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Developing a Dental Strategy that will Save you Money: Scottsdale Dentist

Taking care of your teeth is a commitment you need to make for a lifetime. Similar to any other realm of healthcare, it can get costly — from regular dental visits and cleanings to more expensive treatments and procedures for protecting, preserving, and repairing your teeth.

If you are limited financially, it does not mean that your dental care has to wait or your health has to suffer. If you commit to following an effective strategy for oral care, your dental visits do not have to be expensive in the future. Apart of a good oral health hygiene plan, here are a few key tips:

  1. Practice effective daily oral hygiene. Many of the potential dental problems people experience are the result of not having a consistent, effective oral hygiene habit — which includes daily brushing and flossing along with semi-annual dental visits for cleanings and checkups. The goal of oral hygiene is to remove bacterial plaque effectively, the sticky film that adheres to teeth after we eat, and keep it from building up and causing significant damage over time. Removing plaque reduces your chances of developing the two major dental diseases caused by it, tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease, which could result in additional treatment needs. However, even with excellent oral hygiene you’ll still form tartar (hardened plaque deposits) on your teeth, so professional cleanings from a dental hygienist are necessary.
  2. Take care of your whole health. Your teeth and gums aren’t islands to the rest of your body. In fact, your oral health is heavily influenced by other conditions in the body, especially systemic diseases like diabetes or cardiovascular disease. So, be sure you’re following a healthy diet, following an exercise plan and seeing your doctors regularly. Your teeth will benefit from a holistic approach to your health.
  3. Work with your us to make your finances worry-free with treatment plan options. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee your teeth and gums won’t need additional treatment and procedures sometime in your life, even with excellent care and attention. If you’re in need of extensive treatment or you feel you need to enhance your smile, talk with us. We’ll be glad to talk through your options, and work out both a treatment and financial plan that fits your best health and financial goals.

Learn more about the cost of dentistry and how to make the best of your budget and health in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Finances and Dental Care.”

Chronic Dry Mouth: 3 Common Causes: Scottsdale Dentist

Like most people, you’ve most likely experienced occasional dry mouth when you’re thirsty or just waking up in the morning. Usually, this doesn’t last long and shouldn’t concern you.

But xerostomia, which means chronic dry mouth, is a concern. Chronic dry mouth is this persistent lack of adequate saliva. Not only is this uncomfortable for you, it could also increase your chances for tooth decay or gum disease.

Here are 3 common causes of chronic dry mouth and what you can do to help the symptoms.

  • Insufficient fluid intake.
    • Obvious, but very common —you’re simply not consuming enough water. Insufficient fluid intake deprives the salivary glands of essential fluid to produce the necessary amount of saliva. If you find that you’re often thirsty, you’ll need to increase the amount of water you consume throughout the day.
  • Medications.
    • More than 500 drugs, both over-the-counter and prescription, can list dry mouth as a side effect. Older adults who take more medications than average, may have increased problems with dry mouth. You may be able to help your medication-related dry mouth. Talk with your healthcare provider about alternative drugs for your condition that are less likely to cause dry mouth. Also, drink more water right before and right after taking your medication. Lastly, focus on increasing your daily intake of water.
  • Diseases and their treatments.
    • Along with some other, systemic diseases like diabetes or Parkinson’s disease can lead to xerostomia. Autoimmune conditions are particularly problematic because the body may turn on its own tissues, the salivary glands being a common target. Radiation or chemotherapy treatments can also damage the glands and lead to decreased saliva production. If you have a condition and are experiencing xerostomia, talk with your healthcare provider about ways to protect your salivary glands.

You can also ease dry mouth symptoms with xylitol gum (“saliva boosters”) or medications that stimulate the production of saliva. Caffeinated drinks and sugary or acidic foods affect your saliva production, so try to avoid them. Importantly, stay diligent with your oral hygiene habits and regular dental visits to continually reduce your risks of dental disease.

