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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Finding a Dentist / Rating your Dentist

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Maybe you just moved to a new area and so you are looking for a dentist. Or maybe you wish to leave your current dentist and make a change to someone else. Either way, here are some things to consider to help you “find the right dentist”.

 

Like anything else, a little research or ‘digging’ is required to enable you to make an informed decision about your new dental office. Start by asking around – ask your neighbors or coworkers if they have a good dentist that they like, who is in your area. Or post a Facebook query and see your friends’ responses.

Once you have a couple of names – go online! Search both the name of the dentist AND the name of the business / office. Look for reviews and testimonials. What do others have to say about this dentist?

If you have a dentist and aren’t sure how he or she stacks up, you can ‘rate’ your dentist by researching him or her online and comparing his or her bio and reviews to other dentists you identify online. See how your dentist’s client satisfaction and experience stacks up to others in the area. Find out if there are any complaints about him or her.

Look for a Bio (biography) which should be on your dentist’s website. You want to see some experience, and look for any specialty areas. For example, are they an endodontist – someone who specializes in root canals? Or do they have an endodontist in their office? If there is nothing online, don’t hesitate to ask any dental professional for their credentials. They should be happy to email you their Biography or resume’ – or even give you some names and numbers of references you can call.

Pay attention to the validity of the site you are on. Some online review sites are more “legit” than others. Angie’s List, Better Business Bureau, and Chambers of Commerce member directories are all good places to find reputable, upstanding health providers of any type, including dentists. You can also check with the American Dental Association and find an ADA member dentist, at ada.org.

You should also feel free to ask your current dentist any question – if you are ‘rating’ your current dentist and they answer questions too quickly or only partially, that’s a sign that it might be time to look into someone new. You can also call any potential new dentist and ask any questions you have. Again – they and their staff should be happy to answer, and do so to your satisfaction.

Last but not least, don’t be afraid to drive a few miles. The best dentist for you may be in a different part of town and not right next door. But a courteous, well trained, caring dentist is worth the trip.

 

All About Teeth

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Every day, we get up, get ready for the day, eat and drink our morning breakfast, and off we go. We never really think about our mouth. But…

Your mouth is one busy place… All of your teeth are different and have different functions! This article is all about your teeth, and we’re just hitting the highlights. You could research the mouth, teeth and gums and be reading for months. There’s far more information about these important parts of our body than you ever would think possible.

First there are both upper teeth and lower teeth (or the upper part of your jaw and the lower part of your jaw.) Both of these rows have different uses and benefits for eating and for the positioning of your mouth, and both are equally important.

Both upper and lower rows of teeth consist of: (From front middle tooth to back molar)

-Central incisor

-Lateral incisor

-Canine or Cuspid

-First Premolar or Bicuspid

-Second Premolar or Bicuspid

-First molar

-Second molar

-Third molar

And of course, since good tooth care is so important, we also wanted to include a little bit of information on the teeth that are most at risk of becoming infected. Your molars (back teeth) are usually the ones that are at a high risk of developing cavities. This is because they are harder to clean than most other teeth due to deep grooves and their location in the mouth. You have to make an extra effort to reach back there with your toothbrush every time you brush, to keep them clean!!

On a side note, the main difference between the upper row of teeth and the lower row of teeth is the way that they are attached to your body. The upper row is attached to the maxilla, which is attached to the skull. The bottom row of teeth is attached to the mandible, which connects to the skull by your Tempromandibular joint, or TMJ. This is important because your lower jaw can have a lot more issues, especially when injured, because it is an extension of your body instead of being directly attached. The TMJ is an extremely important ‘hinge’ that keeps your lower jaw in place and working properly. Teeth are rooted very securely – when you think about it, it’s amazing that they don’t come loose.

So how and why do baby teeth fall out? Permanent teeth start developing even before we are born. Yes, they are there, even though usually we cannot see them and so we do not know that this is going on!  By the age of 6 they start erupting, replacing primary teeth. Note that the number of adult permanent teeth outnumbers our “baby teeth” by 12. We get 32 permanent teeth once all primary teeth have come out.

So now you know some facts about your teeth that you probably never thought of otherwise. You probably have a new respect for them and the job they do. There is truly a lot going on with your teeth, and it is easy to take them for granted. So the next time you go to eat that sticky taffy or caramel, or bite into something really hard, maybe you’ll think twice!