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Dr. Mark Costes
Dr. Sean Reed

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Archive for January 2016

Do I Really Need A Dental Crown

Dental Crown

Dental Crown

Do I Really Need a Dental Crown?

When a dentist recommends a dental crown to a patient, the patient will often ask, “Do I really need a dental crown?” Let’s take a look at a few important facts about dental crowns and some of the techniques that your dentist might use to determine if a crown is necessary. 


Pros vs. Cons

One of the main reasons why patients often ask this question is because of the price of this restorative treatment. A reputable dentist will always inform his patients about available options to choose from as well as the pros and cons of these. Often, dentists recommend dental crowns because this is the best option for the patient.

If you are unsure whether a dental crown is the best option for you or not, you can get a second opinion. Patients are cautioned against dentists who immediately recommend crowns before letting their patients explore other options.


How does a  dentist determine whether a dental crown is indeed needed?


First, a dentist will look at the condition of the affected tooth. Dental crowns are often recommended for teeth that are cracked. Take note that when teeth are cracked, they cannot mend on their own. Depending on the condition of the crack, you may need to undergo a few procedures like extraction, crown lengthening or root canal.


Reputable dentists will not recommend dental crowns for teeth with craze lines. These are fairly common, are harmless, and do not affect the structural integrity of the teeth.


In some cases, a dentist will recommend fillings instead of a dental crown. Do note, however, that fillings often delay the inevitable—you will still need a dental crown sometime later.


Should you delay the procedure?

You may also tell your dentist to wait a little longer so that you can decide better. If you are going to wait, there are four possible outcomes that you should be aware of.


First, nothing will happen. Second, the affected tooth can either chip or it could crack; with the latter, you will definitely need a crown. Third, if you wait long enough, you may need to undergo a root canal procedure. Finally, if the tooth splits, you may have to have it extracted or opt for crown lengthening.


If the tooth is infected or acutely inflamed, you may need to undergo root canal. On the other hand, if you have a silver filling for about 2/3 of your tooth, you may need a crown. The small amount of tooth that you have left makes it vulnerable to cracking.


Before deciding whether a dental crown is best for you, schedule an appointment with your local dentist. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions that come to mind.

Regular Dental Visits | Understanding the Importance

Regular Dental Visits | Understanding the Importance


For many people, the idea of regular dental visits to their local Prescott Valley dentist are only routine in about 50% of the population. To most of us we only seek out the dentist when we have dental pain that should be addressed. As long as most people are satisfied with the appearance of their teeth and have no pains or discomforts to complain about, they think that there’s no need to go see a dentist. The idea is only considered when they begin to notice a nagging tooth pain or a flaw that is starting to affect the appearance of the front teeth, or if an obvious problem suddenly presents itself, such as a chipped tooth.


Making it a habit

Dentists strongly encourage everyone to make visiting the dentist part of their regular routine. Their recommended frequency is once every six months—that’s sufficient time for dental professionals to examine your current oral health, to determine if your oral care habits at home are producing positive results, and to recommend a different regimen in case improvements need to be made to your dental care program.


To truly understand the importance of regular dental visits, provided below is a description of what a regular visit would be like and how it can benefit the health of your teeth and gums.


A general examination

When you settle into the dentist’s chair for an examination, the dentist won’t directly zoom into problem areas, as most people would expect. The first part of a usual dentist visit would typically include a general examination of the patient’s head and neck; this is meant to check for anything that could appear to be out of the ordinary. Your face, neck, lymph nodes and lower jaw joints would be the focus of this initial exam.


A clinical dental examination

The next step would be to examine and assess the condition of your teeth and gums. Here, the dentist would look at your gums, your tongue, and the inside of your mouth to check for disease. Next would be to look at your teeth—to see if there are any loose or broken teeth or visual signs of tooth decay, and to check your bite and the contact between your teeth. If you have any dental devices (like fillings, crowns, veneers, implants, etc.), the dentist will evaluate their condition. X-rays will be taken if they are needed.


A session of cleaning

The last part of your dental visit would include cleaning your mouth, gums and teeth.  Tartar and plaque will be removed, floss will be used between the teeth, and polishing the teeth is performed.


After these steps, the dentist will talk to you about the health of your teeth and gums and provide recommendations for caring for them at home during the next six months before your next visit. By following the dentist’s orders and returning every six months to allow them to check the condition of our teeth and gums, you can help ensure continued good oral health.


