Are Dental Implants Right For You? (Part One)

Every year, millions of Americans suffer from tooth loss. Whether caused by injury, disease or decay, tooth loss can be painful, both physically and emotionally. Until recently, bridges and dentures were the only options for treating tooth loss, but neither was an optimal long-term solution. Now, with dental implants widely available, lost teeth can be replaced in a more comfortable, attractive and healthy manner.

dental implants





In this two-part blog series, we will discuss implant dentistry in detail, including their advantages and disadvantages, the process of receiving implants, how to care for them and more.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are permanently implanted into the jaw in order to support a crown, bridge or full arch denture. Implants can significantly improve quality of life for those who suffer from tooth loss. They improve appearance, confidence and comfort, and help to distribute and restore chewing forces, allowing for easier chewing. In addition, implants can prevent further pain and injury by minimizing jawbone erosion that occurs when teeth are missing.

What is involved in a dental implant procedure?

The dental implant process varies considerably among patients, depending on the degree of tooth loss, overall oral health and the specific implant being performed. In some instances, the implant can be placed at the time the tooth is extracted. The surgeon and general dentist at Glen Oaks Dental will work with you to develop a treatment plant that works best for you.

Generally, the tooth root implant is first placed into the bone socket of the missing tooth. Then, there is a healing period of about three to four months, as the jawbone heals and integrates with the implant. When the implant has firmly anchored to the bone, a small connector post, which will hold the prosthetic tooth or bridge, is attached to the dental implant.

Once the implant has integrated with the jawbone, it is ready to be restored with the final prosthesis.

Are dental implants painful?
Placement of the dental implant is relatively painless. We find that, in most cases, over-the-counter pain medication is sufficient to keep patients comfortable after surgery.

We will continue to discuss dental implants in our next blog post. In the meantime, if you have questions about implant dentistry or any of our other services, contact our Circle Pines dental clinic at 763-786-8460 or schedule an appointment on our website.

Oral Cancer: Symptoms and Risk Factors

Oral cancers account for nearly 1.6 percent of cancer fatalities in the United States, and 3 percent of all diagnosed cancers. It is estimated that nearly 50,000 people in Minnesota and across the U.S will be diagnosed with oral cancer in 2017.

To call attention to the issue of oral cancer treatment and prevention, April has been named Oral Cancer Awareness Month in the U.S.

It’s important to receive oral cancer checks at your regular dental checkups, especially if you are at an elevated risk due to tobacco use, heavy alcohol consumption or certain other factors (detailed below). The American Dental Association reports that early diagnosis of oral cancer “has the potential to have a significant impact on treatment decisions and outcomes.”

Common symptoms of oral cancer include the following. If you have any of these symptoms, call your dentist as soon as possible.

  • Pain in the mouth or ear
  • A lump in the neck
  • Persistent mouth sores
  • An unusual sore throat
  • Abnormal swallowing
  • Chronic hoarseness
oral cancer check

In its early stages, oral cancer is generally painless, and as a result, often goes undetected. This is why, at Glen Oaks Dental, your dentist and hygienist will complete a thorough and comprehensive cancer screening during every checkup. Early detection can be life-saving, and your dental care team is your best defense.

It’s never too late to prevent oral cancer. Tobacco use is one of the greatest risk factors (as well as many other forms of cancer), but it is also one of the most preventable. Whether you smoke or chew tobacco, quitting will reduce your risk for all cancers.

Similarly, heavy drinkers – defined as men who have an average of two or more drinks per day and women who have one or more drinks per day – are at an increased risk, especially those who also use tobacco. Poor nutrition and excessive exposure to sunlight may also increase your cancer risk.

If you’re concerned about oral cancer, please contact us to schedule an appointment. At Glen Oaks Dental, we care about your oral health! We take a comprehensive approach to dental care, helping you to develop a personalized plan based on your health history and dental health goals.

If you would like to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive examination, please call us at 763-786-8460 or visit

Questions and Answers about Dental Insurance


Whether your dental insurance is provided by an employer or purchased privately, the process of choosing a plan can be complicated and confusing. Here are a few common questions about the basics of dental insurance benefits.

