The Talon Cusp – An Odd Name for an Unusual Dental Anomaly

Dental anomalies, or some dental feature that is atypical, do not always gain a lot of attention, but they definitely exist. The talon cusp is an example of a dental anomaly that can affect certain individuals. Even though a talon cusp is relatively rare, the condition is not always one that should cause concern. Let’s take a closer look at the talon cusp and how this dental anomaly may be addressed by your Jacksonville dentist.

What is a talon cusp?

In general terms, a talon cusp is a small, talon-shaped cusp that grows on the anterior of your teeth. These cusps are made up of the same material as your regular tooth and do tend to be directly attached to the tooth itself. It is rare for a patient to have only one talon cusp; most patients have more than one or a series of cusps on a group of teeth.

What teeth does a talon cusp usually show up on?

Talon cusps tend to show up on the front teeth and canines more so than anywhere else in the mouth. The most predominant placement will be behind the canines, but cusps attached to the upper incisors are quite common as well. Cusps that grow in other points in the mouth are often granted a different name. For example, a cusp of Carabelli may be located on the first molars.

Should a talon cusp be removed?

Talon cusps can be so small that you would barely even know they were there unless your dentist pointed them out. In these cases, the cusp is usually not an issue that should be addressed. However, in more severe cases, a cusp may be large enough that it affects the natural growth of a tooth. For example, a large cusp on the backside of your front incisor may push that incisor outward. In these instances, the cusp may have to be removed, which generally involves simply using dental tools to file away the anomaly and using a dental sealant or filler to protect any exposed tooth material.

Talk to a Jacksonville Dentist about Talon Cusp and Other Dental Anomalies

Teeth can be so unique, and the anomalies that can affect them can be either harmless or something worthy of attention. If you believe you have a talon cusp that should be addressed reach out to us at the office of Dr. Matt Henry to schedule an appointment.

How to Prepare for Your IV Sedation Dentistry Appointment

These days, most dentists do offer some level of sedation in the office. However, a select few also offer full-on IV sedation dentistry, which is performed with the direct assistance of an anesthesiologist. If you suffer from dental phobia, IV sedation before your treatment can be one of the best options for you as a patient. Take a look at some of the things you may need to do in order to get prepared for your IV sedation dentistry appointment.

1. Arrange for someone to drive you to the appointment.
Even though you can freely drive to your dentist appointment on your own, it is best if you do have someone to take you home. You may feel a bit groggy after the treatment is finished and you are allowed to leave the office. Therefore, it is best if you do make arrangements for someone to bring you to your appointment and wait with you so they can also take you home.

2. Discuss what you should do about your everyday medications with your dentist.
Some medications can interact adversely with the medications used to sedate you. Therefore, it is critical that you discuss your full medication list with the dentist before the scheduled date of treatment, even if it is an over-the-counter medication, supplement, or herbal remedy. The dentist will let you know if there are certain medications you should skip on the day of your treatment.

3. Follow the dentist’s guidelines about food and water intake.
It is actually quite common to get instructions about food and water intake any time you will be treated with any level of anesthesia. The dentist will most likely tell you to not eat or drink anything for several hours before your scheduled appointment. If there are medications that you are still supposed to take, you can take them with a small sip of water.

Let’s Talk About IV Sedation Dentistry

Sometimes, IV sedation is necessary before dental treatment. However, modern-day technology allows for sedation to also be an option if you struggle with anxiety about treatment. If you would like to learn more about IV sedation dentistry, reach out to the office of Dr. Matt Henry in Jacksonville, FL.

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?

Few people realize that the term sedation dentistry in Jacksonville refers to what older generations knew as “laughing gas.” Laughing gas was so named because of the light way it made people feel. It made patients feel so good that they were more likely to laugh because they were so relaxed. Now, the term used is sedation dentistry, but it’s essentially the same thing. Still, some people may wonder if sedation dentistry is safe.

What is Sedation Dentistry Used For?

Sedation dentistry isn’t an essential part of any dental procedure. No patient absolutely has to have sedation dentistry. But for millions of Americans, sedation dentistry has made the difference between having a relaxing dental visit and having a tense dental visit. In fact, many people find that they are more willing and even eager to go to the dentist with the help of sedation dentistry in Jacksonville. This is because sedation dentistry is specifically used to help patients relax while they are having their dental treatment done. It’s there so that the dentist can perform the treatment without the patient feeling overly anxious or worried.

What Does Sedation Dentistry Feel Like?

