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Norwood Dental
222 East Wilson St., Norwood, MN
Phone: (952) 467-3518

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The Enamel and its protective qualities

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The thin outer covering of the tooth is known as the enamel. This tough shell is the human body’s hardest tissue and helps preserve your teeth from the day’s use such as biting, chewing, grinding, and crunching. It also guards the teeth against possibly painful chemicals and temperatures. Despite it being the teeth’s hard protector, the enamel can still crack and chip. And unlike a broken bone that can heal over time, a damaged tooth is damaged forever. This is because the enamel does not have any living cells, hence the body cannot restore a crack or chipping.

Causes the enamel to lose its protective qualities

So, what causes the enamel to lose its protective qualities?

  • Excessive consumption of soft drinks (high levels of citric and phosphoric acids)
  • Fruit juices and drinks (some acids in these drinks are more damaging than battery acid)
  • A poor, unbalanced diet (usually high in starches and sugar)
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Medications (antihistamines, aspirin)
  • Xerostomia, i.e. low salivary or dry mouth
  • Inherited conditions (genetics)
  • Environmental factors, such as wear and tear, corrosion, stress, and friction
  • Bulimia. This eating disorder can result in frequent vomiting, which is a source of acid,   that can eventually erode away the enamel
  • Plaque, when the bacteria change the leftover food starches into acids that in turn eat away into the enamel’s healthy minerals.

Signs Of Enamel Erosion:

  • Sensitivity: Certain temperatures and food may cause a pang of pain
  • Discoloration: With enamel erosion, more dentin is exposed which may make the teeth look discolored
  • Chips and Cracks: as the layer wears down, the teeth may become more jagged and rough
  • Cupping: Dents start showing on the teeth’s surface

Preventing Enamel Loss:

Apart from following a thorough oral hygiene routine that involves regular brushing, flossing, and fluoride rinse, visit your dentist twice a year for regular cleanings and checkups.

Also, try:

  • Eliminating sugary and acidic drinks. Rinse your mouth thoroughly after each consumption
  • Using a straw when drinking acidic drinks as it avoids your teeth and pushes the drink at the mouth’s back
  • Monitoring snacks
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Using a fluoride toothpaste Keep your tooth enamel safe to preserve optimal dental health or else you could have to visit your dentist more often than you want to.

You will really not be making an impression on the person you are communicating with unless your breath smells nice and safe. Taking care of your mouth and maintaining good oral health is everything a person needs. Many people are terrified of visiting the dentist, that may include the tools a dentist uses that scare the patients and not the dentists themselves.

Let’s find out the reasons why people don’t go to the dentist, most of which are silly:

The Drill

Entering the dentist’s clinic, the first thing almost everybody hears is the sound of the high pitched shrilling drill. Patients usually fear the sound of the drill and that is what that keeps them from visiting the dentist.

A Bad Dental Experience as a Kid

Children have the tendency to remember things that may have scared them during their young days. So, if there’s any chance their last visit to the dentist as a child was bad and unpleasant, they might not be able to fight the fear and go back.

Teeth Scraping

Having your teeth scraped during medical treatment is something everyone despises. Teeth scraping creates a sound that makes people have goosebumps and shocks through the entire body.

Embarrassment

There are many people who are scared of the fact their poor conditioned teeth might cause the dental staff to make fun of them.

Having a Cruel Dentist

Yes, there are dentists who act all nice and present us with a nice yummy lollipop at the end of the appointment. However, there are ones who have the bearing of a butcher and they literally slaughter the teeth of their patients, having no regard for how much pain the patient might be in.

These are some silly reasons why people don’t go to the dentist. As you can see, these reasons are far too arbitrary to compromise your dental health.

