You want to keep all your teeth for as long as you can. You also want to keep each of your teeth intact for as long as possible. Sometimes life has different plans. When one or more of your teeth are damaged, what can you do? You may be able to get a dental crown.
Archives for April 2016
Quality dental care comes down to a few important things.
The first is knowledge, and the second is building relationships.
If you have either one of these but not the other, then your patients will suffer as a result. At Bayou Dental Group, we make both of these a priority as part of our family dentistry.
For families in and around Monroe, LA, we want to be the dentist office that you come to when you or your kids need oral health care.
We take pride in helping our patients feel comfortable, and we believe this is an important reason our patients continue to come back and see us.
In any kind of dentistry, but especially family dentistry, you need to visit someone who understands how to provide dental care.
You can rest assured that is the case with our dentist, Dr. Finley.
Dr. Finley grew up in Monroe and is a proud product of the Monroe City School System. After graduating from Northeast Louisiana University, he earned his D.D.S. at Louisiana State University.
In the 30 years that he has been working as a dentistry, he also made continuing education a priority. He has hundreds of hours of continuing education so he can provide the best dentistry using the most modern techniques available.
He also attained a Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry and is an Accredited Fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Only 6 percent of American dentists have the general dentistry fellowship, and fewer than 30 dentists in the world have both fellowships.
The rest of our team has decades of experience in dental care, and every member of our staff enjoys working with people. We are particularly fond of helping kids.
What You Can Expect
From your first visit onward, you can expect us to be attentive to your needs and your worries.
We encourage parents to bring their children for their first visit within six months of the arrival of his or her first tooth. While we want to look at your child’s teeth, this visit is mainly about building a trusting relationship with our staff.
We will show your child our dentist’s chair and even let him or her sit in the chair. Because we want your child to be comfortable, we will not force him or her to do anything he or she is not ready for. If we aren’t able to look at your child’s teeth on this visit, that’s OK. With time, he or she will open up and allow us to take a closer look.
We know that dental anxiety affects many people, and in many cases, that anxiety can stem from an incident in their youth. We want to do everything we can to help your child have a positive outlook on dental care and the dentist office.
For older children and adults, we strive to provide and encourage preventive dental care. This is why we emphasize good oral care practices at home (brushing twice a day, flossing every day) and with routine visits to our office.
We like to see all of our patients twice a year for routine cleanings and examinations. Even if you brush and floss like you should, you may still develop plaque and tartar in a few places. During your cleaning, our dentist or hygienist will remove any of the plaque or tartar that you may have missed.
This will reduce your risk of developing tooth decay or gum disease.
You also can expect us to provide a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, and mouth. We will monitor for any changes in your teeth alignment, and we will watch for symptoms of oral health problems. If we see anything, we are more than ready to treat your problems as soon as we can.
We also provide two services that can keep your teeth healthier for a longer time.
The first is our fluoride treatments. Fluoride is a mineral that can help your teeth in two ways.
During the early stages of tooth decay, fluoride can actually stop the decay and reverse it. The second thing fluoride does is strengthen the enamel of your teeth.
The second service is dental sealants. These are applied to the molars (the flatter teeth in the back of your mouth). These are the teeth most likely to develop cavities. The sealants serve as a barrier that provides an added layer of protection against cavities for children or adults
Come See Us Soon
We are always happy to see regular patients and new ones stop by our dentist office in Monroe, LA.
If you are ready to make an appointment or you just want to know about how we operate at Bayou Dental Care, then contact us by stopping by our office, by calling us at [phone], or by filling out our online form.
Do you know the No. 1 cause of tooth loss in the United States?
If you said tooth decay, you would be wrong.
If you said accidents … you would be wrong, too.
The correct answer is gum disease.
This is just one of the reasons the American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice each day and flossing between your teeth and gums every day. Brushing and flossing remove bacteria that cause gum disease as well as the sticky plaque that allows bacteria to remain closer to your teeth and gums.
The preventive dentistry we offer at Bayou Dental Care in Monroe, LA, is intended to reduce your risk of problems like gum disease. We want you to know what your gums do for you, and the consequences if you don’t care for them correctly.
What Do Gums Do?
Scientifically speaking, gums are the “mucosal tissue” that cover the mandible (jawbone) and maxilla (upper jaw) in your mouth.
Your teeth are divided into two major sections.
