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Helping Kids Overcome the Fear of Dentists

Helping Kids Overcome the Fear of Dentists

It’s not uncommon for children to be afraid of going to the dentist. Let’s face it, many adults don’t like visiting the dentist either. However adults mainly don’t want to take the time or don’t want to hear the news that they aren’t taking good care of their teeth. It’s different with kids though, who often have a real fear of the dentist, equipment, and the unknown situation. If your child is one of those who experiences anxiety at the mention of the dentist, here are some things you can do to help ease those fears.

Use visual aids:
It is helpful for some children to watch a video or read a book that will help them become more familiar and comfortable with going to the dentist. Your local library or the internet both likely offer resources for this purpose, and bookstores have books and DVDs for purchase. These visual aids help kids know what to expect in visiting the dentist, and what their role is in the process.

Visit the office:
Take your child to the dentist’s office prior to your appointment so they can observe the office, meet the staff, and see the area and tools used for examinations. The staff may even give your child an explanation of the tools that dentists use for checkups. Your dentist wants children to feel comfortable and confident in getting dental treatment, so most offices do their best to help your child adjust.

Explain the importance:
Even though fear sometimes overtakes logic, it’s still important to explain to your child the reasons for seeing the dentist. Help them understand the benefits of checkups, and the oral health consequences that may occur by not caring for their teeth and getting regular checkups.

Our dental office is located in Fall River

Making Dental Hygiene Fun for Kids

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!

If you need a dentist in Fall River contact us today

Corrective Jaw Surgery

Corrective Jaw Surgery

Oral surgery to correct problems with the jaw is known as orthognathic surgery. Jaw issues can result from birth defects, changes due to growth, or injury or trauma to the face. While orthodontics can correct bite problems when only the teeth are involved, oral surgery may be required when repositioning of the jaw is necessary to correct the issue. If you suffer from any of the following concerns, orthognathic surgery may be a consideration:

  • Difficulty chewing, biting or swallowing
  • Problems with opening and closing your mouth, or with speaking
  • Persistent jaw or temporomandibular joint pain
  • Clenching or grinding of teeth causing excessive wear to the teeth
  • Inability to make the lips meet without straining
  • Un-proportional facial appearance or protruding jaw
  • Malocclusion, open, or incorrect bite
  • Recessive lower jaw and chin
  • Habitual mouth breathing
  • Sleep apnea and breathing problems
  • Facial injury or trauma

Most jaw surgeries are performed completely in the mouth, so no facial scars are visible. The oral surgeon makes cuts in the jawbone and then moves them to the correct position. Once the jaw is correctly aligned, screws and bone plates are placed to secure the jaw into the new position. Sometimes it may be necessary to add extra bone to the jaw from your hip, leg, or rib.

Orthognathic surgery is performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon usually in a hospital setting. Recovery time from jaw surgery takes three to six weeks. Your general or family dentist should be able to refer you to a skilled oral surgeon for a consultation and examination to determine a treatment plan. Jaw surgery can improve not only your facial appearance, but also chewing, speaking and breathing functions.

If you need a dentist in Fall River contact us today

Treating Receding Gums With Oral Surgery

Treating Receding Gums With Oral Surgery

While minor gum recession can be treated by your dentist with deep cleaning and antibiotics, serious gum recession can only be treated with oral surgery. A loss of bone and gum pockets that are very deep require gum surgery to address the pain and damage left by acute gum recession.

Three treatments are used primarily in the treatment of serious gum recession, in order of invasiveness: pocket depth reduction, regeneration, and soft tissue graft. Pocket depth reduction involves a deep cleaning of the affected area. The periodontist folds the gum tissue back and utilizes tooth scaling and root planing to remove any tartar and plaque built up around the tooth. Once the gum pockets are clean, the surgeon pulls the gum tissue gently around the tooth, eliminating the deep pockets altogether or significantly reducing their depth.

Regeneration utilizes a similar treatment to pocket depth reduction, but it also addresses any bone loss that occurred due to acute gum recession. In this process, a regenerative agent such as graft tissue, membranes or tissue stimulating proteins is added to the affected area. The gum tissue is then tucked into place and stitched down. Over time, the regenerative agent will work to rebuild lost bone and tissue, leaving healthy and thriving tissue behind.

The most common soft tissue graft is taken from the patient’s own mouth, either by removing tissue from the roof of the mouth or from the gum tissue near the affected tooth. The healthy gum tissue is placed in the affected area, over the exposed tooth root, protecting it from infection and damage.

To prevent the need for oral surgery to address your receding gums, have good oral hygiene habits. Brush, floss and see your dentist twice a year for checkups and professional cleanings. Talk to your dentist if you have any other questions about how to reverse or prevent gum recession.