Wisdom Teeth Aftercare Tips!

Removing the Wisdom Teeth: Aftercare Tips

Wisdom teeth removal is often considered a routine procedure. If it’s performed by a competent dental surgeon and within a fully equipped facility, there is a very low risk of encountering long-term complications. Just like any other surgical procedure, however, it’s important for the patient to strictly follow aftercare instructions as provided by the dentist. These instructions are designed to minimize pain, avoid complications and hasten recovery.  

Post Wisdom Teeth Surgery

The steps to follow and the medications to take after the surgery depend on the condition and profile of each patient. But the following removal of wisdom teeth aftercare tips will provide you an idea of what you can expect once you go home after the procedure:

  1. After the surgery, the dentist will insert gauze pads over the areas where the incisions have been applied. You will be instructed to firmly and gently bite on the pads to control bleeding. The pads can be replaced after every half hour, or as needed, depending on the volume of bleeding.
  2. It’s best to simply leave the affected sites alone especially during the first day. Rinse gently; do not gargle, talk loud, sip, suck or do anything with your mouth that may disturb the area. If you’re a smoker, do not smoke while under recovery. You may brush your teeth on the first night of the surgery, but make sure to be very gentle and careful especially around the surgical wounds.
  3. Take the first few days as an opportunity to slow down and take full bed rests. Strenuous physical activities, especially heavy lifting, are prohibited as they may lead to more bleeding and swelling, which lead to increased pain.
  4. Expect for blood to ooze for one to two days after the procedure. Continue to place gauze pads over the surgery areas and applying gentle pressure on them to contain the bleeding. Swelling is also normal. Ice packs and medication will be prescribed to lessen swelling and reduce discomfort.
  5. Don’t panic at the seemingly large volume of blood because most of it consists of saliva. If you feel that the bleeding has become severe, sit upright if you’ve been lying down and try applying ice packs on your cheeks. Biting on a moistened tea bag has also been proven to help ease the pain. Once the bleeding has slowed down (this usually happens 24 hours after surgery), rinsing with saltwater a few times a day may be prescribed.
  6. A soft diet or foods that don’t require chewing will be recommended by your dentist. Make sure to eat well, because your body needs all the nourishment it can take to fully recover. Hot foods and foods with small particles (nuts, popcorn, etc.) should be avoided.

Common side effects post wisdom teeth removal

Other common side effects of oral surgery are sore throat, dry lips, stiff jaw and some bruising. These usually go away on their own, and they can also be addressed with home remedies. You may also ask your dentist for recommended methods to manage these side effects.

When to call the emergency line: When you experience persistent bleeding, severe nausea and/or notice increased dependency on pain medication especially after the 48 hours have passed since the surgery.  


Regular Dental Cleaning Vs. Deep Cleaning

dental cleaning

Regular Dental Cleaning Vs. Deep Cleaning: What’s the Difference?

Establishing a vigilant at-home oral care routine is one of the simplest, cheapest and most effective ways to make sure your teeth remain strong, healthy and good-looking for a longer time. This routine should consist of regular brushing, flossing, tongue cleaning and mouthwash rinsing right after eating or at least three times a day. You probably already knew that but is it something you have made a habit of? If you are like most of our patients, that oral care routine has slipped over the years. Not to worry, Dr. Costes and Dr. Reed have some tips on at home oral care and deep cleaning solutions that will serve as preventative maintenance for your teeth. 

Let’s assume you have an impeccable tooth care routine. Sometimes, all that vigilance is still not enough to keep your teeth and gums free from bacteria and disease. While such discipline helps you control tartar buildup to a minimum level, you still most likely need to invest in regular dental cleaning performed at the dentist’s office as well. Routine cleaning is an important step in maintaining oral health because the procedure can access and thoroughly clean the areas that your toothbrush and floss can’t reach—those little spaces between your teeth and gums.  

Should Dr. Costes or Dr. Reed detect a larger or more serious presence of bacteria in your mouth, he may recommend that you undergo deep cleaning. What’s the difference if you pit regular dental cleaning vs. deep cleaning?

Deep Cleaning at The Dentist

Deep cleaning is prescribed if the dentist or dental hygienist sees the formation of “gum pockets,” or spaces between your teeth and gums. Gum pockets are usually caused by poor or improper dental hygiene. It is important to discover gum pockets early, because the longer they go unnoticed, the larger they become and harbor more infectious bacteria. Investing in annual periodontal evaluations is key to the prevention and early detection of gum pockets.  

