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Dental Health & Nutrition Store FAQ And Glossary

Friday, October 8, 2010 @ 02:10 PM Karen Jean Matsko Hood

Q. What does the dental health and nutrition store carry?

A. Dental Health and Nutrition Store is an online store offering dental health products as well as products for nutrition and health information.  We will be adding more and more products as we expand our site, so come back and visit often.  Check out our store category list to select the current products.

Q. Do you provide shipping?

A. Yes, Dental Health and Nutrition Store ships worldwide, and we use all the major shipping services such as UPS, USPS, and FedEx.  We can ship using the most economical method, and overnight shipping is available.

Q. How often should I visit the dentist?

A. The American Dental Association (ADA) guidelines recommend visiting a dentist at least every six months for a checkup and professional cleaning.  Although bi-annual dental examinations are recommended, the frequency of routine dental visits should be based on individual need – some people will need to see the dentist more often than others.  More frequent visits may be necessary for persons at increased risk for oral diseases due to age, pregnancy, tobacco and alcohol use, periodontal diseases, oral hygiene, and health conditions (e.g., diabetes, dry mouth, HIV infection).  Your dentist or dental hygienist can help you determine how often you should have your teeth cleaned.

Q. What should I expect during my appointment?

A. One of our staff members will compile your medical and dental history during your first visit.  We will then examine your teeth and gums, screen you for oral cancer and periodontal disease, make X-rays of your teeth as needed and complete a TMJ (temporomandibular or jaw joint) exam.  After we review your dental profile, we will discuss a diagnosis with you.  If treatment such as a root canal (endodontics), braces (orthodontics), or oral surgery is needed, we will plan to treat you in our office or refer you to a specialist.  We will discuss your options for treatment and fee payment and help you determine the best plan to fit your needs.

During regular follow-up visits, we will examine your teeth and gums and periodontal tissue, screen you for oral cancer, clean your teeth, and make plans for treatment, as needed.  We will discuss any pain or problems you may be experiencing and answer any questions you may have.

Q. How old should a child be for their first dental visit?

“First visit by first birthday” sums it up.  Your child should visit a pediatric or family dentist when the first tooth comes in, usually between 6 and 12 months of age.  This visit will establish a dental home for your child.  Early examination and preventive care will protect your child’s smile now and in the future.

Dr. James G. Hood generally recommends that an infant be seen by a dentist by the age of 1 or within 6 months after his or her first tooth comes in.  Do not wait for the child to be in pain to bring him or her to the dentist.  Most procedures are pain free, and your child should know that a trip to the dentist can be a comfortable and fun experience.

Regular brushing should become a part of a child’s daily routine as soon as he or she can hold a brush.  Parents should also swab infant’s gums to prevent plaque buildup.  Children’s teeth should be brushed and flossed as soon as they break through the gums.

Although the enamel of a child’s tooth is stronger than that of an adult, it is also thinner, so cavities develop more quickly.  Children’s primary teeth require as much care as their permanent teeth.  Untreated cavities in primary teeth can adversely affect the development of permanent teeth.  Such cavities result in a roughening of adult teeth, or may result in primary teeth that develop cavities.

Q. What does “painless dentistry” mean?

A. Painless dentistry is a means of ensuring your total experience in our office is as stress-free and pain-free as possible.  We will discuss treatment options that may require no local anesthetic and whenever possible, alleviate pain by the means most comfortable to you.

Q. What if I have an emergency?

A. Please call our office at (509) 928-9100 as soon as you determine that you have a dental emergency.  We will be glad to work you in to our schedule if you have a dental emergency during regular business hours.  For an emergency after hours, over the weekend, and during holidays, please call our office for the doctor’s emergency contact number.

Q. Are payment plans available for my dental treatment?

A. Yes, we accept all major types of dental insurance and will process your claim for you upon receipt of your co-payment.  We offer a low interest rate payment plan and also accept most major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.

Q. Can the dentist whiten my teeth?

A. There are several methods available for bleaching the teeth: in office, overnight or daily.  Brite Smile bleaching is done in our office.  One session generally lasts one and a half to two hours, and you can read or relax during the treatment.  For overnight bleaching, we make an impression of your teeth and create a mouth guard that fits your bite.  Each day you fill the mouth guard with a small amount of bleaching gel and wear it overnight or for a few hours during the day.  The overnight bleaching process takes approximately two weeks.

Other over-the-counter daily bleaching products are available, but it is important to use any bleaching product only under the supervision of a dentist.  To achieve the whitening results you desire, the ADA recommends that you seek the professional advice of a dentist, including examination and diagnosis of the cause of tooth discoloration, before you begin any bleaching program.

Q. What if I have a gap in my teeth, a chipped tooth, or teeth that do not respond to normal bleaching methods?

A. Porcelain veneers are designed to look like your natural teeth and are individually and permanently attached to the fronts of your existing teeth.  Bonding utilizes a composite material made of acrylic to fill in areas of your teeth and correct chipping and shape problems.  Both porcelain veneers and bonding are color-matched and color-stable to the rest of your teeth.

Q. What is tooth decay?

A. In short, tooth decay is a location on a tooth where so much of the tooth’s mineral content as been dissolved away that a defect (a hole or a “cavity”) has developed.

Q. What is gum disease?

A. Periodontal (gum) diseases, including gingivitis and periodontitis, are serious infections that, left untreated, can lead to tooth loss.  The word periodontal literally means “around the tooth.”  Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth.

Q. Is tooth whitening safe?

A. Most studies confirm that tooth whitening is safe and effective.  Whitening gels that contain 10 percent carbamide peroxide (equivalent to 3.6 percent hydrogen peroxide) have not been shown to cause any damage to the enamel of the tooth.  Higher concentrations of carbamide and hydrogen peroxide available from the dentist may weaken the enamel, but most of these formulas also contain fluoride offsetting this potential side effect.

