How can we help you?
We are happy to answer questions about our services and procedures.
These are a selection of some common questions that patients have. If your question isn't answered here, please contact our office. It's important to us that our patients understand their dental care.
Cleanings & Exams
Even with excellent hygiene habits, it's easy to miss small areas of your teeth. Over time, the missed plaque will harden into tartar, which can only be removed with a dental hygienist's tools. When tartar accumulates beneath the gumline, the end result is red, puffy, inflamed gums — the beginnings of periodontal disease.
Examinations are an important opportunity for us to check in with you, see how you are doing, and make sure that your teeth are healthy. We want to catch problems when they are small and can be treated easily. This allows for more comfortable and less costly dentistry for you. Unfortunately, by the time you are in pain, simple measures are no longer effective. Regular examinations allow us to nip this situation in the bud and keep your teeth healthy and beautiful.
X-rays are a dentist's most important diagnostic tool. Often, problems start inside your teeth or beneath the gumline. By the time the problem is visible to the naked eye, it can be painful and more difficult to treat. Using x-rays taken on a regular basis, we can catch problems early and treat them quickly and comfortably.
Absolutely not! You are never too old to have a beautiful smile. Call us today to find out what we can do to help you. We'd be happy to show you pictures of some of our other cosmetic transformations.
We offer a range of cosmetic dentistry services such as veneers, porcelain crowns, bonding using tooth-colored composite, and even orthodontic treatments like Invisalign. All our of dentistry is done with an eye toward aesthetics. We know that it's important that your teeth are both healthy and attractive. If you'd like to find out which of our services can help you meet your goals, call our office to schedule your consultation.
Sometimes, a simple teeth whitening procedure is all it takes to put the sparkle back into your smile. If your staining or discoloration is resistant to whitening, however, we have other ways of improving the appearance of your teeth using cosmetic dentistry procedures such as veneers, bonding, or porcelain crowns. Call us to find out which of our services is right for you.
Crowns & Bridges
Dental crowns are designed to be very durable and to function much like your own teeth. You need to use common sense, however, and avoid biting down directly on foods like hard candy or nuts. A broken crown is not just costly to replace, but you may also damage underlying healthy tooth structure.
A dental bridge is a very effective solution for filling the space left by a missing tooth. It is basically a single dental restoration that usually includes two dental crowns and a replacement tooth (pontic) that fills the empty space. The dental crowns are secured to adjacent teeth on either side of the empty space and provide support for the artificial tooth.
Modern dental materials and technology have dramatically improved the appearance of dental crowns and bridges. The porcelain used in today’s crowns and bridges can be color-matched to blend perfectly with the shade of your natural teeth. With proper placement, your dental restoration should be virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth.
Dental implants are intended to blend in seamlessly with your natural teeth.
One of the advantages of this is that you can brush them and floss them the same as you would with your regular teeth. While implants never get cavities (and never need root canals!), you still want to continue brushing and flossing to keep your natural teeth and your gums healthy.
While dental implants do tend to cost more than bridges or dentures, they are also the most life-like, stable, and functional replacement, closely mimicking the appearance and function of your natural teeth. They also last longer, which can save you money in the long run. Call our office today to schedule your consultation.
Dental implants have several advantages over other tooth replacement options:
- Dental implants appear the most life-like and natural.
- The actual implant piece of the dental implant is made of titanium, a biocompatible metal.
- Dental implants are the most secure and stable.
- Dental implants prevent bone loss, keeping your jaw tissue healthy and preventing changes in the shape of your face.
- With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime.
Dentures & Partials
At first, your dentist may recommend that you wear your dentures to sleep. This will speed up your mouth’s adjustment to the dentures and allow you to quickly detect and correct any spots where the fit is uncomfortable. After your mouth has adjusted to the dentures, they may be worn throughout the day and removed while you sleep.
Yes. When you first get your dentures, you will need to start with soft foods and slowly introduce harder foods as you get used to biting and chewing with the dentures in. Chew gently and take smaller bites to avoid loosening the dentures as you eat.
It will take your mouth some time to get used to the feel of dentures. After a few months, however, you will feel comfortable eating and talking with your dentures in and experience little to no soreness or discomfort. If you ever do experience soreness or if your dentures aren’t fitting right, please let us know.
Invisalign is a great option for both adults and teenagers. In fact, Invisalign has a product created specifically for teenagers — Invisalign Teen. If your teenager needs to have crooked teeth or other dental flaws corrected, call our office and schedule an appointment to discuss Invisalign Teen.
