The Roles of Dental Hygienists and Dental Assistant

The Roles of Dental Hygienists and Dental Assistant

When you visit the dentist, you often see other professionals in the office. Usually, the dentist will have a hygienist and a dental assistant as part of the team. While their roles aren’t the same as the dentist’s job, these individuals do play an important part in your dental care. Understanding what the hygienist and dental assistant do can make you feel more comfortable at your dental appointments.

The Dental Assistant
To become a dental assistant, an individual usually completes course work through a community college or technical school. This training will provide hands-on experience before the dental assistant works in an actual dental practice. A dental assistant can serve many functions, including assisting the dentist during treatment, taking impressions, sterilizing instruments, and making temporary crowns for patients. Dental assistants also welcome patients and help them feel comfortable in the dental office.

The Dental Hygienist
At a minimum, a dental hygienist must earn an associate’s degree, though many hygienists choose to obtain four-year degrees. Additionally, hygienists must be licensed in the states where they practice. The dental hygienist is generally responsible for taking patient x-rays, performing an initial periodontal assessment, and cleaning your teeth. During your appointment, the hygienist will also offer tips on home hygiene to help you maximize your oral car routine. A dental hygienist may also perform deep cleanings for gum disease, apply fluoride, remove sutures, and administer local anesthetic.

When to Consider Sedation Dentistry

When to Consider Sedation Dentistry

If you avoid getting dental care because of the anxiety and fear of going to the dentist, you are not alone. It is estimated that forty million Americans don’t seek regular dental care because they are uncomfortable or afraid of going. Sedation dentistry has been developed to manage the pain and anxiety of dental visits, while still providing patients with the ability to respond to verbal commands and physical stimulation.

Here are some guidelines to help you determine if sedation dentistry might help you:
• You are fearful about dental instruments and procedures.
• Local anesthetics have not had a numbing effect on you in the past.
• Your gag reflex is overly sensitive.
• You have a fear of shots or needles.
• The noises, tastes, and odors associated with dentistry bother you a great deal.
• You have extremely sensitive teeth.
• Your dental problems are complicated, or you need to have several procedures in a single visit.
• You have experienced traumatic dental experiences in the past.
• Health issues such as neck or back pain or TMJ make it uncomfortable for you to sit in the dentist’s chair or open your mouth for extended periods.

Putting off dental care is not recommended because it can result in more serious problems or invasive procedures later. If some of the characteristics above describe you, consult your dentist about ways to help you relax and become more comfortable with checkups. Sedation dentistry techniques like IV, oral, or inhaled sedation may be just what you need to allow you to confidently seek dental care on a regular basis.

If you need a dentist in Fernandina Beach contact us today

Making a Decision about Dental Implants

Making a Decision about Dental Implants

For many years, your only choice for replacing missing teeth was dentures or bridges. Now dental implants offer an impressive alternative. Don’t rule them out just because you don’t know what they are, what the process is, who makes a good candidate, or what the benefits include. Learn more about implants so you can make an educated decision whether they’re right for you.

Teeth can be lost or severely damaged for many reasons such as gum disease, tooth decay, or injury. Dental implants provide a solution by surgically placing a titanium root directly into your jawbone. A post connects the implant to an artificial tooth that is placed on top during a second surgery. Usually there is a delay between the first and second surgeries to allow for proper healing so that the implant is successful.

Implants offer lots of benefits. They look and feel like your real teeth, and there’s no slipping or speech problems as with other restorations. They have a very high success rate and can last a lifetime with good care. Your oral hygiene tasks are the same as with real teeth. Your self-esteem will increase with your fully restored and functional smile.

Although many people are good candidates for implants, your dentist will let you know if there are risks for you. Healthy gums are very important, so those with periodontal disease may not be suitable. There also must be sufficient jaw bone support for implants to attach successfully, or you might be able to have bone grafting done to achieve more jaw strength before implants.

Dental implants are often the ideal solution for people who are missing teeth. Even though you might be nervous about the procedure, implants provide a great way to restore your smile comfortably and naturally.

Dental Implants Fernandina Beach

Oral Health Advice

Oral Health Advice

Why wait until you have a toothache, bleeding gums, bad breath, or other problems to decide it’s time to start focusing on your oral health? Your mouth and your whole body can benefit from maintaining good oral health. Here is some simple advice that will help you along the path to a healthy smile.

