Whether you are 6 or 60, it is important to have good oral health. Regular dental examinations and practicing good oral hygiene can prevent the majority of dental disease as well as prevent a range of general health problems, including cardiac disease. Visiting your dentist on a regular basis is essential, because many medical conditions have symptoms that first appear in the mouth. This mini-guide will answer some of the most common questions about dentists and dental care in Omaha, Nebraska.
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First and foremost, it is important to take your time when searching for a dentist in Omaha, NE; do not wait for an emergency before you begin looking for a dentist. There are several things you should consider when looking for a dentist, including:
*Location and office hours-it is best to choose a dentist that is close to your home or work. This will make it more convenient to schedule visits as well as arrive to appointments on time. Make sure to verify that the dentist office you are considering is open on the times and days you will be able to make an appointment.
*Insurance-if you have dental insurance, it is important to make sure the dentist accepts your insurance. If you do not have insurance, ask about payment options, such as payment plans and/or credit cards.
*Comfort-one of the most essential things you need to consider when choosing a dentist is whether or not your are comfortable with the person. You should feel comfortable explaining your symptoms and asking questions. You should feel comfortable explaining your anxiety or fears and you should feel as the dentist is understanding your concerns.
*Qualifications-it is critical that you verify the dentists qualifications and licensing. You can usually check this information through your insurance company, the Better Business Bureau and/or through the American Dental Association.
*Emergency care-it is important to ask what happens should you have a dental emergency at night, during regular hours and on the weekends. It is best to choose a dentist that will see you during an emergency or be able to recommend another dentist in the area.
How to Find a Dentist
There are several ways to find a dentist in Omaha, Nebraska, including:
*Ask friends, family and coworkers. They will be able to tell you about the care and treatment provided by their dentist as well as the attitude and behaviors of the office staff. When getting referrals be sure to ask questions, such as what is the average waiting room time, are you comfortable, how long do you have to wait for an appointment and does the dentist go a good job of explaining the options.
*If you are moving to a new location, ask your current dentist to recommend someone in the Omaha area.
*Your insurance company will typically provide the names and contact information for dentists in Omaha, NE that accept your insurance.
What Are The Different Types of Dentists?
There is a wide range of dentistry options in Omaha. The most common types of dentists include:
*General dentists (DDS), which is similar to a primary care physician, in that they provide general care. A general dentist provides services, such as cleanings, cavity fillings, fluoride treatments and extractions.
*Pediatric dentists provide dental care and treatment for infants, children and adolescents. They focus on both preventative as well as therapeutic care. Many pediatric dentists also provide dental health needs children with special needs, but it is important to verify these services before you make an appointment.
*Cosmetic dentists specialize in aesthetic dentistry, which are procedures designed to improve appearance rather than improve your health. Some cosmetic dentists also practice general dentistry. Some of the most common procedures provided by cosmetic dentists include; teeth whitening, teeth bonding, veneers and dental implants.
*Orthodontists specialize in the positioning of the teeth and jaw alignment. For example, you would visit an orthodontist for retainers, braces or other devices that are designed to straighten teeth. An orthodontist typically treats younger patients, because the teeth are easier to move during youth, but people of all ages can consult with an orthodontist.
*Periodontists are dentists that specialize in the care of gums and tissue that surround the teeth.
*Endodontists are dentists who specialize in the periradicular tissue and dental pulp, which includes the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of injuries and diseases that effect the dental pulp. You would also see an endodontist for root canal surgery and/or therapy.
*Oral surgeons are dentists who provide surgical care for the jaws, teeth and facial bones.
*Sedation dentists specialize in treating patients who experience anxiety or have a dental phobia. Sedation dentists are trained to use various types of sedation, such as IV sedation or nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Whether you have a fear of needles or dentists, a sedation dentist can provide the appropriate solution to help you relax for your procedure.
What are Some of the Most Common Dental Issues?
Dental problems are typically never any fun, but fortunately most dental problems can be easily prevented and/or treated. Knowing the most common dental problems and their causes will be beneficial for the prevention. Some of the most common dental problems include:
*Bad breath, which can be caused by a number of things, including gum disease, oral cancer, cavities, bacteria on the tongue and dry mouth. Using mouthwash simply masks the problem; it is important to visit your dentist in Omaha to find out what the source of your bad breath is.
*Tooth decay, also known as cavities, is one of the most common reasons for dental visits. Tooth decay is caused when plaque mixes with the sugars and starches in your diet. The combination of the two creates an acid that attacks your tooth enamel. The single best way to prevent tooth decay is by brushing your teeth, gums and tongue at least twice each day, flossing daily and visiting the dentist for regular checkups.
*Gum disease, also know as periodontal disease, is frequently linked to strokes and heart disease. Gum disease is an infection in the gums that surround your teeth and it is one of the primary causes of tooth loss in adults. There are two stages of gum disease; gingivitis and periodontitis. Practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent gum disease.
*Mouth sores are irritating and painful. They typically do not last longer than a couple of weeks and are usually nothing to worry about, but if you frequently have mouth sores or they become infected, it is important to see your dentist as soon as possible.
*Oral cancer is not only a serious, but a deadly disease. Oral cancer affects the mouth, lips and/or throat and is highly curable, if it is diagnosed and treated in its early stages. The best way to prevent oral cancer to not use any tobacco products.
*Tooth erosion, which is the loss of the tooth structure, is caused by acid that attacks the enamel. Some of the signs of tooth erosion may include tooth sensitivity or cracking.
*Tooth sensitivity is a common problem that means you experience pain or discomfort to your teeth from cold air, cold drinks, hot drinks and/or sweets. In extreme cases of sensitivity, you may feel discomfort while flossing and brushing.
*Unattractive smile is the most common reason why people visit a cosmetic dentist. There are a range of problems that may lead you to a cosmetic dentist, such as chipped or broken teeth, uneven teeth, stained teeth and/or missing teeth.
The most positive thing you can do for the health of your mouth, teeth and gums is to practice good oral hygiene by brushing at least twice each day, flossing and visiting your dentist as often as necessary. There are no specific guidelines as to how often you should visit your dentist in Omaha, but most dentists prefer their patients visit at least twice each year for checkups and cleanings. If you have dental problems, such as oral cancer or gum disease, you will need to visit the dentist more frequently. People who have a high risk of dental disease, may need to visit the dentist about every three months. High risk patients include those who smoke,diabetics, people with weak immune response, someone who tends to get cavities easily and those with current gum disease.