Ezra H. Kantor, DDS

How often should dental x-rays be taken?

Most people know they should be going to the dentist regularly to get a check-up and cleaning– at least every six months. You may wonder, however, what else the dentist should be checking. After all, you probably have noticed that sometimes a visit also includes dental x-rays, but not always. So how often should dental x-rays be taken? Are dental x-rays even necessary at all?

It may surprise you to know that dental x-rays are vital to your oral health, just like the typical cleaning and visual check. Dental x-rays can reveal the initial stages of tooth decay before it shows up as a painful cavity. This allows your dentist to take preventative measures and avoid worse damage. Dental x-rays are also the only way to see certain kinds of tooth disease and damage. Gum disease, for example, can cause serious bone loss that will only be visible on x-rays until it is too late. For many children (and some adults), x-rays are the only way to discover an impacted tooth, which must be removed before it causes damage to your bite and smile.

Your dentist needs to get the full picture of your dental health, a lot of which is occurring beneath the gumline. X-rays are the only way dentists can see what’s going on under the surface. Every patient should get basic bitewing x-rays of molars every year and more extensive x-rays of the adjacent roots and bones every three to five years.

Could I Need Dental X-Rays More Often?

Of course, these recommendations are only accurate for people in good dental health. If you regularly experience tooth decay or cavities, you may need dental x-rays as often as every six months to monitor for problems. In particular, patients with periodontal disease (gum disease) require more regular x-rays to watch for bone loss and further erosion.

Children also may require more regular dental x-rays. Because all of their adult teeth have not yet erupted, it’s important to see how those teeth below the gumline are faring. Close monitoring of adult teeth still not visible in the mouth ensures that your children have a healthy smile as they grow up. In particular, children with braces and other orthodontics may need more regular x-rays to ensure that the braces are doing their job correctly.

Ultimately, your dentist should be able to advise you on how often you may need dental x-rays. It’s important to take their advice seriously and get the x-rays you need for a healthy mouth and smile. If you have not had any dental x-rays in a while, it may be in your best interests to come talk to one of our dentists about getting them done.

Is Oil Pulling Healthy For Your Teeth And Gums?

Hello, I’m Dr. Grey Kantor here at Kantor Dental Group, Aesthetic Dentistry and Implantology. Today, I want to talk about oil pulling. This is something you may have heard a lot about in the news. You pull coconut oil for about a half hour. You’re swishing an oil for a half hour, which is a long time. And my thoughts on it are that it probably does have some significant effects on your gums. There have been studies with natural oils that are helpful for your gums. Listerine actually, the active ingredient in Listerine is not alcohol. I know. The active ingredient is essential oils. There’s eucalyptol, eugenol, menthol. And so oil pulling is helpful for your teeth in that it’s healthy for your gums, but it’s a lot quicker to use Listerine. The alcohol in Listerine is used to help the oils go into solution. So that way you can swish it and the active ingredient is faster at getting to your teeth and gums. So instead of oil pulling, consider Listerine or an essential oil type product that is made for dentistry.

Another thing I’ve heard is that oil pulling is good for whitening teeth. This, I have not seen. I’ve seen no studies on it. It’s possible however, whitening your teeth with intrinsic stains, the best way to do that is with a hydro-peroxide solution, very strong one, that you can get at your dentist. Again, my name is Dr. Grey Kantor at Kantor Dental Group. We are in San Rafael, California. Thanks for listening and please subscribe.

Tags: , , ,

Why Dental Check Ups Are Essential

Every dentist you’ve ever visited has probably warned you of the importance of dental checkups. We send reminders via postcards, emails, and texts every time your biannual checkup comes around. In fact, many patients say we may get a bit overzealous in our attempts to get you into the dentist’s chair at least twice a year— and even more if you are at higher risk for gum disease or tooth decay. It’s not just to ensure that we have regular patients, however. Dental checkups are essential to good health.

You see, our oral health correlates directly to the rest of our health. When our teeth and gums are healthy, our entire body is likely to be more healthy. When our oral health declines, our overall health often follows. Your dentist is on the front line of defense against severe and often costly health conditions that can lower your quality of life. It’s no surprise that a study by Aetna revealed that regular dental check ups go hand-in-hand with lower healthcare costs in large part due to prevention and early detection of a number of serious health conditions.

3 Reasons Why You Have to Visit Your Dentist Regularly

The following are three simple reasons that dental check ups are essential to your health— and why you have to visit your dentist regularly.

