Category Archives: dental education

How to Choose the Best Pediatric Dentist for Your Child

Are you looking for a children’s dentist in Savannah, GA? When it comes to your child, you want to find the best pediatric dentist in the area. So how do you find them? What do you look for? 

Female Dentist Showing Young Patient How to Brush Teeth

There are certain qualities that set some pediatric dentists apart from the rest. Pediatric dentistry is different. Children need specific things from a dentist that may not apply to adults. Here’s what to look for when it comes to selecting a pediatric dentist. 

Sensitivity to Children’s Feelings

Children often need a special touch, a higher level of understanding and compassion. They may be little, but they have big emotions. Anxiety or fear of going to the dentist is perfectly normal and a lot of kids experience it. Their first experience at the dentist or at a new dental office can set the tone for the way they will feel about going to the dentist for the rest of their life. And the importance of lifelong dental care is crucial to a person’s oral health as well as their overall health. Choose wisely. 

Experience Working with Children

Choose a pediatric dental practice that has been in business for a while. Plenty of experience is necessary when it comes to children. All kids are different and won’t necessarily act the same way regarding the dentist, but an experienced dentist and support staff will know what techniques have worked in the past to help kids feel comfortable. A dentist who has experience working with children will also know the best ways to help young patients learn proper dental hygiene to keep their teeth clean and healthy between dental visits. 

Qualifications

Before you choose a dentist, take the time to look at their qualifications. Of course they should have a degree from a reputable dental school and be licensed in the state where they are practicing. In order to practice pediatric dentistry, a dentist must also complete a certification with the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. Make sure any dentist you consider has all of the necessary qualifications. 

In-Network with Your Insurance

If you have dental insurance for your kids there are certain dental practices that are considered to be in-network with your insurance provider. In-network means that the dental practice and the insurance company have an agreement when it comes to the cost of care and coverage. You will end up paying less out of pocket if you choose a dentist who is in-network with your insurance. Some dental practices may accept your insurance without being in-network. This means your insurance will still cover some of the cost of your dental care, but possibly not as much. Going out of network is possible, but may require some research to compare the cost. 

Savannah Dental Solutions Provides Care for the Whole Family

Another quality to look for in a dentist is convenience. Some pediatric dentists only serve children and others only serve adults. But Savannah Dental Solutions provides care for all ages so that families can get their dental care at one convenient location. Appointments can be made together to save trips. Parents can also set a positive example for their kids when it comes to dental cleanings and proper oral hygiene. 

At Savannah Dental Solutions, we treat children the compassion and understanding they deserve so that they develop a positive view of the dentist. We have years of experience working with children and know how to help them feel comfortable. Our dentists and staff are highly qualified and our practice works with a long list of insurance providers to make your care affordable. 

If you’re looking for the best pediatric dentist in Savannah, call (912) 354-1366 or contact us to schedule an appointment. We look forward to providing your family with excellent dental care and helping your kids get the right start to a lifetime of dental health. 

Common Dental Problems in Aging Adults

Aging doesn’t have to slow you down. But it may mean you need to pay more attention to your physical health, including the condition of your teeth. As you age your dental health may start to decline a bit, which is completely normal. A little extra maintenance and care can go a long way. 

Here are some of the common dental problems you may face as you age. 

Increased Risk of Cavities

Just as your bones can weaken as you age, your teeth may gradually weaken also. Over time, even with proper dental care, tooth enamel naturally wears down making your teeth more susceptible to cavities. Acidic foods and a lifetime of biting and chewing take their toll on your teeth. Gums recede over time as well, exposing the softer roots of your teeth that can more easily decay. 

These are all reasons your risk of cavities increases as you age. It is important to visit the dentist regularly and follow proper dental hygiene at home, now more than ever. 

Dry Mouth

Another of the common dental problems that come with aging is dry mouth. Dry mouth can result from certain medications you may be taking. Medication for high blood pressure, cholesterol, asthma, allergies, anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s are some of the most common ones that can cause dry mouth. Adequate saliva is necessary to naturally rinse teeth and keep the bacteria levels consistent in your mouth. 

If you suffer from dry mouth, it’s important to talk to your dentist about it and tell them all of the medications you’re taking. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, use an oral moisturizing spray or mouthwash, and chew sugarless gum to stimulate saliva production. You could even use a humidifier when the air is dry. Your dentist may recommend an adjustment in your medication or dosage and apply a fluoride treatment after your regular cleanings. 

