Ever since we were kids, we’ve been taught the importance of brushing, flossing, and eating a balanced diet. We’ve also been taught the importance of seeing our dentist every six months, yet many people let more time lapse between visits than they should. Regular dental visits aren’t only good for your oral health (it’s much easier to correct an oral problem in the early stages, when treatment is likely to be more simple and affordable), they are also good for your overall health. Regular check-ups can help clue your dentist to symptoms associated with diabetes, HIV, leukemia, your heart health, and osteoporosis. By examining your teeth and gums, your dentist can get a sense of what’s working, what’s not, and what needs to be done in order to keep your body’s systems up and running at their maximum potential.
George Rizkalla, DDS
What appeals to patients about your clinic?
Patients love that we invest in the latest technology to make their visit as comfortable, efficient, and positive as possible. It doesn’t hurt that we also have a full-body massage chair for their use during same-day crown procedures!
When should a child first see the dentist?
It is important to get your little ones in to see a dentist as early as 3 years old. We make sure that your child’s first visit to the dentist is a positive one! We give them special treatment, let them wear cool sunglasses, watch their favorite cartoon while in the dental chair, an let them pick their favorite toy when they finish. They will be proud of themselves and eager to maintain their precious smile.
9413 36th Ave. N.
New Hope, MN 55427
Stacy Roszkowski, DDS
Lifelong Dental Care
Does age increase the likelihood of oral health issues? Why?
Dental needs can vary at any age ranging from preventative to restorative to maintenance. Our office is prepared to deal with these situations at any age. Our youngest patient is less than one and our oldest is 104! One exciting area in dentistry is the ability to replace missing teeth with dental implants. Adult patients of any age can benefit from dental implants. Patients are living much longer and often with a full complement of teeth. These patients are much more likely to embrace a dental implant than try to learn a new way of eating and talking with a removable denture. Likewise, previous denture patients are enjoying more freedom with implant-supported dentures. Speech, chewing and esthetics are improved and patients are more confident. An aging population also has many other issues to consider. Medications and health issues can lead to xerostomia or dry mouth. Dexterity issues can make cleaning your own teeth more difficult. It’s important for the dental team to understand their patients’ new and changing dental needs and find a program that works for them. This could mean more frequent dental cleanings, supplemental fluoride, and mechanical toothbrush recommendations.
What are some tell-tale signs of a good dentist?
A good dentist is someone you should feel comfortable with. A good dentist should be involved in staying abreast of the latest dental technology and treatments. Being involved in organized dentistry (like the American Dental Society) and study groups with other dental peers (like the Seattle Study Club or Spears Study Club) provide dentists with continuing education and access to changing techniques and philosophies. Of course, a great recommendation from a current patient is always the best compliment!
1525 Livingston Ave.
West St. Paul, MN 55118
Drew F. Spencer, DDS
Edina 5-0 Dental, P.A.
What causes dry mouth?
Hundreds of medications, both prescription and non-prescription drugs, produce dry mouth as a side effect. Other causes include snoring, radiation therapy, smoking, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and some autoimmune disorders. Your dentist can discuss treatment options to stimulate saliva flow and decrease dry mouth.
Why are implants so important? Why can’t a person just leave a gap where the tooth once was?
The stability and function afforded by dental implants—designed to imitate the structure of a real tooth—can make dramatic improvements in eating, speaking, and appearance. Without one or more teeth, neighboring teeth are more likely to move and become stressed. Implants also help preserve bone levels, preventing bone loss. Success rates are above 95 percent.
3948 West 50th Street, Suite 205
Edina, MN 55424
Bryan Laskin, DDS
Lake Minnetonka Dental
What’s new in the field of digital dentistry?
Dentistry has changed so much recently, and for the better. The latest advances include 3D imaging and Computer Aided Design (CAD)/Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) restorations that mimic natural teeth. When it comes to 3D imaging, the entire mouth can be visualized using one image—replacing the need for 2D x-rays. This allows us to see issues that may be missed in 2D images, [and allows us to] plan in 3D. This is particularly useful when placing implants. Many times we can save the patient additional surgeries, making it more comfortable for patients and lowering costs. This new technology also reduces the patients’ exposure to radiation, and makes it easier to store and transfer information.
The advantages of chair side CAD/CAM restorations include achieving highly aesthetic crowns, partial crowns, and veneers in just one visit. Using a digital impression, we save the patient the discomfort of gooey impressions and the need for temporaries. In some cases, an in-house CAD/CAM system enables us to create a finished inlay in as little as an hour.
109 Bushaway Road, Suite 300
Wayzata, MN 55391
Tom Vukodinovich, DDS
What can be done for patients who are anxious about seeing the dentist?
Dental anxiety is reduced once patients develop trusting relationships with their dentists and know exactly what to expect. A meal of mainly carbohydrates about an hour before the dental appointment can reduce anxiety. [Whole grain carbohydrates increase production of serotonin in the brain.] There are a number of benzodiazepines that are anxiolytic as well.
Is it possible for a neglected dental infection to lead to a trip to the ER?
An untreated dental infection can swell to the point of constricting the airway. That will get a person to the ER, fast.
542 S. Snelling Ave. (Highland Park)
St. Paul, MN 55116
Steven A. Gorman, DDS
The Gorman Center for Fine Dentistry
How would you describe your team?
I think the experience of thorough care is just as important to today’s dental consumer as the clinical treatment itself. A dental team with a vision for empathy—a team that provides comfortable care and excellent natural outcomes—is essential in providing comprehensive care. I feel very fortunate to have a staff of people who share that vision with me.
What advice would you like to share with our readers?
Much is understood about the “system” that is made up of the teeth, gums, bite, jaw joints, jaw bones, muscles of the face, ligaments, chewing function, and smile aesthetics. They are all related and intertwined. My advice is that if you want the best care in dentistry—make sure your provider is evaluating your mouth as this system. Seek comprehensive care, not just “tooth to tooth” crisis dentistry.
700 Village Center Dr., Suite 100
North Oaks, Minnesota 55127