How to Relax at the Dentist

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Does anxiety keep you away from the dental chair? Do you avoid important dental check-ups or procedures because the fear is too much to handle? Well look no further, we have tips to keep you healthy and relaxed in the dentist’s chair.

Tune out
Prepare for your visit by uploading your iPod or other media device with your favorite relaxing tunes, or maybe you would rather catch up on your reading by listening to an eBook. Some dentists, like our Sacramento Dentist, even offer movie goggles so you can watch a movie during your appointment.

Don’t clench!
When you sit down in the chair, let go. Clenching your hands, legs, feet and arms won’t help ease your discomfort. When you feel yourself clenching, focus on relaxing those areas. Make your body comfortable to help your mind be comfortable.

Be in the know
Knowing the details of your procedure can ease your mind of any uncertainties. Ask for models or drawings so you can see the procedure and why it is necessary for you. Write down your questions ahead of time, so you don’t forget them.

Breathe
When the anxiety kicks in, it’s natural to take quick, short breaths, and maybe even quit breathing all together. When your oxygen decreases, you panic increases. So concentrate on taking slow, smooth breaths to help keep your anxiety level low.

Ask for Sedation
Sedation dentistry has made many advancements over the years. Sedation dentists can prescribe medication that you take before your appointment to help you relax, and in most cases, you don’t even remember the procedure the next day. This video on Sedation Dentistry shows you what the sedation experience is like.

And the best way to ensure a relaxing visit at the dentist is to find a dentist that you trust. When you trust your dentist that he or she is doing the best job and giving you the quality treatment you deserve, it can truly help to put your mind at ease.

Do you have any tips on how you like to stay relaxed and comfortable at the dentist? Insert your own helpful hints in our comments section, or you can visit our Facebook page and share with our patients how you like to relax at the dentist.

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Gateway Oaks Family Dentistry is Now Providing Braces for Patients

Dr. Truong continues her commitment to keep patient costs down by providing Braces by FastBraces® for patientsImage

SACRAMENTO, CA- Gateway Oaks Family Dentistry introduced a one-of-a-kind braces technology that results in faster results for straight teeth. Braces by FastBraces® can provide results from 3 months to about a year. The shorter treatment equals to fewer visits to the dentist. Traditional braces take about 2 to 4 years and require frequents visits to the orthodontist. Being able to provide braces in the office keeps costs down to patients who, in the past, would have to be referred to a specialist’s office, which leads to extra costs for the patients.

Straight teeth are not only for a beautiful smile, but a healthier smile. Aligned teeth with proper spacing not only keeps teeth from breaking or having uneven wear, but it is also important for gum and heart health. Crowding teeth can be hard to clean, this can lead or excessive plaque buildup, the main reason for gum disease. In recent studies, gum disease has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

“There are many options when it comes to straightening teeth. I chose the FastBraces® technology because my adult patients can get a straight smile without wearing braces for years. A big drawback for many adults is the length of time of wearing traditional braces. I’m happy to provide them a solution. ”  said Dr. Truong when asked why she wanted to provide this service to patients instead of referring them out to other offices for braces.

Dr. Hoang Truong is the CEO and main dental provider at Gateway Oaks Family Dentistry. Dr. Truong has been committed to providing patients with the best treatment options. Gateway Oaks Family Dentistry provides quality dental care with friendliness and professionalism.

To find out more about the benefits of straight teeth, visit www.GatewayOaksDental.com or you can Schedule your Free Consultation.To find out more about the FastBraces® technology, visit www.Fastbraces.com.

Would you like Gateway Oaks Family Dentistry to visit your business or health fair to talk more about Fastbraces®? Contact our Office Manager Kristen Vice at kristenvice@live.com.

