Flucke & Suchman Dentistry Blog

For most teenagers, the thought of getting braces is something they dread. Braces make it difficult for them to continue their active lifestyles, it limits what they can eat and braces make teens feel self-conscious about the way they look. It is for this reason that Invisalign makes a great alternative to braces for teens. Invisalign gives teens a new smile while allowing them to enjoy their same quality of life. Here are the top benefits that Invisalign for teens provides over traditional metal braces.


  1. Invisalign allows teens to continue their normal routine- If your teen plays an instrument or a sport, metal braces can make continuing their normal routines extremely difficult. When playing an instrument, bracket braces get in the way and make it necessary to relearn how to play the instrument. Sports can be equally frustrating when you have braces since there is always the risk of brackets getting broken, which necessitates an expensive fix. Since Invisalign do not get in the way and they can be taken out when necessary, they are a better option for braces for teens.
  2. Eat without having to worry- The most common problem teenagers have with traditional braces is that there are many limitations on what they can eat. Realistically, teenagers are not going to stop eating their favorite foods such as candy and soda. However, eating these foods puts them at risk of causing costly damage to their braces. With Invisalign, teens do not have to worry about what they are eating since the aligners are completely removable.
  3. Invisalign is unnoticeable- This is possibly the most popular benefit that Invisalign can provide teenagers. Teenagers are often self-conscious about their appearance, and they worry that if they had braces their peers would judge them. This makes Invisalign the perfect solution. Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible, so no one will know that your teen is wearing them.


Invisalign braces are a great option for braces for your teen as they allow them to continue their lifestyle without anyone knowing that they have braces. To find out more about Invisalign for teens, contact us. We can help to answer any questions you may have about Invisalign braces, and we can further explain why Invisalign is a great option for teens. 

Have you ever stopped and taken a look at the history of dentistry? If not, you might want to take a moment to do so. It stretches back centuries and is full of interesting inventions. Here’s a brief look at some of them, both old and new:

Toothbrush & Toothpaste

Believe it or not, toothbrushes and toothpaste have been around since 3000 B.C. At the time, they were nothing more than sticks and assorted herbs. Of course both products obviously improved with time. By the 1700s, they looked more like the standard toothbrushes and toothpastes that we use today.

Dental Drills

Dental drills have also been in existence for centuries. However, they didn’t run on electricity until 1875. That improvement came courtesy of one-time Michigan resident, Dr. George Green. Prior to his invention, the drills were powered by hand or other primitive means.

We should also note that nowadays, some dentists skip the drill altogether and opt to use a laser instead. As a matter of fact, it is one of the many high-tech dental tools that we use here at Flucke & Suchman Dentistry. We use digital cavity detection and laser cavity removal. They help us to greatly reduce two things that our ancestors typically associated with dental care, time and pain.

Dental X-Rays

Another dental technique that has changed over the years is radiography. It was invented in the late 1800s by a German professor. His name was W.C. Roentgen. Today, we use digital x-rays and 3D dental CAT scans. Both new technologies produce phenomenal images that far surpass the quality of those generated by the machines from the 1800s.

Understandably, those are just a few of the dental tools and techniques that have changed over the years. To learn more about high-tech dentistry, stop by our location in Lee’s Summit or call (816) 286-4117. We’d love to show you around. 

It has long been said that a person’s smile can reveal a lot about their demeanor. Although that is true, one’s smile can also speak volumes about other things. Take the color of a person’s teeth for example. It may provide clues to a person’s overall health and lifestyle.

There are essentially two major types of tooth discoloration. The first is staining that exists on the surface (extrinsic). It is typically a good indicator of a person’s lifestyle. For example, dark brown stains are common among tobacco product users. Green tints are sometimes found on the teeth of those that use a mouth rinse made with a high degree of copper salt.  

The second type of staining starts below the surface and works its way outward (intrinsic). It tends to reveal information about one’s overall health. For instance, certain disorders and medications can cause discoloration. A few disorders that fall into that category are prophyria, dentin dysplasia, hyperbilirubinemia and epidermolysis bullosa. Colors that may appear in people with those disorders are reddish brown, yellow and yellow-green. The list of medications that may cause tooth discoloration includes, but is not limited to Ciprofloxacin, tetracycline, minocycline and fluoride supplements. The colors associated with them tend to fall in the blue, gray, black and blue-green range.

The good news is that some of the discoloration may be reduced or eliminated with a trip to our dentistry office. Depending on the cause of the discoloration, we may recommend a variety of services. For some people with surface discoloration, a cleaning session and a change in lifestyle may do the trick. For others, teeth whitening and procedures like dental bonding and porcelain veneers may be more in order. To learn more about tooth discoloration and how our dentistry office can help improve your smile, call (816) 525-7373.

Posted on: 1 Sep 2013

Cosmetic dentures are really the new wave of how to make dentures not even look like dentures. That might seem discouraging to older people who've had to live with poor-fitting dentures for decades. This isn't to say that they still can't benefit from cosmetic dentures just as much as younger people can.