The crowns are the part that is visible above your gumline. This part of your teeth is covered with protective enamel, which is the hardest substance in the human body.
The roots are below your gumline and are covered with cementum. Cementum does offer some protection, but it is not as hard as enamel.
Your gums provide additional protection for the roots of your teeth. They also help to hold your teeth in place.
Your roots are anchored in your upper and lower jaw, but without your gums, they would be much looser and more likely to fall out.
To put it simply, your gums are a protective barrier that helps to keep infections away from the roots of your teeth. They also provide support to hold your teeth in place.
Symptoms And Types Of Gum Disease
In a broad sense, there are two types of gum disease. They are gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is the milder form of periodontal disease. If it isn’t treated correctly it can develop into advanced gum disease.
One symptom of gingivitis is gums that bleed when you are flossing or brushing your teeth. This should be considered a clue that you are not flossing and brushing as often as you should or that you aren’t flossing and brushing correctly.
Another symptom is gums that appear redder than usual or that appear swollen.
The good news is that you often can reverse gingivitis with proper oral hygiene practices.
If you don’t treat your gum disease at this early stage, it can turn into periodontitis.
This kind of periodontal disease is not something you can treat at home. You will need to visit a dentist office, like Bayou Dental Group, to have the infection removed from your mouth.
So what are the symptoms of periodontitis?
- Gums that bleed easily
- Gums that hurt or feel tender
- Gums that are pulling away from your teeth
- Gums that have pockets inside them
- Teeth that feel loose in their sockets
- Pus leaking from your gums or between your teeth and gums
The American Academy of Periodontology recognizes four different kinds of periodontitis. They are:
- Chronic periodontitis
This is the most common type of gum disease. This causes inflammation of the gum tissues that support your teeth. You also will experience gum recession and bone loss with this form of periodontal disease. Usually, this happens gradually with this condition.
This is more common in adults, but it can happen to children as well.
- Aggressive periodontitis
This type of periodontitis is common in people who are otherwise considered healthy. The characteristics of this form of periodontitis are quick gum recession (when gums pull away from your teeth) and damage to the bones that hold your teeth in your mouth.
- Periodontitis as a manifestation of systemic diseases
This can begin at an early age, and it can be a symptom of other health issues. Diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory diseases are a few of the common conditions that are known to correlate with this form of gum disease.
- Necrotizing periodontal disease
This form of gum disease causes necrosis in your gums and the bones that support your teeth. Necrosis is the death of cells in the tissues. In this case, it would be your gums.
You may notice lesions forming on your gums if you are suffering from malnutrition or a disease that suppresses your immune system, such as HIV.
Keep Flossing And Come See Us
We don’t want anyone to suffer any form of gum disease. This is why we are happy to answer any questions you have about your oral care at home and why we offer preventive dental care at our dentist office in Monroe, LA.
If you have not yet scheduled your next cleaning and examination, call Bayou Dental Group today at [phone] or fill out our online form.
Do you suffer from dental anxiety?
Do your children have dental anxiety?
Do you wish there was a dentist office you could visit in or near Monroe, LA, that could ease those fears?
If the answer to any or all of those questions is yes, then we know where you can go for basic oral care. You can visit Bayou Dental Group.
No matter if you or someone you know gets a little nervous about going to the dentist or suffers from severe dental anxiety, we have ways to help you, such as oral conscious sedation.
The end result is that you or your loved one will receive the dental care you need to keep your mouth as healthy as it can be.
How You Will Be Treated
When you come to Bayou Dental Group, we want you to feel like you are visiting a relative. (Not one of the ones you don’t get along with, but one of the ones you really like to see.)
We know how we want to be treated when we receive our dental care, and that’s how we try to treat the patients who come to our office. It doesn’t matter if you are a new patient or someone who has been seeing us for years for routine preventive care.
Each member of our staff enjoys working with people. That shows itself in the welcoming feeling you will receive when you walk in our door.
If you have any worries, please let us know at the time you make your appointment or when you come to our office. We want to do whatever we can to help you feel comfortable and relaxed.
Learning To Manage Dental Anxiety
Experts agree that dental anxiety is a common problem across the United States.
Among people with dental fear, 58 percent avoid the dentist completely and 20 percent only visit the dentist in the event of a dental emergency.
