Wisdom Teeth: Why Do We Have Them?

Wisdom Teeth: Why Do We Have Them?

WHEN DENTISTS SEE emerging wisdom teeth are going to cause dental problems, wisdom tooth removal is likely in the cards.

Wisdom teeth–also known as the third molars–received their nickname because they emerge during young adulthood, when a person has a little more wisdom. But why do we wait until the late teenage years to address the issue? In fact, if wisdom teeth so often cause complications, why has nature given them to us at all?

Wisdom Teeth Have Ancient Roots

The most widely accepted theory behind wisdom teeth suggests we look to our ancestors in the distant past for answers. Early humans had a much different diet than we do today: roots, raw meat, tough plants—foods that would have required a lot of grinding. Big, wide molars were the perfect teeth for the job, and that third set of molars would have helped them immensely! They also had larger jaws to accommodate these extra teeth.

Today, we have smaller jaws and eat much softer foods, but our genes still produce third molars! When they don’t have enough room to emerge properly, wisdom teeth can begin erupting at angles of 45 degrees or more—even horizontally! When teeth grow where there isn’t space for them, they cause a lot of problems.

When Is Removal The Right Decision?

Wisdom teeth emerging at bad angles or crowding other teeth can damage oral health. They might not even emerge at all, becoming impacted below the gum surface. In either case, they can cause constant pain and infection, weaken bone structure, and undo orthodontic work.

You might ask why wisdom teeth aren’t addressed in early childhood. It’s because they actually don’t begin forming until around age 10! All teeth (adult teeth included) begin forming in the jaws during fetal development—except for wisdom teeth.

We Treat Each Wisdom Teeth Case Individually

There are the lucky few that have no problems with their wisdom teeth. It is possible for them to emerge at the right angle, with enough space, and not have to be removed.

Each case is unique, and by getting to know your unique dental profile, we will prescribe the best dental health solution—without any unnecessary treatment. From diagnosis to wisdom teeth removal recovery, we’ll be there every step of the way to provide the best in advice and care.

Thank you for choosing us as your family’s lifelong dental health partners. We treasure the trust you place in our practice!

Top image by Flickr user Celestine Chua used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
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Juice Smarter: Your Teeth Will Thank You

Juice Smarter: Your Teeth Will Thank You

WHILE JUICING IS ONE OF THE most popular health fads right now, how does it affect your smile?

Juices Can Be Tough On Teeth

Many juices contain high amounts of acid and sugar that can compromise healthy teeth. Frequently drinking juices with overly acidic and sugary ingredients can begin to wear away the enamel of our teeth, putting us at greater risk for cavities.

But, don’t fret—you don’t need to go throw away your juicer just yet! There are a variety of simple ways to make your juices healthier and still taste great.

Choose Ingredients That Strengthen Your Smile

Make your juices healthier by considering some of these options:

  • Add more leafy greens! Leafy greens help build strong bones and strong teeth because they are high in calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Greens won’t spike your blood sugar like sugary fruits and vegetables will.
  • Use fruit sparingly and when you do, be sure to use ripe fruits. Unripe fruits tend to have more acid than ripened ones.
  • Add a teaspoon of coconut oil. Coconut oil, amongst other amazing properties, contains antibacterial properties that are great for your teeth!
  • Add cranberry juice! Amongst numerous vitamins and nutrients, fresh cranberries have compounds that keep cavity-causing bacteria from sticking to your teeth. So, to add nutrients and teeth-protecting properties, simply add a splash of cranberry juice to your recipe.
  • Steer clear from highly pigmented foods. Fruits and vegetables that are strongly pigmented can potentially stain your teeth. Examples of these foods are: dark berries and beets.

What you put into your juices is the important thing to keep in mind when juicing. Ask yourself when adding ingredients: Does this add nutrients to my juice? Will my teeth benefit from this or not? Is there too much sugar or acid in this ingredient?

Here's a few recipes to get you started:

We Care About Your Whole Body Health

By being mindful and aware of the ingredients you add to your juices, you can begin making smart decisions for not only your teeth, but your overall health. If you have any questions about how the juices you enjoy affect your teeth, feel free to schedule an appointment to see us or leave a comment below!

