Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Q: How is digital radiography better than traditional x-rays?
A: Gone are the days of dentists peering at tiny x-ray films clipped onto dimly lit screens. You’ll be amazed at the crisp, clear dental images instantly available on our large, high resolution screens. Digital radiographs take the mystery out of dental concerns, and have numerous other benefits as well:
Uses up to 80% less radiation than traditional x-rays.
Speeds communication with specialists and insurance companies.
Helps patients fully participate in treatment planning.
Uses less paper and no film developing chemicals.
Provides better information for diagnosis of dental concerns.

Q: What kind of toothbrush should I use?
A: Many types of brushes are available; just find one that is soft-bristled and comfortable in your mouth. The most important factor is the time and thoroughness of your brushing.

Sonic-Care brushes, available at our office, make it very easy to take excellent care of your teeth, and have been clinically proven to remove significantly more plaque than ordinary toothbrushes.
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Q: Can piercing my tongue or mouth impact my teeth?
A: Piercing the tongue and mouth can be deterimental to your dental health: the metal studs and hoops often cause cracks and chips, from knocking against teeth during chewing or talking. The tongue can take months to heal from a piercing, and can become seriously infected.
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Q: Why worry about baby teeth?
A: Taking care of primary teeth is vital to your child’s dental health! First, establishing good brushing and flossing habits sets kids on the right track for good dental health as an adult. Second, those baby teeth serve as place holders for the permanent teeth. If lost to decay, the permanent teeth are not guided into position properly.
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Q: What is the best brushing routine?
A: Brush at least twice a day, spending about two minutes each time to systematically cover the inner and outer surfaces of each area of the mouth. Use a soft bristled brush that is a comfortable size for your mouth. Angle the bristles of the brush toward the gumline, and use small circular motions. Spend more time on any area where the gums tend to bleed.
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Q: Want to brighten your smile?
A: Tooth Whitening provides a safe and easy way to remove tooth staining that builds up over the years. Coffee, tea, red wine, and cola will darken teeth, as will tobacco. Our custom bleach trays are made of soft, clear plastic that fit comfortably over the teeth. We include the appropriate whitening gel for your needs, and teach you how to use it. Maximum whitening takes place over 2-4 weeks, and with occasional touch-ups, will last for years.

Note: Not all teeth or all stains will whiten, and dental work done with resin or porcelain will not whiten.
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Q: What causes gum disease?
A: Our mouths are full of bacteria. These bacteria, along with mucus and other particles, constantly form a sticky, colorless “plaque” on teeth. Brushing and flossing help get rid of plaque. Plaque that is not removed can harden and form “tartar” that brushing doesn’t clean. Only a professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist can remove tartar.

The longer plaque and tartar are on teeth, the more harmful they become. The bacteria cause inflammation of the gums that is called “gingivitis.” In gingivitis, the gums become red, swollen and can bleed easily. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing, and regular cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist. This form of gum disease does not include any loss of bone and tissue that hold teeth in place.

When gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to “periodontitis” (which means “inflammation around the tooth”). In periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces (called “pockets”) that become infected. If not treated, the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed. The teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed.

All adults should have thorough dental cleanings at least twice a year to remove plaque buildup.
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Q: Does smoking effect my teeth?
A: The dangers of tobacco use, especially smoking, are well known. Both smoking and chewing tobacco can cause serious issues with the sensitive tissues of the mouth and gums. and stains teeth as well. If you would like assistance with quitting tobacco use, please let us know. Your dentist can prescribe a nicotine patch.

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