Your smile is one of the first things people notice when they meet you. It can also have an effect on the rest of your body if you don’t care for it properly. That’s why regular dentist appointments are so important!

Here at VIP Smiles, we understand that going to the dentist isn’t often a favorite family activity, but we go to great lengths to make everyone feel as comfortable as possible when they visit our Syracuse office. From regular dental cleanings to important treatments for issues like gum disease, we offer comprehensive dental services in a welcoming atmosphere. Care for your oral health and have confidence in your smile with help from the VIP Smiles team — call today to make your appointment!

What to Expect at the Dentist

How long has it been since you’ve seen a dentist? While many parents make sure to schedule their kids for appointments, many adults don’t care for their teeth the way they should. If it’s been a while since your last appointment, here’s what you can expect from your visit to VIP Smiles:

Dental Exam

One of your dentist’s most important duties is to examine your mouth and teeth and evaluate your oral health. This examination includes looking for cavities, built-up plaque and tartar, and checking for signs of disease. They may take X-rays to get a better look at any harder-to-spot problems, or simply to compare images of your teeth to previous files to see if anything has changed. Your dentist may also exam your tongue, throat, face, and neck for any related problems.

Professional Teeth Cleaning

The other half of a regular dental check-up is a teeth cleaning. A professional teeth cleaning generally involves three steps: scaling, polishing, and flossing. First, your dental professional will remove plaque and built-up tartar through a process called scaling. While it can be uncomfortable for some patients, it’s more targeted and effective than brushing on your own. Then, they will polish your teeth with a gritty paste to remove surface stains, and floss between each tooth for a thorough cleaning.

Here at VIP Smiles, we do our best to make every visit as comfortable as possible, whether you’re joining us for a regular check-up or a more in-depth procedure. Our dental office is warm, friendly, and family-focused, and we are dedicated to providing the highest quality care possible. If you are worried about visiting the dentist, we encourage you to contact our office, and our compassionate staff will help address any concerns you may have. We look forward to caring for your smile!


Why Dental Check-Ups Are Important

Even if we aren’t all as responsible as we should be when it comes to making regular dentist appointments, we all know that brushing and flossing are essential to good oral health. The drawback is that even those that dedicate time to both after every meal aren’t cleaning their teeth effectively enough to avoid a trip to the dentist. Visiting a professional every six months or so is essential to your oral – and overall – health.

Brushing Isn’t Enough

Brushing and flossing can do a lot to rid your mouth of bacteria and food remnants, but the battle against plaque build-up is never-ending, and sometimes brushing at home just isn’t enough. If you miss a few spots, plaque can harden into tartar, also called calculus, and this substance can only be removed with a professional teeth cleaning. If tartar is left to accumulate, it can lead to disease and tooth loss. Not only can you avoid these problems with a trip to the dentist, but you can also enjoy a brighter, whiter smile thanks to the more sophisticated tools available to dental professionals!

Catch Problems Early

Regular exams aren’t just an excuse for your dentist to scold you about not flossing — although they scold for good reason. That examination is an important step to identifying any signs of tooth decay, gum disease, or oral cancer.

Even if you aren’t experiencing pain, discomfort, or other symptoms, you should still see a dentist at least once a year. There are signs of possible problems that only a trained dental professional will know to look for, and tackling potential issues early comes with a lot of benefits.

Treatments are often easier, less painful, and more affordable if you address the problem while it’s still in the early stages. A preventive fluoride treatment, for example, is a far simpler procedure than a filling, which, in turn, is cheaper and less painful than a crown or a root canal. Untreated issues can lead to more serious problems, and you can save yourself time, money, and discomfort by discussing your options with a dentist sooner rather than later.

Address Issues Effectively

If it’s too late for a simple intervention like a fluoride treatment, and your oral health issues are causing you pain and discomfort, then a dental professional will be able to help you decide on the best course of action. They will explain your treatment options and give you a recommendation for what they think is the best path forward.

A dentist appointment is also your opportunity to bring up any concerns you have without waiting for the results of your examination. Let your dentist know if something has been bothering you, whether it’s a chipped tooth or chronic bad breath, and they’ll do their best to help you find a solution. They should also be informed of any changes in your lifestyle or overall health, like new medications, which may affect your oral health. The more information your dentist has, the better they can treat you.

Don’t wait for an emergency — do yourself a favor and schedule your appointment with Doctors Shad, Richard, or Clive Ingram today! Every staff member at VIP Smiles strives to provide personalized dental care to our patients so you can have confidence in your smile and peace of mind in regards to your oral health. Contact our office today and come meet Syracuse’s Top Rated Local® dentists!


Endodontics: Preventing and Treating Tooth Decay

If you discuss tooth pain or sensitivity with your dentist during your regular check up, then you may be referred to an endodontist. You may also be rescheduled for another appointment on another day if you visit a dental office with comprehensive services, like VIP Smiles. Endodontics often involves procedures that are more intensive than you would experience in an ordinary dental check up, but they are important steps to save your teeth when accidents, injuries, or neglect lead to poor oral health.

What are Endodontics?

Endodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on the roots and inner pulp of your teeth. The highly skilled specialists in this field do all they can to save your natural teeth when they are endangered by infection or injury, most often through the widely dreaded root canal procedure.

Signs You Need an Endodontic Appointment

  • You have injured one or more of your teeth
  • You are experiencing unexplained tooth pain
  • Your teeth are sensitive to heat or cold
  • You notice swelling around your teeth, gums, or face

Endodontic Treatments

There are a number of endodontic treatments available to address tooth decay dangers and help you regain a natural, pain-free smile, each one tailored to the seriousness of your oral health concerns. Here, we’ve concentrated on two of the most well-known procedures from opposite ends of the spectrum. Root canal treatments are often the first defense, while dental implants are the solution when the natural tooth cannot be saved.

