Lusk Family Dentistry

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

At Lusk Family Dentistry, we never underestimate the importance of patient education. Not only do we care about the health of our patients, but we know that good oral care is essential for a person’s overall health.

Some of our most common questions are answered below. If you have any other questions, or if you have questions about your specific treatment or oral health in general, please don’t hesitate to ask! We want to help you make informed decisions about the oral health of you and your family.

Other

Insurance Coverage FAQ | Lusk Family DentistryDifferent insurance benefits cover different procedures, but we are happy to submit insurance forms for you so that you can maximize your benefits as much as possible. We accept most major dental insurances and try to work with you to have you be seen in our office. Please visit our financial page for more.

Accepted Payments for Dental Services

Please be prepared to pay any deductibles and co-pays at the time of treatment. We accept cash, checks, and major credit cards. To help you with your payments we also offer financing through CareCredit. To see if your insurance is taken or to learn more about CareCredit please call our office.

denture care | farmington nm dentistSome people who have full dentures and no remaining natural teeth are under the impression that they no longer need to visit the dentist regularly.  However, good oral health includes healthy gums and adequate bone to support the denture. Dr. Lusk is specialized in keeping your dentures in the best shape possible. 

Changes To Your Dentures

The longer patients wear dentures, the more likely it becomes that the denture may begin to fit poorly due to hard and soft tissue changes.  Ill-fitting dentures can lead to other health issues such as poor nutrition due to the difficulty in eating healthy foods as a result of their dentures not fitting properly.  

Regular preventive care can help lengthen the life of your denture and keep the foundation of your smile secure. Read more about our dentures here, and please call us today if you have any questions.

Sealants are a thin, protective coating that adheres to the chewing surface of your back teeth. Sealants help keep bits of food, bacteria and acid from settling on your teeth, thus helping to prevent cavities from forming. 

How Are Sealants Placed?dental sealant in farmington nm

Sealants are a quick and painless process. First, Dr. Lusk will clean and dry your tooth before placing an acidic gel on your teeth. This gel roughs up your tooth surface so a strong bond will form between your tooth and the sealant. After a few seconds, Dr. Lusk will rinse off the gel and dry your tooth once again before applying the sealant onto the grooves of your tooth. A special blue light is then placed over the tooth which hardens the sealant. 

Children and adults alike can benefit from sealants, but the earlier you get them, the better. Your first molars appear around age 6, and second molars break through around age 12. Sealing these teeth as soon as they come through can keep them cavity-free from the start, which helps save time and money in the long run.

Call our office to be seen for your cavity treatment and to have sealants placed to protect your smile.

Plaque is a soft, sticky film that builds up on your teeth and contains millions of bacteria. The bacteria in plaque can cause tooth decay and gum disease if they are not removed regularly through brushing and flossing.

Plaque that is not removed daily by brushing and flossing between teeth can eventually harden into tartar. Brushing and flossing become more difficult as tartar collects at the gum line. As the tartar, plaque, and bacteria continue to increase, the gum tissue can become red, swollen and possibly bleed when you brush your teeth. This is called gingivitis, an early stage of gum (periodontal) disease.

Preventing Plaque BuildupPlaque and brushing habits

Since plaque is constantly growing in your mouth, the following steps are important for keeping your teeth healthy and strong:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque from tooth surfaces and protect your teeth from decay.
  • Flossing is an essential step in preventing gum disease. Clean between teeth daily using traditional floss or a water flosser to remove plaque from the places where your toothbrush can’t reach.
  • Visit our office twice a year for professional cleanings and oral exams.

View a brief rundown of our dental services to see how we can help you clean your teeth!  Call us today for more information!

Although recent news reports have questioned the benefits of cleaning between your teeth, using an interdental cleaner (like floss) is an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums.

Along with brushing twice a day we recommend cleaning between your teeth once a day. This is important because plaque that is not removed by brushing and flossing can eventually harden into tartar. Flossing also helps prevent gum disease and cavities.

Other Flossing Options

You do not have to use traditional string floss as there are several options for cleaning between teeth. You might choose to use dental floss or another product specifically made for this purpose like a dental pick, pre-threaded flosser, tiny brushes that reach between the teeth, water flosser or toothpick.

Keep in mind that cleaning between your teeth should not be painful. If you do it too hard, you could damage the tissue between your teeth.  It’s normal to feel some discomfort or even have a small amount of bleeding when you first start, but don’t give up. With daily brushing and cleaning between your teeth, that discomfort should ease within a week or two. 

Be sure to schedule your regular dental cleanings and exams here at Lusk Family Dentistry. 

Occasional bad breath happens to almost everybody.  While chronic bad breath (also known as halitosis) might have more serious causes, occasional bad breath can be prevented fairly easily with good oral care.

