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Prevention and Treatment of Cavities

Prevention and Treatment of Cavities

Cavities are something everyone has heard of and everyone dreads. When you go to the dentist, you may have the question, “Will I have a cavity?” in the back of your mind. Everyone has been there! Luckily, prevention of and treatment for cavities are straightforward and more accessible than ever, especially at Flower Mound Family Dentistry.

A cavity is a damaged area on your enamel that can eventually develop into a small hole. Cavities have many causes. The most common include not keeping your teeth clean, overindulging in sugary snacks and drinks, and bacteria. Cavities are problematic, but they can become even more problematic if left untreated. If ignored for too long, a cavity can grow and affect deeper parts of your tooth. This can lead to infection or even the loss of your tooth. So, what are some of the best ways to prevent cavities?

  1. Regular dental cleanings and checkups. Staying on top of hygiene appointments and oral exams will prevent cavities from forming and catch any that have already formed in their early stages before they progress and cause more harm!
  2. Use fluoride toothpaste. Brushing your teeth twice a day is imperative, but it is even more beneficial when using fluoride toothpaste. This will decrease your risk of tooth decay.
  3. Enjoy sugary snacks and drinks in moderation. Certain snacks and beverages create acids that can be destructive to your enamel. If you have a sugar craving, rinse and brush your teeth soon after!
  4. Ask your dentist about fluoride treatments. Fluoride treatments are a great preventative measure, especially if your teeth aren’t getting enough fluoride. We can perform fluoride treatments right here in our office, along with your routine cleanings and checkups!

Sometimes, however, things can slip through the cracks, and you may find that you have developed a cavity despite your best preventative efforts. What are some signs that suggest you may have a cavity?  If a cavity is forming in your mouth, you may notice black or brown staining on a tooth, pain when eating or drinking something hot or cold, pain or sensitivity in a tooth, or even small pits in a tooth. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call our office immediately at (972) 539-4776!

We offer treatment for cavities that will restore a tooth’s look and feel back to its natural state and function. These services include fillings, root canals, and crowns. Feel free to visit the services section of our website to learn more!

We understand that some patients may worry about the cost of regular preventative treatments and services for cavities. Our office offers a comprehensive Membership Plan that covers preventive care and discounts on treatment. If you would like to learn more, check out this link. The Flower Mound Family Dentistry team wants to help you obtain the best oral healthcare possible, and we hope this provides a little more insight on how to do so.

Keeping up with Treatment

Keeping up with Treatment

At Flower Mound Family Dentistry, we want to do everything to ensure your dental health is the best. This includes emphasizing the importance of staying up-to-date with diagnosed treatment.

So why is keeping up with treatment so important?

1. You will be more comfortable! Whether you require restorative treatment or are looking for cosmetic treatment, getting it done will relieve pain and/or make you more comfortable with your smile. Nothing beats that!

2. Current dental issues will grow more severe if they go untreated. One of the main reasons patients develop severe oral health problems is that they do not follow up with their dentist’s recommended treatment. Not following through with diagnosed treatment will result in even more in-depth treatment.

3. You will save time and money spent in the long run. No one likes spending money they don’t need to. If you put off your diagnosed treatment, you’ll likely pay more later. While treatment can be costly, it becomes more expensive when delayed. More complex treatments usually require more time for the procedure(s) and subsequent recovery. You will thank yourself later if you schedule as soon as you can!

Our dentists are proud to offer a wide range of treatments at Flower Mound Family Dentistry and always do what is best for each patient. Treatment looks different depending on the patient’s smile goals and urgency of addressing dental issues. What does Flower Mound Family Dentistry offer treatment-wise?

Here are some of our treatment options:

  1. Fillings & root canals – Cavities and infections can be easily treated with our filling and root canal options! They both provide simple ways to restore and maintain your natural set of teeth.
  2. Extractions – A chronic toothache or infection in a tooth may require an extraction. This will improve the overall health of your mouth and keep the problem from worsening.
  3. Wisdom teeth removal – Most people need to have their wisdom teeth removed. Generally, wisdom teeth do not have enough room to grow naturally without shifting your other adult teeth and causing issues with the alignment of your smile. Luckily, we can easily remove them and aid you in recovery.
  4. Implants – If you have had one or multiple teeth extractions, dental implants are an excellent option for replacing these missing teeth.
  5. Crowns – If you want to prevent a weak, broken, or cracked tooth from breaking further, a crown is the best option! It will protect your tooth while giving it a natural look.

These are only some of the various treatments offered here at Flower Mound Family Dentistry! Remember, it is best to get your treatment taken care of as soon as possible to prevent further dental issues. If you need to schedule your treatment or have any questions for our staff, call us at (972) 539-4776.

Learn more about the main goal of Dental Routine Procedures, on our blog.

The main goal of Dental Routine Procedures

The main goal of Dental Routine Procedures

Do you remember growing up, you heard going to the dentist every six months for hygiene and a checkup is essential? Routine appointments will not only keep your smile shining but will also prevent you from developing severe oral health issues that can lead to more time and money spent at the dentist. So what do these routine checkups consists of, and how does each aspect contribute to your overall oral health? We are here to tell you everything you need to know!

Many people struggle with dental anxiety. There is nothing to be scared of when you come in for your routine appointment! All the cleaning and exam procedures performed by your dentist and hygienist are safe, effective, and made to keep your oral health in the best shape it can be in. If going to the dentist makes you anxious, make sure to tell our office. We specialize in working with patients who struggle with dental anxiety and will do everything we can to make your visit as comfortable and easy as possible. Explaining checkups and procedures as we do them is one way we can do this, and we hope this blog helps alleviate some stress you may feel.

When you first come in for your hygiene appointment, your hygienist will clean built-up plaque and tartar off your teeth. Why is this important? There are some very advanced electric toothbrushes out there, but even using one every time you brush will be unable to remove the toughest plaque from your teeth. Specific surfaces of your teeth are much more challenging to reach and clean, even if you keep up with flossing. Your hygienist will be able to use special tools to thoroughly clean these areas, which will prevent dental disease in the long run!

The dental exam you will receive when you come in for your routine appointment is just as crucial as your hygiene! Your dentist will carefully examine your teeth and gums to determine their health and catch any early signs of dental problems. Oral cancer is also checked for. If caught early, oral cancer can be easily treatable. X-rays are another aspect of routine appointments and are used for your dentist to check for any internal dental issues such as decay between teeth, impacted teeth, or damage to the jawbone.

Gum disease can develop if your teeth aren’t given regular attention by a professional, and it is easily spotted when you come in for your appointment. Gum disease is one of the most common culprits for declining oral health. Your hygienist will examine your gums for signs of gum disease and use preventative hygiene measures to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy in unison.

It is better to come to the dentist every six months than to put it off and have to spend an excessive amount of time and money on treatment later on. If you would like to schedule an appointment at Flower Mound Family Dentistry give us a call at (972) 539-4776. We will be happy to answer any of your questions and do everything we can to make your visit with us as positive and straightforward as possible. Learn more about gum care here.

