Dental Fears

KO6A3321-Edit

Becky Larson, RDH

 

Dental Fears

I once had an elementary school teacher who would scream if she heard the word “dentist.”  About 75% of the population has some form of dental anxiety while about 5-10% of the population has an actual dental phobia.  There are various degrees of dental anxiety/phobia, some even requiring psychiatric help.  Those who experience this fear of going to the dentist will often avoid dental appointments until they are in extreme pain.  I think we all realize that sometimes going to the dentist is just not fun.  However, some signs that you may suffer from legitimate dental anxiety/phobia include trouble sleeping the night before a dental appointment, nervous feelings that increase in the dental office waiting room, crying or feeling physically sick when thinking about the dentist, and/or panic attacks or difficulty breathing when at or thinking of the dentist.

So what causes dental anxiety or dental phobia?  Some common reasons for experiencing dental anxiety are fear of pain, fear of injections, fear that injections won’t work, fear of anesthetic side effects, fear of not being in control, embarrassment, and loss of personal space.  The key to dealing with any of these fears is to talk to your dentist.  If your dentist is aware of your fear(s) he/she can suggest ways to make you feel more comfortable when in the dental chair.  Some helpful strategies include:

  • Having your dentist explain procedures in detail prior to and during treatment
  • Topical anesthetic and/or closing your eyes during injections
  • Establish a “stop” signal when you want your dentist to stop or give you a break
  • Nitrous oxide prior to treatment
  • Prescription pre-medication (such as Halcion)
  • Sedation/general anesthesia

Here in our Signature Dental offices, we do offer intravenous sedation techniques for dental treatment.  With these techniques, sedation drugs are administered through an IV in the patient’s arm or hand.  While the patient is sedated, they will still be still be conscious and able to respond to dental staff.  They will also be able to breathe on their own.

Recognizing dental fears and finding ways to cope with them is extremely important to your dental health.  Regular check-ups and cleanings can help prevent recurrent decay, which in turn can reduce the amount of time and money you spend at the dentist.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/easing-dental-fear-adults

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dental_phobia

http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/Oral-and-Dental-Health-Basics/Checkups-and-Dental-Procedures/The-Dental-Visit/article/What-is-Dental-Anxiety-and-Phobia.cvsp

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=dnetal+anxiety&FORM=HDRSC2

Early Interceptive Orthodontic Treatment

KO6A3300-Edit[1]

Amanda Orvis, RDH

Early Interceptive Orthodontic Treatment

Often time’s orthodontic treatment is recommended before all of your child’s primary (baby) teeth have even fallen out. Early orthodontic treatment can alleviate future, possibly more invasive, orthodontic corrections.

Here are a few reasons for early interceptive treatment:

  • Corrective positioning for a better prognosis of how the permanent teeth with develop.
  • To correct any oral habits that cause developmental problems such as thumb sucking, pacifier use, and tongue thrusting.
  • To correct malocclusions, or poor bite relationships, such as overbites, under bites, open bites, cross bites, crowding, spacing, teeth erupting out of sequence, or missing teeth.
  • To correct growth problems such as narrow palates.
  • To guide the growth of the jaw bones to a more favorable position for permanent tooth eruption.

“The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends that all children receive an orthodontic screening by the age 7. Permanent teeth generally begin to come in at age 6 or 7. It is at this point that orthodontic problems become apparent.”

If you are unsure about the need for early interceptive orthodontic treatment for your child, it is a good idea to visit with an orthodontist to familiarize yourself with treatment options. If you are concerned with the appearance or development of your child’s teeth, or if you have questions please do not hesitate to call our office and schedule an appointment to discuss treatment options and referral information.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources

http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/early-orthodontics/article/early-orthodontics-may-mean-less-treatment-later

What is a Filling?

FullSizeRender

Cortney Davis , RDH

What is a Filling?

A filling is a way to restore a tooth that has been damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. Fillings also can be used to treat teeth that are broken, cracked, or been worn down by misuse (such as tooth grinding)

How do I know if I need a filling?

There are many indications you may need a dental filling. They include; a toothache, sharp pain, a rough tooth, a dark spot or hole you can see or feel, food getting stuck in between your teeth, floss getting caught when flossing, or a chipped tooth. Many believe that you have to be in pain to have a dental problem. Sadly, this is often not the case. Dental decay has the inconvenient trait of being almost painless or mildly painless in its early stages. Generally, dental decay becomes painful over time if it hits the nerve. At that point, a filling is not possible, and a more extensive and costly procedure like an extraction or root canal is required.

