How to Prepare Your Child for Wisdom Teeth Extraction

If your teen is scheduled to have wisdom teeth extraction surgery, you might be feeling stressed-out about the procedure and how you can best prepare for what’s to come. Surgery can be frightening. As the adult, it’s your role to get the information you need and to educate and calm your teen so that you both have a feeling of confidence and safety during all steps of the oral surgery.

Don’t mislead your teen about the procedure or recovery time. Talk about the reasons the wisdom teeth need to be extracted; be honest about the issues. Talk about the oral surgeon and his or her qualifications and why this particular surgeon was chosen. Help give your teen a sense of trust in the surgeon, to help calm his or her nerves.

Listen to everything your child has to say regarding the surgery. Validate all your child’s feelings and statements and offer any guidance you can from your own life’s experiences. Be open to allowing a conversation between the surgeon and your teen. Your oral surgeon has experience in dealing with fearful patients and can often remedy fearful thoughts and feelings more efficiently than a parent.

Reassure your child that you won’t be far away during or after the procedure. Even though your teen may be already in college, surgical procedures can be frightening and you might be surprised at how much your teen may lean on you, emotionally and physically during this time.

Answer any of your child’s questions honestly. Go over any parts of the surgery that are confusing to your teen. This knowledge can restore a sense of control to the patient, and allow the patient to feel prepared to recover.

Your teen’s oral maxillofacial surgeon wants your teen to be comfortable during the surgery. Sedation dentistry options may be offered as early as the night before, so that the patient can be well-rested and calm for the procedure.


Our dental office is located in Sarasota

Feeling Better about your Smile with Veneers

Teeth that cause you to be embarrassed about your smile may be hidden using a popular cosmetic dentistry technique called veneers. Broken, chipped, discolored, or misaligned teeth can easily be hidden with this long-lasting dental solution.

Veneers are very thin shells, usually made of durable porcelain, placed over your teeth to hide the flaws. It is a simple process for your dentist to attach them to your teeth, and you and your dentist can even choose the color of your veneers for the most natural and appealing look. The process is pain-free and does not require lots of time at your dentist’s office. Veneers feel like regular teeth and do not cause irritation of your gums.

One of the greatest things about veneers is that the porcelain resists stains, so you can eat and drink whatever you would like without avoiding items that are known to discolor teeth. Caring for veneers does not require anything additional to your normal oral hygiene routine. Proper maintenance will help keep your veneers looking great and your teeth healthy.

Finding a dentist to do your veneers is usually easy. Many dentists practice this technique, it is just a matter of inquiring to find out which ones provide the service and determining who you are most comfortable with to do your dental work. You should make sure that the dentist you choose is experienced and qualified in providing dental veneers. Asking for before and after photos of other patients with veneers is a good idea too.

Once you have chosen a dentist and decided together that veneers will be helpful in your case, you will be on your way to a beautiful smile.

We treat patients from Sarasota and the surrounding area

Understanding the Limitations of Teeth Whitening

Whitening your teeth to improve your smile is a popular cosmetic treatment, but you should understand that it does have some limitations to consider. If products are used correctly or if you seek the professional help from a qualified dentist, you can usually achieve a bright and appealing smile. Here are some things to think about when it comes to teeth whitening.

Methods:
You should not expect over-the-counter methods to whiten your teeth more than a couple of shades. The whitening ingredients available in products at your drugstore are not as strong as those used at your dentist’s office. Consistent and correct use of over-the-counter options can help whiten your teeth, but it may not be as much as some patients hope will occur. On the other hand, professional methods can produce dramatic and quick improvements to the color of your teeth.

Habits:
Certain habits contribute to stains on your teeth and if you don’t limit or stop activities prone to discoloring teeth, your newly whitened teeth may become discolored again. Foods like berries and curry, drinks such as coffee and red wine, and habits like smoking will all likely negatively affect your tooth color.

Restorations:
Bridges, crowns, and laminates might not respond in the same way to whitening agents as your natural teeth do. Ask your dentist about how your restorations might react to teeth whitening.

Side effects:
Tooth sensitivity is the most common side effect of whitening procedures, causing some patients to be unable to handle some methods of treatment. Gum sensitivity is another potential problem, but usually dissipates soon after the whitening procedure. Weakening of a restoration may also occur during whitening treatment, sometimes making it necessary to replace them.

Expectations:
Teeth whitening must be occasionally repeated if you want your bright smile to remain for a lifetime. The effects do not last indefinitely, because aging and activities can stain your teeth. Excessive bleaching may damage your teeth though, so be sure to discuss your whitening treatment with your dentist.


Our dental office is located in Sarasota

Endodontics or Root Canal Therapy

A tooth that has been damaged by decay or trauma may need endodontic treatment, also called root canal therapy, in order to save the tooth. Although it may sound like a scary procedure, advances in dentistry have made it a much less painful or upsetting process than it used to be. This treatment is worth it to restore your smile as naturally as possible.