Gum Disease

Bacteria in the mouth can infect the gums, causing gum disease. Gum disease is more common in older adults because it is often painless and aging causes nerve endings to be less sensitive in the mouth. Once you feel the effects of gum disease, it may already be advanced. The good news is that gum disease is easily treated and prevented with proper dental care and regular visits to your dentist.

Oral Cancer

As you age your risk of developing oral cancer increases. This is another reason it is crucial to visit your dentist on a twice yearly schedule. Your dentist will carefully screen you for oral cancer as part of your routine dental exam. Mouth cancer is often painless and patients are not aware that they have it until it is detected by a dentist. When detected early, oral cancer has a high survival rate. It often appears as red or white patches on the inside of your cheeks or lips or on your tongue. Tell your dentist right away if you notice any suspicious spots. 

Deterioration of Existing Dental Work

Another common dental issue that comes with age is problems with old dental work. If you have a cavity that was filled many years ago, the filling may fall out or need to be replaced. Crowns or bridges can sometimes loosen and need to be refitted. Your dentist may recognize dental work that needs to be replaced before it falls out or causes a problem during a routine cleaning.

Savannah Dental Solutions Provides Oral Care for Seniors

At Savannah Dental Solutions we understand the increased risk of dental issues in older adults. Through our adult dentistry services, we take care to look for the common dental problems seniors face so that we can be proactive in treating them in order to minimize discomfort and long term effects. 

Call (912) 354-1366 or contact us today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you maintain your dental health as you age. 

Brushing, Flossing, and Seeing the Dentist: A Schedule

Proper oral hygiene combined with professional dental care is the best way to achieve optimal dental health. When you take care of your teeth and see your dentist for teeth cleaning on a recommended schedule, you can keep your teeth healthy and in place for your lifetime. 

Dad and Son Brushing Their Teeth in the Bathroom

What is the recommended schedule for brushing, flossing, and seeing the dentist? Here are the recommendations from dental professionals. 

Brushing Your Teeth

Most dentists recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Usually once in the morning and once at night before going to bed is enough. However, if you are at a higher risk of tooth decay or gum disease for any reason, it may help to brush after each meal. Removing food particles from your teeth and gums is the first step in preventing the buildup of tartar and plaque. Bacteria feed on these, which leads to cavities and gum disease. 

Is it possible to brush too much? Believe it or not, yes. There are negative consequences to brushing your teeth too frequently. Brushing excessively can wear away the enamel on your teeth, which weakens them, causes sensitivity, and increases the chances of developing cavities. Brushing too frequently can also damage your gums, causing them to become irritated, inflamed, and start to recede (pull away from the teeth). Avoid brushing more than 3 times a day. 

Flossing Your Teeth 

Most dentists recommend flossing your teeth once a day. Flossing removes food particles, tartar, and plaque from between your teeth and below the gum line. The area between your teeth, especially the back molars, is a prime spot for food to get stuck, which then turns into tartar and plaque. That feeds the bacteria in your mouth that can eventually cause cavities. 

Flossing also strengthens your gums, making them more resilient to irritation and gum disease. Gums are less likely to recede when you are flossing daily. Since your gums hold your teeth in place, if they start to pull away your teeth can become loose. Severe gum recession can even lead to the loss of teeth. 

As with brushing, flossing your teeth too much may damage your gums, so stick with a once a day schedule. 

Visiting the Dentist

The recommended schedule for regular dental cleanings is every 6 months. Most dental insurance plans cover two dental appointments for teeth cleaning each year. A routine teeth cleaning at the dentist’s office usually includes a thorough oral examination, removal of plaque, teeth polishing, flossing, and sometimes X-Rays. X-Rays of teeth are typically done only once a year, which is usually covered by dental insurance plans. The purpose of taking x-ray images is to identify cavities as well as to see below the gum line for any root issues. 

For some patients who are at a higher risk for oral health issues, the dentist may recommend that you have your teeth examined and cleaned more often. If you need any restorative procedures, such as cavity fillings, root canals, or crowns, you may have to go to the dentist between your scheduled cleanings to have those done. But once the procedure is complete you can usually resume your regular schedule. 

