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Tips for Finding a Dentist in Gettysburg

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, Feb 18, 2016 @ 15:02 PM

 

Gettysburg Dentist Peter J. Samuels, DDS

Three Tips for Finding a Dentist in the Gettysburg Area


The relationship between oral health and the body's overall health is well-documented. In fact, poor oral hygiene is linked to a number of health concerns, ranging from diabetes to heart disease. When it comes to your oral health, brushing and flossing at home isn't sufficient preventive care. Visiting a dentist for regular check-ups and professional cleanings is also essential. Equally important is finding the right dentist for your unique needs. If you're in the market for a new dentist, consider the following tips:

Ask for recommendations. When it comes to choosing a dentist, simply doing a quick internet search isn't typically effective. Instead, consider asking friends, family members, and even co-workers where they receive their dental care. Your family doctor is also a good resource for recommendations.

Do your research. Once you've gathered some recommendations, do your own research. Where should you start? Check out the websites of the practices you're considering. Review their business hours and look over the dentist's education and training. Then, look for patient reviews. If the website doesn't have a page reserved for testimonials, check online review sites for more information.

Ask questions. If you can't find the answers to the questions you're looking for on the company website, give the office a call. You might consider asking the following questions:

  • What is your policy for handling dental emergencies? Unfortunately, dental emergencies don't always occur during standard office hours, so it's important to make sure that any practice you're considering has a plan in place for handling after-hours emergencies.
  • What is involved in preventive care at your office? Besides a cleaning and check-up, what else is involved in preventive care? How often are X-rays taken?

 

  • If you're looking for a dentist in Gettysburg, contact us today. We'd love to help you achieve your healthiest smile!
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Topics: Gettysburg dentist, Dentist Gettysburg

New technology in Dentistry

Posted by Peter Samuels on Wed, Mar 4, 2015 @ 09:03 AM

Peter J. Samuels, DDS

 

When I was little a visit to the dentist meant an agonizing sit through a painful and unpleasant process.  Pulleys ran a slow speed drill that vibrated my head and made smoke!  Predictably, as a child growing up in the 1960s, my mouth became full of black, amalgam fillings.  Dentistry back then was drilling, filling and pulling.  Dentists patched and patched until the teeth broke and then they were pulled.  Eventually people were expected to have dentures.

Boy have things changed!  Here’s but a bit of the technology you’ll find today in a modern office.

Laser Dentistry: Dentists started using lasers in 1990. The instrument produces an intense narrow beam of light energy. The light can remove or shape tissue on contact.

DIAGNodent: This laser device detects cavities hidden in places that regular x-rays cannot detect. Remember the “pick” the dentist used to rely on? A laser can often replace the explorer (pick) and can be more accurate. We can find decay at an earlier stage when it can be treated conservatively.

Invisalign: These clear braces straighten your teeth with custom-made aligners that are invisible, smooth and comfortable. Wearing them gently and gradually shifts your teeth into place based on a personalized plan. The concept, though simple, is based on hi tech computer modeling software coupled with robotic aligner fabrication.

Digital imaging and cadcam restorations:  Crowns (caps) can now be made from solid porcelain by a hi tech laboratory that uses computers and cad cam machines to scan images of your teeth and create beautiful, lifelike, perfectly fitting restorations.  In some cases we can scan your mouth with a Cerec machine right in the office to make a beautiful crown while you wait.

Digital x-rays: Remember those little films you held with your hand while the dentist took a picture?  Today we have digital x-ray sensors that require much less exposure than conventional film. 

Dental implants:  Implants have revolutionized treatment options.  We routinely replace teeth with implants.  Dentures loose?  Implants can hold them solidly. 

Bonded veneers:  A porcelain crown can save your tooth.  Bonded porcelain veneers can give you a new smile and change your life!

Sedation dentistry:  Just like for a medical procedure, you can be safely sedated in the office for almost any dental procedure. 

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

334-0555     GettysburgFamilyDentist.com

Topics: Gettysburg dentist

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: dental insurance, dental plan, Gettysburg dentist, 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

Gettysburg Dentist Discusses the History of the Toothpick

Posted by Peter Samuels on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 @ 14:04 PM

 

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"Pick not thy teeth with thy knyfe, but take a stick, or some clean thyng, then doe you not offend" ~ Rhodes: 15 century philosopher

Apparently, picking the teeth with some type of dental implement has been around for a while, probably long before there were dentists! Although the quotation above dates back to the 15th century , toothpicks have been around long before that. A short portion in the Talmud reads: “one may take a splinter from the wood lying near him to clean his teeth” in reference to what the people can do before a festival suggests the use of tooth-picking sticks.  Today, toothpicks have become part and parcel of life; they make convenient aids to dislodge food particles. Despite its humble appearance, the mere 3-inch toothpick has an interesting history.

