Whether it’s your first time taking your child to the dentist or it’s been many years since you last stepped foot in a dental office, it can be stressful. You likely have many questions about your dental health and that of your family.
What questions should you ask? Below are some of the more common questions patients ask their dentists and a brief answer to them.
Many times, knowing some information about dental care before you visit your dentist will help curb some of the stress, anxiety, fear and embarrassment you may have. This will help result in a more pleasant dental office experience.
- What do I do in a dental emergency?
Dental emergencies are when a tooth is knocked out, there is bleeding in the mouth, there is a tooth abscess or the patient experiences severe pain in the mouth, jaw, face or head. As emergencies can happen at any time, it is possible that the dentist office is closed. If it is open, go see your dentist immediately. If the office is closed, some dentists have emergency numbers patients can call. If the emergency requires immediate treatment and care, visit the closest hospital emergency room.
- What age do I bring my child in for the first time?
Children should be introduced to the dentist and the dental office by their first birthday. A brief exam may be done at this appointment. Children should have their first teeth cleaning at the age of two.
- What kind of toothpaste and mouthwash should I use?
Toothpaste with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval and toothpaste with fluoride are the kinds of toothpastes dentists recommend to their patients. For mouthwash, also look for ones that have been approved by the ADA and which don’t contain alcohol.
- What if I have a fear of the dentist?
The fear of the dentist is common for both children and adults. Most dental offices offer mild sedation to relax and calm anxious patients and make their visits quick, efficient and as smooth as possible.
- Are x-rays safe?
X-rays used in dental offices today are safe for all patients. Some offices now have high-tech, 3 D imaging technology that substitutes or works in conjunction with x-rays. Even with the safe and proper use of x-ray machines, dental assistants and hygienists are highly trained in x-ray precautions.
- Why do my gums bleed?
Bleeding gums just after flossing for the first couple times is normal as your sensitive gum tissue reacts to the harsh floss. If your gums regularly bleed or are swollen and red, it may indicate the onslaught of gum disease and you should schedule an appointment with your dentist.
- Why are my teeth sensitive?
Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold foods and liquids can be a sign of a potentially major dental issue, though that is not always the case. Tooth sensitivity is the result of the breakdown of the tooth dentin, the hard, protective outer layer of the tooth. When this layer gets worn down either by improper brushing, cavities, or receding gums due to periodontitis, the tooth roots and/or pulp, which contains nerves get exposed. Tooth sensitivity can also indicate the need to replace a filling or crown.
- How often should I see the dentist?
At LeDowns Dentistry, we encourage our patients (both children and adults) to come in every six months for a dental cleaning and exam.
- What’s the best at-home dental care routine?
To best protect your mouth from plaque, tartar and germs, it is recommended that patients brush their teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day. Flossing and using mouthwash at least once a day is also recommended. Replacing toothbrushes every 3 months, using fluoride toothpaste and alcohol-free mouthwash, eating a healthy, balanced diet, limiting snacks and sugar intake and avoiding tobacco are other habits patients can practice at home to ensure a healthy mouth.
- How do I prevent tooth decay and gingivitis?
The best, most effective way to give your mouth a fighting chance against tooth decay and gum disease is to practice a good at-home dental hygiene routine like the one listed above, combines with regular visits to the dentist and taking care of the health of the rest of your body.
Brush and rinse after meals, avoid excessive sugar and foods that are hard, crunchy and sticky. Floss daily, eat a nutritious diet and exercise.
Being armed with some oral health know-how can give you the confidence to make your dental experience less intimidating and scary. Being familiar with the answers of basic dental questions will provide more motivation to help you and your family make visiting the dentist every six months a part of your dental hygiene routine.
At LeDowns Dentistry, our dentists and staff are happy to answer any questions you may have concerning your dental health. We also strive to provide a welcoming and comfortable environment that puts patients at ease.
No matter what questions you may have, contact us today to schedule an appointment and we’d be glad to answer your questions and address any concerns you may have.
