FAQs

Here are some examples of some of the questions that are frequently asked to us, and our answers. If you have other questions feel free to give us a call. We would love to hear from you, so don’t be shy!

Click on a question below to see the answer.

Are amalgam (silver) fillings safe?

In recent years that has been a growing public concern over the safety of silver fillings, and people have cited that exposure to vapor could pose health problems.

The ADA states that silver fillings are safe and the general consensus in the dental field is that they are safe.

You don’t have to get silver fillings, though, and there are composite, porcelain and gold fillings.

 

How can cosmetic dentistry improve the appearance of my smile?

Cosmetic dentistry has become really popular in recent years and that is partly because the technology in the dental field has made it so dentists can now accomplish amazing feats through cosmetic procedures.

Cosmetic Procedures are as follows:

Teeth whitening: bleaching your teeth when they are discolored or stained can have dramatic results and give you the smile you’ve always wanted to have that is pearly white and sparkling.

Composite fillings: this is also known as bonding, and these types of fillings are a lot more popular than silver fillings. These are used in terms of repairing a chipped tooth or even discolored teeth.

Porcelain veneers: these are custom made coverings that are cemented in front of people’s natural teeth. And this is a great way to avoid getting implants or dentures, and it’s a really affordable way to give yourself a great looking smile.

Porcelain crowns: This is a tooth-colored covering that encases a tooth to give it a natural shape and size. This is a popular procedure when someone is suffering from a fractured tooth or filling.

Dental implants: these are artificial roots that are inserted into the jawbone and then used as the support system for porcelain crowns so that a person can have a natural feel and support to their prosthetic teeth, and it helps a lot when someone is missing just one tooth.

How can I tell if I have gingivitis or gum disease?

It’s a crazy statistic but four out of five people have some form of gum disease and don’t even know it, and you can have this disease without showing that many if any symptoms. It begins with plaque and then bleeding and gingivitis.

Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

  • Red, puffy gums — gums are not supposed to get swollen
  • Bleeding gums — gums are not supposed to ever bleed
  • Bad breath — this is caused by bacteria in the mouth
  • Spacing between teeth — sign of bone loss
  • Loose teeth — sign of weakened gums and root fibers
  • Receding gums
  • Tenderness or discomfort

 

How often should I brush and floss?

Generally the rule of thumb is that you need to make sure that the plaque on your teeth doesn’t stay on your teeth for more than 12 hours so it won’t turn to tartar, and this really means just doing this daily and making sure you stay up on it too.

Toothbrushing — brush your teeth at least twice a day, especially at night

Electric toothbrushes are recommended because they make things way easier and they are way more efficient than manual toothbrushes.

Flossing — daily flossing is important and is a great way to make sure that you are keeping the sides and spaces in between your teeth as clean as you can and plaque free.

Rinsing — this can make a huge difference so make sure you are rinsing your mouth with water after brushing and flossing, and also do this just on a regular basis at least a few times a day in between brushing.

How often should I have a dental exam and cleaning?

Getting your teeth checked at least twice a year is the rule of thumb that works best for most people. There are many other things that you should know about in terms of these visits but you will get a lot of information at each appointment.

What are my options if I have missing teeth?

There are a bunch of options these days for people who have missing teeth, and we know that his can be a really unfortunate scenario and so we are here to help you with every step along the way as we get your smile beautiful again.

Here are some options if you have some type of teeth that are missing:

Removable bridges — bridges are a good for replacing multiple missing teeth, and this is of course is something that needs to happen if you are in this unfortunate situation. These are a very economic way of dealing with missing teeth but they are also the least aesthetically pleasing

Fixed bridges — This is a bridge that is made of porcelain and is cemented to the jawbone so it is permanent. A good advantage of this is that the bridge is very sturdy.

Dentures — this is what is used when all or almost all of a teeth in an arch are missing.

Implants —  this is a good option to replace just one or multiple teeth, but it is also costly and really intensive. They are durable and stable and work well as a tooth replacement in terms of the way it functions.

What are porcelain veneers and how can they improve my smile?

These are thin tooth-shaped shells of porcelain that are customized to someone’s teeth and are used to cover the front of someone’s natural teeth.

Veneers are used to correct the following conditions:

  • Stained or discolored teeth
  • Unwanted spaces
  • Chipped teeth
  • Tooth crowding
  • Teeth that are misshaped
What can be done about old, discolored fillings?

Options for replacing old fillings:

Composite fillings — this is a tooth-colored filing that matches the color of your existing teeth, and so they are definitely really good for visible teeth and are one of the better ways to improve your smile.

Crowns (Caps) — This is what is needed when a filling can not restore a damaged filling or tooth, and this is something that covers up an entire tooth and restores its structure.

Inlays/Onlays — these are custom made fillings that are made from composite resin and are permanently cemented to the front surfaces of your teeth, and this is a great solution for fixing discolored fillings.

Porcelain veneers — these typically are used in the front teeth, and they are thin shells that are cemented in font of your natural teeth. The are also very durable and don’t stain themselves and are popular solutions for this problem.

What can I do about stained or discolored teeth?

Teeth whitening has become by far the most popular aesthetic concern among patients, so we definitely get this type of question a lot!

Professional teeth whitening is a really easy dental treatment that allows for the natural tooth enamel to change and make your smile much more beautiful.

It’s really important to make sure that you are a good candidate for bleaching, so you should consult your dentist before hand and have an evaluation done. You can either do your teeth whitening at home or in a dental office, which the latter takes about an hour long.

