The ABCs of Dental Care

In almost any field there are basics, the fundamental facts or principles from which other truths can be derived.

Without an understanding of these basics we lack the building blocks for greater knowledge or competence. For example, before we can write we learn our ABCs. Geometry first requires an understanding of arithmetic, and so on.

Lacking these basics, we can become lost in a sea of information, lacking the correct drops of water that hold the answers to our questions or allow us to be effective.

Know the basics of automotive care and you are likely to have a car that runs well and needs few repairs. Understand the basics of grammar and you can communicate.

What, then, are the basics of dental care?

While there are several key concepts which I cover in some of my earlier articles, there is one often overlooked principle I want to briefly cover herein.

Let’s first assume you are already in good dental health or, perhaps you weren’t, but now you got things under control. You are starting off with a “clean slate.” So, what do you do now?

The simple answer is taking a look at what got you there.

You spent months and maybe hundreds, even thousands, of dollars to handle dental problems that may not even have been causing you pain. Things feel good and you have gotten the clean bill of dental health from your doctor. What now? Continue to do what fixed the problem.

· Did you start brushing after meals? Good. Continue.

· Did you change your diet to reduce refined carbohydrates? Good. Continue.

· Do you floss every day? Good. Continue.

· Do you come back for your regular visits? No?! Why not?

If that was a successful part of the formula, don’t make the mistake I see so many people commit. There is probably many a dentist who will vouch for the fact that patients come in to them and say: “Yeah, I had a bunch of dental work done somewhere about fifteen years ago and it is starting to come apart.” When asked about the time of their last dental visit: “Oh, it was around then. Since my teeth were fine, it didn’t see the point of going in for a dental visit.”

Didn’t see – that’s a key point. There are many conditions that the patient neither sees nor feels. More importantly, dental health has a direct relationship to overall health. So the fact that one doesn’t feel gum disease, bone loss, dental cavities or oral cancer – especially in the early stages is a poor excuse not to see your dentist. Regular checkups are fundamental to defending yourself against serious problems. Caught early, your treatment can be approached conservatively, saving you time in the dental chair, the potential discomfort of extensive work and, of course, money.

Why is it that patients who visit the dentist regularly seem to need less dental work? I’d like to think it also has to do with their increased care and effort – but that effort includes keeping up with regular visits. These checkups can prevent small problems from turning into big ones and help to keep your existing work in good shape. Don’t be a penny wise and a pound foolish. See your dentist at least twice a year.

Dentists – Do’s and Don’Ts Before You Get to the Dental Chair

Dentists care about their patients’ teeth. If every patient spent a bit of time adhering to these guidelines, they’d spend less time in pain or in the dental chair. Here are some do’s and don’ts they hope you’ll take note of.

Dentists are health care practitioners who care about their patients’ teeth, gums and overall well-being. Oral health care doesn’t just affect a person’s mouth but can contribute to the well-being of the entire body. Some diseases and conditions which are closely linked with dental decay or gingivitis include clogged arteries, heart attacks, break down of the immune system due to untreated infection, complications related to diabetes and even premature birth of babies.

Dentists spend years in school to gain their expertise. They attend four years of undergraduate school before even beginning dental college. During dental college, dentists study anatomy, physiology, chemistry and much more. They complete a wide range of practicum clinic hours working in patients’ mouths on a variety of problems. These practitioners are truly experts on oral health and should be listened to regarding do’s and don’ts.

– Do brush and floss after every meal. Learning to brush and floss properly is a huge step in keeping teeth and gums healthy.

– Do watch your diet. The type of foods ingested has a big impact on overall well-being and the decay of the enamel. Sticky foods, those that get caught between teeth or those that stain all have negative impact if not monitored. Sugary treats break down and cause cavities more readily than healthier choices.

– Do watch your children’s diets. Make certain you are setting good examples in your own dietary choices. Children watch and learn from their role models. Babies shouldn’t be put to bed with bottles as this is a recipe for early decay.