Stay on Schedule With Savannah Dental Solutions

Maintaining good dental health is much easier when you follow the recommended oral hygiene and teeth cleaning schedules. Whether you’re in need of a children’s dentist or one for the whole family, Savannah Dental Solutions is accepting new patients and welcoming former patients back. If you’ve let your dental care lapse due to lack of insurance or other reasons, we are glad to welcome you and help you restore and maintain your dental health. Whether or not you have insurance, we offer payment options to make your dental care more affordable. 

Call (912) 354-1366 or contact us today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing you at Savannah Dental Solutions.

A Brief Guide to Your New Patient Dental Appointment

Are you looking for a new dentist in Savannah? Whether you’re in need of a teeth cleaning or other dental procedure, Savannah Dental Solutions is currently accepting new patients. In case it’s been a while since your last dentist appointment, you may not know what to expect. Every dental office may be a little different, but most of the basics are the same. 

New Patient at First Dental Appointment

Before you arrive, consider this brief guide to your new patient dental appointment at Savannah Dental Solutions. 

Have your Dental Records Transferred to Us

One of the first things you’ll need to do is request that your previous dentist send over your dental records. If your previous dental office is still in business they will need your permission to release your records, either over the phone or in writing. These may be able to be faxed, emailed, or may need to be mailed for security reasons. 

Provide Us with your Dental Insurance Information

If you have dental insurance it is helpful for our office to get that information before your first appointment. This allows us to check a few things, such as whether or not we are in-network with your insurance company and what types of copayments and coverage you have. This helps us with billing and will help your first appointment to go more quickly. 

Give Us Honest Dental and Medical History

Of course your previous dental history is important for us to know in order to provide you with adequate care. But your medical history is also important. Dental health and overall health are closely linked, more so than many people realize. We need to know what medications you are taking and any preexisting medical conditions you have. Your medical information can factor into your dental care from preventive measures to complex procedures. 

What to Expect at your First Dentist Appointment

Once all of your paperwork is in order, your initial examination can begin. While in the dental chair you may be asked a few more questions, and then these steps will follow: 

  • – Examination of your facial structure
  • – Examination of your neck
  • – Checking your lymph nodes
  • – Checking your lower jaw joints or TMJ’s
  • – Examination of the gums
  • – Checking for loose teeth
  • – Examination of the tissue inside your mouth
  • – Checking your bite
  • – Checking for signs of tooth decay
  • – Checking for broken teeth
  • – Checking for damaged fillings
  • – Examination of existing dental work, bridges, fillings, crowns, implants, etc.
  • – Taking x-rays (if needed)
  • – Removing plaque and tartar
  • – Polishing teeth
  • – Flossing between teeth
  • – Providing instructions on improvements to dental hygiene
  • – Discussion about any cosmetic dentistry procedures you have requested
  • – Answering questions about your current condition

All of this gives the dentist a baseline of your current dental health. From here a plan for your future dental care can be developed. If you are in need of any restorative procedures such as fillings, crowns, or root canals, these will be scheduled for future appointment dates. If your teeth are in good condition, you will simply schedule your next teeth cleaning for 6 months out. 

Do You Have Dental Anxiety?

Dental anxiety is very common. If you’ve avoided going to the dentist because you are afraid or nervous, we are happy to accommodate you in any way possible to help you feel more at ease. We offer various levels of sedation dentistry to help your dentist appointment go more smoothly, such as:

  • Minimal sedation. This option allows you to be awake but relaxed. Nitrous oxide, known as “laughing gas” is one type of minimal sedation. 
  • – Moderate sedation. This option may involve taking an oral sedative that will relax you while you are still awake. You may remember part of your procedure or not much at all. 
  • – Deep sedation. This option involves being put to sleep via IV sedation. You won’t remember anything about the procedure, but you can be brought back to consciousness quickly and follow simple commands while under. You are still able to breathe on your own. 
  • – Complete Sedation. This involves general anesthesia via IV and also typically involves intubation to help you breathe while under. You will be completely unconscious for the entire procedure and awakened when it is complete. 

The level of sedation required may depend on the complexity of the procedure and the personal preference of the patient. 