Do I need dental benefits?

Not necessarily. Depending on the level of care you require, it may be more cost-effective to pay directly for your dental care instead of paying for a benefit plan. However, if you regularly require additional dental work beyond standard preventive procedures like cleanings, examinations, X-rays and fluoride treatments, buying benefits may be a smarter choice.

Also, take into consideration the annual maximum dollar amount covered by the insurance plan. If it is fairly low, as many are, insurance may not be too helpful if you need significant dental work.

What do dental plans cover?

dental insurance

The level of coverage varies significantly by dental plan, so it’s a good idea to be familiar with the specifics of your plan before signing up. Many plans require benefit holders to share the costs of dental care through coinsurance or deductibles. Some preexisting conditions may not be covered at all.

It’s also important to note that many dental plans include a one-year waiting period before certain procedures – like crowns, bridges or dentures – will be covered. The specifics should be explained in your enrollment materials, but don’t hesitate to call your insurer with any questions.

How should I choose a dental plan?

If you’re struggling to figure out which dental plan is right for you, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Will the plan allow me to see my preferred dentist and any specialists I might need?
  • What are the total and corresponding costs for the plan, including the insurance premium and including coinsurance, copayments and the deductible?
  • Is there an annual maximum and an out-of-pocket limit?
  • Does the plan cover oral surgery, root canals, crowns or braces? What about implants, dentures and bridges? Is there a waiting period?
  • How does the plan handle emergency dental care

If you need help answering some of the above questions and determining which dental plan is right for you, get in touch. At Glen Oaks Dental, we are committed to providing the best comprehensive dental care and treatment. We will work with you to develop a plan that will help you achieve the best possible results.

To schedule a comprehensive examination or ask about a specific concern, give us a call at 763-786-8460 or use our simple online scheduling tool.

Are Your Dental Habits Actually Just Dental Urban Myths?

4 Dental Urban Myths and Facts

dental urban myths

When it comes to oral hygiene, you may find yourself with beliefs and habits that that you have follow merely because your parents did it as well. You might not know why you do certain things, but someone told you it was good for your teeth and you went with it. There are a lot of dental urban myths out there; here is some insight into four of them:

Myth #1: It doesn’t need to be cleaned/fixed – it’s just a baby tooth.

Fact: In reality, baby teeth are very important to your child’s health and development. They help the child to chew, speak and smile. They also hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth that are growing under the gums. When a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for other adult teeth to find room when they come in. This can make the tooth crooked, crowded or even blocked out. That’s why starting infants off with good oral care can help protect their teeth for decades to come.

Myth #2:  Dental work is permanent.

Fact: Dental treatment is not permanent. The time a restoration lasts on a tooth is dependent on many factors including the persons bite, habits, clenching and grinding frequency. It is very important to maintain good oral hygiene to minimize the risk of decay, which can redevelop around dental restorations. Often times this happens on the sides of the teeth when flossing is neglected.

Myth #3:  I don’t have insurance so I can’t go to the dentist.

Fact: Insurance benefits have drastically reduced since the inception of dental insurance in the mid-1960s. The delaying of dental treatment will cost you more than insurance benefits will cover if the treatment becomes complex (root canals and crowns). Delaying your treatment and maintenance will only cost you more money in the long run.

Myth #4: Insurance companies have your best interests at heart.

Fact: Dental insurance benefits have remained the same since the 1960’s! It’s important to know the limitations of your policy and make informed decisions on treatment based on what is best for your health.

At Glen Oaks Dental, we recommend best treatment for your particular issue regardless of insurance coverage. We understand that your oral health and appearance greatly impacts the quality of your life, so we will develop a plan based on your goals and current situation so you can achieve the very best results possible.

If you have a specific dental concern or wish to have a comprehensive examination, you can reach us at 763-786-8460. Glen Oaks Dental will work with you to develop a plan to achieve the very best results possible. And because no two patients are alike, we customize our services to meet your specific needs. Give us a call today! 

Interested in busting more dental urban myths? Check out these eye-opening articles!

