We can’t say it often enough: Your dentist is often the first line of defense in keeping both your mouth AND your body healthy. That’s why, during your comprehensive exams, Dr. Steve Blechman is so thorough. Many patients feel they have never had an exam like his before! The thing is, we aren’t only looking at the health of your mouth, we are also scanning for oral manifestations of diseases such as:
- Gastrointestinal diseases
- Hematological disorders
- Connective-tissue disorders
- Pulmonary conditions
- Drug-induced conditions
- Skin diseases
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Sleep apnea
- TMJ disorder
- Sinus problems
- Eating disorders
The list could go on and on. Why do we do this? Ninety percent of systemic diseases have oral manifestations! And while we don’t diagnose or treat illnesses, your regular check-ups can help us stay alert to changes and problems that you may not have been aware of so you can get the medical help you need. Of course, we primarily focus on checking your teeth, gums, and jaw. We’ll be looking for even the smallest changes so we can stop problems like gum disease, decay, compromised restorations or dentition, or misalignment before they become major. And since all of our records are kept electronically, we can easily share your x-rays or intra-oral camera findings with you and store them for easy access at your next visit. It all adds up to clear information, convenient collaboration, and a healthier mouth – and you – for the long term.
Oral Cancer Screenings
You hear about other cancers much more often: Who hasn’t walked for life or donated to a breast cancer organization? But while other cancers are getting all the attention, oral cancer is insidiously keeping pace by the day.
The numbers are alarming. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, over “49,750 Americans will be diagnosed with oral oropharyngeal cancer this year,” and many more will go undiagnosed. How can that be happening? Early symptoms of oral cancer can be subtle enough to be ignored leading to a death rate that is significantly higher than other cancers, “not because it is hard to discover or diagnose, but due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development.”
That’s why Dental Arts of Rockland not only screens for oral cancer at your comprehensive exam but also at every cleaning. Maybe it has been a while since your last dental exam or cleaning. Or perhaps you’re experiencing white or red patches in your mouth with unexplained bleeding. Sometimes you get mouth sores that won’t heal or lumps in your neck or in your mouth. If any of these symptoms sound familiar, please give us a call today. It could save your life.
X-rays may be considered the standard of care during dental exams and check-ups, but not all x-rays are the same. Dental Arts of Rockland has chosen to use only digital x-rays for our patients because digital x-rays expose you to up to 75% less radiation than conventional dental x-rays. What’s more, digital x-rays give us larger, crisper electronic images of the inside of your teeth, their roots, supporting bone, and your gums. You’ll enjoy an upgraded view of your oral health that can be saved directly to our in-room computers for future comparisons, clear treatment plans, and education for all ages.
In addition to digital x-rays, we also offer our Rockland area patients panoramic x-rays. These full-scope x-rays allow us to see your entire head, neck and bone structure. We use the images to aid in the planning of implant placement, scanning for orthodontic problems, checking on wisdom teeth positioning, or evaluating bone density or sinus problems.
And if that isn’t enough, we supplement our x-ray imaging with the use of digital, intraoral cameras. These tiny cameras allow us to get the sharpest, most up-close-and-personal view of the outside of your teeth – even in places only a dental mirror used to fit – and show them to you on chairside computer monitors. It’s a whole new way of looking at your teeth!
You brush twice a day with an electric toothbrush. You floss or pick after every meal. You even use a water flosser to irrigate your gums. But in spite of all of that excellent home hygiene, if you aren’t keeping up with your professional cleanings, you could be putting your teeth, gums, and body at risk. Here’s the scoop: No matter how well you clean your teeth at home, some bacteria in the form of plaque or tartar simply won’t budge. Sometimes it hides in between crowded teeth. Sometimes in the pits and grooves of your molars. And yet other times, it just builds up, a little at a time, at your gum line.
And don’t forget – everything you eat or drink feed the bacteria while maladies like dry-mouth create ideal conditions for the bacteria to flourish in. Cavities can form, periodontal disease flares, and inflammation develops. Don’t risk it! Dental Arts of Rockland’s professional cleanings are more effective than ever because our hygienists blast away every speck of plaque or tartar using the powerful, efficient, gentle ultrasonic scaler. Ultrasonic cleaning removes every bit of stubborn calculous and bacteria, polishes, and brightens your smile using soundwaves instead of old-fashioned metal tools. What could be nicer?
It happens. You fall asleep without brushing your teeth a few nights, skip a few cleanings, consume some fast food, smoke a few cigarettes, suffer from dry mouth, or have a hereditary proclivity and your gums flare up with an infection.
Over 85 percent of people in the United States have some level of gum (periodontal) disease and approximately 40% of all adults have chronic periodontal disease.
We are on a mission to change those statistics – at least for our Rockland-area patients, not only because gum disease can lead to loose or lost teeth, but also because periodontal infections can have seriously adverse effects on your overall health.
But how do oral bacteria get from your mouth into your system? The skin inside your mouth is known as the “oral mucosa” and is rich with blood vessels. Because of this, the oral mucosa is very permeable allowing bacteria, and the toxins they produce, to get into your bloodstream especially when you chew. Once in your bloodstream, the infectious bacteria of periodontitis can significantly lower your immune system and cause all kinds of other health issues. Bacteria from gum disease are also taken into your lungs when you breathe, further compromising your system. What’s more, gum disease is contagious, and it isn’t only your partner or spouse who can be affected by it. DNA tests show that periodontal infection is transmitted directly from parent to child, as well.
