Picking a New Dentist
August 2, 2021

Searching for a new dentist always feels like a big hurdle, but thinking ahead and knowing what to look for can make it a lot easier and less worrisome, and can also help you to find exactly what you’re looking for in your new dentist. Here are some tips for when you’re picking a new dentist and want to find the very best match for your needs.

Make a List of Routine and Recommended Care

Picking a new dentist shouldn’t feel like you’re stepping out into uncertainty. Take matters into your own hands and write out a list of the routine care you usually receive such as cleanings and exams, as well as any recommended care or treatments your last dentist may have mentioned or that you’re interested in pursuing. This will help you to find a new dentist who can meet your expectations.

It can also be helpful to add to the list anything that may make visits or procedures easier, for example, if the dentist can provide a calm atmosphere, sensitivity around sensory issues to sounds and understanding of cognitive challenges to help make your visits more comfortable and pleasant. Every dentist may not meet all the criteria on your list, so prioritize your list to decide which things are must-haves in a new dentist, and which things may be desirable but optional.

Launch Your Search

As soon as you have your list, you’re ready to start looking for a new dentist. Picking a new dentist can take some time, so be patient. Helpful ways to search for a dentist include searching online, looking in the yellow pages and asking friends, family or neighbors for recommendations of dentists they’ve had good experiences with.

Schedule a Meet and Greet

When you’ve found a dentist or a few dentists that sound like they may be a good fit for your needs, call to schedule a meet and greet so that you can meet the dentist and tour the dental office. It’s always helpful to meet face to face and get a feel for the environment without any pressure during the first visit. It may be helpful to bring along your list or a list of questions to ask your new dentist about any care or treatment you’ll be receiving.

Choosing the Right Fit

Ultimately, picking a new dentist is something that needs to feel right, so take your time, and choose what makes you feel truly comfortable. Your relationship with your dentist is important and it will take time and experience to build it, so don’t be afraid to ask for what you need and find a dentist who will make you feel listened to and understood.

Call our Greenwood Village Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

Why is a Geriatric Dentist Important?
July 1, 2021

Geriatric dentistry is an important speciality focused on dental care for senior patients. Aging can result in a number of common issues and it’s important to have a dentist who has understanding and experience with the unique conditions and challenges you may face. Why is a geriatric dentist important for your needs? Let’s examine a few reasons why you may want to make an appointment with a geriatric dentist.

Gum Disease and Recession

Gum disease is often something that sneaks up on us without much warning if you don’t know exactly what signs to watch for. Gum recession can also result from untreated gum disease and may expose the roots of the teeth to the risk of root caries. Senior patients are at an increased risk for both due to the effects of hormonal changes related to the natural aging process. An experienced geriatric dentist can help spot the signs early on to prevent additional damage from occurring.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth or xerostomia commonly affects senior patients because they are often prescribed medication that have side effects such as reduced saliva flow and dehydration. When your saliva production wanes, it’s important to take action, because saliva is your body’s natural way of protecting and remineralizing your teeth and preventing tooth decay.

Drug Interactions and Sensitivities

Because many senior patients are prescribed medications, they are at an increased risk of drug interactions and increased sensitivity to the drugs and anesthetics used during dental procedures. If you’re wondering “Why is a Geriatric Dentist Important?”, a top reason is the peace of mind that geriatric dentists are specialized in the latest research and training to help ensure the safety of those vulnerable to an increased risk of side effects, reactions and complications during dental procedures.

Physical and Cognitive Difficulties

Many elderly patients suffer from physical, mental and sensory challenges related to aging. Geriatic dentists and their dental care teams are uniquely familiar with how to make the experience of visiting a dental office or undergoing a dental procedure more comfortable, calm and less anxiety-inducing by reducing noise or providing pleasant distractions in the form of radio programs or television shows to entertain the patient during the exam or procedure.

Schedule a Consultation

Why is a geriatric dentist important? The question is an easy one to answer once you’ve experienced specialized care tailored to your needs for safety and comfort. If an understanding and considerate dentist is what you’re looking for, call to schedule an appointment for a consultation to find out if a geriatric dentist may be the best fit for your needs.

