No excuse is a good excuse

We all have a tendency to make excuses for not doing things we’d rather avoid. It must be human nature. But taking care of your dental health is important. As with all important matters, we have to get past our fears and excuses and do whatever it takes to tackle them.

Here’s a look at what keeps patients away from the dentist and why there’s no really no such thing as a good excuse.


Excuse #1: I don’t have time.

Sure you do. We make time for the things that are important to us, no matter how busy we may be. The real problem is that you haven’t made your dental health a priority.  We get only one set of permanent teeth. If we don’t take care of them, they’ll literally rot right out of our heads!  This is serious!

The average trip to the dentist is about one hour. That’s the same amount of time as a lunch break or a TV drama episode. Anyone can work one hour, every six months or so, into their schedule. If your workday schedule is too tight to fit in a dental visit, find a dentist who offers extended evening and weekend hours. Some of us do.


Excuse #2: I can’t afford it.

Again, this is a matter of prioritizing. If you are dining out, buying clothes and accessories you don’t need, going out to movies and sporting events and enjoying other luxuries while NOT seeing the dentist, then the problem is not that you can’t afford it. It is that you’d rather spend your money on more frivolous things.

Stop viewing dental care as a luxury and more as a necessity, and you will find the money to pay for it. Many dentists offer creative financing to help make dental care payments more manageable through low monthly payments. And here’s the kicker: if you attend hygiene appointments just twice each year, you will probably save money! Most hygiene visits are covered by insurance, and even if you are uninsured these appointments will prevent serious, far more costly dental bills later.


Excuse #3: I’m afraid.

We have nothing to fear but fear itself. It’s true! Usually a patient’s worry and anticipation is much worse than anything that actually happens in the dentist’s chair. These days, a variety of anesthetics and gentler treatment methods take most of the “ouch” out of dental care.

Anesthesia is usually offered during invasive dental procedures, but if you are especially anxious or sensitive to pain, talk to your dental professionals in advance of any procedure to ensure maximum comfort.


So, stop making excuses and get to the dentist! If you’re due for a visit, call and make an appointment today!

Curtis H. Roy, D.D.S., has served Acadiana residents with a general dentistry and specialty practice since 1970. Find his practice on the Web at, visit the office at 3703 Johnston St., Lafayette, or call 981.9811, and look for him on Facebook and Twitter.





Flouride: A Shield for your Teeth

For over half a century, the oral healthcare benefits of fluoride have been accepted without question. Unfortunately, most people assume that the fluoride they get from their toothpaste and tap water is adequate for their needs. This is not always the case.

Controlling Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity to both hot and cold affects 25% of all adults at one time or another. Often, such sensitivity is due to receding gums, which expose the formerly protected root surface. Sensitivity will also sometimes occur following root planing, scaling, or other gum treatment procedures. Fortunately, relief from sensitivity can be just a visit to your dentist away. In fact, many products have been developed to control sensitivity. Some provide pain relief while doing nothing to protect exposed areas from cavity development. Fluoride-based products are usually preferred because they also provide protection from cavities.

Fluoride Protection For You

  • Cavity Control: Cavities are caused by bacteria that attacks tooth surfaces. The protection that fluoride provides teeth helps prevent tooth decay at any age. Fluoride also helps remineralize enamel weakened by early cavity development.
  • Early Gum Disease Control: Fluorides are used to inhibit the bleeding and tender gums caused by plaque bacteria.
  • Advanced Gum Disease Therapy: Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria that attack the gum tissue and the bone supporting the teeth. Fluorides help sustain the treatment performed by your dental professional.
  • Gum Maintenance: Because periodontal disease can reoccur at any time, fluorides are used to help prevent reinfection.
  • Post Surgical Rinse: Fluorides control bacteria and help tissue heal at the surgical site.
  • Crown and Bridge Maintenance: Recurring decay to teeth supporting a crown or bridge threatens the entire restoration. Fluoride will help protect these critical areas.
  • Implant Maintenance: Bacterial plaque is the number one cause of premature implant failure. Fluoride blocks plaque formulation and helps protect your valuable implants.
  • Dentures and Partials: Bad breath and irritation from dentures and partials can be controlled by fluoride rinses, without the drying effects of alcohol.
  • Orthodontic Maintenance: Fluorides help control the two major problems associated with orthodontic treatment: gingivitis and decalcification.
  • Crown and Root Surface Caries: Fluorides control the acid-producing bacteria and helps protect your investment.
  • Sensitivity: Gum recession and natural wear on teeth can cause sensitivity. Fluorides coat and insulate the teeth from hot and cold.
  • Side Effects from Medicine: Many prescription medications can affect saliva flow and increase a patient’s risk of dental infection. (Consult your dental professional regarding your specific medication.) Fluoride helps protect against decay.

