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Got Gaps? Dental Implants may be the Solution.

Posted by Peter Samuels on Tue, Feb 3, 2015 @ 14:02 PM

Dental Implants Gettysburg 

We often hear about incredible advances in medicine such as artificial organs grown in a laboratory and the latest artificial knees or hips.  We don’t hear as much about the latest advances in dentistry, but they have been just as stunning.

 

The last thirty years in dentistry, for example, has seen a revolution in the development and availability of dental implants.  Once considered experimental and as a last resort treatment, implants have become the best standard of care for many situations. They can replace a single tooth or all your teeth.   Implant dentistry is changing lives every bit as much as artificial knees and hips.

 

When we lose a tooth we actually lose a lot more.  Often 40 percent of the jawbone is lost within the first year of tooth extraction.  The face can collapse and we age prematurely.  Until implants were available, there was nothing we could do about this dramatic loss of facial structure.  Replacing a tooth or teeth with implants not only replaces the teeth, but even more importantly it prevents the melting away of the jaw structure. 

 

Problems with your loose,  lower denture?  As few as two implants can hold a lower denture solidly in place.  You can eat healthy foods you had given up on and stop worrying about embarrassing denture slips.

 

Want to learn more about dental implants?  Come to a free seminar at our office on Thursday Feb. 12 at 5:30 P.M.  Just give us a call to RSVP! 717-334-0555

 

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

Topics: implant dentist, dental implants Gettysburg, Gettysburg implant dentist

Dentistry for Diabetics, What you should know

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, Jan 8, 2015 @ 10:01 AM


Gettysburg dentist Peter J. Samuels, DDS

 

Most people with diabetes are aware of the way the disease affects their nerves, eyes, kidney, and heart. Unfortunately, they often don't realize the link between gum disease and diabetes until they have lost teeth, suffer from painful chewing, or experienced other unpleasant consequences. If you are diabetic, it is imperative that you keep your blood sugar under control to avoid the complications of periodontal disease.

How Diabetes Threatens the Mouth

Diabetes thickens blood vessels, including those inside of your mouth. When your blood vessels are compromised, it slows the delivery of nutrients as well as the removal of waste products from the tissues of your mouth. Gum and bone tissue are more susceptible to infection when in this condition. When infection occurs, it increases the likelihood of developing gum disease. High levels of sugar, also known as glucose, in the mouth encourage the growth of bacteria. This creates an environment where germs thrive and gum disease often follows.

People who smoke are five times likelier to develop gum disease than non-smokers are. When you add diabetes into the equation, the risk jumps to twenty-fold, especially for people over age 45. 

Working Together to Keep Your Teeth and Gums Healthy

When you schedule your first appointment at Samuels Dental Arts P.C., be sure to let us know that you have diabetes. It is also helpful for us to know the medication you take and whether you currently have good control of your blood sugar levels. This affects how our dentists create and carry out your treatment plan. We recommend that you come in for routine cleaning at least twice per year and let us know about any unusual new developments with your teeth or gums. 

In the event that you need oral surgery, such as the placement of a dental implant to replace teeth or hold a denture,  healing may take longer due to your diabetes. However, your risk of complications aren't any higher than those of the average patient. We work with your medical provider to limit risks and provide you with high quality dental care.

Topics: Diabetes and dentistry, dentistry for diabetics

Dental insurance explained

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, Nov 24, 2014 @ 09:11 AM

 

 


 Gettysburg Dentist Peter J. Samuels

Choosing the right dental office for your needs is not always a simple process. You might wonder things like why doesn't my dentist take insurance?  Let's discuss the differences between an unrestricted, private, family owned dentist like Samuels Dental Arts P.C. and an office that signs contracts with insurance companies.

Traditionally, dental offices were all private practices that relied on growing their businesses through recommendations from satisfied patients. Today, some dental practices try to fill their books by agreeing to sign up with insurance companies. The office agrees to a fee schedule with a particular company and, in return, the company will put the dentist's name on a list and suggest that patients go to this provider. 

What's wrong with this picture?  Well, many people have a misconception about dental insurance.  It really is the opposite of traditional insurance that protects you from a big, unaffordable expense.  On the contrary.  Dental benefits pay for minor things, like a filling or a cleaning, and, in some cases, a crown.  Benefits are usually limited to about $1500 per year.  If you need alot of work, with several crowns, or implants or dentures, your insurance will quickly max out.  It will make little, if any difference if you go to an in network provider or an unrestricted, out of network provider.