Call our Greenwood Village Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

Are Dental Implants Right for You?
June 1, 2021

Dental implants are one of the most amazing ways that dentistry has advanced. When dealing with a missing tooth, the only options used to be dentures made of various questionable materials and that were not always functional. With the invention of dental implants, however, patients were enabled to have an option that looks, feels and functions like natural teeth. Dental implants still have their own pros and cons, though, so are dental implants right for you?

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a permanent dental appliance that replaces a tooth or a group of teeth. They are usually made of titanium, with a realistic natural looking tooth at the top, which is all that is visible, because they are permanently implanted below your gum line in your jaw. Dental implants are made to last for a patient’s lifetime. The crown, or top of the implant, typically lasts 10 to 15 years if cared for properly.

The Advantages of Dental Implants

Dental implants have many advantages and some disadvantages, so when considering the question, “are dental implants right for you?”, it’s important to talk to your dentist about dental implants and their alternatives to make sure you choose the option that is best for you.

Advantages to dental implants include the fact that they function just like your regular natural teeth. Unlike with dentures or bridges, there is no need to follow extreme dietary restrictions from your favorite foods or worry about them falling out. Dental implants also last longer than their alternatives. Dental implants may also help to protect the structure and health of your natural teeth, jaw and gums, as opposed to dentures that fit on top of your gums, which can lead to sores, or bridges that can put extra stress on the surrounding teeth, potentially leading to additional loss of teeth.

Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?

Are dental implants right for you or are there issues that may make another choice better? Only a qualified dental professional can help you answer this question after a thorough exam of your oral health. It’s important to have healthy gums and enough bone in your jaw to properly support your new implant. If you’re facing the possibility of imminent tooth extraction or loss, it’s crucial to talk to your dentist as soon as possible to ensure your best candidacy for dental implants and the best possible outcome for whichever option you decide on.

Dental implants are just one of many options that your dentist can discuss with you as a solution for tooth loss and it’s important to your dentist that you find the option that will best suit your needs, lifestyle and comfort.

Call our Greenwood Village Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

What You Need to Know About Dental Insurance
May 3, 2021

When visiting the dentist, whether for routine care or an urgent concern, it’s important to understand how your dental plan works to make the most of your coverage and reduce the amount you have to pay out of pocket. Continue reading to learn more about what you need to know about dental insurance and how it can benefit you.

Learn About Your Plan

Learning about your specific insurance carrier and plan and how it works can feel overwhelming, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. What you need to know about dental care can feel complicated, but you’re not alone. Reading about your plan is only the first step.

As you read through it, it may be helpful to make a list of any questions you have or anything that may be confusing. Call your insurance company and ask for clarification or an explanation of anything you don’t feel like you understand fully. They will have the answers to your questions about coverage for routine visits, emergencies, and specific treatments that your dentist may not know since dentists typically deal with many different insurance carriers. Insurance carriers and plans can vary widely, so always check to see what your plan covers and what it may not.

Check with Medicare

When considering what you need to know about dental insurance, researching other alternatives can be important.

If you have Medicare coverage, check with them first before deciding what additional coverage you may need. Medicare provides government-run medical assistance to seniors ages 65 and older, and may provide in-hospital coverage for some dental emergencies, but often does not cover most dental care such as cleanings, fillings, tooth extractions, dentures, implants, bridges, and other common procedures and devices. Being aware of what is covered and what is not before an emergency can save a lot of expense and worry in the long run.

Talk to Your Dental Office

Making an appointment with your dentist can be a great place to start to find out about what you need to know about dental insurance and what coverage you may need. Your dentist can help you come up with a schedule of recommended routine care and any additional procedures that may be needed so that you can figure out what kind of coverage will work best with your budget and dental care needs. Knowing beforehand what is needed and what to expect can do a lot to reduce stress and save you from unexpected and out of pocket expenses.

If dental care is important to you, then dental insurance is a great option to invest in to ensure you make the most of your money and the care that you receive, and never have to worry about delaying what you need.

Call our Greenwood Village Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

April 1, 2021

As we age, many things change, but many things also remain the same. The way we practice dental care is no exception to this. Caring for our teeth and gums is important as we age because they can become more vulnerable to increased problems developing. Let’s discuss what dental care for seniors looks like both at home and in the dentist’s chair.

