Do you take my dental insurance?

AABS accepts most insurance policy plans which normally pay up to one hundred percent for preventative care (x-rays, exams, standard cleanings).

How many times a day should I brush and floss?

Dental disease and plaque is managed by brushing and flossing. When food debris, bacteria, and saliva are stuck to teeth, plaque builds up. The bacteria in plaque change certain food fragments into acids and cause tooth decay. Likewise, if plaque is not taken out, it turns into calculus (tartar). If plaque and calculus are not removed, they start to ruin the gums and bone, causing gum (periodontal) disease. Oral plaque formation and buildup is constant and can just be controlled by regular cleaning, flossing, and the use of other oral products. Brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums, delicately making use of a small, round motion, guaranteeing that you constantly feel the bristles on the gums. Brush the external, internal, and biting surfaces of each tooth. Brush your tongue to freshen your breath and get rid of unwanted germs. Consider an electric toothbrush. They are more efficient at cleaning teeth.

Flossing daily is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gum line. Flossing also helps to remove plaque. Once you are finished brushing and flossing vigorously rinse your mouth to help get rid of loose material.

How often should you see a dentist?

Dental exams and cleaning are essential to good oral health. Visiting your dentist twice a year is highly recommended.

Also, the following are other conditions your dentist can check for.

  • All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay.
  • Gum disease evaluation; check the gums and bone around the teeth for any sort of indications of gum disease.
  • Oral cancer screening; inspect the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, and gums for any sort of indications of oral cancer.
  • Check existing fillings, crowns, etc to make sure there is no need for replacement.

Removing plaque on your teeth by brushing and flossing is difficult. Your dentist will have special equipment that will remove plaque helping to prevent inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria produced toxins.

How can you get your bright smile back?

We all at one point start with bright white teeth. Unfortunately, our teeth can become stained or discolored. As we grow older the outer layer of enamel on our teeth wears away resulting in a darker color to our teeth. In addition, coffee, tea, smoking, etc add to the darkening. Children taking tetracycline and excessive fluoridation before their teeth are developed can cause discoloring. This is why teeth whitening have become the most common cosmetic dental procedure.

A simple, non-invasive treatment to change the color of the tooth enamel is professional teeth whitening, simply known as bleaching. Over the counter products are available for bleaching, but are less effective than the professional treatments from your dentist.

If you need whitening what are the options?

Over the counter teeth whitening products range from whitening toothpastes, bleaching strips placed on the teeth to custom made mouth guards. Depending on how badly your teeth are stained, satisfactory results with over the counter products can take several weeks.

If you choose to go to a dental professional to brighten your smile results will be immediate. A bleaching solution is applied to the teeth and a special light may be used at the same time. The procedure will take between thirty and sixty minutes to complete. One treatment may not be enough depending on how stained your teeth are.

Once you have regained a bright white smile keep in mind it is not permanent. After a few years your teeth may need the procedure again.

How can cosmetic dentistry improve my smile?

Do you feel your smile needs improving? Are you self-conscious when you smile? Do you not smile because of your teeth? Cosmetic dentistry may be the answer to make you feel better about yourself and build your confidence.

Over the past few decades there have been tremendous advancements in procedures and materials to help dental professionals improve your smile. Fixing a chipped or missing tooth, straightening teeth, removing excess teeth, whitening or even a full mouthy makeover are available to you.

How can porcelain veneers give me a better smile?

Porcelain veneers individual, thin layered shells in the shape of a tooth used to cover the front of teeth. They are extremely durable and stain resistant and are very popular for improving smiles.

Veneers can improve smiles that have the following problems:

  • Gaps or uneven spaces
  • Badly stained teeth
  • Chipped or worn teeth
  • Crowded teeth
  • Small or big teeth
  • Odd shape teeth

To make veneers a mold is made of your existing teeth. Then a dental laboratory will make the individual veneer, both in shape and color. Your teeth are buffed and shaped to receive the new veneers. They are fitted and bonded to the front of the tooth with bonding cements and a specialized light to harden and set the bond.

How safe are amalgam (silver) dental fillings?

What are amalgam fillings? Amalgam is a combination of zinc, tin, silver and copper, bounded by elemental mercury.  This material has been used to fill teeth for over a hundred years. There are claims direct exposure to the vapor of minute particles of mercury can cause a variety of health issues.