– Do schedule regular visits with the dentist for every member of the family. Even pets should have their teeth checked by the vet as decay can cause health maladies in them, as well. Humans should see their dental practitioner every six months to a year or even more often if there are problems that need to be watched more closely.

– Don’t let a tobacco product come near your mouth or body. Tobacco products cause an array of problems including cancer and hampered immune systems. Cigarette smoking and chewing this substance can be the cause of diseases for years to come. Not only that, but it stains the teeth and makes them look unattractive.

– Don’t chew ice or other extremely hard items. Chewing these items are an invitation for breakage.

– Don’t forget to check your own mouth between visits: Any suspicious lumps, bumps, chips or bleeding should be reported to your dentist.

– Don’t fail to let your dentist know if anything has changed in your medical history. You should let them know of medical conditions, changes of prescription medications and any other pertinent information.

– Don’t forget to have your former dentist send all records to a new practice should you decide to move or go to a new practitioner. No need to take another set of x-rays if they can simply be mailed to the new office.

Dentists are smart. Follow their advice and you’ll be glad that you did.

Dental Chairs and Stools – How to Select Dental Chairs and Stools For Your Dental Operatory

A dentist’s office without a dental chair would be like a chiropractor’s office without a chiropractic bed – the major functional component of each practice would be missing.

Diagnosis and any further actions are performed by a dentist from a dental chair.

The main purposes of dental chairs and stools are for positioning patients for easy access to the patient, while at the same time making the patient comfortable. This allows the dentist to look at the mouth and teeth easily. A good dentist chair must make it easy for the dental assistant to help the dentist.

Important features to consider when choosing dentist chairs or stools are those that will protect the dentist and staff from muscular-skeletal injuries.

Padding for comfort

A dental chair or stool that is well padded will provide comfort for the patient and the dentist. When looking for important features, this is regarded as nominal.

It’s wise to investigate then to purchase a chair or stool that says it is ergonomic. Take into account your own specific body structure, and you will find that an ergonomically dental chair or stool that adjusts will help.

Height – An important consideration

Selecting the proper cylinder height of the stool is crucial to protect the dentist from suffering with low back pain.

Taller dentists will need to shop carefully for an appropriately sized stool because most stool cylinders are meant for dentists of average height.

Using a stool made for a shorter individual can lead to chronic low back pain for a tall dentist. Likewise for a short dentist, who may have to sit on the edge of the stool if it is improperly sized.

Dental stools that have a waterfall edge and ample padding at the front are much more comfortable than round stools.

The back rests on the stool should be able to be adjusted or move forward when the dentist or assistant does. The seat pan depth should support the area of the thighs of the dentist and leave three fingers space from the knees to the edge of the seat. The majority of seat pans are between 14 to 17 inches deep.

A tilting seat pan is another great feature to look for in a dental stool; it minimizes lower back pain and allows for a dentist to get close to the patient. To save on using a lot of space in a smaller office, or help reduce back strain to a shorter dentist, a tilting saddle type seat is ideal.

After you get the best tool for the task at hand, the second thing you need to do is use it correctly.

Adjustments and operations

When you get your new dental chair and stool, familiarize yourself with them and make sure you know how they operate. Adjustment is the key that unlocks the benefits an ergonomic dental chair or stool has to offer.

When necessary, make sure you read any paperwork that may be provided with your new dental chair or stool. Don’t pass up the chance to try a trial period if it is offered to you by the retailer.

Maintenance and care of your dental chairs

Proper maintenance of dental chairs and stools in your dental business will guarantee the best service to both you and your patient for a long time.

Provide proper maintenance for your purchase because they aren’t inexpensive. A manufacturer approved lubricant should be used regularly on all moving parts to assure smooth motion and a longer stool life. Although new dental chairs are always an attractive option, if your budget does not permit it, you can opt for a good used dental chair.