 

 

Dr. Hoang Truong to provide free dental screenings at the Sutter Children’s Center Wellness Festival

SACRAMENTO- Gateway Oaks Family Dentistry is participating in the first annual Sutter Children’s Center Wellness Festival on Saturday, April 13th from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Sacramento’s Fairy Tale Town. Families are invited to play outside and enjoy fun activities free of charge. Gateway Oaks Family Dentistry has partnered with the Sacramento District Dental Society to perform dental screenings for children who attend the event. Dr. Hoang Truong, will be at the event performing screenings, answering dental health related questions and handing out educational material from 12:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.

The event will consist of fun activities, physical games, gardening workshops, health screenings and nutritional workshops free of charge for children and their families.

“I am thrilled to be a part of such a great cause. It is important for children 2 years old and over to see the dentist at least twice a year,” said Dr. Truong, “I am looking forward to showing children and their families how easy it is to make oral health their priority.”

Dr. Hoang Truong is the CEO and main dental provider at Gateway Oaks Family Dentistry. Gateway Oaks Family Dentistry has been a continuing supporter of nonprofit health organizations in the Sacramento community since 2008. Located in Natomas, Gateway Dental is a comprehensive practice that is committed to helping educate the Sacramento community to keep their teeth and gums healthy for life.

For more information on the Sutter Children’s Center Wellness Festival, you can visit www.FairyTaleTown.org.

Are you interested in having Gateway Oaks Family Dentistry at your next health fair or event? We enjoy being a part of community events to help spread the word for healthy teeth and gums. You can contact our Public Relations Director, Kayla Johnson, via email with any questions at kaylaj.ata@gmail.com.

50% of Americans have this disease

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) conducted a study in 2009 and 2010 that measured the prevalence of periodontitis, familiarly known as gum disease, in American adults. The study CDCestimates that 47.2%, or 64.7 million American adults, have mild, moderate or severe gum disease. For adults over the age of 65, rates increase to 70.1%.

Conclusion: Nearly half of American adults have gum disease.

How can gum disease affect you?
Gum disease can do irreversible damage if not treated and maintained. The plaque that that builds up between teeth and gums creates pockets that bacteria can get into, causing an infection in the gums. The infection can damage the bone and periodontal ligaments (PDL) that hold teeth in place and gums may begin to pull away from teeth. At the advanced stage of gum disease, teeth begin to shift, loosen and fall out because the PDL and bone that usually support the teeth are destroyed.

What are the symptoms of gum disease?Gum Disease

  • Constant bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
  • Gums that are red, puffy or swollen, or tender
  • Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing
  • Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
  • Pus that appears between your teeth
  • Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite

At every check-up and cleaning, the hygienist and doctor measures the bone level and inspects gums for any pus, bleeding or inflammation.

How is gum disease treated?
The doctor or hygienist recommends a deep-cleaning to patients with gum disease. The hygienist scales the teeth by cleaning off the plaque above and below the gum surface and root planing which smoothes out the rough layers of the teeth. For two weeks after a deep cleaning, chlorhexidine mouth wash is used to kill bacteria so sensitive gums will heal. If you have been diagnosed with gum disease it is important to follow the recommendations of your hygienist. She may recommend one to two additional cleanings per year.

shutterstock_2243118-(Medium)-732845Prevent gum disease from affecting you.

  • There are simple steps that you can take to avoid developing gum disease.
  • Brush and clean between teeth with floss
  • Eat a well balanced diet and avoid sugary snacks

Get regular check-ups and cleanings. They are the best way to discover and treat early gum disease before it leads to a more serious problem.

Do you still have questions about gum disease? Contact our Sacramento Dentist.

Why Healthy Teeth is my New Year’s Resolution

The end of 2012 is right around the corner, as I celebrate and reminisce about the last 12 months I begin to plan for the next 12 months. How can I make them better than the last? Things always come up that I never planned for. This year has been far more of an adventure than I had ever dreamed of.  One of those unplanned but welcomed surprises was when I got hired on as the Public Relations Director for a dental office in Sacramento, California. I have quickly developed a passion for encouraging our community to make healthy teeth and gums their priority.

