Can You Name 9 Dental Specialties?

Lucama Pediatric and Cosmetic Dentistry

Most people know how a pediatric dentist differs from an orthodontist. Some may even know the unique focus of endodontists. But did you know the American Dental Association recognizes nine dental specialties? In this post we look at the specific disciplines within the fascinating world of dentistry and the years in which they were formally recognized by the ADA. (If you want a challenge, see if you can name all nine before you continue reading this post.)

Endodontics (1983): This area focuses on “the morphology, physiology and pathology of the human dental pulp and periradicular tissues.”1 If you need a root canal in Wilson, you may require the services of an endodontist.

Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics (2003): If you want to straighten your teeth, you need an orthodontist. Dentofacial orthopedic specialists correct facial deformities using many of the same types of appliances used in teeth straightening therapy.

Pediatric Dentistry (1995): Pediatric dentists provide dental care for infants, children and teenagers.

Periodontics (1992): “Periodontics is that specialty of dentistry which encompasses the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth or their substitutes” (American Dental Association). Periodontal specialists perform crown lengthening, pocket reduction, and soft tissue (gum) grafts.

Prosthodontics (2003): Prosthodontists provide restorative dental procedures including dental implants, crowns, bridges, and dentures. They also perform cosmetic dental treatments including porcelain veneers, crowns, dental bonding, invisible fillings, and teeth bleaching.

Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology (1991): This specialty concerns “the nature, identification, and management of diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial regions. It is a science that investigates the causes, processes, and effects of these diseases. The practice of oral pathology includes research and diagnosis of diseases using clinical, radiographic, microscopic, biochemical, or other examinations” (ADA).

Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
(2001): Oral and maxillofacial radiologists analyze radiographic images (x-rays) for issues of the maxillofacial area.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (1990): Oral surgeons perform surgery on the teeth, jaw, face, and gums. These include facial reconstruction, cleft lip and palate correction, bone grafting, dental implants, and impacted teeth.

Dental Public Health (1976): This discipline focuses on “preventing and controlling dental diseases and promoting dental health through organized community efforts.”

At Wilson Dental Group we have a lot of expertise, and can always refer you if you need advanced, specialized treatment. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule a checkup with us today.

Contact Wilson Dental Group:

252-653-4099

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

3401 Raleigh Road Pkwy W Ste 10C
Wilson, North Carolina
27896

 

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Are You At Risk For Bone Recession?

dental bone grafting Wilson

This post from Wilson Dental Group looks at bone recession. We all know that a healthy smile requires decay-free teeth and healthy gums, but how often do we appreciate our jaw bone? Our teeth need a strong firm foundation to remain healthy and beautiful.

Occasionally, a patient experiences bone recession in their jaw which can cause tooth loss and other issues. However, it is usually the other way around. The bone loss occurs as a result of a lost tooth because the blood supply and stimulus necessary for maintaining healthy bone is taken away.

Let’s look at the most common causes of jaw bone recession:

Extracted Teeth
Bone is living tissue and needs stimulation to stay healthy and retain its size and density. Biting, chewing, talking and all the other normal mouth functions keep the portion of the bone surrounding the tooth root healthy. When a tooth is extracted, the bone that used to anchor the tooth root recedes as if it understands that it is no longer needed. A dental implant provides stimulation similar to the natural tooth and can prevent bone recession.

Gum Infection
A gum infection can result when gum inflammation goes untreated and progresses to periodontitis. With periodontitis, the gums pull away from the teeth creating pockets which provide the perfect breeding ground for the detrimental infection.

Gum infections can advance undetected, though there are usually warning signs. Swollen, painful gums, loose teeth, and gums that bleed when brushed are symptoms of periodontitis. The infection dissolves bone as the gums pull away from the tooth. Inadequate oral hygiene increases the risk of gum disease but other factors can compromise gum health. These include smoking (no surprise here), hormone levels, diseases that lower immune system effectiveness, medications that cause dry mouth, and genetic predisposition.

Abscessed Tooth
An abscess is a pus-filled pocket of infection that occurs in the nerve and roots of a tooth. As the infection attacks the tooth and bone tissue it creates a space that fills with pus. There are several treatments for a tooth abscess including antibiotics to kill the infection, a root canal, or extraction, if necessary.

