Category Archives: Dental Health

What To Expect At Your Next Dental Checkup

VISITING YOUR DENTIST every six months is an important part of maintaining your oral health. Not only does it keep your smile clean, but it can help you keep an eye on your overall health too!

For some, it may have been a while since your last visit or you or a loved one may be apprehensive about visiting the dentist. Knowing what to expect can help relieve much of this anxiety, so today we want to explain the basics of what happens during your bi-annual cleaning and how you can prepare for your next appointment!

Gather Necessary Information Beforehand

Discussing your family history may not be the first thing you think of when scheduling your dental appointment, but being familiar with your family’s medical history allows us to better care for your oral and overall health.

Like many other conditions such as heart disease and certain forms of cancer, periodontal disease has strong genetic ties that can run in your family. Knowing your family’s medical history can help your dentist keep an eye out for oral health issues such as gum disease or other conditions which present symptoms in the mouth, such as diabetes.

Aside from gathering any relevant personal or family medical information, be sure to to review your dental insurance benefits as you prepare for your appointment. Knowing your level of coverage will help you understand what costs will be associated with your care. If you have any questions about using your dental insurance in our practice or if you would like information about paying for care without insurance, give us a call!

What Happens During Your Appointment?

Although this varies from patient to patient based on their individual needs, a dental check-up generally consists of a professional cleaning, a comprehensive dental examination, and potentially X-rays.

Dental X-Rays

How frequently you need dental X-rays relies largely on your medical and dental history, your age, and your current oral health. New-patient examinations often include X-rays as well.

If required, dental X-rays are generally taken at the beginning of your dental appointment. Dental X-rays allow us to detect and diagnose tooth decay between teeth, on hard-to-reach surfaces, and under existing dental work. X-rays can even be helpful in identifying dental and orthodontic issues that exist beneath the gum line.

Dental Cleaning

Once it’s time for your cleaning, your dentist or hygienist uses a small metal instrument known as a scaler to scrape off tartar above and below the gum line and in between teeth. Next, they polish your teeth using a polishing tool and a lightly abrasive paste to deep clean your pearly whites and remove any tartar left behind after the previous step. Last but not least, they’ll finish your cleaning with a thorough flossing.

Comprehensive Exam

After your teeth are clean, your dentist will perform a comprehensive oral examination to ensure your oral health is in tip-top shape. They will:

  • examine your teeth for signs of decay
  • check for gum swelling and redness, and measure the depth of your gingival pockets to check for signs of periodontal disease
  • test how your top and bottom teeth come together and check for signs of teeth grinding or other potential orthodontic issues
  • examine your neck, lymph glands, and oral cavity for signs of oral cancer

Based on your exam, we’ll discuss any necessary treatment recommendations and offer helpful tips on how to improve your oral hygiene before your next appointment.

Check out the video below for more information on the importance of regular dental exams!

What Should You Do After Your Appointment?

Whether your next appointment is in 6 months or even sooner, we’re looking forward to seeing your smile! Be sure to maintain a good oral hygiene routine and follow any additional instructions provided by your dentist before your next visit. If you have any questions about what to expect from a visit in our office, let us know!

We love our patients!

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What Causes a Toothache?

toothacheA toothache often feels like a sharp pain or a dull throbbing ache. The tooth involved may be sensitive to pressure, heat, cold, or sweets but in cases of severe pain, identifying the problem tooth is often difficult. Toothaches may result from any of a number of causes.

Patients who are experiencing any of the following possible toothache symptoms should consult with a dentist:
Significant, persistent pain in the tooth that is often sharp or throbbing – this is the main indicator of a toothache.
Noticeable puss at the site of the discomfort – this may indicate the presence of an abscess, which not only causes pain but can increase the patient’s risk of developing a systemic infection.
Swelling around the problematic tooth – this also may suggest the presence of some sort of infection.
Fever – This is yet another sign of infection. Continue reading What Causes a Toothache?

