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. 

numb

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

Some of the treatments we offer at our dental office in Evansville require us to administer an anesthetic to first numb the area prior to beginning the procedure. We do everything we can to keep the process easy, comfortable, and totally pain free so that you become nice and numb and don’t feel anything during treatment. However, sometimes we encounter patients that have more trouble getting numb than others. We’d like to explain a few possible reason as to why this happens.

Nerves on Fire!

Well, not literally on fire, but in the dental world we do refer to a really painful tooth as a ‘hot tooth’ since the pain feels like it’s on fire. In reality, it’s not actually the tooth that’s making it hurt so badly, it’s the nerves. When there’s a case of ‘hot tooth,’ nerves can become particularly difficult to numb for a few reasons. First, the nerves can be overly excited and even the smallest thing can send zingers of pain shooting. When in this excited state, nerves require more anesthetic than usual. The nerves can also develop additional pain receptors. More receptors means more anesthetic, more anesthetic means more difficulty getting numb.

Don’t Move!

We know we’re asking a lot — don’t move while we inject the anesthetic into your gums — but trust us, staying still makes the process easier and reduces the risk of needing to do it again. We promise to do everything we can help you relax and make the process as painless as possible. If you’re nervous, talk to us. We’re here to help.

The Head Bone is Connected to The…

Years of education and training has taught your Evansville dentist exactly where to administer an injection to directly hit the nerve in order to achieve optimal numbness. Sounds great, right? Well, even though we’ve all got anatomy that’s pretty similar, it is just that — pretty similar. Meaning that not everyone is built the same way, and sometimes the nerve isn’t where we expect it to be. If we miss and you don’t get numb, we’ll have to try again.

If you’re new to the area and are looking for a dentist, we welcome you to call our Evansville dental office to schedule a visit. At your first appointment, let us know if getting numb has been a struggle in the past and we’ll work with you find a solution that helps make getting the care you need comfortable.

Accepting new patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City.

dental emergency

Posted by & filed under Family, Prevention.

A dental emergency can happen any time, any where and can be anything from a chipped tooth, a toothache, a lost filling, or a tooth that’s totally knocked out. While nobody ever wants to experience a dental emergency, the truth is, they happen. When they do, you should be aware of some ways to handle some of the most common dental emergencies. That’s where our dental office in Evansville comes in.

There’s Not a One-Size-Fits-All Solution to All Dental Emergencies

Not every dental emergency is handled the same way, but there is one thing that stays true to every type of dental problem — see your dentist in Evansville as soon as you can. In the meantime, there are a variety of things you can do to help. Let’s examine several common dental emergencies and tips to try in case they happen to you.  

Dental Emergency: Broken/Chipped Tooth

How to Help It: Rinse your mouth and any tooth pieces with warm water to clean them. Save any pieces you happen to find. If you’re bleeding, apply pressure to the area with a piece of gauze until the bleeding stops. Remember, a mouth can bleed a lot, so be patient. To reduce swelling and minimize pain, apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth.

Dental Emergency: Lost Filling

How to Help It: This emergency will require a dental visit rather quickly to fill in the hole that’s now in your tooth. If you can’t get to the dentist right away, you can buy dental cement at many drugstores that can fill in the space where the dental restoration used to be. A piece of sugarless gum can also help. Just make sure it’s sugar free — anything with sugar in it will hurt!

Dental Problem: Knocked Out Tooth

How to Help It: Promptness is key with this dental emergency as the best chance at saving a knocked out tooth is to get it back into the socket within the hour. The first step is to find the tooth. When and if you do, do NOT touch the roots! Handle your tooth only by the crown, or the white part that usually shows in your mouth. You can gently rinse it with warm water if it’s dirty, but try to put the tooth back in its socket as soon as you can. If that’s not an option, put the tooth in some milk or keep it under your tongue and get to the dentist ASAP.

Prevention is Key

While these tips can help provide some relief, the best way to avoid a dental problem in the first place is to maintain regular visits and dental cleanings at least twice a year. If it’s been awhile since you’ve been to a dentist, we welcome you to call our Evansville dental office to schedule an appointment. We will work with you to make sure there aren’t any potential dangers just waiting to pop up when you least expect it.