Cosmetic Dentures Look and Feel Natural

With a life-like acrylic as the main material, the quality of your new teeth will astound you. They'll look so real that you might swear that they're real teeth. However, the strongest benefit is in how well they fit in your mouth. Cosmetic dentures leave more room around the gum line so you can smile naturally. The muscles in your face will also be helped by this as you age, preventing wrinkles from manifesting around your lower mouth area. Older dentures have long been known for misshaping lower facial muscles to the point where dentures are obvious.

Trying Out Your Dentures Before You Buy

You have a chance to see what your dentures look and feel like through a cosmetic try in before the final denture is completed. You can match the whiteness level of your teeth with your skin tones, plus decide how you want the gumline to look. Through this method, you can even see how you'd look with longer or shorter teeth before anything is finalized. Just a decade ago, this couldn't have been done after spending money on teeth you perhaps later thought hadn't been the best choice.

Keep in mind that if you liked your old smile before having your teeth removed, cosmetic dentures can duplicate it exactly how you remember.

Advanced Implant Technology

With the new ability to implant titanium rods into the jaw, your cosmetic dentures will fit perfectly as if secured in bone. If it sounds uncomfortable implanting titanium rods, it isn't at all. Once your dentures are placed in the rods, they'll feel just like natural teeth to you. Now you can eat anything you want without worry about the dentures slipping around in your mouth.


Here at Flucke & Suchman Dentistry, we know that affordability is going to be a major factor when it comes to denture work. Take solace in knowing that cosmetic dentures are much cheaper than implants. We also offer a convenient payment plan so any concern of cost won't be a burden to your life.

Contact us for an appointment so we can make you part of our home of enlightened smiles.


  • If there is one thing we live for at Flucke & Associates Dentistry, it is seeing the smiles of our patients. We don't just love seeing straight teeth, either. We love seeing the new found confidence that beams through the smiles of our patients after we've worked together to help achieve what they've always wanted: The ability to smile openly and freely without thinking twice about their teeth.

    And what is one of the best ways to see those smiles? By introducing our clients to the the wonders of Invisalign!

    Invisalign is the 21st Century's answer to the problem of metal braces. We often hear from clients who are interested in Invisalign say that they know someone who has also used these clear, invisible aligners. It's no surprise, considering that as of 2008 there were already 730 thousand individuals requesting them.

    Taking care of your teeth is important, and not just for looks. Misaligned teeth can cause pain or injury. This can range from slight discomfort to something as serious as Temporo-Mandibular Jaw (TMJ) pain, which can cause pain throughout the jaw, neck and shoulders.

    Invisalign works to straighten your teeth in the same way that traditional braces do, with a few extra benefits.

    • Invisalign is clear! You no longer have to worry about catching someone's eye only to worry they may be distracted by the shiny outline of metal braces.
    • Invisalign is easy to wear, easy to remove! Invisalign recognizes that your life is busy and full of many occasions, so whether you choose to wear your Invisalign or take a break, the decision is always up to you.
    • Invisalign is affordable and convenient! We work with your schedule and within your budget to find the best solution, and Invisalign helps us to do that.

    Invisalign is perfect for adults who still need a little help making their smiles shine and for teenagers who want every picture day to be perfect. It is also ideal for anyone who is concerned about their overall oral health.

    We'd love to meet you! If you have questions about Invisalign, or any of our other services, please contact us.

Did you know that the history of dentistry can be traced all the way back to 400 BC? According to a 2005 series of articles that appeared in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, it’s true. That’s allegedly the first time that details of dental treatments appeared in mankind’s written records. Of course the methods used to treat crooked teeth at the time were a far cry from the ones in place today. Nowadays, kids and adults alike have many options to choose from, including alternatives to braces. Here’s a glimpse at some of them:


Aligners are one modern day alternative to braces worth considering. Unlike traditional braces, they are undetectable and do not utilize metal components. Instead, they are made with the aid of computerized, 3D imaging and BPA-free plastic. They may also be removed during meal time or oral hygiene tasks. The condition of the would-be wearer’s teeth will determine how many custom aligners are needed. They are usually worn daily and changed out every two weeks. In some instances, it may take more than 24 custom liners to create the perfect smile. (Want to learn more? Check our Frequently Asked Questions about Invisalign.)


For some, contouring is another alternative to braces. However, it is generally only recommended for those patients that have minor dental imperfections, healthy teeth and a suitable gum line. As the treatment’s name suggests, it involves having the surface layer of one’s existing teeth reshaped with the aid of assorted dentistry implements. Because it is often used with minor imperfections, it tends to be accomplished in one or two office visits.


Select patients with minimal dental imperfections may also be suitable candidates for veneers. Veneers are oftentimes made with a resin composite or porcelain. They are designed to be affixed to the patient’s existing teeth, thereby hiding the imperfections. Depending on how much veneer work is needed, the entire process may take several office visits. If cared for properly, the veneers tend to last for many years.


Finally, those with misaligned teeth may also want to consider wearing retainers. They come in different types. Those types include fixed, vacuum-formed, thermo-formed and Hawley. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

To discuss them and the other various alternatives to braces in more detail, contact us. We can be reached online or by calling 816-286-4117. Our professional staff would also enjoy reading your thoughts on the matter on Google+ or Facebook. 

