Symptoms of Common Dental Problems

Symptoms of common dental problems - Dentist Dublin OhioSymptoms of Common Dental Problems

Often, when we feel something sensitive or painful in our mouth, we tend to panic. I mean, we all want to keep our teeth, right? Some symptoms may be able to wait until your next dental visit. Others may require a limited exam between your professional dental cleanings to get addressed right away. Dentistry is all about preventive dental care, so the sooner an issue is addressed, the less invasive a procedure recommendation would be.

Temperature Sensitivity

This is one of the most common complaints we hear from our patients, temperature sensitivity. When you can’t eat your favorite ice cream or drink your favorite ice-cold drinks, you start to get annoyed. This is typically caused by some type of enamel wear or root exposure. The enamel, or the most outer layer of your tooth, is what protects it from acid in our diets and normal wear and tear. When the enamel suffers too much trauma, like sipping soda all day, or clenching and grinding, it’s inevitable – it starts to wear away or develop a hole or cavity from the harmful bacteria of the byproduct of the soda or snacks you eat all day.

Enter: temperature sensitivity. The underlying layer of the enamel is dentin. Dentin contains tons of tubules that lead to the nerve and causes sensitivity. The only way to help this is to use a toothpaste with potassium nitrate. This ingredient helps fill in and block the tubules from sending information to the nerve. If it’s a cavity, the only solution is for us to remove it and put a filling in its place. If gum recession is causing the sensitivity, toothpaste can also help. However, we need to determine the cause of the gum recession and come up with a solution. This usually means a nightguard recommendation to prevent the recession from progressing any further.

Toothache

If you are experiencing a toothache, like an actual ache that will not go away, its best to get in for an exam. What typically happens is there is something underlying causing this pain. Once a tooth starts to hurt constantly, there is a good chance. There is a large cavity in the tooth that has reached the nerve. The result of this is usually a root canal or extraction of the tooth that is needed, depending on the severity of it.

We will determine the cause of the problem by taking a limited x-ray of the problem area to see if there is pathology at the tip of the root of the tooth. We also use an x-ray to see how far progressed a cavity is in the crown of the tooth if that is indeed what is going on. Another sign is a recurring bump on the gum near the tooth. This is a sign of an infection that usually comes with pain and cannot be cured without a root canal or extraction.

Pain with Chewing or Biting

Our last common dental symptom patients experience is pain with biting or chewing. While this can mean a fractured tooth, it is more common to occur after a dental procedure. When a tooth is drilled on, and a cavity is removed, it is experiencing trauma. Therefore, it will take time to heal. If it is not resolving and it truly gives you a “zing” every time you bite down, your bite may be a little high. This means after putting a filling in the tooth to replace the cavity that was taken out. The filling may not be completely even with your bite. This is very common since you are numb during the procedure. Thankfully, it is a quick fix and involves a follow-up appointment to even out the filling, and chances are, the zing will resolve. If it does not, it requires further attention. 

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you are concerned about, do not hesitate to call us at Dental Reflections Dublin to come in for a limited exam so we can get you feeling better. 614.799.5576

Dental Anxiety

dental anxiety - dental reflections dublinDental Anxiety

Have you avoided the dentist due to anxiety? If so, you are not alone. It’s a real thing, and we know it. Believe it or not, a lot of people that work in the dental field have dental anxiety. That’s one of the reasons some of us chose the dental field to help others feel more comfortable in the dental chair because we know our own struggles. Here at Dental Reflections Dublin, we do everything we can to make you feel comfortable during treatment of any sort.

Open Communication

One of the many things we really pride ourselves on is how communicative we are with our patients. We want them to know exactly what to expect and when to expect it. This means there are no surprises during treatment. After the tooth is numb, the patient should not feel any pain during a procedure. We really take the time to address any concerns or questions a patient may have.

