Hello Friends!

Have you ever wondered where to start when searching for a dentist?  Referrals from friends or co-workers are pretty common, as are insurance lists, but have you considered your local dental association?  The Michigan Dental Association website has a lot of useful information, including some great questions to ask during that initial phone call.

Questions to Ask a Dentist

Now that you’ve used the Find a Dentist search to locate a list of Michigan Dental Association dentists in your area, you need to narrow it down to the one dentist who is your family’s perfect match. Here’s a list of questions to help you make your decision.

  • Are the office hours convenient for your schedule?
  • Is the dental office close to your home or office?
  • Does the office appear to be clean, neat and well organized?
  • How are dental emergencies handled?
  • Does the office staff appear to be friendly and helpful?
  • What is the office policy for rescheduling an appointment?
  • What is the policy on fees and payment plans?
  • Does the dental office staff explain ways to help prevent dental problems?
  • Does the office have dental health education materials available?

Since a good relationship with your dentist is essential to good oral health care, take your time and choose one that you and your family feel comfortable with so you can arrive for each visit with a smile.

 

I would add that visiting the office for a tour prior to scheduling or arranging a visit to meet the doctor are great ideas.  A reputable office will usually be happy to schedule a brief, complimentary  consultation with the doctor to make sure you are comfortable with him or her and with the office in general.  You should be made to feel comfortable asking questions or expressing concerns.

Hope the above information helps:)

Your friends at

Brunner Prast Family Dental

 

 

*The above article was referenced from the following:

Dental Health Month

Hello Friends!

February is National Children’s Dental Health Awareness Month.  It’s a good reminder to instill good oral health habits at an early age.  Did you know that 50% of 7 – 9 year olds already have at least one cavity or filling?*  Parents and caregivers can help prevent cavities by following these tips:

1. Use a child sized tooth brush.  Small hands and mouths require a smaller brush.  Also,   proper brushing does require some dexterity and precision, so a good reminder is that a child needs help brushing until they are able to easily tie their shoes.

2. 2 x 2 Min  Remind your children to brush for 2 minutes twice a day.  Make it a routine, after breakfast and before bed.

3.  Use a fluoride toothpaste.  A smear until age three and a pea size drop until age 6.

4.  Floss.  Begin flossing once a day when teeth start to touch.

5.  Demonstrate proper technique.  Brush in small circular motions.  Using pressure that is too hard can cause gum recession and erosion.  Keep in mind that it will probably take a lot of practice and patience.  Be positive and consistent.  Remember that you’re creating healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

6.  Schedule dental visits.  Make and keep regular dental checkups to be sure teeth are developing normally and that any decay is detected early.  Dental professionals can reinforce healthy habits and answer any questions you may have.

Good reminders any time of the year!

As always, if you need more information we would be happy to help.  Visit our website at http://www.brunnerprastdental.com.

Your friends at

Brunner Prast Family Dental

* statistic info provided by Delta Dental

 

Hello Friends!

Happy New Year!  Hope 2016 finds you happy, healthy and ready for new adventures.  We decided to start off the new year with some suggestions for making your child’s visit to the dentist easier.  While some children are enthusiastic about visiting the dentist, others are more apprehensive.

  1.  Role Play.

Prior to their dental appointments, practice what will happen.  Explain in very basic terms about the visit.  Use child-friendly terminology; that the hygienist will “count teeth”, and use a “spin toothbrush” and a “Mr. Slurpee”.  Avoid using any reference to shots, fillings, drilling or tooth pulling.

2.   Discuss what to expect in the waiting room.

Discuss what to expect in the patient waiting room.  Especially if visiting a pediatric dentist, most lobbies have a section tailored to young children.  Toys, bright colors and child-friendly furnishings are common.  Prize boxes or “treasure chests” are also fun to look forward to after the appointment.

3.   Be prepared to reschedule

Don’t worry if your child isn’t ready to sit in the chair and complete their cleaning.  It’s OK!  Sometimes it takes a few visits to get comfortable with the surroundings and to build trust with the staff.  Especially with very young children, waiting a few months can make a huge difference in their maturity and the ability to sit still.  Unless there are serious dental concerns or issues, it may be ok to wait.  Don’t shame or threaten a child into staying if they are afraid.  The hygienist and/or doctor will be happy to give suggestions if necessary.

