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"It doesn't hurt" -Why waiting for pain, will cause pain in your wallet
Working in an urgent care dental setting, I can tell you that the number one reason people are in my chair is pain.  These patients, for the most part, have known for a while that something was not right, but "it didn't hurt until now".  Patients ask me all the time when to expect pain or why one tooth hurts when another doesn't.  The answer is that teeth play by no rules.  I have seen people with large cavities, broken teeth, infection and not one bit of pain, and others with small cavities that are super sensitive to cold.  What I will tell you is that is is far more common for me to encounter those with big problems and no pain than those with small problems and some pain. 

This is why it is so important to have your teeth checked and treated before the pain starts.  For the most part, when you start having that kind of discomfort or toothache that motivates you to get in my cha…
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As summer approaches many people will be setting out for their summer vacations.This is meant to be a time to kick back, relax and enjoy some time without the stresses of everyday life.  However, as many people find out every year, a toothache can quickly ruin a good time.  I just saw a patient this week, that was planning his honeymoon.  He came in with an infection but did not want treatment until after he returned from in vacation.  My advice - don't put off your dental work. The risk people run into is that teeth are very unpredictable.  They may not hurt for years and years,even when there is an active infection, and then out of no where BAM!!! Swelling, severe pain, agony. 

We are taught in dental school that one choice every patient has is NO TREATMENT. In the dental field we see this everyday.  We make a diagnosis, advice the patient of their condition, and the patient goes home with antibiotics, never to return. Unfortunately, this rarely works out to be the better optio…

Tooth Removal

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As much as we try to save teeth, there are some circumstances where there just isn't a better option than to remove the tooth to prevent/treat pain and infection. This can be a stressful experience for anyone.  First, patients have stress of losing a tooth and all the emotions that go with the loss.  Second, the patient has to actually get through the procedure which can cause a lot of pre-appoitment anxiety. Working at a dental urgent care, I have to perform many extractions.  If you find yourself in this position,  I hope to give you some insight to help you prepare for your appointment.
My first word of advice is easy to say but not easy to do.....DON'T PANIC!!!  Yes you here horror stories of dentist standing on peoples chests but I have had both easy and hard extractions and I have never had to climb up on someone's chest yet.  What's most important is that you find a dentist who you feel comfortable with.  This is probably the most important part.  If you find a…
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When it comes time to talk about dentures, a lot of emotions can come into play.  Some people will feel excitement to finally get rid of pain, tooth infections, broken and black teeth.  Others will feel like they have failed, are too young for dentures, embarrassed that their teeth have gotten in the condition they are now.  For many, it is a combination of many of these feelings but none the less they know something has to be done. 
Let me start by saying that dentures aren't for everyone.  They aren't the only way to replace teeth.  However, they are the most affordable option to replace missing and failing teeth.  I always take time during a denture consultation to explain to the patient that these are not natural teeth.  They do not function like natural teeth, that do no feel like natural teeth.  They are in-fact a prosthesis.  Much like an artificial arm or leg, they are meant to serve as a replacement to help with the loss of what you were born with,  bu…
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When to expect a visit from the Tooth Fairy It is a milestone that will make most parents cry, as they realize their little one is growing up much faster than they want.  A child losing their first tooth is a fun and exciting experience for most little ones but the truth is most parents are caught by surprise when that first tooth gets loose.  Let me cover some basics that may help parents be prepared for whats to come.  
First, when will it happen.  While every kid is different, we can give you an average age range of when those baby teeth will come out.  Below is a eruption charts are provided by the American Dental Association and cover both baby teeth eruption and shedding as well as permanent teeth eruption time averages.

 Baby Teeth Chart Permanent Teeth Chart As you can see there are 20 baby teeth that must be lost to make room for 32 permanent teeth (including wisdom teeth).  All of the adult molars will come in behind the baby teeth so no baby teeth will be lost when adult mo…
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Tooth Sensitivity
Being summer time you may want to enjoy an ice cream or sno cone, and while these things are not great for your teeth, I realize that most people want to enjoy a treat every now and then.  Some of you however, suffer from cold sensitivity and can’t truly enjoy these summer indulgences. Let's discuss some possibilities and options that may help relieve these symptoms so you can actually relax and enjoy a cold treat.
Cold sensitivity is one of the most common complaints of my patients, even those without any major problems.  First and foremost you should visit a dentist to make sure there is no underlying nerve problems, cavities, or pathology that needs to be addressed.  If you get the all clear from your dentist but still experience cold sensitivity you may want to try some over-the-counter products. There are several sensitive toothpastes that are very effective at relieving what we call “root sensitivity”.  I will explain what that means in just a moment. You…

Teeth Whitening

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Teeth Whitening
Ask most people what they want to change about their teeth and one of the most common answers is definitely the color.  Everyone wants whiter teeth but most people don’t know much about what options exist. Lets first get into what is the difference when you buy an over the counter product vs. a in-office treatment system.  First and foremost the active ingredients are almost always the same. If you look at the over the counter box the active ingredient is most likely either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. These over the counter products contain a lower percentage (usually between 6% and 10%) of this active ingredient than what you can get with an professional strength whitening system (usually between 22%-40%)  What this means is that in-office whitening systems are faster but maybe not more effective. The biggest advantage is you don’t have to leave the gel on as long or for as many days to get the desired results. However, the higher concentration of acti…