Bad Oral CareBad Breath and Brushing Habits | Farmington NM dentist

If you’re not brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day you should reconsider.  When you don’t brush after eating, the food particles in your mouth become a breeding ground for bacterial growth, causing you to have bad breath and develop cavities.  Brushing your tongue or using a tongue scraper is also recommended. 

Chronic bad breath could also be a sign of gum disease. Gum (periodontal) disease happens when the bacteria that forms in your mouth as a result of plaque buildup on your teeth causes toxins to develop and irritate your gums.  If you think gum disease could be what’s behind your bad breath, call our office — if left untreated, gum disease can lead to very serious damage of your gums and teeth.

Other Bad Breath Factors

Certain medications, salivary gland issues, and mouth breathing can cause dry mouth (xerostomia), which can also lead to bad breath.  Dry mouth occurs when you’re not making enough saliva to combat the acids caused by plaque, and it also allows the dead cells that naturally collect on your tongue, cheeks, and gums to build up. When this buildup doesn’t get washed away by your saliva, all those cells start to decompose, causing your breath to smell badly.  While this isn’t a long-term solution to chronic dry mouth, certain sugar-free gums and mints can help boost your saliva production. 

Bad breath is kind of embarrassing, and we know seeking help for it is a little awkward. But it’s something we’ve all dealt with, or will deal with, and it ties directly to your oral health.  If you are concerned that you are suffering from bad breath, call our office for an appointment today.  

dental exam | famington nm dentistThe American Dental Association recommends that most people visit the dentist twice each year for an examination and cleaning. Patients who have dental issues, such as periodontal disease, might need to come in every three to four months for deep cleanings.

Dental Cleanings and Exams

We know visiting the dentist isn't at the top of your bucket list every 6 months, but it can make all the difference in your oral health. By preventing serious issues from occurring, you'll also be saving yourself time and money down the road. When dental issues go untreated, the expensive and treatments needed can become extensive. 

If you have any questions, or if you'd like to schedule your appointment for a cleaning, don't hesitate to contact our office today to get started! 

Periodontal (gum) diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious disease that results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth.  In the worst cases, teeth become loose and fall out, or need to be extracted. Gum Disease | farmington nm dentist

The longer plaque and tartar are on teeth, the more harmful they become. The bacteria cause inflammation of the gums that is called gingivitis. Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease.   In gingivitis, the gums become red, swollen and can bleed easily. Gingivitis can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing, and regular cleaning by a dental hygienist. This form of periodontal disease does not include any loss of bone or tissue that holds teeth in place.

When gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to periodontitis.  In periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets in the gums around your teeth that become infected.  If not treated, the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed. The teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

Symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Bad breath that won’t go away
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums or longer appearing teeth

Any of these symptoms may be a sign of a serious problem.  Call our office to schedule an appointment if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.  

Studies have shown that people with poorly controlled diabetes are at greater risk for dental problems. They're more likely to have infections of their gums and the bones that hold their teeth in place, because diabetes can reduce the blood supply to the gums. Having a healthy supply of blood to your gums ensures that they are able to fight off infection quickly.diabetes and dental health | farmington nm

High blood sugar may also cause dry mouth and make gum disease worse.  Less saliva allows for more tooth-decaying bacteria and plaque buildup.

Maintaining Dental Health

Regular dental visits are important. Our team will help you with any questions you may have about maintaining good habits. Practicing good oral hygiene and controlling your blood sugar levels will help your body fight off the bacteria in your mouth that cause gum disease and decay. Call our office today to schedule your next dental cleaning and exam.

When people hear that they have a cavity, they are often surprised because it doesn't hurt. The truth is that early cavities do not always cause pain.  dental fillings in farmington nm

What Is Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay begins by entering the tooth at the outermost layer – the enamel. Since the enamel is the strongest, thickest layer of the tooth, and does not contain any nerve endings many patients will not feel any pain when the cavity is in this early phase. Once the decay penetrates the enamel, it continues to spread and pass through the other layers of the teeth. In most cases once the patient starts to have hot or cold sensitivity or pain, the decay has already spread much deeper.

You do not want to wait until you feel pain to have your cavity treated.  Waiting too long can often cause for the need for more extensive and costly treatment such as a root canal, crown, or even an extraction. Read more about our Tooth Colored Fillings here.

If you need a dental filling please call our office and be seen by Dr. Lusk as soon as possible. 

Cosmetic Dentistry Smile Makeovers

Everyone deserves to look their best, and many of us work hard to showcase our assets. From flattering clothes to beautiful hairstyles, most of us enjoy feeling good about our image. While makeup and beautiful clothing can improve your appearance; nothing can hide an imperfect smile. A chipped tooth can offset a perfectly tailored suit, while yellow teeth can distract from immaculate makeup. A smile can be the biggest asset you possess, and if you're not entirely happy with yours, your self-esteem stock may plummet. 

