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. 

heart health

Posted by & filed under Oral Health, Prevention.

It’s not uncommon for the month of February to be full of hearts — candy hearts, heart shaped boxes of chocolate, and a whole host of other gifts given in the name of love. At our Evansville dental office, we’re all for celebrating love, but this February, we’d like our patients to pay attention to a different kind of heart — the one inside you — and ways to keep it healthy.

Fast Facts on Heart Disease

February is recognized as Heart Health Month and is used to raise awareness of the seriousness and widespread occurrence of heart disease in America. Here are some important facts you should know about heart disease.

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • Someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds
  • Every 60 seconds, someone dies from a heart disease-related event
  • You can decrease your risk of heart disease by making lifestyle changes

The Effect of Oral Health on Heart Health

Why should you take heart health advice from a dentist? Isn’t that what a cardiologist is for? Well, yes, a cardiologist is the best person to help diagnose and treat any heart problems you may have. However, your Evansville dentist can be a crucial part of your health care team.

In recent years, there have been numerous studies that show a clear link between gum health and heart health. In fact, gum disease doubles a person’s risk of heart attack or stroke. But how?

Your gums are like a portal to your bloodstream. An infection in your gums means that the infection can easily enter your bloodstream. When there is infection in your blood, your body reacts. The liver begins to produce certain proteins such as C-Reactive Protein (CRP) and these proteins lead to all kinds of problems including:

  • Inflamed arteries
  • Blood clots
  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes

How Can You Minimize Your Risk?

There are ways to decrease your chance of gum disease and the overall health concerns associated with it. Start with maintaining regular visits to our dental office in Evansville. In between appointments, make sure to brush your teeth twice a day, floss everyday, and avoid tobacco products. Proper dental care can, in fact, save your life.

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

bad breath

Posted by & filed under Oral Health.

Halitosis, also known as bad breath, is a common issue that affects nearly 80 million Americans. It’s a serious problem that doesn’t only affect your oral health, but can directly impact your personal life as well. Don’t worry, your dentist in Evansville is here to help.

Dry Mouth

Your mouth needs an adequate saliva supply to keep itself healthy. Essentially, it helps wash away bacteria and neutralize acid that can lead to decay and cavities. Without it, bacteria are left to linger around and cause all sorts of problems, including bad breath. Dry mouth can be caused by numerous things including some medications or mouth breathing.

Foods

Although fragrant foods don’t tend to be a serious, long-lasting problem, they are a cause of bad breath. The typical culprits like your morning cup of coffee, a garlicky pasta sauce, or a tasty onion-packed sandwich can sometimes leave an after-smell in your mouth, even after you brush and floss.

Poor Dental Hygiene

When someone doesn’t follow a proper at-home oral health routine of brushing twice a day and flossing once a day, the chance of odor causing bacteria sticking around and creating an unpleasant stench increases. Not to mention, poor dental hygiene can lead to more problems like cavities, the need for root canal treatment, discoloration, or even tooth loss.

A Whole-Body Problem

While bad breath may seem like a small yet embarrassing issue, it may be a sign that something more serious is happening somewhere else in the body. Bad breath has been linked to:

  • Gum disease
  • Pneumonia
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Diabetes

This is why the team at my Evansville dental office encourages anyone suffering from chronic bad breath to see their dentist as soon as possible.

If you’re worried about bad breath, or it’s just time to see a dentist, we welcome you to call my dental office in Evansville to schedule an appointment. We’ll be happy to see you and discuss any dental concern you may have.

Accepting patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City and the surrounding areas.

biting tongue

Posted by & filed under Oral Health.

Everyone enjoys getting a solid night’s sleep. It not only feels great… it also provides some valuable health benefits, too. But sometime, sleep can be interrupted by any number of things — a snoring partner, a sick child, or even from biting your own tongue. If this last item happens to you frequently, my dental office in Evansville encourages you to find out why. We’re here to help.

Common Causes

Nighttime tongue biting is actually pretty common, but it can be incredibly uncomfortable and painful. What’s more, it may be a sign that something more serious is going on. The top reasons someone may experience tongue biting during sleep include:  

  • Nighttime seizures
  • Grinding your teeth
  • Rhythmic movement disorder

Let’s take a closer look at each cause and potential treatment.

Nighttime Seizures

Seizures are usually categorized by a tightening of muscles accompanied by violent twitching. Involuntarily biting of the tongue is also one of the main indicators of seizures. But the symptoms aren’t always so noticeable, and sometimes there are no daytime signs and rather only occur during sleep. Treatment: Using a seizure medication can help prevent seizures and, in turn, tongue biting.

Rhythmic Movement Disorder

This disorder causes individuals to experience jerks or sudden movements during sleep, usually in the head or neck. Typically more common in children, sometimes rhythmic movement disorder can appear as head banging and may result in injuries to the eyes, brain, and yes, tongue. Treatment: The good news is rhythmic movement disorder in children tends to go away on its own. If not, medication may be recommended.

Grinding Your Teeth

Nighttime bruxism, also known as grinding your teeth, is fairly common but can cause someone to bite their tongue unwillingly. Teeth grinding may also create additional dental problems like chips and cracks. Treatment: A bruxism night guard can protect teeth from grinding against each other, as well as the tongue from being bitten

If you suffer from frequent nighttime tongue biting, talk with your dentist in Evansville to determine if grinding your teeth may the cause and to discuss the best treatment for your specific needs. My Evansville dental office also encourages you to see your physician if another culprit is suspected.

Accepting patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City and the surrounding areas.

dry mouth

Posted by & filed under Oral Health.

Dry mouth is an uncomfortable feeling that all of us experience occasionally. But living with a chronically dry mouth isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s unhealthy too. At my Evansville dental office, we wanted to examine the top causes of dry mouth, why it’s so concerning, and ways to combat it for healthy, happy mouth.

Why Is Dry Mouth Concerning?

When the mouth is dry, it means your body isn’t producing enough saliva to keep it moist. Saliva is crucial for oral health and has many jobs. It helps wash away food particles, neutralizes acids, and even kills bacteria. Without it, you’re at increased risk for things like tooth decay and infections in the mouth.

Top Causes of Dry Mouth

  • Medications. Many medications can contribute to dry mouth, hundreds in fact. Most commonly, these medicines are those used to treat depression, anxiety, pain, and cancer. Look at the label on your medications to see if dry mouth may be a side effect.
  • Diseases & Medical Conditions. Dry mouth could also be caused by another health problems including, but not limited to, Sjögren’s syndrome, HIV/AIDS, and diabetes.
  • Smoking & Drinking. Both smoking and drinking alcohol can have a drying effect on the mouth.
  • Mouth Breathing. If the mouth is opened for prolonged periods of time, the constant exposure to air dries out the mouth.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Cracked, dry lips
  • Difficulty swallowing, chewing, or speaking
  • Dry throat or tongue
  • Bad breath

How to Combat Dry Mouth

Treatment of dry mouth can vary from person to person, depending on their own individual reason for having dry mouth. Some ways you can help stop dry mouth include:

  • Drink water throughout the day
  • Limit your intake of caffeinated beverages
  • Chew sugarless gum to stimulate salivary glands
  • Speak with your dentist in Evansville

If you’ve been suffering from dry mouth, or believe it may be a problem, give my dental office in Evansville a call to schedule an appointment. We’ll evaluate your symptoms and talk about the possible cause. Then together, we’ll determine the best treatment for you.

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