Providing Montclair with the Most Advanced Dental Services for More than 70 Years

Providing Montclair with the Most Advanced Dental Services for More than 70 Years

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The Argument for Sealants

We were pleased that a recent article in the NY Times titled "Defending Your Children's Teeth (and Dentists): The Value of Sealants" mirrored many of our sentiments about the benefits of dental sealants.

Sealants are generally placed on the molar teeth. These teeth are often characterized by deep grooves and pits that are susceptible to getting food, small particles and bacteria stuck on their surfaces. To help protect these teeth from decay, dental sealants can be placed shortly after these teeth erupt into the mouth. A dental sealant is a material that bonds to the deep grooves on teeth, leaving the chewing surface smoother and easier to keep free of food debris and plaque.

The NY Times article discussed two different types of sealant material, resin-based and glass ionomer. At Ferguson Dental Associates we use a glass ionomer sealant. We have found that these sealants are easier to place successfully on the teeth and tolerated better by many of our patients. They can be placed with less isolation, shorter setting time and penetrate into the pits and grooves well. An added benefit of the glass ionomer sealants is a lasting fluoride release that has been shown to continuously release fluoride at the site of application for up to 24 months. This means that the sealants are not just a physical barrier on the tooth, but also strengthen the tooth and make it more resistant to secondary caries. Sealants typically last 3-5 years, but if and when they do fall off, the tooth structure under the sealant is stronger because of the fluoride release. We guarantee sealants for 24 months after application. At your child's subsequent cleaning appointments we will continue to assess the integrity of sealants and reapply as necessary.

Sealants are normally placed by your child's hygienist, following a dental cleaning and exam. We strongly believe that sealants are a great preventative measure against tooth decay, and, as always, we are happy to answer your individual questions about sealants at your next office visit.

Only Floss the Ones You Want to Keep

Our advice concerning flossing hasn't changed in 70 years... "Don't worry about flossing them all, only floss the ones you want to keep." In all seriousness, the truth about flossing is that some patients can get away with limited flossing while others need to be diligent and effective in their flossing habits to maintain oral health. Regular dental hygiene visits are important and your hygienist can give you specific advice for your unique dental health needs. We are proud to have three of the very best dental hygienists working at Ferguson Dental, Geri Caughey, Dawn Giraldi, and Lynn Kempinski.

From the New York Times
Feeling Guilty About Not Flossing? Maybe There’s No Need

Dental X-rays…/you-probably-dont-need-dental-x-ra…

This is a good article that highlights many of the issues relevant to dental x-rays. A few thoughts:

1. X-rays provide valuable diagnostic information. X-rays have always allowed dentists to identify issues such as cavities, gum disease and developmental dental problems at a point where they can be successfully treated with minimal and conservative dental treatment.

2. Radiation should be avoided in all forms, and dental x-rays must always be used only after evaluating the cost vs. benefit to the patient. All professionals should follow ALARA guidelines or As Low As Reasonably Achievable. But, it is important to have perspective when evaluating the radiation associated with dental x-rays to the typical background radiation experienced by all of us on a daily basis. A day at the beach or a flight from New York to LA will expose a person to significantly more radiation than patients will experience in a dental office.

3. Beyond this, Ferguson Dental is committed to providing patients with the safest, most advanced technology available. Digital dental x-rays expose patients to a 1/5th of the radiation experienced from film x-rays, and we have provided digital dental x-rays for our patients for over 20 years. Additionally, our new extra-oral x-ray machine provides us with the option of ultralow dose panoramic x-rays and ct scans. This technology provides, again, significantly lower radiation dose x-rays compared to film panoramic x-rays or medical CT scans. Using our advanced technology, we are able to see more with less radiation than conventional full mouth radiographic imaging.

4. Most importantly, we work with every patient and parent to assess individual disease risk before determining the proper interval of dental x-rays. We are committed to minimizing radiation dose while also maintaining dental health.

5. Choosing dental care based upon what dental insurance will cover is not advisable and that approach is not found at Ferguson Dental. We recommend and implement dental protocols on an individual basis given the specific needs of every patient. We are absolutely committed to your dental and overall health. Please always feel free to ask us more about any issue that concerns you!

Introducing Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique

Dr. Ferguson has recently completed extensive training in the Pinhole Surgical Technique, breakthrough treatment for gum recession. Dr. Ferguson is certified in using the innovative method and is excited to introduce this option to his patients.

Gum recession, or loss of gum tissue along the gumline exposing the tooth root, is a common dental problem caused by several factors including periodontal disease (gingivitis, periodontitis, advanced periodontitis), hormonal changes, or aggressive habits when it comes to brushing the teeth. Additionally, many patients have a genetic predisposition to recession or the cause of recession is unknown.