Cavities are, unfortunately, a very common problem. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, at least nine out of 10 American adults have cavities (filled or otherwise), and nearly a quarter of the adult population in this country have untreated tooth decay.
It’s safe to say that everyone knows that the answer to a cavity is a filling. They know this this involves drilling and the use of a metal or composite material. But maybe the reason why there are so many untreated cavities out there is because they don’t know exactly how we treat cavities.
So, let’s take a closer look.
Here’s the Procedure for Treating Cavities
As soon as we determine that prevention alone is not going to stop the advancing decay, we start to consider the restorative procedures.
First, we have to determine how far the cavity has progressed. As long as it hasn’t reached the pulp, you’re still a candidate for a filling. If it has reached the pulp, then we’re looking at a slightly more involved procedure (root canals).
Next, we will numb the area around the tooth to minimize any discomfort.
After that, we can start to clean away the decayed enamel with the appropriate tool. This is most commonly a high-speed rotary drill. However, we understand that this is one of the instruments that really put people off and keep them from getting the treatments they need, but there are other tools available these days, and they might be an option in your case.
We may also find it necessary to use a slower drill to remove some of the damaged dentin.
Once we’ve removed all of the decayed portion of the tooth, we can start making a hole in your tooth that has a specific shape to hold the filling material more securely. This will provide more durability and strength once you start chewing on that tooth again.
If the cavity is large enough, we may need to use a lining material, as well. This is to prevent tooth sensitivity and seal it against any leakage. It can also help the filling material adhere to the tooth better.
Since we use tooth-colored composite fillings, we will need to etch the interior of the prepared tooth to create an even more adhesive surface for the material.
Of course, all of this assumes that most of the tooth structure is still intact. If it has lost too much of its structure, then we go beyond fillings and consider using crowns to strengthen and reshape your teeth.
Different Methods for Different Cavities
Depending on the exact location of the cavity, we may approach it differently.
Surface cavities that occur on the flat exterior of the tooth, for example, are easier to treat and may not even require a filling. As long as they haven’t broken through to the dentin, special fluoride treatments may be all you need.
Cavities may also appear on the roots of your teeth, if they’ve been exposed because of receding gums. In this case, we need to act fast, because the root doesn’t have a protective enamel layer, so it will be much easier for the decay to reach the pulp.
The most common cavities, pit and fissure cavities, occur on the chewing surfaces of your teeth where it’s easy for food to get stuck and plaque to build up.
A Note on Fillings for Children
Baby teeth are not permanent, so many parents wonder if it’s really worth it to get fillings if they’re just going to lose the teeth anyway.
Aside from the pain this could cause the child, there are some important reasons to take care of cavities in children. The most important being that the primary teeth are meant to help the permanent teeth come in properly, so it’s really important that your child’s teeth survive until they can do their job.
Sometimes, dentists may recommend using metal fillings for children because it’s cheaper and, again, they’re just going to lose those teeth anyway.
At LêDowns Dentistry, though, we haven’t used metal fillings in more than 15 years, and don’t intend to start now. We do not believe in putting something that is potentially harmful in your child’s mouth.
Cavities in children is a very common problem, despite all the warnings. So don’t put this off just because they’ll going to lose those teeth.
Nothing Beats Prevention
The moral of this story is that the best way to deal with cavities is to prevent them in the first place. The second best is to treat them before they break through the enamel and reach the dentin ( this is the best chance to treat the problem without breaking out the drill).
Make sure you’re coming in for your regular treatments so we can catch them in time and treat the cavities before they become a real problem.
Have the years of coffee or tea drinking finally caught up to you?
Are you concerned about the image of the person with the yellow teeth smiling back at you in the mirror?
Your once pearly white smile you were once proud to show off is now concealed and hidden from the world. You no longer feel comfortable being in pictures and you’re careful when smiling and laughing in conversations with friends.
You want to reverse the discolored damage done to your smile that your diet preferences have caused.
Besides the obvious abandonment of foods and drinks (yes, your beloved coffee) that have been known to stain teeth, what are other methods of whitening teeth?