The truth is that avoiding the dentist only makes it more likely that you will have one of those dental emergencies. Visiting our office for routine care reduces the odds that you will experience a dental emergency in the future due to poor oral hygiene.
There’s a good chance you already know those things, but that is not enough to help you or your loved one overcome your dental anxiety.
Here’s something that you should know: We don’t expect you to overcome your dental anxiety in a single visit to our office.
We believe we can help you take one step at a time toward learning to manage that anxiety. With time, we believe your anxiety will decrease to the point that you can cope with it even if it never goes away completely.
You may even start enjoying coming to see us with time.
We see patients every day who struggle with dental anxiety. One of the ways we can help you is through sedation dentistry. In our office, this means oral conscious sedation.
When you undergo oral conscious sedation, you take a pill before your treatment begins. The pill will reduce your anxiety, and it may make you feel drowsy. Some patients even fall asleep.
We start your treatment after the pill has taken effect. Many patients don’t remember anything about their procedure, and if you do remember anything, it may seem more like a dream than reality.
Here are few reasons you or someone you love may want to consider oral conscious sedation:
- You are afraid of pain
- You are afraid of gagging or choking
- You feel tense or anxious just thinking about visiting the dentists office
- You have trouble sitting still when you are in a dentist’s chair
- You are bothered by the sounds of dental tools being used
With sedation dentistry, you won’t feel any pain. You won’t gag, and you won’t be bothered by the normal sounds that come with dental care.
You will remain still, which is good for you and for the dentist or hygienist providing your care.
And you will not experience anxiety or a “fight or flight” sensation during your treatment.
One thing you will need is someone else to give you a ride home. The effects of sedation can last for a few hours, so we recommend that you plan to rest after your treatment is over.
Take The First Step
Today is the day to contact Bayou Dental Group if you or someone you love has been away from the dentist for longer than you or they should have.
With the welcoming, friendly staff at our dentist office in Monroe, LA, we strive to make everyone feel relaxed and comfortable. That’s as important to us as the specifics of your dental care.
If you would like to know more about sedation dentistry, call us at [phone] or contact us with our online form. We look forward to helping you.
At our dental practice, we are prepared to treat a number of oral health problems. However, we would much rather prevent you from having any problems in the first place. We have created a short quiz can help you find out what you should be doing to fight tooth decay and gum disease. Good luck and have fun!
What should you do if you lose a tooth?
It really depends on how old you are.
If you are 8, then you should leave your tooth under your pillow for the tooth fairy. In the morning, you may receive a pleasant surprise.
Besides, losing your baby tooth means an adult tooth will be replacing it soon.
If you are 38, 48, or 88, then you need to call Bayou Dental Group to ask about getting a dental implant instead.
Our dentist office serves patients in and around Monroe, LA. And we have found dental implants are effective and safe at restoring the full use of your teeth.
Today, we want to share three ways dental implants could help you or someone you know who is missing teeth.
#1. Replace a single tooth
Losing a single tooth is more common than you may realize.
An adult with a full mouth has 32 teeth. Even if that person has his or her teeth wisdom teeth removed, he or she will still have 28 teeth.
Knowing this, can you guess how many teeth the average adult (ages 20 to 64) has in the United States? 24.92 teeth, according to the National Institutes of Health.
That means most American adults have lost at least three teeth on average, and that is assuming each one of those people had all their wisdom teeth removed.
That’s a lot of lost teeth and a lot of teeth that should be replaced.
To do this, you could get a dental bridge. This would involve reshaping the two healthy teeth beside the vacancy in your mouth. Then, you would have the bridge bonded to those teeth to span the gap.
Or, you could leave your healthy teeth alone and get a dental implant instead.
A dental implant would replace the root of your missing tooth. The implant is placed directly into your jawbone or your alveolar bone.
Your dental implant will have an abutment on one end, and we can place a dental crown on that abutment. This combination will make it look like you have a full set of healthy teeth, but maybe more importantly, it will allow you to continue eating just like you could before you lost a tooth.
#2. Replace multiple teeth
Losing one tooth is a problem, losing multiple teeth is worse.
Anytime you lose a tooth (and don’t replace it), you will start losing bone mass as well. Your roots keep your bones healthy. Your roots stimulate your bone whenever your bite or chew on something. This stimulation spurs new growth, which keeps your bones strong.
