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 Which Doctor Will I See?
Which doctor will I see during my first visit?
For your initial exam visit, if you have not requested one of our doctors specifically, you will be scheduled on the first, most convenient appointment. The doctor who is available at that appointment will see you. If you do request a particular doctor, you’ll be scheduled with that doctor.


Will I see the same doctor for all my treatment?
Yes, if, for example, your treatment plan requires four visits, you will be scheduled all four times with your doctor. If a different doctor has a particular proficiency (for example, implant placement), it may be suggested that you see that doctor for the special service.


Can I see my doctor if I have an emergency?
Yes, but only if his or her schedule is available. One of the reasons for our expanded schedule is to have a doctor available at as many times of the week as possible for emergency care. We would also like for all of our patients to eventually meet both of our doctors. The important thing is that one of our doctors will be available for emergency care throughout the week.


Can I see my same doctor/hygienist on my continuing-care (check-up/cleaning) visit?
Yes, but you must so request. Because we schedule continuing-care visits months in advance, it is difficult for us to match you with a specific doctor that far in advance.


May I refer a friend or family member to a particular doctor?
Yes. Please feel free to refer someone you care about to a specific doctor here at our office. We will do our best to assure that all patients see their doctor of choice.

 

 

 Temporary Crowns or Bridges

A temporary crown or bridge is meant only to serve your needs while a permanent crown or bridge is being made for you.

Color: The color of the plastic temporary crown does not resemble the final (permanent) crown in any way.

Shape and Size: Temporary crowns are custom-made for each patient, but they will not, in any way, resemble the final crown, which is being made especially for you.

Tooth Sensitivity: Your temporary crown will help protect the sensitivity of the prepared tooth. However, it does not fit your mouth like the permanent crown will, so you may notice sensitivity to heat, cold, or sweets—sensations you won’t feel when your specially-made crown is in place.


Here are some other things you need to know about your temporary crown or bridge:

1. The temporary cement requires about 30 minutes to set. Please do not chew during that period of time.

2. Certain foods will stick to the temporary crown. Please refrain from chewing gum, candies, or foods that might stick to the crown or even pull it out.

3. Temporary crowns are not strong they may occasionally break or come off. If this should happen to you, please contact our office immediately, bring your crown with you and we will replace it. Should you be unable to contact us, simply go to a pharmacy and get some Fixodent. Replace the temporary crown on your tooth using the Fixodent to hold it in place until you can contact us.

4. Please do not leave the temporary crown out of your mouth. Without the temporary crown, your teeth may move and then the permanent crown may not fit!

5. Do not brush or floss too vigorously around your temporary crown. Remember that it is important to keep the area clean-but use caution.

6. It is imperative that you return to our office at the appointed time for your permanent crown. Failure to do so may result in the need to re-prepare the tooth and re-make the crown at your cost.


Post-Operative Instructions for Home Care

It is important to take care of your surgery site.
Please follow these instructions:

1. Bite on gauze for 30 minutes (one half-hour) to stop any bleeding. If bleeding continues, place another gauze and continue to apply pressure.

2. For at least 24 hours do not:

  • smoke
  • drink through a straw
  • drink alcohol, carbonated beverages, or hot liquids
  • blow your nose
  • spit excessively


Any of these things may cause the blood clot over the surgery site to dislodge from the “socket,” causing a “dry socket” and resulting in unnecessary pain. (Should this happen, call the office to see the doctor as soon as possible.)

3. Do maintain a soft diet for the remainder of the day—things like warm soup, ice cream, milk shakes (remember no straws), etc.

4. If your pain, discomfort, or bleeding continues or worsens, call the office for a re-examination.

5. If you were given medications, take them according to the instructions.

6. After 24 hours, start rinsing gently with warm salt water (1/4 teaspoon of salt or baking soda to 1 cup of water) every four hours for two days.

7. If any problems or questions do arise, please feel free to call the office (229-686-5525) or you will be given emergecy numbers in your care instructions for after hours.


8. Sutures: If sutures were used in your treatment, be sure to return for their removal on the appointment date given. Some sutures dissolve within 5 to 7 days, if you receive this type of suture there is no need to retrun for removal.


9. Toothbrush: Use it carefully but thoroughly. A clean mouth heals faster.


10. Avoid All Excessive Activity: Do not do things that will raise your blood pressure. Go home, lie down and rest. Do not disturb (pick at) the surgical area.