Options for Sedation

We offer options for different levels of sedation. If you tell us upfront you are nervous about dental procedures, the first step we recommend is nitrous oxide. You may also have heard of this as laughing gas. It doesn’t really make you laugh, so don’t worry. It just makes you feel good and happy. You are still awake and aware of what is going on; you just care a whole lot less. Ultimately, it helps you to relax. You can drive yourself to and from your appointment since the nitrous oxide will be completely out of your system when you leave. If you feel like the nitrous won’t be enough, we can prescribe Valium in addition. This will require a driver. It is that extra step to really get you relaxed before you even sit in the dental chair. Trust us, we have heard it all. Even patients driving to the dentist but too scared to come in from the parking lot, so they change their minds and turn around. Valium is taken the night before and the morning of your appointment to really help you settle before you come in. Plus, you’ll have that extra support system of a driver to help you.

Whatever your needs are, we can help. We will find what works for you. We have held patients’ hands, wiped their tears, and been there for them through and through. We ultimately want you to get the dental care you need and deserve and are willing to go that extra mile to help you get there.

Reflections Savings Plan

dental reflections savings planAs we ring in the New Year, we need to take a step back and figure out what’s important to us. Maybe for some its family or money, vacationing, their health or their job. It may be all of these. Goals are important to set each year no matter how big or small. We as healthcare providers are focused on providing the best patient care possible to all of our patients. We always strive to be better and keep up to date with the newest technology in dentistry, to help make our patient care as seamless and painless as we can. Our mission statement is to provide honest, comfortable care to your entire family. We pride ourselves on our knowledge, compassion, the relationships we build, and the teamwork we have built inside our office. This year, we also want to focus on our Reflections Savings Plan, which is a great option for those who do not have dental insurance.

Just because you don’t have dental insurance does not mean you can’t go to the dentist.

Yes, we know, dentistry is expensive, but so are those clothes and that latte you get every day or week. Think of it as an investment into your health. We aren’t going to hold up a sign saying free cleaning, exam and x-rays for new patients, or $50 for a new patient exam. Why not? Because we feel that what we have to offer is worth so much more than that. We are not your typical dental office, making people wait in the waiting room because we are running 45 minutes behind, rushing people back to get started, cutting corners to try to catch up, etc. We schedule the appropriate amount of time for EACH patient we see so that you will be called back at your appointed time because we respect you and know you have to carry on with your day too when you leave. We take the time to listen to your questions and concerns and address them before you leave. We take the time to explain why we are recommending a filling on a tooth with a photo so you can see what we see. We care so much about what we do and want to retain each patient that walks in our door, not see them one time because they came in with a coupon.

Our Reflections Savings Plan is like a membership program.

From the time you sign up, it is good for one year. In that one year, you get all your preventative services taken care of. This includes 2 professional cleanings, 2 exams, all of your x-rays you need, and all of our initial record collecting (intraoral photos, charting of the gum tissues, etc.). For any additional services needed like fillings or crowns, you receive an additional 20% off. For a limited time, we are offering this plan for $365.00. Think of it as a dollar a day for your dental health. Remember, dental care is all about preventive care. Cavities don’t hurt until its too late to save the tooth or the tooth requires more invasive, expensive procedures like a root canal and crown. Gum disease is also asymptomatic. Now is the time for you to focus on your dental health, the future of your smile, and longevity of your teeth to last you a lifetime.

Get Holiday Ready with Whiter Teeth

holiday ready with whiter teeth - Dental ReflectionsIt’s that time of year! Time to squeeze in that visit to the hair salon so your grays are hiding or your roots are touched up for that holiday party to see all of your extended family that one time of year. Are you happy with your smile? The shade of your teeth? Now is a great time to treat yourself with a gift of whitening. Show off those pearly whites at your holiday party and your teeth will be glowing in all of your family photos this year.

We have several different whitening options available to our patients. The simplest, on the go option is our Opalescence Go trays. They are designed for anyone to wear, meaning they are not custom fit. There are 10 sets of trays in a box and are worn for about 20-30 minutes at a time. If you want results fast, this is the choice for you. These allow you to choose your frequency of whitening, once or twice a day for 5-10 days. It has been reported from our patients that these trays may create a bit of sensitivity if you have sensitivity issues before whitening. Sensodyne toothpaste or any toothpaste with Potassium Nitrate can help reduce this sensitivity. 