Instead of just tight-lipped smiles in pictures or hiding your mouth when you speak—you could just call your dentist at Lusk Family Dentistry in Farmington, NM to discuss your options. You may be surprised at the variety of dental options you have to increase your attractiveness in one or two dental office visits. 

Get Your Perfect Smile 

Dr. Jared Lusk is just as eager as you are to bring back your confidence and happiness regarding your teeth. If you have yellow or brown stained teeth, we can whiten them and erase years from your appearance. If you have lost a tooth, we can replace it and make your smile as good as new. Teeth that are crowded together can be straightened with Invisalign. Misshapen teeth or gaps between them can be fixed with porcelain veneers or dental bonding. Dental crowns can cover a weakened tooth and blend naturally with your existing teeth. 

You Have Many Dental Options

Every mouth is unique; your dental flaws and smile goals are specific to you. Dr. Lusk, in Farmington, NM, will sit down with you and understand who you are and what you want from your smile. Together, we can achieve your smile goals. 

Call Dr. Lusk and the dental staff at Lusk Family Dentistry at  (505) 325-8401 to set up a dental consultation. 

If you are considering porcelain veneers to replace cracked or damaged teeth, it is normal to have concerns and to wonder if other people will be able to tell. Patients are often woman smiling | porcelain veneers farmington nm concerned about their smiles looking or feeling fake or unnatural.

At Lusk Family Dentistry, we strive to provide each of our patients with a smile they can feel confident and great about — and patients who choose porcelain veneers are no exception.

What Are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are engineered to take on the appearance and the function of natural teeth. The thin shell of porcelain that is permanently bonded to the surface of the natural tooth is meant to protect the structure and improve the appearance of a compromised area of the mouth. Porcelain veneers are made of very high-quality materials and are meant to last for approximately a decade, which means they are strong and durable. 

Most likely, other people will not be able to tell your porcelain veneers from a natural tooth without observing your mouth very closely and from a close viewing distance. Unlike dentures, flippers, or other removable structures, the permanency of dental veneers helps create the illusion that they are natural structures in your mouth. Unless someone was very familiar with your damaged or discolored smile prior to your receiving veneers, they would likely never know your veneers were not your natural teeth! 

If you are considering porcelain veneers in Albuquerque, NM, make a dental appointment with Dr. Jared Lusk and our team today! 

A missing tooth can negatively affect your bite, speech, and eating.  There are several options you have for replacing missing teeth – from temporary solutions to permanent fixes. 

A fixed bridge is a set of teeth that are connected to one another.  It is permanently cemented to the teeth adjacent to the missing teeth to fill the space flawlessly. 

Partial and Full Dentures

 A removable partial is also an option for replacing missing teeth.  The partial is cast in metal and plastic and held in place by wire clips that fit around the adjacent teeth.  This prosthetic can be removed and reinserted by the patient. 

Another option for people missing all of their teeth on the top or bottom or both is a complete denture.  A denture is a removable device that replaces the missing teeth and gum tissue connected to those teeth. It is made of acrylic plastic, and sometimes porcelain and metal materials.  A denture closely resembles natural gum tissue and teeth. 

Missing Tooth Options | Farmington NM

Dental Implants

Dental implants are another comfortable and permanent option for replacing missing teeth.  A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath the gum line.  This post acts as the root of the tooth, and Dr. Lusk is then able to mount replacement teeth or a bridge into that area. Implants are attractive, stable, and comfortable for most patients.  Read more about our dental implant procedures here.

Call us today to schedule an appointment!

Custom Full and Partial Dentures

How Long Do Dentures Last FAQ | Lusk Family DentistryDentures will, eventually, need to be replaced, but with the proper care, they can last 5-8 years.  Over this time, dentures get worn out due to regular use, and your gums may change shape or shrink over the years. Sometimes, dentures can be relined or refitted and their life extended.

Making Your Dentures Last Longer

To make sure your denture lasts as long as possible, you should:

  • Have an exam each year to check your bone and gums, bite, and the denture.
  • Don't ever adjust your denture yourself.
  • Be careful not to drop your dentures especially in the sink. The hard porcelain of the sink can chip or break your dentures.
  • Clean your dentures following our recommendations. Using harsh chemicals or abrasives will shorten the life of your dentures.
  • Keep your dentures away from pets. Dogs, especially, love to use dentures as chew toys.

Click on the link to read more about our full and partial dentures here at Lusk Family Dentistry.

No matter why your dentures aren't fitting well, the problem can be fixed. Ill-fitting dentures can make it very difficult to eat and speak and, if the fit is poor enough, can cause mouth sores and discomfort. There are several reasons why the fit of your denture may change over time.  

Changes to your mouthdentures | farmington nm dentist

As you age, your mouth changes.  Your jawbones deteriorate slowly over time, changing the shape of your jaws and gums.  The mold that was originally used to make your dentures captured your mouth the way it was at that moment in time. Unfortunately, your dentures cannot change shape with you and the fit gradually declines as your body changes.