How will the dentist determine if I need a filling?

There are several different ways a dentist will determine if you need a filling. The first way is to take x-rays of your teeth.  X-rays can show decay developing in the enamel on the sides of the teeth that come together. Secondly, the dentist will observe your teeth. You can’t always see cavities on an x-ray, so your dentist will observe your teeth visually. Your dentist will use an instrument to probe for tooth decay. Teeth that are healthy will be hard and will resist pressure to the instrument. Teeth that are decayed will be softer and will have a stick in the affected area.

What are the types of fillings?

1)    Composite (resin) fillings-Most commonly used today, composites are fillings that are matched to the same color as your teeth and used where a natural appearance is desired.

2)    Amalgam (silver) fillings- Amalgam fillings are made up of a mixture of mercury, silver, tin, and copper. They are durable and resistant to wear. But because of their dark appearance they are usually not used in visible areas. Many people think that amalgam fillings are unsafe and want to replace them. There is no evidence that amalgam fillings can cause a problem and should only be replaced if there is recurring decay or if the tooth is broken or worn down.

3)    Gold fillings- are made to order in a laboratory and then cemented into place. Gold fillings are very durable and may last more than 20 years, but are often the most expensive.

What is the process of a filling?

If it is determined you need a dental filling your dentist will numb the tooth and remove all the decay and clean the area that is affected. The cleaned out area then will be filled with a material described above, typically a composite filling.

So remember,

If you have been told in the past you need fillings or think you may need a filling, please don’t delay! Teeth problems will not miraculously heal and delaying treatment can lead to larger problems, more time in the dental chair, and more expensive treatment.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/procedures/fillings/article/what-is-a-filling

http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/procedures/fillings/article/fillings-the-basics

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-health-fillings

Why are My Teeth Yellow?

IMAG2810951

Nora Torrez, RDH

Why are my teeth yellow?

What causes teeth stains?

Four classifications:

Extrinsic stains:  is when our enamel becomes stained. The main causes would be coffee, wine, soda, dark colored beverages or smoking.

Intrinsic stains:  is when our dentin (inner structure of tooth) darkens or has a yellow tint. This often occurs due to trauma.

Exogenous stains:  May be extrinsic or intrinsic. It occurs once the tooth has developed.

Endogenous stains:  happens during the development of the teeth. Tetracycline (antibiotic) stains is one of the common causes. If the antibiotic was taken during the development stage it binds to the dentin causing a grey or brown color. Best treatment for this type of staining would be crowns or veneers.

Stains that are on the enamel may be removed by your Dental Hygienist.  Professional whitening can also help. In office bleaching or take home trays.  Check out this recent blog about our Smiles for Life program, going on until June 30th.

Poor homecare can also cause our teeth to appear discolored. Thick, heavy plaque will appear yellow if left on teeth.

Make sure you are on track with your homecare! Brushing twice daily, morning and before bed. Make sure you are doing it 2 minutes each time. And don’t forget the flossing before bed.

If you drink coffee, wine or tea regularly using a straw or rinsing with water afterwards can help with the staining.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to ask your Dental Hygienist or Dentist at your next visit.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

www.oralb.com

www.colgate.com

www.rdhmag.com

What are your Tooth Fairy Traditions?