Accepting patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City

become a dentist

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

Considering a career as a dentist? We may be biased, but the team at our dental office in Evansville thinks it’s the best job you could have. Dentists, dental assistants, and dental hygienists are an important part of a total healthcare team, and are crucial to keeping patients healthy. Not only that, but they can also be responsible for transforming smiles and giving people a confidence boost which affects their lives as a whole. If you’d like to experience the rewarding feeling we get each and every day, dentistry may be right for you.

Will You Enjoy Being a Dentist?

Before we go into the specific steps on how someone becomes a dentist, it’s important to discuss the qualities and interests one should possess in order to be happy in this field. First, an interest and excellence in the sciences is recommended. Dentistry and the courses required to become a dentist are highly science focused, so it’s crucial to have an organic attraction to science. Second, dentistry is also incredibly artistic, so you should be good with your hands and be incredibly dexterous. Lastly, you should have a desire to help people — both in terms of health and beauty.

The Steps to Become a Dentist

After you’re able to identify that the basic, underlying characteristics of being a dentist interest you, you can start to outline the steps you need to take to become a dentist.

  • Complete Your Bachelor’s Degree. While you can get your Bachelor’s in anything, you’ll be one step ahead if you focus on biology, chemistry, physiology, and other sciences.
  • Score Well on the DAT. Following undergraduate school, you’ll need to take the Dental Acceptance Test and score well to be considered for dental school.
  • Go to Dental School. Typically, dental school lasts four years and includes a combination of classes and clinical work.
  • Take Your Board Exams. Before you can practice dentistry, you’ll need to pass the National Board Dental Examinations as well as any other requirements necessary for the state you wish to practice in.

“Will I Be Able to Find a Job?”

While the job hunt is always a daunting task no matter which industry you decide to enter, there’s some good news about the rising need of dentists from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job availability is projected to grow at 18% through 2024, more than double the average growth for other careers.

If you’re seriously considering a career as a dentist, our Evansville dental office recommends that you perform research on what dentists do and what your job environment could look like to see if it’s something that will make you happy.

Welcoming patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City and beyond. 

love smile

Posted by & filed under Cosmetic Dentistry.

There’s a lot to say about a healthy, beautiful smile. Some people are lucky to have one naturally. Others have to battle against genetics, accidents, or aging. When time, or life itself, takes a toll on your teeth, your confidence can dwindle and it’s common to begin hiding your smile. However, you don’t need to hide it forever. The cosmetic dentistry options at our dental office in Evansville can help you get a smile that you love.

Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments

There are several forms of cosmetic dentistry treatments that can solve a multitude of dental concerns. Some of the most common cosmetic dentistry treatments include:

  • Teeth whitening
  • Composite bonding
  • Porcelain veneers
  • Smile makeovers

What Does Each Treatment Solve?

Some cosmetic dentistry treatments can fix the same problem, just in a different way. Each situation and each individual is unique, so your dentist in Evansville will recommend the best option that will address your specific concerns.

  • Teeth Whitening – The most simplistic of the cosmetic dentistry options, teeth whitening is best done professionally by your dental team. Depending on the type of whitening used, results can be up to several shades whiter after just one treatment.
  • Composite Bonding – Sometimes a professional smile whitening isn’t appropriate for some types of staining. This is where bonding may be an appropriate solution to getting a whiter smile. Bonding is also typically used to correct chips, cracks, and crookedness.
  • Porcelain Veneers – Veneers are thin coverings that are attached to the front of the teeth. They last long and are natural in appearance. Veneers can fix broken or chipped teeth, straighten smiles, and change the shape of individual teeth for a streamlined appearance.
  • Smile Makeovers – When you’re looking for a dramatic transformation, a smile makeover is the best solution. A smile makeover combines several cosmetic dentistry treatments to get you a smile you love.

If you aren’t absolutely happy about they way your smile looks, give our Evansville dental office a call to schedule a cosmetic dentistry consultation. We’ll talk about the concerns you have and work together decide what the most appropriate treatment is for you.

Welcoming patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City and beyond.