About the Expert
Dr. Smith, who grew up in Humble, has practiced dentistry for 17 years. She earned her DDS and completed a general practice residency and a two-year advanced general dentistry residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. She taught dental students there for over seven years and was a program director in the Advanced General Dentistry Program. A life-long learner, she believes continuing education is imperative.
My gums are sore and swollen, and bleed when I brush or floss. Can this be treated?
Sore, swollen, bleeding gums occur due to a few reasons. The first and foremost reason is maybe your dental hygiene needs some improvement. Following your dentist’s guidelines for brushing, flossing, and rinsing and getting dental check-ups twice yearly is vital to maintaining a healthy smile and gums.
Other causes include underlying health issues such as diabetes. Sometimes, gum bleeding and inflammation can occur when your blood sugar has not been under control. Pregnancy can also cause gum bleeding. It’s an exciting time in life, but hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause gum issues even if you have never had trouble before. It’s best to come into the office and let us check and help manage your gum health.
What new technologies make dentistry easier for the dentist and more comfortable for the patient?
Lasers are one of the most versatile technologies we use at Dental Designs. They help reduce pain and dental anxiety, minimize swelling and bleeding, and lower the chance of infection. We use a dental laser during routine cleanings and restoration procedures like crowns and fillings, to contour gum tissues and manage discomfort from injections and keeping the jaw open.
What are the options for replacing missing teeth?
A few options include a fixed bridge, a dental implant, or a removable partial denture. If you’re a good candidate, dental implants are usually preferred. They feel, function, and look like natural teeth, and you can eat what you want without worrying about it dislodging or shifting out of position. Because they’re anchored to the jawbone, they help prevent bone loss, and unlike a partial denture or bridge, dental implants don’t require drilling on adjacent teeth.
Why do I need to visit the dentist even if I brush and floss daily?
It’s always a great idea to see a dentist twice a year, as recommended by the American Dental Association. Plus today, some dental insurance plans have started covering three check-ups a year because they are crucial to oral health. During your visit, we’ll evaluate your teeth and check for cavities, evaluate your gum health, and screen for oral cancer. Certain areas of your mouth are not easily visible to you but are to a dentist or hygienist.
What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry offers truly remarkable help for dental anxiety and can be used in more lengthy dental procedures to help control blood pressure. We offer oral sedation or twilight sleep, where a pill is prescribed and taken in the office before a procedure to help reduce anxiety and cause sleepiness. Another option is inhalation sedation, known as nitrous oxide or laughing gas. Both are great ways to help minimize dental anxiety during a dental procedure.
Offering sedation dentistry is just one of the many ways we help patients feel comfortable when they’re with us and help allay any fears or concerns they may have. We invite you to come in for a consultation to find out more.