Scottsdale Dentist: Understanding the Importance of Pain-Free Dentistry

When going to the dentist, no one wants to experience pain or discomfort. Your dentists want you to know that anesthesia is beneficial to both you and them during your dental procedures. Why? With anesthesia administration, its reassuring to both yourself and the dentist that your dental work can be concentrated on in a very comfortable manner. In fact, local anesthesia has literally revolutionized pain control; it is one of the most effective tools in dentistry and medicine.

The word “anesthesia”  literally means without feeling or pain. “Local” is in reference to the site at which the anesthesia is used, in other words, where the numbing is needed. In topical or injectable application, local anesthesia significantly decreases the likelihood of feeling pain to virtually zero.

During simple teeth cleanings or other minimally invasive dental procedures, topical anesthetics numb the surface of the gums or oral lining surfaces of the mouth to provide a surface-level comfort. Topical anesthetics can be applied in a variety of ways: with a Q-tip, cotton swab, adhesive patch or a spray. The most important reason we use topical anesthetic is when we use them before administer injections (shots) so you don’t even feel the discomfort of a needle.

Injectable local anesthesia delivers medication though a needle that will briefly block pain sensation from the teeth, gums and bone. They accomplish this, the medication temporarily blocks the conduction of electrical impulses along the nerves that supply the gums and teeth with feeling. This allows for your procedure to be pain-free. Local anesthesia is especially important for treatments such as filling deep cavities, tooth cleanings or extractions, or for gum surgery.

Depending on the type of treatment or procedure we are performing, we will select the most suitable anesthetic and communicate this with you. However, if you normally feel anxious about your dental visits, please let us know and we will accommodate you so that your experience is comfortable, relaxing, and positive.

Call us today if you would like to discuss topics from this blog or would like to receive treatment.

Scottsdale Dentist: How To Keep Your Teeth For A Lifetime

How To Keep Your Teeth For A Lifetime – Only 2 Steps!

The first thing you notice about someone is their smile. We all expect that a smile lasts forever – but in order to keep a great smile for a lifetime – you should follow these 2 steps.

1) Commit to your Oral Hygiene.


Some habits are really easy to break – like flossing. To make sure you’re doing the most for your smile, it’s important to commit to a 3 step oral hygiene routine: Atleast 2x a day: floss, brush, rinse.

2) Visit your dentist every 6 months.


Even if you have a stellar oral care routine, it’s essential that you make the visit to your dentist for checkups and professional cleanings. During your checkups, your dentist may see symptoms that a great daily care routine can actually miss – like signs of gum problems, clenching and grinding, or even signs of cancer. Periodic xrays identify potential problems below the gums over time, such as wisdom teeth problems, bone loss, infection, decay, and more. All of the visibly undetectable problems may cost you your smile if left undiscovered or untreated by your dentist. Getting a professional cleaning ensures that all areas of your teeth are free of bacteria or hardened bacterial buildup, called plaque, in areas that are difficult to reach everyday. Professional cleanings help eliminate the risk of dental problems.

What we covered are two very easy ways to maximize your smile’s health and keep it for a lifetime. If you want more tips, check out the rest of our blog and watch us on our social media profiles @serenityscottsdale.

Scottsdale Dentist: Does is matter if my dentist is a DMD or DDS?

For the average dentist, it takes more than 8 years of schooling to obtain a DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) or DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) degree. Is there a difference in the education received between a DMD and a DDS licensed dentist? The real answer: no. The dental school curriculum remains the same regardless of the three letters at the end of your dentists name. For example, both a DMD and DDS dentist can perform oral surgery, regardless of the name of their degree.

After your DMD or DDS dentist receives their degree, they continue a lifetime worth of continuing education in order to maintain their licensure and keep up with the best technological advances in dentistry.

If you’re looking for a dentist in the Scottsdale area, read about our providers at!

DMD Dentist

DDS Dentist

Scottsdale Dentist: The Best On-The-Go Breath Saver

When you’re on the go, you have to be conscious of your daily intake – water, good foods, and some treats in between to keep you going. For decades, many people have kept chewing gum on their top list of daily activities in between everything. Chewing gum does have oral health benefits, and of course, freshens your breath. The most important ingredient to watch out for in chewing gum is sugar. If you read our blog, “5 Harmful Teeth Habits,” you’ll know that consuming drinks or foods with sugar can have damaging effects, especially when enjoyed for long periods of time. Luckily, there are several great gum brands that are sugar free.

Chewing sugar free gum

  • neutralizes acids in your mouth (acids can erode your teeth and cause decay)
  • offers healthy minerals and freshness to your teeth
  • contains xylitol (usually) which combats the sticky bacteria that may adhere to your teeth
  • increases saliva production, which naturally cleanses the mouth

Adding sugar-free chewing gum to your active and busy lifestyle will reward you with fresher breath and better oral hygiene throughout your day – amounting to better overall oral health.

