Category Archives: dental tips

How to Find the Best Dentist in Savannah for Your Family

Are you looking for a dentist in the Savannah area who would be best for your family? Finding a new dentist can be difficult, especially if you’re new to the area and don’t know very many people yet or much about the area. But regardless of where you live, the qualities that make a good family dentist are the same. 

Portrait of Female Dentist Standing in Office

Consider these tips to help you find the best dentist in Savannah.

Ask a Coworker, Neighbor, or Friend for a Recommendation

In order to find a dentist you can trust to provide a positive experience, ask someone you know for a recommendation. Even if you’ve just moved to the area and you don’t know very many people, ask a coworker, a neighbor, or a new friend if they know of a good dentist in the area. Most people are glad to refer you to their dentist if they are happy with the level of care and service they receive there. 

Find a Dentist Who Can Treat the Whole Family

Some dentists only treat adults and won’t accept children under a certain age. Others are pediatric dentists who only work with children up to a certain age. But the best option is a dentist who can treat the whole family from small children to adults of all ages. While a pediatric dentist specializes in dental care for kids, eventually there will need to be a transition to an adult dentist. However, starting with a family dentist means there’s no need to change later on. And you can conveniently schedule appointments for everyone at the same time if you prefer. 

Choose a Dentist Who Offers a Wide Range of Services

Even if your dental care is usually relatively simple, you never know when something can go wrong that will require a more complex procedure. If you choose a dentist who can perform a comprehensive range of services you can avoid having to see a specialist for in-depth procedures that your regular dentist is not equipped to handle. 

Ask Your Previous Dentist for a Referral

Sometimes dentists know of dental practices in other cities who they can recommend. Maybe they went to dental school together and can vouch for their skill and work ethic. Or perhaps they’ve heard of a renown dentist from the area you are moving to who is known for their innovative procedures. It doesn’t hurt to ask.

Request a List of In-Network Dentists from your Insurance Provider

Going to a dentist who is in-network with your dental insurance provider can save you a lot of money. In-network means that the dentist not only accepts your insurance plan, but they may have negotiated pricing agreements for patients covered under their policies. 

Do Some Research and Read Reviews Online

Take the time to research any dentist that is recommended to you before making an appointment. You can save a lot of time and hassle by reading reviews and gathering information to make sure the dentist you are considering offers top quality care and is able to meet your specific dental needs and the needs of your family. 

Make Sure They Accept Financing Options for Payment

If you need a complex procedure that is partially covered by your insurance or not covered at all, you should know how the dentist accepts payment. A caring dentist will make your treatment affordable by accepting and even offering financing options. 

Trust Your Family’s Oral Health to Savannah Dental Solutions 

If you’re looking for the best dentist in Savannah for your family, Savannah Dental Solutions offers comprehensive services for children through adults, including preventive dentistry, restorative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and more. Our dentists and staff have the compassion and experience to take care of your family’s dental health. 

Call (912) 354-1366 or contact us today to schedule a consultation. We are currently accepting new patients and look forward to working with your family. 

Do You Have Gum Disease?

Many people who have gum disease are not aware of it. Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums. It is relatively painless in the early stages and the other symptoms are mild and not very noticeable. So how do you know if you have gum disease? 

There are a few signs and symptoms of gum disease that are detectable when you know what to look for. Consider whether or not you have noticed any of the following indications of gum disease.

Bleeding Gums

Do you notice some blood in the sink when you spit after brushing your teeth? This is not normal. You could be brushing too hard, but more likely it’s a sign of gum disease. Flossing your teeth for the first time in a long time could cause some slight bleeding, but just regular brushing and flossing should not produce blood. Infected gums bleed because they are inflamed from bacterial infection. Unless you have a mouth injury or unless a child has lost a baby tooth, healthy gums should not bleed. 

Red or Swollen Gums

Your gums don’t have to be bleeding to show signs of gum disease. You may notice that your gums appear redder than normal rather than the light pink color they should be. This is a sign of inflammation, a side effect of gum disease. Your gums may also appear swollen or puffy, which is also due to the bacterial infection that is gum disease. If you floss or brush in the places where your gums are swollen, it’s possible that they could start to bleed. 

Bad Breath

Gum disease can cause you to have bad breath. The bacteria in your mouth release toxins that produce an odor. When a higher than usual concentration of bacteria is present, the odor is more potent. You may not notice your own breath, but if a well-meaning loved one points it out, if you notice a foul taste in your mouth, or if friends and coworkers start offering you gum or mints a lot, you may have undiagnosed gum disease. 

Receding Gums

When gum disease becomes more severe the gums will start to recede, or pull away from the teeth. If you notice that your teeth are becoming longer or that there is a line on your teeth where your gums used to be, you might have some recession due to gum disease. 

Sensitive Teeth

When gum disease causes your gums to recede, the soft root portion of your tooth can become exposed. The root is not covered with the same thick enamel as the crown portion of your tooth, which means it is sensitive to cold, heat, and sweets. Once it is no longer protected under the gums it can cause severe sensitivity. If you notice that your teeth are suddenly becoming more sensitive, look for other signs of gum disease. 