   Analgesics and Anesthetics for Dental Treatment We offer the following methods to provide comfort during oral treatment. Unless you have special needs, local anesthetic will be used.

1. Local Anesthetic: This is by far the most common form of anesthetic. You will receive a nearly painless injection of an anesthetic, which is short acting (one-hour), long acting (three-hour), or extra long acting (up to six-hours). There are virtually no side effects.

2. Sedatives: If you are very anxious or nervous about oral treatment, please ask us about pre-medication. This medication is provided to you about half an hour (30 minutes) before the treatment begins. You should plan to arrive half an hour early and have someone present to drive you home later. There is, no additional fee for this service.

3. Nitrous Oxide: Is provided on request to all our patients for any/all dental procedures. There will be a small charge added to your treatment upon the request of nitrous oxide.


TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Irregularity)
Some 60 million Americans have TMJ. Simply put, TMJ is the syndrome that happens when the muscles in the jaw and the temporomandibular joint are out of alignment or misaligned, causing problems when chewing. In plain English, the ligaments, muscles, bones and joints do not line up, causing pain.

Some Symptoms Associated with TMJ:
1. a clicking, popping or grating sound when opening or closing the mouth
2. headaches and/or dizziness
3. tenderness in the jaw muscles
4. earache
5. jaws that sometimes lock open when yawning or if mouth is held open
6. spasm or cramps in the jaw area (very common)


What Causes TMJ? These are the most common causes:
1. accidents
2. developmental (natural) defects, including the wearing-down of teeth or fillings causing a misalignment of the teeth
3. surgery
4. orthodontics
5. stress that causes clenching of the jaws and grinding of the teeth
6. naturally misaligned teeth


What Can be Done to Correct TMJ?

  • If the temporomandibular area has been damaged by arthritis or as a result of an accident, surgery may be needed to correct the TMJ and re-establish the proper occlusion. Far more likely, your doctor will recommend a therapy that may include a bite splint and specific exercises to keep the teeth from touching and to allow the joint to remain lined up, allowing the jaw’s hinge area to relax. Such therapy increases your comfort by diminishing the TMJ pain. If a splint is prescribed for you, it is very important that you follow your doctor’s instructions regarding the amount of time and time of day you must wear it.

 

  • If your condition is temporomandibular joint irregularity (TMJ), you need to wear your splint all the time unless directed otherwise. Do not remove the splint when you eat, as this would compromise your treatment and diminish its effect. The splint stops tooth-to-tooth contact and keeps your jaw lined up properly, allowing the muscles and joint area to heal. As this healing takes place and the symptoms gradually disappear, your doctor will adjust your splint to keep your teeth properly aligned. During this period of your therapy, you will begin wearing the splint fewer hours of the day and, after a period of time; you will no longer need to wear a splint.

 

  • Grinding (“bruxism”) and Clenching: These conditions require you to wear your splint only at night, while sleeping.  Clean the splint by brushing it. Keep it in water and mouthwash solution when it is not in your mouth.


Important Information About Removable Partial Dentures
We have done our best to provide you with well-fitted, functional, and aesthetically pleasing partial dentures. We feel confident that after a few weeks of adjustments, you will enjoy years of satisfaction and use. In the meantime, the following is important information.


1. Your First Few Weeks. New dentures always feel strange when first placed in your mouth. Several days or even a few weeks will be required for you to become accustomed to them.

2. Sore Spots. Your mouth will most likely have a few sore spots about 24 hours after you first put your new partial dentures in. An initial readjustment appointment should be made and another appointment, about seven days later, will usually eliminate any other sore areas.

3. Chewing. The new “bite” or occlusion will not feel comfortable for a period of days. We will adjust the contacting surfaces of your teeth after 24 hours, and again in about one week after the dentures have “settled” into place.

4. Cleaning the Dentures - and Your Mouth. Your partial dentures can be cleaned easily by using a denture brush and toothpaste. Use special care to clean parts of the partial that contact any natural teeth. Both the partial denture and the natural teeth must be kept very clean on a daily basis to reduce the chance of new dental decay. Denture soaks are also useful for the denture. Brush your gums with a regular toothbrush once per day to toughen and clean them. Leave the dentures out of your mouth at night. When they are out of your mouth, then leave them soaking in a water-and-mouthwash solution.