Types of Teeth Whitening
You’ve likely seen or heard about at-home teeth whitening. These kits are sold in most grocery stores. There are two common types: trays and strips.
With at-home teeth whitening trays,
At-home teeth whitening strips contain sticky, clear, thin, plastic strips that are placed onto the outside surface of your teeth. The sticky part of the strip contains a diluted bleaching agent that lifts stains out from weakened tooth enamel.
Both these at-home teeth whitening methods are inexpensive, convenient and can be done in the privacy of your own home.
The downside to these at-home teeth whitening methods is that the results are gradual, taking months to see noticeable improvements in the color of one’s teeth.
The whitening, bleaching agent can also irritate the gums, causing slight discomfort and both methods can be messy and frustrating to be done properly if you don’t follow directions.
An alternative to the at-home teeth whitening is professional teeth whitening done at the dentist office.
A professional teeth whitening can be done on as little as 30 minutes and patients can walk out the door with noticeably whiter smiles.
When you get your teeth whitened at the dental office, the dentist uses a more highly concentrated bleaching agent that is activated by UV lighting. The immediate whitening of the bleaching agent when exposed to the UV light means your teeth will be dramatically whiter within minutes.
The expertise of the dentist ensures that neither the whitening bleach or UV light will neither damage or irritate your gums and other tissues in the mouth.
While professional teeth whitening at the dental office produces immediate, significant results, it is more expensive and you’re required to make an appointment and go into the dental office.
If you’re not in a hurry or simply want to halt further yellowing of your teeth, you can heed the advice you’ve been hearing to stop eating and drinking foods and drinks that stain teeth.
You can also buy teeth whitening toothpaste and mouthwash to use twice a day.
A white smile can make you happier, healthier and more confident.
LeDowns Dentistry has been whitening smiles and changing lives in Denver area for years. Call us today and let our expert dentists help you regain your white, beautiful smile.
If you’re like most Americans, you have a hard time flossing on a regular basis. It’s been reported that only 30 percent of the American population flosses regularly. Why is it so hard for people to floss their teeth? For some, it’s just another inconvenient thing to do right before bed. For others, it’s because it hurts to floss.
While all of these seem like valid enough reasons not to floss, you might not be aware how dangerous it is for your oral health. Brushing your teeth doesn’t get rid of all the leftover food or plaque, especially in hard-to-reach places. If you aren’t able to clean that away, your teeth have a much higher likelihood of suffering from tooth decay. Flossing can change that.
The Benefits of Flossing
Flossing helps you reach those tucked away corners and crevices in your mouth and in between your teeth where food and bacteria like to lurk. Brushing can’t touch these places, and taking the extra effort to floss can significantly increase your oral health and hygiene.
This is the most common benefit to flossing, but there is one more that you need to consider. Your gums also benefit from this oral hygiene practice and it can help prevent the occurrence of dangerous gum disease. If left alone long enough, gum disease can lead to a complete loss of your teeth.
How to Properly Floss
A good flossing habit is made up of several different factors. First, you need to start the habit and stick to it. You can’t expect to see the benefits from flossing if you don’t do it in the first place. Second, you need to choose the right floss for the job. You might think that all floss was created equal, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are tons of different types of floss out there and you’ll need to choose one that fits your teeth. If you need help choosing the right kind of floss, ask your dentist for a recommendation. Finally, you need to know how to properly floss.
In order to floss in the right way, follow these simple steps:
- Use a piece of floss between 15 and 18 inches long.
- Slide the floss inbetween your teeth.
- Wrap it around each one of your teeth, using a “C” shape.
- Polish the tooth with an up and down motion.
If you haven’t flossed in a while, you might experience some light bleeding. This is normal, and it shouldn’t be something to worry about. However, if the bleeding doesn’t stop after a few flossing sessions, you should ask your dentist if it’s something that needs to be looked at.