Sharma RDH
Sharma Mulqueen RDH
What are your Tooth Fairy Traditions?
The tooth fairy is one of many childhood fantasy figures we remember fondly. We lost our baby teeth, stuck them under our pillow, and the mysterious tooth fairy would swap our teeth out for money or maybe
a special toy! What could be better than that?
The tooth fairy isn’t quite the same for everyone though!
The legend of the tooth fairy has changed over the years and even varies widely around the world. Let’s learn a little bit more about other tooth fairy traditions!
The Tooth Fairy Legend Began with Ancient Superstitions
Before the tooth fairy went looking under our pillow for baby teeth; she used to look in the ground! In early Europe, burying or burning baby teeth was a precaution taken against witches. It was believed that if a witch got a hold of one of your teeth, they could have complete power over you!
Along with a fear of witches, children were instructed to burn their teeth so that they could have a peaceful afterlife. It was believed that if a tooth wasn’t incinerated, the person would be doomed to spend eternity searching for them. As you can imagine burning their teeth was very important!
The Vikings didn’t want to destroy baby teeth, however. They even paid for them! In Norse culture, children’s teeth were believed to bring good luck in battle, so many warriors had necklaces made of children’s fallen out teeth!
The Tooth Mouse Might Be More Popular that the Fairy
In many Spanish speaking and French speaking countries like France, little children place their tooth under their pillow. Instead of the tooth fairy, they wait for the “Tooth Mouse” to come and take their tooth away and replace it with money.
What is the Tooth Mouse Called?
In French speaking countries, the tooth mouse is called La petite Souri
In Spanish speaking countries it is called
el Ratoncito Perez=Perez the mouse (Argentina, Spain)
el Raton=Little mouse= (Venezuela, Mexico and Guatemala)
Tooth Bunny
Instead of a tooth fairy or tooth mouse, El Salvador has a small bunny that comes for their baby teeth.
Tooth Tossing
In Middle Eastern Countries like Iraq, Jordan and Egypt. It is customary for the children to throw their lost teeth towards the sun, asking they send them a new, stronger tooth.
The Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, and Botswana throw their teeth onto a roof in hopes that a mouse will take the teeth from the roof and replace them with teeth that are strong like a rodent’s.
In some Asian countries, when a child loses a tooth, they give it a toss. In India, they toss it onto the roof. In Japan, they throw it straight up into the air if it came from their upper jaw, and straight down if it came from their lower jaw. Why? To ensure their new adult teeth grow in as straight as possible.
How Our Modern Tooth Fairy Came to Be
As with many American traditions, the tooth fairy has roots in European folklore. Instead of burying our teeth in the ground, we “bury” our teeth under our pillow! It is said that our modern conception of the tooth fairy came about in the early 1900s. With the help of Walt Disney’s beloved fairy characters, the idea of a tooth fairy gained popularity and became what it is today! Today’s going rate for a tooth is $3.19.
The Tooth Fairy Plays an Important Role for Children
The legend of the tooth fairy is likely still so prevalent because it helps comfort children when they lose their teeth, an experience that can be traumatic for some. When a child losses his/her teeth it can be a scary moment. Parents can comfort their children by congratulating them on losing a tooth. Bed time will be lots of fun preparing the tooth for pickup! The tooth fairy helps them see this big step as a positive experience and a sign that they are growing up!
From time to time you may be in one of our Signature offices and may spot a Tooth Fairy. Keep your eyes open.
 Tooth Fairy
If you have any questions regarding your children’s teeth, please call one of our offices and we will be glad to help you.
Sources:
http://www.toothfairysmilesatnight.com
http://www.worldcat.org/title/toothtraditionaroundtheworld

What are those white spots on my teeth?

AnnC

Ann Clark, RDH

                                                                                                      What are those white spots on my teeth?

Dental fluorosis is not a disease but a permanent cosmetic condition affecting the way the teeth look.  It occurs when baby and permanent teeth are forming under the gums.  Once erupted, teeth cannot develop enamel fluorosis.  This condition is caused by overexposure to fluoride during the development stage of the tooth.  After their eruption into the mouth, teeth may appear discolored;  such as: lacy white markings, yellow to brown stains, surface irregularities, or pitting into the enamel.

Causes
A major cause is inappropriate use of fluoride products such as toothpaste and rinses.  Children are offered products with some fun flavors.  They are known to eat and swallow them so remind them to spit out.  Taking a higher than recommended supplement can also cause fluorosis.  The perfect amount is already regulated into the water where it occurs naturally.  Symptoms of fluorosis range from small white specks or streaks to dark brown stains and rough, pitted enamel.  A normal healthy tooth is smooth and glossy and a pale creamy white.

Treatment
Most cases are mild not requiring treatment.  White spots are considered moderate if more than 50% of the surface is affected  and severe if pitting occurs.  The appearance can be improved by various technique options aimed to mask stains.  Such techniques may include:
Teeth Whitening and other procedures to remove the surface staining.  Initially whitening can temporarily worsen the appearance.
Bonding: a coating over the enamel bonded with a hard resin.
Crowns
Veneers: custom-made facings that cover the front of teeth.
MI Paste: a calcium phosphate product sometimes combined with a micro abrasion procedure to minimize discolorations.

