4 Ways to Reduce Tooth Sensitivity

woman with bare shoulders laughs and looks upSensitive teeth can make life very uncomfortable. You are not able to enjoy your favorite foods and drinks, you have to be careful when you put anything in your mouth and sometimes even a breeze that hits your teeth at just the right angle can cause searing pain for several seconds or longer.

The good news is, there are some things you can do to help reduce tooth sensitivity and avoid the pain. Here are just a few ideas:

  1. Use Sensitive Teeth Toothpaste

Take a closer the look the next time you’re at the store for toothpaste and you will see that there are several brands designed specifically for people with sensitive teeth. Many of these products contain potassium nitrate, an active ingredient designed to block the small tubules in the dentin of the teeth. These types of toothpastes do not always work for everyone, but they are probably the best place to start if you have sensitive teeth.

  1. A Softer Toothbrush

People who have sensitive teeth should be using a soft toothbrush. Medium toothbrushes and above may be contributing to the problem. It is also important to back off a bit if you are brushing too hard. Hard brushing will wear down the enamel on your teeth faster and can lead to increased sensitivity. Making a simple change to your brushing habits and using a softer brush can definitely help to reduce sensitivity.

Related: How Often Should You Replace Your Toothbrush?

  1.  Paint Barriers

If you have tried different methods and ideas to reduce your sensitivity without much luck, you might consider talking to your dentist about painted-on barriers. Your dentist can apply desensitizing agents like fluoride varnish or plastic resins to the sensitive areas of your teeth. Depending on what type of material is used, these barriers will eventually wear off over time. However, they can definitely help to deter the pain.

  1. Have Your Gums Checked

Often, the pain a person feels when experiencing sensitive teeth is actually in the gums. Gum recession caused by gum disease can wear away the cementum and expose the tooth. Working with a dentist, you can rebuild or restore your receding gums and reduce tooth sensitivity.

You do not  have to live with sensitive teeth. Call Smile Concepts and let us go over options with you that can make a difference. We can be reached at 480-951-2800.

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Posted in Oral Health, Sensitive Teeth

What are the Side Effects of Sedation Dentistry?

Overall Oral HealthThose who struggle with visits to the dentist due to high anxiety or stress have found that sedation dentistry is a great solution for them. This approach allows patients to be much more comfortable and relaxed during their time in the dentist chair while allowing the dentist to engage in a more effective treatment.

Sedatives are delivered to the patient through a variety of ways, including by mouth, under the tongue, inhaled through the nose or intravenously. Most patients take the medication orally.

Patients who have avoided the dentist out of fear find that sedation dentistry makes a big difference. Not only are they more relaxed, but the sedation actually works to erase the visit from their memory as well. This leaves them with no bad memories that would prevent them from going back again.

To be clear, there may be some side effects a patient will experience if they elect to use sedation dentistry. Some of those side effects include the following:

  •      Retrograde Amnesia – The sedatives used during treatment do have an amnesic effect, which results in many patients having little to no memory of the dental treatment. This is actually a welcomed side effect by many patients who would rather not have unpleasant memories of the treatment.
  •      Dry Mouth – Sedation medications can lead to a decrease in salivary flow. A patient may experience a dry mouth feeling until the medication wears off. The plus side is, a dry environment can actually help the dentist.
  •      Hiccups – A small percentage of patients who have elected to use sedation dentistry treatment have reported having the hiccups for several minutes after taking the medication.
  •      Ineffectiveness – For some reason, smokers or people who are taking other drugs find that the sedatives do not work as well as they should. They do not seem to provide the expected anti-anxiety effects.
  •      Other Side Effects – Some patients have reported light-headedness, headaches, dizziness, visual disturbances, nausea or a hangover/jet lag feeling. These side effects tend to only last for a few minutes and rarely require medical attention.

There other important risks to consider when using sedation dentistry. For instance, a patient with significant cardiac, pulmonary, hepatic, renal or CNS disease may have increased risk of developing complications when sedated. Obesity and sleep apnea can also affect the treatment. Elderly patients, pregnant patients and those who abuse drugs or alcohol may experience something outside of the norm when using sedatives at the dentist.

Related: Why You Should Commit to Seeing the Same Dentist

Just as important as the medications used is the dentist who is administering the treatment. If you are considering sedation dentistry, you will want to be sure you choose a dentist who is experienced and understands it well. Dr. Rouhani at Smile Concepts has years of practice working with patients who prefer sedation dentistry. To find out more, give Smile Concepts a call at 480-951-2800.