Our next option is our Glo Whitening. If you are going for the latest fad of whitening, this is it. This is also a speed whitening that can be used on the go. For just 32 minutes a day, Glo is used in 4 separate 8-minute sessions, giving you that shade you’ve always wanted. With a heat and light activated device that goes in your mouth over the whitening gel, you will see results fast with no sensitivity. The gel has a built-in desensitizer creating no sensitivity for the patient during or after treatment. This is a great option that typically leaves you with some gel to touch up on a later occasion which is an added bonus.

Our last option we have available to our patients is our custom whitening trays. These are super nice for patients who know they drink coffee or wine on the daily and will need to whiten several times over their lifetime. This involves dental impressions of the teeth, creating custom made whitening trays for you and just you. The starter kit comes with whitening gel syringes to fill the trays and get to your desired results. These are nice because the gel syringes come in several different percentage options giving you the choice of how long each whitening session lasts. Some people want to sleep in their trays, making it the most convenient for them (minimal sensitivity), while others want a speed whitening session with a higher percentage. You choose what you would like. The refill gel syringes are offered for purchase at a low price once you already have your trays which is a huge advantage. 

All of our whitening options are great for getting the results you want, fast. As long as you commit to it and invest the time to whiten, your smile will be glowing in no time. Contact us today to discuss which option is best for you and we can get you on your journey to the shade you’ve always wanted. 

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Dental Benefits??

dental benefits expire - Dental Reflections DublinAre You Getting the Most Out of Your Dental Benefits??

As the end of the year approaches, we tend to think of everything that needs done before the new year comes. Our schedules tend to get busier, and things more hectic with the holidays right around the corner. Your health remains important all year long but is sometimes put on the back burner. Do you have dental benefits remaining for the year you have not used?

Why You Should Use Your Dental Benefits

In 2017, studies show that 1 in 4 Americans who have dental insurance say they haven’t been to the dentist in the past 12 months for regular checkups or cleanings due to cost. Did you know that preventive care, which means your cleaning, exam, and x-rays are typically covered at 100% with dental insurance?! That’s right, 100%!! This means no out of pocket for you at your first visit. If you have fillings or other dental work that needs to be done, you will have to pay some out of pocket. Here at Dental Reflections Dublin, we will tell you what that “something” is because we do complimentary insurance benefits check to see what your coverage is for all the services we offer. That means there are no surprises.

Get the Most Out of Your Dental Benefits!

If you are paying for dental insurance, there is no reason you should not be taking full advantage to maximize those benefits each year. In January, everything resets. That means if you do happen to need a lot of work done, we can maximize you out for this year then start over with new benefits at the start of the new year so that your out of pocket is much less. Listen, we are on your side. We don’t like delivering bad news or going over financials, but it is a necessary evil. We just don’t want you to literally flush your money down the toilet by not using a dime of your benefits you paid for all year long. Call us today to get on the schedule in 2019 if you haven’t been to see us yet!!

Wisdom Teeth: To Keep or Not to Keep???

wisdom teeth - Dental reflections dublinEveryone always dreads the recommendation of getting their wisdom teeth out. But why? Well let’s face it, no one likes to have surgery or be put under. The only part of that the general public enjoys is watching videos of people coming out of their anesthesia. The real question is: why do some people get to keep their wisdom teeth, and others don’t? What happens if my dentist tells me to get them out and I don’t? Believe it or not, we recommend things for a reason. We are all about PREVENTATIVE dental care which means prevent something wrong before it happens. Here’s the scoop on those “extra teeth” we don’t really need.

What happens if I don’t get them out?