How do you know you might need endodontics? You may experience pain in the tooth, sensitivity to hot or cold foods or beverages, or swelling in the area. Severe cases may have a discharge of pus near the tooth. However, not all cases of a badly damaged tooth result in noticeable symptoms. That’s one reason it’s important to maintain regular checkups with your dentist, who will pick up on problems with a tooth that you may not realize is damaged. Examination and testing such as X-rays can help diagnose a tooth that is in dire need of repair.

When possible, dentists strive to save your real tooth. Sometimes the best way to do that is through root canal therapy, which involves removing the damaged tooth pulp from the interior of the tooth. Using local anesthesia to make you comfortable, the dentist or endodontist uses special tools to enter the root canal, remove the pulp, and clean the area thoroughly. Once the tooth is ready, a crown is usually placed on top of the existing tooth to protect it from future damage and to complete the process. Sometimes antibiotics are prescribed if an infection was present to help ensure that you are in the best of health.

Endodontic treatment is often compared by patients to simply getting a regular tooth filling. The procedure is usually completed in one office visit and it won’t be long before you are back to your normal routine, with a fully restored natural tooth in your smile.


If you live in the Sarasota area contact us today

Kids Dentistry

Some people have the wrong idea that taking their children to the dentist isn’t that important, and that it’s really a healthcare choice for adulthood. Young teeth are vulnerable to bacteria that lead to cavities and gum disease, so teaching your kids how to practice good dental hygiene is a must. However, it’s just as important to get into the habit of taking your kids for regular checkups at the dentist.

Does it matter which dentist we choose?:
Sometimes the hardest part about the whole process is talking your child into seeing a dentist. Many kids are afraid of the dentist, even if it’s just the idea of an unknown experience. Then once they go to the dentist and see all the unfamiliar and sometimes noisy equipment, you can be in for an uphill battle. That’s why it’s important to choose a dentist who is experienced in treating kids and equipped for their unique needs. Select a dental office that strives to make kids comfortable and helps them through the process. You may even want to consider a pediatric dentist, who specializes only in treating kids.

What can we expect at a checkup?:
The goal of a dental visit is to clean and protect your child’s teeth, and to prevent and treat diseases or other problems. The dentist will start with an examination and X-rays if needed, in order to get a better view of your child’s oral health. The appointment will also include a teeth cleaning, which provides a much more thorough and deep cleaning than your child is able to perform at home. If there are any problems diagnosed, treatment procedures will be discussed and you can decide with the dentist how to proceed.

We look forward to seeing you in our Sarasota dental office

Oral Surgery Frequently Asked Questions

If oral surgery is in your future, you might be worried about what’s to come. The way to relieve that worry is to talk to your oral surgeon. Your oral surgeon has the experience and knowledge necessary to guide you through whatever concerns or questions you may have. Here is a guide to some of those questions and answers:

How will I handle pain following surgery?

  • In many cases, you will have been prescribed narcotic pain relievers. If you are taking narcotics, take them only as recommended and do not mix them with over-the-counter pain relievers or alcohol. Driving while on narcotics is dangerous and can have serious consequences for you personally and for others. If you weren’t prescribed any medication, use anti-inflammatory analgesics such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium.

What will happen to my stitches in the days following surgery?

  • Some stitches will be designed to dissolve over time and will not need to be removed. Others will not come out on their own and will need to be removed at a subsequent appointment. In many cases, losing a single stitch or two in the days following surgery isn’t serious; however, for bone-graft treatments, it is problematic and you should contact your surgeon immediately.

Can I eat normally after surgery?

  • Immediately after surgery when you’re still experiencing any mouth or tongue numbness, don’t eat anything. You could mistake the soft tissues of your mouth for food and do serious damage to your mouth without realizing it. After your numbness subsides, consume soft foods of tepid temperatures for several days to allow for healing. Talk to your surgeon to learn when you can resume normal eating patterns as dictated by your particular surgery.

What other tips do you have?

  • Stay hydrated and rest as much as possible to facilitate complete and quick healing. Call your surgeon if you have excessive bleeding or pain that doesn’t lessen with time. Be aware of signs of infection (swelling, redness, odorous or sour discharge) at the surgical site and seek professional care when needed.

We look forward to seeing you in our Sarasota dental office

Risks Associated with Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is often hailed as a solution to all of a patient’s problems regarding dental therapies. It can address anxiety, fear, stress and pain. It can provide a comfortable experience for the dental patient, allowing the dental professional to work safely and quickly. As with any pharmacological agent, there are risks, and before you agree to any sedation dentistry option, it is smart to educate yourself about some of those risks.