Love Your Teeth!

Love Your Teeth!

Self-love doesn’t have to stop just because Valentine’s Day is over! The team at Flower Mound Family Dentistry wants to make sure you give your smile some love. There is much more to keeping your smile shining than just brushing every day. In fact, there are a variety of small daily tricks you can use to optimize the health of your smile. We are excited to share these simple tips on how to brighten your smile as well as the services we offer that will boost your self-confidence.

Here are six simple practices you can adopt at home to elevate your oral care routine:

  1. Eat teeth-whitening foods. Did you know that there are foods that can help whiten your teeth? Crunchy foods generally need to be chewed for longer, and therefore your mouth will generate more saliva while eating them. Saliva assists in neutralizing acids that wear down your enamel, which will help prevent yellowing. In addition to this, foods that are coarse and rich in fiber, such as apples, pears, carrots, lettuce, celery, and cucumbers, can help rid the surfaces of your teeth of accumulated plaque.
  2. Don’t spend too much time on your favorite sugary drinks. Some people finish their favorite latte or soda in a few quick gulps, while others nurse on it for hours. So why is finishing it quickly more beneficial for your teeth? Suppose your teeth are being exposed to sugar over a more extended time. In that case, bacteria in your mouth that use sugar as a food source will metabolize it into lactic acid. This acid can eventually dissolve the healthy minerals on your teeth, leading to cavities down the road.
  3. Switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush. Have you ever had trouble with sensitivity while brushing your teeth? This may be due to applying too much pressure as you brush, which can be exacerbated by the quality of the bristles on your toothbrush of choice. It is common knowledge that you should switch out your toothbrush every few months. Make sure you keep doing this but pick up a soft-bristled brush on your next trip for a switch. In addition to these brushes being better for your teeth and gums, applying less pressure when you brush will help minimize abrasiveness.
  4. Start by brushing in the back of your mouth. All of us are probably guilty of skimping on paying attention to brushing our back teeth during our oral care routine. These teeth need some love! Your molars are more prone to infection and gum disease because of all the hard-to-reach spots surrounding them. Brushing your back teeth before the rest of your mouth will ensure you are not too fatigued to hit all the right places!
  5. Keep your toothbrush holder clean. This may not be a step you think of taking when it comes to keeping your teeth themselves clean. If you haven’t cleaned your toothbrush holder in a while and take a close look at it, you may notice that it has accumulated grime. Your toothbrush holder holds on to many of the germs that reside in your bathroom and is known to be the third-dirtiest household item. To keep it clean, we recommend washing it in your dishwasher a couple of times per week!
  6. Don’t brush too often. You may feel the need to brush your teeth after every meal. However, brushing more than twice per day can damage your gums and enamel. If you still feel the need to have your mouth feel clean after every meal, try rinsing with plain water. This will disrupt food particles without placing extra pressure on your teeth or gums.

Achieving a healthy, shining smile is something everyone deserves, whether before or after Valentine’s Day! If you employ these six tips, we promise you will see a difference in the health of your teeth over time. If you’re interested in pampering your smile even more, Flower Mound Family Dentistry offers both ZOOM in-office teeth whitening and take-home teeth whitening kits. These options are excellent for self-care and make great gifts! Give us a call at (972) 539-4776 if you have any questions about our teeth whitening or other cosmetic options or would like to schedule an appointment. Learn about gum care.

Shine Bright for the New Year!

Shine Bright for the New Year!

It is finally 2022! The New Year is the perfect time to ditch bad habits and revamp your oral care routine. We are sure you’re used to hearing about New Year’s resolutions and the fact that relatively few people stick with them after the first month of the year. The goals we want to help you set are not only beneficial to your oral and overall health but are also attainable and sustainable! Here are ten simple goals to help you keep your teeth healthy this year:

  1. Schedule your first hygiene visit of the year. We recommend seeing your dental hygienist every six months. If you haven’t come in for hygiene since June, it is time to schedule! Keeping up with your hygiene appointments has many benefits, the greatest of which is keeping any plaque and tartar that has developed on your teeth under control.
  2. Keep up a healthy, balanced diet. Everyone knows staying away from sugar is essential for the health of your teeth, but did you know having a generally balanced diet is too? Fiber-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables and dairy products are beneficial to the overall health of your teeth and enamel.
  3. Keep up with your flossing. If you have been to see us recently, you know how much we emphasize flossing. When you floss, you can clean surfaces of your teeth that a toothbrush cannot reach. Floss twice a day with your brushing!
  4. Drink water that is infused with fluoride. Fluoride is excellent at helping prevent the onset of cavities by giving your teeth a stronger resistance to acids.
  5. Use mouthwash. Mouthwash is great for fighting bacteria, especially on your tongue and gums. You will see the best benefits of mouthwash if you use it for 30 seconds twice per day as a part of your brushing routine.
  6. Start brushing twice per day for two minutes each time. We hope all of you are already brushing twice per day, but increasing your brush time to two minutes will ensure a healthier smile and a lower likelihood of developing cavities.
  7. Drink more water. Water is vital for all areas of your health, including oral health! When you drink water, especially with a meal, it will wash away plaque-causing substances such as sugars and starches.
  8. Brush your teeth gently. If you use too much pressure when you brush your teeth, you can damage your gums over time.
  9. If you like to chew gum, make sure it is sugarless. In addition to this, chewing sugarless gum after big meals can help prevent tooth decay!
  10. Commit to replacing your toothbrush every three months. If you use the same toothbrush for too long, the bristles will become worn out and less effective at cleaning your teeth. This may mean more visits to the dentist and more money spent in the long run. Prevent this from happening, and start your year by treating yourself to a new toothbrush today!

Your oral health is so important! What better way to start 2022 than by prioritizing it? We promise adopting these ten accessible practices will make a difference in the long-term health of your smile. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, give our office a call today at (972) 539-4776 to schedule your first hygiene appointment of the year and have all your questions answered!

How wise are your wisdom teeth?

How to Choose a Toothbrush

How to Choose a Toothbrush

Toothbrushes are everyday objects that we often do not spend much time thinking about. You may even think every toothbrush is equal in cleaning your teeth effectively. This is false. The toothbrush you use and how you use it can make or break your oral health journey, and it is essential to choose the right one. If you have no idea where to start, do not worry! We are here to share some tips and tricks for choosing the right toothbrush and using it effectively.

Toothbrushes first became mainstream in the 1930s, but there were not many options. Almost everyone was stuck with a toothbrush that had nylon bristles. Today, it is a different story. In the United States, we are lucky enough to have many toothbrushes at our fingertips at local grocery stores and drugstores. You may think the only two types of toothbrushes out there are manual and electric, but think again!