If you have any of the following symptoms, please call us and schedule a periodontal consultation right away:
- Gums are red, swollen, or tender
- Gums bleed when you brush, floss, or eat hard food
- Gums are pulling away from your teeth
- Teeth are loose or developing new gaps, or the way your teeth fit together is changing
- Bad breath has become chronic or noticeable
- You notice pus between your gums and teeth
Dental Arts of Rockland can help with a painless and effective course of treatments that may include:
- Ultrasonic deep cleaning using sound waves for effective and gentle scaling and root planing
- Soft tissue lasers to remove diseased tissue and reshape gums
- Powerful antibiotics, such as Arrestin with microspheres that stay under the gums for up to 21 days
Protect your teeth and gums! In addition to cleanings and periodontal care, one of Dental Arts of Rockland’s most effective preventive treatment measures is offering fluoride treatments to every patient at every visit. That means fluoride treatments for adults too. Why?
Life is hard on everyone’s teeth. Every time you eat or drink – especially sugary, carb-laden, or acidic foods, your enamel is under attack. And it isn’t only food that does a number on enamel. Your teeth can become weakened, vulnerable, and sensitive due to:
- Nail biting
- Sports drinks
- Acid reflux – Dry mouth
- Smokeless tobacco
- Cough drops
All of these things can deeply affect and erode enamel, leaving your teeth weakened, vulnerable, and sensitive.
A naturally occurring element, fluoride protects your teeth so well because it replaces minerals that are lost, building the strength of your teeth, hardening exposed roots, and extending the longevity of your restorations. This remineralization process can sometimes even heal tiny cavities and reduce adult root caries! Why not ask for a fluoride treatment after your next cleaning?
We’ve said it before, and we will say it again: The team at Dental Arts of Rockland is all about protecting your teeth and keeping them in the beautiful state nature intended. So while we do love performing cosmetic dentistry or seeing the incredible changes offered by cosmetic dental procedures, we’d rather keep our patients’ teeth safe. That’s why we offer the comfort and convenience of custom-made mouthguards for folks of all ages and stages.
Nightguards: Do you have craze marks or tiny lines forming in your teeth? Have you noticed that your teeth look just a little bit shorter in your smile that they used to? Do you have frequent headaches? You might grind your teeth or suffer from bruxism. Our lives are increasingly fast-paced and stress-filled and we are seeing more and more patients showing signs of bruxism. If not treated, it can lead to breaking teeth, TMJ disease, and migraines. It can also ruin much of the restorative or cosmetic dentistry you have invested in. That’s why Dental Arts of Rockland offers custom-made nightguards and bruxism guards. These special mouthguards protect your teeth and keep your jaw more comfortably balanced for a better night’s sleep and peace of mind.
Sportsguards: Unlike over-the-counter athletic mouthguards, our custom-made and fitted mouthpieces are not only great at protecting you and your kids from soft tissue and dental injuries they also help prevent concussions! According to the Academy of General Dentistry, kids wearing over-the-counter mouthguards were two times more likely to suffer mild traumatic brain injuries than those wearing properly fitted, dentist-made guards. We think our patient’s smiles – and brains––are worth it!
Feel nervous about dentistry? Have a difficult time getting numb? Is your gag reflex embarrassingly strong? Don’t worry! Dental Arts of Rockland has all the tricks and tools anyone could ever need to sit back, relax, and feel good about dentistry again. Most patients discover that they don’t need any kind of sedation after their first couple of visits because we are so gentle, take so much time getting you comfortable, and never leave you guessing about what’s happening next.
But if you need a little extra help – even after a paraffin hand dip, scented pillow, candlelight cleaning, or cozy blanket – we are happy to help you drift into a state of euphoria with nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas. Laughing gas has been safely used for decades as a sedation method for both children and adults and is so mild, that, with the administration of a little pure oxygen, you can usually return to work or drive a car after your appointment. And to make sure that even your most general procedures are completely free of pain, even our hygienists are certified to provide local anesthesia.
A great way to make sure your kids stay healthy is to make sure they are taking care of their teeth at home. A new survey by the Ad Council indicates that only 44 percent of American kids brush their teeth two or more times per day, leaving the majority of kids at high risk for costly and painful dental problems.
Another way to help is to keep their smiles in good shape with professional dental care.
But who has time for one more specialist visit? Life is busy and your calendar is already full. That’s why Dental Arts of Rockland makes keeping all the precious smiles in your household, from the tiniest to the most experienced, easier, more convenient, and so much more comfortable. If you have little ones in your family above the age of three but haven’t found a pediatric dentist you trust or can’t make time in your schedule for one more thing, the team at Dental Arts of Rockland can help.
If you are a patient at Dental Arts of Rockland, you already know how pampering and gentle we are… and we think kids deserve that kind of dentistry too. From early tooth counting and cleaning to sealants and cavity repair, our pediatric dentistry can make your life easier, and your kids’ smiles brighter and stronger – for life!
No matter how careful you are with your teeth, the unexpected can happen. Restorations can become damaged or fail, especially if they are old, accidents take us by surprise, or pain begins seemingly out of nowhere. It can be upsetting – but much less so when you know you can rely on the dental team you know and trust to give you advice, hold your hand, and get your smile feeling better fast.
If your emergency is a result of trauma and there seems to be a facial injury involved, please head to your nearest emergency room and call us on the way. If your tooth gets knocked out, call us immediately. A tooth that has been knocked out starts to die within 15 minutes, but if you put it in milk or hold it in your mouth, it will survive longer and may be able to be reinserted. All other emergencies are usually seen, right here in our office, the same day you call. We are available to take your call after hours as well to help you assess your situation and help you relax and stay calm. It’s your smile, after all, and we take every smile concern seriously!