Scottsdale Dentist: New Dentist on Board, Dr. Handelman!

We are excited to announce our new dentist at Serenity Smiles, Scottsdale Dentist: Dr. Richard Handelman!

Here’s his biography:

Dr. Richard Handelman is originally from St. Louis, Missouri. He attended the University of Minnesota, and was admitted to the first combined degree program and graduated with honors with a B.S. and D.D.S. in Biology and Dentistry. He has practiced general dentistry, sub-specializing in oral surgery, endodontics, and radiology for over 30 years. He attended the University of Denver in 2011 where he received his masters in Business Administration. Dr. Handelman attended the Napa Valley Wine Academy and is a level three certified Wine Specialist, as well!

When not in the dental office, Dr. Handelman enjoys working out daily, specifically enjoying cardio in the gym, biking, and swimming. He loves to entertain, and is a fabulous cook, pairing his creations with international vintages. He spends a lot of time with his family and has three beautiful grandsons.

Dr. Handelman is very excited to join Dr. Kaushesh and the team at Serenity Smiles, and looks forward to meeting you soon at the Scottsdale office.

Scottsdale Dentist: Oral Care for Your Dog

It’s strange to think, but any animal that has teeth could use some oral care tips. Since you probably do not have an alligator at your house – here are a few ways you can help your dog maintain good oral health!

Dogs can gather unhealthy, bad bacteria in their mouths just like we can – so it’s important to keep an eye on your dogs mouth for any warning signs. If a case of poor oral health occurs in your furry friend, the bad bacteria could continue past their mouths into their bloodstream, affecting their heart, liver, or more. According to veterinarians, 85% of dogs over the age of 4 have periodontal disease – a pathological inflammatory condition of the gum and bone support (periodontal tissues) surrounding the teeth – that may lead to pain, infection, and tooth loss.

Luckily, you don’t need to bring your dog to the dentist you go to, but rather the veterinarian for their regular check up. During this routine exam, you should make sure your dog’s teeth are checked and cleaned, just like when you go to the dentist.

Also, experts amongst the dental and veterinary field agree that brushing your dogs teeth is beneficial to their oral health. About 4 times a week is the ideal amount, but this might be a challenge. The more you brush your dogs teeth, however, the more they will enjoy it and the easier it will be for them to receive their dental cleanings at the vet. There are animal safe toothpastes available at most stores that carry pet products. Also, there are a variety of treats and chews available that help clean your pet’s mouth as they enjoy it.

You can read more about what you can do for your dog’s oral health at

Scottsdale Dentist: Front Teeth Implants

Your front teeth are the first to tell your smile’s story – and with confidence, front teeth implants are beautiful restorations. It is frightening when a front tooth needs treatment because it is so noticeable. The wrong shade choice in the dental office or poor dentistry may lead you to embarrassment. At Serenity Smiles, we carefully plan and execute your entire front tooth restoration case so that your smile looks the same (if not more attractive)! Here, we have placed over 10,000 implants, thousands of them being front teeth restorations.

The benefits of choosing a single implant restoration for a missing front tooth include:

  • less dentistry to your adjacent teeth – instead of altering 6 teeth for a “smile” bridge, we only alter one. (We believe that your natural teeth should be preserved as long as possible).
  • significantly less bone loss over time, keeping your smile youthful
  • cubic zirconia finish, the most durable and attractive dental crown material
  • ability to shade match to your other teeth, making it impossible to tell that you have a front tooth implant
  • technology to ensure that your tooth’s physics, appearance, and use are top notch
  • security – you will not have to replace this tooth ever again
  • confidence – gain your confidence back with a natural looking, permanent restoration

For Serenity Smiles, restoring your front tooth with a dental implant is an exciting, well-planned process that will exceed your expectations and give you a beautiful result you can see every day when you smile. Watch our patient testimonials on our website:

Scottsdale Dentist: Alcohol or Alcohol Free Mouthwash?

There are hundreds of mouthwashes on the market – it can be difficult to know their differences and to choose the right one – especially when they all say basically the same thing on their label! One of the most noticeable differences of mouthwashes is their content (or lack thereof) of alcohol.

Alcohol (marketed as ethanol) is not a necessary ingredient for your mouthwash – but an alcohol containing mouthwash feels different than a non-alcohol mouthwash.

Alcohol Mouthwashes:

  • give you the sensation of “it’s working” by feelings of burning or super freshness
  • kill the good (and bad) bacteria in your mouth
  • may cause dry mouth (xerostomia)
  • provides protection for long periods of time after rinsing

Alcohol Free Mouthwashes:

  • most likely contain cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), which reduces plaque and gingivitis symptoms
  • provides protection for long periods of time after rinsing
  • is a less harsh antiseptic – still effectively kills bacteria
  • reduces the likeliness of mouthwash-caused dry mouth or sensitivity from alcohol

There is not a right choice on choosing alcohol or alcohol free mouthwash, however, trends are leaning towards alcohol free mouthwash for home use as it is easier to use every day without common issues that alcohol mouthwash may give.

