Thursday, April 14, 2016

Dentist or Oral Surgeon: When to Visit Each?

Dentist or Oral Surgeon: When to Visit Each?

Patients have many options in dental providers, and the decision of which type of dental professional is best for your current needs can be tricky.  Understanding the differences between general dentists and oral surgeons can help you make an informed choice for dental care. Depending on your needs or the needs of your family, you may need to see both a dentist and an oral surgeon.

General Dentist
A dentist (DDS degree, Doctor of Dental Surgery or DMD degree, Doctor of Dental Medicine) has completed 4-5 years of higher education and can diagnose and treat conditions and diseases of the mouth, as well as perform minor surgical procedures such as simple incisions and extractions.

General Dentistry Clinical Practice
General dentists are primary care providers for dental medicine. They diagnose, manage, and treat your overall oral health, and often make recommendations for how to prevent common dental problems. Dentist offices provide teeth cleaning, X-rays, and a comprehensive screening for dental problems. They also provide dental fillings, veneers, bridges, crowns, and gum care. Although a general dentist may perform simple tooth extractions, more complex surgeries may be outside of the scope of a general dentist’s competence.

Oral Surgeon
An oral surgeon also has a DDS or DMD degree, but must complete 4 to 8 years of additional training, such as a surgical residency, after dental school. Oral surgeons sometimes complete an additional medical degree.

Oral Surgery Clinical Practice
An oral surgeon is the oral health care provider who performs surgical procedures in and about the entire face, mouth, and jaw area. A general dentist will often refer a patient to an oral surgeon when a problem is beyond the scope of the dentist’s expertise. An oral surgeon may perform dental implants, simple tooth extractions, complex extractions (removal of soft tissue, bone or roots), wisdom teeth removal, soft tissue biopsies, removal of oral cavity tumors, complex jaw realignment surgeries, reconstructive dental surgery, fractured jaw bone or cheek repair, and cleft palate repair surgery.

Understanding the difference between a general dentist and an oral surgeon can save you time when making the right decision for dental care. Remember to bring along an updated medical history. Explain any recent health issues, even if they seem unrelated to your mouth’s health. A healthy smile is the gateway to good health, but it is also a way to feel more confident. Call us today for questions about your smile.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Smile for Christmas Winner: A story of Hope and Faith

                    Meet Our Smile for Christmas Winner: A Story of Hope and Faith

Everyone goes through seasons of life when heartache seems closer than hope and tears come easier than smiles. For Caroline Lusk, that season has been long and exhausting. 
Like so many others, she witnessed her parent’s divorce. Many years later, she lost her father in a motorcycle accident at the hand of an impaired driver. The years in between and after held additional struggles. To cope with her circumstances, she developed an unhealthy relationship with food that sent her to multiple treatment centers and threatened her well-being—physically and psychologically.

Over time, she achieved stability, enabling her to move forward with life. She met and married a wonderful Christian man, had two healthy children and began to embrace the reality of grace that allows one to emerge from darkness into a new day.

Life wasn’t perfect.

There were relapses.

As a writer and non-profit professional, she was and continues to be engaged in either ministry or philanthropic work. It’s the kind of work she did and still does believe in, but in industries that are volatile at best, it’s never been a sure thing.

Beyond that, her health history had left its mark. Nearly 20 years of acid reflux had worn away the enamel on her teeth, compromising their stability and health.

When she happened upon the Smile for Christmas give-away from Solace Oral Surgery, it was as though once again the heavens opened and mercy rained down. Finally, she would be able to regain oral health, whereby improving her physical well-being. More than that, this opportunity meant that the smile that had been emerging inside, out of the wake of great loss, could now be reflected on the outside.

Today, she is celebrating a new season. One in which hope redeems heartache and smiles wipe away the tears.