Insurance will only pay $1500 a year? Yes.  And that's with a better policy.  While your  premiums rise every year, the amount of your benefits often has not gone up since the 1970s!

Must I go to an "in network" provider?  The answer is almost always no.  You may go to any provider.  

Why should I choose an unrestricted provider?

Your insurance benefits may change every year. You may be forced to change dentists every time your insurance changes if you insist on an "in network" provider.

Dentists who sign contracts often have to find ways to cut corners.  More patients will need to be seen in a shorter time to make ends meet.   Private, family owned, unrestricted practices rely on satisfied patients referring friends and family members to their offices. Their focus, then, is on creating and establishing long term relationships with their patients by providing quality care and treating patients like family members.  These practices are respectful of your time and value building a long term relationship with you. Remember. You can almost always use your benefits in any office, so don't base your decision on your current insurance plan! If you want to be seen as a unique patient rather than a number in an insurance mill, a private, unrestricted dental practice may be the best choice for you.

Posted by Peter J. Samuels, DDS

Topics: dental insurance, dental plan, insurance dentist

Adjusting to Dentures: Guidelines for New Denture Wearers

Posted by Peter Samuels on Wed, Sep 24, 2014 @ 15:09 PM

 

 

 

 

Sometimes wearing new dentures can be challenging, especially if you don’t know what to expect. At first, your new dentures can seem awkward and strange. This can be because dentures can make your mouth and lips feel fuller than normal. Fortunately, these and other uncomfortable feelings dissipate as you grow more used to your dentures. Here’s what you can expect when you first start wearing your new dentures.

Chewing and Eating with Your New Dentures

Chewing and eating can be tricky at first.  Your mouth needs a little retraining!  Here are a few tricks.

  • Start out with only soft foods. Later, you can graduate to foods that are harder to chew. Use both sides of your mouth to chew. Chewing on both sides at the same time helps your denture teeth to remain stable.
  • Don’t eat large chunks of food, but cut up your food into small bites.
  • Avoid using the front teeth to bite into foods because you don’t want your dentures to become dislodged. Instead, use your side teeth when biting into foods.
  • Include lots of healthy foods, such as vegetables, fruits and proteins.

 Considerations and Warnings

  • Speaking can be challenging at first. It helps to practice speaking by reading aloud. Stand in front of a mirror, observing how you speak. Be sure to speak quietly and slowly.
  • If your speech is slurred, don’t worry because this is common. Also, if you have upper dentures, you may gag. Fortunately, this is usually temporary.
  • Foods may have an odd taste or lose their taste. Again, this issue shouldn't last long.
  • Don’t chew hard items such as ice.
  • Sometimes small bits of food can get underneath your dentures when eating. To solve this problem, just take out your dentures so that they can be rinsed with water.
  • Expect to regularly visit your dentist, so your oral health can be monitored as well to ensure that your dentures fit well. Your dentist will advise you on when it’s time for your dentures to be adjusted, relined or replaced.   

Dr. Julie Berger is Gettysburg dentist and board certified prosthodontist.  She can be reached at

 

334-0555  GettysburgFamilyDentist.com

Sedation Dentistry

Posted by Peter Samuels on Tue, Sep 16, 2014 @ 14:09 PM

 

Being afraid of going to the dentist is a common problem, but your overall health can also suffer when you ignore dental care. If you have dental phobia, it’s important to understand why.   

Common Causes of Dental Phobia

  • One of the most common fears is of pain.  Often this fear is not based on reality but rather on second hand horror stories passed down from other people. Parents, for example, can unwittingly pass their own unfounded anxieties on to their children.
  • The fear of dental injections or even the fear that the anesthetic will not work is common. This is particularly true of people suffering from needle phobia.   
  • Some people are afraid of side effects from anesthesia. For example, they’re fearful of feeling dizzy, faint or nauseated.
  • A fear of feeling helpless and out of control is very common. Often this fear overlaps with claustrophobia.