Most dental care standards consider pockets with a depth of at least 4mm to be a sign of periodontal disease. If this is your case, your dentist will typically perform a series of additional tests to determine if you are a candidate for deep cleaning.

The deep cleaning process consists of scaling and root planing, which aim to remove the bacteria from the gum pockets. Scaling removes tartar and plaque on teeth surfaces, surrounding gums and inside the pocket areas. Root planing involves plaque and tartar removal focusing on the roots of the teeth. Typically, multiple sessions are required to completely remove bacteria buildup and minimize pocket depth.

By removing bacteria and preventing further formation of plaque and tartar, deep dental cleaning protects teeth from premature deterioration. It also prevents infection and oral disease, which can lead to serious, life-threatening complications. Maximize the benefits of deep cleaning by committing to a consistent and thorough oral care routine and visiting your dentist regularly.  

So as you can see, we recommend a regular bi-annual check up with your dentist. But if you come in for a visit, be sure to ask about whether you are a candidate for a deep cleaning. Horizon Family Dental will give you an honest opinion. If you live near Chino Valley, AZ or Prescott Valley, AZ, be sure to contact us to schedule your next dental cleaning.

Advantages Of Invisalign


5 Advantages of Invisalign Over Conventional Braces

Unsightly. Uncomfortable. Unbearable over long periods of time.

There are just a few examples of how people with braces describe these dental devices. For many adolescents (and some unfortunate adults), wearing traditional metal braces creates a different experience of otherwise normal daily routines, and they aren’t always pleasant ones.

Had the clear plastic aligners called Invisalign been available in much earlier decades, lots of people with crooked, misaligned teeth would have been saved from the challenges and discomforts that come with conventional braces.

Here are five key advantages of Invisalign that can help you see why more dental patients today are opting to pass on metal braces:

They are more aesthetically appealing.

The number one advantage that Invisalign has over traditional braces is its virtual invisibility. Metal braces are impossible to miss—they awkwardly fill up a patient’s mouth, often significantly changing the person’s facial structure, and remain a visible part of a person’s face for years. Users must be constantly vigilant with checking for food particles getting caught in the wires. Invisalign, on the other hand, makes the person look like he’s not wearing any aligners at all.

They are safer to use.

Metal braces have protruding wires that scrape or puncture the insides of the user’s mouth and the gums. They also have an effect on the decay and demineralization of the teeth. Clear aligners, on the other hand, are made of smooth plastic which will not scratch or cause damage.

They are more comfortable.

Once metal braces have been attached to the teeth, there’s no removing them until the patient’s specific treatment period is done—and that can translate to years of discomfort. Invisalign aligners, however, can be removed if you need to do so in order to eat, sleep, brush, play sports, speak in front of many people, or any other reason.

They allow patients to understand and visualize the results that the dentist is aiming for.

Dentists take their patients through fully computerized treatment planning sessions so that the patient can be informed of the particular result they are aiming for, as well as of the target treatment period. With traditional braces, it can be difficult to predict whether the targeted results will surely be achieved or not.

They can help patients achieve the desired results in a shorter span of time.

By carefully following the instructions for use and combining this with the right dental care habits, a dental patient using Invisalign can see results in as early as one or one and a half years, compared to a period lasting as long as 5 years that metal brace users will need to go through.

If you live in Northern Arizona and feel you might be a good candidate for braces, don’t hesitate to make an appointment in our Prescott Valley or Chino Valley office, we would be happy to give you a thorough dental exam and answer any questions.





Sedation Dentistry at Horizon Family Dental

Sedation dentistry prescott valley av

Safe Sedatives Used for Patients at Horizon Family Dental

Dental treatments and practices have evolved significantly in the last century including sedation for major dental procedures. Lost teeth can now be restored, disfigured teeth are made perfect, dental phobias are addressed, and many more changes that elevated the industry have transpired. One of the most important discoveries is sedation dentistry, because no matter how safe and minimally painful most dental treatments are, a lot of people still dread undergoing sessions on the dental chair.

Prescott Valley Dentists, Dr Reed and Dr. Costes offer sedation dentistry and say that this provision is most effective in outworking the anxiety a lot of people feel  whenever they need to undergo a dental procedure. What happens is that they use medication to help patients relax or become completely unconscious during treatments. When patients are completely relaxed and numbed, they do not feel the discomforts of having various procedures such as scaling, extraction, incisions and the like performed in their mouths.

