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Dental Care You Should Never Miss

You stay up late and the last thing you feel like doing is to stop and brush your teeth. It won’t take too much time, but the bed and pillows look awfully inviting.
Some of the most missed dental care habits include:
• Seeing your dentist regularly
• Flossing or cleaning in-between your teeth each day
• Brushing your teeth after meals and at bedtime

But is it a “big deal” if you miss these occasionally? We’d like to think that a time or two won’t make a difference, but there is a reason good dental habits are important.

Seeing Your Dentist Regularly

Life gets busy, and it’s not uncommon that you have to reschedule your dental visit throughout the year (or maybe a few years!) It seems harmless; it can actually cause more harm than you’d suspect.
Everyone wants a bright smile, pain-free teeth and gums and fresh breath. Most people don’t consider the direct link between oral health and their overall health. If you have neglected your dental health, your overall health may show signs of that.

Studies show that there’s a very close connection between dental and overall health.

Roy Daniels, a dentist in Sedona, states,” There’s a link between your mouth and mind, also. Poor oral health can affect your self-image and your self-esteem.” Disorders like chronic pain, cold sores and oral yeast infections can get in the way of daily life, causing depression, misery and lost work days.
“our mouth is the entry point of many bacteria, to keep these bacteria from going into your body, cleaning your mouth on a regular basis is very important.

Flossing or cleaning in-between your teeth each day

The fact is that flossing or cleaning in-between the teeth can dislodge food and plaque that tooth brushing can’t reach. Our Sedona dental team can also show you dental care alternatives:

  • Interdental brushes that can fit between teeth
  • Floss picks or floss holders with handles that can make it easier to floss with just one hand
  • Water flossers such as the Waterpik Brand that direct water between the teeth in lieu of dental floss
  • Floss threaders that can be helpful for flossing under your fixed bridge.

sedona dental care tips

Brushing your teeth after meals and at bedtime

If you go to bed without brushing your teeth, the bacteria that lives in your mouth will have a chance to produce acid which attacks your tooth enamel, making your crowns fail and give you root cavities.
If you don’t brush or floss regularly, plaque can also harden into tartar – which is extremely hard to get off your teeth. Tarter doesn’t need much time to form. Tartar can develop in just a day if you forget to brush. Tartar can also lead to gum disease, a chronic condition that can cause tooth loss, as well as inflammation in your body. If you’re worried about plaque or tartar building up on your teeth, seeing a dentist on a regular basis is crucial.
If you really struggle to brush your teeth before bed, here are a couple of helpful tips from Sedona AZ dentist Roy Daniels:
1. Keep a toothbrush near your easy chair! Brush while you finish that book, or are watching TV. No toothpaste is needed. Simply get the toothbrush out and get to clean your teeth.
2. Keep your floss nearby; consider putting the floss within easy reach of your “favorite chair”. No need to get up and grab a piece of floss!

Which dental habit do you miss the most?

Ready to Schedule Preventive Dentistry?

Daily dental care and biannual checkups are the keys to healthy Sedona smiles. Whether you need a routine exam or a root canal, our Sedona Dentistry team can help. If you live in West Sedona, the Village of Oak Creek, Cottonwood, Clarkdale or any of the surrounding communities we’d love to see you twice a year!

Regular preventive dentistry can help you avoid cavities and gum disease. You can schedule a preventive appointment, today, by calling Roy Daniels, a dentist in Sedona, AZ at 928-282-3246.

 

Are you interested in dental implants to hold your dentures in place?

tired_of_gooey_mess_slice

Dental implants are a very successful long-lasting option for people with loose dentures

Dental Implant Assisted versus Implant Supported Dentures

Dental implants to retain or support ill-fitting dentures are becoming increasingly popular. People today have an increasingly high expectation about dentistry. They demand natural looking rehabilitations that can be delivered quickly. They expect to make no compromises on activities such as eating, talking and laughing. Denture wearers want an attractive appearance with natural looking teeth. But what are some of the options for denture wearers as far as the restorations that fit the dental implants? The answer is in how much MOVEMENT a patient can put up with.