Imagine those times when you feel most relaxed. Maybe you are on vacation, or lying in bed with a good book, ready to fall off to sleep. That what sedation dentistry feels like. After the dentist has given you the inhalant or IV, you’ll simply begin to feel more relaxed; less worried and more at ease. You’ll still stay wide awake, and you’ll know everything that’s going on. But you will feel as if you don’t have a care in the world.

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?

Sedation dentistry has been safely used in dentist offices for decades. It’s approved by the ADA, and it’s even approved for use in children. It’s important to note that sedation dentistry is not the same as anesthesia. Anesthesia—the kind you might get before surgery—is a completely different thing. In fact, anesthesia has many more associated risks than the sedative used in sedation dentistry in Jacksonville.
If you feel that you have certain conditions that make you nervous using sedation dentistry, don’t worry. You don’t have to have it. Talk to your dentist in Jacksonville for more information about sedation dentistry and your health.

4 Signs Your Dental Implant Needs to Be Restored

It is not uncommon for a dental implant to last for decades if not the lifetime of the patient. However, some people do have issues with their dental implant and it should be restored. Take a look at just a few of the signs that you may need to talk to your dentist about dental implant restoration.

1. Inflammation, Pain, or Swelling Around the Implant

Once an implant is in place, fused to the bones, and the soft tissue has healed, your implant should be like a perfectly healthy new tooth. If you have issues with inflammation, pain, or swelling around the implant, it is definitely not a good sign. Typically, these symptoms are a sign of infection, which can mean the implant and tissue once healed around it are coming apart and allowing bacteria in.

2. A Loose Implant

A dental implant should never be loose; it should be seated tightly in the bone and tissue so it does not move. A loose implant can be a sign that the implant is failing, which essentially means the fusion to the jawbone is non-existent. These issues happen frequently directly after the implantation, but any issues beyond that point are a sign an implant needs to be restored. If your implant falls out, get to the dentist right away for treatment.

3. Gum Recession Around the Implant

Gum recession around the implant is never a good sign. This issue can happen for a few reasons, but some of the most common reasons can be related to infection or lack of blood supply to the existing soft tissue around the implant. If you see the soft tissue around your implant changing, talk to your dentist right away to find out if restoration may be necessary.

Find Out More About Dental Implant Restoration in Jacksonville

Your dental implant is designed to give you a long-term replacement for a missing tooth. If you have issues with an implant you have, there is no doubt you will want to get it fixed or replaced. If you suspect you have a dental implant that needs attention from a professional, reach out to us at the office of Dr. Matt Henry in Jacksonville, FL.


PRP and PRF Therapy

As newfound knowledge regarding how the human body works as it is healing comes to light, scientists and researchers develop all kinds of ways to use that knowledge to make medical care more practical and safe for patients. Perhaps there is no greater treatment that exemplifies this fact like PRP therapy. At the office  Dr. Matt Henry in Jacksonville, FL, we are always working hard to tweak our dental services to include the latest in treatment technology. Therefore, we do offer PRP and PRF therapy to our patients who could benefit from the procedure.

PRP Injection Therapy Explained

PRP injection therapy is a method used in modern-day medicine that utilizes blood platelets from a patient’s own blood supply to create a rich, supportive atmosphere for healing at a site where faster healing is important. To perform PRP therapy, a practitioner will collect a blood sample from the patient, and put that harvested blood through a coagulation process in a centrifugal system to separate the rich platelets from the other matter. Certain additives are used to encourage a clot of platelets to form, and that collected clot is then placed in the area where the work has been performed. The advantages of PRP therapy include:

  • Potentially faster healing times for patients
  • Lowered risks of infection after serious dental procedures due to faster healing times
  • The therapy utilizes the body’s own platelets to encourage healing in a more natural way

While many patients can reap the benefits of PRP therapy, certain individuals do benefit the most. For example, elderly patients who may have slower healing rates after something like a bone grafting procedure can usually see healing times reduced. Another advantage worth mentioning with PRP therapy is that the amount of blood that has to be taken from the patient initially is very small, so the therapy is not considered in any way invasive or uncomfortable for the patient. In fact, the majority of patients know little more about what is taking place, where the pain is concerned, other than having to give a small blood sample before the procedure.

The Role of PRP Injections in Modern-Day Dental Treatments

PRP can actually prove to be advantageous in a lot of different types of clinical dentistry treatment, and some of the most well-qualified dentists are now using this treatment as a form of adjunctive therapy for certain procedures. Medical practitioners have relied on PRP therapy for several types of serious treatment and surgical procedures for a while, but PRP is only more recently making its way into dental medicine. Some of the most common procedures in which PRP injections can be helpful are described below.

