As the calendar turns to August and the summer starts to wind down, parents (with fondness) and children (with dread) begin to think about notebooks, pencils, and new outfits… everything that goes along with Back to School season. But did you know that dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants spend a lot of time thinking about going back to school as well?
Forty-seven states require dentists to complete some amount of continuing education courses before they can renew their licenses. For hygienists, the total is higher still, with 48 states mandating continuing education. (Dental assistants get off a little easier; only 22 states have a minimum continuing education requirement.)
So what exactly are dentists and their teams studying… and why should it matter to you?
Read on to find out more!
In order to ensure that dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants are providing the best possible care to their patients, state licensing boards typically require these professionals to pass an exam to get their license. The certification lasts for one to five years, with two- and three-year terms being most common. Rather than require dental professionals to retake board examinations every couple years, most state licensing boards mandate dental professionals to take a certain amount of credit hours in continuing education to retain their license.
Many organizations provide continuing education courses, including the American Dental Association, dental graduate schools, and other professional dental associations and institutions. All of these organizations must be certified to provide professional-level training before the credits can count towards meeting licensing requirements.
Many states require dentists to include fundamental training in their continuing education—things like CPR and infection control. However, other topics are popular as well. Many institutes offer training in new dental techniques or technology; instruction in specialty dentistry like implants, orthodontics, or endodontics; or how to run their practice more effectively. Hygienists and dental assistants take continuing education classes that provide practical and technical instruction in their roles on a practice team. Courses can take place in person, online, or at special training events.
Why should this matter to you, as a patient?
It matters because when you go to a dentist, you can be sure that you’re getting top quality care from professionals that care enough to stay informed and trained in their field of expertise.
Dentists, like other medical professionals, are committed to the health and well-being of their patients, and continuing education requirements demonstrate that commitment. In fact, if you ask your dentist or hygienist, chances are that they’re not just meeting the requirements of their state dental board—they’re exceeding them!
If you’re curious about new technology in dentistry, new dental techniques, or what your dental care providers are studying, feel free to ask next time you’re in the office. We’ll be happy to tell you all about it.
Make an appointment with us today, and you can be sure you’ll be getting the highest quality dental care. Request an appointment today on our website or by calling the office at 661.952.7865!
This time of year the weather shifts to longer, warmer, and brighter days, allowing families that have been in hibernation to begin enjoying some of their favorite outdoor activities again. From hiking and biking to actively engaging in sports like baseball and soccer, the fun factor is high — and so is the opportunity for dental disasters.
There are many ways to protect your and your children’s teeth while enjoying the active side of life. Mouthguards and helmets are a must, but even with the best precautions in place, that unexpected spill from a bike or a missed footstep on the trail can quickly lead to a dental emergency. While you can’t predict when a dental emergency will happen, the following tips will help you navigate everything from a broken tooth to damaged orthodontics, so that you can get back to enjoying your springtime fun in no time at all.
Knocked-Out Tooth: Rinse the tooth carefully, making sure not to wash away any remaining tissue. Attempt to place the tooth back in its socket carefully. If this is not possible, place it in a container of milk or water with a pinch of table salt. Call Lancaster emergency dentist Dr. Douglas Weber immediately. Your tooth has the best chance of being saved if you are seen within an hour of having it knocked out.
Chipped, Cracked, or Broken Tooth: Gather and rinse all broken pieces of the tooth. Rinse your mouth with warm water, and apply gauze if there is bleeding. Use a cold compress to relieve pain and swelling in the injured area, and contact your emergency dentist Dr. Weber about being seen immediately.
Partially Dislodged Tooth: When a tooth gets pushed out of its proper position, it is important to manage the pain and get into your emergency dentist immediately. Apply a cold compress to the area, and take a pain reliever such as Tylenol or Advil as needed.
Lost or Broken Crown: Save your crown and set up an appointment with your Lancaster emergency dentist Dr. Douglas Weber right away. If possible, use over-the-counter dental cement to reattach the crown. If there is any pain, take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Advil or Tylenol. Clove oil can also be used to soothe sensitive areas.
Broken Braces: Orthodontic wax can be used to cover or temporarily reattach loose brackets and broken wires. If a broken wire is poking out and into your cheek or tongue, use the eraser end of a pencil to move it into a comfortable position, then cover it with wax, gauze, or cotton. See your orthodontist to have your braces repaired.
Preparing for Dental Emergencies
Now that you know how best to react to preserve your smile in the worst-case scenarios, here are a few items to have on hand:
- Dentist’s phone number and email address
- Small, portable container for dental emergency kit
- Saline solution
- Orthodontic wax
- Dental cement
- Ibuprofen and/or Tylenol
For more information on how to handle a specific dental emergency, or for immediate help, contact Lancaster emergency dentist Dr. Doug Weber at (661) 952-7865.
