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.

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.
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.

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.

AK Dental Arts Dentistry Blog Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry General Dentistry

Conservative Dentistry Treatment Options

Conservative Dentistry Treatment Options - photo credit 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.

AK Dental Arts Dentistry Blog Continuing Dental Education General Dentistry

The truth about tooth-colored dental fillings

tooth colored fillings can create problems - using amalgam fillings in sensitive patients

Over the years, there have been many changes in dental materials. Perhaps the greatest changes have occurred with composites (white filling material), porcelains, and porcelain-like materials. The truth regarding all available dental materials is that each has a place. There is no perfect filling material for all situations. Different situations require different materials. And, from my experience, some of the newer material may not be the best choice. In fact, for some patients, it may be a disaster.

AK Dental Arts Dentistry Blog Emergency Dentistry General Dentistry

Why is my tooth so Sensitive? What should I do?

AK Dental Arts in Staten Island NY - fix sensitive teeth

One of the most frequent complaints we hear about at our dental office involves tooth sensitivity. There are many reasons for tooth sensitivity, and it’s difficult for a patient to accurately diagnose why their tooth is bothering them.

Continuing Dental Education Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry General Dentistry

Occlusion Basics: How Teeth Meet and Function Together

AK Dental Arts in Staten Island NY can correct malocclusion or bad bite problems and TMJ

When dentists speak of occlusion, they mean how the teeth meet and function together.

In normal occlusion, the teeth come together so they fit into a proper anatomical arrangement – much like puzzle pieces that all meet at the same time. In abnormal occlusion, some teeth may hit before others or some teeth may not hit at all. This can create pain in the teeth or the musculature of the mouth or both.

AK Dental Arts Dentistry Blog General Dentistry

Geriatric Dentistry – Keeping Your Mouth Healthy for a Lifetime

geriatric dentistry - AK Dental Arts in Staten Island NY

In the not-so-distant past, it was routine to regard teeth as disposable, and when problems occurred, it was a common occurrence to have them removed rather than save them. With advances in dentistry and reconstructive techniques, that’s no longer the case. Saving natural teeth helps to avoid problems, expense, and discomfort, and supports healthy nutrition throughout a lifetime.

Although genetics play a role in the health of teeth, and accidents do happen, some people view their teeth as optional, removable appendages. But patients who recognize the importance of a healthy mouth and teeth, and their role in good nutrition and overall health, can help to ensure their teeth last a lifetime.

What can you do to keep your teeth healthy and working hard for you?

AK Dental Arts Dentistry Blog General Dentistry

Your Child’s First Dental Visit – First Step to a Lifetime of Dental Health

children's dentistry - AK Dental Arts in Staten Island NY

Times have changed

Our grandparents took losing teeth for granted, and many of us remember a childhood where fillings were a routine part of a trip to the dentist. Times have changed, and nowhere more than children’s dentistry. Thanks to early detection of problems and proactive treatment of early cavities and other problems, it’s not uncommon for children to graduate from high school without a single cavity and with beautiful teeth. Indeed, today’s children may be the first generation to keep their natural teeth their entire lives with good dental care and healthy mouth habits.

AK Dental Arts Dentistry Blog Emergency Dentistry General Dentistry

Preventive vs. Emergency Dental Care

No Insurance Coverage?

The change in the economy over the past several years have caused many patients to loose their dental benefits, or to have them substantially reduced. This has led to a spiral of “not coming in because I don’t have dental insurance.” This is the worst thing a person can do in terms of dental health and saving money.

Finding Dental Problems Early: Save Money, Save Time, Save Discomfort

Finding problems when they are still small and manageable is not only simpler for the dentist, but also more economical for the patient. Putting off a dental appointment due to no insurance coverage or poor coverage leaves you open to abscesses, periodontal disease, advancing cavities, suffering and increased future costs.

AK Dental Arts Dentistry Blog Emergency Dentistry General Dentistry

Emergency Dentistry: Who do you trust? Who can you reach?

Do you ever think about the relationship you have with your dentist? I mean, do you ever think about the emergency services he or she can provide you, your family, your friends? Can you reach your dentist directly, or is there only a message machine or no message at all?

Putting off care can result in emergency dentist needs

Have you lost your dental benefits, or had them substantially reduced so you “can’t come in because I don’t have dental insurance”. This is the worst thing a person can do for dental health and your pocketbook. Find out why in our next article, Preventive vs. Emergency Dental Care.