Am I A Candidate for Dental Implants?

Missing teeth are often a great source of embarrassment and discomfort. But the good news is that several viable options are available to restore your smile. Dental implants are a popular choice for many patients with missing teeth. Unfortunately, not everyone is a good dental implant candidate. So, how do you know if you are a good candidate for dental implants?

Your Missing Teeth, Jawbone, and Health

First, schedule an appointment with our office. Dr. Ricco will evaluate your overall health and the condition of your remaining teeth and gums. We will also take X-rays to determine your jawbone's density. Dental implants require a healthy jawbone, so if yours is too thin or has suffered damage, you may not be a good candidate.

Dr. Ricco will also assess the number and location of your missing teeth. Dental implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth or multiple teeth. Still, the location of the missing teeth can affect your candidacy. For instance, if you are missing teeth in the front of your mouth, a different treatment option, such as a bridge or partial denture, may be a better option for you.

Additionally, dental patients in good health are generally candidates for dental implants. However, chronic medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease can affect healing and increase the risk of complications. If any of these conditions apply to you, the dentist will take these factors into consideration.

Your Commitment to Oral Hygiene

Your commitment to good oral hygiene is another factor affecting your candidacy for dental implants. After receiving a dental implant, keeping the area clean is essential to prevent infection and promote healing. You may need to change your oral hygiene routine, such as using a special mouthwash or staying away from certain foods.

Medication and Smoking

Your dentist will also want to know about any medications you're taking since certain medications can interfere with or slow the dental implant healing process.

Smoking is another factor that can affect your candidacy for dental implants. It can increase healing time and the risk of implant failure. If you want dental implants, it's important to quit smoking before undergoing the procedure so that you can have the best outcome possible.

Getting Dental Implants

If you're a good candidate for dental implants, our knowledgeable and friendly staff will explain the procedure and address any questions or concerns you might have. The implant procedure typically involves several appointments, including the placement of the implant and the attachment of the crown or other restoration.

Following your post-operative instructions carefully is crucial to ensure proper implant healing. Post-op instructions typically include:

  • Avoiding certain foods
  • Taking prescribed medications
  • Attending follow-up appointments

Find Out if You Are a Dental Implant Candidate Today

Dental implants are a popular and effective option for many patients who are missing teeth. If you're considering dental implants, schedule an appointment with our office to discuss your options and determine if dental implants are a good choice for you. Call us today at 516-931-3999.

How Does Sedation Dentistry Work?

Dental anxiety is a real concern for many people, and it can cause them to avoid necessary dental treatments. Fortunately, sedation dentistry has emerged as a solution for those who struggle with dental fear.

Sedation dentistry involves using medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. In this guide, we'll dive into the different types of sedation dentistry and how they work. We'll explore the benefits of sedation dentistry, who can benefit from it, and what to expect during and after the procedure.

Whether you've been avoiding the dentist due to anxiety or just curious about sedation dentistry, this article will provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about this game-changing treatment.

Types of Sedation Dentistry

There are several types of sedation dentistry available, from mild to deep sedation. The type of sedation used will depend on the patient's level of anxiety and the complexity of the dental procedure. Here are the common types of sedation dentistry:

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Also known as "laughing gas," nitrous oxide sedation is a mild form of sedation. The patient inhales nitrous oxide mixed with oxygen through a mask over their nose. The gas helps the patient relax, and the effects wear off quickly once the mask is removed. Nitrous oxide sedation is safe, and patients can drive themselves home after the procedure.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation involves taking a pill before the dental procedure. The pill can range from a mild to moderate sedative, depending on the patient's needs. The effects of oral sedation last longer than nitrous oxide sedation, and patients may feel drowsy for a few hours after the procedure. Patients will need someone to drive them home after the procedure.

IV Sedation

Intravenous (IV) sedation is a moderate to deep form of sedation. The sedative is delivered through a vein, and the patient will be in a state of deep relaxation. Patients will need someone to drive them home after the procedure.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is the deepest form of sedation and is typically reserved for complex dental procedures or patients with severe anxiety. The patient will be completely unconscious during the procedure. Patients will need someone to drive them home after the procedure.

The Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry offers several benefits, including:

Reduced Anxiety

Sedation dentistry can help patients feel relaxed and at ease during dental procedures. This can help reduce anxiety and make the experience more comfortable.

Increased Comfort

Sedation dentistry can also help reduce pain and discomfort during dental procedures. Patients will be in a state of deep relaxation and may not remember much of the procedure.

Better Dental Health

Sedation dentistry can help patients who have been avoiding dental care due to anxiety or fear. This can help prevent serious oral health problems and improve overall dental health.

Who is a Good Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is suitable for anyone who experiences dental anxiety. It is also beneficial for patients who:

  • Have a low pain threshold
  • Have sensitive teeth or gums
  • Have a strong gag reflex
  • Need extensive dental work
  • Have a fear of needles or dental instruments

It is important to discuss any medical conditions or medications with your dentist before undergoing sedation dentistry.

The Sedation Dentistry Process

Before undergoing sedation dentistry, your dentist will review your medical history and determine which type of sedation is best for you. You will also receive instructions on preparing for the procedure, such as not eating or drinking for a certain amount of time before the procedure.

During the procedure, the sedative will be administered, and the patient will be closely monitored by the dental team. The length of the procedure will depend on the complexity of the dental work being performed.

After the procedure, the patient will be monitored until the effects of the sedative wear off. Patients will need someone to drive them home after the procedure.

Preparing for Sedation Dentistry

Before undergoing sedation dentistry, it is important to follow the instructions provided by your dentist. This may include:

  • Not eating or drinking for a certain amount of time before the procedure
  • Arranging for someone to drive you home after the procedure
  • Wearing comfortable clothing
  • Informing your dentist of any medications or medical conditions

What to Expect During and After Sedation Dentistry

During sedation dentistry, patients will be in a state of deep relaxation and may not remember much of the procedure. After the procedure, patients may feel drowsy for several hours and should avoid driving or operating heavy machinery.

Patients may also experience side effects such as nausea, dizziness, or a headache. These side effects are typically mild and will go away on their own.

Massapequa Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is a game-changing treatment for patients who struggle with dental anxiety. There are several types of sedation available, each with its own benefits and risks.

It is important to discuss any medical conditions or medications with your dentist before undergoing sedation dentistry. To learn more about our sedation dentistry services, contact us at 516-798-0223.

6 Ways to Deal with Dental Anxiety

Seeing your dentist regularly plays a critical role not only in your dental and oral health, but also in your overall wellness. You probably already know this. However, you might also be reluctant to visit the dentist for a common reason: dental anxiety.

Don’t worry if you still struggle with fear of going to the dentist! You’re not alone. Research indicates dental anxiety may affect up to 75% of American adults to some degree. 

This type of anxiety may be so common at least in part because it has many potential causes. They include:

Luckily, there are various ways you can ease your concerns about dental appointments. They include the following:

Speak With Your Dentist

There’s no reason not to tell your dentist about your anxieties! Virtually all dentists thoroughly understand that many patients experience at least a little fear about receiving dental treatment. Anything you may tell your dentist, rest assured, they’ve likely heard it before.

When your dentist is aware of your anxiety and has some idea about what might cause it, they may be better able to address your fears. For example, if you worry that a procedure will be painful, your dentist can explain how they can minimize your discomfort. If the overall environment of a dentist’s office makes you anxious, they might be able to take steps to ensure the atmosphere is more calming, such as playing relaxing music.

A dentist might also let you bring your own “anxiety distractions” into the exam room. For instance, they may let you play one of your favorite podcasts to distract you from any worry or fear you might otherwise experience.

Practice Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises can reduce anxiety in a number of situations. This includes going to the dentist.

Focus on breathing slowly and deeply into your diaphragm when you feel anxiety before or during a dental visit. When possible, you may also try the following exercise:

Research shows that repeating deep and calming breathing exercises for just a few minutes can have a major impact on stress and anxiety levels.

Bring a Friend

Some people who may not necessarily feel much anxiety when preparing for an appointment with their dentist may nevertheless become anxious as soon as they find themselves in the dentist’s chair. If this sounds familiar, consider asking your dentist if a close family member or friend can accompany you in the room as you undergo treatment. The presence of a support buddy could help you remain calm.

See a Dentist Regularly

Again, you already understand that seeing a dentist regularly is important for your health. It’s also worth noting that seeing your dentist consistently may also address your dental anxiety. 

Exposure therapy is a common treatment method for people who experience anxiety in certain settings or situations. The more someone is exposed to their fear, the less it bothers them over time.

This approach may help you cope with your fear of going to the dentist. If you genuinely make a point of seeing your dentist often, you may find the experience becomes less and less troubling over time.

Maintain Your Dental Health

While a routine cleaning might not bother you, a more involved procedure (such as a root canal) may cause anxiety. This is another good reason to stay on top of your oral hygiene! If you keep your teeth and gums healthy, the odds that you will need to undergo such procedures will be much lower.

Ask About Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is an option to consider if you experience significant dental anxiety. It involves using medication to help you feel more calm during treatment. This is a topic your dentist can discuss with you in greater detail.

Just remember, there’s no shame whatsoever in struggling with anxiety over seeing the dentist. Studies and surveys show most people experience this type of anxiety to some extent. Fortunately, as these examples demonstrate, this might not be a type of anxiety you need to live with.

Talk to a Dentist About Your Anxiety

At The Ricco Dental Group, in Plainview, New York, we understand that dental anxiety is common. Thus, we’re always happy to discuss this topic with patients, helping them feel as comfortable as possible during treatment. To schedule an appointment, contact us online or call us at 516-931-3999.

Do Dental Implants Affect the Appearance of Your Smile?

Dental implants can replace missing or damaged teeth. They are considered to be the highest quality tooth replacement option available in dentistry. Dental implant technology provides a naturally functioning prosthetic for anywhere from one to a full arch of teeth. 

If you’re considering dental implants, you may be wondering if they will affect the appearance of your smile. In some cases they may affect your smile, and in other cases they may not. Here’s what you can expect in terms of cosmetic effects of dental implants. 

What Are Dental Implants? 

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root made of titanium that is surgically placed in the jaw bone. Titanium is a biocompatible material that is capable of fusing with the bone to form a solid bond. Once the implant fully fuses with the bone, an artificial tooth can be attached to complete the replacement. 

How Many Teeth Can Dental Implants Replace?

Dental implants are capable of replacing anywhere from one to all of your teeth. Here are the various implant options:

How Will Dental Implants Affect My Smile?

The impact that dental implants will have on your smile depends on the location of the dental implant. If you are getting a dental implant to replace a molar near the back of your mouth, your smile may not be affected at all. Even a bridge near the back of your mouth will most likely be unnoticeable. 

If you are getting a dental implant to replace a tooth near the front of your mouth, it will improve or maintain your existing smile. An implant will fill in the gap where you’ve been missing a tooth and give you a better looking smile. For a tooth that was not visibly damaged, a dental implant can replace the tooth without changing your smile in any way. 

A complete set of implant supported dentures can give you a natural looking smile, replacing damaged or missing teeth. 

Do Dental Implants Look Natural?

Dental implants consist of 3 parts: the implant itself, the abutment (the post that connects to the prosthetic), and the prosthetic. The implant and abutment are both made of titanium. The prosthetic (crown, bridge, or dentures) is made of porcelain in most cases. Porcelain is used for its strength and its resemblance to natural tooth enamel in texture and sheen. 

Another reason that dental implants look natural is that they are anchored in the jaw in the same way your natural teeth are. This allows a dental implant and crown to blend right in with your existing teeth. Implant supported dentures look more natural than the traditional type because they sit right against your natural gums rather than being attached to acrylic that is made to resemble gum tissue. They also stay in place securely without slipping when you eat and talk.

Where Can I Get Natural Looking Dental Implants?  

If you need replacement teeth but you’re concerned about how they will affect your smile, the Ricco Dental Group provides dental implants that look and function just like your natural teeth. We use high quality materials that look natural and last for many years, providing single tooth replacements and implant supported bridges and dentures. 

Call 516-931-3999 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment. 

How Long Will Invisalign Take to Straighten Your Teeth?

Clear aligner systems are the latest technology in orthodontics. Aligners are clear plastic trays that fit over your teeth and gradually shift them into proper alignment. They allow you to straighten your teeth discreetly and comfortably. 

It seems that new aligner-based orthodontic treatments come on the market every day, but Invisalign was the first. This means it is the most tested and reliable option available. If you’re considering Invisalign, you may be wondering how long the treatment takes. Here’s what you can expect. 

How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign treatment begins with a consultation. Your dentist will examine your teeth, bite pattern, and jaw structure to determine whether or not you are a candidate for Invisalign. If so, digital impressions will be made of your teeth that the computer system uses to create your aligners. You’ll receive a series of aligners that are designed to gradually shift your teeth into proper alignment. You’ll wear each aligner for about 2 weeks, then switch to the next aligner in order until you’ve worn all of them and your teeth are in the desired position. 

How Long Does the Process Take?

From the time the computer designs your treatment plan, you’ll have an estimate for the length of your treatment. Invisalign treatment may take anywhere from 6 to 18 months to achieve the desired results, for an average treatment time of about a year. 

What Factors Affect Treatment Time?

Treatment duration varies from one patient to another due to the following factors:

What Can I Do To Shorten My Treatment Time? 

You can’t always shorten your treatment time, but you can make sure it stays on schedule with the following tips: 

Where Can I Get Invisalign?

One of the biggest benefits of Invisalign is that you can often get it through your dentist’s office. The Ricco Dental Group provides Invisalign treatment for patients who are ideal candidates. After a brief evaluation we can begin the Invisalign process to straighten your teeth and align your bite for improved dental health and a better looking smile. 
Call 516-931-3999 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.

4 Myths About Dental Implants

If you are missing a tooth, investing in dental implants is one of the best steps you can take for your oral health. Not only do they give you functionality and strength with every bite, but they have a natural appearance that looks just like a real tooth, too.

Though despite all the benefits that come with dental implants, there are a few issues floating around the internet that could have you questioning whether or not this is the right step for you.

Dental implants are well known as the gold standard in tooth replacement. So, before you start believing everything you read, let’s quash 4 myths about dental implants.

Myth #1: Dental Implants are Painful

To get dental implants, you will have to undergo minor oral surgery to implant the artificial root into the jaw so that it may fuse with the bone. Believe it or not, this is less painful than having a tooth extracted.

Healing after the implant surgery involves taking over-the-counter pain medication as needed to reduce any discomfort. You should feel well enough to return to your daily routine within about 2 to 3 days.

Myth #2: You Have to Have Excellent Oral Health to Get Dental Implants

It is true that you cannot have any underlying oral health issues in order to get dental implants. However, you do not have to have excellent oral health to take advantage of this treatment. Any underlying issues that you do have, such as decay or gum disease, will need to be addressed prior to moving forward with your dental implant surgery.

What’s more, if your jaw bone is lacking in density, you will have to undergo a procedure known as bone grafting. This will create a stronger bone in which to anchor your new artificial tooth.

As long as you address all oral health concerns, you should have no issues with getting dental implants.

