3 Steps To Get Rid Of Bad Breath For Sure

Are you constantly worried about how your breath smells to others? If so, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, there may be some very specific reasons for your bad breath that only a professional can determine. Whether you’ve been battling bad breath for years or just recently noticed a concerning change, scheduling an appointment with your dentist is the best way to get solutions. In the meantime, there are a few things you can do right now to help eliminate bad breath at home.

Hydration Is Key

One of the easiest ways to fight bad breath is to make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. When your mouth gets too dry, the lack of saliva can cause the growth of odor-causing bacteria. Especially when you first wake up after sleeping, drinking water is a great way to kick start those salivary glands and help increase moisture in your mouth.

Good Oral Hygiene Makes a Difference

Practicing proper oral hygiene is another great way to help maintain fresh breath. Although brushing and flossing twice a day is recommended and helps to prevent cavities, it takes more than that to keep bad breath at bay. Since the majority of the bacteria that causes bad breath lives on your tongue, you need to clean your tongue with a tongue and cheek cleaner or with your toothbrush. Using an alcohol-free mouth rinse after brushing is also helpful and helps reduce the risk of bad breath.

Maintaining a Healthy Diet Helps Too

You likely already know that consuming foods with a strong taste or smell can contribute to bad breath. Acidic foods like vinegar or sugar create odor-causing bacteria in the mouth, which causes halitosis. For fresher breath, try sticking to proteins and grains. These foods can help increase saliva production and may help reduce your bad breath.

Whether you experience temporary bouts of bad breath from time-to-time or you’re suffering from constant bad breath no matter what you do, we’re here to help. At Cherrywood Dental Associates, we want to help you maintain healthy oral habits that promote good breath. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us today!

TMJ / Bruxism: The Cause of Your Headaches and Facial Pain

If you suffer from facial pain and migraines, the problem might come from your jaw. Your joints (TMJ) are the joints and attached muscles that allow you to open and close your mouth. Without them, you couldn’t talk, chew, or swallow. Problems that affect these joints include attached ligaments, muscles, and even your jaw. TMJ disorders can result in pain in the ear, jaw, and one or both TMJ. Aching facial pain may be experienced as well. TMJ disorders can even cause pain and difficulty when chewing or locking of the joint which makes it difficult to open or close your mouth.

There are several different causes for TMJ disorders, including:

  • Dislocation or injury
  • Arthritis
  • Problems with tooth and jaw alignment
  • Teeth grinding

Bruxism

Bruxism is defined as a condition in which you clench, grind, or gnash your teeth. It is common for patients to be completely unaware of the problem of whether bruxism occurs during sleep or wakeful hours. Mild bruxism may be temporary and not even require treatment. Severe bruxism can have a serious impact on your health. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Sleep disruption
  • Grinding loud enough to wake your partner
  • Headaches
  • Worn tooth enamel or damaged teeth
  • Tired or tight jaw muscles
  • Locked jaw that won’t open or close completely
  • Ear or face pain

How Tension Affects Your Teeth

Tension is the number one reason people grind their teeth. Other reasons include sleep disorders, side-effects of certain medications, and uneven bite. Bruxism causes pain and can also cause serious damage to your teeth. Grinding your teeth can cause them to wear down faster. When enamel wears away, teeth are more sensitive, and actually, grow weaker and more prone to cracks. Without treatment, bruxism can cause tooth loss and even gum inflammation or receding gums.

Getting Relief

Treatment for bruxism and TMJ can help ease your pain. Visiting your dentist when pain begins will help you get diagnosed quickly and find the treatment that is best for you. Treatment for jaw pain depends on the cause and severity of your condition. Your treatment plan may use a combination of office and at-home techniques. Some treatments for TMJ disorders include:

  • Avoid stress.
  • Try a night guard.
  • Seek orthodontic treatment.
  • Consider Botox.
  • Perform exercises that stretch your jaw.
  • Visit your dentist regularly.

At Cherrywood Dental Associates we get to know each patient on a personal level to provide gentle caring services that you can count on. If you suffer from jaw pain, headaches, or tooth damage from grinding your teeth, contact us today for a free consultation and get your pain-free sparkling smile back.

Sources:

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/tmj

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bruxism/symptoms-causes/syc-20356095

5 Reasons To Replace Your Old Metal Fillings

closeup of molar with amalgam filling

If you are between the ages of 24 to 65, the chances are good that you have had a cavity. Another likelihood is that your filling was made of grey metal amalgam. At one point, metal fillings were your only option if you had a cavity that needed to be filled. If your silver fillings show when you smile or laugh, you’ve likely dreamed of having them replaced with tooth-colored composite fillings.