Loose Teeth

When gum disease progresses the gums can recede far enough that your teeth can become loose and even fall out. If your permanent teeth are loose at all or appear to have shifted, it could be due to advanced gum disease. 

Treatment

There are a few different steps to the treatment of gum disease. The first is a thorough cleaning of your teeth above and below the gum line. Special tools are used to perform a process called scaling, which refers to the removal of plaque that has hardened on the teeth. Root planing is another possible part of gum disease treatment, where the roots of your teeth are smoothed out so that there are no pockets for bacteria to hide. Your gums are then able to reattach to a smooth surface. 

Medication may be required in some form to treat the infection, such as oral antibiotics or an antibiotic gel that can be applied directly to the gums. 

Prevention 

Preventive dentistry is designed to do just as its name suggests, prevent common dental problems like gum disease. By brushing and flossing your teeth daily at home and visiting your dentist on a regular schedule (twice a year), you will increase your chances of preventing gum disease. If you notice any of the above symptoms of gum disease, contact your dentist right away so that it can be treated before it gets worse. 

Savannah Dental Solutions 

You can prevent gum disease by visiting Savannah Dental Solutions. Our preventive services are designed to keep common dental issues, like gum disease, from becoming a problem for you. Keep up with regular dental appointments and take care of your teeth at home in between and you can experience a lifetime of good oral health.  

Call (912) 354-1366 or contact us today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you maintain health teeth and gums for life. 

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.

Easy Tips for a More Photogenic Smile

Are you dissatisfied with the way your smile looks in pictures? Whether you’re interested in modeling, trying to perfect your selfies for social media, or just trying to capture more beautiful memories, there are some steps you can take to make your smile look more natural. Try these easy tips for a more photogenic smile.

Whiten your Teeth

One of the most important aspects of your smile is your teeth. Your teeth will usually show in a natural smile. Do you have white teeth? You can use teeth whitening toothpaste, mouthwash, and even whitening strips, but you won’t get the same effect as you will with professional teeth whitening. Savannah Dental Solutions offers the KöR Whitening Deep BleachingTM System. It gives you permanent results with little to no sensitivity. You can even continue drinking coffee, tea, red wine, and your other favorite beverages. Improve your smile with whiter teeth.

Practice Smiling Naturally

Do you have trouble smiling naturally? Do you look back at pictures and think your smile is too big or forced-looking? Practice smiling while you look in a mirror. Memorize the way your face feels when you achieve the smile you want. Think about something that makes you happy, like a favorite memory or place. Remember what you thought of when you achieved your best smile. Practicing regularly will help you to recreate your best smile when you need to without looking in a mirror. Your facial muscles will even be in better shape as a result, making it possible to smile naturally for longer periods of time.

Wear Natural Makeup

When your makeup, especially your lip color, is the right shade for your skin tone, your smile will look more natural. Some lip colors enhance white teeth and others can make teeth seem more dull. Lighter colors like rosy pink, berry, or red tend to be better than dark colors like browns and deep reds. But ultimately, the best color for your smile is what looks natural for you.

Consider Veneers

If your teeth need more than just whitening to improve your smile, there are some other options. Veneers made of porcelain can be placed over your existing teeth to make them look uniform. If you have gaps, discoloration, or teeth that are crooked or misshapen, veneers give teeth a facelift. The process involves filing down the front of the existing teeth slightly before the veneers are permanently cemented into place. Find a veneers dentist like Savannah Dental Solutions who can give you a natural look for that photogenic smile you want.

Savannah Dental Solutions Can Help You Improve Your Smile

Do you wish for a more beautiful smile? Professional whitening or porcelain veneers from Savannah Dental Solutions can help your smile look more natural and appealing. With these tips you can achieve a natural smile in the photos that commemorate your life. Make sure you can look back on those memories with satisfaction. Call (912) 354-1366 to make an appointment at Savannah Dental Solutions or request an appointment here.

What You Should Know About Financing Dental Work

Dental work is absolutely essential to maintaining both oral health and general overall health. Untreated dental issues can eventually lead to systemic infections that increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, and other medical problems, in addition to putting you at risk for tooth loss and painful abscesses. Yet dental work can be expensive, and dental insurance policies lag far behind traditional medical insurance in coverage. Fortunately, there are several ways of financing dental work that allow you to break up your bills into manageable chunks.

financing dental work

Cost Breakdown

Your dentist will create a detailed treatment plan for you before work begins. Some offices automatically provide detailed cost breakdowns, while others will provide one if asked. Either way, be sure that you have a full accounting of the costs involved before you get started.

Timing Issues

While it is certainly best to treat dental issues as soon as they occur, some conditions are higher priority than others. For example, a missing tooth replacement may be delayed without significant risks, while an infected tooth that is left untreated could rapidly worsen. Ask your dentist to prioritize your issues to spread the financial burden over time.