Thank you for reading our blog and being our valued patient and friend!

Top image by Flickr user Rob Bertholf used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
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A Custom Mouthguard Can Save Your Smile

A Custom Mouthguard Can Save Your Smile

kid playing football with mouthguard

PROTECTION DURING sports and other extreme activities can potentially save your teeth and gums from serious, or permanent damage.

Cheap over-the-counter mouthguards may seem appealing because of the low price tag, but without the correct protective properties, cheap mouthguards could cost an athlete more in the long run.

Not All Mouthguards Give Equal Protection

Contrary to custom-fitted athletic mouthguards, over-the-counter options are often uncomfortable to wear and do not provide the proper amount of protection to the teeth and mouth. On the other hand, custom mouthguards are far more comfortable because they are made to fit your mouth specifically.

Other benefits of custom mouthguards include:

  • easy breathing and improved speech for maximum endurance and clear communication,
  • a secure fit that stays in place during impact,
  • professionally sized to any mouth size,
  • resistant to irritation of sensitive gums,
  • reduced risk and severity of dental injuries,
  • rated for the highest level of protection,
  • and minimal discomfort and inconvenience when worn.

Mouth Protection Is An Investment

Although personalized athletic mouthguards have a higher cost than over-the-counter options, they can potentially save you from serious expenses from injuries sustained from insufficient protection.

We Want To Help Protect Your Smile

Investing in a custom mouthguard can make all of the difference for you and your family’s oral health. While participating in sports and other activities is fun, it’s important that you protect your beautiful smile while doing so! Let’s talk about your unique and individual oral safety needs. If you or someone you know are in need of a custom mouthguard or have questions about custom mouthguards, please contact us.

Thank you for being our valued patient and friend!

Top image by Flickr user Torrey Wiley used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
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Dental Professional Dictionary: A Guide to 4 of the Most Common Dental Professionals

It seems that dental professionals have gotten somewhat generalized in the minds of the general public in the same way that every copier is a Xerox ® or every tissue is a Kleenex ®. Not every dental professional is a dentist. A great many "odontists" help us keep our mouths healthy and our teeth looking their best. Here's a guide to four of the most common "odontist" dental professionals looking out for our oral health:

Endodontists could be considered the E.R. doctor of dentists. Endodontists handle traumatic dental injuries, such as knocked-out teeth but specialize in the soft inner tissue of the teeth Endodontists diagnose and treat infected roots and are experts in root canal treatment and endodontic surgery.

Orthodontists might spend a lot of time straightening crooked pictures since they're the ones that work to align improperly positioned teeth and jaws. With plenty of hardware at their disposal, Orthodontists might use braces, retainers, spacers, headgear and more to ensure you're aligned. Orthodontic treatment can improve the health, appearance and lifespan of your teeth and may improve speech problems, jaw pain, and difficulties chewing or biting.

Periodontists similar to the people the CDC send in hazmat suits. They get to find and fight the nasty disease. They specialize in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation (gingivitis) to major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. Send in the Periodontist to scale and perform root planning, gum grafts and dental implants.

Prosthodontists might be the real artists of the "odontist" group. Like art restorationists, Prosthodontists are experts at restoring and/or replacing teeth. Using a variety of techniques such as crowns, bridges, full or partial dentures and dental implants these dentists can help restore the appearance and function of your teeth after dental loss or damage.

Although general dentists offer a broad range of services, your Mesa dentist, Dr. Gary Robison may refer you to one of these specialists.

For more information regarding dental specialist or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gary Robison of the Robison Dental Group in Mesa, AZ, please give us a call at 480-924-2300, or visit our website @ http://www.drrobison.com/contact-us/

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How Do Your Brushing Habits Compare?

How Do Your Brushing Habits Compare?

Woman Brushing Teeth

WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BRUSH twice a day for two minutes each time. How many of us actually do that? See how you measure up!

From a recent poll:

  • 49% of men brush their teeth only once a day.
  • 57% of women brush their teeth only once a day.

And, the average person only brushes his or her teeth for 30 seconds each time—not nearly long enough! That’s only one-fourth of the time really needed!