If you would like to replace a missing tooth with an implant, but don’t have enough bone at the implant site, you might be a candidate for bone grafting. Bone grafting may sound like major oral surgery but it is really a routine procedure performed in a dental office.

At Wilson Dental Group our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next checkup with us today.

Contact Wilson Dental Group:

252-653-4099

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

3401 Raleigh Road Pkwy W Ste 10C
Wilson, North Carolina
27896

 

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An Air-dried Toothbrush Is A Healthy Toothbrush

An Air-dried Toothbrush Is A Healthy Toothbrush Wilson

In this post from Wilson Dental Group, we highlight some of the simple things you can do with your toothbrush (aside from brushing!) to keep your mouth as clean and healthy as possible.

One of the most important habits you can form is to always allow your toothbrush to completely air dry between uses. The best way to let the toothbrush air dry is by placing it in a toothbrush holder on the counter with the bristles pointing up. This is much better than putting it in a drawer, since it will take longer to dry in there.

Also, when you travel, make sure your toothbrush is dry before you seal it away in a travel container.

A good strategy to make sure their toothbrush has ample time to dry is to buy two toothbrushes. Alternate between the two, so each has time to fully dry out between uses.

Above all, replace your toothbrush (or toothbrushes) every 3-4 months, or sooner if you’ve had a cold.

At Wilson Dental Group, our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next cleaning and checkup with us today!

Contact Wilson Dental Group:

252-653-4099

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

3401 Raleigh Road Pkwy W Ste 10C
Wilson, North Carolina
27896

 

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Foaming At The Mouth: Are You Brushing Right?

Wilson affordable family dentist

In this post from Wilson Dental Group, we’re going to explore some details about brushing. One key to activating the value of toothpastes is creating foam when thoroughly brushing.

Working up a good foam is achieved by pre-wetting the toothbrush, then attacking at a 45 rather than 90 degree angle. The foaming assists in dislodging food debris from nooks and crannies in the mouth. Go ahead and swish it around at the completion of brushing to pick up any stragglers. The abrasives in toothpaste are designed to polish the teeth without damaging the enamel.

Because of the abrasives, soft toothbrushes are perfect for proper brushing. Harder bristles can put the enamel and gum line at risk. When the gum line recedes from aggressive brushing (or any other cause) a patient may notice tooth pain, increased build-up and decay, tooth structure weakening, and in severe cases, tooth loss.

The fluoride in the toothpaste promotes remineralization when the paste has been rubbed around on all surfaces of all teeth in the entire mouth. This takes time so make sure you brush for at least 2-3 minutes.

Furthermore, flossing is vital and rounds out the 5 minutes each day to give you healthy, pain-free chewing for years and years to come.

To recap:

  • Wet soft bristle toothbrush
  • Use fluoridated toothpaste
  • Brush at 45 degree angle
  • Brush gently for 2-3 minutes
  • Cover every surface of every tooth
  • Swish around in mouth before spitting out
  • Floss gently around each tooth and don’t overlook the back surface of the rear molars
  • Rinse out debris

At Wilson Dental Group, we want each one of our patients to have a healthy, beautiful smile. See us twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry services. Call for an appointment today!

Contact Wilson Dental Group:

252-653-4099

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

3401 Raleigh Road Pkwy W Ste 10C
Wilson, North Carolina
27896

 

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Yes, We Treat Bad Breath

bad breath treatment Wilson

When our patients at Wilson Dental Group ask  if mouthwash cures bad breath, we tell them that treating bad breath with a mouthwash is like drenching yourself with cologne instead of taking a shower.

They get the point. Mouthwash is only a temporary mask for odor caused by poor oral hygiene, tongue bacteria, or digestive problems.

The best-selling mouthwashes have a considerable amount of alcohol, which can even exacerbate bad breath by drying out the mouth. Some bacteria grow even speedier in a dry environment.

To eliminate bad breath, you need to find the cause. To get rid of hidden bacteria multiplying between teeth, pay more attention to thorough flossing and brushing.

A haphazard, thirty-second brushing won’t prevent halitosis (or cavities). Try to brush for at least three minutes. It may seem like overkill if you have been a speed-brusher but remember that there is a lot of area to cover on multiple planes.

Devise a system to brush every reachable surface of every tooth. Then floss carefully around every tooth, pulling the floss down into the space at the gumline on both sides. Brush your gums, sides of mouth, palate, and tongue, also.