Effective Dental Tips to Follow During Pregnancy

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Due to Chronic Nasal Obstruction (CNO), many of us are forced to breathe through the mouth. It may not even seem like that big of a deal, but mouth breathing can cause some serious oral health and facial development problems, especially in children. If you are not yet aware if you are a mouth breather, look for signs such as dry lips, chronic bad breath, airway infections, like sinus, ear, and colds, and crowded teeth. Breathing through the nose ensures the air is filtered, warmed and moistened before it reaches our lungs. However, when breathing through the mouth, we are forced to take in cold, dry, and unpolluted air that can result in an excessively dry mouth. Under this condition, the saliva production is impeded, unable to wash bacteria and other acidic properties of food left behind. This results in the bacterial build-up, eventually wearing down the enamel and making room for cavities and tooth decay. Dry mouth is also one of the causes of gum disease, a serious oral health problem that not only affects the mouth but can be responsible for overall health issues, like stroke, child conception, and delivery issues, heart disease, and heart attacks. This happens when bacteria from the affected gums enter the bloodstream through excessive gum bleeding. Humans are designed to breathe through their noses, but when they try breathing out of their mouths, their posture changes to keep the airway open. This may cause developmental problems, especially in children, who if left undiagnosed and untreated, can fall prey to a long and narrow face, flat nose and small nostrils, and thin pouty lips. It also promotes the growth of the upper jaw rather than the lower jaw, resulting in a gummy smile and large overbite. Treating the problem as soon as it emerges is best to avoid long-term health problems. Keep your mouth hydrated with lots of fluid, and rubbing a little vitamin E oil on your gums will keep them from drying. Meet with your dentist and get a thorough dental exam to help you pick the problem and correct it before it worsens.Some Effective Dental Tips to Follow During Pregnancy | Norwood Dental, MN

First of all, congratulations on this thrilling and hustling time of your life! Dealing with so many things at a time, don’t be negligent towards your oral health because all the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can make dental problems far worse. Not only do these problems affect the mouth but can eventually cause problems with delivery and the baby’s overall health, even after birth.

Some effective dental tips to follow during pregnancy

Now that you are fully attentive (and a little scared), read on for some effective dental tips to follow during pregnancy:

Eating Right for your Teeth and the Baby

Sugar cravings are common during pregnancy, but be smart enough to avoid sweet snacks, as sugar is the biggest contributor to bacterial build-up, leading to enamel erosion and tooth decay. Consume lots of dairy products, like cheese, yogurt, and milk, to get sufficient calcium for the baby’s growing teeth and bones. Snack mostly on fruits and vegetables, especially on detergent foods like apples, celery sticks and carrots that naturally clean the teeth. Maintain a balanced diet, consisting of meat, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans.

Effective Dental Tips to Follow During Pregnancy | Norwood Dental

Don’t skip your Dental appointments just because you are Pregnant

Now more than ever, regular gum (periodontal) exams are extremely important since hormonal changes can make the gums bleed. If the bleeding continues, it can eventually enter the bloodstream with the bacteria and can cause heart problems. Tell your dentist about the medication you are taking, including vitamins and any specific advice your doctor has given you. Ask if any changes should be made to your dental treatment plan.

Effective Dental Tips to Follow During Pregnancy | Norwood Dental, MN

Coping with morning sickness

If you have a case of extreme morning sickness that prevents you from using flavored toothpaste, switch to a bland one, preferably recommended by your dentist. Make good use of a mouthwash or mix a spoonful of baking soda with water and drink up to stop your stomach’s acid from eroding your teeth. Follow proper oral hygiene by brushing and flossing twice, every day, and stay away from cavity-affected people as they can be contagious.

Follow these tips and you will get through pregnancy with your dental health intact.

Impact of cancer treatment on your dental health

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You will really not be making an impression on the person you are communicating with unless your breath smells nice and safe. Taking care of your mouth and maintaining good oral health is everything a person needs. Many people are terrified of visiting the dentist, that may include the tools a dentist uses that scare the patients and not the dentists themselves.  

