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Posts Tagged: general dentistry

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.


The Link Between Periodontal Disease and Diabetes

Last February 19 and 20, 15 international specialists with years of knowledge and experience among them assembled in Madrid for the Perio-Diabetes Workshop led by the European Federation of Periodontology and the International Diabetes Federation to tackle one of the biggest health issues in the society today:

The relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease.

While diabetes is characterized as a complex disease that involves deterioration or complete inability of an individual to produce or respond to the hormone insulin, periodontal disease (often called gum disease) is defined as the inflammation and irritation of the gum line.

More often than not, both illnesses result in more severe problems such as bone corrosion and teeth loss.

A group of experts have worked together to finally solve this massive dental dilemma.

During the workshop, it was discussed that patients who have periodontitis are also the ones who are most likely susceptible to pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. Those who have diabetes, on the other hand, are very much prone to acquiring periodontal disease. People who suffer from periodontitis and other gum diseases find it difficult for their bodies to keep their blood pressure normal.

Now that it has been revealed that there is actually a strong resemblance between periodontal disease and diabetes, it is important that you also know how to treat or manage both conditions.

For those with periodontal disease, it has been shown that self-performed oral hygiene at home is an effective practice. By simply establishing a habit of regular brushing and flossing, you can save yourself from one of the most severe dental diseases.

Based on the workshop’s conclusion, diabetes can be treated while one practices self-care techniques for periodontal disease. The length and type of treatment varies from one patient to another, depending on the level of their infection. As a rule of thumb, it is still always the best option to consult a Prescott, AZ dentist to assist you throughout the procedure.

As for diabetes, there are injections prescribed by doctors that can help pump one’s bloodstream with enough insulin to treat diabetes. As expected, addressing diabetes also creates an impact on periodontal disease as both of them heal at the same time. It is important to know that the condition should be treated with utmost urgency, as more serious complications to one’s health may arise if left untreated for a long time.

To learn about other professional treatments, you can search for credible online sources or simply contact your dentist for advice.


Celebrate World Oral Health Day by Taking Better Care of Your Teeth and Gums

Annually, people from all over the world celebrate World Oral Health Day on March 20.

But beyond this important day, it is crucial for people to pay attention to their oral health and take better care of their teeth and gums. Your oral health impacts your self-confidence, personal relationships, and even your overall health.

In fact, poor oral health has been associated with the increased vulnerability to a host of diseases ranging from diabetes to heart disease to some forms of cancers.

How can you take better care of your oral health? Here are some helpful tips from a Prescott, AZ dentist.

Change what you can change

When it comes to some dental health factors, there are some risks that you can do nothing about. These factors include your age, sex, and the genes you have inherited from your parents.

But there are also other risks factors that you can control. These include your lifestyle and habits and your behaviors. Some of the risk factors that you can change include tobacco use, your diet, alcohol consumption, and oral hygiene.

Making key changes in these areas can help boost your oral health while minimizing risk factors.

When you are looking to modify your diet, one of the first things that you need to check is your sugar consumption. That includes sweets and soft drinks which increase your vulnerability to oral diseases. As much as possible, limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks.

If you are a smoker, you need to be aware that your habit is wreaking havoc on your oral health. In fact, many studies have associated tobacco use with a long list of conditions ranging from gum disease to oral cancer.

While you do not have to totally avoid drinking alcohol, keep in mind that excessive consumption can leave you vulnerable to dental caries and oral cancer.

The easiest thing to modify is your oral hygiene. By simply brushing and flossing your teeth properly and regularly, you can protect your teeth and gums from a diverse array of conditions, including tooth decay and gum disease.

Beyond World Oral Health Day

Celebrating World Oral Health Day is a good way to underscore the importance of the health of your teeth and gums.

However, taking care of your oral health is something that you need to constantly remember every day, and not for just one day in a year. Take charge of your oral health by contacting us today!


Dental Health Facts and Fiction

People can become so concerned with their teeth that they tend to believe any information they receive about ways to care for them, which may not always be true or advisable. As a result, they observe dental routines that could be causing more damage to their teeth instead of helping them maintain strong and healthy set of chompers.

Keeping this in mind, it is important to learn about and adopt clinically proven and effective dental habits that you should practice to keep your teeth healthy — and to determine whether a piece of information about dental health is a fact or fiction.