  1. Dental check ups reveal early signs of serious diseases. Did you know that up to 120 systemic diseases and serious health conditions can be identified through symptoms visible in your mouth? Dentists have studied all these early signals of problems, and they can refer you to the right doctor to prevent more serious problems. In fact, studies consistently show that poor oral hygiene is linked to everything from bad breath to heart disease and stroke. Check ups with your dentist ensure you get treatment for these diseases before other, more dangerous symptoms emerge.
  2. Regular dental check ups keep your smile healthy and beautiful. The most obvious reason to see the dentist is to eliminate tooth decay and gum disease. Regular professional cleanings keep your smile in excellent condition and prevent cavities, gum erosion, enamel discoloration and staining, plaque and tartar, and tooth loss. Your smile always looks better when you regularly visit the dentist.
  3. Visiting the dentist before problems emerge avoids more costly issues later. Many people think they can save a bit of money by waiting to see the dentist until there is a problem. Unfortunately, this often has the opposite effect. An emerging cavity can be stopped in its tracks during a regular cleaning without requiring fillings. A serious cavity that bothers your mouth may require an expensive filling or even a procedure like a root canal. Prevention always costs less than treatment— and it’s better for your health, too!

Your dentist wants to see you regularly to ensure that your smile (and your overall health) stays in peak condition. Dental check ups are essential to a healthy, happy life. If you care about your well-being, make sure to see your dentist at least twice a year.

What To Expect After Dental Implant Surgery

Hello, my name is Dr. Grey Kantor. I’m here with Kantor Dental Group, Aesthetic Dentistry and Implantology.

Today, I want to talk about implants, and what to expect after implant surgery. After implant surgery, you should expect some soreness, but the most important thing is to just simply stay off of it. You don’t want to touch it in any way. So, bumping it with food, even just swishing water is not good, ’cause that can move the gums around in a way that you don’t want. So, for the next couple days, don’t even swish water.

What can be helpful is some warm salt water. You put the warm salt water in your mouth and you just tilt your head back and forth. The ways to take care of it are one, put ice on it. Swelling is really bad for implants. It causes an acidic environment and slows the healing process, so ice it. You see any swelling, ice it. Bruising, it can happen, also is helped with icing.

Right after the surgery, if there’s any continuous bleeding for more than two hours, definitely give your dentist a call. There is expected some soreness, as I said at the beginning, but not to worry, there are definitely some drugs. One that most people don’t think about, Advil and Tylenol together. Advil and Tylenol together is actually stronger than Vicodins. So a lot people like the idea of Vicodin, but it’s considered actually stronger, especially for tooth pain, than Vicodin. So Advil and Tylenol.

If you have any more questions about how to take care of an implant after surgery, come get an implant here at Kantor Dental Group in San Rafael, California. Please subscribe.

Tags: ,

How To Brush Your Teeth In Under Two Minutes

Hello. I’m Dr. Grey Kantor, here from Kantor Dental Group. I’m here with my two dental assistants. This is Kathy, she’s deaf, and Leanora. Today, we would like to to talk to you about how to brush in less than two minutes.

I know, two minutes?

I know. You can possibly brush in less than two minutes. How do you go about doing that? Well, you have to actually brush each tooth. You can’t just kinda throw the toothbrush in there and just let it go anywhere. You have to go from tooth to tooth, starting with the front of the tooth, then brush each and every single tooth, and then do the back of ’em, and then do the bottom teeth. Doing it very specifically like that, you won’t miss a tooth, and you can do it faster, maybe one minute, maybe one and a half, you can do it. I know that you were surprised when I said that it’s possible.

I was very surprised. You’re supposed to brush for two minutes.

You are supposed to brush for two minutes.

That’s what I’ve always been told.

Yes, exactly. But if you were in a rush or something, just pay a little bit more attention. Brush from tooth to tooth and then go to the flossing, you can do it a little bit faster.

If you have any other questions about tooth brushing or flossing, definitely contact us at Kantor Dental Group. We’re here to help in San Rafael, California, please subscribe.

Tags: , ,

Finding a San Rafael Dentist Who is Right For You

If you have ever googled “San Rafael dentists,” you probably found thousands of websites– and that number becomes millions if you allow Google to show you results from the entire North Bay area. It can feel overwhelming and almost impossible to figure out which dentist is the right one for you. Luckily, there are four things you can do to narrow down that seemingly endless list and find the right one for you.