Myth #3: Dental Implants are Expensive

There is no denying the fact that dental implants are expensive. But when you look at the bigger picture, they may actually be the most affordable option.

Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime. You will likely have to replace the dental crown sometime down the road as they are designed to last between 10 to 15 years. But with optimal dental care, crowns can last upwards of 20 years.

If you choose dentures, bridges, or partials for your tooth replacement, rather than dental implants, you will find that they will need to be replaced every 10 years or so - often at a much higher cost than replacing a dental crown. It is also worth noting that partials and bridges can put a strain on the healthy teeth that support them, potentially leading to bigger oral health issues later.

In other words, while dental implants may seem expensive now, they are often the more affordable choice when you look beyond this moment.

Myth #4: Dental Implants Often Fail

The artificial root that is implanted into the jaw is most commonly made of titanium. This is a metal that is rarely rejected by the body, allowing the fusing and anchoring to take place. For the most part, dental implants have a 95% success rate - though seeking treatment from a highly-skilled dentist can increase that number even more.

Learn More About Dental Implants

If you want to learn more about dental implants and whether or not they are a good solution to replace your missing teeth, then Dr. Steven Ricco can help. With extensive experience and skill at precise placement, you can feel confident in the success of your dental implants.

Ready to transform your smile? Contact us today at 516-931-3999.

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe? Answers to Common Questions

Every dentist wants to provide their patients with a superb experience. They strive to make sure the patient is comfortable and has an understanding of what to expect. When it comes to complex dental issues or more in-depth procedures, sedation dentistry is often helpful in bringing this all together.

Those with dental fear and anxiety also find that undergoing different types of sedation can be a game-changer. It can take away from whatever is causing the concern and replace it with a secure dental visit.

While the idea of sedation may sound perfect, many patients are still unfamiliar with it - and what it entails. Since knowledge is power (and can transform your trip to the dentist), let’s find some answers to common sedation dentistry questions.

Are There Different Types of Sedation?

Yes, there are different types of sedation used based on the patient and the procedure, including:

  • Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas)
  • Oral Sedation
  • IV Sedation

Nitrous Oxide is often referred to as laughing gas. It is safe and highly effective at keeping the patient sedated throughout the procedure. A small mask is placed over the nose and the gas is breathed in for the duration.

Oral sedation involves taking a medicine that will cause drowsiness. Administered shortly before the procedure, it allows the patient to be relaxed and calm during their entire appointment.

IV sedation, as its name suggests, involves using a needle to administer sedation intravenously. Through the arm or hand, this method gets the sedation into the bloodstream instantly. The patient is relaxed and unaware during the procedure.

How Long Does Sedation Last?

How long the sedation lasts will depend on the type of sedation used. For instance, nitrous oxide begins working rather quickly once the patient begins breathing it. However, when the mask is removed, it only takes a couple of minutes to regain clarity.

Oral sedation can take much longer to leave the system. Depending on how much is given, some patients find it can take a few hours to fully feel back to normal.

And, finally, IV sedation. It stops getting administered as soon as the IV is removed. It will take some time to regain full consciousness, but it does wear off rather quickly.

For patients who choose oral or IV sedation, transportation will be required to return home from the dental appointment.

Do You Feel Pain While Sedated?

Sedation is used to promote feelings of calm and relaxation throughout the dental procedure - not to reduce pain. The dental team will use other methods to address pain, such as local anesthesia that is applied directly to the area.

So, do you feel pain while sedated? Not likely. A little pressure may be felt, but the dentist should be alerted if any pain is experienced.

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?

Perhaps one of the most popular questions when it comes to sensation dentistry is whether or not it is safe. And the answer is yes - sedation dentistry is safe for patients young and old as long as it is administered by an experienced dentist.

Patients are continuously monitored throughout the procedure just to be sure there is no negative reaction.

Learn More About Sedation Dentistry

If you have been putting off major dental work due to anxiety or fear, then it is time you take a step toward sedation dentistry. Your oral health can have a major impact on your overall health if not taken care of. Therefore, you never want to ignore it.

The Ricco Dental Group team is highly experienced in keeping patients comfortable using various types of sedation. If you have any questions or concerns about sedation - or wonder if you are a good candidate - then contact us today at 516-931-3999.

Is Composite Bonding Right for You?

Composite bonding, also known as dental bonding, is a technique used to improve the appearance of damaged or cracked teeth. To help alter the shape of your teeth, a dentist adds a putty-like resin before permanently bonding them.

Bonding helps close gaps, repair chips, and change the shape and color of a tooth. And unlike many other cosmetic treatments, composite bonding is entirely reversible.

Is composite bonding right for you? Keep reading for some advantages and disadvantages, as well as ways to determine if you’re a good candidate for bonding.

Advantages of Composite Bonding

Many patients consider composite bonding because it’s low in price, has a minimal time commitment, and the results are immediate.

The bonding is much more affordable than dental porcelain, and the treatment is completed during a single visit. Additionally, local anesthesia is typically not required. This lowers the cost and health risks when compared to other alternative treatments.

When patients choose composite bonding over other alternatives like veneers and crowns, less of their natural tooth is removed. Plus, composite bonding has the ability to be easily repaired if cracked – unlike veneers and crowns.

Disadvantages of Composite Bonding

Like all dental treatments and techniques, there are a few disadvantages of composite bonding to take into consideration.

First, it’s important to note that composite bonding will not cover as much damage as porcelain veneers. Bonding cannot cleanly hide wide gaps and extensive damage, whereas veneers simply slip over the teeth and give a more natural look. In small usages, bonding does help create a seamless blend with existing teeth, but the resin typically does not match the sheen and translucence of natural teeth.

Depending on your oral health and hygiene, bonding materials last between three and ten years. This timeline is not near as long as porcelain veneers, which can last for up to 15 years. Bonding weakens over time, especially if you have bad habits such as biting your nails or chewing on pens. Luckily, cracked bonding is easily fixed and inexpensive to repair.

Lastly, the material used for bonding is less stain-resistant than other options. This means taking precautionary measures like avoiding tooth-staining products, coffee, tea, and red wine for at least 48 hours after treatment. After that 48-hour mark, you can consume these beverages, but it’s critical to brush your teeth as soon as possible.

Are You a Good Candidate for Composite Bonding?

Choosing between dental treatments like composite bonding and veneers comes down to a variety of factors. Two of the biggest factors are your overall oral health and personal needs.

Cost also often plays a role in consideration. According to the American Dental Association and American Cosmetic Dentistry, dental bonding is the most cost-effective option. Composition bonding costs between $300 and $600 per tooth, whereas alternatives like veneers cost between $900 to $2500 per tooth.

To determine if composite bonding is right for you, take these factors into consideration:

If you answered yes to these questions, then composite bonding is a great option for you. You may not be a good candidate if you have a larger gap to fill between teeth or if you have an overbite.

Learn More About Composite Bonding and Cosmetic Dentistry

There is no cosmetic dental procedure that is perfect for every patient. If you qualify for composite bonding, then it’s an inexpensive and quick way to improve your smile dramatically. However, if you have extensive damage that needs to be repaired, bonding is not your best option. The Ricco Dental Group specializes in cosmetic dentistry procedures such as porcelain veneers, removable dentures, teeth whitening, and composite bonding. Contact us today at 516-931-3999.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Year-End Dental Benefits

Dental insurance is a benefit offered by many employers as part of your benefits package. If you’re self-employed you may purchase your own. Insurance typically works on a yearly calendar where benefits begin on a certain date and either end or are renewed on a certain date. Features such as deductibles, flex spending accounts, and out of pocket maximums all work on a yearly basis. 

Most insurance plans begin in January and end in December. This means that all of the aspects of your insurance plan that are calculated on a yearly basis will reach the year end on December 31. While health savings accounts (HSA) roll over to the next year, most other benefits don’t. If you want to take full advantage of your dental insurance benefits, here are some things to consider. 

Confirm Your Plan Renewal Date

If you want to get the most out of your dental benefits, the best place to start is to find out exactly when your plan ends and renews. Most plans follow the typical calendar year, meaning they end on December 31 and renew January 1. However, some insurance plans operate on a different schedule, so be sure to check with your insurance provider to determine the final date of the current plan year. 

Get to Know Your Benefits

Your insurance provider should have provided you with a benefits guide that fully explains every aspect of your plan. You may have received an actual paper copy, a digital copy, or a link to a benefits guide online. Review this guide to get a complete understanding of your dental benefits so that you can take full advantage of them. 

Check on Your Yearly Deductible

Most dental insurance plans have a yearly deductible that must be met before insurance begins paying for services. Find out the amount of your yearly deductible and how much of the deductible has been met. You can get this information by contacting your insurance provider, accessing your account online, or reviewing your most recent explanation of benefits you may have received in the mail. If you’ve already met your deductible for the year, any additional dental services you receive may be fully covered. 

Find Out Your Annual Maximum

The annual maximum is the total amount your insurance plan will pay toward dental services for the year. Find out what this number is and how much your provider has paid toward this amount. If you need a dental procedure, it may be a good idea to get it done now if you still have a sufficient amount of your annual maximum left. If not, you may want to wait until the new year when your plan renews. 

Use Your Flex Spending Account

If your plan includes a flex spending account (FSA), the funds will most likely not roll over to the next year. Whatever you don’t use before the end of the calendar year will be lost. Flex spending accounts, as their name suggests, are somewhat flexible about what you can use the funds for. FSA funds can be used for a variety of dental services, even elective procedures in many cases. You may be able to purchase dental products such as denture cleaners and adhesives and toothache relievers with your FSA account. 

Take Full Advantage of Your Benefits 

If your plan covers dental cleanings, be sure to use that benefit each year. Most plans include two cleanings per year, 6 months apart. In most cases these appointments are fully covered with no out of pocket expenses. Now may be the best time to get other dental services such as fillings, root canals, or crowns when you can make the most of your dental insurance coverage. 

Use Your Benefits to the Fullest With the Ricco Dental Group

You most likely pay a premium each month that comes out of your paycheck toward dental insurance. If you don’t use the benefits, those funds have gone to waste. The Ricco Dental Group can help you take full advantage of your dental benefits. If you’re due for a dental cleaning and exam, schedule now as appointments are filling up fast. Don’t let your dental insurance benefits go unused this year. 
Call 516-931-3999 or contact us today to schedule an appointment.

How to Choose the Best Dentist for Your Family in Nassau County

It’s important to choose the perfect family dentist for your family’s needs, but it can be hard to figure out where to start looking or what you should consider when choosing a family dental practice in Nassau County. Family dentistry is highly personalized, and each dentist has different specialties and focuses on different aspects of dental care. To ensure that you and your family are receiving the most personalized and effective dental care possible, here’s what you need to know.

Factors to Consider When Looking For A Family Dentist 

When looking for a good family dentist in Nassau County, there are a few important items you’ll want to focus on. One of the most important things to consider is your family’s unique needs. If you have children, you’ll want to find a dentist that has a lot of experience in pediatric dentistry. You should consider location when choosing a family dentist, and whether or not they take your insurance plan. 


The most important thing is that you find a dentist who is well-qualified and experienced in the various aspects of family dentistry. Most Nassau County dental practices’ websites will give you more information on their dentists. Experience is especially key with restorative dentistry, which involves services like root canal therapy, fillings, crowns, and implants. 

Office Atmosphere and Technology

Walking into a dentist's office can be intimidating, especially if you are nervous about a procedure or dental work in general. The best family dental offices are not only equipped with the latest dental technology including lasers, digital imaging, and intra-oral cameras, but also provide a welcoming and family-friendly atmosphere. 

Communication & Satisfaction With Staff

The most important thing you need to do when choosing a family dentist is to find one that you are comfortable with and has staff who will communicate well with you. The staff should be willing to answer any questions you have and explain any treatments you might need. 


One of the easiest ways to help yourself and your family keep up with your dental health is by choosing a practice that is close to home and convenient for the whole family. The Ricco Dental Group is conveniently located in Plainview, NY at 709 S Oyster Bay Road, and serves patients throughout Jericho, Hicksville, Muttontown, Syosset, Bethpage, and Old Bethpage.

Cost And Insurance Policies

When looking for a family dentist in Nassau County, you’ll want to make sure the ones you are considering take your insurance plan if you have one. Otherwise, many practices offer payment plans for those who are interested.

Patient Reviews

Lastly, one of the best ways you can find a dental practice for the whole family is to see what other patients think. A practice’s reviews can give you a better idea of patient experiences so you can make an informed decision for your family.

Family Dentist In Nassau County, NY

The Ricco Dental Group is a full-service dental practice that provides family dentistry services as well as general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. To make an appointment, contact us today by calling 516-931-3999 or request an appointment online. 

How Often Should You Get a Dental Cleaning?

Most Americans don’t get dental cleanings as often as they should, which could lead to serious problems down the line. According to survey data, only about one-third of Americans make it to the dentist the recommended two times per year. In order to keep your teeth and gums healthy, it’s advisable to have regular dental cleanings with your dentist or hygienist. Here are some things to consider when deciding how often to schedule cleanings with your dentist.

What Happens During A Dental Cleaning?

During your dental cleaning, your hygienist will remove any plaque or tartar that has built up on your teeth. They'll also give you an X-ray to make sure there aren't any hidden problems or concerns. If they find anything, they'll let you know and discuss the best course of action for treatment. Finally, after the exam is finished, they'll teach you how to brush and floss properly and check in with you about how often to come back for cleanings.

The Risks of Not Getting Regular Cleanings

If you have not had regular dental checkups, then there are some risks that you may be unaware of. It is important to know that the state of your teeth can affect your overall health. 

Dental plaque is what causes cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay. If left untreated for an extended period of time, these issues can cause problems in other parts of the body and could lead to diabetes and heart disease.

Why Are Dental Cleanings Important?

Dental cleanings are an important part of maintaining good oral health. They remove plaque and tartar buildup, prevent tooth decay, and detect oral cancer. The frequency of dental cleanings will vary depending on your individual needs and medical history. Some people with sensitive teeth may need to go more often than every six months if they are prone to cavities. Others may only need a checkup once or twice per year.

How Long Should You Go Between Dental Cleanings?

The ideal time between cleanings is six months. When teeth are not cleaned for too long, plaque and tartar can form on the teeth, which can lead to tooth decay and other problems that can be detrimental to your oral health.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Dental Cleanings?

Dental insurance varies from provider to provider. The best way to find out if your plan covers cleanings is to ask the person who handles your benefits for the company if your insurance is employer-provided. If your employer doesn’t offer dental coverage, some plans cover one to two cleanings each year. However many dental cleanings your insurance covers, make sure to take advantage of the benefits you pay for by seeing your dentist once or twice a year.

Are You Due For A Dental Cleaning?

The Ricco Dental Group is a full-service dental clinic located in Plainview, New York that provides a range of general dentistry services. To make an appointment for a dental cleaning, call 516-931-3999 or request an appointment online.

How to Maintain Your Oral Health During Pregnancy

So, you’re expecting a little one! As exciting as the news is, with much to think about and prepare for a new arrival, don’t forget your dental health! It’s especially important now, as pregnancy can make you more susceptible to gum disease and cavities. And good oral health is also an important part of your prenatal care – poor dental health when you’re pregnant can affect not only you but your baby adversely.

