To answer some of the questions you may have please click on the topic below for a list of relative questions.
Q. What to Expect on Your 1st Visit
A. After a thorough medical and dental history review, your risk for caries (decay), periodontal (gum) disease, TMJ/bite, and aesthetics will be assessed.
Q. What is Tooth whitening?
A.Whitening is a process that lightens discoloration of enamel and dentin.
Q. What causes tooth discoloration?
A. There are many causes. The most common include aging and consumption of staining substances such as coffee, tea, colas, tobaccos, red wine, etc. During tooth formation, consumption of tetracycline, certain antibiotics or excess fluoride may also cause tooth discoloration.
Q. Who may benefit from tooth whitening?
A. Almost anyone. However, treatment may not be as effective for some as it is for others. Your dental professional can determine if you are a viable candidate for this procedure through a thorough oral exam, including a shade assessment.
Q. Do many people whiten their teeth?
A. More people than you might imagine. A bright, sparkling smile can make a big difference for everyone. The Whitening System makes it easier and faster that ever before.
Q. Is whitening safe?
A. Yes, extensive research and clinical studies indicate that whitening teeth under the supervision of a dentist is safe. In fact, many dentists consider whitening the safest cosmetic dental procedure available. Any tooth whitening product is not recommended for children under 13 years of age and pregnant or lactating women.
Q. How does Whitening Work?
A. The whitening gel's active ingredient is Hydrogen Peroxide. As the Hydrogen Peroxide gel is broken down, oxygen enters the enamel and dentin, bleaching colored substances while the structure of the tooth is unchanged.
Root Canal Treatment Questions
Q. What Is A Root Canal?
A. We find that you as our patient have more curiosity in this area than in any other procedure.
To satisfy your need to now, and to dispel any myths that may exist, let us give you a few brief facts.
ANATOMY LESSON FOR THE DAY:
Each tooth has one or more roots. Inside each root lies a small tunnel called the Canal. Inside this canal there are nerves and blood vessels which make up the living part of the tooth we call the "pulp".
HEREIN LIES THE PROBLEM:
If bacteria get inside the pulp, through a deep cavity or a crack in the tooth, for example, the pulp gets sick. Sometimes the same sickness arises after a tooth receives a severe hit or continually works too hard when you chew. When a pulp gets "sick" it usually hurts, or is sensitive.
Q. Is the Tooth Doomed?
A. Almost never do we have to loose a tooth with a sick pulp. Root canal therapy removes the pulp from the tooth, kills the remaining bacteria, and refills the empty canal with a rubbery filling material. Only in rare instances do the teeth have to be removed or retreated to conquer the infection.
Q. How do you remove the sick pulp?
A. Over 1 or 2 visits, the pulp is removed through an opening in the chewing surface of the tooth, using tiny instruments call files. Infected debris is flushed out with germicidal solution, and a medication is sealed inside the tooth until the next visit. At the potential second visit, we re-clean and fill the canals. All this is accomplished while your tooth is "numb", and we expect no discomfort.
Q. Why do you need a crown after Root Canal Therapy?
A. Remember those blood vessels that reside in healthy pulp? They are a source of continual moisture, which your tooth no longer has after Root Canal Therapy. Without moisture your tooth becomes brittle and may fracture. A crown acts to cover the tooth, preventing future loss from breakage.
Q. What is Caries infection and management?
You may have been diagnosed with or have shown a susceptibility to a bacterial infection called caries. This infection causes cavities (caries). Dental caries is one of the most common diseases worldwide and it is described as a complex process involving many factors including bacteria, oral pH, saliva and diet. It is important to treat this infection because it can spread from tooth to tooth and it is contagious, meaning it can spread from person to person via saliva.
There are several ways to combat caries. Listed below are the most effective steps today to manage dental caries:
1. Removing caries from affected teeth. The lost tooth structure is replaced with artificial material (fillings, crowns, etc). To enhance the removal of decay, our office uses Caries Detecting Solution during the restorative appointment.
2. Placing sealants on unaffected teeth that have deep grooves on the chewing surface.
3. Topical fluoride treatments including varnish. Varnish is the most effective professional fluoride treatment available.
