We have all had bitewing x-rays. You know, two x-rays on each side that help us detect cavities between the teeth. But, did you know that we also check for the level of your jaw bone, nerve size, margins of existing fillings and even large pieces of build up? That’s right! We get all that information from 4 little pictures.
The guidelines we use to determine how often to take these radiographs may vary from patient to patient based on their needs. If you are at a high risk and have a history of decay or many fillings and crowns, we may choose to take bitewings twice a year. This is because early diagnostics means cheaper, easier repair. If you have a low risk or minimal history of decay and restorative work, we may choose to take your x-rays every 1.5 years instead. This is generally the longest we will wait to take x-rays in order to ensure we can diagnose abnormalities before they get out of control.
So, before you decide to forego your next x-rays, discuss the risks you may be taking, and the benefits of taking those x-rays with your dental professional. They may be able to ease your mind and answer questions you have. Just remember, fixing decay while it can repaired as a filling sure beats fixing decay after it has reached the nerve and needs a root canal!
By now you may know that your mouth is related to the health of the rest of your body. Oral bacteria has been directly correlated to cardiac conditions, Alzheimer disease and even diabetes. We cannot say that any of these diseases cause oral conditions, or that oral conditions cause the disease, but we do know there is a direct correlation.
Because patients with diabetes also often have periodontal disease, it is more likely they will experience tooth loss. 1 out of every 5 patients without teeth are diabetic. So, what causes the tooth loss? Periodontal disease starts as an active infection deep below the gum line. It then begins to destroy bone. If not treated and controlled with regular dental visits and periodontal treatment, the bone loss eventually leads to loose teeth and even the complete loss of teeth.
Staying on a regular cleaning and exam schedule will help your dental provider detect any of these problems early and prevent further progression of more severe periodontal disease. We may need to see you more frequently for cleanings, but the end result with be maintaining your own natural smile for many years! Our staff can evaluate your needs as a diabetic patient and come up with the best treatment for you.
We all know that preventing cavities is the cheapest and easiest dental care there is. We do our best to prevent cavities by brushing, flossing and using mouthwash. Have you considered that avoiding certain food, or eating certain other foods can provide a healthy, cavity free mouth?
Avoiding candy, soda (even diet!), sugary foods and foods high in acid are a given. Enjoy these in moderation.
Aside from the obvious sweets and acids, it is also important to know that sources of carbohydrates like crackers and pretzels convert into sugars in your mouth very quickly. After these snacks are chewed up and combined with your saliva, they become lodged in the nooks and crannies around your teeth creating a higher decay risk.
If you must enjoy foods like this, be sure not to do it over an extended period of time. and either brush or rinse with water afterwards. This will help remove the sugars and acids from your teeth and help reduce plaque build up.
Did you know that cheese and other dairy are not only an excellent source of calcium, but also contain a protein called casein that may repair and stabilize tooth enamel? We know Wisconsin residents are thankful to learn that!
Green leafy vegetables are great for our entire digestive system, starting with the mouth. Chewing fresh spinach leafs or a nice green salad stimulates a healthy salivary flow and also helps give your teeth a mini scrub down.
So, before you grab for the caramel, cola, pretzels or crackers, remember all things in moderation and good oral hygiene routine at home may help you avoid the dental chair in the future!
Elmbrook Family Dental has been growing! In order to accommodate flexible hours for our patients and to keep emergency time available, we have added a new associate dentist to the team. We are excited to announce Dr Eric Taibl to the practice. Please visit his bio on our web site to learn a little more about him.
Dr Taibl: http://www.elmbrookfamilydental.com/about-us.html#taibl
Slowly but surely the temperature is rising, flowers are starting to grow and spring showers are moving in! This calls for some new decorations for the house. Why not add some that are hand made by your kids? Here is a fun and easy activity you can do with the family to get some spring into your home decor.
Coffee Filter Flower Art:
Coffee Filter, Washable Markers, Squirt bottle with water, Green or brown pipe cleaner.
-Flatten coffee filter and draw lines or scribble on the filter. -Spray coffee filter with water 2-3 times, aiming at the center. -Allow to dry 30-60min. -Poke pipecleaner through the center of the filter. -Roll 1 inch of pipecleaner into a ball to be sure it does not slip through the filter. -Scrunch filter around pipecleaner. -Fold pipecleaner into leaf shape. -”Plant” your flower in a vase to display for everyone to see!