Let’s find out the reasons why people don’t go to the dentist, most of which are silly:

The Drill Entering the dentist’s clinic, the first thing almost everybody hears is the sound of the high pitched shrilling drill. Patients usually fear the sound of the drill and that is what that keeps them from visiting the dentist. A Bad Dental Experience as a Kid Children have the tendency to remember things that may have scared them during their young days. So, if there’s any chance their last visit to the dentist as a child was bad and unpleasant, they might not be able to fight the fear and go back. Teeth Scraping  Having your teeth scraped during medical treatment is something everyone despises. Teeth scraping creates a sound that makes people have goosebumps and shocks through the entire body. Embarrassment There are many people who are scared of the fact their poor conditioned teeth might cause the dental staff to make fun of them. Having a Cruel Dentist Yes, there are dentists who act all nice and present us with a nice yummy lollipop at the end of the appointment. However, there are ones who have the bearing of a butcher and they literally slaughter the teeth of their patients, having no regard for how much pain the patient might be in.  These are some silly reasons why people don’t go to the dentist. As you can see, these reasons are far too arbitrary to compromise your dental health.

During cancer treatment, there are many problems that arise, amongst which oral complications are common and should be monitored properly and timely, which depends on the individual cancer treatment. Chemotherapy can often damage the functionality of the bone marrow, reduces the formation of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. There are a few cancer treatments which impact the oral tissues in a negative way. Some medications are highly toxic and they have a negative impact on dental health.

Precautionary for Chemotherapy

Going through the phase of dealing with a severe condition, a person has to go through chemotherapy and other related treatments, for which the following precautionary measures can be taken:

  1. Brush your teeth regularly and clean the tongue too with an extra soft toothbrush, using toothpaste which contains fluoride. Brush your teeth twice a day and if your tooth brush’s bristles hurt you, soak it in warm water before using.
  2. Make sure to floss your teeth every day, but gently. Your gums might get sore or bleed, but it is better than you do it gently and regularly.
  3. Use fluoride gel regularly.
  4. Refrain from using alcohol-based mouthwashes.
  5. Every once in a while, rinse your mouth with a baking soda and salt solution, followed by plain water and do it several times a day.
  6. Stretch your jaw muscles by exercising them three times a day to prevent jaw stiffness that is a result of radiation. Once a day, open and close your mouth as far as possible, allowing it to stretch to the fullest, repeating it 20 times.
  7. Refrain from chewing gum, eating candies and drinking sugary sodas.
  8. Do not eat too much of those spicy foods, tobacco products, and alcohol.

These are some dental tips which can help reduce the impact of cancer treatment on your dental health.

Best Sedation Dentistry For Children

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The use of sedation in dental practices is not attained the same level of familiarity as the use of sedatives for other medical procedures. In other medical processes, it is normally used in a wide variety of disciplines. It is never an easy decision to choose to make your child sedated for a dental procedure. It is essential for parents to do a certain amount of homework to understand the various options in sedation dentistry for children in case a dentist for children recommends a procedure that involves sedating your child.

Sedation Dentistry For Children - Dentists For Children | Norwood Dental

Benefits Of Sedation Dentistry

  • When nitrous oxide is used for sedation, it deadens the nerve endings and helps relieve pain related to the dental procedure
  • Sedative dentistry blocks memories of the dental procedure. Children suffering from fear of dentists may eventually overcome their dental phobia naturally so sedation might become unnecessary after a couple of visits.
  • Children with behavioral disorders or children with special needs that make it difficult for them to sit through the procedure can benefit from sedation
  • Pediatric sedation dentistry allows the dentist for children to improve treatment quality which may reduce the number of times your child has to visit the dentist

Sedation dentistry is the safest and most trusted method dentists for children employ to give their younger, more anxious patients relief from a lot of dental issues. It is essential to understand the various options available:

Sedation Dentistry For Children - best Dentists For Children | Norwood Dental

Sedation Dentistry Option 1: Nitrous oxide

When inhaled before the dental procedure, this gas, also known as the laughing gas puts the child in a state of conscious sedation. It is slightly stronger than oral sedation and is recommended for children with moderate and high dental phobia by various Dentists For Children The effect of this sedative wears off within 2 hours of intake and leaves no side effect on the child.

