Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Types of Mouth Viruses and Bacteria

Mouth bacteria and viruses can lead to a number of oral health issues if not treated properly. Tooth decay, gum disease, and mouth sores are only a few of the conditions that may occur when an infection takes root. Learn more about the different viral and bacterial infections that may affect your tongue and mouth and what you can do to prevent them.

Common Bacterial and Viral Mouth Infections 
Bacterial and viral infections on the tongue and mouth are relatively common, and in most cases can be taken care of with proper diagnosis and treatment. Several infections that may affect the mouth and tongue include:
  • Tonsil Stones – Also known as Tonsilloliths, are bacterial infections that affect your tonsils. 
  • White Tongue – A condition where the lingual papillae on the tongue swell up and trap bacteria and food debris. 
  • Oral Thrush – A fungal infection affecting the tongue and throat. 
  • Coxsackie Virus – Most common in children, this mouth virus can cause painful blisters. 
  • Strawberry Tongue Virus - Not a condition on its own but it can be a sign of a more serious underlying disorder. 
  • Herpangina Virus – Another strain of the Coxsackie Virus, this mouth virus causes painful, red ulcers to form inside the mouth. 

What are Tonsil Stones?
Tonsils are the gland-like structures located in the back of your throat. Their main role is to help support your immune system by keeping any viral and bacterial infections from entering into your throat. However, this may not be case for some people. 

Tonsil stones occur when bacteria and other debris combine together and get stuck in the nooks of the tonsils. If the trapped debris hardens, it turns into tonsil stones. 

Common symptoms of tonsil stones include:
  • Inflammation or swelling of the tonsil
  • Sore throat
  • Painful swallowing
  • Persistent cough caused by the irritation from the stone
  • Pain in the ear because of the nerve pathways involved
  • White-like debris at the back of the throat 
  • Bad breath caused by the sulfur gases which get trapped in the tonsils
In most cases, tonsil stones may be able to go away on their own. However, in instances where the stone has grown too large, medical treatment may be necessary:
  • Surgery may be required to remove the stones
  • More severe or persistent cases may require surgical removal of the tonsils themselves, this is known as a Tonsillectomy
  • Antibiotics to lessen the infection 
  • Saltwater rinse for smaller tonsil stones
You can help prevent tonsil stones from forming by following a thorough oral care routine. The more bacteria you remove from your mouth, the less can get trapped in the tonsils. Regular brushing and flossing and rinsing with mouthwash after meals can remove the bacteria and debris that may lead to tonsil stones. 

For people with chronic tonsil stones, it is often best to have the tonsils removed surgically to prevent the infection.

What is White Tongue? 
White tongue is a condition that causes the tongue to take on a white-like hue. Lingual papillae are the small structures on the tongue’s surface that give your tongue it’s rough texture. When the papillae swell up they can trap more bacteria and debris, resulting in an appearance. 

One of the more common causes of white tongue is a lack of oral hygiene, other causes may include:
  • Dehydration or dry mouth, a lack of moisture in the mouth can promote bacteria
  • Smoking or alcohol use which can dry out and irritate the mouth
  • Mouth irritations caused by braces or dentures
The best way to prevent white patches from forming on your tongue is to maintain a consistent oral care routine. Twice daily brushing and flossing at least once can help remove bacteria and keep the mouth clean. Rinsing with an alcohol-free mouthwash can further reduce the amount of debris in the mouth and promote a healthy tongue. To further remove bacteria on the tongue, a tongue scraper can help. Some toothbrushes come with a tongue cleaning feature to easily incorporate the step into your daily oral hygiene routine. 

What is Oral Thrush?
Candida is a fungal organism that’s normally occurring in the mouth, however, if it overgrows it can cause a condition known as oral thrush. The most common symptom of oral thrush is the spread of white lesions on the tongue, cheeks, palette, tonsils, gums, and back of the throat. These lesions can be cottage cheese-like in appearance and may bleed when irritated. The lesions can be painful and turn red, making it difficult to swallow or eat. 