Five things to keep in mind when choosing a toothbrush:

  1. Professional recommendations. When looking for a new toothbrush, it is best to get the opinion of your dentist. They will have suggestions that are tailored to your personal oral health needs. When buying one, it is also essential to make sure that you pick one with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval.
  2. Manual vs. Electric. Many people falsely assume that electric toothbrushes are leaps and bounds more effective than manual toothbrushes. This is false. It is more vital that you effectively know how to use your toothbrush correctly, and the manual versus electric debate comes down to personal preference.
  3. Safety. Safety may not be something that comes to mind when you think about brushing your teeth. However, it is imperative to choose a safe toothbrush for your unique oral health and your brushing tendencies. For example, if you generally brush aggressively, an electric toothbrush may be a better choice for you as it will make it easier to be gentle while still cleaning your mouth.
  4. Variety of bristles. You may notice that some toothbrushes have uniform bristles across the whole head while others have a mixture of soft to stiff bristles and even some rubber components. Choosing which type is right for you should be based on your oral health. For example, if you have gum problems, it is best to stick with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  5. What should my child use? It is crucial to pick out a toothbrush for your child that can easily fit into their hand and has soft bristles. If your child is old enough to comprehend, have them pick out their toothbrush. Getting children involved in this process early will make oral hygiene more fun for them.

Believe it or not, this is just the tip of the iceberg for picking out a toothbrush. Cost, likability, and size are important factors in choosing the right toothbrush. The more you consider these things, the easier it will be for you to find a toothbrush that is the perfect fit for your oral hygiene journey! Give Flower Mound Family Dentistry a call today at (972) 539-4776 if you have any questions about choosing a toothbrush or would like to schedule an appointment. Learn about a healthy wisdom tooth recovery.

Gum Care

Gum Care

When you think about taking care of your smile, brushing and flossing your teeth are probably the first things that come to mind. However, there is much more that goes into keeping your mouth in order! Your gums play an integral role in your overall oral health and can be in bad shape even if you have the whitest, brightest smile around. 

Have you ever heard of gum disease? If you have never had to deal with it, consider yourself lucky! Gum disease is caused by plaque buildup along and underneath your gum line. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and will cause your gums to become swollen and tender and sometimes even bleed. Luckily, this type of gum disease is easily treatable since it does not directly impact the bone connected to your teeth. 

If you let gingivitis progress untreated, it can become periodontitis, which is a more severe form of gum disease. Periodontitis does impact the bone and tissue connected to your teeth, and if left untreated, can slowly destroy your teeth. Some signs you may have periodontal disease include but are not limited to a bad taste in your mouth, loose permanent teeth, swollen gums, tender, or bloody, and a receding gum line. Luckily, gum disease is easily preventable, and we are excited to share five simple ways in which you can keep your gums healthy!

  • Use fluoride toothpaste. Almost every toothpaste brand will claim to reduce the risk of gingivitis. So how do you know which ones are the best? When you pick out your toothpaste, ensure it contains fluoride and has the American Dental Association seal of acceptance! 
  • Use therapeutic mouthwash. Almost any drugstore or pharmacy will carry it over-the-counter. This type of mouthwash can help reduce the speed tartar develops, reduce plaque, and even reduce gingivitis. Make sure you are also looking for the American Dental Association seal on any therapeutic mouthwash. 
  • Make sure to floss! Flossing once or twice per day will help remove any tricky plaque buildup that your toothbrush is unable to get rid of. Since plaque is the main cause of gum disease, flossing is a must! 
  • Get your teeth cleaned regularly. Your dental hygienist can remove any tricky plaque and tartar formed on your teeth. Doing this every six months will keep your teeth much healthier than trying to take oral hygiene into your own hands only! In addition to this, your dentist can detect the early signs of gum disease and start a treatment plan before it turns into gingivitis or even periodontitis. If you already have gingivitis, regular hygiene appointments can help reverse its effects. 
  • Brush twice a day. Brushing after breakfast and dinner is the easiest thing you can do on your own to keep your smile healthy! Brushing will help remove plaque and bacteria, and flossing will do the rest! Also, make sure to brush your tongue, as it can carry bacteria as well. Electric toothbrushes are the best option to remove plaque more effectively than manual toothbrushes. Make sure you change out your toothbrush or toothbrush head every three months.

This may seem like a lot of information to take in, but we promise taking these simple steps will help prevent gum disease. If you’re not flossing daily or using mouthwash, now is the time to start! If you haven’t come in for your bi-yearly hygiene appointment in over six months, it is time to schedule. Call us today at (972) 539-4776 to make an appointment. Let’s work together to keep your gums healthy! Click here to learn about having a pain-free wisdom teeth recovery after surgery.

Make Your Smile Sparkle for the Holidays!

Make Your Smile Sparkle for the Holidays!

Few things will make you feel more confident than having a sparkling white smile, especially during the holiday season! Teeth whitening has been a popular cosmetic procedure over the years. It has become so popular that you can easily find at-home teeth whitening tips online. However, not all these tips are accurate or effective, and it is essential to distinguish which tips are which. We are here to help you! In this blog, we debunk common teeth whitening myths and provide you with ways to make your whitening experience as effective as possible. Let’s get your smile sparkling for the holidays!

Having a diverse mix of opinions is generally a positive thing. However, this is not always the case for factual information, such as how to most effectively whiten your teeth. There are many common misconceptions about teeth whitening, and here are just a few of the most prevalent:

  • Over-the-counter whitening options work just as well. While these options can make your teeth look a little brighter, they will not give you the same results as whitening with a professional will. Professional whitening is safe, effective, and worth the time and money!
  • Baking soda is an effective DIY whitening method. An extremely common way people try to whiten their teeth at home is by brushing them with baking soda. Many people don’t know that baking soda can mess with the balance of bacteria in your mouth. This can eventually lead to oral health issues. 
  • Whitening toothpaste works well. Many household name companies sell toothpaste that is advertised as a whitening product. There are two main reasons why you should not use whitening toothpaste as your primary brightening technique. The first is that the chemicals that whiten your teeth need to be in contact with them for an extended period to work, not just the couple minutes it takes you to brush your teeth. The second reason is self-explanatory: whitening toothpaste costs more than regular toothpaste!
  • At-Home Teeth whitening will remove all of your stains. Depending on what types of stains are on your teeth, this may not be true. Certain people are more prone to long-lasting stains on their teeth, such as smokers and coffee drinkers. In addition to this, our teeth tend to yellow as we get older, which will, in turn, make them more difficult to whiten.

You may now be remembering a time or two when you brushed with baking soda or used Crest Whitestrips and didn’t get the results you wanted. That is okay! We have all been there, and luckily there are safe, effective ways to get your smile to shine bright. While it may seem as if there aren’t any good alternatives to the debunked myths above, we have some encouraging ones to share with you!

  • You cannot whiten an implant or crown. There are many ways around this! If you consider having your teeth whitened but are about to get an implant, try whitening them before the implant is put in. 
  • You can whiten your teeth at home! Most dental offices, including ours, offer take-home whitening kits. These kits are much more effective than drugstore whitening options and just as easy to use!
  • Good oral hygiene will prolong the effects of my whitening treatment. Your results will last longer if you stay on top of your oral hygiene! This includes brushing, flossing, using mouthwash, and going to your dentist every six months for a routine cleaning! 
  • Professional whitening will last longer than over-the-counter options. This is one of the many reasons professional or dentist-approved take-home whitening treatments are the best options. You will get more for your money and your teeth will dazzle for even longer! 

