Sometimes, even when we do all the right things, we can still develop the problem. Certain bacteria can be present, but may remain in a dormant state if your immune system is working well. Then, even subtle stresses can set in motion a chain reaction that results in one or more areas of our bodies being less than healthy. This is often the case with gum disease. Also, some people have a genetic predisposition that doesn’t manifest itself until later. And some people are just unlucky and harbor the complex of bacteria that causes the worst damage. The best advice is to make sure that your dentist and hygienist are checking for gum health and when problems show up, they are dealt with early enough so that you can avoid gum surgery or tooth loss.
The type of non-surgical gum treatment/root planing that Dr. Rice carries out in her practice is both successful and very comfortable. To our patients, it is much like a cleaning but different in two ways. First, you will be made numb in all the areas of the deepest pockets. Second, it will take longer than a regular cleaning, depending upon your needs. Most patients prefer to breathe the nitrous oxide during their root planning/gum treatment, which complements the numbing quite well and makes for a very pleasant experience. While Dr. Rice will always write her patients a prescription for pain medicine to have filled later, we find that most patients never get it filled, some taking only Tylenol or ibuprofen that first night. Commonly, patients will tell us that the experience was much better than they expected.
Didn’t the hygienist fix the problem? Plus, my insurance doesn’t cover but 2 cleanings a year.
Yes, the hygienist did her part in smoothing away the deep bacteria and tartar that caused the problem in the first place, but the same problem can come back again if allowed. Your hygienist will review the steps that you will need to carry out in your home care, but especially during the first year, you will need to have a regular cleaning every 3 months. Studies have shown that after 90 days, bacteria colonies will have reached maximum number and may start doing damage all over again. So, just as a patient with high blood pressure or diabetes is predisposed to their condition and must follow a specific regimen, the same goes for patients with gum disease. There is always the chance it will come back, and the standard treatment is every 3 month cleanings. Yes, some dental insurance policies may not have your best interests at heart. But I want my patients to have Healthy Gums for Life!
Dr. Rice never wants to put down the toothbrush you currently are using. However, our experience with the Rotodent toothbrush over the last 20 years is overwhelming. Those patients who take the time to learn how to use it properly have exhibited excellent health results after their gum treatment. Independent double blind studies shows superior efficiency of the Rotodent electric toothbrush, compared to both Sonicare and Oral B. Due to the size and shape of the brush head, and the fact that it is the only one of the 3 that rotates 360 degrees, more bacteria are removed in the same amount of time spent with each use. Plus, most people who actually DO floss, don’t do it properly. The Rotodent electric toothbrush covers a multitude of errors in its simple action. Unfortunately, if you do have an electric toothbrush at home, and are still diagnosed with gum disease, maybe it’s time to make a change to something that will give you the best results possible.
Your hygienist will instruct you on the use Of Periomed rinse when you come in for your 4 week complementary gum evaluation. However, most patients who battle gum disease find that continuation of the Periomed is their best assurance that they are doing everything possible to fight the bacteria in between professional cleanings. And Using the Periomed rinse along with the Rotodent is the best way to continue to apply the medicine to your gums for maximum benefit.
Sometimes patients do not use the Rotodent and the Periomed together properly and the result is that they notice stain at the gumline of their teeth. This is actually the stained dead bacteria at the gumline that have not been properly removed. The use of the Rotodent electric toothbrush will actually deliver the Periomed medicine to the gums and at the same time keep the bacteria from staining the teeth. If you are bothered by any stain on your teeth that you feel is not normal and you are up to date on your hygiene recall in our office, call us and we will work you in for a complementary polish of your front teeth, and you won’t have to wait to reclaim you best smile.
The life of a crown could be between 5 to 15 years, however with proper care and professional cleanings by a dental hygienist, many last up to 20 years. the use of a super strength Fluoride at home will also help to keep your crowns to last their longest. Ask one of our staff about which fluoride is best for you.
