The difference between a Franchised dental practice and a private practice?
They are not the same!
Franchised Dental centers are often designed like large corporations, and often have multiple locations
The clinics are designed to get you the assistance you need and then move on to the next person in line, which causes the dentist-patient relationship to be less personable. They also often employ an answering service or call center to set appointments for patients.
Private Practices are typically an office owned by one dentist or a small group of dentists.
A private practice might be thought of as a helpful neighbor down the street. These dentists typically have regular patients who they see consistently to address their general dentistry needs. Because of this, a private general dentist will know your oral history as a person, not just as a chart! If you do not enjoy quick, impersonal dentist visits, a private practice may be the better option for you.
If you are pressed for time, and are willing to compromise on quality, a low cost center may be the best option for your oral needs. However, if you prefer a warmer relationship with your dentist and a more personable environment, a private practice may be the best help to you.
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Sometimes, a non-surgical root canal may be sufficient for preserving a tooth. The infected inner pulp is removed, the tooth is fitted with a crown, and the natural tooth can be saved for many years, perhaps the rest of your life. However, when such a treatment is not enough, you may require root canal microsurgery, also known as an apicoectomy.
What Situations Call for Root Canal Microsurgery?
– When nonsurgical procedures alone cannot save the tooth
– Diagnostic purposes – sometimes problems persist with a tooth even when nothing appears on an x-ray. This may be the case with tiny fractures or if the infection is in a very small canal that cannot be reached with a nonsurgical procedure.
– Calcium deposits – Such deposits can constrict the canals of the roots. This may make it impossible to reach the end of an infected canal with a nonsurgical procedure.
– Root canal follow-up – While this is not a common occurrence, a tooth on which a successful root canal has been performed may get infected again months or even years later. Or the tooth may become diseased, fail to heal, or continue to be painful. If this is the case, an apicoectomy can help save the tooth.
– When bone or root surfaces are damaged
How is an Apicoectomy Performed?
This form of endoscopic microsurgery involves going in through the gums to remove the infected material and the root-tip. The end of the canal may be sealed with a filling. The gums will be stitched closed allowing for proper healing to take place. Eventually, the bone itself will heal and encase the end of the root once again. This may take several months.
Should You Be Concerned?
As far as surgical procedures go, an apicoectomy is very minor. The procedure should not hurt at all thanks to the local anesthetics that are administered. The pain the tooth is causing should be relieved by the procedure. Pain medication may be provided to help with any discomfort while the gums heal from the incision.
Is There Anything Else I can Do?
If your dentist recommends an apicoectomy, likely the only solutions are the procedure or extraction of the tooth. Since root canal microsurgery can preserve the tooth indefinitely, it is certainly a better option than losing the tooth. Especially since extraction usually means a bridge or implant, root canal surgery can often be a cost-effective solution as well.
In the end, there is nothing better than a natural tooth, even with the great advancements in modern replacements. Therefore, it just makes sense to opt for root canal surgery if there is reasonable hope of preserving the tooth.
July 13, 2015
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning below the gumline used to treatgum disease.
Why Do I Need It?
Gum disease is caused by a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Plaque is always forming on your teeth, but if they aren’t cleaned well, the bacteria in plaque can cause your gums to become inflamed. When this happens, your gums will pull away from your teeth and form spaces called pockets. Plaque then gets trapped in these pockets and cannot be removed with regular brushing. If untreated, gum disease could lead to bone and tooth loss.
If gum disease is caught early and hasn’t damaged the structures under your tooth, a professional cleaning should do. If the pockets in your teeth are too deep, however, scaling and root planning may be needed.
A July 2015 study in the Journal of the American Dental Association finds that scaling and root planing is beneficial to patients with chronic periodontitis (gum disease that has advanced past gingivitis). Chronic periodontitis affects 47.2% of adults over 30 in the United States.
What Happens During Scaling and Root Planing?
This deep cleaning has two parts. Scaling is when your dentist removes all the plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) above and below the gumline, making sure to clean all the way down to the bottom of the pocket. Your dentist will then begin root planing, smoothing out your teeth roots to help your gums reattach to your teeth. Scaling and root planing may take more than one visit to complete and may require a local anesthetic.
After Care Tips
After a deep cleaning, you may have pain for a day or two and teeth sensitivity for up to a week. Your gums also may be swollen, feel tender and bleed.
To prevent infection, control pain or help you heal, your dentist may prescribe a pill or mouth rinse. Your dentist may also insert medication (subantimicrobial-dose doxycycline) directly into the pocket that was cleaned.
Your dentist will schedule another visit to see how your gums have healed and measure the depth of your pockets. If they have gotten deeper, more treatment may be needed.
Good dental care at home is essential to help keep gum disease from becoming more serious or recurring. Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft brush, clean between your teeth daily, eat a balanced diet, avoid using tobacco and see your dentist regularly.
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From subtle changes to major repairs, your dentist can perform a variety of procedures to improve your smile. There are many techniques and options to treat teeth that are discolored, chipped, misshapen or missing. Your dentist can reshape your teeth, close spaces, restore worn or short teeth or alter the length of your teeth. Common procedures include bleaching, bonding, crowns, veneers and reshaping and contouring.
These improvements are not always just cosmetic. Many of these treatments can improve oral problems, such as your bite.
Bleaching is a common and popular chemical process used to whiten teeth. Some people get their teeth bleached to make stains disappear, while other just want a whiter shade.
Discoloration occurs in the enamel and can be caused by medication, coffee, tea and cigarettes. Discoloration also can be hereditary or due simply to getting older.
