We Welcome New Patients
There is nothing more rewarding to us than being referred to others by our existing patients. Your first visit with us may be a little different than subsequent ones. We will complete a thorough examination of your teeth and gums and take any necessary images of your teeth. “To see is to know; not to see is to guess.” We cannot see beneath your gums to your roots, so we need to take images of what lies beneath. If you like what you see at our office, please refer us to your friends and family. We offer a $25 credit to your account for your confidence.
What to Expect at Your Examination Appointment
On a typical examination appointment, you can expect us to discuss your medical history and any dental concerns that you may have had since you were last seen by a dentist. We will then take any necessary x-rays and do a complete evaluation of your gums and teeth. Then, the doctor will do a complete oral cancer examination. He will check your lips, cheeks, and tongue. We will discuss any concerns about your smile as well. It may be helpful to complete the “About Smiles” questionnaire located in the Patient Forms section if you have any questions about your appearance. This self evaluation will help you decide what you would like to change about your smile.
The doctor will tell you of any areas of infection he may have found and the treatment necessary, if he is able to diagnose the remedy right away. For people who have been negligent of their dental care for whatever reason, the doctor may require more time to study his findings to present a treatment solution to their dental health. A consultation may be recommended for smile makeovers as well.
Afterwards, the hygienist will clean your teeth and show you places you may be neglecting as well as tips on how to take care of your gums in general. If you are having trouble cleaning a particular area, or if you experience any sensitivity to cold, it would be beneficial to make the hygienist aware of these areas. We strive to have our patients involved in this process by telling you our findings along the way. If necessary, we will schedule a free follow up consultation with the doctor to discuss findings and solutions. Of course, ask any questions about your treatment you desire. We like informed patients; they make for happy patients.
Your Child’s First Visit To the Dentist
Your child should be seeing the dentist for the first time to get acquainted with us at the age of about 1-2 years, depending on the maturity of the child. By seeing the dentist at such a young age, we will be able to establish a positive relationship between your child and the dentist. Besides checking for decay and other problems, we will teach you how to properly clean your child’s mouth, and evaluate any adverse habits such as thumb sucking. In many instances, this first visit is a ‘well visit’ for the teeth. You will start your child on the right track for a lifetime of good dental habits. While there is no set rule, it is generally advised that your child sees the dentist once every six months. Your dentist is best able to suggest a schedule of visits for your child if it differs based on your child’s eating habits, dental hygiene, or whether the child drinks fluoridated water.
What should I tell my child about seeing the dentist?
Tell your child that the dentist is a friendly doctor who will help them take care of their teeth. Talk about the visit in a positive matter of fact way, as you would about any new experience. A visit to the dentist can be pleasant adventure for your child. Don’t let anyone tell your child scary stories about dental visits or let the child know that you feel any anxiety about going to the dentist. Don’t bribe your child into going to the dentist or use a dental visit as a punishment or a threat. Try to make the outing enjoyable and set a good example by brushing your own teeth and eating balanced diet and visiting the dentist regularly. You can help your child have strong healthy teeth throughout life.
Links between Gum Disease and Systemic Diseases
Studies have been done to show that there may be a link between periodontitis (gum disease) and systemic diseases or conditions. When you are going to have an operation, heart surgeons insist that all infections be resolved before surgery. And that is exactly what gum disease is–an infection of the soft tissues of your mouth, your gums. Some evidence suggests oral bacteria may be linked to heart disease, artery blockages, as well as stroke. Diabetics often have gum disease and they are more likely to develop periodontal disease than non-diabetics. Other studies suggest that the gum disease make it more difficult to control their blood sugar. Just because gum disease may contribute to these health conditions doesn’t mean that one condition causes another. However, we do know that people who smoke and people with diabetes are at increased risk of gum disease. The mouth is a window into the health of the body. It can show signs of general infection, drug addiction, or eating disorders. Diseases such as AIDS, diabetes, or Sjogrens syndrome may first become apparent because of oral conditions. So, getting regular dental check ups and professional cleanings could just possibly help detect a serious problem.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that has been utilized for many years to help prevent tooth decay. Tooth decay begins when the bacteria and sugars present in the mouth form acids that erode the tooth’s protective enamel. These acids cause minerals to be lost from the tooth’s enamel layer, a process called demineralization. Left unchecked, this can lead to the formation of holes (cavities) in the teeth. Fluoride helps strengthen the teeth through process called remineralization wherein the mineral bonds to weakened areas of tooth enamel. It also disrupts acid production, helping to inhibit the process that leads to tooth decay. Fluoride can benefit people of all ages. Children who get adequate fluoride while their teeth are still forming will develop permanent teeth that are stronger and more decay-resistant over a lifetime. Adults who are particularly susceptible to tooth decay also benefit from fluoride application. While fluoride can help reverse early tooth decay and prevent cavities, it cannot heal cavities that have already formed. Therefore, it is a great and cost-effective strategy for maintaining dental health and preventing more expensive problems later on. Topical fluoride strengthens the teeth once they have erupted by seeping into the outer surface of the tooth enamel, making the teeth more resistant to decay. We gain topical fluoride by using fluoride containing dental products such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, and gels. Dentists and dental hygienists generally recommend that children have a professional application of fluoride twice a year during dental check-ups.