Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Interview of FAQ's with Dr. Mazz


I have been practicing dentistry for 15 years, and in that time I have had questions that come up frequently. Today my office manager and I decided to have a "Q & A" to help answer the most commonly asked questions from our patients.  

1.   Why should I go to the dentist regularly?  Can't I just come when I have a problem?

We have several patients that only come to the dentist when there is a problem ( Emergency Treatment) instead of coming regularly ( Preventative Treatment).  Emergency patients may feel like they are saving money, however, emergency treatment costs much more in time and money.  The fact of the matter is that most dental problems start well before the pain, and what could be treated easily in the beginning can become more intensive if left untreated. 

For example, tooth decay in the beginning is NOT painful.  However, when the decay reaches deeper in the  tooth it causes pain.  What could have been treated with a simple filling could now consist of a root canal, build up and a crown.  One extra visit has turned into 3-4 visits, and the cost has gone from a little over $100 to a little over $2000.

Trust me, call today for a check and cleaning.  It will save you time and money!

2.  Is it really that important for me to floss?

YES!  When small particles of food are left between your teeth, bacteria begins to feed on it.  (GROSS!)  The bacteria lives in plaque that builds up on your teeth, which can be removed by flossing.  Brushing alone is not enough because the brush can not reach all the areas where plaque builds up in the tiny spaced between your teeth.  This plaque, if left on the teeth, hardens and becomes tarter, which can only be removed at your cleaning appointments.  MORE FLOSSING = LESS SCRAPING!  So FLOSS!

3.  Why do I need x-rays?

Many patients do not want x-rays for a variety of reasons.  However, x-rays are important because many problems can not be seen with the naked eye.  Some of the following are things I may not see without an x-ray:  
  • decay between the teeth
  • infections in the bone
  • periodontal disease
  • abscesses or cysts
  •  some tumors
  • other abnormalities
As extreme as it may seem, sometimes an x-ray can catch something that, if left untreated, can become harmful to your overall health or even save your life!

4.  Why do I need fluoride?  What is it, and what does it do?

Fluoride is a mineral found in food and water.  It helps prevent tooth decay by making the enamel (outter portion of the tooth) stronger.  This protects acid from attacking the plaque bacteria in the mouth.  We recommend fluoride treatments for children and ADULTS who are at high risk for decay at least twice a year.

5.  What can I do about sensitive teeth?

Sensitivity toothpastes are very effective.  After a few weeks of GENTLE brushing with these toothpastes, you can see a decrease in sensitivity.  There are also ways to treat severe sensitivity in the office.  Ask me or your hygienist if you are experiencing sensitivity for the best recommended treatment.

6.  What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease that affects the soft and hard structures that support the teeth, bone and gums.  In its serious form, the guns  pull away from the tooth and supporting gum tissues are destroyed.  Bones can be lost and teeth may loosen or eventually fall out.

You may be susceptible due to:
  • someone in your family has it (genetically) 
  • smoking
  • lack of adequate home care
  • age
  • diet
  • health history
  • medications

Signs or symptoms may be:
  • bad breath
  • red or swollen gums
  • loose teeth
  • sensitive teeth 
  • pus coming from around teeth
  • pain when chewing
  • tender and bleeding gums
Please, ask at your next appointment or call us if you think you may have periodontal disease.  This disease can affect your overall health.  It can lead to many medical issues including heart disease.  I can not stress the importance of treatment enough!

7.  Can I come to the dentist when I am pregnant? 

Not only CAN you come... you absolutely NEED to come!  About 1/2 of pregnant woman experience pregnancy gingivitis.  If left untreated this can lead to periodontal disease, which can affect the health of your baby.  Periodontal disease has been linked to preterm labor.  It is more important than ever to maintain your routine visits to the dentist!

8.  Do I need an occlusal guard?

There are many reasons why I may recommend an occlusal guard.  Clenching and grinding of teeth can cause a significant amount of damage to teeth, jam muscles and/ or the jaw joint.  Occlusal guards help to protect the teeth and jaw structures and minimize the damages caused by the extreme forces of clenching and grinding.  I can not stop you from clinching and grinding, but I can protect your mouth from some of the negative effects.  

If you have pain in your jaw or find yourself clinching and/ or grinding, call me to set up an appointment to discuss this as an option.

