How can we help you?
We know that choosing a dentist is an important step in your overall healthcare. We welcome all of your questions so that you can feel completely confident in your decision to come here for your dentistry.
Here are some of the most common questions we receive. If yours is not listed, we invite you to call our office or send us an email.
We understand that going through cancer treatment is difficult and trying. That is why we partner with our patients to help prevent dental emergencies and other problems throughout treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause a number of problems with your oral health, including:
- Mouth sores
- Dry mouth
- Bleeding gums
It can be more difficult to maintain your oral health when you undergo cancer treatment because of your compromised immune system. Special mouth rinses can help with infection and certain mouthwashes help with relieving dry mouth, which if left untreated can lead to periodontal disease.
It is important to let Dr. Martin know that you will be undergoing cancer treatment so that we can prepare by completing any necessary dental work and taking precautions to keep you healthy. Certain treatments such as fluoride, extra soft toothbrushes, and anti-bacterial rinses can make your oral care easier.
You might benefit from more frequent professional dental cleanings to help prevent periodontal disease. We will work with your doctor’s recommendation to ensure that you receive the best care possible while you fight cancer.
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and in water. Some common natural sources of fluoride include apples, avocados, strawberries, peaches, lettuce, and radishes. Many cities and municipalities add fluoride to their water in order to boost the amount of fluoride people obtain, specifically for the purpose of protecting your teeth.
Because it helps to strengthen enamel, getting adequate fluoride is important to your oral health. Since the implementation of fluoride additives in water, the instances of decay have gone down across the country. While most adults still have some amount of decay, the risk of losing teeth to decay in spite of proper care is now minimized.
In some cases, fluoride treatments can provide additional benefits to protect your teeth. For example, if you are prone to getting decay because of a genetic or medical condition, fluoride can provide additional protection. When you experience tooth sensitivity, having regular fluoride treatments can minimize the level of sensitivity you feel.
If you have questions about fluoride or the necessity of having fluoride treatments for you or your children, please feel free to ask Dr. Sarira Martin, DDS, PC. She can share information and resources with you that will help you make the best decision regarding your dental health.
Gum disease is inflammation and infection in your gums and bone. When left untreated, it can cause tooth and bone loss, putting your entire mouth at risk. Researchers linked periodontal disease to other systemic conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes.
The main cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene, although certain medical conditions, medications, and lifestyle habits may contribute as well. Even if you brush and floss regularly at home, you may find yourself fighting periodontal disease if you do not have regular dental cleanings. Brushing and flossing alone cannot remove all traces of calculus.
Symptoms of gum disease vary based on severity, but can include:
- Bad breath
- Red or swollen gums
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Pus around the gumline
- Bleeding gums
Treatment of periodontal disease in its early stages may mean a full recovery for your health. That is why calling for an appointment the moment you notice symptoms of an infection is essential. Treatment typically includes specialized dental cleanings that eliminate calculus, bacteria, and infection from your teeth and gums. Depending on how severe your condition is, you may also need site-specific antibiotics, antibiotic rinses, or even surgery to restore your health.
If their gums feel tender, people often stop brushing and flossing, thinking they are allowing themselves time to heal. However, stopping your daily care routines can actually make the problem worse. If your gums bleed, feel tender, or look swollen, you may have gum disease.
The correct response to gum disease is to brush and floss more thoroughly and to schedule a professional dental cleaning with our hygienist so that we can help you get back on track to good health.
Allowing gum disease to go untreated is dangerous. Researchers linked the presence of gum disease to a number of other systemic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Bleeding gums are your body’s way of asking for your attention, and the best way you can handle it is with ta visit to your dentist.
Treatment of periodontal disease usually requires one or more specialized dental cleanings designed to eliminate bacteria, calculus, and plaque from your teeth so that healing can begin. Dr. Martin may recommend oral medications to speed the healing process along. In many cases, we can reverse the symptoms of gum disease, but in order to stay healthy, regular dental cleanings and exams are essential.
It is impossible to see all dental conditions with the naked eye. That is why at our Highlands Ranch, CO dental office, we take periodic dental x-rays to look for potential problems before they can seriously threaten your health. Some of the most common conditions we search for when taking x-rays include:
- Hidden decay
- Bone infections
- Periodontal disease
- Developmental abnormalities
When we identify dental conditions early, we can save you time and money. Generally, the faster we catch certain problems, such as decay, the less expensive and invasive your treatment will be. We also want to help our patients avoid unnecessary discomfort and dental emergencies.
Some of our patients express a concern about exposure to radiation. However, the radiation exposure is so minor with the implementation of digital x-rays that any negative impact on your health is unlikely. Dental x-rays have always been low in radiation, and now, with the implementation of digital radiography, we can by another 80%.
How frequently we take digital x-rays depends largely upon your dental health. For some patients, we take them once yearly and only take additional x-rays if a need arises. Dr. Sarira Martin, DDS, PC can discuss x-ray frequency with you at your evaluation.
If you have dental anxiety, you are not alone. In fact, millions of Americans experience fears similar to yours. Our dental office takes special care with people who are fearful because we know that just coming in for your appointment is a big step.
Dr. Sarira Martin, DDS, PC, and her entire team are compassionate and caring professionals who will always treat you gently and with respect. You will always be in charge of your own appointments and we will go at your pace to help you feel more relaxed.
We understand that sometimes you might need a little something extra to help you feel calm. That is why we offer three levels of sedation.
Nitrous oxide – Nitrous, or laughing gas as it is sometimes called, is an inhaled sedative that creates a sense of well-being and euphoria. It is a mild form of sedation that enters and leaves the body immediately.
Oral sedation – Oral sedation utilizes prescription pills to help you relax during your treatment. It is stronger than nitrous oxide and you will need someone to drive you home from your appointment.
General anesthetic – This method of sedation is administered with an IV and is the strongest form of sedation we provide. You will not be conscious during your treatment and will be groggy after your appointment.