5 Tips to Consider When Looking for a Dentist

Finding a good dentist for you and your family can be a challenging task. It’s not always easy to locate a dental practice that everyone in the family is comfortable with. Consider these tips when searching for the best dentist for your loved ones:

Tip 1

Research the web and make a list of potential dentists in your area. Visit their websites to discover what services they provide, and check to see which of those dentists accept your specific insurance.

Tip 2

Talk to your friends, co-workers, and acquaintances. One of the best ways to find a reputable dentist is to talk to people you trust who are familiar with local practitioners. Now you can narrow down your list based on what your friends and co-workers advise.

Tip 3

Check the specialties of the dentists remaining on your list to determine if they offer what you need. If you only need cleaning and routine check-ups, a general dentist will suffice. If you are looking for cosmetic work, you need to consider a dentist who specializes in cosmetic dentistry. For wisdom teeth extractions or root canals, seek out a dentist with these specializations.

Tip 4

Once you attend your first appointment, be attentive to your surroundings, as they will indicate your dentist’s cleanliness…a major factor to keep in mind when choosing any health practitioner.

Tip 5

It is important to know the cost of the dental procedure you’re going to undergo. Are there financing options? Do they take your specific dental insurance?

Keep these tips in mind when searching for a new dentist because you deserve a healthy, beautiful smile!

Mintalar Family Dental is your complete family dentistry! We offer our patients a variety of dental services, including restorative, orthodontics, cosmetic dentistry, routine cleanings, and preventative sealants.

Want to learn more about your family’s new dental practice? We invite you to visit us online at https://mintalardental.com/ or call us at 763-561-6320 to schedule your consultation.

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Wisdom Teeth – What You Need to Know

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the very last teeth that develop in the human mouth. By the time you are twelve, you have gained a full set of adult teeth including two back molars on each jaw. Between the ages of 17 and 25, many adults gain a “third molar” that pops up behind the twelve-year molars. Some people get one wisdom tooth, all four, or none at all. While the rest of your teeth are necessary to chew food properly, no one actually needs their wisdom teeth. In fact, the appearance of wisdom teeth is more often than not, a troublesome experience.

Determining the Position of Wisdom Teeth

You may want to ask your dentist for an X-ray regarding the position of your wisdom teeth. Dentists use X-ray technology to see exactly where your wisdom teeth are (if any) and the likelihood that they will cause you problems down the line. Once the position and alignment of your third molars are determined, your dentist may recommend that your X-ray images be sent off to a dental surgeon for evaluation. It is not uncommon for oral surgeons to recommend the removal of wisdom teeth before they have even reached the gum surface. This is a sort of preemptive strike against tooth pain and damage in the future. It is also easier to remove the underdeveloped wisdom teeth of younger patients. The younger you are, the less healing and recovery time you are likely to experience.

Why Remove Wisdom Teeth?

It will not be hard to tell when you are getting your wisdom teeth. This process can range from uncomfortable to extremely painful. Most of the time, getting you wisdom teeth is painful because they are becoming impacted. This means that there is simply not enough room in your mouth and your wisdom tooth cannot completely break through the gum line. The tooth continues to push against your older molars causing terrible pain and even infection.

If a wisdom tooth is left in your mouth for too long, there is a serious risk of damaging healthy teeth. There is an increased risk of cavities, breakage, and infection. In some extreme cases, a fluid filled cyst can form at the site of the untreated wisdom tooth. These cysts can hollow out the jaw and cause serious nerve damage. This is why it is important for most people to have their wisdom teeth removed.

What if it’s Not Painful?

In rare cases, a wisdom tooth will appear with little to no pain or problems to their neighboring teeth. However, it is still very important for you to be evaluated by a dentist. Wisdom teeth are more prone to cavities and damage due to the position they hold in your mouth. It is ideal to ask your dentist about the risk your wisdom tooth may cause in the future.

Lucky patients find that their wisdom teeth are healthy, functional, and do not cause any issues to their adjacent teeth. If this is the case, there is no reason for them to be removed. It is better safe than sorry when it comes to your third molars. Damage caused by wisdom teeth can be very painful as well as costly. The bottom line is, you should always check with your dentist if you feel a wisdom tooth coming in. Better yet, make an appointment BEFORE the possible pain sets in.

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Getting to the Bottom of a Root Canal

Caring for our teeth requires attention to the details. The whitest of smiles can experience a cavity or a chipped tooth. If we do not visit the dentist regularly, these small infractions can lead our pearly whites to become infected. If you delay for too long, the infection can spread and cause long term irreversible damage to the bones in your jaw that surround your tooth.

