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Finding the Best Dentist Near Me

“What’s a good way to find the best dentist near me?” Your Lincoln, NE dentists answer:

Finding a healthcare provider such as a dentist that you feel confident in and comfortable with and offers all of your desired services can prove challenging. That’s why at Nebraska Family Dentistry, we offer various services, all of which are affordable. What else does Nebraska Family Dentistry offer? A skilled, compassionate team that’s ready to help you! We also offer many modern conveniences such as online bill pay, online scheduling, and payment options if you need them. But, that’s only a little snippet of what Nebraska Family Dentistry is about! We have so much to offer, and the best part is, at NFD, it’s all about YOU! Want to learn more about us? Keep reading, and we’ll cover these topics and many more!

-How do I find a reputable dentist or the “best dentist near me in Lincoln, NE?” We have a few helpful tips.

-What qualities will a good dentist possess? We have hints.

-How does technology affect dental visits? We will explain!

Anyone can likely find a dentist by merely driving around town. But, to find “the best dentist near me in Lincoln, NE,” you’ll probably need to put in a tad more work.

Although some would agree that any location of Nebraska Family Dentistry is incredible, we know that not everyone feels this way. Everyone defines “best” differently, and therefore, what’s the “best” to one person might not be the “best” to another person.

It’s important to realize there while there may be an office that is a “perfect” fit for one person, that exact same office might not be at all suitable for another. There could be various reasons that an office isn’t a good fit. Your decision could hinge on office location, whether or not a provider is in-network with your dental insurance or even dental clinic hours. In this article, we’ll outline some positive attributes of what makes a great dental office. We’ll also outline some things that patients can look for when searching for a new dental office.

young woman thinking of best dentist near me

How do I find the “best dentist near me?” 

One of the easiest ways is to ask around! Ask for referrals to get some insights from friends and family. You can also look for reviews that are online to see what others have shared. In some cases, online opinions might want to be taken with a grain of salt. Some of the statements in online reviews can be misleading and, in some cases, are more “personal” versus general. Another thing to look for is dentists that are willing to submit claims to your insurance. While this isn’t all you should look for: we do have other things listed below to help you in your search for the “best dentist near me.”

dr christine bergman showing xrays

What Qualities Set Some Dental Providers and Offices Apart From their Competition?

What’s the quality of their care?

Advice from Your Lincoln dentist:

Generally, this is one of the most important deciding factors for many patients. Everyone deserves to have the highest quality clinical care available. The mark of a skilled clinical team could be a dental group that offers multiple locations. Aside from offering numerous locations, these clinics also have multiple dental providers. Bigger group practices typically have higher standards for patient care, thus ensuring consistency for all patients. Ultimately, patients will have a better experience when the entire team can work together. In the end, this creates a friendly and balanced atmosphere.

catering dental team

What is the experience and education of the dental provider you are considering? Your Lincoln dentist answers:

Every dental college shapes many exceptionally skilled dental providers with every graduating class. These dentists might practice for many years throughout their career, becoming more skilled in one particular discipline of dentistry. Every dentist has their weaknesses and strengths-based upon their general aptitude and clinical experience within certain areas of dentistry. In practice with multiple dentists, it is more likely that patients will receive exceptional care because these dentists can refer patients to one another. Also, in the event of a more complicated case, our dentists can consult with one another. At Nebraska Family Dentistry, aside from multiple locations, we also have various dentists in Lincoln, NE that work together regularly to deliver outstanding clinical care to every patient.

biological dentist dr kathryn alderman

How does the dental office team treat you?

Is the technology they use modern?
Your Lincoln dentist explains why this is very important. 

Dentistry changes daily with new techniques and instruments being introduced to help improve patient comfort and treatment outcomes. With all of these advances in dental technology, dentists in Lincoln, NE, can give patients the most accurate diagnosis and excellent treatment. When looking for a new dental home and the “best dentist near me,” be sure to check out your potential dentist’s office technology. An office that has newer technology is excellent. Often, it means that they are up-to-date with the latest advancements in dentistry.

As we all know, going to any office with an unhelpful, rude team is most definitely something no patient ever wants to experience. No matter where you do business, people should always be treated with compassion and respect by a friendly team who is genuinely there to help you. The best dental offices have a warm, sincere and caring team that wants nothing but all the best for you.

dental room of best dentist near me

Is the office clean and calm?

Your Lincoln dentist will explain how we created a clean and comfortable atmosphere.

Patients tend to always feel more confident and comfortable in a dental environment that is well-lit, clean, and smells good. For several patients, the smells that are associated with dentistry can add to their anxiety. At all of our Nebraska Family Dentistry locations, we use aromatherapy. Aromatherapy helps minimize clinical odors during hours of patient care. Patients can relax in our clean, comfortable treatment rooms with headphones, blankets, and sunglasses during their appointment. The best dental offices offer thoughtful touches like those just mentioned to help create a relaxing atmosphere for patients of all ages. When searching for your new dental home, be sure to see what the office as a whole can provide.

dr barth interacting with patient about best dentist near me

Patient Experience Before/After Appointment:

A top-notch dental office will provide helpful information on their website(s). Also, they will make requesting appointments easy by allowing online scheduling. What else would they offer? Another thing that many top-notch offices offer is 24/7 emergency care. Many will say that some of the best dentists are available on weekends and after-hours. Although this might not define “the best dentist” for everyone, it’s certainly helpful when it comes to making the final decision.

dental payment plans for best dentist near me

Does the office file insurance claims on your behalf?

