889 Meadow Dr., Mount Gilead, OH 43338
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Stephen W. Ritz, D.D.S.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions patients have about dentistry and oral health issues. If you have any other questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, we would love to hear from you.
Why are checkups recommended every six months, even for people with great oral health?

Early detection allows us to provide the most conservative treatment, which saves you time, expense, and possible discomfort. We use DIAGNOdent laser cavity detection to find cavities in the earliest stages, even before they can be seen or felt. We also screen for oral cancer. Oral cancer is deadly, but early detection offers an 80% cure rate. Gum disease is another sneaky problem that we try to catch early. It's been linked to stroke, heart attach, osteoporosis, and other health risks, and is the leading cause of tooth loss in American adults.

What precautions do you take to insure patient safety?

We follow strict guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and OSHA. Our practices include sterilizing reusable instruments in an autoclave, then sealing them for the next use; disinfecting treatment rooms between patient visits; and using disposable products when possible. We always wear disposable gloves during exams and treatment, for your safety.

What can you do to improve the appearance of my smile?

We'll start by evaluating your oral health, existing smile, and discussing your idea of a spectacular smile. We may suggest porcelain veneers, teeth whitening, and replacing metal dental work with esthetic dental restorations. Your smile may benefit from bonding, contouring, or invisible braces. Together, we'll determine the best path to your ideal smile.
My gums bleed after I brush. Is this something to be concerned about?

Bleeding is usually a sign of a problem. When gums bleed, the cause usually stems from brushing too hard or from early-stage gum disease, called gingivitis. We can consult with you on the proper toothbrush and pressure for safe, effective daily oral care. If your gums show signs of gum disease, we may recommend a deep hygiene (cleaning) treatment to alleviate your symptoms and return your gums to good health.

I haven't been to a dentist in years and I'm afraid to let a professional see the condition of my mouth. Is your staff judgmental?

First of all, congratulations on your wise decision to prioritize dental healthcare. Your mouth is a big part of your overall health, quality of life, and self-esteem. We'll never judge you; instead, we'll help you by addressing your oral problems, explaining treatment options, then scheduling a plan of action that suits your unique situation.
My teeth are stained. Can you help?

Yes. We offer teeth whitening solutions to brighten your teeth dramatically.

I have old, dark fillings. Is there any hope for my smile?

Dark fillings and metal crowns can be replaced with strong, esthetic solutions. Dr. Ritz has placed composite-resin fillings for years, and we also offer porcelain crowns.

I've heard of dental work that is made in foreign countries with low quality materials. What types of materials are used in your dental work?

We use only the best quality materials. The American Dental Association has guidelines for the dental profession regarding quality of all restorative materials. Examples of these materials would include crowns, amalgam fillings, composite fillings, partial dentures to name a few. We use only trusted and proven materials which are often not the least expensive, but what we consider to be the best and always meet the ADA's guidelines. We work with a dental laboratory in Akron, Ohio. Dr. Ritz personally knows the owner and technicians that work in this lab. We trust their professional work so that you can have confidence that the materials we provide to you are safe and of the highest quality.