  1. Look for top-rated dentists. When almost every past patient gives a dentist five stars, there’s a pretty good chance that they have excellent skills and a friendly, trustworthy relationship with patients. That’s why it helps to look at top-rated dentists on Yelp, Google Business, and other websites where people evaluate their dentists. You’ll be able to narrow your search down to qualified dentists whose patients love them– so hopefully you’ll feel the same.
  2. Trust the recommendations of past patients. Just like ratings, testimonials provide a good picture of how a dentist will treat you, too. Trust recommendations from people who know you well, in particular. They will have a better idea of what kind of person you will trust. Just keep in mind that the perfect dentist for your friend may not be the perfect dentist for you, and your ideal San Rafael dentist may be someone that no one in your immediate circle has met. Branch out to get the full picture.
  3. Look at the dentist’s qualifications. A likeable dentist can’t serve you well unless they have the expert skills needed to treat any oral health issue that you may face. That’s why you want to make sure your dentist has attended a dental school with an excellent reputation and completed a prestigious residency. This gives them the practical experience to provide honest and qualified advice on any challenge you may face.
  4. Meet San Rafael dentists in person to see if the relationship is a good fit. It doesn’t matter how qualified or generally well-liked your dentist is if you personally feel uncomfortable in their office. Finding the right San Rafael dentist ultimately is an incredibly personal decision. That’s why you absolutely must meet a dentist before making them a primary caretaker of your oral health. Go to a few consultations and see which dentist is the right fit for your needs, whatever they may be. You know best whether or not you trust a dentist.

 Ultimately, you are the best judge of who the right dentist for your needs will be. Finding the right dentist is easy when you find the best candidates and trust your instincts. If you’re still looking for a San Rafael dentist, we invite you to come visit us at Kantor Dental in our Terra Linda office. We always are happy to meet with new patients and answer any questions you may have about your dental needs and our practice. You can see for yourself if Kantor Dental is the right fit. We truly hope it is, and we look forward to meeting you in person!

Is Teeth Whitening Worth the Investment?

Everyone wants whiter teeth these days. After all, a healthy, bright smile helps you look better and gain a new level of confidence. Still, with all the teeth whitening products currently available from the local drug store, many people wonder if professional teeth whitening is worth the investment. After all, I can get a whitening toothpaste for under five bucks– and tooth whitening services cost much more at the dentist.

So is teeth whitening worth the investment? Ultimately, it depends on the results you want. While most people can find whitening toothpaste everywhere, the actual results these products deliver is minimal. You can use whitening toothpaste for years without getting significant results. The same goes for whitening mouthwash or anything else that sits on your teeth for such a short time.

What about whitening strips, though? If you buy whitening strips and use them consistently, you can actually get significant results. The ingredients used for whitestrips often compare to professional treatments with one big difference: the strength. Because they need to be safe for anyone to use at home, whitening strips often take months to get the kind of results you could get in just one session of professional whitening. This is made worse when the whitening strips or trays do not perfectly fit your teeth, which can mean certain areas do not receive the level of bleaching desired. Plus, there is always a risk of overuse or enamel-damaging chemicals when it comes to whitening strips used without doctor supervision. If you will feel satisfied with milder results and have the time to wait before those results are noticeable, professional whitening may not be worth it.

Will Professional Teeth Whitening Make a Difference?

Still, you probably can’t answer the question “Is teeth whitening worth the investment?” without discovering how much of a difference professional teeth whitening can have. If you are looking to achieve dramatically white, yet natural-looking teeth, nothing delivers even close to the kinds of results you can get from teeth whitening administered by a dentist. Since a dentist can create whitening trays to perfectly fit your unique jaw structure and tooth alignment, every tooth is given the maximum dose of whitening ingredients in each procedure. You also benefit from the stronger dosage of active ingredients when supervised by a dentist. When teeth whitening is done by your dentist, you get the sparkling smile you want much faster.

In the end, thousands of people in the U.S. every year decide that professional teeth whitening is, in fact, worth the investment. While cheaper options do exist, there is no other way to get the quick, effective results that a dentist delivers. Plus, you know that your dentist is never going to give you whitening substances that damage your teeth in the long run. At Kantor Dental, we even offer whitening services at affordable prices to maximize the value of your investment. If you are considering whitening your teeth, we truly believe that it is worth investing in teeth whitening services supervised by a dentist to get the best results in the shortest time with the least risk.

Leading Causes of Tooth Pain

There’s nothing worse than a toothache. Tooth pain doesn’t just distract you from the activities of your busy life; it actively makes getting anything done a major challenge. In fact, tooth pain is considered one of the worst pains you can experience right alongside childbirth and femoral fracture! That’s why dentists dedicate themselves to relieving the leading causes of tooth pain and preventing them altogether.

There are three main causes of tooth pain. We call these the three D’s of toothaches. They are deep decay, damage, and disease. Each of these can cause serious discomfort due to different reasons.

  • Deep Decay: Tooth decay remains the most common reason for a toothache. Deep decay that reaches down to the root canal causes immense pain that should be treated right away. When you have a cavity, a tiny hole penetrates the enamel and dentin, causing sensitivities and pain as the decay eventually reaches the nerve. In these cases, tooth decay causes abscesses that infect the nerve and pulp inside the tooth, causing severe tooth pain.
  • Damage: A chip or fracture can cause severe tooth pain, especially the more serious the damage. Similarly, a damaged or broken filling, crown, or dental implant can cause tooth pain.
  • Disease: Gum infections, such as gingivitis, commonly contribute to tooth pain. Of course, other oral diseases can also cause toothaches. In fact, serious conditions like oral cancer can contribute to tooth pain.