Ask Your Dentist
If you just can’t seem to get the hang of this whole flossing thing, don’t hesitate to ask for tips and tricks during your next dental appointment. We can show you exactly how you should be flossing and give you recommendations for the best kind of floss that provides real results.
When you think about getting a cavity, sugar and junk food might come to your mind first. From a young age, your parents likely told you not to eat too much sugar because it will cause cavities to form on your teeth. And while sugar definitely plays a role in the formation of cavities, it’s not in the way you might think. In reality, bacteria is what causes cavities to form, and sugar is the perfect food for these cavity-causing microbes. If left alone long enough, the bacteria on your teeth can form plaque.
What is Plaque?
Simply put, plaque is a sticky film made up of millions of bacteria that can build up on your teeth. This film is constantly forming on your teeth because there is always bacteria present in your mouth. Bacteria can multiply rapidly, especially when fed with the right kind of food, like sugar and other junk food. Every time you eat, you give the bacteria in your mouth more opportunity to grow and spread.
How Is It Harmful?
If plaque is always forming on your teeth, isn’t it a natural thing? While plaque is a natural occurrence in the purest sense of the word, it isn’t healthy in the slightest and should always be removed as soon as possible. If you leave your plaque to grow without treating it, you may find yourself in a predicament where your oral health is steadily declining.
Plaque can cause a whole host of problems with your teeth. The simplest of these is the formation of a cavity. If left alone, the bacteria in the plaque will consistently produce acids that cause damage to your teeth’s enamel—the outermost protective layer of your teeth. However, cavities aren’t the only bad things that can happen to your mouth because of plaque buildup. You may also experience gingivitis and periodontitis, or gum disease. Eventually, plaque can turn into tartar, which is harder to remove and better at breaking down your enamel.
How Can You Prevent Plaque?
Unfortunately, as mentioned above, plaque is always forming in your mouth, and you’ll never be able to fully prevent that process from taking place. However, there are plenty of steps you can take to prevent that plaque sticking around too long.
- Brush your teeth regularly. Everyone knows that brushing teeth prevents cavities, and that’s because you’re really removing the plaque that has begun to build up on your teeth when you brush. The act of brushing scrapes the plaque from your teeth.
- Floss regularly. Flossing takes care of the plaque in hard-to-reach places like between your teeth.
- Regulate your diet. Since plaque is formed from the bacteria in your mouth, it’s important to regulate what you eat. Eating a balanced diet will lessen the amount of plaque that forms on your teeth.
- Visit your dentist regularly. Ultimately, the best way to prevent plaque buildup is by receiving comprehensive dental care from your dentist. Regular checkups and cleanings can help you remove plaque that’s too hard for you to get on your own. If you’re late for a cleaning, don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule an appointment with us today.
How much do you really know about your teeth? Unless you’re a dentist, it’s likely that you’re not staying up late every night studying dental magazines and text books. There are plenty of dental facts that you might not know about that can really help you with your overall oral health. Let’s take a look at seven dentals facts that you may have not heard before.
- 75% of Americans suffer from some form of periodontal gum disease. It’s a well-known fact that our mouths are full of bacteria. However, you might not know that these bacteria can easily lead to gum disease and that most Americans suffer from that gum disease. If you don’t properly care for your teeth with regular brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings, you are at a much higher risk for gum disease and it’s very likely that you’ll get it.
- Unhealthy teeth may lead to an unhealthy body. Have you ever heard of the mouth-body connection? It’s the idea that an unhealthy mouth can lead to an unhealthy body. The condition of your mouth can also indicate what’s happening with the rest of your body. Pay close attention to your oral health and try to take the best care of your mouth as you possibly can. It could lead to a healthier body.
- Saliva is your mouth’s first line of defense. Most people think that toothbrushes and floss are your primary means of defense against tooth decay. However, did you know that your saliva is the mouth’s first line of defense? Saliva is the body’s natural way of fighting cavity-forming bacteria, and it’s extremely good at what it does. If you find yourself getting a dry mouth, dry to drink some water to get your saliva going again so you don’t suffer from any adverse effects.