Schedule Your First Appointment with Savannah Dental Solutions

If you’re looking for a new dentist in Savannah, GA, Savannah Dental Solutions is currently accepting new patients. We will help make the transition from your previous dental office as easy as possible. 

Call (912) 354-1366 or contact us to make an appointment today. We look forward to providing you with quality dental care.  

What Do You Do in a Dental Emergency?

dental emergency. Tooth being rescued by a life raft.
A variety of activities can create an emergency visit to the dentist: Eating, playing, exercising, and random acts of clumsiness. Knowing what to do and planning for such dental emergencies can reduce stress and potentially save your teeth.

What are dental emergencies?
Dental emergencies can happen when a tooth cracks, breaks, becomes loose or gets completely knocked out. Existing dental work can become loose or fall out. In either situation your mouth, cheeks, gums, and lips can be cut.

Prevention is the best approach. If you are playing sports, wear a mouth guard. Don’t bite foreign objects.

What if my tooth gets knocked out?
If you lose a tooth completely, call us for an appointment. If you can get here within an hour of losing the tooth, chances are better for saving the tooth. Remember, to bring us the tooth. Many trauma’s create panic and patients forget to retrieve the tooth from the scene. Handle it by the part that bites, not the root.

Touching the root can harm the cells necessary to reattaching the tooth. If you can rinse the tooth (don’t scrub) and place the tooth in your mouth (between the cheek and gum) it will keep the tooth moist. Don’t let the tooth dry out. If you cannot put the tooth between your cheek and gum, wrap the tooth in cloth saturated in milk or saline solution (contact lens solution).

What if my tooth is cracked or chipped?

Chipped teeth are actually minor fractures. If you chip or fracture a tooth, rinse your mouth in warm water and apply an icepack to reduce swelling. Call us for an appointment as soon as possible.

What if my mouth is injured?
Damage to your teeth can cause tears, cuts, punctures and lacerations to your mouth, cheek, tongue or lips. Clean the area with warm water. Contact an oral surgeon for treatment. A trip to the emergency room may be necessary. Areas bleeding heavily will need direct pressure using the hand with gauze.

Keep a dental emergency kit handy
• Savannah Dental Solution’s phone number (912) 354-1366
• Handkerchief and gauze
• Saline solution
• Small lidded container
• Ibuprofen (Don’t use aspirin. It will thin your blood and cause excessive bleeding)

Savannah Dental Solutions
Drs. Chad and Alexandra Schnabel

9A Medical Arts Center
Savannah, GA 31405
Phone: (912) 354-1366
Website: SavannahDentalSolutions.com

Bad Breath? Brush Your Tongue!

Woman's Tongue Sticking Out Ready to Brush
Are we the only dentist in Savannah, GA recommending you brush your tongue? Probably not. However, we’ll go ahead and give you the steps again because there are many advantages to brushing your tongue.

1. Helps reduce and prevent bad breath.
2. Chases away bacteria that can cause tooth decay

The right way? Always brush your tongue from back to front. You can even put some toothpaste or mouthwash on your toothbrush. This recommendation is good for proper adult dentistry and children’s dentistry care. We want to give you simple tips and techniques to keep your smile bright and your breath fresh.

The tip of your tongue is usually self cleaning due to all the movement and friction with swallowing and speaking. This portion of the tongue also comes in contact with the hard palate or roof of your mouth. This friction creates a cleaning action that keeps away build up of bacteria and debris.

The back of the tongue only touches the soft palate and the contact if fairly gentle. There’s not enough friction to keep the bacteria away and build up occurs. This build up of bacteria can cause bad breath and tooth decay.

How can you tell if you have bacteria build up? Stick out your tongue. Do you see a white or brownish film or coating on the back? It usually forms a triangular shape. You’ll need to start as far back as you can. Watch out for your gag reflex… Don’t choke. If you make it a practice to brush or scrape your tongue once a day, the gag reflex will diminish.

Don’t brush or scrape too hard and rinse your mouth when you are done. If you are going to use mouthwash on your brush, look for ones that contain antibacterials chlorine dioxide or cetylpyridinium chloride.

Have fun getting fresher breath!

Savannah Dental Solutions
Drs. Chad and Alexandra Schnabel

9A Medical Arts Center
Savannah, GA 31405
Phone: (912) 354-1366
Website: SavannahDentalSolutions.com

Secrets to Enjoying Halloween Candy and Healthy Teeth.