Communicate Your Fears with Your Dentist

Share your fears with your dentist. This is the best way to overcome dental phobia. In other words, tell your dental hygienist and dentist what scares you before you’re treated.

Be transparent about any negative past experiences. Fortunately, most dental procedures have vastly improved over the past few decades and aren't as traumatizing as they were years ago. What's more, ask your dentist to explain what’s involved in a procedure.  Often, simply communicating that when you raise your hand the dentist will immediately stop, can turn a scary procedure into and easy one!

 

Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is an extremely effective treatment of dental phobia

Although it’s often called “sleep dentistry,” patients aren't usually asleep, but are comfortably sedated with various medications. There are several ways the sedation medications can be administered:

  • Oral sedation involves taking an oral medication, such as valium, before a dental procedure.  This can reduce anxiety and take the edge off the procedure.   
  • IV sedation works quickly, allowing your anesthesia trained dentist or anesthesiologist to make constant adjustments in sedation levels. Time will go by very quickly and you will often have little memory of the procedure.  Often, with IV sedation, years of necessary dental treatment can be caught up in one comfortable appointment. 
  • General and deep sedation may also be used. This kind of sedation is usually reserved for the hospital setting or an oral surgeon’s office. Wisdom teeth, for instance, are often removed under deep sedation by an oral surgeon. 

The bottom line is to be proactive about your dental fears. Simply ask your dentist what can be done to make a procedure more comfortable. When I understand what makes my patients fearful, I can better determine how to lower their anxiety, putting them more at ease. 

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

Topics: gettysburg sleep dentist, Gettysburg sedation dentist, Sedation dentist Gettysburg, sleep dentist Gettysburg

How to Save Money on the Dentist

Posted by Peter Samuels on Tue, Aug 12, 2014 @ 09:08 AM

Know how to save money on dental treatments

 Gettysburg Dentist

If you've ever had to make an unexpected and unplanned trip to the dentist for an emergency, you know how expensive dental treatments can be - even when you have dental insurance.  Understanding how to save money on dental treatments is an important part of having and maintaining a personal or family budget.  These simple techniques can not only save you money in the long run, they can significantly improve your dental health now and in the future.

1. Get regular checkups and cleanings: Part of good dental hygiene is keeping on top of your oral health before problems can arise.  Getting a regular cleaning followed by a fluoride treatment can reduce the risks of dental emergencies going forward, and can help you and your dentist identify potential problems before they become disasters or emergencies.  Regular cleanings can remove plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth before they can turn into cavities or gum disease.

2. Practice preventive dentistry: In addition to a regularly scheduled cleaning every six months, preventive dentistry can catch problems early before they become emergencies.  Regularly brushing and flossing your teeth and getting regular checkups and cleanings can eliminate a lot of oral health problems before they have the opportunity to begin, and identifying problems early can eliminate expensive treatment plans down the road.  If you are prone to gum problems have your teeth cleaned every three months to help avoid more expensive gum treatment such as surgery.

3. Have digital, low exposure x-rays taken when advised. Most insurance plans offer coverage for x-rays at least once a year.  These x-rays can identify problems early, minimizing the possibility for damage that goes undetected for years, leading to further damage and problems.  Be open with your dentist, and have your dental provider explain any potential problems that the x-rays may bring to light. Digital x-rays screen for decay between teeth and show the level of supporting bone.

4. Understand the expensive treatments: Most of the time, expensive dental treatment plans are a result of poor oral hygiene that has built up over time.  By seeing your dentist regularly, a lot of these expensive options can be avoided because you and your dental provider are on top of problems as they happen - and they don't have time to become more severe.

5.Ask about an in office dental plan:  Our Gettysburg Dentist office offers an in office, members only, discounted dental plan.  While not exactly dental insurance, it  can save considerable money on checkups and treatment without the red tape and hassle of dental insurance.

Topics: Gettysburg dentist, Dentist Gettysburg, dental insurance, dental plan

Gettysburg Dentist Makes Sleep Apnea Appliances

Posted by Peter Samuels on Fri, Jul 25, 2014 @ 10:07 AM

 

 

dental sleep appliances

 

Sleep apnea is a serious, sometimes fatal medical condition.  A partial obstruction of the airway leads to shallow and even paused breaths throughout the night.  This, in turn, causes the patient to fall out of rejuvenating deep sleep in order to "catch his breath," even though he doesn't wake up enough to remember doing so.

