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					Expert Advice



Insider Secrets To Find A Great

Savannah Dentist




                    Valuable Tips
                    7 Things Your Dentist may Detect before your Doctor

                    8 Must-Know's Before Choosing a Dentist

                    14 Tips to Get your Kids and Teens to Brush & Floss

                    3 Cutting Edge Options for Restoring Your Teeth       1
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Table of Contents

Your dentist—a cornerstone of your health and well-being ...................................................... 03

Who’s the most important member of your dental health team? .............................................. 03

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Introduction: Insider Secrets To Find A Great Savannah Dentist ............................................ 04

Step 1 ........................................................................................................................................... 04

Step 2 ........................................................................................................................................... 06

Step 3 ........................................................................................................................................... 07

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7 health conditions your dentist may detect before your doctor ............................................... 09

8 things you must know before choosing a dentist .................................................................... 09

The road to tooth decay and gum disease .................................................................................. 10

Your questions about your teeth and gums ................................................................................ 11

14 tips to get your kids and teens to brush & floss ...................................................................... 12

3 cutting edge options for restoring or replacing your teeth ...................................................... 13

Resources ..................................................................................................................................... 14




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Your dentist—a cornerstone of your health and well-being                                                              7

Too often, we think of our oral health as separate from our overall health. In reality, the health of our teeth and
gums is intertwined with the rest of our body. Your mouth is the main entrance to the body. Gums and teeth are
linked to the digestive, nervous, endocrine, lymphatic and skeletal systems and the bloodstream. And they
share the harmful organisms that cause disease. This is why your dentist is so important to your health and
well-being. Your dentist is an expert in diagnosing and treating conditions of your teeth, gums and upper jaw
and face—conditions that can impact your overall health. Most important, your dentist can help you prevent
damaging and costly oral health problems from occurring in the first place.



Whoʼs the most important member of your dental health team?

You! Even with the very best dental care, if you don’t do your part, the health of your teeth and gums is at risk.
Although personal dental hygiene practices differ depending on the general condition of your mouth and gums,
the following three steps are crucial.

1. Brush your teeth after every meal, at least three times a day. Floss at least once a day.
2. Eat a well-balanced diet. Good nutrition helps you maintain healthy teeth.
3. Have your teeth examined and cleaned every six months—more if you have gum disease or other conditions
   that place you at greater risk of oral health problems.




                                                                           Only 12% of Americans floss daily.
                                                                           39% floss less than daily.
                                                                           49% donʼt floss at all.
                                                                           —American Dental Association




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Insider Secrets To Find A Great Savannah Dentist                                                                          7
It’s easy coming up with a short list of dentists but the tricky part is finding the best dentists and knowing how
to eliminate all but the very best. When I began my search to find a Savannah dentist I quickly realized that it
was like finding a needle in a haystack. There are so many to choose from I didn’t know where to begin. After
many hours of research and way too many late nights I finally narrowed down the choices for the best dental
care in Savannah. My needs for a dentist may be different than yours so I’ve created this simple, step by step
guide with the intention of sharing my findings, so you don’t have to go through the same stress as I did. If I can
help at least one person sift through all of the Savannah dentists to find the best of the best, all of my time and
energy will have been well spent.

So here you go, I hope this 3 step guide makes your search for the Best Savannah dentist a fun and easy one.
Step 1 will help you build a long list of potential dentists in Savannah and through the good ‘ol “process of
elimination” we’ll start making cuts to that list in Step 2. Instead of randomly cutting dentists, you’ll learn how
to strategically narrow down your list. Follow all 3 steps and you’ll find that you’ll have a short list of the best of
the best Savannah dentists to select from. After Step 3, you should be able to narrow down that cream of the
crop list of dentists in the local area to the one that’s your perfect fit. Have fun and good luck!




STEP 1:
Goal: Make list of at least 30 potential Savannah dentists
Supplies: Blank paper & pen/pencil, Local Savannah phone
book, Computer with internet connection

The first step will cover 3 ways to build your “long list” of the
Who’s Who in Savannah Dentistry. You’ll quickly learn three
steps including: (1) word of mouth, (2) local phone book and
(3) a thorough internet search.



Word of Mouth

Begin by grabbing a fresh sheet of paper and pen (or open
up a new digital sheet on your computer). Now, make a
list of at least 5 friends, 5 family members and 5 co-
workers who live in Savannah. Next, contact each person
over the next few days and start asking for Dentist
recommendations. Also ask how much does it typically
cost? You may also want to find out how they discovered
their dentist of choice.