The New Root Canal

You may be experiencing severe pain from your infected or inflamed tooth. Headaches and near debilitating effects may cause you difficulty in eating, sleeping, and concentrating. When the dentist suggests a Root Canal, this may make you feel nervous or tense. Root Canal Treatments have a daunting reputation, however with modern advancements they have become a routine gentle process.

The benefits of a Root Canal Treatment include:

  • Pain elimination – A Root Canal will eliminate the pain you are experiencing
  • Save your natural tooth – The procedure of a Root canal will save your tooth, lowering your risk for further dental issues
  • Appearance – Choosing a root canal over getting the tooth pulled will prevent gaps that will cause your teeth to shift while allowing you to smile with confidence.
  • Quick and easy – The root canal treatment process is quick with an easy recovery

What happens during a Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal treatment takes an average of 60+ minutes. The process is simple and is comprised of the following steps:

  • The Doctor will numb the area with a local anesthetic and gain access to the pulp of the inflamed tooth.
  • They will gently remove the pulp (the tissue within the tooth) and swiftly cleanse the inside of the tooth.
  • A temporary filling is often used to allow the tooth to adjust before placing a permanent filling at your next follow up visit.
  • You may be provided a prescription for a pain reliever and an antibiotic to prevent infection
  • A soft food diet will be recommended for a day or two

You may feel some tenderness as the numbing wears off that will be welcome in comparison to the pain you experienced prior to your appointment. This is a miraculous procedure that saves your tooth while eliminating the infection and further complications. You can listen to your playlist or your favorite book through a pair of headphones during the entire procedure. At the end of your visit, you will have a new perspective on going to see the dentist and will be glad to schedule your next appointment.

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How Dental Implants Will Change Your Life

Modern science continues to bring ingenious innovations to the dentist’s chair. If you are considering dentures or other options for one or more missing teeth, you might want to consider Dental Implants.

Who Can Benefit from Dental Implants?

If you have had a history of problematic dental issues, this might have left you with the painful effects of damaged teeth or missing teeth. You might find it difficult to eat your favorite foods or feel as if you have to hide your smile which results in feeling self-conscious and uncomfortable from day today. If you are considering dentures to alleviate your symptoms, you may want to consider the benefits of Dental Implants.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental Implants are a solution to your dental woes. Unlike dentures, Dental Implants provide a long term alternative utilizing titanium metal posts that are placed in your jaw bone to provide a strong foundation. They serve as a replicated root that will hold a crown that matches your natural tooth. The benefits of Dental Implants are many:

  • Variety– Dental Implants can be used for one tooth or several as a bridge.
  • Increased confidence– The Dental Implant will look and feel the same as your original teeth and will not fall out during the day.
  • Your dental health will improve– Dental implants remove the risk of recurring infection and damage to surrounding teeth.
  • Resilience– Dental Implants are as strong as your natural set providing a long term resolution.
  • You can eat again! – You will not have to worry about ordering steak as Dental Implants will realign your bite.
  • Simplicity– Unlike dentures, Dental Implants simplify your day. They stay in place without the need to remove the theme for cleaning or the fussy application of putting them back in.

The Dental Implant Process

Once it is determined you are a candidate for Dental Implants, you will go through the following steps:

  • Through X-rays and imaging techniques, the doctor will determine the appropriate placement of the post based on your natural jawline and teeth alignment. The post is then placed within the jaw bone. The bone will surround the post and fuse together, creating a strong structure to hold the crown.
  • You will be placed on a soft foods diet and instructed to keep the area clean through the healing process.
  • An abutment is attached to the implant. This will hold the crown to the post. It can be comprised of titanium, gold or porcelain.
  • You will have a follow-up appointment to maintain the health of your new teeth.

Dental Implants offer many benefits and can change your life. Schedule a consult and get started on your new smile!

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What are Dental Sealants?


Have you or your child struggled with cavities?

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 92% of adults age 20 to 64 have had dental caries (cavities) in their permanent teeth, as do 42% of children aged 2 to 11. Though common, there is a solution that will drastically reduce your chances of tooth decay – dental sealants. Even if you’re among the lucky few who have never had a cavity, you can still benefit from them.


What are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are a thin, plastic-like coating that covers and protects the surface of your teeth. They act as a barrier, fighting off cavity-causing plaque. These cover each nook and cranny of your teeth, acting as a custom-fit shield that fits perfectly into every tooth groove and chewing surface. Though you should brush and floss daily, even after getting dental sealants, often times the easy-to-miss grooves in our teeth are where cavities form; so it  work wonders for protecting these cavity-prone areas.


Are Dental Sealants just for kids?

These are great for children aged 6-15, often called the “cavity years,” and many experts suggest that children have their molars and premolars sealed as soon as they come in. Even so, everyone can benefit from them, no matter what the age. Especially if you’re prone to getting cavities and tooth deterioration.