The best ingredients to look for in your mouthwash extend beyond alcohol, such as

  • cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) (fights against plaque)
  • fluoride (for preventing decay)
  • peroxide (for whitening and germ killing)
  • chlorohexidine (very effective antiseptic)
  • essential oils (organic and therapeutic addition to your rinse)

Scottsdale Dentist: Sensodyne Pronamel Toothpaste Review

All of the products we use today are heavily reviewed by professionals and by users all around the world online. When trying to find the right product, a lot of buyers head online first to read reviews.

When you experience dental sensitivity, a sensitive toothpaste is a good treatment option. But, what is sensitive toothpaste? Typically, a sensitive toothpaste contains an active ingredient that stops and desensitized the nerve impulses that are causing your sensations. Over time, your sensitivity should improve with great oral hygiene, a sensitive toothpaste, and good communication on your progress with your dentist.

Sensodyne Pronamel toothpaste is one of the best sensitive toothpastes on the market, according to studies by dentists, as well as its daily users. In Sensodyne, potassium nitrate is the active ingredient that isolates and stops nerve impulses from firing. Because of this, the nerve impulses should decrease in frequency or stop all together, decreasing or eliminating symptoms. Dentists like Sensodyne Pronamel because it also contains sodium fluoride, which is a key ingredient in any toothpaste you may use, as it defends against cavities (decay).

According to the top “best toothpaste” Google search, “,” Sensodyne Pronamel is the best sensitive toothpaste. The three main reasons professionals and reviewers like it are: 1. It’s gentle yet effective, 2. It does not contain sodium lauryl sulfate (which causes sores in some people, being a harsher chemical), and 3. It is the least abrasive toothpaste tested on this site.

Pronamel has a lot of different toothpastes on the market, also posted on their website here:

It may be to your favor to read reviews from dentists and users before purchasing a toothpaste. Also, if you ever are unsure, your dentist and dental hygienists are a phone call or text away to guide you to the right toothpaste.

Scottsdale Dentist: 5 Harmful Teeth Habits

Teeth are one of the most useful parts of our body – for smiling, chewing food, talking, and more. However, there are habits that may be harmful for you teeth. If you have one of the following 5 habits – you might be doing considerable damage to your smile.

  1. Nail BitingHaving the habit of biting your nails can chip and wear your teeth over time. The keratin, responsible for making your nails hard and protective, is not a harmonious match with our teeth. Both the dentin your teeth are made of and the keratin in your nails are considerably strong and hard materials. Your teeth may show signs of wear and tear if you consistently bite your nails, especially in your smile teeth.
  2. Clenching & Grinding
    It can be daunting to hear again and again that you might be clenching and grinding, however, its one of the number one reasons that teeth wear down! The strong, uneven forces from grinding and the powerful force from clenching are enough to do serious damage over time! Have you ever heard that if your brain wasn’t controlling your bite, you could bite someone’s finger off like a carrot? It’s true, your bite has crazy strength, be careful with your habit(s) of clenching a grinding! Check out our blog on Clenching and Grinding here:
  3. Sugary Drinks
    The longer sugar sits on your teeth, the longer is has an opportunity to chemically react with your biofilm to produce the bad bacteria responsible for tooth decay. Wait, what? Sugar, when combined with naturally occurring film along your teeth and gums, is scientifically known as the most dangerous molecule that we consume every day. It’s so dangerous because it actually attacks your enamel and dentin, slowly degrading its way into the pulp – where the lifeline of your tooth resides. Once in the pulp, your tooth may not be save-able. It’s nearly impossible to cut out sugar from your drinks, especially your morning coffee, but make sure that if you’re sipping on your drink for a long period of time, the sugar has had the time to do damaging things to your teeth. Try to brush and floss your teeth a few times if you sip on a sugary beverage throughout a typical day. Also, after a sugary drink, brush and floss, or if you’re on the go, rinse with mouthwash, to help combat the chemical reactions of sugar and biofilm.
  4. Chewing Ice Cubes
    Chewing ice cubes is a hard habit to break, especially when it “tastes so good!” Chewing ice cubes is one of the worst snacks for your teeth because of the hardness and rigidity of the typical ice cube. You never know how it is going to break because the frozen H2O molecules inside are so tightly packed together, there are millions of ways that it could break from bite force. Because of this, your biting is probably rigid and uneven, making unusual and sharp forces reign down (or up) on your innocent teeth. The best advice is to try and chew gum or possibly, increase your uptake in Iron if you’re having ice “cravings.” If you crave ice, here’s a quick article on why that might be:
  5. Replacing Tools 
    Remember: your teeth are NOT tools! Opening bottles, lids, gifts, whatever it may be, is harmful for your teeth. The forces placed on your teeth from using them as tools often cause fractures, chips, and later pain! Take the time to grab whatever tool is meant for your project – your teeth cannot serve as a tool belt!