Dr. Stone's Office

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

Your questions are always welcome at Dr. Stone's Office. We want you to always be fully informed and comfortable with decisions you make about your family's dental care. Our team has many years of experience and can answer any oral health care questions you have. No question is too big or too small – if it's a concern for you, it's a concern for us, too. 

We've chosen a few questions we hear frequently and shared them below. However, you probably have some of your own, so please contact us if you don't see your question answered here. 


We accept long-term financing for up to 60 months using Care Credit. Even with bad credit or no credit, these plans can help you pay for more extensive dental treatments with the use of a co-signor. 

Brush your child's teeth for about two minutes twice a day: once just before bedtime and at least one other time during the day. Encourage them to spit out excess toothpaste but not to rinse with lots of water. Rinsing with water after tooth brushing will wash away the fluoride and reduce its benefits.

A check-up every six months is recommended in order prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your hygienist or Dr. Stone can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their personal oral health.

The comfort and safety of our patients are our highest priorities. At Northern Hills Dental we use efficient, healthy digital x-rays. It is estimated that your exposure using digital x-rays is about 90% less than traditional film x-rays. 

Digital imaging gives us a highly detailed view of your mouth. Using this information, we can diagnose dental problems and develop an effective treatment plan. Digital images take very little time to develop, and we can get you in and out of our office faster with efficient diagnostics and treatment that is appropriate for your needs. Digital imaging also allows you to be part of the diagnostic and planning process because the images let you see exactly what we see. 

With the information we obtain from digital x-rays, Dr. Stone is able to make recommendations for treatments or therapies that are suited to your individual needs. With digital imaging, we can easily identify abnormalities within your jawbone. This makes planning complex treatments like root canals and extractions much more efficient. Details provided with digital imaging help us make appropriate decisions regarding your oral health. 

Please contact our Lead dental office to schedule your next appointment for a dental cleaning and exam.

For your comfort, Dr. Stone will refer you to an oral surgeon who specializes in all oral surgeries for your tooth (teeth) extraction(s). In most cases, the removal of teeth/wisdom teeth is performed under local anesthesia, laughing gas (nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia) or general anesthesia. These options, as well as the surgical risks (i.e., sensory nerve damage, sinus complications), will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. Once the teeth are removed, the gum is sutured. To help control bleeding, bite down on the gauze placed in your mouth. You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge, your postoperative kit will include postoperative instructions, a prescription for pain medication, antibiotics, and a follow-up appointment in one week for suture removal.

A pediatric dentist has two to three years specialty training following dental school and limits his/her practice to treating children only. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.

Based on your child's needs, Dr. Stone may refer your child to see a pediatric dentist for their dental care.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons require 4 to 6 years of additional formal university training after dental school. Oral surgery is an internationally-recognized surgical specialty. In some countries, including the United States, it is a recognized specialty of dentistry by the American Dental Associations.

Oral and maxillofacial surgery procedures include wisdom teeth removal, simple tooth extractions, reconstructive oral surgery, dental implants, treatment of oral infections, and the repair of facial, mouth, jaw and tooth injuries.

DIAGNOdent is a revolutionary new way for your dentist to find even the smallest areas of tooth decay and cavities. By using the advanced DIAGNOdent technology, we are able to treat small cavities and areas of tooth decay before they become larger issues requiring multiple procedures. DIAGNOdent is a quick, comfortable process that helps you and your doctor keep your smile healthy and happy for a lifetime.


How does DIAGNOdent work?


DIAGNOdent uses a precise laser scanning system to scan over all of your teeth while sending out an audio signal and registering a digital read-out. By measuring the fluorescence within each tooth's structure, your dentist can identify where there may be cavities developing in the small spaces between, on, and around your teeth.


DIAGNOdent is comfortable and takes only a few short minutes to scan your entire mouth for cavities and decay. Detecting tooth decay as early as possible helps eliminate the number of costly treatments that you may need down the line and helps treat small problems before they become serious dental cases.


Not all cavities are noticeable without the help of the advanced DIAGNOdent laser screening.


Most tooth decay begins in the tiny cracks and grooves of your tooth's surface. By the time the cavities are noticed, it's often because there is a much larger problem, and the cavity itself was never seen or felt by the patient.


With the widespread use of fluoride, many of these cavities never make it to the tooth's surface, and instead begin eating away at the tooth from the inside out. The DIAGNOdent laser helps locate these small areas of decay.


If you would like to be screened for possible tooth decay and cavities, please contact our practice and schedule an appointment. Help your teeth stay healthy!


The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that a child go to the dentist by age 1 or within six months after the first tooth erupts. Primary teeth typically begin growing in around 6 months of age.

We accept and work with all dental insurances. However, we are specifically providers for:

  • Delta Dental

You are welcome to contact our office if you have a question about your coverage.

We accept cash, check, MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express.

One of the procedures we perform most often is placing dental crowns. Crowns are a versatile restoration that we use to solve a number of dental problems. At Northern Hills Dental, we’re pleased to offer our patients the convenience of state-of-the-art CEREC same-day crowns. CEREC crowns are beautiful and durable, and the entire process of creating a crown can be completed in just one office visit!

Primarily, dental crowns are used to strengthen and protect the integrity of your natural tooth. With proper care, your teeth should last a lifetime, so it’s important that we do everything possible to preserve the structure of your teeth.

A dental crown will usually be used to provide strength and functionality for a tooth that has been damaged and weakened by decay or periodontal disease. We also often use crowns to restore a tooth after a root canal.

Crowns are usually thought of as strictly functional, but they can also be used to conceal certain cosmetic imperfections. If you'd like to correct the appearance of a large amalgam filling, we can use a dental crown to cap the tooth and eliminate the “dark hole” in your smile. Crowns are also used to restore a chipped or cracked tooth and mask the appearance of a stained or discolored tooth.

Every patient is unique and has different dental needs. The best way for us to know if a dental crown is the right treatment for you is to do an examination at our Lead dental office. Please call and make an appointment for a consultation and exam.