Could it be time for you to finally replace your metal fillings? Here are five reasons why you should!

Your Filling is Reaching the End of its Lifespan

An amalgam filling is packed into an area of your tooth, much like filling in a pothole, whereas a tooth-colored composite filling is bonded to your teeth. The lifespan of an amalgam filling is about ten years on average. Over time, these fillings will begin to wear away, exposing areas where bacteria can sneak in and start to cause tooth decay. When this happens, it will likely go unnoticed as it will not be something you can visually see.

If your filling wears out, allowing for decay to get into the tooth, you may end up needing to have a crown instead of having the filling replaced. To avoid this, have your fillings checked regularly by your dentist to see if they need to be replaced or if there are any leaks.

Amalgam Contains Mercury

While on-going research and debate continue regarding the potential dangers of amalgam, peace of mind may be a swaying factor in making the decision to have your fillings replaced. Around 50% of an amalgam filling is made up of mercury, which can potentially be a health risk to some patients.

For more information, click here to view the FDA’s official statement on amalgam fillings.

Temperature Changes May Be Causing You Issues

Metal expands and contracts with temperature changes. Since an amalgam filling is made up of around 50% mercury, which is a metal, it adjusts to the temperature changes in your mouth. When you drink something hot, the amalgam filling will expand and place a lot of increased pressure on your tooth. This expanding and contracting can eventually lead to cracks and fractures in your tooth. Similarly, when you eat something cold, such as ice cream, metal fillings contract, creating a gap around the filling and your tooth. This type of ongoing expansions and contractions are known to weaken your tooth over time.

Composite Fillings Strengthen Your Tooth

Tooth-colored composite fillings not only fill the cavity in your tooth, but they are also designed to bond directly to your tooth. The filling and the tooth then work together, not against each other, to strengthen the tooth. When a tooth with a filling gives under force, the amalgam does not because of its solid state. This creates an uneven distribution of force that can damage the non-filling areas of your tooth, creating cracks and fractures.

Composite Fillings Are More Visually Appealing

One of the most significant benefits to having your metal fillings replaced is that tooth-colored composite fillings can’t be seen. When you smile or laugh, amalgam fillings are noticeable and shows everyone that you have had a cavity (or two!) that needed to be repaired. Composite fillings are made to match the look of your teeth, meaning they are virtually invisible. No one will be able to detect the number of fillings you have had but you and your dentist.

Get Educated Before Making a Decision

Should you switch out your old amalgam fillings? That is a personal decision which comes down to how you feel about aesthetics, comfort, functionality and your peace of mind. If you are ready to say farewell to those silver spots in your smile, call Cherrywood Dental Associates today. We will examine your existing fillings and help you determine a replacement plan.

 

Do Wisdom Teeth Always Come In? The Answer May Surprise You

dentist hand with orthodontic tool show wisdom teeth toothache

Having your wisdom teeth extracted has become somewhat of a rite-of-passage into adulthood for many. The wisdom teeth, or third molars, typically begin to develop in the preteen years and erupt sometime before the age of 25. In fact, that’s how these molars earned their nickname, as this is the time of life when young people are said to become wiser.

However, if your 25th birthday has come and gone and your wisdom teeth are still with you, you may be wondering if it will ever be necessary to have them removed.

Not Everyone Has Wisdom Teeth

Today, as many as 35% of people, according to expert estimates, never develop the third molars known as wisdom teeth. Some scientists believe that the third molars may eventually disappear entirely from human anatomy.

Our early ancestors used all 32 adult teeth to their advantage when chewing through leaves, roots and raw meat. The human skull structure has changed over time, with the jaw evolving to become narrower, resulting in third molars.

Wisdom Teeth Can Erupt Later In Life

Your third molars are likely to come in sometime between the ages of 17 to 25. If you have celebrated past your 25th birthday, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your wisdom teeth won’t erupt later in your life. For some patients, these teeth can emerge much later in life.

Scientists have yet to be able to explain why this happens, but a third molar can arrive years or even decades after the typical time frame. Many dentists and oral surgeons have had patients in their 50’s, or even older whose third molars are just beginning to erupt.

Your Molars Could Be Impacted

If your wisdom teeth haven’t appeared by your early 20’s, they could come in later in your life, or they may never appear at all. That being said, the most likely cause of your no-show molars is that they are impacted. In other words, your jaw doesn’t have enough room for them to erupt, so the teeth become trapped below the gumline.

The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons says that 9 out of 10 people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth. When a tooth is unable to come in, it may grow at an angle and cause damage to the nearby and healthy teeth.

Impacted wisdom teeth should be removed as soon as possible to avoid these and other serious dental complications. Most professionals recommend that all young adults have a wisdom tooth exam and evaluation to determine the status of these potentially severe risk factors.