Health Issues

Diabetes, osteoporosis and other illnesses can cause changes to the shape of your mouth, thereby changing the way your dentures fit. Cancer treatments can also cause oral issues as can over 500 prescription medications that cause dry mouth. Other health conditions, such as arthritis, make it difficult to properly clean dentures, resulting in a plaque buildup that affects the way dentures fit. It is important to see both your doctor and dentist regularly to manage these conditions and enjoy life comfortably and happily in good health.

Denture Damage

Your dentures work hard at every meal and after a time may need a bit of TLC. Hairline cracks, bent clasps, chips, and dings all affect the way dentures fit. Regular visits to the dentist are key to fixing these problems early before they cause discomfort or painful sore spots.

If you are experiencing ill-fitting dentures, call our office today to have your dentures checked and repaired if necessary.

denture care | farmington nm dentistSome people who have full dentures and no remaining natural teeth are under the impression that they no longer need to visit the dentist regularly.  However, good oral health includes healthy gums and adequate bone to support the denture. Dr. Lusk is specialized in keeping your dentures in the best shape possible. 

Changes To Your Dentures

The longer patients wear dentures, the more likely it becomes that the denture may begin to fit poorly due to hard and soft tissue changes.  Ill-fitting dentures can lead to other health issues such as poor nutrition due to the difficulty in eating healthy foods as a result of their dentures not fitting properly.  

Regular preventive care can help lengthen the life of your denture and keep the foundation of your smile secure. Read more about our dentures here, and please call us today if you have any questions.

A missing tooth can negatively affect your bite, speech, and eating.  There are several options you have for replacing missing teeth – from temporary solutions to permanent fixes. 

A fixed bridge is a set of teeth that are connected to one another.  It is permanently cemented to the teeth adjacent to the missing teeth to fill the space flawlessly. 

Partial and Full Dentures

 A removable partial is also an option for replacing missing teeth.  The partial is cast in metal and plastic and held in place by wire clips that fit around the adjacent teeth.  This prosthetic can be removed and reinserted by the patient. 

Another option for people missing all of their teeth on the top or bottom or both is a complete denture.  A denture is a removable device that replaces the missing teeth and gum tissue connected to those teeth. It is made of acrylic plastic, and sometimes porcelain and metal materials.  A denture closely resembles natural gum tissue and teeth. 

Missing Tooth Options | Farmington NM

Dental Implants

Dental implants are another comfortable and permanent option for replacing missing teeth.  A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath the gum line.  This post acts as the root of the tooth, and Dr. Lusk is then able to mount replacement teeth or a bridge into that area. Implants are attractive, stable, and comfortable for most patients.  Read more about our dental implant procedures here.

Call us today to schedule an appointment!

Dental Crowns and Bridges

At Lusk Family Dentistry, we strive to provide our Farmington, NM patients with beautiful and strong dental restorations. Your smile is our top priority, which is why we always want to create a look you will love. 

If you single dental crown | dentist farmington nmfind yourself in need of a dental crown for any reason, our skilled Farmington family dentist, Dr. Jared Lusk, will help design a crown that blends in with your natural smile. Whether you need a crown to cover a misshapen tooth, to complete a dental implant, or to protect an area damaged by a large filling, we believe your crown should match the look of the rest of your teeth.

Personalized Restorative Care

Before your crown is placed, you will have an initial dental appointment with Dr. Lusk. During this dental appointment, Dr. Lusk will examine your damaged tooth and the neighboring teeth. The artificial dental crown will be custom-built to blend with the look of your smile, including the color of your other natural teeth. Because dental crowns are made from porcelain and other high-quality materials, it is easy to personalize their shade of white.

Once the crown is placed in your mouth, it will fit seamlessly alongside its adjacent teeth. No one else will even be able to tell it is not a real tooth!

To discover more about our natural-looking dental crowns in Farmington, NM, visit our office today!

A missing tooth can negatively affect your bite, speech, and eating.  There are several options you have for replacing missing teeth – from temporary solutions to permanent fixes. 

A fixed bridge is a set of teeth that are connected to one another.  It is permanently cemented to the teeth adjacent to the missing teeth to fill the space flawlessly. 

Partial and Full Dentures

 A removable partial is also an option for replacing missing teeth.  The partial is cast in metal and plastic and held in place by wire clips that fit around the adjacent teeth.  This prosthetic can be removed and reinserted by the patient. 

Another option for people missing all of their teeth on the top or bottom or both is a complete denture.  A denture is a removable device that replaces the missing teeth and gum tissue connected to those teeth. It is made of acrylic plastic, and sometimes porcelain and metal materials.  A denture closely resembles natural gum tissue and teeth. 

Missing Tooth Options | Farmington NM

Dental Implants

Dental implants are another comfortable and permanent option for replacing missing teeth.  A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath the gum line.  This post acts as the root of the tooth, and Dr. Lusk is then able to mount replacement teeth or a bridge into that area. Implants are attractive, stable, and comfortable for most patients.  Read more about our dental implant procedures here.