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not generally happen. The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to successfully erupt.

These poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The result: swelling, stiffness, pain, and illness. The pressure from the erupting wisdom teeth may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of teeth. The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Removal of the offending impacted teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.

Comfortable Dentistry

People are afraid to go to the dentist for a number of reasons. They might be embarrassed about their teeth. They might even think that their teeth have gotten so bad that having a smile they like is completely impossible. Or maybe they've had a really bad experience in the past and are now fearful of the dentist. It could also be that finding a new dentist for their family is a nuisance and they're afraid of making the wrong choice. 

If any of these situations resonate with you, please give us a call and let us know. 

We have helped many people who are just like you, who felt they would never be able to get through a dental appointment. Instead, they found new hope at Dr. Stone's Office. Just because you haven't succeeded in the past doesn't mean you can't in the future. Our friendly team will show you empathy and compassion, and Dr. Stone has a gentle touch that our patients appreciate. Your safety and comfort are our top priorities, and we'll discuss your concerns and your options to create a plan that's just right for you. 

Call us. We can help!

More than 15 percent of adults live with some form of chronic facial pain, according to the American Dental Association. Discomfort around or in the ears is one of the more common symptoms. Others include tenderness of the jaw, clicking or popping noises that accompany opening the mouth, headaches and neck aches.

If you experience any of this discomfort, see your dentist. With a thorough exam that might include X-rays, your dentist will likely be able to pinpoint the source of the problem and recommend a corrective course of action. If the pain is near the ears, the problem may be in the temporomandibular joint of the jaw, which is in front of the ears.

The source of the pain may be something easily recognizable, like a sinus infection, a decayed tooth or the beginning stage of gum disease. Your dentist will know the best way to attack the problem. The treatment may be something as simple as stress-reducing exercises or a prescription for muscle relaxants. Give your dentist the opportunity to help.


Prevention is the key to protecting your oral health and avoiding more serious problems from developing. If we recommend treatment at our dental office and you are not feeling pain, that is actually a good thing. It means that, by using a preventive approach to oral health care, we have detected an underlying problem and can correct it before it becomes more serious.

If we find a problem, you may not feel any pain because your tooth is made up of several layers. You may not feel a cavity developing in the outer layer of your teeth because there is no pain sensation in that part of your tooth.

However, if decay continues and gets close to the pulp or the nerve of the tooth, the pain starts and can be unbearable. Dr. Stone and his team strive to prevent this from occurring, which can eliminate needless pain and discomfort, and reduce the likelihood of costly treatments like root canals.

At Northern Hills Dental, our philosophy is to provide our patients with the best preventive care possible. This allows you to avoid a sudden dental emergency that causes pain and interrupts your busy life.  Please contact our office if you have questions about the ways in which we can make your dental treatment comfortable, safe, and efficient.


If you’re feeling apprehensive about dental visits, we can help. Your comfort is our top priority, and if you’re feeling stressed about your treatment, we need to address your concerns. You can be confident knowing that we’ve helped many nervous patients receive comfortable dental care.

First, we'll numb the area to be treated so you will not feel anything. Dr. Stone uses special techniques to ensure that your injection is as comfortable is possible. For kids, we just take our time and make it a point not to push them if they’re not ready for treatment. If your child has difficulty sitting still for appointments, we’ll refer you to one of the top pediatric dentists in the area who is better equipped to handle your children’s needs.

If you suffer from significant anxiety, our doctors can also talk to you about a mild sedative that you take before you arrive for your appointment. Just take the medication about an hour before your appointment, and you'll arrive at our office feeling calm and relaxed. When you get here, we'll help you de-stress with our comfortable massage chair and pillows and blankets.

We urge you not to put off important treatment due to anxiety and worry. Please contact our Lead dental office, and we will be happy to answer any questions you have about our stress-free dental treatment.

This is a question dentists hear frequently. The answer is that by visiting a dentist periodically, you'll keep visits short and you'll drastically reduce the likelihood of developing a problem.

Gum disease, for instance, is responsible for 60 percent of tooth loss in the country. And gum disease can get underway long before you would be aware of it. The same is true for decay. Only your dentist will be able to see the beginning of a cavity. Having a small decayed area repaired is much easier – and cheaper – to accomplish than is the repair of a large cavity, which may require some elaborate steps like root canal and a crown.

The general recommendation is that you visit your dentist twice a year. Even if there's no dental problem, it's good to at least have your teeth cleaned. That is simply the removal of any plaque that may be collecting on your teeth. Cleanings are important for the prevention both of decay and gum disease. The process will also leave your mouth feeling fresh and clean. Talk to your dentist about a checkup schedule that's right for you.

Dental Implants

Once the implant and restoration process is complete, most people cannot feel any difference between the implant and their own natural teeth. Dental implants are permanent replacement teeth that are held in place by a small post (the implant) placed in your jaw. The stability afforded by the dental implant has a lot to do with its natural fit and feel.

Dental implants have quickly become the tooth replacement method of choice at our dental office. An implant is the only option for replacing one or more missing teeth that is designed to act and feel like a fully functioning tooth. Unlike dental bridges or partial dentures, the implant is secured to your jawbone and becomes a replacement for the missing root.

The primary purpose of the replacement root is to stabilize the dental restoration that is attached to it. It also protects your oral health by helping to stimulate regrowth of the surrounding bone and tissue in your jaw. If the root is not replaced, the jawbone can gradually deteriorate because it lacks the root.

You should definitely consider dental implants if you are missing one or more teeth. We understand it is a big decision, and you should have all the information you need to decide if an implant is right for you. Please contact our dental office and we will be happy to arrange a consultation so that we can explain the procedure and answer your questions.

Basically, a dental implant is a replacement tooth. Its foundation is a small titanium post implanted in the jaw bone and gradually integrates with surrounding bone and tissue. A dental implant can be placed almost anywhere that a tooth used to be. It is different from other options like dentures and bridges because it actually takes the place of the root of your missing tooth.