Extraction For Older Patients

Waiting to have your wisdom teeth removed until later in life can complicate your experience:

  • As the wisdom teeth develop, they grow a more extensive root system. Your Oral Surgeon may need more time and may have to perform a more invasive procedure to remove these teeth.
  • Younger patients tend to have fewer risks with any surgical procedure.
  • Similarly, young people tend to heal more quickly from surgery and may have a more flexible schedule for their recovery. As an older adult caring for a family or as a working professional, you may find it more challenging to fit wisdom teeth removal into your schedule.
  • Patients should give themselves the opportunity to have the most comfortable recovery possible. Young adults usually have a built-in support system—AKA, their parents—that can help them just after and in the days following surgery. This might be harder for adults.

For a professional consultation and evaluation of your oral health, look to Cherrywood Dental Associates. We have the knowledge and experience needed to help you make the best decision possible on the current status of your wisdom teeth.

The One Resolution to Make in 2019 – Drink More Water!

young woman drinking water after training

January is the perfect month for establishing new routines and goals for a healthy new year. Whether your resolutions are to exercise more, lose weight, or live a healthier overall lifestyle, drinking more water can help! Drinking water has more benefits than you might think.

Grab a glass of water, and read on to find out why this is one resolution you should make and keep.

Water Improves Physical and Mental Performance

One of the most common resolutions many adults make is to exercise more and to be more active. Water is essential for optimizing your physical performance and to keep your body hydrated during both intense and gentle exercise. Not only does water keep your body physically sound, but drinking more water can also help you to stay mentally strong during a workout. Avoid dehydration, which can lead to reduced motivation and fatigue by keeping your body hydrated.

Aids With Weight Loss and Digestion

Drinking more water can help regulate your digestive system and prevent constipation and other digestive issues. Additionally, water can boost weight loss results by revving your metabolism and making you feel full for an extended period.

Drinking water can also boost your body’s ability to burn fat. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that drinking water increases metabolic rate by 30% in healthy men and women. The boost occurred within 10 minutes after drinking. Mild dehydration will slow down your metabolism by as much as 3% so drink up!

Prevents Cavities and Tooth Decay

Strengthens your teeth.

Drinking water with fluoride, nicknamed nature’s cavity fighter, is one of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do to prevent cavities.

Keeps your mouth clean.

Consuming beverages like juice, soda, or sports drinks can leave unwanted sugar behind on your teeth. The cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth love to eat sugar and produce acid that wears away your enamel. Many of these drinks also contain harmful acids to make them taste less sweet. These acids cause just as much damage as sugar and erode away your enamel.

Water cleans your mouth with every drink you take. It washes away left behind food and sugar that leads to cavities. Drinking water throughout the day rather than soda and sports drinks will help to keep your teeth cavity-free.

Fights dry mouth.

Saliva is your body’s natural defense against tooth decay. Much like water, it washes away left behind food, helps you be able to swallow, and keeps your teeth strong by washing them with calcium, phosphate, and fluoride. A lack of saliva leads to a condition called dry mouth, which puts you at risk for developing tooth decay.

Maintains Your Overall Well-Being

Our bodies are made of 60% water, and staying hydrated helps your system distribute healthy nutrients to keep your body functioning. There are many benefits to drinking more water for your overall health including:

Cleansing. Cleansing your system regularly and hitting the reset button after an indulgent holiday season starts with water. A key ingredient in many detox recipes, drinking more water can help you flush toxins out of the body.

Temperature. Your body temperature needs to be within the ideal range to help it function properly.

Tissues. Your body’s tissues and organs also need sufficient water for lubrication and protecting sensitive tissues from a lack of moisture.

Make Your Resolution a Reality

Your daily activities can easily distract you from establishing a new habit of drinking more water. Integrate water into your routine and increase your daily water intake by:

  • Setting a timer to remind you to hydrate
  • Integrate water into your daily routine
  • Always drink a glass before meals and snacks
  • Bring water with you everywhere you go

Cherrywood Dental Associates is hopeful that together we can make 2019 your most hydrated year yet. Schedule your first checkup of the year and ask us about our favorite simple tricks to drink more water.

Save Money at the Dentist With This One Rule

dental equipment laid on the table

The best way to save money on dental care is by going to the dentist. That may sound a bit counterproductive, but regular dental care not only protects your teeth, but it also saves you money. With both at home care and regular office appointments, the very best investment you can make in your health and financial well-being is preventative care.

Keep your teeth and mouth healthy by following these tips.