Some examples of dental health facts and fiction include the following:

STATEMENT: Your teeth should be looked at and cleaned by a dentist once a year

VERDICT: Fiction

The frequency of your visits to the dental clinic relies entirely on your dentist and not any self-established schedule. Each person’s dental condition is different from the next one’s, so the recommendations for dental check-ups would depend on the patient’s specific dental needs.

Some individuals with relatively healthy teeth may only need to see their dentist every few months, for example, while others with more delicate or serious dental issues may be advised to head to the dental clinic to undergo treatments or procedures once a month.

Since people consume different kinds of food and drinks, follow different oral hygiene practices, and have varying health conditions that could affect the state of their teeth, mouth and gums, required dental procedures also vary from patient to patient.

STATEMENT: Popcorn is a snack that is good for your teeth

VERDICT: Fiction

Popcorn doesn’t always look the way it does when you buy it at the cinema. Its uncooked form is a hard, tough corn kernel. However, cooking doesn’t always turn every single kernel into soft, tasty and fluffy popcorn, and when your teeth accidentally bite hard on those un-popped kernels, precious white enamel on your teeth might end up chipped or cracked.

And because popcorn is often flavored with butter and powdered artificial cheese and butter, popcorn is not exactly the best choice of food to keep your teeth healthy.

STATEMENT: Sugar is the cause of cavities

VERDICT: Fact

It is true that sugary food or drinks cause cavities in teeth. Keep in mind, though, that they are also not the only reasons why people suffer from tartar build-up. There are other harmful chemicals and foreign contaminants that can cause plaque, such as nicotine and alcohol. Meat is also a culprit when it comes to cavity build-up; however, it does not directly affect the surface of your teeth. Instead, meat leftovers get stuck between teeth, allowing bacteria to gather and attack the enamel of your teeth.

In order to get helpful tips for improving the health of your teeth, you can consult dental experts such as a Prescott, AZ dentist in a fully equipped dental clinic near you.


Bruxism | Causes & Prevention

bruxismWhat Are the Causes of Bruxism?

Bruxism or the act of grinding of teeth (especially during sleep), can lead to a diverse array of problems. For one, chronic teeth grinding can fracture or loosen teeth. Worse, it can lead to teeth loss. Bruxism can also result in problems associated with the jaws and even affect the appearance of your face.

But what causes bruxism?

According to a Prescott, AZ dentist, the causes of bruxism remain unknown. However, there are a few factors which have been linked to this condition. What are these?

Stress and anxiety

Bruxism is often associated with people who are facing a huge amount of stress and anxiety. Some people unconsciously grind their teeth while under stress while others grind their teeth during sleep.

If you are undergoing a stressful period in your life, you may experience sleep problems which can trigger bruxism. Additionally, you might clench and grind your teeth while being anxious or stressed.

Some patients who take medications for their depression and anxiety may also grind their teeth.

Obstructive sleep apnea

If you have been diagnosed with the condition known as obstructive sleep apnea, you are at a greater risk of grinding your teeth while you sleep.

The primary reason behind this is because this condition interrupts your breathing during sleep.

Furthermore, you are highly likely to grind your teeth during sleep if you talk and behave violently during sleep, or experience sleep paralysis and hallucinations during sleep.

Medications

Some types of medication can cause grinding of the teeth as a side effect. Such drugs include those that are used to alter a person’s mood.

Lifestyle factors

If you are a heavy drinker, a smoker, a user of recreational drugs, or a heavy drinker of caffeinated drinks, you are more likely to grind your teeth.

Bruxism in children

Bruxism can occur in one out of five children. According to some experts, this figure could be higher, considering the fact that some parents may not notice teeth grinding in their children.

Teeth grinding in children can start after the eruption of the first teeth and may continue upon the appearance of permanent teeth. Usually, children outgrow their bruxism. But sometimes, children can grind their teeth as a response to stress.

You can take control over your condition by looking for ways to manage your stress. It also helps to eliminate foods and beverages which can trigger the grinding of your teeth.

If you are suffering the side affects of teeth grinding, your Prescott Valley dentist can recommend the use of a mouth guard to protect your teeth from damage.

 


More About Horizon Dental Group

dentist-pvMore About Horizon Dental Group

A dental practice is defined by more than just the dentists at its helm. Your experience definitely transcends beyond your stay at the dental chair, so let us tell you more about Horizon Dental Group and what we do to provide a truly exemplary service — not only to our patients, but to the community we belong to as well.

