Dental Tips Blog

Dec
5

When it’s OK to Cancel Your Dental Appointment

Whether you have an appointment for routine dental cleaning, a filling, or other dental restoration or cosmetic dental care, your dentist and dental team can provide the most attentive care possible to every patient when dental patients to attend their appointments on time. This helps prevent the schedule from running behind, and other patients (like you) waiting to get the care they need. By avoiding canceling your appointment, it helps keep costs lower and care more affordable. However, there are some days when it’s perfectly acceptable for you to call ahead and cancel your appointment. In fact, your dentist will appreciate it!

Cold sores

Did you have a newly developed cold sore pop up and blister on your lip? If so, reschedule your visit until after it has crusted over or completely healed. This prevents accidental contamination of the cold sore virus, especially to the dental providers that are treating you. Even though they wear gloves, masks, and protective eyewear, dental practitioners are at an increased exposure risk and would appreciate if you didn’t share viral infections with them.

Colds, Flu, Stomach Viruses

If you’ve had stomach virus symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea, it’s important that you wait at least 24 hours for symptoms to pass before making a dental appointment. If you know that you have a contagious cold or influenza, you should wait until you are completely recovered from your illness. Many types of people visit the dental office, including elderly or infants with weaker immune systems. Touching chairs in the waiting room, or coughing the wrong way will spread your illness to other people and team members.

Using your common sense is best. If you wouldn’t show up for work, school, or social activities…it’s probably best that you don’t come to the dentist either! We hope you get to feeling better soon, and call as soon as possible to reschedule your appointment. This allows your dentist to see patients that may be waiting to be worked in for their care.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Hamir Contractor, Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates

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May
3

Recognizing Gingivitis

Gingivitis is type of gum disease that causes swelling and inflammation of the gums.  It is usually very mild and is easily treatable, but if left untreated it can cause serious oral health problems.  If you see signs of gingivitis, it is important to see your dentist right away and get it taken care of before it progresses into more serious gum disease.

Gingivitis is characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed when you brush your teeth.  As the disease progresses, the gums will become tender or sore and the inflammation will increase.  This stage of the disease is often accompanied by bad breath and an unpleasant taste in the mouth.  If left untreated, the patient’s gums will begin to discharge pus, their teeth will loosen and fall out, and the swelling and pain will continue to intensify.

Gingivitis is caused by poor oral hygiene that leads to the buildup of plaque.  Plaque is full of bacteria that attack the gums.  Proper brushing and flossing habits remove plaque and can prevent gingivitis from forming.  In addition, you should see your dentist at least once a year for cleaning and examination.  Smoking, substance abuse, weakened immune systems, and diabetes have all been linked to an increased risk of gingivitis.  If you fall into any of these categories, you should schedule a dental cleaning and examination more frequently.

Treatment consists of a thorough dental cleaning followed by rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash.  In more severe cases, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help fight the infection.  Gingivitis usually resolves after a cleaning with no further complications as long as the patient follows good oral hygiene habits.

Apr
6

Don’t Put Off Regular Dental Checkups

Few people look forward to visiting the dentist, but regular dental cleanings and check-ups can protect your oral health and protect your wallet!  Avoiding the dentist might save a little money and inconvenience in the short run, but in the long run you will spend far more money on expensive dental restorations and you will end up facing exactly what you were trying to avoid in the first place:  a long, uncomfortable session in the dental chair.

The irony to all this is that regular dental check-ups and cleanings are the most important and effective way to avoid expensive and uncomfortable dental procedures.  Most dental issues start out as small problems such as some minor tooth decay that causes a small cavity to form.  Most people will not even notice it, but your dentist will see it during a check-up and can place a filling during a relatively short, comfortable and affordable procedure.

However, if you avoid regular dental check-ups, the decay will go unnoticed until it starts to cause you some pain and discomfort.  By this time, the decay has caused a large cavity and extends all the way to the tooth’s pulp which is why it has become painful.  Repairing this extensive tooth damage will require much more extensive and uncomfortable dental work.

A root canal may be needed and it’s likely that a cap will need to be placed instead of a filling.  You may even need a bridge or an implant.  All of these procedures are far more expensive than a filling and typically require multiple visits to the dentist.

The lesson to be learned here is don’t wait until your teeth hurt to go to the dentist.  Have regular dental check-ups and cleanings and get those cavities filled promptly.

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