Get Regular Checkups and Cleanings

When the household budget gets tight, optional expenses are the first to be cut. However, the one thing that rings even more true is that dental cleanings and checkups are not optional expenses as you might initially think. Dental decay is almost entirely preventable with regular professional care. Spending money on preventative dental checkups and cleanings will save you significantly more money in the long run.

Two cleanings and exams per year are often recommended. At roughly $200-$300 per visit, these services are typically free or heavily discounted if you have dental insurance or a dental savings plan. If you do not have dental insurance, the cost to get your teeth cleaned may seem rather expensive until you consider the cost of not taking preventative action.

Prevention is Always Best

When it comes to your health, prevention is always the best model. Regular dentist visits every six months will save you in the long run. Treatments for more substantial issues, such as crowns, root canals, and implants, can typically be prevented by taking proper care of your teeth.

Prevent Gum Disease

In the earliest stages of gum disease, gingivitis is curable. Regular dentist visits will help to prevent gingivitis, so you are never left to face the cancer-like disease. It’s much more useful to prevent issues rather than treat them.

Correct Brushing Technique Matters

Taking great care of your teeth and oral health at home is critical to staying healthy and saving money at the dentist. Many patients are surprised to learn that vigorous brushing is more likely to cause cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease than a gentler approach. Tooth enamel can be damaged by forceful brushing. It’s especially important to protect your tooth enamel from chips and cracks because the body is unable to repair it if it becomes damaged.

The proper brushing technique is to:

  • Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  • Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
  • Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  • To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.

Of course, brushing your teeth is only a part of a complete dental care routine. You should also make sure to:

  • Floss your teeth daily, once a day. Tooth decay-causing bacteria still linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. This helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
  • Eat a balanced diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks.

 

Cleanings Are Typically Covered

In general, dental insurance policies typically cover the cost of preventative care. This coverage commonly pays 100 percent of the cost of routine preventative and diagnostic care, such as checkups and cleanings. By not using your bi-annual cleanings, you are paying for a service you are not taking advantage of, and also increasing your risk of needing major treatments that are not covered in the future.

Seeing your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams is about more than just having a beautiful smile. Regular dental visits in combination with proper oral hygiene habits at home can and will save you money. Preventing disease is cheaper than treating it, and Cherrywood Dental Associates wants to help save you time and money any way we can. Call today to schedule your first cleaning and exam of the new year.

 

Dental Fillings Greenbelt MD – What to Expect from Cavity Repair

Teeth fillings are one of the most common dental procedures. If you have a cavity or think you may have a cavity, you probably have a lot of questions about what the dentist will do about it. In this blog post, we hope to shine some light on what you can expect, so you will be as comfortable as possible when your dental appointment comes up.

Why do I need dental fillings?

If you have a dental cavity, it is because your tooth has begun to decay. If the cavity is bad enough, you have probably already started to experience pain or sensitivity in the tooth. You may think that you can simply deal with the pain. Perhaps you are afraid of the dentist or are unsure whether it is worth the financial outlay to get your tooth fixed. It is very important that you understand that relieving pain is not the only reason to have a cavity filled.

Because a cavity is caused by tooth decay, the state of the tooth will continue to degrade absent intervention. If the cavity is allowed to get too large, a root canal may be necessary. It is possible, in extreme cases, that even a root canal will not be enough and the tooth will need to be removed. Filling the cavity cleans and disinfects the tooth. It removes any damage and seals the tooth from further bacteria and decay. This is part of the reason dental fillings are so crucial to a healthy mouth.

Protecting the cavity from bacteria is another good reason to have your cavity filled. Bacteria in the tooth can attack the living cells and cause pain. In severe cases, the tooth can be abscessed. An abscessed tooth will also require more severe dental intervention than a simple cavity.

Getting your cavities filled as soon as your or your dental professional notice them is important to minimize the amount of work you’ll need to be done later.

Pain management for teeth fillings

As you wait for your dental appointment, there are some steps you can take to minimize the pain from your cavity. Medications that you can use include over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs and clove oil. Clove oil, also known as Eugenol, should be available in the dental section of your local pharmacy.

While you wait for your prescription, you should also make some lifestyle changes to help minimize the pain from the cavity. In many cases, extreme hot or cold will exacerbate tooth pain. Pay attention to your tooth pain as you eat foods that are very hot or very cold and avoid the ones that cause you pain.

Foods with extreme temperatures will let you know when they are hurting your tooth. There are other, more silent, dangers to your tooth that could worsen the pain. While your tooth is in a vulnerable state from the cavity, avoid eating foods that are very sugary or very acidic.

It is also extra important to keep your mouth clean as you await your appointment. Do not be afraid to brush your teeth, or to floss. These activities will not hurt the tooth and will help keep its conditioning from worsening and increasing your pain.