Remember – dental professionals are used to all types of behavior issues and work with patients of all ages.  If you have questions, concerns or feel your child may need special accommodations, please feel free to contact the office ahead of time.  Most offices will try to make the visit as pleasant as possible.

Hope these suggestions help:)  If you’d like more information please visit our website at http://www.brunnerprastdental.com.  We’re always willing to help.

Sincerely,

Your friends at

Brunner Prast Dental

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Friends

Did you ever know someone who seemed to get cavities no matter how often they brushed?  We found this article in Women’s Health magazine with some insight that might be helpful.

Why Some People Are More Prone to Cavities Than Others

Macaela Mackenzie September 23, 2015

If you brush and floss regularly, you won’t get cavities, right? Wrong. Good dental hygiene is great, but it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with your proclivity for cavities. Instead, you can thank your diet and your DNA.

“The brushing and flossing mantra has been used for a long, long time, but if you look at controlled clinical studies, very few show a reduction in cavities,” says dentist Page Caufield, Ph.D., who studies tooth decay at the University of Michigan Dental School. “Brushing and flossing is not going to prevent cavities.”

Say what? If there’s no scientific proof to back up the claim that brushing and flossing actually prevents cavities, why are we getting them?

The simplest answer is sugar.

“Tooth decay is completely and totally correlated to the introduction of sugar to western countries,” says Caufield. “If you cut off the sugar, you’ll cut off the cavities.”

Cavities are caused when the bacteria in our bodies break down sugars. When these bacteria chow down on sucrose, they can get into existing crevices in our teeth and cause decay in the process. So as long as you’re consuming sugar, you’re leaving yourself susceptible to them.

And some of us might be more likely to succumb to the nasty effects of sugar than others. “There is a genetic component that accounts for about one third of cavities that’s related to the shape of your teeth and the amount of saliva you have,” says Caufield.

Cavities are formed when two things combine: the bacterial process of fermenting the sugar and an existing hole or fissure in the tooth. Some of us tend to have crevices in the surface of our teeth that are naturally deep. And even though this is fairly normal, it makes it all more easy for bacteria to drill down and cause a cavity.

If you learn that this is the case for you, Caufield recommends looking into sealants, a simple procedure where a dentist will seal off those deep crevices in your teeth to prevent bacteria and sugar from getting in there.

And even though there’s no scientific proof that brushing your teeth right after snacking on something sweet will keep the cavities away, it can’t hurt. And not flossing has been linked to an increase in inflammation that can lead to heart disease, so you shouldn’t skip out on this daily habit either.

“If you use a toothpaste with fluoride in it, you’ll get a modest reduction in cavities of about 20 percent,” says Caufield, who also notes that brushing with non-fluoride toothpaste won’t do a thing for your tooth decay.

So if you can’t skip the sugar, keep a pocket-sized tube of fluoride toothpaste within reach for a post-bite brushing.

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There are probably many variables that contribute to the formation of cavities, but there definitely appears to be a link to sugar.  The above information is a good start at common sense solutions.

If you have any dental questions or concerns, please contact our office.  We’ll be glad to help:)

Yours in good dental health,

Brunner Prast Family Dental

http://www.brunnerprastdental.com

** The above information is not intended to treat or diagnose any condition or disease.  Please consult a doctor if you have questions specific to your condition.

Hello Friends!

Found a great article on Twitter that we thought we’d pass along regarding Root Canals.  There is still such a misconception regarding this procedure that we thought it worth sharing.

Myths About Root Canals and Root Canal Pain

There are many misconceptions surrounding root canal (endodontic) treatment and whether patients experience root canal pain. The American Association of Endodontists wants you to have accurate information. As always, when considering any medical procedure, you should get as much information as you can about all of your options. Your dentist or endodontist can answer many of your questions, and if you still have concerns, it is often wise to seek a second opinion.


Myth #1—Root canal treatment is painful.

Truth—Root canal treatment doesn’t cause pain, it relieves it.

