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Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Why your routine dental cleaning is not routine

For many patients, the dental cleaning appointment may seem little more than a more complicated version of brushing your teeth.

However, this appointment plays a crucial role in patient education and prevention of dental disease.

The appointment is called a “dental prophylaxis,” or “prophy” and it’s one of the most important steps in your dental care program.

Here are some of the elements that it may include, depending on your needs:

– Oral hygiene evaluation

– Tooth brushing and flossing instructions

– Scaling above the gum to remove plaque and tartar

– Debridement of tartar beneath the gum

– Polishing the teeth

– Periodontal charting

It’s important to remove plaque from the teeth as it ultimately forms a hard, rough sediment known as tartar or calculus, which must be removed by a dental professional to help prevent periodontal disease.

Polishing the teeth removes stains and creates a feeling of fresh breath and a clean mouth.

The hygienist or dentist may recommend a prophylaxis visit every two to six months.

Although insurance may only cover two prophies a year, recall frequency depends on many factors and should be based on individual needs.

These appointments can help you have much better dental health and could save you a great deal of time and money in the long run.

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

How to make visiting the dentist easy for kids

Your child should have their first trip to the dentist by the time they are 18 months old and it’s good to make the process as easy as possible for them from the start.

Dental staff are used to dealing with young children and they will know how to make them feel comfortable.

Sometimes, children under three may be treated on the parent’s lap. In this case, the parent sits in the dental chair facing the dentist, and the child is on their lap.

The dentist will tell the child what he or she is going to do in terms they can understand. They will usually have fun dental toys they can use to help.

They will start with an oral examination checking the teeth present and looking at the development of the jaw, gums and soft tissues.

Naturally, as in any new situation, some children are initially unsettled but this is usually short-lived as they get used to it.

Parents can help by ensuring they are calm and relaxed as any anxiety will transfer to the child.

With older children, the parents may stay in the background though sometimes children behave better when the parent is not in the room!

Work with your children and your dentist to find the best way of ensuring they get the treatment they need with minimum worries for everyone.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Things to look out for during pregnancy

Every woman wants to maintain their own health during pregnancy and to take whatever steps are necessary to give the baby the best possible start.

There are a few factors in your oral health to look out for during this time.

One consideration is that it’s common for pregnant women to have the urge to eat between meals. The risk is that frequent snacking on carbohydrate-containing foods can encourage tooth decay.

Bacteria in your mouth called plaque can convert the sugar and starch in your mouth into an acid that attacks tooth enamel. After repeated attacks, tooth decay can result.

So, when you need a snack, try to choose foods that are nutritious for you and your baby such as raw fruits and vegetables and dairy products.

During pregnancy, your body’s hormone levels rise considerably. Gum problems, such as gingivitis, are especially common during the second to eighth months of pregnancy. They may cause red, puffy or tender gums that bleed when you brush.

This is an exaggerated response to plaque caused by higher levels of progesterone in your system. Your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings at some stages to help you avoid problems.

Occasionally overgrowths of gum tissue, called “pregnancy tumors,” appear on the gums during the second trimester. These localized growths or swellings are usually found between the teeth and are thought to be related to excess plaque.

They bleed easily and are often surgically removed after the baby is born.

Studies indicate that pregnant women who have severe periodontal (gum) disease may be at increased risk for pre-term delivery, which in turn increases the risk of having a low-birth-weight baby.

So it’s particularly important to maintain good oral health during pregnancy. Make sure you clean your teeth carefully and visit your dentist regularly.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

The risks of oral piercing

Young people today choose to make a variety of fashion statements affecting not just the clothes they wear but also their bodies through tattoos and piercing, for example.

Oral piercing may be something they feel looks good but it can lead to problems where they end up needing medical or dental treatment.

Oral piercing can often lead to symptoms such as pain, swelling, infection, increased saliva flow and injuries to the gum tissue.

There can be severe bleeding if a blood vessel is in the path of the needle during the piercing.

Swelling of the tongue is also a common side effect and, in extreme cases, this can block the airway and lead to breathing difficulties.

Other possible problems include chipped or cracked teeth, blood poisoning or even blood clots.

Infection is a very common complication of oral piercing because of the millions of bacteria in your mouth.

