Thursday, November 15, 2018

Tooth Loss Can Lead To Malnutrition

Rutger University Students conducted a study which was recently published in the Journal of Aging Research and Clinical Practice showed that out of 107 senior citizens that were treated at Rutgers School of Dental Medicine Clinic between 2015 -2016, 25 percent of those patients suffered from malnutrition or were at risk for malnutrition. 

Those patients who suffered from malnutrition have an average of 10 to 19 teeth. If you're unable to eat because of the lack of teeth, your body is not getting the nutrients it needs to function which can lead to more severe health issues such as:

  • Cancer
  • Liver Disease
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Mental health issues
    • Depression
    • Schizophrenia
  • Ability to digest food or absorb nutrients
    • Crohn's disease
    • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Dementia
  • Anorexia
 To prevent any of the following health issues due to malnutrition, talk to your dentist about getting dentures or implants.

Informations found here!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

What is Dental Bonding?

Dental bonding is a conservative yet very effective way to enhance your smile with an easy treatment that requires little, if any, advanced preparation and usually no enamel reduction.  Dental bonding uses a composite resin filling that reduces or eliminates natural flaws in your teeth.

There are two types of bonding:

1. Minor Corrections - For correcting small fillings and fillings in front teeth, bonding is a good solution that can generally be completed in one dental visit. Color matching to your natural tooth provides a nice result and the bonding adds strength to a weakened tooth.

2. Major Corrections -For greater durability and strength, such as needed by a large filling, tooth colored fillings can be created at the dental lab. First, a mold is made of your teeth and you’ll receive a temporary filling. The dental laboratory creates a very durable, custom-fitted filling made of porcelain, then bonded to your tooth on your second visit.


Ask your dentist if bonding would be right for you.  it is a more inexpensive way to correct imperfections and brighten your smile!  

Keep smiling! 

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Which Should Come First, Brushing Or Flossing?

Is there a correct order on how you keep your teeth clean? Is it brush then floss or floss then brush?

My observation is that the majority of people brush their teeth first, then floss, but according to the Oral Health Foundation, flossing should come first. Flossing loosens the bacteria and food debris from in between the teeth, which makes brushing more effective.

Dr. Nigel Carter, Cheif Executive of the Oral Health Foundations, states "Brushing alone only cleans three of the five surfaces of our teeth, so cleaning between them before we pick up our toothbrush is hugely beneficial. It helps to prevent gum disease by removing plaque from areas the toothbrush alone cannot reach."

So next time you're ready to clean your teeth remember to floss first!

Is Your Mouth Always Dry?

Many people suffer daily from a condition known as Xeristomia or Dry Mouth. Dry mouth can be brought on by any number of medical maladies and various prescription drugs. Most sufferers have found little to no relief from this condition and find themselves constantly drinking more water in hopes of quenching it.
New studies have shown that gums, candies, rinses and sweetners containing Xylitol offer comfort to those suffering from dry mouth. The xylitol coats the soft tissues of the mouth sealing in moisture and stimulates saliva flow.
A plethora of amazing over-the-counter products are endorsed by dentists for treating dry mouth. Some products worth checking out are Biotene, Oasis and Sensodyne for Dry Mouth.
Be sure to check with your doctor if you have the symptoms of dry mouth.  Make sure you find the cause before you use any OTC treatments! 

As always, Keep Smiling!  

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Reduce Risk of Gum Disease With This Easy Rinse

It happens during any given dental appointment; that embarrassing moment when your hygienist asks how often you floss, and your reply (most likely) is, "Not often enough," at the same time he or she clucks disapprovingly and shakes his or her head.  Turns out they know what they´re talking about.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) nearly half of American adults aged 30 years and older (47.2 percent) suffer from some form of gum disease.  Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is one of the main threats to dental health, but maintaining a healthy mouth goes beyond the benefits of a bright smile.

Gum disease is a chronic, inflammatory condition, and recent studies suggest that gum disease and tooth decay may be associated with an increased risk of other inflammatory conditions, including heart attacks and strokes if left untreated.  The CDC describes common warning signs of gum disease, including bad breath, gums that are red, swollen, bleeding, or tender; pain when chewing; loose or sensitive teeth; receding gums; change in bite; and change in the fit of partial dentures.

Additional factors that increase the risk of gum disease include smoking, diabetes, stress, and poor oral hygiene.  That said, most people can improve their dental hygiene and reduce their risk for developing gum disease by following a few simple steps:
  • Brush:  Brush your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste.  Pick a toothbrush style that fits your mouth and feels comfortable, and you will be more likely to use it.  If your teeth are sensitive or you want them to be whiter, look around; there´s a toothpaste for that.

  • Floss:  Floss your teeth once a day.  Dental floss is available in a variety of widths and thicknesses, although some people prefer disposable flossers, which are often easier for children to use.

  • Rinse:  Oral rinses play an important role in a dental health routine.  Gum disease is caused by bacteria, but an oral rinse formulated with bacteria-targeting ingredients can help keep gum disease at bay.
Healthy Gums Oral Rinse from TheraBreath contains cetylpyridinium chloride, an ingredient approved by the FDA and clinically proven to kill the germs linked to gum disease.  “Gum disease is more serious than people think.  It starts out with just bleeding and sensitive gums, but in its advanced stages, it can cause tooth loss,” says Dr. Harold Katz, founder and chief researcher for TheraBreath.  For more information about keeping your mouth healthy and reducing your risk of gum disease, go to The TheraBreath Website.  Healthy Gums Oral Rinse from TheraBreath is available at Walmart.

A direct reprint from News USA via Copyright Free Content
Also reposted to our Savon November 2018 Newsletter! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Accidental Halloween Happenings: 15 Candies to Watch Out For!

With Halloween just a day away, every year dentist offices across the country encounter a rush of patients experiencing Halloween candy related dental emergencies!! No joke!! It's very common for patients to present themselves to the dental staff with crowns or bridges that have been pulled off, fillings that have been pulled out, teeth that have been chipped or cracked all by these innocent sweeties we consume every year!! I've compiled a list of the most common offenders that can be found in your candy bowl!

Top 5 Worst Culprits
(these are known to extricate crowns, bridges and fillings with ease)
  1. Sugar Daddy
  2. Milk Duds
  3. Dots
  4. Bit-O-Honey
  5. Good n' Plenty

Top 10 Accomplices
  1. Jolly Rancher
  2. Laffy Taffy
  3. Caramel
  4. Gummy Bears
  5. Toffee
  6. Tootsie Rolls
  7. Sugar Babies
  8. Now & Laters
  9. Super Bubble Gum/ Dubble Bubble Gum
  10. Slowpokes

There ya have it! For those of you who have any type of dental work done, watch out for these sneaky little candies...or you may find yourself in the dental chair bashfully blaming your missing filling on one of these sweet little criminals!

Keep smiling, have fun and be safe this Halloween! 

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Could Root Canals Become History?

Oh, the dreaded root canal but what if I told you that in the future your teeth could possible heal themselves?