Adults and Cavities
Fluorides are, of course, beneficial for children, but many adults also suffer from problems for which fluoride may also be the answer. A recent National Institute of Dental Research survey reported that adults had an average of 23 decayed and filled tooth surfaces. Recurrent or secondary decay around fillings represents a major dental problem. Surveys find that 40-50% of total adult fillings are done to replace existing fillings.
As we grow older, many of us suffer from gum recession. This means root surfaces become exposed. The incidence of root caries in the adult population is steadily increasing. Fluoride treatments can be the answer for you. Research shows that properly applied fluoride blocks cavities by forming a more acid-resistant surface layer. It can even reverse (remineralize) early forming cavities (white spots).

Children and Cavities
Children often get cavities due to poor homecare habits. They forget to brush after breakfast or before bed and when they do brush, they rarely clear plaque from all tooth surfaces. Rarely will children floss effectively. Children wearing orthodontic appliances like braces face an additional burden to keeping their tooth surfaces cavity-free. Fortunately, the extra protection offered by fluoride treatments can counter these threats and reduce the risk a child will develop cavities.

How Do I Find Out More?
If you are concerned that you may be at risk and think fluoride treatment might help, ask your dentist or hygienist. If they believe fluoride will benefit you, they have a wide variety of fluoride treatment options to help you; some performed by your dental team at their office and others are done by you at home. Trust your dental professional to recommend the most appropriate treatment for your specific needs.

Why Your Dentist Prescribes Pro-Dentx® Fluoride Products
In a word – value! Your dentist wants to make sure you get the highest quality dental products at a reasonable price. Pro-Dentec is the company dental professionals trust to deliver that value combination.

To arrange an appointment with one of our dentists please call our office toll free at 800-433-5138.


Watch Your Mouth

Beating Gum Disease is a Breeze!

Eight out of 10 American adults suffer from gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. Could you be one of them and not even know it?

Look for these warning signs, which could signal a problem:

  • Gums that bleed easily;
  • Red, swollen, tender gums;
  • Gums that are pulling away from your teeth;
  • Persistent bad breath;
  • Pus between the teeth and gums;
  • Loose or separating teeth;
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite; or
  • A change in the fit of partial dentures.

Any of this sound familiar? If so, you’ll know it’s nothing to smile about. Left untreated, gum disease can have some serious consequences, primarily tooth loss. In fact, it is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Studies suggest a link between gum disease and a host of other health concerns, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, bacterial pneumonia and increased risk during pregnancy.

The good news about gum disease is that detection and treatment are easy. The first step is to get to the dentist’s office. When it comes to gum disease, the earlier you catch it, the better. So, schedule a dental exam as soon as possible. During this visit, the dentist and staff will assess whether you suffer from gum disease and how far it’s progressed. The results of this exam will determine the next step.

In its earliest stage — commonly known as gingivitis — gum disease can be treated through a thorough professional cleaning followed by a stringent home-care maintenance program. Typically, the teeth will be scraped and polished, gums will be flossed and a certified dental hygienist will instruct the patient on proper self care to be performed on a daily basis.

In its later stages, gum disease requires more aggressive professional intervention, and your general dentist may refer you to a periodontist — a doctor specially trained in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease. Scaling of the teeth and planing of the roots are standard procedures, and often medication is prescribed to combat infection. One of the newest and most effective ways of treating gum disease is through laser therapy, so ask your dentist or periodontist whether this option is available and appropriate for you.

Remember this: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you are among the fortunate 20 percent of our population who don’t suffer from gum disease, keep up the good habits. Brush and floss daily, eat a healthy diet and stick with your dentist’s recommended regimen of office visits, where your teeth will be inspected and cleaned.

In addition, avoid tobacco products. Those who smoke or chew tobacco are more likely than nonusers to develop plaque and tartar on their teeth. They also are more likely to have deeper pockets between their teeth and gums and greater loss of supportive bone and tissue. Also, you’ll want to keep oral appliances in check. Bridges that no longer fit properly and deteriorated fillings may retain plaque, increasing your risk of developing gum disease.

**Curtis H. Roy, D.D.S., has served Acadiana residents with a general dentistry and specialty practice since 1970. He also is a leader among his peers, offering hundreds of seminars and workshops to dental professionals across the U.S. and Canada each year. Find him on the Web at, visit his office at 3703 Johnston St., Lafayette, or call 981.9811.

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