What can I expect from Dental Sealants?

Getting them is a simple process that will save you time and money by avoiding extra appointments and costly tooth decay. Application is very fast and painless, taking only a few minutes for each tooth. Most of them last up to 10 years, and they will be checked for chips or damage during each cleaning appointment.


If you’re ready to safeguard your teeth from painful and costly cavities, dental sealants offer a fast, easy, and cost-effective solution. So the real question is, why not get dental sealants?

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What is CEREC?

CEREC - Dr Mintalar

What is CEREC?

Have you been told that you need a new crown, inlay, onlay, or bridge? This can cause a lot of questions and concerns about the procedure, cost, and how your teeth will look. If you’re looking for dental restorations that are fast, easy, durable, and beautiful, then you might want to learn about the Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. (CEREC).

What is CEREC, and Why Do I Care?

CEREC is a restoration technology for designing and building very high-quality, metal-free dental restorations fast and simply. This is done using 3D photography and CAD/CAM technology in order to design the perfect crown, onlay, inlay, or bridge without taking annoying dental impressions. Not only that, but it actually builds and applies the restoration, all in a single office visit!

Benefits of CEREC include:

  • Creates digital impressions for restorations fast
  • It’s restorations look natural and are made of biocompatible materials
  • They fit perfectly and last for many years
  • Fewer visits and lower cost than other restoration methods
  • Over a decade in clinical research and experience

It has been around for some time, and the manufacturer is always on the look-out for ways to improve the patient experience. Over four million restorations have been done using it worldwide!

Do I need a CEREC restoration?

Anyone who needs a new crown, inlay, onlay, or bridge might be a CEREC candidate. This method of dental restoration is also ideal for cracked teeth, failing restorations, or any significant damage to your teeth. Some chose it because they want to replace old metal restorations with a more natural-looking and effective biocompatible material.

How does CEREC work?

With it, everything is done in one office visit. The first step is photographing your tooth using a three-dimensional software, which will then create the restoration shape. The practitioner will refine that model using 3D CAD software to ensure the perfect fit. After the model is completed, a milling machine builds the restoration out of ceramic using precise, computer-operated diamond head cutters. The restoration is then bonded to the tooth using a long-lasting resin.

Whatever your dental restoration needs might be, CEREC offers you simple solutions that save you time, money, and hassle while creating beautiful, perfectly-fitted restorations that will last for many years!

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Are Electric Toothbrushes Better Than Normal Ones?

Electric Toothbrush

Your dentist has probably told you hundreds of times that you needed to upgrade to a Electronic toothbrush(Sonic toothbrush), but when you see the price tags on an intense cleaning electric toothbrush, you have to ask yourself — is it really worth it to have an electric toothbrush? The answer to that question is, yes. Why?

  • It’s hard to remove all plaque and protect your gums manually. We just aren’t wired to keep scrubbing as hard or as long as we need to, and it’s almost impossible to reach every area necessary by hand.
  • An electric toothbrush has a lot of power and can quickly and effectively scrub your teeth without putting a lot of pressure on your wrist.
  • An electric, Sonic toothbrush has detachable heads for every size mouth and can be shared for cost efficiency.
  • You won’t have to press hard to clean your teeth. You can move your toothbrush over teeth slowly and let the toothbrush do the other work.
  • Like a manual toothbrush, you can select from a variety of heads with different textured bristles for sensitive teeth.
  • You have options of different cleaning modes. Want a deep clean? Just select it.
  • Electric toothbrushes control plaque better than manual ones.
  • There’s a built in timer so you know that you have definitely put in the necessary time for clean teeth.
  • Sonic toothbrushes are a lot easier for kids. Let’s face it, adults have a hard time scrubbing teeth efficiently. Kids can definitely use some guidance.
  • Electric toothbrushes do not inflict the pain on your gums that regular ones do, so it’s more likely that you’ll maintain clean gums using an electric one.

As you can see, there’s no reason not to upgrade your toothbrush, but a lot of reasons why you need to. When switching to an electric toothbrush, we recommend a Sonic, wall charging toothbrush. They’re more powerful and you don’t spend bundles of money replacing the AA batteries. Unlike a regular toothbrush, that you SHOULD replace every three months, a Sonic electric toothbrush lasts forever! Why wouldn’t you make the switch?

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What is Plaque, and Why is it Bad?

Plaque Cartoon
If you go to your dentist’s office every six months, you have likely heard your hygienist stressing the importance of removing plaque. But what is plaque and why is it made out as a monster hiding away in our mouths?