Researchers from the University of Nottingham and the Wyss Institute at Harvard University are trying to develop a new regenerative dental filling that uses stem cells. This will be placed inside your teeth to repair tissues and potentially make root canals a part of history!

This research earned second place at the Royal Society of Chemistry's Emerging Technologies Competition in 2016!

Article found here!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Today’s Dentistry – The Wide Spectrum of the Dental Arts

Technology is rapidly advancing, particularly in the dental industry. So, it is no surprise that dentists are branching out into other fields. Simple dental caries, bruxism, orthodontic malocclusion and misalignment of the jaw have long been treated by the dentist, while treatments for varying ailments such as sleep apnea, migraine headaches, ringing in the ears and even Tourette’s syndrome have always fallen into the purview of an MD or a medical specialist.  However, by advancement of technology, dentists are now able to integrate dental treatments for things like TMJ or structural Maxillofacial problems with the jaw into treatments for these ailments, among other things. 
Devices such as TMD splints, night orthotics and post-orthodontic appliances are proving to be useful for a variety of ailments.  It seems that misalignment of the jaw can contribute to a myriad of ailments...including sleep apnea, digestive issues, poor body posture, muscle spasms, decreased strength overall along with muscle aches and pains, to name just a few. 
If you suffer from any of these ailments, you might consider consulting with your dentist as well as your healthcare provider.  There may be a simple solution out there for you!

Keep Smiling!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Future Prevention Of Yellow Stains On Teeth After Braces!

If you have braces or are getting them put on soon, I'm sure you are looking forward to the day you can get them removed, right? I know I did when I had mine put on years ago!

I didn't have my braces until I was an adult, so I was very conscious of keeping my teeth clean at home and I had professional cleanings every four months to prevent white spots on my teeth. That was my main concern with braces because I remember back in high school seeing my friends coming back to school with their braces removed but they had white spots on their teeth from where the brackets were placed and had "yellowish" looking teeth.

I came across an article that discuss how researchers from Valencia (Spain), London (England) and Sul (Brazil) are trying to develop an adhesive material that will prevent white spots from appearing on the teeth of people who wear braces.

This is copied from the article: 

The study compares three experimental dental adhesives which contain a bioactive nano-mineral called halloysite and whose nanotubes have been loaded with triclosan, a strong antibacterial and fungicidal agent in different concentrations: 5, 10 and 20 per cent. The research compares the three new, experimental biomaterials’ polymerisation properties, their antibacterial strength and bioactive properties, which not only prevent demineralization of the teeth, but also promote remineralisation.

The three experimental materials tested in the laboratory have demonstrated an ability to stop bacterial proliferation in the 24 hours following their use, but only the one with the highest concentration of triclosan, at 20 per cent, has maintained this property after 72 hours. As far as the remineralising effect, all three tested materials have proven to be effective two weeks after their use in dental enamel samples submerged in experimental saliva.

These results are a promising step forward in the development of new adhesives that are capable of preventing the appearance of the bacteria that demineralise the enamel surrounding the brackets and, at the same time, remineralise the area and thus prevent the appearance of white stains on the teeth.

 Luckily I didn't have any white spots or staining after my braces but this maybe helpful for young children who are wearing braces!

Article was found here!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Oral Bone Loss May Be One of the First Signs of Osteoporosis!

Your teeth have been cleaned, x-rayed and examined. You're ready to schedule your next 6-month check-up and be on your way. But instead, your dentist delivers some surprising news: you may have osteoporosis.
You may think your dentist is kidding, but that's probably not the case. Signs of osteoporosis can often be seen on dental x-rays and exams. Oral health and bone health can be directly related. Your dentist can find possible signs of osteoporosis by examining your jawbone, gums and teeth.
Although your dentist may suspect the disease, you can't tell for sure from an x-ray alone. To diagnose osteoporosis, you will need to see a doctor for a bone density test.

Keep Smiling!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

How To Deal With Dental Phobia

To begin, I think it's important to note that dental phobia is a very common affliction, with over 80% of the population having at least some level of anxiety and fear over dental procedures. So, to the dental phobics out there, please know that you are not alone!! Conversely, a higher percentage of women have reported having dental phobia than men. (Ok, I'll admit that this statistic surprised me. Just a little.) Having worked in this industry for the past 16 years, it occurred to me to write on this topic because I have witnessed so many people who have been diagnosed as needing major restorative work all because they were afraid to see a dentist for preventative care. Some have avoided the dentist for 15 to 20 years! Anyway, I did a little hunting on the web and found some interesting ideas for overcoming dental phobias. Hope this is helpful! 
  • The first and, I think, most important thing is to find a dentist that you can trust. The best method for this is word of mouth. Talk to a trusted friend or co-worker, or ask family member for a referral. Chances are if they've had a good experience, you will too.
  • Proceed with treatment at your own speed. (Except in the case of an emergency, of course.) Do not allow yourself to be rushed into treatment before you are ready. Mental preparation is important to your dental experience. Discuss all options with your dentist prior to the treatment. Knowing what to expect goes a long way toward relaxation.
  • Try to bring a spouse or trusted friend with you for treatment. Sometimes just knowing someone is there (even if they stay in the waiting room) can help to relax you and put your mind at ease. Also, sometimes talking about your fears with that person can help to alleviate and irradicate the jitters. You might even be surprised to learn that they have similar fears!
  • Predetermine a "stop signal" with your dentist. Most people will just raise a hand....that seems to be the most common signal, but the important thing is that he (the dentist) needs to know if you are experiencing discomfort at any level. Sometimes all that is required is to stop for a moment and let the feeling pass, or if you are in pain, to administer more anesthetic.
  • Bring an MP3 player or CD player with headphones to distract you. Music calms the soul, and consequently the mind and body. If you are in to motivational CD's or inspirational types of listening material, that is helpful as well. Many of the new state of the art dental facilities already have these things available.
These are just a few of the ideas that are available on the internet to help overcome your fear of the dentist. Here is a link for some information on the newest dental techniques and tools coming out on the market. Many of these are designed to aid or eliminate pain and anxiety.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Do I Need A New Crown After A Root Canal?

If a tooth with a crown on it needs a root canal, it doesn't always need a new crown put on it. There are several reasons to replace a crown, but needing a root canal on a tooth is not one of them. If a tooth that has a functional crown (margins are good, no recurrent decay, good occlusion) needs are root canal, many times it can be done by going right through the existing crown. There is always the danger of the crown fracturing, depending on the material it is made of, so the dentist will usually caution you that a fracture can occur that will lead to the need for a new crown.

Original post by Dr.C on January 28, 2008

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Food & Your Oral Health - Good vs. Bad

Have you ever wondered what you've eaten that causes dental caries (cavities)? Or, on the flip side, have you ever wondered what foods have contributed to your good dental health?
 
The following is a list of the five best foods for your teeth, followed by the five worst. 

