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Archive for October 2016

Invisalign Process: What Should You Expect?

Invisalign ProcessThe Invisalign Process: What Should You Expect?

If your regular dentist suggests that Invisalign would be an excellent treatment to try for your particular dental issues, then there are a number of steps you must take to ensure that you get the dental solution you need.

Provided below is a brief overview of what the Invisalign process would be like.

Finding the Right Invisalign Provider

Not all dentists and orthodontists are trained to deliver Invisalign, so you will first need to find one to perform the treatment for your specific case. Much like searching for a regular dentist, you’ll want to decide on the one who will be working on your dental health after thorough research and comparison so you can be sure that you have made the correct choice.

To identify the best dental professional for the  job, you can do the following:

  • Take a test called the Smile Assessment (you can find the link on Invisalign’s website) to gain an idea ahead of time whether Invisalign is suitable for your dental condition.
  • Create a list of Invisalign-trained dentists, orthodontists or doctors in your area (or in nearby areas that you are willing to travel to for regular visits).
  • Schedule an initial consultation with each provider on your list and take this opportunity to talk about your condition, ask questions, inquire about the costs of the treatment and dental or orthodontic insurance, and other relevant concerns.

Creating Your Treatment Plan

Your chosen provider will take photos, impressions and x-rays of your teeth so that a precise treatment plan can be mapped out. Using Invisalign’s special technology, the dentist can  determine the kind of movements your teeth must make and the treatment’s approximate time period (in general, Invisalign treatment can span about a year for adults and about two years, much like traditional braces, for teens; these will vary, of course, among cases).

Using Your Custom Aligners

You will be wearing the clear aligners (made of smooth and comfortable BPA-free plastic) that were made for you based on your personalized treatment plan throughout the day. Unlike traditional braces, these aligners can be removed when you eat or while you brush or floss your teeth. The aligners will be virtually invisible to other people, and as you wear them, they will be working to gradually and gently shift your teeth into the proper place.

After every two weeks, you will be given a new set of aligners to wear as you progress with your treatment. You will also have to visit your Invisalign provider about every six weeks so they can check and monitor your progress. If you comply with the dentist’s recommendation to wear the aligners 20 to 22 hours each day, you will be able to see how much your dental condition has improved at every stage of the treatment.

By the time you have completed your Invisalign process treatment, you will discover a more beautiful, confident smile. Contact your local dentist in Prescott at Horizon Dental Group to set your consultation. 

Single Tooth Replacement

Single Tooth ReplacementSingle Tooth Replacement – Why Choose an Implant Over a Bridge?

If you have lost an adult tooth and you want to replace it with something that’s not removable, you have two options: a permanent bridge and a single tooth replacement with a dental implant.

A permanent bridge is a good option if you have teeth around the missing tooth. Now, if you don’t have those, and the tooth in question is possibly a back molar, the better single tooth replacement option would be a dental implant. A dental implant will replace not just the natural tooth but also the root permanently.

Dental Implants

Dental implants take much longer to put into place and they require good oral health. If you have gum disease and other oral health issues, you’ll have to treat them first for the safest “installation” of the implants. Dental implants definitely offer the best, look, feel and function. Just like your natural teeth.

Implants often outperform dental bridges because they do not affect the health of neighboring teeth; when a bridge is applied, the teeth on both sides of the missing tooth actually need to be ground in order to support the cemented bridge. This means that from having healthy, proper shaped teeth, you end up with altered ones just to accommodate the bridge, which isn’t an issue with dental implants.

Another advantage you get with a dental implant is that it can actually preserve your jawbone better since it integrates with the bone. With a bridge, on the other hand, the bone that used to surround the (missing) tooth will deteriorate over time and then will create an uneven gum shape, which isn’t pretty and/or healthy.

Implant Durability

Likewise, as already mentioned a dental implant is very stable; plus, it’s so much easier to clean than a bridge. You can brush, floss and rinse your implant like you would your regular teeth. Meanwhile, with a bridge, the cement can wear away over time due to various activities (this includes your oral care practices), and the changing shape of the gums. It’s worth noting that when the cement holding the bridges slowly washes out, this can create room for bacteria and germs to proliferate, which then can lead to decay of the teeth anchoring the bridge. The area with a bridge can really appear discolored or unhealthy even if you implement the best oral health practices regularly.

So, if you need a single tooth replaced and you have the money for a dental implant, go with this option — it will provide a better set of oral health benefits as well as value for your money. Contact your local Prescott Valley dentist at Horizon Dental Group today! 


Gum Recession Treatment | What Should You Expect?

Gum Recession TreatmentGum Recession Treatment | What is Gum Recession and How is it Treated?