If your tongue is the culprit, you might want to start using a tongue scraper. Tongue scraping has become quite popular, especially among the college crowd. A tongue scraper is a cleaning tool that works like a squeegee to scrape bacteria and food particles off the surface of the tongue.

At Wilson Dental Group we offer general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next cleaning and checkup today.

Contact Wilson Dental Group:

252-653-4099

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

3401 Raleigh Road Pkwy W Ste 10C
Wilson, North Carolina
27896

 

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Super Smiles For Life

implant dentures Wilson

Your child should be naturally proud of his or her smile. It expresses joy, laughter, and fun! To make sure your child has a healthy and desirable smile, we like to see them early, at Wilson Dental Group. Really early.

We recommend a child’s first dental visit when their first tooth erupts. An early check is the first step in preventing issues and setting the stage for lifelong dental health. doctor dentist will keep the visit short, but complete a thorough visual examination to make sure there are no concerns.

We will advise you on good dental procedures at home, such as correct brushing and flossing. You will also be guided regarding healthy eating choices and the consequences of poor choices. It is especially important to keep your toddler from eating sticky or hard candies that lodge in molars and spaces between teeth. It is also important to monitor the amount of juice they drink and keep it in a cup instead of a bottle.

Any time sugary foods or drinks are in contact with teeth, the enamel is weakened from the acid those substances contain. Prolonged exposure begins to wear the enamel away, setting the stage for cavities. Unlike broken bones that regenerate, once enamel is gone, it’s essentially gone, though fluoride can remineralize weakened enamel to a small degree.

Promoting a healthy, low sugar diet is always prime for your toddler’s teeth. If your baby or toddler needs a bottle to calm down and go to sleep, make sure that the bottle contains only water.

Before coming to Wilson Dental Group, speak with your child about the upcoming appointment and let them know that their teeth are going to be checked. In addition to children’s dentistry we provide general and cosmetic dentistry. Make an appointment today.

Contact Wilson Dental Group:

252-653-4099

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

3401 Raleigh Road Pkwy W Ste 10C
Wilson, North Carolina
27896

 

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Are Toothpicks Any Good?

At Wilson Dental Group, we always remind our patients how important it is to clean their teeth on a regular basis. Not just the front surfaces, but between the teeth, too. This is essential for cavity prevention.

What’s the best way to go about getting those narrow spaces between teeth? That’s an easy one: dental floss. Our rule of thumb is to brush your teeth twice a day, and floss at least once – ideally just before bedtime.

What about during the day, though? You’ve just had lunch, or a mid-afternoon snack, and you can feel the gunk that’s building up on your teeth. It isn’t always easy to pull out dental floss in the middle of the day, especially if you’re in a meeting or some other appointment.

How about a good old-fashioned toothpick? They’re easy to carry around and have pointy tips that are good for digging into tight spaces.

Our quick answer? No. In fact, we frown on toothpicks. For one thing, they don’t really do that good a job compared to other options. For another, it is not unheard of for people to get splinters in their gums when a piece breaks off. You might also poke into your gums by accident.

The bottom line is that they don’t clean off plaque. Which brings us back to those other options: we recommend using an interdental cleaner. There are several types available at any grocery store: they’re usually made from a soft plastic with bristles on the end. They’re slender and compact, so you can slide them easily between your teeth to dislodge and remove food particles.

We know that chewing on a toothpick looks pretty cool. But they are not recommended for cleaning teeth. Use an interdental cleaner like those made by DenTek, or GUM. Floss picks are also good.

Above all, see us at Wilson Dental Group for a professional cleaning and checkup every six months. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next checkup with us today.


Check Out The Checkup!

At Wilson Dental Group, we want to see each one of our patients for a cleaning and checkup twice a year. Most of the time we try to get you to schedule your next appointment even as you leave the office from your latest one.

There are some very good reasons for seeing us twice a year. Along with daily brushing and flossing, six-month cleanings and checkups are the best way to ensure you have good dental health. That means clean teeth with no cavities, and pink healthy gums.

Most appointments begin with a cleaning from the hygienist. During the cleaning we’ll scrape any tartar from your teeth. Tartar is hardened plaque, and you can’t get it off with a toothbrush and floss. That’s one of the reasons brushing twice a day is so important: it helps prevent plaque buildup! Scraping tartar off of your teeth is known as scaling.