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Posted in Patient, Sedation Dentistry

Why You Should Commit to Seeing the Same Dentist

177347848As with any medical provider, it is important to find a dentist that you feel comfortable with and whose judgment you trust. You want to find someone who you can communicate well with and who has provided effective treatment for you in the past. Every dentist has their own approach and technique and it can sometimes be difficult to connect with one that works for you.

If you are able to find that connection with a dentist, there are many advantages to sticking with that dentist over the long run for both you and your family.

Records and X-Rays

To start with, your dentist will have records of every time he or she has seen you in the office and of every procedure he or she has ever performed on you, including consultations. These records will definitely make things convenient for you and the dentist as you move forward with treatments over the years. Your dentist will be able to quickly refer to these records for information that can help him or her in decisions they have to make. X-Rays will also be kept on file, which means less time in the dentist chair doing new x-rays over and over.

Familiarity With Your Mouth

Hopefully, your visits to the dentist do not become a regular occurrence besides regularly scheduled check-ups and cleanings. In some cases though, multiple visits will be necessary to address a specific issue. Being able to go back to the same dentist during these visits will make a difference because the dentist will be familiar with the issue as well as your mouth. He or she will be able to quickly pick up from where they left before and focus on fixing the problem rather than spending time figuring out a strategy.

A Team You Know

Another advantage of sticking with the same dentist is that it allows you to continue to work with a staff you are familiar with. There are several advantages to this. In fact, being able to see and work with the same people at a dentist’s office has been listed as one of the most important ways to reduce stress and anxiety for those going to the dentist. It will also save you time when it comes to insurance billing and paperwork. From front office staff to assistants and hygienists, knowing the team at your dentist’s office can be a key benefit to committing to the same dentist.

Related: Ways to Overcome Your Fear of the Dentist

As you begin looking for a dentist that you can develop a relationship of trust with, be sure to visit Smile Concepts and learn more about what we have to offer. We are committed to providing the best service while building a long-lasting level of trust that you can depend on for yourself and your family. To set up an initial consultation, please call 480-951-2800.


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Posted in General Dentistry, Oral Health, Patient

Mouthwash Cannot Take the Place of Flossing

mouthwash1While most people are sold on the idea of brushing their teeth at least twice every day, there are still some who struggle with flossing on a regular basis. It’s true that flossing does take a few extra minutes and it can be difficult to form good flossing habits in the beginning. However, studies show that flossing is essential in keeping our mouths clean and healthy.

Some people would like to convince themselves that brushing and then rinsing thoroughly with a mouthwash will replace flossing. Even though mouthwashes these days can be very effective and helpful, they simply cannot replace flossing.

How Flossing Works

There are several differences between flossing and rinsing with mouthwash. One of the major differences is that flossing involves the physical scraping of tooth surfaces. Much like a toothbrush whose bristles scrub the surfaces of our teeth to help remove plaque and debris, dental floss helps us reach parts of the teeth that toothbrushes cannot.

Along with using floss, most dentists will agree that proper technique is essential to ensure that flossing is effective. Not only should the floss coming contact with surface of the teeth but also the gums. Using floss is a good start, but if you don’t take the time to learn the most effective techniques, you are probably not doing as much good as you could.

The Limits of Mouthwash

A good mouthwash will contain fluoride as well other important ingredients that can actually help to soften up plaque and kill bacteria and microorganisms in the mouth. Unfortunately the effects of mouthwash are not as effective as flossing. The plaque needs to be removed as much as possible, not just softened.

Mouthwash can definitely help in fighting the bacteria that live on the surface of plaque, but have a very limited effect on the bacteria inside plaque. Flossing on the other hand, actually allows us to break apart the plaque and get at the bacteria that is causing the most damage.

Floss and Mouthwash Teamwork

We recommend that you use both floss and mouthwash in addition to regular brushing in order to see the best possible results. Brushing is and always will be the most important part of dental hygiene with flossing coming in at a close second. Of course, it never hurts to use mouthwash in addition to brushing and flossing to fight bacteria and plaque.

Mouthwash is always a hot topic here at Smile Concepts. I get asked about which mouthwash to use and how often to use it. My suggestion is to read the labels of the mouthwash closely before purchasing. You definitely want to make sure that your mouthwash contains fluoride to help combat decay and cavities. It is also a good idea to avoid alcohol-based mouthwashes for children.

Related: How Often Should You Replace Your Toothbrush

For more information or tips on maintaining a clean and healthy mouth, please give us a call at 480-951-2800.