Plaque is a flexible film that piles on your teeth like snow. Over time it hardens, as snow would if rain was mixed and ice became a component. It contains MILLIONS of harmful bacteria that affect your teeth, gums, and overall health. Why is this stuff so bad? Well…

    • It causes your teeth to decay, and if left untreated turns into gum disease.
    • Even the smallest amount of it can mix with food, causing the bacteria that’s in plaque to use sugars to produce acids that will remove tooth enamel.
    • All plaque that isn’t removed daily hardens into tartar. Once plaque turns into tartar, brushing and flossing is no longer an option for removal. Your hygienists will have to remove tartar to prevent gingivitis. If gingivitis isn’t treated, gums can shift away from your teeth and cause tooth loss.
    • It is usually the reason for yellow teeth and bad breath.

As you can see, there’s nothing good about it. While the damage it does to your teeth and gums is bad enough, there’s more! It also activates your immune system chronically and leads to inflammation in the body for long periods of time. This causes premature aging and can develop into autoimmune diseases.

You can avoid the buildup of it by brushing your teeth at least twice a day for three minutes each time and flossing around your gums daily. Sonic toothbrushes have also proven to be a lot better than manual toothbrushes in the removal of it that has built up over time. Routine dentist appointments should be kept so that plaque buildup doesn’t become excessive.

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The Benefits of Flossing Your Teeth Daily

Do you floss your teeth daily? Many people do not take the time to floss their teeth on a day to day basis. Why? Every Dentist has heard the same reasons. There’s not enough time, or you didn’t realize the importance of making sure this was a part of your dental hygiene. If you don’t do it like you should, don’t worry you’re not alone. Almost 50% of people say that they do not make time to floss, and we believe that if everyone was informed on why it was so important to brush your teeth and floss, more people would incorporate flossing into their daily routine. Here are some benefits of flossing you might not be aware of.

  • It removes plaque

Plaque buildup leads to tartar, a hard substance that traps bacteria and is extremely difficult to remove. When you visit your dentist’s office, the scraping on your teeth is often your dental hygienist working to remove this awful bacteria. It’s best to avoid it entirely.

  • It can prevent tooth loss.

When you don’t floss, it’s a lot easier to get gingivitis, a gum disease, from missing all of the areas that floss can reach for you. Gingivitis causes periodontal disease, the main cause for people losing their teeth.

  • It helps prevent heart disease.

By flossing your teeth, you’re ridding yourself of harmful bacteria, which can over time lead to heart disease and make people with weaker immune defense very sick.

  • It helps prevent bad breath.

The number one cause of bad breath is bacteria. Brushing alone doesn’t remove all odor causing bacteria. Flossing reaches areas that you can’t clean properly with a toothbrush.

  • It saves you a lot of money.

Flossing prevents tartar, which leads to cavities and gingivitis, which can cause gum disease.

As you can see, there are many medical, hygienic, and economic reasons for flossing daily. Your smile will shine brighter, and you will feel better about yourself overall. It’s never too late to add flossing to dental hygiene your routine! For more information, contact us at https://mintalardental.com/

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Tips For Parents With Children Who Fear The Dentist

Kid with Dentist
For many children, dentist appointments can be one of the biggest triggers of fear and anxiety. This is completely normal. It’s only normal for children to be scared of something they’re not used to, especially if their prior experiences haven’t always left them with the happiest impression. After all, if you have only been to the dentist once and you had a bad experience, you don’t have a lot to base your feelings on going to the dentist off of. It’s important to make sure that your children get the right dental care, so here are some things we recommend to ease your child’s experience.

  • Be a good role model for your children. If you act positively in regards to your appointments, your child will feel more comfortable about what’s in store for them.
  • Keep it simple. When talking about dentist’s visits, do not elaborate too much on what can or could happen. It gives children the time to make up their own ideas about what the appointment will be like, which could be more on the negative side.
  • Avoid using words that can be scary for children.
  • Have a pretend dentist appointment. Your child might feel more comfortable about going to their appointment if their pretend appointment felt comfortable for them.
  • Avoid taking your children to your appointments. This can be extremely hard when you’re a parent, so of course you’re going to have to allow them to tag along sometimes, but if you don’t want to bring your child if you’re getting a cavity removed or any timely procedure.
  • Emphasize the importance of good hygiene. Explain to your children why it is necessary to attend their appointment in a way that they can best understand.
  • Tell your children what will happen at the appointment so they’re not anxious about what bad things could happen.
  • Take some time to relax before the appointment. Try using some relaxation techniques before entering your doctor’s office. If your child enters calmly, they’re more likely to leave calmly.
  • Begin taking your children at a younger age so that they can get comfortable with their surroundings.

We really hope that some of our tips can be helpful for you and your children. Don’t worry, you’re not alone on this matter at all. We hope to see your child’s smiling face soon! For more information, contact us at https://mintalardental.com

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