Archive | General Dentistry

What is Sedation Dentistry?

If you fear a visit to the dentist, then sedation dentistry might be for you. Sedation dentistry is an option for people whose severe fear of going to the dentist is detrimental to their oral or mental health. Do you skip checkups and avoid going until it’s an emergency? If your severe fear keeps you from the oral care you need, look into sedation dentistry in your area. The sedative is given at the start of the appointment to help you feel calm and relaxed throughout the procedure. Sedation dentistry can make visiting the dentist possible for people who otherwise would avoid it at all costs.

Will I Be Asleep?

Most people who opt for sedation dentistry are not asleep or unconscious during the procedure. Instead, the majority of patients are awake but relaxed and less aware of their surroundings. Grogginess, loss of speech, or even slurred speech are common symptoms. For this reason, most patients need to recover for a period of time after the procedure, before driving. While general anesthesia comes with its own risks, it is still occasionally used for major dental procedures, like oral surgery or the removal of a tooth. You want to talk to your sedation dentist about what makes sense for you.

Do Insurance Plans Cover Sedation Dentistry?

Unfortunately, without a formal diagnosis of severe dental phobia, most insurance plans deny coverage for sedation dentistry. If you feel that your fear is significant, you’ll want to seek out a psychologist to diagnose your fear. Once this occurs, many (but not all) dental insurance plans will cover some if not all of the costs of sedation dentistry, especially since it’s medically necessary. The only issue is that most dental insurance policies have a yearly cap on the amount that they’ll cover. If your plan offers $2,000 of coverage, using sedation dentistry will use up your policy more quickly than traditional dentistry.

How Much Does Sedation Dentistry Cost?

Sedation dentistry is a more expensive option for dental work, but people with severe phobias agree that it’s worth it. If you want to pay for the sedation out of your own pocket, be prepared before you go in. There are several levels of sedation, and the costs for each varies. In general, the lowest level of sedation is a nitrous oxide and costs about $50 per dose. If you have a long appointment, you may need multiple doses to stay sedated. There are two other common “levels” of sedation. For example, oral sedation costs about $250 per dose. Intravenous sedation, typically the highest level without losing consciousness, averages to a cost of upwards of $550 per dose. What you need depends on your level of fear, as well as the length of your dental visit. Choosing oral sedation for a long appointment may cost less than multiple doses of nitrous oxide, for example. Your sedation dentist can go over the specific costs with you.

Sedation dentistry enables more people to get the care that they need. If your severe dental phobia prevents you from getting oral health checkups and procedures, it may be worth it to see if you can get a diagnosis and some of the costs covered by insurance. Otherwise, paying out of pocket might be the best option for you.


What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is dental work that focuses on improving the appearance, but not necessarily the function, of your teeth, gums, or bite. This could mean a lot of things, and there’s frequently carry over between cosmetic dentistry and dentistry that’s intended to stop a medical problem. For example, getting a replacement tooth when you lose one is done primarily for the health of your jaw and teeth, but it also looks great!

Cosmetic dentistry could be anything that deals with the size, color, or placement of your teeth. It involves whitening and color treatments. It also covers some tooth alignment procedures, specifically those where your bite is not crooked enough to put stress on your teeth, so the change is based on appearance.

How Much Does Cosmetic Dentistry Cost

Cosmetic dentistry costs vary widely, depending on what you want to be done and how you’d like to do it. You can do very basic cosmetic dentistry procedures at home! Whitening strips and similar efforts to change your tooth color can run into the hundreds of dollars. Many people end up paying more over time because the treatments are less effective than going to your dentist. A whitening treatment from your dentist will cost $500 to $600 on average. Depending on the severity of discoloration, or the needs of your teeth, it may vary in price.

On the other hand, aligning your teeth will cost you anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000. Many people consider this an investment in their future. For instance, a great smile can help you land jobs or just feel more confident about yourself. If you find yourself refusing to smile because you’re embarrassed by your teeth, don’t let that hold you back anymore. Cosmetic dentistry can help.