BEST FOODS

1. Milk
2. Yogurt
3. Strawberries
4. Green Tea
5. Sugar Free Gum

WORST FOODS

1. Raisins
2. Lemons
3. Soda
4. White Bread
5. Gummy Candy and Hard Candy

Eat the good stuff, and Keep Smiling!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Tonsil Stones

Tonsil stones are white or yellowish hard masses that are located within the tonsil.

Tonsils are supposed to help prevent and fight infections but sometimes that's not the case. Nooks and crannies can fill up with dead cells, mucous, saliva and food which get trapped and build up. Over time these derbies harden into a tonsil stones.
 
If you notice any of these symptoms you could have developed tonsil stones:
  • Bad breath
  • Sore throat
    • A sense that something is stuck in your mouth or in the back of your throat.
    • White visible clumps in the back of the throat
    • Difficult swallowing
  • Pressure or pain in the ears
 Luckily tonsil stones are harmless but you will wont to remove them because of the symptoms listed above. Treatments can range from home remedies to professional removal.

Home remedies:
  • Gargling - Gargling with warm salt water will ease a sore throat and reduces the smell of bad breath but most importantly it my help dislodge the stones. 
  • Coughing - Energetic coughing can help loosen stones.
  • Manual removal - *Not recommended, can cause severe bleeding and infection* If you decide to manually remove the stones use a water pick or a cotton swab.
Professional removal:
  •  Laser tonsil cryptolysis - Laser is used to eliminate the crypts where stones are lodged. You will have local anesthesia and recovery time is minimal.
  • Coblation cryptolysis - Radio waves transform a salt solution into ions. These ions cut through he tissue.
  • Tonsillectomy - Surgical removal of the tonsils, this is usually done if the stones are severe or if other methods tried have failed.
  • Antibiotics - Sometimes antibiotics can be used to manage the stones.
Image result for tonsil stones


Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Green Tea-More Oral Benefits Than You Think!

It's a commonly known fact that green tea has many health benefits.  It's a natural antioxidant and it's great for your digestive system.  I honestly had no idea it provided any oral health benefits.  Here's what I learned from an article I read recently..

In a Japanese study some years ago (2010), it was determined that men and women who drink one or more cups per day of fresh brewed green tea are more likely to keep their own teeth, less likely to suffer from periodontal issues and have fewer cavities than people who drink other beverages. It was noted that black tea has fewer benefits because it is more processed and lacks the amount of antioxidants that green tea has.  It also has higher amounts of caffeine, which can cause side effects like the jitters or sleep disturbances.

Below are some of the benefits of green tea:

1. Reduces Periodontal Inflammation

2. Can Help to Kill Oral Cancer Cells

3. Inhibits the Formation of Dental Plaque

4. Repels Odor-Causing Bacteria

5. Helps Prevent Cavities

There are also oral care products out there  that contain green tea. With all of those benefits, it might just be worth checking out!  

Keep Smiling!   

Sunday, September 30, 2018

In House Dental Plans... Not As Good As You They Sound.

There are a lot of dental centers that now offer their own dental plan. This is a good concept for the dental office, but what is the benefit for the patient?

By providing a plan for their patients, the dental office can help the patient save money on their treatment plan that is set by the dentist. The office will then discount based in their usual and customary rates (UCR). This may sound good for the patient, but when compared to Savon Dental Plan, the savings that patient receive are not always that good. Also, the coverage offered by that center in most cases does not extend past that office or corporation. If a patient is unhappy with the dentist or the center, then they will have to seek alternative coverage to go somewhere else.

Savon Dental Plan overcomes that to give an great advantage to the members. First, Savon bases it's fee schedule on the average usual and customary rates of dentists per area. Then reduces that fee to 50% off to come up with the Savon price. Savon Dental Plan providers are contracted to abide by the fee schedule for Savon members. (the fee schedule for your area is posted on their website) Second, Savon has multiple providers nationwide that are available to it's members. (which is also available on their website) This allows the customer to choose a dentist that they are happy with, and the freedom to change dentist if they desire without having to seek out alternative plans.

There is so much more that Savon Dental Plan offers. To see that and how Savon compares to other dental plans, click on "the comparison zone" page of their website at www.savondentalplan.com

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Oral Disease Affecting Athletes Performances?

According to University College London's Eastman Dental Institute, high levels of oral disease are found among Great Britain's (GB) elite athletes and is the leasing cause to poor on field performances.

This is the largest study of it's kind, more than 350 athletes from nine different GB sports teams participated in this study which included an oral health assessment checking for tooth decay, tooth erosion and gum disease. The athletes also had to fill out a questioner focusing on: sleeping, eating and self-confidence.

Results of the oral assessment: 49.1% of the athletes had untreated tooth decay, 77% had gingivitis, 30% reported having bleeding gums and only 1.1% had excellent oral health.

Results of the questioner: 32% of the athletes reported that these poor oral conditions negatively impact their sporting performance. 34.6%  inability to eat. 15.1%  relax and sleep 17.2%  smiling and self-confidence.

After the study Professor Ian Needleman made a few comments:
  • "Nutrition in sports is heavily reliant on frequent carbohydrate intake, which are known to increase inflammation in the body and gum tissues.
  •  "In sports where there is a lot of airflow, such as cycling and running, breathing hard can make the mouth dry so teeth lose the protective benefits of saliva and there is existing evidence of lower quality of saliva with intensive training. 
  • "Stress is also clearly a risk factor, with some athletes reporting vomiting before every race, as a result of ore-competition anxiety." 


     *Whether your an athlete or not, it's important to maintain good oral health by brushing and flossing regularly, eating a balances diet and visiting the dentist every 6 months for a routine check up*

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Dental Charities - A Great Way To Give!

Although the economy has improved in the last 2 years, many people are still in need of financial assistance for dental expenses, and as I mentioned in my prior blog, a large number of them are millennials and senior citizens. Dental prices are among the highest in the medical field, and are rising. It is unfortunate that dental care gets shoved to the bottom of the priority list out of necessity... and struggling young families with children are the ones who need help the most.
There are some great charities out there for people in need of dental care! I did some research and compiled a small list. If you are among the many who need help, I hope this list will help. If you are among the few who are in a position to donate, please contact one of these charities! Dental health is linked to physical health, and children are most affected. Please give!
  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Charitable Foundation
  • Oral Health America (OHA)
  • Healthy Smiles Healthy Children
  • National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped

Click here for a link that lists a large number of wonderful dental charities.
Keep Smiling!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

What Is An Impacted Tooth?

An impacted tooth is a tooth that gets blocked as it is pushing through the gum into your mouth. A common tooth to get impacted is the wisdom teeth.

Wisdom teeth, also known as the third molars usually begin to come in between the ages of 17 and 21. Most cases they may become impacted due to the lack of room in your mouth. They may come in sideways or be tilted in your jaw. 

You can have an impacted tooth and not even know, as some are painless. When an impacted wisdom tooth tries to come in it can become infected and swollen. Sometimes you even feel pain in nearby teeth, or in the ear on that side of your face. 