Maintaining Your Oral Health

The way you care for your oral health is another important responsibility that comes with pregnancy. Make sure you keep your regularly scheduled appointments with your dentist for an exam and cleanings. But also be sure to let your dental team know that you’re expecting, to make sure your dentist knows whether or not to postpone any treatments until the baby arrives.

And, let your dentist know if you have any changes in your mouth, like redness, swelling, or any bleeding.

The bottom line is this: receiving regular dental care while you’re pregnant far outweighs any possible risks. And, if you’re brushing two times each day with a toothpaste that includes fluoride, and flossing between your teeth at least once per day, just keep up those great habits.

If that’s not the case, it’s not too late to start. Poor dental care during pregnancy can cause a myriad of problems, and are associated with serious outcomes such as a premature delivery of your child; intrauterine growth restriction, which means that your baby isn’t growing as expected;

preeclampsia, or high blood pressure during pregnancy; and gestational diabetes, among others.

Steps for Dental Health During Pregnancy

It’s easy to prevent any negative outcomes from poor dental health while you’re pregnant. Here are some steps to follow to make sure you have healthy teeth, mouth, and gums. 

Remember, plaque that is not removed with daily brushing and regular professional dental cleaning can harden into calculus or tartar over time, making it harder to keep teeth clean and healthy. When tartar starts to collect above your gum line, tissue can swell and bleed due to gingivitis, which is early-stage gum disease. So be sure to use that fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth with dental floss every day!

Ready to Learn More?

If you’d like to learn more about maintaining your oral health during pregnancy, or to schedule a consultation, just reach out to us today! We’re here to help you, and your coming baby, continue a path to good oral health now and in the years ahead.

How To Take Care Of Your Toothbrush

Most people don't give their toothbrushes too much thought. It seems like a common item that after using it, they simply put it away until the next time.

But there are a few easy steps you can take to help not only make your toothbrush healthier, but make it last longer as well.

So below we'll look at 3 ways to help take care of your toothbrush.

Keeping Your Toothbrush Clean

This seems simple enough, but there are a few extra steps you can take to keep your toothbrush as clean as possible.

Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly

When you're finished brushing your teeth, make sure to rinse the toothbrush thoroughly under warm water. This helps remove any residue from the toothpaste as well as any particles that are trapped in the bristles of the toothbrush

Disinfect your toothbrush

Every so often, it's a good idea to disinfect your toothbrush. Bacteria can form due to the moisture that is often trapped in the bristles after use.

One method is to mix a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide with one cup of water. Then swirl your toothbrush in this mixture for 30 seconds. Afterward, thoroughly rinse the brush under warm water to remove any of the solution left over.

This will help deep clean your brush and remove harmful bacteria that may be forming.

Store your toothbrush properly

Storing your toothbrush properly is also important when it comes to caring for your toothbrush.

For starters, shake off as much water and moisture as possible when finished rinsing the brush. The less moisture, the less chance of bacteria forming.

Next, always make sure to store your toothbrush upright after use. Ideally, you want to store it in a cup with the top half of the toothbrush exposed to the air.

This aids in drying and allows excess moisture to evaporate into the environment.

Avoid storing your toothbrush in a drawer or cabinet. This can hamper the evaporative process and allows moisture to linger on the brush for much longer.

Don't Brush Too Hard

Brushing too hard is not only harmful to your teeth and gums, but it is bad for your toothbrush as well. Using too much force while brushing will cause the brush to wear out prematurely.

It can also lead to the ends of the bristles fraying. This makes the toothbrush less effective. Also, these frayed ends become traps for tiny particles and debris.

So make sure to always use gentle pressure when brushing your teeth. Your teeth, gums, and toothbrush will all be happier for doing so.

Replace Your Toothbrush When Needed

Despite taking the best care of your toothbrush, they will need replacement eventually. Most dentists recommend that changing your toothbrush every 3 months is ideal. Beyond this, the toothbrush is no longer as effective and may contain bacteria.

By following the tips above, you should be able to keep your toothbrush in tip-top shape without much extra effort. If you have any other questions about your dental care, contact us at 516-931-3999.

Whether you need regular dental checkups or more advanced dental procedures, Dr. Steven Ricco can help you achieve a healthy and beautiful smile.

Why General Dentistry is Important

General dentistry is sometimes referred to as preventative dentistry. And that, in a nutshell, is why general dental care is important. It’s the part of dentistry that includes routine dental examinations and cleanings, makes sure your mouth is looking healthy, and finds any small oral health issues before they become larger problems, and corrects them. 

Afterall, caring for your teeth means caring for your health, not just your dental health but your entire body. Routine care now benefits you not just in the present, but in the future as well.

General Dentistry Areas of Care

From routine dental care, including professional cleanings, dental examinations, x-rays, and polishing, to handling issues such as including cavities, tooth decay, infection, cracked teeth, and gum health, general dentistry covers each of these areas, and encourages a good oral hygiene routine to help you keep teeth healthy at home.

Our general dentistry practice includes:

And if needed:

Maintaining and improving your oral health is what general dentistry is all about. 

General Dentistry is Important

As you can tell, focusing on the little things, such as regular cleanings and exams, is important. A thorough exam can point out any issues such as early stage gum disease, so we can quickly and effectively address them before they become much larger problems. A single filling made now could prevent the need for a root canal or even a tooth extraction down the line. Placing a crown on a tooth that has a small crack can prevent tooth loss. 

You get the idea. By caring for your teeth routinely, and watching for any small issues now, you can prevent pain, discomfort, and larger issues down the line, allowing you to keep healthy teeth for the rest of your life. And, keeping your dental health strong also means keeping your whole body healthy. Gum disease, for example, can affect your whole body. Your gums serve as a barrier to prevent overall bodily inflammation, with gum disease linked to health issues including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and more. Catching any tissue abnormalities early can mean the difference between a simple treatment and a painful, complex treatment for oral cancer in the future.

Frequent treatments identify any threats to your health, and also have a positive effect on your budget, mitigating the need for far more costly future treatment due to neglect.

And finally, regular general dental care also provides cosmetic benefits that enhance your smile with a brighter, healthier appearance that makes you both look and feel your very best: from just receiving a routine exam and cleaning twice a year or as recommended by your dental team. 

Are You Ready to Learn More About General Dentistry?

If you’re ready to learn more about general dentistry and how it can help your dental and overall health, reach out to us today! We’re here to help!

Bone Grafting for Dental Implants: What You Should Know

One of the major factors in being a candidate for dental implants is having a strong jaw bone structure. But if you have been missing teeth for a while or if you have controlled periodontal disease, then your dentist may inform you that you need bone grafting done before the implant procedure can commence.

The reason? You need a stronger bone structure that is capable of securely anchoring the implant. Without it, placement of the implants will be difficult and their risk of failure increases.

What is Bone Grafting? 

Bone grafting is a surgical procedure to rebuild the jaw bone by transplanting bone tissue. It makes the bone stronger and sturdier to handle the dental implants and fuse with them properly so that they can be a success.

The material used in bone grafting may come in the form of a gel, granules, powder, or putty. It can be from your own bone nearby in your mouth, from other synthetic bone-like substitutes, or from animals. Your dentist can talk this over with you to determine the best choice for you.

It should be noted that not everyone will need bone grafting prior to getting dental implants.

The Bone Grafting Process

First, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area. Then, to start the actual procedure, a small incision is made in the gum tissue in the area requiring the bone graft, exposing the bone. Through this small incision, the new bone material is transplanted into the jawbone. The idea is that your jaw bone will fuse together with this material creating a strong, sturdy foundation for your implants.

Once the bone graft has taken place, it may experience some minor discomfort. Cold compresses and over-the-counter medication can offer relief.

Keep in mind that it can take at least a few months before the bone will be ready to proceed. Doing it too early can result in a failed dental implant. It is best to be patient and ensure that the support is there before beginning the dental implant process.

Benefits of Bone Grafting

You may feel discouraged if you were looking forward to dental implants only to find out that you have to delay the process due to bone grafting. The good news is that there are a few benefits to having this procedure done, including:

  • Restore bone mass required for future dental procedures, including dental implants and orthodontic treatments.
  • Restore facial structure resulting in an enhanced appearance and boost in confidence for the patient.
  • Improve the function and boost the support of dentures, implants, crowns, bridges, and more.

Bone Grafting for Your Dental Implants

If you are in the Plainview, NY, area and have been contemplating dental implants, Steven Ricco, DDS and his team are here for you.

A thorough assessment of your bone structure will let us know whether or not you need bone grafting and we can discuss your options. Remember, not every dental implant patient requires it – you could move ahead with implantation and avoid bone grafting altogether.

To get started, contact us at 516-931-3999 to schedule an appointment.

Traditional vs Implant Supported Dentures

Dentures are removable dental appliances that replace missing teeth and help restore your smile. If you’ve lost all or most of your natural teeth, whether from gum disease, injury, or tooth decay, replacing them will benefit your health and appearance alike.

What are traditional dentures?

Traditional dentures are removable teeth replacements designed to look like natural teeth. They’re durable and long-lasting, and they can be taken out at night or when you want to clean them.

Two types of traditional dentures are available—full and partial. Full dentures replace all the teeth in your mouth by sitting on top of your gums and jawbone. Partial dentures are used when you still have some natural teeth remaining.

If you need full dentures, you’ll likely get a set of dentures as soon as your last tooth is removed (“immediate dentures”) but before your gums heal completely.

If you get immediate dentures, your dentist will usually take measurements and make models during a preliminary visit to ensure a good fit with your gums and jawbone once healing is complete. Patients who opt for immediate dentures should expect to have them relined or remade after their mouth has healed for optimal comfort and fit.

What are implant-supported dentures?

Implant-supported dentures are a type of overdenture supported by and attached to implants. An implant-supported denture is used when a person doesn’t have any teeth in the jaw but has enough bone in the jaw to support implants.

Implant-supported dentures affix to attachments on the implants. They’re removable like traditional dentures, but they aren’t as loose because they snap onto the implants. Implant-supported dentures hold your teeth firmly in place, so you don’t have to worry about slippage. They can be removed for cleaning and taken out at night.

Implant-supported dentures are considered a more permanent solution than traditional dentures since implants are designed to provide a lifetime of support for your teeth and gums. They’re durable and will last many years but may need to be readjusted or replaced due to normal wear.

What are the advantages of implant-supported dentures?

Implant-supported dentures have several advantages over traditional dentures, including:

Improved stability. Implant-supported dentures offer better support and more security than traditional dentures. The implants fuse with the jawbone, which provides a stable foundation for the teeth.

Because implants are placed in the jawbone, they work like natural tooth roots and provide a firm fit for replacement teeth. This helps eliminate the slippage that can occur with traditional dentures.

Improved speech. A secure fit means you don't have to worry about your teeth slipping while talking or eating.

Easier eating. It can be hard to eat certain foods with traditional dentures if your denture is loose or ill-fitting. Implant-supported dentures give you back the ability to chew food easily, making eating more enjoyable again.

Improved oral health. Because implant-supported dentures rely on implants rather than adhesives to stay in place, there is no need for messy pastes or adhesives.

Because implant-supported dentures fit so well and look natural, many patients find this type of restoration increases their confidence compared to traditional dentures.

Disadvantages of Implant-Supported Dentures

If you’re considering implant-supported dentures, you should know a few things first. Like all dental procedures, they have their own set of disadvantages. Following are some of the most common concerns people have when considering this treatment option:

Cost. The overall cost of implant-supported dentures is higher than other options. However, it's important to remember that implant-supported dentures usually last longer than traditional dentures, so the costs will likely even out over time.

Surgery. Implant-supported dentures involve oral surgery to place the implants in the jawbone to which the dentures will attach.

Adjustment period. Since they feel different from regular dentures, It may take some time to get used to your implant-supported dentures. Once you do, you’ll probably appreciate the extra stability the implants provide.

Learn More About Denture Options

Dentures are a viable option for many patients. Speak with your dentist to find out whether dentures or implant-supported dentures are the better option for you.

If you're considering dentures, please contact us today to schedule your consultation. We look forward to seeing you in our comfortable, state-of-the-art office for a comprehensive visit where we can address all of your questions and concerns.

What is the Typical Cost of a Dental Crown?

Crowns are widely used, versatile dental restorations. Most people will get at least one crown during their lifetime. But how much can you expect to pay? Do dental crowns deliver the desired results? And are they worth the expense?

Keep reading to learn more about dental crowns.

What is a dental crown?

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" placed over a tooth—encasing the tooth to restore its strength, shape, and size and improve its appearance.

Crowns are frequently used to restore the function and appearance of a tooth following restorative procedures such as root canal therapy. When dental decay has progressed to the point that significant portions of a tooth must be removed, crowns are frequently used to reconstruct the tooth.

Crowns can be used when an existing filling is in jeopardy of becoming loose or dislocated, to attach bridges, cover implants, or prevent a cracked tooth from worsening. When applied over a discolored or stained tooth, crowns can also serve a wholly aesthetic purpose.

Why might I need a crown?

Your dentist may recommend a crown in the following situations:

  • When a large cavity threatens the health of the tooth
  • To prevent a weak tooth from breaking or to hold cracked tooth fragments together
  • To restore a tooth that has already been broken or significantly worn down
  • To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when little tooth material remains
  • To hold a dental bridge in place
  • To cover misshapen or severely discolored teeth
  • To cover a dental implant or as part of a dental implant

How much does a dental crown typically cost?

The cost of a dental crown will vary depending on the type of crown chosen, the tooth being treated, and the dentist you choose to perform the treatment.

The average cost is $600–$1,500, depending on the lab and materials used.

The out-of-pocket costs depend on your insurance coverage and your dentist's pricing policies. Dental practices may charge a flat rate that includes the materials, laboratory fees, and installation. Alternatively, they may itemize their fees for services such as tooth preparation ($50-$300), impressions ($50-$150), a temporary crown ($50-$200), and final crown installation ($250-$1,200).

In general, porcelain crowns will cost more than other crowns because they require more time and skill to fabricate. Crowns for molars, which require more material and time, will cost more than crowns for front teeth.

Ceramic or Porcelain Crowns: $800-$2,000

Because they’re made from materials that retain the look of your natural teeth, ceramic and porcelain crowns are often used for teeth that are visible when smiling.

Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Crowns: $600-$1,500

These crowns are known for their durability, strength, and ability to provide a natural-looking restoration.

Gold Alloy or Base Metal Alloy Crowns: $600-$1,500

Gold or base metal alloy crowns may be used when optimum strength is required, especially for patients who grind their teeth at night. These materials are strong, corrosion-resistant, and often used when there’s less existing tooth structure to support the crown restoration.

Does insurance cover dental crowns?

Crowns are typically covered by insurance. However, if the crown is being placed for cosmetic reasons only, it may not be covered. The details depend on your plan, so you should check with your insurance provider.

If your insurance covers crowns, they’ll likely cost anywhere between $600 and $2,000. This figure will vary based on the material used and whether you need a root canal performed beforehand.