What are Ways You Can Practice Preventative Care

Cosmetic dentistry is expensive, but prevention is simple. If you want to ensure that your teeth look amazing for years to come, start by following basic hygiene rules. Brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day will go a long way towards keeping your teeth sparkling!

Once you’ve covered the basics, brush up on going the extra mile. Avoid habits that dirty your teeth, like smoking or chewing tobacco. Additionally, you may want to cut back on the coffee and tea that you drink a day. Both can stain your teeth! Colas are another culprit, though all sodas leave your teeth more prone to breakdown and dulling. Additionally, highly acidic foods should be eaten with care. Make sure you’ll be able to brush your teeth about half an hour after eating them. This helps to clean your teeth and protect them from erosion.

Cosmetic dentistry keeps your teeth pearly white! It can also correct issues with your bite and tooth shape. These procedures can give you back your confidence, but they’re not cheap. If you want to prevent the need for cosmetic dentistry down the road, start by protecting your teeth today. Brush, floss, and cut back on coffee, tea, and sodas!


What Is the Goal of Preventive Dentistry?

what is the goal of preventive dentistrySurely, like the most people, you want to keep your teeth healthy. In the end, neglecting your teeth hurts more than your health; it also hurts wallet in the long run. This obviously results in you, forking over thousands of dollars for dental care, all because you neglected to properly manage your oral health. Luckily, there is a way to help prevent major mouth reconstruction. Practicing preventive dentistry is the perfect way to protect your oral hygiene. Continue reading to learn all about what preventive dentistry is and what are some ways you can practice preventive dentistry care.

What Is Preventive Dentistry?

Preventive dentistry is the practice of caring for your teeth to keep them healthy. Practicing good dental health helps to prevent things like gum disease, cavities, enamel wear and more that can not only take a toll on your dental health but also can do some major damage to your wallet. The two major forms of preventive dentistry are daily brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings. Basically, the goal of preventive dentistry is to avoid having any dental issues that could have been avoided with proper care.

What Are Ways You Can Practice Preventive Care?

There are so many ways that you can practice preventive care. Not only can you go to the dentist for regular checkups, but you also can practice good oral hygiene at home. Brushing and flossing twice a day can help remove dental plaque that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Fluoride is also used in preventive dentistry because it strengthens teeth and prevents tooth decay. While fluoride treatments can be done at the dentist office, most dentists recommend using fluoride toothpaste and mouth wash at home. Diet is another key player in preventive care. Having a balanced diet is an essential to good dental health. Foods with sugars and carbohydrates feed the bacteria that produce dental plaque. Limiting your sugar and carbohydrate intake can prevent dental problems.


Your oral health is connected to your overall well-being. Oral problems can interfere with your eating, speaking, daily activities, and self-esteem. By practicing simple preventive dentistry care like brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing can help keep your natural teeth for a lifetime.


How Much Do Veneers Cost?

How much do Veneers cost?Your smile plays a big part in how you look. Veneers are a cosmetic dental procedure that can change the entire look of your smile. They can show your smile as whiter and more evenly spaced, as well as cover up tooth cracks, stains, and other damage. As you are well aware, looking great does often come with a price tag.

What Can Veneers Do For You?

As we age, our teeth break down. Even if you’re meticulous about care and upkeep, you’re going to find problems cropping up. Our enamel wears down day to day causing our teeth to appear uneven, dulled, and even chipped or cracked. Years of eating and drinking dulls and yellows our teeth. We have more time for accidents, and thus more time to damage our teeth in other ways. All of these factors contribute to how we judge someone’s appearance. A dull, crooked smile is more likely to be seen as “older” than a bright and youthful one. That’s where veneers come in. They’re the solution to dull, poorly spaced, and uneven teeth.

Veneers are thin layers of material (porcelain or composite) that are glued to the front of your teeth. They’re used to change the appearance of your teeth. Veneers are smoother, brighter, make your smile look amazing.

How Much Do Veneers Cost With Insurance?