- You shouldn’t rinse your mouth out after brushing. Everyone knows that you shouldn’t swallow your toothpaste. The fluoride in the toothpaste can be harmful for your body if swallowed in larger quantities. However, leaving that fluoride on your teeth after brushing may help more at fighting tooth decay
- Your teeth are as unique as your fingerprint. Your fingerprints are unique specifically to you, and you can actually be identified solely by your fingerprints. Did you know that your teeth can act in the same way? Your set of teeth is unique and your smile makes you different and special.
- Your teeth’s enamel is the body’s strongest tissue. Your teeth are covered by an incredibly tough and durable layer called enamel. This layer is the strongest tissue in your body, being made up of over 96% mineral content.
- Your smile is more than just your teeth. Technically, your teeth make up your smile, but there’s so much more that goes into it. The way you feel about your teeth can greatly affect your smile, and your smile can greatly affect your overall confidence. A smile makeover can be one of the best things you can do for your teeth and confidence.
Not many people like to hear that they’ll need braces, but for a lot of people, braces are the only way to achieve a straight, beautiful smile.
Many envision braces as the telltale rite of passage through middle school, not something for adults.
Whatever the reason may be, there are adults who need braces.
If you fall into this category, hearing that you’ll be wearing braces the next few years may seem like unpleasant news. You’re an adult. You surely don’t want to look like a 7th grader.
You would like to have invisible braces, but your teeth are so much out of alignment that you don’t qualify for them. There are also some trouble teeth that have grown in improperly, causing speaking and eating difficulties along with producing an embarrassing smile.
What if there was a way to wear braces where you can get them off a lot sooner?
What Are Fastbraces?
Fastbraces are a new type of braces that require less wires and produce similar results in less time as traditional braces. Fastbraces are an effective treatment option for patients with severely crooked, crowded, tiled teeth. This high-performance bracket system corrects the root of teeth which then results in straight, proper teeth.
There are two types of Fastbraces: The Classic Series and the Turbo Series. With the Turbo Series, treatment can be completed in as little as 120 days. There is also a clear option as well that is made from ceramic.
Fastbraces utilize triangular brackets on teeth to accurately, efficiently and effectively adjust the roots of crooked or in-grown teeth so the teeth would grow in straight and in the correct position. The brackets have built-in arms that are constantly adjusting the teeth into the correct position. This technology reduces the use of rubber bands and metal wires which result in more comfort and shorter treatment time. The bracket tooth alignment technology also reduces the frequency of orthodontic office visits as the brackets adjust the teeth.
Unlike traditional braces that only move the crowns (the visible part of teeth), Fastbraces effectively move both the crowns and roots of teeth at the same time.
Fastbraces vs. Traditional Braces
The greatest advantage Fastbraces has over traditional braces is the shortness of treatment time. As the name implies, these braces produce results in significantly less time as traditional braces, and therefore, are fast. The average treatment time for Fastbraces is 3 months to one year, with many patients achieving a perfectly straight smile in 6 months. Traditional braces, on the other hand, typically take two to three years for treatment to be completed.
The brackets of Fastbraces are also more comfortable than those of traditional braces. They are smoother, causing less tearing and irritation to the inside of the lips and of the tongue.
Traditional braces are not only uncomfortable and not pleasing to look at, but they are also expensive, costing thousands of dollars.
The accelerated treatment duration, reduced rubber band, metal use and necessary orthodontic visits necessary in Fastbraces treatment also cut down on their costs, making them a more affordable option.
Fastbraces can be inserted on any dental patient, regardless of the severity of their dental alignment issue.
For more information about Fastbraces, contact LeDowns Dentistry today to set up a consultation to see how Fastbraces can help meet your orthodontic needs.
LeDowns Dentistry is one of the select Fastbraces affiliates in the United States. We strive to stay current with the advancements of orthodontic and dental advancements so our patients can get the best quality care.