What can I do to help prevent bad breath?
  • Have good oral hygiene — brushing at least twice a day and flossing, as well as using some good mouth wash could really go a long way in terms of helping out bad breath. You might need to replace your toothbrush if it is worn out and it needs to happen every few months anyways
  • See your dentist regularly — getting check-ups is really fun and it isn’t so bad so you should do it at least twice a year.
  • Stop smoking/chewing tobacco — breaking the habit can be hard, so ask your dentist for advice on how to quit.
  • Drink water frequently — water helps your mouth stay moist and washed away of bacteria
  • Use mouthwash — all types of mouthwash can go a long way, and even ask your dentist about antiseptic rinses.
What causes bad breath?
  • Morning time — saliva stops during sleep and this allows for bacteria to grow tremendously
  • Certain food — things like onions and garlic all have odor components
  • Poor oral hygiene habits — food particles that aren’t cleaned properly turn into bacteria
  • Periodontal (gum) disease — inflammation underneath sore and bleeding gums
  • Dental cavities — this can cause bad breath too
  • Dry mouth (xerostomia) — could be a side effect of a medication, and could be a result of mouth breathing or problems with your salivary glands
  • Tobacco products — cause really bad breath and dryness of the mouth
  • Dieting — certain chemicals can create bad breath too
  • Dehydration, hunger — drinking water will wash bacteria away
What does heart disease and other medical conditions have to do with gum disease?

A lot of people don’t realize that gum disease can affect your overall health as well, and this is common with gum disease to spread to other parts of the body in adverse ways.

Gum disease is a bacterial infection, and that means that bacteria from the gums can then spread down into the lungs and into the arteries, which in a way could lead to diseases like heart disease. Studies have shown the connection to gum disease and other diseases is rapid.

What should I do if a tooth is knocked out?

Your best bet always in this situation is to get to the dentist as quickly as you can no matter what, and if you can get to a dentist within an hour and keep your tooth moisturized through your own saliva preferably in your mouth then you’ll still have a good chance at retaining the natural tooth.

What should I do if I have bad breath?

Bad breath (halitosis) can be an unpleasant and embarrassing condition.  Many of us may not realize that we have bad breath, but everyone has it from time to time, especially in the morning.

There are various reasons one may have bad breath, but in healthy people, the major reason is due to microbial deposits on the tongue, especially the back of the tongue.  Some studies have shown that simply brushing the tongue reduced bad breath by as much as 70 percent.

What may cause bad breath?

  • Morning time – Saliva flow almost stops during sleep and its reduced cleansing action allows bacteria to grow, causing bad breath.
  • Certain foods – Garlic, onions, etc.  Foods containing odor-causing compounds enter the blood stream; they are transferred to the lungs, where they are exhaled.
  • Poor oral hygiene habits – Food particles remaining in the mouth promote bacterial growth.
  • Periodontal (gum) disease – Colonies of bacteria and food debris residing under inflamed gums.
  • Dental cavities and improperly fitted dental appliances – May also contribute to bad breath.
  • Dry mouth (Xerostomia) – May be caused by certain medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous mouth breathing.
  • Tobacco products – Dry the mouth, causing bad breath.
  • Dieting – Certain chemicals called ketones are released in the breath as the body burns fat.
  • Dehydration, hunger, and missed meals – Drinking water and chewing food increases saliva flow and washes bacteria away.
  • Certain medical conditions and illnesses – Diabetes, liver and kidney problems, chronic sinus infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia are several conditions that may contribute to bad breath.

Keeping a record of what you eat may help identify the cause of bad breath.  Also, review your current medications, recent surgeries, or illnesses with you dentist.

What can I do to prevent bad breath?

  • Practice good oral hygiene – Brush at least twice a day with an ADA approved fluoride toothpaste and toothbrush.  Floss daily to remove food debris and plaque from in between the teeth and under the gumline.  Brush or use a tongue scraper to clean the tongue and reach the back areas.  Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months.  If you wear dentures or removable bridges, clean them thoroughly and place them back in your mouth in the morning.
  • See your dentist regularly – Get a check-up and cleaning at least twice a year.  If you have or have had periodontal disease, your dentist will recommend more frequent visits.
  • Stop smoking/chewing tobacco – Ask your dentist what they recommend to help break the habit.
  • Drink water frequently – Water will help keep your mouth moist and wash away bacteria.
  • Use mouthwash/rinses – Some over-the-counter products only provide a temporary solution to mask unpleasant mouth odor.  Ask your dentist about antiseptic rinses that not only alleviate bad breath, but also kill the germs that cause the problem.

In most cases, your dentist can treat the cause of bad breath.  If it is determined that your mouth is healthy, but bad breath is persistent, your dentist may refer you to your physician to determine the cause of the odor and an appropriate treatment plan.

What should I do if I suffer from having bad breath?

Bad breath is something that frequently is a result of some type of bacterial infection and it can obviously be really embarrassing. Sometimes you don’t realize that you have bad breath, but it can be a sign of serious problems.

When are sealants recommended?

Most of tooth decay happens in the pockets or deep grooves of teeth, and so sealants are used to help protect these areas of teeth from bacterial infection. A sealant technically is a thing plastic coating that goes over the chewing surfaces of molar teeth, and these will help to free areas of decay over long periods of time.

For the most part all children should get sealants just to be safe and make sure that they are not getting infected.

Why is it important to use dental floss?

Floss is the best way to clean in between your teeth and under the gum line around your teeth, and it destroys plaque colonies that can build up and cause damage to the jawbone and create periodontal disease.

Why straighten teeth?

Straighter teeth help with things like chewing, speaking and biting and a lot of other daily functions that crooked or not straight teeth would have more difficulty with.

Some problems include:

  • Gum disease
  • TMJ
  • Tooth injury
  • Uneven wear