While single doses of oral sedatives such as Valium or Halcion are unlikely to harm a patient, there are concerns regarding multiple doses of these drugs that could potentially cause a patient to be overly sedated, or even completely unconscious. Because each patient has a different metabolism, drugs can take between twenty minutes and an hour to become fully effective.

These time-delay issues are not problematic for inhaled sedation or for IV sedation, as these types of sedation dentistry are effective almost instantaneously. For oral sedation, however, a dentist who administers more than one pill could cause an overdose if the medicine kicks in at the same time. Most dentists lack both the equipment and the training to effectively and quickly address an overdose in a patient who is unconscious.

In 2000, a group known as the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation was launched. Its purpose is to train dentists on sedation dentistry methods such as how to properly monitor a patient during a dental procedure to ensure that their heart rates and oxygen levels are healthy. Despite this, there are still concerns about adverse effects of adults with oral conscious sedation. There have been no reported adult deaths from overdosing; however, some children have died from oral sedation, leading to the practice being recommended only for adults.

If you are about to undergo a prolonged dental procedure, or if you are considering sedation dentistry to address personal anxiety or a dental phobia, look for a dentist who has received training in sedation dentistry and has high levels of experience to ensure that your procedure is as safe and comfortable as possible.


We look forward to seeing you in our Sarasota dental office

Porcelain Veneers: Smiling with Confidence

An embarrassing smile can ruin your ability to smile freely, opting to hide your teeth so that others can’t see them. Dental veneers, thin shells often made of porcelain attached to the fronts of your teeth, transform your smile to one you can display with pride. They are customized for each patient to give you the look you desire.

There are numerous dental problems that can be hidden with porcelain veneers. Common reasons that people choose veneers include tooth discoloration, chips, breaks, worn down teeth, gaps, misalignment or misshapen teeth. These restorations cover all of these problems and more, giving you the perfect smile.

The process for getting veneers is not painful and usually requires a few trips to the dentist. First you’ll need a consultation to determine if you are a good candidate. You should tell the dentist exactly what you dislike about your smile and learn if veneers can correct those issues. If so, your next appointment will include preparing your teeth by removing a small amount of your enamel so the veneers can be attached. Your dentist will make an impression of your mouth so that veneers can be crafted in a lab to fit exactly. The last step is a visit to have the final veneers bonded to your teeth, adjusted, and polished for a flawless appearance.

You can count on porcelain veneers to resist stains so that they continue to look just like they did when applied. You can choose the veneer color to get just the shade you desire, and your smile will look very natural. Another benefit is that your gums should adjust very easily to porcelain veneers. Keep in mind, however, that veneers are a permanent solution and if they do become damaged it’s likely you’ll have to completely replace them. The lifespan of veneers is often ten years or more, and they don’t require any special care other than normal dental hygiene.

Veneers provide patients with the ability to turn their smiles around for good. If you’re unhappy with the look of your teeth, consult your dentist to see if veneers will help you regain your confidence.

Our dental office is located in Sarasota

Sedation Dentistry FAQ

What defines sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is any type of dentistry treatment performed in conjunction with the patient being given some kind of anesthetic. Sedation dentistry can give the dental professional the freedom to perform all types of therapies while the patient is completely comfortable and pain-free.

Is sedation dentistry safe?

While utilizing sedation dentistry, you will be monitored by your dentist at all times. Age, medical conditions and existing medications can all be factors to consider when choosing a type of sedation.

Is conscious sedation the same thing as sedation dentistry?

Conscious sedation is the term for a type of treatment a patient receives that allows the patient freedom from fear, anxiety and pain while still remaining aware enough to follow simple instructions given by the dentist’s team. Conscious sedation can be administered on several levels, customized to each particular patient’s anxiety level.

How is conscious sedation administered?

Conscious sedation can be administered orally, inhaled or by IV. Oral sedation is delivered via a pill. Most patients take the pill one hour prior to the treatment. Some choose to take a pill the night before to be certain to get a good night’s sleep. Inhaled sedation is commonly known as laughing gas, and can allow you to feel as though you are drifting away during a treatment. Deeper, faster-acting sedation can be achieved through intravenous sedation.

Should I choose sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is a choice open to anyone who is in good physical shape who has fear, anxiety or stress about an upcoming dental treatment. If you find yourself dreading a visit to the dentist to get necessary work completed, be honest with your dentist about your fears and ask about all of the ways sedation dentistry can help you get the work you need, in comfort and ease.

Schedule your appointment at our Sarasota dental office

Dental checkup in Sarasota

Exploring Toothpaste Options

Across drugstore and grocery aisles, toothpaste options line the shelves. Brushing plays an important part in maintaining dental hygiene. With all the choices, you may feel like it’s a tough to make a decision. Knowing the difference between whitening toothpaste and natural toothpaste can help you decide the best option for your smile.