Our dental implants are specially prepared so that the bone cells of your body will grow close to the implants and attach to it. A crown or other appliance will later be attached to your dental implant to create a new, functioning tooth.

Dental implants need to be cared for properly, but they will not develop cavities the way that natural teeth do. The crown will also need proper care so that your dental implant can provide the lifetime of service.

If you are looking for a solution to replace a missing tooth, please contact our dental office. Dental implants are a great option, but not everyone is a good candidate for this type of tooth replacement. We can arrange a consultation with Dr. Stone to discuss your needs and help you decide if a dental implant is the best choice for you.

Dental implants are so effective because of a very small post that is inserted in your jaw. This post actually integrates with surrounding bone tissue and becomes a replacement root for your missing tooth.

The implant is made of titanium, a remarkable material that is bio-compatible. This means that the implant is absorbed as a natural part of surrounding tissue.

Dental implants are actually placed in three steps. First, the implant is placed in your jaw and allowed to heal. Once healing is complete, a small extension called an abutment is attached to the implant. Finally, a dental crown is attached to the abutment, creating a fully functional, stable tooth.

The fact that the dental implant actually becomes part of your jaw makes it the one of the most effective tooth replacement options available today. This is because it provides all the stability of a natural tooth, allowing you to speak and chew normally.

Even though a dental implant is considered to be permanent, the crown portion may eventually need to be repaired or replaced.

Having a dental implant placed is a big decision, and you should gather as much information as possible about the advantages and cost involved. Please don’t hesitate to contact our dental office, and we will be glad to arrange a consultation to answer all your questions and discuss the procedure.


Missing teeth can lead to all sorts of problems aside from the impact they have on your appearance. That is why we recommend replacing missing teeth as soon as possible.

A missing tooth can cause discomfort when you eat and chew and can also make it difficult to speak clearly. Since surrounding teeth have to take up some of the work of the missing tooth, they may also feel sore and overworked.

This can also lead to problems with your dental bite as excess pressure causes you to move your jaw in an unnatural way. When your bite is unbalanced (meaning that you bite down harder on one side than the other), you may start to grind your teeth. In turn, teeth grinding can lead to its own problems like premature wear, broken teeth, and even TMD.

Another potential problem is the natural movement of your teeth over time. When a tooth and its root are missing, surrounding teeth will gradually move to fill the empty space. This happens because there is nothing there to prevent them from shifting out of their proper position.

Replacing missing teeth is not just good for your self-esteem, but it also benefits your oral health. At Northern Hills Dental we offer a number of solutions for replacing missing teeth, including dental implants, bridges, and dentures. Please contact us to arrange a consultation so we can explain all your options.


Full & Partial Dentures

Whether you’ve lost one or all of your teeth, you may be a good candidate for dentures. We can evaluate the health of your teeth and gums to decide if full or partial dentures are the right choice for you. Dentures may not be right for you if you smoke, have a sensitive gag reflex, or grind and clench your teeth.

What Kind of Denture Is Right for Me?

There are several different types of dentures, and we will take your specific needs into account when deciding which is most appropriate for you.

  • Full dentures are appropriate if you are missing all your teeth.
  • Partial dentures are a good choice if you still have some of your natural teeth.
  • Implant-retained dentures are stabilized by a dental implant that has fused with the jaw bone.
  • Immediate dentures are used for patients who have had teeth extracted and want dentures placed the same day.

There is a lot to consider when having dentures placed at our dental office, and we can help you make the decision that fits your needs, lifestyle and budget. Please contact us, and we will be happy to arrange a consultation to discuss the type of dentures most appropriate for you.

The materials and technology used to make dentures today have improved significantly in the last several years, allowing us to make dentures that look very realistic. Each tooth is created separately and placed in a custom-fitted acrylic base, eliminating that too-perfect appearance that has always been a problem with dentures.

We can now create dentures that actually enhance your smile and take years off your appearance. At Northern Hills Dental, we work with you to decide the shape, size, and color of the artificial teeth in your dentures. We can even match the color of the base to your gum color for a perfectly natural look. You will be part of the process every step of the way so that there are no surprises.

Having dentures placed is a big step, whether you’re a first-time denture wearer or having your old dentures replaced for improved fit and comfort. It’s important that your dentures are completely functional so that they give you many years of comfortable use. But aesthetics are important to everyone, and we want you to be delighted with their appearance as well.

You no longer have to worry that your dentures are going to look like they belong to someone else. 

If you’re looking for a replacement for missing teeth, we’ve got all the options you need so you can choose one that’s right for you.

Dental implants have been around for over 25 years and are a permanent solution for missing teeth. They resolve the cosmetic problem of a gap in your smile, but they also function like a natural tooth.

Dental bridges are a tooth replacement option that fills the gap left by a missing tooth. Updates and improvements in dental technology and materials have given us the ability to provide dental bridges that are not only functional, but look completely natural. For the ultimate stability, we can also use dental implants to support the bridge so that it restores function and blends seamlessly with your natural teeth.

Partial dentures are another type of dental prosthetic used to replace missing teeth. They restore function and allow you to eat, speak, and smile again with confidence. We work closely with the technicians at our dental lab to make dentures to your exact specifications. You're also welcome to share photos that we can use to recreate your beautiful smile! 

Please give us a call if you’d like to arrange an appointment to talk about your options for tooth replacement.

General Dentistry

Brush your child's teeth for about two minutes twice a day: once just before bedtime and at least one other time during the day. Encourage them to spit out excess toothpaste but not to rinse with lots of water. Rinsing with water after tooth brushing will wash away the fluoride and reduce its benefits.

Brushing and flossing help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease.

Plaque is a film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that sticks to the teeth and gums.  The bacteria in plaque convert certain food particles into acids that cause tooth decay.  Also, if plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar).  If plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone, causing periodontal (gum) disease.

Plaque formation and growth is continuous and can only be controlled by regular brushing, flossing, and the use of other dental aids.

Toothbrushing – Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste.

  • Brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums, gently using a small, circular motion, ensuring that youalways feel the bristles on the gums.
  • Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth.
  • Use the tip of the brush head to clean the inside front teeth.
  • Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.

Electric toothbrushes are also recommended.  They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently.  Simply place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time.

Flossing – Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline.  Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

  • Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands.
  • Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.
  • Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline.  Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.

Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.

Rinsing – It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing, and also after meals if you are unable to brush.  If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist or dental hygienist on its appropriateness for you.

Bad breath (halitosis) can be an unpleasant and embarrassing condition.  Many of us may not realize that we have bad breath, but everyone has it from time to time, especially in the morning.


There are various reasons one may have bad breath, but in healthy people, the major reason is due to microbial deposits on the tongue, especially the back of the tongue.  Some studies have shown that simply brushing the tongue reduced bad breath by as much as 70 percent.


What may cause bad breath?


Morning time – Saliva flow almost stops during sleep and its reduced cleansing action allows bacteria to grow, causing bad breath.

Certain foods – Garlic, onions, etc.  Foods containing odor-causing compounds enter the blood stream; they are transferred to the lungs, where they are exhaled.

Poor oral hygiene habits – Food particles remaining in the mouth promote bacterial growth.

Periodontal (gum) disease – Colonies of bacteria and food debris residing under inflamed gums.

Dental cavities and improperly fitted dental appliances – May also contribute to bad breath.

Dry mouth (Xerostomia) – May be caused by certain medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous mouth breathing.

Tobacco products – Dry the mouth, causing bad breath.

Dieting – Certain chemicals called ketones are released in the breath as the body burns fat.

Dehydration, hunger, and missed meals – Drinking water and chewing food increases saliva flow and washes bacteria away.

Certain medical conditions and illnesses – Diabetes, liver and kidney problems, chronic sinus infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia are several conditions that may contribute to bad breath.

Keeping a record of what you eat may help identify the cause of bad breath.  Also, review your current medications, recent surgeries, or illnesses with your dentist.



What can I do to prevent bad breath?



Practice good oral hygiene – Brush at least twice a day with an ADA approved fluoride toothpaste and toothbrush.  Floss daily to remove food debris and plaque from in between the teeth and under the gumline.  Brush or use a tongue scraper to clean the tongue and reach the back areas.  Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months.  If you wear dentures or removable bridges, clean them thoroughly and place them back in your mouth in the morning.

See your dentist regularly – Get a check-up and cleaning at least twice a year.  If you have or have had periodontal disease, your dentist will recommend more frequent visits.

Stop smoking/chewing tobacco – Ask your dentist what they recommend to help break the habit.

Drink water frequently – Water will help keep your mouth moist and wash away bacteria.

Use mouthwash/rinses – Some over-the-counter products only provide a temporary solution to mask unpleasant mouth odor.  Ask your dentist about antiseptic rinses that not only alleviate bad breath, but also kill the germs that cause the problem.

In most cases, your dentist can treat the cause of bad breath.  If it is determined that your mouth is healthy, but bad breath is persistent, your dentist may refer you to your physician to determine the cause of the odor and an appropriate treatment plan.

Brushing our teeth removes food particles, plaque, and bacteria from all tooth surfaces, except in between the teeth.  Unfortunately, our toothbrush can’t reach these areas that are highly susceptible to decay and periodontal (gum) disease.

Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline.  Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth.  It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva.  The bacteria produce toxins (acids) that cause cavities and irritate and inflame the gums.  Also, when plaque is not removed above and below the gumline, it hardens and turns into calculus (tartar).  This will further irritate and inflame the gums and also slowly destroy the bone.  This is the beginning of periodontal disease.

How to floss properly:

Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands.

Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.

Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline.  Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.

Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.

Daily flossing will help you keep a healthy, beautiful smile for life!

Periodontal Disease Treatment

Periodontal disease (gum disease) can have a serious impact on your oral health as well as your general health. Prevention has become even more critical since recent research has shown that chronic periodontal disease can contribute to general health problems like heart and respiratory disease.

At Northern Hills Dental, we offer various treatments for eliminating gum disease depending on the level of infection. But it is obviously preferable to prevent the disease from developing in the first place.

Regular dental exams and professional cleanings are the simplest way to help us stay one step ahead of gum disease. During a dental cleaning, our trained hygienist will remove any plaque and tartar that lingers on your teeth, and check your gums for any signs of periodontal disease.

This allows us to address the problem before it becomes serious and more complicated to treat. She will also show you how to brush and floss properly so that you get the most out of your oral hygiene routine.

Preventive treatments like regular cleanings and exams are the easiest and least costly way to protect your oral health. If you’re overdue for a cleaning, please contact our dental office. We will be happy to schedule a convenient appointment for you.

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a serious oral health problem that is, unfortunately, very common. There are a number of signs that you may have gum disease, but you may not experience any symptoms at all and still have the disease. That is why regular professional cleanings with the hygienist at Northern Hills Dental are so important for your overall oral health.

Following is a list of some of the most common symptoms of periodontal disease:

  • Gums that bleed when you brush
  • Tender or inflamed gums
  • The feeling that your tooth or teeth are loose
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Receding gums

There are several stages of gum disease, and in its earliest stages you may not notice any symptoms at all. You may be surprised when you visit our hygienist for a cleaning that you already have some degree of gum disease.

If our hygienist does find periodontal disease, she will make certain recommendations based on the extent of the problem. In some cases, a thorough professional cleaning may be all that’s needed. In advanced cases, a deep cleaning and follow-up visits may be necessary to completely eliminate any infection.

Periodontal disease can develop quickly and damage your teeth and gums before you’re even aware that it’s present. We encourage you to make an appointment for a professional dental cleaning at our dental office, especially if it’s been a while since your last visit.

Brushing and flossing is very important, and if you make a habit of doing it twice a day, you are certainly on the right track. As important as personal oral hygiene is, however, it is not enough to keep your teeth healthy and cavity-free.

There are other factors that contribute to the health of your teeth. Genetics, lifestyle choices like tobacco use and the types of food you consume, and improper brushing techniques can all create oral health problems.