Call us today to schedule an appointment!

Dental Implants

It’s best for your oral health to have missing teeth replaced as soon as possible. After tooth loss, changes take place in your jaw and gums that can lead to gum recession, bone dental implants to replace a missing tooth farmingtion nm loss, and loss of other teeth. Dental implants are the only tooth replacement that addresses these dental issues and leaves you with a complete, confident smile.

Most people who have missing teeth are good candidates for dental implants. The general rule is that if you’re healthy enough for oral surgery, you can get an implant.

Reasons Why Dental Implants Are Not Right For You

There are a couple of situations where Dr. Lusk might advise against implants or would need to complete other procedures ahead of implant placement. 

  • You are a smoker – Smoking lowers the success rate of implant surgery and proper healing, so Dr. Lusk will talk to you about quitting, at least temporarily while your implant heals.
  • You have bone loss in your jaw – Implants need to be placed in dense bone to be successful long-term, so you may require a bone grafting procedure before placement.
  • You have ongoing medical conditions – Some chronic diseases like diabetes, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure affect healing, so we may need to take extra precautions before implant placement.

At Lusk Family Dentistry, we have helped many patients looking for dental implants in Farmington, NM. The first step is to call us for a consultation so we can evaluate your needs and help you decide if implants are right for you.

Yes; they will look so real that no one will know you have an implant or implants

Dental implants are the most life-like teeth replacements currently available. They look and behave just like your natural teeth, giving you a great smile and restoring bite function. dental implants farmington nmAt Lusk Family Dentistry, our patients love their results following dental implants.

The implant process begins with a small titanium post. This post is surgically implanted into your jaw, and our cosmetic dentist will make sure you’re numb and comfortable throughout the implant process.

After a few months, the titanium post adheres to your jawbone creating an unwavering foundation for your realistic-looking tooth replacement.

Because these implant posts are sturdy, a few implants can support a line of new teeth on a bridge or an attached denture.

Following healing, you will not feel as if you have an implant or bridge. Dental implants come to feel like a natural part of your mouth over time.

Contact our Farmington, NM dental office

You don’t have to live with missing teeth. At Lusk Family Dentistry, we can replace your missing teeth with dental implants. Contact our dental office if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a consultation.   

 

A missing tooth can negatively affect your bite, speech, and eating.  There are several options you have for replacing missing teeth – from temporary solutions to permanent fixes. 

A fixed bridge is a set of teeth that are connected to one another.  It is permanently cemented to the teeth adjacent to the missing teeth to fill the space flawlessly. 

Partial and Full Dentures

 A removable partial is also an option for replacing missing teeth.  The partial is cast in metal and plastic and held in place by wire clips that fit around the adjacent teeth.  This prosthetic can be removed and reinserted by the patient. 

Another option for people missing all of their teeth on the top or bottom or both is a complete denture.  A denture is a removable device that replaces the missing teeth and gum tissue connected to those teeth. It is made of acrylic plastic, and sometimes porcelain and metal materials.  A denture closely resembles natural gum tissue and teeth. 

Missing Tooth Options | Farmington NM

Dental Implants

Dental implants are another comfortable and permanent option for replacing missing teeth.  A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath the gum line.  This post acts as the root of the tooth, and Dr. Lusk is then able to mount replacement teeth or a bridge into that area. Implants are attractive, stable, and comfortable for most patients.  Read more about our dental implant procedures here.

Call us today to schedule an appointment!

Family Dentistry

denture care | farmington nm dentistSome people who have full dentures and no remaining natural teeth are under the impression that they no longer need to visit the dentist regularly.  However, good oral health includes healthy gums and adequate bone to support the denture. Dr. Lusk is specialized in keeping your dentures in the best shape possible. 

Changes To Your Dentures

The longer patients wear dentures, the more likely it becomes that the denture may begin to fit poorly due to hard and soft tissue changes.  Ill-fitting dentures can lead to other health issues such as poor nutrition due to the difficulty in eating healthy foods as a result of their dentures not fitting properly.  

Regular preventive care can help lengthen the life of your denture and keep the foundation of your smile secure. Read more about our dentures here, and please call us today if you have any questions.

Sealants are a thin, protective coating that adheres to the chewing surface of your back teeth. Sealants help keep bits of food, bacteria and acid from settling on your teeth, thus helping to prevent cavities from forming. 

How Are Sealants Placed?dental sealant in farmington nm

Sealants are a quick and painless process. First, Dr. Lusk will clean and dry your tooth before placing an acidic gel on your teeth. This gel roughs up your tooth surface so a strong bond will form between your tooth and the sealant. After a few seconds, Dr. Lusk will rinse off the gel and dry your tooth once again before applying the sealant onto the grooves of your tooth. A special blue light is then placed over the tooth which hardens the sealant. 