Your Lincoln dentist explains how this helps patients complete care:

Dental offices that want patients to file their insurance claims are not doing their patients any favors in the department of customer service. Unfortunately, this is something that you will see in offices that don’t have adequate staffing to handle billing and insurance for their patients. Ultimately, this creates more obstacles and can, in turn, prevent patients from getting the care and treatment they need and deserve. More often than not, insurance companies require documentation and follow-up with many claims. In the end, patients will be spending a good deal of time on the phone with their insurance company. At Nebraska Family Dentistry, we know that our patients are busy, and dealing with any insurance company could create a challenge. Generally, insurance companies are more likely to accept claims sent by trained staff at dental offices versus patients themselves. An excellent question to ask when looking for a new dentist in Lincoln is whether or not they are willing to handle insurance claims on your behalf.

Biological dentist in lincoln ne for best dentist near me

Is your dentist kind and caring? Your Lincoln dentist on how providers can help patients relax: 

The best dentists have an excellent chair-side manner.

Have you ever tried to have a conversation with your dentist while they are working on you? Most of the time, they try to make small talk, but we all know that this is challenging when you have instruments and hands in your mouth!

It was encouraged that dentists make lots of small talk to bond and connect with patients in the past. Although it is important to be cheerful and friendly with patients, it is just as effective to allow patients to do what they feel is comfortable. While at the dentist, some patients don’t feel like talking. In that case, they should be allowed to have conversations focused on the task at hand: their dental care. Other patients enjoy visiting with the dental team and doctors while they are at the office. Others will say that the “best dentist near me” offers distractions like music and TV along with sedation dentistry to help you relax.

cost for dental care in lincoln ne for best dentist near me

How affordable is the treatment?

Your Lincoln dentist offers solutions:

Finances are most definitely a factor when it comes to proceeding with any dental treatment. At Nebraska Family Dentistry, we realize that all patients have expenses beyond their dental treatment. When searching, patients need to find a dental office that maximizes value. Patients need an affordable price, one that they are able and willing to pay. Patients need to find an office that will give them an estimate for treatment, which will allow them to be prepared for any financial obligation. Dentists in Lincoln, NE that offer different payment plans and those who work with multiple insurance companies can help reduce patients’ overall costs. Offices that offer substantially lower prices beyond the offices with more competitive rates must make sacrifices to stay profitable. More expensive dental treatment isn’t necessarily better. Instead, competitive offices in pricing with other providers within the same area are typically a safe, reasonable bet.

nfd best dentist near me

What sets Nebraska Family Dentistry apart from other dental clinics in the Lincoln, NE area?

Nebraska Family Dentistry is a group of dental offices that are patient-centered. All Nebraska Family Dentistry offices were created with the patient’s comfort in mind. All of our dentists in Lincoln, NE, provide exceptionally gentle care, and they all offer sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry is an outstanding option for patients who have dental anxiety.

The amenities we provide will ensure your comfort at all times. We know that most people don’t enjoy coming to the dentist, so our number one goal is to make sure your experience is outstanding.

All of our treatment rooms are equipped with TVs and comfortable chairs to help you relax during your appointment. Other comforts that we offer are pillows, blankets, and headphones!

In addition to ensuring comfort, we also understand that convenience is critical. Not only do we have on-call dentists and extended lunch hours, but we have five convenient locations throughout Lincoln, NE! Indeed, this will help even the busiest patients when scheduling. 

We also offer weekend and after-hours emergency visits. See for yourself all of the amenities that Nebraska Family Dentistry has to offer. Learn more about how our team is continuously striving to make every visit as comfortable as they can for you.

mother looking for best dentist near me

Convenient “dentist near me” for families

At Nebraska Family Dentistry, we believe that everyone, no matter what, should have access to the dental care they need. For that reason, we gladly accept almost all forms of insurance, including Ameritas, BSBS, Humana, Tricare, Aetna, and Metlife.

All of us on the dental team have our own families. We understand just how difficult it can be to keep up with all of life’s expenses. Because of this, we also accept dental discount plans such as Lincoln Dental Plans. Besides, we also accept credit cards, cash, we offer in-office payment plans, and we also accept CareCredit®, a health and wellness credit card, which you can sign up for at any of our offices.

Finding the “best dentist near me in Lincoln, NE” might require a bit of work on your end, but it’s all worth it. If this helps you in your quest to find the “best dentist,” feel free to call and ask to visit the office for a consultation. Also, ask about pricing, read our online reviews, or ask people within the community who they might recommend.

From all of us at Nebraska Family Dentistry, we wish you well in your search, and we hope that you find a good fit for the “best dentist.” We would be honored to see you soon at one of our locations. Here, you can discover the Nebraska Family Dentistry way of doing dentistry!

You can schedule with this Lincoln, NE dentist, or his partners online 24/7 at a Nebraska Family DentistryLocation near you. This “dentist near me” serves the local communities close to Lincoln. Some of the communities include Eagle, Walton, Weeping Water, Avoca, and many more!

Thanks for stopping by! We’re here to help you with any questions. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!  

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Root Canal vs. Extraction: What’s the Difference?

