How often do I need a dental check-up?

According to the American Dental Association, it is important for everyone to brush their teeth at least twice a day, replace their toothbrush every three months and visit their dentist no less than twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. These guidelines have been put in place to help people maintain good oral health, and following this simple formula can help you avoid painful and embarrassing dental problems in the future.

Why is good oral health so important?

Dental check-up near willoughby OhioThere is a long list of reasons that can be referenced to showcase the importance of good oral health, including the fact that oral infections can have a negative impact on the rest of your body. Additionally, failure to visit your dentist regularly can allow serious dental issues to develop that could have otherwise been completely prevented or halted early enough to avoid any long-term damage. Keep in mind that some individuals should actually go in for a checkup more than twice a year. For example, people who smoke or who have diabetes, gum disease or a weak immune response need to get a checkup every three to four months.

How can regular checkups provide me with good oral health?

Although your genetics do play a role in your oral health, developing a regular dental checkup routine will dramatically reduce your risk of dealing with everything from a simple cavity to gum disease. It is important to note that seeing your dentist regularly makes it much easier for minor problems to be detected, and a dental exam can also lead to the discovery of other health complications such as oral cancer. Ultimately, the health of your teeth, gums and the rest of your body can be negatively impacted if you do not get a checkup at least twice per year.

What can happen if I have poor oral health?

Teeth are very important for eating and aesthetic purposes, but you can easily lose them to gum disease if you do not take proper care of your oral health. You could also end up dealing with extremely painful gum and teeth problems, and a major health issue such as oral cancer could be caught too late if you do not go to the dentist every six months.

A regular checkup usually involves a visual and x-ray inspection of your teeth. It is also common for your teeth to be cleaned during these visits. If a problem is found that needs to be corrected, you will most likely need to schedule a follow-up appointment to get everything taken care of. The professional oral health team at Emerald Dental Care is available to perform regular checkups, and we are also properly equipped to handle a long list of other dental services.

If you have questions about your dental check-up, contact our Willoughby dental office at 440.944.2200 to learn more.


What is Gum Disease? A Willoughby Dentist Explains the Details

Gum disease, which is also known as periodontal disease, is a condition that becomes progressively worse and can lead to tooth loss. Although most people associate gingivitis with this condition, the reality is that gum inflammation typically occurs before periodontitis develops. In other words, anyone who has been diagnosed with gingivitis needs to pay close attention to their oral health so that they can reduce their likelihood of ending up with periodontal disease.

What exactly is gum disease?

Gum DiseasePeriodontal disease is the number one cause of adult tooth loss. People who have this condition will experience the formation of pockets between their teeth and gums. Unfortunately, these pockets often become infected.  This leads to the erosion of the connective tissue and bone that keeps your teeth in place. Over time, the bone and gum tissue will become destroyed, and this causes teeth to become loose enough to fall out.

 What are the causes and symptoms of gum disease?

Gum disease can be caused by a variety of issues, including plaque, smoking, hormonal changes, insufficient oral hygiene habits, certain medications, genetics and diseases such as HIV, diabetes and cancer. Unfortunately, many people who have periodontal disease will be unaware until the late stages because this condition can progress painlessly. However, there are a few symptoms that can help people determine that they have an issue before it is too late. If you are experiencing loose teeth, persistent bad taste or bad breath, swollen or bleeding gums, receding gums or any changes in the way that your teeth or dentures fit in your mouth, you should definitely contact your Cleveland area dentist immediately for a checkup.

The importance of avoiding gum disease

Many people erroneously believe that issues such as gingivitis will not end up progressing into something worse. The reality is that being proactive is one of the only ways to effectively reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease that will affect one or several of your teeth. When you consider the fact that this disease can cause your teeth to fall out, it becomes easy to understand why it is so important to avoid this oral health issue.

The good news is that gum disease can be halted and even reversed if you take the proper steps. There are a variety of treatments available depending on the severity of the condition, including root planning, a dental cleaning, bone surgery, soft tissue or bone grafts, guided tissue regeneration and pocket reduction surgery. We treat gum disease frequently at Emerald Dental Care. We assess and treat periodontal disease, and we can also help you prevent this problem from occurring in the first place.