Staying informed about your teeth is one of the most beneficial practices you can perform. If your teeth aren’t healthy, it can lead to complications in the rest of your body, so it’s important to know what’s going on with your dental health.
Unfortunately, in today’s world of the Internet and an over-abundance of information, it’s easy to get mislead by myths and misinformation about dental health. This can lead you to making poor decisions about your teeth, which can lead to even more complications.
So, instead of stumbling around in the dark, let LeDowns Dentistry debunk some of the most common dental myths for you.
Sugar Causes Cavities
It’s the myth that’s as old as time. You’ve heard it from your mom. You’ve heard it from your friend’s moms. You may have even heard it from your childhood dentists. Sugar causes cavities. This is suspect number one in our list of myths. And there’s some truth to it.
Sugar doesn’t cause the cavities. Instead, it’s the bacteria that feed off the sugar on your teeth. This means that you can’t continue to just eat a ton of sugar all the time. The more sugar on your teeth, the more food the bacteria have to eat.
Wisdom Teeth Should Always Be Removed
Many people today think that everyone’s wisdom teeth should be removed or else their entire mouth will suffer. While this may be true in some cases, it simply isn’t true in other cases. Another common myth that goes along with this idea is that wisdom teeth don’t serve any purpose. Many experts believe that wisdom teeth were the evolutionary results of our ancestors needing to eat coarser foods than we eat now. In today’s world, we consider these vestigial organs, like your appendix or tonsils.
If your wisdom teeth aren’t causing—and won’t cause—any serious complications in your mouth, it might be best to leave them be.
Teeth Whitening Damages Enamel
Another common myth in the dental world is that whitening your teeth can lead to serious enamel damage. It’s easy to see where this myth comes from. Teeth whitening uses chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide to strip away the stains on the surface of your teeth. Some people thing that it goes even further and strips away the enamel, too. This isn’t true.
While most whitening kits are safe, we still recommend coming to our office to get professional whitening services.
You Should Use Mouthwash that Contains Alcohol
While mouthwash that contains alcohol has been linked to oral cancer cases for a long time, some recent studies have claimed that the only reason for those results were because the patients were smokers and drinkers. However, it’s still a myth that your mouthwash should contain alcohol. These kinds of mouthwashes dehydrate your mouth and can tamper with the natural bacteria that live in your mouth.
Ask if You’re Concerned
Remember that we’re always here to answer any questions you have about your dental care and health. If you read something online that you’re not sure about, don’t hesitate to ask us about it. We’re more than happy to help you feel comfortable with your routine oral care.
Researchers have over the last couple years have made the connection between the frequency of one’s smile and laughter to one’s happiness, self-esteem and confidence.
Almost hands-down, people want a beautiful smile with straight, white teeth. You may feel self-conscious if you’re the only one not smiling in group or family pictures due to embarrassing gaps between teeth, yellow stained teeth or crooked teeth.
Smiling makes you relaxed, approachable and more confident.
The smile that you’re too embarrassed to show off may be the source of your lack of self-confidence and self-esteem.
Like many patients, you want to regain that beautiful, confident smile. How do you go about doing that?
Here are three ways you can get that confident smile you’ve been missing:
Proper Dental Health
The first step in having a smile you can be proud of is to have proper dental hygiene and health. A healthy smile is a pretty smile.
Proper dental care has many other benefits other than a beautiful, confident smile. Healthy teeth and gums have less pain, are less susceptible to injury and infection and require less, expensive dental work in the future.
Proper dental care and hygiene include:
- Visits to your dentist every six months for an examination and thorough cleaning
- Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and a good toothpaste
- Daily flossing
- A healthy diet low in foods and drinks that can stain your teeth or wear off your teeth enamel
- Managing any teeth grinding issues
- Regular rinsing with water or mouthwash
Taking care of your teeth is just as important as taking care of the rest of your body. The first step in having a confident smile is taking care of your oral health.
Restorative dental procedures such as dental bridges, crowns, and root canals can also restore the health and look of your smile. They will also diminish the pain and discomfort you may feel. While you may take care of your teeth and gums, your smile may not be as great as it could be because you’ll need some restorative dental work done.