Will soda rot my teeth? Get The Facts About Soda and Tooth Decay

Does my child really need a mouthguard? Preventing Dental Injuries in Sports

Gum disease only happens in older people. Not true! 10 Tips for Healthy Teen Teeth

Is Flossing Overrated? Not According to the Experts!

Benefits of Flossing Remain Strong

Image Credit: Fox News Magazine

Image Credit: Fox News Magazine

Recently the Associated Press distributed a widely reprinted article questioning the benefits of flossing. The federal government, dental organizations and manufacturers of floss have recommended the practice for decades, and that isn’t going to change in the foreseeable future. In addition to stressing that “flossing is an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums,” the American Dental Association published this statement:

“Recent news reports question whether existing scientific research support oral health benefits associated with flossing. The bottom line for dentists and patients is that a lack of strong evidence doesn’t equate to a lack of effectiveness. As doctors of oral health, dentists are in the best position to advise their patients on oral hygiene practices because they know their patient’s oral health status and health history.

The news story also implies that by not including flossing in the 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines, the government has changed its stance on flossing, however, this is simply not the case. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) made a deliberate decision to focus on food and nutrient intake (i.e., added sugar).

The Dietary Guidelines have no bearing on the longstanding recommendation from the Surgeon General, the CDC, and other health agencies to clean between teeth daily. In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reaffirms the importance of flossing in an Aug. 4 statement to the ADA, which states:

“Flossing is an important oral hygiene practice. Tooth decay and gum disease can develop when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth and along the gum line. Professional cleaning, tooth brushing, and cleaning between teeth (flossing and the use of other tools such as interdental brushes) have been shown to disrupt and remove plaque. At HHS, NIH’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), CDC’s Division of Oral Health and Healthy People 2020 have additional information and resources about efforts to address and improve oral health.”

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), interdental cleaners such as floss are an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums. Cleaning between teeth removes plaque that can lead to cavities or gum disease from the areas where a toothbrush can’t reach. Interdental cleaning is proven to help remove debris between teeth that can contribute to plaque buildup.

More than 500 bacterial species can be found in plaque; some are good and some are bad for your mouth. Together with food debris, water and other components, the plaque buildup around the teeth and on the gum line will contribute to disease in teeth and gums.

Whether you use floss or another interdental cleaner is a personal preference, but it’s very important to understand the proper technique for each tool so that it is effective. Patients should talk to their dentists about how to use interdental cleaners to ensure efficacy.

To maintain good oral health, the American Dental Association continues to recommend brushing for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, cleaning between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner and regular dental visits advised by your dentist.”

All in all, your dentist knows the best practices for maintaining a healthy mouth and how to care properly for your teeth. To learn more about flossing and other interdental cleaners, visit

Digital Impressions are Fast, Accurate and Pain-Free with the 3M™ True Definition Scanner

Glen Oaks Dental Now Offers Digital Impressions with the 3M™ True Definition Scanner


Digital dentistry can often provide better patient care, and Glen Oaks Dental is proud to now offer digital impressions with the 3M™ True Definition Scanner. Accurate, fast and comfortable, the scanner captures a 3D “impression” or model of your teeth to help us produce better fitting restorations like crowns and bridges. Some of the benefits of digital impressions are:

  • Accurate and fast technology, creating an impression or mold of your teeth
  • A 3D model that will give a better fitting.
  • A video is created that shows all sides of your teeth and gums, in real time. You can also view the images as your dentist zooms in and out, rotating the image to get the best picture of your oral anatomy.
  • Assisting with the making of crowns, bridges, clear aligners, important restorations and teeth straightening
  • Comfortable scanning, gag reflex free
  • The digital technology shows up instantly on our monitors for your dentist, as well as for your knowledge as well. Feel free to ask questions!

How does it work? We simply move the scanner around the area being treated, capturing video of all sides of the teeth and gums. You can watch the 3D model of your teeth appear on the monitor in real time. When the scan is complete, we can review, zoom in or out, and rotate the image to get a true picture of your oral anatomy, so you can ask questions and better understand what’s being done. The impression is then sent to a dental laboratory to produce the restoration or aligner. Once the restoration or aligner is complete, we will seat the traditional or implant crown or bridge.