Bleaching can be performed by your dentist in the office or, under dental supervision, at home. Many patients enjoy bleaching at home because it is more convenient. Treatment begins when your dentist creates a custom mouthpiece to ensure the correct amount of whitening solution is used and that your teeth are properly exposed. Typically, whitening at home takes two to four weeks, depending on the desired shade you wish to achieve. Whitening in the office may call for one or more 45-minute to one-hour visits to your dentist's office.
Bonding is tooth-colored material used to fill in gaps or change the color of teeth. Requiring a single office visit, bonding lasts several years. Bonding is more susceptible to staining or chipping than other forms of restoration. When teeth are chipped or slightly decayed, bonded composite resins may be the material of choice. Bonding also is used as a tooth-colored filling for small cavities. Additionally, it can be used to close spaces between teeth or cover the entire outside surface of a tooth to change its color and shape.
Crowns, also known as caps, cover a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and appearance. Due to their cost, they are used in cases where other procedures will not be effective. Crowns have the longest life expectancy of all cosmetic restorations, but are the most time-consuming.
Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or plastic placed over the front teeth to change the color or shape of your teeth. Veneers are used on teeth with uneven surfaces or are chipped, discolored, oddly shaped, unevenly spaced or crooked. Little or no anesthesia is needed. Veneers are used to treat some of the same problems as bonding.
This treatment is an alternative to crowns, which are more expensive. The procedure requires your dentist to take an impression of your tooth. Before the custom-made veneer is cemented directly onto the tooth, your dentist will lightly buff the tooth to compensate for the added thickness of the veneer. Once the cement is between the veneer and your tooth, a light beam is used to harden it. Porcelain veneers require more than one visit because they are fabricated in a laboratory. Veneers have a longer life expectancy and color stability than bonding.
Contouring and reshaping
Tooth reshaping and contouring, is a procedure to correct crooked teeth, chipped or irregularly shaped teeth or even overlapping teeth in a single session. Tooth reshaping and contouring, is commonly used to alter the length, shape or position of your teeth. Contouring teeth may also help correct small problems with bite. It is common for bonding to be combined with tooth reshaping.
This procedure is ideal for candidates with normal, healthy teeth but who want subtle changes to their smile. Your dentist will take X-rays to evaluate the size and location of the pulp of each tooth to ensure that there's enough bone between the teeth to support them.
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July 8, 2015
How Painful Are Dental Implants?
Most people who have received dental implants say that there is very little discomfort involved in the procedure. Local anesthesia can be used during the procedure, and most patients report that implants involve less pain than a tooth extraction.
After the dental implant, mild soreness can be treated with over-the-counter pain medications, such as Tylenol or Motrin.
What Causes Dental Phobia and Anxiety?
If you fear going to the dentist, you are not alone. Between 9% and 20% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety or fear. Indeed, it is a universal phenomenon.
Dental phobia is a more serious condition than anxiety. It leaves people panic-stricken and terrified. People with dental phobia have an awareness that the fear is totally irrational but are unable to do much about it. They exhibit classic avoidance behavior; that is, they will do everything possible to avoid going to the dentist. People with dental phobia usually go to the dentist only when forced to do so by extreme pain. Pathologic anxiety or phobia may require psychiatric consultation in some cases.
Other signs of dental phobia include:
· Trouble sleeping the night before the dental exam
· Feelings of nervousness that escalate while in the dental office waiting room
· Crying or feeling physically ill at the very thought of visiting the dentist
· Intense uneasiness at the thought of, or actually when, objects are placed in your mouth during the dental treatment or suddenly feeling like it is difficult to breathe
Fortunately, there are ways to get people with dental anxiety and dental phobia to the dentist. There are many reasons why some people have dental phobia and anxiety. Some of the common reasons include:
· Fear of pain. Fear of pain is a very common reason for avoiding the dentist. This fear usually stems from an early dental experience that was unpleasant or painful or from dental "pain and horror" stories told by others. Thanks to the many advances in dentistry made over the years, most of today's dental procedures are considerably less painful or even pain-free.
· Fear of injections or fear the injection won't work. Many people are terrified of needles, especially when inserted into their mouth. Beyond this fear, others fear that the anesthesia hasn't yet taken effect or wasn't a large enough dose to eliminate any pain before the dental procedure begins.
· Fear of anesthetic side effects. Some people fear the potential side effects of anesthesia such as dizziness, feeling faint, or nausea. Others don't like the numbness or "fat lip" associated with local anesthetics.
· Feelings of helplessness and loss of control. It's common for people to feel these emotions considering the situation -- sitting in a dental chair with your mouth wide open, unable to see what's going on.
· Embarrassment and loss of personal space. Many people feel uncomfortable about the physical closeness of the dentist or hygienist to their face. Others may feel self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth or possible mouth odors.
The key to coping with dental anxiety is to discuss your fears with your dentist. Once your dentist knows what your fears are, he or she will be better able to work with you to determine the best ways to make you less anxious and more comfortable. If your dentist doesn't take your fear seriously, find another dentist.
If lack of control is one of your main stressors, actively participating in a discussion with your dentist about your treatment can ease your tension. Ask your dentist to explain what's happening at every stage of the procedure. This way you can mentally prepare for what's to come. Another helpful strategy is to establish a signal -- such as raising your hand -- when you want the dentist to immediately stop. Use this signal whenever you are uncomfortable, need to rinse your mouth, or simply need to catch your breath.
WebMD Medical Reference
Reviewed by Michael Friedman, DDS on May 22, 2014
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