If your insurance doesn't cover crowns or if you don't have dental insurance, other payment options may be available. Some dentists offer discounts to uninsured patients,  or payment plans may be available. Other practices may work with third-party financing companies that provide competitive or interest-free rates.

Regardless of how you pay for it, a dental crown is a significant investment in your oral health. While the up-front cost may be high, a crown can last up to fifteen years and eliminate the need for more expensive procedures later.

Is the cost of a dental crown worth it?

Don’t let the cost alone deter you from getting the dental work your smile needs. These are three reasons why the cost of a dental crown is well worth it:

  • Crowns protect against further damage by covering cracked or broken teeth and preventing them from cracking further.
  • Crowns help maintain overall oral health.
  • Crowns help strengthen teeth and keep them intact and healthy.

With proper care, a dental crown can last 10 to 15 years. Good care includes brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, flossing once daily, and having regular dental checkups to monitor the crown's condition.

Learn More About Dental Crowns

Is a dental crown the right choice for you? Our dental professionals will help select the type of crown best suited to your particular needs.

If you have questions or want to learn more about our options, contact us today at 516-931-3999 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ricco.

My Dental Implant Feels Loose

When it comes to tooth replacement, dental implants are considered the gold standard. They have a success rate of 95 percent or higher. However, there can be limited instances where an implant may feel loose.

If this happens, what should you do?

The first thing to do is call your dentist and schedule an appointment to have your implant checked as soon as possible. There may be different reasons for the symptoms you’re experiencing, and it could be something that can be fixed.

Don’t panic, but also don’t ignore it. Also, try not to move your implant or chew on the affected side of your mouth. Here’s more information about what may be happening.

How Implants Work and Possible Warning Signs

In order to consider the different possibilities, it’s helpful to first remember how implants work. The implant itself is a titanium post that is anchored into the jawbone. A crown, which looks like a natural tooth, is then placed on top of the implant to function and appear like a natural tooth.

While it’s possible for implants to fail at different times, a problem is more likely to occur shortly after implant surgery. This may happen if the implant does not bond with the jawbone.

Signs that an implant is loosening may include:

  • A feeling that the tooth is moving
  • Bleeding, pain, or swelling around the tooth
  • Difficulty chewing or biting

Other Reasons a Dental Implant May Feel Loose


In some cases when you feel movement, the problem may not be the implant, but something else. These issues can sometimes be fixed without the need for another surgery. For example:

  • The crown – and not the implant – may be loose and may need to be secured or replaced.
  • If you have a dental implant that is holding a larger bridge or dentures in place, there may be a problem with how the bridge or dentures are connected to the implant, which may need to be fixed.

Though not common, problems such as an infection in surrounding teeth or bone loss may also cause an implant to become loose. In these cases, the implant may need to be removed and replaced later on.

How Can I Maintain My Implant and Teeth?

If you have an implant, you want to do everything you can to maintain good oral health. Even though your implant can’t get cavities, your gums and existing teeth still need regular care. Here are some important things you should do:

  • Keep up with regular brushing and flossing every day.
  • Attend your regular checkups with your dentist.
  • Talk with your dentist about other ways to maintain your oral health.

Want to Learn More?


Here at The Ricco Dental Group, we’re committed to helping you have the best possible experience whether you need a dental implant or another service. To learn more, contact us today at 516-931-3999 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ricco.

3 Signs You Need a Root Canal

You may have heard that root canals are invasive and painful, but the truth is typically quite different.

A root canal is simply a standard dental procedure that heals your tooth by removing all the infection and leaving behind only healthy tooth tissue.

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a treatment that removes infected tissue within a tooth. The procedure also involves filling the hollow chamber of the tooth (root canal) with a synthetic material that can prevent bacteria from entering again. Root canals are often performed on molars or premolars because these teeth harbor more bacteria and infection than other teeth.

Root canal procedures usually take anywhere between one and three hours. The dentist will isolate the tooth and inject a local anesthetic around the area before starting the procedure.

Your dentist will open the tooth to clean out the pulp chamber, removing infected nerve tissue and blood vessels. He’ll then fill the roots and seal the tooth.

Signs of an Infected Tooth

These are three signs that could indicate the need for a root canal.

  1. You feel significant pain.

If your tooth is causing severe pain, especially if you have a fever or swollen gums, it could be infected and require a root canal.

  1. Your tooth is discolored.

If the color of the painful tooth has become darker or has any other unusual coloration, it could be infected.

  1. Your tooth is sensitive.

If a tooth has been bothering you for a while, and it feels sensitive to hot or cold, is tender to the touch, or just aches with ongoing pain, it could be infected and in need of a root canal.

A neglected toothache can spread to other teeth and cause jaw pain, which can be costly to treat. Additionally, a tooth that's been damaged by decay or infection can become brittle and more susceptible to breakage. Broken teeth can be painful and expensive to fix.

If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your dentist immediately to schedule an appointment. If left untreated, an infection can spread to other parts of the body and cause serious health issues.

What To Do For a Severe Toothache Until You Can See Your Dentist

Here are a few things you can do to help manage your pain until your emergency dental appointment:

  • Try over-the-counter pain relievers to alleviate some of the pain until you see your dentist.
  • Lie down and elevate your head on a pillow to reduce pressure on your jaw, which can help relieve pain.
  • Try warm salt water rinses or cold compresses on your face near the source of the pain.

Learn More About Root Canals

The worst thing you can do is put off going to the dentist when you have a toothache, swelling, sensitivity, or tooth discoloration. If a tooth hurts, see your dentist immediately. If left untreated, a persistent toothache can develop into an abscessed tooth that requires emergency care.

If you’d like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ricco, contact us today at 516-931-3999 to make an appointment.

The Pros and Cons of Dental Bridges

If you need to replace two or more missing teeth that are adjacent to each other, you have three potential solutions available to you: dentures, dental bridges, or dental implants. Each of these options has their own unique pros and cons, and not every solution is right for every patient. Below, we’ll take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of dental bridges.

What Are Dental Bridges?

Dental bridges get their name from the way they bridge the gap in a smile. These restorations use a system of supports, or abutments, to hold in place one or more prosthetic teeth (pontics). There are a few different options available for dental bridges:

  • Traditional bridges are the most common type of bridge and involve using the two teeth on either side of the gap as abutments. To accomplish this, these teeth are trimmed down so crowns can be affixed to them; the crowns hold the prosthetic teeth in place.
  • Maryland bridges are not as strong as traditional bridges because instead of securing the prosthetic teeth with crowns, they use a metal or porcelain framework that is bonded to the backs of the supporting teeth. This type of bridge is more affordable and less invasive than a traditional bridge, but its relative weakness is an important disadvantage to consider.
  • Cantilever bridges are used when only one neighboring tooth is available to support a restoration With all of the stress of supporting the pontic being placed on a single tooth, cantilever bridges can leave the abutment tooth prone to damage and are typically only used when no other options are available. 
  • Implant-supported bridges are an increasingly popular solution that places no stress on neighboring teeth because they’re supported by dental implants.

The Advantages of Dental Bridges

There are many reasons you may wish to choose a dental bridge over a denture or single-tooth dental implant for replacing one or more missing teeth. These include:

  • More of the cost of dental bridges is likely to be covered by dental insurance than that of dental implants.
  • Dental bridges are often more affordable than dental implants, particularly when multiple teeth must be replaced.
  • The process of getting a dental bridge is less invasive and requires fewer trips to the dentist than dental implants.
  • Traditional dental implants may not be an option for patients who have lost bone mass in the jaw unless they get bone grafting or other supplemental procedures.
  • Fixed dental bridges are more stable and last longer than traditional partial dentures.

The Disadvantages of Dental Bridges

Here are some of the reasons patients decide against getting a dental bridge:

  • Dental bridges only replace the visible portion of a missing tooth, while dental implants replace the crown and the root. This provides a more stable restoration and prevents bone loss in the jaw.
  • When bone in the jaw is lost, it can cause facial collapse and a prematurely aged appearance.
  • Dental implants are stronger than a bridge, especially when compared to a Maryland bridge or cantilever bridge.
  • Crowns used to secure a traditional bridge compromise the integrity of otherwise healthy teeth, while dental implants are self-supporting.

Learn More About Dental Bridges

Is a dental bridge the right choice for you? If you have questions or you’d like to learn more about our options, contact us today at 516-798-0223 to schedule an appointment.

How to Prevent Cavities: What You Should Know

Whether you are 5 or 75, a trip to the dentist leads to a celebration when you hear the phrase, no cavities! Learning how to prevent cavities can give you a chance to celebrate every six months thanks to a pat on the back from your dentist.

Nobody wants to have to return to the dentist for further treatment due to a cavity - and once you have it, it cannot be reversed. So, to keep your mouth healthy and thriving, this is what you should know.

Preventing Cavities: The Basics

There is a good chance you have already been taught how to prevent cavities. But, just in case you need a reminder, making the following steps routine can greatly reduce your chance of cavities.

Brush Your Teeth Two Times Per Day. Technically, brushing your teeth after every meal gives you a great defense against cavities. Though this isn’t always feasible. That is why most dentists agree that brushing your teeth at a minimum of twice per day is a great way to deter cavities.

Make brushing your teeth in the morning and at night a part of your daily routine.

Floss Your Teeth Daily. Flossing is great for removing food particles and debris that are stuck between the teeth, but it also removes plaque between the teeth - and just below the gum line. This keeps cavities from having a convenient place to form.

Swish With Mouthwash Daily. There are many different mouthwashes on the market. Find one that has fluoride and is ADA approved. Swish and rinse with the mouthwash after brushing and flossing, 1 -2 times per day. The fluoride will kill off bacteria that can lead to cavities while also giving your enamel extra strength to make it difficult for cavities to form.

Get Dental Cleanings Every 6 Months. Professional dental cleanings give you a deep cleaning to remove plaque and tartar that your regular brushing cannot handle. This is also the perfect time for your dentist to examine your teeth and address any issues early.

Go the Extra Mile With Your Cavity Protection

What if there were steps you could take that go beyond basic care to ensure that you are protected as much as possible from cavities? If you are wanting to go the extra mile, here are a few things you can do.

Pay Attention to the Foods You Consume. Eating things like nutritious fruits and vegetables are good for your teeth. However, sugary food and beverages are not. Limit the amount of sugar you are consuming - and always brush your teeth after eating them.

Invest in an Electric Toothbrush. Although a regular toothbrush will work just fine, research shows that using an electric toothbrush can remove particles and plaque from teeth much better than brushing manually.

Consider a Water Pik. A water pik does the job of flossing - only better. Pressurized water gets sprayed between and around teeth to remove plaque. This is great for those hard-to-reach places.

Learn More About Cavity Prevention from Dr. Ricco

Your dentist and dental team at the Ricco Dental Group is a great resource for learning about cavity prevention. Be sure to ask for recommendations for keeping your mouth healthy and your oral hygiene on track.

Call our office today at 516-931-3999 to schedule your appointment. Or, request an appointment online.

Are Dental Implants Covered By Dental Insurance?

Navigating dental insurance always takes some patience, but when it comes to dental implants, what is normally a minor hassle becomes a complex process—and it takes patients a lot of time to sort out. Unfortunately, there’s no standard answer for whether dental implants are covered by dental insurance, and even when they are covered, there may be a number of limits and loopholes that affect your eligibility. Here’s what you need to know.

Understanding Dental Implant Coverage

For starters, some insurance companies will not cover dental implants at all because they consider them a cosmetic procedure. This is unfortunate, since dental implants have a number of significant oral health benefits.

If your dental insurance does cover dental implants, the next step is to figure out exactly what they will pay for. Coverage is determined by the specifications of your plan and your annual maximum. Some possible scenarios include:

  • Your dental insurance will only cover any necessary supplemental procedures, such as a tooth extraction or bone grafting, in order to prepare your jaw for dental implant surgery.
  • Your dental insurance will cover the crown, bridge, or denture that attaches to your implants, but not the implants themselves.
  • Your dental insurance will cover the cost of dental implants, but only if you need them as the result of an injury.
  • Your dental insurance will provide you with a reimbursement for dental implants that is equivalent to the cost of a bridge or traditional dentures.
  • Your dental insurance will cover the cost of dental implants, but only for teeth that have been lost since you’ve been insured.

In some cases, your medical insurance may cover at least some aspects of your dental implant surgery. If you've lost a tooth and it has resulted in medical problems, your health insurance may be able to help. Health insurance sometimes also covers dental implants required after oral cancer or radiation therapy. If both your health and dental insurance policies cover dental implants, you may be able to combine your benefits to reduce your out-of-pocket costs.

Rest assured that our team will go the extra mile to maximize your insurance benefits and reduce your out-of-pocket expenses. Our goal is for you to be able to get the care you need at a cost you can afford.

Making the Cost of Dental Implants Manageable

Because dental implants are a permanent solution for missing teeth that can last a lifetime, the process often takes a few months to complete. If you have a maximum annual cap, we can make the most of your coverage by starting your dental implant process at the end of the year and finishing it at the beginning of the next.

If your dental insurance plan doesn’t cover dental implants or your coverage is insufficient, we can provide financing through CareCredit. Qualified patients are able to finance the cost of their procedure with no interest and low minimum monthly payments.

Learn More About Dental Implants and Dental Insurance

If you’d like to learn more about dental implants and whether your dental insurance will cover the costs involved, contact us today at 516-798-0223 to schedule an appointment for a consultation.

4 Tips to Protect Your Teeth As You Get Older

Gray hairs that seem to appear overnight, crow’s feet around the corners of your eyes, and knees that creak when you walk up the stairs—we’re all familiar with these telltale signs of getting older, but what you may not know is that your teeth and gums also show signs of aging. In older patients, gum recession, stained teeth, thinning enamel, and wear are all common dental problems. Sometimes these issues are simply due to aging, while other times, they’re caused by medications and health conditions that are more common among older adults. Below, we discuss some steps to help you protect your teeth in your golden years.

1. Prevent Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is not only unpleasant, but it also has a serious impact on your oral health. Throughout the day, saliva dilutes and washes away bacteria, food particles, and dead cells in your mouth. This process doesn’t work as efficiently if your mouth is dry, allowing the harmful bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease to multiply.

Dry mouth is a side effect of some of the most common drugs that older adults take to stay healthy. Although you might not be able to stop taking these medications, you can take steps to protect your oral health by making sure you remain well-hydrated. Bring a water bottle with you wherever you go and drink from it all day long. Avoid sugary drinks that can encourage bacteria growth in your mouth, as well as caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea, which can lead to dehydration. If you’re someplace where you don't have access to water, make sure you have sugar-free lozenges or gum on hand to help increase saliva production.

2. Be Vigilant Against Oral Cancer

Oral cancer risk increases as we get older, making comprehensive oral evaluations more important than ever. During these appointments, Dr. Ricco will examine your lips, mouth, cheeks, neck, and other soft tissues for irregularities and lesions that have the potential to be cancerous.

Oral cancer can be a devastating diagnosis, so it’s important to be proactive about cancer prevention. If you use tobacco products, talk to your physician about quitting. Drink alcohol in moderation only, replace your mouthwash with one that is alcohol-free, and wear a lip balm with SPF whenever you’re outside, at any time of year.

