A Basic History of Dentistry

Published on October 31, 2017 by

The earliest known evidence of dental work goes back as far as 12,000 BC. Archeologists have found an ancient infected tooth which contains remnants of a dental cleaning with flint tools.

The first written text we know that mentions dentistry, however, is dated thousands of years later in 5000 BC. This Sumerian manuscript cites “tooth worms” as the origin of dental decay. This theory wasn’t actually proved wrong until the 1700s.

In France in the middle ages, a group of dentists gathered. They didn’t name themselves dentists though; they were called barbers, and they treated more than teeth – they also treated various medical conditions and even cut hair. Eventually, the guild evolved into two groups: barber-surgeons with education and training did the operations, while lay surgeons helped with dental cleanings and checkups.

In the 1700s, Pierre Fauchard, the Father of Modern Dentistry, wrote a book called “The Surgeon Dentist: A Treatise on Teeth”. It outlined the first comprehensive dental system. With this knowledge, dentistry began to multiply throughout the world, including the United States.

In 1840, the first dental college formed in Baltimore, Maryland. A few decades later, Colgate began producing toothpaste and toothbrushes. However, caring for teeth regularly didn’t really catch on in America until after World War II when U.S. soldiers brought their habits that they had learned abroad back to their hometowns.

Since then, new inventions and techniques have developed to make dentistry better than ever. Do your teeth need some attention? Just call Las Cruces Dental Associates in Las Cruces, New Mexico, at 575.523.1479 to set up an appointment with Dr. Samaniego.

What You Need to Know About Mouthwash

Published on October 22, 2017 by

Mouthwash is a great tool in any oral-health enthusiast’s box of tools. It can help you keep your mouth pristine and your breath pleasant, and it’s really not that difficult to use.

Mouthwash’s primary advantage is its removal of plaque and food remnants from your mouth. The liquid materials composing mouthwash contain antibacterial materials that rinse your mouth, and the swishing action you make while using mouthwash pushes out unwanted leftover debris from the spaces between your teeth, where bacteria like to form cavities.

To use mouthwash, simply pour the instructed quantity (as seen on the container) into a cup and swish it in your oral cavity for about 30 seconds. Once you’ve swished it around for 30 seconds or more, spit it out into the bathroom sink and don’t eat anything for about half-an-hour. And while the main purpose of mouthwash is to reinforce and protect your pearly whites and gums, your friends and family won’t mind the fresh breath you’ll have as a result of use!

We’d love to teach you more about what mouthwash can do for you, including all about how it helps to avert gum disease. To talk to our Las Cruces, New Mexico, Las Cruces Dental Associates staff now, get in contact with us at 575.523.1479. Dr. Samaniego and the staff here will be thrilled to answer whatever questions we can for you.

Sports Dentistry: Protecting and Helping Your Smile While Participating in Sports

Published on September 30, 2017 by

When you think of dentistry, you can probably name off the most common branches involved, like general and family dentistry, restorative dentistry, preventive dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and pediatric dentistry. But did you know there is such thing as sports dentistry? Well, it’s true! This branch focuses on the prevention and treatment of dental injuries and oral diseases associated with sports and exercise.

When you think of sports injuries, you don’t usually think of oral injuries. Well, unfortunately, most oral injuries occur on the court, field, or track. In fact, oral injuries, like knocked-out teeth, dislocated jaws, cracked teeth, and torn oral tissues, oftentimes occur when hard, forceful objects hit the mouth. To prevent injury, sports dentistry recommends the use of a mouthguard. When injuries do occur, it provides the treatment necessary to restore the full function and health of your mouth.

When it comes to mouthguards, there are many options available. Those include stock mouthguards, boil-and-bite mouthguards, and custom-made mouthguards. You can typically find stock and boil-and-bite guards at the local sporting goods stores. If you’re interested in a custom-made mouthguard, please talk to your dentist, Dr. Samaniego. These guards take away the shock and pressure involved when those hard objects hit the mouth, protecting your smile from injury.

To learn more about sports dentistry, please contact Las Cruces Dental Associates at 575.523.1479 today and talk to a member of our dental team. We are here to help you in any way we can, and we look forward to assisting you.

Without Treatment Gingivitis Can Progress into a Serious Gum Infection

Published on September 23, 2017 by

If your daily oral hygiene routine fails to effectively clean away plaque and residual food deposits from your teeth and gumline, it can gradually harden into tartar. The presence of this bacterial substance can cause inflammation and other complications with your periodontal tissues.