The perception of root canals being painful began decades ago but with modern technologies and anesthetics, root canal treatment today is no more uncomfortable than having a filling placed. In fact, a recent survey showed that patients who have experienced root canal treatment are six times more likely to describe it as “painless” than patients who have not had root canal treatment.

Most patients see their dentist or endodontist when they have a severe toothache. The toothache can be caused by damaged tissues in the tooth. Root canal treatment removes this damaged tissue from the tooth, thereby relieving the pain you feel.

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Myth #2—Root canal treatment causes illness.

Myth #2—Root canal treatment causes illness.

The myth: Patients searching the Internet for information on root canals may find sites claiming that teeth receiving root canal (endodontic) treatment contribute to the occurrence of illness and disease in the body. This false claim is based on long-debunked and poorly designed research performed nearly a century ago by Dr. Weston A. Price, at a time before medicine understood the causes of many diseases.

In the 1920s, Dr. Price advocated tooth extraction—the most traumatic dental procedure—over endodontic treatment. This resulted in a frightening era of tooth extraction both for treatment of systemic disease and as a prophylactic measure against future illness.

The truth: There is no valid, scientific evidence linking root canal-treated teeth and disease elsewhere in the body. A root canal is a safe and effective procedure. When a severe infection in a tooth requires endodontic treatment, that treatment is designed to eliminate bacteria from the infected root canal, prevent reinfection of the tooth and save the natural tooth.

  • The presence of bacteria in teeth and the mouth has been an accepted fact for many years. But the presence of bacteria does not constitute “infection” and is not necessarily a threat to a person’s health. Bacteria are present in the mouth and teeth at all times, even in teeth that have never had a cavity or other trauma. Research shows that the healthy immune system takes care of bacteria in a matter of minutes.
  • Tooth extraction is a traumatic procedure and is known to cause a significantly higher incidence of bacteria entering the bloodstream; endodontic treatment confined to the root canal system produces much less trauma and a much lower incidence and magnitude of bacteria entering the blood stream.
  • There is no adequate replacement for the natural tooth – it should be saved whenever possible. Root canal treatment, along with appropriate restoration, is a cost effective way to treat infected teeth because it is usually less expensive than extraction and placement of an implant. In most cases, endodontic treatment allows patients to keep their natural teeth for a lifetime.

But what about Dr. Price? This is a good example of how the Internet can give new life to long-dispelled theories. Believe it or not, the misinformation about roots canals that is found on the Internet is still based on Dr. Price’s century-old, discredited research. Dr. Price’s research techniques were criticized at the time they were published, and by the early 1930s, a number of well-designed studies using more modern research techniques discredited his findings. In 1951, the Journal of the American Dental Association took the extraordinary step of publishing a special edition reviewing the scientific literature and shifted the standard of practice back to endodontic treatment for teeth with non-vital pulp in instances where the tooth could be saved. The JADA reviewed Dr. Price’s research techniques from the 1920s and noted that they lacked many aspects of modern scientific research, including absence of proper control groups and induction of excessive doses of bacteria.

As recently as 2013, research published in JAMA Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery, found that patients with multiple endodontic treatments had a 45 percent reduced risk of cancer.

References

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Myth #3—A good alternative to root canal treatment is extraction (pulling the tooth).

Truth—Saving your natural teeth, if possible, is the very best option.

Nothing can completely replace your natural tooth. An artificial tooth can sometimes cause you to avoid certain foods. Keeping your own teeth is important so that you can continue to enjoy the wide variety of foods necessary to maintain the proper nutrient balance in your diet. If your dentist recommends extraction, ask whether root canal treatment is an option.

Endodontic treatment, along with appropriate restoration, is a cost-effective way to treat teeth with damaged pulp and is usually less expensive than extraction and placement of a bridge or an implant.

Endodontic treatment also has a very high success rate. Many root canal-treated teeth last a lifetime.

Placement of a bridge or an implant will require significantly more time in treatment and may result in further procedures to adjacent teeth and supporting tissues.

