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Preventive Dentistry is Affordable Dentistry. Neglect is Expensive!

Posted by Peter Samuels on Tue, Jan 16, 2018 @ 10:01 AM



Gettysburg Dentist


The cost of preventing oral issues is minimal compared to the cost of having to treat them. We believe that each penny saved on dental health is a penny that can be spent on something you can enjoy. Here are several ways that you can save money through taking an active role in your preventive dentistry.

Proper Nutrition Is Vital

A vital part of optimizing the lifespan of your teeth is through nutritional education and the dental consequences of eating certain foods. Proper nutrition is critical to maintaining overall health, as well as oral health!

  • Sugar: It is pretty common knowledge that sugar can have adverse effects on teeth and it is in a lot more products than you think! The trick is knowing how to read the label. Many companies don't use the word "sugar" in the packaging even though a form of it is included. Any word ending in "-ose" on the label is a sugar ingredient. The Food and Drug Administration recommends that we cap our sugar intake at 12.5 teaspoons a day (that's about one can of soda.)
  • Foods: Foods that benefit your oral health are calcium-rich (dairy, leafy greens, and almonds), protein-rich (like meat, seafood, and eggs), and water-rich (vegetables and fruits.) These kinds of foods provide healthy minerals that aid in strengthening tooth enamel, cleaning plaque and bacteria from teeth, and increase saliva to wash away particulates.
  • Water: Hydration is vital! Water cleanses your mouth of food particles, acids, and sugars. Water also increases the saliva content in your mouth, which is the front-line warrior in the battle against cavities.

Visit Your Gettysburg Dentist Before There's a Problem

Your family dentist doesn't just exist to provide relief when you have a dental problem. Your dentist is there to assist you in maintaining the best dental practices and oral health for life. They offer some preventative services that can preserve the health of your mouth. Sometimes it is essential to spend a little money now to save a lot of money down the road. According to the American Dental Association, the cost of restorative dental procedures can cost up to ten times more than investing in some standard preventative dental services.

  • For example, the national average cost of an annual cleaning is around $60 for a child and $80 for an adult, along with a roughly $50 examination fee. A root canal can be close to $1000 excluding the finishing touches of a crown! Definitely worth the preventive dental visits, such as cleanings.

Prevention is everything. See your dentist and hygienist regularly and save a bundle!


Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.


Topics: Sedation dentist Gettysburg, Gettysburg holistic dentist, Dentist Gettysburg

I’d rather have a Root Canal than…(fill in blank!) Root canal Treatment in Gettysburg

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, Dec 18, 2017 @ 19:12 PM




The dental procedure known as a root canal is often employed to save a natural tooth. Dentists commonly perform this operation as part of their general resume. Endodontists and oral surgeons are specialists who can provide root canal treatments as well. In general, root canal treatment means the removal of the pulp tissue from within a tooth and its replacements with a material to seal the hollowed our root system. Root canals become necessary in a variety of situations. Here are some reasons why your dentist could decide this procedure is the best option in your case.

  • Tooth decay can wreak havoc on a tooth. Infections due to bacteria can eat away at the enamel and delve farther if left unchecked. While early intervention with a bonded filling or a crown can often prevent the need for invasive treatment, many times an infection damages and weakens the tooth to the point that a root canal is necessary. This generally occurs when the pulp (the inner portion of the tooth) becomes inflamed or dies. If left untreated infection can form around the root. Eventually the infection can spread to the face and cause swelling and even life threatening systemic infection. A root canal can usually effectively clear the infection and save the tooth.
  • Trauma can lead to the need for a root canal. This happens when forceful impact occurs to a tooth. A blow to the mouth, a bad fall, a car accident can cause trauma to the tooth and the pulp tissue. Sometimes, even many years after the trauma, the pulp can die and become infected. Root canal treatment to remove the infected pulp can save the tooth.
  • A deep filling due to deep decay often will cause a tooth to be temperature sensitive. This is normal. Occasionally, even years later, the pulp will become inflamed or infected and require root canal treatment.

