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How often should you floss and brush?
According to the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth at least two times a day using an ADA approved soft bristle toothbrush with toothpaste containing fluoride. Brushing your teeth helps remove plaque which causes tooth decay and can lead to gum disease.
*For those who have trouble using conventional floss, other floss can be recommended, including interdental cleaners.
*For those who have crowns and bridges use a pull through method rather than pulling up, consult with out dentist or hygienist for information on additional cleaning aides.
How often should you change your toothbrush?
Are amalgam (silver) fillings safe?
Amalgam fillings are a mixture of copper, silver, tin, and zinc, bounded by elemental mercury. Studies indicate there are no measurable health risks to patients who currently have amalgam fillings, but we do know that mercury is a toxic material when exposed at high, unsafe levels. Dr. Greenhalgh, along with the American Dental Association, does not promote the material of amalgam fillings.
How often should I get a cleaning and exam?
Regular dental visits allow the dentist to detect early signs of decay and disease and be able to treat problems while they are at a manageable state. The majority of people should visit the dentist to get a regular cleaning and exam every six months, with X-Rays being taken once a year. Although this is an average, it is recommended that some patients visit more frequently if they are at a higher risk for periodontal disease, (gum disease) cavities, and other conditions. A good dental exam and cleaning involves more than just checking for cavities and polishing your teeth. Regular dental exams check for oral cancer, dietary habits, examinations of existing restorations, jaw joint health, and so much more.
Dental x-rays provide a picture of what is happening in the mouth in areas that we normally can not see, including early decay, wisdom teeth, impacted teeth, abscesses, and bone loss. The necessary x-rays will be determined on a case by case basis by Dr. Greenhalgh.
All age suitable patients are required to have current panoramic x-rays on file. A panoramic may be used for up to five years, with most insurance companies covering them every three to five years. A panoramic x-ray shows a broad view of the jaws, teeth, sinuses, nasal area, and the jaw joints. When a dentist looks at a panoramic x-ray they are looking for a variety of dental concerns. A panoramic x-ray does not check for decay but it does check for oral cancer, wisdom teeth, sinuses, impacted teeth, and much more.
Bitewings show the lower and upper teeth in the back of the mouth. These x-rays are used to check for decay between the teeth and show how the teeth line up. Bitewings can also show bone loss and gum disease if in an advanced state. Bitewings are taken once a year at a cleaning and exam appointment. Most insurance companies will cover bitewings at 100% at least once a year.
A periapical x-ray takes a picture on the entire tooth, including an exposed crown to the end of the root and the bones that support the tooth. These x-rays are often taken when a patient has a toothache. A periapical x-ray is designed so a dentist can find any dental problems that may be occurring below the gumline or in the jaw. A periapical x-ray will often find impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts, tumors, and bone changes.
*Our office uses digital x-rays when we take bitewings or periapical x-rays. A small sensor unit sends pictures to a computer to be recorded and saved. This allows for the patient and the doctor to be able to examine the x-ray immediately.
What can I do if I am scared of being in the dental chair?
Dr. Greenhalgh offers a variety of options to those who may have anxiety about visiting the dentist. Our staff wants for you to feel comfortable at your appointment and will strive to make that happen. Dr. Greenhalgh has undergone extensive additional training to be able to provide these services to his patients. Call our office to discuss further details about what option will be best for your benefit.
Nitrous Oxide( Laughing Gas)
One solution for those who are nervous or scared of seeing the dentist is Nitrous Oxide, or laughing gas. Nitrous Oxide is a gas that is combined with oxygen to produce a calming effect. This will allow the patient to be comfortable during their dental appointment. After the dental procedure is over, the patient will be put on oxygen for a few minutes to eliminate the effects of nitrous oxide. Unlike other sedatives, the patient should come off the nitrous in a matter of minutes of being taken off, allowing them to function normally with no lingering effects.
Dr. Greenhalgh offers a safe, comfortable, and effective treatment for patients who are nervous about their upcoming dental appointments. The use of sedative medications can make the dentist office a more relaxed atmosphere. There a variety of sedation dentistry drugs that can be taken by mouth before a dental appointment to relieve anxiety hours before the appointment begins.
Our office uses IV sedation with a variety of procedures, including wisdom teeth extractions. IV sedation induces a state of deep relaxation. A patient will still be able to hear the doctor and the assistant and be able to respond to questions but often have no memory of the experience.
What will my insurance cover?
Our office is a preferred provider to many insurance companies. Although a few insurance companies may cover your procedures slightly different, most insurance companies cover procedures similarly.
At what age should I start taking my children to the dentist?
Proper dental care begins before a baby's first tooth comes in. Teeth actually begin to form in the second trimester of pregnancy. At birth a baby will have 20 primary (baby) teeth. Even though you can't see the teeth doesn't mean they are not there. Once your child has a few teeth showing, you can brush them with a soft child's toothbrush, toothpaste should not be used until ages 2-3. The American Dental Association recommends that children should visit a dentist when their first tooth comes in or no later than their first birthday. A child's first visit to the dentist will consist of a "Happy Visit." At this appointment the child will be instructed on how to brush their teeth and will be given an exam. When a child's primary teeth have come in, usually around 2 ½ years, children will also get a cleaning with their exam.
Does our office do Dentures, Dental implants, Orthodontics, and Oral Surgery?
Yes! Our office caters to a variety of patients. Consultations appointments can be made to discuss the best treatment for you.
Teeth are lost due to a variety of factors that include tooth decay, root canal failure, periodontal disease (gum disease), trauma to the mouth, excessive wear and tear, and congenital defects. The loss of teeth will cause problems with chewing which has been associated with a variety of malnutrition problems. Many people who have lost teeth begin to feel self-conscious and may refrain from smiling or even talking. At our office we can restore missing teeth in almost ALL situations.
If you need to replace one or more teeth in the mouth, a dental implant is one of the most conservative treatments for tooth replacement. Dental implants are stronger and last longer on average that other restorative treatment, such as bridges and dentures. Where dentures provide a temporary solution, implants are a permanent solution. Implants restore the natural beauty, function, and health of a tooth by surgically placing a post into the area where the tooth is missing.
If you have lost some or even all of your teeth, dentures can be used to replace those teeth. Dentures are designed to have the look of natural teeth and gums. Without support from a denture, facial muscles begin to sag which can cause trouble with your jaw function and your appearance. After all required teeth are extracted for the denture; the dentist will take impressions of the mouth and make models of the patient's jaw. A conventional denture is then made and placed in the patient's mouth after the patient's teeth and tissue have healed. Advanced dental materials create dentures that are more comfortable, and more durable than ever before.
There are a variety of benefits that come to having orthodontic treatment (braces). Some benefits include having an attractive smile, increased self confidence, and an improved chewing function. There are orthodontic solutions that fit every age and every lifestyle.
Close to 30 percent of all orthodontic patients in the United States are adults Although more and more adults are seeking orthodontic treatment, it is recommended that orthodontic treatment begin at early ages for maximum effectiveness. Our office offers a range of orthodontic options that include both bonded braces and removable braces.
Sometimes teeth can become impacted below the gum line. People tend to be most familiar with wisdom teeth becoming impacted. Wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth to develop. In most cases the wisdom teeth fail to align properly or they fail to fully surface through the gum line so the tooth becomes impacted between the jaw bone and the gum tissue. When wisdom teeth become impacted, many problems can arise. Very often impaction results in swelling, pain, and infections. Impacted wisdom teeth can also lead to permanent damage to the nearby teeth, gums and bone.