Various archaeological finds reveal striated grooves on fossilized teeth. In 1911, grooved teeth found at the La Quina Neanderthal site suggest the use of an abrasive implement on the teeth. Across different continents, similar grooved teeth were found among the remains of Australian Aborigines, North American Indians, Canary Islanders and the Upper Dynastic Egyptians, with some dating as far back as two million years. These early forms of toothpicks may have served more than picking out food as these grooves on the teeth suggest. They may also have been used to soothe the discomfort of periodontal disease and dental caries.

With time, different cultures put their own creativity into honing the toothpick. The lowly toothpick has evolved from a necessary tool for dental hygiene to status symbol. In Europe, kings, queens and lords used designer toothpicks made of gold, silver or ivory, sometimes inlaid with precious stones; while the common man used twigs or porcupine quills. In China, a curved pendant toothpick made of cast iron was found. The Chinese loved toothpicks, using mint-tipped toothpicks in between meals to clear the palate.

Charles Forster of Maine was the first American to manufacture toothpicks. At first, he handmade them, but with growing demand, he duly invented a machine to keep up. He went one step further when he decided to make disposable toothpicks, after a trip to South America, where he saw natives using slivers of wood to clean their teeth. To create demand for disposable toothpicks, Mr. Forster hired Harvard students to eat at restaurants and instructed them to loudly ask for toothpicks after finishing their meals! He used the same tactics in retail stores and with time, toothpicks became part of the dining experience.

We don’t manufacture toothpicks, but we hope, when you need a dentist, you’ll pick us!

Topics: Dentist in Gettysburg, Gettysburg dentist, Dentist Gettysburg

Gettysburg Dentist discusses the History of Dental Floss

Posted by Peter Samuels on Tue, Mar 25, 2014 @ 13:03 PM

 

Dental floss


 

Walk into any drugstore and you’ll find an array of dental floss from unwaxed to waxed to dental tape to floss that uses high-tech Gore-Tex fabric. The varied and interesting choices cater to different dental needs. Dental floss has become sophisticated and a viable tool to maintain oral health. It has come a long way. A look at the history of dental floss  will give us more appreciation for this humble string of sorts.

Archaeological records show that as early as prehistoric days, men had found the need to dislodge food particles from their teeth. Their teeth contained grooves consistent with those who used dental tools. In most likelihood, horse hair was used as floss and twigs as toothpicks. A recent research on Cova Foradà Neanderthal fossil shows toothpicks were used to mitigate pain caused by periodontal disease. 

However, it wasn’t until 1815 that an American dentist from New Orleans, Dr. Levi Spear Parmly (lovingly nicknamed the Apostle of oral hygiene), saw the importance of flossing teeth and introduced the idea of using waxed silken thread. In his book, A Practical Guide to the Management of Teeth, he emphasized the importance of brushing and flossing the teeth daily. With that, the modern-day dental floss was born.

In 1882, some sixty-seven years later, Codman and Shurtleft Company, saw potential and mass produced dental floss using unwaxed silk.

Carrying yards of dental floss around can be cumbersome and in the 1870s, Asahel Shurtleff developed the first portable dental floss dispenser using a spool of thread with a U-shaped prong sticking out of its side.

In 1898, Johnson and Johnson secured the first patent for dental floss made with the same material used in silk stitches.

Silk dental floss tends to shred easily and with the dwindling supply of silk during the Second World War (1940s), Dr. Charles Bass, a medical doctor and researcher (aka Father of Preventive Dentistry) developed a dental floss made of nylon with higher resistance to shredding. In the same decade, waxed floss and dental tape appeared on the scene.

The 1980s saw the invention of interdental brush as an alternative to dental flossing.

As time goes by and technology becomes more advanced, dental floss has undergone many changes to make flossing a more pleasant experience. Flossing continues to be one of the key elements of good oral health and the American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day.

In addition to daily brushing and flossing, regular dental checkups are essential to maintain good oral health. Call us today for your dental needs.

 

Topics: Flossing, Gettysburg dentist

Gettysburg Dentist discusses Periodontal Disease and your heart

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, Mar 6, 2014 @ 16:03 PM

 

 

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Can your mouth tell on you? An eye doctor can effectively look inside the eye and tell what health conditions you have. Can your Gettysburg dentist look inside your mouth and warn you of certain health risks? Recent studies suggest that common problems such as cavities, missing teeth and periodontal disease may be linked to heart disease. The American Academy of Periodontology warned that people with periodontal disease may be twice as likely to have heart disease complications.

