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All posts by Greg

Five Cavity Myths

WebMD did a great article recently that tried to separate some of the facts from the hype about cavities. In it, they point out that by the time they reach adulthood, most Americans have had at least one filling or some sort of corrective treatment to strengthen and repair a tooth damaged by decay. We thought it might be a good idea to talk for a moment about some of the common fallacies attached to cavities, as well as the truth about the damage they can cause.

Myth #1 – Cavities hurt.

Not always. One of the myths that may have lead to the damage from tooth decay is that many people don’t realize that they can have a cavity without pain in the mouth, tooth, or gums. In fact, by the time you’re experiencing pain, you could be working on a more serious problem such as an abscess. This is exactly why we recommend twice-a-year preventative checkups. Catching a cavity when it’s a tiny speck on a tooth is a much easier and less costly repair over waiting to have an abscess and root canal to save the tooth. Think of it this way: the longer the cavity goes, the most expensive it’s going to be.

Myth # 2 – Sugar is the only cause of cavities.

Yes, sugar is a big cause of cavities, but it’s not the only cause. Actually, any food, when stuck between the teeth, can cause bacteria and decay. If you’re not flossing every day, that means that food particles are getting stuck between your teeth. That attracts acids that can decay the teeth. Flossing, brushing, and rinsing, in that order, for about two minutes each in the morning and at night are imperative to keep a white smile.

Myth #3 – Sugar-free soda is fine for the teeth.

Sorry. Not so fast. In fact, sugar free-soda is terrible for the teeth. Sugar-free soda increases the amount of acid in the mouth. While sugar-free is always better than regular soda, which has enough sugar, literally, to cause diabetes, it still can cause a host of dental issues. Sorry! Instead of soda, try water. Water naturally flushes the teeth and gums, defending against cavities while promoting overall health.

Myth #4 – If a cavity starts, it’s going to ruin the tooth.

Not necessarily. The goal is to stop the decay. The process of filling a cavity includes cleaning out all the decayed sections of the tooth. Then we pack the tooth with an amalgam that helps strengthen the tooth while preventing further decay. While cavities don’t go away on their own a simple filling is a procedure that usually can save the tooth and prevent the decay from spreading. For teeth that are structurally unsound, there are other cosmetic procedures that we can accomplish to save the tooth.

Myth #5 – Fillings last a lifetime.

Fillings can last for 10 years or even longer. But eventually, they might need to be replaced. In older adults, we frequently see the older mercury amalgam fillings that actually can break down and spread mercury into the body. If you have these fillings, it’s probably time to have them replaced with a safer upgrade.

If you have any other questions about your teeth, please don’t hesitate to contact Preferred Family Dentistry, your Las Vegas dental experts.

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Teeth Cleaning – FAQs

A professional tooth cleaning is one of the most common dental procedures that our practice provides. The medical name for teeth cleaning is called “prophylaxis,” which is our standard process of using an oral hygienist to thoroughly clean all the tartar, staining, and bacteria from your teeth and gums. It’s a gentle, yet thorough preventative process that should happen throughout your lifetime in order to maintain your oral health.

We often receive phone calls from new patients who ask questions about this procedure, so we’ve assembled some of the more common questions and answers that we hear related to teeth cleaning. Please don’t hesitate to call our office if you have further questions about any of the procedures we provide.

Teeth Cleaning – Most Common Questions

Why is cleaning your teeth important?

Tartar is a hard mineralized build-up of plaque on the teeth. If allowed to stay on the teeth, it attracts bacteria that can build up and cause cavities and gum disease.

Can teeth cleaning affect my overall health?

Poor oral hygiene can lead to a whole host of health problems that extend beyond the potential for losing a tooth to decay. Gum disease can even break down the bone holding the tooth in place. These are all good reasons to follow your dentist’s advice and seek a dental cleaning and oral exam from your dentist twice a year.

What is the process?

You will sit back in one of our comfy dental chairs as the hygienist works on your smile. She or he will gently remove the soft plaque and harder tarter with professional instruments designed to gently remove these stains from your teeth. Then the hygienist will polish and floss your teeth to a glossy perfection. It only takes about 30 to 45 minutes and you’ll also have a dental exam and possibly, x-rays.

Will it hurt?

While teeth cleaning rarely hurts, it may be a little uncomfortable. But we do our best to make it a gentle, yet thorough process that prepares you for a lifetime of good oral health.

How often should I have my teeth cleaned?

We typically recommend a thorough professional prophylaxis every six months (twice a year). For patients who are having problems with their teeth or gums, we may recommend this more frequently.

Will I see the dentist during my cleaning?

Absolutely! The dentist will check the x-rays and look closely at your teeth and gums for any problem areas.

How expensive is it?

If you have dental insurance, the insurer often covers preventative care. Teeth cleaning can range from $75 to $200 typically, and that does not include dental x-rays if they are necessary.

Are teeth cleaning the same as periodontal scaling and root planing?

Actually, not. Periodontal scaling and root planing are a much deeper cleaning than regular prophylaxis. If you come to us as an adult and have never had prophylaxis, or if you are showing signs of gum disease, we may recommend this procedure. If your teeth are loose, or there are deep gum pockets, bleeding gums or plaque and tartar below the gum line, you may be a candidate for this procedure.

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dentures

Transitioning to Dentures: What to Expect

Dentures can help you retain a lovely smile throughout your lifetime. They can help you eat, talk, and live a fuller, more confident life. Transitioning to dentures can feel like a big step for many adults, so we’ve prepared a short article to help you feel more comfortable by understanding what to expect.  

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New Year New You: Easy Dental Cosmetic Makeovers

If you’re like most people, you’ve set some New Year’s resolutions that could include getting healthier and looking better through losing weight. But if you’re trying to look more attractive in the New Year, it might make sense to also work on the first thing other people notice about you: your smile.

This article looks at some of the least costly but most impactful things your Las Vegas dentist can do to improve your smile.

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veneers for a new year

Make Dental Veneers Your New Year’s Resolution

We all want to look and feel our best. When it comes to your teeth, having a healthy, clean, white smile can make you feel like a million bucks. But if you’re struggling with permanent stains, chipped, gapped, or crooked teeth, you may be ready to try cosmetic dentistry in the New Year.

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Are Dental XRays Safe?

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

The team at Preferred Family Dentistry is devoted to providing the highest quality care to all of our patients. One of the questions our clients ask is whether radiographs (x-rays) are safe. This article will walk you through the safety measures we ensure to protect you and your family, as well as the kinds of x-rays used in our practice, and the benefits and risks associated with these tools.

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