Full Service Facility

To begin with, we are a full service oral health care facility with several offices in the Yavapai County. We particularly serve the Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, Dewey, and Humboldt area in Arizona. Specifically, our offices are located in Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, and Spring Valley.

If you are still in the process of looking for a Prescott, AZ dentist, come to our family dental practice, where we help everyone of all ages with anything from the simplest of treatments to the more complicated dental procedures.

What We Practice

We practice general dentistry, pediatric dentistry, sedation dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry, treating basic issues like decayed teeth and gum disease as well as providing more complex dental solutions such as porcelain veneers, dental implants, dentures, teeth whitening, dental crowns, and root canals.

Our hygiene department is staffed with the most capable hygienists, highly trained to treat troubling periodontal issues and help patients maintain their oral health. Our offices use state of the art equipment, the highest quality dental materials, as well as a progressive approach in inter-disciplinary cases where more advanced and debilitating problems extend requirements to other areas of medical care.

Patient Care

We truly care about our patients and promote a conservative and preventive approach to your oral health care. We understand that it is inconvenient, often painful, and quite financially straining, so we are happy to provide you with the right information and team up with you in keeping your teeth and gums healthy.

There’s also more about Horizon Dental Group that we know you can appreciate. Besides our passion for our obvious, simple, and unifying mission, which is to provide excellent dental care to our patients, we are also driven by our earnest commitment to make as much of a positive impact as we can to our community.

By providing charitable dentistry services as well as participating in various pledges and supporting the many community efforts to make this portion of Arizona we call home so much better, Horizon Dental Group’s entire team is able to manifest our dedication to help and serve.


The 10 Commandments for Oral Hygiene

Oral HygieneThe Top 10 Commandments for Oral Hygiene

Practicing good oral hygiene is truly the only way to go if you wish to avoid bad toothaches and other embarrassing oral health woes. The things you need to do for oral health aren’t difficult; however, they do require commitment.

Be consistent with your dentist’s commandments for taking care of your entire mouth, and for sure, you can avoid all oral health issues that are not only painful but also rather expensive to treat. So what are the things that you need to consistently do? Here are the 10 commandments for oral hygiene from a trusted Prescott, AZ dentist:

Brush your teeth right.

There is a correct way to brush teeth; the dentist says it’s spending 30 seconds on every quadrant of the mouth, every time you brush (should be at least twice a day). Another important factor of brushing properly is the type of toothbrush to use. Soft bristle toothbrushes are the perfect choice because they don’t hurt the gums and scratch tooth’s enamel. For molars, though, invest in an electric toothbrush that can do a much better job at getting food debris off the surface of your molars.

Floss at least once every day.

Flossing is the best way to dislodge food particles stuck between teeth, but don’t just work the floss up and down the space between your teeth. It’s important to wriggle it sideways to target the space where teeth and gums meet. This is rather tricky, but with the right floss it can be done easily. Choose those flat plastic flosses that are soft and don’t cut the gums.

Use a soft gum brush.

Gums need brushing too so that you can get rid of bacteria present there.

Use a mouthwash with the right pH.

This can provide your teeth another boost of fluoride, and at the same time, kill remaining bacteria in the mouth that cause bad breath.

Chew sugarless gum for 30 minutes before brushing.

According to the Prescott, AZ dentist, this stimulates saliva production and can help get rid of food debris and acids in the mouth that can make your teeth sensitive to brushing.

Drink green and white tea.

These have antibacterial properties as well as vitamins that can strengthen your teeth and gums, especially when you’re sick. They also have antioxidants that boost the immune system to prevent oral health issues.

Avoid soft drinks.

These heavily sugared drinks encourage the development of plaque that leads to gum disease. Likewise, the high acidity of these beverages erodes the tooth’s enamel.

Purchase plaque locator products.

These can show you where plaque is so you can brush your teeth better.

Drink more water.

This can neutralize acid and bacteria activity in the mouth. It can also flush away harmful elements in the mouth.

Don’t smoke.

This is a big no-no because it leaves tar in the teeth and causes bad breath. It also dries up the mouth, which encourages the proliferation of bacteria.

If you have questions about dental care in Prescott, contact the dental professionals at Horizon Dental Group today!