Gum recession is a condition wherein the tissue around the teeth begins to pull back or recede, exposing the roots.

Receding gums are often a sign of a bigger problem like gum disease. Left untreated, receding gums can pave the way for bacteria buildup which can eventually lead to tooth loss.

Gum recession occurs on a gradual basis which is the key reason why most people are unaware that they are suffering from the condition. Receding gums may be caused by different factors, the most common of which is periodontal or gum disease where bacteria infect the gums.

A substantial number of people suffering from receding gums can blame their genes for their condition. That means that despite their best efforts to take good care of their teeth and gums, there is still a high likelihood that they’ll get receding gums. Women, on the other hand, are particularly susceptible to gum recession during puberty, pregnancy and menopause.

Poor oral hygiene can lead to the buildup of plaque which can eventually lead to the formation of tartar. In turn, when tartar continues to build up, the gums recede. On the converse side of the coin, being too zealous in cleaning your teeth and gums (specifically, if you brush too hard) can cause you to damage the teeth and gums. Other causes of gum recession are smoking, bruxism or teeth grinding, having crooked teeth, and having piercings on the tongue or lips.

What’s the treatment for receding gums?

Gum recession treatment often begins with deep cleaning. This procedure removes bacteria and can stop the gums from receding. However, if the gum recession is in the advanced stages, your dentist may recommend gum surgery.

Also known as gingivoplasty, gum surgery is classified into three types. In pocket depth reduction, the pockets that have formed between the gums and the teeth are removed by folding the gum tissue and placing that over the roots of the teeth.

During the gum recession treatment procedure known as regeneration, lost bone is replaced by injecting protein which facilitates the growth of natural bone. This procedure is often used in conjunction with pocket depth reduction.

Finally, soft tissue grafts entail the use of skin taken from another area in the mouth which is then placed over the receding gums.

Your Presott dentist at Horizon Dental Group may also recommend the use of supplements like vitamins C and D, Coenzyme Q10, and tea tree oil which can aid in healing receding gums.
If you wish to avoid gum recession altogether, it is crucial to take proper care of your teeth and gums and to avoid habits like smoking which can undermine your oral health

What You Should Know About Your Toothbrush

ToothbrushWhat You Should Know About Your Toothbrush

Toothbrushes are everyday items that people need in order to maintain oral health. They are affordable yet very effective cleaning tools.

But as common as they are, how much do you really know about them? Do you know the full extent of their function, as well as how they should be designed in order to be fully effective in keeping your mouth healthy?

To reveal the true value of this item, here’s what you should know about your toothbrush

  • Historical accounts reveal that the earliest toothbrushes were mere “chew sticks” rubbed against the teeth to remove food. Over time, people explored using other materials such as bone, wood and ivory from various animals for handles and bristles. The first nylon-bristled toothbrush (which everybody is familiar with) was developed in 1938.
  • Toothbrushes are not that effective in ridding teeth of plaque, which is why it’s important to prevent the formation of plaque through regular and proper brushing and flossing.
  • When shopping for toothbrushes, always look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance; this is proof of the manufacturers’ adherence to the strict standards for oral care and safe use.

There are two types of toothbrushes: manual and powered. The standards for manual toothbrushes are:

  • All the components should be safe for use in the mouth.
  • Bristles should be free of sharp or jagged edges and endpoints.
  • The handle material is manufacturer-tested to show durability under normal use.
  • The bristles won’t fall out with normal use.

As for powered toothbrushes, they must comply with the requirements of a safety laboratory and the manufacturers must provide evidence of safety from at least one clinical investigation. Also, the size and shape of the brush should fit the mouth comfortably so all areas can be reached and brushed easily.

  • Powered toothbrushes, although more expensive, are not necessarily better. How well a toothbrush works is always dependent on the user.
  • Toothbrushes can accumulate bacteria if you don’t rinse and dry them well. So make sure that after every brush, there’s no remaining toothpaste and food debris. You may also want to cover your toothbrushes to prevent contamination, but use a cover only when the toothbrushes are properly dried because moist conditions are ideal for bacteria growth.
  • You can work toothbrushes on your gums as well to keep them healthy and prevent periodontal issues.
  • It’s important to replace toothbrushes every 3-4 months because after this time period, the bristles will already be too frayed, making it difficult to work them through the gaps between teeth. Children’s toothbrushes should be replaced much more frequently.

If you are looking for a great dentist in Prescott, contact the dental professionals at Horizon Dental Group today!



What Causes Gum Recession?

Gum RecessionWhat Causes Gum Recession?

When it comes to oral health, a lot of people focus mainly on their teeth. Too often, caring for the gums comes as an afterthought. As the old adage goes, out of sight, out of mind. However, taking good care of your gums is crucial both for excellent oral and overall health. Failure to take care of your gums can lead to a host of problems, including receding gums or gum recession.