 

 

Implant Assisted Overdenture

Some dentures attach to dental implants and use a REMOVABLE denture that the implants ASSIST in the retention of the denture. These type of implants connected to dentures are SUPPORTED BY THE GUMS and ASSISTED to be held in place by the dental implants. This means there is SOME movement when eating and that the gums take more of the biting forces. But the denture wont “fall out of your mouth” or “float around” the mouth. The biggest advantage of removable overdenture is the cost. With dental implant assisted dentures, sometimes less implants are required, so they are more cost-effective for the patient’s budget. Sometimes mini implants can be used eliminating the need for more expensive bone grafting. For the denture wearer, dental implant assisted dentures may help your ability to talk confidently and eat comfortably; they do not replicate a natural bite and must be removed for cleaning.

Dental Implants Dentures

Implant Assisted Overdenture on 4 dental implants

Implant Supported Overdenture

Some people prefer to have LESS MOVEMENT and choose to have the dentures or teeth SUPPORTED BY THE IMPLANTS. There is LESS MOVEMENT because the implants take the forces of the biting pressures and is more of a rigid system

Implant supported dentures are designed for the implants to take the total force of the bite, absorbing it through the implants and into the jawbone, providing the most natural and normal bite. However, treatment is usually more expensive since a greater number of implants are needed and the attachments between the dental implants and the dentures are more labor intensive and costly Implant supported dentures also need good quality bone which is not always available. Some people are unwilling to undergo additional procedures, such as bone and soft tissue regeneration, that may be necessary to ensure the treatment is successful and will provide a good esthetic outcome.

 

All on 4 Dental Implants

Implant Supported Denture- Removable by the Patient for cleaning

Implant Supported Teeth- Full Arch Screw Retained Restorations

Some patients want the maximum stability with the LEAST MOVEMNNT and do not want their teeth to be REMOVABLE. Below is an example of an all on 4 dental implants  (all-on-four dental implant).

Implant Supported Hybrid Denture – Removable by a dentist but not the patient

 

 

New crown doesn’t fit right

While crowns are done routinely in almost every dental office every day, they still require a very high precision to give a great long-lasting result.

A great fitting dental crown starts with your dentist. When your dentist first starts to shape your tooth for a crown, the area of where the tooth joins the crown (dentist call this the margin) must be placed so that the biology of the gum tissue is not compromised. If the dentist goes too deep, then the gum tissue will always be inflamed. The crown should fit perfectly over the tooth so that the edges of the crown fit the edges of the tooth perfectly.

A great fitting dental crown can only be made from an accurate and detailed impression or scan of the tooth. Many dentists are careless and cut corners when making an impression, just ask any dental laboratory technician. The next requirement is to have a good dental lab make the crown, not some cut-rate outfit.

When installing the new crown in your mouth, the crown has to fit perfectly over the tooth so that its margins meet the margins of the tooth preparation. Once the crown is “down” on the tooth, the contacts between the adjacent teeth should be adequate: floss should snap on either side without breaking. If there is no resistance to floss, it is likely that food will jam in-between your teeth. A quick snap is indicative of good contacts.

If your crown is not fitting properly then it should be removed and you should be fitted for a new one.

Well done dental crowns should settle in and last for years with no more than minor issues. The single most useful test to verify the fit is to take an x-ray. We always check the fit of any new crown we fit with an X-ray.

Here are some x-rays of crowns  that don’t fit right.

New crown doesn't fit right. Poorly fitting crown that snags and shreds floss, caused by a dentist who did not fit the crown correctly to the tooth

 

If you have an experience with a new crown that is not resolving, seek out a second opinion. We offer unparalleled service and a considerable range of procedures to meet all of your dental and cosmetic needs. If you’re a resident of the Sedona or Cottonwood, Arizona areas and you’re looking for exactly the right cosmetic dentist, please call Roy Daniels, DDS today at 928-282-3246 for a consultation.