With digital dentistry from the 3M™ True Definition Scanner, getting accurate impressions of your teeth is fast and comfortable. Call us to learn more and schedule an appointment today!

Myths About Root Canals and Root Canal Pain

March is Root Canal Awareness Month

Tooth xRay of a root canal

What’s your first thought when you hear “root canal?” If you’re like many patients, your reaction is “ouch!” The truth is, root canal treatment doesn’t cause pain – it relieves it! That’s one of several misconceptions around root canal (endodontic) treatment we hear on a regular basis.

March is National Root Canal Awareness Month, so it’s the perfect time to bust those myths and teach the public that root canals should not be feared, courtesy of the American Association of Endodontists.

Myth #1—Root canal treatment is painful.

TruthRoot canal treatment doesn’t cause pain, it relieves it. The perception of root canals being painful began decades ago but with modern technologies and anesthetics, root canal treatment today is no more uncomfortable than having a filling placed. In fact, a recent survey showed that patients who have experienced root canal treatment are six times more likely to describe it as “painless” than patients who have not had root canal treatment.

Most patients see their dentist or endodontist when they have a severe toothache. The toothache can be caused by damaged tissues in the tooth. Root canal treatment removes this damaged tissue from the tooth, thereby relieving the pain you feel.

Myth #2—Root canal treatment causes illness.

Patients searching the Internet for information on root canals may find sites claiming that teeth receiving root canal (endodontic) treatment contribute to the occurrence of illness and disease in the body. This false claim is based on long-debunked and poorly designed research performed nearly a century ago by Dr. Weston A. Price, at a time before medicine understood the causes of many diseases.

In the 1920s, Dr. Price advocated tooth extraction—the most traumatic dental procedure—over endodontic treatment. This resulted in a frightening era of tooth extraction both for treatment of systemic disease and as a prophylactic measure against future illness.

TruthThere is no valid, scientific evidence linking root canal-treated teeth and disease elsewhere in the body. A root canal is a safe and effective procedure. When a severe infection in a tooth requires a root canal, that treatment is designed to eliminate bacteria from the infected root canal, prevent reinfection of the tooth and save the natural tooth.

Myth #3—A good alternative to root canal treatment is extraction (pulling the tooth).

TruthSaving your natural teeth, if possible, is the very best option. Nothing can completely replace your natural tooth, and our goal is to help you maintain as much natural tooth surface as possible.

Root Canal Treatment: A Step by Step Guide

Need a root canal? Don’t be anxious. This informative video from the American Dental Association will walk you step-by-step through the procedure and explain how a root canal can save your natural tooth.

Root canals are not to be feared. If you need a root canal, Glen Oaks Dental will take the time to answer any questions you have, and then develop a plan for you can achieve the very best results possible. And because no two patients are alike, we customize our services to meet your specific needs.

photo credit: Hey kids! Always brush your teeth 3 times a day or you’ll need to… via photopin (license)

Did You Know? Caring for Your Child’s Teeth Starts at Birth!

2131904781_8f1004008c (1)February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is key for overall health at every age, but during February we turn our attention to children and teens. Your child’s teeth are meant to last a lifetime, and a healthy smile is important to a child’s self esteem. With proper care, a balanced diet and regular dental visits, their teeth can remain healthy and strong.

Children learn habits (both good and bad) from their parents, so making good dental hygiene a part of your daily routine will lay the groundwork for a healthy smile into adulthood. Here’s what you can do at home to start healthy habits:

• Begin cleaning your baby’s mouth during the first few days after birth by wiping the gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth. As soon as teeth appear, decay can occur. A baby’s front four teeth usually push through the gums at about 6 months of age, although some children don’t have their first tooth until 12 or 14 months.

• Until you’re comfortable that your child can brush on his or her own, continue to brush your child’s teeth twice a day with a child-size toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. When your child has two teeth that touch, you should begin flossing their teeth daily.

• For children younger than 3 years, caregivers should begin brushing children’s teeth as soon as they begin to come into the mouth by using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice. Brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night) or as directed by a dentist or physician. Supervise children’s brushing to ensure that they use of the appropriate amount of toothpaste.