Children and adults alike can benefit from sealants, but the earlier you get them, the better. Your first molars appear around age 6, and second molars break through around age 12. Sealing these teeth as soon as they come through can keep them cavity-free from the start, which helps save time and money in the long run.

Call our office to be seen for your cavity treatment and to have sealants placed to protect your smile.

Although recent news reports have questioned the benefits of cleaning between your teeth, using an interdental cleaner (like floss) is an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums.

Along with brushing twice a day we recommend cleaning between your teeth once a day. This is important because plaque that is not removed by brushing and flossing can eventually harden into tartar. Flossing also helps prevent gum disease and cavities.

Other Flossing Options

You do not have to use traditional string floss as there are several options for cleaning between teeth. You might choose to use dental floss or another product specifically made for this purpose like a dental pick, pre-threaded flosser, tiny brushes that reach between the teeth, water flosser or toothpick.

Keep in mind that cleaning between your teeth should not be painful. If you do it too hard, you could damage the tissue between your teeth.  It’s normal to feel some discomfort or even have a small amount of bleeding when you first start, but don’t give up. With daily brushing and cleaning between your teeth, that discomfort should ease within a week or two. 

Be sure to schedule your regular dental cleanings and exams here at Lusk Family Dentistry. 

Studies have shown that people with poorly controlled diabetes are at greater risk for dental problems. They're more likely to have infections of their gums and the bones that hold their teeth in place, because diabetes can reduce the blood supply to the gums. Having a healthy supply of blood to your gums ensures that they are able to fight off infection quickly.diabetes and dental health | farmington nm

High blood sugar may also cause dry mouth and make gum disease worse.  Less saliva allows for more tooth-decaying bacteria and plaque buildup.

Maintaining Dental Health

Regular dental visits are important. Our team will help you with any questions you may have about maintaining good habits. Practicing good oral hygiene and controlling your blood sugar levels will help your body fight off the bacteria in your mouth that cause gum disease and decay. Call our office today to schedule your next dental cleaning and exam.

When people hear that they have a cavity, they are often surprised because it doesn't hurt. The truth is that early cavities do not always cause pain.  dental fillings in farmington nm

What Is Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay begins by entering the tooth at the outermost layer – the enamel. Since the enamel is the strongest, thickest layer of the tooth, and does not contain any nerve endings many patients will not feel any pain when the cavity is in this early phase. Once the decay penetrates the enamel, it continues to spread and pass through the other layers of the teeth. In most cases once the patient starts to have hot or cold sensitivity or pain, the decay has already spread much deeper.

You do not want to wait until you feel pain to have your cavity treated.  Waiting too long can often cause for the need for more extensive and costly treatment such as a root canal, crown, or even an extraction. Read more about our Tooth Colored Fillings here.

If you need a dental filling please call our office and be seen by Dr. Lusk as soon as possible. 

Periodontal Treatment

brushing teeth | gum disease treatment farmington nmIf your gums bleed after you brush and floss, you might be suffering from gum disease (periodontal disease). Bleeding gums is one of the first signs of gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease.  Gum disease is linked to other diseases as well, so it's not worth waiting for treatment. 

Other Signs of Gum Disease

Other signs that you might notice include persistent bad breath, red or swollen gums, receding gums, or in more severe cases, even loosening teeth. It's important that you get the right care before tooth loss occurs, and our experienced team can help you get your gums back to being healthy! 

If you think you're suffering from gum disease, your gums are bleeding, or you're experiencing other symptoms, don't hesitate to call our Farmington, NM dentist office.

Occasional bad breath happens to almost everybody.  While chronic bad breath (also known as halitosis) might have more serious causes, occasional bad breath can be prevented fairly easily with good oral care.

Bad Oral CareBad Breath and Brushing Habits | Farmington NM dentist

If you’re not brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day you should reconsider.  When you don’t brush after eating, the food particles in your mouth become a breeding ground for bacterial growth, causing you to have bad breath and develop cavities.  Brushing your tongue or using a tongue scraper is also recommended. 

Chronic bad breath could also be a sign of gum disease. Gum (periodontal) disease happens when the bacteria that forms in your mouth as a result of plaque buildup on your teeth causes toxins to develop and irritate your gums.  If you think gum disease could be what’s behind your bad breath, call our office — if left untreated, gum disease can lead to very serious damage of your gums and teeth.

Other Bad Breath Factors

Certain medications, salivary gland issues, and mouth breathing can cause dry mouth (xerostomia), which can also lead to bad breath.  Dry mouth occurs when you’re not making enough saliva to combat the acids caused by plaque, and it also allows the dead cells that naturally collect on your tongue, cheeks, and gums to build up. When this buildup doesn’t get washed away by your saliva, all those cells start to decompose, causing your breath to smell badly.  While this isn’t a long-term solution to chronic dry mouth, certain sugar-free gums and mints can help boost your saliva production. 

