Do you accept my insurance plan?
Call us and see. Our helpful staff is happy to assist you and it only takes a minute or two. We do accept most plans.
Do I have to have silver fillings?
No! The majority of fillings we place are “white” or tooth colored. If you don’t like the look of old silver fillings, it is usually an easy procedure to replace them.
How can I make my smile look better?
There are many ways to make teeth look better. There are multiple options and no two patients have the same case presentation. Modern materials allow for optimal esthetics: Bleaching, veneers, metal-free esthetic crowns and bridges, implants for missing teeth. Ask your dentist if you have questions about your smile- that’s why where here.
I am afraid it will hurt when I get a root canal — will it?
Root canals generally do not hurt. Anesthetic is used just like any dental procedure and you are “numb” for the entire procedure. After treatment (usually beginning the next day) there is a healing period of the bone surrounding the tooth that typically lasts between 3-10 days. Discomfort is typically reported as mild to moderate lasting a couple of days.
What causes tooth decay?
It occurs when your teeth are frequently exposed to foods containing carbohydrates such as starches and sugars like soda pop, candy, cake and even sticky fruits. High frequency of sugar intake is the key-not the total amount.
Cavities have been identified as a bacterial infection caused by a specific bacteria. Bacteria inhabit plaque and form up to 500 different products including acid. Plaque interacts with food deposits on your teeth to produce acid that will slowly dissolve the calcium in your teeth, the surface of the tooth…”enamel” is 97% mineral. The bacterial products also cause gum disease and bad breath. Because the acidic plaque rests against the tooth, the acid dissolves the calcium molecules from the tooth surface. When enough calcium dissolves from the tooth, the surface breaks and forms a hole. That is how cavities form. An active lesion demineralizes the tooth and can be diagnosed based upon color, surface texture and x-rays. White spots can be active lesions if they are not glossy or feel rough.
How to make a cavity:
1. Don’t brush or floss so bacteria can make acid which causes calcium loss from the enamel of your teeth.
2. Eat foods with sugar between meals which produces acid for 20 minutes. Just think of the bacteria count of your mouth after three meals, that can equal 60 minutes of acid production a day! Try drinking three pops and 3 cups of coffee/tea with sugar between those meal and you will have 180 min of acid production.
3. Don’t drink water with fluoride or use any dental products with fluoride .
4. Snack on foods and drinks high sugar and acid to feed the bacteria in your mouth and decrease your saliva production .
5. Smoke cigarettes.
What is Dental Bonding:
This procedure is great if you have small chips or unevenness in your front teeth or if you wish to improve your smile.
Before bonding (photo coming) After bonding (photo coming)
Dental bonding is used for:
- Protecting exposed roots of teeth, known as tooth sensitivity
- Repairing cracks, unevenness, chips
- Close diastemas (spaces between your front teeth)
- Reshape crooked or misshapen teeth
- “White” fillings that look like natural enamel on any of the teeth
- Replace old or unattractive “silver fillings”
- Used to whiten stained teeth
- Stabilize loose teeth
Why do I need a crown?
- Tooth has a large filling in place and new or recurrent decay. Typically there is not enough good tooth left to place a filling “in” the tooth and a crown must be placed “on “ the tooth
- A crown is needed to protect a tooth that just had a root canal, because these teeth tend to become brittle and are more apt to fracture
- To protect a weak tooth from fracturing
- Cracked tooth to hold it together and seal the tooth from decay
- Cover discolored teeth
- Improve cosmetic appearance
- Large damage by decay
- To support the replacement tooth/teeth in a bridge
- Restores and maintains the natural bite
What is a Bridge?
A bridge is a dental appliance that replaces one or more natural missing teeth, thereby “bridging” the space between two teeth. Fixed bridges are cemented into place on the “abutment” teeth–the surrounding teeth on either side of the space, or “span.” Unlike removable partial dentures, fixed bridges cannot be taken out of the mouth by the patient. The bridge is your teeth.
A fixed bridge is a device that typically consists of three units–a pontic (a false tooth) fused between two crowns that are cemented onto the abutment teeth.
Who should get a bridge?
If you are missing any teeth and are committed to maintaining good oral hygiene practices, you may be a good candidate for a bridge. A bridge is the most natural choice to fill the space in your mouth left by missing teeth.
If left unfilled, this space can cause the surrounding teeth to drift out of position and can cause teeth and gums to become more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease that can cause further tooth loss. Fixed bridges can correct an altered bite and improve your chewing ability and speech.
What procedures are involved?
1. For a traditional fixed bridge, the first appointment consists of the dentist reducing the adjacent abutment teeth that will act as anchors. Impressions are made and a handmade bridge is fabricated.
2. At the second appointment, the final bridge is fitted over the teeth. This is a short appointment of 10-15 minutes.
The total treatment time is usually two weeks. However, because it is often difficult to match the natural shade of your teeth, the treatment time may be longer if shade adjustments are necessary.
How do I care for a bridge?
With a bridge, it is more important than ever to brush, floss and see your dentist regularly. If you do not control the buildup of food debris and plaque–the sticky film of bacteria formed from food acids–your teeth and gums can become infected, requiring further treatment and resulting in possible loss of the bridge.
Your dentist may also recommend using floss threaders that help remove bacteria from hard to reach spaces between the bridge and adjacent teeth and gums.
What is an implant?
A dental implant is used to replace single or multiple missing teeth. The procedure involves multiple steps and treatment with more than one doctor. There are three steps or pieces to replace a tooth. First is the placement of a titanium implant(root) into the bone by an oral surgeon or periodontist. The second and third steps are done here at the general dental office. The second step involves placing an abutment(matching titanium) on the implant to bring it above the gumline. The third step is to fabricate a handmade crown to cover the abutment. When you are done you have a solid tooth that looks and functions like a real tooth-one that cannot get a cavity!