This initially starts as the condition which is known as gingivitis. Early on it can cause your gums to look inflamed while causing them to bleed easily when brushing and flossing. If you notice some pink discharge during your daily oral hygiene routine, or you’re struggling chronic bad breath, you should schedule a dental checkup with Dr. Samaniego.

With timely care, it might be possible for Dr. Samaniego to treat gingivitis with a professional dental cleaning to remove all traces of hardened tartar from your teeth and gumline.

The heightened focus on your daily oral hygiene routine will help keep gingivitis from redeveloping. This includes brushing your teeth twice and flossing once each day. This will help clear away plaque and residual food material from between your teeth and along the gum line.

Attending your regular dental checkups with Dr. Samaniego twice each year will help keep your teeth free from tartar buildup. At the same time he will also monitor your gums to make sure gingivitis has not redeveloped.

If you live in the Las Cruces, New Mexico, area and you have gingivitis concerns, you should call 575.523.1479 to schedule a dental checkup at Las Cruces Dental Associates.

Smart Smile Basics: Dental Crowns

Published on August 14, 2017 by

If you wish to improve the appearance of your smile and at the same time provide an extra layer of protection for your teeth, dental crowns are an extremely beneficial option. Dental crowns are prosthetic enhancements designed to cap or conceal damage to broken teeth. Beyond covering a tooth for added protection, crowns can also improve the appearance of a tooth.

Dental crowns are highly effective treatment options for extremely weak teeth and broken teeth that have fallen apart. Dental crowns can bind any bits of teeth together to once again allow the tooth to maintain and return to its natural functionality. In situations where a dental filling is required, dental crowns can even be used to hold the tooth and the filling together if there is not enough tooth remaining.

Dental crowns are highly effective for covering previous treatments such as dental bridges, dental implants, root canals, and dental fillings. Furthermore, if the damage to your teeth is too severe for other treatments such as veneers or implants, dental crowns can often be used to save teeth that otherwise may need to be extracted. Dental crowns are extremely durable and are known to last upwards of two decades and even longer.

Dental damage can be treated with the help of dental crowns and our licensed professionals at Las Cruces Dental Associates. To book an appointment with Dr. Samaniego at our dentist office in Las Cruces, New Mexico, please contact us at 575.523.1479. We can help you choose the right service for a brighter smile!

A Dental Bridge Is a Common Remedy for a Missing Tooth

Published on August 4, 2017 by

Losing a tooth can lead to additional complications. While you will certainly experience a decreased ability to chew, a lost tooth could also alter your smile’s appearance, and the clarity of your speech. The loss of the tooth can also lead to long-term complications.

The empty space in your mouth can cause the nearby teeth to gradually drift out of their correct position. This could lead to excess wear and tear on the related teeth in your bite pattern. In time, the compromised tooth enamel may foster tooth decay and dental fractures.

To prevent these complications, and restore the full use of your tooth Dr. Samaniego might recommend installing a dental bridge. This is a standard piece of dental work that consists of a pair of crowns fused to an artificial tooth. It will eventually be anchored in your mouth on abutments formed from the core of the two closest teeth.

Dr. Samaniego will create the abutments by using a dental drill to remove the tooth enamel from each of those two. A detailed impression is then made of the abutments and any nearby teeth. The impression will be sent to a dental lab where your new bridge will be created.

When it’s ready, you will need to come back for a follow up appointment. Once Dr. Samaniego cements the bridge into place your fully restored tooth will last for many years to come.

If you live in the Las Cruces, New Mexico, area and you’re missing a tooth, you should call 575.523.1479 to explore the dental restoration options offered at Las Cruces Dental Associates.

A Lip Injury Might Need First-Aid While Assessing the Need for Professional Treatment

Published on July 31, 2017 by

Sports injuries can potentially include an accidental blow to the face. When this happens the chances of suffering an injured lip are high. Should this befall you or a teammate, you might need to apply some basic first-aid while assessing the need for professional treatment.

In a situation like this Dr. Samaniego offers a few key insights to help manage the pain and determine the need for more advanced treatment.

The first thing to do is assess the severity of the wound. If you have blood on your lip you can use a wet washcloth to gently wipe it away. Any blood or unwanted debris in your mouth can then be gently rinsed away with lukewarm salt water.

If your lip is bleeding excessively it might require stitches or further treatment at the Emergency Room or a nearby urgent care facility.