Hot Tip! If you’re internet savvy, you can get some pretty fast responses from posting simple
questions for your Savannah friends on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.




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Phone Book                                                                                                            7
Now it’s time to let’s your fingers do the walking. Make sure to use the Savannah phonebook. I was shocked at
how many dentists I found here! You have two choices: (A) The Easy Way or (B) The Not So Easy way.

(A) The Easy Way

Find Dentists in the Yellow Pages section of your phone book. Look at each that has a larger ad or at least an
enhanced ad. Now, out of the advertisers, make a list of the one’s with an office in Savannah. (Include phone
numbers and whether they’re a generalist or what type of specialist they are in your list) Simple right? Now skip
past the next step unless you’ve had a change of heart and suddenly feel like takin’ on a challenge.

(B) The Not So Easy Way

So not to discriminate against the Savannah Dentists who choose to save their money instead of wasting it on
super sized yellow pages ads, here’s what you could do next. In addition to the Savannah advertisers list from
the exercise above, locate the beginning of the Dentists category and go through all of the listings one by one
and make a detailed list of each dentist who has an address in Savannah. I don’t recommend this since you’ll
end up with way too many dentists on your list and it will be difficult to strategically narrow down your list. Ask
me how I know. (Remember phone numbers and whether they’re a generalist or what type of specialist they are
in your list)



Internet Search

Now go online to Google since it’s the top search engine and type in something like “Dental Savannah” or
“Savannah Dentists”. To keep it simple just look for the local results map and write down all the dentists listed
there on the first page. The one’s that pop up here are listed in the Local Directory of Google for Savannah and
they most likely have customer reviews if they’re popping up on the first page. You could also search in Yahoo
and Bing if you want to cross reference. (Remember phone numbers, generalist or specialist type)




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STEP 2:
Goal: Strategically narrow down your list to about 10 dentists in Savannah
Supplies: Blank paper & pen/pencil, Computer with internet connection

The second step will cover 3 ways to narrow your “list” to a Top 10 in Savannah Dentistry. I’ll walk you through
three steps that worked for me including: (1) Family Dentist or Specialist? (2) Qualifications & Assurance and (3)
Drilling down deeper (no pun intended).


Family Dentist or Specialist?

To determine who’s better for you, it’s best to have a basic understanding of who does what. See the chart below to
learn about the numerous specialists within dentistry.



  Type of Dental/Oral
                                                                     What They Do
  Healthcare Provider

                                Much like your primary care physician, your general-care dentist examines and monitors the
                                condition of your teeth and gums. He or she will chart an overall plan to treat problems and
      General dentist           to prevent future problems. A general-care dentist uses a number of procedures for restoring
                                teeth that have decay, disease or have been injured.


                                Pediatric dentists have postgraduate training in working with children and conditions
     Pediatric dentist          common to children. They have kid-size equipment and are experienced at putting children
 (also called pedodontist)      at ease.


                                Surgery of the mouth, jaw and face are performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
   Oral and maxillofacial       Common surgeries are dental implants, correcting cleft palates and repairing facial injuries
          surgeon               such as fractured jaws.


        Periodontist            Periodontists specialize in diseases of the gums & other tissues that support your teeth.


                                Have you ever had a root canal? It may have been performed by an endodontist, a specialist
        Endodontist             who focuses on the pulp—the tissues, blood vessels and nerves inside your tooth and in the
                                tissues that surround the outside the tooth’s root.


                                Making sure your teeth are straight and your teeth meet properly when you bite down is the
       Orthodontist             job of an orthodontist. Braces and retainers are common tools used by an orthodontist.


    Cosmetic/aesthetic          From teeth whitening and tooth veneers to gingival sculpting, bridges and braces—a
        dentist                 cosmetic dentist has the tools and technology to bring a great-looking smile to your face.


                                An indispensable defender of your dental health, your dental hygienist conducts initial
      Dental hygienist          examinations, cleans teeth, scrapes away stubborn tartar, takes x-rays and provides
                                instruction in self-care.




Now that you have a basic understanding, based on your needs right now, circle the one’s that
may be a good fit. Cross off the rest.



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Qualifications and Assurance

It’s not uncommon for people to feel uncomfortable about going to the dentist, so it’s critical that you feel very
comfortable with your dentist’s experience and qualifications. You need to be confident that you’re in good hands.