This patient had a front missing tooth and a very costly replacement was recommended

The patient’s previous dentist wanted to replace the front missing tooth with a treatment estimate of nine thousand dollars. This Cottonwood, AZ patient came to our office seeking a second opinion for a more economical solution to his failing front bridge, an alternative to an implant or bridge on the lower front teeth. Dr. Roy Daniels, a Sedona, AZ dentist was able to replace a missing front tooth for a fraction of the patient’s estimate from a dentist in Cottonwood, AZ. By utilizing a composite front bridge this non implant tooth replacement option fit this patient’s budget and looked better than when he walked in. If you are missing a front tooth or have a loose front tooth, call us today to discuss your treatment options.

While not the perfect solution for a front missing tooth, a composite bridge does offer considerable benefits when matched to the other choices:

  • It’s not metal, so there are no ‘metals and microbes’ issues.
  • Another benefit is that the anchor teeth are kept in healthy condition and not compromised by grinding them down.
  • Unlike laboratory made fixed bridges, if one of your anchor teeth becomes compromised, the bonded bridge can be removed and one of your natural teeth can remain unharmed.

Yet a composite bridge still isn’t the perfect solution, and here’s why: 

  • Cleaning around a bridge is not as easy as cleaning around a dental implant. In-between the teeth where the missing front tooth is bonded to its neighbors can attract an incredible amount of food and debris that must be cleaned several times daily, or the natural teeth can decay.
  • The composite bridge is not as strong and may fracture if you have heavy biting forces.
  • The bone under the bridge will thin over time and recede, causing the area to look unsightly or collect more food.
Front missing tooth replacement

This is a before and after photo of a low cost bonded bridge. This patient has a front missing tooth.

Every tooth that fractures can be a dental emergency. The trouble is that some are too tiny to be seen, even by a trained eye. In the past ten years dentists are seeing more patients with a cracked tooth. Early diagnosis and treatment is the key to a good outcome.

“Cracked tooth syndrome” is when a patient shows up with “chewing pain” usually on one side of their mouth. But often the patient can’t tell us which tooth. Sometimes we are looking for a “hairline crack” in an apparently healthy, cavity-free tooth.

Cracked tooth

Cracked tooth, the crack is barely perceptible to the eye and does not show up on an x-ray.

The American Association of Endodontists have classified five specific variations of cracked teeth; craze line, fractured cusp, cracked tooth, split tooth, and vertical root fracture.

Most cracks tend to be superficial, and involves just part of a cusp on the tooth. But every crack is unique. Sometimes the split is vertical, but sometimes it is horizontal or even diagonal.

The good news is that 9 out of 10 cracked teeth require uncomplicated treatment, but that one in ten requires a more complicated plan.

Experience can help us isolate and diagnose the crack and the degree of complexity. Pain that comes when you chew harder foods, like corn chips can be a clue. We test the suspected cracked tooth – teeth, one at a time and also use our intra-oral camera to photograph the problem.

This is a cracked tooth that went untreated

This is a cracked tooth that went untreated, this is an example of a vertical cracked tooth

If you have a cracked tooth symptom, call us today and get it diagnosed. The earlier that a cracked tooth is treated, the dental costs will be less. Dr. Daniels will discuss your diagnosis with you and your treatment options so that you can make a dental treatment choice.

Food stuck between teeth gums causing pain?

But do you suffer from food stuck between teeth much worse than other teeth and on a frequent basis?

For example, are two of your teeth just far enough apart to constantly trap food? Do you even avoid chewing on that side of your mouth in an attempt to minimize the frustration of getting food stuck between your teeth? While that may be a quick fix, it’s not a long-term solution to the issue. The real question is – why does food get stuck between teeth in that location?

Food getting stuck between the adjacent teeth is sometime due to an “open contact”. An open contact that allows food stuck between teeth and gums can be caused by the placement of filling or crown that lacks the proper shape. This is a common condition that Dr. Daniels can help correct.

Food jamming between teeth gums causing pain because of an improperly contoured crown

Open contact caused by an improperly contoured crown

This is the food that was jammed between teeth with and improperly contoured crown

This is the food that was jammed between teeth with and improperly contoured crown

 

Food stuck between teeth causing pain in the gums

Food stuck between teeth

Food jamming between teeth causing pain

Food jamming between teeth

Cavities between and inside the teeth, cavities can trap food particles making it difficult to completely remove.