What is Gum Recession and What Causes Receding Gums?

Dentists sometimes compare the teeth to a potted houseplant. If you try to remove the soil to expose the roots, these roots will not receive the water and nutrients these need. Subsequently, the plant grows weaker and eventually dies.

The same thing applies to your teeth. When you have receding gums — a condition wherein the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth recedes or wears away — the lower portion or roots of the teeth also become exposed. This, in turn, deprives the teeth of the nutrients these need and can make the teeth vulnerable to bacteria.

How Common is Gum Recession?

Gum recession is a fairly common oral health problem due to the number of factors that can cause it. These include gum disease, poor or inadequate oral health care, hormonal changes, genetics, brushing too hard, tobacco consumption, bruxism or grinding of teeth, poor alignment of the teeth, lip or tongue piercings, traumas and accidents, diabetes, poor nutrition, some types of medication, drug abuse, and ill-fitting dental appliances like crowns and bridges.

Unless you are paying close attention to your gums, it can be hard to detect gum recession. This is because gum recession happens very slowly, often during a span of several years. This is why it is important that you regularly check your gums and visit your dentist at least twice a year.

Warning Signs

There are, however, a few warning signs that you can look for. These include swelling of the gums, a purplish or bright red color, tenderness to the touch, pus coming out between the teeth and gums, changes in your bite, loosening of teeth, bad breath, sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks, and an increase in the space between the teeth.

When you are looking at your gums in the mirror, check whether your teeth seem to have grown longer and if the spaces between your teeth and gums have grown wider. Run a finger over your teeth. If you feel a notch where your gum line used to be, that means that your gums have receded. Receded gums also have a tendency to be sensitive to hot and cold food and liquids.

There are a variety of ways to treat receding gums. However, the simplest way of treating this gum condition is by addressing the root cause. For example, if your gum recession is due to poor oral health care, you need to invest more time and effort toward taking care of your teeth and gums. Or, if you are a smoker, you should kick your bad habit as soon as possible.

If you are experiencing some of the warning signs of gum recession, it is important to schedule an appointment with your Prescott Dentist immediately. The friendly professionals at Horizon Dental Group will help you with a dental plan that works for you.

What Is a Canker Sore and What Causes It?

Canker SoreWhat Is a Canker Sore and What Causes It?

You’re enjoying your lunch or dinner, and then you suddenly stop because of the sharp pain you felt in your gums. You excuse yourself and go to the bathroom to check out your mouth and notice round, white or grayish sores. You’ve got a canker sore.

Canker sores refer to small ulcers that appear in the mouth. Often, these sores make eating and talking painful or uncomfortable.

Canker sores are classified into two types: simple and complex canker sores. Simple canker sores can appear three to four times a year, usually in people aged between 10 to 20 years old. These canker sores often last for a week.

Types of Canker Sores 

Complex canker sores are not as common as simple canker sores. You are likely to get these canker sores if you have had them before.

Symptoms of canker sores include pain that comes from either the sore or other parts of your mouth (soft palate, tongue, cheeks), and a burning sensation before these sores emerge. Sometimes, people with canker sores experience other symptoms like fever, sluggishness, and swollen lymph nodes.

Cold Sores

Sometimes, people mistake canker sores for cold sores. These two types of sores are different. Cold sores, also known as herpes simplex type 1 and fever blisters, are caused by a virus and can be spread from one person to another. Additionally, cold sores can be found outside of the mouth, unlike canker sores which are found inside of the mouth.

To date, medical and dental experts still do not know what exactly causes canker sores. A lot of these experts suggest that canker sores may be caused by trauma or stress, although there are some types of foods, especially acidic ones, which can also cause these sores to appear and aggravate the associated pain. People who wear braces or poor-fitting dentures may also suffer from canker sores.

Cure for Canker Sore

To date, no cure for canker sores has been developed. And if you have had these sores before, it is likely that these will come back. Typically, these sores will disappear from a few days to two weeks without requiring treatment.

If you notice that: the sores have become larger or seem to be spreading; they have lasted more than three weeks, or they have become too painful, or if you are having difficulty drinking or are suffering from high fever, you need to go to a dentist as soon as possible.

Although canker sores are incurable, there are a few steps that you can take to prevent these sores from recurring.

As much as possible, avoid food and drinks that irritate your mouth, including spicy and acidic foods. Also, you should use a soft-bristled toothbrush in cleaning your mouth. Make it a habit to brush and floss daily to keep your mouth free from food particles that may trigger canker sores.

Another possible cause of canker sores is poor health, especially cases which are due to nutritional problems or diseases related to the gastrointestinal tract.