At Flower Mound Family Dentistry, we want to provide you with all the information to help you make your oral health decisions as easy as possible. We hope this myth-busting session was able to do just that! If you’re interested in getting your teeth whitened, you’re in luck! We offer both in-office and take-home whitening options. You can call us today at (972) 539-4776 if you have any questions about our whitening options or would like to schedule an appointment. We want to give you a smile that will impress for the holiday season! Click here to learn about having a pain-free wisdom teeth recovery after surgery.

Wisdom Teeth Recovery

Wisdom Teeth Recovery

Do you still have your wisdom teeth? “Wisdom teeth” are the molars that are the furthest back in your mouth, and are often removed due to lack of space. They are generally ready for removal sometime during a person’s teenage years. Most young adults end up getting their wisdom teeth surgically removed at some point in their life. Whether you still need to get your wisdom teeth taken out or have someone close to you who is planning on getting the surgery, we are excited to share a few tips on how to experience the smoothest recovery possible.

  • Manage the pain carefully. There is a high chance that you will have some pain and swelling in the days directly following your surgery. One of the best ways to manage this pain is by using an ice pack. Make sure to ask your dentist about how often you should be using one. It is also important to not directly place ice on your face, as this can lead to an ice burn. Pain medication is another way to help your recovery along. Your dentist will be able to guide you in whether you need to be taking over-the-counter or prescription medications. You may also be advised to take antibiotics. Antibiotics will help protect your mouth from infection as the wounds heal. 
  • Think about what you are eating. Finding the right foods to aid your recovery can help immensely. You may not have a considerable appetite directly after surgery, and your mouth will most likely be sore. The best foods to consume while recovering are those that won’t require much chewing and will be safe for your stitches. Soup, pudding, apple sauce, smoothies, mashed potatoes, and cottage cheese are all equally yummy and safe! You should also avoid foods that could potentially get stuck in the surgery site or are too hot. It is essential to avoid drinking from a straw, as slurping too aggressively may compromise your stitches or the blood clot that protects the surgery wound. The more careful you are with what you eat after your surgery, the sooner you’ll be able to re-introduce your usual favorite foods into your diet! 
  • Take your recovery seriously when you get home. It is essential to take precautions when you get home from your surgery to avoid infections and other painful issues. Rinsing with salt water to keep the wounds clean and free of bacteria is one of the most simple and effective things you can regularly be doing. Make sure you don’t forcefully spit the saltwater when finished, but let it gently fall from your mouth. Your mouth will have some blood in it right after the surgery, so make sure to gently clean the wounds with gauze or a cotton ball after rinsing. It is also integral to avoid dislodging your stitches. This can disrupt the healing process and lead to dry sockets, which are painful and can cause a prolonged recovery process. 

Wisdom teeth removal recovery should be treated as any other surgery recovery: with time and care. Proactively managing your pain, thinking about what you are eating, and keeping the surgery wounds clean are three straightforward ways to keep your recovery short and sweet! Make sure to heed your dentist’s recovery tips too. If you or someone you know has questions about the wisdom teeth surgery process, call us today at (972) 539-4776.

Use it or Lose it

Use it or Lose it

School is in full swing, the holidays are approaching, and the year will be coming to a close before we know it! Our oral health is often forgotten about during this time of year because of all the excitement of the holidays. Going to the dentist may not be at the top of your mind, but you only have a few months left to use your dental benefits before they expire! Because many plans do not let you roll your benefits over into the following calendar year, it is important to use them while you can. To make things more simple for you, we have decided to share three easy ways to use your remaining benefits! Use it or lose it season is upon us!

  1. Big procedures. Have you always wanted a smile makeover but not known where to start? Now is the perfect time to begin! Schedule an Invisalign consultation or even give yourself a full smile restoration with dental implants before the year comes to a close. You will be able to use your leftover dental benefits to cover the costs which is the best part. It’s time to take the leap you’ve always wanted to and get your smile upgrade scheduled. It’s never too late to feel confident in your smile. This is a great way to use your benefits before you lose them!
  2. Unscheduled treatment. Do you need to complete a treatment you have been putting off for a while? We understand that certain types of treatment can be intimidating, especially if you have never had serious dental work done. We promise you won’t regret it! Whether it is getting crowns, a tooth extraction, fixing a cavity, or any other type of treatment, we stand by the fact that getting it on your schedule before 2021 ends is a good idea. You will be rid of any discomfort you have been having more quickly, and you will also save money in the long run. If you continue to put off the treatment you need, you may have to get more treatment in the future. You know what this means; schedule your treatment so you can use your benefits before you lose them!
  3. Hygiene. Have you gotten your teeth cleaned in the last six months? If it’s been since the spring of 2021 or earlier, you are due for a cleaning. Seeing your hygienist twice per year is one of the most important parts of keeping your teeth in top shape. Your hygienist will remove any plaque or tartar buildup that can cause more severe health problems in the future if not addressed early on. In addition to this, your smile will feel bright and beautiful. If you have remaining dental benefits and haven’t been in for a cleaning recently, schedule with us and use your benefits before you lose them!

Whether you want to treat yourself to a smile makeover, have pending treatment, or need to schedule a hygiene visit, now is the time to do it! Plus, we would love to see you at Flower Mound Family Dentistry before the year is over. Give us a call at (972) 539-4776 to get scheduled! The clock is ticking, which means it’s time to use it or lose it! Click here to learn about having a pain-free wisdom teeth recovery after surgery.
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Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment

Are you thinking about whether you want to sign up for dental insurance through an employer or switch from your current plan? Open enrollment season is officially here, and we want to help you find the right dental benefits plan for you and your family. We offer a Membership Plan that is simple and comprehensive. It is subscription-based and covers all your preventative care while giving you discounts on other procedures. Unlike dental insurance, there are no waiting periods, approval processes, deductibles, annual maximums, or other insurance hassles. Best of all, you can sign up in as little as 5 minutes, and your benefits start immediately!

 

At Flower Mound Family Dentistry, your oral health is our top priority. We understand that dental work can be expensive and insurance companies are frustrating to deal with. That is why we offer our Membership Plan! Our plan is straightforward, affordable, and offered directly through our office. 

 

We offer three different plans: Child Complete, Adult Complete, and Perio. By signing up for one of these plans, you will be able to save up to $528 per year on dental work! Our plans include:

 

Child Complete ($20/mo. or $240/yr.):

– 2 professional cleanings

– 2 regular exams

– 2 fluoride treatments

– Routine x-rays

– 1 emergency exam

 

Adult Complete ($24/mo. or $288/yr.):

– 2 professional cleanings

– 2 regular exams

– 2 fluoride treatments

– Routine x-rays

– 1 emergency exam

 

Perio ($41/mo. or $492/yr.):

– 4 perio maintenance procedures & checkups

– 2 regular exams

– 2 fluoride treatments

– Routine x-rays

– 1 emergency exam

 

In addition to this, all three of our plans include up to 20% off all other procedures completed at our practice and a 10% subscription discount for additional family members.