I have a confession; before I started working in the dental industry, I did not even have a regular dentist. Every month I was paying for dental insurance I never used, the only time I thought about the dentist was when a tooth started hurting, which is usually a sign that a person has waited too long.  I regularly do my part by brushing my teeth every day, not always flossing as much as I should. Recently I have realized that I have not been doing enough to keep my teeth as healthy as I need them to be to last me my whole life. It was my lack of knowledge that had led me to believe that I could avoid going to the dentist on a regular basis.

My New Year’s resolution is to start taking better care of my teeth and gums, because having a healthy smile has a whole string of psychological and physical effects connected to it!

I want to keep my teeth for the rest of my life. As my body works day in and day out to clean my teeth, the interaction between food and saliva creates bacteria and acid. If the bacteria and plaque are left to build up and get between my gums, the acid can begin to eat away at the bone structure that is keeping my teeth secure. It can happen with virtually no symptoms and lead to gum disease. Although gum disease is treatable, bone loss is irreversible and can lead to the eventual loss of teeth. Not only can plaque cause the loss of teeth, it is bad for the heart.

Have you ever experience bleeding gums when you floss? Well, that opening leads straight to the blood stream that is an open door to plaque and bacteria. The same plaque that builds up on your teeth builds up on your arteries once it enters the bloodstream. Clogged and hardened arteries can lead to high blood pressure, or worse, a heart attack. Proving that taking care of your teeth is taking care of your heart.

And the number one reason why I am choosing to take better care of my teeth this year…

Having a bright and healthy smile makes me feel good!  When I am confident about my smile, I am ready for any challenge that I might face, from job interviews to first dates. The mouth is usually a main point of focus when socializing, it makes sense why feeling self-conscious about teeth can be harmful. Other people notice and are attracted to the cool courage a confident smile can bring. It boosts my self esteem and helps to keep my spirit lifted all day long.

So, while you are reflecting on 2012 and looking forward to 2013, think about the simple changes you can make in your life to make you feel good, look good and live healthy!

Happy New Year!!

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Mia is a first time Public Relations Director. She has always had a passion for the health and happiness of her community.  We are excited to have her on board! Welcome to the Gateway Dental Team!

Dental X-Rays: An Important Diagnostic Tool

X-rays are an important diagnostic tool for me. They are as vital to me as getting blood work done with your medical practitioner or chest x-rays with your cardiologist. Without them, I cannot fully determine your oral health, which is my sole purpose. Getting radiographs taken every six months allows me to detect any problems early on.

Many patients have concerns about x-rays. But, the American Dental Association (ADA) states that a person absorbs more radiation from the sun every single day than x-rays taken at the dentist every six months. Since our radiographs are digital, the radiation exposure is extremely less than traditional methods.

Dentist in Sacramento Digital Xrays

This graph shows the amount of radiation each person receives from dental x-rays in comparison to other sources of radiation.

The first thing that radiographs help me with is determining bone levels in your teeth. One of the biggest causes of tooth loss is periodontal disease, or disease of the gums and bone. It begins as gingivitis and can grow uncontrollably into sever gum “periodontal” disease.  The x-rays help to determine bone levels and the condition of bone loss due to periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can be determined by looking at the gums, but in all cases radiographs are needed to determine severity of bone loss.

Why do I need to determine bone levels? Identifying bone loss early, through x-rays taken every six months, allows me to be able to address the likelihood of patients’ having periodontal disease. Horizontal bone loss suggests aggressive periodontal disease, but that can be treated with great results. However, vertical bone loss is a more aggressive disease and is more difficult to achieve a good results.

Bone Loss & Gum Disease

The straight yellow line depicts the bone level on healthy teeth. The wavy line below identifies this patient’s actual level of bone. This tells me the patient has severe bone loss.

Secondly, radiographs are also helpful in diagnosing oral pathology from identifying cysts to cancerous lesions, broken roots, cavities, and failing restorations (just to name a few!), which are impossible to determine by visual examination alone. In addition, anything that is happening below the teeth and gums, I cannot see. Ethically and legally I need x-rays to keep my patients safe, healthy, and out of pain, and – most importantly – keeping your out of pocket costs low.

