Patient Education

At Goodkin & Pilek Family Dentistry, our dentists and staff strive to improve the overall health of our patients by focusing on preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions associated with your teeth and gums. As a practice, we are true believers that preventative care and education are the keys to optimal dental health. We strive to provide “dental health care” vs. “disease care”. Because we want you to have as much information as possible, this library was created to provide you with information on some of our most common topics. If you don’t find the information you are looking for, please let us know. We are here to serve you. Please use our dental library to learn more about dental problems and treatments available. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, contact us.

Please use alphabetical index for dental topics:

  A B C D E F G H  I  J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z  

Cone Beam Imaging

Cone Beam Imaging radically transformed the way that we as dentists can gather information, with the result being an ability to diagnose and treatment plan in a manner that previously could not even be imagined. The transformation from interpreting two-dimensional information to diagnosing from 3-D imaging, which allows for visualization of all structures in any given field.

Cone Beam Volumetric Tomography is a diagnostic imaging technology is similarr to conventional radiographic imaging, with the difference being that cone beam images are converted into a three-dimensional view that can then be manipulated by sophisticated computer software for a wide variety of applications, including implants, orthognathic TMJ, and diagnostic purposes.

Crowns

If you're self-conscious about your smile due to cracked, broken, decayed or worn teeth, we can bring back your healthy, natural-looking smile with crowns. A filling can restore a small defect in a tooth, but a crown is the most durable, strongest way to restore a tooth with extensive damage, front or back for the long term. With all the materials and techniques that modern dentistry has crowns can be totally natural looking.

Additional benefits of crowns are correcting bite problems, closing spaces between teeth, changing the angulations of teeth, and they can be used to replace missing teeth permanently, as part of a bridge, or over an implant.

Dental Sealants

The back teeth, molars and sometimes pre-molars have deep grooves on the chewing surfaces. These grooves can be so deep and narrow that it can be impossible to clean down in the grooves. Bacteria, however, have no problem getting down to the full depths of these grooves and causing decay that can be hard to detect until it is quite advanced. Dental sealants now offer a means of successfully protecting molar and premolar chewing surfaces from decay.

Recognized by the American Dental Association as a key means of cavity prevention, dental sealants are a thin resin film that can be applied to your at-risk tooth surfaces.

The same advanced bonding techniques used for cosmetic dentistry are used to bond the sealants in the grooves to seal out bacteria. The entire procedure is not only painless, but fast: requiring between ten and forty-five minutes, depending on the number of teeth we're sealing. The cost of a sealant is much less than the cost of a filling, and it is an excellent investment to protect teeth from getting cavities at all. Over the years they can wear down, and should be checked regularly, which is another important reason for regular examinations and cleanings.

Digital X-Rays

To improve your care we've invested in a new way of looking into your mouth—a procedure that's fast, and incredibly precise – digital x-rays. What's even more amazing is that we get an image immediately that is large, clear, and accurate, right next to your chair…ready for discussion. Digital x-ray technology speeds and simplifies the diagnostic part of your treatment, and most importantly allows us to provide a much higher level of care.

Reduced Radiation, Radical Results

Digital x-rays use 50-90% less radiation than old-fashioned x-rays. Additional benefits include the elimination of old fashioned dark room chemicals, which is better for the environment. The highly detailed image of your teeth on our computer screen, can be rotated, magnified, adjusted for contrast, and even color-coded for educational purposes. Further, we can store it on our computer files, thus saving paper. For insurance purposes, referrals or patient education, it can be accurately reproduced any number of times. In summary, digital x-rays are faster, cleaner, and allow us to provide better quality care.

Do Women Need More Dental Attention

It's official. Women and men are NOT created dentally equal. Of course, good dental hygiene habits are necessary for all people, regardless of gender. But growing evidence shows women may be significantly more susceptible to serious health consequences unless they maintain a truly vigilant home hygiene campaign against tooth decay and gum disease. In fact, in every season of a woman's life, she's wise to take special precautions with regard to her oral health: during every monthly cycle, during pregnancy, and especially after menopause.

First, monthly hormone fluctuations result in increased salivary proteins making women prone to bad breath just prior to their monthly cycles. Pregnancy is another time for extra-vigilant dental hygiene, as a mother's dental health impacts not only her own oral health but also on the health of her developing child, as early as six weeks after conception. Poor oral health has been linked to pre-mature and low birth weight babies. Further, the presence of periodontal disease in women is closely linked to the incidence of osteoporosis, and vice versa. Thus older women should be screened for osteoporosis and simultaneously make certain they have thorough dental examinations at least twice a year, at which time recommendations can be made to help enhance your home care effectiveness.

Gum Disease

At least 80% of the population has some degree of gum disease and most don’t know it. Gum disease is responsible for up to 70% of adult tooth loss, and it does not give clear warning signs that an untrained eye would notice. A dentist or hygienist must do a thorough and complete examination to detect it; especially in it’s early stages. Gum disease is similar to high blood pressure, or heart disease, by the time the person who has it notices symptoms it is in its advanced stages.

Gum disease has been implicated as causative factor in heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pre-mature births, and low birth weight. It is an infection of the gums and jawbones. The bacteria, and chemical by-products of your bodies attempt to fight the bacteria, can enter the blood stream and cause serious problems in distant parts of the body. It critical to have the teeth cleaned and a thorough examination a minimum of twice a year, and it is critical that you do a thorough job at home cleaning the teeth twice daily. The good news is that gum disease can be treated and prevented. Today there are numerous aids available to help us, which include special toothbrushes, toothpastes, rinses and even prescription medications can help. Your dentist can decide the appropriate treatment method only after examination of your condition.

