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October is National Dental Hygiene Month.  National Dental Hygiene Month is an effort to celebrate the work of dental hygienists and to help raise awareness of good oral health.

At Bushnell Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, our dental hygienists are an integral part of our team.  We are fortunate to have 3 wonderful dental hygienists.  Each of our dental hygienists is very dedicated and really cares about the well-being of their patients.  We would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to and introduce you to all three of our hygienists.


Darlene joined Bushnell Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in 2005 and was the 1st new employee hired by Dr. Novak after he founded Bushnell Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in 2005.  Dr. Novak and Darlene worked together for 5 years at a group practice in Spring Hill, FL prior to Dr. Novak starting Bushnell Family & Cosmetic Dentistry.  Darlene was the Lead Dental Hygienist at that practice and always impressed Dr. Novak with her vast knowledge and skills.

Darlene graduated from St. Petersburg College with her Associate of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene.  She has been a licensed hygienist in the State of Florida since 1991.  In 2013, Darlene earned her Certification to Administer Local Anesthesia in the State of Florida.  In 2017, Darlene completed a multi-day advanced oral health training program at the prestigious Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Darlene lives in Pasco County, FL.  In her time away from work, she enjoys spending time with her family and being near the water.

“I feel so fortunate to be part of the great team we have at Bushnell Family & Cosmetic Dentistry.  I have been with the practice since its inception 14 years ago which has allowed me to establish great long term relationships with my patients; they are like an extension of my family!”—Darlene


Emily is a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) and joined Bushnell Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in 2010.  Emily previously worked for Coast Dental but desired to work for a private practice that focuses more on individual patient care.

Emily graduated from Pasco Hernando Community College with her Associate of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene in 2008.  In 2013, Emily earned her Certificate to Administer Local Anesthesia in the State of Florida.  In 2017, Emily completed a multi-day advanced oral health training program at the prestigious Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Emily is a native Floridian and was born and raised in Dade City, FL.  Emily and her family now reside in Hernando County, FL.  In her time away from work, Emily enjoys spending time outdoors, hunting, fishing, and boating with her family.

“I just love the relationship I have the privilege of developing with my patients, and bringing them back to health and realizing being at the dentist is not so scary is the ultimate reward” --Emily


Lauren is a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) and joined Bushnell Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in 2011. 

Lauren graduated from Santa Fe Community College with her Associate of Science Degree Hygiene from Santa Fe Community College in 2010.  She also holds an Associate of Arts Degree in Psychology from the College of Central Florida. In 2015, Lauren earned her Certificate to Administer Local Anesthesia in the State of Florida. Prior to working with Bushnell Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, Lauren worked as a substitute hygienist at multiple offices in the Ocala area.

Lauren is a native Floridian being born and raised in Ocala.  Lauren still resides in Ocala with her family.  In her time away from work, Lauren enjoys baking, crafts, home decorating and travel.

“I love being a hygienist thanks to my patients.  Building a rapport and seeing improvement in their oral health is very rewarding.” –Lauren

Thank you Darlene, Emily, and Lauren for being integral parts of the Bushnell Family & Cosmetic Dentistry Team.  We couldn’t do what we do without you all!


More than 3 million people in the United States now have dental implants. Furthermore, this number is growing by more than 500,000 people each year. Why are so many people choosing dental implants? There are many reasons and some of these reasons are discussed below.

High success rates are associated with dental implants. Studies typically show overall success rates of 96-98% for dental implants. The lifetime costs associated with replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant are typically lower than replacing the missing tooth with a fixed bridge (a bridge that is cemented in place and does not come in or out of the mouth). This is due to fact that the implant will typically last a lifetime while the fixed bridge will typically have to be replaced (sometimes multiple times) during the patient’s lifetime.

Dental implants are easy to maintain. Implants can be maintained the same as natural teeth. With proper homecare and regular cleanings, dental implants can last a lifetime.

Dental implants can never get decay. Unlike natural teeth, dental implants are immune to decay.