5. The Future. Your jawbones and gums shrink up to 1/32 of an inch per year when your teeth are missing. This is one of the main disadvantages of dentures. Because of this shrinkage, you should plan to have your dentures and oral tissues evaluated by us at least every six (6) months. We will inform you when relining or rebasing of the dentures is necessary. Wearing ill-fitting dentures for too long without refitting can cause severe bone loss and very serious oral disease.


Important Information About Upper & Lower Complete Dentures
We have done our best to provide you with well-fitted, functional, and aesthetically pleasing dentures. We feel confident that after a few weeks of adjustment, you will enjoy years of satisfaction and use. In the meantime, the following is information you need to know.


1. Your First Few Weeks. New dentures always feel strange when first placed in your mouth. Several days or even a few weeks will be required for you to feel accustomed to them.

2. Sore Spots. Your mouth will most likely have a few sore spots about 24 hours after you first put your new dentures in. Such sore spots can be relieved by your doctor with very little effort. An initial readjustment appointment should be made, and another appointment about seven days later will usually eliminate any other sore areas.

3. Chewing. The new “bite” or occlusion will not feel comfortable for a period of days. We will adjust the contacting surfaces of your teeth after 24 hours, and again in about one week after the dentures have “settled” into place.

4. Upper vs. Lower Dentures. Your upper denture will rest comfortably in place with moderate-to-strong “suction.” Although your lower denture will have good stability, it is infrequent that “suction” can be expected on a lower denture. We suggest that you avoid denture adhesives unless you have extreme difficulty.

5. Cleaning the Dentures - and Your Mouth. Your dentures can be cleaned easily by using a denture brush and dish soap. Do not use toothpaste on your dentures, as this can cause tiny scratches in the acrylic.  Denture soaks are also useful for the denture. Brush your gums with a regular toothbrush once per day to toughen and clean them. Leave the dentures out of your mouth at night.  When they are out of your mouth, leave them soaking in a water-and-mouthwash solution or denture soak.

6. The Future. Your jawbones and gums shrink up to 1/32 of an inch per year when your teeth are missing. This is one of the main disadvantages of dentures. Because of this shrinkage, you should plan to have your dentures and oral tissues evaluated by us once per year. We will inform you when relining or rebasing of the dentures is necessary. Wearing ill-fitting dentures for too long without refitting can cause severe bone loss and very serious oral disease. Even dentures that “fit” comfortably need to be checked along with your tissue.


 Cracked Tooth Syndrome

Teeth may crack when subjected to the stress of chewing hard food or ice, or by biting on an unexpected hard object. Teeth with or without restorations may exhibit this problem, but teeth restored with typical silver-alloy restorations are most susceptible.

Symptoms and Signs of Cracked Teeth (some or all of the following):

• pain while chewing;
• pain upon cold air application;
• unsolicited pain (usually leakage of sugar into a tooth crack);


Treatment of Cracked Teeth:

Simple Crack. The majority of cracked teeth—about 9 out of every 10—can be treated by placement of a simple crown (cap) on the tooth. When the tooth is prepared for the crown, and a temporary restoration is placed, the pain usually leaves immediately. If this is the case with your tooth, we will place the final crown on your next appointment, and the condition should be resolved.


Complex Crack. Occasionally - about 1 in 10 - a crack is pronounced or severe enough to access the pulp (nerve) of the tooth. If pain persists after placement to the temporary crown, you may have such a crack into the pulp of the affected tooth. To verify, please call us. The tooth may require endodontics (root canal therapy) before the crown is placed.


What is “Periodontal Therapy?”
Periodontal (gum) disease is not curable - but it is controllable.

Periodontal Therapy is a “conservative” (non surgical) program consisting of a series of 2, 4, or 6 visits to control gum disease.

If you are diagnosed with periodontal disease; pockets (deeper or greater) than 3 mm with bleeding points upon non-traumatic toothpick probing; your dentist may recommend a periodontal therapy program to control your disease. The severity of the periodontal disease determines the length of your program. Our goal is to eliminate bleeding and mouth odor, as well as reduce pocket depths to eliminate bacterial re-infection.

Remember: Healthy gums never bleed!


