Get Your Teeth Ready For Vacation

Nothing wrecks a vacation faster than waking up with a toothache or losing a filling or crown during your trip. Before you think you’ve got everything all planned out for your vacation, you may want to add a visit to your dentist to your to-do list.

Vacation Ready Teeth | Best Dentist in Raleigh

If it has been more than six months since your last visit with the best dentist in Raleigh, you are overdue to see your dentist. Regular dental visits can keep dental problems from creeping up while you are away from home. Having your teeth professionally cleaned is important, but a routine dental visit is about so much more than cleaning and whitening your teeth.

Dental imaging has advanced significantly over the last ten years. Dentists are now able to detect oral cancers, weaknesses in teeth and cracked fillings from a simple set of images. Identifying these issues before they become a serious problem is not only good for your vacation but your overall oral health. The best dentist in Raleigh utilizes the latest in oral cancer screening technology with the Vizilite screening process. This screening can identify oral abnormalities in your mouth as well as your head and neck. DIAGNodent technology allows Dr. Garrett to use a safe and precise laser to scan your teeth; identifying potential cavities and existing cavities in your teeth. Intraoral photos are used to see the condition of your fillings or crowns and to detect fractures in your teeth that may cause you problems. Who knew that these simple screenings at your regular dental check up did so much!

Once you’ve been assured that your teeth, crowns, and fillings are all ready for departure, it’s time for you to finish up your packing and get ready to relax. Don’t forget to pack all your dental care items in your carry on. Skip picking up a cheap travel toothbrush and use your regular one while you are away. Many times the travel brushes are poorly made and the bristles may be too rough and can abraid your gums. These abrasions open you up to the risk of infection; definitely not a souvenir you want from a vacation.

Get lazy by the pool but be sure to stay on top of your dental care routine while you are away. Having wine or frozen sugary drinks, desserts, or highly acidic fruit juices can all begin the cycle in your mouth that generates acid which weakens the enamel on your teeth. Make sure to rinse your mouth with water after you enjoy one of these foods. This will help wash away the sugar and the acid and keep your teeth healthy.

If you do need dental care while you are away, be sure to consult your insurance carriers website for a list of American Dental Association certified dentists near you and be sure to follow up with your regular dentist upon your return. Be sure to get a copy of any X-rays, scans or records from the dentist that provided you care while you were away. These things can be helpful for your dentist in order to manage any follow-up care or procedures that may be required to restore your oral health. For toothache tips on the go, see our previous blog post about treating toothaches at home.

The best dentist in Raleigh proudly offers dental care for the whole family in her North Raleigh office. Get the kids ready for summer with a cleaning and check up! Whether your child has one tooth or needs a root canal, Dr. Garrett is board certified and trained in all the latest dental procedures. Call now!

How to Choose the Best Dentist – Part Two

best dentist in RaleighThanks for joining us for the second part in our series on how to choose the best dentist in Raleigh for you. In our previous post, we discussed that checking with your friends and family for recommendations and cross referencing those recommendations with your insurance carrier was a great way to begin your search. To read more about this, please see our previous post.

How to Choose the Best Dentist in Raleigh

Once you have narrowed down your list of providers and have begun to visit their offices, make sure that you are taking the time to ask a few questions of the staff and the best dentist in Raleigh as you have a look around. These questions will help you determine if this is the right practice for you and your family.

  • What happens if I have a dental emergency? – When something goes wrong, you want the providers that you trust to be there for you. If you lose a filling, crack a tooth or have a broken dental appliance your dentist should be able to get you in within a reasonable amount of time. Most dentists have slots in their schedule every day for patients who wake up with a severe toothache or have another dental emergency. Ask the office staff what the policy is and how long it typically takes to be seen in situations like that.
  • Are Saturday appointments available? – The chances are that between work, your kid’s activities, and your social commitments that time during the week to squeeze in dental appointments may be scarce. Choosing a provider that offers Saturday appointments may fit better into your lifestyle. Also, ask about early morning and evening availability.
  • What are the perks of being a patient here? – Many dentists have installed latte bars for parents to enjoy while they wait for their kids or upgraded their patient wi-fi to high-speed access so that you can work while you wait. Other providers have begun to offer free whitening or sealants to their patients every six months.
  • What is your cancellation policy? – While the this may seem like a strange thing to ask, many providers have adopted a 24-hour notice for canceling appointments. Inside this time window and you may be forced to pay a cancellation fee. This is something to consider for those who have children or who may have a job where meetings or obligations come up suddenly.
  • Who can explain my insurance benefits to me? – When it comes time for that root canal, or you’re ready for dental veneers, having someone in the office who can accurately describe your insurance coverage to you is key. While you will always want to confer with your insurance about your plans coverage and limitations, having someone in the office who can help you understand what you are being charged, what your insurance will cover and what your options for payment are is more than helpful.