Stained, and discolored teeth, and large, glaring gaps in between teeth are unpleasant flaws that even the best dental care may not do anything about. For such instances, your second-best option is cosmetic dentistry.
Cosmetic dentistry can handle a variety of dental issues, besides teeth whitening. Cosmetic dentistry includes:
- Dental Implants
- Direct Bonding
- Implants and Bridges
- Orthodontics and Aligners
- Porcelain Crowns
- Porcelain Fixed Bridges
- Porcelain Veneers
- Repairing Chipped Teeth
- Teeth Whitening
- Tooth-Colored Fillings
Most of the effective cosmetic dental procedures are done by your dentist in the office. There are some at-home options, mainly for teeth whitening, available. These are effective for patients with minor teeth stains that are mostly on the surface.
While adequate tooth and gum care is the most important way to achieve a confident smile, supplementing it with cosmetic dental work can really do wonders for your smile.
Show Your Smile Off
The final way to a confident smile is to show the world your pearly whites. You won’t be able to appreciate the efforts of your good dental hygiene or your cosmetic dental procedure if you continue to hide your smile.
Embracing your natural smile, flaws and all will greatly improve your confidence and self-esteem.
Whether you’re looking to schedule a routine dental check-up or you’re exploring your cosmetic dental options, contact us at LeDowns Dentistry today so we can get you that gorgeous smile you’ve wanted.
Cosmetic dentistry is an ever-evolving industry. Technology is continually improving, bringing new information on how to treat our patients with better tools and education. Some of the latest trends are 3D dentistry, better screenings for oral cancer, and fast braces.
While 3D graphics are not new, they are continually being improved and put to different uses. In dentistry, these graphics are helpful in taking better x-rays. These images create a model that dentists can zoom in on, get more accurate pictures, and generate more images with a single scan. With this tool, dentists can spot problems easier and faster than with traditional x-rays. Saving these images into the patient’s file is a more accurate health history too.
Even more beneficial is that these images are done with a computer and use little to no radiation. With less exposure, dentists have a safer option for checking inside the gums and is better for every patient.
Oral Cancer Screenings
One type of cancer that most people don’t think much about is oral cancer. It has a high mortality rate though, because it is so hard to spot. Part of a professional dental cleaning is inspecting the mouth for any problems or abnormalities. The biggest hurdle, like with any other cancer, is that it can go unnoticed until it is too late. Catching the cancer in its early stages increases chances of survival and less physical changes to remove it.
New advances in technology have provided us with tools to spot the signs of cancer earlier. Our office is currently using a system that uses blue light to find any lesions or pre-cancerous signs. It only takes a couple of minutes to do the screening.
You also play a part in early detection. Never be afraid to speak up when you are experiencing abnormalities. Some of the signs you can look for are:
- Mouth sores that won’t heal
- Lumps in the mouth or neck
- Difficulty swallowing
- Numbness in the mouth or face
- Growths that look like a wart
- Pain during swallowing, speaking, or chewing
If you notice any of these signs, make an appointment and come in to talk about them. We can do a screening outside of your biannual exams. If you have ever been diagnosed with oral cancer, know that your chance of having it reoccur are very high within the next 5 to 10 years of a first diagnosis.
Invisalign is not new, but their advances are continually improving. There are options to do it in a shorter amount of time and are called “fast braces”. Instead of using the traditional bracket braces, you can choose custom trays to adjust your teeth a little at a time, but still faster. Invisalign is a fast, discreet method for straightening teeth, fixing bites, and correcting jaw problems. It is also more convenient for patients to eat and clean their teeth regularly. We highly recommend Invisalign, but we do offer the traditional form of braces so that our patients can use whatever option with which they are most comfortable.
Technology is continually improving in the field of dentistry. We strive to keep learning and bringing what we feel serves our patients. If you need a dental cleaning, or have any concerns with your health, make an appointment to come in today. We would love to talk about how we can help you.