Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Why Dental X-rays are Necessary

What are dental x-rays used for?
Dental x-rays are radiographic images that allows your local dentist in Marietta to diagnose and treat any oral health conditions. Dental x-rays help dentists visualize conditions of the teeth and surrounding tissue that cannot be seen with the naked eye during an oral exam.  Dental abscesses, cysts, tumors, periodontal gum disease, decay underneath fillings or in between teeth and the location of impacted or unerupted teeth are all detected with dental x-rays.

How often should teeth be x-rayed?

The frequency depends on your current dental or medical history and even your dentist’s preference. Many people get dental x-rays are often as every 6 months while others may only get them once a year, or every couple of years or for a dental emergency.  People, who fall into the high risk category, requiring x-rays more often, include: children, adults with current or existing extensive dental work, people who assume a lot of sugary drinks, smokers, adults who have periodontal disease history, and those who suffer from dry mouth.

How safe are dental x-rays?

Any exposure to radiation has its risk; however, there have been many advances in dentistry regarding digital x-rays that has helped in making the radiation exposure small.  Patients who receive chest x-rays, mammograms, and/or CT scans are exposed to far more radiation than dental x-rays. Radiation exposure can come from the sun, flying in an airplane, minerals in the soil, home appliances, and even sleeping next to someone. During the dental exposure process, you will be provided with a lead apron to wear for your protection and safety.

Our Marietta Dentists, Kirk Kimmerling DDS, Suzanna Aguilera DMD, and Garrick McGrath DMD invite you to learn more about the benefits of dental x-rays, please contact our office at 770-423-4900 or schedule an appointment for a consultation. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Why Are you Avoiding the Dentist?

I'm terrified! 

If you’re a dentist hater, your reasons don’t usually include hating the actually dentist.  Instead it’s all the stuff that dentists do that creep you out – the drilling, the filling, and the billing. You are not alone because many people dread going to the dental office but if you learn to understand why you avoid them it might help you overcome your fear(s). It’s unfortunate because by avoiding the dentist office you risk your overall dental health.  

So why are you avoiding the dental office? The answer may include a range of reasons including:

  • Cost – Many people avoid the dental office because they are afraid of what it might cost but the truth is that if you take good care of your teeth and mouth, yearly visits and dental cleanings won’t cost a ton of money. If dental concerns are addressed early enough, your solutions may be easier and less expensive. 

  • Anxiety – Many people are simply just afraid of the dentist, however, there are a number of things at Verde Pointe Dental Associates to help minimize any fear. There’s always pleasant music playing, warm blankets, and a cinemizer to allow patients to watch movies. But, most of all there’s always a positive working environment and excellent communication with all patients. 

  • Being Lectured - Its human nature to want to avoid bad news, especially, if you’ve been neglecting your oral health, such as brushing and flossing. Many patients have the fear of lecture on their minds due to guilt as they know better and they just simply don’t want to hear about it. The best way to address this is by voicing your fear to your local dentist and allowing them the opportunity to reassure you so you can get back on track. 

  • Bad Past Experiences – Did you ever have a bad experience?  If so, sometimes it’s hard to let go and move on. Unfortunately, your brain is wired for fear so you have a hard time trusting a new dentist, therefore, you just avoid them all together.  Again, by talking about it and addressing your concerns it will not only help you feel more comfortable but it will also help your new dentist understand your fears.  

Unfortunately, dental horror stories are retold like spooky campfire tales. Don’t let a friend-of-a friend’s story stop you from getting the dental care you need. Our Marietta Dentist, KirkKimmerling DDS, Suzanna Aguilera DMD, and Garrick McGrath DMD invite you to our dental practice to learn more about what is offered and how we can help you overcome your dental fears. Please contact our office at 770-423-4900 or schedule an appointment for a consultation. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Why Everyone Needs Fluoride

Fluoride makes my teeth happy and healthy :)

Fluoride is the most important reason why there has been a decrease in dental cavities. Fluoride works by stopping or even reversing the tooth decay process. During tooth decay, bacteria are present because of sugars or carbohydrates which transforms into an acid.  During the demineralization process, a biofilm called “plaque” creates acid in the mouth which causes calcium to be removed from the tooth.  Fluoride has the ability to re-mineralize a tooth if it’s caught early enough because decay does not start off as a cavity but only has a white lesion. Fluoride is most ideal for patients with high caries risk, patients who have crown and bridge work and orthodontic decalcification.

However, there are many debates and concerns with using fluoride. Many people think that fluoride doesn’t belong in drinking water, but it actually occurs naturally in water and it’s rarely at the level needed to protect your teeth. Fluoride is not a medication but more so a mineral and when it’s presented at the right level, fluoride works to prevent tooth decay and contributes to healthy bones. Also, fluoride is not unsafe for small children; in fact, it is highly recommended and plays a critical part to promote strengthening of the teeth. Fluoride toothpaste is only not recommended for children under 2 because they swallow the most when brushing their teeth.

Fluoride gel or toothpaste at higher concentrations can only be purchased with a prescription or from a licensed dentist. Our Marietta Dentists, Kirk Kimmerling DDS, Suzanna Aguilera DMD, and Garrick McGrath DMD invite you to our office to learn more about the importance of fluoride toothpastes, please contact our office at 770-423-4900.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Morning Breath- YUCK!

Oh no, morning breath!

Do you ever wake up in the morning and immediately cover your mouth? To some degree, everyone has morning breath. The reason being is because your mouth dries out when you sleep causing odor-producing bacteria to increase.  During the day, bacteria is still at work to break down all the chemicals, protein and amino acids left behind from food but your own saliva is more present to help wash away the bacteria. When we fall asleep, your saliva production takes a rest also which causes the smelly-bacteria to run wild and the grand unveiling of morning breath.

However, if you have a toothache associated with bad breath, this could be caused by other factors. Bad breath has nothing to do with age, but bacteria that causes bad breath may have several health implications. Having bad breath are the first signs of periodontal issues, which has been proven to be involved with diabetes and heart disease.  Make sure you always schedule your dental teeth cleanings at least every 6 months so that periodontal disease can be detected early enough.

So, how do we treat or get rid of morning breath? Unfortunately, there isn’t a foolproof prevention for it but there are some things you can do to help reduce it. When you brush, go directly to bed. Do not eat or drink anything afterwards so you are not leaving anything behind. Make sure you always brush your tongue, including the back of your tongue because statistics say 85% of bad breath comes from the tongue. Invest into a tongue scraper to help clean your tongue thoroughly and floss because brushing along will not remove all the food partials stuck in between your teeth. 

Our Marietta Dentists, Kirk Kimmerling DDS, Suzanna Aguilera DMD, and Garrick McGrath DMD invite you to learn more about bad breath prevention, please contact our office at 770-423-4900 to schedule your next dental cleaning appointment.