The most immediate symptom of sleep apnea is chronic, unexplained  tiredness.  However, there are more serious complications to it as well, including a variety of heart conditions, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes.  The body needs restful sleep.

A common solution is a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, which consists of a face mask that forces pressurized air through the mouth and/or nose, keeping airways open.  The result is a better, deeper, and healthier sleep.

But what can I do if I can't wear CPAP?  Maybe the air compressor is so loud it disrupts sleep even more than the apnea.  Maybe my skin keeps breaking out in rashes in reaction to the mask, or perhaps the force of air has dried out my nose and throat to the point of nosebleeds, sinus issues, and a sore throat.  And forget sleeping on my stomach!  Or maybe I've just tried a variety of masks and found that none of them work for my particular face.

One alternative is an oral appliance worn in the mouth during sleep.  It is far less invasive than a CPAP machine and is silent, which is a relief to both me and my sleeping partner!  The appliance fits like a mouth guard and subtly repositions the jaw to open up airways and keep them open, allowing a deeper, less interrupted, and more regenerative sleep.

These oral appliances need to be properly fitted by a dentist trained in their use.  This includes evaluation of exactly what type of appliance will work best for you, measurement of your mouth for proper fitting, and the creation of the appliance itself.

by Peter J. Samuels, DDS

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

Save Money on your Dental Treatment!

Posted by Peter Samuels on Fri, Jul 4, 2014 @ 19:07 PM

 Affordable dental care

Dental bills can add up, especially if you don’t have a good benefit plan. But fret not, there are ways to reduce your dental bills. If prevention is better than cure, than taking preventive measures while you can is better than fixing poor oral health. Fixing dental caries, periodontal disease, gum disease, chipped or neglected teeth can be expensive. But you don’t have to put yourself in that position; the truth is most oral problems are preventable. Here are some simple yet smart ways to save on dental treatment.

Good Oral Hygiene

Keeping a clean mouth is possible with some due diligence. A mouth given to neglect will encourage bacteria growth, plaque buildup and tartar on the gum line. Ask any dentist (or your mother) and they’ll tell you that oral hygiene is the first line of defense against poor oral health. Brush at least twice a day and floss daily.  It’s really that simple!

Use Fluoride

Many municipal water supplies add fluoride to help oral health. Fluoride works to prevent tooth decay and strengthen developing teeth in children. Using a toothpaste or mouth rinse with fluoride is highly beneficial. Talk to your dentist about your fluoride needs – whether you need fluoride supplements or prescription fluoride products to protect your teeth since everyone is different in their dental needs.

Healthy Lifestyle

Is your lifestyle ruining your teeth? Do you smoke? Drink too much alcohol? Use chewing tobacco? Sip cola drinks during the day? These unhealthy habits can put your oral health at risks. For instance, tobacco products increase the risks of oral cancer, gum disease, bad breath and tooth discoloration. Too much sugar in the mouth encourages the production of acids and, together with the bacteria in the mouth, they may trigger tooth decay and the beginning of gum disease. Cola drinks are highly acidic and will break down the tooth enamel.   The better alternative and the cheaper route to go? Eat a balanced diet, focusing on plenty of vegetables and fruits, lean proteins, whole grains and limit snacking.

Regular Checkups

Have your teeth cleaned by a hygienist at least twice a year.  Personally, this Gettysburg dentist has his teeth cleaned 4 times a year and so, probably, should many adults!   Because tartar buildup cannot be removed with regular brushing, professional cleaning is imperative to prevent gum disease. Regular checkups with occasional, digital, cavity detecting  X-rays will reveal any beginning dental problems and help the dentist prescribe easy proactive action.Research has shown that poor dental health may be linked to various diseases including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Dentists are trained to spot early signs in the mouth that may indicate disease elsewhere.

An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure is the takeaway lesson. Invest your time and money to maintain good oral health and you’ll never have to worry about spending big bucks in the long run. For more information on maintaining oral health, contact us. If you don't have insurance, we offer an in-house dental plan with significant savings.

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

Topics: Periodontal Disease, Gettysburg dentist

What is gum disease?