Prevention
Parental care is the key to preventing fluorosis.  If you drink well water, which is not regulated, or bottled water,your public health department or local laboratory can analyze the fluoride content.
Fluoride is also in some fruit juices and sodas, so knowing the water content will help you decide whether or not a supplement is needed.  Also, keeping fluoride containing products, like toothpaste, rinses and supplements out of children’s reach is recommended.  Ingesting a large amount of fluoride in a short period of time may result in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain.  Only a small pea-sized amount of toothpaste is needed for each time you brush.
Encourage your child to spit out and not swallow.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

 

Sources:

webmd.com Fluorosis:Symptoms, causes, and treatments

American Academy of pediatric Dentistry:”Enamel Fluorosis”
Kidshealth.org: “Fluoride in Water”
Reuters Health:”U.S. Lowers Limits for Fluoride in Water”
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research:”The Story of Fuloridation”
SimpleStepsToBetterDentalHealth.com:”Fluorosis”
CDC:”Prevalence and Severity of Dental Fluorosis in the United States, 1999-2004″

pH Levels of Popular Brands of Bottled Waters

LindsayW

Lindsay Olsen, RDH

pH Levels of Popular Brands of Bottled Waters

Bottled water is cheap, convenient, and easily accessible. One would think that choosing a bottled water brand should be a mindless decision. “It’s water” one would think, “It’s all the same wet stuff”. Whenever I find myself shopping for bottled water, I am sold on the pretty packaging, or their claim to fame that the water comes from a melting glacier in some foreign land. I think, “This water comes in a fancy glass bottle, and cost me $4.75, it has to be quality water.” FALSE.

As a bottled water consumer, and a Dental Hygienist, I am here to briefly educate you on the different pH levels of popular brands of bottled waters. Why do I care you ask? If you are sipping on a low pH (Acidic) bottle of water all day long, you are at a greater risk for tooth decay (Cavities). Bacteria that cause tooth decay can only thrive in your mouth when there is a low (Acidic) pH. Food (Or water) for thought.

Below is a basic chart to help educate oneself on what is Acidic vs. Neutral vs. Alkaline pH.

Next time you reach for a bottle of water, choose a brand that claims of be alkaline, or a high pH! Your teeth will thank you!

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/79/1b/e4/791be43c79a0ca4d87e13ce0ee4af527.jpg

http://telegraphvoice.com/2015/12/12/does-a-high-alkaline-diet-really-boost-your-health/

What is a filling?

KO6A3321-Edit

Becky Larson, RDH

What is a filling?

As a dental hygienist, I find that more often than not, my patients are confused.  Dental professionals tend to speak a “different language” and it can be very hard to understand.  A dental filling is a very common procedure that is performed at the dental office.  This post will go over what a dental filling is.

Unfortunately, teeth are prone to decay.  When decay occurs on one or more surfaces of a tooth, a hole or cavity forms.  A dental filling is the standard treatment used to fix a tooth with one or more areas of small decay.  By placing a filling, a dentist is able to restore a tooth back to its normal function and shape.  When a dentist gives you a filling, he or she first removes the decayed tooth material with a dental drill, cleans the affected area, and then fills the cleaned out cavity with a filling material.

A filling also helps to prevent future decay because it closes off spaces where bacteria may enter.  Materials used for fillings include gold, porcelain, composite resin (tooth-colored fillings), and amalgam (an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin and sometimes zinc).

It is important to follow your dentist’s recommendations for placing fillings.  When decay is left untreated it can cause the tooth to fracture, cause an abscess or infection, and/or destroy the inside or pulp of the tooth. As a result, more extensive treatment such as a crown, root canal, and/or extraction may be needed.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/procedures/fillings/article/what-is-a-filling

https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001055.htm

You Are What You Eat!