Brush Softer, And Take The Full 2 Minutes

Many choose to brush more vigorously to save time. Although it’s quicker, brushing aggressively can wear down tooth enamel. If you brush harder than needed, remember to brush gently but thoroughly for the full two minutes.

Think About Your Brushing Technique

For the deepest clean possible, brush at a 45-degree angle in small circular motions around all tooth surfaces. One of the biggest places for build-up is around the gum line. If neglected, gums can become swollen and infected because of plaque left behind.

Clean Your Tongue!

The tongue is the biggest bacteria host in the mouth! If you only brush your teeth, the bacteria left on your tongue transfers to your teeth, making them dirty again. Remember to clean every area of the tongue. If you experience a gag reflex when using a toothbrush, consider trying a tongue scraper. A clean tongue helps keep your teeth clean, and it helps keep your breath fresh!

We Love Your Smile

We’re focused on helping your smile look and feel its best! We’re committed to your overall health as well. Remember, brushing twice a day for two minutes each time is a necessity, not a recommendation.

Thanks for reading our blog, and happy brushing!

Top image by Flickr user Taz used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
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What Every College Student Should Know About Dental Health

What Every College Student Should Know About Dental Health

College student dental tips

GOING OFF TO COLLEGE can drastically throw off a young adult’s normal at-home routine. Brushing and flossing, making healthy eating choices, and keeping up with routine appointments can become difficult for college students.

Late Night College Life Can Be Hard On A Smile

One of the biggest lifestyle changes for college students is the surge in late-night study sessions and all-nighters. To stay awake, many students consume large amounts of coffee, energy drinks, or soda. These can be super bad for teeth. Drinking plenty of water is one way to help reduce the risk of cavities and tooth decay caused by the increase in acidic and sugary drinks.

At the end of these long stretches of caffeinated studying, it is important that students brush, floss and rinse before going to bed or starting the new day.

Snacking is also common during late-night study sessions which can be detrimental to oral health. If snacks are consumed, choose healthy ones. It’s better to snack on things like dairy products, fresh produce and nuts than candy, dried fruit and other sticky, sugary foods.

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth come in during our late teens and early twenties. Our evaluation of patients’ wisdom teeth growth and placement can be very important for college students. Together we can determine whether or not they need to be removed and can prevent pain and discomfort that could potentially interrupt studies.

New Year, New Habits

With a new school schedule and a new lifestyle, students should be aware of new habits they’re creating. How has sugar intake changed? Is brushing and flossing routine? Are regularly scheduled hygiene appointments being kept?

During college, normal routines are disrupted, so if you’re a college student (or if you know one to remind) be sure to keep up with regular exams and cleanings. We want to help you keeping your smile happy and healthy so you can focus on what’s important–your studies!

Thank you for being part of our practice family!

Top image by Flickr user CollegeDegrees360 used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
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Your Regularly Scheduled Visits Are About More Than Clean Teeth

Your Regularly Scheduled Visits Are About More Than Clean Teeth

Pretty Smile Regular Dental Exam

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED why it’s so important to see us every six months? From oral health maintenance to serious disease prevention, there are a lot of reasons to keep your semi-annual visits on your calendar.

Open Wide And Say “Aahhh”

So what do we look for when we examine your pearly whites? During typical checkups we examine the overall health of your teeth and gums, looking for signs of tooth decay, gum disease and checking up on the condition of existing dental work. X-rays may also be taken to ensure the health of the roots of your teeth, and to reveal things we cannot see.

Once we examine your mouth and teeth, it’s cleaning time. We do so by:

  • Doing an overall cleanliness check
  • Removing plaque and tartar
  • Polishing your teeth
  • Flossing between your teeth

After your teeth are cleaned, we’ll talk about recommendations for keeping your teeth and gums healthy until your next regular visit.

Thinking Outside The Mouth

While a clean and vibrant smile is a definite confidence booster, it can also promote sound overall health. Bacteria from untreated gum disease can spread to other parts of the body and increase the risk of heart disease and other serious conditions.

We can also spot warning signs of other conditions. Things such as vitamin deficiencies, osteoporosis and even diabetes can present symptoms in our mouths.