4. Treatment rinse. Chlorhexadine may be prescribed as it is the most effective mouth rinse known to reduce oral bacteria.
5. Maintenance protocol may include prescription toothpaste, xylitol gum and/or mints, and/or dietary counseling.
Q. What is Periodonal infection and management?
Periodontal (gum) disease is caused by a bacterial infection found in the bone and supporting tissues of the mouth and the body’s response to that bacterial infection. If left untreated it can progress from a reversible condition to destruction of the bone that supports the teeth, resulting in tooth loss.
There are several treatment options and a thorough exam can determine which treatment(s) would work best to manage the disease. If caught early, treatment can be as simple as a regular cleaning and more judicious home care. More advanced stages of periodontal disease may require special cleaning procedures such as root planning and scaling. There may also be the need for medications and/or mouth rinses and more frequent cleanings.
It is always important to keep up with regular visits to monitor and evaluate your oral health. There are innate, acquired and environmental risk factors associated with periodontal disease and its expression including, but not limited to, diabetes and smoking. In addition, there are associations between periodontal disease and a number of systemic ailments (diabetes, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and cardiovascular disease) and are being investigated to determine if there is a cause-and-effect relationship.
Q. What is a Dental Cleaning?
A regular cleaning is known as a prophylaxis in dental terms. The American Dental Association describes a prophylaxis as removal of plaque, calculus and stains from the tooth structures.
This deposit removal is performed on tooth structures that have not been affected by bone loss, typically the crowns of the teeth.
Q. What is the difference between Plaque and Calculus (Tartar)?
Calculus is also known as tartar and is a hard, mineralized deposit, somewhat like cement, that is formed from the plaque left on the teeth from inadequate home care (brushing and flossing) and the minerals in a person's saliva.
Plaque is a soft, sticky substance that forms on teeth, regardless of what types of foods are eaten, which is composed of bacteria and bacterial byproducts.
Q. What is a Root Planing procedure?
Root planning removes bacteria and their toxins, calculus and diseased deposits from the surfaces of tooth roots. Scaling is required the full length of the root surface, down to where the root, gum and bone meet. Root planning is typically one of the first steps in treating gum and bone disease (periodontal disease).
Q. What is Biofilm?
Dental plaque is the material that adheres to the teeth and consists of bacterial cells (mainly Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sanguis), salivary polymers and bacterial extracellular products.
Plaque is a biofilm on the surfaces of the teeth. This accumulation of microorganisms subject the teeth and gingival tissues to high concentrations of bacterial metabolites which results in dental disease, including caries (deacy) and periodontal disease.
Q. What are the signs and symptoms of Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
Periodontal disease is very common, but does not always have distinct symptoms. It is an inflammation and infection of the supporting structures of the teeth (gums, bone, ligaments, and root surfaces) that eventually results in the loss of teeth. You may notice that your gums bleed easily, that you have a bad taste in your mouth, that your gums appear longer or have shifted.
Or you may not notice anything at all.
These are some common signs or symptoms of periodontal disease:
Gums that bleed when brushing or flossing.
Red, swollen or tender gums.
Persistent bad breath or bad taste.
Gums that have pulled away from teeth.
Pus between the teeth and gums when the gums are pressed.
Permanent teeth that are loose, shifting, or separating.
Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.
Any changes in the fit of partial dentures.
Snoring and Sleep Apnea Questions
Q. How does Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) help snoring and/or sleep apnea?
A. The appliance moves the lower jaw forward, opening your airway.
Q. How do I know if I am a candidate for OAT?
A. If you have been diagnosed with mild or moderate snoring and/or sleep apnea OAT is the recommended treatment. However, if you have been diagnosed with severe sleep apnea, then a CPAP is the first line of treatment.
Q. How do I know the OAT is working?
A. A follow-up titrated sleep study should be performed.
Q. When is OAT indicated?
A. OAT is indicated after a sleep study is performed. The sleep physician must first make the diagnosis of snoring and/or sleep apnea.
Q. What if I can’t tolerate my CPAP?
A. OAT may be a good alternative, or it may allow you to use your CPAP at a lower intensity.
Q. Can I use OAT with CPAP?
A. Yes! OAT with CPAP can be very effective, especially with severe sleep apnea.