Q. Why does my child need fluoride?

A. The tooth is made more resistant to decay by the use of fluoride.  Fluoride is a mineral, like calcium or sodium, that when used on a tooth makes the enamel more decay resistant.  The best way to do this is by fluoridating the drinking water.

Q. Why are baby teeth so important?

A. Often parents do not think primary (baby) teeth are important since they are lost anyway.  Primary teeth need the same care as permanent teeth.  Your child needs healthy primary teeth for chewing, for good speech habits, appearance, and to preserve space for the permanent teeth.

Q. What is DOCS?

A. Dr. James G. Hood is a member of DOCS Education.  As a leading provider of sedation training to dentists in North America, DOCS Education firmly supports the use of all the tried-and-true dental sedation modalities.  Oral sedation dentistry, intravenous sedation, and general anesthesia are safe – and in many cases, the medically appropriate option – in the hands of a properly trained dentist.  In fact, DOCS Education provides courses in both oral and IV sedation so that dentists can offer these choices to their high-fear patients.  DOCS Education founding members and faculty are still practicing dentists and hygienists.  Everyday they put what is taught in these courses to use.

Glossary of Dental Terms

Breath Treatment: This treatment is necessary for people with halitosis or offensive breath.  The majority of cases of bad breath come from inside the mouth and can be cured by restoring

infected, decayed or broken teeth, and/or through the regular use of mouth rinses.  Some odor may originate from the esophagus or stomach and may require more individualized treatment.

Cosmetic Dentistry: Any operation performed on teeth or other oral tissues to improve the appearance of the patient.

Dentin: The calcified tissue which forms the major part of a tooth.  Dentin provides the color for the tooth.  Dentin is covered by enamel over the crown of a tooth and covered by cementum over the roots and itself surrounds the pulp chamber and root canals.

Dentistry: The art and science of the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of the teeth and adjacent tissues, and the restoration of missing teeth and oral structures.

Enamel: The pearly white hard (hardest substance in human body) calcified substance that covers the crown of a tooth.

Floss: Floss is the thread, string or tape used to mechanically remove plaque from between teeth (some say up to 40% of tooth surface) which the toothbrush is unable to reach.

Fluoride: Fluoride is an inorganic chemical element (13th most common element in the earth’s crust) naturally occurring in most foods and water supplies, as well as a natural component of tooth enamel and bone.  The body uses fluoride in two ways, systemically (ingested) and topically (gels, solutions, and pastes) and at optimal levels helps teeth to be more resistant to tooth decay.

Health: The state of dynamic equilibrium between the organism and its environment, which maintains the structural and functional characteristics of the organism within the normal limits for a particular form of life (race, genus, species) and the particular phases of its life cycle.

Holistic health: A concept in medical practice upholding that all aspects of people’s needs, psychological, physical, and social, should be taken into account and seen as a whole.  As defined above, the holistic view on treatment is widely accepted in medicine.

Hypnosis: a mental state (state theory) or imaginative role-enactment (non-state theory) usually induced by a procedure known as a hypnotic induction, which is commonly composed of a long series of preliminary instructions and suggestions.  Hypnotic suggestions may be delivered by a hypnotist in the presence of the subject, or may be self-administered (“self-suggestion” or “autosuggestion”).  The use of hypnotism for therapeutic purposes is referred to as “hypnotherapy.”

Minerals: An organic chemical compound found in nature, especially one that is solid.

Mouth Rinse: Any oral rinse used to kill bacteria, freshen breath, chemically treat oral tissues, or any combination of these functions.

Nutrition: The sum of the processes concerned in the growth, maintenance, and repair of the living body, as a whole, or of its constituent parts.

Oral Cancer Screening: When your dentist examines your mouth at your routine check up appointments, he/ she is also screening you for oral cancer.  This process only takes about 90 seconds and consists of a visual examination for any presence of cancer.  Visit your dentist every 6 months for regular check ups.

Preventive Dentistry: Any activity that seeks to prevent oral disease, prolong the life of teeth, and promote the health of all oral tissues.

Pulp Cavity: The space within the central part of a tooth which contains the dental pulp (nerves and blood vessels) and comprises the pulp chamber and root canal for each root.

Relaxation: A quick release of tension, a return to equilibrium.

Sedation Dentistry: The use of pharmacological agents to calm and relax a patient prior to and during a dental appointment.  The pharmacological agents usually belong to a class of drugs called sedatives, which exert their action by depressing the central nervous system, specifically those areas concerned with conscious awareness.

Supplements: Anything added to, when considering oral health, it is either an oral addition of vitamins or minerals taken systemically or topically.  It may also include more frequent tasks such as additional brushing, flossing, etc.

Toothbrush: A preferably soft bristled brush with rounded edges (best if ADA recommended) is used to mechanically remove plaque and bacteria from the surfaces of the tooth which it contacts.  Certain brushing techniques (i.e. Bass technique) are most effective.

Tongue Scraper: A device used to provide oral health to the tongue by scraping to remove bacteria and plaque from the taste buds on the rough dorsal surface of the tongue.

Tooth Whitening: The process of making teeth whiter.  Methods include in-office professional whitening systems (i.e. ZOOM) as well as custom-made plastic trays which deliver bleach solutions to teeth at home.  Bleaching is most safe when delivery is overseen by a dentist.

Vitamins: Any of a group of organic compounds present in variable, minute quantities in natural foodstuffs, required for normal growth and maintenance of life of animals (including man) which, as a rule, are unable to synthesize those compounds.

Wellness: “Wellness is a multidimensional state of being describing the existence of positive health in an individual as exemplified by quality of life and a sense of well-being.”  Charles B. Corbin of Arizona State University

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