If untreated an impacted tooth can lead to an infection called pericoronitis. This infection can spread to the throat or into the neck. Impacted teeth also can get cavities, lead to tooth movement, decay or gum disease. It also can change the way your teeth come together.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Is Oral Cancer Common?

Oral Cancer strikes nearly 35,000 Americans each year. The good news is that early detection gives you a 90% chance of surviving oral cancer. This is part of why regular dental exams are crucial part of your preventive health care. Our team screens for oral cancer at each dental exam to ensure we catch any suspicious lesions early and to give you peace of mind. You can also look for abnormalities between visits. Lear to recognize the signs and symptoms here.

You can help lower your risk of developing oral cancer, improve treatment success rates and keep your mouth healthy by doing the following:
  • Avoid using tobacco products and limit alcohol consumption.
  • Always protect your lips with sun block (oral cancer can be outside the mouth too).
  • Make a dental appointment if a sore in your mouth lasts longer than two weeks.

 Information is from a flyer I received from my dental office: Dr. Ghasem Darian, Winning Smiles Dentistry.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Bad Teeth & Social Stigma - The Ugly Truth

Dentistry is horribly expensive, and as a result, large percentages of people in every age group avoid going to the dentist due to the high cost alone.  It is unfortunate, but there is a certain stigma attached to those who have poor dentition or decayed teeth; placed there by a society that considers one's appearance to be a measurable factor in their character, ability and even their intelligence.  After all, a smile is the first thing that people notice when they first meet someone.

How is the person with the decayed teeth, gum disease or misaligned teeth perceived by society in general? The answer isn't pretty.  Many are thought of as poor, some unintelligent, even more are outcast as socially inferior.  Some are denied entry into social groups, some are denied jobs. In some groups one is considered to be less likely to be successful if they have poor teeth. This treatment, this stigma, can lead to lower self esteem, depression and worse, poverty. It drives them even further down the social/economic ladder. 

It is interesting to note that the age group hit hardest by this problem are the millennial's. Dentistry is a luxury they simply can't afford. Due to the social stigma of poor dentition, many can't find jobs. It is estimated that some 30% of millennial's have tooth decay or are in need of serious dental care.  This is the highest percentage of any other age group.  Millennial's are also less likely to have dental insurance.  Senior citizens are second only to the millennial's.  Another travesty with devastating consequences, as the rise in dental costs affects senior's health and well being even more than their social status.

It is also interesting to note that the United States is a country that places a high importance on the appearance of an individual, in terms of social status.  In other countries, such as England, Australia, Africa and even Japan, it is more widely accepted to have a less than perfect smile. It just isn't that important to them. 

We, as a society, need to stop judging the book by it's cover. American's are a tough group!  Chill out, people!  Not everyone can look like a celebrity.

Keep smiling! 


Monday, September 17, 2018

Facts About Taste Buds

When your taking a bite of a big, juicy burger or sipping on a milkshake, you know one thing... It tastes good, right? Ever think about why that is? 

Your tongue and the roof of your mouth are covered in thousands of these tiny little buds. When you eat, your saliva helps break down food. Your taste buds send little messages to your brain which tell you all kinds of information like wheather or not the food tastes good, if it's hot, cold, sweet, sour, etc. 

Taste buds are most important because they are play the biggest part in enjoying different foods and flavors. As a child, you would have been more sensitive to different foods because your taste buds were not only on your tongue, but on the roof and the sides of your mouth. As an adult, you may notice certain foods you were unable to eat as a child, taste better. This is because your taste buds are more centered to your tongue area and are now less sensitive.

Here are some facts about your taste buds:

-Buds that taste bitterness are located at the back of the tongue. Sour taste buds are located on either side of the tongue, with salty/sweet buds on the tip. The center of the tongue does not have many taste buds.

-Taste is the weakest of the 5 senses

- Girls have more tastebuds than boys

-We have nearly 10,000 taste buds inside our mouths

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Is One Type Of Floss Better Than Another?

We're often asked, "What's the best type of floss to use?" The truth is that the best type of floss to use is the one that gets used daily! Floss cleans away plaque and food particles that your toothbrush may miss. In fact, if you don't floss, you're missing 35% of the surface of your teeth! So as long as you're flossing daily, we recommend you choose the one that's most comfortable for you.

Here's a brief explanation of the two main types of floss:
  • Nylon (multifilament) floss is most common and comes in waxed, flavored, unflavored, and varying on thickness.
  • PTFE (monofilament) floss doesn't rip or tear, so some find it glides between the teeth better.
Information from a flyer I received from my dentist, Dr. Ghasem K. Darian - Winning Smiles Dentistry

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Dentistry in Mexico-It's Your Decision

An article I read online started me thinking about this topic. "Why would anyone want to risk their health and safety by visiting a doctor or dentist in a country where sanitation standards are questionable and there is no way to determine whether a doctor is reputable; or even competent? There would be no legal recourse for a mistake, no refund, no malpractice insurance."
The above excerpt was taken from a blog I published in February of 2008. With time, the economy over the last 10 years and many testimonials from people I've talked to while working in this industry, I must say that I have come to an understanding on this subject at least, if only marginally.  I still stand firm on the safety issues of traveling to Mexico for either  medical or dental treatment....sanitation remains a concern except that I now know many of the dental offices there are actually staffed with American Dentists, and in fairness, their american training and work ethic are at or above the standard.  Some of these dentists live there and work, some commute and the overall benefit to the traveling patient is that they can get the treatment they need from a qualified professional at a cost that is way below the standard fees charged in the US. The doctors are not bound to  [admittedly ridiculous] regulations, exorbitant insurance rates and high operating costs that are the norm in the US, thus allowing them to perform dentistry and pass the savings along to the patient. The drawbacks to these seemingly stellar benefits are the risks of complication, and to mention again, safety during travel.  When Mexico is hundreds of miles away and the patient needs further, immediate treatment, where do they go?  To a dentist in America who certainly will not fix the problem for free...and well, there you have it. 
All that said, there are risks involved, which poses the question,  "does the money saved really outweigh the risk?"  Many think that it does.  I for one, always the skeptic, would need to think VERY hard about it if I were ever faced with that dilemma.
In my humble and educated opinion a good Dental Plan can be far more effective in helping to stabilize the rising costs of dentistry and it's much safer.  It just is.

Keep smiling!



Monday, September 10, 2018

Is A Dog's Mouth Clean?

We have all had a dog lick us at one point in time. Some think it is gross while others take it as a sign of affection and your dog is just kissing you. We all know dogs will pretty much lick ‘anything’ so I find it hard to believe their mouth could be sanitary.
I tried to google about it but I get mixed theories on the subject. Some say they are clean and can even heal a wound you have, while others say their mouths are not 'sanitary' due to the diseases or illnesses you can get from a dog bite. I would like to know what you think and any web-sites you might have that back up the theory dog’s mouth are indeed clean and we won't think ‘eeww’ when they lick all over our faces. :)

Thursday, September 6, 2018

How Missing Teeth Damage Your Health And Appearance

The consequences of missing permanent teeth go far beyond self-consciousness. Here are a few ways an unwanted gap may affect your mouth and face.