Cavity-fighting toothpaste
When used correctly, all toothpastes ward off cavities by removing plaque from teeth. Choosing toothpaste with fluoride will protect enamel from erosion and strengthen your teeth. Children under six shouldn’t use fluoride toothpaste because they can ingest too much and end up with white spots on their teeth from overexposure to the fluoride.

Whitening toothpaste
Although these options will remove staining, whitening toothpastes don’t work as well as professional teeth whitening. For temporary results and a brighter appearance, many people swear incorporate whitening toothpaste into their hygiene routines.

Antibacterial toothpaste
Some of the newer products have an antibacterial agent called triclosan that may help protect gums from the bacterial infections that cause gum disease. Since these toothpastes haven’t been on the market that long, the jury is still out on their effectiveness.

Natural toothpaste
Found in most health food stores, all-natural toothpastes are typically fluoride-free. Often, natural toothpastes contain ingredients such as peppermint oil, myrrh, or aloe to clean teeth and freshen breath.

Toothpaste for sensitive teeth
If eating ice cream or drinking coffee causes tooth pain, toothpaste designed to minimize sensitivity might be good for you. These compounds work by desensitizing teeth and blocking the tubules that reach the nerves in your teeth.

If you need a dentist in Sarasota contact us today

Shine For Your Special Occasion by Whitening Your Teeth

Life is full of special events that you will remember forever. When you look back at photographs from your special days, you will want to know that you looked your very best. Weddings, birthdays, reunions, graduations, anniversaries, job interviews, or that very special first date are times you will want to put your best face forward. Everything begins with your smile. Your dentist can help you prepare for these kinds of events by brightening your smile, making you look younger and more vibrant and boosting your self-confidence.
Your teeth naturally discolor with age, and this process is accelerated as you eat various foods and dark beverages. Blueberries, blackberries, and beets can all leave stains on your teeth. Dark sodas, coffee, tea, and red wine can also leave their mark with residual color on your teeth. Don’t find yourself feeling self-conscious about your discolored smile; talk to your dentist about what teeth whitening options are available to you. Not all whitening processes are good for every type of teeth. Your dentist will know what is ideal for you.

Before you whiten, it is important to have a dental exam and cleaning. The results of your whitening depend on the initial condition of your teeth. Cleaning your teeth ensures that the whitening procedure affects all of the areas of your teeth, and doesn’t leave out areas currently hidden by plaque or tartar.

Because some teeth whitening techniques require time to achieve the best results, you need to plan ahead. Begin with a consultation with your dentist several weeks prior to your special day, to allow time for the whitening process to work. Some people experience increased sensitivity to their teeth after whitening. Starting early will allow your teeth to recover from the whitening process.

A brighter smile will always help you look and feel better. It will help you make the most positive first impression. On your special day, when you smile for the camera, your confidence will show. You’ll love what you see in photos for years to come.

We treat patients from Sarasota and the surrounding area

General Dentistry and You

General Dentistry and You

The fact is that the health care provider most people should see the most is their general dentist. Because this branch of healthcare is uniquely targeted at preventing disease and promoting good hygiene, general dentistry can help you avoid oral concerns and maintain a healthy and attractive smile.

General dentists are the most common providers for dental treatment for patients of all ages. Routine dental visits involve examinations, sometimes diagnostic tests, professional cleanings, and discussions about concerns. If your checkup reveals issues that require further treatment, most general dentists perform required procedures. However, your general dentist may refer you to a specialist for complex treatments.

What does a general dentist do? Differing from specialists who focus on a certain area of oral care, general dentists offer a wide variety of services.

  • Preventive services – The goal of preventive dentistry is to stop disease before it has a chance to progress. Regular exams, diagnostic images, and professional cleanings are part of prevention. Proper oral hygiene techniques will also be discussed.
  • Restorative services – Procedures for dental problems falls into this category, including fillings, crowns, gum disease remedies, dentures and more. Some general dentists also offer specialized treatments like root canal therapy and dental implants.
  • Overall oral health services – Some dental problems are reflected in overall health concerns. Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, pregnancy complications and other problems may arise. General dentists can identify issues like these and offer treatment or direct you to the right specialist.
  • Cosmetic services – Many general dentists offer cosmetic treatments such as dental veneers, teeth whitening, bonding, orthodontics and more.

When should you visit your general dentist? Experts recommend getting checkups every six months, or more often if you have an issue that should be addressed like a toothache or gum bleeding. Cosmetic appointments can be made at any time. The main thing is seeing your general dentist regularly so you can benefit from preventive care.

Schedule your appointment at our Sarasota dental office

cosmetic dentistry

Porcelain Veneers Revealed

Thank goodness for modern dentistry that allows people to have attractive smiles even though their teeth may not cooperate. For some people, regular dental care is enough to keep their teeth and gums healthy and looking nice. However, over time many people’s teeth become stained or discolored. Chips and cracks can occur that cause unsightly and embarrassing problems. If things like this happen to you, it’s time to consider restoring your smile with porcelain veneers.

