News and Information

Treating Gum Disease Without Surgery

The purpose of gum disease treatment is to remove harmful bacteria from the teeth and gums. Although gum disease can’t be reversed once it has progressed past its beginning stage, gingivitis, the condition can be managed to minimize future damage to the mouth. At The Art of Dentistry, Dr. Robin Rutherford prefers a non-surgical approach to gum disease treatment whenever possible. In addition to scaling and root planing, Dr. Rutherford may conduct saliva testing to diagnose the exact type of bacteria present, allowing him to prescribe the most appropriate antibiotics for the patient’s needs. Many people also benefit from laser therapy, which removes the diseased tissue, destroys the bacteria, and promotes healing of the gums. Since the most effective way to manage gum disease is with consistent oral care, Dr. Rutherford advises patients to adhere to a strict oral hygiene regimen at home, including use of the advanced Perio Protect® system. Perio Protect is a topical medication delivery system that involves the use of custom-made trays, in which the medicated gel is applied. The trays are then worn for the recommended duration and frequency—typically 10 to 15 minute sessions, one to three times daily. These trays fit snuggly, causing pressure…

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Carrie Fisher’s Death Sheds Light on Dangers of Sleep Apnea

Well-known actress Carrie Fisher recently passed away at 60 years old following a heart attack. Although the cause of her death was reported as “undetermined,” it was just released that an extremely common health condition was a contributing factor—sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when soft tissues in the back of the throat relax to the point that the breathing passage is narrowed, or sometimes completely closed. This can lead to snoring, difficulty breathing, and numerous breathing pauses throughout the night. According to the National Institutes of Health, this disruption in sleep is the leading cause of daytime fatigue. Even more concerning, the diminished flow of oxygen to the brain caused by sleep apnea can lead to a number of serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, memory loss, heart disease, and stroke. Whether Fisher was aware of her sleep apnea is unknown, but it is very common for people to live with the condition and not realize it, especially women of a more advanced age. Women in general tend to be diagnosed less often than men and disregard their symptoms. Unfortunately, sleep apnea can be a life-threatening disease when it goes untreated. This is why seeking the help…

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Why Should I Get an Oral Cancer Screening?

Oral cancer is a prevalent disease that is characterized by malignant cells forming in the mouth and/or throat. The symptoms are typically very subtle, meaning that without a screening the cancer might spread too quickly before it is detected. This is why an oral cancer screening is so important. At The Art of Dentistry, Dr. Robin Rutherford performs this preventative screening utilizing VELscope® Vx technology to detect oral abnormalities before symptoms appear. It can help reveal cancer cells at their earliest stage before they have had the chance to spread elsewhere in the body. When considering a screening, it is best to visit a medical or dental professional, as they will note a patient’s oral history and ask questions to help unveil any symptoms. The most common causes of oral cancer include tobacco use, heavy alcohol consumption, and the presence of HPV (human papillomavirus). Additional factors that have been linked to a higher risk of the disease include being 40 years or older, excess sun exposure, being genetically predisposed, and eating a diet low in fruits and vegetables. Even if a patient doesn’t fall into one of these groups, it is still good to be proactive and have the screening…

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How Do I Know If I Have Sleep Apnea?

Those who suffer from sleep apnea have a number of treatment options readily available to address their condition. Although treating sleep apnea can be a fairly straight-forward process, discovering whether you suffer from the common condition can be more difficult. Many people who experience the symptoms of sleep apnea don’t realize they have it. Oftentimes, sleep apnea can be dismissed as “just snoring.” Unfortunately, in addition to snoring, sleep apnea patients also frequently experience pauses in breathing at night or wake up gasping for air. This is why getting a diagnosis for sleep apnea is so important. Snoring is one of the most obvious symptoms of sleep apnea, though there are many other signs of the condition that may seem unrelated. When trying to determine if you or your partner are suffering from sleep apnea, be on the lookout for a variety of symptoms and health conditions. If you experience one or more of the following, this could indicate that you have sleep apnea: Teeth grinding Insomnia Headaches Exhaustion Memory loss Sexual dysfunction When left untreated, sleep apnea may lead to more serious medical concerns since the oxygen supply to the brain is being restricted. Common conditions related to sleep…

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Can I Smoke if I Have Dental Implants?

Dental implants are known for their exceptional stability, comfortable fit, and natural-looking aesthetics. Without the hassle of slippage or messy adhesives associated with traditional dentures and bridges, dental implants are a popular choice for replacing missing teeth. The advanced solution is designed as a durable, long-lasting tooth replacement that becomes a permanent part of your mouth. However, it is important to note that if you smoke, this can have an impact on the longevity your implants. If you are considering this innovate form of tooth replacement and are currently a smoker, you may be disqualified as a candidate for dental implants. The American Dental Association (ADA) has stated that smoking can increase the likelihood of post-operative dental implant failure. The difference in the success rate between smokers and non-smokers appears to be significant. According to one recent study, non-smokers had a dental implant failure rate of 1.4 percent; conversely, smokers had a failure rate of 15.8 percent. Dr. Robin Rutherford recommends all patients who are considering dental implants to give up smoking at least one month before their procedure—and to stop smoking completely in order to maximize the success and longevity of their results. To learn more about dental implants,…

