The PearlFection Blog

By PearlFection Dentistry
May 06, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental implants  

Learn more about how dental implants from our Urbana, MD, office can help heal your smile

Tooth loss is still a major problem for many Americans. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), close to half of adults over age 40 are missing at least one tooth, and over 40 million are missing all of their natural teeth. In addition to the self-esteem problems and social/professional embarrassment that come with tooth loss, the condition can also lead to serious oral and even general health problems if left untreated. 

Fortunately, the dentists here at Pearlfection Dentistry, in Urbana, MD, and Frederick, MD, offer dental implants to give you back your smile and improve your oral health. Read on to learn more about this miraculous restorative treatment.

From the office of our Urbana, MD, general, cosmetic, and restorative dentists, Dr. Jared Lawson, Dr. EJ Stringer, Dr. Tammira Badakhshan, Dr. Nikta Pashai, periodontist Dr. Ashley Seals, prosthodontist, Dr. Amos Chi, oral surgeon, Dr. Brian Chang, endodontist, Dr. Pratik Patel, Dr. Leo Perez DDS and MD (Board Certified Oral Surgeon and General Surgeon), Dr. Leslie Oakes DDS - Board Certified Pediatric Dentist and orthodontist, Dr. Stephen Tigani

Q: What are Dental Implants?

A: An implant, provided by your Urbana dentist, is a small, biocompatible titanium screw that anchors a dental crown or set of dentures in place. The implant is placed in the socket of the missing tooth so that it replaces the root, thus helping to prevent any bone loss following tooth loss.

Q: How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

A: Implants are designed to be a permanent replacement for a missing tooth. With proper care habits, including rigorous oral hygiene and follow-up care with your dentist, dental implants have a very high success rate.

Q: Can I Use Dental Implants if I Have Dentures?

A: Implants can be used to replace a single tooth, or to support a set of dentures on the upper or lower jaw. If you already use a pair of traditional dentures, you may be able to switch to implant-supported dentures, as well.

Dental Implants From our Urbana, MD, Office

For more information about dental implants and how they can help to fix your smile and protect your oral health, contact our office in Urbana, MD, by calling (301) 663-5550 to schedule an appointment with one of our oral surgeons today.

By PearlFection Dentistry
March 31, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Dental Hygiene   Dental Care  

It's important to establish good dental health habits for children at an early age. your child's smile needs protection because even baby teeth serve a very important purpose. They will depend on you and their dentist to help them maintain a healthy smile. If you want to learn more, contact your pediatric dentists at Pearlfection Dentistry in Urbana, and Frederick, MD.

Dental Hygiene at Every Stage

Even before your child's very first teeth have erupted, dentists recommend that a baby's gums be cleaned after each feeding. Because there are no teeth present, a soft damp cloth should be enough to stop bacteria from accumulating.

Bacteria is what we're battling against with good dental hygiene, even as adults. The bacteria that linger on our teeth in the form of plaque expel acids that damage the enamel on our teeth and our gums.

As your child ages and teeth begin coming in, you can switch from the washcloth to an infant toothbrush. Dentists suggest beginning to use fluoride toothpaste at this point; about the size of a grain of rice should be enough.

You can increase the amount of toothpaste used as your child grows, but they should be monitored to make sure they don't swallow it and that they do a good job on their own until they're ready to do it by themselves which is typically around the age of eight.

Pediatric Dentists in Urbana, and Frederick, MD

Your child's pediatric dentist plays a very large role in keeping your child's smile healthy as they grow. Temporary teeth help guide permanent teeth into place, which is why it's important to make sure they don't fall out too early. Keeping these teeth cavity-free will help a great deal with your child's nutrition and confidence. The ADA recommends that children have their first dentist appointment around their first birthday.

Keep your child's smile healthy at Perlfection Dentistry. We have two convenient locations in Urbana, and Frederick, MD. Schedule an appointment today with our general, cosmetic, and restorative dentists, Dr. Jared Lawson, Dr. EJ Stringer, Dr. Tammira Badakhshan, Dr. Nikta Pashai, periodontist Dr. Ashley Seals, prosthodontist, Dr. Amos Chi, oral surgeon, Dr. Brian Chang, endodontist, Dr. Pratik Patel, Dr. Leo Perez DDS and MD, Board Certified Oral Surgeon and General Surgeon, Dr. Leslie Oakes DDS, and Board Certified Pediatric Dentist and orthodontist, Dr. Stephen Tigani. You can reach us at (301) 663-5550.