To clean your Invisalign aligners, remove them and then rinse them with warm water and a cleanser designed for Invisalign, which your dentist will provide. Never rinse your aligners with hot water because this can cause them to warp. You should also avoid brushing them with a regular toothbrush and toothpaste because these are abrasive and can damage the surface of the aligner.
Periodontal Disease Prevention & Treatment
In its earliest stages, we can reverse gum disease by improving your hygiene routine and adding in an antimicrobial treatment. Once gum disease has progressed past a certain point, however, the disease is not reversible. We can still provide treatment that will stop the disease in its tracks and prevent further deterioration of your gum and bone tissue.
Coming in for regular cleanings with one of our excellent dental hygienists will help keep your gums in great shape, but what you do at home matters as well. Brush twice daily and floss every evening. Our hygienists will be happy to show you good brushing and flossing technique.
Other steps you can take to prevent gum disease include:
- Don't smoke or chew tobacco
- Eat a healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables
- Use an antiseptic mouthwash. We'll be happy to recommend one.
- If you have a health condition that can affect your dental health such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer, please let us know so that we can take extra steps to help keep your gums healthy.
The appropriate treatment for your gum disease will vary depending on how far your disease has progressed and any contributing factors such as hygiene and other health conditions. Some of the treatments recommended for gum disease include:
- An increased dedication to excellent oral hygiene
- Antimicrobial rinses and other products
- An antibiotic medication that is placed in the gum pockets
- Deep cleaning (scaling and root planing)
- Laser therapy
- Gum surgery
We will discuss your situation with you and recommend the treatment that we believe will be the most appropriate for your unique needs.
Porcelain veneers are considered to be a permanent restoration since they are bonded to the surface of your teeth. They are made of porcelain, a very strong material, so it is rare for them to chip or fall off. In the unlikely event that this does happen, however, the veneer can be repaired and bonded back in place.
It is not possible to change the shade of any restorative dental material with teeth whitening. If you are interested in having your natural teeth whitened, this should be done before veneers are placed. Your veneers can then be matched to the shade of your whitened teeth.
Porcelain veneers have been known to last anywhere from several years to decades. Porcelain veneers are very strong and durable, but how long they last really depends on how well you take care of your teeth and your oral health in general. Proper oral hygiene plays a very important role in the longevity of your dental veneers. In general, though, you will get the most out of your veneers if you treat them with the same care as your natural teeth.
Root Canal Therapy
Understanding the process can often remove a great deal of the fear surrounding dental procedures. During a root canal, the goals of treatment are to stop the infection, prevent further damage, and relieve your pain.
We begin by making sure that you are numb and comfortable. The next step is to open your tooth. We then use special instruments to carefully and thoroughly clean out the infection from your tooth and remove the infected or damaged nerve. If necessary, we may place an antibiotic treatment to prevent re-infection.
The cavity in your tooth will be filled and sealed, and a crown may be placed. You may experience some soreness following the procedure as part of your body’s natural reaction to any type of perceived injury, but this will quickly fade and you will feel much better.
When the interior of your tooth is infected, it can cause a lot of pain and is likely to damage the nerve. If left untreated, the infection could spread to other teeth. Root canal therapy removes the infection and relieves the pain, restoring the tooth and allowing us to save it.
The techniques used to perform root canals have advanced considerably, making this routine procedure no more uncomfortable or inconvenient than a filling. Many people who need a root canal are currently in pain, and a root canal will relieve your pain and save your tooth. After your procedure, you may experience some swelling and discomfort, but this will go away quickly.
While the whitening kits you can find at your local drugstore cost less than professional kits, the truth is that this is a case where you get what you pay for.
Drugstore whitening kits are designed to be "one size fits all," which often translates to "one size fits none." The strengths are much lower than what you can get in a professional kit, meaning that you must use the product for a longer period of time and are still unlikely to get the results you can find in a professional product. Additionally, your results are not being monitored by the dentist you know and trust.
Teeth staining can have several different causes. Some of the most common culprits we see include:
- Drinking staining beverages such as coffee, tea, and red wine
- Eating staining foods like berries and curry
- Inadequate dental hygiene
- Certain health conditions
Most professional whitening products contain an added desensitizing ingredient that protects even sensitive teeth and keeps you comfortable during the process. Additionally, the customizable nature of professional whitening treatments prevents the product from coming into contact with soft tissues like your gums, lips, and tongue.
If your teeth are very sensitive, please talk to us so that we can help you determine whether whitening is appropriate for you.