Frequently Asked Questions
This is to help answer common questions that our patients may have.
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1. What is an implant?
Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth. They are metal screws that are positioned into the bone under your gums. Once in place, they allow the dentist to put a replacement tooth onto them. Our doctors are highly trained in this field, and will happily answer any further questions you have.
2. What is a root canal?
Root canal treatment is the process by which the dentist removes infected tissue from the tooth. This allows the dentist to treat toothaches and save teeth that otherwise would need to be removed. Often a crown will be needed after completion of root canal treatment to make the tooth stronger.
3. How long will my local anesthetic last?
Depending on the dosage, sensitivity and your body mass, local anesthetic usually lasts anywhere form 1 to 3 hours. If you want it to go away faster, you can gently massage the area. Please don't play with numb lips or chew anything hard, as you may hurt yourself without being aware.
4. I have a terrible fear of going to the dentist. What should I do?
If you fear going to the dentist, you are not alone. Between 9% and 15% of Americans state they avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety or fear. The key to coping with dental anxiety is to discuss your fears with your dentist. Once your dentist knows what your fears are, he or she will be better able to work with you to determine the best ways to make you less anxious and more comfortable. In fact, our patients love coming to us because we help ease your fears and our doctors are great at working with anxious patients.
5. I can't afford regular dental care. Are there other resources available to me?
Yes. We offer a discount to patients who don't have dental insurance and we also have payment plan options. We accept all major credit cards, and Care Credit.
6. Why should I floss, isn't brushing enough?
Flossing reduces the number of bacteria in your mouth. There are millions of these microscopic creatures feeding on food particles left on your teeth. These bacteria live in plaque which can be removed by flossing. Brushing your teeth gets rid of some of the bacteria in your mouth. Flossing gets rid of the bacteria the toothbrush can't get to. That's the bacteria hiding in the tiny spaces between your teeth. If you do not floss, you allow plaque to remain between your teeth. Eventually it hardens into tartar which will cause inflammation and bone loss in your gums.
7. How can I get my kids to brush their teeth?
Make it fun! If you are enthusiastic about brushing your teeth, your children will also be enthusiastic. Children want to do the things their parents do. If your children see you brushing your teeth and displaying good dental habits, they will follow. Getting your children to brush starts with taking them to the dentist at an early age. All children should be seen by their first birthday or 6 months after the eruption of the first tooth. Ask our dentists for other creative ways to get children to brush their teeth.
8. What should I do about bleeding gums?
Most people respond to bleeding gums with the wrong method of treatment. Usually, gums that bleed are a symptom of the onset of periodontal disease or gingivitis. But often, people stop brushing or flossing as frequently and effectively because it may be painful or it may cause the gums to bleed again. However, when gums are inflamed, brushing will actually help reduce the inflammation. More importantly, bleeding gums are usually a sign of gum disease and you should see us to have a periodontal screening and recording performed in order to determine the level of disease and to prevent further problems. It is also worth noting that chronic dental pain and discomfort are obvious signs of a problem. Over-the-counter drugs may provide some temporary relief. These medications usually only mask the existence of a problem and should be taken on a temporary basis.
9. Why do I need to visit the dentist every 6 months?
It’s important to visit us at least twice a year so that we can perform professional teeth cleaning to prevent plaque from building up, and to check for problems that you might not even know existed in your mouth, such as cavities, TMJ problems or gum disease. It’s also a good chance for you to ask any questions that you may have about our cosmetic and restorative procedures.
10. What is plaque and why is it harmful?
Plaque develops when foods containing carbohydrates, such as milk, soft drinks, raisins, cakes, or candy are frequently left on the teeth. Bacteria that live in the mouth thrive on these foods, producing acids as a result. Over a period of time, these acids destroy tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay. Plaque can also develop on the tooth roots under the gum and cause breakdown of the bone supporting the tooth.
11. What happens if a woman has a dental problem when she is pregnant?
Pregnancy and dental work questions are common for expecting moms. Preventive dental cleanings and annual exams during pregnancy are not only safe, but are recommended. The rise in hormone levels during pregnancy causes the gums to swell, bleed, and trap food causing increased irritation to your gums. Preventive dental care while pregnant is essential to avoid oral infections such as gum disease, which has been linked to preterm birth.
We offer a number of options for whitening your teeth. We see the best results with patients who get the In-Office whitening procedure and stop tooth-staining habits. Talk to our doctors about what your habits are how best to keep your teeth white!