By PearlFection Dentistry
March 19, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

If you have ever had a tooth filled you probably remember how much worse the anticipation was than the procedure itself. In truth, a root canal procedure, though it takes longer than a filling, is not much different from having a large cavity filled. But for a clearer picture please reach out to your Frederick, MD, endodontist of PearlFection Dentistry.

You will be seated and your dentist will likely convey to you what you can expect, and then begin preparations. Beginning with local anesthesia, and thanks to it you should not feel more than minor discomfort as the procedure takes place.

What Happens During the Procedure?

What your doctor is doing as you sit back is removing a portion of your tooth, seeking to expose the nerve center of it, which is called the pulp. It's when the infection reaches this part of the tooth that causes that very familiar pain.

To halt the decay and to relieve you of pain the infected parts of your tooth have to be removed, including the pulp all the way down through the canals in the root of your tooth.

Besides pain relief and the stop of harmful decay, a root canal also helps to save your tooth.

Root Canal in Frederick, MD

After the procedure, the tooth is sealed with a temporary material until your next appointment when a permanent filling or a crown is applied. You may require oral antibiotics for a time, but once you return to normal, thanks to the root canal the pain you once felt should be gone and your tooth as useful as it was.

If you want this to be you then don't wait any longer for relief. The longer you do the more you risk complications, and the pain you feel is not likely to quell on its own. So make an appointment today with your local professionals of PearlFection Dentistry in Frederick, MD, by dialing (301) 663-5550.

By PearlFection Dentistry
March 18, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: snoring   sleep apnea  

When snoring or sleep apnea impacts your life and health, we’re here to help.

Are you dealing with chronic snoring or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)? If so, you may be surprised to discover that our dental team may be able to help you manage your symptoms. From the office of our Urbana and Frederick, MD, general, cosmetic, and restorative dentists, Dr. Jared Lawson, Dr. EJ Stringer, Dr. Tammira Badakhshan, and Dr. Nikta Pashai, oral surgeons Dr. Brian Chang and Dr. Leo Perez, periodontist Dr. Ashley Seals, prosthodontist Dr. Amos Chi, orthodontist Dr. Stephen Tigani, pediatric dentist Dr. Leslie Oakes, an endodontist Dr. Patik Patel, here’s how the team at PearlFection Dentistry can help you manage these sleep problems and get a better night’s rest.

Are there ways to prevent sleep apnea and snoring?

You might be surprised to discover that there are ways to reduce your risk of developing sleep apnea. Some of these preventive measures include,

  • Maintaining a healthy weight (those who are overweight or obese are at a higher risk for developing OSA)
  • Avoiding alcohol, stimulants, and sedatives
  • Quitting smoking
  • Making sure that you get enough sleep every night
  • Sleeping on your side with your head slightly raised

If you are dealing with nasal congestion or obstruction it’s important to address this issue with a qualified ENT doctor, as this problem could increase your risk for snoring or sleep apnea symptoms. For minor nasal issues, you may want to try a neti pot to clean out the sinuses or wear nasal strips to bed.

How can a dentist help with my snoring and sleep apnea symptoms?

A dentist probably isn’t the first person you’d think of when it comes to treating these sleep issues; however, our Urbana and Frederick, MD, family dentists specialize in sleep dentistry. This means that we can provide custom oral appliances that can be used to combat both snoring and sleep apnea.

This simple dental device is worn over the upper and lower teeth (similar to a nightguard) when you sleep and helps to keep the airways open so that you don’t deal with obstructions and pauses in breathing. Oral appliance therapy is ideal for patients dealing with non-sleep apnea-related snoring, as well as mild to moderate forms of obstructive sleep apnea.

Here at PearlFection Dentistry, our Frederick and Urbana, MD, dentists have been able to help countless individuals dealing with chronic snoring and OSA manage their symptoms and improve their sleep hygiene and overall health. To find out how we can help you, simply call us at (301) 663-5550 to schedule a sleep dentistry evaluation.

Here are some Frequently asked questions PearlFection Dentistry gets about Orthodontic Treatment.

  1. I'm an adult over 50, am I too old for orthodontic treatment?

No one is too old for orthodontic treatment.  The benefits of a straight healthy smile last a lifetime, no matter what age you begin treatment.  As long as your gums are healthy, you too can have a beautiful smile!  And remember, orthodontics is not just for aesthetics.  Crowded teeth are hard to clean and can contribute to periodontal disease.  Many patients, over 50, choose to enter orthodontic treatment, some for cosmetic reasons and some for cosmetic and clinical reasons.  Adults make up a large part of our patients getting orthodontic treatment at Pearlfection.