Most importantly, ask to spend a few minutes with the dentist. A brief chat will let you know if you will feel comfortable communicating with this person about your dental health care needs. Having a good relationship with your dentist is important for your overall health. Want to know how your dental health affects your overall health? Read our previous post here.

Choosing a dental care provider for your family doesn’t have to be a daunting or stressful task. Asking questions of the staff and the best dentist in Raleigh, getting referrals from people you trust and ensuring that they are recognized by your insurance company as well as the American Dental Association is key. Taking these extra steps will make sure that you choose a dentist and practice that you and your family will be comfortable with for many years to come.

If it’s been more than six months since your last dental visit, you are overdue to see Dr. Katherine Garrett and her staff in Raleigh. Call today and schedule your routine cleanings and screenings before summer vacation hits!

How to Choose the Best Dentist

best dentist in North Raleigh When it comes to selecting the best dentist in North Raleigh for you and your family, there are many factors to consider. While it isn’t always a perfect fit the first time, doing your research on the providers near you will help you know which doctors will be the best fit for you and your family.

Many people feel overwhelmed by the number of dentists available in their area. A quick search on your dental insurer’s website can leave you feeling dizzy – so many choices! Finding a provider at a convenient location, who accepts your insurance who can perform all the services you can anticipate needing is important.

Tips for Finding the Best Dentist in North Raleigh

As with any other professional service that you use, the best place to start is by asking your family, friends, and colleagues for their recommendations. This can be especially important if you are looking for a provider who is good with children or who specializes in dentures or partials. Talk with the people you know who have children or who have dental appliances. When people find a great provider they are happy to share what they love about that dentist’s office; when they have had a bad experience, they are quick to share that too. Once you have gotten the recommendations from people you trust, the next step is to check with your insurance carrier.

Most insurance carriers make it easy to know who is and isn’t in your coverage network. Using the tools on their website, most providers will allow you to look up dentists in your area and see whether they participate in your network. If you are unable to find the dentist you are interested in seeing for care, don’t just assume that because they are not on the insurance company’s website that they are not in the network. Many times a recent relocation of the office, change of name or the provider being added to the network can cause their listing not to show on your carriers quick search. A quick phone call to your insurance company may leave you smiling once you realize your preferred provider really is in network.

Dropping by the dentist’s office is one of the best ways to judge whether this is the practice for you. A well run office with professional and courteous staff is a must when it comes to being able to quickly make an appointment, communicate about insurance filings and receive care. Before you decide to schedule your first visit, stop by and pop into the office to check things out. Is the waiting area tidy? Are you greeted right away by the front desk staff? Are there an appropriate number of people or cars out front? The best dentist in North Raleigh will have a steady flow of patients and a top notch front office staff to help ensure that patients are receiving great care throughout their visit.

If you have children, ask to see the child’s treatment area. Knowing what this area looks like and seeing the exciting features that they offer the youngest patients like TV’s to watch while the dentist works or special chairs or a trip to the treasure box can help you put your children at ease when it comes time to visit a new dentist. Being able to prepare your child to meet a new dentist will make that first visit much more comfortable for you both.

Best Dentist in North Raleigh

Dr. Katherine Garrett is proud to serve your entire family in her North Raleigh office. Board certified in cosmetic dental procedures, she and her professional staff are dedicated to providing high-quality dental care in a warm and welcoming environment. If you are looking for a new dentist, give Dr. Garrett’s office a call today!

What Causes Cracked Teeth?

Cracked teeth are one of the most common dental issues. With proper treatment and care, cracked teeth are often able to continue to function and work properly, however, avoiding treatment or ignoring the problem can escalate this issue from dental annoyance to a dental extraction very quickly. Tooth loss as a result of cracks in the tooth is not uncommon. Depending on the type of fracture your tooth has, removing the tooth may be the best course of action.

Cracked Tooth | Best Dentist in North Raleigh

There are five main types of tooth fractures. The severity, type, and location of the crack all factor into the care and treatment that will be administered by the best dentist in North Raleigh.