Usually people with weakened immune systems are most prone to oral thrush. Maintaining a healthy diet, regular checkups with your doctor and dental professional, and a thorough oral care routine can help prevent the fungal infection from spreading. 

To further reduce your risk of contracting a candida infection be sure to:
  • Brush your teeth at least two times a day 
  • Floss a minimum of once a day
  • Rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash 
  • Limit your sugar intake
  • Clean your dentures daily if you wear them
Your doctor or dental professional may recommend a form of antifungal medication to treat a candida infection. It’s important to see your healthcare provider if you suspect oral thrush. Early treatment can help reduce the chances of the infection spreading from the mouth into the throat, which can lead to more serious health complications. 

What is Foot and Mouth Virus?
Hand, foot, and mouth disease, also known as Coxsackie Virus, often affects children under the age of 10. The viral infection causes a rash of blisters to form in and around the mouth, feet, and hands. These blisters are often accompanied by a runny nose, sore throat, fever, and poor appetite. 

The infection usually goes away on its own after about a week or so, and can be treated with proper oral hydration. A good oral hygiene routine can help, along with plenty of handwashing to help limit the spread. 

What is Strawberry Tongue?
Strawberry tongue on its own is not a condition, but rather a symptom of an underlying condition or disease. The term “strawberry tongue” refers specifically to the tongue’s appearance—red, bumpy, and swollen. Strawberry tongue is often characterized by enlarged taste buds and an overly rough texture. 
Conditions that can cause strawberry tongue include:
  • Allergies from foods or drugs
  • Scarlet Fever a bacterial infection as a result of strep throat
  • Kawasaki Disease which causes inflamed arteries, mostly affecting children
  • Vitamin B deficiencies 
  • Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) a life-threatening infection that requires immediate medical attention
It’s important to see your medical professional to diagnose the cause of your strawberry tongue for proper treatment. In some cases, strawberry tongue may be a part of a serious health problem and can lead to complications on your overall health. 

What is Herpangina? 
The herpangina virus is very similar to foot and mouth disease. The viral infection tends to affect children more often than adults and results in small blisters or ulcers along the top of the mouth and back of the throat. 

Common symptoms of herpangina include:
  • Neck pain
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Headache 
  • Difficulty swallowing 
Additionally, infants with the herpangina virus may experience bouts of excessive drooling and vomiting. Since herpangina is viral and not bacterial, antibiotics will not work as treatment. Rather, your medical professional will determine which course of treatment is best based on age and severity of symptoms, though pain management is often a requirement. 

Though mouthwash can’t treat viral infections, it can help soothe mouth sores by flushing out plaque bacteria. Alcohol-free rinses like Crest Pro-Health Advanced Multi-Protection Mouthwash can help promote a cleaner mouth by removing more food and plaque bacteria from the mouth without causing extra irritation—however, it is not recommended for children under 6. 

A therapeutic rinse composed of salt and warm water is based for children. The rinse can help to safely relieve some of the pain caused by the infection in the mouth and throat. 

In addition to a rinse, plenty of hydration is often recommended for recovery. It is also best to keep away from overly hot or acidic drinks as they can irritate the ulcers and cause symptoms to worsen. 
Herpangina usually lasts for about a week but if symptoms persist it is crucial to see your doctor right away. 

Preventing Spread of Bacterial Infections
  • A good hygiene routine is best when it comes to the prevention of bacterial oral infections. 
  • Wash hands thoroughly 
  • Brush teeth at least twice a day or after meals to remove more plaque bacteria from the teeth, gums, and tongue
  • Switch to an electric toothbrush to ensure a more complete clean, the unique round brush heads on Oral-B electric toothbrushes surround each tooth for 100% more plaque removal than a manual
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste like Crest Pro-Health which neutralizes plaque bacteria for all day protection
  • Floss daily to get rid of any trapped food that can lead to bacterial growth in the mouth
  • Rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash to get rid of bacteria and keep the mouth clean
  • See your dental professional every six months for professional cleanings and checkups
Viral and bacterial mouth infections can affect your oral health as well as your overall health. Be sure to maintain a thorough routine to keep your smile healthy and see your medical professional in the event where symptoms are cause for concern. 

