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Posts Tagged: common dental

Electric Vs. Traditional Toothbrush – Which Is Better?

Electric Vs. Traditional Toothbrush – Which Is Better?

There’s a growing selection of dental supplies available in the market today and these are in line with the call for making a strong commitment to oral health. Among the many options today are different kinds of toothbrushes.

In terms of designs, the choices can prove to be overwhelming. However, if you’re more focused on function, the only issue really is whether to choose an electric toothbrush or a traditional toothbrush.

Electric vs Traditional Toothbrush

It’s imperative to establish that both items do the job well. The main difference is that the battery or electrically powered option can make the task easier because it does the brushing for you. Children, in particular, can benefit from this mechanism, especially since they’re still honing their motor skills.

Another advantage provided by electric toothbrushes is that they can be a time-saver. The head can stroke teeth 6,000 to 30,000 times per minute. Therefore, it works so much faster in getting teeth’s surface clean; this means that instead of the usual two to three minutes of brushing advised by dentists, you can cut that time in half.

As for the disadvantage with electric toothbrushes, even the cheapest brands you find in the market are still more expensive than most manual toothbrushes. It’s important to mention that the bristles tend to get worn faster too, and at times, the vibration of the heads can prove to be too much for people with sensitive teeth and gums.

Manual toothbrushes, on the other hand, are what everybody’s more familiar with. They’re much easier to control, so if you have sensitive spots around your mouth, you don’t have to worry about excessive vibrations.

When it comes to efficacy, a manual’s toothbrush will work well if you know how to brush your teeth well for that perfect smile. Therefore, if you tend to just speed through brushing your teeth, you’re not going to get your chompers thoroughly clean, says a Prescott, AZ dentist.

As for cost, even the most expensive manual toothbrush won’t cost as much as a branded electric toothbrush. It’s definitely a winner as a cost-effective option.

The con with this option, however, is the difficulty some people have in using it. Those who have arthritic hands and fingers will find it hard to brush thoroughly; ditto with young children who still do not have refined motor skills.

There you go – one is not necessarily better than the other. It’s best to choose one kind of toothbrush over the other based on your preference or the limitations you have. Schedule your appointment with one of our dentists today!

Common Teeth Alignment Problems

 The 8 Common Teeth Alignment Problems

Perfectly aligned teeth are not that common. If you see someone with really straight teeth alignment, it’s quite likely that she wore braces — that’s because most people just don’t naturally grow their teeth that way. On top of that, there are certain habits that affect proper teeth alignment such as thumb sucking and pacifier use. Plus, other variables contribute to the problem as well.

So, what are the common teeth alignment problems most people suffer from? A Prescott, AZ dentist rounds up eight of them below:

  1. Malocclusion – This condition is also known as “poor bite” and it basically means you have crooked teeth. It is often hereditary and it’s frequently associated with other dento-facial deformities.
  2. Deep overbite – This is when your upper teeth cover the entire row of your lower teeth when you bite. This condition may not be unsightly and it also may not look like a big problem but when lower teeth bite into the palate or gum tissue behind the upper teeth, this can lead to bite discomfort and bone damage.
  3. Underbite or lower jaw protrusion – This is the complete opposite of an overbite and it tends to look more unnatural. It can create speech difficulty, with the lower jaw protruding to some degree longer than the upper jaw.
  4. Crossbite – This is when the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth. This can make biting and chewing difficult, which is why early orthodontic treatment is recommended for correction.
  5. Overjet or protruding upper teeth – While it may seem similar to a deep overbite, an overbite doesn’t necessarily mean that the upper front teeth protrude a lot; with this case it does. It’s a serious problem because it makes the lower front teeth quite prone to injury. Typically, this condition is associated with a lower jaw that is shorter in proportion to the upper jaw.
  6. Open bite – This when the upper and lower incisor teeth do not touch when biting down. You can see an open space between the upper and lower rows. Apart from the fact that it doesn’t look nice, this teeth alignment issue overworks the molars.
  7. Teeth crowding – This usually happens when the dental arch is small and/or the teeth are just too big.
  8. Teeth spacing – When teeth are small or a few teeth have been removed, this causes “shifting,” which then creates spaces between teeth. It doesn’t look nice and it also makes the gums more prone to damage.

Thankfully, all these teeth alignment problems have solutions. Consult your dentist if you have any of these issues to see which corrective treatment is most suitable for you.

All About Dental Bone Graft Procedures

When it comes to restorative dentistry, dental implants generate the most interest. Unlike other procedures, implants achieve the feel and function of original teeth the best. It’s like you never lost your teeth at all.

However, to be a good candidate for dental implants, you need to have enough bone density to securely anchor the implants. If you don’t, additional work needs to be carried out.

