Why should I visit the dentist regularly?

Many people only visit the dentist when they have a noticeable problem. While they may think that they are saving money, the reality is that the treatments to repair and restore their teeth and smiles cost more money and time than it does to visit the dentist at regular intervals. Visiting the dental office regularly ensures that you receive preventive care to stop problems in the earliest stages of development and hopefully prevent them from developing in the first place. We can monitor your oral health and help you learn the best ways to care for your teeth so that they remain healthy. You should visit our office twice each year.

 

Why do I need to floss?

Brushing your teeth will clean the surfaces of your teeth but will not reach the areas between the teeth or below the gumline. Flossing ensures that plaque and bacteria are removed from your mouth before they can cause damage to your teeth.

 

How often should I brush and floss?

You should brush at least twice each day. It is especially important that you brush your teeth before going to bed. Use an ADA-approved soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste. You should floss daily. We also recommend that you use a mouth rinse. Contact our office if you have questions.

 

How safe are dental X-rays?

Dental X-rays are extremely safe. In fact, you are exposed to less radiation with dental X-rays than you are in your day-to-day life from the sun. Advances in dentistry continue to make dental X-rays safer through digital imaging technologies and higher-speed X-rays. Additionally, federal law requires that X-ray machines be checked for safety and accuracy every two years.

 

What is cosmetic dentistry, and how can it help me?

Cosmetic dentistry is a dental field that focuses on improving the appearance of your teeth so that you can enjoy a more beautiful smile. It includes preventive care as well as restorative treatments. Some common cosmetic dental treatments include:

 

I’ve lost a tooth. What are my options for replacing it?

There are several options available to replace your missing tooth. When you visit our office, our dentist will examine your mouth, discuss your oral health needs and smile goals with you, and review your treatment options. We will design a customized treatment plan to restore your tooth and your smile. Some of the tooth replacement options we may discuss include:

 

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a procedure performed when injury, infection or decay reach the inner tissues of the tooth. Our dentist will clean out the infected pulp tissue within your tooth roots, sterilize the canals, and then fill them with medicated material and seal the tooth to prevent future infection. While root canals have a reputation of being painful, advances in dentistry have made it possible to perform your treatment comfortably as well as effectively.

 

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an oral condition that affects the gums and supporting structures in your mouth. It begins as a bacterial infection of the gums and gradually progresses until it destroys your gums and bone structure. The milder stage of periodontal disease is known as gingivitis, while the more severe form of the disease is known as periodontitis. You should be checked for periodontal disease each time you visit our dentist.

 

What causes periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is caused by the harmful bacteria trapped in plaque. As plaque hardens into calculus (tartar), the disease becomes more established in your mouth. Gum attachments begin to separate from your teeth and create pockets that harbor these harmful bacteria. If gum disease is allowed to progress without treatment, the condition may become irreversible.

 

What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?

Symptoms of periodontal disease include:

 

What do I do if I have bad breath?

Halitosis (bad breath) may be caused by any number of factors, including:

 

You can prevent bad breath by visiting our dentist regularly, staying hydrated, practicing good oral hygiene, using mouth rinses and by not using tobacco products. If your halitosis persists, we recommend that you consult a physician to determine if your bad breath is caused by a medical condition and receive an appropriate treatment.

 

I’m terrified to visit the dentist — what can I do?

Please speak with our team. We take your fear seriously and will work with you to help you feel more comfortable in our office. There are many strategies that we can use to help reduce anxiety and fear. These include medications to numb treated areas, sedation dentistry, the use of lasers instead of drills in your treatment, and a variety of techniques to reduce anxiety and mind or body pain (guided imagery, deep breathing, biofeedback, acupuncture, etc.). There are also dentophobia clinics and support groups available.

 

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry refers to the use of sedative medications to help patients feel more comfortable, relaxed and calm during their appointments. Sedation is often a solution for individuals who suffer from dental anxiety and fear, and works by helping patients feel more at ease. There are several types of sedation available, and our dentist and team will work with you to help you find the type of sedation that is most appropriate for your individual needs.

 

What is IV sedation?

IV (intravenous) sedation is a type of conscious sedation that provides medication directly into your bloodstream to help you relax quickly and feel comfortable during your treatment. If you receive this treatment, you will need to make sure that someone is available to drive you home and to remain with you for several hours after your appointment until the medication wears off.

 

Who can benefit from sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is beneficial for anyone who:

 

Will I feel pain from my treatment if I receive sedation dentistry?

You should not experience pain or discomfort during your treatment. In addition to sedation, our dentist will provide a topical anesthetic to numb pain and help you feel comfortable.

 

Will I remember anything about my treatment?

You are unlikely to remember the details of your treatment. While many forms of sedation dentistry allow you to be aware of your surroundings and respond to instructions, you will most likely feel as though you slept through your procedure and wake up with little or no memory of the treatment itself.

 

Is sedation dentistry safe?

Yes. Sedation dentistry is usually very safe. Our dentist will review your medical history with you prior to your treatment to determine which sedation option is best for you, and we will monitor you closely throughout your entire treatment to avoid any complications.

 

Does sedation dentistry cure dental phobia?

Sedation dentistry is not a cure for dental anxiety and phobia. It is a temporary solution that allows you to receive care more quickly and easily. However, you may find that after a few worry-free visits that you experience less anxiety. Please feel free to contact our office for more details and for tips on how to manage dental anxiety and fear. We are happy to help you.