Per the American Dental Association (ADA), as many as 76 % of dental professionals continue to use silver containing mercury to fill teeth. Research has failed to discover any sort of link between silver having mercury and any sort of health issues.

The basic consensus is that amalgam (silver) dental fillings are risk-free. Along with the ADA's position, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization, the FDA and others support the use of silver dental fillings as risk-free, durable, and cost effective.

Is there a connection between dental health (gum illness) and overall health?

Several studies have revealed that gum condition, which is a low grade infection, boosts the threat for strokes and heart attacks. High degrees of bad cholesterol (LDL) are observed in people with gum disease before they have any indicators of heart problems. Fortunately oral disease is preventable and treatable. This is why normal dental cleanings, examinations and x-rays are essential to your total wellness.

 What are the signs of periodontitis (gum disease)?

Most people who have these conditions are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages. Unlike tooth decay, which often causes discomfort, it is possible to have periodontal disease without noticeable symptoms. Having regular dental check-ups and periodontal exams are very important and will help detect if periodontal problems exist.

Periodontal disease starts when plaque is left on the teeth and gums. Acids from the bacteria inflame the gums and slowly destroy the bone. Properly brushing and flossing regularly will ensure that plaque is not left behind to do damage.

Other conditions that can increase the risk for periodontal disease:

  • Medications reducing saliva, making the mouth dry.
  • Defective fillings trapping food
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco.
  • Crowded teeth
  • Bridges that no longer fit properly
  • Pregnancy, oral contraceptives, and puberty can change hormone levels making gums more susceptible to toxins from bacteria.
  • Systemic diseases like HIV/AIDS, diabetes, blood cell disorders, etc.
  • Some patients may be predisposed (genetics) to a more aggressive type of periodontitis. Patients with a family history of tooth loss should pay particular attention to their gums.

Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease are as follows:

  • Bleeding gums; gums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss.
  • Red and puffy gums; gums should never be red or swollen.
  • New spacing between teeth or loose teeth; caused by bone loss.
  • Discomfort or tenderness; plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth.
  • Persistent bad breath; caused by bacteria in the mouth.
  • Pus around the teeth and gums from an infection.
  • Receding gums around a tooth.

What should I do if I have halitosis (bad breath)?

Bad breath (halitosis) can be an undesirable and humiliating disorder. Several of us may not discover we have bad breath, yet every person has it every so often, especially in the early morning.

There are numerous reasons one might have bad breath, however in healthy people, the major explanation is because of microbes on the tongue, particularly in the back. Some studies say just cleaning the tongue reduced bad breath by as much as seventy percent.

Why do we get bad breath?

  • Foods having odor-causing substances (onion, garlic, etc) enter into the blood stream where they are moved to the lungs; then they are breathed out.
  • Saliva flow slows dramatically during sleep and its minimized cleansing action and permits bacteria to grow, triggering halitosis.
  • Smoking; tends to dry the mouth and leave tobacco odors.
  • Gum (periodontal) disease; food particles and accumulation of bacteria living under inflamed gums.
  • Weight loss; losing weight causes chemicals called ketones to be released into the breath.
  • Certain health disorders; diabetic issues, liver and renal problems, chronic sinus infections, respiratory diseases, and pneumonia are several ailments that could add to bad breath.
  • Xerostomia (dry mouth); may be created by salivary gland troubles, certain medications, or continuous breathing through the mouth.

Why is it important to use dental floss?

Daily flossing is the most effective way to clean in between the teeth and under the gum line. Unfortunately, a toothbrush can’t reach between teeth to remove excess food and plaque. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it prevents plaque buildup that can cause damage to teeth, gums and even bone.

How you can floss:

  • Take 14-18 inches of floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving approximately 3 inches for your teeth.
  • Guide the floss with your forefingers and thumbs.
  • Gently insert the floss between your teeth and move back and forth using a saw motion.
  • Curve the floss into a "C" shape around each tooth and under the gum line.
  • Cleaning the side of each tooth by moving the floss up and down.
  • Flossing at least once a day will go a long way to keeping a beautiful and healthy smile.