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Posted in Brushing, Mouthwash, Oral Health

Top 3 Dental Emergencies and How to Handle Them

doctor-563429_1280Each year there are thousands of reported dental emergencies across the country. These emergencies mostly affect people between the ages of 18 and 44 years old and range in level of seriousness. When a dental emergency does happen, it can be helpful to know what to look for and how to best handle the issue to prevent further damage or injury.

Here we list the 3 dental emergencies that need to be addressed right away. Not only are these 3 problems considered serious, but they are also some of the most common emergencies involving teeth, gums or the mouth that dentists see.

  1. Broken or Fractured Tooth

Often the result of an injury or accident, a broken or fractured tooth can be very painful and scary. It is important to remain calm and do the following:

  •      Save as much of the tooth as possible
  •      Carefully rinse your mouth to clear your mouth of harmful bacteria or debris
  •      Treat any swelling you experience with a cold compress
  •      Get to a dentist, emergency room or urgent care as soon as possible
  1. Lost Tooth

If a permanent tooth is knocked out, it is extremely important that you move quickly and carefully to ensure the best possible outcome. There is a chance that you can save the tooth if things are handled correctly.

  •      Rinse the tooth gently
  •      Place it in a container of milk if possible (salt water is another alternative)
  •      Be sure to handle the tooth by the crown and not the roots
  •      Head to the dentist as soon as possible – within 30 minutes for best results

Related: What to Expect When Getting A Crown

  1. Intense Tooth Pain

It may seem that tooth pain on its own is not necessarily an emergency, but it is still important to pay attention to what your body is telling you. When tooth pain gets intense, it is best not to ignore it and hope it goes away. It is usually a sign of tooth decay or infection.

Be sure to seek attention from your dentist right away when experiencing intense tooth pain so that the root of the issue can be addressed. This will prevent the situation from getting worse.

If you ever have questions about a dental emergency, be sure to give Smile Concepts a call at 480-951-2800. In a real emergency when a tooth has been knocked out or a jaw has been fractured, it is best to go directly to an emergency room. Keep us in the loop though, so we can do our best to help.


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Posted in Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Emergency, General Dentistry, Oral Health

Canker Sore Remedies

signs of gingivitisWe are not sure what causes them exactly, but we do know that canker sores can be distracting and painful. They are the small, shallow ulcers that show up in our mouths often making it difficult to eat or even talk.

Canker sores are known to appear after eating acidic foods such as lemons, oranges, pineapples, apples, tomatoes and strawberries. It is also believed that stress or injury to the tissue can cause canker sores. While most people will experience canker sores only a few times a year at the most, others have them much more frequently.

Canker Sore Remedies

Although most canker sores will typically last a week at the most, they can be very uncomfortable and painful. Many people simply do not have the patience or  tolerance to deal with canker sores and begin to look for remedies immediately. Here are a few ideas on how to treat canker sores at home:

  1. The Numbing Approach

There are products on the market such as Orajel that work as a topical anesthetic to help block the pain from a canker sore. You can also make a homemade numbing solution using peppermint and eucalyptus oils that are both known to have anti-inflammatory properties.

  1. Antacids

The pain we feel from canker sores is actually acids and digestive enzymes eating into the tissue of the sore. Try neutralizing or slowing this process by using an antacid like Tums or Rolaids. You might also try rinsing your mouth with a small amount of milk of magnesia.

  1. Protect and Seal

Placing a protective seal over the sore can also help to slow down or alleviate the pain of a canker sore. Products such as Zilactin-B or Colgate Orabase form a cover or coating over the sore that helps relieve pain and promotes healing. You might also try the sap of aloe vera as a natural remedy.

  1. Keep the Sore Clean

By disinfecting the canker sore, you can help to reduce pain and prevent further infection. Try this concoction for cleaning your mouth: 2 ounces of hydrogen peroxide, 2 ounces of water, one teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of salt. Stir them together until they dissolve and then swish the mixture around in your mouth before spitting it out. Not only will the hydrogen peroxide disinfect your mouth, but also the baking soda will help to neutralize any acids that may be present.

Related: How Often Should You Replace Your Toothbrush? 

These are just a few remedies on how to help alleviate the pain and discomfort of a canker sore. If a canker sore persists for more than 2 weeks, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with Smile Concepts to have it looked at more closely. Call 480-951-2800 to set up a consultation.

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Posted in Canker Sore, General Dentistry, Mouth Pain, Oral Health

Why You Should Avoid Over-The-Counter Teeth Whitening

Beauty Portrait Of A Smiling Girl

Beauty Portrait Of A Smiling Girl

Because our individual smiles tell everyone we come in contact with so much about us, it’s no wonder that we want to keep them looking bright and cheerful as much as possible. Our smiles and our teeth are also an important part of our self-esteem. Many people want to take good care of their smiles, including whitening their teeth so they always look amazing.