Halitosis

Bad Breath Can Indicate Serious Problems Over 90 million people struggle with chronic bad breath! For most it is caused by high levels of bacteria in the mouth, that form colonies under the gum line, between the teeth, and between the taste buds on the tongue. They produce sulfur gases, the same as from rotten eggs, resulting in foul-smelling breath. Chewing gum, mints, or typical mouthwashes may only mask it temporarily.

The bacteria that cause bad breath also do damage to the gums and jawbone, which is known as gum disease. To properly eliminate bad breath, we must evaluate for any signs of gum disease, Bad breath can also stem from other general health situations: internal infections, diabetes, kidney failure, liver malfunction, and dry mouth caused by aging, medications, mouth breathing or chemotherapy. Regardless of the cause, bad breath is treatable! There are numerous rinses, toothpastes, and devices available. You may need a thorough dental cleaning, as well. The first step would be to call the office for an evaluation; from there we can help you have fresh breath.

LOGICON Caries Detector Software

LOGICON is a computer-aided detection tool that analyzes digital radiography to diagnose early-stage dental caries (decay). By using a detection algorithm, LOGICON highlights abnormalities in your tooth’s dentin. This allows for a more precise method of determining the presence of dental caries than the traditional method of caries detection.

During your examination, a series of digital x-rays will be taken. Then, LOGICON will be used to evaluate the x-rays, and any suspicious dentinal areas will be tested. After which, a determination will be made as to whether these areas should be monitored or restored.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is a dangerous, yet somewhat preventable, type of cancer. It kills more people nationwide than either cervical or skin (melanoma) cancer, and only half of all patients diagnosed will survive more than five years. The most common risk factors for oral cancer are tobacco use, frequent high quantity alcohol consumption, constant sunlight exposure, habitual cheek or lip biting, or poorly fitting dentures. Although 80-90% of oral cancers are found in people who use tobacco and/or drink alcohol excessively, 25% of oral cancers occur in people who have no risk factors at all.

Your dentist could very well be your #1 soldier in the fight against oral cancer. Statistics show in about 10% of patients, dentists notice a problem area first. During a regular dental check-up, your dentist will examine your entire mouth, searching for a flat, painless, white or red spot or small sore. Other signs of oral cancer can include:

  • A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal
  • A color change of the oral tissues
  • A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small, eroded area
  • Pain, tenderness or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips
Two different tests are used to determine if the spot is cancerous or not. A brush biopsy is a painless test performed on areas that look harmless or do not have a clear cause. This test can detect potentially dangerous cells when the disease is still at an early stage. A scalpel biopsy, which requires local anesthesia, is usually performed on suspicious and dangerous looking areas. Remember to visit your dentist regularly. If you notice any unusual changes in your mouth, call your dentist immediately. Together you and your dentist can fight and win the battle against oral cancer.

Oral Health Affects Your General Health

If you think about it, it makes perfect sense: poor oral health is linked to poor physical health. How so? Well, consider the big picture: your mouth is the gateway into the rest of the body and its systems. If the mouth has a chronic infection or disease, then your entire body may be indirectly or directly exposed to those bacteria. Not to mention your ability to eat is compromised and also your nutrition. Furthermore, the resources needed for your general health to function will be diverted to handle the chronic infection, weakening the overall natural protection your other systems typically enjoy. Research documents connections between gum disease and poor heart health, resulting in increased risk of stroke, as well as diabetes, problem pregnancies, respiratory diseases and osteoporosis in women. What's more, some studies indicate that those who lose all their natural teeth may have a much shorter life span.

So what's the answer? If you want to up your odds of a happy, healthy life, treat your body with respect and put your money (and effort) where your mouth is. Try starting with the basics: learn the latest tips, techniques and tools for top notch oral hygiene, when you are here for you next cleaning appointment. Then, branch out: incorporate a healthy diet, exercise, fresh air, and regular rest. Eliminate unhealthy habits that are counterproductive. And remember, taking care of your teeth means better well-being, and it means your body will be better able to take care of itself.

Porcelain Veneers

Take Your Smile From Average to Dazzling
Many people desire a brighter, cleaner, more attractive smile, but have chipped, stained, discolored, unevenly spaced, or even slightly crooked front teeth. If this sounds like you, we will be glad to help evaluate your specific situation, listen to the exact changes you have in mind, and show you examples of the end result, before any treatment is performed.

Often, porcelain veneers can provide a completely improved and dazzling smile in just a few appointments.

The actual treatment usually involves only two visits. The number of pre-operative visits, to work out details to insure predictable results, depends on the complexity of your situation and the changes you desire. There usually is a follow up visit or two for final adjustments and polishing, and to review instructions for care of your new smile to insure it lasts years and years.



Popular Dental Education Links

American Dental Association: Public Resources - Information about many different dental procedures, information for parents, online list of dentists and advice about dental insurance.

A-Z Web Dental Office - A dental patient education program. Learn how to keep your teeth and gums healthy for all your life.

Implant Dentistry Communications - Includes patient education about implant dentistry, clinical case reports and links to manufacturers of dental implants. 

Colgate-Palmolive: Kid's World - Games to teach kids how to care for their teeth.

About Cosmetic Dentistry - Learn about procedures, view photos and find out how you can beautify your smile with cosmetic dentistry.

We thank you for allowing us to take care of your dental needs and look forward to serving you.