Essenmacher Family Dental

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Preventive Dentistry

How can we help you?

Choosing a dentist is an important decision! After all, your dentist is a part of your healthcare team. Many patients have questions about a new practice. Here are some of the most popular questions we receive. If you have another question that is not listed here, we encourage you to call and speak to one of our helpful team members.

Preventive Dentistry

Cavities in Albuquerque, NM | Essenmacher Family DentalYou May Be More Prone to Cavities Than Others

Cavities are caused by certain strains of bacteria that are more prevalent in certain people than in others. Bacteria feed on the food particles in your mouth and create an acidic environment that softens your protective enamel. Since we focus on prevention, we utilize the latest technology to help us prevent decay and protect your teeth.

We use a specialized meter that reads the ATP present in your mouth, which gives us a measurement of the amount of "bad" bacteria your mouth harbors. We then can recommend products to reduce the "bad" bacterial load based on your individual needs.

Daily Dental Hygiene Matters

Having good home care habits is important. Brushing twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush, flossing every day, and eating a healthy diet can all promote good oral health. You cannot do it alone, however! Even the best home care needs supplementation from a dental hygienist to remove the tartar and bacteria that brushing and flossing alone can not remove. Our gentle, professional, and friendly dental hygienists will tailor a personalized dental cleaning to help your smile look great and feel fresh!

Dental Sealants Are An Option

For patients who are more susceptible to decay, we provide dental sealants as a protective barrier between your chewing surface and the food and bacteria that cause damage. Sealants last up to five years and are cost effective as well as noninvasive.

Fluoride can strengthen your enamel. Regular fluoride treatments for patients who want to avoid cavities can provide added protection at a minimal cost. Fluoride is also helpful in reducing sensitivity for those patients who have gum recession. 

How do i pick the right dentist | Albuquerque, NM | Essenmacher Family DentalThere are many dental offices in the Northeast Heights area, and we know that choosing the right dentist for you and your family can feel overwhelming. We believe there are several important factors to consider and questions to ask yourself when selecting a dentist:

Will this dentist treat my entire family?

Not every dentist specializes in or even enjoys treating children, which can be very important to consider if you are searching for a practice that will take care of your entire family. If treatment for yourself and your children is top-priority, make sure to discuss this with any potential office.

Does this dentist have a specialty of any kind?

Many general dentists offer a range of services but specialize in a particular area, such as cosmetic or restorative dentistry. If your family is searching for a particular treatment such as implants or teeth whitening, considering a dentist’s preferred treatment areas can be helpful in making your decision.

How does the temperament of this dentist and their team fit in with my family?

While it may not seem like the most important qualification on paper, many patients report that temperament and personality are some of the most important aspects they consider when selecting a dentist. You and your treatment team will spend a lot of time together over the years, and your experience will be much more enjoyable if everyone gets along!

Our team at Essenmacher Family Dental is currently accepting new patients. Call or visit our office today to learn more about how we fit in with your family’s treatment needs!

Dental X-Rays | Albuquerque NM ​Dental Radiation is Minimal

It’s hard to believe, but a dental radiograph actually exposes you to less radiation than what you get every day just from environmental exposure!  If you fly on a plane, you are exposed to much more radiation than a series of checkup x-rays.  Also, it is important to note that digital x-rays, which are always used at Essenmacher Family Dental, give much less radiation than the traditional film x-rays, and tens to hundreds of times less than a chest x-ray, mammogram or CT scan.  We also always utilize a lead apron with a thyroid collar to help minimize the exposure even further.

Healthy teeth for life starts with preventive dentistry, and professional teeth cleanings in our Albuquerque, NM dental office play a huge role.

Professional teeth cleanings help prevent:

  • Cavities
  • Dental infections
  • Dental emergencies
  • Periodontal disease
  • Tooth loss

We have found that our Northeast Heights dental patients have fewer dental health issues when they follow guidelines put forward by the American Dental Association. The association recommends teeth cleanings at least every six months.

If you have gingivitis or periodontal disease, a more comprehensive dental cleaning is in order, and these cleanings may be scheduled more often.

With oral health, it is always better to prevent an issue than try to treat it!

Of course, we recommend brushing and flossing at least twice per day and avoiding sugar-rich snacks and beverages. However, even these steps are not enough and do not mean that you should forego a professional teeth cleaning.

Toothbrushes, pastes, and floss cannot clean hard-to-reach areas, and they cannot get rid of stubborn tartar and bacteria.

Our Albuquerque, NM hygienist utilizes all the latest technologies to help keep your teeth healthy for life! Our hygienist can also recommend preventative brushing and flossing strategies to help you get the most out of your oral health routine at home.

Contact Our Dental Office

At Essenmacher Family Dental, we want you to have a healthy smile. Contact our Albuquerque, NM dental office today to schedule your dental cleaning.

