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Posts Tagged: general dentistry

Treatment Options For A Fractured Tooth Filling

What will you do if your filling falls out or cracks? A fractured tooth filling may even happen to you while you are eating — you could suddenly realize that there is a foreign object in your mouth.

Your first step is to call your dentist. They will be able to determine the right treatment to utilize at the dental office.

What to Expect During a Dental Consultation

Do not panic if your filling falls out. A seasoned Prescott, AZ dentistwould typically have an emergency time set aside for patients with lost or fractured fillings and other dental problems, so it is highly likely that you will be attended to on the day you call. And if you need care during the weekend, the dental office may have a contact to call to take care of emergency cases.

Once you are at the dental office, your dentist will examine your tooth. An X-ray may be necessary to determine the best treatment. If your teeth need another filling, you will be provided with information regarding your options for filling materials. There are also times when the affected tooth might need a crown or a root canal to restore the tooth’s integrity. Tooth extraction may also be advised on rare occasions.

Filling Options

If your tooth is restorable, the tooth’s location will determine the type of restoration. For a front tooth (canine or incisor), a composite and glass ionomer filling is the best aesthetic choice. For a premolar or molar, you can choose between a glass ionomer material and an amalgam filling. Since the back teeth experience the strongest chewing forces, the amalgam filling is considered the best material; this will last longer. Some dentists place tooth-colored restorations, depending on their patient’s preference.

Other Treatment Options

A crown can be the best option when there is an extensive loss of tooth. Your dentist can place a sedative filling or a temporary crown to protect the affected tooth. The permanent crown impression and placement will then happen at subsequent dental visits.

But when your filling falls out and a deep cavity is revealed or the nerve of the tooth is exposed, the best option is a root canal followed by placement of a dental crown.

If the loss of a filling or fractured tooth is severe, tooth extraction is your only option. When this happens, your dentist will provide you with a treatment plan to replace the tooth. You can choose between a dental implant and a removable or fixed bridge.

Prevention Tips

To detect a possible problem with your dental fillings, regular dental care is crucial. Your dentist can detect uneven wear or open margins before they become a problem. Your dentist can also give you tips for proper oral hygiene to prevent plaque buildup, which is the leading cause of tooth decay.

Bear in mind that fillings or restorations have a breaking point. Eventually, they will need replacement. Regular visits will determine if it is time to replace a restoration. But a filling might fall out unexpectedly, and you might experience discomfort and pain. When it happens, contact your dentist right away. If left untreated, a fractured or lost filling can lead to a root canal and possible tooth loss.


How To Get Affordable Dental Care

The cost of dental care has constantly risen over the past decades. Aside from the increasing dental cost, the number of people with access to dental insurance has decreased.

In fact, a new poll finds that most Americans can’t afford even the basic dental care. More than half of the people surveyed also said that they did not know how they would get affordable dental care after they turn 65.

If you do not have access to dental insurance or you lack money to pay for the high cost of dental care, there are cost-saving measures to help you save money.

7 Ways to Save Money on Quality Dental Care

1. Use Low-Cost or Free Dental Providers

There are some dental professional providing services to patients without insurance. They also operate on a sliding scale, which means that they set rates based on your income.

If you can’t find or you still can’t afford a dentist operating on a sliding scale, consider receiving dental services from a free medical clinic. Generally, eligibility is limited to low-income patients.

2. Participate in Medical Studies

There are some organizations and universities performing research on certain dental treatment methods. You can actually participate in medical studies in exchange for free dental care, like having a wisdom tooth extracted or dental cleanings.

3. Look for Online Savings and Coupons

Check out online sites that occasionally provide deals and coupons for dental care services like fillings and cleanings. These sites can be your lifesaver if you do not have insurance.

4. Receive Dental Care from Dental Students

Dental students must acquire experience before they graduate and get their license. You can help them get the experience they need while receiving affordable dental care. Whenever these students operate, they are supervised by a licensed dentist.

5. Ask for a Discount

Most dentists understand that some of their patients are uninsured. So don’t be afraid to inform the dentist about your financial situation and ask for a discount. Also, try to negotiate ahead of time.

6. Find a Job with Dental Benefits

Most jobs will require you to be a full-time employee so you can receive insurance benefits. However, there are others that are more flexible. So long as you meet a certain number of hours worked each month, you can qualify for health and dental insurance.