The above article is from crest.com

Coloman E. Kondorossy, DMD, FAGD, DICOI   
Stephen K. Kondorossy, DMD, MBS  
General Dentists  
1445 Hamilton Street  
Somerset, NJ 08873   
(732) 249-0055   
SomersetImplantDental.com

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Why You Might Want A Tooth Bridge Over Implants

If you have one or more missing teeth, it can be easy to develop oral health problems beyond tooth decay, such as speech impediments and even periodontal disease. A tooth bridge, also known as a dental bridge, provides the support you need to prevent surrounding teeth from loosening or moving out of their correct positions. But what is a bridge, and how does it differ from a tooth implant?

What Is a Dental Bridge?

A bridge is a fixed appliance fitted into the mouth to fill the gap caused by missing teeth, according to the Academy of Osseointegration. This bridge is cemented to the "abutment teeth" on either side of the gap, providing an anchor so that it can be attached to either your natural teeth or the crowns fitted over them. Your dentist places artificial "pontic teeth" onto the bridge, in the space between the abutment teeth.

How They Differ from Implants

Implants are posts made from screws or cylinders, inserted surgically through your gum into the jawbone. Prosthetic teeth are then mounted individually on each of these posts, explains the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), to take the place of natural teeth and prevent the problems commonly associated with dental gaps. Keep in mind fitting implants is a much more complex procedure that requires surgical training. If your teeth are in excellent condition, then you won't have to worry about placing crowns or fitting a bridge to them.

Reasons You Might Need a Tooth Bridge
  • Gaps of any size between your teeth can cause problems. For example:
  • The adjacent teeth begin to loosen, which causes them to shift out of their correct positions.
  • Loose teeth in children may complicate the eruption of permanent teeth, encouraging them to come through improperly.
  • Gaps and movement in teeth can affect your bite, according to Edward A Chipps, DDS, creating issues for your jaw and hindering your ability to speak and chew.
In the long term, a lack of dental support can cause other health issues as well, such as head- or earaches, as well as nose and throat irritation. This makes it important for patients to replace missing teeth as early as possible, rather than waiting to see whether problems go away on their own.

Types of Bridges

Different types of tooth bridges require different methods of fitting. Traditional bridges are typically made from porcelain or ceramic, and are fused to metal abutments. A cantilever bridge is supported on only one side of the gap. A bonded bridge is made from metal, and carries clips resembling wings on either side which are bonded to the back of the abutment teeth. This method often costs less than traditional bridges because the abutments don't always require crowns to cover them, but it may also be less secure than a traditional bridge.

Caring for Your Tooth Bridge

Good oral hygiene is important at any time, but when you're wearing a fixed appliance such as a dental bridge, it's even more crucial. Caring for your bridge appropriately gives it a lifespan of up to 10 years, according to the Canadian Dental Association. Just as you need to brush natural teeth daily using an appropriate toothbrush like the Colgate® 360°® Toothbrush, which has multi-level bristles to remove more plaque in between teeth, you also need to clean your bridgework thoroughly and use dental floss between each tooth.
 
Taking care of your bridge means taking care of your oral health. With this routine, you'll have the smile you want for as long as possible.

The above article is from colgate.com

Coloman E. Kondorossy, DMD, FAGD, DICOI   
Stephen K. Kondorossy, DMD, MBS  
General Dentists  
1445 Hamilton Street  
Somerset, NJ 08873   
(732) 249-0055   
SomersetImplantDental.com

Friday, November 6, 2020

Halloween Candy: Your Dental Health Survival Guide

With Halloween comes ghosts, goblins and goodies—and the sugar in those treats can play some unwanted tricks on your teeth if you’re not careful. 

Here’s why: The bacteria in your mouth are probably more excited to eat Halloween candy than you are. When the bacteria eat the sugar and leftover food in your mouth, a weak acid is produced. That acid is what can contribute to cavities. 