Are you in need of a root canal or a tooth extraction? What exactly is the difference? Continue reading to learn more.

You’re at your dental appointment, and you expect it to be a routine checkup. But instead, your latest checkup ends with your dentist telling you that one of your teeth is in pretty rough shape. Before you know it, you hear the words “root canal” and “extraction.” You aren’t sure what to think. After all, you aren’t even sure what either case entails.

If this is you, we’re here to help! We understand that knowing you need any dental work can be overwhelming. So, we’ll explain the difference between a root canal and an extraction.

dental team and root canal vs extraction

Root canal vs extraction. Which is worse? While it’s likely you can’t avoid one of these two procedures, we’ll let you know precisely what the difference is between the two.

Many times, root canal and extraction are terms that get combined when, in reality, they are two completely different oral surgeries. Here we’ll offer a short guide to help you learn about the differences between the two. 

root canal inside on root canal vs extraction

1. Root Canal

If your dentist thinks that your tooth might still have a chance, then a root canal is the procedure for you. Where is that fine line between a live tooth and dead tooth, though? 

When your tooth is cracked, or you develop a deep cavity, bacteria will begin to seep deep inside the tooth to the pulp area. Here bacteria can grow and cause a painful infection. If the damage is caught before the situation is too bad, the tooth can be saved with a root canal.

Root Canal Procedure and Aftercare

Movies and sitcoms, just like anything else, can add a very dramatic effect to any situation, and this includes root canals. What you need to know is that they genuinely aren’t that bad. When a root canal is performed, the area is numbed, and you will feel very little during your procedure. Next, the dentist or oral surgeon will make a small incision in the tooth to open it up and access the pulp (the innermost portion of a tooth).

Once opened, the pulp of the tooth is removed, and the chambers are cleaned. When cleaning out the chambers, all traces of bacteria must be removed. Finally, the chambers will be filled with a replacement liquid that acts as the pulp. Depending upon the severity of your situation, this process can take multiple visits.

Once the entire process is complete, you might feel some discomfort, but that will subside on its own and relatively quickly. Simple over-the-counter pain medication should be all that you need. However, one thing to keep in mind is that if the painkillers don’t work, or the pain goes away and comes back, that is not normal. At this point, you should see your dentist.

catering dental team for root canal vs extraction

2. Extraction

If a dental problem isn’t caught in time and treated correctly, your tooth will be at the point of no return. This means that while your tooth’s pulp could be removed, the bacteria has entirely worn on the tooth’s structure. In this case, your tooth would not survive a root canal. If this is a situation that you have been presented with, then the decision will be easy when it comes to the debate of root canal vs extraction. Your dentist or oral surgeon will suggest an extraction at this point.

Procedure and Aftercare: 

When it comes down to it, an extraction is generally the more painful procedure of the two. During an extraction, your surgeon will numb the area and then loosen the tooth out of its socket using an elevator device. Once the tooth has been lifted, forceps will be used to finish the job. There is a chance during this procedure that you might experience some discomfort.

After the procedure is complete, you’ll need to hold pressure on the area by biting down on a cotton ball for approximately 45 minutes, which will help the blood to clot. You can expect your mouth to bleed lightly for up to 24 hours. Facial swelling can also be expected, but can easily be calmed with an ice pack.

When you’re up to eating again, make sure you stick to soft foods that are easy to chew. As you begin the healing process, you can slowly gravitate towards your favorite foods.

Implants

After some time, issues can arise once you have had an extraction. Teeth around the extraction site can begin to shift, or chewing and talking could become a struggle. Another issue that could occur is bone loss in the jaw.

One surefire way to avoid any of these issues altogether is to proceed with a dental implant. A dental implant will look and function just like a normal tooth. Even better, with the right insurance, your implant might be covered.  

biological dentist dr kathryn alderman on root canal vs extraction

3. Advantages of a Root Canal Vs. an Extraction

When weighing a root canal vs an extraction, a root canal does have a few advantages over an extraction in the long run. One of the most significant advantages of a root canal is that it keeps the smile you were born just the way it was initially. Another bonus is that you won’t have to worry about problems such as bone loss. Even better is that root canals are a simple procedure that rarely result in failure and are much less painful than extraction. 

dr christine bergman showing root canal vs extraction

4. Advantages of an Extraction

Although most people do prefer root canals, extractions do have their benefits, too. An extraction will completely get rid of any infection because the entire source will be removed. If you have an overcrowding problem with your teeth, an extraction will be a welcome benefit, too. Overcrowding of teeth can cause further decay simply because your teeth are overlapping. Overlapping of teeth causes residual food and bacteria to be left behind and the teeth’s surfaces can never be brushed entirely.

Biological dentist in lincoln ne on root canal vs extraction

Root Canal Vs Extraction: What Are The Differences?

When debating whether you should have a root canal vs extraction, it all comes down to the condition of your tooth. If the overall structure of the tooth is still strong, then a root canal is for you. But, if the tooth’s structure is not healthy and intact, then you will need to have an extraction.

caq difference root canal vs extraction

Here are some commonly asked questions about root canals vs extractions.