Preparation for tooth fillings

Before a tooth can be filled, all of the decay must be removed. This is done with a dental drill. To ensure that you do not feel any pain from the drilling, your tooth will be numbed. The tooth is numbed with an injection of anesthetic, though a gel anesthetic may be applied first to reduce the pain from the injection.

Once the decay has been removed, the dentist will finish the preparation for your dental fillings by thoroughly cleaning the area to ensure a good bond. The tooth will then be ready to receive the filling material.

Types of dental fillings

There are two mains types of filling material. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Those types are silver amalgam and composite resin.

Silver amalgam is a blend of mercury with silver, tin, and copper. This type of dental filling has been around since the late 1800s, and as such it has a long history of proven success. Amalgam fillings are affordable and long-lasting. The main drawback to silver amalgam fillings is that they are very noticeable. They do not blend in with the surrounding tooth at all.

The problem of highly visible and unattractive fillings was solved with composite resin. Resin composite is the same color as the tooth and is unnoticeable. This makes resin composite a particularly attractive option for the highly visible teeth near the front of the mouth. Resin also has the advantage of bonding really well to the tooth’s surface. Composite fillings have their downside as well. They do not last as long as amalgam fillings. So for teeth that are less visible, amalgam may be the better option.

Cost of dental fillings

There are many factors that go into determining the cost of a dental filling. As a rough estimate, amalgam fillings for one or two surfaces cost an average of $50-$150 compared to $90-250 for composite resin fillings. Keep in mind that what your dental insurance covers may vary. Most insurers consider composite resin to be a cosmetic upgrade and pay less for those. In addition to the filling appointment itself, you’ll need to add in the cost of the initial appointment and the x-rays.

Care after fillings

It will take a few hours for the anesthetic to wear off after your teeth have been filled. Be careful when chewing while your mouth is still numb. It is very easy to accidentally bite yourself and not realize it. If you chew while the anesthetic is still active, try to chew on a part of your mouth that was not worked on and is not numb.

Your teeth will also be sensitive to extreme temperature after the dental fillings. This sensitivity can last up to a few weeks. In some cases, it may last even longer. As long as their condition continues to improve, this is not something that you should worry about. The area around the injection site might also be tender for a few days.

Silver amalgam fillings take up to 24 hours to set, so you should avoid eating hard foods during that period. If possible, try to do most of your chewing on the opposite side of your mouth. Composite resins set much quicker, so this restriction will not apply with those.

At Cherrywood Dental Associates, we pride ourselves on our people skills and our commitment to your oral health. We are aware that many people are nervous about dental visits, and will do our best to put you at ease so that you are comfortable getting your cavities repaired promptly. Please contact us for an appointment if you are experiencing tooth pain or suspect you have a cavity.

Healthy Habits, Thorough Cleanings, and Routine Visits to Your Dentist: Essentials to Great Oral Hygiene

The health of your mouth is essential to a multitude of factors in your life, from the look of your smile to the health of your overall well-being. Maintaining good oral hygiene is fundamental to the health of your mouth, providing protection against a variety of problems and safeguarding your beautiful smile. And as trained professionals dedicated to oral health, your dental team can help keep your oral hygiene and health stay in tip-top shape with routine visits, cleanings, and all of the right habits.

Oral Hygiene: The Basics

Good oral hygiene starts with you. Your teeth, gums, and the rest of your mouth must be properly cared for on a daily basis to maintain function, optimum health, and to prevent serious complications. Poor oral hygiene can result in a variety of issues, but can easily be avoided by taking the proper precautions and adopting the appropriate habits.

The Importance of Good Oral Hygiene

The most obvious advantage to good oral hygiene is a beautiful and brilliant smile. But in addition to pretty teeth, good oral hygiene can prevent a wide array of physical, emotional, and even financial complications. Scientific research performed over recent decades proves that oral health has astonishing connections to our overall health and well-being. Poor oral hygiene can have significant impacts on your life and have been linked to the following issues:

  • Medical problems and conditions such as multiple types of cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Lack of confidence, low-self esteem, and poor work performance.
  • Increased risk of pregnancy-related complications such as premature birth and low birth-weight.
  • Oral complications like gum disease, cavities, tooth decay, tooth loss, abscesses, and more.
  • Costly dental procedures and surgeries to correct oral complications.

Good Oral Hygiene Habits

In addition to practicing healthy lifestyle behaviors like eating a nutritious diet and abstaining from alcohol and tobacco, you must be responsible for maintaining good oral hygiene every day. But making the right choices can really pay off in the end. Always try to remember the 3 most important habits for maintaining oral hygiene: brush, floss, and rinse.