Of all the ways a person can convey confidence and happiness, a powerful, gleaming smile might be the most instantaneous. A bright, white row of perfectly aligned teeth is not only beautiful but also mesmerizing. It’s hard to turn away from a stunning smile — do you have one that you love to proudly display?
Few people are blessed with a perfectly aligned, bright smile, but our Lancaster, CA dental office has helped many happy patients achieve one. Through a process we call “smile design,” we can transform your mouth using the artistry of our dental healthcare professionals to create a gorgeous grin that you’ll never want to hide. So what does smile design entail?
- Performing consistent cleanings and root scaling to make sure teeth are healthy and cavity free
- Filling cavities and putting a stop to other signs of decay
- Restoring damaged or missing teeth with crowns or implants
- Creating veneers for teeth that have intense staining or are misshapen
- Treating misaligned teeth with an alignment-therapy method
- Whitening the teeth using in-office procedures that can immediately brighten teeth by an average of eight shades
Not everyone will pursue the same smile design process; having just one of these procedures done can vastly improve the quality of your oral health and your confidence.
If you’re wondering which procedures would be most helpful in achieving your perfect smile, set up a cosmetic dental evaluation with Dr. Weber today. After you tell Dr. Weber what you’re looking for, he will discuss our guidelines and cover the unique changes he can make to your teeth to turn the smile of your dreams into a reality. Please call our Lancaster, CA dental office at 661-952-7865 or complete our online form to request an appointment and find out what the latest advances in cosmetic dentistry can do for your smile!
If you are currently undergoing chemotherapy, we know that you are already in extreme discomfort. What patients may not realize is how these strong drugs can effect the area of concern as well as the rest of your body, including the mouth area. Chemotherapy drugs kill cancer cells, but also affect normal cells, including cells in the mouth. Healthy cells can generally repair the damage caused by the chemotherapy however, some side effects can still exist. The problems depend on the chemotherapy drugs and how your body reacts to them. You may have these problems only during treatment or for a short time after treatment ends.
It’s important to know that side effects in the mouth can be serious.
- The side effects can hurt and make it hard to eat, talk, and swallow.
- You are more likely to get an infection, which can be dangerous when you are receiving cancer treatment.
- If the side effects are bad, you may not be able to keep up with your cancer treatment. Your Physician may need to cut back on your cancer treatment or may even stop it.
What mouth problems does chemotherapy cause?
- Soreness and ulceration of the mouth
- Mouth infections
- Dry mouth
- Bleeding gums
- Burning, peeling, or swelling tongue
- Change in taste
Why Should I See Dr. Weber?
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Weber in Lancaster, CA before chemotherapy begins to inorder to help prevent potentially serious mouth problems. Dr. Weber can help you get your teeth and gums into the healthiest possible condition before your treatment begins.
During your chemotherapy treatment you may experience dry mouth therefore there will be less saliva to protect the teeth. Fluoride toothpaste or a fluoride mouthwash during your chemotherapy will help protect your teeth and can be prescribed by Dr. Weber.
Discuss with your oncologist any dental work that needs to be done during your chemotherapy treatment. There will be times during your chemotherapy when you will be at more risk of bleeding and infection, and the timing of any dental work needs to be planned very carefully. Speak with your oncologist about ideal timing for dental procedures. Dr. Weber would be happy to help you communicate with your physician as well. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Weber as soon as you can before chemotherapy treatments begin or at any time during your treatments if you are experiencing discomfort.
What Will the Lancaster, CA Dental Team at Douglas B. Weber, D.D.S. Do?
- Check and clean your teeth
- Take x-rays
- Take care of mouth problems
- Show you how to take care of your mouth to prevent side effects
You’re Never Too Old to Straighten Your Teeth
Healthy teeth can move at any age, so there’s no such thing as “too old” for braces. In fact, nowadays about one out of every five orthodontic patients is an adult.
A great looking smile is a surefire way to boost self-confidence and studies have shown that orthodontic treatment can even enhance an adult’s career opportunities and social life. There is also a potential health benefit, as misaligned teeth can be harder to clean, setting the stage for tooth decay and gum disease. Straightening teeth can also make chewing more comfortable. There are many reasons to consider orthodontic treatment at any age.
There are many options for straightening teeth and we welcome you to ask about it at your next visit. Dr. Weber works with an extensive network of orthodontic professionals in the Lancaster, CA are that he trusts and refers patients to. Please contact us for recommendations.