3. Brush Better

We all learn how to brush our teeth when we’re toddlers, and many people never update their technique even after several decades have passed! Two of the most common issues we see are patients who think they’re brushing for two minutes but aren’t, brushing while distracted, or brushing with too much pressure.

Brushing teeth too hard or with stiff bristled toothbrushes is common, but this can lead to enamel loss and gum recession over time. If you brush for the recommended two minutes twice a day, you only need gentle brushing with a soft-bristled brush to get your teeth clean.

Be mindful that you thoroughly brush all three parts of your teeth: inner, outer, and chewing surfaces. Use a soft-bristled manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer so you know exactly when two minutes have elapsed.

4. See Your Dentist Regularly

Regular dental visits, in addition to good oral hygiene practices at home, are important for long-term dental health as you get older. Your dental cleanings will go a long way toward preventing tooth decay and gum disease, and regular visits allow Dr. Ricco to identify minor dental issues while they’re easy to treat—and before they lead to serious problems that compromise your oral health.

Make an Appointment Today

Do you have concerns about how to care for your teeth as you get older? Contact us today at 516-931-3999 to schedule an appointment.

Can I Get Dental Work During Pregnancy?

There is a misconception among many expectant mothers that they shouldn’t go to the dentist during their pregnancy. Not only is this not true, it can also be harmful to your health and that of your unborn baby. Here’s what you need to know about getting dental work during pregnancy.

Is Dental Work During Pregnancy Safe?

The most common concern women have about going to the dentist while pregnant is the safety of different dental procedures. Will having their teeth cleaned send bacteria into their bloodstream? Can local anesthetic travel to a fetus? What about amalgam fillings?

According to the American Pregnancy Association and the American Dental Association, there’s no need to worry about the safety of dentistry during pregnancy. While deep sedation and general anesthesia are off-limits for pregnant women (except in rare circumstances in which the benefit outweighs the risks), there is no risk associated with local anesthetic used for dental procedures. As the name suggests, local anesthetic works only in the immediate area where it is injected, and a 2015 study showed no difference in the rate of miscarriage, birth defects, prematurity, or birth weight in women who had dental work with local anesthetic and those who did not.

Dental x-rays are another reason for concern for many moms-to-be, but these too are safe, even during pregnancy. Today’s digital x-rays emit extremely low amounts of radiation; to protect you and your unborn child, a leaded apron will be placed on your abdomen and your throat will be covered with a leaded collar.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends avoiding new amalgam (silver) fillings or removing existing ones during pregnancy, but there are no other procedures that cannot be performed while you’re pregnant as long as they require only local anesthetic. In fact, you are at a higher risk of pregnancy complications if you forego needed dental treatment than you are if you get the dental care you need.

Dental Concerns During Pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, it’s even more important to see your dentist because the hormonal changes during pregnancy can bring with them some new dental problems. These include:

  • Pregnancy gingivitis, which causes inflammation, swelling, and tenderness of the gums. If pregnancy gingivitis is left untreated, it can lead to gum disease—and gum disease has been linked to premature birth.
  • Tooth decay, which is caused by an increase in acid in the mouth due to morning sickness and indigestion, along with a tendency for women to eat more carbohydrates during the first trimester.
  • Pregnancy tumors, a condition that causes swelling between the teeth.

We recommend that you make an appointment for a comprehensive oral evaluation and dental cleaning during your second trimester, after your morning sickness has subsided but before you’re so pregnant that you’d feel physically uncomfortable during an appointment.

Learn More About Dental Work During Pregnancy

If you’re expecting and you have questions about getting dental work during pregnancy, contact us today at 516-931-3999 to speak with Dr. Ricco or one of our hygienists, or to set up an appointment.

How to Care for Your Dentures

While your dentures can’t get cavities, you still need to clean them every day. Dentures can harbor harmful bacteria that can infect your gums, cause bad breath and even spread infection to other areas of the body. Luckily, taking care of your dentures is simple and requires only a few minutes each day. Here’s how to care for your dentures.

Clean Your Dentures

You should clean your dentures at least once a day, although twice a day is better. You don’t even need any special equipment or products—a soft-bristled toothbrush or denture brush, mild soap, and a soft towel will do. If you like, you can purchase a denture cleaning solution, but this is not necessary. What is essential is that you don’t use a toothbrush with firm bristles, as this can create micro-abrasions on the surface of your dentures where bacteria can collect. For this same reason, we don’t recommend using toothpaste to clean your dentures either.

Place the soft towel on the bathroom countertop. Rinse your dentures in warm water, then put a dab of soap or denture cleaner on your brush. Brush your dentures to remove any food particles and plaque, holding them over the towel the whole time to ensure that they’ll be protected if you drop them. Take the time to brush thoroughly, reaching all of the surfaces of your denture and removing any denture adhesive. Rinse again with warm water.

If you’re cleaning your dentures in the morning, you can put them in at this point. If it’s nighttime, you’ll need to either place your dentures in a glass of lukewarm water or a denture-soaking solution overnight while you sleep. This is important, because if your dentures dry out, they can become brittle and lose their shape. Even if you don’t use a denture-soaking solution on a nightly basis, you should use it at least once a week to kill bacteria and control odor.

Note that these cleaning tips work for full dentures, partial dentures, traditional dentures, and snap-on dentures. If you have implant-supported dentures that are permanently attached to your dental implants, your denture care instructions will be different.

Other Tips on Caring for Your Dentures

Dentures can last up to a decade with good care. Here are some additional tips to help you maximize the lifespan of your dentures.

  • After you eat or drink something other than water, rinse your dentures with warm water.
  • Don’t use toothpaste or teeth whitening products to clean your dentures.
  • Never sleep in dentures; instead, soak them in warm water or a denture solution overnight.
  • Don’t try to fix broken dentures yourself.
  • If your dentures don’t seem to be fitting right, you may need to have them relined. Using extra adhesive won’t help.
  • When you’re cleaning your dentures at the end of the day, be sure to remove all of the adhesive.

Learn More About Denture Care

Do you have questions about your dentures? If you’d like to learn more about how to care for dentures, contact us today at 516-798-0223.

My Child Knocked Out a Tooth! Now What?

There are many injuries parents are well-equipped to handle, but dental trauma isn’t usually one of them. You know exactly what to do if your child cuts a finger or gets stung by a bee, but what do you do if your child knocks out a tooth?

Your natural response might be to panic, but dentists treat avulsed (or knocked out) teeth and other dental emergencies all the time. Here are the steps to take when your child knocks out a tooth so you know exactly what to do if you ever find yourself in this situation.

What to Do When a Baby Tooth Is Knocked Out

Primary teeth don’t have the same extensive root structure as adult teeth, which means they’re more likely to be knocked out after facial trauma. Avulsed baby teeth rarely lead to serious dental problems, but they can cause bleeding, pain, and plenty of tears. (You may feel like crying too!)

Remember—don’t panic. Staying calm yourself will help your child feel calmer, which will lower their blood pressure and help slow any bleeding. Have them rinse with water, then use a clean, wet washcloth or sterile gauze to put pressure on the socket until the bleeding stops. After this, apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and relieve pain.

Call our office as soon as you’re able to schedule an appointment. If you can find the knocked out tooth, save it for the tooth fairy—it can’t be put back in. Instead, Dr. Ricco will examine your child’s mouth for soft tissue injuries and determine if a space maintainer is needed to preserve space for the adult tooth to erupt in the future.

What to Do When a Permanent Tooth Is Knocked Out

Unlike a primary tooth, a permanent or adult tooth can be put back into the socket. This means a knocked out permanent tooth is a more urgent situation, as there is only a short amount of time in which the tooth can be successfully replanted.

Follow the steps outlined above to rinse the mouth and control any bleeding. Locate the knocked out tooth if you don’t already have it; when handling it, do not touch the root. Instead, hold the tooth by the crown and use milk or water to rinse off dirt or debris. If the tooth is clean, do not rinse it.

The odds of successfully replanting the tooth are greatest if you can push it back into the socket. We realize, though, that this can be difficult with children, who may not cooperate. If you can get the tooth into the socket, have your child bite down on a clean washcloth or gauze to hold it in place; if you can’t, place it in a small cup of milk or saliva.

Call our office so we can begin making preparations for your child’s appointment. With prompt treatment, Dr. Ricco can replant the tooth and use splints to hold it in place until the supporting structures reattach to the root.

Make an Emergency Dental Appointment

If your child knocked out a tooth, contact us at 516-931-3999 for an emergency appointment.

Mini-Implants vs. Full-Size Dental Implants

Mini-implants are a dental implant option that many of our patients are interested in learning about. They hear that these implants are faster, placement is less invasive, and they don’t require bone grafting, and want to know why they should bother with conventional implants when mini-implants sound like such a great alternative. The catch when it comes to mini-implants is that they’re simply not a good fit for every patient. Here’s what you should know about mini-implants vs. full-size dental implants.

What are mini-implants?

Mini-implants—also known as mini dental implants or MDIs—are implanted into the jawbone just like traditional dental implants, but they are smaller in diameter. The other difference between the two types of implant restorations is that traditional implant-supported restorations have three parts (the implant itself, the restoration that replaces your missing tooth, and an abutment to connect the two), while mini-implants don’t have an abutment—the restoration attaches directly to the mini-implant post.

Mini-implants cost less than traditional dental implants and the procedure is faster and easier. They are implanted in a single appointment, with only local anesthesia. The surgery to implant the posts takes about two hours; no sutures are needed afterwards and your restorations are attached to your implants immediately after surgery, so there’s no need for a temporary restoration.

What are the benefits of mini-implants?

Mini-implants are an excellent option for many patients. Some of the advantages of MDIs include:

  • Lower cost
  • Less invasive surgery
  • Entire restoration is complete in one day
  • Faster recovery, with less pain
  • No bone grafts or sinus lifts needed prior to implant surgery
  • Fewer complications

Just like conventional dental implants, mini-implants work to prevent and reverse bone loss in the jaw. When patients are not candidates for regular dental implants, mini-implants allow them to experience many of the same benefits.

What are the downsides of mini-implants?

While mini dental implants make implant-based restorations accessible to patients who cannot have traditional implant surgery, there are some significant disadvantages that must be taken into account:

  • Mini dental implants are a newer treatment option than traditional implants, so there is not the same volume of scientific research and studies published on them
  • Mini-implants cannot be used in areas with little vertical bone
  • More mini-implants are required to support dentures and bridges than traditional dental implants
  • Because mini-implants have two pieces instead of three, the entire restoration must be replaced when damage occurs
  • Mini-implants may not be an option for replacing teeth on the upper arch

Are mini-implants right for you?

For most patients, we recommend traditional dental implants. There are, however, some circumstances in which we may recommend mini-implants instead. If you are unable to undergo traditional dental implant placement or if you’ve experienced bone loss in the jaw but cannot or do not want to have bone grafts, mini-implants may be an option for you. We also choose mini dental implants for patients who need to have their front teeth replaced, who have naturally small teeth, or who need to have a restoration placed in a narrow space.

Learn More About Mini Dental Implants

To learn more about mini-implants vs. full-size dental implants, contact us today at 516-798-0223 to schedule a consultation.

4 Tips for How to Prevent Bad Breath

Occasional bad breath is unavoidable. Whether it’s because of a cold that has you breathing through your mouth or a garlicky pasta dinner, we all have bad breath once in a while and it’s not usually something to be concerned about. If, on the other hand, you have chronic bad breath (also known as halitosis), it’s a sign that you might have a serious dental or medical issue. Here’s how to prevent bad breath—and what to do if these tips don’t help.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

No one wants to hear that they’re not brushing or flossing well, but the truth is, many cases of bad breath simply come down to poor oral hygiene. If you’re not brushing thoroughly or as often as needed, food and bacteria accumulate in your mouth, causing odor.

Good oral hygiene means:

  • Brushing for two minutes twice a day and cleaning the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of each tooth.
  • Flossing between all of your teeth once a day.
  • Brushing off any buildup on your tongue.

Using a mouth rinse is optional, but if you do choose to rinse after brushing, be sure to use a mouthwash that is alcohol-free. Rinses that contain alcohol can exacerbate bad breath by drying out your mouth. This brings us to our next point…

Prevent Dry Mouth

Having sufficient saliva is important for your oral health. All day long, your saliva washes away bacteria, food debris, and dead cells from your mouth. If you have dry mouth, these accumulate, which results in bad breath. Dry mouth creates the perfect environment for bacterial overgrowth, which can lead to cavities and gum disease. Both of these conditions can also cause or contribute to bad breath.

When dry mouth is caused by simple dehydration, the solution is straightforward: drink more water throughout the day and, when you can’t, use a sugar-free lozenge or gum to stimulate saliva production. There are other circumstances when dry mouth is caused by medications or health conditions, which may require intervention from your doctor. We can also recommend moisturizing mouth rinses or even prescribe medications to stimulate saliva production in severe cases.

Stop Smoking

Tobacco use is another common cause of bad breath. The smoke itself lingers on your breath even after you’ve finished a cigarette, and smoking is also another factor that contributes to dry mouth. While there are certainly more pressing reasons to stop smoking, for some patients knowing that their smoking habit is causing them to have embarrassing bad breath is the encouragement they need to quit for good.

See Your Dentist Regularly

When you come in for your regular dental cleanings and exams, plaque and tartar is removed from your teeth to reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, two conditions that can cause halitosis. During these appointments, you’ll also be able to discuss your concerns with us and we can help determine if there are any underlying dental issues that may be contributing to your bad breath.

What to Do When These Tips Don’t Help

If you’ve tried the tips listed above and you still suffer from bad breath, it could be a sign of a medical issue. GERD, allergies, tonsil stones, chronic sinus issues, and other common health conditions can cause bad breath. After you’ve ruled out any dental problems, contact your primary care physician for a health assessment.

Learn More About Bad Breath

If you’re not sure what’s causing your bad breath, we can help. Contact us today at 516-931-3999 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ricco.

Losing Baby Teeth: What to Expect

Baby teeth play an important role in your child’s oral health and development, but there comes a time when they no longer serve their purpose and they begin to fall out. For parents, this can be a bittersweet milestone, although kids are more likely to get excited about the prospect of a visit from the tooth fairy! Here’s everything you need to know about losing baby teeth.

When do baby teeth start to fall out?

Barring any accidents or sports injuries, baby teeth usually start to fall out around the age of 6, but it’s important to note that there are outliers—and outliers are normal too! Generally speaking, if your child was late to get their first teeth as a baby, they’ll probably also be late to start losing their teeth (and the reverse is true as well—early teethers are likely to be early losers). A rough timeline for losing baby teeth is as follows:

  • Lower central incisors – 6 to 7 years old
  • Upper central incisors – 6 to 7 years old
  • Upper lateral incisors – 7 to 8 years old
  • Lower lateral incisors – 7 to 8 years old
  • Upper first molars – 9 to 11 years old
  • Lower first molars – 9 to 11 years old
  • Upper canines – 10 to 12 years old
  • Lower canines – 9 to 12 years old
  • Lower second molars – 10 to 12 years old
  • Upper second molars – 10 to 12 years old

What happens if baby teeth fall out earlier?