If you would like more information on the causes and treatments of dry mouth, please contact us for a consultation. Also, the following article gives you more insight on xerostomia: Dear Doctor magazine article “Dry Mouth: Learn about the Causes and Treatment of this Common Problem.”

What is a Comprehensive Exam: Scottsdale Dentist

When establishing yourself as a new patient at a dental office, the very first visit you’ll experience is a “Comprehensive Exam.” This is the first time you’ve ever been on their schedule!

The key of Comprehensive Exam is to get to know you as a dental patient. Also, you should get to know your dentist and office! Typically, you will receive a panoramic X-ray to evaluate your whole mouth. Next, a set of Bitewing X-rays will determine the need for fillings, root canals, or crowns. A hygienist will then complete “perio charting” to physically check your gum health. Your dental assistants may take photos of you and within your mouth for more diagnostic material. Read our blog about the different types of dental X-Rays here: https://www.serenitysmiles.com/blog/are-dental-x-rays-safe/.

Afterwards, your dentist will meet you face to face during your first appointment. They will give you a physical exam, gently exploring your oral health. For your dentist to gain key information about you, your medical history and previous dental experiences will be reviewed.

Looking for that perfect dentist? Read the American Dental Associations guide to picking the perfect one: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/dental-care-concerns/how-to-choose-a-dentist.

Dentures Vs. Implants – Smile Restoration: Scottsdale Dentist

Dentures and implants are excellent solutions for restoring a confident smile. Full dentures are removable upper and lower arch appliances that fit around your jaw bones. Negative pressure from breath stabilizes your dentures. Also, patients with full dentures can also use dental glue to keep their dentures in place. Full dentures are an easy way to restore your smile.

Partial dentures restore small areas of the mouth. They seamlessly replace missing teeth amongst natural teeth.

Implants provide a permanent solution to restoring or replacing missing teeth. Our titanium implants bind to your available jaw bone, just like the root of a natural tooth. Implants are placed in 3 parts:

  1. the implant placement
  2. the healing abutment (button) placement
  3. final crown placement

One implant replaces one missing tooth. Also, if you have full dentures, 2-4 implants can be placed on your upper and lower arch to secure them in place.

Additionally, read more about dental implants at: https://www.aaid-implant.org/dental-implants/what-are-dental-implants/ 

Overall, dentures and implants give you functionality back where you may be missing teeth. Visit us today to get your dental implant journey started!

Check out https://www.serenitysmiles.com/blog/oral-health-topics/the-ages-of-dentistry-2/ to read about the ages of dentistry.

Sensitive Teeth – Treatment for Sensitivity: Scottsdale Dentist

 

If you have sensitive teeth, there are options to treat sensitivity. Sensitive teeth may alter your daily lifestyle due to the temporary sharp, shooting pain. Certain substances, like sour candy, or temperatures, like cold ice cream cause discomfort. Anyone can experience teeth sensitivity.

Some factors of your oral health may contribute to sensitivity, including:

  • gingivitis or gum disease
  • teeth fractures (like a chip or crack)
  • clenching and grinding
  • plaque
  • acidic foods
  • brushing too hard
  • gum recession
  • whitening treatments

To help improve the symptoms of sensitive teeth, there are a variety of treatments available. A proper diagnosis from a dentist will help guide you to the right treatment. Treatment of sensitive teeth could vary from changing your toothbrush to a softer head, to receiving a deep cleaning.

Treatment for sensitivity includes:

  • receiving a custom night guard from your dentist
  • using a soft bristled toothbrush
  • using “sensitive” or “desensitizing” toothpaste
  • receiving a dental cleaning from your hygienist
  • adding a fluoride mouthwash to your routine
  • receiving a fluoride treatment from your dentist

If you are experiencing sensitivity to hot/cold foods and more, it is worth it to take a trip to your dentist for evaluation. Sensitive teeth are an indication that you may need to change oral care products or receive treatment. Learn more about sensitive teeth in our blog “What Causes Sensitive Teeth?” at https://www.serenitysmiles.com/blog/oral-health-topics/what-causes-sensitive-teeth-oral-health-topic/

