Grand Rapids location on Cascade Road is home to three distinct specialties that are typically not found in one practice—Smile Cascade (adult and teen dentistry), Little Smiles (pediatric dentistry), and Smile Orthodontics.

“Our goal has been to provide a dental experience that is 180 degrees from what people expect,” explains Dr. Riopelle. “We combine a personal, friendly, and fun experience with state-of-the-art technology and a proactive approach to dental health.”

Smile’s patient-centric approach is evident throughout the new Cascade practice. Adults enjoy private exam rooms, convenient lunchtime appointments, and an adult family room equipped with wifi and coffee bar. For young patients, Little Smiles provides a child-friendly environment that starts with a life-sized tree and interactive games in the Little Smiles family room. Beyond that, kids enjoy an “underwater” exam room with a giant fish tank and flatscreen TVs above each child-sized exam chair.

“We go above and beyond to create a fun and positive experience for babies, toddlers, through adolescents,” explains Dr. Cristian Brutten, Little Smiles’ Pedodontist. “That first positive experience for young children is important to establish a good relationship with healthcare providers throughout their life.”

Making a visit to the dentist a positive experience for kids has been the inspiration for everything at the practice. Parents are invited to bring children as early as 1 year old to Little Smiles for a “chair ride” to help them feel comfortable with the environment before their appointment. The Little Smiles team visits local daycares and elementary schools for Dental Health Month to teach kids healthy dental habits and foster a positive relationship with healthcare providers. Little Smiles also provides special needs care and hospital dentistry services.

Smile Cascade is now open and accepting new patients of all ages.

 

Choosing A Dentist

Things to consider when choosing a dentist

By | Featured, Grand Rapids Blog Article, Health & Wellness, North Muskegon Blog Article

Many things impact our decisions when it comes to decisions on care providers. Reputation, location, and insurance are just some of the practical considerations. While those things are important, they are not indicators that we will have a positive experience with a physician, dentist, or any other care provider we entrust our health and wellbeing to. Here a few less conventional, but perhaps more important, things to consider…

 

  1. Am I comfortable with this person and their team?
    Open communication…and an open mouth are key elements of a good dental checkup. Your dentist and his/her team should be someone you’re comfortable sharing concerns with and being in close proximity to. If you can’t relax, chances are you will not reap the full benefit of your cleaning or your dentist’s expertise on any issues you may be experiencing.

 

  1. Is the office clean, comfortable and equipped with the latest technology?
    A clean, sterile, and comfortable environment are important things to look for. Not only do these matters speak to the dentist’s investment in his/her work, they’re indicators of excellence. Equipment in disrepair or a dirty lobby can and should be unsettling. Most importantly, from teeth whitening to the ability to mold a crown in-house, the technology behind dentistry is quickly developing. Does your practice stay ahead of the curve and offer you the latest advancements?

 

  1. What is the dentist’s approach to care?
    A cavity does not heal over time nor does a broken tooth mend itself. Does your dentist take a proactive approach to care? Catching issues early and caring for teeth in proactive fashion saves time, money, and discomfort. Be wary if you dentist suggests “keeping an eye on something” rather than treating it.

 

  1. Do your kids dread the dentist?
    They shouldn’t. The first dental checkups your children have should be fun, educational, and set a trajectory for life-long dental care. Choosing a dentist who uses terminology that kids understand and engages with them is important.

 

  1. What happens when care becomes more complex?
    Its important to learn how advanced/specialty care and orthodontic procedures are addressed with your dentist’s office. Having a strong referral base or in-house specialist capabilities are the assets of a great dental practice that has oversight and concern for your family’s total care. When something goes wrong, you want to rely on an expert opinion – not Google.
Smile Phone 1

Appointment Confirmations

By | Community Events, Featured, Grand Rapids Blog Article, Health & Wellness, North Muskegon Blog Article, Uncategorized

Smile has a new appointment reminder and confirmation system!

While this system will be more user friendly and provide more flexibility for our patients, new systems always require a bit of adjustment and patience.  Because the upgrade required a new software provider, email confirmations will start with a “welcome email”.  Please watch for this email in your inbox or junk mail.

If you are used to seeing confirmations and are no longer receiving them by email or text, please let us know!

 

 

 

 

Smile Insurance

Smile Partners with New Insurance Plans

By | Community Events, Featured, For Kids, Fun Stuff, Health & Wellness

Smile is pleased to announce new partnerships with several insurance plans. While we accept almost all insurance plans, we are now In-Network Providers with:

Delta Premier
Delta Healthy Kids/MiChild
Healthy Michigan
Blue Cross Blue Shield Par Select
Cigna DPPO
Assurant (Stratus Network)
United Concordia (Stratos Network)
Aetna (DHA Network)
MetLife (Stratos Network)
Principal (Stratos Network)

As an In-Network Provider we are able to pass along negotiated savings to our patients.  We continue to add more insurance plans.  Check our insurance page for updates.

If you need clarification on In-Network plans, have specific questions about your coverage, or have a change in your insurance coverage, please contact us prior to your appointment.