  1. Should I expect root canal pain?
    Root canals are relatively painless and are done to help you avoid pain entirely. You can expect to experience some discomfort for a few days post-procedure, but the pain should subside quickly. If you experience pain beyond a few days, consider giving your dentist a call.
  2. Root canal vs extraction, which is better? 
    As previously discussed in this article, the better option all depends upon the condition of your tooth. Some individuals have teeth where decay has fully set in, and the tooth structure is no longer intact therefore making an extraction a good option. On the other hand, a root canal is excellent for those who caught decay early enough, and the structure of the tooth is still sound.
  1. Root canal vs extraction pros and cons?
    Since they are both completely different procedures, they each have pros and cons.

    Pros for a root canal include helping avoid the spread of infection and pain, also, having a root canal preserves bone because the tooth has not been removed.

    Cons for a root canal could include some discomfort for a few days.

    Pros for extraction include cost-effectiveness and making room for overcrowded teeth.

    Cons for a tooth extraction include pit formation, which can occur if you don’t replace the extracted tooth, and possible adverse effects on nearby teeth (such as possible chipping during removal). And, if the gap isn’t filled, surrounding teeth are likely to shift.
  1. Cracked tooth root canal vs extraction?
    While a root canal and an extraction might be viable options for a cracked tooth, if you have a tooth that is cracked far below the gum line, then an extraction is the top option. But, If you have a cracked tooth and just the pulp is compromised (and it can be removed safely), a root canal is a great option.
  1. Root canal vs extraction cost?
    The cost factor is undeniable when it comes to comparing a root canal to an extraction. 

    A root canal does cost more than an extraction. A root canal can cost around $1000 to $1200, while an extraction generally costs under $500. BUT, something to keep in mind is that when you have an extraction, it’s always a good idea to fill the gap, so you must also figure in the cost of an implant if you want to preserve bone.

Is it safe to have root canal therapy if a patient has an autoimmune condition or is compromised medically? Are root canals safe for overall health?

Root canal therapy requires the removal of the source of a toothache. The reason a toothache happens can be an acutely inflamed nerve, or a nerve that is infected or abscessed. If the tooth has acute inflammation, a gentle and affordable root canal is very safe for overall health. If the tooth’s nerve is infected or there is an abscess surrounding the tooth, the challenge is to remove all of the infection.

Often, the bacteria in an infected nerve cannot be completely removed, and the tooth becomes a source of chronic infection. After removing the nerve and blood supply from the tooth, it is virtually an empty, dead space. Bacteria that were responsible for a toothache before can multiply in this “dead” space, leading to this chronic infection in the patient’s mouth.

What is the best solution if you have a toothache or an infected tooth?

The best option is to set up an appointment with Dr. Kathryn Alderman.  This Lincoln dentist that understands the importance of removing bacteria and treating teeth with root canal therapy, especially for patients with a compromised immune system.

If a patient has a long-standing tooth infection leading to the loss of bone or the presence of pus, a root canal is a poor treatment option for saving an abscessed tooth. Performing a root canal on an abscessed tooth will lead to a chronic low-grade infection in a patient’s mouth. Many patients have a certain amount of tolerance for poor dental work and associated low-grade infection with it, but for patients with auto-immune disorders, the immune system will struggle daily with keeping up the body’s protection as a result of this kind of infection. Having a compromised root canal can put an additional and unnecessary strain on an already compromised immune system.

Which teeth are appropriate for completing gentle and affordable root canal therapy?

Sometimes a tooth is simply cracked, broken, or newly placed with a dental filling. All of those things can lead to acute inflammation of the tooth. At this point, there is no extensive amount of harmful bacteria inside the tooth, and the tooth is hurting simply due to acute inflammation, indicated by sharp and often radiating toothaches. The good news is that this type of tooth can be saved and preserved with a root canal treatment.

Cracked tooth and root canal prognosis?

If the crack in a tooth is small, a root canal can be performed, and a tooth can be saved. If a crack is extensive and permeates the roots of a tooth, it would be best to remove the tooth and to not spend money or time saving the tooth.

Is it better to see an endodontist for root canal therapy?

Dr. Kathryn Alderman has performed hundreds of root canals and is qualified to perform root canal therapy. On certain occasions, she will refer her patients to an endodontist if the necessary root canal is extremely complicated. If you wonder if you can avoid an expensive root canal procedure by an endodontist in Lincoln, NE, the best is to have a consultation with Dr. Kathryn Alderman and to evaluate a tooth that needs treatment.

Where can I find root canal therapy for children in Lincoln, NE?

Root canal treatment in younger children is often called pulpectomy treatment. Children use their back teeth for chewing and maintaining the space necessary for permanent teeth to come in. Dr. Kathryn Alderman, your Lincoln dentist, does perform root canal treatment for children at any of her locations and is great at comforting your kids and helping them relax during dental appointments.

Is it normal to have pain or sensitivity after root canal therapy?

Be sure not to chew or bite on a treated tooth until the full root canal treatment is completed. After root canal treatment your tooth will likely be sensitive. You can use over-the-counter medications to help manage anticipated mild discomfort.

After completing root canal therapy, you should not experience a sharp pain or a toothache weeks later. If you do experience a sharp toothache after root canal therapy, you should see our Lincoln, NE emergency dentist for an evaluation.

How long does pain after a root canal therapy last?

You may experience mild jaw discomfort immediately following a root canal. This mild discomfort can be controlled with over-the-counter Ibuprofen or Tylenol. You should not be experiencing a sharp pain or a toothache after your root canal.

Will I need to take time off work after root canal procedure?