As few as 2 implants can stabilize a lower denture. The implants will prevent the denture from becoming dislodged while eating, speaking, laughing, etc. This can allow one to eat foods that they never thought they would be able to enjoy again!

A relatively small number of implants can be used to attach artificial teeth that can only be removed by the dentist. The patient will sleep with these teeth in their mouth every night This approach is the closest thing available to “getting your teeth back” for someone without teeth.

The doctors at Bushnell Family & Cosmetic Dentistry have improved the lives of hundreds of patients with the placement of dental implants. These patients can now enjoy a better quality of life. If you would like to find out if you are a candidate for dental implant, please contact our office.

August 26, 2019
Category: Dental
Tags: Dental CBCT  

Dental CBCT is dental cone beam computed tomography. Wow…that is a mouthful. A more simple description is a 3-dimensional x-ray that is used for dental purposes.

Bushnell Family & Cosmetic Dentistry is one of the select practices with this state-of-the-art technology. CBCT scans are fast and comfortable for our patients as nothing is even inserted into the mouth. In less than a minute, our CBCT system can produce 3-dimensional images of our patient’s teeth, bone, and jaw anatomy. These images can be used for many purposes.

We routinely use our CBCT system in the assessment and planning for the placement of dental implants. The CBCT images can be used assess the height, width, and density of the bone. This information is important to ensure that implants are placed in the safest possible manner with the highest possible success rates.

In 2012, the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology (AAOMR) recommended that cross-sectional imaging be used for the assessment of all dental implants sites and stated that CBCT is the imaging method of choice for gaining this information. Our use of CBCT fully conforms to these recommendations.

Some other uses of CBCT 3-dimensional images include the evaluation of teeth for root fractures, the evaluation of areas of hard tissue pathology in the jaws, and the determination of the proximity of nerve canals to impacted wisdom teeth. To find out more about how our CBCT system can benefit you, contact our office!

July 23, 2019
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Bruxism is defined as the involuntary clenching or grinding of one’s teeth.  This condition affects over 40 million people in the United States alone.  Bruxism has many detrimental consequences to a person’s health including damage to the teeth (wear, fractures, breakage, etc.), damage to the jaw joints (TMJ/TMD), gum recession and the loss of bone around the teeth.  Since most instances of bruxism occur during one’s sleep, bruxism also adversely affects the quality of sleep.  Most people are surprised to learn that only 8% of the people that grind their teeth during their sleep are aware of the condition.  Additionally, only 25% of the spouses are aware of their partner’s condition.

At Bushnell Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, our highly trained team is very knowledgeable regarding the signs and symptoms of bruxism.  We can often head off big (and very expensive) problems with early diagnosis and treatment for the condition.  Are your teeth suffering from the daily grind?


June 19, 2019
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

It has been reported that up to 20% of the adults in the United States avoid dental visits due to dental anxiety or fear. This avoidance often results in delayed treatment which can cause a relatively minor condition to grow into a big (and painful) problem. For example, a delay in getting even a filling can result in an extremely painful infection if the treatment is not performed in time. The affected tooth may then require either root canal therapy (and crown) or extraction to rid the body of the infection.

At Bushnell Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, our team works hard to make sure that you will be comfortable receiving the dental treatment that you need even if you are afraid of going to the dentist. We care about you and use kindness and the latest technology to give you the best possible experience. Some of the ways that we work to enhance your experience are listed below:

  • Nitrous Oxide is available to help relax you during your appointment.
  • Anti-anxiety medications can be prescribed for your appointment.
  • Each treatment room is equipped with a television for your enjoyment.
  • Each treatment chair is equipped with a built-in back massager for your comfort.
  • Intra-oral scanning can be used to eliminate the need for messy impressions.
  • Computerized anesthetic delivery system can be used to eliminate anxiety associated with traditional injections.
  • Crowns can be manufactured in our office so that the entire procedure can be completed in one appointment. You can leave the office with your permanent crown on the day that treatment is started.
  • You will love our beautiful office and our caring team!

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