Frequently Asked Questions
Why are checkups recommended every six months, even for people with great oral health?
We use DIAGNOdent laser cavity detection to find cavities in the earliest stages, and often that means that you don't see or feel them. Early detection allows us to provide the most conservative treatment, which saves you time, expense, and possible discomfort. We also use the VELscope to screen for oral cancer, a disease that will affect more than 30-thousand Americans this year. Oral cancer is deadly, but early detection offers an 80 percent cure rate. Gum disease is another sneaky problem that we try to catch early. It has been linked to stroke, heart attack, osteoporosis, and other health risks, and it is the leading cause of tooth loss in American adults.
What do you do to maintain a safe and sterilized environment?
Your safety is important to us, so we sterilize our reusable instruments in an autoclave and use disposable products as much as possible. Each operatory is cleaned thoroughly between patients. We adhere to guidelines set by the CDC and OSHA and perform weekly tests on our sterilization equipment.
My gums bleed after I brush. Is this something to be concerned about?
Bleeding is usually a sign of a problem. When gums bleed, the cause usually stems from the patient brushing too hard or from early-stage gum disease, called gingivitis. We can consult with you on the proper toothbrush and pressure for safe, effective daily oral care. If your gums show signs of gum disease, we may recommend a deep hygiene treatment to stop the disease and return your gums to good health. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for American adults, and it has been linked to many overall health conditions, including stroke, heart attack, and respiratory problems. Untreated, gum disease can escalate to create significant damage to your health, so call for an assessment now. We will help you keep your teeth and gums healthy for life!
What happens if missing teeth are not replaced?
Missing teeth can lead to a host of other problems, including additional tooth loss. Research shows that if a missing tooth is not replaced, up to 20% of adjacent teeth will fall out in the next 4 to 8 years. Missing teeth also cause remaining teeth to shift, causing spaces between teeth, food impaction, bite collapse, chewing alteration, and TMJ pain. You're also more susceptible to gum disease, a serious health condition that can significantly shorten your life span.
What are my options to replace missing teeth?
We offer bridgework, partials, full dentures, and implant restorations to replace missing teeth. Learn more about these services on our services page, then call for a consultation. With X-rays, intraoral photos, and a thorough assessment of your dentition, the dentist can help you decide which replacement option will be best for you.
What is a digital X-ray, and how is it different from traditional X-rays?
When compared to traditional radiography, digital X-rays emit 80-percent less radiation. Detailed images are immediately available for view on a chairside monitor in the operatory. We can transfer digital X-rays and photographs quickly via the Internet to insurance companies and specialists, as well. Digital X-rays require no hazardous developing chemicals, so they're earth friendly.
I have not been to the dentist in years, and I'm ashamed to let a professional see the condition of my mouth. Is your staff judgmental?
First of all, congratulations on your wise decision to prioritize dental healthcare. Your mouth is a big part of your overall health, quality of life, and self-esteem. We will not judge you, but help you by addressing your oral problems, explaining treatment options, then scheduling a plan of action that suits your schedule and budget.
I have chronic headaches. Can you help?
Chronic headaches may be a symptom of a misaligned bite, bruxism (teeth grinding), or TMJ disorder. Our dentist will carefully examine your occlusion (bite), jaw, head, and neck to determine the underlying causes of your pain. Oftentimes, we can correct the problem with a custom nightguard. Call our office if you have more questions about headache relief with non-surgical therapies.
I want to know more about changing my smile. What do you suggest?
An appointment. Your smile and your goals are unique. We offer a wide range of cosmetic services, and after your consultation, you'll know which services will deliver the smile of your dreams.
Are there differences between over-the-counter teeth whiteners and professional teeth whiteners?
Over-the-counter whiteners are not as efficient as professional-grade treatments. The teeth whitening kits you buy at the drugstore are not customized to fit the shape of your teeth, making them messy and ineffective. In addition, they typically only whiten two to three shades. With professional whitening, you have more options. You can visit our office and receive a one-hour whitening treatment that will leave your teeth up to 10 shades whiter. We also have home teeth whitening kits that are custom designed for maximum comfort and efficiency. Each night for a week or two you'll need to apply our professional-grade whitening gel to the trays, and then wear them at night. Within just a few days, you'll notice a difference, and by the time treatment is complete, you'll smile with confidence. Take-home trays can also touch up and maintain in-office whitening.
What is the difference between veneers and Lumineers?
Lumineers are actually a brand of veneers that requires minimal or no tooth preparation prior to placement. Some patients prefer Lumineers because of the quick application and reduced risk for sensitivity. However, others prefer traditional veneers because of their completely customized design.