Brush and Floss

One thing that remains the same about dental care for seniors is that it’s always important to brush after each meal and floss daily to maintain good dental hygiene. Brushing and flossing regularly will help to remove food debris, bacteria and plaque before it can cause tooth decay or gum disease. Good dental hygiene will also help to promote brightness and reduce dental stains from developing.

Implants and Dentures

The likelihood of having implants or dentures increases as we age. Caring for implants looks much the same as caring for natural teeth, but denture care can be a bit different to get used to. With dentures, it’s recommended that you brush them daily as you would teeth, and it’s also important to remove them nightly to protect your mouth from developing sores and so that you can soak the dentures in a cleaning solution.

Conditions and Diseases Related to Aging

There are also some common conditions and diseases related to aging that affect dental health. One of these conditions is xerostomia or dry mouth. Dry mouth often affects seniors because they are more likely to be prescribed medications with side effects that include reduced saliva flow. Dry mouth can become a serious issue if unaddressed because saliva is your body’s natural method of protecting your teeth. Reduced saliva flow inhibits that natural defense system and puts your teeth at greater risk of decay.

Other common conditions relating to aging can be those that affect the gums such as periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease, or gum recession due to gum disease or simple hormonal changes. Effects of these gum conditions can range from exposed roots of the teeth, root caries and tooth loss.

Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Because of the increased risk for these conditions and diseases as we age, it’s important to visit a dentist regularly for an exam and thorough cleaning. It’s also important to see a dentist who understands dental care for seniors. While a regular dentist may treat a few patients with similar conditions, implants or dentures, a geriatric dentist specialized in treating senior patients will have much more experience. Increased experience can mean that your dentist is more likely to recognize issues before they develop into problems and is more rehearsed in efficiently and comfortably treating problems if they do arise.

It’s important to know that your dentist is knowledgeable, practiced and ready to handle the unique challenges you may face. That’s why many seniors seeking dental care choose to opt for a geriatric dentist. A geriatric dentist is your best resource if you’re looking for someone who specializes in dental care for seniors and the unique challenges related to aging.

Call our Greenwood Village Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

Why Geriatric Dentistry is Important
March 1, 2021

Geriatric dentistry is specialized dental care for senior patients.There are many reasons why geriatric dentistry is important because older patients can face a number of unique conditions and diseases related to aging which can create unique challenges when seeking dental care. Let’s talk about a few of the challenges commonly affecting senior patients that may benefit from the specialized care of a geriatric dentist.

Common Conditions and Diseases

Xerostomia, or dry mouth, is a common affliction affecting the senior population because they are commonly prescribed medications with side effects that include reduced flow of saliva.Dry mouth is associated with an increased risk of cavities because salvia is part of your body’s natural defense system that remineralizes and protects your teeth.

Periodontitis, or advanced gum disease, also commonly affects older patients and can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Gum recession can be a symptom of gum disease or hormonal changes related to aging and can expose the roots of the teeth, which are softer and more prone to decay than the upper areas of the tooth covered by enamel, leading to increased risk of root caries.

Increased Sensitivity to Medications

Geriatric patients may have increased sensitivity to medications and anesthetics including those used during dental procedures. One of the reasons why geriatric dentistry is important is to have the assurance of a specialized dentist and dental team that is up to date on the latest research and training in order to help protect the safety and health of older patients vulnerable to increased side effects and reactions.

Potential for Drug Interactions

Many older patients are already taking multiple prescription or over the counter medications for age related conditions, which can put them at a significantly increased risk of medication errors, drug interactions and serious reactions. Geriatric dentists will appreciate that you want to know you have specialists you can trust who understand the extra precautions needed to treat geriatric patients.

Physical and Cognitive Challenges

It’s also common for elderly patients to suffer from physical, sensory and cognitive challenges and a dentist specializing in geriatric needs will be familiar with the need to take additional care. Geriatric dentists understand how helpful it is to minimize noise and discomfort and provide compassionate comfort and distractions such as including caregivers in the process and keeping communication easily understandable and calming or offering favorite television or radio programs to entertain the patient during treatment.

Geriatric dentists also understand the patience needed for patients suffering from impairments such as physical disabilities or mental conditions like dementia and are considerate of the fact that it’s not always possible to complete everything necessary in one visit so can help by observing when it’s best to stop an exam or treatment and reschedule for a later time when the patient is better prepared or less stimulated.

