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Another wonderful Saving Smiles holiday party is in the books! We had a photo booth, ate supper, played games (including spit on your neighbor and heads or tails) and had a white elephant exchange. So many laughs and such a great time!

The “Grotto” located in Hair Success and catered by the Tavern Grill is fabulous. They were able to accommodate us in their beautiful space at the last minute due to a fire in another venue we had previously reserved.

We can’t wait until next year to see what white elephant gifts make it back to the party!

All of our operatories have a special camera, that looks like a wand, designed to take pictures of the inside of the mouth. We may request to take pictures for the following reasons:

– Broken or cracked fillings or teeth
– A suspicious lesion that Dr. Johnson would like to monitor or refer to a specialist
– Before and after pictures of dental treatment

The cameras are a great tool for us to show patients what we see. The photos are saved in patient charts so we can reference them later and there is no additional charge for the photos!

Hygienists use a small periodontal probe to assess the health of your gums, including any signs of gingivitis or periodontal disease, at your regular cleaning appointments.

Gingivitis is gum inflammation. Permanent damage typically hasn’t happened when are first diagnosed with gingivitis and it can be reversed with regular dental visits, brushing twice a day and daily flossing. If gingivitis progresses and goes untreated, it can permanently affect the support around the teeth and cause periodontal (gum) disease.

The probes hygienists use have markings in millimeters (mm) and measure pocket depths around the teeth. Here are what the measurements indicate:

0 – 3 mm & No Bleeding – Healthy gum tissues do not bleed, so just keep up the good work! Your gums look great!

1 – 3 mm & Bleeding – Bleeding gums are an early sign of gingivitis. Better home care, including daily flossing, should get you back on track!

3 – 5 mm – This may be a sign of periodontal disease. We will talk about recommended home care and possibly more frequent dental visits.

5 – 7 mm – This is an indication of bone loss and moderate periodontal disease. More frequent cleanings and additional treatment might be recommended, including a possible referral to a periodontist. Home care will also be discussed.

7 mm + – This shows advanced periodontal disease. A periodontist will be included in your treatment plan to hopefully save any teeth in question.

The measurements are recorded in your patient chart and are reviewed annually. REMEMBER, brushing twice per day and daily flossing can help keep prevent gingivitis and gum disease!

A sealant is a thin tooth-colored material placed on the chewing surface of back permanent teeth to help prevent cavities by filling in the deep grooves of the teeth. According to the American Dental Association (“ADA”), sealants can reduce cavities on permanent molars by 80%.

Dr. Johnson typically recommends sealants on the 6 year and 12 year molars right after permanent teeth have come in. Sealants can be placed by our hygienists following this quick process:

  1. We dry the tooth/teeth
  2. The material is placed
  3. A special light is used to harden the material

 

There are no needles involved, so it is a quick and painless process. Also, there are no restrictions on eating or drinking after the appointment. Sometimes sealants can wear down over time, but Dr. Johnson will touch them up, as needed, at no additional charge.

 

 

 

 

Starting on January 1, 2019, all North Dakota Blue Cross Blue Shield (“BCBS”) dental plans will still be managed by BCBS, but United Concordia will process the claims. Don’t worry, Saving Smiles was one of the first in the area to sign up and is already in-network with United Concordia!

New cards will be issued for the BCBS/United Concordia plans and will still have the BCBS logo, but the ID number will have 12 digits (previously had 9) and the back will say that claims go to Harrisburg, PA. Federal BCBS will maintain the same ID number, but claims will also go to United Concordia.

Employers may choose to leave BCBS and switch to another plan all together. In that instance, we are also still in-network with Delta Dental, Health Partners, Cigna PPO Plans, Total Dental Administrators and most plans with Metlife, The Guardian, Ameritas, Humana and Always Care.

We are excited to announce that Bailee has been added to our team of hygienists. She is a recent grad of the dental hygiene program at NDSCS. Originally from Moorhead, MN, Bailee likes shopping, trying new restaurants and staying active with her volleyball and curling leagues. Fun fact about Bailee? She was born on Friday the 13th!

Please help us welcome her on your next visit!

We finally found time to get out of the office and take new team photos. We are very excited to update our website with the beautiful smiles of our entire group! As always, Dan Francis, did a great job and it was so fun to be downtown around some iconic Fargo landmarks. Here is a sneak peek from the photo shoot!

 

 

 

 

 

Saving Smiles Dentistry - NickiThe next time you come to our office, you might recognize a new face at our front desk. Nicki, one of our awesome Registered Dental Hygienists, has moved into the patient coordinator role. With the experience she has from working with Dr. Johnson as both an assistant and a hygienist, we are excited for Nicki to help patients with most of the questions they have as they check in and out. Congrats Nicki, we are excited for you in your new role and for our patients to have your wealth of knowledge at the front desk!

 

 

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