Answer the following questions to help narrow the remaining choices. How long have they been practicing? How
long have their associate dentists been in practice? (Think of them as backup dentists) One quick and easy way to
find some answers is by visiting their website. In addition, here’s a great tip! Google “Savannah Dentist” and
locate the local search results. Now click on the “reviews” links beside each name and you’ll find details about
Education as well as customer reviews. While you’re there make a note about their hours of operation. Eliminate
any dentists who make you feel uncomfortable for any reason.


Drilling Down Deeper (no pun intended)

To narrow your list down to 10 or less, consider the convenience factor for you. Do their hours of operation work
for you and your schedule? It helps to Google map their address to see how far they are from where you live.



In a national survey, Americans rated the
smile as a personʼs most important attribute.


STEP 3:
Goal: Select the Best Dentist (or 2) for you in Savannah
Supplies: Blank paper & pen/pencil, Computer with internet

The third and final step will cover 3 ways to determine
who’s the best dentist for you and your needs right now.
The three steps that helped me were: (1) Accreditations = Peace
of Mind (2) Making The Calls and (3) Paying Them a Visit.


Accreditations = Peace of Mind

To really see who’s the best of the best, visit the website of the American Dental Association (ADA) and see
which, if any of your remaining candidates are members. Go to www.ada.org and at top right select “Find A
Dentist” then use that page to search for your remaining possibilities. The reason why it’s important they be
members is because according to their website... “The Association believes that dentists should possess not only
knowledge, skill and technical competence but also those traits of character that foster adherence to ethical
principles. Qualities of honesty, compassion, kindness, integrity, fairness and charity are part of the ethical
education of a dentist and practice of dentistry and help to define the true professional.” The most important
factor for you to consider is that dentists who are members of the ADA are held to a high ethical standard.

If they’re not members, you could also check Georgia’s state organization which is called Georgia Dental
Association. Go to www.gadental.org to research further.




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Making The Calls

Next you may want to call a handful of the dentist’s offices and ask a few questions to give you a better
understanding. Getting answers to some basic questions is part of the goal here but your real intention is to get
a sense of how friendly and professional (or not) the staff is. Pay attention to how long you’re left on hold and
how friendly they are in answering your questions. While you’ve got them on the phone, you may want to say.
“I’m looking for the best dentist in Savannah and it would really help me out if you could answer a few
questions? Pay attention to how they respond. Delete any dentist who has unprofessional staffers who don’t
have the people skills required to help a potential new patient. If you get a friendly helpful response, then ask
them what you’d like to know. You could find out about more their weekend hours. What happens when the
dentist is on vacation and you have an emergency? Ask if they take your insurance or if they have financing
plans or if there’s a discount for paying with cash.


Paying Them a Visit

Finally make appointments to meet with at least 2-3 dentists. Let them know that you’re looking for the best
Savannah Dentist and they just might be it. While you’re waiting at the office, pay attention to the environment.
Does it feel like a professional, well managed practice? Does the staff seem friendly and helpful? After your brief
visit with the Dentist, did you like the dentist? Did they make you feel comfortable and welcome? Did they tell
you about any interesting technology or procedures that might benefit you? Can you imagine being a patient
here for years to come? Would you feel proud to refer your friends to a dentist and a place like this?


In Summary

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations!
You should be proud of yourself because
unlike most people, you realize how
important your dental care is to your
overall health and wellness, not to
mention your good looks. I hope this
guide on choosing the best Savannah
Dentist helped you make the smart
choice for you and your family. Make
sure to keep this guide and all your
research notes handy because your
dental needs change with time and
you can reference all your hard
work to search again later. With
so many dentists in Savannah, I
truly hope you found the one
that’s best for you and your family.




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7 health conditions your dentist may detect before your doctor

You might be surprised to know that a dentist is often the first person to spot a number of health conditions,
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including serious diseases like diabetes and heart disease. All told, more than 90 percent of the systemic diseases
of the body are linked to symptoms in the mouth.

1.   Red, sore, swollen gums of periodontitis (gum disease) are associated with heart disease and stroke.
2.   Sore, pale gums indicate you may be anemic.
3.   Bright red, spongy, inflamed gums that bleed easily can be a sign of leukemia.
4.   Significant erosion of tooth enamel may signal of eating disorders, such as bulimia, or gastric conditions.
5.   If air blowing on your gums makes them bleed, you may be pregnant.
6.   Bad breath, dry mouth, bleeding gums and receding gums are often associated with diabetes.
7.   White spots and sores that don’t heal on your gums and other oral tissues can be signs of oral cancer.