You can expect to be numb and to have mild jaw soreness after root canal therapy. If your job requires talking to people, your mouth may be numb for a few hours and may want to take a day off. In general, you can go back to work right after a root canal therapy and continue with your regular activities. Most patients return to work soon after root canal therapy.

What is the cost for gentle and affordable root canal therapy in Lincoln, NE?

The average cost for a gentle and affordable root canal therapy ranges between $400 to $850 in Lincoln, NE. The cost of a root canal from an endodontist is typically over $1000. The cost is higher as most endodontists do not accept major insurance plans in Lincoln, NE. If you want a gentle and affordable root canal, Dr. Kathryn Alderman can perform a root canal therapy at any of her locations, and the cost for a root canal would be dramatically cheaper in comparison with the cost of an endodontist. Dr. Kathryn Alderman accepts most major insurance plans, and the cost for root canal therapy after insurance may be as little as $150.

Does dental insurance cover a root canal treatment?

Most dental insurances will cover anywhere from 50-80% of the cost of a root canal.

What is the cost for a root canal without dental insurance in Lincoln, NE?

The cost for a root canal without insurance in Lincoln, NE is between $400-$1400 (depending on the tooth) If you are looking for a dental payment plan, we would be happy to talk through dental payment options for a root canal treatment at any of our offices.

I have a tooth with a root canal and a crown, and it hurts, is that normal?

If you experience discomfort right after root canal therapy, it is normal and mild discomfort is anticipated. If you experience a toothache or mild discomfort long after root canal therapy, it could be a sign of a cracked tooth or an infected tooth. You should see our emergency dentist in Lincoln, NE to evaluate your toothache.

Should I have pain in a tooth with a root canal therapy years later?

You should not have pain or a toothache or swelling years after the root canal therapy. If you experience pain or swelling years after a root canal therapy, you should see an emergency dentist to evaluate your toothache.

The bottom line is that extraction and a root canal are two very different procedures, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. An excellent way to figure out which option is right for you is to talk to your dentist. He or she will help guide you in the right direction so you can preserve your smile. After all, a beautiful smile makes the best impression!

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Baby Teeth: When They Come In and When They Fall Out

A child receiving his or her first set of teeth is a milestone. Likewise, when your child loses his or her first tooth, that’s also considered a landmark. With the anxiety and anticipation associated with both of these events, it’s quite understandable that most parents want to know the details about what to expect. The two biggest questions are when should they expect their child’s first tooth to come in and when they should expect their child’s first tooth to fall out. We know that these questions, among others, are important. So, in our article we’ll answer these questions:

  • What order do baby teeth come in?
  • What age kids lose their teeth?
  • At what age permanent teeth begin to grow?
  • Cavities in baby teeth: Are they worth filling?

 Let’s start with the events in the order they occur.

dr ohara teaching dental health to child about baby teeth

Baby Teeth: What Order do Baby Teeth Come In?  When Do They Emerge?

Typically, the first question many parents have is just how many baby teeth will my child have? To be exact, the answer is that 20 primary baby teeth are present within a child’s jaw at birth. These teeth generally start to erupt or appear between the age of six months to one year. By the age of three, your child has a full set of teeth. One important thing to remember, however, is that every child is different. Because of their differences, exact dates for when these milestones will occur cannot be given, nor should they be expected.

mother learning about baby teeth process

Listed below is the approximate order in which you can expect your child to receive their baby teeth:

  • Lower Incisors or Center Teeth on the Lower Jaw: Generally arrive somewhere between 6 and 10 months.
  • Top Incisors or Top Center Teeth: Erupt between 8 to 12 months.
  • Lateral Incisors (found just to either side of the center incisors): Typically erupt between 9 and 13 months.
  • Canines: Can be expected to come in between 16 to 23 months.
  • First Molars: First molars can be expected to arrive between the ages of 13 to 19 months.
  • Second Molars: Will arrive somewhere between 23 and 33 months.

If you’ve ever experienced the teething process with a child, you know that as teeth begin to make their way through the gum tissue, it can be a very stressful time for anyone involved. Some of the more common signs your child might be teething are excessive drooling, inflamed gums, irritability, and the desire to chew on anything within reach. During this time, you must remain understanding and provide your child with the necessary support. It’s also critical to help your child maintain proper oral hygiene.

kids still with baby teeth doing sports

At What Age Do Kids Lose Their Teeth? 

Once all of your child’s baby teeth have fully erupted, it is vital to keep up with excellent oral hygiene, which means brushing twice daily to keep them healthy and clean. For best results, dentists recommend that parents assist their child with brushing until they reach eight. These baby teeth will get loose during this time, begin to wiggle, and eventually fall out.

Generally, baby teeth begin falling out in the order in which they first appeared. The teeth found in the lower center will go first, followed by the pair found on the top in the center, and so on. Typically, teeth begin to fall out by age six, but because everyone is different, some kids can start to lose teeth by the age of four.

Most children are overcome with excitement when they feel their first tooth begin to wiggle – not to mention a visit from the ever so famous Tooth Fairy also helps. But, not all kids get excited. It’s not uncommon for a child to worry that losing a tooth might hurt.