8.  Why would my insurance say a treatment is not necessary if my dentist says it is?

Dental insurance is a contract between you (or your employer) and an insurance company.  Based on your contract, there are certain procedures that your dental plan will supplement and certain procedures they will not supplement.  None of this is based on your actual dental needs. I know what is best for my patient's dental needs.  A good dentist will educate their patient based on those needs, NOT just what their dental insurance is supplement (cover).  I pride myself on giving honest diagnosis and educating my patients with integrity.  Integrity trumps insurance every time!

I hope this helped answer some of your questions.  If you have any questions that may not have been on this list, please call us and we will answer your questions directly.  770-973-6520 or email us at cobbdental@bellsouth.net

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Oropharyngeal Cancer?????

Oral Cancer Screening and Awareness

Have you ever heard of oropharyngeal?  I had not, the word that followed it was, unfortunately, very familiar.  CANCER!  Oropharyngeal cancer is cancer of the mouth and throat.  This type of cancer used to limited mostly to those who had environmental or behavioral causes such as mining work or smoking.  Now, this type of cancer is affecting more people than ever, and I would have never guessed why.

Between 1988 and 2008, there has been a 200% increase.  The major cause of this increase is...WAIT FOR IT...the HPV virus.  I had no idea! The HPV type 16/18 is the culprit.  First, let us talk a little about HPV.  The Human Papillomavirus is a virus that is thought to only be transmitted through sexual contact, but it is actually a skin to skin transmitted disease.  Therefore, a slight injury to your mouth can become an access point for the virus.  This particular type, HPV 16/18, is branded for its correlation for oral cancer.   This is known as HPV+OPC (Human Papillomavirus positive Oropharyngeal Cancer).

An estimated 80% of the male population has been exposed to HPV.  The Center for Disease Control state that 70 million people have HPV and 14 new infections happen each year.  90%  of HPV strains will clear on their own in about 2 years with little to no side effects.  This leaves 10% of strains that can lay dormant until they progress to cancer, which includes HPV 16/18.

Oropharyngeal cancer affects your mouth and throat including your tonsils, tongue, and soft palate (the soft part behind the roof of your mouth).  IF caught early there is an 80%-90% survival rate, and treatment is less invasive.  Unfortunately, because of the lack of awareness, most oral cancer is not found until the later stages.  At this point traditional cancer treatments are necessary, which may include surgery and radiation.  The scariest part to me is that 45% will DIE within five years of this late diagnosis.  

During those five years, if YOU were diagnosed in stage III or IV, you may have to undergo several types of treatment that can be life altering.  Surgery and radiation are the most common treatments.  Radiotherapy can cause the following side effects:
 Sore mouth/throat
Dry mouth (xerostomia)
Pain when swallowing
Change in taste and smell
Susceptibility to decay and destruction of teeth and gums
Necessary tooth removal

So what do we do????  Ask Dr. Mazzuchelli for an oral cancer screening! These early detection screenings should be done annually.  They are quick and painless and can be done during your regular scheduled dental checkups.  One American dies every hour from oral cancer.  PLEASE call us to make your appointment that could possibly save your life!    770-973-6520

Brady, L. A. (2014, April 1). Cancer is a scary word. Dentaltown, 15, 48,50,52.

. (2013, November 22). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved May 13, 2014, from http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdFact-HPVandoralcancer.htm

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Introduction to Cobb Dental Expressions

Our practice poignantly invests in the overall wellness of our patients by providing quality individual services in a warm atmosphere offering comfort during preventative, restorative and aesthetic services.
We have been serving the north metro area for 40 years. Our patients of all ages are considered extended family to whom we provide quality care with a servants heart.  Our office is often filled with laughter due to the family oriented relationships we as a staff strive to build. 
Dr. Mazzuchelli specializes in general dentistry including but not limited to implants and cosmetic dentistry. 
Dr. Johnson also specializes in general dentistry, which includes implants and cosmetic dentistry.

Call to set up your next great oral health experience!  770-973-6520

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Proudly serving: MariettaAtlantaRoswellKennesawSmyrna

Dr. Mazzuchelli graduated from Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry in 1999. Prior to studying at the Medical College of Georgia, Dr. Mazzuchelli attended the Georgia Institute of Technology. After graduation from dental school, Dr. Mazzuchelli returned to Marietta to utilize his knowledge and talents to treat the community that he has called home since 1983. Since he began practicing dentistry, Dr. Mazzuchelli has kept up to date with the many advances in dental education by accumulating over five hundred hours of continuing education, ensuring that his Cobb County and Roswell, GA dental patients receive the most comprehensive and advanced dental care.