There are many different options available to whiten teeth, including some methods that you can buy at your local drug store. However, there are some risks involved in using these. Here are a few reasons why you should avoid over-the-counter teeth whitening products.

Chemicals May Be Too Strong

While there has been some definite improvement with over-the-counter teeth whitening products over the years, they still fall short when compared to professional teeth whitening. One reason is that over-the-counter products sometimes contain higher concentrations of whitening solution than what is needed. If the chemicals that whiten the teeth are more than your teeth can handle, you may actually end up damaging your teeth.

On the other hand, there are some products that do not have a high enough concentration of solution, which leads to very little change if any. To ensure you get the right whitening solution at the right level, it is best to go through your dentist.

Inability to Clean Thoroughly

Even some of the most effective over-the-counter teeth whitening products fail to provide a complete and even cleaning. Many of these products are designed and constructed in a “one size fits all” fashion, which limits their ability to effectively clean each individual mouth. Small crooks or twists in a specific person’s mouth might get skipped over when using one of these products.

Smile Concepts, on the other hand, customizes their teeth whitening techniques to each individual, leading to a better and more thorough cleaning overall. Using our Zoom Whitening process or our Glo Whitening process, we can make your teeth up to eight shades whiter in as little as an hour.

Can Lead to Increased Sensitivity

One of the risks of using any type of teeth whitening is that it can cause damage to your teeth. This is especially true if you are already experiencing sensitivity. The chemicals used in over-the-counter products can make your sensitivity even worse if you have any kind of decay or recession in your mouth already. It’s better to have a thorough check up and evaluation before using teeth whitening products.

Related: Why Your Teeth Are Sensitive

We invite you to learn more about the teeth whitening services we offer at Smile Concepts. Our patients have seen great success with our in office Zoom process, in office Glo process and our take home trays. Not only will you end up with whiter teeth, but you will also know that the process was done correctly and in a way that was effective for you. Call today to learn more about how to get started with your teeth whitening program – 480-951-2800.

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What to Expect When Getting a Crown

button-41700_640Do you have a broken or weak tooth? It could be that you are in need of a dental crown.

A dental crown is often recommended by a dentist as a way to restore a tooth’s shape and size. A crown can also help improve the appearance of the tooth. There are usually three reasons why your dentist would recommend a dental crown:

  •      When your tooth has a very large feeling that exceeds the natural tooth structure
  •      If your tooth has already had a root canal for root canal therapy
  •      Cosmetic reasons

There are several types of dental crowns that can be used to help restore a tooth. Some of the more popular crowns are made from stainless steel, metal, porcelain fused to metal, ceramic, or resin. The type of crown that is used largely depends on the dentist’s recommendation and the patient’s preference.

First Visit

Typically, there are two visits required in order to prepare and place a dental crown. During the first visit, a dentist will most likely take x-rays to check the roots of the tooth and the surrounding bone. The dentist will be looking for any decay or other trouble that could lead to infection or injury. Next, the tooth that will receive the crown is prepared. This includes filing it down to ensure there is enough room for the new crown.Your dentist will  use paste  or putty to make an impression of the tooth to make sure that it fits well with the other teeth in your mouth. It is  important that the crown does not interfere with your bite. If your dentist is using a porcelain crown, he or she will also select the shade that matches the color of the your existing teeth.

Once this is done,  the impressions and all other relative information are sent to a dental lab where the crown will be designed and manufactured. This typically takes up to 2 to 3 weeks at which time the crown will be returned to the dentist office. During this time the patient will wear a temporary crown made by the dentist.

Second Visit

Your second visit will consist of the dentist removing the temporary crown, checking the fit and color of the permanent crown, and then securely installing the crown. The dentist will start by numbing the tooth and the surrounding area with local anesthetic and then proceed to cement the new crown in its permanent place. There will also be some testing to ensure that the new crown does not interfere with your bite.

Your dentist will most likely want to continue to check up with you over the next few months to ensure that the crown is staying in place and working properly.

Related: Tips For Reducing Tooth Sensitivity

I have worked with many patients over the years at Smile Concepts in providing crowns for broken or weak teeth. A crown can make such a huge difference in the everyday life of a patient who has suffered for too long with a broken tooth. There is no reason to have to deal with the annoyance or discomfort of a bad tooth. Schedule an appointment to visit with me about a crown for your tooth by calling 480 951 2800.