  • Teeth rely on each other to stay in position. A space in your smile is an invitation for surrounding teeth to shift and drift out of place.
  • Your teeth support your facial muscles. Without a full set of teeth, the muscles and skin may begin to sag, giving your cheeks a sunken look and making you appear much older than you are.
  • Missing teeth may make it more difficult to chew your food completely, practice proper oral hygiene, and may affect how you speak.
  • Your jawbone relies on stimulation from your teeth to remain stong and thick. When teeth are missing, the bone will weaken and deteriorate. Dental Implants are sepecially effective in promoting bone health.
 *Information is from a flyer from my dental office...Dr. Ghasem K. Darian - Winning Smiles Dentistry

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Are Amalgam Fillings Safe? Another Side of the Argument...

This is an excellent question. I thought it might be interesting to stir the debate a little....after all, so much controversy surrounds the issue. In this day and age when everyone (medical professionals and the average patient alike) is so much more aware of the harmful toxins in the air we breathe and ingredients in our food and water....it's nice to be able to have a choice about what goes into our body.
Here is a link to a very good article that has an interesting twist...a link to a youtube video that actually shows mercury vapor coming out of an extracted tooth that had an amalgam filling. This will knock your socks off! Watch and decide for yourself. It might just help you to make that ever-important decision...Amalgam or Composite?

Always remember to keep smiling!

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Monday, September 3, 2018

Suffer from Dry Mouth?

Well there is hope for you yet! 

Several people suffer daily from a condition known as Xeristomia or Dry Mouth. Dry mouth can be brought on by any number of medical maladies and various prescription drugs. Most sufferers have found little to no relief from this condition and find themselves constantly drinking more water in hopes of quenching it.

New studies have shown that gums, candies, rinses and sweetners containing Xylitol offer comfort to those suffering from dry mouth. The xylitol coats the soft tissues of the mouth sealing in moisture and stimulates saliva flow.

There is a plethora of amazing over-the-counter products endorsed by dentists for treating dry mouth. Some products to check out are Biotene, Oasis and Sensodyne for Dry Mouth.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

What Is Second Tongue?

Body piercings are popular and the most common piercing between the ages 18-29 is the tongue piercing.

Wearing a tongue stud can put people at risk for chipped teeth, recessed gums and nerve damage. However, getting an oral piercing increases your chances of getting a fatal infection.

It's been reported that a pierced tongues can develop a large, round lump adjacent to the piercing. This lump is called the "second tongue". This lump doesn't hurt but its been determined to be scar tissue.

To help the decrease the size of the "second tongue" increase your oral hygiene routine up to multiple times a day (frequent use of mouthwash) and replace the stud to a smaller shafted stud.

The best way to protect your overall oral health is to not get your tongue pierced!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Dental Treatment? Who Can Afford It?

Given the current cost of dental procedures, that is a valid question. If keeping up with your dental needs has been put on the back burner, you're not alone. A good percentage of the population will still put off having routine dental exams and treatment because the cost is just too great. Let's face it, it's a "necessary luxury".  No one really thinks about dental coverage or dental work unless there is a problem. You may want to reconsider! In case you haven't noticed, even though the economy has begun to recover and wages are steadier, the price of dentistry isn't getting any cheaper! 
If you have a dental plan, use it! If you don't, now may be the time to get it. It can help keep the rising cost of dental care down. It's more important than ever to have some type of coverage. 
Here is an important thing to note: Dental plans are generally less expensive than insurance and tend to discount more procedures and products than traditional insurance. Insurance companies limit your benefits. Typically, dental plans don't.  Do your homework, but get some good dental coverage!

Don't wait for a toothache!!

As always, keep smiling!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

A Great Smile Is More Affordable Than A Bad One

For those of you that already have a great smile, I say this... Keep it! With the cost of dentistry not going down and only increasing, the cost to get that smile back is insurmountable.

Trust me when I tell you that the cost of toothpaste, mouthwash, floss and regular dental cleanings is a lot less expensive that the cost of restorative dental work.

Here are some tips to keeping that smile great:

1. Brush at least 2x per day
2. Floss daily
3. Get regular cleaning and checkups from your Dentist
4. Get any small dental work needed, done right away.


Thursday, August 23, 2018

Can Teething Cause A Runny Nose?

Sleepless nights, my baby just wants to be held, loss of appetite, fever, runny nose and fussiness are just some of things we blame on teething but according to the Seattle Children Hospital, teething does not cause "cold" like symptoms such as: fever, runny nose or diarrhea.

Experts believe there is a indirect link that causes stress to the child when they are teething that leaves them vulnerable to infections which can cause the "cold" like symptoms.

When a child starts teething usually between the ages of 6-30 months, their immune system is changing so they become more exposed to illnesses.

If your child has a fever of 100.4 *F dont assume its from them teething, this is a sign that something else is going on.


Information found here!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Effects of HIV on Oral Health

With the advance of medical technology over the last 20 years, so much more is now known about the importance of oral health for people infected with HIV. Did you know that there are over 30 oral conditions that can either result from or be more problematic for people with HIV infection? Some of these conditions can occur in people who are not infected, but some of them are found exclusively in people who are infected. Did you know that at one time, it was thought that root canals and other invasive procedures should not be performed on people with HIV/AIDS, and that there are publications today that have been updated for copyright, but still include this misinformation in the transcripts? Oral health and preventative care is important for everyone, but even more important for people with compromised immune systems. Education is essential.

Click here to learn more about the oral conditions associated with HIV/AIDS.

Click here for information about financial aid for dentistry and other services for people infected with HIV/AIDS.

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Sunday, August 19, 2018

Some Insight From A Dental Hygienist!

I read this insight from a dental hygienist when I was doing some research, so I thought I would share this as my blog. A very good article and some things you probably didn't know. 

