Monday, August 31, 2020

Dental X-Rays

One question that I get asked constantly is "why is my dentist taking X-rays"? Well, dental x-rays are a important part of dental treatment because they can detect damage to the teeth and gums that are not visible during a routine visual exam.

Some of the most common reason for x-rays are listed below:
  • Looking for decay between the teeth - sometimes decay is not visible to the naked eye.
  • Checking for bone loss associated with gum disease - Gum disease can cause bone loss and the x-ray can show how advanced it is.
  • Checking for decay under fillings - Sometime decay under the fillings can occur and the only way to detect this is by x-rays.
  • Looking for infection at the tip of the root - Infections can appear at the bottom of the teeth where the bone is, which x-rays are needed to confirm.
  • Examine before procedures - Dentist need a full view of the area they will be working on, whether it is braces, fillings and tooth extractions.

So, next time you get upset about having another set of x-rays taken, remember this is for your own oral health. Also, ask yourself, if w
ould you rather take the x-rays and see potential problems or be blindsided?

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Why Dentists Aren't Retiring

"I just realized my dentist is older than dirt! Shouldn't he retire?"  "Is it safe to see a dentist that is well past retirement age?'  

These are some of the questions I have been asked recently.  The answers are complicated.      

The average age in the U.S for a dentist to retire is 68 years, according to a study done in 2017.  That said, I have known dentists who have continued to work into their seventies.  

Following the recession in 2008, many dentists were actually forced out of retirement.  Many who may have retired during that time chose instead to continue working.  Many simply love the work....and the income!  

There is no guideline for when a dentist should retire.  If he is able to practice at age 74, then bravo!  Many will continue to practice but at a diminished capacity, sticking to the simpler procedures.  

If you have doubts or are skeptical about getting treatment by an elderly dentist, you can always contact your local Board of Dental Examiners to see if there are any recent complaints or if his/her license is restricted.  Most often, though, they are able to perform just as well as they ever did.  Chalk that up to experience! 

Keep Smiling!

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Do's and Don'ts For Dog Dental Health

 I came across a picture from www.dgpforpets.com that explained what you should and shouldn't do for your dogs dental care, and I thought I would share it with you!

DO'S:

  • Brush your dogs teeth at least once a week.
  • Check your pets mouth and gums for abnormalities once a month. This includes looking for swollen gums, brownish tartar on teeth, bad breath and loose teeth.
  • Invest in a chew toy. This will help remove tartar build up.
  • Look for foods and treats formulated for dental care and approved by Veterinary Oral Heath Council (VOHV).
DON'TS:
  • Use human toothpaste. Fluoride is extremely dangerous for pets. 
  • Ignoring signs of gum disease. Visit your vet at least once a year.
  • Give up - slowly introduce your dog to teeth brushing. It will be new and they may resist but don't give up, they will eventually become used to it!

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

DIY Tooth Repair-Would You Dare?

I thought this one was worth re-posting as it is so relevant in today's DIY oriented world.  Especially now, with the COVID crisis and dentists working reduced hours or taking emergencies only.  The definition of "emergency" has changed somewhat with all this going on.

Anyway, here goes:

There are all kinds of stories out there about people fixing their own broken or decayed teeth, dentures, crowns and whatall; some are even using dental floss and fishing line to craft DIY braces...but, is this taking it a little too far? Probably, but it is a world of extremes we live in and lets face it, dentistry is high priced and unless you have excellent credit or say, 10 to 15K in an account earmarked specifically for dentistry, it's not really affordable. I would venture to say that lack of affordability and fear of the dentist are the two major reasons why people might try to repair their own teeth or dentures.

There is a shift occurring in the way people think and do things nowadays and goodness knows there are endless supplies of DIY solutions out there, so why not for dentistry, right? Afterall, you can find almost anything you need on Youtube! How hard can it be, after all? Now, don't get any ideas just yet. Google some of those stories! Trust me, they didn't all end well. Having said that, there are some success stories too...so just try to use common sense (please) if you plan to attempt a home repair on your teeth, and maybe keep these simple, humorous yet "common sense" suggestions in mind.

Well, I know the first one is futile, but I still feel the need to say it:
   
     DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!!!!!!   followed by:

      - Super Glue can be TOXIC. It is also permanent. Trust me! You don't want to glue your lips shut.
      - Gum doesn't hold. Really, it just dissolves.
      - Dental Floss was not intended for use in home orthodontia. Neither was fishing line, rubber bands          or paper clips. 
      - Seriously, shield your eyes if you're going to actually use that Dremel tool.
      - Put the pliers away and forget you even thought about pulling your own tooth.

Now, on the flip side, there are products out there that you can buy OTC and use to TEMPORARILY (and I cannot stress that word enough) temporarily, repair a broken tooth or cover a lost filling and yes, believe it or not, you can even make a temporary tooth if you happen to have one missing and there is a wedding to go to on Saturday.  Notice I'm not naming any products here. If you dare to make your own dental repairs you'll just have to Google the rest of the info yourself. :)

Keep Smiling!

   
   

   

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Delaying Dental Appointments Again?

 Recently the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended delaying any non-essential dental appointments again due to Covid-19. This means that any routine check-ups, dental cleanings, and preventative care should not be provided until the WHO has seen a significant drop in COVID cases. Who knows when that could be since we are already going on 6 months. 