Veneers are thin porcelain shells that are permanently adhered to the front surfaces of your teeth, hiding imperfections and giving you a whole new look. It is a simple, non-invasive procedure that can make a dramatic difference in your appearance without any pain or great inconvenience.

There are a variety of benefits to getting porcelain veneers. Here are some of the great advantages you can expect if you and your dentist decide that veneers are right for you:
•  Veneers completely hide stains and discolorations on your teeth. Years of eating and drinking foods that tend to stain your teeth can be erased with veneers. For tough stains, sometimes whitening techniques simply aren’t enough. Veneers provide an easy remedy that will immediately and effectively hide your problem teeth.
•  You and your dentist can choose the exact color that you’d like your veneers to be. You can select the best shade to match your other features and your goals for your smile.
•  Obtaining veneers does not require invasive procedures like reshaping, scraping, or extensive contouring of your teeth. There isn’t any pain associated with the veneer process.
•  Only one or two dental appointments are necessary to get veneers.
•  Porcelain veneers are durable and strong, often lasting from ten to fifteen years.
•  Veneers give you back your confidence so that you are proud to smile and display your beautiful look.

Cosmetic dentist in Sarasota – Dr. Jenifer C. Back

Dental Implants: Why They Are Better

Statistics show that losing natural teeth is still a common occurrence in oral health today. You might be surprised to know that it is estimated that 70% of Americans have lost at least one tooth by middle age. That’s why dentistry has worked hard to come up with an ideal solution as a permanent, comfortable, and attractive way to restore smiles. Dental implants are the answer.

Getting a dental implant consists of having a metal rod, usually made of titanium, surgically inserted into the jaw bone. Once the area has healed from surgery, a crown is typically placed on top to complete the restoration. This procedure results in a very secure and comfortable new tooth that shouldn’t cause problems again.

There’s a long history of other types of tooth replacement options, such as dentures and bridges. Why are dental implants considered to be the preferred choice today?

Appearance – the crown that is placed on top of an implant is aesthetically pleasing, giving you a natural smile.
Tooth preparation – no preparation or reduction to neighboring teeth is necessary with dental implants. The natural tooth structure of existing teeth is preserved.
Comfort – similar to your natural teeth, implants go into your jaw bone. This offers the same comfort and security as real teeth.
Durability – implants are made to last forever. With good care, you can expect them to last the rest of your life.
Diet – there are no dietary restrictions with implants. With dentures and bridges, you might miss out on some foods that could loosen or break your appliance. Implants allow you to eat whatever you’d like.
Maintenance – cleaning implants is the same as cleaning natural teeth. Brushing and flossing is performed normally, and no soaking or external care of appliances is required because the restoration is permanently installed in your mouth.

If you’re looking for a long-term and durable solution for missing teeth, ask your dentist about implants. The success rate is high, and the convenience and comfort can rarely be beaten by other alternatives.

Our dental office is located in Sarasota

smoking and teeth

Quit Smoking to Save your Smile

A number of serious health problems like cancer are linked to smoking, but your oral health is also at risk from using tobacco. Your teeth can be severely stained, turning them yellow or brown, and your lips can become darker too. Smokers have a higher risk of tooth decay, and bad breath is nearly inevitable. The negative outcomes of smoking continue to worsen the longer you keep doing it, so it’s highly advisable to kick the habit. However, as most smokers can attest, giving it up is not easy. Here are some tips that may help you quit smoking.

Make a list
Create a list of the reasons you’d like to quit smoking, and look at it often to remind you of your goals and the benefits you’ll achieve. These may include things like improving your overall health, restoring your smile, making loved ones proud of you, and even saving money.

Choose a date
Select a date on the calendar to stop, and stick to it. Having a concrete target can help you focus on the challenge ahead.

Ask for help
The support and encouragement from others can be a huge part of quitting smoking. Tell your family and friends about your goal, and allow them to play a part in accomplishing it.

Occupy your mouth
Sucking on sugarless candy or mints can keep your mouth busy, so you’ll be less inclined to put a cigarette in it. Chewing sugar-free gum is another great remedy for the urge to light up.

Keep busy
Try to find things to occupy your time and mind so that you aren’t constantly thinking about smoking. Take up a new hobby that involves both your mind and your hands so that you are busy with other, more beneficial, activities than puffing on a cigarette.

Our dental office is located in Sarasota

root canal treatment

Causes of Post-Root Canal Therapy Pain

The goal of root canal therapy is to relieve pain, not cause it. The pain you experience before a root canal is the result of damage to the tissues in the tooth. Root canal therapy removes that damaged tissue, therefore relieving the discomfort you feel. If you are still experiencing tooth pain after undergoing a root canal procedure, it could be an indication of a problem with the treatment.