Sedation Dentistry Option 2: Intravenous sedation

This method of sedation dentistry is reserved for children who are severely dental phobic and need intensive dental care such as tooth extraction or several cavity fillings. Monitoring of the child’s heartbeat and blood pressure are constantly done by the professionals during the procedure and the child is never left alone in the office. A benzodiazepine agent is introduced into the child’s bloodstream is introduced just before the treatment begins.

Sedation Dentistry For Children - Top Dentists For Children | Norwood Dental

Sedation Dentistry Option 3: Oral Sedatives

These are prescribed for children with anxiety and need a regular examination and cleaning and filling of the oral cavity. Oral sedatives are given to the child about 30 to 45 minutes before the treatment. Although oral sedatives relax the child enough during the treatment, the child might remain conscious and might need local anesthesia during the procedure.

Benefits of Dental Implants

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Did you know that there are several benefits of Dental Implants? Nowadays, dentists see many dental implants patients. They all report excellent outcomes from dental implant treatment post surgery.

How Do Dental Implants Work?

There are two types of implant-supported dentures: bar-retained and ball-retained. In both cases, the denture will be made of an acrylic base that will look like gums. Porcelain or acrylic teeth that look like natural teeth are attached to the base. Both types of dentures need at least two implants for support. There are two types of dentures on implants: bar-retained implant dentures and ball-retained implant dentures. You can speak with our friendly denturist to find out more about the process, treatment duration and cost of dentures on implants.

Benefits of Dental Implants | Norwood Dental - Best Dentist in MN.

Now, here are 3 major benefits you can expect to see from having a dental implant treatment.

1. Looking Younger

While any dental procedure aimed at replacement of your missing teeth will improve your appearance, dental implants benefits go a step further. Because dental implants are the best available substitute for natural teeth, you will feel as if your natural teeth have been restored. Not only will you feel that but your jaw bone will begin to assimilate with your dental implants treating them as your own teeth! The major advantage of dental implants is that they are implanted, hence they do not move around. Because jaw will treat dental implants as your own, natural teeth this will prevent further bone loss, which in turn helps to maintain a youthful appearance. Bone loss is less prominent with dentures on implants than any other traditional dentures. This is especially important when all of the teeth are missing because the lower one-third of the face often collapses if implants are not placed to preserve the bone levels.

2. Improved Quality of Life

The first thing we notice about someone is their smile! Having teeth missing can make you feel self-conscious. Your quality of life will improve significantly with denture on implants as you will have replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. Most of all dental implants allow you to smile, talk and eat with renewed confidence! You no longer have to worry about your dentures falling out accidentally while having fun. The best part about our dentures on implants is that they will look as natural that many won’t be able to tell that you are wearing them!

Benefits of Dental Implants | Norwood Dental - Best Dentistry

3. Preserving Jaw Bone

With dental implants, your mouth will be restored as closely as possible to its natural state. Another major benefit of dental implants is that they help you preserve your jaw bone and prevent further deterioration. This is not only healthy for your mouth, but it can improve your facial structure. If you are missing some or all natural teeth your bone loss is imminent. This is because your body can sense if your jawbone doesn’t need to support teeth any longer, so it will begin to pull tissues. This can create a deformed look with sunken in the jaw, adding years to your appearance. What is more when bone loss is severe; your chance of having a successful dental implant procedure diminishes significantly.

Finding an Excellent Pediatric Dentist

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Oral health is extremely important for people. Children are no exception. If you want your child to make dental health a priority, you need to make sure he has positive experiences at an early age. That’s why you should take the time to find a quality pediatric dentist. If you want to find a great clinic that specializes in children’s dentistry, you need to take your time. A good pediatric dentistry experience can do a lot for your little one. A poor experience, on the other hand, can make your child fear dental care.

Who are Pediatric Dentists?

Pediatric dentists are dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through the teen years. They have the experience and qualifications to care for a child’s teeth, gums, and mouth throughout the various stages of childhood.Children begin to get their baby teeth during the first 6 months of life. By age 6 or 7 years, they start to lose their first set of teeth, which eventually are replaced by secondary, permanent teeth. Without proper dental care, children face possible oral decay and disease that can cause a lifetime of pain and complications. Today, early childhood dental caries—an infectious disease—is 5 times more common in children than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever.