  1. My general dentist says that he can do orthodontics, even braces, wouldn't it be better to use an trained orthodontist? Is there a difference in cost?

An orthodontist is a trained specialist that has a minimum of two years and usually three years of advanced training AFTER four years of dental school.  We are specialists in dentofacial orthopedics, meaning we not only move teeth but can alter jaw growth. A general dentist is simply not qualified or trained in this manner.  Many dentists take a one day or one weekend course to be able to move teeth with an aligner company that uses a computer algorithm to move the teeth.  A one day course is not a substitute for a qualified orthodontist that is overseeing your case, step by step.  Remember, an orthodontist was a dentist first then became an orthodontic specialist.  Orthodontics is all orthodontists do, even though they are fully trained in all aspects of general dentistry and graduated dental school with the same degree as all dentists.  Our strong advice is that anyone considering orthodontics, including Invisalign or clear aligners, seek out a licensed orthodontist to ensure the best possible care of your teeth straightening!  Oh and one more things, usually orthodontists don’t charge more for the same treatment as a general dentist for clear aligners, including Invisalign, but unlike a general dentist, an orthodontist will give you lots of options.

  1. What is faster traditionally braces or Invisalign?

Each individual case should be looked at uniquely.  Many times braces or an aligner system, like Invisalign or 3M, can achieve the same result in the same amount of time.  Consult you orthodontist to see what is right for you.

  1. Is Invisalign or clear aligners cheaper than traditional brace?

Cost of braces or aligner system depends on each individual case.  Costs for traditional braces and clear aligners are usually very similar.  Costs are often a function of how long a patient needs the braces or aligners on.  An orthodontist should be monitoring your progress with office visits on a periodic basis during your treatment and often times after your treatment is completed.  The longer you’re in treatment, typically the higher the cost for orthodontics.

  1. When do orthodontists recommend Invisalign or clear braces over traditional braces?

Orthodontists may recommend traditional braces over an aligner system depending on the person and the case.  Each treatment plan should be tailored to the individual. Many times, a patient may have a choice between the two systems.  It really depends on the patient's preference.  Sometimes braces must be used, for example, in a surgical case.  Often younger patients have a hard time keeping up with removable aligners, so their parents opt for traditional braces.  But invisible aligners, whether they be 3M or Invisalign, can do almost everything traditional braces can do. 

  1. Are there any concerns about a child having removable clear aligners instead of traditional braces?

Younger children usually do better with their treatment if they have traditional braces.  With braces, much of the responsibility is on the orthodontist to provide the treatment because they can’t be removed….at least not easily.  With aligners, almost all of the responsibility falls on the child.  i.e. keeping track of wearing the aligners 20 hours a day and not losing them, or forget to wear them, etc.  There is nothing wrong with a child having removable clear aligners, but they need to responsible.  It is sometimes hard for parents to monitor their kids and kids don’t always tell the truth about how much they are actually wearing the aligners.  This can lead to treatment lasting longer than planned and lead to frustration for the patient and the parents. 

  1. What do braces costs?

Braces vary in cost depending on the severity of the case and the length of treatment time.  There is also a cost difference between a phase one treatment (younger children) and comprehensive treatment (teenagers and adults) Clear aligner treatment cost varies depending on the length of treatment time and area the patient resides in. Some patients simply want very slight movements of their teeth to correct or adjust something minor and only require orthodontic treatment for a few months.  That can cost around $1000 or even less.  While orthodontic cases that might last several years, when extensive movement of the teeth is required.  Cases lasting long periods of time can cost more than $6000.

  1. How long will my orthodontic treatment take?

Orthodontic treatment time may vary in length depending on the severity of the case.  Many times treatment can take a year or less!  However, with extensive movement of teeth, we have seen cases lasting longer than 2 years.  And most, if not all, orthodontic work requires long term retainers to keep teeth from shifting back to their original position. 

  1. What's an orthodontist and how do you become one?

An orthodontist is a specialist in dentofacial orthopedics and orthodontics.  Meaning we have the ability to alter jaw growth and move teeth within the jaw structure

In order to become an orthodontist in the United States, one must complete four years of college, then four years of dental school, and THEN three years of a orthodontic residency.  This is the same amount of time your pediatrician or your general internist physician spent in school!  Many general dentists these days can prescribe aligners, like Invisalign, but very few have the extensive experience that a trained and licensed orthodontist has. 