Many of you will be celebrating Easter tomorrow. There are lots of facebook updates saying you are getting ready for some egg dyeing fun, so we thought we would post on one of our favorite ways to add something different to your eggs without having to purchase a whole new kit. Rubber bands! Simply take rubber bands of any thickness, and wrap them around your clean eggs before placing them in dye. After you take the eggs out of your chosen color, let them dry for a short time, then remove the bands to reveal an awesome pattern. For a two-toned look, remove only a few rubber bands after the first color, then dip into another color. Your result will be fun and colorful eggs. Each are one of a kind!
One of the great things about being a dentist is the continuing education classes. Dr Brunner had the opportunity to attend a seminar about Acid erosion in February. It is something that is becoming much more commonly diagnosed in dentistry. So, here are some things we think you might like to know!
What is erosion? Erosion is the chemical loss or destruction of tooth structure. Anyone can be at risk, however some higher risk categories include teenage males (due to extend of acidic food in their diet), teenage females (often related to bulimia) and the elderly (due to dry mouth). Erosion occurs due to a diet high in acidic foods or from acid reflux or indigestion.
How do you know you have acid erosion? You or your dental provider may notice a pattern of cupping on your enamel or even enamel loss. Often times these cupped areas are mistaken for wear caused by clenching and grinding. These wear facets can put a patient at risk for cracked teeth, dental cavities, and breaking down fillings.
Treatments for erosion include: 1: A diet lower in acidity. This means less soda, coffee and energy drinks, less acidic fruits, and less tomato based products. 2: treating acid reflux with prescription or over the counter medications and 3: restore broken down teeth as needed to maintain a sound tooth structure.
Often times patients are not even aware they have acid reflux and the first signs present on your teeth. Detection and prevention not only save your teeth, but can save your life by determining a diagnosis. Un-diagnosed and uncontrolled reflux can lead to, bad breath, stomach discomfort, ulcers and even precancerous conditions such as Barretts esophagus. If you have questions regarding erosion or think you may have signs, call us today for an exam.
In case you missed our e-mail blast on how to sign up for the Elmbrook Family Dental NCAA tournament, here are the details:
To sign up, follow this link: http://games.espn.go.com/tcmen/en/frontpage and create an account. Once you have logged in, click “My Groups” link toward the top of the page. Type Elmbrook Family Dental in the search box. Our group password is TEETH. Create your own bracket using your actual name as your team name (so we know who you are!) and pick who you think will win. For more information, click the “How to Play” link.
Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th places. Anyone can participate, but only current patients will be awarded prizes. The prize list will be posted this week! Become a fan of our facebook page to ensure you are notified of this prize list when it is posted.
You must sign-up and pick your teams by the tip-off of the first game on March 21st in order to play. You will not be able to pick your teams until the tournament field is announced on March 17th.
Good luck and have fun!
On March 17th each year, we celebrate the most famous Saint of Ireland with a feast and celebration. We commemorate St Patrick with parades, the color green and feasts of great food and drink! Here is a fun and simple recipe by Kraft that we found for Irish Soda bread. Enjoy!
Visit this link for recipe details: http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/irish-soda-bread-63745.aspx?cm_mmc=eml-_-rbe-_-20130312-_-1040&cm_lm=02DB927E93F00A43D444F1F1B1B9947A
Every day we have patients wondering about their PPO dental insurance plan. Patients asking if we are an “In Network Provider” and what this means to them. At Elmbrook Family Dental, we are In Network Providers with many PPO insurance plans. This means that every year Dr Neuschaefer works hard at completing and negotiating contracts with insurance companies. These contracts state we are to provide a patient with a reduced price for their dental services. Still confused? Don’t worry, it’s not just you! Here is a general example: If we charge $100 for a dental service, but our participating provider contract states the fee is $80, your fee is then $80. The office writes off the additional $20 that is not contracted with your plan.
Keep in mind that every insurance company has a different level of contracted fees. So Delta Dental patients do not receive the same benefit level as Metlife patients. Your employer is the one who chooses the benefits available to you, and this is how your benefit level is determined. Our front desk team is trained to help you as the patient utilize your benefits to the fullest. A benefit over view and estimates of future work are done as a courtesy to our patients. We are here to help you to the best of our ability, so do not hesitate to ask!