smiling male dentist

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

Nobody necessarily wants to embark on the journey of finding a new dentist. But occasionally, it’s just what we have to do. Longtime dentists retire, jobs require us to move, and a variety of life’s situations sometimes make it necessary to seek out a new dentist. However, finding the right new dentist can be a difficult process. With so many practices in your neighborhood all offering similar services, how do you know which dentist to choose? Follow this handy guide below to help find the best dentist in Evansville for you.

Ask for Recommendations

When starting your search for the right dentist, begin by asking friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers. See which dental offices in Evansville they visit, ask what they like about their dentists, and find out whether or not they’re located conveniently to home or work. Compile a list of options and hit the internet to do some research on your own. Look at each office’s website, see what services are offered, read up on the doctor and team, and don’t forget to check out their reviews either on their website or on online review platforms like Google. This will help you narrow your list to a few options.

Make Some Calls

Once you have your list of prospective dentists, pick up the phone and start calling them. During these conversations, be open to asking questions that will provide you some insight into the practice philosophy, treatments offered, and overall personality of the office. Some of the basic questions you can ask include:

  • “What is the dentist’s level of training?”
  • “What type of amenities does the practice offer to make treatment more comfortable?”
  • “What should I expect during my first visit?”
  • “How do you handle insurance and financials?”

Schedule an Appointment

After your initial call with each office, you should have a pretty good idea of which practice stands out to you the most and which may be a good fit. The next thing you should do is schedule a consultation or new patient appointment. There’s no better way to ensure you’ve found your new dental home than to get into the office and check it out. During your visit, note things like cleanliness, friendliness, time-sensitivity, and thoroughness. After this first visit, you should know whether that dentist and office is best for your needs, or that you need to keep looking.

If you’re searching for a new dentist, we invite you to call our dental office in Evansville. We’ll answer any questions you may have and provide you with any information that will help make your decision easier.

dentist explains to patient

Posted by & filed under Oral Health, Prevention.

The team at our dental office in Evansville is dedicated to caring for our patients’ smiles, both while they’re in the office and in between appointments. We’re also focused on educating our neighbors about oral health so we can do our part in creating a healthy community. In this blog, we want to cover some of the top things that are most important for our patients to know. Check them out.

A proper oral hygiene routine at home is just as important as your bi-annual dental appointments. We typically recommend our patients visit us at least two times a year to have a dental checkup, professional cleaning, and sometimes digital x-rays. These appointments allow us to remove any plaque or tartar that may have built up since your last visit as well as monitor your oral health so we can catch and treat problems early. But these bi-annual visits are only half of what it takes to keep a mouth healthy. The American Dental Association (ADA) and your dentist in Evansville recommend brushing your teeth twice a day, everyday, with a soft-bristled toothbrush and using gentle circles. It’s also critical to floss once a day to remove food particles and plaque from between teeth.

There’s such a thing as too much brushing. Scrubbing your teeth may seem like a good idea, after all, brushing harder must remove more plaque, right? Not necessarily. Brushing your teeth roughly can remove food particles, bacteria, and plaque, but it will also damage gum tissue and eventually cause it to recede. Once gum tissue recedes, the teeth appear longer and sensitivity tends to increase, making it difficult to enjoy some of your favorite cold or hot treats.

Sugary sweets aren’t the only foods that can cause cavities. A commonly known fact is that a diet full of sugar typically results in more cavities. But a misconception is that sugar is the only cavity culprit. The truth is, many foods can affect oral health and contribute to decay. For example, foods high in carbohydrates like bread, pasta, and pretzels can feed bacteria in the mouth and cause cavities. Carbohydrates break down into simple sugars when eaten. Bacteria then feed on these sugars and eliminate an acidic byproduct. This acid then eats away at the protective tooth enamel, leaving teeth exposed to decay.

Bleeding gums are NOT normal. Many people think that seeing a bit of blood in your sink as you brush or floss your teeth is normal. The truth is, no amount of blood is normal. Bleeding gums can be one of the first signs of gum disease which is a serious oral health problem that may not only lead to tooth loss, but can also affect the rest of the body. Gum disease has been linked to several systemic problems including diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.