Sacramento Dentist does Oral Cancer Screening

X-rays identified a tumor in the lower jaw.

I have seen many cases where a new patient came to me in pain, after seeing his/her dentist just 6 months ago. Upon taking new x-rays I have found a broken tooth after a root canal, a crown that doesn’t fit correctly causing un-comfortability, and an abscess that has formed. And not just with new patients, even with current patients that see me religiously, cavities and decay can develop within six months or less.

Thirdly, x-rays identify things in your mouth that are going on that I could never determine just by sight. I want to stress the importance of these radiographs because they will identify problems even when the patient isn’t experiencing any symptoms. If your tooth hurts, you could have more than a little cavity, it could be an infection or a fractured tooth. When it hurts, you have waited too long.

Dentist in Sacramento fixes broken tooth

Patient has a fractured molar tooth. Indeterminable by looking at the tooth surface.

Insurance Companies and Radiograph Restrictions

Although x-rays are an important tool in the diagnostic process, insurance companies usually have restrictions and frequency limitations on what type of x-rays can be taken, when and how many are allowed. Even though x-rays are all the same, just the techniques are different, insurances sometimes won’t pay for them. Sometimes with the restriction from the insurance companies the patient will have to pay out of pocket for the necessary x-rays so that I can determine the condition of the teeth.

 

I reassure you that we would never take x-rays if it was not necessary or essential for the overall well being of your oral health.

Sacramento Dentist

Another diagnostic tool I use is my camera. This camera allows me to take highly detailed pictures that allows the patient to see cavities, decay, and other problems above the gum line.

 

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/

Oral Sedation Dentistry – Small Steps to Being Happy at the Dentist

A dentist who provides oral sedation is like a magician waiving a magic wand over all the fearful patients who have avoided the dentist. Oral Sedation cases range from mild to full-mouth but you will never know unless you call and make that first step.
Watch the entire process here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4rLa9f7ANk

Oral Conscious Sedation

  1. The first step is to find a dental provider near you. Sedationcare.com can help you find a sedation provider in your zip code. When you are ready, you will call the provider and their sedation
  2. At your first appointment you will receive a full set of x-rays and receive a full examination by the doctor. The doctor will want to take many photographs which can be invasive. But not to worry, these pictures will allow you to see exactly what the doctor is seeing so you are not in the dark about the condition of your oral health.The doctor may take you into a consultation room to go over your options as far as what needs to be addressed immediately and what can be done at another appointment.  You will fill out your paperwork and set up your payment arrangement.  Be prepared for lots and lots of paperwork.
  3. At your first appointment you will receive a full set of x-rays and receive a full examination by the doctor. The doctor will want to take many photographs which can be invasive. But not to worry, these pictures will allow you to see exactly what the doctor is seeing so you are not in the dark about the condition of your oral health. The doctor may take you into a consultation room to go over your options as far as what needs to be addressed immediately and what can be done at another appointment.  You will fill out your paperwork and set up your payment arrangement.  Be prepared for lots and lots of paperwork.
  4. Twelve hours prior to your oral sedation appointment you will take your first dose of medication. After this point the patient should not eat or drink anything. The next morning, one hour prior to your appointment, you will crush up a pill and put it under your tongue and allow the pill to dissolve. Upon arriving to your appointment your doctor will administer the remaining dose(s) of medication.  Each person’s dosages of medication prescribed to them will be different based on the person’s tolerance level, weight, and current drugs that they take. Regardless of the type of drug and amount prescribed the way the medication is taken will always be the same.
  5. You will be seated in the dental chair and will wear a blood pressure cuff and blood oxygen monitor through the entirety of your stay. This is required in oral conscious sedation to ensure that you are getting the adequate amount of oxygen required. Don’t worry- an oxygen tank is there for you should you need it.
  6. Your memory of your appointment will be faint, if one exists at all. You will also need to coordinate a driver to drop you off and pick you up from your appointment. They will not need to stay with you the entire time. The sedation team will be able to contact them to let them know you are ready to be picked up.
  7. Immediately following your oral sedation appointment you will want your driver to get you something soft to eat – think soup, ice cream, mashed potatoes. You will most likely return home and sleep. You will look alert to your driver but they should not be fooled, you are highly woozy. This is not the time to make important life decisions.
  8. The following day you will be normal. You will be able to go to work, go to the gym, go on vacation, and do anything else that you normally would be able to do. The only reason that you may have to return to your dental professional is to adjust the “bite” which is referring to the way the temporary crowns and fillings sit inside your mouth. If you bite is off you will experience pain, discomfort and headaches. Adjusting your bite is a simple 10 minute procedure so you should call your doctor and get in as soon as you can to avoid any added pain.