7. Use Government Resources

Most government organizations are established to help uninsured and low-income people so that they receive the medical and dental attention they need. The Health Resources and Services Administration or HRSA provides listings of the affordable dental providers in your area that you might be eligible to use.

Taking care of your teeth on a daily basis must be your priority even if there are ways you can save on dental care. Although some dental problems are unavoidable, preventative dental care practices can minimize the chances and costs of most dental problems.


5 Problems From Wisdom Teeth You May Experience

The social media world has made the removal of wisdom tooth a great source of entertainment. In movies or videos, you see teenagers or young adults behaving in a loopy manner because the anesthesia takes a while to completely wear off.

Many ask if it’s truly necessary to have all wisdom teeth removed.

Wisdom teeth removal is only required if there are problems with wisdom teeth. If you don’t have them, then it’s completely fine to just leave them alone, according to a Prescott, AZ dentist.

So, what are the problems from wisdom teeth that indicate the necessity to remove them? Listed below are five of them.

  1. The teeth didn’t break through the gums completely because your mouth is already overcrowded. This can cause gum tissue to grow over them. The flap of gum tissue can trap food, which then can lead to either gum infection or tooth decay.
  2. The wisdom teeth came out crooked or facing the wrong direction due to overcrowding. Not only do they look weird, but they can also create tightness or weird spaces (that food debris can settle into) between teeth.
  3. They get stuck in the jaw. A lot of people suffer from impacted wisdom teeth because there’s just not enough room in the mouth for all of the teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth can be quite painful (some people complain that the sensation is quite similar to a severe migraine and the pain spreads across the face and the base of the head) and also lead to swelling.
  4. Some wisdom teeth come out at the far back in the mouth that it’s just not possible to properly take care of them. They’re difficult to reach with a toothbrush and to floss. Therefore, they are prone to tooth decay and are better off extracted.
  5. At times, a cyst forms around wisdom teeth and this can damage the bone or roots.

All these problems lead to great physical discomfort, which is why it’s smart for parents to take their young children who have yet to grow their wisdom teeth for regular dental checkups. Dentists can check signs for wisdom teeth coming through and conduct an X-ray exam.

The X-ray will reveal if wisdom teeth are likely to cause problems. From this, a program can be created either to assist the proper growth of wisdom teeth or to ensure that problematic wisdom teeth won’t cause health issues.


How Much Is It To Get A Tooth Filled Without Insurance?

How Much Is It To Get A Tooth Filled Without Insurance

Having a tooth filled is one of the fastest dental procedures you can undergo, particularly if you only need one tooth restored and the cavity isn’t too deep. However, it can still be pretty expensive if you need to have several teeth filled and if you don’t have dental insurance.

If you’re wondering how much is it to get a tooth filled without insurance, the final cost will depend on the type of filling you choose and the number of teeth that require treatment.

The least expensive type of filling is metal or silver amalgam. This material can cost between $50 and $150 for one to two surfaces. If you need to have more than two teeth filled, you will have to pay an amount between $120 and $300.

Composite resin or tooth-colored fillings typically cost between $90 and $250 for one to two teeth and between $150 and $450 for three or more surfaces. The most expensive types of dental fillings are made of porcelain and cast-gold. Their price ranges from $250 to $4,500 depending on the size of the cavity.

Another factor that can also affect the price of your filling (with or without insurance) is the size of the cavity. It will take the dentist more time and a lot of materials to fill a huge cavity. Your dentist will also need more time and work harder if the cavity is found in a tooth that is quite hard to reach. The total cost will also go higher if there are several teeth to be filled.

Once you start feeling a sharp or throbbing pain on your tooth whenever you bite down on or chew food, and food always seems to get stuck on or in between some teeth, visit your dentist. A Prescott, AZ dentist also says that the sudden onset of tooth sensitivity is usually a sign and that you need to have a tooth filled immediately as well.

However, if you’re not sure about how bad your cavity is, your dentist will be able to provide the right diagnosis. You can ask your dentist for an estimated cost of all dental works before getting the treatment so that you can prepare beforehand.

If you have been recommended to have a cavity filled, don’t wait too long to undergo the procedure. When you leave it untreated, your tooth will continue to decay over time. If the cavity becomes bigger, regular filling might not be enough to restore your tooth and you will end up paying for a more expensive dental treatment.