Millions of healthy endodontically treated teeth serve patients all over the world, years and years after treatment. Those healthy teeth are helping patients chew efficiently, maintain the natural appearance of their smiles and enhance their enjoyment of life. Through endodontic treatment, endodontists and dentists worldwide enable patients to keep their natural teeth for a lifetime.

As always, if you have any questions or need more information, we’d be glad to help.  Visit us at http://www.brunnerfamilydental.com

Yours in good health:)

Brunner Family Dental

**The above information is not intended to treat or diagnose any condition or disease, but simply to provide information that may be beneficial.  Always contact your dental provider or seek medical attention for dental concerns.

Hello Friends!

We came across this excellent article at the Huff Post by Tim O’Neill, M.A. in Medieval Literature.  

Did you know?

People in the Middle Ages considered healthy, white teeth a sign of beauty and wrote of sweet smelling breath as a desirable attribute. So, not surprisingly, we have extensive evidence that people liked to keep their teeth clean and a large amount of evidence of tooth pastes, powders and treatments, as well as mouth washes and treatments for halitosis.

Contrary to the depiction of medieval peasants with blackened and rotting teeth, the average person in the Middle Ages had teeth which were in very good condition. This is substantially due to one factor – the rarity of sugar in the diet. Most medieval people simply could not afford sugar and those who could used it sparingly – usually as a seasoning or minor ingredient and almost never as a condiment or the basis of a dish. This means that most people used natural sugars such as those in fruits and honey and even then ate this kind of sugar sparingly. Taken with a diet high in calcium via dairy foods, high in vegetables and cereals and low in foods that cause decay, the average medieval person ate the way most modern dentists would recommend for good teeth.

Not surprisingly, tooth decay was actually much less prevalent in the Middle Ages than it became in later centuries, when mass imports of sugar from the tropics made it a staple rather than a rarity. Surveys of archaeological data from the medieval period show that an average of only 20% of teeth show any sign of decay, as opposed to up to 90% in some early twentieth century populations. A more common dental issue for medieval people was not decay but wear. Eating stone-ground bread daily as part of almost every meal meant medieval people’s teeth saw considerable abrasion from grit which, over years led to the teeth being worn down. To an extent this actually helped prevent decay, as their molars had less crevices in which plaque could accumulate. But in the long run it could lead to the complete abrasion of dentine and tooth loss.

Medieval people cleaned their teeth by rubbing them and their gums with a rough linen cloth. We have various recipes for pastes and powders that could be put on the cloth to help clean the teeth, to whiten them and to aid fresh breath. Sage ground with salt crystals was one popular mixture. Powdered charcoal from rosemary stems was another. A crushed paste of pepper, mint and rock salt was also used, and there were many more. Most consisted of an abrasive and a scented herb, though others included a range of spices such as cinnamon, mace and cloves.

Mouth washes tended to be wine or vinegar-based, with herbs and spices steeped in these acidic liquids. Again, mint features heavily in these recipes, along with marjoram and cinnamon. Chewing fennel seeds, parsley or cloves were the most common recommendations for bad breath.

The fact that dental hygiene was relatively good compared to later periods would have been a benefit to people at the time, given that dental surgery was pretty bad. Most treatment consisted of simply removing the tooth, which tended to be done by the local barber and with no anesthetic other than perhaps getting drunk before hand. More skilled surgeons had treatments for mouth cancer, involving the cutting out of affected tissue and then cauterization. We also have evidence of dentures made from cow bone or human teeth, though only for the very rich. On the whole though medieval dental hygiene was based on the same concerns as today – white teeth and fresh breath – and medieval people developed some reasonably effective ways of maintaining both.

So next time you are at a party and need a fun fact, feel free to share:)

And if you or someone you know need dental care or have questions, please visit our site at http://www.brunnerfamilydental.com  We would be happy to help:)

***The entire article can be seen by visiting the link below at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/quora/dental-hygiene-was-actual_b_7590896.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

Hello Friends

I found an article by Robert Raible on the ADA website and the facts listed are troubling:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week released statistics on the high prevalence of dental caries (cavities) among U.S. adults, and the numbers are sobering.  Ninety-one percent of Americans over 20 have had cavities at some point in their lives. Notably, the agency reports that 27 percent of adults over 20 have untreated caries.