Root Canal Treatments

If you have been experiencing tooth pain, one possible explanation is that the roots of your tooth have become inflamed or infected. If that is the case, then your endodontic specialist will likely recommend a root canal. The procedure itself is very similar to an ordinary filling, and often only takes one or two appointments to complete.

The root canal procedure itself, while more invasive than what you would experience in a simple dental check up, is relatively painless and comes with many benefits. Your endodontist will remove the infected pulp from inside your tooth, clean and disinfect the area, reshape the root canal, and then seal the area with a filling.

After the procedure, you may experience some sensitivity in that tooth, particularly if you were experiencing tooth pain before the procedure. That pain, both from the infection and the procedure itself, should fade within a few days. Best of all, you keep your natural tooth!

Dental Implants

When the original tooth cannot be saved, then it must be extracted and replaced with a dental implant. A dental implant is a replica artificial tooth that is surgically installed in place of the original tooth. This is a significantly more expensive and invasive procedure, so it is always better to catch tooth decay concerns early with a regular check up and schedule a root canal if possible.

If you have lost teeth to accidents or infections, then you understand how much it can impact your everyday life. Dental implants can help restore your confidence and quality of life. If you think you would be a good candidate for dental implants, contact VIP Smiles today to schedule a consultation with our dentists!


Periodontics: Preventing and Treating Gum Disease

Another concern that may arise during your annual – or bi-annual! – dentist appointment is the possibility of gum disease. Like tooth decay, gum disease can have serious consequences on your oral and overall health, and both can stem from oral hygiene mistakes or neglect. That’s why VIP Smiles, as a part of our comprehensive dental services, offers periodontal treatments and consultations.

What Is Periodontology?

Periodontology is a branch of dentistry that focuses on the structures surrounding and supporting your teeth. Periodontists specialize in preventing, diagnosing, and treating the diseases that destroy these structures.

Why You Should Take Periodontal Disease Seriously

Periodontal disease, often generalized as gum disease, can have widespread negative effects if left undiagnosed or untreated. The bacteria in dental plaque is thought to be the biggest culprit of gum disease, and it can infect and destroy the support structures around your teeth. Gingivitis is a common and mild form, while periodontitis is a very serious form of infection that can lead to tooth loss.

If gum disease is left untreated, not only will your teeth become so loose that they will need to be extracted, but you may also face profound impacts on your overall health. There is an increasingly large number of studies showing a link between periodontal disease and other health concerns, including, but not limited to:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes

Signs of Gum Disease

Regular dentist appointments will help catch signs of periodontal disease early. However, if you notice any of the following symptoms, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible.

  • Bleeding gums after brushing or flossing
  • Receding gum line
  • Loose teeth
  • Red, irritated, or swollen gums

Periodontal Treatments

There are a number of ways a periodontist can help address gum disease, whether you are in the early or late stages. Catching the problem early means you can utilize treatments that are less invasive, expensive, and uncomfortable. Your dentist may recommend nothing more than additional teeth cleanings, an improved at-home oral health care routine, and perhaps antibiotics. A more invasive procedure known as scaling and root planing may be necessary to address a more advanced stage of gum disease, and as a last resort, your periodontist may recommend tooth extraction and a dental implant.

To learn if you may need periodontal treatment, contact VIP Smiles today! Our family-owned dental office in Syracuse is made to be a friendly place to receive all the dental services you need, and we do our best to make every procedure as comfortable as possible. Don’t wait until it’s too late — call now to schedule your consultation!


Wisdom Teeth

Even if you ensure that you and your family take excellent care of your teeth, there is one dental procedure that you may still face: wisdom teeth removal. The extraction of healthy teeth may sound counterintuitive, but it can actually prevent many problems. That’s why millions of Americans have their wisdom teeth removed every year.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Your wisdom teeth are your third molars, and they emerge later than all of your other adult teeth, often between the ages of 17 and 21. If they grow in properly, these molars can be an added set of teeth to help you chew. However, because they are the last set of teeth to emerge, there often isn’t enough space in the person’s mouth to allow them to grow properly.

Possible Complications

If there are factors that mean the patient’s wisdom teeth can not grown in properly, there are several issues they may face, including:

  • Damage to surrounding teeth
  • Cysts
  • Gum disease
  • Impacted wisdom teeth trapped in bone and gum tissue
  • Cavities
  • Crooked teeth

It’s common to feel some discomfort as your wisdom teeth emerge, but if that discomfort evolves into pain, then you should contact your dentist as soon as possible.

Wisdom Teeth Removal

The surgery to remove your wisdom teeth is often simple and straightforward, and it typically doesn’t take more than an hour to complete. Even if your wisdom teeth are impacted and need different techniques to be extracted, the dental professionals here at VIP Smiles will get the job done and do our best to make sure you’re comfortable throughout the entire process. Pain is minimal for most patients, and our friendly team will make sure to give you thorough aftercare instructions to help you heal quickly.

There are a number of ways you can approach your wisdom teeth removal, including several options for local numbing agents or sedation. You can discuss the best approach for your case with Doctors Shad, Richard, or Clive Ingram.

Contact our Syracuse dentist office today to schedule your consultation!


Caring for your oral health can not only help you achieve a beautiful, confident smile, but it can also impact your overall physical health. That’s why making regular appointments with your local dentist is so important. Whether you are dealing with nagging tooth pain or you simply have avoided the dentist for months on end, you can make your health a priority by scheduling your appointment at VIP Smiles today! We do everything we can to make your visit as comfortable and welcoming as possible. See for yourself and stop by our Syracuse dentist office!