We look forward to seeing you in our Fall River dental office

An Overview of Root Canal Treatment

An Overview of Root Canal Treatment

Sometimes a tooth is so severely damaged that the only way to save it is with root canal treatment. There is no reason to turn and run if your dentist advises this procedure. The treatment has advanced to the point that it’s often compared to getting a filling. There are certain steps that will be performed as part of nearly every root canal procedure.

Preparation

X-rays may be taken as part of the diagnosis process or to determine the extent of damage. Once the dentist is ready to begin treatment, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the area throughout the procedure.

Pulp removal

A rubber dam will be placed around the tooth to separate the area from the rest of the mouth, and to keep it dry from saliva. The tooth will be opened, often using a small dental drill, to gain access to the pulp inside the tooth. The damaged pulp will be removed, and if there is an abscess it will be drained.

Cleaning and filling

After the pulp is eliminated, the dentist will thoroughly clean the area. The root canal will be widened if needed to create an adequate space for the filling. Depending on the extent of the damage, this step of the process can take up to several hours to complete or it can be spread over more than one visit. A temporary filling is sometimes used to seal the area between visits. If infection is present, the dentist may prescribe antibiotics.

Sealing

The temporary filling will be removed and the permanent filling placed to fully seal the tooth and prevent future infection. If the tooth has been filled at the root, the risk of breaking is higher so a crown may be recommended for protection.

Crown placement

Crowns help prevent further damage or fracturing. If needed, the tooth will be reduced somewhat to allow space for the crown. It will be held in place securely with dental cement.

Recovery

After root canal treatment, the tooth should survive for many years. The procedure may be repeated if re-infection occurs.

Schedule your appointment at our Fall River dental office

Debunking the Myths about Root Canal Treatment

Debunking the Myths about Root Canal Treatment

One of the most misunderstood procedures in dentistry is root canal treatment. If your dentist recommends this procedure, you might be quick to turn to the internet or other sources to learn about it. Unfortunately there is a lot of unreliable information out there, which can scare you away from needed treatment.

There are some common myths that circulate about root canal therapy. Instead of avoiding treatment, learn the truth about this procedure that may be the most effective way to save a damaged tooth.

Myth: Root canal treatment is very painful.

Truth: This procedure often serves to relieve pain instead of creating it. With the anesthetics and sedation dentistry available today, in most cases the procedure feels like simply getting a filling.

Myth: You don’t need root canal treatment unless you are experiencing severe tooth pain.

Fact: Pain is not always present when root canal therapy is advised by your dentist. A tooth that has died may no longer trigger pain, but treatment is necessary to eliminate infection and save the tooth. Diagnostic tests are available to help your dentist diagnose tooth problems even when pain is not present.

Myth: The benefits of root canal treatment are short-lived.

Fact: This treatment provides durable and long-lasting results, potentially for a lifetime. Since the tooth is usually topped with a crown, it can be protected indefinitely.

Myth: Root canal treatment causes illnesses.

Fact: This is one of the most common misconceptions you might run across on the internet. Based on very old research that has been proven to be wrong, the myth still exists that root canal therapy might cause various diseases. Instead, root canal treatment is safe and only improves your oral and overall health.

Myth: Tooth extraction is an adequate alternative to root canal therapy.

Fact: Dentists agree that saving your natural tooth is almost always preferred over a traumatic procedure like tooth extraction. The benefits of keeping your restored real tooth are better than having a hole in your smile or requiring tooth replacement solutions.


We look forward to seeing you in our Fall River dental office

Dental Fears Relieved with Sedation Dentistry

Dental Fears Relieved with Sedation Dentistry

Severe dental phobia can cause people to completely avoid dental examinations and treatments. Anxiety about dental treatment can develop for many reasons, including fear of pain, the feeling of not having control, fear of needles, a strong gag reflex, or a history of bad dental experiences. If you suffer from extreme dental fears causing you to neglect necessary oral care, sedation dentistry may be the answer to your problem.

A trained sedation dentist can offer a variety of options to address your situation:

  • Minimal sedation in the form of nitrous oxide allows you to be awake but relaxed during dental treatment and may be a good option for cleanings, routine examinations, or minor procedures. Your dentist is able to control the amount of sedation you receive.
  • Oral conscious sedation also allows you to remain awake during procedures, but may cause you to feel drowsy and will keep you from having much memory of the treatment. A stronger dose can be given to produce more moderate sedation, in which case you may fall asleep but can easily be awakened.
  • IV sedation is when a sedative drug is administered through a vein. This type of sedation works rapidly and also allows your dental professional to adjust the level of sedation during treatment.
  • General anesthesia provides deep sedation through medications administered that cause nearly complete or total unconsciousness. With general anesthesia you cannot be awakened until the effects of the drugs have dissipated.

Sedation dentistry can be used for any type of dental procedure, from routine cleanings to more complicated, invasive procedures. Thanks to advances in sedation dentistry, you no longer have to fear the dentist and avoid necessary oral health care.