Dry mouth can be a big problem. We’ve all experienced some form of dry mouth before, whether as a result of being dehydrated or as a chronic issue. Having dry mouth that doesn’t go away could be dangerous for your overall oral health. A dry mouth is a sign that your body isn’t producing enough saliva to keep the mouth moist and rinse away bacteria. Without saliva there to do its job, bacteria is left to linger around, produce acid, and cause cavities.

If it’s time for your bi-annual dental cleaning and exam, call our Evansville dental office to schedule an appointment.  

back to school baby

Posted by & filed under Family, Oral Health, Prevention.

As we all gear up to head back to school, loading up on folders, notebooks, pencils, and backpacks, the team at our dental office in Evansville wants to send a friendly reminder to our patients and neighbors about the importance of getting your child (or yourself) to the dentist before school starts.

Dental Checkups Help with Overall Health, Too

While we encourage all of our patients to see us at least biannually, we also like to see them prior to starting a new school year. Visits to your dentist in Evansville not only help keep smiles healthy, they also help keep whole bodies healthy. Poor dental health has been linked to:

In fact, the National Institutes of Health reported that 20-30% of children have chronic health conditions due to oral health. Regular dental exams and cleanings are key in catching any problems, or potential problems, early to avoid these serious diseases. It may also be recommended that your child receive protective sealants to aid against decay and cavities.

Keep Kids in School

It’s our goal to keep kids healthy and in school so they can learn, thrive, and get good grades. However, recent research has suggested that poor oral health has been linked to poor grades. According to the American Journal of Public Health Dentistry, children in elementary school missed 6 days of school on average each year. Of those 6 days, 2 of them were because of dental problems. As we all know, when kids aren’t attending class, they’re missing key elements of their education. What’s more, when they’re in pain due to a toothache brought on by a cavity, their ability to pay attention to lessons diminishes.

Hygiene at Home

Back to school dental visits are a great preventive step to ensure your child is starting the school year off healthy. But a good hygiene routine at home is equally important. Make sure your child is brushing every morning (after breakfast!) and every night for two minutes each time. Also, don’t forget to have them floss once a day.

Following a proper hygiene routine and maintaining appointments with our Evansville dental office can keep you and your child smiling and in good health all the way through to summer break.

If you’re looking for a Evansville dentist, schedule an appointment today!

woman opening bottle with teeth

Posted by & filed under Cosmetic Dentistry, Prevention, Restorative Dentistry.

At our dental office in Evansville, we like to focus on preventive dental care to ensure the health of our neighbors. This usually means seeing us for regular dental visits at least every six months and following a proper hygiene routine at home. But there are other things you may be doing on a daily basis that are harming your smile and you don’t even know it. In this week’s blog, we’d like to cover the top 10 most common habits that ruin teeth.

  • Brushing Too Hard – Your dentist in Evansville recommends brushing your teeth twice a day using small, gentle circles. If you vigorously scrub away at teeth, you can damage gum tissue and cause it to recede, making teeth super sensitive.
  • Crunching Ice Cubes – Ice cubes are hard and aren’t meant for crunching. Their tough texture can cause you to break teeth, damage dental restorations, or create tiny chips in the enamel where bacteria can thrive.
  • Eating Lemons – These bright yellow fruits are packed with acid, and when the acid comes in contact with teeth, it can easily erode enamel.
  • Biting Nails – The angle your jaw adjusts to while nail biting can cause problems with your jaw, also known as TMJ or TMD. Nail biting may also result in chipped teeth.
  • Using Teeth as Tools – Your teeth are meant for chewing, not opening packets or holding things. When they are used in this manner, cracked teeth are incredibly common.
  • Playing Sports without a Mouthguard – Playing any sport without a mouthguard isn’t only potential dangerous for your smile, it’s also dangerous for your brain. Mouthguards protect teeth from elbows, hockey pucks, or baseballs and can help minimize the risk of concussions.
  • Drinking Soda – Soft drinks are usually packed with sugar, and as we all know, sugar is terrible for teeth. When sugar is in a liquid format as in soda, it can be even more damaging since it’s being exposed to the entire mouth, usually over a long period of time.
  • Chewing on Pencils – Just like you should use your teeth as tools, you also shouldn’t hold or chew on your writing utensils. Pencils and pens alike are hard and can damage teeth pretty easily.
  • Smoking or Using Tobacco – Not only is tobacco use bad for overall health, it’s also detrimental for oral health. Smoking or chewing tobacco can discolor teeth and has been linked to gum disease and oral cancer.
  • Clenching or Grinding Teeth – Whether you clench or grind out of stress or while you sleep, you’re essentially banging your teeth together over and over again. Habitually clenching or grinding can result in broken teeth or jaw problems(TMJ).