Modern root canal treatment is usually comfortable and painless. Dental IV sedation anesthesia is available for apprehensive patients.  Contrary to popular belief root canals do not cause pain, they relieve pain!

Peter J. Samuels, DDS is clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and a local Gettysburg dentist.

717-334-0555 GettysburgFamilyDentist.com

Topics: Sedation dentist Gettysburg, Absessed tooth, Root Canal Treatment

Sedation Dentistry in Gettysburg

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, Dec 11, 2017 @ 19:12 PM




For many people just the thought of a visit to the dentist immediately results in extreme anxiety. The fear of a painful experience often results in putting off simple dental issues until they require a more drastic course of action. But it doesn't have to be that way! Sedation dentistry, sometimes called sleep dentistry, allows those with dental anxiety to receive the care they need in a relaxed and comfortable environment. Time goes by very quickly. Most patients finish treatment feeling like they were only in the chair for a few minutes. Years of catch-up work can often be accomplished in one, relaxing visit.

To ensure patient safety sedation for dental treatment is administered by a medical anesthesiologist, and only after a comprehensive dental exam and a medical history review. You will be continually monitored during the entire procedure. Monitoring continues after treatment until the effects of the dental sedation have worn off and it is safe to leave. You will need to have someone with you to drive you home.

A variety of IV medications are given during the procedure to keep you nicely sedated. Ever have an endoscopy or similar procedure with sedation anesthesia? The same medications are used for dental procedures.

Sedation dentistry allows those with dental phobia or even just a little nervousness to receive the care necessary to correct existing issues, prevent further damage, and address conditions that may cause problems in the future. An added benefit is that more treatment can be finished during your visit when you are relaxed and free of anxiety. If you have a busy work schedule, sedation for dental treatment can often minimize the number of dental appointments you will need.

Sedation dentistry allows many patients who have avoided the dentist for years to receive necessary care comfortably and anxiety free!

Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and a local Gettysburg dentist.

GettysburgCosmeticDental.com 717-334-0555

Topics: Sedation dentist Gettysburg, Gettysburg sedation dentist, Sedation dentistry

Composite or Silver Mercury; What is meant by Mercury Free Dentistry?

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, Dec 4, 2017 @ 17:12 PM




Nobody is excited about getting a cavity filled. Fortunately, however, due to advances in modern dental technology, the process is way easier than it used to be. What's more, depending on the type of filling, the results don't have to be obvious to the world. Unlike the dark, silver-mercury fillings of days gone by, composite or ceramic fillings leave your newly restored tooth virtually indistinguishable from its next-door neighbors.

That means you can smile, laugh, and cheer without fear that the people around you will be counting your fillings.

But that's not the only advantage to leaving amalgam fillings behind. In addition to the aesthetic aspect, there are practical benefits to considering bonded composite and porcelain fillings instead of mercury-silver.

For one thing, composite fillings bond directly to your tooth structure, ensuring a more stable connection and decreasing the likelihood that the filling will eventually fall out. Bonded fillings can actually strengthen a tooth. Silver-mercury fillings, on the other hand, are not chemically bonded to the enamel and and can weaken the tooth.

There are pros and cons to all kinds of fillings. Talk to your dentist about the best recommendation for your particular situation.


Peter J. Samuels DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

717-334-0555      GettysburgCosmeticDental.com



Topics: mercury free dentistry, Gettysburg mercury free

Snoring Isn't Funny!  Got Sleep Apnea? A Sleep Appliance may be the Ticket.

Posted by Peter Samuels on Tue, May 2, 2017 @ 10:05 AM



Does your partner complain about your snoring? Or perhaps he or she worries that you may have a problem with sleep apnea. Luckily, your dentist may have the solution to either -- or both -- problems: An FDA-approved dental appliance.


If your partner has told you in no uncertain terms that you snore, take comfort in the fact that you're not alone. As many as half of all adults snore! Snoring occurs when breathing is partially obstructed in some way. Air flows past relaxed tissues in your throat, causing them to vibrate and produce that harsh, often joked about sound known as snoring.