If a baby tooth naturally falls out earlier than listed in the timeline above, it’s probably not an issue. On the other hand, if a baby tooth falls out due to dental trauma, it could cause a problem. That’s because baby teeth hold space in the jaw for the adult teeth to erupt. If a baby tooth falls out too soon, neighboring teeth can begin to drift into the open space and interfere with the eruption of the adult tooth. A pediatric dentist can use a space maintainer to prevent this from happening.

What should I do when my child loses a baby tooth?

To clean the area, have your child rinse with a saltwater solution. If the gum tissue is bleeding, you can use a sterile piece of gauze to place gentle pressure on the socket. Once the bleeding stops, a cold, wet washcloth can be used to alleviate any swelling or discomfort.

How many baby teeth fall out?

All of them! There are no baby teeth that are meant to be permanent. If a baby tooth doesn’t fall out once a child reaches their early teens, it may be a sign of a dental or orthodontic issue.

Should I pull out my child’s loose tooth?

We don’t recommend it. It’s perfectly fine to let your child wiggle the tooth on their own, but pulling a tooth out can cause pain and bleeding. You might have fond memories of a parent or relative pulling out one of your teeth as a child, but it can be traumatic if it goes wrong!

Is it normal for adult teeth to grow behind baby teeth?

It’s normal in that it’s something that happens and it’s not uncommon, but it can be problematic if the baby teeth never fall out. Most of the time, the issue resolves on its own, but occasionally a baby tooth may need to be extracted.

Schedule an Appointment for Your Child

Dr. Ricco offers family dentistry for patients of all ages, including children. If you have questions about your child’s teeth, contact us today at 516-931-3999 to schedule an appointment.

What to Expect After a Tooth Extraction

It’s always our goal to save your natural tooth whenever possible, but there are situations in which extraction is the only option. Whether it’s to make room for orthodontic treatment or to remove a badly infected tooth, simple tooth extractions are safe, relatively fast, and painless. Before we begin any work, your tooth and the tissue surrounding it is numbed with local anesthesia. Then, a tool called an elevator is used to loosen your tooth and forceps are used to gently remove it.

As the local anesthesia wears off in the hours after your procedure, you’ll begin to experience some discomfort. The next few days are critical when it comes to avoiding complications and ensuring a quick recovery. Here are some common questions and answers about what to expect after a tooth extraction.

How long does it take to recover from a tooth extraction?

No two patients are exactly the same, but assuming you follow Dr. Ricco’s aftercare instructions, you should feel back to normal about 7 to 10 days following your tooth extraction. Recovery is a process—you’ll probably feel well enough to resume your normal activities a few days after your extraction, even if you’re still experiencing some tenderness. It’s important to listen to your body and take things slowly. When you get rest, it gives your body the opportunity to focus its energy on healing. If you’re too active too soon, it can cause your blood pressure to rise and aggravate swelling and pain.

How soon after tooth extraction can I brush my teeth?

Good oral hygiene is essential after a tooth extraction because it helps prevent infection. Brush and floss as you normally would after 24 hours has passed, but avoid the extraction site until it has healed. Saltwater rinses will help keep the extraction site clean until you’re able to brush there.

When can I start eating normally after a tooth extraction?

For the first 24 hours after your tooth extraction, do not use a straw, eat hot or spicy foods, or drink carbonated or alcoholic beverages; instead, stick to a diet of liquid and pureed foods for a few days. Soups, yogurt, juices, and smoothies are all good choices. As your pain and swelling subside, incorporate a wider variety of foods into your diet, reserving foods that are hard, crunchy, sticky, or chewy for when your extraction site has healed. Use common sense and if you experience pain when eating a certain food, stop.

What should I avoid after a tooth extraction?

For at least a day after the procedure, avoid strenuous activity. Plan on getting rest during this time. Don’t use a straw, smoke, or spit for 24 hours after your tooth extraction.

Can I go to work after having my tooth pulled?

You may not be ready to return to work the day of your tooth extraction. If you want to minimize the amount of time needed away from work, plan your extraction for the end of the week. By Monday, you should be able to return to work if your extraction had no complications and your job is not very physical.

What does a dry socket look like?

After a tooth extraction, a blood clot should form in the socket. If, instead, the socket appears dry and you can see white inside of it, you have a dry socket. Call our office immediately.

When else should I call Dr. Ricco?

If you’re experiencing bleeding that won’t stop, severe pain that is not controlled by pain medication, discharge or odor from the surgical site, a fever, or chills, call our office. You may have an infection or other complications.

Learn More About Tooth Extractions

If you’d like to schedule a tooth extraction with Dr. Ricco, contact us today at 516-931-3999 to make an appointment.

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost on Long Island?

If you’re missing one or more teeth, you’ve probably heard a lot about dental implants and their benefits. It’s not just marketing hype—dental implants really are the best option for replacing missing teeth. While bridges and dentures replace the visible portion of a missing tooth, dental implants also replace the root. By replacing the root, your bite will be stronger and you’ll avoid the bone loss in the jaw that causes a prematurely aged appearance. The one significant downside is the cost of dental implants—because they involve a surgical procedure, they’re more expensive than dentures and bridges. Here’s what you need to know.

Average Cost of Dental Implants on Long Island

The cost of dental implants on Long Island can vary a great deal, but the average cost of a single implant, along with an abutment and crown, ranges between $3000 and $6000. Keep in mind that the term “dental implant” is often used as a catch-all term, but the dental implant really just refers to the post or screw that is implanted in the jaw. There’s an abutment that attaches to the implant in order to hold a dental restoration, which could be a crown, bridge, or denture. The type of restoration and the quality of materials used to make it can have an impact on the total cost.

Other factors to consider when researching the cost of dental implants on Long Island are the costs of sedation or anesthesia, the number of teeth that need replacement, how many office visits are required, and any supplemental procedures that are needed before implant surgery, like a sinus lift or bone grafting.

Ways to Save Money on Dental Implants

Before you decide that dental implants aren’t in your budget, you’ll be relieved to know there are some options to help you reduce your out-of-pocket expenses. These include:

Dental Insurance

As dental insurance providers begin to see the benefits of dental implants, more are beginning to cover some of the costs involved. For example, some carriers will cover the cost of dental implants if you were in an accident or if you’ve already experienced bone loss in the jaw. Others will not cover the cost of the implants, but will cover the restorations that attach to them. 

Talk to your dental insurance provider to find out if they cover any of the costs involved in getting dental implants, what kind of deductible you have, and whether there are waiting periods or annual maximums. Our billing team is happy to help you with this process.

Dental Discount Plans

With a dental discount plan, you can save money on dental implants and other procedures. There’s little-to-no waiting period required before you can use your discount. Your discount plan doesn’t pay us directly, but it does provide you with a reduced rate.

CareCredit Payment Plans

CareCredit is similar to a credit card, but you can only use it at participating medical, dental, and veterinary clinics. We’ve partnered with CareCredit to provide our patients with no-interest financing and low minimum monthly payments to make sure dental implants are within reach for anyone who needs them.

Talk to Us About a Bundle Discount

If you need a number of dental procedures, we can perform them all in one or two appointments, which reduces the amount of time, anesthesia, and sedation needed, so our services can be discounted accordingly. 

Learn More About the Cost of Dental Implants

Because the cost of dental implants on Long Island varies from patient to patient, the best way to determine your out-of-pocket costs is to schedule an appointment for a consultation. Contact us today at 516-798-0223 to get started.

How Porcelain Veneers Can Improve Your Smile

Porcelain veneers are a popular option for many patients because they provide a dramatic smile makeover in a relatively short amount of time. If your overall dental health is good but you’re unhappy with aesthetic imperfections, porcelain veneers are a fantastic solution. 

Here’s what you should know about getting porcelain veneers.

What Are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are thin shells that cover your natural teeth to improve the appearance of your smile. Although there are a few different materials used for veneers, porcelain is the best option for most patients because it looks natural, lasts a long time, and is resistant to staining. Veneers are fabricated in a laboratory by skilled dental technicians who painstakingly match the color and size of your adjacent teeth so they blend in perfectly with the rest of your smile. Once your veneers are made, they’re bonded to your teeth permanently.

We use porcelain veneers to correct:

  • Gaps between two teeth
  • Teeth that are gray, yellow, “dead,” or have other discoloration and stains
  • Chipped or broken teeth
  • Teeth that have been worn down by grinding (bruxism) or jaw clenching
  • Minor tooth misalignment and malocclusion
  • Teeth that are shaped irregularly or uneven in size

What Happens When You Get Porcelain Veneers?

We use digital imaging technology to take impressions and create a three-dimensional model of your teeth. With this model, we can project how your smile will look with your new veneers and predict how your veneers will interact with your other teeth when you bite and chew. Based on these models, we’ll work with you to design your veneers. 

When we’ve received your veneers from the dental lab, you’ll come back to our office for placement. Your teeth are cleaned to prevent decay from forming under your veneers, then a thin layer of tooth enamel is removed to allow your veneers to attach securely. Dental cement or bonding agent is used to affix the porcelain veneers to your teeth. After an ultraviolet light cures this material, you’ll be ready to leave your office and show the world your beautiful new smile.

How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?

Assuming you come in for regular dental exams and cleanings and practice good oral hygiene at home, you can expect your veneers to last anywhere from 15 to 20 years. Brush for two minutes twice a day and floss at least once a day to keep them in good condition.

Are There Alternatives to Veneers?

When you come to our office for your initial consultation, we’ll listen to your concerns about your smile and talk to you about your treatment goals. Taking into account your dental history and the condition of your teeth, we’ll help you decide if porcelain veneers are right for you or if other options might be a better fit. Alternatives to veneers include dental crowns, teeth whitening, Invisalign, cosmetic bonding, teeth shaping, and gum recontouring.

Schedule a Consultation

If you've gone through the steps above and decided to choose our practice, we look forward to meeting you! Contact us today at 516-798-0223 to schedule an appointment.

Advice on Finding a Good Dentist: What to Look For

Whether you’ve recently moved to a different town or your previous dentist retired, you’re probably searching for a new dentist. If you’re on Long Island, we hope you’ll choose our practice for your dental needs, but regardless, if you’re looking for advice on finding a good dentist, here are our best tips.

Ask Family and Friends

Word-of-mouth advertising is one of the most common ways patients find their dentists. Ask your family, friends, and coworkers for recommendations. You can trust them to be honest and most people are eager to share the name of a dental practice they love.

Look for Online Reviews

Google, Yelp, and Angie’s List are all terrific sources for patient reviews. In fact, sometimes they’re so terrific, you may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of reviews you find!

Here’s how to narrow it down: when you’re reading reviews for a specific dentist, search for important keywords. Are you looking for a dentist who does teeth whitening? Search that term to see what patients had to say about their experience and results.

Don't forget to pay it forward after you've had your first visit with your new dentist—write an online review to help others who are searching.

Use the American Dental Association Website

Use the Find-A-Dentist tool on the ADA website, which allows you to search for member dentists by name, location, and specialty. Simply type in your location and the distance you'd be willing to travel. Your search can be further refined by Gender, Payment Options, Languages Spoken, and Saturday hours.

You’ll get a list of dentists who meet your criteria. Click on their profiles to view their contact information, office hours, accepted dental insurance, and biographical information.

Check with Your Dental Insurance

Your dental insurance provider should have a database available to help you search for a dentist online. Alternatively, you can also call your dental insurance company and ask them for recommendations.

Make Sure They Fit Your Needs

Of course, a dentist may have great reviews and recommendations, but ultimately, they need to fit your individual needs. Think about these factors:

    • Office Hours – Is the practice open when you need them to be? With busy work schedules and family obligations, you may want to find a practice with evening and weekend hours. Our practice is open late on some weeknights and has Saturday hours as well.
    • Comfort – If you have dental anxiety, make sure the dentist you choose has options for sedation.
    • Location – Many patients look for a dental practice near their homes, but if you’re going to be making an appointment in the middle of a work day, you might want to find one that’s near your workplace.
    • Financial Concerns – Confirm that the dentist you’re considering accepts your dental insurance. If you need financing, call them and ask if that’s an option before booking an appointment.
    • Office Setting – Is the office clean and comfortable? Does it have modern equipment?
  • Services – Finally, check to see that all the services you need are offered. Not every dentist provides every dental service.

Make an Appointment with Us

If you've gone through the steps above and decided to choose our practice, we look forward to meeting you! Contact us today at 516-798-0223 to schedule an appointment.

What You Should Know About Dental Implants

There is no better option for replacing missing teeth than dental implants. Unlike bridges and dentures, dental implants replace not only the visible portion of the tooth, but the root as well. With the root replaced, bone loss in the jaw can be prevented and even reversed, which results in a stronger bite and protects against facial collapse.

The phrase “dental implants” is often used as a catch-all term, but technically speaking, a dental implant is the titanium post that is implanted into the jawbone. An abutment is attached to the implant, and then a restoration—a crown, bridge, or denture—is secured to the abutment.

Many patients know the benefits of dental implants, but aren’t quite sure what the process entails. Each patient’s experience is a little bit different, but here’s what you can expect if you’re getting a single-tooth dental implant.


Like any other dental procedure, the first step is coming in for a consultation. During this appointment, we will discuss your treatment goals and determine whether you are a good candidate for dental implant surgery, We will conduct an oral exam, review your medical and dental history, and take imaging so we can create a 3D view of your jaw and teeth. Having this helps us determine where to place your implants, whether you have sufficient bone density to support implants, and also assists the dental lab in designing your crown.

If bone loss has already occurred in the jaw, you may be a candidate for mini dental implants, which need less support. Otherwise, bone grafting may be required to rebuild your jaw prior to implant surgery.

Implant Placement

If bone grafts aren’t needed, dental implant placement is the next step in the process. During this surgical procedure, a small incision is made in the gum tissue and then the implants are placed into the jawbone. The gum is stitched closed. Depending on the extent of your procedure and your anxiety level, we may use only local anesthesia or a combination of local anesthesia and sedation.


One of the most important steps in the dental implant process doesn’t even occur in our office. Osseointegration is the term used to describe when your dental implants and jawbone fuse together. It creates a secure base for your replacement teeth, which is why it’s such an important step. This can take up to several months to complete, If implants are restored before osseointegration has occurred, they are more likely to fail.

Abutment and Crown Attachment

The abutments are titanium, zirconia (a white material) or gold pieces that are attached to your dental implants above the gumline. They are the anchors that your restoration will be attached to. Once we have placed the abutment into the implant, the final restoration is ready to be placed.

A dental technician fabricates both your abutment and crown, matching the color, shape, and size of your natural teeth to ensure that the restoration looks and functions just like a real tooth.  Both the abutment and crown are typically placed at the same visit, minimizing the number of trips to our office. Maintenance is as simple as brushing and flossing, just like with the rest of your teeth. Also, regularly scheduled dental hygiene visits wil allow us to check and clean your implants.

Learn More About Dental Implants

If you would like more information about dental implants, contact us today at 516-798-0223 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lubliner.