There are different kinds of sedatives used for sedation dentistry and they vary in the level of sedation they subject patients to. PV Dentist, Dr Reed listed them below and explain their effects.

Nitrous oxide or laughing gas

This is administered through a gas mask placed over the nose and it’s combined with oxygen. It offers minimal sedation but works really well in relaxing patients. The effects of this inhaled sedative wear off rather quickly so patients who need to drive themselves home don’t have to worry about feeling groggy after their dental treatment. Patients remain awake but completely relaxed with this sedative.


This comes from the same drug family as Valium, which many know is used by those with insomnia and depression. This is taken orally and an hour prior to the dental procedure. It makes patients feel drowsy, and a higher dosage can put them to sleep. This offers mild to moderate sedation, meaning that while patients may fall asleep, it’s not going to be too deep a slumber that it’ll be difficult to wake them up. Alternatively, patients remain awake but are not completely aware of the ongoing procedure.

General Anesthesia

It is the most powerful sedative used for sedation dentistry because patients fall into a deep sleep during the procedure. It is administered via IV and it will render anyone unconscious immediately. This is ideal for people with severe anxiety over dental procedures; however, all patients that are sedated using general anesthesia should be driven home by a friend or family member after treatment because the sedative effects last much longer. Most of the time, special medication needs to be administered to reverse the effects, but even with this, patients can remain somewhat out of it or groggy for some time.


Bad Breath Remedies

Turn a Smelly Situation Around With These Bad Breath Remedies

bad breath remedies

A stylish wardrobe. Great conversation skills. Confidence and charm. All of these can easily be negated if you have bad breath. It can even spell the downfall for your personal relationships.

But what exactly is bad breath?

The foul smell in your breath can be attributed to the accumulation of bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria cause both inflammation and the production of gases in the mouth that lead to bad breath.There is an actual technical term for this problem and it is Halitosis as you can see form the image above, halitosis is the term that defines clusters of bacteria that are causing chronic bad breath. 

More often than not, the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth (which leads to bad breath) stems from poor oral health, including cavities, gum diseases and food particles trapped in the tonsils. Some medical conditions can also contribute to bad breath, including diabetes, chronic bronchitis, liver disease, acid reflux and respiratory tract infections. Even people with perfect teeth are not immune to this problem.

There are two key ways to know if you indeed have bad breath. First, you can ask someone close to you if you have it, or you can floss your teeth and check for bad odors. If you are sure that you have bad breath, you can turn things around with these effective bad breath remedies.

Master oral health care basics

One of the key ways to prevent bad breath is to take good care of your teeth and gums. That means brushing up on oral health care basics like regularly brushing and flossing your teeth and scheduling routine visits to your dentist. You can supplement these best practices with the use of mouthwashes which can help keep cavities and bacteria at bay. Dentists recommend products that actually kill bacteria instead of masking the mouth’s odor.

Check your diet

Another common cause for bad breath that many people are unaware of would be certain types of food, like spicy food. Once this type of food has been digested and absorbed by the body, some odor lingers and is expelled as you breathe.

Eating a healthy and balanced diet and avoiding fad diets can also help curb bad breath. Adding watery veggies and fruits to your menu can help keep your mouth clean and smelling fresh.

Drinking lots of water is not only good for your body, but it can also keep bad breath at bay, especially when you cannot brush your teeth.

It is also a good idea to limit your consumption of both coffee and alcohol which can contribute to the foul odor in your mouth.

If you are a smoker, you ought to be aware that this habit can adversely affect the scent of your breath.

Chewing sugarless gum after eating a meal can facilitate the production of saliva which can help clean the mouth and keep your breath smelling fresh. Remember to stick to sugarless gums.

Which Dental Solution is Right For You?

dental solution prescott valley

Dental Solution: Understanding the Difference Between Bridges, Crowns, Veneers, Dentures

There are plenty of dental solutions available, especially when it comes to teeth “replacements.” If you’re concerned about your budget, you don’t have to worry much about finding a solution that will easily be accommodated by your funds. Among the teeth replacement solutions that you can easily get are bridges, crowns, veneers and dentures.