While mild discomfort is to be expected during the root canal healing process, if the pain continues or becomes more severe, it is likely an indication of a problem. There are several reasons for tooth pain after root canal treatment:

  • The tooth has an extra canal that was not cleaned and filled, meaning there is an extra physical root.
  • The tooth has a small, tight accessory canal that is difficult to locate on x-rays or hard to access with the necessary tools.
  • The tooth is fractured due to the damage and weakened state caused by the original decay and the access cavity that is created to begin the root canal treatment.
  • The root canal has become reinfected.
  • The small files used by your dentist to clean out the pulp of the tooth sometimes break, resulting in a failed root canal treatment.

In the days immediately following root canal therapy, it is normal to experience some tenderness of the tooth or surrounding gum. This discomfort should be easily managed with over-the-counter painkillers and should subside in a few days. If the pain does not ease in a few days or becomes more severe, contact your dental professional immediately to access your symptoms and determine if you are having root canal complications.

We look forward to seeing you in our Sarasota dental office

What Alternatives Do I have to a Root Canal Treatment?

If you suspect you have an infected tooth, you might wonder if root canal treatment might be in your future. Do you have another option? Yes! One such alternative has been in existence for decades, but has only recently come to be more effective due to advancements in materials. This process is called pulp capping.

Pulp capping can help patients whose root infections have not yet reached the tooth’s nerve. Root infections begin when bacteria enters the pulp of the tooth through a crack or a large cavity. In a standard root canal procedure, the pulp and nerve of the tooth is hollowed out, cleaned and sealed, typically with a crown restoration.

With pulp capping, the nerve is preserved and the tooth is often repaired with a filling instead of a crown. Pulp capping allows the dentist to clean and protect the pulp, defending it from infection with medicine. With a successful pulp cap, the dentin of the tooth begins to regrow over the pulp cap. Advancements in the sealants used during these types of procedures has allowed for a greater percentage of success.

If you have a toothache, it’s important to see your dentist immediately. Pulp capping has a narrow window in which it can be performed. If your tooth is too infected, the pulp and nerve of your tooth may already be infected, and it’s too late for pulp capping to be effective.

A pulp cap is a far less invasive procedure than a root canal treatment or a tooth extraction, and there is less recovery time and tooth sensitivity following the treatment.

If you suspect you may have a tooth in trouble, talk to your dentist now. You might be able to save yourself a root canal treatment.


If you live in the Sarasota area contact us today

Comparing Teeth Whitening Treatments

There’s really no way to avoid teeth becoming discolored over time. Even though you might brush like crazy, the odds are against keeping your bright white smile forever. Certain foods, aging, and habits like smoking are common culprits for staining teeth. With these factors against you, teeth whitening methods are in high demand. There are two main kinds of professional whitening methods: in-office and at-home. How do you know which is right for you?

Professional whitening in your dentist’s office is the most effective way to brighten your smile. It is the fastest way to achieve dramatic results, becoming up to ten shades brighter in just one hour. The bleaching gel used in the dentist’s office contains higher concentrations of peroxide, quickly and effectively attacking stains. In-office whitening utilizes special lights to activate the gel. The dentist is there to monitor the process to ensure you are comfortable and get ideal results.

There are a few negatives to consider with in-office whitening. Some patients experience sensitivity with the bleaching gel or the small amounts of heat during the process. Also, in-office whitening is often the most expensive way to brighten your smile, although many people consider the dramatic improvement worth the cost.

Whitening your teeth at home is somewhat less effective than in-office treatments, but many patients who don’t want to spend the time or money in the dentist’s chair appreciate this method. These kits consist of trays that your dentist provides that you fill with a lower concentrated whitening solution and wear for about thirty minutes at a time. Full results are usually possible in roughly ten days, and some patients achieve similar results as in-office methods.

Even with the lower strength gel, patients may experience discomfort during at-home whitening. You also must remember to wear the trays daily and be consistent with their use in order to obtain good results. At-home kits require patience.

Whichever professional whitening method you choose, a brighter smile is possible. Good oral hygiene practices afterwards and occasional touch-ups with home products will help maintain your brilliant new smile.


Our dental office is located in Sarasota

dental implants

Choosing a Professional for Your Dental Implants in Sarasota

Restoring missing teeth with dental implants is the latest and greatest technique to give you your smile back. It offers many benefits such as comfort, aesthetics, security, and easy maintenance. If you are missing any teeth and would like to learn more about getting dental implants, you need to find a qualified and experienced dental professional for the job. Here are some tips on doing so.

Training
Dentists or oral surgeons who perform dental implants should have training specifically in the procedure. Look for a professional with credentials like a dentistry degree from a reputable university, participation in continuing education programs, and membership in dental organizations.

Reviews
Look online for reviews of the dentist and practice, and be sure to ask friends and family for recommendations. Word of mouth is often the best way to find a healthcare professional.