The therapy consists of ultrasonic scaling (a device utilized for the removal of tarter, stain, and bacterial toxins on teeth utilizing the principle of high frequency vibration), hand scaling, root planning (smoothes roots) and curettage (removes diseased tissue), and irrigation with antibiotics. Depending on the severity of disease, we may recommend oral antibiotics, fluoride treatment, and antibacterial rinses. Also, a home-care regimen of toothbrushing and flossing is instructed in conjunction with other home-care devices (specific electric toothbrushes) which may be required for continued health of your tissues.

We want your Periodontal Therapy to be a pleasant, comfortable, healthy and personally rewarding experience. For your comfort, topical anesthetic and local anesthetic are routinely used.

After therapy, your hygienist will see you for a periodontal maintenance visit to evaluate the success of your Periodontal Therapy. Pocket depths and bleeding points will be remeasured, checked, and treated as needed.

It takes six months to one year before new gum attachment fibers become mature and more resistant to bacterial re-infection, therefore the doctor/hygienist recommends a three month recall/continuing care interval so that your level of periodontal health can be monitored and maintained. As your mouth continues healing, the interval between hygiene appointments will be evaluated according to your individual progress and the rate of tarter formation. Your personal home care is the determining factor in the continued success of your treatment.


Sealants

What are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings which are applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to prevent decay. Most tooth decay in children and adolescents occurs on the chewing surfaces of these back teeth, which are called molars. This is because molars have irregular surfaces with pits and grooves which tend to trap food and bacteria debris. Sealants flow into and coat these pits and grooves so that bacteria cannot multiply and cause decay.


How are Sealants Applied?
Applying sealants is quite simple and may be done by a dentist or a dental hygienist. First, the teeth are cleaned. Then the teeth to be sealed are dabbed with a very mild acid solution similar in strength to vinegar or lemon juice. This roughens the tooth surface very slightly so that the sealant will bond to it properly. After the tooth is prepared, the sealant is painted onto the tooth. It flows into the pits and grooves and hardens in about 60 seconds. After sealing, bacteria cannot reach the pits and grooves, and therefore cannot cause decay. Applying sealants requires no drilling or removal of the tooth surface. Tooth structure is left intact - healthy teeth are protected from decay forming bacteria.


How Long Will Dental Sealants Last?
A sealant application can last five years and often times even longer. Sealants should be checked regularly and reapplied when they appear to have worn off. Because teeth are most susceptible to decay when they are young, preventing decay during the first 5 to 14 years after a tooth erupts is critical.


Do Sealants Cost More Than Fillings?
The cost of sealing a tooth is consistently less than the cost of having a tooth filled.

Will Sealants Replace Fluoride?
No! Fluorides such as those used in fluoridated water, fluoride toothpaste, and fluoride mouth rinse help prevent decay on the smooth surfaces of teeth; however, fluorides have less effect on the rough, pitted chewing surfaces of the back teeth where food particles and decay producing bacteria are trapped. Sealants are effective on the uneven chewing surfaces.


Have Sealants Been Thoroughly Tested?
Yes! Thousands of children across the United States and in other countries have had their teeth sealed in controlled clinical studies. These studies have shown sealants to be effective, easy-to-apply, inexpensive and non-toxic. That’s why the American Dental Association, the National Institute of Dental Research, and the American Public Health Association have recommended sealants.


Infection Control

To reduce the chance of cross-contamination of disease from patient to patient, we take these important measures:

1. Face Masks:
All of our staff wear facemasks during active patient care. These masks prevent the spread of bacteria.

2. Rubber Gloves:
New non-latex gloves are worn for every patient, and disposed of immediately after their one and only use.

3. Disinfection of Counters and Other Office Surfaces:
This standard health and sanitation procedure is performed routinely after each patient visit in every operatory and throughout all public areas of our office.

4. Equipment Sterilization:
Items attached to each dental operatory —handpieces, air blowers, suction, etc.- are either disposable or disinfected by heat sterilization. Our practice proudly meets and exceeds all OSHA regulations for operatory equipment sterilization.

5. Continuing Education:
We are very conscious of the fact that health-threatening viruses, bacteria, and other conditions are constantly changing and evolving into new, sometimes more virulent strains. We are absolutely committed to intensive continuing education by which we remain current, informed, and capable of state-of-the-art patient protection.

 

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