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Ways to Overcome Your Fear of the Dentist

452172511For many people, fear of the dentist is a very real thing. It can cause great anxiety and apprehension even if it is for a routine check up or cleaning. Some people dread their upcoming dentist appointment for weeks. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Here are some things that you can do to overcome the fear of going to the dentist:

1. Remind yourself that dental procedures and treatments have greatly improved in the last few years. These days, dentists are much more focused on their patients’ comfort.

2. Take the time to discuss your fears with your dentist. Not only will this alert your dentist of your anxiety, but it will also help him or her in addressing those fears. When a dentist is aware that a patient is anxious about being there, they can take extra steps to ensure that the patient feels comfortable.

3. Be sure to find a dentist that you feel comfortable with. Not all dentists are the same and you may find that a certain dentist helps you feel more at ease when you visit. It never hurts to develop a good relationship with your dentist. By building a friendship you can help yourself feel more comfortable going to the dentist.

4. Remember that you don’t have to do everything all at once. If it helps you feel more comfortable, talk to your dentist about doing several short visits instead of a few long visits. Your dentist may be able to spread the work out over several different appointments, which may help you to relax.

5. Have your dentist explain the procedure before hand. Often just knowing what is going to happen can make a difference in the level of anxiety. Some people prefer that the dentist talk them through step-by-step as the procedure is being performed.

6. Practice relaxation techniques before and during your dentist appointment. This may include deep breathing or even meditation. Listening to relaxing music or scheduling your appointments at a less stressful time of day can make a difference as well.

7. It may help to visit your dentist office and meet the staff before your first appointment. Even just a simple 5 to 10 minute meeting can help you feel more at ease. This will also give you a chance to decide if this is the right dentist for you.

Related: The Importance of Oral Screening

Having worked as a dentist for several years now, I know and understand that visiting the dentist can be a stressful time for some. I make it a point to get to know my patients and help them feel as relaxed as possible. I have no problem spending extra time talking with patients, discussing their treatment or procedures that I will be performing to set their minds at ease.
There is a difference at Smile Concepts. Call us today to schedule your appointment at 480-951-2800.

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Posted in General Dentistry, Oral Health, Patient

Invisalign Care Tips

teeth grindingIf you have chosen to use Invisalign retainers and braces to help with the realignment of your teeth, then you now have in your possession one set of several clear retainers that you will wear over the next coming months. To ensure that these retainers work properly, it is important to take good care of them. This is actually a fairly easy process and one of the advantages of using Invisalign.

The best way to remember to clean your Invisalign retainers is to brush them the same time you brush your teeth each day. Simply remove the retainers from your mouth and with toothpaste and a toothbrush, spend a few minutes brushing over the entire surface of the retainer.

Once you have completely brushed your retainer and rinsed it with water, be sure to inspect it for any calcium buildup that might be present. Just like your teeth, retainers can be susceptible to tartar or calcium buildup. You’ll notice a cloudy white film on the retainer that doesn’t come off when brushed.

If you do notice calcium buildup the best thing to do is soak your retainer in a denture or retainer cleaning solution. Check the Invisalign website for more information on specifically designed cleaning products.

Now that your Invisalign retainer is clean you can place it back in your mouth. It is  recommended that you wear your retainer as often as possible, even at night.

Some of the common mistakes people make when caring for their Invisalign retainers include the following:

– Soaking retainers in mouthwash – most mouthwashes contain a color pigment that can tint your retainers.

– Using hot water –  Invisalign retainers are made from plastic and using hot water can cause damage. This may lead to the retainers not fitting as well as they should.

– Getting rid of or not taking care of previous retainers – in some cases patients may have to where previous retainers. It’s important that as you finish with one set, you thoroughly clean them and store them in their case.

It is also important that you refrain from eating or chewing gum while wearing your Invisalign retainers. Drinking dark teas, coffee or soda can lead to the staining of retainers.

Related: Is Invisalign the Right Option for You?

I have seen many different patients successfully complete Invisalign treatment with wonderful results. Invisalign retainers are an excellent alternative to traditional metal braces and are increasingly popular with those who are looking to realign their teeth. Smile Concepts can help you get started with Invisalign treatment. Call us today to learn more about Invisalign and schedule a consultation. 480-951-2800

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Posted in Cosmetic Dentistry, General Dentistry, Invisalign
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Smile Concepts
Dr. Robert Rouhani
13402 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Suite A-110
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Phone 480-951-2800
Fax (480) 951-7893