Bad breath is kind of embarrassing, and we know seeking help for it is a little awkward. But it’s something we’ve all dealt with, or will deal with, and it ties directly to your oral health.  If you are concerned that you are suffering from bad breath, call our office for an appointment today.  

dental exam | famington nm dentistThe American Dental Association recommends that most people visit the dentist twice each year for an examination and cleaning. Patients who have dental issues, such as periodontal disease, might need to come in every three to four months for deep cleanings.

Dental Cleanings and Exams

We know visiting the dentist isn't at the top of your bucket list every 6 months, but it can make all the difference in your oral health. By preventing serious issues from occurring, you'll also be saving yourself time and money down the road. When dental issues go untreated, the expensive and treatments needed can become extensive. 

If you have any questions, or if you'd like to schedule your appointment for a cleaning, don't hesitate to contact our office today to get started! 

Periodontal (gum) diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious disease that results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth.  In the worst cases, teeth become loose and fall out, or need to be extracted. Gum Disease | farmington nm dentist

The longer plaque and tartar are on teeth, the more harmful they become. The bacteria cause inflammation of the gums that is called gingivitis. Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease.   In gingivitis, the gums become red, swollen and can bleed easily. Gingivitis can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing, and regular cleaning by a dental hygienist. This form of periodontal disease does not include any loss of bone or tissue that holds teeth in place.

When gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to periodontitis.  In periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets in the gums around your teeth that become infected.  If not treated, the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed. The teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

Symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Bad breath that won’t go away
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums or longer appearing teeth

Any of these symptoms may be a sign of a serious problem.  Call our office to schedule an appointment if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.  

Studies have shown that people with poorly controlled diabetes are at greater risk for dental problems. They're more likely to have infections of their gums and the bones that hold their teeth in place, because diabetes can reduce the blood supply to the gums. Having a healthy supply of blood to your gums ensures that they are able to fight off infection quickly.diabetes and dental health | farmington nm

High blood sugar may also cause dry mouth and make gum disease worse.  Less saliva allows for more tooth-decaying bacteria and plaque buildup.

Maintaining Dental Health

Regular dental visits are important. Our team will help you with any questions you may have about maintaining good habits. Practicing good oral hygiene and controlling your blood sugar levels will help your body fight off the bacteria in your mouth that cause gum disease and decay. Call our office today to schedule your next dental cleaning and exam.

Root Canal Treatment

Dentists use root canal treatments to save teeth that have become badly damaged and would otherwise need to be extracted. If you are experiencing extreme pain and tenderness in a dental crowns | dentist farmington nmspecific tooth, you may need a root canal.

But what makes root canals necessary in the first place? Root canals are needed when certain parts of a tooth — the pulp or the nerve itself — become infected. During a root canal, the pulp and nerve of a tooth are removed. While this procedure may seem drastic, it becomes necessary when a tooth has experienced severe trauma. Such trauma can include:

  • A large crack that exposes the inner-parts of the tooth
  • Forceful impact to the tooth, such as being punched in the face or hit with a hockey puck, which breaks the tooth open
  • Significant dental decay that is too deep to treat with a standard filling

Root canal procedures are necessary in order to stop the tooth pulp from breaking down and decaying inside the tooth. If left untreated, the pulp can lead to severe infections and abscesses, which can lead to bone loss and cause problems in other parts of the body.

If pain, swelling, tenderness, and sensitivity to hot or cold have developed in a tooth, you should be seen by a dentist immediately. For questions about root canals in Farmington, NM, call Lusk Family Dentistry today.

A root canal is a treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth. When you have tooth decay that goes untreated, it can reach the inner area of your tooth. This area contains your nerves and other tissue, and once decay reaches it, it can become painful. Many people think that root canal treatments are painful, but they actually relieve the pain that is being caused by the tooth decay! 

How A Root Canal Is Done?blonde man leaning on a wall smiling | root canal farmington nm

The procedure involves removing the damaged nerve of the tooth, cleaning and disinfecting it, and then filling and sealing it. In some cases a crown is needed for the tooth. Once a crown is placed, patients typically don't have any further pain or decay on the tooth. The most common causes for the need for a root canal treatment are a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, repeated dental treatment to the tooth, or trauma. 

Call us today for more information or to set up an appointment at Lusk Family Dentistry if you are experiencing tooth pain, or if you have any questions! 

TMJ Disorder Treatment

Teeth Wearing Away FAQ | Lusk Family DentistryTeeth are made for chewing, and the outermost layer of teeth—the enamel—is the strongest substance in the body. Certain things can lead to wearing down of the teeth. If you are grinding and clenching your teeth, this can cause damage to the enamel and it can fracture fillings.

Problems With Your Bite

Malocclusion, or bite problems, can also cause excessive wearing of teeth. An occlusal adjustment corrects the alignment of the bite. Once your bite is adjusted, your teeth will meet properly, preventing unnecessary wear.