Examples of work
Ask to see before-and-after pictures of dental implants performed by the dentist. Request to see cases similar to yours.

Technology
A quality dental office should have the latest advancements in technology and equipment so that you will receive the most up-to-date care. Look for equipment like digital X-rays, chair side screens, and dental lasers. Also inquire about sedation or anesthesia methods available in the office.

Convenience
The location of the office should factor into your decision as you choose a professional to perform your dental implant procedure, as well as the office hours and staff. You should feel confident in the care you’ll receive, and feel comfortable asking questions and receiving treatment. Implant treatment requires multiple visits, so choose a dentist who you don’t mind establishing a relationship with over time.

We look forward to seeing you in our Sarasota dental office

Who Can Benefit from Dental Veneers?

One of the most popular treatments in cosmetic dentistry is veneers. These thin shells made of porcelain or composite resin are bonded to the fronts of your teeth to hide the flaws of your real teeth. They look natural, resist stains, and are a durable way to restore smiles. Veneers offer a solution for patients with a variety of dental problems.

Fractured teeth:
Teeth that are broken or chipped can be hidden behind veneers, fully restoring your smile.

Discolored teeth:
Stained or yellowed teeth may result from a number of things. Some discoloration such as from foods or age can be improved with teeth whitening treatments. However, stains resulting from things like drugs, large resin fillings, or too much fluoride may not respond to whitening methods. Veneers provide the ability to choose the shade of white you like and get your bright smile back.

Small teeth:
Sometimes teeth are just too small for a person’s facial features. It is difficult for orthodontists to close gaps between teeth that are too small, and gum recession is also often an issue with small teeth. Veneers can take care of both of these problems.

Worn teeth:
When the edges of teeth become worn, it can make you look older than you actually are. Veneers can lengthen teeth that are shortened with wear so that your smile looks brand new.

Crooked teeth:
Misaligned and crooked teeth can be hidden under dental veneers. This gives your smile a uniform and appealing look.

Cosmetic issues:
Veneers can be provided simply for cosmetic purposes to change the shape and appearance of your teeth. You and your cosmetic dentist can design the veneers together so that your teeth might look more curved, flatter, bigger, or longer as you choose.

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Do Your Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed?

While not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed, third molars are the most likely to cause you serious dental problems. Monitoring the health of your wisdom teeth, with cooperation from your dental professional, is the best way to avoid serious complications before they arise. The following are indications you may need to consider oral surgery to extract trouble wisdom teeth:

  • Wisdom tooth pain could be a result of infection and decay. Third molars are the most difficult to clean, due to their position at the back of the mouth, making them a prime breeding ground for plaque and bacteria which then attacks the tooth.
  • If you have a small mouth, the emergence of wisdom teeth can cause crowding of existing teeth. As wisdom teeth appear they may begin to force your other teeth out of the way, causing misalignment. Removing the third molars makes room for existing teeth.
  • Wisdom teeth that do not emerge properly can cause irritation to the gums that may lead to gum infections and immense discomfort.
  • When wisdom teeth start to emerge at awkward angles, it can cause them to become impacted. Third molars that get stuck in the gums sometimes create pockets that harbor bacteria and debris that cause serious decay and infection, as well as bad breath issues.

While not all wisdom teeth require extraction, there are many complications associated with third molars that indicate removing them would be in your best interest. By monitoring the emergence and ongoing health of your wisdom teeth, you can avoid serious dental problems. Consult with your dentist about the condition of your wisdom teeth to ensure a lifetime of healthy teeth.


We treat patients from Sarasota and the surrounding area

Making Dental Hygiene Fun for Kids

In many households, the bedtime routine is no fun. One of the trickiest parts for some parents is getting their kids to brush their teeth. However, it’s not a part of your child’s routine that should be skipped. To help make taking care of their teeth fun for children, here are some ideas for parents.

Toothbrushes

Provide your kids with fun toothbrushes! By choosing a brush decorated with their favorite character or color, your children will think of their toothbrush more like a toy than a dental tool. Consider getting more than one toothbrush, so each night they can choose the one they want to “play” with at the time.

Toothpaste

Children are picky about their toothpaste flavors just like their foods. Select toothpaste that you know your kids will like. Some of the flavor options include bubble gum and fruits, as well as the standby mint.

Floss

If they start flossing at a young age, your kids will likely view it as part of their oral hygiene routine all of their life. Try using some of the fun flossing tools on the market today, because they may help get your child interested in flossing. There are many colors and shapes to choose from, so keep trying until you find one that motivates your child.

Rewards

Enticing your children with rewards is often an easy way to encourage them to perform a task without arguing. Consider making a rewards chart and giving them a sticker each time they brush and floss. By the end of a week filled with good dental hygiene, a special reward will await them!