Bone Grafting – Bone grafting is a procedure a patient will undergo before obtaining dental implants if they do not have a substantial amount of bone in their jawline to anchor an implant to. While bone grafting is considered a highly effective solution, this procedure alone can involve a long healing time, especially for older patients. PRP injections may be used to help aid and quicken the healing process after bone grafting is performed as a precursor to dental implant procedures.

Extractions – Extractions, especially when they involve several teeth or larger teeth, can cause damage to the underlying bone structures in the jawline. The best practitioner will work to correct any deviations in bone structure due to the extraction from the time they pull the tooth. In some cases, PRP injections may be used to help with the healing process if an extraction was more intrusive.

Bone Repair – Bone repair can be a necessary part of maxillofacial surgery after trauma caused by an accident or due to a defect. For example, if a patient has sustained a blow to the side of their jaw and it has caused damage to the jawbones, bone repair may be necessary. PRP injections can be used on some patients to help promote the healing process and shorten recovery times after bone correction surgery in these instances.

The Difference Between PRP and PRF Therapy

PRP and PRF (platelet-rich fibrin) are actually two forms of platelet-rich plasma treatment that involve some of the same processes and are quite similar in nature, but PRF is a bit more simplified in form. Without getting into the real specifics and complexities of medical science, PRF is performed without the use of added coagulants to cause a fibrin clot to form and does not involve utilizing the same additives that are used with PRP harvesting processes. While both PRP and PRF injections are used in dental settings, PRF is often the most preferable form of treatment due to the simplicity of the procedure. Both PRP and PRF therapy offer the same lists of advantages for patients, including potential faster healing times and a lowered risk of infection.

Let’s Talk About PRP Injections in Jacksonville, FL

Overall, both PRP injection therapy and PRF therapy can be a valuable part of your oral health care routine, but not every dentist offers this relatively modern form of adjunctive therapy with treatment. If you are interested in learning more about PRP or PRF therapy or feel you could be a good candidate for PRP with a certain procedure, please reach out to us at the office of Dr. Matt Henry in Jacksonville, FL to learn more about what we have to offer.


3 Ways Tooth Crowding Can Affect Your Smile

When it comes to alignment issues, tooth crowding tends to be one of the most common. Tooth crowding occurs when permanent teeth do not have enough space in the jawline to grow, so the teeth can overlap or protrude in such a way that the teeth are not in a straight line. A general dentist in Las Cruces, NM can help you keep your smile healthy in spite of alignment problems, but crowding can come along with several risks for your oral health. Let’s take a closer look.

1. You may be more prone to tooth decay

When the teeth are crowded, you may have a harder time reaching between them when you brush and floss. Food particles and bacteria can get trapped in the tight spaces where teeth overlap, which can lead to damage to the tooth’s enamel and eventual decay. For this reason, being extra vigilant about your dental hygiene appointments will be especially important if you have issues with dental crowding.

2. You may have issues with an uneven gum line

An uneven gum line means that the gum tissue does not consistently cover the base of your teeth in a uniform way. You may have some areas where the gum tissue is especially thin; you may have points where the gum tissue does not cover a lot of the tooth’s root. While some of these issues can be corrected with the help of an orthodontist or a cosmetic dentist, you will have to be more attentive to gum health than usual if you choose not to have the problem corrected.

3. You may see problems with halitosis

Because food particles can be more likely to get wedged between crowded teeth, some people can be more prone to bad breath. Using an extra-strength mouthwash, flossing as thoroughly as possible, and having your teeth cleaned at the dentist regularly may thwart the issues.

Find Out What Can Be Done About Crowding with a Jacksonville Dentist

Even though tooth crowding is a common alignment issue, it is not an issue that should go unaddressed. If you have crowding issues, it will be important that you work closely with a Las Cruces dentist to keep your oral health in check. Reach out to us at the office of University Family Dental to schedule an appointment.

3 Ways Preventative Dentistry Indirectly Benefits Your Overall Well-Being

You’ve probably heard that you should visit your dentist every year for a checkup and twice a year for a cleaning. However, if you are like a lot of people, you may only make it to the dentist when you notice something is wrong, and possibly not even then. Recent research suggests that as many as one in four people in this country has tooth decay that has been left untreated. Preventative dental care is important for your smile for sure, but what you may not know is how this care for your mouth can offer indirect benefits for the rest of your health.

1. Lower Your Risks of Heart Disease
Even though poor oral health seems like just an issue for your smile, poor oral health may be bad for your heart. Specifically, gum disease may heighten risks of heart disease and poor oral health habits may lead to dangerous infectious bacteria in your bloodstream that can affect the valves of your heart.

