Advanced Technologies in the 21st Century Dental Practice

Dr. Larrondo’s office in Hemet, CA talks about state-of-the-art dental technologies that are gaining interest from dentists. Helping patients understand that dentistry has made lots of advances is important to us. Things like intra-oral cameras help patients see the problem and other services like lasers and sedation allow the patient to be comfortable during their visits. Nice to see another dentist is offering free consultations, too. See our other post about digital x-rays and why they are saving you tons of radiation:

https://bestsacramentodentist.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/how-much-radiation-do-you-get-from-x-rays-do-i-need-them/

Dr. Jorge E. Larrondo

X-rayEquip

We offer a dynamic combination of advanced technologies in one convenient location. Many practices would refer you to several offices to accomplish the same care. The best that dentistry has to offer combined with personal service and down to earth discussion of your care will make your experience with Dr. Jorge E. Larrondo unique from other practices. Listed below are some of the advanced technologies we offer our patients.

Surgical Telescope–saves time and aids in diagnosis

The surgical telescope makes esthetic enhancement better because I get an up-close view of the artistry I’m creating. It increases surgical comfort because it enhances accuracy, reducing the time I need to per form each procedure. It also helps with gum disease prevention techniques.

Intra-oral Camera–lets you see and understand what’s going on

This is not only a diagnostic tool for me, but an educational supplement for you. This camera looks like an oversized…

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No Cavities? You Can Thank The Fluoride!

People fall into three categories, there’s the “What the heck is fluoride” category, the “NO! I don’t want fluoride” category, and the “Duh, give me the fluoride” category. Although we’re hoping that our patients fall into the latter of the three we know that certainly isn’t the case. Our office is in Sacramento County, a county that does not fluoridate its water. An interesting concept considering that the centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls fluoridation “one of the 10 most valuable public health measures of the 20th century.” (Read that here: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00056796.htm)

What’s all the fuss about anyway? Fluoride was introduced and the rates of tooth decay decreased significantly in communities who adopted fluoridated drinking water. Fluoridated drinking water was so successful that soon it seemed everything contained fluoride:  orange juice, milk, toothpastes, drops, gels, and ingestible tablets. So while decay was on the decline, over fluoridation was on the rise.Fluoride In Water

This sparked an enormous debate that is still going strong and is not wavering. Over fluoridation called fluorosis, can create dark spots or white spots on the teeth because fluoride used too much will be poisonous. Fluorosis is rarely a result of fluoridated drinking water.  Just like one drink at the end of a long day is fine, 19 drinks will kill you. The CDC, American Dental Association (ADA), and most national health agencies endorse fluoride.

Think about this, less tooth decay means less visits to the dentist and less of your money going to the dentist, but yet all the dental associations and all the dentists you know ENCOURAGE you to get fluoride. That must mean that is a beneficial mineral for your teeth.

Fluoride provided in the office is not swallowed; it is applied topically, just like toothpaste. The fluoride helps to strengthen your teeth by filling the porous surfaces of your teeth with vitamins and minerals. According to the CDC, every $1 invested in fluoridated saves approximately $38 in dental treatment costs.

But still, this effort to fluoride communities has been called an unconstitutional form of mass medication and the culprit for medical issues such as AIDS, Down syndrome, all forms and cancer, the list goes on. Although no scientific data validates these claims, fluorosis (over fluoridation) does occur. Therefore, babies younger than 6 months old should not be given fluoride, their formula should not be prepared with fluoridated water and children that are younger than 2 years of age are advised not to use fluoridate toothpaste. For all children, toothpaste use should be monitored, kept out of their reach, and made sure to be spit out.

For information on flossing visit this article: https://bestsacramentodentist.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/irritated-bleeding-gums-and-flossing_sacramentodentist/

Tricky Tooth Killers

There are attacks on own teeth everywhere we look: the food we eat, the medications we take, our hormones. Silent, and tricky, these tooth killers can harm you in ways you haven’t thought of before.