Improper flossing  can actually force material further between the teeth or the gum. Our dental hygienist is an expert at coaching our patients on the proper flossing and dental home care techniques.

Periodontal disease may cause drifting and shifting of the teeth that can lead to gaps that collect food.

 

Black Dental Triangle(s)  can be frustrating.

There are many reasons a black dental triangle can appear.  Usually it is because the bottom of the tooth is wider than the top of the tooth, forming a triangle which appears because the gum has shrunk away. Black triangles between teeth form when the papilla (gum tissue between the teeth) recedes or does not form.  This can be because of tooth shape, trauma or even gum disease. This patient came in wanting veneers placed on her teeth. A less invasive conservative option was discussed and recommended to this patient. A technique called BioClear was used.

Black Dental Triangle (s)

Black Triagle Between Teeth RepairedBlack Dental Triangle (s) Repaired

Broken Front Tooth- Dental Emergency

Last night about ten o’clock the concierge at Enchantment Resort in Sedona, AZ called me. She put me in contact with her guest who said “my front crown came off”.  We saw him the following morning, and he walks into the office with a big smile and a missing front tooth! What the patient thought would be a simple appointment to have his front crown recemented was not what he needed. Instead he had a broken front tooth!

It's never a good day when your front tooth is in your hand !

It’s never a good day when your front tooth is in your hand !

 

Broken-Front-Tooth
Fractured-Front-Tooth
Front-tooth-repair-Sedona-AZ

This is what we saw when examining closer… the broken front tooth recently had had a root canal, but not any “permanent” restoration. The patient sheered off the front enamel of his tooth! And what remained looked like he had a crown off of the broken front tooth.

Fortunately, the patient had saved the fragment of tooth (he almost forgot to bring it to the dental appointment, and had to return to get it) and it was “bonded” back into place so that he didn’t have to walk around without a front tooth.

The front left tooth immediately after it was bonded back into the correct position. The tooth was out of the mouth the previous evening, and is dehydrated.

The front left tooth immediately after it was bonded back into the correct position. The tooth was out of the mouth the previous evening, and is dehydrated.

Our Protocol for repairing his broken front tooth:

1. We always take an x-ray to make sure there isn’t anything hidden inside the bone.

2. We check to make sure that the tooth is restorable, In this case it was.

3. The tooth is inspected carefully under magnification to see if there is any decay that the x-ray did not detect, and we evaluated the existing tooth structure remaining.

4. The existing tooth and fragment were cleaned and micro-etched to improve the bonding and retention.

5. A “dental dam” was placed to isolate the area from contamination with saliva and moisture.

6. A “cord” was placed because the gum wanted to bleed slightly and contaminate the bonding. Because the tooth had been out of the mouth overnight, the gums tightened over the area and part was slightly inflamed. We used a little local anesthetic to control the bleeding.

7. The tooth was bonded and a filling was placed to repair the area where the previous temporary filling was placed.

8. The bite was carefully checked to make sure that it didn’t have too much pressure to dislodge and fracture the tooth again.

9. Finally, the patient was given a prognosis and told to follow up with his dentist as soon as he returns home. Hopefully, he will enjoy his time in Sedona and not be visiting dental offices in Sedona during his stay!

3D dental imaging can be superior to traditional 2D dental X-rays found in most dental offices

In this case, Sedona dentist Roy Daniels was able to diagnose this Cottonwood, AZ dental patient’s problem. Her dentist in Cottonwood was unable to tell her what exactly was happening to her front tooth. We are one of the few dental practices in the nation that provide 3D dental imaging to our patients and other dentists in Sedona, AZ. Our 3D dental imaging unit is a dental specific CT scanner resulting in lower radiation and high resolution for dental diagnostics.

2D-dental-xray

This regular 2D dental x-ray as found in most dental offices shows a slight problem on this tooth, but not an exact diagnosis. We suspected a resorbed root, the patient was not exactly sure of what we were describing.

At Roy Daniels, DDS,PLC we upgrade our technology to provide you with the best possible dental care.