Begin with an ADA-approved, soft-bristle toothbrush. You should be brushing your teeth at least twice each day; once in the morning and once before bed. You should replace your toothbrush at least every 3-4 months.

For anyone over the age of 1, add an appropriately-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to your toothbrush. While brushing your teeth, remember to carefully reach every part of every tooth, tongue, gums, and cheeks. Hold your toothbrush at about 45-degrees for the best brushing angle.

When you’re done brushing, begin flossing by wrapping about 1-foot of dental floss around one finger on each of your hands. Very carefully and gently glide that dental floss through each of your teeth, taking special care around the sensitive, gum area.

After discarding your dental floss, use a high-quality mouthwash to rinse your mouth. Mouthwashes and rinses kill germs and bacteria while helping prevent tartar build-up and cavities.

How Your Dental Team Helps Protect Oral Hygiene and Health

Centuries of experience and research allow us the ability to seek help and guidance from trusted professionals in any area of life. Your dental team is equipped with knowledge and training to help you maintain good oral hygiene and handle your oral health at any stage of life. As dental professionals, your dentist can help you improve or maintain your oral hygiene and health with routine exams, cleanings, and x-rays.

Routine Visits and What to Expect

It is recommended that most people see the dentist roughly every 6 months for exams and cleanings. Just as your family doctor uses annual exams to prevent and treat physical issues, your dentist uses routine exams to optimize your oral health. Here’s what you can expect at the typical dental exam:

  • Your dentist will examine your teeth using a variety of tools, instruments, and x-rays. These images along with the physical examination help your dentist spot any trouble areas or complications.
  • During a cleaning, your dentist will use tools and instruments to thoroughly and intricately clean your teeth, as well as the rest of your mouth. These cleanings help get rid of bacteria, germs, tartar, plaque, and debris missed by your daily routine.
  • Your dentist may also check your head, neck, or jaw as part of the exam to check for any unwanted lumps, lesions, or pain.
  • Routine visits also include education provided by your dentist to ensure you are practicing the proper, hygienic habits, as well as to help you avoid oral complications in the future. He or she may also discuss oral health risk factors and medical history with you.
  • If your dentist spots any issues during your exam or in the images that were taken, you may require treatment or additional services.

The Cost of Dental Exams

As with most dental services, the cost of a dental exam varies based on a variety of factors. However, most dental insurance programs cover the cost of your routine dental visits, cleanings, and x-rays. Considered preventative services, insurance companies understand the value of preventing costly procedures. Depending on your insurance coverage, the majority or all of the cost associated with routine exams and cleanings may be covered. To get a better look of what insurance would cover, contact your dentists to see which policies they accept. For example if you’re working with an Avon Lake OH dentist then contact them to ensure they accept your policy.

There are many people who do not have dental insurance coverage, however. For those covering the entire cost of an exam, cleaning, or x-ray, the total can vary. You can expect to pay, on average, between $200-$300 for your exam and cleaning. This cost does not include treatment or other services for any issues that your dentist may find during the exam. But when comparing the costly procedures that could result from poor oral hygiene, it’s easy to see why routine exams with your dentist are always the way to go.

At Cherrywood Dental Associates, we understand the importance of good oral hygiene and are here to help you maintain your oral health through every step of your life. Keeping your smile beautiful, brilliant, and healthy is always our top priority. To find out how we can help you perfect your smile and to schedule your appointment, contact our trusted staff today!

A Guide to Crowns & Bridges: Greenbelt MD Dentist

Many people have heard of crowns and bridges, but do not know what they are. As a dentist in Greenbelt MD, we have worked with plenty of patients that need Crowns & Bridges. Others know what they are, but are unsure of what is involved in the process of getting them installed. In this post, we’ll go over what you need to know about these dental appliances.

What are crowns & bridges?

A dental crown is like a cover that goes over a tooth. Because the crown entirely covers the tooth, it can be used to restore a damaged tooth or it can be used for cosmetic purposes. Unlike dentures, a crown is a permanent dental appliance that is cemented onto the tooth that is repairing.

A bridge is used to fill a gap where a missing tooth was. A common way of attaching the bridge is to cement it between two crowns, which are then attached to the two good teeth on either side of the missing one.

Both a crown and a bridge are meant to look like your own natural teeth, so they will not be overly noticeable to an outside observer.

Why do I need to get a crown/bridge?

There are a variety of reasons that a dentist might recommend a crown. If you have a fractured tooth or a tooth in danger of fracturing, then a crown is a great way to restore the tooth’s structural integrity. Crowns may also be used to replace large fillings if there is not enough tooth left to put another filling in.