Dental bone graft is performed for patients whose bone under the gums is not wide, tall or dense enough. This procedure is a rather complex one, so it greatly increases the overall cost of dental implant surgery.

To further understand this crucial treatment that is included in some dental implant procedures, listed below are things you need to know all about dental bone graft procedures.

  • This process will rebuild or replace bone in the jaw to support dental implants. Bone loss is usually caused by periodontal disease, trauma, an abscess, or aging and not having teeth for a long time already.
  • Bone grafts make use of bone (cadaver, cow, patient’s own bone) or bone-like material (synthetic bone).

  • An oral surgeon, prosthodontist or periodontist commonly performs extensive bone grafts several months before the dental implants.

  • A single bone graft using bone from a cow, cadaver or synthetic bone can cost between $250 and $1100. Meanwhile, for bone graft using the patient’s own bone, the procedure can cost between $2000 and $3000 – obviously more expensive as it includes two surgical sites, anesthesia and hospitalization.

  • The cost of bone grafts is dependent on the following factors:

  • size and shape of the surgical site, source material used, and where the bone is harvested from.

  • Additional costs can be expected, and they’re for X-rays, CT scans and consultation fee of other specialists.

  • Dental insurance normally doesn’t cover the cost of dental implants but may cover a portion of the cost of a dental bone graft due to bone loss’s impact on a person’s wellbeing.

  • The safest graft material is your own bone because it naturally integrates well and there’s no risk of infectious disease, tissue rejection and contamination. This is usually harvested from the chin, jaw, shin or hip.

  • Least ideal bone graft material is synthetic bone. While it’s second to your own bone when it comes to safety, this material is absorbed by the body and needs to be replaced over time.

  • Lastly, recovery from bone grafting usually takes about four to nine months so it’s a long waiting time before dental implant surgery can be performed. During the recovery/waiting period, you are expected to consistently practice proper oral care and to follow a healthy diet to ensure the success of the dental implant.

To know if a dental bone graft procedure is right for you, contact your trusted Prescott, AZ dentist. 

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.

Confident About Your Smile?-Ways to Replace Missing Teeth

Missing Teeth

Missing Teeth

New Ways to Replace Missing Teeth

After you lose your set of baby teeth and your permanent teeth appear, you can no longer expect to grow another new set once these fall out due to disease or accidents. In an ideal world, your permanent teeth should be the last set of teeth that you will ever have. However, the reality is that people do lose their teeth.

Fortunately, with the aid of a dentist, you can replace your teeth and restore your smile and confidence. Listed here are the new ways to replace missing teeth that dentists currently use.


If you need to replace a few or all of your missing teeth, one of the first options your dentist may recommend for you are dentures. One of the chief advantages of dentures is that they look and function like real teeth. Additionally, they are removable. This means that you can give your gums respite at the end of the day.

Over the past few years, dentists have introduced a few upgrades to dentures. For one, the fitting process has become considerably shorter. What took about five or more dental appointments in earlier times has now been reduced to fewer visits.

Dentures also provide solid returns on your investment. If you take good care of your dentures, they can last a lifetime. Should you lose another tooth, your current set of dentures can be refit to accommodate this change in your mouth


Dental Bridges

Bridges connect two land masses separated by a body of water. A dental bridge functions in about the same way: connect two teeth by filling in the gap left by missing teeth by joining two crowns.

It should be noted that if you have otherwise healthy teeth, dental bridges may not be the best option for you. Dentists often let healthy teeth be. Furthermore, dental bridges have their limitations and cannot be used for gaps left by six or more missing teeth.


Dental Implants

Dental implants utilize a titanium screw affixed to the jaw bone which will serve as a foundation for artificial teeth structures like dentures, bridges and crowns.

Dental experts highly recommend implants because they mimic the look and function of natural teeth. However, not everyone is deemed to be a suitable candidate for dental implants. Before dental implants are recommended to a patient, the dentist needs to ascertain whether he has ample bone mass to hold the implant. Furthermore, the patient’s medical history needs to be accounted for.


What the future has in store for the Dental Industry:

One dental treatment that is in current development and shows great promise is stem cell therapy. Currently, experts have managed to regrow entire tooth roots and have even successfully used these in pigs.

In the future, it is predicted that it would be possible for a patient to have his baby teeth stored, regrown and implanted once the patient loses a permanent tooth.Dr Reed and Dr. Costes are wise enough to know that in order to maintain a thriving Prescott Valley Dental Office they need to stay on top of the latest in dental technology. Rest assured, when you make an appointment with our Chino Valley Office or Our Prescott Valley office, we will take good care of you.