Most of the time there is no pain with a tooth that may need a crown. An old filling that is wearing out and being replaced may leave a cavern that is too big to refill with a regular tooth colored filing. In a case such as this, a crown may be recommended. The large space that is left by removal of the old filling and decay, may leave walls that are too fragile and that will not hold up to the forces of chewing. The crown covers what is left of the tooth and strengthens it by holding the weak parts together and keeping them from splitting. Occasionally, a tooth can be sensitive to chewing only hard foods. In this case, the tooth likely has a hairline fracture within it, and a crown is needed as soon as possible to prevent the tooth from splitting in half or needing a root canal. If the crown is competed in a timely manner, a root canal may be prevented.
No, having a tooth treated with a crown should not hurt. We will make certain that your tooth is completely numb before we start the procedure. Most of our patients also prefer to breathe nitrous oxide while we numb their tooth. We never charge for nitrous oxide when it used when doing specific treatments on teeth. Breathing the nitrous oxide creates a more relaxing effect during their treatment, and when administered properly, it is completely safe for you to drive yourself home after your visit. Even those patients who are a little harder to get numb are treated to maximum comfort every time. Most people need only to return for their next appointed visit a few weeks later, and many don’t even need to be numbed for the cementing of their crown. Of course, if it is your preference to be numbed for a cementation of a crown, or for portions of your regular cleaning, we are happy to accommodate you.
In some instances, reshaping of the tooth is necessary so that the veneers look life-like and not too bulky. However, many patients are a candidate for no prep or minimal prep veneers. Dr Rice will be happy to discuss this with you at your initial exam and consultation to consider if that is an option.
Many patients see their veneers last as long as 20 years. Over time, depending on various factors, patients may see chipping and staining of the veneers at the edges. This can be avoided by stopping habits such as fingernail biting and smoking, and limiting the intake of food and drink that stain, like red wine and tea. Sometimes, just modifying certain intake habits can do the trick. For example, always using a straw to drink certain liquids is very effective in limiting stain.
For most cases, you do not have to be numbed for the initial work in creating veneers. However, during the cementation step in placement of veneers, it is often best to let Dr. Rice numb the area . The polishing steps will sometimes be sensitive to the gum area, and therefore, most people do not mind letting her numb these areas. A few prefer to breathe nitrous oxide only. The main point is that Dr. Rice and her caring staff will work out what is best for you.
Yes, often patients cannot tell any difference at all between their natural teeth and their implants. And denture patients are thrilled by the fact that they no longer have to have a full palate of plastic in the roof of their mouths. Some can taste food again for the first time in years.
Dr Rice will take the lead in the planning of your implant and the crown or bridge that is to ultimately be placed to replace your missing teeth. However, the two of you will work with an implant surgeon for the surgical portion of your treatment. This communication in the planning stages is critical for success in the final outcome. Dr. Rice will make the temporary teeth that you will wear during the implant healing phase and of course she will create the final crown or bridge at the appropriate time.
There are many different types of implants that serve different functions and are used in different ways. However, the combined fees to replace a single tooth with a single implant and crown can be less than the fee for a 3 unit fixed bridge, given all other factors remain the same. Call now for your complete exam and let Dr Rice evaluate your situation to see what treatment is best for you.
Yes, however Dr. Rice should decide if they are sound fillings or failing before any replacement takes place. Many old silver fillings do in fact have hidden decay under the edges, but some can last far longer than the standard life expectancy. X-rays should be examined and intro oral digital photos are also helpful in determining if old silver fillings are still keeping the seal around the margin or interface of the filling and tooth. In many cases, a picture is worth a thousand words. Also, if it is determined that your old fillings are leaking and allowing bacteria get under the edges causing secondary decay, the sooner they are replaced, the better. If nothing is done until there is pain, then unfortunately the only recourse is a root canal, post, and a crown.
As long as the cavity space after the silver is removed doesn’t get too large, then yes we can often fill in the space with tooth colored resin filling material. Standard care is for the space to be filled not be more than one third of the chewing surface of the tooth. Sometimes the decay under an old silver filling will undermine the tooth so much that the tooth will require a crown in order to save it. Also, this is how internal cracks form….from the decay that slowly weakens the tooth. If a problem is found, then the sooner it is fixed the better and the less expensive the outcome. We encourage our patients to look at the intra oral and digital photos with Dr. Rice as she is examining each tooth and its filling, so that they can understand what is going on in their own mouths.