Snoring has many potential causes such as ...

  • having a low, thick soft palate
  • drinking alcohol at night before bed
  • nasal problems
  • sleep deprivation
  • sleep position
  • sleep apnea

Snoring isn’t Funny!

Snoring is sometimes associated with a sleep disorder known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Not all snorers have this disorder, so don't panic! However, if your snoring is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, a visit to your doctor is a good idea: ...

  • extreme daytime sleepiness
  • frequent or chronic morning headaches
  • morning sore throat
  • restless sleep that's not stress-related
  • nighttime gasping or choking
  • nighttime chest pain
  • snoring that's so loud it frequently wakes your partner and sometimes even wakes you

Oral Appliances

Even though you may see your doctor for a diagnosis, your dentist is actually the person who will fit you for an oral appliance to help with snoring.

An oral appliance is a form-fitting dental mouthpiece that fits over your teeth and  helps advance the position of your jaw, soft palate and tongue to keep your air passage open and unobstructed. Many times, these appliances are covered by your medical insurance or Medicare.,

Tried a CPAP machine and are unable to tolerate it?

You are not alone.  An oral sleep appliance may be a good option.  There are no masks or hoses or sounds.  Talk to your physician about this option.

Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

GettysburgFamilyDentist.com   717-334-0555

Topics: snore appliance, gettysburg sleep dentist, gettysburg sleep apnea

Sedation Dentistry Explained

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, Apr 24, 2017 @ 13:04 PM



I often ask new patients who come to me for sedation dentistry what it is that they are most anxious about. Many times it is simply a fear of being judged.  “I haven’t been to a dentist for 20 years and I’m afraid you’re going to lecture me!”  We are non-judgemental and we cater to cowards! If going to the dentist makes you uneasy, nervous or stressed out you are not alone. We are grateful that we can provide sedation services for those who would otherwise not go to the dentist. Fear is the problem. Sedation dentistry is often the solution.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry uses IV medicine to help patients relax and rest comfortably while having dental work completed. This is called conscious sedation anesthesia. It is safely administered in our office by a trained, medical anesthesiologist. You are carefully monitored throughout the procedure. This kind of care should not be confused with just taking a pill or using laughing gas given by a regular dentist.  During sedation patients remain conscious but often are so relaxed that they feel like they slept through the entire appointment. Time seems to go by very quickly.  The treatment may take several hours while many patients feels like only a few minutes went by. Sedation anesthesia often allows dentists to complete complex procedures such as deep cleanings, fillings and crowns in one visit versus having a patient return multiple times. This can save you time, money and discomfort.   

Sedation Dentistry - Overcome Dental Phobias

If you or a loved one is reluctant to go to the dentist because of a fear or dental phobia, consider IV conscious sedation dentistry. From regular check-ups to complete reconstructions, we can help you overcome your fears and walk away victorious, with a healthy smile as your prize.

Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

GettysburgFamilyDentist.com   334-0555

Topics: Sedation dentist Gettysburg, Gettysburg sedation dentist

Can ALL-On-4 or TeethXpress implant teeth Change Your World?

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, Apr 10, 2017 @ 16:04 PM



Good teeth are essential for health and happiness.  Unfortunately, people sometimes lose one or more teeth and require a suitable substitute.  Removable dentures have been around for a long time and while they can be a viable choice, many people choose dental implants for a more natural feel and functionality.  Dental implants really can make your world a better place!


Dental implants function much more like natural teeth than anything removable.  Once anchored in the bone, they act much like the roots of natural teeth which prevent jaw bone facial structure from melting away.  Single tooth replacements with implants can reduce the stress on adjacent natural teeth to help prevent further tooth shifting and loss.  Replacing a single tooth with a dental implant is often the most natural tooth replacement that doesn’t involve making crowns for adjacent teeth.


