Afraid of Dental Injections?

It is quite common for patients to be afraid of dental injections and needles. Actually, it would be quite odd for anyone to say they enjoy having a needle in their mouth. At South Tampa Smiles, we understand these fears and do our best to alleviate any anxieties associated with having dental treatment. We make sure each person feels at ease and comfortable throughout the entire process of any dental procedures needed.

To help with the discomfort of having an injection, we use a topical anesthetic, known as benzocaine, to numb your gums before using the needle. It is applied with a cotton swab or q-tip to the soft tissues surrounding the site of injection and left in place for about a minute. This numbs the area so the patient doesn’t actually feel the needle gliding into their gums.

Along with the use of local anesthesia to numb the area, we use a slow and steady approach when giving injections. If the local anesthetic is given too quickly, it can often cause discomfort to the patient. Another reason for less painful injections during your dental treatment is the use of less blunted needles. The days have long gone since dentists were using large, blunted needles that were quite painful for the patient.

We also have nitrous oxide (laughing gas) available. Nitrous oxide helps calm the patient and ease dental fears. Sedation dentistry is sometimes referred to as sleep dentistry and we serve many patients throughout South Tampa and Florida looking for sleep dentistry or dental sedation procedures. Read more about sedation dentistry.

If you are afraid of dental injections, make your next dental procedure appointment with comfort in knowing that we take every step available to ensure a pleasant experience with minimal discomfort. The first step toward getting any dental treatment that you may have been putting off due to your dental anxiety is to have a thorough examination with x-rays and cleaning. Contact South Tampa Smiles for your next appointment at (813)  289 – 0560. Ask our friendly staff any questions or concerns. We are here to help.


How long do CEREC crowns last?

The CEREC machine is computerized state-of-the-art technology that allows our dentist to take a digital impression of your teeth and create a custom designed porcelain crown in a single visit. Although single-visit crowns are crafted and created on-site at our dental office, they are exceptionally durable. In fact, the restorations that are crafted by these machines are around 3 times stronger than conventional porcelain crowns crafted at a dental lab. The digital impressions provide pressed ceramic material that is a very accurate match to the shape and crevices of your tooth. The crown is then placed on the affected tooth using a durable cement and given a final polish.

Exactly how long do CEREC crowns last? Due to the accuracy of the digital impressions, the durability of the materials, and a more precise fit, CEREC crowns can last as long as 30 years. Crowns typically last between 10 to 15 years, however, maintaining follow-up visits every six months and proper dental care at home can extend the lifespan for years and years. There are various factors that could play a role in the lifetime of your crown, such as teeth grinding. If you are prone to grinding or clenching your teeth at night, you may need a night guard to help protect your dental restorations.

CEREC porcelain crowns provide a beautiful, natural-looking smile for many years. At South Tampa Smiles, our goal is to help our patients maintain a beautiful smile for a lifetime. Give us a call at (813) 289 – 0560 for more information about CEREC technology or to schedule your six month dental exam and cleaning. Our friendly staff is ready to assist you.

The CEREC system is also used for veneers and onlay restorations.

Read About Cerec Crowns, Veneers, & Onlays


July is National Ice Cream Month and what better way to celebrate than indulging in this refreshing treat on a hot summer’s day? Ice cream does have calcium which is good for your teeth, but it is also loaded with refined sugar. Limiting the frequency of sugar intake is essential for a long-lasting, healthy smile.

For those looking for a healthier alternative that will satisfy your ice cream cravings, never throw away very ripe bananas. Just peel, place in a freezer bag, and freeze.  Frozen bananas can be used to make smoothies and homemade banana ice cream! The natural sugars in bananas are much healthier than the refined sugars found in most sweets.

Here is a quick recipe for preparing banana ice cream without the fat, refined sugar, and additives:


      • 1 to 2 frozen bananas cut into chunks
      • 1/ 8 to 1/4 cup almond milk or another dairy, alternative milk
      • Toppings: fresh fruit or nuts of your choice such as sliced strawberries


      • Place banana chunks in food processor
      • Add almond milk to desired consistency
      • Process bananas until smooth
      • Scoop out ice cream and place in a small bowl
      • Top with the fresh or nuts
      • Yields 1 or 2 servings


Bananas are only about 100 calories each and have a healthy source of dietary fiber. Bananas are high in Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, a good source of potassium, and is low in sodium.
Read more nutritional data.

At South Tampa Smiles, we encourage our patients to enjoy the best things in life in moderation. Ice cream is a favorite desert or treat for many, just remember to brush away the sugars and floss to get rid of the food particles as soon as you can after your sweet treats. Stay on top of your dental checkups and cleanings to maintain the best smile possible. Give us a call at (813)  289 – 0560 to schedule your next dental checkup. It’s recommended to maintain a 6 month exam and cleaning so make sure you are not overdue.

Happy National Ice Cream Month!


Can Strawberries Whiten Your Teeth?

July 7th is National Strawberry Sundae Day. Although this delicious treat has many flavorful variations, all strawberry sundaes are topped with a bountiful helping of sliced, whole, or chopped strawberries.

Fun facts: Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside and are a member of the rose family.

We would like to take this opportunity to talk about the dental benefits of strawberries. Strawberries are loaded with vitamin C, which helps your body make collagen for healthy gums. Strawberries also contain xylitol, which prevents cavity-causing bacteria from sticking to your teeth. Read more about the Nutritional Benefits of the Strawberry.

Finally, this leaves us with the big question… Can Strawberries Whiten Your Teeth?

Yes! Strawberries contain the tooth-whitening enzyme called malic acid, which can brighten up a dull smile. Remember that berries are very acidic and using this home remedy too frequently could damage the enamel on your teeth.

There are only two ingredients in this strawberry whitening recipe:

      • 1 Strawberry
      • 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

Follow these simple instructions to get your whiter smile using the strawberry / baking soda mix method:

    1. Puree or crush one strawberry.
    2. Add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and mix well.
    3. Dip your toothbrush into the mixture.
    4. Coat your teeth well.
    5. Let the mixture sit on your teeth for about 5 minutes.
    6. Brush your teeth with regular toothpaste and floss right away.

Of course, nothing is as effective as a professional whitening treatment. However, there are whitening toothpastes and natural whitening methods that can be used in moderation to help maintain your bright, stain-free smile. Always remember to brush as soon as possible after eating acidic and sugary foods.

Don’t forget dental checkups and cleanings should be done every 6 months to maintain your healthy smile. Contact South Tampa Smiles at (813) 289 – 0560 to make your next appointment. Our friendly staff will find a day and time that works best with your busy schedule. We have appointment times before and after work hours 7 am to 7 pm for your convenience. We look forward to hearing from you!


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