  1. Why is it important to have your general dentist and orthodontist communicating? Why is PearlFection better in the communication area than other general dentists?

It is always important to have your general dentist and orthodontist keep an open line of communication in regard to your treatment plan.  Whether a case is simple or complex it is imperative the dentist and orthodontist understand the patient's needs, the overall treatment plan, and the expected outcomes.   This allows for a smooth and enjoyable treatment process. Orthodontists usually want a general dentist to agree that the patient’s dentition is healthy enough for orthodontic treatment and if it is not, get the teeth and gums healthy before orthodontic work is begun.  This usually involves getting any infection under control and address decay.    At Pearlfection, with multiple general dentists and an array of specialists, all needs can usually be met, keeping the treatment in house with a close knit community of general practitioners, hygienists and specialists.  At Pearlfection Dentistry, all your notes, both from general dentists, hygienists, and specialists are in one place, allowing for efficient communication between general dentists and your orthodontist.

  1. Does dental insurance usually cover orthodontics treatment? Does PearlFection help me file a claim?

Dental insurances vary greatly. Some cover orthodontic treatment for all ages and others only cover orthodontic care up to a certain age, say 18.  It’s important to understand your insurance to maximize your benefits.  Most dental insurance have a lifetime benefit up to a certain amount and usually cover about 50% of the treatment up to that amount.  But all insurance companies look at orthodontic treatment differently.  At PearlFection Dentistry we will assign a case manager to you who will help you navigate the world of dental insurance.  We will also determine your benefits before you begin treatment so there are no surprises.  We will submit your claim to your insurance company and we can even submit a predetermination claim before treatment begins so we have a commitment from the Insurance company about how much they will pay.

  1. Does medical insurance usually cover orthodontic treatment?

No, medical insurance does not cover orthodontic treatment unless in certain situations like trauma that results in orthodontic treatment being necessary, but that is extremely rare. Do not expect your medical insurance to cover any orthodontic care.

  1. Do braces hurt when they get put on? Do they hurt when they are tightened?

Sometimes braces and aligners are uncomfortable when they first go on.  Remember we are trying to move teeth through bone, albeit slowly, so that pressure can be uncomfortable sometimes.  If its very painful or extremely uncomfortable, talk to your orthodontist and they will likely slow things down a bit.  Orthodontic treatment should never be painful. 

  1. Does a consultation cost anything?

At PearlFection Dentistry, orthodontic consultations are free, sending predeterminations to determine if insurance will cover anything is free and applying for financing is free. We usually give a full half hour free consultation with out orthodontist to answer any questions and determine what the patient’s options are. 

  1. At PearlFection Dentistry, can I pay in installments? How much every month?

Sure, we at PearlFection are very willing to allow payment plans, sometimes extending out beyond when your treatment ends. We want to do our best to make orthodontic treatment affordable.  Sometime monthly payments are pretty low, under $100 per month, but it depends on the extent of treatment and the length of time in treatment.

  1. Can I get different color braces?

Yes, you can get almost any color you want for your brackets.  Pink, Green, Purple, Red…..whatever you want…within reason.  Just give us a little time to special order.  These days, most people want braces and aligners clear.  We can of course do that.

  1. My friend threw away her invisible aligner? What happens if I do that?

If you throw away your orthodontic aligner, try to find it, but if you can’t it’s not the end of the world.  We can get you a new one and usually there is no cost……within limits.  We usually recommend you go back to your last aligner until we get the new one.  It will delay your treatment a little but not by much.  The aligner suppliers are pretty good these days to get us a replacement quickly. 

  1. How often do I need to come to the office after we start?

After you start Orthodontics, we typically have patients come back about every month or every 6 weeks, sometimes less often.  We want to make sure things are tracking appropriately and make any mid-course corrections as necessary. 

  1. If I don't wear my retainer, will my teeth move back to where they started?

Yes, yes, yes!!! You need to wear your retainer.  Teeth have a natural tendency to move back, at least part way, to their original location.  You need to be diligent about wearing your retainer.  Over time, your teeth get used to being in the new location but a retainer is essential, especially right after you complete your treatment, to keep teeth where we want them.  Over time, a retainer can usually just be worn at night. 

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