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AK Dental Arts Dentistry Blog General Dentistry

Gum disease may cause Alzheimer’s

human brain - gum disease implicated in Alzheimer's disease

Researchers have been looking at the bacteria involved in gum disease, Porphyromonas gingivalis, as a possible suspect in the search for a cause of Alzheimer’s disease.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

As populations have aged, dementia has become the fifth largest cause of death worldwide. Alzheimer’s constitutes some 70% of these cases, yet we don’t know what causes it. The condition, which results in progressive loss of memory and cognitive function, usually over a decade or so, is devastating to those who have it and to their loved ones.

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AK Dental Arts Dentistry Blog

Wisdom Tooth problems

Wisdom teeth, also referred to as the 3rd molars, are the last teeth to develop in the mouth. Many people do not have any wisdom teeth or are missing several of them genetically.

Wisdom Tooth Problems

The main problem with wisdom teeth is that in many individuals the teeth cannot migrate properly into position in the jaw. They may tip sideways, forward or backwards, or not be able to erupt at all. They can cause crowding of other teeth, with the resulting problems expanding into other areas of the mouth.

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AK Dental Arts Dentistry Blog

Take good care of your child’s teeth now for a lifetime of benefits

See a pediatric dentist about your baby's teeth, as taking care of baby teeth can help to ensure a lifetime of health and beauty for your child. Photo credit anitapeppers at https://morguefile.com/creative/anitapeppers/4/all
Photo credit anitapeppers

Did you know that taking care of baby teeth can help to ensure a lifetime of health and beauty for your child?  Your child deserves the best possible foundation for a lifetime of dental health, function, and aesthetics. Issues that impact the aesthetics and function of a child’s teeth as they grow up will affect the child for life:

  • Lack of proper nutrition
  • A cavity-free environment
  • A less-than ideal eruption pattern
  • Disharmonious position of permanent teeth
  • The location of teeth within the proper position of the jaws.

Doesn’t your child deserve the best possible foundation for a lifetime of success?

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AK Dental Arts Dentistry Blog General Dentistry

Should I bring my child to a general dentist or a pediatric dentist (pedodontist)?

children's dentist, pediatric dentist at AK Dental Arts in Staten Island NY

As a general rule, a child should first see a dentist, either a family dentist or a pediatric dentist, by the time they are 3 years old. The first introductory visit ( about age 2 1/2 ) is important.

There are exceptions when the child should come earlier:

  • When there are dental caries (cavities),
  • Abnormal growth and development,
  • Facial injuries, or
  • Just plain concern on the part of the parent.
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AK Dental Arts Dentistry Blog General Dentistry

Debunking Dental Fads – What you need to know

Don't fall for dental fads advertising - smile makeovers, snap-on smiles, and dental implants. Good quality dental care can be "conservative".

Everyone who reads the paper, watches TV, or listens to the radio has heard the commercials about smile makeovers, snap-on smiles, and dental implants. Advertising dental fads is meant to attract people who need and want better teeth.  It offers a quick fix by supplying a solution without first evaluating whether that solution is the best choice for their individual circumstances and health.

Take implants, for example.  Sometimes implants are the correct solution, but in other situations, implants could be more costly, time-consuming and uncomfortable than fixing existing teeth. Saving original teeth, when possible, can be the best, most suitable option. It could save thousands of dollars, surgery, and possible complications in the event the implant fails. Not all teeth are salvageable, and there are times that it is better, economically and health-wise, to extract a tooth rather than trying to save it.

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Continuing Dental Education General Dentistry

Regular Dental Exams Important for Overall Health

Regular dental exams are an important part of your healthy body plan. Don't wait - see your dentist today!

Recent research confirms that oral health is important to the body’s overall health. If the “eyes are a window to the soul”, the mouth can provide clues about the health and well being of the body. Regular dental exams have become about more than teeth.  These days, it’s likely your dentist and dental hygienist will also examine your tongue, gums, throat and mouth for signs of disease that can provide clues to overall health – and help keep you healthy overall.

Importance of Regular Dental Exams

Routine dental examinations can provide evidence that something is wrong. Sometimes people think that if there is no pain then there is nothing wrong, but they may be doing an injustice to their health. Being proactive can help to ensure there is no ongoing or future possibilities of disease.

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AK Dental Arts Dentistry Blog

Dental Insurance Plans – Help in Choosing

Let us help in your evaluation of dental insurance plans.