If you found yourself identifying with any of the habits above, we would encourage you to work on breaking them. In the meantime, if you happen to damage your teeth, whether from a bad habit or any other reason, we’ll be happy to get you back to smiling. Give our Evansville dental office a call to schedule an appointment.

woman indicates gum irritation

Posted by & filed under Oral Health, Prevention.

Receding gums is one of the most common ailments that the patients at our dental office in Evansville experience. While gum recession is treatable, it can still be painful and sometimes scary to wonder what is going on inside your mouth. In this blog, we’re going to cover how to spot signs of gum recession and some of the reasons as to why this happens in the first place.

Why Do Gum Recede?

Let’s first take a look at why gum recession happens so we can better understand what it is and how to prevent it. While there are numerous causes to gum recession, some even out of our control, the most common reasons tend to be:

Knowing this, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of receding gums. First, make sure you’re brushing and flossing everyday. Next, make sure that when you do brush you’re using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a gentle circular motion. Stopping the use of tobacco will not only lower your risk of gum recession but also all kinds of cancer, tooth loss, and stained teeth. While you can’t do much about your genetics, you can do something about catching any dental problems, including gum recession, early.

Recognize the Signs of Gum Recession

The best way to catch gum recession is to make sure you see your dentist in Evansville at least every six months. Regular visits help get a trained eye on your oral health and it’s the ideal way to identify any dental problems early when treatment tends to be more successful. But dental visits aren’t the only way to help protect your oral health. There are things you can monitor at home in between visits too. Keep a lookout for any of the following and notify your dentist of any concerns:

  • Tiny indentations in the teeth close to the gum line
  • Teeth that appear longer
  • Sensitive teeth

What Happens if Gum Recession Isn’t Treated?

Obviously we’re big fans of getting treatment for gum recession (or any other oral health concern). But why are we in favor of it so much? Because of the wide-spread problems that can happen if treatment doesn’t happen, including:

  • Severe inflammation and tooth pain
  • Increased susceptibility to bacteria
  • Eventual tooth loss

If you suspect that your gums are receding, we’d love to help. Call our Evansville dental office to schedule an appointment.

young woman smiling

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, Oral Health.

Did you know that your teeth actually tell a fairly accurate, somewhat detailed story about who you are? They can give away your age, your hygiene habits, and so much more. At our dental office in Evansville, we love meeting and treating smiles of all ages for this very reason. Now let’s take a moment to find out what your teeth are trying to tell you!

What’s Your Dental Identity?

The way your teeth are shaped and even positioned can reveal the details about your personal dental identity. Here’s how it all breaks down:

  1. Central Incisors – These bad boys are always front and center acting as your front teeth. They also reveal your age. Younger people tend to have rounded corners on their incisors, while the other generation will have short more square-shaped teeth.

  2. Lateral Incisors – Meet your front tooth’s next door neighbor! Like the rest of your teeth, they need to look good and function well help you break down food and stay healthy. Did you know they also reveal your gender? Our Evansville dental office has found that these teeth tend to be more rounded in women while men’s laterals are square and long.

  3. Canines – Last but not least are your canines! They’re next to your laterals and, while their name may suggest otherwise, should not resemble the fang-shaped teeth commonly found on our furry friends. It’s been said that these teeth have the ability to tell someone about your personality, depending on their unique shape. Pointier, longer teeth can signify aggression. Flattened or rounded tips show passiveness. Smaller teeth can indicate shyness.

Are Your Teeth Feeling The Grind?

Do you grind your teeth? Do you maybe grind your teeth in your sleep and not even know you’re doing it? Well, if so your teeth can tell the truth! Grinding or bruxism is usually a sign of stress, anger, and anxiety. Your teeth may be showings signs of wear such as chips or breakage, this could mean you’re grinding whether or not you even know you’re doing it!