If your child has concerns and is worried, you can reassure them that they likely won’t feel a thing. A baby tooth generally doesn’t become loose until the force of the permanent tooth below begins pushing it up and out. However, something to keep in mind is that your child can lose a baby tooth or teeth before their permanent tooth is fully prepared to erupt.

teen nice smile with no baby teeth

Permanent Teeth: At What Age Do Permanent Teeth Grow? How Soon Can You Expect to See Them?

Once permanent teeth have begun making their way in, you might notice that the permanent teeth look more prominent, and you would be correct. Not only do adult teeth tend to be bigger, but they also aren’t as white as baby teeth. Besides, you’ll even notice that they have pronounced ridges. The reason for the ridges is because they have not yet been used for chewing and biting.

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Cancer and Your Mouth: How can your Dentist help?

Being diagnosed with cancer of any kind is, without a doubt, life-changing. It is not only life-changing for the patient but for the family of a cancer patient as well. The focus immediately becomes on treatment. In many cases, the side effects of this treatment can be overlooked.  For that reason, we’re here to lend a helping hand and answer some commonly asked questions regarding your oral health and the side effects of common cancer treatments. Some commonly asked questions of dentists for cancer patients are:

  • What is mucositis?
  • What is burning mouth syndrome?
  • What is dry mouth and thrush?
  • What does it mean if I have a metallic taste in my mouth?
  • Why do we get ulcers in our mouth? 
  • What is the most common reason for mouth ulcers?

Many people don’t realize that cancer treatment(s), in many cases, will affect the mouth. For this reason, it’s vital that your dentist be part of your team of healthcare providers helping you before, during, and beyond cancer treatments. 

fear of the unknown patient dentist for dental anxiety of avoiding Cancer and Your Mouth

I have cancer. Can I see my dentist? How often should I go?

After being diagnosed, patients are typically overwhelmed with the number of appointments made and the next steps of treatment that visiting the dentist can often be forgotten. It is important to visit the dentist for regular check-ups once you are diagnosed, during treatment, and beyond. 

dr barth interacting with patient to avoiding Cancer and Your Mouth

Why does cancer treatment affect the mouth?

Cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation and destroy rapidly growing cells. One of the areas with the most rapidly growing cells is in our mouth. Because the mouth also is home to many different types of bacteria, it is also a common area for potential infections to start when patients are undergoing cancer treatments. 

Before treatment

If at all possible, it is most ideal to visit your dentist before beginning cancer treatments, especially if your cancer involves radiation to the head or neck. We as healthcare professionals, want to ensure there are no oral health concerns that need to be addressed, as well as discuss methods to help prevent problems in the future. It is also a great time to discuss potential side effects of medications so you can have all the tools you need if adverse side effects do become an issue during or after cancer treatment. 

Your dentist can evaluate to see if there are any sources of potential irritation that need to be altered, such as ill-fitting dentures, partial dentures, or other oral appliances. 

Discussing and learning techniques to fine-tune your oral hygiene can help prevent extensive dental decay after treatment and help prevent infections. 

mature woman smile to avoiding Cancer and Your Mouth

What oral problems should I expect during cancer treatments?

Every patient’s experience with cancer will widely differ. There are many types of chemotherapy treatments, radiation treatments, and medications that all have different side effects in different people. Some common oral concerns from patients going through treatment are mouth sores, dry mouth, and altered taste. 

Advice for cancer patients with a dry mouth or mouth sores…

  • Let your dentist know right away if you are experiencing any mouth sores or dry mouth; a dentist or dental oncologist can often prescribe a topical medication to help with these issues.
  • Meticulous oral hygiene will be very important to help prevent any mouth sores from becoming infected if mouth sores do occur.
  • Use an extra-soft toothbrush and warm the bristles to help soften even more. 
  • Avoid rough-textured foods. 
  • Your dentist will discuss fluoride treatments to help prevent decay that can happen quickly as a result of dry mouth. 
  • Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol.
  • Avoid spicy foods.
  • If you experience dry mouth, sip water frequently, suck on ice chips, or sugar-free candy, use a saliva substitute to aid in keeping the mouth moist. 
Biological dentist in lincoln ne to avoiding Cancer and Your Mouth

What Is a Dental Oncologist? 

Are there really dentists for cancer patients? How does the dental treatment for cancer patients differ?

Some cancer teams will include a Dental Oncologist. Dental oncologists are specially trained dentists for cancer patients, that train alongside general dentists. The most significant difference in a dental oncologist is that they go on to attend an additional one-year fellowship program after four years of dental school. This one-year fellowship program focuses on many areas of dentistry and cancer treatment. A major area of study during this program is making prostheses for patients who are undergoing surgeries due to cancer. Also, they address the oral side effects of cancer treatments. Mayo Clinic. They are trained extensively on medical oncology, radiation oncology, oral diagnosis, speech pathology, and more and are equipped to care for patients undergoing complicated medical procedures such as those to treat cancer. 

Although our dentists at South Lincoln Family Dentistry are not trained dental oncologists, we are able to help with many oral health needs that arise before, during, and after treatment. We will also gladly work with your dental oncologist to discuss dental treatment needs. It is good to ask your oncologist if there will be a dental oncologist to work on your team of providers wherever you seek treatment. 

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What if I can’t find a Dental Oncologist?