AnnC

Ann Clark RDH

You Are What You Eat!
What you eat and how often are important factors for preventing and maintaining good oral health.  The minute you eat or drink changes start occurring in your mouth.  Bacterias change sugars and carbohydrates into acids which attack the tooth’s enamel causing damage to occur.  The more you eat and snack, the more you expose your teeth to the decay cycle.
The best food choices are cheese, chicken and meat, nuts and milk.  These foods protect your enamel by providing calcium and phosphor needed to remineralize teeth subjected to acid attacks.  Other good choices are firm, crunchy fruits (apples/pears) and veggies.  These have a high water content, diluting the effects of sugars and stimulating saliva which helps cleanse your teeth through buffering the acids.  Acidic food like citrus fruits, tomatoes and lemons should be eaten as part of a meal to keep teeth protected.
Poor food choices are candy, mints, cookies, cake, pie, bread, muffins, chips, fries, pretzels, bananas and dried fruits. (No fun at all).  While containing larger amount of sugar they also are sticky on the tooth’s surface.  In addition, cough drops, like candy, need also be used minimally.
What about beverages?
Water, of course, is your best option, especially fluoridated water.  Also milk, and unsweetened tea are fine.  Limit your sugary drinks though, and drink up, do not sip through the day so as to constantly expose your tooth’s enamel to acid attacks.   Poor choices include: lemonade, soda, Gatorade, energy drinks, coffee/tea with sugar.  These expose your teeth to sugar, again creating the environment for acid attacks.
Sugar substitutes, although tasting like sugar, do not digest the same and do not “feed” the mouth’s bacterias or produce the decay-causing acids.  Sugarless and sugar-free labels mean no sugars were added during processing.  However, it could contain other natural sweeteners, like honey.  Examine your labels.
What about gum?
Sugarless gum is actually beneficial to the teeth as chewing actually helps to dislodge food stuck between the teeth and increases salivary flow to buffer the acids.  Do not become a gum chewer if you suffer from jaw pain.   Some gums containing xylitol are very beneficial.  Xylitol is a sugar alcohol used as a sweetener.  It is as sweet as sugar with 33% less calories.  Xylitol is actively beneficial by reducing cavities to a third in regular use and helpful to remineralization.
Thinking twice about your next snack move can prove helpful to both body and mouth…Apples anyone?
Source:
Wikipedia.org
WebMD.com

3D Imaging in Dentistry

KatieM

Katie Moynihan, BS RDH

3D Imaging in Dentistry

Dental x-rays are a routine part of your dental visit. Unfortunately, x-rays can only show the healthcare provider a 2D image of your tooth structure and supporting bone. Our North Stapley office is excited to now offer our patients a 3D imaging device called Cone Beam Computed Tomography, or CBCT. All patients at any of our locations can utilize this great technology.  This device is able to capture a 3D scan of a patient’s maxillofacial skeleton for diagnostic purposes.

Uses for a CBCT Scan:

CBCT scans are used in many different fields of dentistry to improve diagnosis and treatment planning in the following cases:

Endodontics
-Tooth morphology, number of canals and root curvature
-Identification of periapical pathology
-Location of trauma, root fractures

Dental implants
– Location of anatomic structures
– Size and shape of ridge, quantity and quality of bone
-Number, orientation of implants
-Need for bone graft, sinus lift
– Use of implant positioning software

Oral and maxillofacial surgery
– Relationship of third molar roots to mandibular canal
– Localization of impacted teeth, foreign objects
-Evaluation of facial fractures
-Location and characterization of lesions

Orthodontics
– Treatment planning for complex cases
– Impacted teeth
-Root angulation, root resorption

Sleep Apnea
-Identification of obstructive airway

Temporomandibular joint or TMJ
– Osseous structures of TMJ
-Relationship of condyle and fossa

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 9.59.31 PM

How Does It Work:

The patient is precisely placed in a comfortable position at the machine. The scan takes about 20 seconds to rotate around the head, obtaining nearly 600 distinct images. The focused x-ray beam reduces scatter radiation, resulting in better image quality. Once complete, the 3D image is immediately available for viewing and diagnosing. The scan produces a wide variety of views and angles that can be manipulated to provide a more comprehensive evaluation. One CBCT scan uses about 1/20th the radiation of a traditional head and neck scan at the hospital.

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 10.14.56 PM

There are many benefits to using a 3D imaging CBCT system in dentistry. We are excited to be able to provide top of the line technology to our patients. This new machine will be beneficial in increasing predictability by decreasing failure to provide you with the best quality of care!

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 10.15.10 PM

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

 

http://www.fda.gov/Radiation-EmittingProducts/RadiationEmittingProductsandProcedures/MedicalImaging/MedicalX-Rays/ucm315011.htm

http://www.conebeam.com/whatis

http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=dentalconect#benefits-risks