Missing all your teeth?  You’ve never had so many options.  If your teeth are in such bad shape that it’s no longer worth trying to save them, today we can often remove the teeth and replace them with implants with fixed teeth all at the same time.  You never have to be without fixed teeth.  Other options are to use as few as two implants to help anchor a removable denture in place.  You can snap the denture on and off of the implants, but no one else will know. 


Dental implants can help you eat the foods you crave without embarrassment.  Bring on the salads, carrots, and steaks!  Unlike with a removable upper full denture, with fixed teeth held in by implants there is usually nothing covering the palate.  You can taste and enjoy foods normally. Fixed teeth held in with dental implants, such as the TeethXpress or All-on-4 procedures avoid the slippage that occurs with conventional removable dentures.  You no longer need to avoid eating in public or going out socially. 


Fixed dental implants and a great new smile can preserve the structure of your face which can make you look and feel younger.  You can regain confidence to network and make new friends, date more, explore new activities, and even go after that new job or promotion. Your world only gets better!


Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.


GettysburgFamilyDentist.com   717-334-0555

Silver Mercury Amalgam and Composite and Porcelain. Oh My...

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, Apr 3, 2017 @ 17:04 PM


When you see a dentist for a filling, the question often arises about which type of filling is the best;  Silver amalgam, porcelain, composite or even gold?  Depending on your particular dental situation the doctor can explain the pros and cons of each. Remember that no matter the material, advantages and disadvantages will always exist.

Silver fillings, often called amalgam, are actually a mixture of about half silver and half mercury with small additions of tin and copper. They’ve been in use for over 100 years, so they've definitely stood the test of time. The material is pliable and hardens quickly. Silver amalgams can last for many years, and they're less technique sensitive to place than other materials. They are, however, less aesthetically pleasing.  If you're allergic to silver or concerned in any way about the use of amalgam, other choices are available

Composite Fillings: These fillings -- made of acrylic plastics, quartz fillers, and colorants -- have become a popular choice in the modern dental office. They maintain their size and shape, they are mercury free, and they are cosmetically pleasing. Composite fillings can generally be used in any area of the mouth because they blend in with your natural tooth color. They're resistant to breakage and easier to polish. Composites can also be chemically bonded to the tooth.  This often means that the cavity preparation can be more conservative.   

Porcelain inlays and onlays:  Large composite fillings don’t always hold up very well.  Porcelain inlays and onlays are stronger and can be bonded into a large cavity to help hold the tooth together.  These kinds of fillings can be made by a laboratory, similar to a crown, or they can be made in the office with a CAD/CAM computerized machine, such as Cerec.  They are tooth colored and contain no metal.

Gold Fillings:  Gold inlays and onlays have also stood the test of time.  Gold is very biocompatible and possibly lasts the longest of any dental filling material.  There’s a reason why most dentists I know have their own cavities restored with gold!

Most dentists have their own a preferences when it comes to fillings, so talk to your doctor about your options.  


Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

GettysburgFamilyDentist.com                       717-334-0555

Topics: Gettysburg mercury free

Perio Disease and Sugar; Not so Sweet!

Posted by Peter Samuels on Tue, Jan 10, 2017 @ 08:01 AM


If you lived in the days before we Americans drank soda like water and before the sugar industry began a full-throttle campaign to deflect attention from sugar as the cause of disease, you probably heard something like this regularly: "Stay away from sugar -- it will rot your teeth." 

Today, in the face of an obesity and diabetes epidemic and other accompanying diseases -- and with low-fat diets failing to correct these problems -- we hear sugar warnings once again. Does sugar "rot your teeth?" Yes, but the relationship between sugar and rotting teeth is more complex. Bacteria living in the mouth digest carbohydrate debris left on your teeth after you eat, and this process causes dental decay. Bacteria form a sticky plaque which produces acid. Plaque and the acid it produces is the direct cause of decay.

Some debris is what we expect, things like cake, cookies and candy -- but carbohydrates include whole wheat bread and even vegetables. Since a healthy diet includes 40-65% carbohydrates, this means another line of defense against dental decay is frequent brushing to remove plaque.