Have more questions about gum disease? Contact us at our Willoughby dental office at 440.944.2200 to schedule an appointment.


How much do dentures cost?

Dentures provide a viable replacement for dental issues such as missing teeth and tissues, and they can be easily removed for cleaning purposes. Dental patients have the opportunity to receive partial or complete set of dentures based on their specific needs. Complete dentures take the place of all of the individual’s teeth.  A partial set is utilized when some of the natural teeth are still in good enough shape to stay in place. Receiving a partial or complete set of dentures enables patients to eat normally and have a healthy looking smile instead of dealing with missing teeth and being forced to avoid several food options. Dentures can be applied via the immediate or conventional method, and this will determine how quickly the individual will have a replacement for their missing teeth. It is a good idea to discuss all of the pros and cons of both of these options with your dentist so that you can make the best choice for your lifestyle.

How are dentures made?

We provide immediate dentures for patients near ClevelandWhether you are getting a partial or complete set of dentures, you can expect to go to several appointments with your dentist in order to get all of the preparatory work taken care of. Your dentist will need to take measurements and get several impressions of your jaw so they can accurately determine the exact size that your dentures need to be. The next step usually involves making a plastic or wax model based on the impressions and measurements so that you are able to ensure that they fit properly inside your mouth. You will also be given the opportunity to look at options for shape and color, and this process is critical because it is the only way to ensure that your new dentures will look natural in your mouth and with your skin tone. After these steps have been taken, your dentures will be produced and then adjusted as necessary.

What is the average cost for dentures?

Many people are hesitant to move forward with even discussing dentures because they are concerned about how much dentures cost.  However, it is possible to get this type of dental work completed within a very broad price range.  In our Willoughby dental office, a single denture typically starts in the neighborhood of $1,000, and a set of dentures will start around $2,500. Obviously the cost for dentures will vary from dentist to dentist.  Often times, the price difference takes into account multiple factors, including the type of dentures that you need and whether or not you choose a basic or premium set.

A complete set of premium dentures will be on the high end of the price range, and it will give you a durable and extremely realistic final result. Individuals who are working with a tighter budget can still get their needs met for a lower cost, and your specific circumstances could even provide you with a bigger price reduction.

Dentures are at least partially covered by the majority of dental insurance providers, and it might even be possible to have the entire bill covered. Unfortunately, some people do have a bare-bones dental plan that provides little to no coverage for dentures, so it is necessary to contact your provider in advance to find out exactly what you will be responsible for.

Individuals in the Willoughby area who need dentures or any other type of dental work can contact Emerald Dental Care at 440.944.2200 for assistance, and we can also help you find out exactly what your insurance company will cover so that you can make the right decision for your financial situation.


Dental checkups for the elderly

Everyone should schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings, but it is absolutely essential for elderly individuals to pay close attention to their oral hygiene. Keep in mind that skipping even one year’s worth of appointments can allow a small problem to become serious, and this will force you to deal with unnecessary pain and expenses. It is also important to note that your dentist can tell a lot about your overall physical health based on the condition of your teeth and gums, so it is necessary to visit your dentist regularly in addition to scheduling checkups with your physician. In fact, many people first discover that they have a health issue after a visit to their dentist. Therefore, if you want to have good physical and dental health, you should schedule a cleaning and checkup twice a year.

What dental problem can elderly patients experience?

Dental Checkups for the ElderlyPatients of all ages need to be cognizant of dental problems so that they do not inadvertently end up putting their health at risk or finding themselves unable to eat comfortably in the future. However, elderly individuals are at a higher risk for developing certain problems, and this is yet another reason that they cannot afford to become lax about their commitment to good dental hygiene.