Of course, the jewelry itself also causes risk. It can be swallowed or cause damage to your teeth.

So, while young people may feel piercings in the mouth look cool, a great smile will look a lot better in the years to come.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

What Are Dental Implants and How Do They Work?

If you have lost a tooth or multiple teeth, dental implants can provide a permanent solution that looks and feels like natural teeth. But what are dental implants, and how do they work? Let's take a closer look.
Dental implants are small, titanium posts that are surgically implanted into your jawbone. Once in place, they serve as a sturdy foundation for a custom-made artificial tooth or teeth. Unlike dentures or bridges, dental implants do not rely on adjacent teeth for support.
The process of getting dental implants typically involves several steps. First, your dentist will examine your mouth and jaw to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants. They may also take x-rays or other imaging tests to assess your jawbone density and determine the best placement for the implants.
Next, the implants are surgically placed into your jawbone. Over time, the implants will fuse with your jawbone in a process called osseointegration. This creates a strong, stable base for the artificial tooth or teeth.
Once the implants have fully fused with the jawbone, your dentist will attach abutments to the top of the implants. These abutments serve as connectors between the implants and the artificial teeth.
Your dentist will attach the custom-made artificial tooth or teeth to the abutments. These teeth are designed to look and function like natural teeth, so you can eat, speak, and smile with confidence.
Dental implants are a permanent solution for tooth loss that involve surgically implanting small titanium posts into your jawbone. Over time, the implants fuse with your jawbone to create a strong foundation for artificial teeth that look and function like natural teeth. If you are interested in dental implants, talk to your dentist to see if they are a good option for you.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

How to choose the right cosmetic dentist for your needs

Choosing the right cosmetic dentist is an important decision that can significantly impact the appearance of your smile. There are several factors to consider when selecting a cosmetic dentist, including their credentials, experience, and patient reviews. Here are some tips to help you choose the right cosmetic dentist for your needs.

  1. Check the dentist's credentials: Look for a cosmetic dentist who is licensed and accredited by a reputable organization such as the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). These credentials ensure that the dentist has undergone specialized training in cosmetic dentistry and meets high standards of professionalism.
  2. Review their experience: Choose a cosmetic dentist with experience in the specific procedure you're interested in. Ask the dentist how many similar procedures they have performed and what their success rate is. You may also want to request before and after photos of their previous patients.
  3. Consider their approach: Find a cosmetic dentist who takes a personalized approach to treatment and takes the time to understand your goals and concerns. A good cosmetic dentist will also explain the risks and benefits of each procedure and provide alternatives to help you make an informed decision.
  4. Read patient reviews: Look for patient reviews online to get a sense of the dentist's reputation and the quality of their work. You can also ask for referrals from friends or family members who have had cosmetic dental procedures.
  5. Evaluate the office environment: Visit the dentist's office to see if it's clean and organized, and if the staff is friendly and professional. A comfortable and welcoming environment can help ease any anxiety you may have about the procedure.

Choosing the right cosmetic dentist is a critical step in achieving the smile you desire. By considering factors like their credentials, experience, approach, patient reviews, and office environment, you can find a cosmetic dentist who will help you achieve the beautiful smile you deserve.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

The power of panoramic x-rays

X-rays are extremely valuable for helping dentists identify issues that may not show up on normal oral examination.

The three most common types of dental X-rays are the bitewing, periapical and panoramic X-rays.

Panoramic X-rays give a broad overview of the entire mouth – supplying information about the teeth, upper and lower jawbone, sinuses, and other hard and soft tissues of the head and neck.

Unlike other X-rays, where the film is placed inside the patient’s mouth, the panoramic film is contained in a machine that moves around the patient’s head. So they are very easy to use.

Panoramic X-rays are often used to check wisdom teeth but they will also reveal deep cavities and gum disease. They are also useful to help patients with past or present jaw problems or those who require full or partial removable dentures, dental implants, or braces.

They can also be valuable in assisting people who are suspected of having oral cancer or have had recent trauma to the face or teeth.

Panoramic X-rays play an important role in thorough dental examinations and are recommended at least every five years or so for most patients.

Why your routine dental cleaning is not routine

For many patients, the dental cleaning appointment may seem little more than a more complicated version of brushing your teeth. However, thi...