Brushing and flossing
Tooth decay and gum disease are both preventable with proper brushing and flossing. Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, using a circular motion. It’s best to brush after every meal, but twice a day should be the minimum. Gently floss your teeth daily to remove food particles and bacteria between your teeth.

Eating right
Focusing on eating foods from each food group will aid your oral health in addition to your overall health. Not getting essential nutrients in your diet increases your risk of gum disease, and also makes it more difficult for your body to resist infection. Eat low fat dairy items, lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Look for foods low in sugar, which can lead to tooth decay. Avoid snacking too much during the day when you aren’t going to brush your teeth afterwards, and drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Seeing your dentist
Visit your dentist at least twice a year for checkups. During these appointments, your dentist will look for problems and professionally clean your teeth. Delays in treatment of some conditions can cause them to worsen to the point that treatment may be more painful, difficult, or costly. Your dentist will help you keep your teeth and gums healthy so that you can keep smiling as long as possible.

Our dental office is located in Fernandina Beach

A History of Cosmetic Dentistry

A History of Cosmetic Dentistry

The desire for a better looking and better functioning smile has been around since ancient times. As early as 3000 BC, there is evidence that people used sticks to clean their teeth. Early toothbrushes were made of animal hair in the late 15th century.

The earliest forms of cosmetic dentistry are believed to be dentures made from ivory and bone by the Etruscans around 700 BCE. Other dentures were made from animal or even human teeth taken from corpses. Near 200 CE, the Etruscans had moved on to using gold to perform the functions of a dental crown or bridge.

Ancient Egyptians made a whitening toothpaste of vinegar and ground pumice stone, while the Romans utilized the ammonia from urine in their toothpastes, a practice that existed in some form into the 1700s.

Dental implants of human teeth were used in Europe in the 1700s for replacement teeth, but the practice was rejected due to repeated failures. Over the next hundred years, metal was used – and was also subsequently rejected.

The end of the 18th century and the entre 19th century showed great strides in cosmetic dentistry, particularly in the field of prosthetic dentistry, with the success of the porcelain denture. Molds were made of existing mouths with plaster, allowing dentists to provide the greatest denture fit and comfort available to patients thus far.

In the 1840s, the first rubberized material used as a base for dentures was invented, called Vulcanite. The first dental lab created specifically to produce prosthetic dental appliances was established in the 1850s. Porcelain dental crowns gave way to porcelain fused to metal crowns in the 1950s, and Vulcanite gave way to acrylic in the early 20th century, materials we still use today.

Your cosmetic dentist in Fernandina Beach is a skilled professional whose techniques have been practiced and refined by those dentists who came before for thousands of years. Today, we are at the pinnacle of the knowledge and expertise of trained cosmetic dentists and with the variety of successful methods and materials that will work for any cosmetic need.

We look forward to seeing you in our Fernandina Beach dental office

Energy Drinks and Your Teeth

Energy Drinks and Your Teeth

Though sports drinks and energy drinks may provide refreshment after a workout or keep you awake to study, they can also do serious damage to your teeth. People often think of these drinks as healthy alternatives to soda, but that’s not the case. In fact, research shows that these beverages are up to 10 times worse for your oral health than cola.

The issue with sports and energy beverages comes from the high acidity. Manufacturers add acid to these drinks to balance the sugar. Even more than soft drinks, the acid in sports and energy beverages can erode tooth enamel, which increases the odds of cavities. Once teeth are weakened by decay, you become more susceptible to future problems down the road.

Another reason sports and energy drinks are problematic is the way people consume them. Because most individuals sip on them throughout the day, teeth are continuously exposed to the acid in the beverages. To minimize the risks to your oral health, consider these tips:

  • Use a straw when you consume these beverages because it restricts the amount of liquid that gets on your teeth.
  • Chew sugar-free gum, which promotes saliva production and rinses the acid from your teeth.
  • Brush your teeth right after drinking sugary beverages to remove any residue and keep teeth healthy.
  • Make H2O your first choice. Consuming lots of water and limiting intake of sodas, sports beverages, or energy drinks will help you stay hydrated and promote good oral health.

 

Family and general dentist in Fernandina Beach

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Amelia Dental Group
1947 Citrona Drive
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
P. (904) 261-7181
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