2. Support Mental Health and Wellness
A number of things can take place when you have dental health problems. You may have problems chewing your food, speaking properly, or feel self-conscious when you smile. All of these problems can be hard on your mental health because they can induce a certain level of social anxiety. Another surprising fact you may not know, some research has suggested that bacteria from gum disease may affect neurons in your brain and be linked to memory loss.

3. Give Your Body the Nutrition it Needs for the Long-Term
When you lose your teeth or your teeth hurt when you eat, you naturally change your diet to take in things that are easier to chew. Unfortunately, this can mean you may be missing out on valuable nutrients your body needs like fiber and protein.
Let’s Discuss Your Preventative Dental Health Plan in Jacksonville, FL.

What may seem like a mundane part of taking care of your smile is far more valuable than just thwarting issues with cosmetic appearance. If you have yet to find a dentist in Jacksonville, FL to help you with your oral health plan, reach out to us at the office of Dr. Matt Henry to schedule your appointment.

Want Whiter Teeth? Here’s How

Do you want whiter teeth? Of course you do! White teeth are the hallmark of a beautiful smile. There are many things you can do to make your teeth whiter and brighter. Making small behavior and eating changes can help with this goal. You can also work with your dentist in Jacksonville, FL to keep your teeth clean. Here’s what you need to know about finally achieving that smile you’ve always wanted.

Know the Foods that Stain

Some foods stain teeth a lot more than others. Knowing which foods to watch out for is important, so you can adjust your behaviors when you eat those foods. Some of the biggest culprits include:

  • Coffee and tea
  • Red and white wine
  • Berries (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Beets
  • Curry
  • Soy sauce
  • Balsamic vinegar

Know What to Do When Eating Foods That Stain

Some foods are just notorious for staining. You can keep your teeth whiter by avoiding these foods, or by minimizing your consumption of these foods, but most people don’t want to change their diet just to maintain white teeth.

Instead, there are many things you can do to prevent these foods from adhering to your teeth.

  • Swish with water after eating staining foods
  • Wait a while after your meal, then brush your teeth
  • Make a point of brushing your teeth in the middle of the day, if you drink tea or coffee

Use Tooth Whitening Toothpaste

Tooth whitening toothpaste can make your teeth whiter by small degrees. Using this type of toothpaste can make a subtle difference in the whiteness of your teeth over time.

Get Your Teeth Cleaned

Clean teeth are far less likely to become stained, because foods slide off them easily. Your dentist will likely recommend that you come in for regular 6-month checkups. Don’t miss your appointments! If it’s been a while since you had a dental checkup in Jacksonville FL, make your appointment as soon as possible.

Contact Dr. Matt Henry to Make Your Dental Appointment

If it’s time for your 6-month checkup, don’t wait. Getting your teeth clean is one of the best way to keep your smile white and bright! Call Dr. Henry today to make an appointment.

4 Easy Things You Can Do to Prevent Cavities

Cavities can cause pain and decay, leading to overall poor dental health. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to prevent cavities. By taking the following steps, you can maintain good oral hygiene. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Brush and Rinse with Fluoride

Most people know that you’re supposed to brush your teeth twice per day: once in the morning and once at night before bedtime. While many people have made this a normal part of their oral hygiene routine, they often use poor brushing habits. For example, many people skip teeth that are hard to reach, which can lead to cavities in the back of the mouth.

Have your dentist show you how to brush your teeth properly to ensure that you’re reaching the molars in the very back, and the insides of the teeth where they meet your gums.

Your dentist may also recommend using a fluoride mouthwash to strengthen your teeth and prevent cavities. Get instructions from your dentist in Jacksonville FL to find out whether a fluoride mouthwash could help you.

2. Drink Tap Water

Most communities add fluoride to their tap water to help their populations avoid cavities. Drinking the water from your kitchen, instead of bottled water or soda, can help keep your teeth in good condition. Stay hydrated! Drink tap water on a regular basis. If possible, keep a pitcher of cold tap water in your refrigerator and drink it at every meal.

3. Get Fluoride Treatments

The next time you go to the dentist for a dental check-up in Jacksonville FL, ask if you’ll be getting a fluoride treatment. Your dentist will likely provide you with fluoride treatments regularly. Find out what your fluoride treatment schedule is.

4. Eat Healthy Foods

Sugary foods are bad for your teeth. They cause cavities! Avoid eating candy and sugary baked goods. If it’s your habit to sip soda, make the effort to cut back.