General dentists are trained to help evaluate any oral concerns that should be taken care of before cancer treatments begin. It is most ideal that the initial meeting with your dental team will occur approximately one month before cancer treatment. Any invasive procedures, like extractions, should happen, at minimum, two weeks before radiation begins. Your dentist will target and treat oral infection sources that may be present, such as gum disease or cavities. It is also important that your dentist evaluate potential areas of oral trauma from things such as ill-fitting orthodontic appliances or dentures.

Once treatment has begun, it is best that non-emergent treatment needs be discussed with your oncology team and be delayed if possible. This includes any new dental prosthetics. If radiation is completed, patients should visit their dentist more regularly as many side effects from this treatment present themselves after treatment is completed. 

biological dentist dr kathryn alderman on to avoiding Cancer and Your Mouth

Most common oral side effects. What are they?

Cancer treatment(s) can harm rapidly dividing cells. Many of these cells are located within the mouth, according toBreastcancer.org. For this reason, we know that cancer therapy can lead to having many oral side effects. Luckily, however, all of these issues can be treated by your team of dental oncology professionals or dentists for cancer patients. As explained by a review inStomatological Disease and Science, some of the specific areas they focus on include:

Infections 

  • Seeing your dentist prior to treatment to ensure your mouth is free of active gum disease and dental decay can aid in preventing infections. 

Mucositis

  • Painful inflammation of the oral tissues. Some dentists can manage this with oral rinses and topical anesthetics.

Extreme dry mouth

  • This can be temporarily relieved by drinking lots of water and chewing sugarless gum.

Changes in Taste or loss of taste

  • Changes in your ability to taste might reside on its own in the weeks after treatment.

Problems swallowing

  • This is also called dysphasia. Dysphasia means having trouble swallowing food or getting liquid down the throat. Some people describe dysphagia as feeling as something is caught in their throat. Other people may feel as if trying to swallow causes them to gag or cough. Dental oncologists could address difficulty swallowing, with home remedies or medications. Eating soft foods may be another recommendation that a dental oncologist may make, reports the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Oral Thrush

  • Oral candidiasis, or oral thrush, is a prevalent problem for patients with dry mouth.
  • Thrush can cause pain and oral burning. The appearance of thrush in a patient with dry mouth often appears like “white cottage-cheese.” The tongue might show grooves, and the corners of the lips appear red and crusty, which is called angular cheilitis.
patient on burning mouth syndrome and to avoiding Cancer and Your Mouth

What is burning mouth syndrome? Can dentists for cancer patients or general dentists help with burning mouth syndrome?

Another concern that could arise for cancer patients during treatment is burning mouth syndrome. What is burning mouth syndrome? Burning mouth syndrome is exactly what you might think. It is  a chronic or recurrent burning in the mouth without an apparent cause. Burning mouth syndrome can affect areas of the mouth such as the lips, gums, tongue, roof of the mouth, and even the inside of the cheeks. The burning sensation can be quite severe and, in some cases, can seem as though you have burned the inside of your mouth. Many times, burning mouth syndrome appears suddenly. For this reason, it’s essential to work closely with your team of medical professionals to help manage the symptoms.

covering mouth Cancer and Your Mouth

Why do I have a metallic taste in my mouth?

Also, another side effect that those being treated for cancer might experience is a metallic taste in the mouth. This can happen for patients being treated with either radiation or chemotherapy. A metallic taste can occur from eating foods high in protein, such as meat. While not everyone experiences a metallic taste, it is common. There are multiple things you can try to help combat this issue. For more tips and ideas of things to try, go to Cancer.net. Again, all dentists for cancer patients can help address this concern.

woman thinking about avoiding Cancer and Your Mouth

Are mouth ulcers common in cancer patients?

What about mouth ulcers? Although there is no definite cause, there are most certainly factors that trigger mouth ulcers. Generally, mouth ulcers and even canker sores are caused by some form of trauma. Radiation and chemotherapy, either alone or combined, can cause sores in the mouth. Why? Various forms of cancer treatment are intended to kill cells that quickly multiply, many of which happen to be cancer cells. Some completely healthy, normal cells within the body also grow and divide quickly. These same cells happen to be found on the inside of the mouth. Ultimately, those undergoing cancer treatment are more prone to developing mouth sores because they are undergoing treatment. To learn more about mouth sores and pain, visit Cancer.org. If you are prone to developing cold sores, see our tips on how to stop a cold sore. Although you may not be able to entirely eradicate the problem of mouth sores, there are most definitely things you can do to make them more tolerable.

bright smiling young man to avoiding Cancer and Your Mouth

In conclusion:

Cancer can be an overwhelming process that incurs a long journey of both treatment(s) and recovery. We don’t want the oral side effects of any cancer treatments to add to you or your loved one’s plate.  Even though your oral health treatment plan may look a bit different from someone who does not have cancer, you and your comfort are extremely important to us. Dental treatment for cancer patients is critical, and your mouth is an incredibly delicate but vital part of helping you sustain and maintain health. Being able to eat, drink, and speak are all things anyone who is on this journey needs. Dentists who work with cancer patients, or a dental oncologist, will work diligently as part of a team of providers to help cancer patients in their journey – throughout the diagnosis, treatment, and recovery process. Don’t let cancer take control. Find a team of skilled professionals, including dentists that treat cancer patients, to help you. You don’t have to do it alone!

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Are Root Canals Safe for Overall Health?