“Despite all the advances in our ability to prevent, detect and treat dental disease, too many Americans—for a variety of reasons—are not enjoying the best possible oral health,” said ADA President Dr. Maxine Feinberg.

Dr. Feinberg noted the substantially greater rates of untreated disease among African Americans (42 percent) and Hispanics (36 percent), saying, “The disproportionate rates of disease among some minorities is particularly disturbing and underscores the need for greater outreach to these underserved populations.”

According to the ADA Health Policy Institute, dental care utilization in 2012 was at its lowest level among working age adults since the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey began tracking dental care use in 1996. Adults who do not plan to visit a dentist in the next 12 months most frequently cite cost and the belief that they do not need dental care as reasons.   

Responding to the continued need to improve the nation’s oral health, the ADA in 2013 launched Action for Dental Health, a nationwide, community-based movement to provide care now to people who already suffer from untreated disease, strengthen and expand the public/private safety net and increase dental health education and disease prevention.

Dr. Feinberg emphasized the ADA’s belief that prevention is the ultimate answer to eliminating the vast majority of dental disease.

“We know that prevention works.  While it is critical to treat disease that has already occurred, the public health community needs to increase its focus on proven means of preventing it,” she said.  “Community water fluoridation, sealant programs for children, teaching people how to take care of their families’ teeth and gums, and getting the greatest possible number of children and adults into dental homes are the keys to better oral health for everyone.

“We are doubling down, and we urge the broader health care community, federal, state and local officials, the private sector—everyone with a stake in a healthier, more productive nation—to join us.”

Hopefully, consistent patient education and community dental programs will continue to make people aware of the seriousness of gum disease and tooth decay, inspiring people to take action.  Our office strives to make patient education a priority. Our hygienists and doctors routinely visit schools, beginning at the pre-school level and participate in community events to speak to the public and to distribute educational materials about disease treatment and prevention.  We see the effects of dental neglect on a person’s overall health on a daily basis, and make it our mission to spread the word.

If you have questions or need information regarding your dental care, please feel free to contact the office and we will be happy to help.  Visit http://www.brunnerfamilydental.com

Until next time

Your friends at Brunner Family Dental

About the ADA

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation’s largest dental association, representing 158,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public’s health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA’s state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA’s flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit ADA.org. For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA’s consumer website MouthHealthy.org

Hello Friends!

I stumbled upon a great info-graphic* about handling common dental emergencies and thought it would be a great topic to review.

Pain and Sensitivity – Can be caused by an abscess or an exposed nerve from a lost filling or crown.  If tolerable, rinse with warm salt water to help reduce swelling.  Schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately, as an infection can spread quickly and become worse.  An abscessed tooth may need antibiotics and a root canal.  If the damage is severe, the tooth may need to be extracted.

Broken Tooth – Save any pieces of the tooth you may find.  Rinse your mouth and tooth fragments with warm water.  Apply gauze if there is bleeding and contact your dentist.  Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth may help with discomfort.  If decay is to blame, the nerve could be in danger and may need a root canal.

Knocked-out Permanent Tooth –   Hold the tooth by the crown (top) not the root.  Rinse the tooth with warm water if it is dirty, but do not scrub it.  Try to reinsert the tooth into the socket, making sure it’s facing the right way.  If you can’t, put the tooth in a cup of milk or warm salt water on your way to the dentist.  Contact your dentist immediately.  Knocked-out teeth have the best chance of being saved if treated within 1 hour of the trauma.

Of course, if you have any questions about the information listed above, please visit our website at http://www.brunnerfamilydental.com or give our office a call and we’d be happy to help.

Yours in good dental health

Brunner Family Dental

* The info graphic I found was thanks in part to Park 56 Dental in New York and can be seen at http://visual.ly/how-handle-common-dental-emergencies

The above information is not intended to treat or diagnose any condition or disease, but simply to provide information that may be beneficial.  Always contact your dental provider or seek medical attention for dental concerns.

Hello Friends!

“Why do I need x-rays? I brush my teeth”.

Sometimes we hear this question in our office, so I’d like to share some thoughts on the subject.