Different Types of Partial Dentures to Consider

When a patient is missing several, but not all, teeth, partial dentures are a potential solution. Partial dentures are replacement teeth connected to a plastic base that blends in with your gums. Any missing teeth, whether they’re in the front of the mouth or the back, on the upper arch or lower, can be replaced with a partial denture. The three most common types of partial dentures include:

Cast Metal Partial Dentures

Cast metal partial dentures are the most-used option when it comes to partials because they’re strong and they’re built to last many years. While some patients are concerned about the idea of a metal partial, the good news is that the rigid metal frame is covered by plastic that matches the color of your gums. Depending on the location of your partial, however, the clips that connect the metal framework to your remaining teeth may be visible when you talk. Sometimes, these clips can be made with tooth-colored material to make them less noticeable.

Flexible Partial Dentures

While less sturdy than cast metal partial dentures, flexible partial dentures are valued for their comfort and flexibility. These lightweight dentures are made with a natural-looking nylon material. Patients who are allergic to acrylic or who find it difficult to tolerate wearing the more rigid cast metal partials may find flexible partial dentures to be preferable. Another advantage of these dentures over others is that they have a very realistic appearance.

Dental Flippers

As the name suggests, a tooth flipper is a removable partial denture that can be popped in and out with ease. Dental flippers are most often used as a temporary replacement while you wait for a more permanent solution. Like a flexible partial denture, dental flippers are lightweight, but they also break easily. Flippers are inexpensive, costing one-third to one-quarter less than a cast metal partial denture, so they are commonly used as a placeholder to keep teeth from shifting into the empty space while waiting for dental work to be completed.

Other Options to Think About

Partial dentures aren’t the only option for replacing more than one missing tooth. If the missing teeth are adjacent to each other, a fixed or removable bridge may be a potential solution.

An even better, lifelong solution for replacing missing teeth is dental implants. These replace both the root of the tooth as well as the crown, so they are the only option that can prevent and even reverse bone loss in the jaw. In addition to single tooth implants, implant-supported bridges and dentures can also work to prevent bone loss, but they can be an easier and more economical solution than replacing each individual tooth with its own implant.

Learn More About Partial Dentures

When you schedule a consultation, we’ll go over all of the available options for replacing your missing teeth and work together to find the right one that helps you realize your treatment goals while also staying within your budget.  If you’d like to discuss dentures with The Ricco Dental Group, contact us at 516-931-3999 to book an appointment.

Are Adult Braces Right For You?

You’ve finally decided it’s time to straighten your teeth. After years of being unhappy with your smile, you make an appointment with an orthodontist to find out about clear plastic aligners. Your excitement quickly turns to disappointment when you find out that you’re not a candidate for aligners—but you can get adult braces.

Braces might not be what you wanted or expected, but adult braces deserve a second look. They’re less obvious and more effective than ever before. Here’s what you need to know.

Who Needs Adult Braces

Most adults who decide to pursue orthodontic treatment want the convenience of invisible aligners. While aligners are a great option for many patients, there are still some complex orthodontic issues where aligners are either not an option at all or not as effective as braces. In other cases, dental insurance may only cover the cost of traditional braces or if you don’t have dental insurance at all, you will need to cover the costs out-of-pocket. Traditional braces are an affordable treatment option that work for most orthodontic problems you’re trying to correct.

Types of Braces for Adults

Braces for adults and children are the same—although we’d be willing to bet as an adult, you’re not quite as excited about choosing colored elastics to hold your wires in place. (Don’t worry, there are clear elastics too.)

Even if you opt for traditional metal braces, today’s metal braces are less bulky than the ones of decades past. The archwires move teeth more efficiently, shortening treatment times. You might be put off by the idea of metal braces, but you may only need to wear them for a short amount of time.

Many adults choose clear, or ceramic, braces as an alternative to metal. Ceramic brackets, too, have advanced in recent years, with a lower profile and stain resistance so they blend in with the rest of your smile throughout your entire orthodontic treatment, not just in the beginning. Another option is lingual braces, which are applied to the backs of your teeth instead of the front, making them invisible. Your orthodontist will help you determine which solution is right for you.

Veneers: A Possible Alternative

One potential alternative to braces is dental veneers (porcelain laminate veneers).  It’s a service we offer at The Ricco Dental Group and it’s one that can correct some types of malocclusions and misalignments. Where orthodontics can correct only tooth positioning,  dental veneers can also offer the benefit of correcting the size shape and color of your teeth. We can close spaces, alter the length, width, position or color of your teeth. If you are unhappy with your smile for any of these reasons, you may be a candidate for veneers.

Schedule a Consultation

If you’d like to discuss your concerns about your smile, contact us at 516-931-3999 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ricco. We can go over whether veneers are an option for you and, if not, we can give you a referral to an orthodontist who can further discuss your orthodontic options with you.

5 Tips for a More Photogenic Smile

While the health of our teeth is of paramount importance, most of us want to have beautiful smiles too. As part of our comprehensive dental services, we offer a variety of cosmetic dental treatments to help you feel confident in your appearance. Here are five tips for a more photogenic smile.

Try Teeth Whitening

If you’re worried about the cost of cosmetic dentistry, teeth whitening is the perfect place to start. You’ll be surprised at the dramatic difference a whiter smile can make, and it’s a treatment that fits into almost every budget. Yellow and stained teeth are part of the natural aging process, so with a brighter smile, you’ll look and feel younger and more confident.

There are many home whitening kits available over-the-counter these days. They tend not to be as effective as in-office systems supervised by your dentist. If your teeth have significant staining, you may need in-office whitening treatments, which use a light-activated whitening gel for the best possible results. With in-office whitening, your teeth could lighten as many as 12 shades after a single one-hour treatment.

Consider Veneers

If you have multiple issues with your teeth, veneers may be the best option for you. They can correct slight misalignment, color, and issues with shape, length, and gaps all at once. To apply veneers, we remove a thin layer of enamel from each tooth we’re working on and place a porcelain veneer over it, adhering it with a special dental cement. After curing the cement with a special light, you’ll be on your way.

The porcelain veneers we use are custom-made for you in a dental lab. This ensures the best results, with teeth that look natural and feel comfortable.

Fix Chips and Gaps

Veneers are a great solution for fixing chips, gaps, and teeth that are uneven in size. There’s another solution, too, if veneers don’t fit into your budget: cosmetic bonding.

Dental bonding is an affordable and simple procedure that uses composite material to reshape your teeth. When applied by a skilled cosmetic dentist, the result looks natural, but be aware that bonding does not last as long as porcelain in veneers, nor is the material as strong or stain-resistant.

Brush Twice a Day for Two Minutes

One of the best ways to achieve a beautiful smile is also one of the easiest: brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day and floss at least once a day. Take care of your teeth and you will be rewarded for it. In addition to sticking to a good home oral hygiene routine, keep your routine dental exams and cleanings every six months so we can do our part to keep your smile bright and healthy.

Smile Without Hesitation

Tell us if this sounds familiar: someone whips out their phone to take a picture and you give the tightest closed lip smile you can muster to hide your teeth. Or maybe you prefer to turn away from the camera or hold your hand up to your mouth. Either way, our goal is to help you smile with confidence––a big, joyful smile that you’re proud of. Even if you’re not quite there yet, try flashing a real smile next time someone wants to take your picture.

Learn More About Cosmetic Dentistry in Plainview, NY

No matter what your concern, we have a cosmetic treatment to address it. Contact us today at 516-931-3999 to make an appointment with Dr. Steven Ricco.

4 Common Dental Emergencies and Their Solutions

Most people know what to do in case of a medical emergency. We learn the Heimlich maneuver and CPR in high school; we have children and become pros at cleaning cuts and scraped knees. Dental emergencies are another story, though. Other than putting it in milk, do you know what to do when a tooth has been knocked out? What about when a crown falls off? This quick guide from a Long Island emergency dentist will give you the basics on how to handle 4 common dental emergencies.

Knocked Out Tooth

We know it's easier said than done, but don't panic. Knocking out a tooth is dramatic and scary, but in most cases, it's simple for us to fix.

If your child has knocked out a baby tooth, focus on stopping the bleeding. Use a clean, wet washcloth or piece of gauze to apply pressure to the gum. Finding the tooth is not important; if your child is at an age where he or she would be close to losing the tooth, we probably won't replace it. For younger children, we often use a space retainer to prevent other teeth from shifting into the open space.

With an adult tooth, your goals are two-fold: first, to stop the bleeding, and second, to find, clean, and preserve the tooth that has been knocked out. It's critical to keep your tooth moist; if it's been knocked out, but it's still in your mouth, use a clean hand to gently insert the tooth back into the socket, avoiding touching the root. If the tooth has fallen on the floor or elsewhere, grab it by the crown (again, not the root) and rinse any debris with milk or saliva, then place the tooth back into the socket.

In cases where the tooth cannot be reinserted, the American Dental Association recommends placing it in your mouth, between the cheek and gums, or in a small cup of milk to keep it wet. Once you have the situation under control, call our office and we will make room in our schedule to see you as soon as possible. If our office is closed, listen to the message and follow the instructions given.

Chipped or Cracked Tooth

If you've chipped a tooth, find the piece that broke off (if you can), then place it in a small cup of milk. Often, the piece of tooth can be reattached; if not, there are a few cosmetic options to restore the appearance of your tooth, like bonding with tooth-colored resin or veneers. Cracked teeth can also be restored with bonding or by placing a crown when damage is significant.

Whether a tooth is chipped or cracked, rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area and apply a cold compress if needed for pain and swelling. Call our office to make an appointment.


There are many potential causes for toothaches; one common cause that's easy to treat yourself is having something lodged between two teeth. You might not even know that's the source of your pain, but you can check by rinsing with warm water and flossing on either side of the painful tooth.

If that didn't help, take an over-the-counter painkiller to dull the pain and use cold compresses to treat any swelling and inflammation. Make an appointment to see us as soon as possible so we can examine your tooth and provide treatment.

Lost Filling or Crown

When you lose a filling, it's important to cover your tooth to protect it from further damage and prevent pain. Use temporary dental cement, available at most pharmacies, or in a pinch, press a piece of sugarless gum onto the tooth surface. With a crown, you can place it back on the tooth, using dental cement or even toothpaste to keep it secure.

In either situation, take over-the-counter painkillers for any pain and sensitivity, then call our office for an emergency appointment to get your restoration replaced.

Call Our Plainview, NY Office for Your Dental Emergency

If you have a dental emergency, call 516-931-3999 to schedule an appointment.

How to Prepare for Your Sedation Dentistry Appointment

When you think of going to the dentist, what do you think of? While most people consider dentist appointments to be in regards to cleanings, fillings, or routine checkups, sometimes more extensive procedures are necessary.

From root canals to dental implants, these types of procedures may require some type of sedation. If the patient isn't sedated for these appointments, these procedures may cause a great deal of anxiety and stress. However, it’s important to note that sedation dentistry poses some risks, and you also must prepare for these appointments differently compared to your regular dental visits.

In this post, we’ll take a deeper look at how to prepare for sedation dentistry appointments.

Be Open About Your Medical History and Medications

Have you ever had dental surgery before? Are you currently taking any medications?

Prior to your sedation appointment, it’s vital to be completely transparent about your medical history and if you’re currently on any medication. The sedation medication used might interfere with other types of drugs, and the result can be very serious and life-threatening. Therefore, it’s extremely important to be upfront about anything you’re currently taking.

Also, it’s important to tell your dentist about your medical history so that everyone is on the same page. If you neglect to share these details, the sedation might not work as expected, you might have a tougher time recovering, or you might even have an allergic reaction or some other type of serious complication.

Never Drink or Eat Anything Prior

It’s also extremely important to not drink or eat anything for eight hours prior to your appointment. If you’re currently taking medications, you can still take them as directed, but you should only use a small sip of water. After the procedure, you’re able to go back to your normal eating and drinking habits. Follow all instructions given by the anesthesiologist.

Schedule a Ride to and From the Office

Given that you’ll be sedated, you might feel a little fuzzy coming out of the dental procedures. That being said, another preparation required for these appointments is to schedule a responsible adult to drive you home after the visit. If possible, it’s best to choose a family member or friend. To ensure you’ll be in safe hands, be sure to schedule a ride with someone you can trust. Additionally, never operate any heavy machinery until the medication has worn off—which might take hours.

Drink Plenty of Fluids the Day Before

While you should never consume any food or liquids for up to six hours before your visit, you should consume a lot of fluids the day prior to your appointment. On the day of your sedation dentistry appointment, it’s vital to be hydrated. Given that you can’t drink any fluids right before the visit, drinking plenty of water the day before should ensure you’ll be properly hydrated.

Wear Comfortable Clothing

It’s also important to wear comfortable clothes to your appointment. Given that you’ll be laying down for a fair amount of time, you’ll want to stay comfortable. In addition, all jewelry should be left at home.

Stay Calm and Relaxed

While this step is easier said than done, it’s best to stay calm and relaxed prior to and during your sedation visit. You should understand that you’re in good hands and that you won’t feel a thing during the procedure. You might even want to bring your headphones and listen to soothing music as you lay in the chair.

If you happen to live in the Plainview, NY area and you’re looking for outstanding dental services, then be sure to contact Dr. Steven Ricco at the Ricco Dental Group today. From sedation dentistry to routine cleanings, Dr. Ricco can keep your teeth and gums in exceptional shape. Call 516-931-3999 or contact us online to schedule your appointment.

How Cosmetic Dentistry Can Boost Your Self Confidence

Cosmetic dentistry is the branch of dentistry that focuses on the aesthetics, rather than the health and functionality, of your smile. Though it is not strictly required for oral or overall physical heath (but it can boost both!), cosmetic dentistry can have a major impact on your emotional and psychological health. Here are just some of the ways that cosmetic dentistry can boost your self confidence.

Social Life

Humans are social creatures, and repeated studies show that depression and anxiety are linked to social isolation. Yet those with teeth in poor condition are often tempted to hide them. You might steer clear of not only strangers, but also friends and loved ones. You may start to refuse dates and make excuses to skip family gatherings.

With cosmetic dentistry, you will feel free to socialize, speaking and smiling with ease, secure in the fact that your teeth are not being judged. As your attitude improves, people will naturally be drawn to you, creating a positive cycle of growing self confidence.


You only get one shot to make a great first impression. In today’s appearance-conscious world, a gorgeous smile means youth, health, and vitality. Cosmetic dentistry can take years off your appearance, making you look healthier and more alluring, and helping you feel more comfortable in your own skin. As you embrace a stunning new you, your self confidence will soar.

Career Benefits

Relationships are the key to success in every career. A relaxed, genuine smile makes you appear genuine, loyal, motivated, and trustworthy. However, a tight-lipped grin that hides your teeth can make you look insincere and even untrustworthy.

Freely showing off your beautiful new smile can boost the moods of everyone around you. Your clients, coworkers, and supervisors will reflect your good mood, smiling back at you. This can have a major positive influence on your career, allowing you to climb the ladder faster than you ever imagined and taking your self confidence to a whole new level.

Overcoming Trauma

For many people, cosmetic dental issues stem from birth defects or past traumas. Cosmetic dentistry can play a powerful role in your healing by encouraging you to reclaim your self worth and personal power. Armed with a stunning new smile, you can move beyond your past, embracing newfound self confidence in the process.