 

Now is the perfect time to sign up. If you are interested or would like to receive more information, you can visit this link or call us at (972) 539-4776.

 

Not only do we offer a Membership Plan to our individual patients, but we also offer a plan for local businesses! If you are a business owner or an employee of a business looking to offer dental insurance benefits to your employees, our Employer Plan is a great option! 

 

We are a local business and care deeply about other local businesses. We can help to ensure your business attracts and retains the employees to make it even more successful than it already is. Surveys of US workers report that 88% of job seekers indicate that dental benefits are a key factor in their job choice. Furthermore, 2 out of 3 employees consider dental benefits to be a very or extremely important part of their compensation package. It is safe to say that the better benefits your company offers, the better employees it will attract.

 

We are excited to tell you about our Employer Membership Plan, a dental benefits package revolutionizing what it means to offer dental benefits. Our Employer Plan is unique because:

 

  1. It is affordable
  2. No deductibles
  3. No waiting periods
  4. No annual maximums
  5. No pre-approvals
  6. No paperwork
  7. Simple online sign-up and management

 

This may sound too good to be true, but we promise it’s not. Our Employer Plan is a much better option than traditional insurance because it is provided directly to your company, eliminating the unnecessary costs, hassles, and limitations of 3rd party insurance. As an employer, you can contribute whatever you would like, from $0 to the full subscription price per employee. Company enrollment is fast and simple and plan management is easily accessible through the employer portal. If you’re looking to adopt a straightforward dental coverage plan for your company, look no further. Our Employer Plan is the one for you. If you are interested or would like to learn more, you can reach us at (972) 539-4776.

 

Now is the perfect time of year to sign up for new dental benefits or start a new plan for your company. We promise our plans won’t disappoint and want to do everything we can to provide you with the best, most affordable dental care on the market. Click here to learn about having a pain-free wisdom teeth recovery after surgery.

Happy Teeth-safe Food Month

Happy Teeth-safe Food Month

Happy Teeth-safe Food Month! Food goes hand-in-hand with a healthy life and affects our well-being in countless ways, your oral health included! Being knowledgeable regarding what foods are healthy and which are destructive for your teeth is very important in keeping your smile healthy. 

 

Cavities, one of the most common oral issues, can be caused directly by what we eat. Refined sugar is one of the most well-known causes of cavities. When we eat it, it is broken down by bacteria and turned into acid, which can dissolve the tooth enamel. The more often you consume foods that contain refined sugar, the more detrimental it can be to your oral health. So what are some of the healthiest ways to indulge in your favorite snacks while keeping your teeth healthy?

 

  • Eat sweets at a time you know you will brush soon afterward. Most people will brush their teeth pretty soon after eating a meal. Therefore, this is one of the best times to consume a sweet treat. If you’re snacking on sweets at a random time during the day, you are less likely to brush until later, and the sugar will have more time to sit on your teeth and will be more likely to damage them.
  • If you want to snack, find substitutes! Many delicious snacks are much better for your teeth than candy and sweets but can still satisfy your cravings for something tasty! Try snacking on berries or yogurt – they are both sweet and good for your teeth!
  • Avoid having sugar in your mouth for an extended time. Some examples of this are soda and candies you suck on, such as lollipops. If you want to enjoy a sugary snack, a quick dessert like a piece of cake or pie is much better. When you are eating something quickly, the saliva in your mouth will be hard at work washing the debris away. 

 

Keeping your diet well-balanced will make or break your oral health. The right foods will keep your teeth safe while also keeping your gums and bones strong. Familiarizing yourself with foods you love that are also rich in vitamins is the key, and is not that hard to do. Foods full of vitamin B12, folic acid, calcium, and vitamin C are some of the best things for healthy gums and teeth. Here are some of our top choices…

 

  • Meat. Meats such as chicken and fish are versatile and delicious. You can’t go wrong with either because there are so many ways to cook and season them! In addition to this, they contain vitamin B12, which is great for keeping your gums healthy.
  • Citrus. Whether you prefer fresh-squeezed orange juice or peeling and eating a clementine, citrus is delicious, rich in vitamin C, and perfect for keeping your soft mouth tissue healthy.
  • Dairy. Dairy products such as cheese, milk, and yogurt will kill two birds with one stone. They contain both calcium and vitamin B12, which are beneficial to the health of your gums and teeth!
  • Beans, seeds, and nuts. These three foods have endless uses and can enhance many meals. They also contain folic acid, which will strengthen the supporting soft tissue in your mouth.
  • Dark green leafy vegetables. When people think of calcium, they usually think of milk. However, certain leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and collard greens are chock full of calcium and will keep your teeth strong. 


Food allergies are unfortunately quite common. Luckily, the foods listed above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to food that is good for your oral health. You have many options and will never get bored! Making sure you eat a wide range of foods with the vitamins and minerals mentioned above will improve your oral health and your overall well-being. We can give you lots of healthy teeth tips on our blog, but it’s always better to come to visit us! Give us a call today at (972) 539-4776 to schedule a visit! Click here to learn about having a pain-free wisdom teeth recovery after surgery.

How can I help my children love brushing their teeth?

How can I help my children love brushing their teeth?

You’re not alone if you have trouble getting your children to brush their teeth. But you’re in luck, there are ways to make your children not only brush their teeth but enjoy it! We are excited to share three of our favorite ways to get your children to take ownership of their oral care.

 

  • Teach your children the importance of oral health early and model good oral hygiene yourself. 

Young children tend to take in the values parents instill in them, even though they may not understand their importance. Oral hygiene is no exception. Children who see their parents brushing and flossing will start to become curious about the practice themselves. Try creating a specific brushing and flossing time with your children. That way, when they become old enough to take care of their own brushing, a particular time will already be ingrained in them. It is important to teach the benefits of certain behaviors to your children. Explain why a healthy smile will lead to a healthy life. You can even throw something in about making the Tooth Fairy smile!

 

  • Make it fun.

Try making a brushing playlist of songs your children love. These days, you can even find dental-themed songs. Whenever it is time for brushing, put this playlist on and brush your teeth with your children. You can also try taking your children shopping for fun new toothbrushes. Most drugstores carry countless kids’ toothbrushes, some of which even feature beloved cartoon characters. There are so many unique ways to get your children to view brushing their teeth not just as necessary, but as fun! Soon your kids will be asking when it is time for their daily oral hygiene routine. 

 

  • Reward good brushing behavior to reinforce it for your children. 

Children are driven by rewards just as much as they are driven by fun. Rewards don’t need to be complicated; you could start adding fun stickers to a chart every time your child complies with daily oral hygiene on their own. You could even let your children choose dinner one night of the week if they have been good about brushing their teeth. Rewards will reinforce good oral health habits in your children, trust us!

 

Every child needs to learn why oral hygiene is so important. Educating your children about why brushing is essential, modeling good behavior, making oral care fun, and rewarding them when they are doing well are all ways to boost good brushing behavior. Let’s get your kids brushing! Click here to learn about having a pain-free wisdom teeth recovery after surgery.