 

Other Reasons You May Be Experiencing Tooth Pain

Of course, not all tooth pain results from decay, damage, and disease. Other factors that have nothing to do with the three D’s could be causing your toothache. Other medical conditions and diseases outside the mouth can cause tooth pain, including sinus infections, viruses, cluster headaches, and diabetes. In fact, heart attacks can even present as severe tooth pain in the lower jaw. Other issues can also contribute to tooth pain, such as methamphetamine abuse and vitamin deficiency.

Still, tooth pain almost always has an oral or dental cause, which is why you should see a dentist right away for severe tooth pain. Mild tooth pain or sensitivity that lasts over multiple days also merits a trip to the dentist. The leading causes of tooth pain generally are not so serious if attended to quickly, but ignoring the problem makes the situation much worse. If you are experiencing tooth pain, come see us at Kantor Dental right away to see how we can help your mouth feel better.

What Causes Tooth Pain?

Hi. I’m Dr. Grey Kantor with Kantor Dental Group here in San Rafael, California, aesthetic dentistry and implantology.

Today, I want to talk about tooth pain. Tooth pain can be really, really terrible. They actually consider it one of the worst pains. That and child labor, and a femoral break, breaking your femur. These are the top three pains that a human can feel. So, it’s no joke. And if you’re feeling tooth pain, obviously, at least, I think it’s obvious, you should see a dentist right away.

What causes tooth pain? There’s kind of three things that can cause tooth pain, all of which have to do with the nerve inside the tooth. The first can be a really deep cavity, deep decay can reach the nerve, causing it to become inflamed and very, very sensitive. On that same note, if you let that go and it becomes infected, then a tooth abscess can cause that same severe pain.

And then finally, breaking a tooth, breaking it to where the nerve is involved, you break it far enough down or up the tooth, that the nerve’s exposed, that can also be very painful.

If you are feeling tooth pain, again, come see a dentist. We’re always available even to answer some questions, we have an emergency line. We’re here at Kantor Dental Group in San Rafael, California. If you’re watching this on YouTube, please subscribe. Thank you.

Tags:

What Is ARESTIN?

If you suffer from periodontitis (a serious type of gum disease), you need to treat the disease right away. After all, periodontitis doesn’t just destroy the soft tissue in your gums. It actually destroys the bones the support the teeth, which can lead to tooth loss, as well as more serious conditions like heart disease and stroke. The most common first treatment step for periodontitis today is a scaling and root planing procedure followed by an ARESTIN treatment.

This may sound scary for the average dental patient, but both scaling and root planing (SRP) and ARESTIN are simple treatments that can go a long way in helping you heal. An SRP procedure essentially consists of a much more thorough cleaning than you would usually get on a routine visit to the dentist. In addition to scaling, where the dentist removes plaque from the teeth, the dentist performs a root planing, where they will smooth the roots of your teeth, removing embedded bacteria and making a surface where microorganisms will be unlikely to settle in the future. Your mouth will be numbed, so you won’t feel a thing.

The second step is ARESTIN. ARESTIN is an antibiotic powder that kills the bacteria that causes periodontitis. Your dentist will apply ARESTIN directly to infected pockets of gum tissue discovered during the procedure. ARESTIN ensures that harmful bacteria die and that the infection doesn’t recur as you heal.

How Does ARESTIN Work?

ARESTIN works much like any other antibiotic. It kills harmful microorganisms and embedded diseases. Specifically, ARESTIN powder contains tiny bead-like microspheres of minocycline, a powerful tetracycline antibiotic. The microspheres deliver the treatment slowly over time, which means that a single ARESTIN treatment can protect you for up to 21 days after your SRP. By the time ARESTIN wears off, you should be fully recovered and able to avoid a recurrence of periodontitis with proper oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing.

If you have periodontitis, talk to your dentist about whether or not ARESTIN may be able to help you recover. While SRP provides a great way to prevent periodontitis from recurring, ARESTIN makes your full recovery much more likely, providing you better health outcomes and peace of mind.

Don’t have a dentist experienced in treating periodontitis? Periodontitis is difficult to treat and requires special care. You may be in better hands with an expert. Come talk to us at Kantor Dental today to see if we may be able to use ARESTIN, SRP, and other creative treatments to cure your periodontitis completely. As experienced prosthodontists, our team not only has extensive experience treating periodontitis, but also specialized training in painless anesthesia, so your treatment goes smoothly.