Sensitive Teeth | Albuquerque, NM | Essenmacher Family DentalWhy do teeth become sensitive?

Sensitivity comes from a number of conditions. Malocclusion (a bad bite), misaligned teeth, gum recession, and fractured teeth can all cause sensitivity. A clenching and grinding habit increases your risk of sensitivity. Extreme sensitivity to hot and cold can also indicate the need for a root canal.

Using teeth whitening products and abrasive whitening toothpastes creates sensitivity in some people. Taking a break from these products can resolve your condition.

What can I do about sensitive teeth?

Sensitivity is a common problem among individuals of all ages. There are specialized sensitivity toothpastes you can use at home, or Dr. Essenmacher can also utilize in-office desensitizers to make you more comfortable. 

Fluoride treatments can strengthen enamel and reduce sensitivity, especially when used consistently. A nightguard can protect your teeth from a nocturnal clenching and grinding habit and provide a barrier between your upper and lower teeth that may help you prevent fractures.

Lifestyle habits such as avoiding excessively cold drinks can help to reduce acute sensitivity. And to avoid fracturing a tooth, you should never chew ice, whether you have sensitive teeth or not!

Talk to Dr. Essenmacher about your sensitivity and she can recommend the treatment that is right for you. 


bleeding gum treatment in Albuquerque, NM | Essenmacher Family DentalInfection and Inflammation

Bleeding gums is often a sign of infection and inflammation in the mouth. A number of factors can play a role in causing bleeding, but it most often occurs when bacteria-filled plaque builds up around the gum line. Bleeding gums is not normal, and can be a sign of gingivitis, or a more serious form of bone disease, periodontitis. 

Periodontitis is the most common cause for tooth loss among adults because the infection causes destruction of the bone that surrounds the teeth, and they become loose.  Good daily hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing can reduce plaque buildup, but having an oral hygiene prophylaxis (cleaning) and exam regularly will reduce your risk for further issues.  So if your gums bleed, don’t ignore it!  Make an appointment with our team at Essenmacher Family Dental for a comprehensive exam.

soft bristled toothbrush | Albuquerque NM Dentist Remove Bacteria and Plaque 

A soft bristled, electric or manual, toothbrush is effective at removing bacteria and plaque from the tooth and gum surface without causing harm to these tissues. Hard and medium bristled toothbrushes can be abrasive and cause damage by removing or traumatizing gum tissues, the outer layer of enamel, and root surfaces. The size of the toothbrush head is also important.  For the average size mouth, an inch tall and 1/2 inch wide is most appropriate.  Also, looking for brushes with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Approval can help with selection.

dental x-rays | NE heights nm The More Information, The Better

Dental x-rays give us very important information that helps us evaluate your mouth for periodontal disease, decay between the teeth, certain types of tumors, and tooth infections (abscesses or cysts). We take only the necessary number of images to be able to effectively treat and diagnose oral conditions. Unless you encounter a problem or have a dental emergency, we take x-rays approximately once per year and a full mouth series of x-rays once every five years. Regular x-rays help us to compare changes in your health over time.

Many patients express concern over the radiation associated with dental x-rays. Dental x-rays have always been among the lowest in radiation. Our office only uses digital dental x-rays, which emit a significantly reduced amount of radiation compared to traditional dental films. Digital dental x-rays allow us to download an image of your teeth immediately so that Dr. Essenmacher can make a diagnosis on the spot if you have pain or a dental emergency. Digital x-rays are also better for the environment by eliminating the chemicals required to develop film. Because digital dental x-rays produce high-resolution images, Dr. Essenmacher can make a diagnosis while your condition is still small and treatable.

Not all conditions appear on dental x-rays, but they still afford us with the best method to see what is not visible with a visual exam alone. 

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Dear valued patients,

As many of you know, in response to the recommendations from the American Dental Association and public health orders in place in New Mexico, we have been seeing patients on an urgent/emergency basis only since March 17. As a practice, our first priority is to put the health and safety of our team and community first.  

Because the exact trajectory of this pandemic cannot be anticipated, we are unable to accurately predict when we’ll be able to resume seeing patients for regular dental care.  At this time, public health orders prohibiting elective dental care extend until May 15.  However, we will definitely make an announcement on our website and Facebook when normal hours are resumed. We will also be contacting patients whose appointments were canceled so that we can reschedule.  

In the meantime, if you have any questions about an upcoming appointment, or have a concern about your teeth that you’d like to discuss, please do not hesitate to call our office.  We are happy to assist you in any way we can.  

While we all watch and wait to see what the coming weeks hold for our nation, I pray for health and peace for all of you and those you love.  I know that together, we will get through this. Take care and God bless. Visit our Facebook page for a message from Dr. Essenmacher. 

Best Regards,

Dr. Essenmacher