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Allowing Yourself Recovery Time from Sedation Dentistry

If you have chosen to utilize sedation dentistry to address your anxiety or discomfort during dental treatment, you need to make preparations beforehand to be certain you are safe following your dental visit. Some sedation options leave you unable to drive or make decisions clearly, and you should be prepared to face whatever lingering effects come your way.

Conscious oral sedation is prescribed in the form of a pill that is taken orally. Typically, this pill is taken about an hour prior to the procedure in order to ensure relaxation and ease. Often a dentist will recommend that the patient take a dose the night prior to the treatment, making sure that the patient rests well and is in the best mental and physical condition for recovery. Laughing gas, or nitrous oxide, is another form of conscious sedation. Both the pills and the gas leave patients comfortable and at ease, but still responsive to commands by the dentist or staff.

The next level of sedation is intravenous sedation, also called IV sedation. This sedation is the fastest acting of all the sedation dentistry treatments. A known side-effect of IV sedation is memory loss, so most patients won’t remember what happened while they were “under.” Many patients believe erroneously that they were completely “out” or unconscious during treatment, but this isn’t true. You are still able to respond to commands, but the memory loss makes you feel as though you are asleep.

You will not be allowed to drive yourself following IV or conscious oral sedation. Even though you are up and walking and talking, it may take hours before the effects of the sedation wear off enough to make it safe for you to drive. Do not even consider trying to trick the dentist into thinking someone else is driving you home. You could cause a serious accident and harm yourself or others.

Talk to your dentist to determine what is recommended as far as recovery time goes for your specific sedation dentistry treatment choices.


We treat patients from Sarasota and the surrounding area

General Dentistry Why You Should Never Skip Regular Appointments

General Dentistry: Why You Should Never Skip Regular Appointments

Most of us know we should visit our general dentist every six months for exams and cleanings to ensure optimal oral health, but it seems we find many reasons to avoid those visits. Busy schedules or fear of dental treatments often mean people skip critical routine oral care. However, there are several reasons why you should make regular appointments with your general dentist a priority.

First, routine cleanings by your general dentist will give you a brighter, healthier smile. While brushing and flossing at home are important, it is impossible to remove all of the plaque that accumulates over time. Left untreated, plaque causes decay that leads to cavities and gum disease. Professional cleanings by your general dentist removes plaque and stains, leaving your breath fresher and your smile whiter.

Second, regular examinations allow your dentist to identify potential problems before they become severe. Cavities and gum disease caught early are much simpler to treat, preventing the need for procedures like root canal therapy, crowns, or even tooth extractions. Seeing your general dentist routinely will keep these types of problems in check, and save you from more complex and invasive procedures later.

Finally and most importantly, regular checkups with your general dentist can have a direct impact on your overall health. Poor oral health affects your entire body. A decayed tooth can cause a bacterial infection that spreads to other areas of your body. A general dentist checks your mouth for signs of disease, decay, and even certain cancers.

Stop making excuses and find a qualified general dentist with hours and an office location that is convenient to you. Consult with the staff about your dental fears and learn what types of services are offered to make your visit less stressful. If you value both your beautiful smile and your excellent health, be sure to keep regular visits to the dentist on your calendar.

If you live in the Sarasota area contact us today

What Makes a Good Sedation Dentist

Do you have apprehensions regarding dental exams or therapies? Do you find yourself worrying about your teeth and concerned about exams? You are not alone. Many people experience anxiety or fear regarding the dentist’s office. You might want to consider sedation dentistry.
Qualified sedation dentists are able to work with you to get the dental care you require without the burden of fear or nervousness that might lead you to postpone work.

Sedation dentistry therapies are overseen and administered by specially trained dentists and dental technicians. These dental professionals have undergone hours and hours of special education in sedation equipment, techniques and medications. These trained individuals are aware of the best sedation options for each patient type, and they can administer them safely and reliably.

If you are thinking about sedation dentistry for your next dental treatment, consider the following:

  • How much education does the dentist have related to sedation dentistry? What continuing education programs have been completed that specialize in anesthesia and conscious sedation?
  • What organizations does the dentist belong to that provide ongoing education to keep the dentist and staff apprized as to the latest techniques and research? A good sedation dentist is always looking to learn new procedures that can benefit his or her patients, and can do so through professional organizations such as the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology.
  • What equipment is in place to monitor a patient’s level of sedation? Sedation dentistry cannot be safely practiced without a pulse oximeter and oxygen equipment. Medications should be on-hand to reverse any rare reactions to the sedation.

It’s your right as a patient to have answers to these and all of your questions before you undergo any dental therapy. Your dentist should be very forthcoming. Having the right information allows you to make the right decisions for you and your dental care. Talk to your dentist today regarding these and any questions you have about sedation dentistry or his or her qualifications. Get the best care you need, and skip the worry!


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