We want to reassure you that we continue to make every effort to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. Our dental office always has been – and will continue to be – one of the safest places to be.
Our team members strictly adhere to, and exceed the standards for, infection control by wearing personal protective gear, using hospital-grade disinfectants, practicing the latest sterilization protocols, utilizing single-use disposable materials, increased frequency of hand washing, practicing social distancing when possible in the office and more. We will continue to disinfect all areas that each patient comes into contact with after each visit, including but not limited to all counter tops, equipment and dental chairs.
Given the current situation, we have established additional safety protocols to minimize the risk of infection for both our you and our team:
- As a precaution you will have your temperature screened prior to entering the office. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher (as recommended by the CDC) will have their appointment rescheduled for another day.
- We ask that if you have any symptoms associated with either the Coronavirus or the flu, to please reschedule your appointment. If you have been in contact with anyone who has had symptoms consistent with the Coronavirus or the flu, we ask that you please reschedule your appointment. To see what the symptoms of the Coronavirus are, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html .
- You are requested to wait in your car until called into the office for your appointment. When it is time to begin treatment, we will contact you via phone or text and you will be brought directly back into the x-ray and operatory area of the office. We will reserve the waiting room for patients that had to use either public transportation or were dropped off for their appointment. This allows us to limit the number of people in the waiting room following all “social distancing” protocols.
- We ask that you wear a mask or face covering while in the office – with the exception of when you are in the dental chair and are asked to remove them. We request that you please bring a mask or face covering with you.
- When you arrive – and before you leave – you will be directed to a sanitary hand washing station to wash your hands.
- For parents or guardians of minors: only one (1) adult may enter the office with a minor patient. This allows us to adhere to the “social distancing” guidelines.
See the dentist by age 1. Schedule your infant’s first dental visit by the age of 1 or after the first tooth erupts.
Clean baby’s gums. Use gauze to clean your infant’s gums after feedings and at bedtime. Ideally, this should be done even before your baby’s first tooth erupts.
Brush baby teeth. Once your infant’s baby teeth erupt, brush them with a small soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste after feedings and at bedtime.
Floss baby teeth. When two baby teeth erupt side by side, gently floss them at least once a day (preferably before bedtime).
Wean baby from the bottle. Ask your pediatrician when you should stop breastfeeding. Bottle-fed babies should be weaned from the bottle by the age of 1.
Keep an Eye On:
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay – Keep your infant’s teeth healthy by cleaning them after feedings, and avoid putting your baby to bed with formula or fruit juice (these contain decay-causing sugars); use water instead.
Signs of Teething — Your infant’s first tooth can erupt, or “cut,” as early as three months and as late as a year. Teeth symptoms can vary greatly, but if your baby becomes increasingly irritable or starts drooling, biting and coughing more than normal, he or she could be teething. Try a teething ring or bottle of cold water for relief.
Excessive Pacifier Use – If your infant uses a pacifier for more than three years, he or she may develop slanted teeth or a misaligned bite later. If you have a difficult time weaning your infant from pacifier use, ask us about alternative ways to give the comfort your little one craves.
What Is Cementum?
Cementum is a hard layer of tissue that helps the periodontal ligament attach firmly to a tooth. Made of cementoblasts, cementum slowly forms over a lifetime.
Cementum is a hard, calcified layer of tissue that covers the root of the tooth. On its outer side, cementum is attached to the periodontal ligament; on its inner side, the dentin. Along with the periodontal ligament, alveolar bone and gingiva, cementum helps a tooth stay in its place. In fact, if it weren’t for cementum, the periodontal ligament wouldn’t be able to attach firmly to a tooth.
Slowly formed throughout life, cementum is created when the root of the tooth excretes cementoblasts. Though cementoblasts are somewhat of a mystery, it is known that cementum is yellow in color and softer than dentin. Its chemical makeup is similar to that of bone — but unlike bone, cementum is avascular (not supported by blood vessels).
Types of Cementum
There are three types of cementum: acellular cementum, cellular cementum and afibrillar cementum. Acellular cementum covers about 1/3-1/2 of the root and has little to no cellular components. Cellular cementum covers about 1/3-1/2 of the apex and is permeable. Afibrillar cementum sometimes extends onto the enamel of the tooth.
If you have periodontal disease, your acellular cementum, cellular cementum or afibrillar cementum may also be diseased. A gum disease treatment called scaling and root planing can be performed to remove the diseased cementum, as well as dental tartar and diseased dentin.
If it has been awhile since your last dental visit, make an appointment today.
While lasers were at one time just material for science fiction writers, they’ve become a common part of our everyday life. They zap through your groceries, they open garage doors … and now they can detect wear and tear on your tooth’s surface before it becomes a cavity.
Is it caries [cavity]? Or is it a healthy tooth? Dentists often experience anxiety when attempting to diagnose the phenomenon known as hidden caries. A suspicious-looking tooth presents a treatment dilemma for dentists. Should the tooth be opened up? What if no cavity is found? Should the tooth just be watched? Or does that give caries more time to destroy the tooth’s structure? In the case of hidden caries, traditional diagnostic methods all too frequently yield indeterminate results. If you can’t detect a sub-surface lesion, how can you treat it?
Diagnodent is a revolutionary new dental laser tool that safely and effectively detects changes on your tooth’s surface that might not be visible on a traditional x-ray. When this light source is directed at your tooth, anything unusual about the tooth’s surface, such as the beginnings of a surface breakdown, or the start of a cavity, causes a different type of light to be bounced back to the instrument. This light is transferred into an acoustic signal and the wavelength is then evaluated by the control unit. This lets us know what type of preventive treatment you might need. Diagnodent can even detect decay occurring under a crown, allowing us to quickly catch what could later become a problem.