What is Sleep Apnea?

What is Sleep Apnea?

Do you snore? Or gasp for air in your sleep? Do you always feel tired?

If so, you may have sleep apnea or Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).  Approximately 25 million adults in the United States suffer from sleep apnea. This chronic condition occurs when the muscles relax during sleep, causing the soft tissue to collapse and block the airway. Symptoms include snoring, gasping, or choking sounds during sleep.

Sapna Amin, DDS, is specially trained in sleep apnea evaluations and sleep apnea oral appliance therapy.

For those diagnosed with sleep apnea, oral appliance therapy may be an alternative to a CPAP mask. Dental appliances are a great option for those with mild to moderate sleep apnea and not CPAP compliant and/or cannot tolerate a CPAP mask. Sleep apnea dental appliances are similar in size to a dental night guard and are more comfortable to wear than a CPAP mask. The dental appliance moves the jaw forward, increasing the size of the upper airway and reduces the air resistance that leads to sleep apnea and snoring.

Sleep Apnea Treatment – From the Dentist?

Yes, you read that right. We can help treat sleep apnea here at Flower Mound Family Dentistry. For some that may seem like a rather strange thing for a dentist to do. Many people believe a CPAP machine is the only option to treat sleep apnea, and while that may be recommended for some types of sleep apnea, that certainly is not the case for all patients suffering from sleep apnea.

How can Flower Mound Family Dentistry help?

At Flower Mound Family Dentistry we look at different symptoms that may be present in a patient that has a sleeping disorder.

  1. Grinding teeth
  2. Snoring
  3. Anatomical features noted on the doctor examination
  4. Sleep apnea

If a patient tells us they have any of these issues, or if we see signs of these problems, there are a few different routes we may take to help.

When a patient comes in for a visit, we can have them answer questions from

Epworth Sleepiness Scale Self-Assessment

The Epworth Sleepiness Scale is widely used in the field of sleep medicine as a subjective measure of a patient’s sleepiness. The test is a list of eight situations in which you rate your tendency to become sleepy on a scale of 0, no chance of dozing, to 3, high chance of dozing. When you finish the test, add up the values of your responses. Your total score is based on a scale of 0 to 24. The scale estimates whether you are experiencing excessive sleepiness that possibly requires medical attention.

If you think you may have sleep apnea, please complete this self-assessment (need to have it attached)

Once Dr.Amin has assessed the patient thoroughly, the next step is to use SleepTest.com and have a home sleep study done. SleepTest.com sets the industry standard in reliable home sleep testing for at-risk, sleep patients. They make sleep testing simple for patients who appreciate evaluations in the comfort of their own beds and effortless for clients with their online HIPAA compliant portal. Their portal acts as a secure ecosystem between SleepTest.com and thier clients, allowing for electronic patient referrals and easy to retrieve sleep test results.

Once this is completed, the results are interpreted by a board-certified sleep physician that works in collaboration with Dr. Amin to evaluate the patient clinically.

A customized treatment plan is devised based on the sleep results. Next a consult appointment is made to discuss the results and planned treatment with the patient and Dr. Amin.

In mild and moderate cases, we can often treat the sleep apnea with one of a few oral appliance options that we will custom fit for the patient. This tends to be less intrusive than a CPAP machine, and the number of people who will use an oral appliance vs. a CPAP is much higher. A CPAP machine is a very good option for many cases of sleep apnea, and it works for thousands of people.

In severe cases, CPAP therapy is the best first line treatment, and patients with this diagnosis will be referred to see a sleep specialist or their physician to initiate therapy.

The Results

We have had patients so excited about the treatment they received from Dr. Amin that they come back and tell us about their experience. It may be that their snoring has ceased, and they are able to sleep with their spouse again. It may be that they simply are more rested now that they are not waking up frequently. It may be that their teeth do not show signs of grinding anymore. We are excited to be able to help people treat their sleeping disorders and get them back to a healthy sleep and DREAMING again!

Contact Us

If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea or suffer from any of the symptoms of sleep disordered breathing, call or email us today to schedule an evaluation. Click here to learn about having a pain-free wisdom teeth recovery after surgery.

4 Reasons to Schedule Your 6-Month Checkup

4 Reasons to Schedule Your 6-Month Checkup

4 Reasons to Schedule Your 6-Month Checkup

Staying on top of your dental health is essential for various reasons. We are excited to share a few of them with you!

You may be wondering why it is necessary to go to the dentist every six months. There are countless more benefits of maintaining your dental health routine than you realize, and we are here to share just a few of them. After reading this, you will want to make sure you have your next appointment on the calendar!

  1. Overall health

    There has been in-depth research done regarding the connection between dental health and health issues in other parts of the body. Most people do not know that there have been links discovered between oral infections and heart disease, lung disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke. How does this happen? Many of these conditions begin with oral manifestations. During your routine dental checkups, your dentist can help identify these manifestations. Your dentist’s oral health knowledge can provide a key link to the detection of other issues you may be unaware of.

  2. Catch problems before they grow

    Dentists are trained and educated to catch oral health issues early on. People tend to believe that cavities are accompanied by intense pain and, therefore, are easy to detect. This isn’t always true. In some cases, you may not be able to feel your cavity at all. If you are going to your dentist routinely, painless cavities will be caught and treated before they become worse and result in more prolonged, expensive treatment.

  3. Keeping bacteria at bay

    What is plaque, and why is avoiding its removal bad for your oral health? Plaque is a layer of clear, sticky bacteria on your teeth. It is almost impossible to get rid of it during your daily brushing routine, so that is why your routine cleanings are so important. If plaque sticks to your teeth for too long, it will harden and become tartar. Tartar is impossible to remove with your at-home oral care routine. If you let it build up for too long, it can result in oral infection. Without routine cleanings, plaque and tartar buildup would be close to impossible to stay on top of.

  4. Don’t forget your gums

    The health of your gums is an important part of your overall oral health and something challenging to keep up with if you have no dental knowledge. During your routine checkup, your dentist will check the depth of the space between your teeth and gums with a unique tool. If the area is deep, you may have gum disease. Small checkups like this may seem unimportant, but you will be thankful for them later on!

Hopefully, you all can gather that your biyearly dental exams and cleanings are critical to maintaining your oral health. If you choose to skip or postpone these exams, you risk developing oral health issues that could cost you money and time down the road. We promise that routine dental appointments are something to be happy about! Click here to learn about having a pain-free wisdom teeth recovery after surgery.

Signs and Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Signs and Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, can become impacted and cause issues for you if they are tilted, crowded into the teeth in front of them, don’t have enough room, or an improper bite alignment. Complications from impacted wisdom teeth can lead to gum disease or tooth decay, damage to other teeth, infection, overcrowding of the teeth, and even cysts or tumors.