Request recommendations from other parents

If you want to choose the perfect pediatric dentist, talk to other people you know who are parents. Get names from them. There’s a good chance they know of pediatric dentists who are experienced, gentle and patient. Don’t worry if you don’t have any family members or friends who have children, either. It can also be a great idea to request suggestions from your little one’s pediatrician.

Set up consultations

Most pediatric dentistry clinics are like other practices in that they offer potential patients free consultations. If you want to choose the best pediatric dentist, you should set aside some time to speak with suitable candidates. When you meet these dentists face-to-face, pay careful attention to them. Assess how your child responds to them. You should try to select a pediatric dentist who has a pleasant and approachable personality. You should aim to choose one who is natural around youngsters as well. It’s also critical, last but not least, to pick a children’s dentist who appears to have a passion for the field. Never go with a dentist who seems to be phoning things in. Reliable dentists are always more than delighted to answer patient questions.

Assess the setting

It’s important to get a feel for any pediatric dentist who is on your “consideration” list. It’s also essential to get a feel for the actual clinic. Tour the dental practice. Ask yourself if it has a comfortable ambiance that’s suitable for children. Ask yourself if it looks clean. A children’s dentistry office should make youngsters feel at ease. Look around the waiting room. Do you see toys and children’s books? If so, those are good signs.

Focus on Dentist Credentials

Your goal should be to select a pediatric dentist who is credentialed, qualified and experienced. Reach out to a nearby university or state society to get some background on any pediatric dentist who catches your interest. Get details about any specialized training he or she may have. Learn about his ties to professional associations as well.

Things to Know About Dental Implants

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What are Dental Implants?

Think of dental implants as artificial tooth roots, similar in shape to screws. When dental implants are placed in your jawbone, they bond with your natural bone. They become a sturdy base for supporting one or more artificial teeth, called crowns.

A connector – known as an abutment – is placed on top of the dental implant to hold and support your crowns. The crowns are custom-made to match your natural teeth and fit your mouth.Things to Know About Dental Implants - Dentures & Dental Bridges | Norwood Dental

Modern dental implants have been used successfully for over 30 years. They are the strongest devices available to support replacement teeth – and even better, they allow these new teeth to feel, look and function naturally.

When performed by a trained and experienced dental implant dentist, dental implant surgery is one of the safest and most predictable procedures in dentistry.

Who can benefit from Dental Implants?

Dental implants can be a smart choice for adults of all ages, whether you were born without a tooth or have had to have teeth removed due to injury, infection or decay. They can also be an option for adolescents, once facial growth and development has been completed. Generally, this occurs around age 16 for girls and age 18 for boys.

The advantages of Dental Implants.

Here are four important advantages of dental implants, compared to alternatives such as dentures and bridges:

You’ll look and feel great. Dental implants feel, look, fit and function like healthy, natural teeth. They’re so comfortable you don’t have to think about them. You brush and floss them just like you do your natural teeth – no need to remove them for cleaning. They also help you retain your natural face shape and smile.

They’re built to last. Dental implants that are properly cared for can last many decades. Many other options, including certain types of dental bridges and dentures, may need to be replaced as often as every 5 to 10 years, requiring a more significant investment of time and money.

Things to Know About Dental Implants - Dental Bridges | Norwood Dental

You can live life with confidence. Your dental implants will be secure, so they won’t slip or click when you talk, eat or laugh. You’ll also find that your speech is more natural. With dental implants, you’ll have the peace of mind to eat what you love, say what you want to say, be as active as you want and smile broadly.

They protect facial bone and healthy teeth. Leaving empty spaces in your mouth after losing one or more teeth can lead to health issues such as jawbone deterioration. Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that actually helps stimulate bone growth and prevent bone loss. Getting dental implants as soon as possible after losing a tooth helps prevent bone loss at the site. Also, dental implants don’t require grinding down adjacent teeth to anchor bridges or attach partial dentures.