Talk to a Geriatric Dentist

If you have questions about why geriatric dentistry is important, call a dental office specializing in geriatric dentistry and make an appointment for a consultation. When looking for dental care tailored to your needs, your safety, well-being and comfort should be a priority and you deserve the very best.

Call our Greenwood Village Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

February 1, 2021

If your dentist has offered you the option of dental implants or regular dentures. You may be wondering how they compare? Each has their own benefits and challenges, so which one is right for you? In this article, we’ll talk about what you need to know about dental implants and regular dentures so that you can make an informed decision that you feel comfortable with.

How are Dental Implants Different from Regular Dentures?

Dental implants are permanent replacements for a tooth or group of teeth that, like the name suggests, is permanently implanted beneath your gum line, while regular dentures are removable and fit over your gums with an adhesive material or solution to help hold them in place. When searching for what you need to know about dental implants compared to regular dentures, what you probably want to know is what advantages there are to implants.

There are many advantages to dental implants, most of which are that they behave like regular teeth. With implants your dental care routine will be much the same as before, you simply need to brush and floss them just like regular teeth. No need to worry about removing them after meals or overnight and soaking them in special cleaning solutions. There are also few dietary restrictions with dental implants compared to dentures, no need to worry about them falling out or having to give up your favorite foods just because the food is sticky or hard. Dental implants also benefit from longevity, in comparison to dentures which aren’t as secure or as close to natural teeth function and experience as implants may be.

Protecting Your Other Teeth

It’s also important to discuss the health and future of your whole mouth when considering what you need to know about dental implants. If you’re facing a tooth extraction, or several, the last thing you want to worry about is more tooth extractions in the future. Dental implants can actually help to protect the surrounding teeth by retaining the place of the extracted tooth in your jaw to prevent bone loss and so that your other healthy teeth are less likely to shift out of place or become loose which could lead to the need for other extractions.

How Long do Dental Implants Last?

Dental implants usually last for the rest of a patient’s life. The crown, or the top part of an implant which looks like a regular tooth, can last 10 to 15 years depending on the quality of a patient’s home care routine.

Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

It is best if you are in good health and if you have good oral health, generally. It is important to have enough bone in your jaw to support the implant as well as healthy gums that are free of gum disease. It’s advantageous to talk to a dentist as soon as possible if there’s a possibility that you are facing tooth decay and extraction to ensure the best chance of candidacy for dental implants. If you are concerned about your oral health, talk with your dentist about what you need to know about dental implants and how you can implement a good home care routine to help improve your oral health and candidacy for implants.

Call our Greenwood Village Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

January 1, 2021

Dentures are just like natural teeth in that it’s important to take proper care of them to keep your smile looking its best and brightest. Some people think that it’s not important to clean dentures as often as natural teeth, but just like them, dentures can also pick up stains that can leave them looking less than their best. Sometimes it’s tempting to get creative, though, with the ways that dentures are cleaned, so read on for a list of how not to clean your dentures!

Why Care for Dentures is Important

The appearance of your dentures isn’t the only reason why it’s important to properly and routinely clean your dentures. Dentures that are not cleaned regularly can harbor food particles that can cause irritation, sore areas and even ulcers. Bacteria or fungus can also build up to cause an infection or fungal condition commonly known as thrush so it’s important to commit to routine care both for the health of your dentures, and for your oral health.

1. Avoid Brushing Them with Regular Toothpaste

Toothpastes that are recommended for natural teeth are not recommended for dentures because they contain abrasives that can damage the plastic, acrylic or other materials that dentures are made from that are softer than tooth enamel. Simply use a brush specifically designed for denture cleaning and brush them with warm water daily.

2. Avoid Using Bleach to Clean

Bleach is very harsh and can damage your dentures and discolor them, especially the color on the gum area of your dentures. Instead use only products that are recommended by the American Dental Association specifically for denture cleaning.

3. Avoid the Dishwasher or Using Boiling Water

Another important thing to remember for how not to clean your dentures is to avoid using extreme temperatures. The heat in the dishwasher, or boiling water can damage your dentures. As can the harsh dishwashing detergent. Heat could ultimately cause the dentures to warp or melt very quickly.

4. Avoid Using a Home Recipe to Soak

Avoid using a home recipe unless recommended by your dentist, regardless of the source. Home recipes are not tested or proven and can contain harsh chemicals or harsh natural ingredients that may be harmful to your dentures or your mouth and health.