But the absolute best way to prevent cavities is regular dental exams and professional cleanings. Both give us an opportunity to keep tabs on the condition of your mouth, allowing us to detect problems like cavities while they are still small and easily treatable.

During these visits, we will also determine if application of sealants and fluoride would be helpful for maintaining oral health. If you’re not sure that your oral hygiene is effective, our hygienist will be happy to demonstrate the proper way to brush and floss, so you get the most out of your routine.

At Northern Hills Dental, we want to help you achieve excellent oral health. Please give us a call to arrange a dental cleaning and exam. At that time, we can talk to you about other ways you can ensure great dental health.

We may recommend more frequent cleanings at our dental office to protect your oral health if our hygienist sees that you have signs of periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal disease needs to be addressed in a proactive manner because it is a serious infection of your gums. Without treatment, you may be at risk for overall health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory diseases.

As you probably know, it is normally necessary to have two professional dental cleanings per year to keep your mouth healthy and disease-free. However, if you have developed gum disease, we need to do more frequent cleanings to keep your mouth healthy and prevent any reoccurrence of the disease. If this is the case, you need cleanings more than twice a year to maintain oral health.

For people with gum disease, it is necessary for us to perform deeper cleanings that are more thorough so that we can thoroughly treat the infection that exists at and under your gum line. We use measurements of your gums in order to detect the presence and extent of gum disease, so that we can treat you accordingly.

At Northern Hills Dental, our top priority is to keep your teeth and gums in excellent health. If you do have periodontal disease, we will develop a treatment plan to rid you of the disease and continue to monitor your condition so that you enjoy a lifetime of excellent oral health

Periodontal disease, also referred to as gum disease, is a serious problem for millions of people. It is not only a threat to your oral health, but it can have an impact on your general health as well.

If not treated at our dental office, periodontal disease can significantly damage your dental health. It is a bacterial infection that can gradually eat away at healthy gum tissue. This, in turn, causes loosening of your teeth, deterioration of your jaw bone and, eventually, tooth loss.

But recent studies now indicate that there is also a definite relationship between the health of your mouth and your overall well-being. This connection is referred to as the oral-systemic link. It is believed that the bacteria generated by periodontal disease is carried by your bloodstream to other parts of your body. This can potentially result in complications with heart disease, respiratory disease, diabetes and more.

Considering the damage that periodontal disease can do to your dental and general health, it just makes sense to use all the preventive treatments available to reduce the threat. Twice-yearly professional dental cleanings are essential because you cannot eliminate gum disease by brushing alone.

Please protect your oral health and contact our dental office to make an appointment for a professional cleaning.

RAPID CITY, S.D (KOTA-TV) Before you head to school don't forget to floss, right? Well maybe not... There's been recent news reports questioning whether flossing is an important step for improving dental hygiene.

Periodontist Dr. Joshua Nehring, with Dakota Regional Periodontics, says flossing is very vital.

According to the American Dental Association, tooth decay and gum disease can develop when plaque is built up on the teeth, along with the gum line.

Dr. Nehring suggest brushing for two minutes, twice a day to secure good oral hygiene and cleaning in between teeth daily.

"With any of the oral hygiene tools or instruments, you just need to not be too aggressive. We shouldn't be ramming the floss deep down in our gums...it should be a gentle technique. The floss should be what we call c shape, so your wrapping it around the tooth gently... going down just slightly to or below the gums and thats the same with your toothbrush and interproximal brushes", says Nehring.

Nehring suggest seeing your dentist every 6 months for good dental hygiene.

Preventative Care

Without knowing you or your dental history, it’s really difficult to say how often you should schedule checkups. This is a decision that needs to be made between you, Dr. Stone, and our hygienist. For many patients, however, twice a year is sufficient.

Dr. Stone and our team are trained to detect and treat many problems before you’re even aware of them. With semi-annual visits, we can catch decay and gum disease in their earliest stages.

Of course, the goal is to prevent disease, decay, and tooth loss from occurring. It’s obviously preferable to stay current with your dental treatment and avoid having to worry about unexpected problems sneaking up on you. We’re here to help you, but you need to do your part by making and keeping your appointments. It all comes back to teamwork!

During each checkup, we’ll look for signs of decay and disease that may have developed since your last visit. If necessary, we’ll take digital x-rays to make sure we have the most current information on hand. Once we’ve gathered all the necessary information, we can make recommendations about any treatment we think may be necessary.

Is it time for you to schedule your next dental cleaning and exam? Give our Northern Hills Dental office a call, and we’ll get you set up for your next appointment.

We’re glad you asked, because patients with heart disease do have special needs when it comes to oral health care. It’s important to let Dr. Stone know if you’ve recently had heart surgery or have a heart condition so he can treat you accordingly.

Gum disease is a bacterial infection that can affect your overall health. Whenever there is any bleeding in your mouth, bacteria has a chance to enter the bloodstream and travel to the heart.

Studies suggest that gum disease permits these bacteria to enter your bloodstream and attach to fatty deposits in the blood vessels of your heart. When this occurs, you may be at risk for developing blood clots that can eventually lead to heart attacks.

To counteract this, Dr. Stone may prescribe antibiotics prior to treatment, especially for procedures like professional dental cleanings, tooth extraction, and some oral surgeries. However, before making any decisions, Dr. Stone will consult with your physician or cardiologist to determine which antibiotics are most appropriate for you.

At Northern Hills Dental, we know that people with diabetes have to take special care with their oral health. Diabetes can make it difficult for patients to fight oral infections and beat periodontal disease. Our dental team provides dental treatments that are designed to help patients with diabetes achieve and maintain optimal oral health.

People with diabetes are more likely to develop oral infections and dental problems. In general this is because:

·         High blood sugar levels feed oral bacteria, providing a perfect environment for periodontal disease and dental decay.

·         Diabetes impairs white blood cells, making it difficult to fight oral infections.