5. See the Dentist Regularly

See your dentist every six months, or as often as your dentist recommends. Not sure how often your dentist would recommend coming in for regular cleanings? Ask them the next time you’re in. If you can’t remember the last time you went for a dental check-up, it’s probably time! Contact Dr. Matt Henry to make your next dental appointment.

Get Proactive About Dental Health with Teeth Cleaning

When you have a healthy mouth, you have even bigger reasons to smile at the people around you. Teeth cleaning at a Jacksonville dentist is one of the easiest ways to make sure you retain many reasons to smile for the years to come. At the office of Dr. Matt Henry, we offer quick and easy teeth cleaning appointments to keep you proactive about taking good care of your oral health.

What Happens During a Teeth Cleaning Visit?

An oral hygiene visit with a Jacksonville dentist is one of the most routine processes in dental care. Usually, the process is done by a trained dental hygienist who specifically handles hygiene appointments. The hygienist will:

  1. Use a solution to soften areas of plaque or tartar on your teeth
  2. Use tiny tools to scrape those formations off of your teeth
  3. Work on each tooth individually to remove debris
  4. Use a small water sprayer to slough away the debris as they work

While the hygienist works, they will use a suction device to pull the solution and any debris out of your mouth so it does not get swallowed. You will feel the hygienist scraping all areas of your teeth, including the backs of and in between your teeth where tartar is most likely to form. Once the cleaning process is complete, the hygienist may also use a small tool to polish the enamel of each of your teeth, which can leave your smile even cleaner.

A Look at the Importance of Regular Teeth Cleanings in Jacksonville

The link between periodontal (gum) disease and tooth loss is highly associated with how many preventive visits you make to your dentist. Teeth cleaning at the dentist is a major component of that preventive care. While you may do all you can to keep your teeth clean at home with regular brushing and flossing, you simply can’t see or get to all surfaces with this basic oral care.

Over time, tartar collects between teeth and at the gumline. This tartar can harden and form a bacteria-trapping formation on your teeth that puts you at risk of decay and gum disease. These deposits are already in areas where your floss or brush may not reach, so the development of problems can occur pretty quickly. As an adage, lack of professional hygiene appointments with your dentist can mean you are more likely to have problems with bad breath due to bacteria hanging out in your mouth.

Common Patient Questions About Teeth Cleaning

Does getting your teeth cleaned hurt?

Teeth cleaning should never outright hurt, but you may have some tender points or sensitive areas of your mouth that can cause minimal discomfort. If the process is too uncomfortable for a patient to handle, which is extremely rare, the dentist can use a localized anesthetic or take measures to keep you comfortable. After leaving the office, some patients do have slightly sore gums and possibly a bit of bleeding from the gums. This is perfectly normal because the scaling process is done beneath the gumline.

How often should you have your teeth cleaned?

The general recommendation by the American Dental Association is to have your teeth cleaned by a Jacksonville dentist about once a year. However, some patients who are more at risk of dental health issues may benefit from more frequent cleanings. For example, a patient with a family history of gum disease may need a cleaning every six months to keep their own risks at bay.

Will your teeth be whiter after they’re cleaned?

You may indeed notice your teeth look whiter after basic cleaning. The techniques used can break up some surface stains on your enamel. Further, small bits of discolored plaque and tartar will no longer be visible. Therefore, you may see a brighter smile when you leave the office. However, if you are looking for more effective teeth whitening in Jacksonville, we do offer professional whitening in our office as well.

How long does it take to get your teeth cleaned?

Teeth cleaning appointments do not generally take too long to complete. Most patients are in and out of the office within 30 minutes. However, the actual duration of the cleaning can depend on how much plaque and tartar you have to remove or even how long it has been since your last appointment. The goal is to always do a thorough clean, even if that process takes a little longer than usual to complete.

Why are your teeth sensitive after teeth cleaning at the dentist?

Dental sensitivity for a few hours after cleaning is perfectly normal. During the cleaning process, the hygienist will remove plaque and tartar that may have been hardened on your enamel for a while. With these damaging compounds removed, you may find a bit of added sensitivity to cold or heat. However, the sensation should quickly subside.

Do children also need their teeth cleaned?

Children can actually be more prone to decay than adults because they don’t always do thorough brushing and flossing at home. Therefore, children should have their teeth cleaned by a dentist in Jacksonville periodically.

Keep Your Dental Hygiene in Check with a Jacksonville Dentist

Dental hygiene appointments to get your teeth adequately cleaned can be one of the most important things you ever do for your long-term oral health. The process is simple, not painful, and quick, but can mean keeping a healthy smile for the years to come. If you are looking for a dentist in Jacksonville to help you get the most from your dental hygiene appointments, reach out to us at the office of Dr. Matt Henry.