What to Expect

Successful cosmetic dentistry is a collaboration between the patient and the dentist. We will sit down with you to discuss your goals and desires, and perform a detailed evaluation of your existing smile. We will then work with you to design and create the smile of your dreams.

Please note that we must fix any existing oral health problems, such as tooth decay or gum disease, before we begin. Depending on the current state of your teeth and the results you want, we may need to perform several procedures and allow your mouth to heal in between. We are confident, though, that your gorgeous new smile will be well worth the effort!

Ready to Get Started?

If you’re in Massapequa and looking for advanced care from a dental team that focuses on your comfort, contact Ultimate Dentistry today at 516-798-0223 to schedule your appointment.

Common Dental Myths Debunked

The vast majority of people in today’s world seek regular dental care. Yet myths and legends about dentistry run rampant. Some are passed down through families and groups of friends, while others traverse the internet at lightning speed. Here are some of the most common dental myths, debunked.

Myth: My Teeth Seem Healthy, So I Can Skip the Dentist

Fact: It is difficult or impossible to see most dental issues at their earliest, most treatable, stages. Even if your teeth look terrific and you have no pain, you need to visit the dentist every six months. A professional cleaning removes plaque and tartar that brushing leaves behind, and a thorough exam will catch any emerging issues.

Myth: Dental Health Is Determined by Genetics, So It Is Outside My Control

Fact: It is true that some people are more prone to gum disease and tooth decay than others, partially due to genetics. But modern dentistry allows us to prevent most dental issues, and to quickly treat those that arise. You are responsible for proactively managing your own oral health, regardless of your genes.

Myth: Brushing My Teeth Often Will Damage the Enamel

Fact: Hard toothbrushes, not over brushing, will damage tooth enamel. Select a soft-bristled toothbrush and use it at least twice per day, for 30 seconds per quadrant of your mouth.

Myth: I Can Chew Gum Instead of Brushing My Teeth

Fact: It is true that if you can’t immediately brush your teeth, chewing sugar-free gum will freshen your breath and stimulate saliva production to rinse food debris from your mouth. However, gum cannot remove plaque, so it is no substitute for proper brushing.

Myth: If My Gums Are Bleeding, Brushing Them Will Cause More Damage

Fact: Gums bleed when food debris or dental plaque and tartar get trapped in them. It is important to brush more, not less, to stop the bleeding. If your gums still bleed despite regular brushing and flossing, make a dental appointment right away.

Myth: An Aspirin Tablet Will Stop My Toothache

Fact: If you can’t see the dentist right away, an over the counter pain reliever can help reduce your suffering until your appointment. However, it will not correct the underlying problem. Never put aspirin directly on the soft tissues of your mouth, which could lead to painful chemical burns.

Myth: Teeth Whitening Can Damage Enamel

Fact: At one time, teeth whitening methods were hard on tooth enamel. Today’s products, though, are much safer. Ask your dentist for recommendations and follow all directions precisely.

Myth: Baby Teeth Are Unimportant

Fact: Teaching your child to properly care for his baby teeth sets the stage for a lifetime of good oral health. Baby teeth also hold space open for the permanent teeth, and allowing them to decay could cause orthodontic issues later in life. Finally, your child relies on the baby teeth for biting, chewing, and talking. They can also be painful if they start to decay. Treat your child’s baby teeth as carefully as your own permanent teeth.

Myth: Pregnant Women Should Avoid Dental Work

Fact: Pregnant women are at heightened risk for gum disease, so regular cleanings and exams are vital throughout pregnancy. Pain and infection in the mother can affect the baby, so any emergency dental work should be performed as soon as possible. It is best to schedule dental work during the second trimester when possible, and to delay elective procedures until the baby is born, but pregnant women should not avoid the dentist.

Ready to Get Started?

If you are ready to start your journey to dental health with a skilled and compassionate dentist, contact The Ricco Dental Group today at 516-931-3999 to schedule your first appointment.

How to Identify a True Dental Emergency

There are dental offices that provide services for dental emergencies, especially on the weekend or at night, when many offices are closed. However, it can be difficult to know what counts as a true dental emergency and what conditions or symptoms could wait to be discussed at a regular dental appointment. Here are some of the signs of a true dental emergency. If you experience any one of these situations, it is important that you seek dental care right away.

Tooth Loss

Unless you are a child losing a primary tooth, losing a permanent or “adult” tooth is a dental emergency that requires swift action to save the tooth. If you lose a tooth, try to hold the tooth in its place until you make it to the dentist’s office ASAP. Try to avoid holding it by the root and instead hold the tooth by the crown. The sooner you can get to your dentist’s office, the better the outcome.

Extreme Pain

Nobody wants to be in pain. If you have extreme tooth or jaw pain that an over the counter pain medication can’t fix, it is important to head over to the emergency dentist to have it checked out. It could be a sign that something more significant is wrong. If you have pain that can be controlled by a pain reliever, it is still important to see your dentist as soon as you can during regular office hours. Make sure to mention the tooth pain to the receptionist when you call to see if you can get an earlier appointment.

Tooth Abscess or Pus

If you find pus in your mouth or suspect a tooth abscess, you can expect to need antibiotics. Even if you don’t have pain, pus is a sign of infection. It is imperative that you get treatment as soon as possible to eliminate the pain and the infection. If left untreated, a tooth abscess can lead to further dental problems.


If your jawline or gumline looks abnormally puffy or swollen, you should go to the emergency dentist. Inflammation can be a sign of an infection. If you go to the dentist and they can’t find an issue, they may recommend treatment with your primary care physician or the hospital, depending on the severity of the symptoms. Going to the emergency dentist can be a great first step to resolve the issue.

Cracked or Chipped Tooth

A cracked or chipped tooth is one of the most common dental emergencies dentists repair. With a cracked tooth, nerves can be exposed, which can cause further pain. If left untreated, the crack could worsen and lead to tooth loss.

Nobody wants to experience a dental emergency. However, if you notice any of these symptoms, it is critical that you see an emergency dentist as soon as you can. This is true even if you can’t see your regular dentist.

The Ricco Dental Group is dedicated to each patient’s individual dental needs, from restoring damaged or missing teeth to cosmetic smile enhancement. We serve the entire Long Island area, and we offer convenient evening and Saturday appointments as well as emergency care. Call us today at 516-931-3999 to schedule an appointment.

A Brief Guide to Dental Anesthesia for Patients

Dental phobia is surprisingly common, leading some people to put off even much-needed dental care. Even those who are not especially afraid of the dentist may worry about pain during or after a procedure. Fortunately, modern dentistry is virtually pain-free thanks to a combination of new techniques and high quality dental anesthesia options. Here is a brief guide.

Local Anesthesia

Local anesthesia is the cornerstone of today’s dentistry, as it is used for any procedure that could otherwise cause pain or discomfort. Although many people still refer to local anesthesia as Novocain, that specific drug is rarely used today. Lidocaine and other similar numbing medications work better, last longer, have fewer side effects, and are less likely to cause allergic reactions.

Regardless of which “caine” anesthetic is used, though, they all work in basically the same way. The numbing medication, along with some other chemicals to boost performance, is injected into your mouth. A “block” injection numbs a entire section of the mouth, such as the upper right quadrant, while an “infiltration” injection numbs a smaller area right around the injection site.

We will first use cotton or air to dry the area where we will give the injection. We will then swab the site with a numbing gel to avoid the sometimes-painful prick of the needle and sting of the anesthetic invading the mouth tissues.

Please note that local anesthesia takes some time to wear off. You may have trouble speaking, eating, or drinking from a straw for the next few hours. Be especially careful not to bite your lip, tongue, or cheek while numb, as you could cause an injury without feeling it.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is a mild dental sedative. This blend of nitrogen and oxygen, inhaled through a mask, is an excellent choice for those who need something to take the edge off but do not want to feel “out of control.” You will be awake and responsive, but relaxed and unafraid. The effects wear off rapidly, allowing you to safely drive home.

Oral Sedation

Not technically a type of anesthesia, but providing similar effects, are the oral sedation pills such as Valium or Halcion. Depending on the dose, you might feel moderately sedated, but you will not be knocked out. You will be able to follow instructions and talk to the dental staff, but you may feel a strong urge to nap during the procedure. You will be easy to rouse, but you may feel groggy for the rest of the day. Therefore, you must bring someone with you to drive you home.

IV Sedation

IV sedation can be described as a lighter form of general anesthesia. Administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist, who will carefully monitor you throughout the procedure, IV sedation invokes a sort of “twilight sleep.” You will not be unconscious, but you will feel loopy and likely sleep through your procedure.

We will wake you up when you are finished, but you may be a bit out of it for the rest of the day. You must bring someone with you to drive you home. As you may be extremely tired and have difficulty caring for yourself, it is best if that person can stay with you for the next several hours. You should be back to normal by the next morning.

Unless there are unusual circumstances, dental procedures can generally be performed with nothing stronger than local anesthesia. Today’s numbing medications are very powerful, yet relatively short-lived, and have truly revolutionized dentistry. Still, many people prefer to add a bit of dental sedation to calm their nerves and help them relax throughout the procedure. We will review your options with you and help you decide what is best for you.

The Ricco Dental Group is dedicated to each patient’s individual dental needs, from restoring damaged or missing teeth to cosmetic smile enhancement. We serve the entire Long Island area, and we offer convenient evening and Saturday appointments as well as emergency care. Call us today at 516-931-3999 to schedule an appointment.

Top 5 Questions About Cosmetic Dentistry, Answered

Cosmetic dentistry is a wonderful way to improve the aesthetics of your smile. Making a strong first impression is critical in everything from dating to job interviews, and a brilliant smile can help boost your self-confidence. Yet many people are unsure exactly what is involved with cosmetic dentistry. Here are your top 5 questions about cosmetic dentistry, answered.

What Is a Smile Makeover?

A smile makeover is, as the name suggests, a complete reimaging of your current smile. While a full mouth reconstruction rebuilds a smile destroyed by damage or disease, a smile makeover is elective and specifically done to enhance one's appearance.

First, Dr. Ricco will thoroughly evaluate your existing smile and discuss with you the changes you want to make. You may want to bring in photos of your smile when you were younger, or photos of celebrity smiles you like.

Dr. Ricco will take your preferences into account, along with such factors as your tooth texture and color, the alignment, proportion, and even length of your teeth, and your unique facial geography. He will work closely with you to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.

Note that if you have any existing dental disease, it must be treated before we begin cosmetic work. Cosmetic procedures succeed best when they are performed in a clean, healthy, disease-free mouth.

What Are My Cosmetic Options?

There are many different cosmetic dental procedures. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Tooth whitening
  • Porcelain veneers
  • Dental bonding
  • Porcelain crowns
  • Orthodontics

Dr. Ricco may suggest several different solutions to be performed in a specific order for best results. For example, you might have porcelain veneers placed on your front teeth, and the rest of your teeth whitened to match. A full smile makeover often only takes a few visits to complete.

Is Cosmetic Dentistry Expensive?

Everyone’s needs and desires are different, but many people are happy to learn that a beautiful smile may cost just a fraction of what they expect. In many cases, we can offer several options at different price points, and create a full treatment plan that is within your budget. Also, ask our office staff about financing options.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Cosmetic Dentistry?

Every dental insurance policy is different, but insurers may partially cover certain cosmetic procedures if you meet specific criteria. Our friendly staff will help you understand your out of pocket costs before treatment commences.

How Else Can I Improve My Smile?

Even the most beautiful smile can be enhanced by following a few simple tips, especially for photographs. Here are some ideas:

Lipstick: Lipstick shades affect the perceived color of teeth, especially in pictures. If your teeth are yellowish or stained, try a darker shade with pink or blue undertones, such as plum or wine. Be careful with very intense colors if your teeth are not perfect, as they can highlight any minor imperfections.

Keep it natural: If someone asks for a photo, the tendency may be to tense up. A wide, fake smile can look like a grimace, while a face-crinkling grin can make your face look oddly scrunched. Instead, try to conjure up happy memories for a natural, dreamy smile that comes across as alluring.

Practice smiling: Everyone has unique features, and the only way to find your best angles is to experiment. Toss your hair and pose in front of your mirror, then snap a few selfies to see what you like best.

Located in Plainview, New York, The Ricco Dental Group is dedicated to each patient’s individual dental needs, from restoring damaged or missing teeth to cosmetic smile enhancements.. We offer evening and Saturday appointments, as well as emergency care. If you are ready to get started with a skilled, compassionate dentist, please call 516-931-3999 today to schedule an appointment.

A Patient’s Guide to Sedation Dentistry: Options & What to Expect

Modern dentistry is nearly pain-free, but dental anxiety and even dental phobias are, regrettably, extremely common. Some people even postpone routine or much-needed dental work due to their fears. Thankfully, sedation dentistry can help. You can choose your level of sedation, from mild nitrous oxide to deep IV sedation. Whichever you choose, sedation dentistry is an excellent way to push through your fears and keep your mouth as healthy as possible.

Nitrous Oxide

Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide provides mild but effective dental sedation. A blend of nitrogen and oxygen is delivered through a mask over the nose, and is carefully controlled by your dentist. If you don’t like how you feel at any time, though, you can simply remove the mask, making this a great choice for those who are afraid of being “under.” You will remain awake and responsive, but feel deeply relaxed and unafraid. When the mask is removed, the effects wear off quickly, making it safe for you to drive home.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation involves a pill such as Halcion or Valium. You might feel mildly to moderately sedated, depending on the dose. Oral sedation will not knock you out, but you might doze lightly in the dental chair. You will know what is happening and be able to communicate with your dentist and staff, but may not remember much about the procedure afterwards.

Oral sedation can leave you feeling groggy all day, so you will need to bring someone to your appointment to drive you home. You should be okay to care for yourself for the rest of the day.

IV Sedation

IV sedation is the best choice for patients who prefer to sleep through the procedure. In our office, IV sedation is administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist, who will carefully monitor you throughout the procedure. You will feel a bit loopy and out of it, and though you will likely fall asleep, you can be easily roused.

IV sedation will have lingering effects for the rest of the day. Bring someone with you to drive you home and stay with you for a few hours. You may have trouble caring for yourself, so having someone to help will make you far more comfortable. You should feel like yourself by the next morning.

No matter which type of sedation you select, your tooth will also be numbed, so you do not need to worry about feeling pain or discomfort during your procedure. You may also be sent home with prescription pain medications. If you had a deeper form of sedation, you might not feel pain right away, but it is important to take your medications as prescribed to stay ahead of the pain.

Sedation dentistry is not right for everyone, and your personal health history or current medication list may preclude certain types of sedation. Your dentist will thoroughly review your options with you and help you make the right choice for your individual situation. Note that many patients choose different levels of sedation at different times, depending on their current anxiety level and what procedure they are having done.

Ultimate Dentistry is dedicated to each patient’s individual dental needs, from restoring damaged or missing teeth to cosmetic smile enhancement. We offer evening and Saturday appointments as well as emergency care. Located in Massapequa, we treat patients from throughout Long Island. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us today at 516-798-0223 to schedule an appointment.