The Best Offense Is A Good Defense

Regular dental visits not only keep our teeth and gums clean but they can help prevent against more serious issues. Here’s a few tips to keep your smile healthy between checkups:

We Care About Your Whole Body Health

Our practice is focused on the latest treatments to create healthy and resilient smiles. In addition to helping your smile look and feel its best, we’re committed to your overall health. We want to make sure you’re as healthy as possible when you visit us!

Thank you for being our valued patient and friend!

 

Top image by Flickr user Seth Lemmons used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
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Defining Common Dental Insurance Terms

The terminology insurance companies use can be confusing. Like reading a contract to lease a car, sometimes these terms are meant to be confusing. The more you read that you don’t understand, the more likely you are to agree to whatever they say. Most employers aren’t making it easier to understand either. Rather than enrolling employees in a traditional insurance plan, most employers have turned to managed care health insurance plans.

People should understand basic insurance terms so they can make informed decisions about their health. That is why we decided enough is enough with the insurance nonsense and we’ve defined four commonly misunderstood and confusing insurance terms.

 

City of Mesa dental insurance

1) Deductible. The deductible is simply the amount of money you must meet by paying out of your own pocket for dental services that will be covered by insurance before your insurance company will pay for any expenses. Depending on your insurance, this could be a high ($5,000-$10,000) or low ( $500-$1,000) deductible.

 

2) Copay. Once your insurance is covering your dental services, you may need to make a co-payment, or copay for services received. The copay amount can vary based on the type of covered dental services provided.

 
3) Premium. The premium is an amount the insured pays periodically to the insurance company for covering his/her risk. Your dental insurer just can’t take your word for it that you brush 2-3 times a day and floss. Even if you do, you’re covering yourself for the unexpected, a root canal for example. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it!

 
4) Coinsurance. Coinsurance and co-payment are easily confused. If the dental insurance’s allowed amount for a dental visit is $100 and you've met your deductible, your coinsurance payment of 20% would be $20. Your dental insurance pays the rest of the allowed amount.

If you have additional questions regarding your dental insurance, please feel free to call the Robison Dental Group in Mesa, AZ @ 480-924-2300 or visit our website @ http://www.drrobison.com/about-us/

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What Does Dentistry's Emblem Mean?

What Does Dentistry's Emblem Mean?


HOW OFTEN HAVE YOU taken a close look at dentistry’s emblem? Probably never, right?! Well, we love the things it represents.

The Symbol’s Basic Elements

The frame of the symbol may look like a triangle and circle intertwined, but those are actually the Greek letters “delta” and “omicron.” These letters stand for “dental,” and “odont” (or “tooth”).

In the middle of the symbol, you’ll notice a couple of fanned branches. There’s a total of 32 leaves, representing 32 permanent teeth. The branches also have 20 berries, representing 20 primary teeth.

The Difference Between Two Snakes And One

The main focus of dentistry’s official emblem is the staff of Asclepius, a serpent twined around a rod. This is often confused with the caduceus, a winged baton with two twined serpents. The caduceus, a common medical symbol, refers to the messenger god Mercury, since he was also patron god of alchemy, magic, and chemists.

However, the staff of Asclepius stands for something different.

Asclepius is the Greek god of healing. It’s said that early in his life, he helped heal a snake (an ancient symbol of renewal and wisdom), and in return, that snake gave him knowledge about healing.

The staff of Asclepius is about more than mystical fixes. It’s symbolic of wellness, and wisdom in leading a healthy, full life. In fact, Asclepius’ daughter is the goddess Hygeia, of cleanliness and hygiene.

Dentistry Is Focused On Preventive Care And Lifelong Health

While dentistry is able to bring about some astonishing fixes that seem like magic, our focus is always on prevention and wellness. We believe in fixing problems before they even start, and protecting your teeth for a lifetime.

A healthy mouth is important for more than just your teeth. Infections in the gums can travel throughout the body and contribute to problems like heart disease, Alzheimer’s, RA, and diabetes. Your regular dental visits are essential for a lifetime of full-body health.

We appreciate the opportunity to be your dental family and your healthcare partners for life. We treasure our relationship with you. If you ever have questions about your oral health, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Thanks for being our valued patients and friends!

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