Posted by Peter Samuels on Wed, May 21, 2014 @ 15:05 PM

 

 

 

Gum disease

 

 

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal an alarming truth: By the time you’re 30, you stand a 50 percent chance of developing periodontal disease. The risk increases with age; in adults 65 or older, the rate rises to almost 70 percent. If you crunch the numbers, you’ll realize that periodontal disease is dangerously prevalent. Periodontal disease will eventually destroy the connective tissue, bone and gums in the mouth, leading to the loss of teeth. What can you do to stop periodontal disease in its track? Get rid of habits that promote periodontal disease. Here are five habits that can put you at risks or aggravate the condition.

Does smoking cause gum disease?

If you smoke, you’re more likely to develop periodontal disease. Tobacco impairs blood supply to gums and reduces inflammatory and immune responses to toxins generated by periodontal disease. Result? Bacteria multiply and speed up the progress of periodontal disease. According to the National Institutes of Health, smoking increases pocket formation (a symptom of periodontal disease that causes the gums to pull away from the teeth) and promotes attachment loss. So what type of smoking is detrimental to periodontal disease? Cigar, pipe, water-pipe and cannabis smoking have similar effects on periodontal disease as cigarette smoking. To make matters worse, smoking also interferes with non-surgical and surgical treatments of periodontal disease. To improve your odds of preventing periodontal disease, it’s imperative to quit smoking.

How does sugar hurt my teeth?

Have a sweet tooth? If you enjoy eating foods high in sugar content, you may be doing your teeth a disservice. Much has been said about sugar and dental caries, but a sweet mouth environment may fuel bacteria activity linked to periodontal disease. Bacteria feast off the sugar and multiply. They interact with the mucus in the mouth to create plaque. When plaque is not brushed away, it hardens into tartar and tartar is known for destroying the connective tissue in the mouth. The ensuing scenario is not pretty—once the connective tissue is destroyed, tooth loss may result.

Poor Oral Hygiene

If there’s one overriding habit that encourages periodontal disease, it is poor oral hygiene. Oral neglect over time can negatively impact dental health. Bacteria flourish, plaque forms, tartar builds up and these factors work to destroy the gums and connective tissue. To fight periodontal disease on the frontline, brush and floss twice daily and rinse your mouth after meals to flush out any sugary residue. Dentists also recommend regular professional cleaning and routine checkups.

What diseases affect gums?

While the studies are still inconclusive, there is some evidence that certain diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular health can increase the risks of periodontal disease and vice versa. While the cause and effect are hard to pinpoint, one thing is certain—it’s crucial to maintain good general health to increase your chance of fighting periodontal disease.

These are just a few habits that can increase risk of periodontal disease. For more information on how you can prevent periodontal disease, contact us.

Topics: Dental Hygiene, Periodontal Disease, Gum Disease

Ever wonder how the toothbrush started in dentistry?

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, May 15, 2014 @ 19:05 PM

 

 


 toothbrush history

People have been using implements to clean their teeth since the dawn of civilization, according to a page about the history of the toothbrush by the Colgate Company. Both the Babylonians and the Egyptians made a form of tooth brush by fraying the ends of twigs. Egyptians seem to have also used toothpicks and the Chinese chewed a tree based gum that cleaned teeth and sweetened breath.

The first tooth brush that had bristles were developed in China around the 15th Century, using the hair from pigs’ necks attached to a handle made of bone or bamboo. The technology was gradually introduced to Europe where horses’ hair and sometimes even feathers were used.

The first modern looking toothbrush was developed by a man named William Addis in England around 1780. The Addis toothbrush still had the pigs’ hair attached to a handle carved from a cow bone. The familiar three rows of bristles came into being in 1844.

Natural bristles were used until the invention of nylon in 1938. Since nylon bristles were softer and thus more popular they became the standard feature for tooth brushes by the 1950s. Electric toothbrushes, first made in 1939, were introduced to the American market in 1960.

Modern toothbrushes are made with plastic handles and nylon bristles. Modern ergonomic design has allowed the production of toothbrushes in a variety of shapes and sizes with a view of making the grip and use easier. Thus has the art of teeth brushing advanced during the past five thousand years of human history.

At our Gettysburg family dentist office we don't use hair from pigs or horses but we do provide cutting edge cosmetic, restorative and implant treatment to make great smiles!

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