If your dentist is recommending the wisdom teeth come out, you really should get them out. We typically address the wisdom teeth around junior/senior year of high school, or age 17-18. This is when we have a good idea of whether or not a person has room for them or not. We take a panoramic x-ray that circles around your head and shows us all your teeth, including the roots and surrounding bone. This shows us how many wisdom teeth there are and if the roots are developed enough to have them extracted and if the patient does, in fact, have enough room to keep them. Some patients only have one wisdom tooth or none (lucky!!). We have seen some with 8. That’s right, and they grew two sets.

What Age Should You Remove Your Wisdom Teeth

The younger the wisdom teeth come out, the better. The bone is more flexible, and the healing time is faster. Delaying having them out can cause cysts to develop around the teeth, leading to infections and more invasive surgeries. We have seen it: 25-year-old male presents with pain on the lower left. We had recommended the wisdom teeth come out at age 18 due to shortage of space.

A Patient Who Didn’t Get Their Wisdom Teeth Removed

All four teeth were impacted (under the gums). The patient developed a cyst on the lower left wisdom tooth and was referred to the oral surgeon immediately. The bone had to be scraped out under the tooth and sent in for a biopsy. The extra scraping or debriding, along with the biopsy bill, led to the patient having a much longer recovery and more out of pocket costs. Thankfully the cyst was benign, and no further action had to be taken. Thank goodness this was caught early because if left untreated, could have caused a hold in the jaw. The risks of surgery highly outweigh, keeping them, and not being able to predict what the future holds. If they do happen to come in the mouth, we typically see gum problems and cavities develop due to hard to access areas.

Why do some people have a room and get to keep them?

Like we said earlier, every single patient is different. Some people have large mouths, and the gum tissue is healthy around the wisdom teeth, and they can keep them super clean. We also see a lot of cases where a patient had 4 teeth out for braces due to crowding, but later grew and had room for the wisdom teeth to come in and stay. Trust us when we say this: If we truly believe you have room to keep the teeth and keep them healthy and predict they will not cause issues down the road; we will absolutely recommend keeping them. The thing is, the average person, unfortunately, does not have room and needs to get them out.

At Dental Reflections Dublin, we typically refer all of our wisdom teeth extractions to an oral surgeon, who specializes in removing these types of teeth. Wisdom teeth can be unpredictable and come in different sizes and shapes, so we feel most comfortable with our patients in the hands of a surgeon, who extract teeth all day long. Recovery is the same whether having one or four removed at the same time, so we recommend all 4 to keep it to one procedure. An oral surgeon can address any questions or concerns you may have about recovery, sedation options, and the procedure itself.

4 Signs You May Have Sleep Apnea

signs of sleep apnea - Dental reflectionsDo you find yourself tossing and turning throughout the night? What about during the day? Do you feel exhausted and like you need a nap on the daily? Most people think of only old, overweight men that develop sleep apnea. You would be surprised how many people we see that are fit, skinny, young and females that have mild to moderate forms of sleep apnea. This condition is not something you want to ignore, as it lowers your quality of life and you may not realize how good our bodies are designed to feel. Read up on some signs that could point towards sleep apnea that you may never have thought to blink twice about.

1. Morning Headaches and Jaw Pain/Tension

Since we are only listing 4 signs today, we figured we would combine these together since they kind of go hand in hand. If you find yourself waking up with headaches in the morning, this could mean you are clenching and grinding at night. This is a result of not getting enough oxygen when you sleep. Your body is fighting for air because your airway is blocked, causing the clenching and grinding. This leads to morning headaches, tooth and jaw pain, and tension, including tooth sensitivity.

2. Acid Reflux

Acid Reflux at night when you lay down to sleep is another sign of sleep apnea. It is very common to see a patient in the dental chair that complains of acid reflux and it is evident in their teeth as well. The acid breaks down the enamel, exposing the underlying tooth structure- dentin which leads to tooth sensitivity and excessive wear on the teeth. This can also cause issues with the lining of the esophagus and severe stomach issues if left untreated.

3. Depression

If you feel depressed on the daily and have other signs and symptoms of sleep apnea, that may be the explanation for it. When your body is not getting enough oxygen at night while you sleep, the result is depression. This is due to the stress and your body not being able to compensate for the lack of oxygen. It is common to see patients with untreated sleep apnea taking depression, anxiety, and high blood pressure medications. It is also common for these patients to come off of these meds after treating their sleep apnea.