Treatment decisions require a higher degree of certainty. The Diagnodent laser caries detection aid removes the doubt from treatment decisions regarding hidden caries or questionable stained grooves. The device’s ability to see into a tooth’s biting surface pits and fissures enables dentists to treat sub-surface caries lesions with confidence.
We want to ensure that every tooth remains yours for life, and that your visit to our office is comfortable and pleasant. Diagnodent is a unique development that will not only reduce your need for x-rays, it will catch problems before they even get started.
Occasionally we get a call from a patient who wants to cancel their cleaning appointment because they have lost their dental insurance. If you have been a regular patient and your teeth are in good shape, the worst thing you can do is try to save money by avoiding preventive care.
If you do not have dental insurance, we offer the convenient option of getting your own Smile Solutions Dental Plan. We accept most insurance plans. If you don’t have insurance, you can get an individual plan through us.
Preventive maintenance can keep your mouth healthy for less than the premium costs of a decent dental insurance plan. Too often when we have insurance coverage we don’t even know how much our treatment really costs.
I don’t think any of us would neglect the regular maintenance of our car considering the cost of an oil change vs. a new engine. The same is true (but thankfully on a much less expensive scale) for our teeth. By letting our office check for cavities regularly, most problems can be found while they are small and relatively inexpensive to cure. We can catch a small cavity before it becomes a root canal, a cracked filling before it needs a crown or gum disease before it results in extractions and dentures.
If you do need more extensive treatment we can work with you to design a course of treatment to bring your mouth back to good oral health. There are usually several ways to restore your mouth to better health – each with its own unique cost and time frame. We can discuss the options, organize your treatment in order of necessity and make financial arrangements to suit your budget.
Let us help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile and don’t let your insurance dictate your dental care.
Xylitol is a white crystalline substance that looks and taste like sugar. It is found naturally and can be extracted from birch, raspberries, plums, corn and mushrooms. Technically it is not a sugar but a sugar alcohol that is sometimes called wood sugar or birch sugar. Our bodies produce up to 15mg everyday as part of normal metabolism.
The great benefit of Xylitol in preventing tooth decay was “discovered” in Finland in the early 1970’s. Streptococcus Mutans, bacteria found in the mouth, produces toxins and acids that can dissolve teeth when foods with refined sugar [sucrose] are eaten.
Xylitol is not fermented by oral bacterial, so it cannot cause cavities [caries]. It works its magic on many levels.
• It inhibits the growth of cavity-producing bacteria S. Mutans and lactobacilli. The number of these acid-producing bacteria may fall as much as 90%
• It prevents the transmission of S. Mutans from mother to child
• It reduces the adhesion of plaque to your teeth
• It stimulates salivary flow creating a greater buffer capacity against acids and aiding remineralization of your teeth
Therapeutically, Xylitol is added to chewing gum or candy. The dosage is critical. To receive tooth decay prevention benefits, you must receive 6-10 grams of Xylitol per day. When reading the label of a Xylitol containing product, Xylitol should be the first sugar listed and, ideally, the only sugar component. To be effective, the Xylitol gum must be utilized several times a day over long periods – 6 months, 1 year and 2 years.
Xylitol is also to added to some oral hygiene products such as toothpastes, mouthwashes, floss, fluoride supplements.
Chewing Xylitol gum after meals is a great alternative when brushing or flossing is not an option. Anybody who is at high risk for dental decay such as people with dry mouths or those with exposed tooth root surfaces should consider this decay prevention therapy.
On a precautionary note – excessive chewing could lead to headaches and/or pain in the TMJ joint near your ear. Don’t over do it!
Call our office for product recommendations.
Dentists often hear, “Don’t take this personally, but I don’t want to be here.” Or, “I’d rather give birth than go to the dentist.” Dental visits are anxiety producing for some individuals and result in uncomfortable stressful situations. The good news is that we have the “cure.” It’s been used safely for over 100 years and goes by many names such as Nitrous Oxide, Tranquilizing Air and Laughing Gas. The bottom line is that this sweet smelling blend of nitrous oxide and oxygen reduces anxiety, minimizes an overactive gag reflex, raises your pain threshold and helps make your dental visit pleasant and comfortable with its calming effect.
Nitrous Oxide is non-addictive, predictable, and reliable and is, perhaps, the safest sedative in dentistry. During the treatment, you remain fully conscious and have all your natural reflexes. Both adults and children can use it. In fact, 85% off all pediatric dentists use “laughing gas” with their patients. You quickly recover in about 5 minutes after the nitrous oxide is turned off, and you are switched to pure oxygen to breathe. It is safe to drive and return to your normal activities after the visit.
The nitrous oxide is administered through a “mask” or nosepiece that fits snugly over your nose. The amount you receive can be individually adjusted to satisfy your personal needs. A euphoric effect is produced that may be accompanied by a tingling in the hands and feet. Some report feeling giddy – thus the name laughing gas. The most common response we hear is “I’m aware of what is happening, but it doesn’t bother me.”
Contraindications to the use of nitrous oxide are pregnancy, if you are uncomfortable with something around your nose or if your have a respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult. It is recommended to refrain from eating for about 2 hours before treatment. Nitrous oxide is excellent for patients with a history of heart problems because it reduces tension and provides 2-3 times more oxygen than breathing normal air.
Nitrous oxide does not numb teeth, so most patients use it in combination with a local dental anesthetic. However, after being placed on nitrous oxide for several minutes, many patients report, ” I hardly felt the injection.”
Call our office to find out how nitrous oxide can dramatically help you.