To learn more about toothbrush types, we recommend visiting: https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/why-oral-b/electric-toothbrushes/types-of-toothbrushes

To learn more about sensitive toothpastes, we recommend visiting: https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/solutions/toothpaste/pain-relief-toothpaste-sensitive-teeth

 

What Causes Sensitive Teeth? Oral Health: Scottsdale Dentist

Tooth sensitivity can cause you to avoid hot and cold foods and beverages because of the overwhelming sensation. Sometimes, brushing teeth is too unbearable! Tooth sensitivity occurs when dentin becomes exposed in your teeth. Dentin is beneath the enamel (hard, outermost layer of your tooth). Increased exposure of dentin can cause more serious problems to your teeth, such as tooth decay!

Tooth sensitivity is the most common type of “toothache.” The pain that is experienced with sensitive teeth can be described as sharp and shooting.

Gum disease, grinding, harsh brushing, post-whitening treatment, and diet are all leading contributors to the experience of tooth sensitivity.

Sweet, acidic, and hot/cold food and drinks are major causes of tooth sensitivity if they are able to sit on the surface of your teeth for long periods of time.

Read more of our blogs on how to prevent and treat tooth sensitivity. If you’re in pain, please contact us at Serenity Smiles so we can help relieve you and get your smile back on track!

Gum Disease – What You Need to Know: Scottsdale Dentist

Gum disease affects the tissues that surround your teeth. In adults, gum disease is a leading cause for losing teeth! It may be hard to tell if you have gum disease because it usually does not cause pain. Your dentist, hygienists, and assistants are all knowledgeable in the signs and symptoms and with regular check ups, you can avoid gum disease.

Some problems can signal the presence of gum disease, including:

  • bleeding gums
  • red, swollen, and/or tender gums
  • consistent bad breath or taste
  • loose permanent teeth
  • bite changes
  • change in the way your partial dentures fit

The risk of developing gum disease can increase with some factors:

  • inconsistent oral hygiene or poor oral hygiene
  • smoking and tobacco product use
  • certain medication use
  • diabetes
  • crooked teeth that are hard to clean effectively
  • pregnancy

The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, which usually includes symptoms of red, swollen, and bleeding gums. Luckily, gingivitis is reversible in most cases! Receiving a deep cleaning from your dental hygienist can help you regain a healthy mouth, followed by daily brushing and flossing.

Periodontitis is the diagnosis for advanced gum disease. Over 45% of adults in the United States suffer with chronic periodontitis. Consequently, the tissues and bone are both affected over time.The most destructive form of gum disease is aggressive periodontitis and causes rapid loss of both bone and tissues and could occur in the entire mouth.

Researchers and doctors are starting to link systemic diseases (such as heart disease) to periodontal disease. it is important to schedule regular dental check ups and cleanings. Outside of the dental office, great oral hygiene helps maintain your natural smile for a lifetime!

What is Laser Dentistry: Scottsdale Dentist

What is Laser Dentistry?

Lasers in dentistry works by using energy in the form of light and can give several benefits to patients. Lasers can:

  •  remove the decay and prepare teeth for a filling. 
  • reshape gums and remove bacteria when receiving a root canal. 
  • cut pain free for a biopsy and relieve canker sore pain. 
  • whiten teeth quicker than alternative methods.

Laser use rather than a dental drill may

  • reduce numbing needed for your procedure
  • lower anxiety that a patient may have with drilling
  • reduce bleeding, swelling, and more!

There are several more applications of lasers that dentists are happy to provide.

  • In hard tissues, lasers are cavity detectors, providing early detection of small cavities. Lasers can also seal the tubules at the root of teeth, which helps remove sensitive feelings.
  • In soft tissues, lasers lengthen the look of teeth and eliminate “gummy” looking smiles. Also, lasers are used for frenulas (“tongue-tied” children) and patients with speech problems. 

Laser dentistry is helpful in various treatments for patients. Call us today at Serenity Smiles if you are interested in incorporating laser dentistry into your custom treatment!