Aside from personality traits, gender, or habits, your smile really does say so much about who you are. That’s why your dentist in Evansville wants to make sure your teeth are always healthy and functioning at peak performance. Do you have questions about what your teeth may be trying to tell you, or just want to learn more? Give us a call!

anxious woman at the dentist

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

Has it been a few months or a few years since you’ve seen a dentist? It’s OK. Really! Going to the dentist, no matter how long it’s been since your last checkup, should never be a discomforting or unnerving experience. My dental office in Evansville will make sure you feel comfortable and at home from the moment you walk in the door. No matter what the reason may be for your lapse in treatment, there’s no time better than now to see a dentist and get checked out.

No Lectures, Please

No matter what age you are, getting lectured can be anything but fun. This is extremely true at the dentist’s office. We understand that life gets busy and things happen that prevent you from coming to the dentist, so our office is a lecture-free zone. It’s actually pretty common for folks who are behind in their dental care to come to us to catch up.

There are just a few things you need to remember before you come to your first visit:

X-rays and Records
It never hurts to contact your previous dentist to obtain your dental health files. We know that this may be difficult due to circumstances out of your control, but it’s worth checking into before your visit. If you’re not able to get a copy of your records sent to us prior to your visit, don’t panic! We will gather all the information we need when you come to see us!

Questions and Concerns
Please make sure to bring a list of any questions or issues you may have. Your initial appointment will include an exam, x-rays, etc. And your dentist in Evansville will also talk with you about what you hope to fix and/or achieve for your smile. We can discuss possible treatment options that work for your schedule and your budget, without pressure.

Cavities
It’s important to remember that if it’s been awhile since you’ve seen the dentist, there’s a good possibility that you have a cavity or two. There’s no reason to be afraid or anxious. Cavities are pretty common and are easy to fix in a short amount of time. It doesn’t get much better than that!

We know you and your smile will feel so much healthier following your visit. My Evansville dental office is proud of you for making the commitment to your oral and overall health. Scheduling your appointment is easy. Just give us a call and we’ll take care of the rest!

biscotti

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, Restorative Dentistry.

At our dental office in Evansville, you’ll hear us talk a lot about the importance of regular dental cleanings at least every six months as well as having a healthy at-home oral hygiene routine of brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. But besides keeping your teeth clean, there’s another way you can help ensure your mouth stays healthy… and that’s by avoiding foods that can damage teeth.

The Scary Six

  • Popcorn. Some of the most common food related dental damage comes from popcorn. Although it’s popped and mostly airy, there’s always the risk of hitting the occasional hidden kernel. Popcorn kernels are really hard and if they’re bitten with force, the chance of having a tooth crack or chip is high. The pesky husks can also cause problems by getting wedged deep in the gums. If they’re not removed, an infection may occur.
  • Olives. Well, the olives themselves aren’t exactly the problem. It’s more about the pit that’s sometimes left in place. Where the real danger comes into play is when you’re unsure if the pit is still stuck in the middle or not. When this is the case, take your time and explore the olives, checking for any potential tooth-cracking pits.
  • Caramels. Caramels have two dangerous aspects to them: the sugar and the texture. Ooey gooey caramels tend to linger on teeth for a long time, exposing them to damaging sugar until it’s removed. The super sticky texture can also be difficult to tear or chew which may loosen fillings or other restorations.
  • Ice Cubes. Although they’re refreshing on a hot summer day, ice cubes are meant to cool a drink, not to be chewed. These frozen cubes have an especially hard texture which can also lead to dental damage like large chips or even tiny cracks you may not even notice at first.
  • Other Frozen Food. Besides ice cubes, other frozen treats, like frozen candy bars for example, can be especially dangerous. They take the worst of both ice cubes (hard) and caramels (chewy and sweet) and put them into one damaging food.
  • Breads. We know you’re thinking that bread is soft, so how can this be on the list? And you’d be right that most bread is soft, but there are some types of bread such as baguettes that are extra crispy and can be hard on teeth while ripping, tearing, or chewing it.