Click on the link to read more about our TMJ treatment options here at Lusk Family Dentistry. If you feel like you have a problem with your bite, please call our office for an in-depth exam and explanation of treatment.

 

You might have a temporomandibular disorder (TMD), although it is more commonly called TMJ disorder. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge that connects our TMJ Treatment | farmington nmlower jaw to our skull. When the joint becomes inflamed, people can have chronic jaw pain as well as limited mobility and fatigue.

You might also have issues with your bite that are causing the pain. Your bite might be misaligned and may need orthodontic treatment to fix this issue. To be seen for your jaw pain and to discuss all your options, call our office!

If your teeth are chipping and breaking, you might be grinding your teeth—either consciously or subconsciously while you sleep.chipping teeth | farmington nm dentist This could be a sign of nighttime grinding or TMJ, which causes you to clench your teeth. This can lead to further problems with your teeth and your overall oral health. Sometimes TMJ treatment is required to stop further damage.

Occlusal Adjustment

Another possibility is that your bite needs an adjustment. An occlusal adjustment corrects the alignment of the bite that might be off because of loose, shifting, crowded, or missing teeth. The result is an evenly distributed bite that eliminates irregular pressure on one side of the mouth. Once your bite is adjusted, your teeth will meet properly and your teeth will no longer be subject to enough pressure to chip and break.

Call our office to schedule your exam to see if you could benefit from TMJ treatment. 

Tooth-Colored Fillings

Composite tooth fillings can often yellow or brown over time due to foods and beverages you intake, or other variables. If you get your teeth professionally whitened, the composite filling will not brighten and may be more noticeable. If you have had professional teeth whitening, Dr. Lusk may replace your filling to match your updated shade. 

If you notice that your filling is darkening, it will only darken more in time and become unsightly. Call us at Lusk Family Dentistry if you have noticed that your fillings are dark so we can go over your dental options.

At this point, many patients request a replacement filling. Dr. Lusk will check your filling to ensure it is not leaking or that the seal is intact. If the filling remains sealed, Dr. Lusk may file down the filling a little to remove the superficial stain. 

Why Does the Filling Become Stained?man smiling | tooth colored fillings farmington nm

It's essential to bear in mind that tooth-colored fillings are made from resin that is porous and can, therefore, pick up stains. These stains are often on the surface and can be removed after filing the top layer. Frequent refilling can eventually weaken the tooth to the point that a dental crown may be necessary. Dr. Lusk may polish and buff the stained filling so that it blends naturally with your teeth. 

You can maintain the color of your filling by practicing good oral health through brushing and flossing.

We are here to maintain the health and appeal of your teeth; dark tooth fillings can be polished or replaced depending on the recommendation of Dr. Lusk. Contact us at (505) 325-8401 in Farmington, NM to keep your teeth white and polished. 

Sealants are a thin, protective coating that adheres to the chewing surface of your back teeth. Sealants help keep bits of food, bacteria and acid from settling on your teeth, thus helping to prevent cavities from forming. 

How Are Sealants Placed?dental sealant in farmington nm

Sealants are a quick and painless process. First, Dr. Lusk will clean and dry your tooth before placing an acidic gel on your teeth. This gel roughs up your tooth surface so a strong bond will form between your tooth and the sealant. After a few seconds, Dr. Lusk will rinse off the gel and dry your tooth once again before applying the sealant onto the grooves of your tooth. A special blue light is then placed over the tooth which hardens the sealant. 

Children and adults alike can benefit from sealants, but the earlier you get them, the better. Your first molars appear around age 6, and second molars break through around age 12. Sealing these teeth as soon as they come through can keep them cavity-free from the start, which helps save time and money in the long run.

Call our office to be seen for your cavity treatment and to have sealants placed to protect your smile.

When people hear that they have a cavity, they are often surprised because it doesn't hurt. The truth is that early cavities do not always cause pain.  dental fillings in farmington nm

What Is Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay begins by entering the tooth at the outermost layer – the enamel. Since the enamel is the strongest, thickest layer of the tooth, and does not contain any nerve endings many patients will not feel any pain when the cavity is in this early phase. Once the decay penetrates the enamel, it continues to spread and pass through the other layers of the teeth. In most cases once the patient starts to have hot or cold sensitivity or pain, the decay has already spread much deeper.

You do not want to wait until you feel pain to have your cavity treated.  Waiting too long can often cause for the need for more extensive and costly treatment such as a root canal, crown, or even an extraction. Read more about our Tooth Colored Fillings here.

If you need a dental filling please call our office and be seen by Dr. Lusk as soon as possible. 

Not finding what you need?
If you have difficulty using our website, please email us or call us at (505) 325-8401
View the ADA Accessibility Statement

As of May 18th, we are open for elective care! We are looking forward to seeing you at your next appointment!