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!


How to prevent gingivitis?

How to prevent gingivitis?

According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between 2009 and 2010, around 47 percent of Americans suffer from the different stages of gum disease.

A trusted Prescott, AZ dentist says that Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. And left unchecked, gingivitis can worsen into periodontitis.

When gingivitis progresses into gum disease, your body’s immune system begins to fight back the plaque that causes irritation in the gums. However, this immune response can harm the tissues supporting your teeth. Apart from that, a noticeable space between the gums and the teeth develops, making the gums more vulnerable to infection.

Gingivitis occurs when the plaque bacteria build up on the tissues around the teeth. Although plaque is naturally found in the human mouth, it is essential to remove it through proper oral hygiene in order to prevent gingivitis.

One of the reasons why there are many people with gingivitis is because it can be difficult to detect due to the absence of pain. However, there are a few other symptoms that you or your dentist can check for. Among the symptoms of this dental issue are the swelling, reddening, and bleeding of the gums.

Poor oral hygiene is the leading cause of gingivitis. However, some conditions can leave a person vulnerable to this problem. These include pregnancy, diabetes, consumption of tobacco products, substance abuse, stress, autoimmune diseases, and the use of some types of medications. If you’re suffering from Gingivitis, call us to schedule an appointment today!

If you want to know how to prevent gingivitis, here are some guidelines offered by dental professionals.

In order to prevent gingivitis from wreaking havoc on your gums, there are four crucial things that you need to do.

First, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day. Make sure that you spend two minutes brushing your teeth, preferably with an antibacterial toothpaste. Avoid brushing too forcefully.

Pay special attention to every part of your mouth, including the tongue. Make sure that you brush your teeth before going to bed because bacterial growth occurs at a faster pace during sleep.

Next, floss at least once a day to remove food particles stuck between the teeth.

Third, use a mouthwash especially formulated to remove plaque and the bacteria that cause gingivitis.

Finally, visit your dentist every six months for checkups and professional cleaning. However, if you notice the signs of gingivitis in your mouth, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.


Basic Dental Care Exam

Dentists recommend regular dental care to preserve your oral health. They can also help you in finding the most suitable yet affordable treatment. Routine oral health care is a great way to achieve a healthy mouth and teeth for years to come. Regularly visiting your dentist for basic dental care exams and cleaning is a great start!

Reputable Prescott, AZ dentist, Dr. Mark Costes suggests scheduling a visit with your local dental hygienist to clean and polish your teeth every six to nine months. Also, you need to have routine examinations and X-rays. Based on the findings from these examinations, additional preventative dental care may be suggested to ensure good oral health longterm.

Dental Exam and Common Procedures

Complete Oral Examination – This will detect problems such as deteriorating fillings and conditions affecting your overall health such as oral cancer and gum disease. Your dentist will explore each tooth, gums, the tongue.

Panoramic X-ray – This refers to taking a shot of all of your teeth as well as your upper and lower jaws to gain a clear picture of your mouth’s condition. It shows the entire mouth in one image, identifying problems like fractures, bone abnormalities, infections, tumors, and impacted teeth. This imagery method is often used when planning treatments like dentures, braces and implants.

Dental Surgery – This includes everything from a simple tooth extraction to a complicated procedure like dental implant surgery. It is primarily done to relieve pain as well as to boost the appearance and function of your smile. It can be performed in a dentist’s office without having to be referred to another office.

Dental Care Basics

  • Brush at least twice a day – Do not rush when you brush. Proper brushing will require at least two minutes. Also, do not neglect the gum line, areas around fillings, crowns and hard-to-reach areas.
  • Clean in between teeth – Your toothbrush can’t reach all the areas to be cleaned. As such, it is very crucial for you to use floss or interdental cleaners to clean the areas that the toothbrush cannot reach. Brushing your tongue is also important since this will remove bacteria to ensure fresh breath.
  • Eat a balanced diet – Make it a habit to eat a balanced diet that contains foods from the five major food groups. You need to limit snacks containing high levels of sugar.
  • Visit your dentist regularly – Dental visits must be done every six months or more for early detection of any dental problem including tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. Routine fluoride application is also a must. This can be done during your routine dental examination and cleaning.

Basic dental care will involve your daily participation. Your smile will greatly depend on these dental care basics, so always keep them in mind and put them into practice. Call us today to set up your appointment!


