Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Don't Be Shocked by the Cost of Dental Treatment!

If you haven't been to the dentist in years, you may get a HUGE surprise when you are presented with a treatment plan that is in the thousands of dollars! Now, you should know that many people wait until they are in pain or have severe problems to go, so you are not alone in this! However, gone are the days of a $10 office visit or a $25.00 filling..... Between the overhead costs of operating a dental office and the cost of dental education, the rising number of patients who cannot pay their bill and insurance companies imposing limitations on claims and dental facilities, the cost of dental treatment has literally SKYROCKETED over the past 20 years.
In researching this topic, I came across a very informative website that covers a variety of dental related topics including the cost for cosmetic procedures as an average...this site really captured my attention so I decided to post the link HERE for anyone who is interested.
If you are one of those people who haven't seen a dentist in a long time, this article may be a good one for you to read. It can help you understand what to expect when confronted with an expensive treatment plan.
Always remember, Keep Smiling!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What Is Perio Scaling And Root Planing

Scaling and root planing is the removal of  dental plaque and tartar, which house bacteria that releases toxins which cause inflammation to the gum tissue and surrounding bone.

There are two different types of methods your dentist can use. Mechanical , involving dental tools to scrape away debris or ultrasonic, where a tiny vibrating wand breaks up plaque and cleans the teeth. Some times the dentist will combine the two methods.

During this process your dentist or hygienist will numb the gums and tooth roots with a local anesthesia. Your dentist or hygienist will use one of the methods above to remove the debris from above and below the gum line(Scaling) then smooth out the rough spots on the roots of the teeth(Root Planing). 

The whole procedure can be done in one visit, although generally a quadrant (1/4 of the mouth) is recommended per appointment. You can expect your gums to be tender after the anesthesia wears off.

Continue to brush/floss daily and continue your routine checkups every 6 months for a healthy smile!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fields Of Dentistry

Dentistry - Profession or science dealing with the prevention and treatment of diseases and malformations of the teeth, gums, and oral cavity, and the removal, correction, and replacement of decayed, damaged, or lost parts, including such operations as the filling and crowning of teeth, the straightening of teeth, and the construction of artificial dentures.

General Dentist: Provides general dental prevention, care and maintenance services such as regular cleanings, fillings and simple tooth extractions. General dentist will refer patients to other dental specialist for more specialized treatments when they are needed.

Periodontist: Specialize in the care of the supporting tissues of the teeth and mouth. They specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of gum disease and any other condition affecting the gums, jaw bone and other tissues.

Endodontist: Preform root canal therapy. They specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the nerve, pulp, arteries and veins found in the internal cavity that makes the teeth alive.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons: Preforms procedures on the jaw and mouth including teeth extractions, implants and reconstruction. Oral surgeons identify and treat conditions, injuries and defects (cleft lip, etc.) affecting the mouth, jaw and face. They often work together with a cosmetic dentist and orthodontist in reconstructive procedures.

Cosmetic Dentist: Preform cosmetic procedures to improve the appearance of someones smile. They specialize in appearance enhancing procedures such as veneers, bonding and whiting of the teeth.

Prosthodontist: Specialize in replacing missing teeth. These specialists attach structures such as crowns, dentures and bridges to replace missing teeth.  Some prosthodontist preform dental implant surgery.

Pedodontists: Specialize in treating conditions affecting childrens teeth. They offer dental care from infancy through the teen years.

Orthodontists: Specilize in jaw adjustment and reeth positioning. They are able to steaighten crooked teeth, correct misaligned teeth, fix biting problems. They use braces, retainers and other structures to correct imporfections.

Monday, July 21, 2014

What is Dental Attrition

Dental Attrition is when the structure of a tooth is loss because of the forces of opposing teeth. It initially effects the enamel but can spread to where it affected the dentin. When it gets past the enamel, it can effect the softer dentin rather quickly.

Teeth grinding is a common cause of dental attrition. Other habits such as teeth clinching can also be a cause.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sweet or Sour Treats-Which is best for Tooth Enamel

I read an article on the MSN news page some time ago that I thought was interesting. If you're like me, you probably never considered the effects of sour treats on your teeth. We all know that excessive sugar breaks down the enamel on our teeth, but as it turns out, sour treats such as sour Gummy Worms or Jolly Ranchers may be worse! Sour treats have more citric acid and other erosives in them than the sugary treats do. In contrast, chewing gum (which promotes production of saliva that helps build enamel) and drinking milk have the opposite effect, as they tend to build enamel. So if you're going to have a sour candy treat, follow it up with a glass of milk or chew some gum afterward!
Keep Smiling!  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Metal allergies can affect dental work

If you have experienced an allergic reaction to the metals in your jewelry, you may want to think twice about what your dentist puts in your mouth! Fairly inexpensive materials like nickel and chromium keep the price down on your dental work, but they can cause more pain and discomfort than they're worth.

Up to 16 percent of women and six percent of men are allergic to the metal used in costume jewelry. These same metals could cause allergic reactions in your mouth if they are used in your dental work. Metals used to make crowns, dentures, onlays and veneers can trigger mouth discomfort.
The most common metal allergy is to nickel, which is used in many dental fixtures. Patients may also experience allergic reactions to gold, chromium and molybdenum.