Some signs and symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth include:

  • stiffness or pain around jaw
  • headaches
  • bad breath
  • swelling around the jaw
  • tender, red, or bleeding gums in the back of mouth
  • unpleasant taste in mouth
  • difficult opening you mouth
  • feeling pressure on back teeth
  • shifting of teeth in the front

Typically, if your teeth are impacted, Dr. Amin will recommend extraction of the teeth. Patients concerned about pain during the procedure need not worry. Fortunately, modern anesthesia technology now makes it possible to perform even complex surgeries in the dental office (rather than in the hospital) with little or no discomfort to the patient. In cases involving dental surgery, local anesthesia that numbs the surgical area (novacaine) is used either by itself or in combination with one or more of the following: nitrous oxide (sometimes called “laughing gas”) to relax you; oral premedication; intravenous “I.V.” sedation (also known as “twilight sleep” or “conscious sedation”) for relaxation. In fact, many patients report that their surgeries were remarkably pain- and anxiety-free! Click here to learn about having a pain-free wisdom teeth recovery after surgery.

Keeping up with Dental Technology

Keeping up with Dental Technology

Keeping up with dental technology is important in today’s ever changing, high-tech world. Dr. Sapna Amin at Flower Mound Family Dentistry takes pride in offering her patients the latest and greatest in the dental field. We would like to share those advancements with you!

NOMAD Portable X-Ray

This handheld x-ray unit allows our staff to take quick and precise x-rays. It is easily moved to each operatory, allowing for even the most difficult angles of x-rays to be taken with great patient comfort. The staff member using this unit stays in the room with you during your x-rays and can quickly make adjustments to get the right shot. The NOMAD, along with the digital sensors, allows for much less radiation exposure.

 PLANMECA Panoramic X-Ray 

Our digital PANO machine allows us to take crystal clear 2-D images of the head and neck region. This x-ray allows us to see numerous features of the head and neck and can help diagnose issues with TMJ, sinus cavities, bone loss, wisdom teeth, and even calcified arteries. Since the machine is all digital, we are easily able to share the images with other dental specialists you may need to seek treatment from.

 Digital Intraoral Cameras

Photos are taken at your cleaning appointments, as well as treatment appointments using our digital intraoral cameras. These cameras are roughly the size of a toothbrush, and provide us a close-up, macro size view of the tooth. Using these photos, we are able to compare and contrast the teeth over time. We can make the tooth large on the screen and check for fractures, suspicious lesions, and areas that are difficult to see in the mouth. These photos help in making the correct diagnosis.

  Diagnodent

The diagnodent is a laser fluorescence detector that aids in diagnosing decayed areas of the teeth. This tool, used in conjunction with Dr. Amin’s clinical exam, can determine areas that are beginning to have changes in the enamel. This is beneficial when determining where to focus your oral hygiene efforts. Click here to learn about having a pain-free wisdom teeth recovery after surgery.

Why Are My Gums Receding?

Why Are My Gums Receding?

Why Are My Gums Receding?

Have you noticed your teeth looking longer in appearance? Does it look like your gums are shrinking around the tooth? Do your teeth feel more sensitive to cold drinks or citrus foods? You could have receding gums, a condition caused from potentially numerous factors. Don’t worry, there are steps you can take to prevent and stop your gums from receding. The first step is to consult Dr. Sapna Amin DDS at Flower Mound Family Dentistry to find out whether your condition requires special attention.

There are numerous causes for gum recession, or gingival recession, and neglecting the issue can lead to further gum and bone loss and even eventual tooth loss.

Overly aggressive brushing– Make sure you are brushing and not scrubbing your teeth! Be sure to use a soft toothbrush or electric toothbrush to reduce the

Crowded teeth, teeth out of alignment- When teeth are crooked or not as straight as they could be, plaque and bacteria can more easily collect along the gum lines. This leads to plaque hardening and forming tarter, or calculus. This buildup can slowly push the gums down the tooth and lead to gum recession. Teeth that are straight and in a healthy alignment are much easier to keep clean and therefore helps prevent that tartar from forming. If your teeth are crooked or you noticed yellow to whitish buildup forming easily soon after your cleaning appointments, you may want to consider alignment correction. Dr. Amin offers Clear Correct (similar to Invisalign) which are clear aligners that straighten the teeth and put them into a healthy occlusion. This not only creates an aesthetic appearance to the teeth, but helps in overall hygiene and health of the mouth.

Genetics- Some people are genetically predisposed to periodontal disease that will lead to receding gums. If you have parents, grandparents, siblings or other close relatives that have lost their teeth early in life, you could be at risk for the same condition. It is important

Grinding Teeth (bruxing)-Grinding your teeth both during the day and at night puts excessive forces on your teeth that can cause receding gums. If you are aware or have been told that you clench or grind your teeth, you may benefit from a night guard. Dr. Amin will evaluate your symptoms to determine if you would benefit from a professionally made night guard.

Trauma to Teeth- Trauma can be caused from numerous factors including sports injuries and falls and even orthodontic treatment. Foreign objects such as toothpicks, paper clips and even fingernails, used aggressively or inappropriately, can wear away at the gums and even your enamel.  This can lead to teeth that look longer or even discolored. If you notice any changes to your gums or the appearance of your teeth after bumping or hitting your tooth, let your dentist know.

Poor Oral Hygiene- Plaque and tartar on the teeth can cause inflammation of the gums and eventual gum disease. Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a chronic condition that causes deterioration of the gingiva and eventually the bone surrounding the teeth. As the bone levels get lower, the gums follow and this is the appearance of receding gums. If you have gums that bleed when you brush or floss, have an unpleasant odor coming from the mouth, or even are just noticing your teeth and gums feeling different, you should consult with your dentist.

Whitening Toothpastes- Whitening toothpastes are very abrasive and if used too often or improperly, can contribute to receding gums. Some toothpastes contain ingredients that are too abrasive or gritty for some patients’ teeth. This can lead to tooth sensitivity, especially to cold, and it is recommended that you switch toothpaste to a regular fluoride containing toothpaste without whitening.

Receding gums is a concern that you should take seriously. If the causes are not corrected, it could lead to bone loss and eventual tooth loss. Contact Dr. Sapna Amin at Flower Mound Family Dentistry for a consultation to evaluate the overall health of your mouth. Click here to learn about having a pain-free wisdom teeth recovery after surgery.

Dental Bridge Vs. Dental Implant

Dental Bridge Vs. Dental Implant

Replacing missing teeth has come a long way in the past 30 years. Missing or extracted teeth raise common concerns for our patients, but proper replacement is key to a confident & functioning smile. Some questions that may come to mind are “What’s the difference between a dental bridge and an implant? What’s the right option for me? Very often the dental implant is ideal, but certain factors will be considered first.

Practical reasons for both options

In the past, a bridge was your only choice, and involves more than just the missing tooth. The adjacent teeth need to be “prepped” by removing most of the enamel in order to fabricate the bridge. With dental implants, A specialist replaces just the individual tooth for a result that is stronger and permanent. A dental bridge may be your best option if the neighboring teeth have large fillings and need crowns or caps in the future. If the tooth or teeth have been missing for a long time, the gum and bone will have receded and procedures beyond the implant could be required before placement. The advantages and disadvantages to both procedures can ultimately be discussed with Dr. Amin. with a dental bridge, teeth can not be flossed in between so maintenance is key. In addition, with a bridge, the area where the tooth is missing will have a progression of bone loss. Implants help secure the bone.