Dental Implants: Can Dental Implants Fall Out

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Dental implants are one of the most convenient options available when it comes to replacing missing teeth. That is primarily because they look, feel and perform much like your natural teeth. Taking care of an implant is not much different than taking care of your real teeth. Good oral hygiene habits are enough to keep your implants in good condition for up to 25 years.

WHY DENTAL IMPLANTS FALL OUT

Failing to properly take care of your dental implant can lead to some rather serious complications. It can even cause your prosthetic to fall out. It happens often enough, cases where a patient’s implants fall off. There are several reasons why this can happen, and it might not even be your fault.

There are no special licenses or certifications required for dentists to install implants, so it is possible to end up with poorly secured implants due to no fault of your own.

It is normal for your implants to feel loose when you first wear them since it takes time for bone tissue to form around them, securing the prosthetic in place. What is abnormal is if the implant remains loose even after it has time to heal. If this is the case for you, there is a decent chance your implants might end up falling out if you do not seek a dentist immediately.

ENSURE THE DENTIST USES QUALITY MATERIALS

Some dentists try to lower their cost by using low-quality fixtures for your implants, and that often results in major issues down the road. If you decide to replace a missing tooth with implants, make sure your dentist uses fixtures that are approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). These cheaply-made products can also lead to an increased sensitivity in the areas closest to the implant. That causes your body to reject it, making it impossible for bone tissue to grow around it and secure it in place.

Infections are always a primary concern when dentists deal with loose implants. This is because debris and bacteria can easily become trapped between your implant and the tissues surrounding it. An infection will make the bone tissue around the implant weaker and could eventually lead to it falling out.

ALWAYS KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR ORAL HEALTH

Sometimes, health issues are responsible for your implant becoming loose. If your bone density is low, your body might reject the implant. Your dentist can use bone grafting to secure the implant, but some dentists often skip this step to save time or money. Having low bone tissue density increases the odds of your implants eventually becoming lose, so you want to make sure your dentist has lots of experience dealing with similar issues.

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR DENTAL IMPLANT FALLS OUT

An effective way to deal with an implant that falls out is to replace it with a quality one. While the implant can usually be in the same place, there needs to be a healing period for the surrounding tissue. At times, bone grafting might be required to ensure there is enough bone tissue to securely hold the replacement in place.

Sedation Dentistry for Children

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In dentistry for children, dental sedation is only intended to reduce the child’s anxiety and discomfort during dental visits.  In some cases, the child may become drowsy or less active while sedated, but this will quickly desist after the procedure is completed.

When is sedation used in dentistry for children?

Sedation is used in several circumstances.  Firstly, very young children are often unable to keep still long enough for the pediatric dentist to perform high-precision procedures safely.  Sedation makes the visit less stressful for both children and adults and vastly reduces the risk of injury.  Secondly, some children struggle to manage anxiety during dental appointments. Sedation helps them to relax, cope, and feel happier about treatment.  Thirdly, sedation is particularly useful for children with special needs. It prevents spontaneous movement and guides cooperative behavior.

What are the most common types of sedation?

Most pediatric dentists have several sedation options available, and each one comes with its own particular benefits.  The dentist will assess the medical history of the child, the expected duration of the procedure, and the child’s comfort level before recommending a method of sedation.

Conscious sedation allows children to continually communicate, follow instructions, and cooperate during the entire procedure.  The major methods of conscious sedation are described below:

Nitrous oxide – The pediatric dentist may recommend nitrous oxide (more commonly known as “laughing gas”) for children who exhibit particular signs of nervousness or anxiety.  Nitrous oxide is delivered via a mask, which is placed over the child’s nose.  Nitrous oxide is always combined with oxygen – meaning that the child can comfortably breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Laughing gas relaxes children extremely quickly, and can produce happy euphoric behavior.  It is also quick acting, painless to deliver, and wears off within a matter of minutes.  Before removing the mask completely, the pediatric dentist delivers regular oxygen for several minutes, to ensure the nitrous oxide is eliminated from the child’s body.  On rare occasions, nitrous oxide may cause nausea. For this reason, most pediatric dentists suggest minimal food intake prior to the appointment.