Teeth Whitening at the Mall:  Does knowing that they are more than willing to pour 35% hydrogen peroxide on your gum disease and cavities make you feel good? If it does than you need to research about the effects of teeth whitening on your oral health. If it doesn’t, you’re my kind of patient. These types of services are unaccredited and are being shut down all over the country. A typical teeth whitening requires a dental office visit, exam, and any cavities or gum disease to be treated prior to receiving the bleaching treatment.Oral Health and Diabetes (click here for teeth whitening tips)

Sports Drinks & Energy Drinks: these highly acidic beverages create pitting in the teeth and other forms of tooth erosion. Pitting and erosion results in your teeth being uneven on the surface and they are more likely to stain easier and more quickly. In addition, erosion makes your teeth more susceptible to decay. If you must drink these highly acidic drinks do it through a straw to avoid pitting and tooth erosion on the fronts of your teeth.

Pregnancy:  your hormones play a gigantic part in your oral health. Increased levels of pregnancy hormones progesterone and estrogen boost circulation, which brings more blood to the gums and puts you at a higher risk for infection. Pregnant women with bloody gums are significantly more likely to have a preterm baby, according to many studies. If you are trying to get pregnant your best bet is to visit the dentist so that you can address all your oral health issues before you conceive. (Or read our preggo article here) 

Medications: many medications and diet supplements have side effects such as decreasing salivary flow in the mouth. The lack of saliva can lead to dry mouth, bacteria, and tooth decay. Products like biotene can help with dry mouth so tell your dentist if you are experiencing dry mouth.

Using teeth as tools: using your teeth in absence of other tools might cause them some harm.  My grandma has a perfect triangle in between her two front teeth at the very bottom where she keeps her pins for sewing. See my granny uses her teeth for all sorts of things, like tearing open packages, biting her nails, and that’s just the small stuff. Her teeth have become her go-to place to store the needles for sewing which have created a permanent change in her teeth. Using your teeth for anything other than chewing is a bad idea: it can lead to chipping and cracking.

Are you a suspect in these dental crimes? Studies prove that taking better care of your teeth can improve your overall health, especially if you are pre-diabetic or your family has a history of heart disease. If it has been more than six months since your last dental exam and cleaning call a dentist near you today. (or read our oral health article) 

I Hate Flossing! Part II

A former flossing procrastinator turned flossing advocate; why to floss, how to floss, and the dangers of not flossing.

Sacramento DentistDid you know that if you lose five or more teeth to gum disease your odds at having a heart attack increase by 26%? If you are predetermined to have heart disease or diabetes you might want to think twice about flossing. Studies definitely show a strong link between poor oral health and heart disease.

Okay, well, I didn’t know this before. I was one of those “sometimes” flossers. You know what I’m talking about. When the dentist asked me how often I flossed my response was a sheepish “sometimes”. Then, I realized that my paternal grandmother died from heart disease. To add insult to injury, my father received a quadruple bypass at 46 and I lost an uncle to diabetes. Keep in mind that at that time it had been a few years since my last dentist appointment. Like many people it really hurt to floss my teeth and it was uncomfortable. I really didn’t want to do it. Really.

I guess you could say that skies parted one day when I stumbled upon some reading material reminding me that I was predisposed to horrible health issues (my grandmother’s heart disease, my dad’s clogged arteries, my uncle’s diabetes) and that not flossing could come back to haunt me with a vengeance. Now I’m a flossing advocator. And I put down the french fries. Win-win.

Now, working in a dental office provides me with more of an affinity towards taking care of my teeth. And all the compliments I get on my pretty teeth are just icing on the cake.  I promise that I am a modest person. I am! But I constantly receive compliments on my teeth. People comment on how straight they are to how white they are (thanks for braces mom and dad!). It’s those compliments that make me take pride in my teeth.

Think about it, when you work hard for your toned body and people take notice it only makes you work harder, right? My teeth are the same thing to me. That’s why I floss.

Everyone hates to floss. I hate to floss. But at the end of the day I’m healthier for it. You will be, too. Did you know that even the girls in the office hate to floss? That’s two Registered Dental Hygienists, four dental assistants!

Top 5 Reasons We Hate to Floss!

  1. It’s uncomfortable to stick whole hand in mouth
  2. “It’s gross!”
  3. Food flies around
  4. When floss gets stuck in the teeth
  5. Messes up lipstick

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Get Them to Brush: A Guide For Parents

Get Your Kids to Brush

Kids of all ages teens and toddlers (even the occasional adult child) need to be taught and reminded about dental health and its importance. The following tips can be used to help parents get a head start on dental heath for their family. With only 50% of the US population seeing a dentist regularly, every bit can help.