Are veneers covered under insurance? The honest answer is “sometimes”. There are cases where veneers could be part of a necessary line of treatment. If veneers form a structural support for your teeth, you may be able to get reimbursed for some of the costs. However, veneers are typically a cosmetic procedure and therefore rarely covered by insurance. It never hurts to ask, and you should ask your dentist to fully investigate with your insurance company before deciding to pay out of pocket.

Veneers are a great help to many people, but they can be expensive. The most affordable option is a composite veneer. This veneer can cost as little as $250 per tooth or as much as $1,500 per tooth on average. This price is determined by your which will include the cost of materials and appointments you require to have them put on. However, composite veneers have a relatively short lifespan. They last five to seven years on average. After that, you may need to have some or all of your veneers replaced. Opting for a more traditional, stronger porcelain veneer boosts the lifespan of the product. Porcelain lasts ten to fifteen years on average, but costs significantly more: $925 to $2,500 per tooth is average. Again, your exact cost will depend on your needs and your dentist’s fees.

Veneers are a primarily cosmetic procedure that can drastically change your smile. They can cover many cosmetic problems, from stained teeth to uneven spacing and wear. Their price varies greatly, depending on whether or not your insurance will pay for them and what material you choose. Whatever you decide, you should check with your dentist. They can outline the best options for you and find a price that makes sense for your veneers.


What Are Veneers?

What are VeneersYour dentist knows that a smile is contagious. Your smile has the potential to impact your life more than you think. It’s the first thing others often notice about you and remember. However, when your smile is less than perfect, it can have a negative impact on more than your self-esteem. Correcting dental imperfections help to boost your self-esteem and often lead to success in your professional and personal life. One option for improving your smile is dental veneers. These thin “shells” fit over your teeth and positively alter the appearance of your smile. Through a noninvasive process, veneers are custom made to fit over each of your teeth individually. Because of their extremely thin design, different materials are used to make them. The laminate covering is bonded to each tooth one at a time. As an added bonus, veneers last for a long while when properly taken care of, making them a cost-effective dental option. 

What Do Veneers Do?

Veneers help you achieve your dream smile. The lightweight “shells” are bonded to only the surface of the tooth. This improves the appearance of each specific tooth of your choosing. Veneers provide many benefits for your smile. For instance, they correct the look of your damaged teeth without affecting the health of them. However, Veneers only treat crooked, stained, gapped and generally unsightly teeth. The laminate coverings are not suitable if you have unhealthy teeth. If you do not have enough tooth enamel or suffer from habitually grinding your teeth, veneers will not work for you.

What are Veneers Made of?

Because of their thin design, veneers come in a few varying materials. These materials include porcelain, ceramic and composite materials. Composite veneers may be the cheapest, but do not last for long, two or three years is the average lifespan of these type of coverings. Moreover, they are easily prone to chipping, scratching and staining. Composite veneers are a decent, temporary solution if avid upkeep is well maintained. While rarely used, ceramic veneers are still an affordable option to consider. As the heaviest type of veneers, they have a short lifespan as well and are prone to wear.

What are Porcelain Veneers?

Another option for veneers is porcelain; they are also the most popular choice. Porcelain veneers are a great restorative solution that requires the same care your normal teeth are used to. The coverings mimic the natural color and shape of the original tooth while protecting it. With proper care, porcelain veneers often last up to 25 years and are extremely durable.

Where Can I Get Veneers?

At Dr. Peabody’s Cosmetic Dentistry in Santa Cruz, we understand the importance of a confident, beautiful smile. We choose to offer porcelain veneers to create a strong smile that will last you for years. You are additionally given the option of porcelain onlays, allowing you to protect the back of your teeth along with your front teeth.

Choosing a dentist who believes in the power of natural looking restoration is essential. We offer affordable, flexible financing options as we believe a beautiful style should be available to all. Contacting us is easy and an appointment can be made in seconds by calling us at (831) 457-0343. With our veneer options, we can help you improve your smile.


Can Periodontal Disease be Cured?

Can Periodontal Disease be Cured?Periodontal disease is a tricky subject. In plain terms, this condition is permanent. Once you have acquired a periodontal disease, the damage cannot be undone. However, if you follow the instructions of your dental team you can fight the disease to a standstill. Slowing or stopping the advance of periodontal gum disease is the goal once you have this disease. It can be done in the early stages, with the proper treatment.