Older patients often have problems with missing teeth, gum disease and ill-fitting dentures, and those who are not currently wearing dentures need to be able to receive a set that fits properly if their existing teeth become broken or rotted. Tooth extraction is another common procedure for elderly patients, and this makes sense when you consider the fact that their teeth have been in use for several decades. Unfortunately, these problems are prevalent because some of the health issues that are associated with getting older can be damaging to your teeth and gums. For example, there are many diseases and medications that can cause patients to deal with dry mouth, and this can cause extensive tooth decay and oral infections. You can take control of this problem by discussing it with your dentist and physician.

Why do elderly individuals need regular dental checkups?

Some people fail to place enough importance on maintaining good oral health, and many others will hesitate to move forward with treatment until it is almost too late. Taking too relaxed of a stance regarding your teeth and gums can cause you to suffer from many problems, including tooth loss, thrush, gum disease, stomatitis, root decay, an uneven jawbone, darkened teeth and a noticeable reduction in your sense of taste. Although some of these issues seem mostly cosmetic, they can still have an impact on your physical health, and you also need to be cognizant of the fact that they can be harmful for your self-esteem. When you consider all of these factors, it becomes extremely easy to understand why it makes no sense to delay regular dental checkups, cleanings and any necessary treatments.

Choosing a dentist who understands elderly dental issues

You have the option to go to many different dentists, but you will receive the best care if you choose an office that is staffed by professionals who have experience providing dental care for elderly patients. After all, you would not go to a pediatrician for a health problem, so you should not rely on a dentist who is not experienced with senior care. Failure to pay attention to this important distinction could leave you with a dentist who is not aware enough of the specific needs of people within your age group, and this can lead to improper care. Fortunately, the team at Emerald Dental Care specializes in geriatric dentistry, so we are prepared to meet all of your needs. You can contact us at 440.944.2200 to schedule an appointment.


Choosing a family dentist

Selecting the right dentist is imperative because keeping your teeth and gums in good shape is closely tied into your overall health. With this in mind, you need to ensure that you find the right dentist for your specific situation. For example, if you have a family, it will make the most sense for everyone to be able to receive dental care at the same office.

What Exactly is a Family Dentist?

DentistryA family dentist provides all of the same basic services as a dentist who specializes in treating patients who are within a specific age range. In other words, instead of sending your children to a pediatric dentist, you can take advantage of the convenience of having everyone treated in the same office. Family dentists do not place any age restrictions on their patients, so your youngest child and oldest relative will all be eligible to utilize their services. Additionally, it is very beneficial to forge a good relationship with your dentist. After all, this will help them keep an eye out for dental and other physical health issues that might not yet be easily noticeable by someone who is unfamiliar with your teeth.

What Services Does a Family Dentist Provide?

A family dentist will offer x-rays, dental cleanings, fillings, teeth whitening, root canals, crowns, dentures and a variety of other services. For example, we offer emergency dental services, periodontal treatment, bridges, white fillings and geriatric dentistry solutions. If there is something specific that you are looking for, please contact us for more information.

Top Things to Consider When Choosing a Family Dentist

1. Credentials, Experience and Awards – Your family’s dental health deserves to be taken very seriously, and you also want to ensure that you select a dentist who has a proven history of success. Therefore, selecting a family dentist who has an extensive amount of experience and credentials will provide you with peace of mind. Industry awards are also a great indicator of the dentist’s skill level and reputation.

2. Availability – Finding the most experienced dentist in town will not do you any good if they do not currently have any openings for new patients. Additionally, you need to make sure that their normal business hours will accommodate your specific schedule needs. We are aware of the importance of remaining flexible, and this is why we stay open later three times a week and offer Saturday appointments.

3. Office Environment and Staff – It can be very unpleasant to spend time in an office environment that has not been created to cater for patients. It is also vital to feel comfortable with the entire staff so that you can be confident with each dental decision that you are asked to make. Dealing with an unpleasant staff member or issues such as incorrect billing can become a major inconvenience, and there is no reason to settle for a family dental office this does not take steps to avoid these problems.

