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Looking into your mouth is like looking under the hood of your car. Both are dark and mysterious places. Unfortunately, unlike your car, your mouth did not come with a guide to operation and repair. This book can serve as an "owner's manual," for it was written for those who hope to understand the mouth and how to keep it healthy. It will introduce what is in the mouth and how to take proper care of it. From its outline of the anatomy of the mouth to its discussions of contemporary dental research and technology, this book offers insight into the processes that determine dental health. It details daily oral hygiene and maintenance aimed at reducing the occurrence of common oral maladies. Also explained is the dentist's role in prevention and treatment, as well as the costs of dental care. Virtually all persons are affected by dental diseases of some sort. Many dental problems, especially bad breath, gum disease, and cavities, are almost entirely preventable. Whether it is for bleeding gums, cavities, crooked teeth, impacted wisdom teeth, stains, a host of other problems, or just a periodic checkup, nearly everyone will spend time and money at the dentist's office. For those who are concerned about appropriate care of the mouth and the teeth this clearly written book will be useful. The principles of dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, and select technical innovations in dentistry are discussed and clearly explained. Also, a helpful list of dental schools that provide low-cost care and a list of resources for further information are included. Although this book is not meant to be comprehensive, it offers the firm foundation for having informed discussion with your dentist and for maintaining oral health for a lifetime. Francis G. Serio (D.M.D., University of Pennsylvania, M.S. and Certificate in Periodontics, University of Maryland) is an associate professor and chairman of the Department of Periodontics at the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry.

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