What To Expect From A Second Opinion

by Dr. Joanne Block Rief

Dentist in Owings Mills, MD

Dentist in Owings Mills MDIn our dental practice we get phone calls all the time from prospective patients wanting a second opinion on dental work, or costs associated with dental treatment. We love these calls! We are happy to have patients come to our office for a second opinion!

There is no cost associated with this type of appointment. It is best if the prospective patient can bring in x-rays taken at their former office. If not, we are happy to take the x-rays at no cost as well.

Sometimes patients are just looking to save money on their dental treatment. This is not always the best way to go. Typically, offices that have higher fees, use a higher quality lab and the dentist has been trained extensively beyond his or her four years of dental school.

Many patients bring a copy of a dental treatment plan. Sometimes that is helpful to make sure that the former dentist is planning the same treatment, or if not, maybe there is a better treatment plan that can be presented. Our fees are not the lowest in the area, but they are not the highest either. We use quality materials and very high quality labs to make our crowns, veneers, dentures, implant crowns, bridges, etc.

We also receive calls from patients who are told by other dentists that they need to lose a tooth and they do not want to lose that tooth. This is not always easy since we want to save all teeth. Unfortunately, due to extensive decay below the level of the bone, advanced periodontal disease and root fractures, many teeth cannot be saved. The good news is that we have many options to replace missing teeth, not just a “one fits all” solution. Some solutions are less expensive than others. We can usually give you two or three options of how to replace a missing tooth or teeth.

Other times we get calls from patients for second opinions on whether or not they have gum disease and what can be done to treat it. We can usually treat gum disease non-surgically in our office. Other times we need to refer patients to a periodontist if the disease is more advanced. Lastly, patients come to our office to “check us out.” They have been to an office that is not as state of the art as our office or as clean as they would like a dental office to be. Others do not feel comfortable with another dentist that they had seen to discuss their dental needs. We take the time to get to know our patients and make them feel like a guest here. Give us a call so we can discuss your dental needs!

The Importance of Oral Health Care While Pregnant

Dentist in Owings Mills, MD

Dentist Near MeAre you or a loved one currently pregnant or considering becoming pregnant? Congratulations! Since May is the month of Mother’s Day, we wanted to share some vital information.

Pregnant women experience major hormonal changes. For some, the mouth may be affected, causing what is known as “pregnancy periodontal disease.” Even those with great oral hygiene habits can be affected by this inflammation of the gums that causes swelling, tenderness, and sometimes minor bleeding of the gums during brushing or flossing. Research has shown a connection between periodontal disease and pre-term low birth weight babies. Before and during pregnancy, it is important to practice optimal oral health.

Pregnant woman may also have increased risk of tooth decay. Morning sickness, in particular, can cause increased acid exposure in your mouth, which can eat away at the strong, white protective layer called enamel. The American Dental Association recommends that if you are having frequent vomiting from morning sickness, rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water to neutralize the stomach acid on your teeth.

While you are pregnant, be sure to continue following great oral hygiene habits and keep your regularly scheduled dental appointments. We may recommend increasing frequency of professional cleanings and exams during your pregnancy to help counter these effects.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns involving your oral health. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Help Us Stop Cancer Before it Starts!

Dentist in Owings Mills

Dentist in Owings MillsDid you know that regular screening can allow Dr. Rief to identify and treat oral cancers even before you develop any symptoms? In an oral cancer screening, Dr. Rief will use her expert training and technology to check your mouth for any abnormal or potentially pre-cancerous cells, as well as any actual cancerous growths. Once identified, Dr. Rief may recommend a biopsy to be certain whether cancer is present.

Oral cancer, also known as mouth cancer, can occur in any part of the mouth, such as in the lips or gums, the surface of the tongue, or the roof and floor of the mouth. A person suffering from oral cancer may experience mouth ulcers, swelling, lumping or thickening of the skin in any part of the mouth, or patches on the lining of the mouth or tongue. Pain in swallowing, jaw pain or stiffness, sore throat and loosening of teeth are also symptoms of oral cancer.

Oral cancer is typically caused by unhealthy habits such as smoking, chewing, or sniffing tobacco, consuming alcohol, unhealthy diet, or excessive exposure to sun and certain chemicals. People with GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease) digestive condition and those who have undergone radiation treatments of the head or neck areas are also at a high risk for developing oral cancer.