How to Strengthen and Protect Tooth Enamel

tooth enamelWhen tooth enamel becomes weak your teeth become susceptible to problems like cavities, chipping, and sensitivity. While you can not regenerate tooth enamel there are things you can do to stop the weakening of your enamel and help to strengthen and remineralize it to avoid additional damage.

Dietary Choices
The main culprit behind enamel damage is acid. Drinking and eating acidic foods weakens tooth enamel over time by stripping away its mineral content. Acidic foods and beverages are a daily part of many people’s diets. Drinks such as coffee and soda along with foods like oranges and lemons can harm tooth enamel, especially if these items are consumed too often. Continue reading How to Strengthen and Protect Tooth Enamel

Misaligned and Crooked Teeth: Its Consequences on Your Oral Health

misaligned and crooked teethIf you have crooked teeth, then you are already aware of some of the difficulties they present on a daily basis. Struggling to clean between them is often the biggest challenge. Below are issues you may experience if your teeth remain crooked, damaged or misaligned.

Risk Of Decay
When teeth are out of alignment or tightly crowded together, it is very difficult to thoroughly clean away all food particles. Unfortunately, this means that the bacteria left behind greatly increases your risk of tooth decay. Continue reading Misaligned and Crooked Teeth: Its Consequences on Your Oral Health

Cosmetic Dentistry is More Than Just Esthetics

Woman smile. Teeth whitening. Dental care.Cosmetic dentistry is sought out by patients for a variety of reasons. Some would like to appear younger, and others would simply like to smile without feeling self-conscious. Whatever the reason you are seeking these services, the physical and mental health benefits of cosmetic dentistry are numerous.

Confidence
If you opt for teeth whitening, straightening, or veneers, it could give you a noticeable confidence boost. Walking into a room with a straight, white smile will make you feel way more confident than the alternative. Getting your teeth professionally taken care of will make you feel better all around. Continue reading Cosmetic Dentistry is More Than Just Esthetics

Dental X-Rays Are Vital to Your Dental Care

Zahnarzt bespricht Röntgenbild mit PatientinX-rays are an extremely important part of your dental evaluation, and they are vital to proper diagnosis and prevention of disease. The kinds of x-rays needed are based upon your age, your medical history, a thorough examination of the mouth, a TMJ evaluation, and an examination of the health of your gums.

Panorex
A panorex x-ray shows a broad view of the jaw, teeth, sinuses, nasal area and TMJ. It shows problems such as impacted teeth, bone abnormalities, cysts, infections and fractures.

Bite Wings
Bite wings x-rays show the upper and lower back teeth. These x-rays are used primarily to check for decay between the teeth. They also show bone loss when periodontal disease or a dental infection is present. Most frequently a bite wing is taken on each side of the mouth. Continue reading Dental X-Rays Are Vital to Your Dental Care

When Should You Get Dental X-Rays?

Dentist shows a patient x-ray of teethYour dentist may take dental x-rays if your are a new patient, have not been seen in a while, or are in for a follow-up visit after dental treatment. Below are the most common type of x-rays that would be taken and the reasons why:

• Bitewing x-rays help dentists look at bone levels between teeth, cavities between teeth, and the health of the bone between teeth.

• Periapical x-rays help dentists look at the root tips of teeth, the bone around teeth, abscesses, and other pathology. Continue reading When Should You Get Dental X-Rays?

Obesity and Your Oral Health

Dental care versus unhealthy dietThe effects of excess weight go beyond the known health risks like diabetes and heart disease. Obesity is also linked to poor dental health, periodontal disease, and even tooth loss. Surprisingly, studies have shown that men and women who have a BMI of 30 and above experience a higher risk of developing periodontal disease than those who fall within the healthy body weight range. More surprisingly, women who are classified as overweight with a BMI that ranges between 25-30 have a greater risk of gum disease than men. It is believed that fat tissue creates a hospitable environment for macrophages, which can lead to inflammation and degeneration of gum tissue more easily. Continue reading Obesity and Your Oral Health