If you follow nutritional guidelines, you are probably aware of the importance of Vitamin D.  A lot has been published in medical literature regarding low Vitamin D levels and increased likelihood of illness from the common cold to cancer.  Recent dental research is now showing that low Vitamin D levels also can increase the likelihood of gum disease.  Your Vitamin D level should be checked annually and should be around 50 ng/mL.  Some research indicates that an even higher level should be obtained in individuals with autoimmune diseases. While you might be quick to think that getting some sun everyday might be the fix, researchers find that some people are inefficient at making their own Vitamin D from sunlight. There is a good percentage of the population that needs supplements in order to achieve the ideal Vitamin D level.

For over a decade, we have been encouraging patients who are at risk of tooth decay to consume xylitol sweetened products such as gum and mints.  Name brands that contain xylitol include, SPRY, EPIC, and PEELU among many others.  Xylitol acts as a "smart bomb" for the cavity causing bacteria and doesn't have the bad rap like artificial sweeteners. The ideal "dosage" is 6-10 grams per day.  Look for products that have xylitol listed as one of the first three ingredients. Typically one piece will have one gram of xylitol. 

The following is an abstract from a research article published in 2003 in the Journal of the California Dental Association:

An overview of studies about xylitol and dental caries suggests potential clinical dental applications for xylitol. Xylitol is a naturally occurring, low-calorie sugar substitute with anticariogenic properties. Data from recent studies indicate that xylitol can reduce the occurrence of dental caries in young children, school children, and mothers, and in children via their mothers. Xylitol, a sugar alcohol, is derived mainly from birch and other hardwood trees. Short-term consumption of xylitol is associated with decreased Streptococcus mutans levels in saliva and plaque. Aside from decreasing dental caries, xylitol may also decrease the transmission of S. mutans from mothers to children. Commercial xylitol-containing products may be used to help control rampant decay in primary dentition. Studies of schoolchildren in Belize and Estonia, along with data from the University of Washington, indicate that xylitol gum, candy, ice pops, cookies, puddings, etc., in combination with other dental therapies, are associated with the arrest of carious lesions. A prospective trial in Finland has demonstrated that children of mothers treated with xylitol had lower levels of S. mutans than children of mothers treated with chlorhexidine or fluoride varnish. Food products containing xylitol are available commercially and through specialized manufacturers, and have the potential to be widely accessible to consumers.

Crooked and unsightly teeth are a constant detriment to self-esteem, and not only affects teens but twenty something’s and older as well.  It is common for teens and children to wear braces yet older patients find standard braces just as embarrassing and awkward as their unattractive teeth.  Invisible braces offer a solution to those looking to fix their smile without the extra attention of metal braces.


Clear braces for adults are an ideal solution for self-conscious people who think braces are for kids and teens only. Their almost invisible design made from clear plastic allows you to wear them in public without the worry of others seeing them.  Young adults can take comfort in professional and social situations where they want to be viewed as an adult not worry about teen appearance from standard braces.  Invisalign clear braces have shorter wear duration than standard braces allowing you a new inviting smile in around a year.


The process of getting clear braces replaces the need for standard impression with iTero scanning which makes digital scans of your mouth with much more accuracy than impressions in much less time. High tech scanners allow you to see results of treatment and what your new smile will look like after completion.  Clear braces such as Invisalign are taken out while you eat allowing you to enjoy all the foods you currently do without worrying about damage or extensive cleaning. The cost is similar to standard braces and patients will get a new set of braces every 4-6 weeks until completion.

The best news? You can finance your Invisalign treatment for as little as $5/day!

If you would like more information on how clear braces can realign your teeth without all the attention, please contact us.

Are you or a family member in need of dental care? Is the lack of funds the sole barrier that’s preventing you from making a dental appointment? If so, please know that there are dental financing options available for you and your loved ones. Here’s a brief overview:

Dental Financing – In-House Policies

At Flucke & Suchman Dentistry, we accept most dental insurance benefits and are happy to file claims on your behalf. We also offer our patients an opportunity to pay for their out-of-pocket expenses in several ways. They include cash, checks, major credit cards and health credit cards. Acceptable major credit cards include MasterCard, Discover, Visa and American Express.

Additionally, when out-of-pocket expenses are anticipated to be $1000 or more, we do offer a bookkeeping courtesy fee reduction of 5% off the anticipated out of pocket expenses. Cash or check is available for this option

Dental Financing – Health Credit Cards

In general, it takes minutes to get approval online. Ones that you may want to consider applying for are CareCredit, and Springstone. Each one offers eligible applicants flexible financing options. In some instances, the options may involve zero interest and extended payments.

These financing options are especially important when you're looking into orthodontic treatment for you or your teen---with financing, invisible braces from Invisalign can cost as little as $5 per day!

To learn more about dental financing, contact us through the Flucke & Suchman Dentistry website or by phone. We also encourage you to visit our Google+ and Facebook pages.

This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.