The American Dental Association (ADA) has released a statement which states " respectfully yet strongly disagrees" with the World Health Organization's interim guidance recommending that "routine" dental care be delayed in certain situations because of COVID-19.

"Oral health is integral to overall health. Dentistry is an essential health care." ADA President Chad P. Gehani said. "Dentistry is essential health care because if it's role in evaluating, diagnosing, or treating oral disease, which can affect systemic health."

The ADA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have set their own guidelines on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within dental practices. These include:

  • Screening patients for travel and signs and symptoms of infection when they update their medical histories.

  • Taking temperature readings as part of their routine assessment of patients before performing dental procedures.

  • Making sure the personal protective equipment they use is appropriate for the procedures being performed.

  • Using a rubber dam when appropriate to decrease possible exposure to infectious agents.

  • Using high-speed evacuation for dental procedures producing an aerosol.

  • Autoclaving handpieces after each patient.

  • Having patients rinse with a 1% hydrogen peroxide solution before each appointment.

  • Cleaning and disinfecting public areas frequently, including door handles, chairs, and bathrooms.

What are your thoughts on delaying non-essential dental appointments again?


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Does The Art of Dentistry Justify The High Cost?

 So often we will have someone call our office and they are absolutely shell shocked at the cost of a dental procedure or a treatment plan.  Let me start by saying that dentistry is rarely simple anymore. It is a science, yes, but it is also a fine art, and in many cases you get what you pay for. Cosmetic dentistry, in particular, is among the most costly. If you've ever seen a full mouth reconstruction done, you'll have great respect for the dentist/artist.  This is a craft that requires at least 8 years of schooling, constant continuing education and even further instruction and practice to be able to perfect these restorations and perform oral miracles.  Not to mention the high cost of the technical machines and tools needed.  If you understand that, you understand why the cost is so high.  But, if you are one of those people who visits the dentist every 10 or 20 years, there is no avoiding the shell shock factor, which is why I've linked this blog to an informative page.

I recently found a site that gives the average consumer an idea of what restorative dentistry costs.  It is broken down by procedure and it's probably the most informative, simple breakdown I have seen to date.  If you are considering cosmetic restoration or have many dental issues and are in need of a full-mouth makeover, look HERE  first.  I think you'll be glad you did.
The moral of the story here is to visit the dentist regularly for cleanings (for prevention, if nothing else) and stay informed. Don't become a shell shock victim!

Keep Smiling!

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Question From Our Member

 Questions From Our Members

D. Rockwell of Buffalo, New York asks: 

“I need to visit the dentist but I also need to know that their office is safe and clean during this pandemic.  What should I be looking for from the dentist?”

Savon’s Answer

Even before this pandemic, dental offices were always some of the cleanest medical facilities.  Considering that every procedure produced some sort of human bio–hazard side bar, the dental offices we already ahead of the current Covid–19 hygiene standards.

This being said, the A.D.A. (American Dental Association) lists some steps dentists can take to help prevent transmission of the disease in their offices, in addition to standard precautions, including:
  • Screening patients for travel and signs and symptoms of infection when they update their medical histories.

  • Taking temperature readings as part of their routine assessment of patients before performing dental procedures.

  • Making sure the personal protective equipment they use is appropriate for the procedures being performed.

  • Using a rubber dam when appropriate to decrease possible exposure to infectious agents.

  • Using high-speed evacuation for dental procedures producing an aerosol.

  • Autoclaving handpieces after each patient.

  • Having patients rinse with a 1% hydrogen peroxide solution before each appointment.

  • Cleaning and disinfecting public areas frequently, including door handles, chairs and bathrooms.
Since most dental offices follow the guidelines published by the A.D.A., I would be pretty comfortable visiting my dentist even in these trying times.

Original post is from our Aug. 2020 Newsletter

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Natural Treatments For Adults With Thrush

Adults and children of any age can be afflicted with thrush.  

Oral thrush is a yeast infection of the tongue, gums, inner cheeks or lips.  It looks like a white pasty coating on the tongue or patchy white sores on the inner cheeks or roof of the mouth.  
Babies, people with compromised immune systems and diabetic people are commonly prone to this type of infection.  It can be difficult to treat, but there are some things you can do at home to help.

1. Check your diet! Avoid sugar and starchy foods. Large amounts of sugar and white carbohydrates can bring on or worsen a bout of candida (Thrush).  Eat fresh raw vegetables and lean proteins or yogurt, or you can eat foods that contain vinegar, such as sauerkraut or pickles to actually ward off the infection.!
   
2. Try a natural remedy such as grapefruit seed extract (a few drops diluted in water,just wish a few times a day) coconut oil ( excellent to cook with in place of vegetable oils), plain, sugar free yogurt (yogurt contains healthy bacteria that helps to balance the ph in the body).  Adults with the infection can also take acidophilous capsules or liquid to help reduce the growth of bacteria.

3. Remember to clean your toothbrush and your tongue scraper with a bleach/water solution after each use to avoid reinfecting yourself when you brush your teeth. 

4.  For babies, always see your healthcare professional.  Their sensitive little mouths require a doctor's care.   

These are some of the ideas I came up with from around the web.

Enjoy, & keep smiling!