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We invested in a 3Shape Trios scanner last year to assist in making crowns, bridges and other appliances for our patients. The Trios is a digital intraoral scanner that allows us to send detailed images directly to a local dental lab to fabricate crowns and bridges for our patients.

By utilizing the scanner to take digital images, we can get the lab the information they need with patients not having a mouth full of the messy, uncomfortable impression material.

When asked why he prefers to utilize a dental lab to make his crowns and bridges, Dr. Johnson says that the dental lab makes them by hand and the material is stronger than what is available for other options such as in-office “same-day” crowns.

In honor of February being National Children’s Dental Health Month, we have put together some brushing tips for kids:

  • Kids should start brushing as soon as teeth emerge through the gum tissue. They should brush teeth twice a day with training toothpaste. Be sure to help your kids brush, so their teeth are being cleaned thoroughly.

  • For kids 3-6 years old, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and brush two times daily. Remind them not to swallow the toothpaste and practice spitting out any extra.

  • Once kids have teeth that are touching, it’s time to start flossing daily!

There are many toothbrush options for kids including both manual and electric. Some even play songs or light up! Kids may be more interested in brushing and flossing if they get to help pick out their toothbrush.

There are also handled floss picks designed just for kids that come in fun colors and fruity flavors. These floss picks make it easier to help kids get between teeth. String floss works great too, but find what works best for the kid is what is most important!

Do your teeth hurt when you eat ice cream or drink hot coffee? If you answered yes, you might have sensitive teeth.

Tooth sensitivity affects many people. It can show up suddenly or progress slowly over time. Unfortunately, some people are simply predisposed to having sensitive teeth. Fluoride treatments, tooth pastes and oral products specifically geared towards treating sensitivity can help.

tooth pain - Saving Smiles Dentistry - Fargo North Dakota

 

 

 

 

 

Listed below are some causes for sensitive teeth and possible treatment options:

Grinding Teeth

If you are grinding your teeth, it can cause the protective enamel of the tooth to thin and chip. This decreases the barrier between the living tissue within the tooth, allowing for temperature changes to easily transmit to the nerve of the tooth. One way to treat grinding is to have a night guard made by your dentist. It will also help relieve some of the stress and strain placed on the teeth, including the small ligaments which hold the teeth in place.

Poor Mineralization of Teeth

Minerals like fluoride help strengthen the protective enamel layer of the teeth. As with grinding, poorly mineralized enamel will wear and chip creating less of a barrier with food or drink, triggering the sensitivity. 

Improper Bite or Trauma

When teeth suffer trauma it can cause hyper sensitivity to teeth. If someone has an improper bite, it can result in individual teeth taking on more force than they are designed to. These excessive forces and hyper sensitivity can present as general sensitivity with the teeth. Braces can be used to correct a bite and a splint or occlusal guard can be made to help alleviate some of the forces on a tooth/teeth that have experienced trauma.

Gum recession

Recession of the gums can expose the root surface of the tooth, which is much more sensitive than the crown of a tooth. Increased sensitivity is due to the fact that the root surface of a tooth has no protectant enamel layer. Sensitivity products can help reduce sensitivity, but one of the best treatments is gum grafting, where by the root surface is once again covered with gum tissue and therefore not exposed directly to irritants. 

It is always best to discuss your tooth sensitivity issues with your dentist so they can direct you towards the most successful course of treatment for your teeth.

 

Dr. Johnson reviews x-rays for cavities, signs of infection and other abnormalities that may be present in the bone surrounding the teeth. Even if nothing currently hurts for a patient, x-rays allow Dr. Johnson to catch and treat any issues BEFORE they become a problem. If we wait to take x-rays until something hurts, it is often a more expensive fix and may involve seeing a specialist at another office.

Bitewings, which show the back teeth, are updated every 12-24 months. The panoramic x-ray that goes all the way around the head lets us see a patient’s teeth, supporting structure and upper and lower jaw bones, is typically updated every 5 years. Every patient is different and x-rays may be required more or less frequently depending on dental history. A single x-ray of a tooth may even be needed if there is a problem or something looks suspicious upon a visual exam.

Smiley found us at our new location and was quite a character again this year! 

He must have seen Dr. Johnson in the newest Fargo Inc. magazine, because he clearly thought it would be funny to color all over his face in an older issue!

Apparently our masks work great as hammocks!

Smiley was back at it with a permanent marker and more of our dental supplies!

Smiley likes smiling. Smiling is his favorite! 
But I guess he likes brushing too!

Smiley should probably brush and floss his teeth a little bit more!



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!

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!

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