What is periodontal gum disease?

Periodontal gum disease is an infection of the gums. At their root, periodontal disease causes are the same as those behind gingivitis, which starts with a low-level amount of swelling and bleeding of the gums. As the disease advances, the infection can spread into the supporting tissues, and even into your bones. This causes the gums to recede from the teeth. If the supporting bone and tissue is infected and worn away, teeth can become so loose they fall out or need to be extracted.

Periodontal disease has also been correlated with increased risks of disease in other parts of the body. Heart disease and respiratory infections are both positively correlated with periodontal disease. Preventing periodontal disease, or keeping yours in check, helps to lower your chances of running afoul of these other diseases.

Signs of periodontal disease

The signs of periodontal infection start subtly. You’ll notice frequent bleeding of your gums when you brush or floss. You will have persistent bad breath and/or a bad taste in your mouth. On the other hand, it’s possible not to notice any of these symptoms and still have periodontal disease. Your dentist can diagnose it when the symptoms are still mild enough to be overlooked by you.

In more advanced stages, the symptoms include frequent infection, exposure of the roots of the teeth, and loss of mass in the jaw as the bone is eroded by infection. The fact that there is a problem will be obvious before things advance this far. At this point, a specialist will probably be required.

Periodontal disease stages

Periodontal disease starts slowly. The first sign is redness, slight swelling of the gums, and bleeding when brushing or flossing. Most people consider bleeding while flossing to be normal. The truth is that gentle pressure should not cause your gums to bleed. Rigorous brushing, flossing, and treatments from your dentist help to halt any periodontal diseases in the early stages. Aggressive treatment is required to prevent it from going further.

If periodontal disease isn’t caught in its gingivitis stage, things get worse. Gums become more swollen and eventually begin to recede. This exposes the roots of the teeth and leads to sensitivity to temperature or pressure. The gums can also form pockets that are very difficult to clean. This speeds the progression of the disease and also provides ample opportunity for cavities to form. Typically, the damage done at this stage is permanent. Treatment can halt progression, however, so things may not have to get worse.

In even more extreme cases, the bone has worn away. You are prone to abscesses and frequent foul-tasting and foul-smelling infections. Your teeth are very loose and may fall out. If they don’t, physically removing them may be your only way to treat the deep infection above the gum-line.

Periodontal disease treatment

The best treatment for periodontal disease is to attack the gingivitis at the root of the problem.  This can be achieved by a thorough cleaning by your dentist. Following that, rigorous daily brushing and flossing should soon get your teeth back into top shape. Treating periodontal disease can take as little as one visit and a few weeks to see a vast improvement. Practicing good oral hygiene habits is the best change that you can make.

Periodontal gum disease treatment at the middle stages require a more invasive cleaning. The roots of the teeth are cleaned from tough tartar build up and your gums can reattach to clean roots. Because it’s more invasive than a basic cleaning, this particular treatment of periodontal disease is done with anesthetic. It frequently takes more than one visit to set your gums on the path to recovery. Unfortunately, the most advanced cases need more than this. From this point, the more advanced methods used to protect teeth and heal gums is dependent on your unique situation.

Periodontal disease can be cured only in its earliest stages. After that, you can fight to halt the progression of the disease. In the most extreme cases, however, surgical intervention and deep-root cleaning may be necessary. If you suspect a periodontal disease in your mouth, don’t hesitate to contact our office. Let us help you begin treatment for a healthy mouth.


What is Gingivitis?

What is gingivitisYou just left your dentist and the news wasn’t great. What you thought was a simple case of brushing too hard, has now been diagnosed as gingivitis. Like most people, you wonder if you could have done more to prevent this. You may also be wondering just what exactly gingivitis is. Look no further, we have the answers to your gingivitis questions.