If you crunch some numbers--heart disease is the number one cause of death for men and women, claiming as many as one million lives annually-- this piece of enlightenment may have far-reaching implications. Can periodontal disease increase risks of heart disease and will preventing or treating periodontal disease help to reduce risks of heart disease? While the answer is not as simple as stating it in an equation, here are some information to consider.

Oral Bacteria May Cause Narrowing of arteries

Periodontal disease results from unchecked bacterial activity in the mouth. Neglect or poor oral hygiene cause plaque (a sticky clear residue of bacteria, acid and food particles) to build up around the gums surrounding the teeth, causing inflammation and eventually destroying the structure that holds up the teeth. The bacteria don't just stay in the mouth, they may enter the blood stream through the gums. Once in the bloodstream, the bacteria may deposit themselves on the fatty plaque already in the bloodstream, narrowing and hardening the blood vessels. This buildup will eventually block the flow of blood, increasing risks of heart attack or stroke.

Oral Bacteria May Trigger Inflammation

Inflammation has been blamed for a number of diseases, including heart disease, arthritis and periodontal disease. When the body fights against invading bacteria, inflammation (together with swelling) often results. Applies this logic to oral bacteria traveling through the body—they trigger inflammation, causing the blood cells to swell and clog the arteries. Narrowing of the arteries increases cardiovascular risks.

Although the exact dynamics of the connection need more investigation, the correlation is still important in the overall health picture. Since the symptoms of heart disease don’t necessarily show up in the early stages, such as the hardening and narrowing of arteries, any other telltale signs help. For instance, it's easier to spot bleeding gums and check for other related health risks, including heart disease.

If keeping your mouth healthy may reduce risks of heart disease, contact us at Samuels Dental Arts P.C.
 
for a comprehensive oral exam to determine the state of your oral health.

Topics: Gum Disease, Periodontal Disease, Gettysburg dentist, Dentist Gettysburg, holistic dentist Gettysburg

Gettysburg Dentist Discusses the History of Toothpaste

Posted by Peter Samuels on Wed, Feb 26, 2014 @ 17:02 PM

 

Gettysburg Dentist


 

Way before there were dentists or dental hygienists, people found a need to keep their teeth clean. Dental hygiene may have been crude, but not without some degree of ingenuity. As always, the focus on preventive dental hygiene remains paramount. The history of toothpaste revealed some interesting developments as mankind searched for the ultimate toothpaste to banish stain, toothaches and bad breath.

The oldest record of toothpaste was found written on a piece of dusty papyrus in a Viennese museum, dating as  far back as 300-500 B.C. An ancient Egyptian scribe recorded the formula for a “powder for white and perfect teeth.” The list of ingredients included rock salt, mint, dried iris flower and pepper, all crushed together for that magic effect. Other accounts detailed the use of less savory ingredients such as oxen hooves, egg shells, pumice and myrrh (thrown in to offset the smell, for sure).

Separate records dating back to more than 6,000 years ago reveal interesting development in the quest for better oral health in various cultures. In China, they utilized an assortment of twigs and bones, mashed and then mixed with water, salt and flower petals to form a thick paste. They used the sharp edge of bamboo leaf to apply paste to the teeth.

In India, they drew upon their strong Ayurvedic background and came out with a clever way of sprucing up their dental health—they used special twigs filled with sweet nectar. They figured that by chewing on these “tasty” twigs, the abrasive nature of the twigs would clean the teeth and dislodge any unwelcome food particles.

In Greece and Rome, they also found the need for abrasive ingredients, using crushed bones and oyster shells. They also used various flavorings to freshen up breath such as charcoal and bark.

As ingenious as these powders and pastes were, they remained crude and the abrasive ingredients may not be very friendly to tooth enamel and gums. In the 1800’s, soap was used to try to mitigate some of the abrasive nature of these pastes.  An actual paste sold in jar became commercially available and, in 1873, Colgate decided to mass produce the toothpaste, as we know today.

Over the years, with research and experimentation, toothpaste has become less abrasive. More synthetic ingredients were added such as sodium lauryl sulfate as a foaming agent and sweeteners to make tooth brushing a more pleasant experience. The 1950’s and 1960’s saw the addition of fluoride for better dental health and from then on, toothpaste took on more sophistication with the use of additives such as gels and whitening agents. Toothpaste for sensitive teeth, toothpaste to whiten and brighten teeth, and toothpaste to strengthen enamel, the choices are as varied as the needs of the populace.

Toothpaste will continue to evolve, with more emphasis on preventing dental decline. To keep your dental health in optimal condition, it is important to get regular checkups and professional cleaning. Contact us today for all your dental needs. 