But don’t hang up your costume just yet. “Halloween is about candy, dressing up and having fun,” says ADA dentist Dr. Ana Paula Ferraz-Dougherty. “It’s OK to eat that candy on Halloween as a splurge as long as you’re brushing twice a day and flossing once a day all year long.”

To help you sort through the trick-or-treat bag loot, we have a rundown of some common candies and their impact on your teeth:

Chocolate
Chocolate is probably your best bet, which is good because it’s also one of the most popular kinds of candy handed out on Halloween. “Chocolate is one of the better candies because it washes off your teeth easier than other types of candy,” Dr. Ferraz- Dougherty says. “Dark chocolate also has less sugar than milk chocolate.”

Sticky and Gummy Candies
Be picky if it’s sticky. These are some of the worst candies for your teeth. “This candy is harder to remove and may stay longer on your teeth, which gives that cavity-causing bacteria more time to work,” Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty says.

Hard Candy
Hard candies are also ones to watch on Halloween. “They can actually break your teeth if you’re not careful,” Dr. Ferraz- Dougherty says. “You also tend to keep these kinds of candies in your mouth for longer periods of time so the sugar is getting in your saliva and washing over your teeth.”

Sour Candy
You might want to pass on things that make you pucker – especially if they are sticky and coated in sugar. “Sour candy can be very acidic,” says Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty. “And that acidity can weaken and damage the hard outer shell of your teeth, making your teeth more vulnerable to cavities.”

Popcorn Balls
Have some floss handy if you’re enjoying one of these fall favorites. “Kernels can get stuck in-between your teeth," Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty says. "They are also sticky, sugary and can be hard.”

The above article is from mouthhealthy.org

Coloman E. Kondorossy, DMD, FAGD, DICOI   
Stephen K. Kondorossy, DMD, MBS  
General Dentists  
1445 Hamilton Street  
Somerset, NJ 08873   
(732) 249-0055   
SomersetImplantDental.com

Saturday, October 24, 2020

3 Affordable Dentistry Options To Fix Your Smile And Boost Your Confidence

How your smile looks plays a big role in how you feel about yourself and how you think others perceive you. As the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) notes, about 74 percent of people believe that an unattractive smile can get in the way of career success and nearly 100 percent of people believe a smile is an important social asset.
You may not like showing off your smile if you think your teeth are too yellow, crooked or chipped. Fortunately, you have a number of affordable dentistry options that can help improve your smile and boost your confidence. At your next visit, talk to your dentist about ways to correct any issues with your teeth and how much you can expect each option to cost.

1. Get Your Teeth Whitened
People's teeth yellow or become darker for a variety of reasons. It could be due to a diet of foods that stain, such as coffee, chocolate and berries. It could be due to the enamel becoming thinner as you age and the yellower dentin showing through. Some people are born with teeth that are naturally yellow or slightly gray. If you decide you do want to whiten your teeth, you have multiple options, ranging from at-home treatments to treatments performed at your dentist's office.

The cost of teeth whitening varies based on location and the type of product used. As the Consumer Guide to Dentistry points out, an in-office treatment costs an average of $650.

At-home treatments tend to be the more affordable dentistry option, but the results you get from an in-office treatment are often much more dramatic and last longer. For example, the AACD points out that an in-office whitening treatment can lighten your teeth up to 10 shades in one hour, and the results can last for a year or longer, provided you take good care of your teeth. After a tooth whitening procedure, it's a good time to switch to a whitening toothpaste, such as Colgate® Optic White® to maintain your dazzling teeth.

2. Fix Chips and Cracks with Bonding
If you have a chipped or cracked tooth, or a tooth that needs a filling, dental bonding is often an affordable way to fix it. Dental bonding is typically made of either a composite resin or porcelain. The material can be dyed to match the natural color of your teeth, so you end up with a tooth that looks good as new and no one will be able to tell that you've had work done.