Root canal safety: are root canals safe for overall health endodontist in Lincoln, NE

When a cavity reaches the nerve of the tooth, a root canal becomes the last option available to save the tooth. Occasionally, a tooth may die without any signs of a cavity. In both cases, the nerve of the tooth dies and becomes infected. For root canal safety, the bacteria from this nerve death or infection from a cavity must be completely eliminated. If it is not successfully eliminated, the tooth will become a source of chronic infection.

happy wellness woman

Root Canal Safety: What is the Solution?

The best way to be proactive about the potential failure of a root canal is to find a root canal dentist or endodontist in Lincoln, NE who understands the importance of eliminating the bacteria and is careful about selecting eligible teeth for root canal therapy. Many teeth do not qualify for root canal therapy due to the extent of infection around the tooth. The prognosis for these teeth is poor, and patients are better served by removing teeth with extensive infections.

Root Canal Safety: What Kind of Teeth are Appropriate Candidates for a Root Canal?

Your root canal dentist or endodontist in Lincoln, NE can help you determine if your tooth is a good candidate for root canal therapy. A tooth that is broken, or injured usually does not contain a significant amount of harmful bacteria. In this situation, the nerve of the tooth is dealing with a short-term, acute inflammation of the pulp or nerve. This tooth can often be saved successfully with root canal therapy.

root canal progression

What About Abscessed or Infected Teeth?

If a patient has had a long-standing tooth infection, an abscess will typically develop as a result. Performing a root canal is a poor treatment option for saving an abscessed tooth, and doing so can lead to chronic low-grade infection in a patient’s mouth. Many patients have a high tolerance for this kind of infection. However, those with autoimmune disorders will find themselves struggling to stay healthy as a consequence of a compromised root canal. This kind of infection puts unnecessary stress on a person’s body. This is a situation in which the safety of a root canal should be questioned by your dentist or local endodontist in Lincoln, NE.

Root Canal Safety: What are My Options If a Root Canal Will Not Work?

Typically, the next best option would be to create a dental implant made out of biologically compatible material. A dental implant will protect you from the buildup of bacteria and the resulting infection.

Commonly asked questions for an endodontist about root canals?

The answers are taken from the American Academy of Endodontists

America academy of Endodontists

My tooth hurts after the root canal is it normal?

Immediately after a root canal, it is normal to have some tenderness around the area. This makes some patients question root canal safety. The fact is that your symptoms before the root canal are usually much worse than any symptoms afterwards. Within a few days, the natural inflammation your body creates to heal after the procedure should subside.

I have soreness after root canal and how long should it last?

For the first 24-48 hours after having a root canal with your dentist or local endodontist in Lincoln, NE a root canal, it is not uncommon to have some aching and sensitivity. This is your body’s normal response to the micro-surgery of root canal therapy. You can take ibuprofen and Tylenol to help manage these symptoms during this time, but your symptoms should subside soon after your root canal has been completed if everything is healing normally.

What is the best medication for a toothache and pain relief after root canal?

After receiving root canal therapy from your dentist or local endodontist in Lincoln, NE, you may take Tylenol and ibuprofen to manage your discomfort after the procedure. You may alternate doses of Tylenol and ibuprofen for best results.

Can you still get a toothache after root canal years alter?

Root canal safety has been a concern, especially for patients who have had toothaches years after their treatment. If the root canal was successful and the body healed normally afterward, you should not experience any toothaches years later. A toothache years after a root canal is usually from a cracked root that has created infection around the root canal. Also, a toothache could be a chronic, low-grade infection from an unsuccessful root canal that is no longer tolerated by the body. In this case, the tooth should be removed.

Is it normal to have sharp toothache months after root canal?

It is not normal to experience a sharp toothache months after a root canal especially if it was successful initially. If the tooth had a micro-crack or the infection was too extensive before the root canal was performed, this can result in failure of the root canal and the tooth should be removed to get rid of the infection.  You should call your dentist or local endodontist in Lincoln, NE if you are experiencing a sharp toothache months after a root canal.

Is it better to have a root canal or extraction?

Every tooth should be carefully evaluated by your dentist or local endodontist in Lincoln, NE before having a root canal done. Root canal safety is not guaranteed for teeth that have a large infection or have root fractures. It is not possible to completely eliminate the bacteria causing infection in these situations and patients are better off removing teeth and replacing them with dental implants.

What is the cost of a root canal vs. extraction in Lincoln, NE?

The cost of root canals and extractions vary depending on the tooth and severity of the condition of the tooth. You dentist or local endodontist in Lincoln, NE can give you an estimate based on your insurance coverage for both procedures.

Can I go back to work after a root canal?

Root canal safety and returning to work afterward are common questions patients ask. Some patients choose to take the day off if they do not want to be numb during working hours. The anesthetic administered for root canal treatment lasts longer than the average anesthetic used for fillings. This is the patient’s choice. Ask your dentist or local endodontist in Lincoln, NE in your specific case.

What to do for pain relief with the sharp pain after root canal?

After the anesthesia wears off, and your root canal has been completed, you may feel sore and tender. This should only last for a day or two. During this time, you may alternate between ibuprofen and Tylenol to reduce inflammation and help bring down any swelling. If your pain is increasing significantly after your root canal, call you dentist or local endondontist in Lincoln, NE to make sure your tooth is healing normally.

If you’re concerned about your teeth or have any questions about the root canal process, feel free to make an appointment online with a local dentist near me or give us a call.

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