Oral conscious sedation

Oral Conscious Sedation Dentistry is gaining popularity in the U.S. and is really a good option for anyone who has time constraints and only wants one day off of work to complete tons of dental treatment. Also, you don’t have to be afraid of the dentist anymore!
Call (916) 649-0249 for your consultation today. Gateway Oaks Family DentistryHoang Truong DDS, provide oral conscious sedation to anyone who is interested, regardless of their motivations. Call today.

Oral Conscious Sedation – When fear and anxiety keep you from dental bliss

oral-conscious-sedation_Dentist-SacramentoIf you have had your wisdom teeth taken out you have experienced one form of sedation. However, conscious sedation is a more rare form that is now being used for basic to extensive dental procedures for anxious or fearful people.

Oral Sedation is a tool that trained dentists use to put anxiety-ridden patients at ease in a clean and comfortable environment; it is also a good option for those with time constraints.

One of our employees undergoes sedation. Watch it here.

Not just any ‘ole dentist can perform oral conscious sedation. Dentists are required to get special training and take special courses. The requirements for most states include a permit but few require the dental team itself to receive training.

The steps to oral conscious sedation are below. However, oral conscious sedation is not just for anxious and fearful people it is also perfect for hardworking individuals who cannot take more than one day off work for multiple dental procedures. Under sedation, the dentist will be able to keep your mouth open for an extensive period of time and since your pain tolerance is not an issue, the doctor will be able to complete multiple large procedures in one day. Appointments can last anywhere from 3 hours to 8 hours.

  1. The first step is to find a dental provider near you. Sedationcare.com can help you find a sedation provider in your zip code. When you are ready, you will call the provider and their sedation team will help you set up your initial appointment.
  2. At your first appointment you will receive a full set of x-rays and receive a full examination by the doctor. The doctor will want to take many photographs which can be invasive. But not to worry, these pictures will allow you to see exactly what the doctor is seeing so you are not in the dark about the condition of your oral health. The doctor may take you into a consultation room to go over your options as far as what needs to be addressed immediately and what can be done at another appointment.  You will fill out your paperwork and set up your payment arrangement.  Be prepared for lots and lots of paperwork.

On our next blog post we will complete the steps of oral sedation. Stay tuned!

Dos and Don’ts for Healthy Teeth & Gums

We love reading SHAPE magazine around here so we were pretty happy to see this article: “10 Bad (Dental) Habits to Break”. The SHAPE magazine article outlines 10 very specific ways to treat your teeth. No guess work, love that! You can read about why the following 10 things are so dang important.

Teeth Cleaning Sacramento

  1. Brushing too hard
  2. The wrong toothpaste
  3. Forgoing Floss
  4. Drinking lots of soda
  5. Foods that stain
  6. Frequent snacking
  7. Using teeth as tools (seen this before?)
  8. Neglecting problems
  9. Avoiding the dentist
  10. Ignoring your lips

If you are experiencing pain and are in need of an emergency dentist in Sacramento or you are looking to establish a new dentist in Sacramento you can visit us today!

Call 916-649-0249 Today!