Bonding is one of the least expensive dental restoration options, too. While porcelain veneers can cost up to $1,500 per tooth, the average cost of dental bonding is $300 to $600 per tooth. The drawback of bonding is that it might not last as long as veneers, which are used to correct severely discolored or chipped teeth. If you are looking for a budget-friendly way to correct a damaged tooth, bonding may be the way to go.

3. Use a Retainer to Straighten Teeth
Not everyone with crooked or misaligned teeth needs braces. Typically, people wear retainers after they have braces removed to keep their teeth from moving out of position. But, if you have a small space between two teeth or your bite is slightly misaligned, you might be able to wear a retainer without getting braces.

An aligner, a clear plastic tray that fits over the teeth and helps push them into place or straighten them, can be another alternative to braces. Aligners are more expensive than retainers (for example, Invisalign® can cost between $3,000 and $8,000 while a retainer on its own typically costs between $500 and $1,000, as the Consumer Dentistry Guide notes). But, aligners do a lot more than retainers when it comes to correcting crooked teeth, which can make the higher cost worth it.

If you're not happy with your smile, you don't have to live with it! Schedule an appointment with your dentist today and learn more about what you can do to fix your smile.

The above article is from colgate.com

Coloman E. Kondorossy, DMD, FAGD, DICOI   
Stephen K. Kondorossy, DMD, MBS  
General Dentists  
1445 Hamilton Street  
Somerset, NJ 08873   
(732) 249-0055   
SomersetImplantDental.com

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Whitening: 5 Things to Know About Getting a Brighter Smile

Brushing and flossing are everyday ways to keep your teeth bright, white and healthy. Still, if you might feel like your smile is lacking some sparkle or is more yellow than it used to be, you’re not alone. When the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry asked people what they’d most like to improve about their smile, the most common response was whiter teeth. The American Association of Orthodontists also found that nearly 90% of patients requested tooth whitening. 
 
Thinking about teeth whitening? Get the facts first. Here are five of the most commonly asked questions about the process.  
 
Why Did My Teeth Change Color?
Over time, your teeth can go from white to not-so-bright for a number of reasons:
 
Food and Drink
Coffee, tea and red wine are some major staining culprits. What do they have in common? Intense color pigments called chromogens that attach to the white, outer part of your tooth (enamel).
 
Tobacco Use
Two chemicals found in tobacco create stubborn stains: Tar and nicotine. Tar is naturally dark. Nicotine is colorless until it’s mixed with oxygen. Then, it turns into a yellowish, surface-staining substance. 
 
Age
Below the hard, white outer shell of your teeth (enamel) is a softer area called dentin. Over time, the outer enamel layer gets thinner with brushing and more of the yellowish dentin shows through.
 
Trauma
If you’ve been hit in the mouth, your tooth may change color because it reacts to an injury by laying down more dentin, which is a darker layer under the enamel. 
 
Medications
Tooth darkening can be a side effect of certain antihistamines, antipsychotics and high blood pressure medications. Young children who are exposed to antibiotics like tetracycline and doxycycline when their teeth are forming (either in the womb or as a baby) may have discoloration of their adult teeth later in life. Chemotherapy and head and neck radiation can also darken teeth.
 
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Teeth whitening is a simple process. Whitening products contain one of two tooth bleaches (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide). These bleaches break stains into smaller pieces, which makes the color less concentrated and your teeth brighter.
 
Does Whitening Work on All Teeth?
No, which is why it’s important to talk to your dentist before deciding to whiten your teeth, as whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellow teeth will probably bleach well, brown teeth may not respond as well and teeth with gray tones may not bleach at all. Whitening will not work on caps, veneers, crowns or fillings. It also won’t be effective if your tooth discoloration is caused by medications or a tooth injury.
 
What Are My Whitening Options?
Talk to your dentist before starting. If you are a candidate, there are four ways to put the shine back in your smile:
 
Stain Removal Toothpastes
All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives that scrub the teeth. Look for whitening toothpastes that have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance for stain removal (it will tell you on the package). These toothpastes have additional polishing agents that are safe for your teeth and provide stain removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches, these types of ADA-Accepted products do not change the color of teeth because they can only remove stains on the surface.
 