1. We are highly educated. Dental hygienists have varying degrees of higher education, ranging from an associates degree to a masters degree. Associates degrees often take 3 to 4 years to obtain while schooling through summer breaks! No matter our degree level, we all must pass the same board exams to prove our competency level and gain our license to practice. Also, we are not done learning once licensed; we are required to receive a set amount of continuing education hours to renew our license every two years. We LOVE learning!
2. We take MANY licensing exams. Unlike other medical fields who take one exam, dental hygienists often take 3 to 5 different board exams to get their license. These exams are both written and practical AND are specific to geographical location, meaning that if we wanted to live in another state we would likely have to take (and pay for) more exams!
3. Our career is VERY tough on our body. We are constantly having to strain our backs, necks and shoulders throughout the day.
While we strive to achieve proper ergonomics and equipment meant to reduce fatigue, the stress on our bodies still occurs over time. You can help us by allowing us to lay you all the way back in the dental chair, and move your head to the positions that we ask of you unless you have a medical reason preventing you from doing so. Eight hours of muscle strain for us is a huge toll compared to the 60 minute patient appointment every 3, 4 or 6 months.
4. We are part of the healthcare team. Dental hygienists are required to know the same science of other medical professionals so that we can properly help manage all health needs, not just oral health needs, as the mouth is connected to the body as a whole. We don’t JUST put a shine in your smile; we treat, prevent AND screen for disease whether it is systemic or oral health related. This includes blood pressure check, cancer screenings, medication reviews, and much more.
5. We are not immune from dental complications. We all still need regular dental cleanings and sometimes we get cavities, too! While we are highly educated in prevention and maintenance of our oral health, sometimes we experience dental needs also. It just goes to show that we are all still human.
6. We are constantly in a battle with the clock. Our schedules are very tight and we have A LOT to do in the time we are given. Sometimes we may run behind due to factors beyond our control such as a late patient, a patient with many questions, or a patient who needed some very complex care. We try as hard as we can to stay on schedule, but sometimes it just is not possible.
By the time we are finishing up your appointment, it is likely that our next patient has arrived and is already waiting to be seen. Often, we work into our lunch break, come in early and leave late as we work hard to be 110 percent prepared for our day.
7. We make recommendations based on YOUR needs. We want what is best for you, and dentistry is NOT one size fits all. If we are recommending it during your appointment, it truly means that we feel it is in your best interest, based upon our in-depth knowledge, to utilize to achieve optimal health results. This includes x-rays, fluoride treatments, toothbrush recommendations and much more.
8. We do it to make a difference. No one would sign up for this career, go through the rigorous curriculum or many expensive board exams and tolerate the daily wear and tear on their bodies if they truly did not love this field. We are real people with strong emotions who often think about the wellbeing of our patients long after we’ve left the office for the day.
9. We WANT your experience to be comfortable and stress free. We will do everything we can to achieve this. If there is something that you know will make you more comfortable, just ask. We can provide numbing relief, pillows, and other comfort commodities to help you through your visit. If you’re comfortable, we’re comfortable (as long as we can position
you correctly as we discussed in No. 3).
10. You are MORE than just our patient! You become our friend. We laugh with you, cry with you, celebrate with you, and mourn with you. Our bond will grow powerful over time, and we are more than just your dental hygienist, we are your friend, confidant, and sometimes your therapist.
As tough as our day may be, this is what makes everything worth it.


Sarah Clark, RDH, IPDH, is a 2014 dental hygiene graduate of New Hampshire Technical Institute. She is currently practicing at Topsham Dental Arts and loves being part of a progressive, caring team.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Mouth Injury In Sports? Check Out These Tips

Did you know sports is the leading cause in mouth injuries? If you play or have played a sport you have been probably been hit in the mouth at least once. The most common injuries that a dentist has seen related to sports are: broken, displaced or knocked out teeth, and broken jaws.

What should you do if your child hurts their teeth or jaw?

"If a tooth has been knocked out, the tooth needs to back in the mouth with in 30 min. for the best chance of survival"

  • Avoid touching the root because it can be damaged easily.

  • If the tooth is dirty, hold it by the upper part and rinse it off with milk. If you don't have milk, don't clean it. Wiping it off may cause more damage.

  • If you can't get it back in the socket, put it in a cup of milk and head for the dentist or emergency room.

***Milk will help provide nutrients to the cells, DO NOT place/wash tooth in water

" If your child has hurt their jaw"


  • See a doctor
Remember always wear a mouth guard no matter what sport you are playing!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Can Drinking Black Tea Reduce Cavities?

Are you a black tea drinker? If so, you may have less plaque buildup and cavities than those who don't!

Christine Wu, Professor of Periodontics at the University of Illinois said "we found that the black tea infusion can inhibit or suppress the growth of bacteria that promotes cavities and affect their ability to attach to the tooth surface."

Medical research has also found that drinking black tea offers many health benefits, some include:
  • Protection against heart disease
  • Reduces bacterial infections
  • Protects against some types of cancer
So even if you're not a black tea drinker you can rinse your mouth out with it several times a day to help reduce plaque build up and the chance of cavities!


*Info is from 2001

Lip Cancer

We all have heard about breast, colon, lung, skin and many other horrible cancer types but have you heard about lip cancer?

Lip cancer is a type of oral cancer that develops from abnormal cells that grow out of control and is commonly mistaken as cold sores and many times goes undiagnosed.

Just like any cancer, if it's left untreated it can spread to the lymph nodes and to the lungs. Fortunately, lip cancer is very treatable if it's caught early one.

Dentist are usually the ones to discover  lip cancer, which usually appears on the bottom lip and most commonly found on people over the age of 45.

Certain life styles can increase your risk of developing lip cancer:
  • Smoking
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Sun exposure
  • Tanning beds
If you're going to be in the sun or use a tanning bed make sure you use a lip balm with at least a SPF 30!!

Remember to protect your pucker!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Your Dental Knowledge - Myth vs. Fact

**This information was gathered from various online sources**

Myth: Brushing more than once a day can harm tooth enamel.
Well, sort of. Brushing multiple times a day with anything other than a soft toothbrush could possibly harm your enamel. That's why most dentists recommend you use a soft bristle toothbrush, and brush preferably after each meal.

Myth: There's no need to take a child to the dentist because their baby teeth will fall out anyway.
As soon as your child develops a tooth, it's time to pay attention. Neglecting your child's baby teeth can cause major and even painful problems for them presently, as well as possibly causing major issues for them once the permanent teeth come in. It is never too early to teach your children about the importance of proper oral hygiene.

Myth: Chewing sugarless gum is the same as brushing.
Nothing replaces actual brushing (with a toothbrush) and flossing. Chewing sugarless gum in between meals can help clean the surface of your teeth and may also freshen your breath, however, it does not remove plaque and food that may be stuck in between your teeth. Also, it does not effectively remove plaque and build-up around the gum line which is what a toothbrush and floss are designed to do.

Myth: Women should avoid the dentist altogether while pregnant.
Due to the amount of vitamins and nutrients the baby needs, pregnant women often find that they develop more dental problems during this delicate period. It is for this reason that regular dental visits should continue and are, if anything, more important during pregnancy. Of course, there are certain dental procedures that pregnant women should avoid, such as x-rays and dental surgery, but your dentist will advise you properly and this should be no reason to skip out on your dental care.

Myth: I can't see any problems with my teeth, so I don't need to go to the dentist.
Not all dental problems are visible. You could have a cavity the size of Texas and never see it because it could be on the back side of a molar or in between two teeth. Too many people go by the notion that "if I can't see it or feel it, it's not there." As with many health related issues, you don't always know that there's a problem until it's too late. If you could physically see every problem in your mouth, what would be the purpose of dental x-rays?

These are just a few myths I found and did a little research on, but all comments or additions are welcome!

Keep Smiling!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Canker "Mouth" Sores Home Treatment

Canker sores are painful, no doubt about it. I get them as an allergic reaction to citrus. Well, I got sick, drank a big glass of orange juice and now I am paying the price. 5 of them in my mouth. Eating hurts, drinking hurts, moving my tongue near one of them hurts. Plain and simple, my mouth hurts.