4. Emergency Services – Selecting a family dentist who does not offer emergency services will force you to find an alternative option if you ever find yourself facing a situation after hours that cannot wait. Some people do not place a lot of importance on finding a dentist who treats emergencies, but it is always best to be prepared for any potential situation that could occur. After all, you would not pick a primary care physician who does not have the experience to treat a specific medical condition that you have been diagnosed with, so why would you choose a dentist who is not equipped to help you with an emergency?

5. Available Services – Each family has specific needs based on their overall dental health, and you should carefully consider any specific requirements before choosing a family dentist. For example, if a member of your family has periodontal disease, you definitely need to select a dental office that specializes in providing treatment for this condition.

We understand the importance of finding a family dentist in the Cleveland area who can offer you everything that you need. You are invited to contact us for more information about our top rated dentists, and we are looking forward to helping you maintain a healthy smile.

Looking for a dentist in the Cleveland or Willoughby, OH area? Contact our office at 440.944.2200 for information about our family dentistry services.


Emergency dentistry: what to do when you have a dental emergency

Experiencing a dental emergency can be very intimidating, but our professional team is available to help quickly correct the problem so that you can resume your normal life. However, it is important to have a firm understanding of the type of situations that need emergency care. Due to this, we have compiled a list of the most common questions regarding dental emergencies to help you determine if you need immediate assistance.

How Do I Know if I am Having a Dental Emergency?

Dental Emergency near Cleveland

There are several different guidelines that you can utilize to decide if you need to seek emergency dental care. For example, if your gums or mouth are experiencing painful swelling or bulges, it is a good idea to call for help right away. Additional indicators of a dental emergency include loose, fractured, cracked or knocked out teeth, an abscess, puncture wounds and bleeding that will not stop. Keep in mind that many dental emergencies are caused by physical trauma to the mouth area, including being punched or hitting your mouth against something during an accident. In other words, if either of these situations happens to you, it will be critical to carefully examine your mouth to determine if there is any tissue or tooth damage that needs to be repaired. It is important to note that a chipped tooth is very different from one that falls out or is loose, fractured or cracked. As long as your chipped tooth is not causing you any pain, you can wait until the next business day to schedule an appointment.

How Can I Save a Tooth That Has Fallen Out?

If one of your teeth falls out, you should carefully pick it up by the top and avoid touching the roots. Gently rinse the tooth off and attempt to place it back in its socket. If you are unable to get the tooth to stick in its socket, you should place it inside a cup of milk. You can use a cup of water if milk is not available, but you will also need to add a pinch of sea salt.

Why Do I Need to Get Emergency Assistance?

There are several reasons that you should take a dental emergency seriously and get help as quickly as possible. For example, if you have a tooth that has fallen out, it needs to be kept wet and returned to its socket right away in order to be saved. In fact, it is recommended to get dental care within one hour for optimal results. Additionally, issues such as an abscess can cause serious damage to your teeth, tissue and other parts of your body. An abscess is an infection that causes swelling on the gums that is physically similar to a pimple, and it needs to be treated immediately.

What Can I Expect From an Emergency Dental Visit?

Your dentist will assess the situation and take steps to correct the problem during your visit. However, some emergency dental issues will require follow-up visits or the assistance of a specialist. You can expect to have the immediate emergency dealt with either way, and this should provide you with some pain relief. Your dentist might also recommend pain relievers or a temporary adjustment to your diet to help resolve the emergency. For example, you might need to avoid eating solid food during the immediate healing process.

How Can I Avoid a Dental Emergency?

There are many steps that you can take to help avoid dealing with emergency situation. One of the most important things to do is visit your dentist for a regular checkup twice a year so that they can look for any potential problems. Wearing a mouth guard while playing sports will help protect your teeth, and it is always best to avoid chewing on popcorn kernels, ice and hard candy because all of these items can lead to a cracked tooth. Additionally, you should never use your teeth to cut or open things.

We offer emergency walk-ins during the day, and we also take after-hours appointments when a patient is dealing with a dental emergency. Therefore, if you need immediate assistance or if you are uncertain if your problem can wait, you should contact us right away for more information.

Contact our office at 440.944.2200 if you suspect you are having a dental emergency.