• For children 3 to 6 years of age, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night) or as directed by a dentist or physician. Supervise children’s brushing and remind them not to swallow the toothpaste.

As children grow from toddlers to teens, Glen Oaks can advise you and them on dental issues like sealants, braces, wisdom teeth, the dangers of soda, the importance of mouthguards and the dangers of oral piercings.

From birth through the teenage years, Glen Oaks Dental will provide quality dental care in caring manner, and will work with you as a team to provide a great dental experience for your child. Contact us today for an appointment!

photo credit: 20071220_122620_9735 via photopin (license)

Unexplained Tooth Pain? You May Have a Cracked Tooth!

Cracked tooth syndrome is becoming more common as people keep their natural teeth longer.


Cracked tooth syndrome (CTS) is where a tooth has incompletely cracked but no part of the tooth has yet broken off. Fractured teeth are becoming more common as people keep their natural teeth longer. Beside the extended time that teeth are used, the number of dental procedures performed on each tooth is increasing making them more susceptible to cracking. The symptoms of cracked tooth syndrome vary, making it a notoriously difficult condition to diagnose.

Causes of CTS

Cracked tooth syndrome symptoms may be caused by fractures developed due to a number of reasons:

  • Natural wear. Over the years, the repetitive everyday use of the teeth for biting and chewing may cause cracks on teeth.
  • Clenching or grinding teeth (bruxism) is one of the major causes of fractured tooth syndrome. Grinding and clenching puts teeth under excessive pressure making them more susceptible to cracks.
  • Bad chewing habits such as biting pencils or chewing on hard foods.
  • Trauma to the mouth.
  • Large fillings can weaken the teeth resulting in tooth fracture.
  • Untreated extensive tooth decay.
  • Complications during/after endodontic therapy. Sometimes the pressure applied on a tooth during root canal treatment may cause a crack.
  • After a root canal treatment teeth become brittle and they are more susceptible to cracked tooth syndrome.

Symptoms of CTS

CTS is typically characterized by pain when releasing biting pressure on an object. The pain is often inconsistent, and frequently hard to reproduce. If untreated, CTS can lead to severe pain, possible pulpal death, abscess, and even the loss of the tooth. Reported symptoms may include the following:

  • Sharp painwhen biting on a certain tooth, which may get worse if the applied biting force is increased. Sometimes the pain on biting occurs when the food being chewed is soft with harder elements, e.g. seeded bread.
  • “Rebound pain” i.e. sharp, fleeting pain occurring when the biting force is released from the tooth, which may occur when eating fibrous foods.
  • Pain when grinding the teeth backwards and forwards and side to side.
  • Sharp pain when drinking cold beverages or eating cold foods.
  • Pain when eating or drinking sugary substances.
  • Sometimes the pain is well localized, and the individual is able to determine the exact tooth from which the symptoms are originating, but not always.

Diagnosis of CTS

Diagnosis of cracked teeth is often difficult, because the crack may not be visible. This is actually the characteristic of cracked tooth syndrome; symptoms of sharp pain without the dentist to be able to see any problem with the tooth, either by clinical examination of the mouth, or sometimes neither by radiography (x-rays). Arriving at a diagnosis may include the following steps:

  • A detailed dental history, focusing especially in history of trauma, bruxism, chewing habits and bite adjustments
  • Identify which tooth has the problem through a biting test. After the tooth is identified the test is performed on each of the cusps of the tooth in order to have a more precise location of the problem.
  • Perform a thorough examination of the tooth, checking for any signs of problem that could explain the symptoms e.g. tooth decay or fractures.
  • X-rays usually do not show the small cracks that cause cracked tooth syndrome. Only if the cracks are wide enough, they may show up as shadows. Sometimes a special dye might be used to temporarily stain the tooth, and check to see if it is fractured.
  • After identifying the cause of the cracked tooth syndrome, the dentist will recommend the most suitable way to fix the cracked tooth.