However, I have found somethings that helps ease the pain and helps them heal up a little faster.

1. Warm Salt Water - as I mentioned in one of previous blogs, this is my go to for almost anything mouth related. It does sting a little bit at first, but the relief afterwords is worth it.

2. Consistent brushing. This is a given everyday whether you have canker sores or not, but even missing one brushing, you will feel the difference.

3. Allow ice chips to dissolve slowly in your moth for relief of pain.

4. Lastly, i have used carrot, celery, and cantaloupe juices, the have helped to.

Any other ideas? Please let me know.!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Can Stress Ruin Your Teeth?

Did you know that when your anxious or stressed out, you're unconsciously ruining your teeth?

You might ask, how does being stressed or anxious really affect my teeth, Right? Well let me explain!

Stress and anxiety have been linked to clenched jaws and bruxism (teeth grinding). Although this is not considered a dangerous disorder, it can put pressure on the jaw muscles and tissues causing facial soreness and can wear down your teeth causing fractured or broken teeth.

 Here are some tips that can help stop teeth grinding while stressed or anxious:
  • Do a few yoga stretches 
  • A couple deep breathes
  • Listen to a relaxing song (nature sounds, jazz music, Hawaiian music)
  • Apply warm washcloth against check to help sooth the jaw muscles
  • Drink water
  • Place your tongue between the teeth if you notice grinding/clenching
  • Wear a night guard
 If your stressed or your anxiety levels are at an all time high, you should consult with your primary physician to help you identity the underlying problems and prescribe you the proper medication. Hopefully this will help save your teeth in the long run!

Monday, July 30, 2018

Dental Anesthesia via Electric Current - The End of Needle Injections?

Iontophoresis – a technique of introducing medicinal compounds into the body through the skin by applying a local electric current.
Fact: It is estimated that nearly 1/3 of the population avoid the dentist or refuse to go because of a fear of needles.
Aside from the obvious “painless” aspect of this revolutionary treatment, there is a plethora of added benefits.
• Reducing pain also reduces fear. This would be especially beneficial to those who are needle phobic.
• There is a markedly lower risk of infection.
• Since the pain relieving drugs are administered by way of electrical current, the drugs are more readily absorbed, thereby possibly reducing the amount of the drug needed to do the procedure and bringing down costs.
• Once the word gets out, dentists may notice a rise in the number of patients they treat.
Of all the technology out there in the medical/dental field, this one seems to me to be the most important. There are so many other ways to use this technique, not just for dentistry.

Keep Smiling!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

New Dental Technology To Read Patient Stress Level

I don't really think I need to talk to much about the stress of going to the dentist. Hence the reason most people do not go unless they have to. Long waits in the waiting room, long waits in the opertory and just the stress of not know what is going to be need and if it will hurt or not.

Well, researchers at Columbia University are using new technology to help with that. They are designing a new dental center that is built to monitor and reduce patient stress as well as speed up the process of a dental visit.

It is designed around a bracelet that the patient is given when they check in. This bracelet is equipped with RFID (radio frequency identification) technology. Once activated, the center will be able to tell where in the office the patient is located, what procedure they are getting, any dental information on file, how long they have been waiting and measure the patients stress level by measuring heart rate and respirations. They will also be able to tell the real time stress level of the patient while the procedure is being performed.

This is one piece of technology that I personally am very interested in and, if proven to work, would love to see in every dental center across the nation. Especially if it speeds up the visit like they suggest.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Why You Should Scrape Your Tongue Every Day!

When we are sleeping our digestive system remains awake, removing toxins from our body and depositing them onto the surface of our tongue. If we don't remove these toxins they get reabsorbed into the body causing other problems such as weakened  immune system and respiratory problems.

Listed below are some reasons why you should make tongue scraping part of your daily oral health routine:
  1. Improves breath: Removing bacteria, food debris, fungi and dead cells from the tongue reduces the odor from your mouth. To get the best results you need a tongue scraper, a toothbrush doesn't cut it.
  2. Improves taste: Removing the build-up will expose your taste buds. This will lead to better enjoyment of the flavors of your food.
  3. Improves dental health: Bacteria that is removed from the tongue are responsible for things like periodontal problems, plaque, build-up, tooth decay and many others.

Get to know your tongue!
Did you know your tongue us a mirror reflection of your internal organs? By scraping your tongue you are stimulating and massaging those corresponding organs!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Flossing Your Teeth - There Is A Right Way And A Wrong Way!

Anyone who has ever seen a dentist has heard (over and over, I'm sure) that flossing is just as important as brushing.  A habit most of us perform at least once a day, I'm confident that most of probably didn't know that there is a right and wrong way to do it!  One would think pulling string between your teeth would be pretty much fool-proof, but apparently it's not that simple...

Skipping the spaces- If you have gaps or spaces between any of your teeth, it's important to still floss between them to remove any food or bacteria from beneath the gums.  This includes the gums behind your back molars.

Forcing your floss in a tight spot-  If your teeth are tight together and the floss won't go, gently saw the floss back and forth while applying gentle, but firm pressure until it squeezes through.  Too much pressure or forcing the floss through can damage your gums and increase your risk of gingivitis.  

Using the same piece for the entire job-  Using the same string of floss for the entire session can spread bacteria to different areas of the mouth.  To ensure the removal of the plaque and bacteria and not its redistribution, it's best to use a fresh section of floss for every few teeth. 

Still, there isn't much to the flossing concept, but not doing these simple things could have some complicated and expensive consequences.

Here's to flossing, the right way!

Keep Smiling!


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Dental Grills = Damage To Teeth

Dental grills are decorative covers often made of gold, silver and even diamonds. Generally grills snap over one or more teeth but some grills can be permanently mounted. Although grills bring "bling" to a smile, wearing them can be very damaging to your teeth.

People think that because grills are removable they are safe but that's not true says Dr. Matt Messina, consumer advisor to the American Dental Association.

Food and bacteria get trapped underneath and can cause gum infections, irritations and cavities and the longer it sits the worse the problems. 

Dr. Messina also says that the type of metal used is a key factor as well. Grills made from gold or platinum do okay with the body were grills made from non-precious metal can be troublesome because they can cause allergic reactions.

If you wear dental grills and start to experience redness, swelling and pain around the gums stop wearing your grill and see your dentist right away!


Click here for the full article!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Why You Should Always Research Your Doctor!

In a recent news article there was a story about a dentist in Texas who, allegedly, while under the influence of alcohol, botched a surgical procedure on a woman.  Lawsuits are pending. 

It is interesting to note that medical and dental professionals are not immune to substance abuse. 
This is incredibly disturbing when you think about how many people get treatment every day from dentists they know nothing about.  How many times have you picked a random doctor off of your insurance list?  I know I have done it, figuring that if my insurance lists them, they must be good enough.  They have a degree and a license to practice so it must be safe. And for some, it might be, but unfortunately, it is still an incredible risk to take.
 