If you need a multi-stage treatment, such as dental implants, your dentist may be able to break up the work to maximize the amount that your insurance will pay. For example, he or she might extract failing teeth at the end of your insurance year, and then place the implants at the start of your next insurance year.

Consider Credit Cards

Different credit cards have different interest rates, and introductory offers can be particularly attractive. If you are good at managing credit and will have the funds to pay off your dental work before the introductory period expires, a zero-interest or very low interest rate credit card can be a great way to finance your dental work. Just be careful not to use the card for things you don’t need, and remain disciplined enough to pay off the balance. Then leave the card account open so that it can help your credit score over time.

Ask Your Dentist About Financing Plans

Many dentists work with financing companies such as Care Credit that specialize in medical and dental financing. If you need a great deal of work done, or your credit score is not high enough to qualify for a low-interest credit card, these companies may be able to help. Their requirements are typically less stringent than those of traditional banks, and they often provide high credit limits. Although their interest rates are high, they sometimes offer zero-interest deals for those who can pay off the balance in 6 months or a year.

Dental work is essential for your health, so it is important not to put it off. Don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist about your financial concerns. Dentists understand budgets, and will work hard to help you find a way to manage your dental expenses.

Married dentists Chad and Alexandra Schnabel welcome you to Savannah Dental Solutions. From caring children’s dentistry to high-tech cosmetic procedures and even full-mouth reconstruction, we blend the latest technology with traditional customer-oriented values. To start your journey to better oral health, call us today at (912) 354-1366.

6 Tips for Finding a Good Dentist

Although there are a lot of good dentists out there, finding just the right one for your family can be tough. Many simply do not click with you. Some don’t use the latest techniques, some have a hurried approach, and some specialize only in particular patient groups. Here are some tips for finding a good dentist for your family.

Finding a good dentist

1. Ask About the Dentist’s Education and Training

Think of searching for a dentist like conducting job interviews. Some of your most basic questions should be about the dentist’s education and training, particularly as it applies to your family’s needs. Where and when was the dentist trained? Does he or she take frequent continuing education classes? Does the dentist have certifications in dental implants, oral surgery, or other specializations? What about specific populations, such as geriatrics or special needs patients?

No dentist is an expert in all fields. However, the dentist you choose should be up to date on the things that your family is most likely to need. If you have a small child, experience with pediatrics may be among the most important factors. Likewise, if one of you is facing extensive dental work, a certification in oral surgery might be a primary consideration.

2. Consider the Overall Approach to Dentistry

It is important that you and your dentist see eye to eye on your overall approach to dental health. Do you prefer an old-school dentist with a paternalistic bedside manner? Are you looking for cutting-edge treatments? Do you want to be a collaborator in your own dental care, or would you rather have your dentist make all of the major decisions? None of these are right or wrong, but the dentist you select should reflect your own personal style.

3. Think of the Practicalities

Your dentist’s office should be reasonably convenient to your home or workplace, and the office hours should fit with your schedule. You should choose a dentist who accepts your insurance plan, and offers some type of financing for extensive procedures. Take a look at the missed appointment policy as well, especially if your schedule is tight and ever-changing.

Also consider how the office policies align with your family’s needs and concerns. Is the dentist skilled at handling nervous patients? Is sedation available if needed? Does the dentist handle complex cases, or serve as a treatment coordinator with a network of specialists? Is it acceptable to bring a relative or friend into the treatment room? Again, there is no right or wrong, but some policies do not mesh well with some individual needs or desires.

4. Consider the Costs

Dentist fees are complicated, so there is typically no way to get a firm price without an exam. Still, it is worth calling around to compare ballpark fees either on specific work, or on such common procedures as X-rays and simple fillings. Don’t choose your dentist based solely on price, but make sure that the one you choose is reasonably competitive in your local area.

5. Take a Look Around

Stop by the offices of your top few dentists to get a feel for how they operate. Is the waiting room clean and inviting? Do you receive a warm welcome? Are treatment rooms clean, and do staff practice universal precautions? Also take the time to ask a few questions and note the responses. Do you feel like there is an open and honest rapport, or does the staff seem bothered and rushed?

6. Personal Connection

Finally, make an appointment with the dentist you like best. Ultimately, this is the only way to tell whether you truly click. Think of this as a final interview rather than a firm commitment. Get to know the dentist and staff, and think through whether these are people with whom you feel comfortable. If you are unsure, feel free to move on.

Finding a good dentist is relatively simple, but finding a good dentist that is right for you can be trickier. Put in the time and effort to find someone with whom you can truly build a professional relationship based on trust and rapport. Do not entrust your family’s dental health to a dentist who, for whatever reason, you just don’t feel comfortable with.

Married dentists Chad and Alexandra Schnabel welcome you to Savannah Dental Solutions. From caring children’s dentistry to high-tech cosmetic procedures and even full-mouth reconstruction, we blend the latest technology with traditional customer-oriented values. To start your journey to better oral health, call us today at (912) 354-1366.