Brushing Your Tongue – Is It Important?

Most people just brush their teeth day in and day out, not knowing that this won’t remove all the harmful bacteria in their mouth.

For you to gain the best oral health, you need to brush both your teeth and your tongue.

Bacterial Live and Proliferate on Your Tongue

Biofilm, a specific type of bacteria, makes up a huge amount of the bacteria in your mouth. Similar to other bacteria, biofilm will contribute a lot to creating different oral health problems for your teeth, gums and mouth. These bacteria live on your tongue in the ridges and spaces you can’t see. A few hours after brushing your teeth, these bacteria can transfer from your tongue to your teeth. Mouthwash alone won’t eliminate them, which is why brushing your tongue is very important.

Tongue Brushing Tools and Techniques

  • Toothbrush – Focus on brushing your tongue after you’ve brushed your teeth. You can use the bristles of your toothbrush or a specialized brush with a built-in tongue cleaner. Start brushing by reaching to the back of your tongue, and working forward toward your mouth’s opening. You must brush the entire tongue’s surface with gentle pressure. After that, rinse with water.
  • Tongue Scraper – This is a flat, soft and flexible plastic tool that is used mainly for brushing your tongue. When using a scraper, start from the back of your tongue going forward. Since it lacks bristles, it may be more difficult for you to reach certain areas. After each swipe of the tongue, you must rinse the scraper. Avoid using the scraper with too much force to prevent tongue sores and bleeding. And since the center of the tongue has the bulk of bacteria, concentrate on this area when scraping.
  • Cleaner – This is an excellent tool for brushing your tongue because this is a scraper with bristles. It combines the best of a scraper and a toothbrush. The bristles, though, are rubber.

How Often Should You Brush Your Tongue?

Cleaning your tongue, a Prescott, AZ dentist says, must be done at least once in the morning and once in the evening before going to sleep. Whenever you feel your mouth is dry or has a foul taste in midday, cleaning your tongue immediately will be the best solution.

Aside from that, consider using a mouthwash rinse after brushing your tongue to moisturize your mouth and to kill other bacteria.

Indeed, maintaining fresh breath and a healthy mouth is not just about brushing your teeth. Make it a habit to give your tongue sufficient attention to ensure fresh breath and good oral health. Call us today!


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. 


What is a Flipper for Teeth and Do You Need It?

Losing a tooth or teeth makes eating and speaking a little bit difficult and uncomfortable.

Aside from these obvious effects of tooth loss, there are also the non-obvious effects, such as bone loss. When you lose a tooth and you take too long to take it to a dentist, the surrounding bone that used to support your tooth could also lose its form and density. If you have more than one tooth missing, your facial structure will eventually change as the distance between the chin and the nose decreases.

Typically, the first tooth that you lose is a back tooth. Back teeth develop early during childhood and are more prone to decay. When this happens, the best thing for you to do is to go and visit a dentist as soon as possible. However, before going there, you may want to learn a few things.

What is a flipper for teeth?

A flipper is a temporary replacement for a permanent tooth after it has been extracted. It is usually prepared before the extraction, and once it’s ready, can simply be inserted into the mouth for immediate use. Flippers are used instead of a permanent implant at first because implants need to be prepared for a period of time which sometimes takes months. According to research, it is unhealthy to go on without a tooth replacement for a long time as it could already alter the bone that surrounds the teeth as well as the jawbone.

Flippers are removable dentures made of resin and work almost just like a retainer. The contours of a flipper follow that of the roof of the mouth and the same is true if you need it for the bottom teeth. This dental appliance can be made of porcelain or plastic, which is the cheaper option. Once you get your flipper, your dentist may ask you to eat only soft food for the first week so you can gradually adjust to using it.

Keep in mind that flippers are just supposed to be temporary.

You need to have a dental implant eventually as flippers do not have a very long shelf life – the material is not as durable as dentures, and the fit may become loose over a relatively short period of wearing them.

On the other hand, for kids who lost a tooth, only a flipper is advisable as a tooth replacement. Children need to wait until the jawbone has stopped growing at around 17 or 18 years old. Dental implants can then be performed.

If you have lost a tooth or you think you are about to lose one, you need to have it checked by your dentist immediately. Visit your trusted Prescott, AZ dentist to know the right solution for your specific needs.