Oral sedation – Children who are uncooperative, particularly anxious, or unable to control their muscles for prolonged periods, may be offered an oral sedative.  Oral sedatives come in many different forms (usually tablets, pills, and liquids), and may make the child feel drowsy.  If oral sedatives are to be used, the pediatric dentist may require parents to prepare the child before the appointment.  Some common preparatory measures may include: limiting food and fluid intake prior to the appointment, having the child wear comfortable clothing to the appointment, and preparing to stay with the child for several hours after the appointment.  Oral sedatives rarely produce serious side effects; nausea is among the most common.

Other forms of conscious sedation – Other less common ways to administer sedatives include intravenous (IV sedation), the use of suppositories, and even the use of a nasal spray.  In most cases, the method of delivery may change, but the chemical nature of the sedative remains the same.

Family Dentist – Types of Dentists

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Your family dentist is someone you visit in case of any dental issue. However, when it comes to teeth there are many specialists too. Many different types of oral health care providers could become involved in the care of your teeth, gums, and mouth. A brief description of these various health care providers is as follows:

General Dentist

A general dentist is your primary care dental provider. This dentist diagnosis treats and manages your overall oral health care needs, including gum care, root canals, fillings, crowns, veneers, bridges, and preventive education. All practicing general dentists have earned either a DDS or DMD degree (doctor of dental surgery or doctor of dental medicine, respectively). There is no difference between the two degrees or the curriculum requirements that dentists must meet. Some schools simply award the one degree, while others award the other.

Generally, three or more years of undergraduate education plus four years of dental school is required to become a general dentist. Additional post-graduate training is required to become a dental specialist.

Dental Public Health Clinics

Dental public health clinics promote dental health through organized community efforts. The clinics serve to educate the public through group dental care programs with the goal of preventing and controlling dental diseases on a community-wide basis. Dental public health clinics offer such services as finding a dentist, developing dental care programs for schools, providing information on fluoridation in the community, answering common questions about oral health, and providing other oral health resources and support materials to their community.

Endodontist

An endodontist is a dental specialist concerned with the causes, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and injuries of the human dental pulp or the nerve of the tooth. This specialist may perform simple to difficult root canal treatments or other types of surgical root procedures.

Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologist

A radiologist is the oral health care provider who specializes in the taking and interpretation of all types of X-ray images and data that are used in the diagnosis and management of diseases, disorders, and conditions of the oral and maxillofacial region.

Orthodontist

An orthodontist is the oral health care provider who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, interception, and treatment of malocclusions, or “bad bites,” of the teeth and surrounding structures. Malocclusions can result from crowded, missing, or extra teeth or jaws that are out of alignment. This specialist is responsible for straightening teeth by moving them through bone using bands, wires, braces, and other fixed or removable corrective appliances or retainers. This specialist treats children as well as adults who may wish to improve their appearance and bite.

Pediatric Dentist/Dentistry for children

A pediatric dentist is the oral health care provider who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of the dental problems of children from the age of one or two to early adulthood. This dentist can detect, treat, or refer (as needed) problems with decayed, missing, crowded, or crooked teeth. A pediatric dentist has at least two additional years of training beyond dental school. The additional training focuses on the management and treatment of a child’s developing teeth, child behavior, physical growth and development, and the special needs of dentistry for children.

Periodontist

A periodontist is the oral health care provider who specializes in diagnosing, treating, and preventing diseases of the soft tissues of the mouth (the gums) and the supporting structures (bones) of the teeth (both natural and man-made teeth). This dentist diagnoses and treats gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) as well as periodontitis (gum and bone disease). A periodontist may perform the following procedures: simple and deep pocket cleanings, root planing, crown lengthening procedures, soft tissue and/or bone grafting, gingival or flap procedures, soft tissue recontouring or removal (gingivoplasty or gingivectomy), hard tissue recontouring (osteoplasty), and implant placement.