It is important to remove your dentures every night and soak them after brushing to keep them from drying out. This can also sanitize them and prolong their lifespan. Make sure you use a product specifically created for dentures and that is recommended by the American Dental Association to ensure that it is safe.

5. Avoid Files or Sharp Objects

Another important rule of how not to clean your dentures is avoid the use any tools not made for denture cleaning. It may be tempting to scrape off stains with a file or other sharp object, but this will cause more problems in the future because it will leave rough surfaces that may collect more stains. If your dentures need to be cleaned or polished after your normal routine care, make an appointment and ask your dentist for a cleaning, just as you would with natural teeth.

6. Avoid Using Whitening Products

The ingredients in whitening toothpastes are designed to whiten tooth enamel, but will not work on dentures. Instead, they may cause erosion of the softer plastic and acrylic materials. Proper regular home care should keep most stains at bay and your dentures looking their best, but routine annual visits to your dentist for a professional cleaning are also important for the health of your mouth and may be able to remove the difficult stains that cannot be removed at home.

Call our Greenwood Village Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

December 1, 2020

Thankfully, with advances in dentistry, it isn’t always assumed that adults over 65 are going to have dentures. It is actually more likely that 75% of adults in that age bracket retain their own teeth. So, how can you keep your mouth young and healthy?

The Classics are Still, Well, Classic

Brushing, flossing, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding sugary or acidic foods still apply as much as ever. Adults above 65 are more at risk for tooth decay than school children, so impeccable dental hygiene can be helpful for oral health. As aging continues, gum lines may begin receding, which opens up the base of the teeth for cavities or gum disease. So as always don’t let up on oral hygiene. If you are suffering from arthritis or other issues which may make it difficult to hold and manipulate a toothbrush, going electric can be a wise decision that saves you much grief and frustration.

The Periodontist

With age, comes higher risk for gum disease. Don’t be afraid to see a periodontist, a specialist in the soft tissues of the mouth, to keep your mouth young and healthy! This can be helpful if you are dealing with symptoms of gum disease, as your periodontist can give you strategies or ideas for keeping your gums and your mouth young and healthy!

Keep it Comfortable!

Drinking plenty of water, and prioritizing eating foods that encourage good hydration can be very important to encourage production of saliva, one element of your mouth that can help hold off those pesky cavities and keep your mouth young. Drinking water often can go a long way towards this. Check with your dentist about other things that may be affecting your saliva production, since some medicines can do this, and make it just a little more difficult.

Be Diligent!

Consistent oral hygiene is one important ingredient in keeping your mouth young and healthy. Regular brushing and flossing, as always, are the body’s best defense against cavities!

Call our Greenwood Village Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

November 2, 2020

Geriatric Dentistry, an important field of dentistry that can meet your needs uniquely, is an important tool in treating seniors in the dental office. Only you can help your dentist understand your situation well, and inform them so they may give you the best treatment possible. Here are 5 things your dentist needs to know to give you accurate helpful treatment.

Health History

Sharing your health history with your dentist can give them a picture of anything that may have impacted your oral health, and how to help you work with your current health condition. If you’re unsure of how the two interact, let your dentist know what concerns you have, and ask them how to handle them.

Medication List

Sharing information on what medication you take, at which dosages can help your dentist to know what may have an effect on your oral health, since symptoms or side effects such as dry mouth can make tooth decay more likely. Talk to your dentist about your medications, their side effects, and how to prioritize your oral health under those circumstances. This is one of the most important things your dentist needs to know.

Dental History

One of the more common things your dentist needs to know, whether they are a geriatric dentist or another type of dental provider, is your general dental history. Sharing your dental history with your dentist can give them a clearer picture of how to treat you, and what your overall oral health looks like.

Specific Concerns or Needs

If you have specific concerns or needs, let your dentist know. This helps them work with you where you are at while you are in the office. Let them know if there is any way they can make you more comfortable.

Caregiver Information

Although this is not on the required list of things your dentist needs to know, it can be helpful to let your Dentist know who your regular caregivers are, if you have any, and what kind of role they play in your medical and dental decision making. This can make it easier for your dentist and you to have anyone else you want in the loop, included in any discussions you may have.

Call our Greenwood Village Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.