If you do happen to sustain some tooth damage by eating any of these top culprits, or perhaps something we haven’t listed, we welcome you to call our Evansville dental office as soon as possible. The sooner we’re able to diagnose the damage, the quicker and easier treatment will be. Don’t wait, call today.

male dentist examines dental x-rays

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

We get asked a lot of questions at our dental office in Evansville, and we don’t mind answering them one bit! We believe that the more our patients know, the healthier their smiles will be. One of our more frequent requests is for more information on dental x-rays – why we use them, different types, and especially their safety.

The 3 Most Common Types of Dental X-Rays

There are several different types of x-rays that your dentist in Evansville may use to look at various parts of the mouth’s anatomy. Each type is used for a different reason and can show different problems. Let’s take a look at each one.

  • Bitewing X-rays. These x-rays are helpful in catching cavities early on as they allow the dentist to see places in between teeth that are not visible to the naked eye. Bitewing x-rays can also help identify variations in bone density caused by gum disease as well as help catch any excessive wear in restorations like fillings.
  • Periapical X-rays. Along with bitewings, periapical x-rays are quite common. The images obtained through this type of x-ray show the entire tooth — from the top of the crown to the tip of the roots. This allows your dentist to examine each tooth’s individual structure and bone level. Periapical x-rays can also help catch cysts and abscesses.  
  • Panoramic X-rays. Panoramic x-rays show the entire set of teeth, both top and bottom and from left to right, in one photo. They can also display the jaw joints as well as the upper sinuses. These photos can help determine if wisdom teeth are impacted and can even help diagnose a tumor.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

Safety is our top priority with everything we do, including x-rays. Advancements in technology have reduced exposure to the already low amount of radiation emitted by dental x-rays. Additional preventive measures, such as the use of lead vests, are also taken to help limit the exposure even farther. We try to follow the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) principle which basically says that dental professionals should limit x-rays to only when necessary in order to achieve proper diagnosis and aid in successful treatment.  

How often you should get dental x-rays taken depends on a variety of factors. The team at our Evansville dental office will take a look at your oral health and any history of dental problems to determine how often you should have x-rays taken. If there’s been a history of cavities or a higher risk of decay, x-rays twice a year may be appropriate.

oral cancer awareness

Posted by & filed under Oral Health, Prevention.

Every year, April is recognized as Oral Cancer Awareness Month. At our dental office in Evansville, we strive to keep our patients and our neighbors as healthy as possible, so we’d like to join in and help educate our community on the risks of oral cancer, how to identify it, and why it’s best to identify it as early as possible.

Fast Facts

  • About 49,000 Americans will be diagnosed with a type of oral cancer this year alone
  • Over 9,700 will die from oral cancer in 2017
  • Only an estimated 57% of those diagnosed this year will still be alive in 5 years
  • Patients who have beaten oral cancer once are up to 20 times more likely to develop another form of cancer

Early Diagnosis

One of the main reasons oral cancer is so deadly, and those numbers above are so scary, is that most of the time, oral cancer is caught too late and may have already spread to another part of the body. Unlike other types of cancer, there are no official timing guidelines for screening for oral cancer, like there are for, say, colon or breast cancer. This is one reason why we recommend seeing your dentist in Evansville at least every six months for a thorough examination. If caught in its early stages, oral cancer can be treated successfully.

Signs & Symptoms

The difficult part to suspecting and diagnosing oral cancer is that its signs and symptoms can disguise themselves as other oral health problems that don’t seem like a big deal, only a minor annoyance. If you notice any of the signs below, call your dentist as soon as you can.

  • A sore or discoloration that doesn’t go away after two weeks
  • A lump inside the mouth or neck
  • Pain while swallowing, chewing, or speaking
  • Changes in voice
  • Chronic bad breath

Risk Factors

Understanding the risks that increase the chance of developing oral cancer can go a long way in helping to prevent it. While some risk factors are uncontrollable, there are some that you can control and avoid:

  • Men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer than women
  • Oral cancer typically develops in those over 40
  • About 80% of oral cancer patients are, or have been, tobacco users
  • Drinking alcohol heavily also increases your risk

If you suspect you’re at risk for oral cancer or have additional questions, we welcome you to call our Evansville dental office.

Now accepting new patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City and beyond.