As mentioned in the previous section, crowns can also be cosmetic. It could be that you are unhappy with the shape of a tooth and would like to have it covered with a more pleasingly shaped crown.

Bridges serve the cosmetic function of replacing a missing tooth, but they also serve a very important dental function. The gap left by a missing tooth can cause your other teeth to shift, causing bite issues. Filling the gap of a missing tooth with a bridge will protect your other teeth from shifting. A crown is often used on either side of the bridge to attach it.

What can I expect during the procedure?

Dental crowns are installed over two appointments. During the first appointment, the dentist will prepare the tooth and take an impression of it. The impression will be sent to a laboratory so that they can construct your crown. The second appointment will be made after the crown has been sent from the lab. It is during this appointment that the crown is installed.

During that first appointment, the dentist will numb your mouth. The anesthetic will be given to you in the form of an injection. A local get anesthetic may be applied to reduce the pain of the injection.

After the tooth is numb the dentist will begin work. The first step is to use a rotary tool to shave some thickness off of the tooth. This is because the crown must fit over the tooth. The dentist will also remove any decay and shape the tooth to make application of the crown both easier and more effective.

After the tooth is prepared, the dentist will take an impression of it. For this, either a tray of impression putty or a special type of 3d scanner is used. This is the impression that the dentist will send to the lab.

Finally, a temporary crown will be placed on the tooth and you will make an appointment for your return visit to have the permanent crown installed.

On the day of the second appointment, the dentist will remove the temporary crown. If needed, your tooth will be numbed first, although that is not always necessary for this part of the procedure. Once the temporary crown is removed the dentist will test fit the new crown and let you have a look at it. If everything is okay, the new crown will be cemented into place.

Since a bridge is basically just two crowns with a false tooth in between them, the procedure for a bridge is nearly identical to that for a crown. Of course, with a bridge, it will be two teeth being prepared and worked on instead of just one.

How much does the procedure cost?

As with many procedures, there are a number of factors that will change the cost of a crown or a bridge. A good estimate though is around $500-2500 per tooth for a crown and between $1400 to over $5000 for a bridge. A major factor in the cost of the bridge is the number of false teeth that it must contain.

If you have dental insurance, they will likely cover part of the procedure. Be sure to check with your specific policy though. Some may have restrictions that require you to have the policy for a certain amount of time before they’ll cover more expensive procedures like bridges. Insurance might also not cover a bridge if the tooth was missing before you acquired the insurance.

How do I care for my crown/bridge?

The temporary crown will require the most care. Since it is not meant to be permanent, it is not as durable as your final crown will be. While you await your second appointment, try to avoid eating hard or sticky foods. Take extra care to be gentle while brushing your teeth and use a soft bristled brush. If your temporary crown becomes loose or uncomfortable, contact your dentist.

You can return to normal eating once your permanent crown is on. You’ll want to continue to use the soft-bristled toothbrush and floss every day to make sure that the crown stays clean. You may also wish to avoid really hard foods, or chew them on the other side.

Care for a bridge is the same as care for a crown. A temporary bridge can come loose easily, so be extra careful brushing and chewing while the temporary one is in. As with crowns, avoid hard and sticky foods while you await your permanent bridge.

At Cherrywood Dental Associates, we care about the oral health of all of our patients and know the importance of a great smile. Whether your needs are functional or cosmetic, contact us today to set up an appointment or to get more information on how we can serve your needs. If you’re not local to Greenbelt MD, your best bet is to find a local dentist near you who can service you properly. If you’re in Syracuse, try doing a Google search of Syracuse, NY dentist and find a reputable practice with high Google star ratings.

Dental Emergencies Greenbelt MD

Life is full of unexpected situations, and when something happens to your mouth or teeth, it can send your world spinning out of control. Whether it’s a broken tooth, injury, or more, dental emergencies should be cared for immediately. But how do you know what is a dental emergency and what isn’t? Read on to find out everything you need to know about dental emergencies, how to prevent them, and when to know it’s time to seek help. Cherrywood Dental has worked with plenty of Dental Emergencies in Greenbelt MD to help you.

Types of Dental Emergencies in Greenbelt MD and How to Care for Them

The mouth is used almost every second of the day and it’s a sensitive area that can be easily injured or damaged in a variety of ways. While damage can occur to your teeth and mouth over time because of diet, age, lifestyle behaviors, and more, much more immediate consequences occur in a dental emergency. There is a multitude of ways in which you can suddenly injury your mouth or teeth, which should be cared for by dental professionals.

When life happens, your mouth, gums, and teeth can get in the way. The next thing you know, you are in pain and wondering if it’s time to seek the help of your dentist. Here are just a few of the types of dental emergencies you can experience.

