333 Wyoming Ave., Kingston, PA 18704
The very best for your family.
Make an appointment today. Call 570.714.8083

The foundation to our practice consists of prevention and patient knowledge. The ability for our patients to make informed decisions and maintain their dental health outside of our office is the result of on-going patient education.

A large number of adult patients have never been taught the importance of correctly flossing and brushing teeth. It is the belief of Dr. Kotch that all dentists have an obligation to teach patients about the benefits of maintaining good oral hygiene. The following patient education information covers tips for good oral hygiene, common oral health problems and dental treatment options.

Tips for Good Oral Hygiene

Proper oral hygiene is an essential aspect of maintaining lifelong habits that contribute to overall health and well-being. Taking care of your teeth and gums, eating a balanced diet and visiting your dentist regularly will allow you to achieve healthy teeth and an attractive smile that is everlasting. Follow these tips for good oral hygiene:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste that has been approved by the American Dental Association (ADA).
  • Floss at least once a day, preferably before you go to bed. Regular flossing can help to remove food debris that accumulates between your teeth while helping to keep your gums healthy.
  • Avoid soft drinks (soda) and limit the amount of candy you eat. The simple sugar in soda and candy is especially harmful to teeth.
  • Chewing sugarless gum after you eat can help cleanse your mouth. Drinking water throughout the day also helps flush away excess bacteria and food debris.
  • Eat unsweetened yogurt. It reduces the compounds that cause bad breath and cuts down on plaque and gingivitis.
  • Visit your dentist at least twice a year. Regular dental checkups help detect oral health problems before they become serious. Early diagnosis and intervention help many patients save their teeth and avoid the need for more expensive dental treatments.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay refers to a tooth's mineral content being dissolved away. This occurs when plaque, a sticky substance that accumulates on the teeth, mixes with sugars and starches from the foods we eat. This fusion results in the making of acids that attack the tooth enamel. As the tooth enamel is destroyed, a hole called a "cavity" occurs in the tooth's surface.

Tooth decay is the second most common disease in the United States. To avoid tooth decay and cavities, brush your teeth regularly, at least two times a day. Use toothpaste with fluoride. Floss each day to help remove food debris from between the teeth. Eat healthy foods, and avoid snacks, soft drinks and candy that contain sugar.

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam is the most commonly used dental material for treating tooth decay. Amalgam contains a mixture of metal alloys including silver, tin, copper, zinc and mercury. Amalgam has been used in dentistry for over 150 years, and there are certain advantages to amalgam that make it an excellent material for filling cavities.

Amalgam has a long life and is very predictable. It is far less expensive than alternative materials such as composite resin, gold alloy or porcelain. Amalgam is also a relatively easy material to work with. When compared to alternative filling materials, amalgam costs less, takes less time to prepare and place, and the patient's cost for amalgam fillings is largely covered by most dental insurance companies.

Root Canals

A root canal is a common and safe procedure to treat an infection in the pulp of the tooth. Most people would probably refer to a tooth's pulp tissue as its "nerve." While a tooth does contain nerve fibers, it is also composed of arteries, lymph vessels, and connective tissue. Years ago, severely damaged or infected teeth were simply removed. Today, with modern dental techniques, we can save and repair infected teeth through root canal therapy.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is an infection of the teeth and gums as well as the bone that surrounds the teeth. It is caused by poor oral hygiene and certain unhealthy habits such as smoking. Periodontal disease causes bone loss and can eventually lead to losing teeth. There are three stages to periodontal disease.

Gingivitis: Plaque, a sticky film of food and bacteria, forms constantly on our teeth. If it isn't removed daily, it begins to harden and forms a substance called tartar. In this early stage, before bone loss has occurred, the gums become red and swollen.

Periodontitis: As the plaque and tartar work their way down below the gum line, the gums begin to separate away from the teeth, forming pockets. Once a pocket has formed, the disease process accelerates, as new, even more destructive types of bacteria begin to populate the pocket. If a dental professional doesn’t remove the tartar, your body's defensive reaction to the infection produces enzymes that cause the loss of supporting bone.

Advanced Periodontitis: If left untreated, periodontal disease causes supporting bone to be lost from around the teeth. Eventually, so much bone is lost that teeth can become loose and fall out. This is "advanced periodontitis." Once it reaches advanced stages, periodontal disease cannot be reversed. It is the number one cause of missing teeth in the United States today.