What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is defined as inflammation of the gums. It’s a simple definition for a surprisingly complex topic. When diagnosed with gingivitis, the definition is more than a symptom of inflammation. Gingivitis is described as tender, swollen gums. They could also be bright red and sensitive to heat, cold, and pressure. While gingivitis is a common problem, it could potentially lead to other gum diseases and eventual tooth loss.

Can You Catch Gingivitis?

Most people don’t realize that gingivitis is contagious. Because it’s considered an infection, it acts just like other infections. Therefore, if you sharing food or even kiss someone with gingivitis, you can absolutely introduce those bacteria to your mouth. So yes, you should take caution if you’re regularly with someone with gingivitis.

The good news is that by taking care of your own oral health, this disease is treatable. Brushing, rinsing, and flossing help prevents germs from settling into your gums. Just like the rest of your body fights infection best when it’s healthy, healthy gums withstand a brush with bacteria.

How Do You Get Gingivitis?

The life of gingivitis starts out as a simple plaque source. When you eat or drink, the bacteria on your teeth eat the same food you do. Unfortunately, they also excrete that food, in the form of plaque. Plaque is the soft, almost white substance that you brush and floss off every time you clean your teeth. Plaque is not good, but regularly brushing and flossing keeps it mild. When you miss your cleaning, plaque builds up and accumulates into tartar. This is a hard substance that is very difficult to get off on your own. Most people experience some tartar build up, but have it removed during regular cleanings. This is why your six-month cleanings at the dentist are important; they keep tartar build-up under control.

When left unchecked, tartar begins to extend above and below the gum line. In time, gingivitis develops. Your gums become soft, inflamed, and sensitive. Gingivitis symptoms make your mouth so uncomfortable. If left uncheck, gingivitis eventually causes gum separation, bad breath, and bleeding.

How to Get Rid of Gingivitis

There are home remedies that claim to address gingivitis, however, it’s best if you see your dentist about it. Because the root cause of gingivitis is tartar build up under your gums, it’s difficult for your toothbrush to reach all these areas. The symptoms of gingivitis can be treated with home remedies. For example, gently swishing diluted hydrogen peroxide helps to treat symptoms in your gums. However, to cure gingivitis, you should make a trip to see your dentist. They can clean your teeth and help you establish the good brushing and flossing habits that will keep you healthy.

How to Prevent Gingivitis

You can prevent gingivitis the same way you prevent cavities, with brushing and flossing. The best way to prevent gingivitis is to stop plaque from building up and forming tartar, to begin with. You can begin by carrying a small, travel toothbrush and travel floss with you to work, etc. In time, brushing becomes a simple habit. Until then, make yourself a checklist and check off brushing and flossing 3-4 times a day. Your teeth will thank you.

Gingivitis symptoms are uncomfortable even at the start, but they just get worse with time. Your dentist can diagnose gingivitis and help you control it. You’re going to have to prevent gingivitis yourself, through good brushing and flossing. If someone you love has gingivitis, exercise caution. Yes, it can be contagious—but you can protect yourself.


Top 8 Dental Tips for Kids Dental Care

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1. Dental care for kids starts young

The sooner you get your children used to taking care of their teeth, the smoother it will be for all of you. As soon as your baby begins teething you should begin brushing. An early trip to the dentist can nip future troubles in the bud!

2. Make it a habit

The goal of all your practice with your children should be to make good oral care a habit. That way they’ll do it on their own. They’ll keep up their practices long after they move out on their own. So make it part of their bedtime routine, and make sure that you keep it consistent.

3. Dental sealants for kids help a lot

Baby teeth aren’t that tough. Dental sealants for kids can help them avoid painful cavities when they’re young. They may not get the hang of brushing for several years. Early cavities can also increase their anxiety around the dentist. That won’t help either of you feel better!

4. Tooth brushing games for kids

Tooth brushing for kids seems to be on par with broccoli. Sure, it’s good for them, but that won’t stop them from throwing a fit about it. Set up a timer or use chewable dye tablets to highlight plaque. It can help make brushing their teeth fun—and therefore easier to handle.