Before you go to the dentist, be aware of the warning signs of an allergic reaction. Here are a few clues you may have a dental allergy:
  • Swollen and red or purple gums
  • Shrinking or recessed gums
  • Painful or itchy gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Unpleasant smell or taste
If gum allergy symptoms do not go away within a couple of days, see your dentist. 

If it's not dealt with, over time your gums can get painful and gum tissue can pull away from the crown. If you catch it early enough, the dentist can help solve the problem by replacing the material and then your gum should come back," dentist Joseph Kravitz said.  If you check back in to your dentist's office, your dentist will assess whether you have a gum disease or gum allergy. The symptoms for both conditions can be strikingly similar.

If you do have a dental allergy, your dentist may recommend you have your restorations replaced. Ceramic and zirconia are two of the most biologically compatible materials available for dental patients.

"These types of crowns will make your gum tissue healthier. We have new materials the gum tissue just loves," Kravitz said.  Patients with dental allergies should notice an almost immediate change when they replace their restorations. According to Kravitz, allergy symptoms can go away in as little as one hour

Original post from our February 2008 newsletter

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Who Owns Your Dental X-rays?

This is probably one of the most common dental questions asked. The answer is simple but frustrating to the patient, who believes that since he paid for the x-ray, it should, therefore, be his property. Not so!!
Dentists are required by law to keep all dental records, including diagnostics, treatment plans and a complete history of the work performed by he and his office staff. The x-rays are the property of the dentist, but the patient may request a copy at any time, which the dentist is obligated to provide (in many cases, for an additional fee.)
Essentially, what you are paying for when you have x-rays taken is for the processing and development, and then for the dentist to read and interpret them and render a diagnosis.
Hope this clears up the issue for anyone out there who may have had this on their mind!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Should I Consider A Permanent Retainer Or A Removable Retainer?

Getting your braces off is unfortunately not the end. Now you have to decide which type of retainer will work best for you, remember you will using this the rest of your life. There are two types of retainers to choose from you have the removable retainer or the permanent retainer. Knowing more information about each kind will be helpful in making your decision.

Removable Retainer- These are custom made to fit your mouth, made usually out of wires (older version) or clear plastic, they are worn after braces to keep the teeth in position.
  • Need to be worn day/night for about the first 3 months (except when eating and cleaning) After the 3 months they can be worn just at night.
  • When not worn they need to be kept in a small case so they don't break.
  • Retainers can be rinsed in the morning but should be washed daily.  You can soak them in denture cleaner then lightly sub them with your toothbrush or denture brush. * Do Not use hot water*
  • Keep retainer in a cool place do not leave them in a hot car, dishwasher etc.
  • Keep away from pets.
  • If your retainer needs to be replaced (cracked/worn out) Don't delay! Your teeth can move fairly quickly!
Permanent Retainer- These are retainers that are glued to the back of your teeth. They are considered permanent because you cant take them in or out on your own.
  • Stays in your mouth at all times.
  • Better long-term results.
  • Can slightly be seen by others.
  • Difficult to clean.
  • May bother your tongue.

Getting straight teeth is only half the battle; the other half is keeping them straight!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Difference Between Regular Braces And Invisalign

Everyone wants a beautiful smile right? It's understandable why you would consider braces, not only does straight teeth look better, they're healthier too! When teeth are properly aligned the are easier to clean and when your teeth are clean you're less likely to need major dental care.

While the results are the same, you need to stop and actually compare the types of straightening options that are available, knowing the pros and cons of each will help you determine which method is right for you.

Traditional Metal Braces - Most common type, they are made if high grade stainless steel. Metal brackets are adhered to the teeth with an adhesive and connected by wire. They require periodic tightening to gradually straighten your teeth and align the jaw as needed.
  • Pros:
    •  Least expensive
    • Colored bands to express yourself.
  • Cons:
    • Most noticeable
    • Pain and discomfort

Ceramic Braces - Made of composite materials. They are very strong and generally do not stain. Ligatures (tiny rubber bands) that hold the arch wire on the ceramic brackets are often clear, this looked good at first but these can stain.
  • Pros:
    • They blend in with your teeth
    • More comfortable
    • Do not usually break or come of teeth
  • Cons:
    • The clear bands around the bracket can stain
    • More expensive than traditional braces
    • Treatment can take longer, little bigger in size

Lingual Braces - Braces placed behind the teeth, therefore they are somewhat invisible. Orthodontists need spacial training to be able to treat patients with lingual braces, so not every orthodontist provides this service.
  • Pros:
    • No one can see them unless they look inside your mouth
  • Cons:
    • Tend to hurt the tongue
    • More expensive than traditional brace because treatment is specialized
    • Treatment can take longer

Invisalign - Great for people who do not have sever problems. Consist of strong plastic trays that are made just for you. They are invisible so no one will be able to tell your wearing them.
  Your orthodontist has only some control over your treatment. The treatment trays are computer-fabricated by Align Technologies.
  • Pros:
    • Invisible
    • Easier to clean
    • Do not irritate your mouth
    • Eat what you want (Remove when you eat)
  • Cons:
    • Can cost more than traditional braces
    • Some cases you may need traditional braces after invisalign treatment
    • Orthodontist only has some control over the treatment
    • Still have tooth pain (this is not a pain free treatment)
    • You may not be a candidate for invisalign

*Remember, your final choice is a combination of your preference and your orthodontist's technical expertise!!