Our Blog

If you don't use it, you're gonna lose it!!

October 23rd, 2014

How many time have we heard that in our lives? It applies to so many things. This is how our dental benefit works. You have a certain dollar amount available to use each calendar year, and whatever is unused is lost to you forever. As the year is rapidly coming to an end, be sure and get your treatment done ASAP!!!

How do I overcome my dental anxiety?

September 29th, 2014

Do you feel anxious before every dentist appointment? If the answer is yes, you are not alone—more than 75 percent of Americans feel anxious when visiting their dentist. Today, Dr. Reynold Donovan and our team thought we would provide some tips to reduce your stress about visiting our Auburn, CA office.

The first thing we want you to do is plan ahead. If at all possible, book an appointment at a time when you know you won’t be in a rush to get somewhere else, such as picking up your children from school or an important meeting at the office. We also recommend you avoid caffeine and sugar prior to your visit as too much of either can make you feel even more anxious, not to mention jittery.

Once you’re here at our office, take some slow, deep breaths to relax. Then, try to relax your muscles by sitting back comfortably. If you are still feeling anxious, let Dr. Reynold Donovan or someone on our team know. We deal with nervous patients all the time and may have additional relaxation techniques for you to try. If you’d like, we also encourage you to bring headphones and listen to music of your choice to distract yourself while we work on your teeth.

If you have additional questions about relaxation techniques, or would like to schedule an appointment, please give us a call!

When was your last dental checkup?

September 22nd, 2014

While Dr. Reynold Donovan and our team tell you daily oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing, are essential to optimal oral health, regular dental checkups at Alta Vista Dental ensure your teeth are treated to a deeper level of cleaning.

We recommend for most of our patients to have a cleaning at our Auburn, CA office at least every six months. In addition to a thorough cleaning and polishing of your teeth, visits with Dr. Reynold Donovan help us detect and prevent the onset of tooth decay and gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. During your visit, we will check the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks, and tongue for signs of any decay or disease. We will also check old fillings and restorations as these can wear away over time due to chewing, clenching, or grinding.

If you are predisposed to any oral diseases, Dr. Reynold Donovan may recommend checking in with us more often than every six months. We want your teeth to get the professional attention they deserve! If you are overdue for your next cleaning, give us a call at our Auburn, CA office to schedule a checkup! See you soon!

My gums are shrinking!

September 15th, 2014

Have you ever looked in the mirror and noticed that your teeth looked longer? Does it seem like your gums are shrinking? This condition is called recession—many adults have it. Let’s look at some of the causes and what you can do about it.

During your exam at Alta Vista Dental, we will take measurements to check for periodontal disease. Dental professionals take recession measurements to see how much attached gingiva is present. This is the kind of tissue that is most resilient to infection.

The more recession, the less attached gingiva. The less attached gingiva, the less bone support. The less bone support, the higher your chances of tooth loss. It is quite a domino effect.

Don’t lose hope. The effect can be halted once you know the cause of your recession.

Do you ever wake up with your jaw clenched, and/or a headache that originates just above your ears? Clenching or grinding your teeth can cause recession. When there is added stress on a tooth, it flexes at the gum line.

Over time this causes microscopic breaks in the enamel and then a notch appears. The gum line is forced to move away from its original position. If this is something you see in your mouth, we can discuss the possibility of an occlusal guard at your next visit.

How do you brush your teeth? Do you brush in a straight line or circles? What kind of bristles do you use? Are the bristles on your toothbrush frayed?

When you brush in a circle, you are sweeping all along the gum line, removing the plaque from most angles. When you brush in a straight line, you may often miss the concave portion of the gums. This leaves plaque behind and leads to gingivitis. Whenever gingivitis occurs, the body attacks supporting structures like bone while trying to get rid of the infection. This is periodontal disease, which can cause recession.

Recession may also result from an irritant on the gums, such as a bar from a partial denture or orthodontic appliance (braces).

Gums do not “grow back.” The most common treatment for advanced recession is a tissue graft. There are many different kinds of tissue grafts.

Other factors can cause recession. If you think recession is happening in your mouth, schedule an appointment with Dr. Reynold Donovan to discuss your options, so you can make the appropriate treatment choice.