8 things you must know before choosing a dentist

1. Is the dentist covered by your dental insurance plan?
2. Does the dentist perform the kinds of services you need? For example, you may want to find a dentist who
     specializes in cosmetic dentistry or a pediatric dentist for your child.
3.   How are emergencies handled?
4.   Are the location and hours of the office convenient for you?
5.   How long is the wait for non-emergency appointments?
6.   What are the fees for typical services such as x-rays or a preventive dental appointment that includes an oral
     exam and teeth cleaning.?
7.   Are payment plans available?
8.   If you get butterflies in your stomach when thinking of going to the dental appointment, ask if the dentist
     specializes in working with patients who are nervous about dental procedures and if he or she offers nitrous
     oxide to help patients relax.




                                                         ily smokers
                                        41 perc ent of da oothless!
                                                        et
                                        over a ge 65 ar




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The road to tooth decay and gum disease

Tooth decay and gum disease don’t happen overnight. Instead, they take a long and winding road that can lead all the way to
periodontal disease and tooth loss.
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                        Tooth Decay
 
               
                       Gum Disease




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Your questions about your teeth and gums
                                                                                                                                       8
Q   My dentist has talked to me about not flossing regularly. How can he tell?
A   Most dentists and hygienists can tell you’re not flossing by the number of cavities you have—particularly in areas where
    teeth meet—and by irritated, bleeding gums.

Q   I’ve always taken antibiotics before having a dental procedure, so why am I told it’s not necessary now?
A   For many years, it was believed that antibiotics would prevent infective endocarditis (IE), a dangerous infection of the
    heart’s lining or valves. People were believed to be at greater risk for IE if they have a condition such as mitral valve
    prolapse or rheumatic heart disease. However, studies have shown that antibiotics and antibiotic resistance are the greater
    concerns for people with these conditions. Antibiotics should still be taken by people with specific serious cardiac issues,
    including: a history of having had IE, artificial heart valves, a number of congenital heart conditions and some cardiac
    transplant patients.

Q   I’m told I need oral surgery because I have gum disease. Is this painful?
A   Oral surgery is commonly used to treat people who have receding gums due to disease or age. In most likelihood,
    your oral surgeon will graft tissue from the roof of your mouth onto your gums. If a small amount of tissue is involved,
    local anesthesia will keep you comfortable. If the grafts are larger, your oral surgeon may use general anesthesia or local
    anesthesia combined with sedation.

Q   Should adults get dental sealants?
A   Absolutely. Sealants, plastic material bonded to the crevasses of your back teeth, protect adults and children from harmful
    bacteria and enamel-destroying acids.

Q   Is it true that chewing gum can be good for your teeth and gums?
A   Yes, clinical studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after eating can reduce tooth decay. Some
    brands have ingredients that strengthen tooth enamel, too. Look for gum that has the ADA seal of approval.




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14 tips to get your kids and teens to brush & floss

You can’t begin teaching good dental hygiene too soon. The benefits will last a lifetime.
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    Toddlers
    1. With toddlers, choose a fun brush made for little ones and use a pea-size dab of a toothpaste. Choose a brand
         recommended by the American Dental Association. (You’ll find this information on the toothpaste box.) Make sure
         they don’t swallow the toothpaste. If it’s a problem, use a fluoride-free toothpaste until the child’s a little older.
    2.   Teach proper brushing techniques by demonstrating on a doll or by letting the toddler “help” brush your teeth.
    3.   Begin flossing as soon as your child has teeth that touch.
    4.   Over time, pacifiers and thumbs push the front teeth forward and affect the child’s bite. Seek advice from your
         dentist and pediatrician if one of these habits continues past age five—the damage of thumb sucking is of greatest
         concern with permanent teeth.