When deciding on the best option among these four choices, your decision will likely be motivated by your preferences in terms of aesthetics, comfort and convenience. To give you a better understanding of the difference between bridges, crowns, veneers, dentures, provided here are descriptions of these specific dental solutions.

Dental Bridge

Let’s start off with dental bridges. These are often described as dentures that are not removable. They are fixed structures which use an adjacent tooth (or teeth) for support. The structures are either made of metal or high strength porcelain, and they are finished off with artistic ceramic that looks like natural teeth. Typically, bridges are the solution for molars that have been removed.

Meanwhile, dental crowns are often used to support heavily filled teeth, and they are either ceramic or gold. Due to the compromised structure of the remaining teeth, crowns are applied to make sure that they will not break easily and get damaged further. Root canal-treated teeth commonly require crowns. You have two choices for dental crowns: there’s gold, which is impressively durable (however, it’s also quite noticeable), and there’s ceramic which is more visually appealing, but will not last as long as gold will. If you’re keen on getting dental crowns, your decision will most likely be based on what’s more valuable to you—durability or a nice appearance.


As for dentures, these are the most traditional teeth replacement solutions. They can either be partial or full and they easily restore the original appearance of teeth. Most people are familiar with dentures because their parents and grandparents probably used them. Dentures are affordable dental solutions but they need to be changed over time because of fit considerations. The common problem people have with dentures is that they shift around and they contribute to the wearing down of gums.


And the last are dental veneers which can help improve the appearance of your teeth and your smile. These are delicate wafers applied to teeth that are chipped, discolored, or have a weird shape or size. The application of veneers is quick but the original teeth would have to be present, and they would be resized to accommodate the wafers. Veneers are believed to be the key to those perfect Hollywood smiles and they are quite pricey. Fortunately, they are rather durable and are worthy investments—especially if you want to achieve perfectly white teeth.


How to Prevent Bleeding Gums

Bleeding Gums

What Causes Bleeding Gums & What Can You Do About It?

Dental health is crucial to your overall health. It’s not just about maintaining an appealing look, with straight, unstained teeth. It’s also about not having to deal with pain or discomfort when you eat. This is why you might find it troubling when you experience bleeding gums.

Am I Brushing Too Hard?

One of the first things that comes to mind when we see a little bit of blood on a toothbrush, is brushing too hard. Your gums could bleed when you brush too vigorously. You brush too hard because you think this is the right technique to remove plaque. But as your dentist will tell you, the right way to brush is to use gentle movements; harsh brushing might not only make your gums bleed but also damage the surface of your teeth.

Aside from harsh brushing, using a hard-bristled brush could also contribute to bleeding gums. Hopefully this will solve your problem but,there are other reasons why your gums might bleed. Let’s take a look.

It could be a sign of gum disease.

When your gum is swollen and when it bleeds, you may have gingivitis. This first stage of gum disease happens when you have plaque at the gum line and around your teeth. So when you brush and even floss, the plaque infects the gum, creating symptoms of gingivitis.

The good news is that you can remedy this by having a regular dental check up. Your dentist will tell you which kind of toothbrush you need to use and how to floss properly. You may even be given toothpaste formulated for gingivitis.

I am taking blood thinning medication.

Blood thinning medication is one of the possible reasons why your gums bleed. This kind of medicine reduces blood clotting, which may make you susceptible to bleeding. Talk this over with your general physician and dentist so you can get proper advice on how to prevent or reduce the symptoms.

I am expecting a baby.

You may be pregnant. Some women are prone to bleeding and swollen gums, which is called pregnancy gingivitis. The American Pregnancy Association reassures women though that this symptom should clear up after pregnancy. If not, check with your dentist immediately. Other hormonal changes in a Woman’s body could lead to bleeding gums but it is always better to air on the side of caution. Set up a dental check up with your dentist to be sure that’s all it is. 

I am a smoker smoking.

Thanks to the toxins in a single cigarette, smoking can lead to inflammation, reducing your body’s immune response. Chronic smoking can lead to enlarged and fibrous gums. When your gums start to bleed, do not ignore it. If using softer bristles and changing the way you brush your teeth do not work to stop the bleeding, then arrange an appointment with your dentist immediately. The earlier you resolve this problem, the sooner you can restore good dental health.

If you live in Northern Arizona and are concerned about bleeding gums, don’t hesitate to make an appointment in our Prescott Valley or Chino Valley office, we would be happy to give you a thorough dental exam.