While Dr. Ferguson has decades of experience in periodontal tissue grafting and surgical methods, the traditional procedures used in treating recession were invasive requiring difficult and long recovery periods for patients. Dr. Ferguson is excited to introduce the Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique, an innovative new procedure for treating recession, as an option for Ferguson Dental patients.

What is the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique (PST)?

The Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique is a minimally invasive option for treating gum recession. Unlike traditional grafting techniques, PST is incision and suture free.

Unique tools and techniques are used to perform the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique. Dr. Ferguson has completed comprehensive training in the Pinhole Surgical Technique and is fully certified in using the innovative method.

How does the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique differ from traditional gum grafting?

Traditional gum recession treatments involve the use of donor tissue or soft tissue grafts in order to rebuild the gumline. This soft tissue would be sutured in place and would join with existing gum tissue as it healed.

While this traditional grafting treatment is effective, comparable results with better patient experience can be achieved through the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique.

How is Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique performed?

During the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique, a needle is used to make a small hole in the patient’s existing gum tissue. Through this pinhole, special instruments are used to gently loosen the gum tissue. These tools help expand and slide the gumline to cover the exposed root structure.

There are no grafts, no sutures, and no incisions needed with the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique. It simply involves the adjustment of the existing tissue.

What are the benefits of Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique?

The benefits of the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique are many:
• Less discomfort for the patient after treatment
• Faster recovery for the patient than traditional grafting
• No need for uncomfortable sutures
• No need for scalpels or invasive surgical tools
• No need to take donor tissue from the patient’s palate
• Excellent, natural-looking, long-lasting results

Do we take dental insurance?

Ferguson Dental Associates operates as a fee for service practice.  We have chosen this model because we strongly believe that it allows us to provide the optimal dental care to our patients, care that we would not be able to provide given the limitations and policies of current dental insurance programs.  As a result we do not "participate" in any given dental plan.  

We do, however, work in partnership with our patients and dental insurance companies to maximize your health benefits and facilitate reimbursement for our patients.  At each office visit we are happy to assist you in this process by providing completed insurance forms and mailing them to your insurance company for you at the conclusion of your visit.  

Additional Dental Insurances Facts

1. Dental Insurance is fundamentally different from medical insurance.

2. Dental Insurance is a contractual agreement between the employer and insurance company. The percentage of reimbursement varies greatly dependent upon the premiums paid for a particular plan and the limitations of the agreement.

3. Maximum payable benefits typically are around $1000-$1500 per year. This maximum benefit of most dental insurance plans today is almost identical to the annual maximum benefit of dental insurance plans 40 years ago.

4. Dental insurance is a benefit designed to help defray the costs of quality dental care, but is not all-inclusive of what an individual may need or desire to obtain optimal dental health for a lifetime.

5. While individual plans and companies vary greatly, our patients often receive similar reimbursement using their out of network benefits at Ferguson Dental as they would at an in network dentist. It is important to learn an understand your unique plan and benefits.

Please contact us directly to discuss your individual insurance questions!

Dynamic Dentist Duo to compete in Amazing FundRacer

Dr. Dave and Dr. Jessica are looking forward (mostly) to competing as a team in MFEE's Amazing FundRacer to raise money for Montclair Public Schools on May 22nd. You can support their team online through the link below or at the office. Everyone that donates to MFEE and our Dynamic Duo will be entered for a chance to win a Zoom Tooth Whitening. Thank you for your support, Dr. Dave and Dr. Jessica could use every leg up in the race they can get

Dynamic Dentist Duo

Dr. David Ferguson - MHS class of 1986 (Dad of Lucy - MHS 2011, Jack - MHS 2014 and Tillie - MHS 2019; son of Gordon - MHS 1964, grandson of Richard - MHS 1938, and great grandson of MHS principal Harold Ferguson - 1923 to 1956) and
Dr. Jessica Joseph (Mom of Nell - MHS class of 2033)
are excited to support the Montclair Public Schools in the 2016 MFEE Amazing FundRacer!
Don't be fooled by their minty fresh sparkly smiles. Stronger than fluoride, faster than gum disease, more powerful than plaque, they are racing to WIN... or at least be the first ousted team to Egans.
Thank you for donating to support our team, MFEE, and the Montclair Public Schools!


We're Excited about the New Technology in the Office

You may notice a few changes to the office the next time you’re in. We transitioned to a digital record system a few years back and have removed all paper files from the reception area. This expansion allowed us to install a new extraoral/3D X-ray machine. We are excited to have this advanced technology onsite that facilitates providing our patients with the best dentistry available in a convenient and safe environment.

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