Some kids are better than others and take to brushing and flossing immediately, while some kids see taking care of their teeth as another fear chore. Help the kids  in your life see the importance of dental health with these creative tips and tricks.

Teach your kids about their teeth

For kids who don’t like to brush, simply handing them a toothbrush and tube of toothpaste is not going to cut it, you must do more. You can do more by teaching them all about their teeth. Help kids see the different types of teeth that are in their mouths. By explaining that each tooth has different shape, different job, and therefore a different location. There are four types of teeth: incisors, cuspids, bicuspids, and molars. Use the following information to help explain the teeth and their jobs:

  1. Incisors: Located in the front of the mouth (four up top and four on the bottom), the eight incisors have chisel-shaped crowns that cut food.
  2. Cuspids: Located next to each incisor, the four cuspids have pointed edges to tear food.
  3. Bicuspids: Loacted next to the cuspids, these four pairs of teeth crush and tear food.
  4. Molars: The 12 molars come in sets of three at the back of the mouth. The wide surfaces of these teeth grind food.

Read books about dental health

In addition to teach your kids about the teeth and their jobs you should read with your kids. It is easier for young kids to grasp dental health if they see the it illustrated in a book. From the time your children are infants, you should be incorporating books about oral hygiene, teeth brushing, and flossing. There are even books about visiting the dentist. Incorporate these in to their regular reading. This also can decrease your child’s anxiety and fear about the dentist. Ask your librarian to help you located dentist books. They might even be able to order some for you!

The American Dental Association (ADA) is a good resource for parents to find books that help explain dental health to your kids. Read “Visit the Dentist with Marty” at ADA.org and let your kids play a game that teaches kids about healthy snacks called, “Let’s Raid The Kitchen!” on the hygienist’s portion of the ADA website.

Do an experiment

There are several websites available to parents that give step-by-step instructions and provide guided experiments that can make learning about dental health and oral hygiene more fun. Check out http://www.HealthyTeeth.org for information created by dentists for your younger children. Content ranges from sugar bugs to bad breath and covers everything in between.

Good luck, parents!! May the force be with you!

5 Things That Prove Your Dentist Isn’t Scamming You

1. Dental Assistant Recommends the Dentist

No one knows the Dentist better than the dental assistant. They know every corner they are willing to cut and every line they are willing to cross. So, does the assistant highly recommend the dentist? If you aren’t sure pull the assistant aside and have a word with her about your dental care. Does she advise you to follow the dentist’s instructions? Does she advise you to get a second opinion? Or, does she seem to respect the doctor and her medical opinion? If she does then you are in good hands.

2. Pushes Regular Hygiene Visits

I know, I know. You are rolling your eyes right now thinking that the dentist is laughing all the way to the bank, right? You couldn’t be further from the truth though. People who take care of their gums with regular flossing and brushing definitely do not see extensive care with the Dentist as much as those who don’t. When a dentist pushes regular hygiene visits they are trying to save you money in the long run. True story.

3. Low Patient Turn-Over Rate

This one’s a no brainer. A dental office with a high patient turn-over rate is not able to keep all of its patients happy so they go somewhere else. Of all the new patients that come in to the office every month very few actually return.

A good way to judge this is to see how busy the office is and the overall tone of the office. A shady office is so busy that patients are waiting a half hour or more before they are seen. The patients in the waiting room seem antsy, angry, or unsure and may not be responding well the front-desk staff.  And speaking of front desk staff – if they are rude let your dentist know. Dental work is expensive and the last thing you should have to worry about is a receptionist with a chip on their shoulder.

4. Dentist Believes That The Best Dentistry is No Dentistry

Seems counter-productive doesn’t it? But it’s not. This means that as a dentist they are providing you only the care that you need. Think about it. A dentist’s #1 priority should be you and your oral care, not money. All elective procedures should be presented as such: implants, braces, and smile makeovers included.

5. Raise the Bar on Level of Care

Let’s face it, if you leave decisions like whether or not to floss up to regular people they are going to decide not to floss! We hear it every day when a patient refuses x-rays because they “don’t need x-rays”. When the reality of it is that people don’t know what is going on in their mouth. So a dentist who raises the level of care for their patients is an educator. They explain, successfully, the need to not only floss regularly but to come in for that six-month cleaning. To not only take the x-rays but to allow the patient to understand that those x-rays are an integral part of the doctor’s knowledge of their mouth.