Sometimes if the filling that is placed is large, the resulting sensitivity can last for a while. It may just last for a few months. First, be sure to have the dentist check your bite for proper occlusion. If the sensitivity persists and is especially if it occurs when you bite down on something hard, you may have a crack in your tooth, and the large filling may have to be replaced by a crown. Above all, go back to the dentist who did the filling and follow all protocol that is recommended.
We give your teeth whitening a “Quick Start” in our office, then make you trays for use at home because studies show that the deepest bleaching to teeth takes place after the in- office bleaching, by the constant contact of bleaching solution with the teeth over time. This also makes it easy for you to touch up bleach every few months with our convenient touch up kits. Unless you plan to never drink coffee, red wine or eat blueberries again, your teeth will still absorb the color present in some chromogenic foods. The “Quick Start” plan gives you the best of both worlds!
Everyone’s teeth are different when it comes to whitening. The level of whitening that you will see depends on how disciplined you are with your trays at home. We do the in-office Whitening to jump start the whole process and open up the enamel tubules, but most of the longer term whitening takes place with the use of the trays as the bleach works its way into the dentin. Your pack will supply you with enough bleaching solution to last about 2 weeks (given that you don’t use too much solution and have to spit out too much excess). Some patients who have tetracycline stained teeth can still expect to get bleaching results, but only after use the trays for 9 months to a year. They simply have to continue to purchase the touchup kits for use on their trays. What a great and conservative alternative to drilling their otherwise healthy teeth for crowns!
Generally, most people have some sensitivity with any kind of bleaching, whether it is over-the-counter or done professionally. It usually only lasts for a short time, but can be different for everyone. IF you have tried over-the-counter whitening and have been uncomfortable, the in-office whitening will likely make you more sensitive. As mentioned above, the sensitivity is shot lived, but you have to be prepared for it. If you do not think that you can cope with the sensitivity, come in and talk with Dr. Rice about other methods of brightening your smile.
Nitrous oxide (sometimes referred to as laughing gas) is a mild analgesic that is administered by inhaling it. That means that it lessens the ability to feel pain, which in a dental office is generally considered a good thing! It is very safe to use and is constantly monitored during use. Once Dr. Rice is finished with your procedure, you will be placed on 100% oxygen to clear the nitrous oxide from your system. That is why you can drive yourself home after your dental visit. Many patients tell us that it feels like a light, floating feeling, that greatly reduces their anxiety about their procedure. For many patients who have had a bad experience in the past, it is profoundly comforting that we have Nitrous Oxide available for their procedures, so that they don’t need to be heavily sedated for dental treatment.
Dr. Rice does not charge anything extra for the use of Nitrous Oxide in her office as long as it is a procedure that already requires a local anesthesia. In other words, if you want to have the Nitrous Oxide for a regular cleaning, then there is a modest fee for its use. Otherwise, Dr. Rice just feels that it is part of making you comfortable for the dental procedure that you are entrusting to our care.
Care Credit and Dental Treatment Financing Options
Our practice mission is to get rid of decay and gum disease in our city and county. In order to provide the very best treatment, we can’t just treat one tooth at a time. By the time we get around to the fourth or fifth tooth, several of them would need root canals. That would be a high price to pay for waiting. Therefore, we have access to Care Credit for our patients so that more people can have their much needed dental treatment completed and have the luxury of paying it off with no interest for a year. Yes, it means that you have to make your dental health a priority, but ask any denture patient if they could go back in time and change things…we all know that they would.
We find that our patients are more successful with Care Credit if they let us call for them, because we are so familiar with their programs. Call 373-4488 now for an appointment with Dr. Rice and let Rhonda work on your behalf with Care Credit.
I have always been terrified of the dentist. This was my first visit in 2 years. Dr. Rice and her staff have been excellent. I no longer need valium or nitrous oxide. Due to my wonderful experience, I will definitely follow up every 6 months, which I haven’t done in 10 years. I am new to the area and would advise those who have a fear of the dentist to give Dr. Rice a try.