·         Poorly controlled diabetes may cause dry mouth, due to decreased saliva production. Dry mouth contributes to bad breath, oral infections, and dental decay.

·         Diabetics with high blood glucose levels have more sugar in their mouths, which promotes growth of bacteria and leads to periodontal disease.

·         Impaired white blood cells may cause your blood vessels to thicken. Consequently, the blood vessels are not as efficient at providing nutrients to the gum tissue.

·         Impaired wound and infection healing also means that diabetic patients need to take special precautions when pursuing oral surgeries.

At Northern Hills Dental, we do not recommend a toothbrush or toothpaste by "brand", but by their "type".  

For instance, for either a manual or a powered toothbrush, we recommend soft bristles.

For toothpaste, we recommend very low to low abrasiveness.  Here is a list of toothpaste by relative dentin abrasivity (RDA) that you can check your brand against:

Very Low Abrasive
04 RDA: Toothbrush with plain water
07 RDA: Straight baking soda
08 RDA: Arm & Hammer Tooth Powder
15 RDA: Weleda Salt Toothpaste
18 RDA: CTx4 Gel
30 RDA: Elmex Sensitive Plus
30 RDA: Weleda Plant Tooth Gel
35 RDA: Arm & Hammer Dental Care
37 RDA: Sensodyne ProNamel
Low Abrasive
40 RDA: Weleda Children’s Tooth Gel
42 RDA: Arm and Hammer Metadent Advanced Whitening
42 RDA: Arm and Hammer Peroxicare
45 RDA: Weleda Calendula Toothpaste
45 RDA: Oxyfresh
48 RDA: Arm & Hammer Dental Care Sensitive
49 RDA: Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Tartar Control
49 RDA: Tom’s of Maine Sensitive
52 RDA: Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Regular
53 RDA: Rembrant Original
54 RDA: Arm & Hammer Sensitive Whitening
54 RDA: Arm & Hammer Sensitive Freshening
54 RDA: Arm & Hammer Sensitive Multi-Protection
54 RDA: Arm & Hammer Complete Care Stain Defense
57 RDA: Tom’s of Maine Children’s
62 RDA: Super Smile
63 RDA: Rembrant Mint
65 RDA: Arm & Hammer Complete Care Plus Enamel Strengthening
68 RDA: Colgate Regular
70 RDA: Colgate Total
70 RDA: Arm & Hammer Advance White Sensitive
70 RDA: Colgate 2-in-1 Fresh Mint
Medium Abrasive
78 RDA: Biotene Gentle Dry Mouth
79 RDA: Sensodyne
83 RDA: Colgate Sensitive Maximum Strength
91 RDA: Aquafresh Sensitive
93 RDA: Tom’s of Maine Regular
94 RDA: Rembrant Plus
95 RDA: Crest Regular
95 RDA: Oxyfresh with Fluoride
97 RDA: Oxyfresh Powder
High Abrasive
100 RDA: Colgate Optic White
101 RDA: Natural White
103 RDA: Mentadent
103 RDA: Arm & Hammer Sensation
104 RDA: Sensodyne Extra Whitening
106 RDA: Colgate Platinum
106 RDA: Arm & Hammer Advance White Paste
107 RDA: Crest Sensitivity Protection
110 RDA: Closeup Paste/Gel
110 RDA: Colgate Herbal
113 RDA: Aquafresh Whitening
117 RDA: Arm & Hammer Advance White Gel
117 RDA: Arm & Hammer Sensation Tartar Control
120 RDA: Close-Up with Baking Soda
120 RDA: Colgate Baking Soda Paste
124 RDA: Colgate Whitening
125 RDA: Colgate Sensitive Pro Relief, Enamel Repair
130 RDA: Crest Pro Health
130 RDA: Crest Extra Whitening
133 RDA: Ultra brite
144 RDA: Crest MultiCare Whitening
145 RDA: Ultra Brite Advanced Whitening Formula
145 RDA: Colgate Baking Soda & Peroxide Whitening
Harmfully Abrasive
150 RDA: Pepsodent
165 RDA: Colgate Tartar Control
168 RDA: Arm & Hammer Dental Care PM Fresh Mint
176 RDA: Nature’s Gate Paste
200 RDA: Colgate 2-in-1 Tartar Control/ Whitening or Icy Blast/Whitening
200 RDA: Crest White Vivid
260 RDA: Ultrabrite Advanced Whitening

RAPID CITY, S.D (KOTA-TV) Before you head to school don't forget to floss, right? Well maybe not... There's been recent news reports questioning whether flossing is an important step for improving dental hygiene.

Periodontist Dr. Joshua Nehring, with Dakota Regional Periodontics, says flossing is very vital.

According to the American Dental Association, tooth decay and gum disease can develop when plaque is built up on the teeth, along with the gum line.

Dr. Nehring suggest brushing for two minutes, twice a day to secure good oral hygiene and cleaning in between teeth daily.

"With any of the oral hygiene tools or instruments, you just need to not be too aggressive. We shouldn't be ramming the floss deep down in our gums...it should be a gentle technique. The floss should be what we call c shape, so your wrapping it around the tooth gently... going down just slightly to or below the gums and thats the same with your toothbrush and interproximal brushes", says Nehring.

Nehring suggest seeing your dentist every 6 months for good dental hygiene.

Restorative Dentistry

A smile is one of the first things people notice about you. It does not have to be perfect, or "Hollywood", but everybody wants theirs to be nice and to be confident in using it, and to not be ashamed of it. A smile can light up a room, and draw others in.

Often, a few small improvements can lead to an overall greatly enhanced smile. Options abound, from a professional whitening, a few strategically placed cosmetic fillings, contouring, veneers, and even shorter term braces. The key is that it should be appropriate for you and your mouth and your budget, and not some cookie-cutter approach.

Please feel free to contact us for a complimentary smile evaluation. It could be the start of a better future that will have you smiling!

Now, more than ever, there is hope and there are good options. Lost teeth often result in changes of the bite over time, loss of function and nutrition, leading to more decay, bone loss, and breakdown -- and of course there's the esthetic issue of missing teeth.