If you need a dentist in Fall River contact us today

Make Your Smile Over with Dental Veneers

Make Your Smile Over with Dental Veneers

Porcelain dental veneers are among the most popular for making over your smile. Dental veneers can achieve dramatic and stunning results, not only in the aesthetic appearance of your smile, but also in the way you feel about yourself. Years of self-conscious behavior related to smile insecurities will begin to fall away, leaving you smiling, talking and eating in public with confidence.
Dental veneers are typically used on the most visible of your teeth, the front teeth. A very small amount of the natural tooth is ground away to make room for the veneers – so they will not appear “puffy.” A dental lab will then fabricate custom veneers from molds, using special techniques to craft the most realistic veneers in the desired tooth shade. Once these veneers are placed, they are designed to look as though they are natural, beautiful, white teeth, resulting in your best, most vibrant and confident smile.

Porcelain veneers are a relatively simple and risk-free way to correct chipped, gapped, crooked or stained teeth. Short teeth can be lengthened, and “gummy” smiles can be corrected. Some patients have suffered for years in embarrassment or discomfort with dental issues they thought would require major dental work to correct. Many times, these issues can be corrected quickly and easily with porcelain dental veneers.

If you are considering a smile makeover, it’s important to look around. Because cosmetic dentistry isn’t a legally separate specialty of dentistry, many dentists call themselves cosmetic dentists without fully appreciating the level of artistry and passion for beauty necessary to create a beautiful new smile design.

Ask any dentist for photographs of before and after patient results done personally by that dentist. Talk to your friends to see if someone has a personal recommendation. You might be surprised at how many people you think just have gorgeous natural smiles actually have had a smile makeover and now utilize dental veneers.

Don’t wait to start experiencing the benefits of dental veneers and a smile makeover. Talk to your cosmetic dentist today to see what options are available to you to meet your own smile goals.


If you live in the Fall River area contact us today

Reasons that Veneers May be Right for You

Reasons that Veneers May be Right for You

Porcelain veneers hide your teeth’s imperfections so that you are happier with your smile. They are very thin shells that are adhered onto the fronts of your teeth to permanently give you the look you want. Veneers can make your teeth look straighter, whiter, and better than ever before.

How do you know if veneers might be right for you? Here are some things to consider when deciding whether veneers can help your smile:

  • You would like to alter your teeth permanently.
  • You want to change the color of your teeth.
  • Your front teeth are broken or chipped.
  • Your teeth are not evenly spaced.
  • Your teeth are not aligned straight.
  • You’d like to improve your smile quickly.
  • You don’t want to affect much of your natural teeth.
  • You would like a brighter smile.

If any of these statements describe your situation, then porcelain veneers might be a good choice for you. Of course the first thing you need to do is consult a dentist for advice. Many times, the ideal person for the job is a cosmetic dentist. This type of specialist focuses on performing procedures to help patients achieve their cosmetic smile goals. Veneers is one such treatment that has grown in popularity because it transforms smiles in just a few short appointments, and it is a painless approach.

When you visit a cosmetic dentist, you will be able to describe what bothers you about your teeth and learn if you are a good candidate for veneers. If so, the dentist will explain the simple process of having your porcelain veneers custom-made in a lab for you. Your natural teeth will undergo some minor preparation, and when your veneers are ready the dentist will securely attach them to your teeth. Then you will be set to show off your new smile!

If you need a dentist in Fall River contact us today

Great Snacks for Your Kid’s Teeth

Great Snacks for Your Kid’s Teeth

The school year has started and kids are busy with school, sports, and social activities. It’s a challenge sometimes to get your kids to eat healthy when they are on-the-go, not only for their overall health but also for their oral health. Here are some tasty and healthy snacks that you can offer your kids, and chances are they’ll like them!

Yogurt
Dairy foods help build strong bones, and they’re also great for a strong mouth. Eating low-fat yogurt provides calcium. Try mixing it with berries and granola for a healthy parfait, or making homemade fruity yogurt popsicles to attract your children’s attention.

Cheese
Besides providing calcium, cheese helps fight cavities. It triggers saliva production, which washes away food particles in your mouth and the acids that can weaken your teeth. In these ways, cheese halts the process of cavity formation. Cheese not only contains calcium but also phosphorous, which both help rebuild the enamel on your teeth.

Blueberries
These berries may be small, but they’re packed with Vitamin C, minerals, and folic acid. They also contain ingredients which studies show help prevent diabetes and cancer. Try adding blueberries to pancakes and muffins, or sprinkling them with a small amount of sugar and topping them with whipped cream.

Almonds
Nuts like almonds contain ingredients to fight diseases, as well as Vitamin E, fiber, calcium, and iron. Most kids enjoy eating almonds raw, but remember they are a choking hazard for young children.

Whole wheat bread
Bread made with whole wheat provides kids with iron, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins. Whole grain cereal offers calcium, fiber, and vitamins. Enjoying these whole wheat snacks with milk provides an even healthier snack for your kids.

Schedule your appointment at our Fall River dental office

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