You might be able to minimize any swelling by holding a cold compress on the area for up to 20 minutes at a time. If you don’t have one immediately at hand, you can improvise a cold compress by placing crushed ice in a zip-top bag wrapped in a washcloth or tea towel.

If the bleeding persists you can try to control the bleeding by pressing some sterile gauze to the wound. If the bleeding hasn’t stopped after 20 minutes the wound likely requires professional treatment in the Emergency Room.

If you or someone you know has suffered a significant lip injury in the Las Cruces, New Mexico, area and you need help assessing the severity of the wound, you can call 575.523.1479 to speak to a staff member at Las Cruces Dental Associates.

Cosmetic Dentistry Perks and Benefits

Published on June 30, 2017 by

Cosmetic dentistry refers to the aspect of dentistry and related treatments that seek to improve the look of your smile. This consists of a variety of methods, including whiteners, artificial enhancements, gels, replacements, and restorations. Which treatment do you require?

Restorations to improve your smile can be done to your existing teeth. Teeth whitening treatments can improve the look of your smile by removing stains and discolorations. Dental veneers are used to cover the fronts of teeth and improve their look with thin shells. For durable shells that cover all sides of a tooth, dental crowns can be used. If you wish to cover just a small section of a tooth, dental bonding treatments can be used.

In some cases, fixing your smile includes replacing missing teeth. Dentures are temporary replacements that can greatly improve the look of your smile. Dental implants are durable and will blend in with the natural look of your teeth. Dental bridges are also an acceptable restoration to improve the look of your mouth and facial structure and are often a suitable replacement when a patient’s jaw is not strong enough for implants.

For any additional questions or concerns regarding a cosmetic dentistry treatment, Las Cruces Dental Associates is here to help you with all your oral health needs. For a complete diagnosis from Dr. Samaniego and our team at our dentist office in Las Cruces, New Mexico, you can schedule an appointment by calling us at 575.523.1479. We look forward to having you as our guest soon.

How Can Flossing Help My Teeth?

Published on June 29, 2017 by

Flossing is one of the tasks that are strongly recommended to maintain a healthy smile, but do you know why? If not, Dr. Samaniego and our dental team are more than happy to help you! Flossing can benefit you and your smile in a myriad of ways, and we are happy to give you details about each benefit.

First, flossing can remove plaque from the small spaces of your smile. This is important because plaque is a dangerous substance that can create cavities and gum disease. So, to prevent these serious dental issues, you need to floss daily.

Second, flossing can give you pristine breath. This is the case because odorous food particles can sometimes get stuck between your chompers. When this happens, that food often releases an odor, which can result in odorous breath. If you floss, that food will be removed, which can result in fresher breath.

Third, flossing can help you avoid awkward moments. Oftentimes when food gets stuck in your teeth, it can create a food-filled smile. This can be embarrassing when you socialize with friends, family members, or even someone you have a crush on. However, if you floss after you eat, you can avoid these food-stuck-in-your-teeth moments.

If you have questions about flossing in Las Cruces, New Mexico, our dental team at Las Cruces Dental Associates is here to help you. All you need to do is dial 575.523.1479 and we will be more than happy to talk with you and give you the answers you seek. We look forward to hearing from you, and good luck on your flossing journey!

Improve Your Smile with the Assistance of Tooth Replacement Treatments

Published on May 31, 2017 by

Tooth replacement therapies exist to restore the lost function of incomplete smiles. Improve your smile with the assistance of tooth replacement treatments. If you have suffered tooth loss, you can save your smile with one these helpful procedures:

– A dental implant is a highly effective tooth replacement tool that permanently installs material directly in your jawbone. If your jaw is strong enough, a dental implant can be installed that can last a lifetime. Should a dental implant ever break due to an oral accident or injury, they can be replaced.

– A dental bridge is a highly effective tooth replacement tool that can conceal gaps between teeth and fill out your smile and is held in place by directly linking to neighboring teeth or implants.

– Dentures are used to fill the gaps left by lost or missing teeth with alternative replacements that bond directly to your gums. They are effortlessly removed at night and can be stored in a denture cleaning solution while you sleep for added comfort.

To learn more about tooth replacements, or to schedule an appointment with your dentist at Las Cruces Dental Associates, call our dentist office in Las Cruces, New Mexico at 575.523.1479. Dr. Samaniego and our entire team want to ensure your oral health is spectacular for years to come.