If you lose a tooth (and, therefore, a root), then you lose that stimulation in that part of your mouth. Within 12 months, you can lose up to one-fourth of your boss density in the part of your mouth that is missing a tooth.
If you are missing more than one tooth, that’s more bone mass you can lose.
Again, you could get a traditional dental bridge, which involves removing part of otherwise healthy teeth, or you could get an implant-supported bridge. With one or a couple dental implants, you can support a dental bridge without doing anything to your otherwise healthy teeth.
Again, the bridge and the implants will restore the appearance of your smile and your ability to bite and chew.
#3. Replace all your teeth
You probably know someone how has dentures, so you may be aware of some of the struggles that come with having dentures.
They can come loose when you are eating. They can fall out when you are speaking. They can become detached pretty much any time you move your mouth.
When they do remain in place, they can give you a lifelike smile, but that doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want. In fact, people with dentures have been proven to have a bite force of about 50 pounds per square inch. That’s just one-fourth of the 200 pounds of bite force most people have when they have all their teeth.
At our office, we offer implant-supported dentures as an alternative. Using as few as four or six implants (All-on-Four or All-on-Six), we can give your dentures greater strength and stability than you could hope to receive with denture adhesives.
In fact, research has proven that people with implant-supported dentures can regain a bite force close or equal to 200 pounds.
Now Or In The Future
In a perfect world, you won’t lose any of your teeth, so you won’t have any need for dental implants. In the real world, a majority of people will lose at least one tooth, and we hope you will come to our dentist office in Monroe, LA, if you do.
Dental implants from Bayou Dental Group can revive your smile and do so in a way that you won’t have to give up any of your favorite foods.
To learn more about dental implants or to make an appointment, call [phone] or fill out our online form.
Today, 132 people will get the worst news of their lives. Today, 132 people in the United States will learn that they have oral cancer.
According to The Oral Cancer Foundation, 48,250 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year.
The good news is that people who are diagnosed with oral cancer in the early stages have an 80 to 90 percent survival rate. That survival rate drops to 57 percent within five years if the oral cancer is found in the late stages.
Our team at Bayou Dental Group hopes that none of you develop oral cancer, but if you do, we hope it’s found early. Just in case, we look for the warning signs when you come to our dentist office on Monroe, LA, for routine cleanings and exams.
But we also want you to know what to watch for and how you can reduce your risk of developing oral cancer.
Watch For The Signs
If you are between dental visits, we hope you will take a moment from time to time to examine the soft tissues of your mouth. This is where the early warning signs of oral cancer may be seen.
Those early signs are:
- Discoloration of your soft tissues that are red, white, or both
- Feeling hoarse for a prolonged period of time
- Having a sore that does not heal within two weeks
Any of these is a reason to get checked by a medical professional.
The symptoms listed below are signs that you need to see a doctor as soon as possible, however:
- Numbness in or around your mouth
- Trouble swallowing
- Trouble moving your tongue or jaw
- Having a sore under a denture that does not heal even after your dentures are adjusted
- Ear pain on one side of your head
- Feeling like something is stuck in your throat
- Lumps in your mouth or neck
There are some known causes of oral cancer, although you should be aware that the cause is unknown in 7 percent of oral cancer cases.
With that in mind, here are things you can do to reduce your risk of developing oral cancer.
- Don’t smoke or use other tobacco products
Tobacco is the leading cause of cancer in the United States, and it is far and away the leading cause of oral cancers. The University of California, San Francisco, found in one study that 80 percent of oral cancer patients were smokers.
Another study looked at the effects of smokeless tobacco and oral cancer. The researchers compared women living in rural North Carolina who used smokeless tobacco with women who did not use tobacco.
The smokeless tobacco users were 14 times more likely to be diagnosed with oral cancer compared to women who did not. That rate was 50 times higher among women who had used smokeless tobacco for 25 years or more.
The results seem pretty clear, using tobacco raises your risk of developing oral cancer, and the longer you use it, the higher that risk grows.
- Avoid or limit alcohol use
Having more than 15 alcohol drinks in one week also raises your risk of developing oral cancer.
And using alcohol and tobacco together makes your risk even higher. Alcohol will dry out the soft tissues of your mouth. This makes it easier for the chemicals in tobacco products (many of which are known carcinogens) to get into your soft tissues.
- Get vaccinated
While rare, HPV — HPV16, in particular — is a known cause of oral cancer.