In-Office Bleaching 
This procedure is called chairside bleaching and usually requires only one office visit. The dentist will apply either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect your gums. Bleach is then applied to the teeth.
 
At-Home Bleaching from Your Dentist
Your dentist can provide you with a custom-made tray for at-home whitening. In this case, the dentist will give you instructions on how to place the bleaching solution in the tray and for what length of time. This may be a preferred option if you feel more comfortable whitening in your own home at a slower pace, but still with the guidance of a dentist. Out-of-office bleaching can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. 
 
Over-the-Counter Bleaching Products
You may see different options online or in your local grocery store, such as toothpastes or strips that whiten by bleaching your teeth. The concentration of the bleaching agent in these products is lower than what your dentist would use in the office. If you are thinking about using an over-the-counter bleaching kit, discuss options with your dentist and look for one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. That means it has been tested to be safe and effective for teeth whitening. Get a list of all ADA-Accepted at-home bleaching products.
 
Are There Any Side Effects from Teeth Whitening?
Some people who use teeth whiteners may experience tooth sensitivity. That happens when the peroxide in the whitener gets through the enamel to the soft layer of dentin and irritates the nerve of your tooth. In most cases the sensitivity is temporary. You can delay treatment, then try again.
Overuse of whiteners can also damage the tooth enamel or gums, so be sure to follow directions and talk to your dentist.

The above article is from mouthhealthy.org

Coloman E. Kondorossy, DMD, FAGD, DICOI   
Stephen K. Kondorossy, DMD, MBS  
General Dentists  
1445 Hamilton Street  
Somerset, NJ 08873   
(732) 249-0055   
SomersetImplantDental.com

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Thumb Sucking: Pictures of Effects Thumb Sucking has on Teeth














What Is Thumb Sucking?
Thumb sucking is a common and natural behavior for infants. The pressure and sucking motion can make children feel more secure, calm them, and help them fall asleep. Children normally turn to thumb sucking when bored, tired, or upset. If your child is five years old or younger, it is not necessary to force them to quit. Most children will eventually give up this habit in their own time. One in five children will be sucking their thumb or finger past their fifth birthday.
Thumb sucking past five
How Can Thumb Sucking Affect My Child’s Teeth? 
If your child’s thumb sucking persists past the age of five, it can have a lasting effect on your child’s teeth. Thumb sucking can cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth, alignment of the teeth, or changes in the roof of the mouth. The intensity of the sucking is a factor that will determine whether or not dental problems may result. For example, some children simply rest their thumbs passively in their mouths as opposed to sucking. This type of behavior is less likely to result in dental problems in contrasts to vigorous sucking. Thumb sucking may also cause your child to develop speech problems. Your child’s dentist may recommend inserting a fixed or removable device such as a “palatal bar” or “crib” in your child’s mouth to prevent sucking. However, there are other methods parents can try at home to rid their child’s habit.
How to Stop Thumb Sucking
Breaking a longstanding habit is challenging and can take six weeks or more. Before attempting to stop your child from thumb sucking, it is important to observe their behavior to fully understand why and when your child sucks their thumb. Be aware of activities that might promote thumb sucking such as TV or car rides. If you can identify the times when your child is most likely to suck their thumb, provide alternative activities to divert their attention. Reprimanding your child for thumb sucking will not help and could prolong the problem.
TV or car rides
Parents can use a simple behavioral approach that engages their child in the process. 
  • First, create a progress chart with the help of your child. It's a good idea to let your child help make it fun by helping to pick a color or the kinds of stickers used to track their progress.
  • Have a discussion with your child to determine how many slip-ups should allowed each week.
  • Provide a reward at the end of each week of no thumb or finger sucking. Make a larger reward for getting to the end of a month of no thumb or finger sucking.
If the above behavioral approach doesn't work, another method parents can try is placing a bitter-tasting liquid on the nail, but not directly on the finger. This should only be done at night to discourage thumb sucking while sleeping. Parents can also use mittens, gloves, or a finger-splint to be worn at night to discourage thumb and finger sucking.
Thumb sucking progress
Please remember with enough persistence and positive reinforcement, most children are able drop the thumb-sucking habit. It may take a while, but if you keep at it, you'll see the results you want over time.