4. You Snore or Gasp for Air

Have you ever noticed yourself waking up from a loud snore? What about your heart racing and feeling short of breath? Maybe your bed partner is tapping you to change positions due to keeping them up at night. Sleep apnea is typically at its peak when lying on your back. When you turn to your side, it allows your tongue to be at a more relaxed state, not blocking your airway and able to take in more oxygen. If you find yourself gasping for air in the middle of the night, or snoring loudly on a nightly basis, it is time to address it.

Here at Dental Reflections Dublin, we offer comprehensive treatment, assessing the patient as a whole, to be able to recognize signs of sleep apnea. We offer an at-home sleep study and alternative treatment options to a CPAP for mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea. Call us today for a consultation at 614.799.5576.

Be “Teeth Ready” for Back to School

teeth ready for back to school - dental reflections dublin

teeth ready for back to school - dental reflections dublinBack to school is approaching fast and we want to give you the best tips to keep your child’s teeth healthy. First things first – get their checkup visit in before school starts! You want to be sure they don’t have any active decay or cavities in their mouth! According to the CDC, about 1 of 5 (20%) children aged 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth. The issue seen here is studies also show that children with active decay have issues with eating, speaking, playing and learning while at school. This is why preventative dental care is so important.

Check-up Visit

At your child’s checkup visit to the dentist, we can offer services that get them back to school ready. We assess their need for sealants to prevent cavities, apply a fluoride treatment to strengthen the enamel, and give tips on nutrition and brushing and flossing. We emphasize the importance of brushing twice a day for two minutes. We apply a disclosing solution to highlight missed areas while brushing so they know where to focus at home to effectively remove all the plaque. We also give them the tools they need if they are in braces to properly care for their teeth while at school which is a necessity.

Healthy School Lunches

This is a big one. Fill your child’s lunchbox with foods high in fiber, rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and even nuts and cheeses. These are all teeth-friendly and help promote a healthy pH in the mouth to prevent cavities. Avoid juices, sodas, sports drinks, dried fruits, fruit snacks and any other sticky, high sugar foods. Water and milk are best to drink. Pretzels and chips aren’t the best for the teeth, but other healthy choices listed above can offset and help remove the particles from the teeth better. They also dissolve more with saliva alone as compared with sticky, high sugar foods.

Vending Machines

This is another tough one. Vending machines are slowly improving but we aren’t there yet. Vending machine foods are filled with preservatives. Avoid candy bars, chips, sports drinks, energy drinks or soda. Sipping on anything but water throughout the day can significantly increase a child’s risk for decay. We see it all the time. Propel has water with electrolytes that is safe to drink with no added sugars or sweeteners. Other brands are coming out with their own versions as well.

Sports Mouthguard

Finally, it is important to protect your child’s teeth during any physical contact sport. This includes but is not limited to lacrosse, basketball, football, wrestling, and hockey. More and more schools are making this a requirement and make it a must that the guard be colored so the coach can see it in the mouth. A custom sports guard is well worth the money and protection, still allowing your child to talk and play as they normally would during a game vs. walking in our doors with a tooth in their hand. (Yes, we have seen it).

Whatever your dental needs are for your children, we can help! Call us today at Dental Reflections Dublin to schedule your child’s dental appointment and we will be sure they are back to school ready!!

Dental Hygienist vs. Dental Assistant: Understanding the Difference

dental hygienist vs dental assistance The general public, including dental patients, typically do not quite understand the difference between a dental assistant and a dental hygienist. Sometimes we are all referred to as “dental technicians,” “nurses,” or “those girls.” Here at Dental Reflections Dublin, we feel it is important for our patients to know what roles we play and to understand the key differences between the 2.