If you are looking for a great dentist in Prescott, contact the dental professionals at Horizon Dental Group today!

What Causes Tooth Decay?

Tooth DecayWhat Causes Tooth Decay?

Toothaches are some of the worst pains you can experience. This intense physical discomfort is usually due to tooth decay. When teeth rot, infection takes place as well, causing great sensitivity as well as swelling.

Suffice it to say, in order to prevent toothaches, it’s important to prevent tooth decay. To do that properly, you must know what causes dental decay.

Proper Oral Health

Decay happens when bacteria and food interact and create plaque that builds up along the base of the teeth or the gum line. Plaque releases acids that attack and weaken tooth enamel, and this starts the decaying process.

You’re greatly prone to tooth decay if you’re not particular with oral health — if you don’t brush and floss regularly in order to rid your mouth of harmful bacteria and acids that attack your teeth’s enamel. Also, if you don’t visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleaning (oral prophylaxis), you make yourself susceptible to tooth decay.

How Your Diet Affects Your Teeth

Dentists also say that a poor diet (one that is high in sugar and carbohydrates) can lead to tooth decay. Sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth and this results in the formation of plaque, especially if you don’t brush your teeth regularly and thoroughly.

Another factor that contributes to tooth decay is dryness of the mouth. If you don’t drink a lot of water and you also don’t produce enough saliva to help wash away food and acids, bacteria can work double time in attacking or damaging your teeth. This is why dentists strongly recommend chewing sugarless gum, particularly after meals, because this stimulates healthy saliva production.

An Unhealthy Lifestyle

It’s important to mention as well that an unhealthy lifestyle can speed up tooth decay. Smoking, specifically, is bad for the teeth because this dries the mouth and encourages the proliferation of teeth-damaging bacteria. Likewise, smoking has chemical components that damage teeth in other ways, and they affect the gums, too. Drinking alcoholic beverages frequently, on the other hand, can also promote tooth decay; they are not only loaded with sugar, but can also dehydrate the mouth.

And lastly, health woes like diabetes and cancer are known to increase the risk of tooth decay. A weakened immune system, the inability to properly perform oral care activities, and the strong medicine consumed for managing these health woes can all damage teeth.

Tooth decay is easy enough to prevent; all you need to do is heed the advice of your Prescott dentist on how to go about oral care and other health practices that will strengthen your teeth.


Pregnancy Dental Care | What You Need To Know


Pregnancy Dental Care

What You Need To Know About Pregnancy Dental Care 

Pregnancy can bring a diverse array of changes in a woman’s body. Simply put, if you are pregnant, these changes may require you to modify how you perform some activities or even avoid these until you have given birth.

If you are pregnant or planning on getting pregnant, you might be curious about numerous issues, including dental care. Here is what you need to know about pregnancy dental care.

Pregnancy Dental Care  

If there is only one thing that pregnant women need to know about dental care during pregnancy, then that would be the fact that they need to take good care of their teeth and gums while still carrying their babies in their wombs. During pregnancy, women undergo hormonal changes that can leave them vulnerable to gum disease. In turn, gum disease can adversely affect the health and development of the baby while still in the womb. You have to continue practicing good oral hygiene habits and visiting your dentist regularly.

Ideally, if you and your partner are still planning to get pregnant, you should visit your dentist for professional cleaning and examination.

Once you have confirmed that you are pregnant, it is critical that you inform your dentist that you are carrying a baby. During pregnancy, urgent procedures can still be performed. However, elective procedures are best done once the baby is born. Your obstetrician may also give you advice about special precautions that your dentist may have to take.

Keep Your Dentist Informed

Apart from informing your dentist about your pregnancy, you will need to inform him or her about the medications and supplements you are currently taking as well as their dosage. Your dentist will use this information to tailor your treatment plan.

Should you need to have an X-ray done, your dentist will use the proper precautions to protect you and your baby from any possible adverse effects.

If you are experiencing morning sickness, your dentist may recommend that you switch to a different brand of toothpaste. You will also need to rinse your mouth with either water or mouthwash each time you vomit.

Pay Close Attention to Your Diet While You are Pregnant

During pregnancy, you have to be mindful of your diet for two crucial reasons. The first and most important reason is the health of your baby. You will need to eat a balanced and healthy diet and add more foods which are high in calcium and other minerals essential to the development of the teeth and bones of your baby.

The next reason why you should be mindful of your dietary habits during pregnancy is that frequent snacking, especially if you indulge in sweets, can put your teeth and gums at risk of succumbing to tooth decay.

After you have delivered your baby, be sure to visit your Prescott Valley dentist once you have fully recovered. Inform him or her about any dental issues you may have experienced.