 

Topics: Cosmetic Dentistry, dentist, Dental Hygiene, Dentist in Gettysburg, Gettysburg dentist, Dentist Gettysburg

Gettysburg Dentist discusses Gum Disease and Diabetes

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, Feb 13, 2014 @ 14:02 PM

Gettysburg Dentist Gum Disease

 


 

Various population studies indicate a strong relationship between periodontal disease and diabetes. These two chronic and highly prevalent diseases work like a tandem bicycle, one affects the other and vice versa. People with periodontal disease have a harder time controlling their blood glucose level and, conversely, patients with diabetes are more susceptible to infection, which can further complicate periodontal disease. In recent years, researchers and dentists have been able to understand a little more of the complicated puzzle to better treat periodontal disease. Recent development may shed more light on how to manage periodontal disease and in so doing, keep diabetes in check.

Nonsurgical Treatment of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease (due to unchecked oral bacteria) that works to destroy the tissues and bones that support the teeth. If left unattended, the disease can inflict eventual tooth loss. In the early stages of periodontal disease, nonsurgical treatments are used for damage control and to prevent progression. According to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, basic nonsurgical procedures did not improve the glycemic control of patients with type-2 diabetes. However, there is evidence that more proactive intensive periodontal treatment may be effective in glycemic control.

In the above research, 500 patients were divided into two groups. One group had basic periodontal treatments done such as scaling, root planing and an oral rinse, followed by further periodontal treatment after three and six months. The other group received no treatment at all. After six months, the group receiving treatment showed improvement in the gum disease, but no visible improvement in their blood-sugar control.

In the light of recent developments, one thing remains constant: prevention is better than cure. The perennial, old fashioned method of diligent oral care remains your best defense against periodontal disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highly recommend daily brushing and flossing, regular dental checkups and quitting tobacco use.Patients with diabetes should also receive annual comprehensive periodontal evaluation (includes thorough assessment of periodontal health and any other risk factors).

Do your body a favor.  Keep your teeth and gums healthy.  Call us today for a visit with a Gettysburg hygienist.

Topics: Dentist in Gettysburg, Gum Disease, Periodontal Disease, Gettysburg dentist, Dentist Gettysburg

Denture Treatment through the Ages

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, Feb 10, 2014 @ 08:02 AM

 

 

Dentures

 

Dentures can be used successfully to replace missing teeth. Whether it’s a partial or complete set of dentures, they’re designed to fit nicely in the mouth to facilitate eating, talking and smiling. But this hasn’t always been the case. Dentures have evolved from crude contraptions to durable, look-like-real teeth. The history of dentistry gives us an interesting look at dentures and how they’ve changed over the years:

  • As early as 2500 BC, ancient tribes in Mexico used animal teeth, reportedly from wolves to act as replacement teeth. They were simply placed in the socket, previously holding the lost teeth.
  • On the other side of the globe, the Etruscans of Italy fabricated gold wire or bands to hold human and animal teeth to act as replacement teeth (circa 700 BC).
  • Archaeology revealed that Egyptian mummies also had teeth replacements held in place by gold and silver wire at around 300 BC.
  • Fast forward to 1500s, the Japanese designed the first recorded set of wooden dentures. Made from Japanese Box, it was supposedly used by priestess Nakaoka Tei. It bore a strong resemblance to modern dentures and they were held in place by suction. The Japanese continued to use wooden dentures until the Meiji era of the late 19th century.
  • At the end of the Renaissance period, in the 1700s, the trend shifted to using human teeth, animal teeth and carved ivory. They didn’t fit well. George Washington used a variety of these dentures and according to history, he wasn’t particularly pleased with these innovations.
  • The Waterloo teeth came into the scene during this time frame. After the battle of Waterloo, many soldiers fell and since teeth were badly needed, scavengers went around removing teeth from the dead and shipping them to Europe to be used for dentures for profit.
  • Real advancements were made when British physician, Alex Duchateau, created the first set of porcelain dentures in 1770. It was far from perfect due to the tendency to shrink during the firing process. Dubois De Chemant, a prominent French dentist of that time overcame the problem and King Louis XVI duly granted him an inventor's patent. He later fled to England and in some accounts, was Duchateau's assistant.
  • In the early 1800s, porcelain teeth became readily available and quite the norm in replacing teeth. However, the denture bases remained ill-fitting until the invention of vulcanite (hardened rubber) in the 1850s.
  • As technology advances, dentures become more durable and functional. In the early 20th century, acrylic resin became the standard material used.

In the last 70 years, dentistry made huge strikes in helping people cope with missing teeth. While dentures remain an option to replace missing teeth, there are now other options such as dental implants and root canal treatments. Modern dentistry stresses prevention as the first line of defense.

Looking for the most modern, denture treatments available?  Give us a call! 717-334-0555

Topics: History of Dentistry, dentures in Gettysburg, Gettysburg Dentures, Dentist in Gettysburg, Gettysburg dentist

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