Dental Assistant

A dental assistant is like the dentists “right-hand man” or woman for that matter. Programs or schooling for dental assisting is typically offered either at a vocational school- which you take part in during high school, or a career/technical program. A dental assistant can take x-rays, update a patient’s health history, obtain vitals, take dental impressions, do dental charting, place topical anesthetic, assist during dental procedures such as crowns, fillings, bridges, implants, extractions and more. They are multi-talented and fast workers. It is entirely optional for a dental assistant whether or not they become state board certified. If they choose to do so, they can advance in the profession and become licensed in additional areas of dentistry to be able to do more independently chairside. A dental assistant is a crucial aspect to a dental practice and is needed to make sure operations flow smoothly and seamlessly.

Dental Hygienist

A dental hygienist must obtain a minimum of a 2-year degree from college, and pass all three parts of their state board exam to practice (work). A dental hygienist can also take x-rays, dental impressions, update health history, obtain vitals, dental charting, and place topically. What they don’t do is assist the dentist. What they do in addition to a dental assistant is professional dental cleanings, administer nitrous oxide, injections to numb patients (separate board exam), in-depth patient education, and nutritional counseling. They basically have their own column of patients, and the doctor does the exam at the end of each appointment to check for cavities. So, they do work more independent.

Both are great professions and are unique in different ways. The ultimate goal is to make every patient experience phenomenal by building rapport, addressing any questions or concerns, and keeping them reflecting their best.

Benefits of Dental Implants

benefits of dental implants - Dental ReflectionsBenefits of Dental Implants

A dental implant serves the purpose of replacing a missing tooth. This restores chewing function where the open space is in the mouth. Not only can a dental implant fill a missing space, but there are also many other important benefits long term to choosing a dental implant over a partial, or just leaving the open space.

Drifting

When a tooth is missing the teeth around it and above or below it tends to shift. They naturally want the space to be filled and want to move into the open spot. The problem that occurs is this: Once the teeth start to move and drift, gum and bone problems begin to develop with the drifting teeth, leaving them compromised. The tooth above or below the space starts to supra-erupt meaning continue to come in because they have no opposing force. The tooth that is supra-erupting is also now compromised, leaving a poor prognosis for it as well. There is no way to tell how fast teeth around a missing space will start to move. For some, it could be years, others just months. Another downfall of waiting too long is that the open space may no longer be a candidate for an implant if the teeth around it have drifted too much.

Chewing Function

It is also important to restore chewing function from a missing tooth. Molars are the most common tooth in the mouth to be missing. These are the teeth we chew the most with, including hard, crunchy foods. When we are missing one or more molars, the smaller teeth in front of them begin to do more work, putting them at risk for fractures since they are not designed for this much force.

Implant Process

The first step to seeing if you are a good candidate for a dental implant is to schedule a consultation for an exam and radiographs of the area. Sometimes a bone graft is needed prior to implant placement to replace any missing bone in the area for optimum support. This is crucial for the success of the implant and is a very straightforward, minimally invasive procedure. Once the implant is placed, the area must heal for 4-6 months before the permanent crown is placed (this is essentially the tooth that will be in your mouth). With advanced technology, patients even report to us the minimal amount of healing/recovery time they experience when having a dental implant placed. Call us today at Dental Reflections Dublin at 614.799.5576 for your complimentary consultation for a dental implant.

Five Facts About Dental Implants

  • Ancient dental implants have been traced back to around 600 AD when tooth-like pieces of shell were hammered into the jaw of a Mayan woman.
  • Dental implants are the only dental restoration option that preserves natural bone, actually helping to stimulate bone growth.
  • In 1951, a small group of dentists who were successfully placing dental implants formed the AAID – American Academy of Implant Dentistry – to share their knowledge on the practice of implantology. AAID is the first professional organization in the world dedicated to advancing implant dentistry.
  • In 1952, Swedish orthopedic surgeon P.I. Branemark discovered that titanium naturally fuses with the bone, eventually switching his research focus to the mouth from the knee and hip.
  • 3 million people in the United States have implants, a number that is growing by 500,000 annually.*

*https://www.aaid-implant.org/aaid-credentials/expertise-you-can-trust/