Reliable Dentists Don't Exactly Have Easy Jobs

It's tempting to say that dentists have it easy since they only specialize in teeth. The fact, however, is that teeth are actually quite difficult to work with. Tooth extractions, for instance, require precision and extreme care or else the dentist risks damaging other areas of the patient's mouth. This doesn't even mention the various dental procedures that dentists should be well-versed in before they can help you with your tooth troubles.

General dentistry involves the basics; tooth examinations, cleaning, and extractions are relatively simple compared to the more complex procedures that involve using resins, veneers, and implants. However, even the basics can prove difficult to carry out if a dentist doesn't know how to work with different kinds of teeth (i.e. children's teeth vs. adult teeth). General dentistry also involves working with your gums, especially in treating gum diseases.

Meanwhile, cosmetic dentistry aims to enhance your teeth's aesthetics using a host of other procedures like bleaching, “smile makeovers”, and a variety of teeth implants. On the other hand, restorative dentistry has the painstaking job of replacing missing teeth using permanent dental implants that require multiple visits to the dentist. People who suffered from serious physical trauma to their teeth may turn to restorative dentistry for complete mouth reconstruction surgery.


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Brace Yourself: An Alternative to Braces

Braces are often associated with awkward teenage years, and sometimes adolescents are even teased for having such fixtures in their teeth. They're also infamous for being uncomfortable and hard to maintain. However, all these are things of the past, as the braces of today look better and feel better. Also, anyone of any age can have braces, so it's never too late for you to have a set of your own.

One of the most pressing concerns regarding braces was the pain they could inflict. Mouth sores and wounds are typical of those who've been wearing braces for long periods, and that's not even considering the pain caused by the displacement of the teeth. Fortunately, new teeth aligning devices such as Invisalign® allow patients to have their teeth aligned without actually wearing a set of painful (and visible) braces.

Invisalign® braces are teeth-shaped molds designed to be worn like mouth grills. They align teeth by conditioning the dental pieces to fit the mold being worn over a period of time. Typically, a dentist will progressively update the mold of the patient to slowly move the teeth into place. They're not called Invisalign® for nothing; they're transparent and thus aren't easily noticeable from afar.


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A Wad of Bubble-Licious Gum and Tooth Decay

Sugar is the main suspect when it comes to tooth decay, but since sugar-free gum has been developed, does that mean it's safe and beneficial to dental hygiene? People may have different opinions, but there is only one sure way to drill down to the truth: research.

Chewing gum is made of artificially produced materials like elastomeres, waxes, and resins, mixed with sugary goodness and artificial flavoring to give it a twist. Some gums, however, are made sugar-free by using ingredients like Xylitol to give it a sweet zing.

According to the American Dental Association, chewing a gum after meals can help prevent tooth decay as chewing helps increase the flow of saliva, which is good not only for digestion but for dental hygiene, too. Saliva helps neutralize acids from foods, and breakdowns plaque on teeth. Gums with Recaldent, which is made of the milk protein casein, calcium and phosphate, also help release calcium and phosphate which enters the enamel and rebuilds it. There are also specially made chewing gums that could re-mineralize teeth and prevent tooth decay, reduce plaque and prevent gingivitis.

With the many perks of chewing gum, it would seem that so long as they're sugar-free, they are also teeth friendly. However, there is such a thing as keeping things in moderation. According to studies, chewing too much bubble-licious gum could cause mouth disorders like clicking and popping noises on the jaws. 


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Dental Specialists and What They Really Do

Everyone knows what a dentist looks like as portrayed in TV shows and films. They are health professionals who sit or stand infront of a dental chair, wear scrub suits under their white lab coats, and use latex or vinyl gloves when they treat their patients. Though they're easy to recognize when they're in their offices, it's difficult to know the difference between an orthodontist and a periodontist. Here are some dental specializations you need to be familiar with so you'll now who can best treat your tooth and gums.

     * Endodontists – perform root canals and treat diseases of the tooth nerves and pulp 
     Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons – treat mouth and jaw defects and injuries, often perform complex tooth extractions 
    Oral Pathologists – looks into diseases of the mouth; examines, diagnoses, and treats them
        Orthodontists – realign crooked teeth, design corrective and supportive braces
       Pediatric Dentists – care for the dental health of children, from infants to adolescents, expertly handle first visits 
        Periodontists – treat gums and diseases of the teeth 
      Prosthodontist – fit replacement teeth like dentures, bridgework and implants; designs and makes them
It's important that you visit your dentist at least once a year for cleaning and checkup. If your teeth need specialized care, go to the specific dentist who can give you appropriate treatment.


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How to Find a Reputable Dentist

A toothache can make everyone suffer unbelievable pain. Even important personalities in history weren't spared from this difficult situation. England's greatest queen, Elizabeth I, had been tormented day and night by a diseased tooth until it was pulled. The first president of the United States, George Washington, was also in misery when he had toothaches. In fact, by the time he became president in 1789, he was practically toothless.

It's a good thing modern dentistry can effectively relieve people of toothache and address other dental problems; but finding a really good dentist is another ache—a headache. Here are some tips to find a reliable and experienced one:

       Ask for recommendations from family members and friends. Your family doctor might also know an excellent dentist from his network of medical professionals

       Contact a local or state dental society for a referral. You can use the yellow pages or search online to find them

       Use the American Dental Association's directory of members available online 

When, you've found one, here's what you should check:

      Find out is his office is accessible

      Check if he observes good hygiene. The use of gloves, mask and laboratory gown are a must. Observe if the office is clean and well-kept.

      Ask about fees, insurance and payment plans before the treatment

Don't let a simple toothache affect your life. Start looking for a professional dentist in your area.


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