Dental x-rays are necessary for the following:

To check for decay between the teeth 

Often, decay isn’t visible to the naked eye, and exists in areas that dentists cannot see.

To check for bone loss associated with gum disease 

Gum disease can cause bone loss and an x-ray can determine how advanced it is.

To check for decay under current dental restorations

Sometimes, decay can occur under fillings and crowns and can only be seen with an x-ray.

To look for an infection at the tip of the root

Infections can occur at the very bottom of the tooth where the bone is (sometimes without causing any obvious symptoms) and an x-ray will show any abnormalities.

To examine an area prior to dental procedures

Dentists need a full view of the tooth and bone.

To check for abnormalities in the bone/sinus area

A dental x-ray can detect unusual masses or other areas of concern undetectable to the naked eye.

The most common concern expressed by a patient is the amount of radiation they are exposed to during a dental x-ray.  Any questions or concerns should be discussed with your dentist or hygienist.  Another good source of information is the American Dental Association.  You can visit their website at http://www.ada.org for breakdowns and dental x-ray recommendations.

As always, if we can answer any questions or help in any way, please visit our website at http://www.brunnerfamilydental.com.

Your friends at Brunner Family Dental

Hello Friends!

We often receive questions regarding dental x-rays; “Are they necessary?”, “Are they safe?”, and “Why do I need so many?” are typically the most common.  We found this great article from Delta Dental that had some great information from the ADA regarding dental x-rays.

All about x-rays

X-rays explained

Dental x-rays are a valuable part of dental treatment because they can detect damage to teeth and gums not visible during a routine checkup.

X-rays can show the condition of your teeth, their roots, your jaw placement and the overall composition of your facial bones. X-rays can help your dentist determine the presence or degree of gum disease, cavities, abscesses and many abnormal growths, such as cysts and tumors. X-rays also can show the exact location of impacted teeth and teeth that have not yet fully developed.

X-ray Q&A

Do all patients have x-rays taken every six months?

X-ray schedules are customized to fit your individual needs. If you are a new patient, your dentist will typically take x-rays to evaluate your oral health and track it during future visits, making sure that your teeth and gums stay healthy. If you have changed dentists and recently had x-rays taken, you can ask to have them sent to the new dentist so he or she is up-to-date on your oral health.

What kind of x-rays does my dentist usually take?

The most common type of x-rays dentists take are known as bitewing x-rays. These require patients to hold or bite down on a piece of plastic with x-ray film in the center. Bitewing x-rays typically determine the presence of decay in between teeth – one of the most common areas where decay-causing bacteria reside.

Periapical x-rays are another common type of dental x-ray, which gives the dentist an image of the entire tooth, including the roots. With periapical x-rays, dentists evaluate a particular tooth’s root structure and bone level, and also can detect cysts and abscesses.

My dentist has ordered a “panoramic radiograph.” What is that?

A panoramic x-ray, also called radiograph, allows your dentist to see your whole mouth, including your upper and lower teeth and parts of your jaw, in a single image. This gives him or her a clear image of any issues that may be harder to see up close. It can help predict children’s tooth development and may show complications with a teenager’s wisdom teeth before they erupt.

Why might I need more than one type of x-ray?

Different types of x-rays give your dentist an overview of different parts of your mouth. Panoramic x-rays give your dentist a general comprehensive view of your entire mouth on a single film, while bitewing or periapical x-rays show a detailed image of a smaller area, revealing decay or cavities between teeth. If your dentist needs both these vantage points to assess a problem, he or she will likely conduct multiple x-rays.

Should I be concerned about exposure to radiation?

All health care providers are sensitive to patients’ concerns about radiation. Your dentist has been trained to prescribe x-rays only when they are appropriate, and to tailor their frequency to your individual needs. By using state-of-the-art technology and staying knowledgeable about recent advances, your dentist knows which techniques, procedures and x-ray films can minimize your exposure to radiation.1

 

If you have any other questions or need more info, please visit our website at http://www.brunnerfamilydental.com.  We’ll be happy to discuss your individual concerns.

Your friends at

Brunner Family Dental

The oral health information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. You should always consult a licensed dentist or other qualified health care professional for any questions concerning your oral health.