5. Oral health in children has long term effects

Good oral health in children will help them stay healthier in general. Everyone’s mouth is crawling with bacteria. When their gums and teeth are healthy, there’s a lower chance of bacteria entering the blood stream. They can also nip some colds and sinus infections in the bud.

6. Tooth decay in children is often a diet problem

Tooth decay in children can be nipped in the bud with diet changes. Keep sugary treats just that—rare treats. Don’t let them drink pure juice. It can have more sugar than a soda! Make sure they’re eating lots of vegetables that will help clean their teeth as they chew.

7. Have an orthodontist evaluate baby teeth development

One trip to the orthodontist can help you prepare for the future. If your little one is going to need braces, it’s best to figure that out quickly. You can also tell if your child has been sucking on their thumb, and other bad habits, based on how their teeth are coming in. The orthodontist will have plenty of tips on aiding baby teeth development.

8. Stick with regular appointments

The best thing you can do for your children’s teeth is bring them to the dentist on time. Regular checkups and cleanings will keep them on the right path. You can course correct if they start having problems. Best of all, you’ll catch problems early. The sooner you can get cavities filled, the lower the odds your child will need more advanced procedures like root canals.

Give your child the best start in life with good oral hygiene habits. Take them to the dentist, make sure they have a balanced diet, and do what you can to make visiting the dentist stress-free. You’ll set them up for a lifetime of success.  Dr. Peabody is ready to help!



Pregnancy and Oral Health

Pregnancy is one of the most exciting times in your life. However, pregnancy has a profound impact on oral health—and vice versa. Tooth pain during pregnancy is very common. Other tooth issues common in pregnancy include cavities and gingivitis. This article will discuss a rundown of pregnancy and oral health. For example, what to expect while pregnant, what to consider for the health of your baby, and what procedures you can and can’t get while pregnant.

What are the risks to myself

Don’t be alarmed if you get a cavity while pregnant. During pregnancy, the body changes its hormone levels. Some of these can make it easier for plaque to build up, leading to gingivitis and cavities. Aching teeth during pregnancy is usually attributed to one of those two causes. Moreover, if you already had swollen, painful gums, pregnancy often makes your condition worse.

One distressing, but usually benign side effect of pregnancy on teeth, is the presence of oral tumors. These typically grow during the pregnancy, but shrink when the baby is born. Fortunately, they typically don’t require treatment, unless they cause excessive discomfort, or make chewing and brushing difficult.

What are the risks for the baby

While cavities and gingivitis typically aren’t that bad for the mother, they can be difficult for a baby. Having moderate to severe gingivitis increases the risk of premature, low birthweight babies. With that in mind, it’s best for pregnant women to seek dental care at every stage of pregnancy.

Can I go to the dentist while pregnant

You may wonder if a dental visit is possible during your pregnancy.  Yes, pregnancy dental care is not only possible, but highly encouraged. Getting dental work while pregnant will reduce the risk of gingivitis, and help you keep that risk low for your whole pregnancy. You should aim to get one cleaning per trimester of your pregnancy. If you discover gums bleeding during pregnancy, call your dentist. Even if you’re practicing good oral hygiene, your risk of dental problems is elevated.

Your dentist can perform many basic procedures. Cleanings are fine, and filling basic cavities can be handled as well. If you’re experiencing an emergency, your dentist will find some way to help you. You cannot live while needing a root canal until the baby is born, for example. In general, however, preventative measures like using fluoride during pregnancy are better than tackling issues that crop up.

What procedures should I avoid while pregnant

Unfortunately, there is no direct answer for all dental procedures. For example, getting dental X rays while pregnant is a gray area. If you’re struggling with a dental emergency, they may be unavoidable. On the other hand, your dentist will want to limit these as much as possible. If you scheduled any cosmetic procedures prior to your pregnancy, you will more than likely have to reschedule them. Anything that requires more than local anesthesia, and anything that requires medication, will be limited.

Pregnancy health is a holistic topic. Good oral health will help you have a healthy baby. Pregnancy itself can work against you, making you more prone to cavities and gingivitis. Together, alongside Dr. Peabody, we can map out a plan to limit cavities while pregnant and keep gingivitis at bay.