In the United States, 80 percent of people will contract the HPV virus. For a vast majority of us, 99 percent, this will not cause any problems. Our bodies deal with the infections without us ever knowing.
But for the unlucky 1 percent, HPV16 can be deadly. Vaccines to prevent HPV exist, but they are only effective if they are given before a person has been exposed to the virus.
This is one of the reasons the National Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends routine vaccines for females who are 11-12 years old. The committee also recommends vaccines for females 13-26 who have not already been vaccinated. Vaccines are also suggested for males 9-26 years old who have not been vaccinated.
Cancer is scary for people who get it and for their family and friends. There’s no way to eliminate your chances of having cancer, but you can take steps to reduce that risk.
Bayou Dental Group will check for signs of oral cancer during your routine visits. If you haven’t scheduled your next cleaning and examination, now would be a good time to do that. Use our online form or call [phone] to make your appointment.
We don’t want you to be afraid if you ever hear someone say, “You need a root canal treatment.”
We know root canals conjure some unfortunate images. People associate the procedure with pain, which has made many people hesitant to receive root canal therapy when they really do need it.
The only pain that should be associated with root canal treatment is pain relief.
At Bayou Dental Group, root canals are meant to alleviate problems you are having or to prevent you from experiencing the problems that come with having infected pulp inside one of your teeth.
Please, give us a call if you are having a toothache and you need a dentist in or near Monroe, LA. Remember that root canals are meant to relieve your pain, not cause more of it.
What Is A Root Canal?
The root canal is not actually a procedure, it is a part of your tooth.
You may already know that your tooth is divided into two major sections, the crown (which is the part that is visible when you smile or open your mouth) and the root (which is the part under your gums).
The roots are like legs that protrude from the bottom of your tooth. Inside each of those legs is an opening called a root canal.
This opening is how nerves and blood vessels reach the center of your teeth. You also have a soft tissue known as pulp on the inside of your teeth including inside your root canals.
Most of the time, these things exist without causing you any problems. A root canal treatment is needed when the inside of your tooth becomes infected.
These kinds of infections are often the result of tooth decay or gum disease. Bacteria uses the sugar in your foods to build plaque. From the plaque, bacteria can form an acid that can eat into your tooth.
If this happens on the crown of your tooth, you may have tooth decay that works its way through your enamel into the softer dentin and eventually into the pulp at the center of your tooth.
With gum disease, the bacteria may infect the tissues around the root of your tooth. The roots are covered with a substance called cementum, which is not as hard as the enamel on the crown of your tooth. If bacteria can eat through the cementum, they may be able to infect the pulp by reaching your root canal.
No matter how your pulp becomes infected it may lead to an abscessed tooth. An abscess is a pocket filled with thick, yellow fluid.
What Symptoms Indicate That You May Need A Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal problems can develop slowly although routine check-ups may identify problems before they get to this stage.
Here are things you should be aware of:
- Increased tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweets
- Pimple-like bumps on your gums near the tooth that hurts
- Swelling, tenderness near the aching tooth
- A tooth that turns darker
If you notice any of these problems, please contact Bayou Dental Group as soon as you are able.
What Is A Root Canal Treatment?
Before we do a root canal treatment, we will examine your mouth and make X-rays to confirm the diagnosis. We don’t want to do a root canal treatment unless it is necessary.
If you do need a root canal treatment, we will start by numbing your mouth or administering dental sedation. You should not feel any pain during your procedure.
After creating an opening in your tooth, we will remove the infected pulp along with the blood vessels and nerves inside your tooth.
Then we will clean and sanitize the inside of your tooth. Your tooth will be filled with a rubbery material that will help it maintain its shape and reduce the risk of reinfection.
We will close the tooth with a filling or a dental crown, depending on whichever is most appropriate for your situation.
You should notice the pain from your toothache has gone. We will provide you with instructions on how to care for your tooth as you recover from the root canal treatment.
In the long-term, this will help you keep your tooth and maintain your smile.
Saving Your Oral Health
At Bayou Dental Group in Monroe, LA, the last thing our dentist wants to do is cause pain to you or any of our patients.
A root canal treatment is done under anesthesia or sedation, so you won’t feel any pain during the procedure. When it’s over, the pain of your toothache will go away.
Call us at [phone] or use our online form to contact us if you have experienced any of the symptoms that could indicate you have an infected tooth.