We recently invested in a CareStream 9000 system, a 3D imaging tool that utilizes cone beam CT  technology. The CS 9000 helps Dr. Daniels efficiently diagnose and plan treatments, and offers a more precise dental image while keeping your exposure to radiation low. With the benefit of this innovative dental technology is that it’s software allows you to see the origin of your dental problem so that you can make an educated informed decision about your treatment options.

 

The crystal clear and incredibly detailed 3D x-rays below allow this Cottonwood, AZ dental patient to understand her dental diagnosis.

 

This 3D dental image allows us to examine the tooth from 3 dimensions

This 3D dental image allows us to examine the tooth from 3 dimensions, and we were able to show this patient how a “normal” tooth should look. This view is impossible with ordinary 2D X-rays found in most dental offices in Sedona and Cottonwood, AZ

This 3D dental image allows the patient to understand and "see" what the problem is, part of the root is being "resorbed" or eaten away.

This 3D dental image allows the patient to understand and “see” what the problem is, part of the root is being “resorbed” or eaten away.

 

Patient treatment is more conservative and accurate with 3D dental imaging, which can help identify the causes of tooth pain and other complications. 3D dental imaging CBCT evaluation is also helpful for dental implants, sinus conditions and other pathology.

If you would like to learn more about how our CS 9000 system can enhance your dental experience, or to make an appointment, please call us at 928-282-3246.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arizona Dental Experts dental expert services uses 3D dental imaging when diagnosing and evaluation dental malpractice cases for plaintiffs and defendants.  Arizona Dental Experts will your case and determine its merit based on he applicable standard of care in dentistry and any subsequent deviations from this standards. 

Dental decay (dental caries) is usually treated by removal of the decay. The remaining tooth structure is shaped to hold the dental filling in place. The filling is placed, contoured and the bite is adjusted to duplicate the shape of the natural tooth.

This is a tooth I recently treated that had what appeared to be a small amount of decay, but actually the tooth ended up with a very large tooth colored dental filling.

We had identified that this tooth needed some treatment almost two years ago. The tooth was not painful to the patient, and she finally agreed to have the decay treated.

Tooth decay. All cavities start out small! Get your dentist to repair them before they do more damage!

Beginning tooth decay

Dental dam in place prior to filling. The sooner a cavity is treated, the smaller any dental filling will be.

Dental dam before dental filling. The sooner a cavity is treated, the smaller any filling will be.

Tooth decay

Tooth decay

Deep tooth decay

Deep tooth decay

Deep tooth cavity

Deep tooth cavity

Resin composite filling completed- tooth colored filling

Resin composite filling completed

 

 

 

How far in any cavity has spread will determine if any treatment is necessary, as well as the type of repair needed:

  1. If detected early, and if the patient follows through with preventative measures that we coach them with, the damage can be reversible (i.e. it goes away itself) without treatment. With the use of fluoride, preventative dental sealants and good home care the disease may reverse ( i.e. allow the enamel to ‘re-mineralize’).
  2. Decay that has spread from the outer dental enamel layer into the softer dentine layer will need treatment. This involves placing a dental filling. The sooner a cavity is treated, the smaller any filling will be. Some dentists still use silver-mercury “amalgams”, but I prefer to use non-mercury tooth colored composite filling material if the size of the cavity is not too large.
  3. When a tooth has gone untreated, a filling may not be enough to repair the damage. Often this is when a crown (dental cap) is needed to repair the decayed tooth.
  4. If the decay continues unimpeded, it will reach the nerve (the tooth pulp). This is when the patient usually feels a toothache. Pain in a tooth is not a good sign; it just means that the restoration of the tooth may get more expensive.  When the nerve (pulp) is damaged, you will root canal treatment before a filling or crown.
  5. If a cavity is left untreated, the tooth may eventually rot and destroy the tooth so that it cannot be repaired. The tooth will need to be extracted. Dental implants, bridgework or a denture will be the next step!

All cavities start out small! Get your dentist to repair them before they do more damage! Have regular check-ups where your dentist can diagnose and repair the dental cavities! The important idea is to treat dental decay first or second category before the tooth needs root canal treatment. This will not only save you money, but also make your teeth healthier.