Why am I being referred to a dental specialist?
While you may have been coming to Aesthetic Dentistry, P.C. for years to get your dental needs met, there may come a time when it’s appropriate and necessary for you to be referred to a dental specialist. A dental specialist is someone who has completed additional training in a specific focus area. The general dentist that you see at Aesthetic Dentistry, P.C. is the best place to go for the majority of your dental needs, but if more specialized care is required it may be in your best interest for us to refer you elsewhere for treatment.
Dental specialists exist in the fields of endodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, pediatrics, periodontics and prosthodontics. Some examples of a time when a specialist may be necessary are for treatment of an abscess, or infection, of the nerve of the tooth. In this case an endodontist might be the best person to provide care. Children are another common referral. In some cases the treatment that is best for a child is different than that of an adult and referring them to a pediatric specialist will yield the best results.
Dental specialists have generally completed an additional 2-year residency program in their specialty and maintain continuing education requirements in order to stay current on information appropriate to their field. They often perform the same type of procedures over and over and as they say, “practice makes perfect”. Providing specialized treatment again and again makes them extremely well qualified to treat the dental patients we refer to them. In addition, many specialists will have specialized equipment specific to their treatment area. For example, an oral surgeon may have CT scanning equipment to use when placing implants or completing other procedures. This special equipment can improve the quality of care and minimize discomfort to the patient.
Rest assured that when the team here at Aesthetic Dentistry, P.C. refers you to someone else, we do it with the utmost confidence. We work with highly qualified dental specialists that we trust to provide the best in care to our patients. We never provide treatment that’s beyond our abilities because our patients’ best interest is our primary responsibility.
The Importance of Regular Dental Cleanings
Most people go to the dentist either because they’re having a dental problem, or because they want to keep their smile white, but a regular dental cleaning can have some significant benefits to your general health. Did you know that studies have shown that people with poor dental hygiene have a 65% increased chance of developing dementia? How about regular dental cleanings improving your chances for early detection of diabetes? There are actually a huge number of health issues that can be detected or prevented through regular dental cleanings – bone loss, cardiovascular disease, strokes and cancer just to name a few. In many cases early detection can be the key to a successful treatment. In America today 1 person dies from oral cancer every hour, which in many cases can be cured if detected early through a regular dental cleaning.
Maybe you struggle to justify the cost of going to the dentist once or twice a year. First contact your dental insurance carrier, many of them cover the cost of regular cleanings. Second keep in mind that the cost of treating a dental problem down the road after it’s become more serious will most certainly be more expensive than getting preventative care through a regular cleaning. Take gum disease for example. Regular cleanings can prevent gum disease while if left untreated gum disease can lead to early tooth loss and ultimately the need for dentures or other more expensive dental treatment options.
Of course a regular dental cleaning will also help you to maintain a whiter smile by removing build-up and stains, it will help to control bad breath by removing bacteria, it will provide an opportunity to detect cavities and other minor issues before they become painful, and it will give your dentist a chance to compare year to year the overall health of your mouth.
How often should you get a dental cleaning? For years most adults have been encouraged to get a dental cleaning twice a year, but new research has refined that a bit. For adults with one or more risk factors – smoking, diabetes or genetic issues – two cleanings a year is still the best option, but for adults with none of these risk factors one cleaning per year is generally sufficient. It’s always recommended that you ask your dentist about your specific situation before changing the frequency of your visits though. Regular dental cleanings really are an important part of maintaining your overall health.
A Helping Hand
Unfortunately for many people getting quality dental care is not an option due to financial constraints. In some cases dental insurance is not an option through an employer, for others a permanent disability prevents them from full-time employment options, and others are over 65 or medically compromised. Whatever the reason dentists throughout the country are doing what they can to help. One great organization that works with individuals in these situations is Donated Dental Services. The team at Aesthetic Dentistry, P.C. is incredibly proud to support this effort and offer our services to this non-profit group.
Donated Dental Services receives applications and determines which patients qualify for free or extremely reduced cost services. From there, applicants are seen on a first-come-first-serve basis by a dentist in their area. The dentists who participate in this program are committed to providing high quality, comprehensive treatment to any eligible patients. The end goal for every patient in this program is that they be pain free and able to eat properly. Donated Dental Services started in Colorado in 1985 and now includes a group of more than 15,000 dentists and 3,700 labs who volunteer their time. Through this incredible network of support more than 117,000 individuals have been helped and over $330 million in dental treatment has been provided.
We want all our patients to know that the team at Aesthetic Dentistry, P.C. cares about our community and is always looking for ways to serve the people of Cheyenne. We appreciate you choosing us to meet your dental needs and we truly value all of our patients. We’re looking forward to many more years of working with Donated Dental Services, and we appreciate all that they do to help those in need in our area. If you know someone who may be in need of this type of service the application for Donated Dental Services can be found here. We will continue to look for other ways to serve our community in the coming New Year.
Fun Facts about Animal Teeth
It turns out there’s all kinds of cool stuff related to animal teeth, in fact they might be even cooler than human teeth! Here are some of the most interesting, and strange, animal oral facts that we thought we should share with you.
- Ocean animals have way more teeth than land animals, generally there’s 100 fish teeth for every one animal tooth on land. The ocean animal with the most permanent teeth – the Spinner Dolphin with 252 teeth! The land mammal with the most permanent teeth – the Giant Armadillo with 100 teeth.
- Snails are the animal that has the most overall teeth. As crazy as it might sound, certain species of snails can have over 20,000 teeth arranged in rows on its tongue. Another interesting snail fact, an aquatic snail, the limpet, has teeth made from the strongest known biological material on Earth. Stronger than titanium in fact.
- Sharks have the most teeth in a lifetime. A shark will lose up to one tooth a week and a new one will replace it. This can result in a shark going through up to 30,000 teeth in a lifetime. The American alligator also loses and replaces its teeth on a regular basis. The alligator will lose each of its 80 teeth once a year with a new one quickly coming in to replace it. As you might expect having new, sharp teeth is important for carnivorous animals.
- Elephants have the longest teeth of any animal. The molars on an elephant can grow to over a foot long and weigh over 10 lbs. Technically an elephant’s tusks are considered teeth and are both the longest and heaviest of any animal teeth, but they aren’t actually used as teeth.
- Beaver’s front teeth are orange. In order to chew through trees and build dams beaver have to have extremely strong teeth. It turns out that there is actually iron in the enamel of their teeth, which both gives them the needed strength and the lovely orange color.
- Humans have the same number of teeth as Giraffes! We both have 32 teeth however they’re not laid out quite the same. The giraffe doesn’t need top front teeth so those teeth are located in the back, making our smile and theirs somewhat different!
- You can tell the age of a dolphin by looking at its teeth. Dolphin’s teeth have rings inside them much like trees and because they don’t use them for chewing, they swallow their food whole, the teeth don’t get worn down and the rings remain distinct.
- Rabbits and squirrels have teeth that never stop growing. If they were to stop chewing on hard foods like nuts and bark their teeth would grow way too long. They use these tough foods to keep their teeth neatly filed down.
There are so many cool facts about teeth – both human and animal! It’s pretty incredible to see all the diversity!