Once your teeth are scaled, we’ll polish them with a gritty toothpaste. This is pretty harsh stuff, and it does a fabulous job removing any surface stains on your teeth. Sometimes patients wonder if they can get something like it for use at home. The trouble with that is that it’s just too abrasive to use every day.

After scaling and brushing, the last step is flossing. Then, it’s the dentist’s turn.

During the checkup we look for any new cavities that may have appeared since your last visit. We might take X-rays, although this is not done at every visit. We’ll examine your gums, too, for any signs of gum disease.

Finally, we’ll look at your tongue, throat, face and and head, and your neck. We’re checking for swelling or redness, or any signs of cancer.

And that, in a nutshell, is how your visit to the dentist goes. At Wilson Dental Group our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next cleaning and checkup with us today.

Contact Wilson Dental Group:

252-653-4099

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

3401 Raleigh Road Pkwy W Ste 10C
Wilson, North Carolina
27896


Soft, Medium, Or Buzz Lightyear?

Affordable Dentistry in WilsonAt Wilson Dental Group, our dentist is often asked about that most basic tool of oral hygiene, the toothbrush. Picking a toothbrush can be as challenging as choosing a paint color, and there seems to be just as many choices.

If you have visited the dental section of your local grocery store or drugstore lately, you know what we mean. There are brushes with bristles of varying lengths, brushes that massage your gums, and brushes that change color when they are used up.

Some toothbrush manufacturers claim their brushes freshen your breath or remove stains from your teeth. How do you pick the best one?

One vital factor is the firmness of the bristles. Hard bristles may be more effective for cleaning burnt steak off a grill or hard water deposits off a shower floor. However, this does not hold true for your teeth. Medium and firm brushes can damage your gums. Soft and extra-soft bristles are plenty stiff enough to wipe plaque, food particles, and surface stains from your teeth. Soft bristles also deliver more flexibility for hard-to-reach nooks and crannies.

After having dental work or oral surgery, especially anything involving soft tissue grafts, make sure that you use an extra-soft brush and be careful!

When selecting a toothbrush for a child, make sure the brush feels comfortable in his or her hand. If the size and angle feel awkward, the child will be less likely to use it long enough to clean all areas of the mouth. Children do not necessarily need a child-sized toothbrush. Some kids can handle an adult size brush better than a short, narrow child-size brush. If you are unsure, ask your dentist.

At Wilson Dental Group, we are committed to the dental health of each and every patient. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. We are open for extended evening hours during the week, and on Saturdays. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Wilson Dental Group:

252-653-4099

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

3401 Raleigh Road Pkwy W Ste 10C
Wilson, North Carolina
27896

 

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How Much Do You Know About Gum Disease?

gum disease treatment Wilson

Gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in American adults. That’s why the team at Wilson Dental Group offers this little quiz to see how much you know about this condition:

1. Which of the following are risk factors for gum disease (periodontitis)?

a. Pregnancy
b. Malocclusion
c. Diabetes
d. Genetic make-up

2. Which of the things listed below are possible signs of gum disease?

a. Teeth that look like they are longer
b. A change in the way dentures fit
c. Bleeding gums
d. Swollen gums

3. Which of the items below are possible health matters linked to untreated gum disease?

a. Asthma
b. Low birth weight babies
c. Parkinson’s disease
d. Stroke

4. What percentage of men and women age 65+ have gum disease?

a. 5%
b. 12%
c. 25%
d. 50%

5. Which of the following services are used for gum disease?

a. Scaling and root planing
b. Soft tissue grafting
c. Flap surgery
d. Flip surgery

Answers
1. All of the above. Pregnancy, menopause, or any other condition that causes hormonal changes is a risk factor as is any type of malocclusion.
2. All of the above. Note: some patients don’t experience any symptoms.
3. a,b,d.
4. c.
5. a,b,c.

Gum disease usually responds successfully to treatment, especially if we catch it early. If you haven’t seen a dentist in a while, or have been noticing troubles with your gums or teeth, please call us to set up an appointment.

Wilson Dental Group offers general and cosmetic dentistry. Call to schedule your next cleaning and checkup with us today!

Contact Wilson Dental Group:

252-653-4099

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

3401 Raleigh Road Pkwy W Ste 10C
Wilson, North Carolina
27896

 

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