Most people aren't even aware that you CAN research any doctor with a license.  Information such as where they went to school, when they graduated, complaints, infractions, etc. can be obtained by the general public. It's as simple as a Google.com search for your local dental or medical board. 
Such a simple step could have changed everything for that poor woman.

When it comes to your health, you can never be too careful!  Whatever you do, whether it be a dentist, a doctor or surgeon, even an anesthesiologist,  do your homework and ALWAYS KNOW who is working on you! 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

You Don't Have To Go To The Specialist Your Dentist Referred You To

When a dental center refers you to a specialist, they tend to use the same specialists. There are many reasons why they do this. They may be friends with that specialist. They have a working relationship with that specialist. They could be collaborating with that specialist and referring both ways. None of which are bad. If you trust your dentist, then you should trust the specialist that they refer you too, as you know that your dentist has the best in mind for your dental health.

However, that does not mean that you required to go to that specialist. When you are referred out, you as patient has the option to go a specialist of your choosing. One of them main factors would be, if that specialist is not a provider on your coverage. Rarely does the referring dental center check that. They just make the referral. It is up to the patient to make sure that they are covered at that office.

Too many times we have heard about a patient that has had to pay much more than they should have because they were referred to specialist that is not in their coverage network.

Another thing, make sure you shop around. There are general dentists that can do some if not most of procedures that other dentist would refer you out to. For example, some dentists will refer you to a endodontist for a root canal on a back molar. I personally know dentist that will do that in their office and save you the cost of a specialist. So make sure you are doing your research.

If you are a Savon Dental Plan patient, we have that information on hand for you. If you are referred to specialist, call our customer service center before you do anything else. We have tools readily available to let you know if they are a provider on our plan, we have record of the dentists different abilities and can often send you for a second opinion to a dentist that would be more likely to perform the procedure there and save you a lot more money.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Spinach Teeth

If you're a spinach eater, you may have noticed that your teeth feel chalky after eating it (spinach teeth). This is a result of high quantities of Oxalic acid found in the leafy green.

Jennifer Moltoni - Administrative Coordinator at the Department of Oral Medicine, Infection and Immunity at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine says "when you chew spinach, the calcium in your saliva combines with the oxalic acid, and then calcium oxalate crystals are created. It's those crystals that stick to your teeth and make it feel gritty."

If you have a thing with textures, you can boil or steam the spinach to help get rid of the calcium oxalate. Or you can squeeze lemon juice on top of fresh spinach to help dissolve the oxalic acid.

I thought this was very interesting! I don't eat a lot of spinach so I never noticed the chalky texture but when I do make spinach as a side dish for dinner, I always steam it. As I mentioned above, steaming helps get rid of the calcium oxalate, that's probably why I have never noticed the weird texture before!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Financing your Dental Treatment Plan

Ok, so you've just been to the dentist and found out that you need thousands of dollars of restorative work. You have what we commonly refer to as "sticker shock". You know that you don't have that kind of money just laying around......
Whether you are in need of restorative work or cosmetic dentistry, there are a variety of creative financing plans available to help. Dentistry is among the most expensive in healthcare, with costs rising even as the economy is failing. Here are some suggestions for those who are in need of major restorative work, but who cannot afford the out of pocket expense.
First of all, make sure you have good dental coverage (a good dental plan used in conjunction with your credit plan will go a long way toward lowering the costs, thereby making your money go farther.)
Here are some credit organizations to consider:
  • Care Credit Healthcare Plan is a financing company that is offered by GE Money Company. It offers financing for personal healthcare, i.e. dental, (cosmetic or restorative) vision care, surgical procedures, (and just FYI) there is financing available for pet care as well! This option does require that you qualify for a loan. Click here to read more....
  • Citi Health Card is a program that offers dental financing with a variety of flexible payment options. The have some no interest payment options, options that are for certain periods of time and a revolving card option with no minimum expense. According to their website, they have a quick approval process! If you have a need for an immediate procedure and are low on funds, this one may be the one to try.

    Unfortunately, there are many who may not qualify for financing. Don't give up! Many dental providers are now offering in-house financing options for people with no insurance, or who might need a little help with funding for an expensive treatment plan. Additionally, dental school clinics are a consideration, as they can perform most procedures at discounted fees and all work is done under supervised conditions.
Believe it or not, there is something out there for everyone in the way of affordable dental care! Don't be discouraged!




Sunday, July 8, 2018

Causes Of Tooth Senstivity

Did you ever drink something hot or cold and feel a sharp, shooting pain in one or more of your teeth? You probably have tooth sensitivity: potentially caused by a myriad of different problems. Here is a list of things that can cause sensitive teeth.
  • Receeding Gums
  • A Cracked Tooth
  • Teeth Grinding (Also known as Bruxism)
  • Whitening Products (Especially if overused.) Note: Some people have a natural sensitivity to whitening products, so it's common to have some sensitivity after use.
  • Gum Disease
  • Brushing your teeth too hard or with a hard bristled toothbrush.
  • Foods that have a high acid content, like citrus fruits, tomatoes, vinegar.....diet soda....
There are a variety of remedies out there to try, such as:
  • Desensitizing Toothpaste (there is a wide variety available at the drugstore)
  • Sealants
  • Brushing with warm water or rinsing with warm salt water
  • Add foods rich in vitamin D to your diet.
The most effective remedy is the common sense approach.....limit your usage of harsh mouthwashes, use a soft bristled toothbrush and keep up with your routine dental cleanings!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

2017's Top Dental Discoveries

The more that technology advances, so does the dental research discoveries.

Here are some of the top dental discoveries found in 2017:
  1.  New Research discovers ways to eliminate needled for dental anesthetic.
  2. New discover could eliminate infections after root canals.
  3. New vaccine could mean the end of periodontists.
  4. A pill that could mean the end of dental fillings.
  5. New coating could make dental implants better than ever.
  6. E-cigarettes shown to be detrimental to oral health in new study.
  7. Green tea extract could help prevent cavities.
  8. New study shows that oral bacteria can "lasso" onto heart tissue.
 If you would like to read the studies here is where I found the information!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Weird Dental Emergency Stories

Dental Emergencies are never fun when they happen to you but you will get a laugh out of some of these stories I found!

1. Garden in the mouth - One patient had a major toothache so the dentist ordered a root canal. When they were cleaning out the roots and gums the dentist found some seeds lodged into the gum and a tiny sprout was forming. It turned out to be a tomato plant!

2. Super glue gone wrong - One patient tried super gluing their crown back on and ended up sticking the wrong teeth together and got super glue all over the roof of their mouth and throat.

3. Hanging by a thread - Sometime people who neglect their teeth get a serious buildup of tartar and plaque that creates a bridge between the teeth and gums (calculus bridge). One patient tried to remove the bridge with furious brushing. After a few minutes, almost all their teeth fell out because the calculus bridge was the only thing holding them together.

4. Maggots anyone? - A small boy had  painful swollen gums so the parents took him to the dentist for the first time. During the examination the dentist found bunch of maggots inside the swollen gums.


I found these stories here!