  • Verticle Tooth Fracture – These fractures begin under the gums at the root of the tooth. Often they are not painful until the crack extends towards the surface of the tooth. Sometimes the tooth can be saved with the removal of the damaged portion of the tooth. However, the bone and gum around the fractured tooth may become infected and require additional treatment.
  • Fractured Cusp – This type of fracture is not typically painful, and a simple filling or crown can resolve the issue and protect the tooth from further damage.
  • Craze Lines – Shallow cracks in the enamel of adult teeth are common. These cause no pain or promote other dental issues, they are strictly cosmetic defects and do not need to be treated. If desired, ask your dentist about placing a porcelain veneer over the tooth to improve the appearance of the tooth.
  • Cracked Tooth – A true crack tooth is one where the split runs from the surface of the tooth vertically toward the root. It is important to have these cracked teeth treated early as a root canal may be necessary if the crack has entered the pulp of the tooth. A cracked tooth will worsen over time, and if the crack moves below the gum line, the tooth will need to be extracted. Unlike the bones of your body, teeth do not heal from cracks. Crown placement serves to protect the cracked tooth from further damage.
  • Split Tooth – A variation of the cracked tooth, split teeth are unable to be saved in their entirety because a segment of the tooth has become completely separated. Dental surgery will be required to remove the portion which has split off and to see if the remaining part of the tooth can be saved.

Cracked teeth can be extremely painful as well as sensitive to cold and pressure. Avoid these dental issues by getting a mouthguard to protect your teeth at night if you clench your teeth or grind them while you sleep. For those who are active in contact sports, work with you dentist to get a specially fitted mouthguard to wear or invest in a protective mask. Avoid chewing hard foods like popcorn kernels or ice. Habits, like chewing on pen caps and opening things with your teeth, can also crack and damage them.

If you are experiencing pain or sensitivity in your teeth or need a routine dental check up, call the best dentist in North Raleigh, Dr. Katherine Garrett and her experienced staff today! Our North Raleigh office is conveniently located and offers a wide variety of cosmetic, routine and specialized dental procedures. We treat the whole family!

Dealing With Out of Town Dental Emergencies

Vacation is all about relaxing, enjoying time with family and friends and just getting away from it all. However, when a dental emergency happens during your vacation, the last thing you can do it relax and enjoy your time away. While seeing the best dentist in Raleigh before you leave for your trip isn’t on most people’s to-do list, it probably should be.

Dental Emergency Tips From The Best Dentist in Raleigh

Toothaches, cracked teeth, loose fillings or broken crowns can all make your trip uncomfortable. The good news is that you have many options available to you to get care when you are away from home. Here are the best ways to cope with dental emergencies when you are away from home:.

Tips | Best Dentist in Raleigh

  • Know Before You Go – While you are sending out those last few emails before vacation, do a quick search on your dental insurer’s website for a list of providers in the area where you are headed. Pick one or two and call their office to inquire about hours and their policy for after hours and emergency care. While you are on the insurance company’s website, review your plans coverage for after-hours and emergency dental care. Ensure that you know what you plan will and won’t cover. Having just a little information can make a situation of urgency feel much more manageable.
  • When in Doubt, Reach Out – If a dental emergency does occur, call your regular dentist first. Attempting to remedy a severe dental issue on your own could cause more harm to your tooth or could make the problem even worse. Your dentist can make recommendations for you based on the type of issue you are having, the medications you are on and your dental history. Make sure that you keep your health and medication history current with your dentist so that if an emergency should arise, they are aware of all your health concerns.
  • Use Caution – Overindulging in sweets, hard and acidic foods that can harm your teeth is not uncommon on vacation. Taffy, caramel, corn on the cob, fruity cocktails and desserts are often the culprits for damage to teeth and dental work. Pay attention to what you are enjoying. If you know, you have damaged or loose dental fillings or crowns, it may be best to skip the gooey caramel brownies and opt for something less likely to dislodge your dental work.

Keep in mind that upon your return home, your first call should be to your regular dentist for a visit to discuss the emergency and a check up. If the solution you were provided on vacation was temporary, you might want to call and schedule the follow up with your regular dentist before you return home. Temporary crowns and fillings will do the trick in a pinch, but they should not be relied upon as a long-term solution. Temporary dental fillings and crowns may not be properly fitted to your teeth and can cause issues like jaw pain, bite problems and sore gums if left in place for too long. Replacing these and having a regular check up with your dentist will help avoid these additional issues.

If it has been more than six months since your last dental visit, the time to call Dr. Katherine Garrett and her friendly staff in their North Raleigh office is now! We treat the whole family and provide a broad range of preventative, restorative and cosmetic dental procedures.  Call and schedule your visit today!