The above article is from crest.com

Coloman E. Kondorossy, DMD, FAGD, DICOI   
Stephen K. Kondorossy, DMD, MBS  
General Dentists  
1445 Hamilton Street  
Somerset, NJ 08873   
(732) 249-0055   
SomersetImplantDental.com

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Travel: Is Dental Care Abroad Safe ?

If you are planning a trip out of the country it may be helpful to schedule a dental checkup before you leave, especially if you'll be traveling in developing countries or remote areas without access to good dental care. If you’re considering a vacation outside the United States for dental treatment in an attempt to save money, often referred to as "dental tourism," there are some things you should first consider.

Question: Is dental care abroad safe? 
Answer: The procedures, equipment and drugs used by dentists in the U.S. are held to high standards. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has comprehensive guidelines on infection control procedures for dental health-care settings. They exist to prevent the spread of infections, including blood borne illnesses such as hepatitis and AIDS. U.S. dentists must abide by regulations for radiation safety (X-ray equipment and its use) and for proper disposal of biomedical waste. Also, the drugs and dental instruments and materials used by dentists in the U.S. are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ensure that they are safe. These standards are in place for your safety.

Q: What recovery time and follow-up care will I need? 
A: Many dental procedures are surgical in nature and may require months of healing. This should be factored in to your travel plans. Significant dental procedures require follow-up care to make sure everything is healing and functioning properly. Post treatment risks after dental surgical procedures include bleeding, pain, swelling and infection. Continuity of care is important and should be a consideration when making treatment decisions. Establishing a "dental home" provides you with comprehensive oral health care so conditions such as gum disease and tooth decay can be diagnosed at an early stage when treatment is simpler and more affordable. A dentist who knows your case history can provide you with guidance on good oral health habits, preventive oral health services and diagnosis and treatment of dental disease based on your individual needs.

Q: What qualifications are required of dental professionals? 
A: Dentists trained in the U.S. graduate from a dental school accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation. In addition, dentists must pass national examinations and meet state requirements before they earn a license to practice. Similar levels of training may exist in the country to which you are travelling, but this may be difficult to determine if that country does not have similar dental regulations.

Q: Will my insurance cover dental procedures in other countries? 
A: If you have insurance for dental care performed outside of the U.S., you should confirm with your insurer and/or employer that follow-up treatment is covered upon your return to the U.S. You should consider arranging follow-up care with a U.S. dentist prior to travel to ensure continuity of care upon your return. If you do not have a dentist in the U.S., you can find an ADA member dentist in your area at ADA Find-a-Dentist. You should confirm with your U.S. dentist and the dental care provider in the other country that the transfer of patient records to-and-from facilities outside of the U.S. is consistent with current U.S. privacy and security guidelines.

Q: What about travel advisories?
A: The U.S. Department of State issues travel alerts to disseminate information about short-term conditions, generally within a particular country, that pose imminent risks to the security of U.S. citizens. In the spring of 2009, for example, the Department of State issued a travel alert cautioning people to avoid non-essential travel to Mexico because of an outbreak of H1N1 influenza in that country that resulted in a number of deaths. In addition, the alert recommended that travelers check the department's Web site for new travel advisories as well as the Web site of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for any additional information or recommendations.

Bottom line: If you’re considering travelling for dental care, remember, saving money overseas may lead to greater expense to your health and your wallet when you arrive back home. 

The above article is from mouthhealthy.org

Coloman E. Kondorossy, DMD, FAGD, DICOI   
Stephen K. Kondorossy, DMD, MBS  
General Dentists  
1445 Hamilton Street  
Somerset, NJ 08873   
(732) 249-0055   
SomersetImplantDental.com