Health care insurance has changed. You already know that. But how much time do you spend evaluating dental insurance plans? How do you compare one plan to another? Most people, given a selection, will choose the cheapest option – and then find out later that this decision was a mistake.

Getting Coverage through Private Insurance or through the Exchange

If you are purchasing dental coverage through the public Exchange on HealthCare.gov or through a private insurance company, you need to take the same care as those with employer-sponsored dental care.  Without understanding the different options, you may think you are getting great dental insurance, but you may not be.  Some plans, especially low-cost options offer minimal coverage, limit treatment options, and restrict you to particular dental providers. Be sure you understand the benefits and limitations of these plans.

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AK Dental Arts Dentistry Blog Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry

Is a Dental Implant Right for me?

is a dental implant right for me - image of abutment and actual implant

Many of our patients ask about dental implants and whether they are candidates for this procedure. A full understanding of what implants are, and where and when they are indicated, is important when making a decision about whether dental implants are the right solution.

What is an Implant?

Implants, by themselves, are not tooth replacements. They are frequently referred to as root forms, because they replace the root portion of the missing tooth. The supra-structure, consisting of an abutment and crown, is what the patient eventually envisions as the final step of the implant process. This abutment and crown are connected to the implant with either screws or cement to complete the procedure.  You can find more information on our Dental Implant page…

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Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry

Zirconia Crowns – strong, affordable and great-looking

Zirconia Crowns - strong, affordable and great-looking!

As the price of gold and precious metal have skyrocketed, the dental industry has searched for viable alternatives to provide aesthetic as well as affordable crowns.

Metal with the look and feel of porcelain

Zirconia is one of the answers to this dilemma. Zirconia, although it looks porcelain-like, is actually a metal oxide. Yet, in looks and touch, there is no hint at all that this is, in fact, metal. It is extremely strong and exhibits similar, if not better strength than standard metal/porcelain crowns.

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AK Dental Arts Dentistry Blog Continuing Dental Education

Continuing Education – New Technology for Better Dental Care

The national American Dental Association offers continuing education courses, some of which highlight new technology for better dental care. This allows dentists to explore and experience new technologies and determine if they meet practice goals for improving the quality, time, and comfort of patients.

new technology for better dental care

Enhanced Vision Glasses Improve Patient Care

For example, a new headset made by Orascoptic upgrades optics and lighting. This completely wireless device, called Eyezoom, allows  enlarging any field of my vision into a selected 3x, 4x, or 5x magnification. A gentle touch to the temple of the frames of these new eyeglasses directs focused lighting exactly where needed from a centered LED headlamp. Patients benefit from the increase in vision, perception, and illumination.

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AK Dental Arts Dentistry Blog Continuing Dental Education

Dental Benefits – Important End of Year Message

AK Dental Arts in Staten Island NY - new dental patients

As the end of the year approaches, there are two important issues that you have to attend to well before the end of this calendar year.

  1. If you haven’t utilized your dental benefits to the fullest, please recognize that you must do so before December 31. Ignoring your allowed utilization will cause you to lose benefits for this calendar year. You will not be able to recover any of these benefits. We can easily catch a simple problem before it gets too advanced and cost you more in dollars and aggravation. Schedule your appointment as soon as possible.
  2. The selection of your dental benefits for the upcoming year are occurring now. Many patients do not understand the consequences of selecting a poor insurance product that they deem good at the time of presentation. Our office team is proficient in understanding the differences in products that you are selecting from. Before making your final selection, it is urgent that you speak to us for the best decision.
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AK Dental Arts Dentistry Blog Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry General Dentistry

Conservative Dentistry Treatment Options

Conservative Dentistry Treatment Options - photo credit Racardo, https://www.flickr.com/photos/racardo/
Photo credit Racardo

With today’s advanced technology, many patients and dentists are pushing to provide or acquire extensive expensive dentistry work.  While there is sometimes a legitimate need to provide this type of service, many times a patient can be better served with a more conservative type of care.

What is Best for the Patient?

Conservative dentistry involves a thought process of thinking what is best for the patient. The dentist considers what they would do if it were their mouth, their child’s mouth, or their spouse’s mouth. It’s about providing the best service for the lowest cost. It’s about making it last. It’s about causing the fewest side effects and potential problems while succeeding in making the procedure work.