These adverse effects can happen slowly, so that you don't really notice them until they are quite advanced. The more we can maintain and improve our dental health now, the better we can deal with the problems of dental aging.

Modern dentistry can more simply and easily correct and improve these situations with implants that look and feel like teeth, life-like bridges, thin and flexible partials, and even better dentures! Several options usually will work, and the patient and their dentist can determine which one is most appropriate for their situation and budget.

Ask Dr. Stone about what options may be right for you, or feel free to call us for a complimentary consultation.

Whatever your concern, we can help! Our dental office offers a variety of cosmetic and restorative treatments that will give your smile – and your self-confidence – the boost you need.

In many cases, a smile makeover is accomplished by combining two or more treatments. For instance, a badly decayed tooth will require a filling capped off by a dental crown for added support and protection. Or you may need a dental bridge, and then decide that your surrounding teeth should be whitened to match the appearance of the crown.

Do you have an old silver filling that gets progressively darker and more noticeable as time goes by? We can solve the problem by replacing your old filling with a tooth-colored filling that blends perfectly with your natural teeth.

Are missing teeth your major concern? We can use dental implants, a permanent tooth replacement option, or you may decide that a fixed bridge is more appropriate considering your budget.

If you’re unhappy with your smile and not sure exactly what the best solution is, please contact our dental office. We will work with you to develop a treatment plan that fits your needs and leaves you with a perfectly beautiful smile!

Sleep Appliances

It is normal to grind your teeth occasionally, especially during moments of high stress. But if you grind and clench your teeth to the point where you feel pain in your head, neck, or shoulders, a custom night guard offered at our dental office can change your life!

The exact reason that people grind their teeth can vary widely. It can be something as simple as stress or as complicated as problems with your temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD.) But for many people, the reason is a misaligned dental bite.

Whatever the reason for your teeth grinding and clenching, it’s important to have the problem addressed. If there is not a significant underlying problem, like TMD, the solution may be as simple as a custom night guard.

You may only experience the symptoms of teeth grinding, like chronic headaches, and not even be aware that you are constantly grinding and clenching while you sleep. A night guard created specifically for you by Dr. Stone is designed to hold your jaw in such a position that your teeth cannot meet. This effectively eliminates the ability to grind your teeth, giving your jaw and teeth a chance to rest.

Seeking treatment for teeth grinding is important, because it can lead to excess tooth wear and erosion as well as other more serious problems like TMD. If you think you show signs of teeth grinding like head, neck, and jaw pain, please contact us. We will work with you to pinpoint the problem and get you the relief you need.

An oral appliance is a small plastic device that fits over the upper and lower teeth, similar to an orthodontic retainer or mouth guard. The appliance is worn in the mouth during sleep to prevent the soft tissues of the throat from collapsing and obstructing the airway. Oral appliances work by slightly advancing the lower jaw which in turn moves the base of the tongue forward and opens the airway to allow improved breathing and reduced snoring and apnea during sleep.

Just about everyone snores from time to time. Snoring can be the result of taking certain medications, drinking alcohol, or being overweight. But if you’re snoring all the time, and you feel like you’re struggling to catch your breath while you sleep, you may have a condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

This is a serious and potentially life-threatening problem that needs to be treated as quickly as possible. Sleep apnea has been linked to health problems like high blood pressure and even strokes. But in many cases, Dr. Stone can provide the solution you need so you can get a good night’s sleep.

It’s important to understand that snoring does not always mean that you have sleep apnea. We will work with your physician to determine if your snoring is related to sleep apnea, or if it’s caused by another problem.

In many cases, we can create a custom night guard that holds your jaw in a neutral position to minimize or eliminate snoring. If we find that your snoring is related to sleep apnea, you may be a good candidate for an oral appliance that will treat the problem safely and comfortably.

If your snoring is so loud and annoying that it wakes your partner, we’ll help you take the necessary steps to find the cause. Please contact our office and we will arrange an appointment for a consultation to get you the help you need.

Teeth Whitening

You may have heard people complain about teeth whitening because of the sensitivity of their teeth afterward. In the hands of a trained dentist, however, professional teeth whitening will produce only minor, temporary side effects.

Our team has all the specialized training necessary to provide you with safe, comfortable teeth whitening treatments at our dental office. Too much peroxide can easily lead to sensitive teeth, so we will also adjust the concentration of whitening gel we use to fit your needs. We know how to properly protect sensitive areas of your mouth during whitening to avoid any burning sensation.

Most of the extreme side effects with teeth whitening occur with improper use of over-the-counter products. Overusing these products is the quickest way to produce sensitivity and discomfort.

If you want to avoid any negative side effects, we highly recommend you opt for a professional teeth whitening treatment. Store-bought products can be tempting because they appear to be inexpensive compared to professional treatment. But keep in mind that you will need to use a lot more of the product to achieve any significant whitening. Even then, you will not see results that are comparable to professional teeth whitening.

Please contact our dental office, and we will happy to answer your questions about professional teeth whitening.

There are no other treatments that can produce such dramatic results as quickly and affordably as professional teeth whitening. Once you’ve seen the difference that teeth whitening can make to your appearance, you want to maintain the results for as long as possible.

Avoid foods and beverages like red wine, dark teas, coffee, raspberries and blueberries. These are certainly enjoyable indulgences, and we’re not recommending that you eliminate them from your diet entirely. But knowing that they can affect the whiteness of your teeth will help you be aware of your intake and remember to rinse or brush as soon as possible after.

Smoking or using tobacco products is one of the major culprits for causing your teeth to stain. If you want a bright, white smile, you can’t smoke. Now you have another excellent reason to quit!

Oral hygiene also plays a big part in maintaining a white smile. You should be brushing and flossing diligently, and keeping up with your routine dental cleanings at our Phoenix dental office.

Hopefully, these tips will help you take the necessary steps to ensure that the results of your teeth whitening treatment lasts as long as possible. Please give us a call to schedule your next cleaning and discuss teeth whitening.