Oral cancer can be diagnosed by various examinations such as biopsy, endoscopy, or imaging tests. If found, receiving proper treatment is imperative. According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 9,570 people will die of oral cancers this year alone. That’s about one person every hour!Let us help you prevent oral cancer by scheduling an oral cancer screening.

As with any form of cancer, early detection and treatment plays an essential role in ensuring that oral cancer can be stopped before it fully takes hold. For more information or to schedule an oral cancer screening, please call Crossroads Dental Arts today.

Do You Brush Your Teeth Too Much?

Dentist in Owings Mills

Owings Mills dentistBrushing your teeth is a vital step in maintaining good oral health. However, is there such a thing as over-brushing?

The American Dental Association recommends you brush your teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day. People sometimes brush after every meal, or brush midday to freshen up. Although this is not always a bad thing, when you start brushing too much or for too long, you can ultimately damage your teeth.

Brushing more than three times a day, and for longer than 2 minutes, can sometimes lead to your tooth enamel wearing down as well as cause damage to your gums. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body and helps fight against tooth decay. Over-brushing can damage this shield and cause teeth to become sensitive and prone to cavities.

Practicing proper oral hygiene care at home is an important part of your overall oral health. However, being aware of how much is too much is equally important in keeping your smile healthy.

Using the right kind of toothbrush helps prevent unnecessary enamel erosion. It is recommended you use a toothbrush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. The Seal of Acceptance shows that:

All of the toothbrush components are safe for use in the mouth.
Bristles are free of sharp or jagged edges (a soft-bristled toothbrush helps prevent the wearing down of enamel).
The toothbrush can be used to provide a significant decrease in mild gum disease and plaque.
Scheduling regular professional cleanings and exams with our dentist will keep your mouth healthy.

Contact our office today to schedule a cleaning and comprehensive exam with our dentist.

Can Lemon Water Damage Your Teeth?

Dentist in Owings Mills

owings mills dentistJennifer Aniston, Claudia Schiffer, Beyonce, and Gwyneth Paltrow are just some of the stars who have said they enjoy fresh lemon squeezed into warm water as a healthy drink.  Some people claim that warm lemon water can boost the immune system, aid digestion, and help with weight loss.  But could this drink be damaging to your teeth?

Lemons are a good source of vitamin C but lemon juice is highly acidic and can cause erosion in tooth enamel over time. If you sweeten that lemon water with sugar, you increase the risk of tooth decay as well. So how can you join the lemon water trend without damaging your teeth?

 Just follow these tips:

  • Brush your teeth before drinking.
  • Use juice from a fresh lemon, not the concentrated, commercial lemon juices.
  • Drink through a straw to minimize contact with your teeth.
  • Drink it quickly, rather than sipping over a long period of time.
  • Rinse your mouth with plain water after drinking.
  • Wait two hours to brush your teeth after drinking to allow the calcium in your saliva to re-mineralize your teeth.

All acidic beverages have the potential to erode the enamel on your teeth, such as:

  • citrus fruits
  • fruit juices
  • soda, including diet soda
  • some wines

To prevent potential damage to your teeth, consume these drinks occasionally instead of daily and follow the tips above whenever possible.

Contact our office to schedule your next preventive dental appointment.

Why Regular Dental Care Now Can Save You Big Later

Dentist Owings Mills

Proper at-home dental care and regular preventive dental visits can help you save money! See below for interesting information comparing the costs of dental care and see how the average person’s at-home care differs from the American Dental Association recommendations. Please contact us to schedule your next dental visit.

Cosmetic Dentist in Owings Mills

Start the New Year With a Smile!

Happy New Year from our team.

Owings Mills Dentist

dentist in Owings Mills MD

For many reasons, January is a great time to start the year with a beautiful and healthy smile. If you have been putting off treatment or cosmetic dentistry, there’s no better time to move forward in accomplishing your oral health goals.

Now that the holidays are behind us, there is more time to schedule your next visit to our office. If you are utilizing oral health benefits, many dental insurance plans renew at the start of the year, making it a great time for cosmetic and restorative care.

If considering cosmetic dentistry, contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation. Start the New Year with a smile!