Treatment of CTS

The treatment for cracked tooth syndrome depends on the type, location, and severity of the crack. Treatment aims to prevent movement of the segments of the involved tooth, so they do not move or flex independently during biting and grinding and so the crack is not propagated. Treatment can include:

  • Stabilization or bonding (core buildup). A composite bonded restoration is placed in the tooth or a band is placed around the tooth to minimize flexing
  • Crown restoration, which is a more permanent version of stabilization. Learn more about how crowns can help strengthen your teeth here.
  • A root canal might be necessary if the fracture has reached the center of the tooth and the dental pulp has been infected, or if pain persists after stabilization/crown restoration.
  • In some cases, such as in vertical root fractures (split root) in single rooted teeth, the only treatment option is tooth extraction. If the dentist decides that the tooth needs to be extracted, it must be replaced by an implant or bridge.

Early diagnosis of a fractured tooth can be very important for the future of the tooth. If detected early enough, with the proper treatment, the tooth can be retained for a long time despite the crack. If the crack is left untreated, complications like tooth infection, abscess or breaking of the tooth may lead to loss of the tooth. Repair of any tooth thought to be cracked is always risky, and no guarantees can be made about the outcome.

If you are experiencing unexplained tooth pain, contact Glen Oaks Dental right away. Drs. Craven and Bejarano routinely perform cosmetic and restorative procedures and have developed a thorough approach to determine the best solution for each patient. Our goal is for you to have the highest level of oral health and appearance as well as a comfortable and pleasant dental experience.

photo credit: 13:365 via photopin (license)


Screening for Oral Cancer

dental exam

Did you know almost 42,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral and throat cancers this year? And that the 5-year survival rate of those diagnosed is only slightly more than 64 percent? When cancer is detected and treated early, treatment-related health problems are reduced.

The oral cavity includes your lips, cheek lining, gums, front part of your tongue, floor of the mouth beneath the tongue and the hard palate that makes up the roof of your mouth. The throat (pharynx) starts at the soft part of the roof of your mouth and continues back into your throat. It includes the back section of your tongue as well as the base where the tongue attaches to the floor of your mouth.

The American Dental Academy says the symptoms of mouth or throat cancer can include:
• a sore or irritation that doesn’t go away
• red or white patches
• pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips
• a lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
• difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw
• a change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth

Research has identified a number of factors that contribute to the development of mouth and throat cancers. Smokers and excessive alcohol drinkers older than 50 are the most at risk. More recently, the human papilloma virus (HPV) has been associated with cancers of the oropharyngeal region (throat/mouth).

Keeping Your Mouth Healthy During Treatment

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the first thing you should do before beginning cancer treatment is to see your dentist. After your treatment begins, be sure to check your mouth every day for sores or other changes.

Other NIDCR tips to keep your mouth moist:
• Keep your mouth moist.
• Drink a lot of water.
• Suck ice chips.
• Use sugarless gum or sugar-free hard candy.
• Use a saliva substitute to help moisten your mouth.

Tips for cleaning your mouth:
• Brush your teeth, gums, and tongue with an extra-soft toothbrush after every meal and at bedtime. If it hurts, soften the bristles in warm water.
• Use a fluoride toothpaste.
• Use the special fluoride gel that your dentist prescribes.
• Don’t use mouthwashes with alcohol in them.
• Floss your teeth gently every day. If your gums bleed and hurt, avoid the areas that are bleeding or sore, but keep flossing your other teeth.
• Rinse your mouth several times a day with a solution of 1/4 teaspoon each of baking soda and salt in one quart of warm water. Follow with a plain water rinse.
• Dentures that don’t fit well can cause problems. Talk to your cancer doctor or dentist about your dentures.

Even if you don’t have any symptoms, checkups are important because they can help prevent problems from developing and treat existing symptoms before they become more advanced. During your dental visit, we will talk to you about your health history and examine these areas for signs of mouth and/or throat cancer. The screening will consist of a visual inspection of the mouth and palpation of the jaw and neck.

Regular visits to Glen Oaks Dental can improve the chances that any suspicious changes in your oral health will be caught early, at a time when cancer can be treated more easily. In between visits, it’s important to be aware of the following signs and symptoms and call for an appointment if they do not disappear after two weeks.