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The Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth

The space left behind by a missing tooth can have an immediate impact, leaving a gap in your smile and hindering your ability to speak and chew. Though these consequences may seem like relatively minor inconveniences, a missing tooth can actually lead to more complex and costly dental issues when left unaddressed. For this reason, Dr. Robin Rutherford urges patients with one or more missing teeth to consider a restorative procedure such as dental implants to restore the integrity of their teeth. Gaps left behind by missing teeth can increase your risk of developing dental issues including: Movement of teeth adjacent to the gap Gradual movement of facial bones Bone loss Periodontal disease Though bridges and traditional dentures can fill in the gaps left by missing teeth and restore your ability to chew and speak with ease, Dr. Rutherford considers dental implants the gold standard when it comes to tooth replacement. In addition to providing the best defense against future bone loss, dental implants can look and function just like natural teeth. Since dental implants do not require any adhesives, eliminate slippage, and can be cleaned with no extra maintenance, this innovative solution has become a popular tooth replacement option…

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What Does a Dental Facelift Entail?

As mentioned in our previous blog post, your teeth tend to wear down over time, gradually making your face appear older than you really are. To combat this often unwelcome change, Dr. Robin Rutherford offers his patients the Dental Facelift. This procedure is a means to restore your beautiful smile and revitalize your facial appearance without the need for plastic surgery. The noninvasive procedure has proven to offer natural-looking rejuvenations and can often be completed in as few as two to four office visits, depending on the extent of your treatment plan. To begin the Dental Facelift process, Dr. Rutherford will first study the shape of your face, skin tone, lips, teeth, and other important physical characteristics before making a personalized treatment plan. Then, depending on your smile needs, he may use dental implants to replace missing teeth or position porcelain veneers and/or dental crowns over your existing teeth to restore their youthful shape. Another benefit of porcelain veneers is their ability to easily cover imperfections such as broken, chipped, or yellow teeth. Despite the exact set of procedures deemed most beneficial for your needs, enhancing the length, shape, and color of your new teeth can help create a rejuvenated…

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Why You Should Consider Getting a Dental Facelift

Have you noticed your smile changing over the years? If so, you’re not alone. As we age, it is common for our teeth to wear down and become shorter, especially if you grind your teeth. The problem with our teeth gradually shortening is this may cause the face to appear wrinkled or collapsed since there is less space between your nose and chin. Stained, cracked, and chipped teeth, as well as dark fillings, can also add unnecessary years to your appearance. As you can see, the teeth can have a significant effect on your entire facial appearance. If any of the above symptoms are familiar to you, then you may be a good candidate for a Dental Facelift. Our experienced dentist, Dr. Robin Rutherford, performs this procedure to rejuvenate the face without the need for surgery or injectable fillers. It can effectively reduce fine lines and wrinkles, as well as provide a number of other cosmetic benefits. From creating a stronger jawline to improving the appearance of your lips and cheeks, Dr. Rutherford can help you find the most beneficial dental treatments to incorporate into your Dental Facelift to help you achieve your aesthetic goals. The Dental Facelift may entail…

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Snoring Isn’t Normal

Despite how commonly it occurs, you may be surprised to know that snoring isn’t actually considered normal. What I mean by this is that snoring isn’t a trait that people simply have when they sleep – it is often caused by one or more outside factors. While these can be harmless, some factors can potentially lead to more serious health concerns. For example, as you sleep, the muscles and tissues in the back of the throat relax. As the air passage narrows, vibrations occur, which is what causes the sound of snoring. The smaller this airway, the louder the snoring, as breathing becomes more difficult. For some individuals, the air passage can be completely obstructed and cause pauses in their breathing – this is known as sleep apnea. So, contrary to popular belief, snoring is not a condition that’s considered “normal.” The good news is, there are viable snoring treatment options designed to reduce snoring. By improving your habit of snoring, you and your loved ones can get a healthier night’s sleep each night, without the interruption of loud breathing. As an experienced general and cosmetic dentist, I can construct a customized oral appliance to fit comfortably and securely in…

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How Much Do Porcelain Veneers Cost?

Dr. Robin Rutherford has dedicated his career to helping men and women improve the appearance of their smiles with a wide range of cosmetic dentistry procedures. One of the most popular procedures among our patients is porcelain veneers. With the ability to conceal such a wide variety of tooth imperfections, porcelain veneers can transform the look of your teeth for a more beautiful smile. Despite its many benefits, cost is often a concern for many patients. We want each of our patients at The Art of Dentistry to have their healthiest teeth and gums so they feel a sense of pride when they smile. To help them achieve this, we offer a number of financing options at our office to help you get the dental care you need while still working within your budget. By partnering with CareCredit®, you can take advantage of monthly payment plans, low interest rates, and nearly instant access to the financial assistance they can provide. To learn more about porcelain veneers and our financing options, please contact our office today.

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