Q. Why are my teeth sensitive?
A. Sensitive teeth often come from the fact that your gums have slightly receded. This recession of the gum line results in the underlying dentin showing through, which allows water and food easier access to sensitive nerves. To manage this, there are a number of toothpastes, gels, and even some dental procedures that can help. Please let us know if you have very sensitive teeth.
Q. What should I do to prevent gum disease and tooth decay?
A. Teeth and gum care starts at home. Brushing and flossing on a daily basis is the best way to take care of your teeth and gums on a continual basis. By maintaining a daily routine, you will greatly minimize the risk of gingivitis or tooth decay as you age.
Q. What is Gingivitis?
A. Gingivitis is a condition caused when bacteria surround the teeth and enter the gums. The gums can become irritated and inflamed, and in many cases they bleed. In order to prevent the condition from worsening, regular hygiene visits are highly recommended. During your visit, our hygiene team will teach you proper flossing techniques and an oral hygiene protocol for home care to prevent (or alleviate symptoms of) periodontal disease.
Q. What is Periodontal Disease?
A. Periodontal Disease is a quiet disease that begins with little or no symptoms. It is caused by bacteria that surround the teeth and enter the gums. The immediate condition is known as gingivitis. The gums become irritated, inflamed, and often prone to bleeding. If not properly treated, the condition worsens. Noticeable symptoms now appear. They include:
- Bad Breath
- Gum Recession
- Gum Sensitivity to Acidic Foods
- Tooth Pain
- Tooth Loss
Q. How Do You Treat Periodontal Disease?
A. Periodontal Disease is a chronic condition that needs immediate attention. To manage and control this condition, your dentist may recommend one or more of the following: periodontal cleanings, root planing and scaling, laser therapy, and local antibiotics. Periodontal surgery is needed only in severe cases.
Q. What is the Difference Between a White Filling and a Silver Filling?
A. Silver Fillings, also known as amalgam, have been around for decades. Made from a metal alloy, it was once the best restoration for fillings. The metal expands and contracts with heat and cold for a good fit. Once filled, only small amounts of bacteria can enter the tooth. Fillings keep teeth healthy and strong.
White Fillings, also known as composites, are typically made of plastic or glass polymers. These cosmetic fillings allow us to fill a cavity with a substance that will look and feel just like your existing tooth structure. This restoration is created with a resin material and fits tightly into a tooth to prevent decay. Rather than having a gray or silver material in your mouth, you will see a composite color that closely matches your natural tooth color.
Q. How Can I Improve My Smile?
A. There are several ways to enhance your smile. Procedures include:
- Teeth Whitening
- Porcelain Veneers
- Porcelain Crowns
We can improve your smile through these or other procedures. For a custom consultation, please contact our dental office so that we may provide you with a personalized treatment plan.
Q. What is Teeth Whitening?
A. Teeth Whitening is a cost-effective and safe procedure to create a beautiful, healthy smile. Over the years, fluoride has been added to the whitening product. This reduces the risk of tooth and gum sensitivity. The teeth whitening regimen needs to be monitored by your dentist and only done after a comprehensive exam and hygiene cleaning.
The whitening process can last for a number of years if maintained properly. Be aware, though, that beverages like coffee, tea, colas, and wine will shorten the lasting effect. If it could stain a white shirt, it will very likely stain your smile!
Q. What is Bonding?
A. Bonding is a cost-effective procedure used to fill gaps in the front teeth or change a tooth’s color. The immediate results are amazing. Within a few hours, you will have a great smile! As with teeth whitening, bonding may change color over time due to staining from coffee, tea, colas, wine, and other beverages (as well as certain foods).
Q. What are Porcelain Veneers?
A.Porcelain Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are applied directly to your natural teeth. This entire procedure can take as few as two visits. Veneers change the size, shape, and color of a patient’s teeth. The procedure is used to strengthen fractured teeth, address teeth darkened by age or medication, or straighten an imperfect smile. Many times, patients ask for porcelain veneers to feel more attractive with straighter teeth and a whiter smile!
Q. What are Crowns?
A. Crowns are a permanent cosmetic procedure that covers an entire tooth. It will change the size, shape, and color of a tooth in as few as two visits. It is often a great solution for teeth that have experienced significant decay. Crowns are also used with other procedures, including root canals and dental implants.
Q. What is a Dental Implant?
A. A Dental Implant is a “man-made” replacement for a missing tooth or a tooth that will need to be extracted because of extensive decay that cannot be adequately remedied through other methods. Made from titanium, this screw-like object is inserted under the gum and directly into the upper or lower jaw bone. There is usually minimal discomfort involved with this procedure. After a period of a few months, the dental implant and the bone fuse together. This creates an anchor for the new tooth (a crown) to be placed onto the dental implant.
Q. What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
A. There are numerous benefits! These are some of the major ones:
- Dental implants look and function like your natural teeth.
- Implants are a permanent solution for missing teeth.
- Like natural teeth, they are maintained by routine hygiene visits to your dental office.
- Implants decrease the possibility of bone loss, periodontal disease, tooth movement, and further tooth loss.
- Dental implants replace the need for a removable full or partial denture.
- Implants focus only on the tooth or teeth that are missing, making them a preferred approach over alternatives such as a traditional bridge, which requires the use of neighboring teeth to serve as anchors.
Q. Who is a candidate for Dental Implants?
A. With major advancements in dentistry and implant technology, most people are good candidates for Dental Implants. There may be some exceptions due to chronic illness, heart disease, and severe osteoporosis.
Q. What does the Dental Implant Procedure Involve?
A. The average Dental Implant procedure takes 3 – 4 visits. The first visit is to x-ray the area and take an impression for a surgical guide and a temporary prosthesis that will cover the below-the-gum line implant.
The next visit is to put the implant into place. A local anesthesia is applied to the area. (Any additional sedation is no longer necessary unless deemed by the dentist.) Your dentist will make a minor incision and place the implant into the jaw bone. The area will then be covered with sutures. The procedure is usually completed with only minor pain or discomfort.
You will next return in approximately 3 months to begin the process of creating the visible porcelain crown to place over the implant.
Q. How Much Does a Dental Implant Cost?
A. Dental Implant costs vary from one region to the next. Always schedule an Implant Consultation to discuss the procedure and all fees involved.
Q. How long does a Dental Implant last?
A. With regularly scheduled routine dental hygiene and proper home care, A Dental Implant can last approximately 30 years to a lifetime.
Q. Does your office offer financing for services provided?
A. Please contact us to discuss the options we have available to shape your perfect smile!