Zoom Teeth Whitening is a professional whitening product that we have been using at Northern Hills Dental with great results. It is widely used because it has proven to be safe and effective, providing excellent results.

If your smile is looking a little dull lately, a professional teeth whitening treatment may be all that you need to achieve a true transformation. We can dramatically brighten the appearance of your smile in just a single one-hour appointment at our office. Many of our patients see whitening results that are about six shades lighter than before treatment.

Zoom also allows us the flexibility of offering you professional take-home treatments for your convenience. But please don’t confuse our take-home kits with those you purchase at the drug store.

First, we provide you with a custom-made whitening tray that is created using precise impressions of your teeth. Next, the gel that is included with a Zoom take-home kit is of a much higher concentration than anything you can purchase over-the-counter.

Whether you choose a professional teeth whitening treatment at our dental office, or a custom take-home kit, Zoom will provide you with excellent results that will give you the quick smile makeover you’re looking for.


This is a common concern, but we can assure you that professional teeth whitening treatment won’t make your teeth look unnaturally white. If you’ve seen people whose teeth look too white to be natural, you’re probably seeing their veneers, not their real teeth.

The reason your teeth can’t get too white is that they have a natural level of whiteness. No matter how much you whiten, you simply can’t make your teeth any whiter than their natural shade.

The natural whiteness of your teeth depends on a number of things. Genetics plays a large part, and tooth color can range from a bluish white to a slightly yellowish color. You may be someone whose layer of enamel is thinner, which allows the underlying dentin to show through and cast a yellow appearance.

At Northern Hills Dental, our goal is to help you achieve a bright, natural smile. We have the experience and skill to completely transform your smile without it ever looking fake or unnatural. Teeth whitening is a great example of a treatment that will just bring back a natural sparkle and revive a tired smile.

We would be happy to talk to you about the benefits of teeth whitening, so please contact our office to arrange an appointment.

Tooth-Colored Fillings

There is no conclusive proof that the amount of mercury in amalgam fillings is a danger to your health. But many patients are concerned that the presence of mercury may be harmful.

Amalgam fillings – a combination of metals, including mercury – have been widely used because of their strength and durability. They were most often used for strength in very large fillings and for molars, which need to withstand a lot of wear and tear while chewing.

Aside from the concerns about mercury, amalgam fillings are just plain unattractive because they are obvious and also tend to darken over time. Amalgam fillings also tend to shrink over time, pulling away from your tooth and increasing the risk of breaks and cracks that can damage the remaining healthy tooth structure.

With improvements in dental materials, we now have the option to use composite fillings because they are every bit as durable as amalgam. Tooth-colored fillings are very stable, do not shrink, and will provide support for your tooth for many years. Another advantage of composite fillings is that Dr. Stone needs to remove only the decayed portion, leaving more healthy tooth structure intact and further strengthening your natural tooth.

Modern dentistry has really changed the way we do so many things, and improvements in the material used for dental fillings are just one example of how we pass those benefits on to you. Tooth-colored fillings match your natural teeth beautifully and are even more durable than many types of fillings used in the past.

We use a composite resin for tooth-colored fillings. The beauty of this material is that it is durable, resilient, and can be formulated to precisely match your natural tooth color. Since tooth-colored fillings blend so perfectly with your natural teeth, you will not be able to tell where your tooth ends and where the filling begins!

If you would like to see the difference that tooth-colored fillings can make to the appearance of your smile, please give our dental office a call. We can use composite material to replace your old fillings, and you will be thrilled with the beautiful smile we can create for you!

Dental bonding is a treatment offered at Northern Hills Dental that corrects the appearance of a number of cosmetic dental imperfections. Using composite material that looks similar to your natural teeth, we can enhance your smile and strengthen your teeth.

Many of us have something about our smile that we’d like to change or improve. Over the years, advances in new dental materials have given us treatments that can dramatically improve the health and appearance of your smile.

You don’t have to live with teeth that are chipped, cracked, broken, or severely stained. Dental bonding can correct all these problems because the composite material we use looks completely natural and blends perfectly with your own teeth.

Bonding with composite material is an efficient process that can usually be completed in just one office visit, depending on the number of teeth involved. Dr. Stone will prepare the tooth to be treated and then carefully match the bonding material to your natural tooth shade.

Next, he uses a special curing light to bond the material securely to your tooth. Finally he carefully shapes the material to conform to the appearance of your own teeth. The result is a fully functional tooth that is not only attractive, but long-lasting.

Please contact our dental office if you would like more information about bonding and how this treatment can benefit you.


Athletic Guards

A mouthguard is a comfortable piece of athletic gear that fits over your teeth and can help protect your smile, as well as your lips, tongue, face, and jaw. New research indicates that mouthguards can prevent or reduce the severity of concussions.

While hockey, boxing, and rugby players would obviously benefit from mouthguards, others, like bicyclists, weightlifters, and gymnasts, made the ADA’s list of athletes who need mouthguards. This may sound excessive, but studies show that 13 to 39 percent of all dental injuries are sports related. Because the face is an important part of a person’s image, self confidence, and sometimes success, it’s better to be safe than…toothless!

Before facemasks and mouthguards were required in football, half of all players’ injuries occurred in the mouth. During the playing season, players had a one-in-ten chance of mouth injury. Once high schools and colleges began requiring facemasks and mouthguards, the number of injuries reported dropped by 200,000 per year. Naturally, dentists and the ADA recommend mouthguards for adults and children in any recreational activity that poses the risk of injury to your mouth.

Anyone participating in a sport that contains a chance of injury to the teeth, jaws, or oral soft tissues or which shows a potential risk of concussion could benefit from the use of a mouthguard. In general, anyone participating in a contact or collision sport could benefit from a properly fitted and properly worn mouthguard. Participants in an individual sport, such as rollerblading, which puts the athlete at risk, should use a mouthguard. A properly fitted and properly worn mouthguard shouldn't interfere with an athlete performing any sport at the highest level.

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