It also, however, includes a real food diet, that is, a diet in which the carbohydrates are intact with all their fiber. The fiber serves like a toothbrush, removing plaque as you eat. Refined, high sugar content, processed foods don't have that plaque-removing capability. Coincidentally, or perhaps not so coincidentally, these same real foods are most beneficial to those who must control blood sugar levels.

The relationship between dental disease and systemic disease with sugars at the heart of that equation extends further. "Research shows that there is an increased prevalence of gum disease among those with diabetes, adding serious gum disease to the list of other complications associated with diabetes, such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease." Newer research suggests the relationship is two-ways, that those with gum disease are more likely to have diabetes and related diseases. "If your blood glucose levels are poorly controlled, you are more likely to develop serious gum disease and lose more teeth than non-diabetics. Like all infections, serious gum disease may be a factor in causing blood sugar to rise and may make diabetes harder to control."

According to an article in Diabetologia (2012 Jan; 55(1): 21–31), "Periodontitis and diabetes: a two-way relationship," periodontal disease and diabetes are intimately linked through inflammation: "Inflammation is a central feature of the pathogenesis of diabetes and periodontitis."

What does all of this mean in plain words? It means what we have long known, that the best diet for all of us to follow is one that was once recommended to diabetics. As Michael Pollan advises, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." This is a diet of real food, weighted to plants; protein and good fats; and limited added sugars. It serves those who want to keep their blood sugar levels in a normal range, avoid weight gain, diabetes, dental caries, periodontal disease, heart disease, stroke and some forms of cancer, all inflammatory conditions correctable with lifestyle changes.

So brush and floss your teeth to reduce plaque. Visit your dentist at least twice yearly for professional cleaning. And remind yourself of the wisdom we once took for granted: while it's not a direct relationship but rather an insidious and pervasive one, sugar does rot your teeth...and maybe the rest of your body.

Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of  Maryland School of Dentistry.

GettysburgFamilyDentist.com   717-334-0555

Topics: Periodontal disease and sugar and health

TeethXpress; New Teeth in a Day!

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, Dec 12, 2016 @ 18:12 PM





There’s nothing like your natural teeth.  Keep them for as long as you can.  But sometimes there is simply no viable alternative to having teeth out.  The psychological and physical trauma involved in the transition to removable dentures can be severe.  A new implant technique can make things a lot easier.  Imagine having teeth out and having fixed teeth placed and anchored to dental implants all on the same day.  You are never without teeth! What used to be a long and drawn out process has now, with the latest technology, become affordable and routine.

TeethXpress is a type of dental implant procedure that helps to resolve an important issue that most dental wearers will eventually suffer.  With traditional dentures, an individual's jaw bone continues to shrink and their once well-fitting dentures begin to slip and slide in their mouth. The shape of the face changes and ages. With TeethXpress, your dentures are permanently secured to your mouth with dental implants.  The palate is not covered, nothing is loose, and the jawbone structure is preserved.

With TeethXpress dental implants, patients are usually able to eat the healthy foods they like, such as salad and raw vegetables, and they do not incur pain from poor fitting dentures. There is no gum or mouth irritation and no need for messy denture adhesives.  You can be social and go to restaurants and meet new friends without worrying about embarrassing denture problems. Most importantly, the dental implants help to prevent the jawbone from melting away so patients are able to retain their normal-sized jawbone and facial structure.

If you're wondering about others who chose to have TeethXpress implants and their personal experiences, read Marc's story here and another patient, Gwen's story, here.  The before and after photos say it all. TeethXpress is a great way to restore a person's beautiful smile while giving them the ability to speak, eat and live without dental pain or discomfort.


TeethXpress can give you back the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted.  Dentistry has never looked so good! 


Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and a local Gettysburg dentist.

717-334-0555  GettysburgCosmeticDental.com

Topics: dentures Gettysburg, dental implants Gettysburg

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