Sports or Recreational Injury

While you’re playing sports or having fun, the face is one of the most commonly injured parts of the body. When hit with the proper amount of force, you could suffer from injuries to the teeth, jaw, and more. Your dentist will often use x-ray images to check your mouth for misalignment, fractures, and soft tissue damage. Help should be sought for any injury to the face and mouth following an accident.

If you believe you’ve suffered from a sports injury to the mouth, save any pieces of teeth that may have broken, stop any bleeding with gauze, and seek medical attention.

Cracked, Chipped, or Broken Teeth

Whether it’s because you bit into something hard or knocked your tooth on something, cracking or breaking your tooth can cause a world of pain. Your teeth are filled with an entire network of nerves that will cause you pain when damaged. Teeth that are damaged in this way must be dealt with right away, to prevent infection and other serious complications like tooth decay and loss.

For cracked or chipped teeth, rinse your mouth out with warm water and use cold/hot compresses to alleviate swelling and pain. For broken teeth, save any pieces of the tooth you can and keep all areas of your mouth clean with warm water and gauze. This out of all occasions must be the most common of the Dental Emergencies in Greenbelt MD that we deal with.

Failed Dental Work

If you are experiencing difficulty with dental work you’ve had in the past, like bridges, crowns, implants, or fillings, it could be considered an emergency. When dental work fails, it can be painful, hard to chew or eat, and may even cause other problems with your oral health. Any injury or damage to dental work should be cared for right away.

Save any pieces of dental work you can, like pieces of your bridge, filling, or crown. Do not try to replace your bridge or crown if it is damaged or injured. You may also need to take special care if this emergency has left uneven, jagged pieces in your mouth.

Knocked Out or Loose Tooth

Losing a tooth all together can be painful, but also scary. With quick-thinking however, this emergency doesn’t have to be a disaster. If you lose your tooth completely, keep it moist at all times by placing it in a glass of salt water or milk. If one or more of your teeth are loose, it could be the result of soft tissue damage or injury along the roots or gum line. Adult, permanent teeth should never be loose and should be examined and cared for immediately.

Tissue or Jaw Injuries

Decay, injuries, and damage to the teeth are painful, uncomfortable and even unsightly. But possible injuries or damage to your gum line, cheeks, jaw, and even neck can be extremely dangerous when not cared for properly. Injury and/or pain in the jaw, cheeks, or neck should be looked at immediately, as well as lesions and lumps.

If you’ve suffered an injury to the jaw, move it as little as possible until you can seek help. For soft tissue injuries, apply gauze to the area, use salt water rinses to clean your mouth, and use cold/hot compresses to alleviate pain.

How to Prevent Dental Emergencies

While it is true that accidents happen and some things are simply unavoidable, there are some things you can do to prevent dental emergencies from occurring. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you avoid your next emergency visit to the dentist:

  • Keep up with routine dental exams, cleanings, and x-rays to help your dental team determine and find any problems that may cause emergency situations in the future.
  • Avoid using your teeth to open things or chomp down on hard materials. Be aware of possible situations that may harm your teeth or mouth. You may also consider addressing any issues you may have with grinding or clenching.
  • Practice healthy lifestyle behaviors like eating a nutritious diet, avoiding tobacco use, and practicing good oral hygiene habits.
  • Protect your teeth from possible injuries by using mouthguards.

When to Know It’s Time to Call the Office

It can be hard to determine the right time to call your dentist with an emergency or problem. Though some situations may not be considered dental emergencies, it is still best to seek the advice and knowledge of your dental team with any and all mouth-related concerns. Your dental team will want to hear from you immediately if you are experiencing/have experienced any of the following:

  1. A missing/knocked-out tooth, as well as misalignment and/or sudden changes in your teeth
  2. A cracked or broken tooth that is causing severe pain
  3. Unexplained, severe pain in teeth, gums, jaw, or neck that persists and does not go away (especially when accompanied by fever)
  4. Sports-related, accidental injury to the face, mouth, or teeth
  5. Dental work that has failed, is missing or is causing pain

Any severe, unmanageable pain, fevers, or obvious injury should be an indication to call the office and seek the help of your dentist right away!

At Cherrywood Dental Associates, we take pride in caring for each and every one of your dental needs. From start to finish, we’re here to help you get the most out of your oral health. Contact us today to see how we can help with your dental emergency and begin you on your path to a healthier, more beautiful smile. We have extensive experience with Dental Emergencies in Greenbelt MD

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Dr. Barzgar is an excellent dentist

Dr. Barzgar was very professional and gentle. When I first came to his office to see Dr. Barzgar I had a major trust issue between dentist and patient from my past experiences. Dr. Barzgar is an excellent dentist, whose priority is making sure his...

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