    Children
    1. Help your kids brush and floss until you’re confident they can do it well by themselves, normally when they’re about
         five or six years old.
    2. Kids should brush their teeth in a circular pattern for at least three minutes.
    3. If you’re meeting resistance to brushing and flossing, consider adding rewards, such as sticker charts, until a dental
         care routine is established.
    4. Do you have a budding sports star? Make sure mouth guards are always part of the uniform.
    5. Talk with your dentist about supplemental fluoride if your water supply isn’t fluoridated. Fluoride helps prevent
         and reverse tooth decay.
    6.   Another effective way to protect kids’ teeth is with sealants. Clear plastic sealants are applied over the parts of the
         back teeth used to chew where they serve as a barrier to food and acid that destroys the surface of the teeth.
    7.   Offer kids healthful, crunchy snacks like apples and carrots. These foods help remove plaque.


    Teens
    1. Teens are voracious consumers of colas and carbs, both of which are highly harmful to teeth. Encourage your teen
         to follow a healthful diet, including getting enough calcium.
    2.   Third molars, popularly called “wisdom teeth,” normally appear between ages 16 and 25. Often, there isn’t enough
         space in the mouth for wisdom teeth and they only partially break the surface of the gum or don’t erupt at all. In
         trying to find space, wisdom teeth can throw other teeth out of alignment and they’re prone to decay and infection.
         Most dentists agree that the best solution for problem wisdom teeth is to extract them.
    3.   Your teen may think that tongue or lip piercing is stylish now but they often become
         infected and have a tendency to chip and crack teeth.
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3 options for restoring or replacing your teeth                                                                                8
You have a cavity or more extensive tooth decay. What’s next? Fortunately, there are a growing number of effective solutions
restoring teeth. Your dentist will tell you about the different options and make recommendations about which will work best
for you. Following are the most common methods of tooth restoration.


Fillings

When you have a cavity, your dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and replace it with a filling. Common
Filling materials include:

     Amalgams
     Amalgams are metal fillings that have been used for over a century. They’re durable and inexpensive. Recently, there
     has been some concern about the health effects the mercury content in amalgam fillings. Leading health organizations
     differ on their positions about use of the amalgams, however, the FDA and the ADA both endorse their continued use.

     Dental Composites/Veneers
     Sometimes called “white fillings,” dental composites are a mixture of resins and powdered glass that look like natural
     teeth. They’re used to fill cavities, chips and cracks. They’re also used as a lower-cost option for minor cosmetic
     improvements, such as reducing gaps between teeth, repairing chips and enhancing unsightly teeth. When used
     cosmetically, people often refer to the composites as “veneers.”

     Ceramic/Porcelain
     Ceramic fillings are longer-lasting and more stain resistant. They’re usually more expensive than other options.

     Glass Ionomer
     Fillings made of this acrylic/glass blend don’t always require drilling which makes them a good choice for small
     children. Also, because they bond to the tooth surface and release fluoride, they’re particularly useful in controlling
     the spread of decay below the gum line. Glass ionomer is also used as an adhesive
     when applying veneers.




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Root Canal Treatment                                                                                                            8
New techniques and pain-control options make root canal procedures far more comfortable than in the past. Used when
tooth decay has spread into the pulp in the root canal, this process involves removing the diseased pulp, cleaning
disinfecting the canal—then filling the canal.

     Crown
     Crowns, also called caps, are placed over the tooth after a root canal or if a tooth is chipped or cracked.
     In addition to protecting the tooth, crowns are selected to match your teeth for a more natural appearance.



Extractions

When a dead tooth isn’t a candidate for a root canal procedure, it must be removed to prevent infection and abscesses. After
you’re fully numb, a simple extraction can take just minutes. More complex extractions normally require the services of an
oral surgeon. You’ll want to replace the tooth, even if it’s in the back of your mouth, to maintain the alignment of your
remaining teeth.

     Bridge
     A bridge actually “bridges” the gap left by one or more lost teeth. A bridge has a prosthetic tooth and can be held in
     place with caps on the teeth next to the gap or with dental implants.

     Dental Implants
     Dental implants are the gold standard for tooth replacement. Functioning as an artificial root attached to the jaw bone,
     the implant and bone actually bond, forming a durable support for a crown or bridge. In many circumstances, mini
     implants may be used. Because mini implants are smaller, they don’t require the surgery necessary with regular
     implants. And, unlike traditional implants, the crown or bridge may be attached immediately.




Resources


The American Dental Association
www.ada.org

Georgia Dental Association
www.GaDental.org

www.webmd.com
Go to Healthy Living A-Z, select O, select Oral Health

Mouth Power Online - Oral Health Education Program
www.mouthpower.org

Dentists4kids – An excellent site for children and their
parents, sponsored by a consortium of pediatric dentists
www.dentists4kids.com




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