Changes in your oral care routine

Your ability to keep your mouth healthy will be easier with an implant. Dental bridges are cemented or “fixed” in the mouth, and involve at least three crowns connected together to fill the space of the missing tooth. This design creates challenges when brushing and flossing, so extra oral hygiene instruction and meticulous home care are crucial. When flossing, in particular, an additional step is needed to thread the floss under the false tooth. In contrast, implants can replace teeth individually without affecting other teeth, making regular home care more successful. You can effectively brush and floss around an implant just like your natural tooth.

Durability

Dental implants are more durable than bridges, allowing them to provide protection that lasts a lifetime. The implant’s metal cylinder is normally made of titanium, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), and this material fuses with your jawbone naturally through a process called osseointegration. Because it’s made of such a strong metal, they are very resistant to decay and gum problems. The average life of a dental bridge, on the other hand, is approximately 8-10 years. A portion of your natural tooth remains beneath it and normal wear may cause the bridge to fail more easily over time. In general, the remaining tooth structure continues to be susceptible to decay and gum disease.

Esthetics

What about esthetics? There isn’t always a simple answer, but Dr. Amin will be able to advise you. Often the implant will provide the most pleasing result, Dr. Amin and the Dental Lab can make the final tooth look just like your natural enamel. Sometimes, an implant can be placed immediately after a tooth extraction, preserving the natural level of bone and improving the final appearance of the dental work. The Specialist you see will be able to advise you on your options for an immediate implant placement or if you will need to wait after the extraction has been done.

Dental Bridge vs. Implant Cost

The cost of the dental bridge is initially less, but it may need to be replaced at some point in the future. Implants – from preparation to final placement – may seem more expensive, but over time can be more cost-effective. Implants have a 95-99% success rate if done properly compared to bridges. Fortunately, most dental insurance providers are paying for a portion of or all of the steps involved. Our office staff can help you with your specific insurance and answer any questions you have. In addition, implant treatment can be more flexible, allowing patients to budget the cost in increments. After extraction, for example, a bone graft is sometimes needed. This graft typically has to heal for several months before implant placement, at which point Osseointegration can take anywhere from three to six months before the process is complete.

Dental bridge vs. implant? Make this decision after carefully consulting with Dr. Amin about all your options. She knows your mouth best and has the tools and knowledge to guide you through what’s best. Although bridges are an older procedure, dental implants have become very indicative and routine over the years, and in most cases are the preferable treatment both in time and expense. Click here to learn about having a pain-free wisdom teeth recovery after surgery.

What is a Cavity?

What is a Cavity?

Dental cavities (caries) are holes in the two outer layers of a tooth, called enamel and dentin. The enamel is the outermost white hard surface and the dentin is the yellow layer just beneath the enamel. Both layers serve to protect the inner living tooth tissue, called the pulp. This area is where blood vessels and nerves reside. Dental Cavities are common, affecting over 90% of the population. Small cavities may not cause pain, and may go unnoticed by the patient. The larger cavities can trap food, and the inner pulp or nerve of the tooth can become irritated by foods that are cold, hot ,sweet, or sour causing a toothache. Click here to learn about having a pain-free wisdom teeth recovery after surgery.

What causes a Cavity?

Cavity causing bacteria in the mouth consume simple sugars, converting them into acid plaque. Acid plaque is different from the periodontal plaque that causes “Gum Disease”. The acid plaque produced by these bacteria causes the hard inorganic layers of the enamel and dentin to soften. The softened layers are then dissolved by your saliva, leaving a hole (cavity) in the tooth. Unless filled by your dentist, the cavity can continue to grow and spread to the inner nerve or pulp of the tooth. Pulp damage necessitates either an extraction o r root canal and crown procedure to be done.

The enamel on baby teeth is not mature and is very porous as well. It is critical to treat cavities on baby teeth early on.

Cavity causing bacteria are difficult to eradicate because they are very similar to the other harmless bacteria that live in the mouth. The many cavity causing bacteria include:

  1. Lactobacillus Acidophilus bacteria reside in the pits and fissures, or deep groves of our teeth. These bacteria can cause rampant tooth decay in young children between the ages of 3 and 12, causing cavities in both baby teeth and sometimes first permanent molars that erupt around age 6.
  2. Six species of Streptococcus bacteria attack the smooth surfaces of the sides of our teeth. These (flossing cavities) are usually touching adjacent teeth. Cavities on these surfaces are hard to detect visually, and your dentist will use dental x rays to help verify these hard to see cavities.
  3. Odontomyces Viscoses bacteria live on the back of the tongue and attack exposed cementum. Cementum is the hard outer layer of the tooth root( the bottom two thirds of the tooth that is normally under dental bone). In older patients and in patients with gum disease, the tooth root and cementum become exposed and vulnerable to attack by these bacteria.

How can you prevent Cavities?

The number of cavities can be reduced by proper nutrition, good oral hygiene, fewer snacks in between meals, the use of oral and topical fluorides, and topical sealants.

  1. Nutritional Counseling- consuming less simple sugar (sucrose or table sugar) will reduce the number of acid producing bacteria in the mouth. Adequate amounts of dietary Calcium, Phosphorus, Vitamins A,D, and C promote healthy and strong enamel formation.
  2. Home Care- Brushing your teeth frequently (2 x a day and after meals or snacks) helps reduce acid plaque damage to enamel, while frequent flossing removes acid plaque from the smooth surfaces between teeth. If you cannot brush and floss immediately after a meal, you should try chewing self cleaning foods at the end of meals or rinse with some water until you can brush and floss. These foods include apples and celery, foods that are crunchy help sweep away food debris and plaque. Chewing sugarless gum for a few minutes at the end of a meal can also help.
  3. Eating fewer snacks between meals- Every snack you eat is followed by an “acid attack” on your teeth. Snacking all day causes the teeth to be bathed in acid continuously. Fewer snacks and eating desserts only with meals helps reduce the number of “acid attacks” on your teeth.
  4. Fluorides- Topical fluorides fill in the pores of immature enamel or small early cavities and help reduce cavities in already erupted teeth. Topical fluorides are “painted” on the teeth by a member of Dr.Amin’s team and is done in conjunction with your check ups twice a year.
  5. Sealants- Sealants are plastic coatings painted on the pits and fissures (deep grooves) of chewing surfaces of back teeth (molars), and are highly effective in preventing cavities. Sealants are recommended for all permanent molars in children. They are also used to reduce cavities in baby teeth and in adults that are cavity prone. The procedure is done by eitherDr.Amin or her Hygienists and is simple and painless and requires no anesthesia or “numbing”.
  6. Eliminating Acidic Drinks- These include but not limited to, Coffee, Sweet Tea, energy drinks, and sodas.