Is Halloween Candy Bad for your Teeth?

We are committed to Children’s Dentistry and educating families about how to keep teeth healthy.

Is sugar bad for your teeth? Good question. This old adage is true and not so true at the same time. The amount of sugar is important but not as important as the frequency of the sugar intake. It’s actually better to chug a 40oz soda than it is to sip 4 oz of soda throughout the day; the same is true with sweets that we eat. (We’re not suggesting you drink a 40 oz soda…) Cavities happen because acid is formed by the bacteria that eat the sugars in our mouth. That acid breaks down the enamel and causes tooth decay. Limiting the sugar is good, but limiting the frequency is even more important.

Another myth or recommendation around Halloween is whether to brush your teeth after you eat all of that candy. Well, brushing after consuming a bunch of candy may actually be a bad thing. This is when our teeth are the softest. All that sugar raises the acidity in the mouth making the teeth most susceptable to abrasion or enamel loss. When the teeth are in a demineralized or softened state, we can actually brush away our enamel. Choose a mouthrinse with fluoride instead. This technique can harden the teeth while in this softened state. Unfortunately, when the enamel is gone, its gone. It won’t grow back. Brushing before drinking or eating food actually puts your mouth in a less acidic state. This keeps your teeth much stronger during those sugar binges that we have during Halloween.

Sticky candies are worse than softer ones. Sticky candy or foods can be bad for existing dental work. They can pull out fillings or crowns. Hard candies can break your natural teeth or dental restorations too. Gooey candy can stick to the teeth for long periods of time in the deepest grooves. Bacteria then eats the sugar that is wedged in the crevaces and hard to reach places for much longer. So stay away from sticky candies.

Savannah Dental Solutions
Drs. Chad and Alexandra Schnabel

9A Medical Arts Center
Savannah, GA 31405
Phone: (912) 354-1366
Website: SavannahDentalSolutions.com

How Do We Feel About Children’s Dentistry?

Children’s Dentistry is Important to Us!

Whether a child is visiting our office for the first time or for a regular cleaning, we want them to feel at ease. Nothing stresses a parent out more than seeing their little one upset. We have children. Our staff has children. We understand.

A positive experience at the dentist can lead to better dental health as they grow into teenagers and adults. A large part of our care for family dentistry starts with encouraging children to take good care of their teeth on a daily basis. And we enjoy caring for them and watching them grow year after year.

Dr. Chad and Child Patient

Calming Dental Fears

Sometimes the reason adults have fear of dental visits is because of an unhappy visit to a dentist when they were a child. No matter what your child may have experienced at a dentist in the past, he or she will love to visit us!

Your Children’s Dentist Is as Important as Their Pediatrician

Good dental care habits started at an early age helps children to keep dental habits for a lifetime. Children’s teeth are more prone to decay for various reasons. We’ll work with you on how to encourage proper brushing and care at home.

Children generally eat throughout the day, which exposes their teeth more frequently to the acid produced by food. If teeth are already not as clean as they can be, additional acid increases the risk that cavities will develop. An application of a fluoride varnish to teeth can be reduce cavities.

Preventing Child Tooth Decay

Children may not brush as well as they should. Even thorough brushing may not clean all the deep grooves or contours of teeth. When plaque from the accumulation of bacteria sets in, decay will develop. Even the smallest amount of decay will need a filling restoration.

Let us introduce to you a way to keep this from happening. With an application of a dental sealant to each tooth, the chances of decay are greatly reduced.

A Great Day at the Dentist

Small rewards are a great way to congratulate a child on their good behavior during their dental cleaning or other procedure. I’m sure you have similar approaches at home. The thrill of digging in the treasure chest is often what we here from the child as soon as they walk in our door. Who doesn’t love a gift?

If you ever have any questions about how we approach children’s dentistry

How to Floss


Find simple instructions for effective flossing.
From the video library at Colgate.com we have a short video providing educational tips on how to floss your teeth effectively.
To view this video in its original library, please visit: Colgate.com

Savannah Dental Solutions
Drs. Schnabel, Schnabel & Smith

9A Medical Arts Center
Savannah, GA 31405
Phone: (912) 354-1366
Website: SavannahDentalSolutions.com