Q & A

Why are my teeth sensitive?

Sensitive teeth often come from the fact that your gums have slightly receded. This recession of the gum line allows the underlying dentin to show through, which allows water and food easier access to the sensitive nerve.  In addition, aggressive brushing habits can lead to "ditches" being worn into the tooth at the most sensitive area; near the gumline.  To manage this, there are a number of toothpastes, gels and even some dental procedures that can be applied. Speak to us in more detail if you have very sensitive teeth.

What should I do to prevent gum disease and tooth decay?

Great tooth and gum care starts at home. Brushing and flossing on a daily basis is the best way to take care of your teeth and gums on a continual basis.   By keeping to a daily routine you will greatly minimize the risk of gingivitis or tooth decay as you age.  Many things in our diets can also contribute to tooth decay.  Sugared sodas and sweet teas, for example, can really contribute to the increased decay rate in a young child or teen.  Too much of these products can also affect adult teeth.  In fact, everything that we eat and drink is broken down in our mouths by bacteria and the by-product is acid.  It is this acid that causes most of the damage known as decay.  Fluoride rinses and fluoride toothpastes (both over-the-counter and in-office prescribed) can be effective tools in combatting the ravages of dental decay.  Our office has available to our patients many of the strongest cavity fighting products available.  Please ask us about them when you visit us.

What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a condition caused when bacteria surrounds the teeth and enters the gums.  The gums can become irritated, inflamed and often bleed.  In order to prevent the condition from worsening, regular hygiene visits are highly recommended.  During your visit, our Hygiene team will teach you the proper flossing techniques and oral hygiene protocol for home care.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal Disease is a quiet disease that begins with little or no symptoms.  It is caused by bacteria that surrounds the teeth and enters the gums.  The immediate condition is known as ‘gingivitis’.  The gums become irritated, inflamed and often bleed.  If not properly treated, the condition worsens.  Noticeable symptoms now appear.  They include:

  • Bad Breath
  • Bleeding When Brushing
  • Swelling
  • Gum Recession
  • Gum Sensitivity to Acidic Foods
  • Abscesses (Infections)
  • Tooth Pain
  • Tooth Loss

How Do You Treat Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is a chronic condition that affects most of our adult population and requires immediate attention in order to lessen the long-term negative affects of this type of infection. The disease can often be episodic, meaning that the condition can worsen quickly and without warning. Through a series of periodontal cleanings, root planing & scaling, and where appropriate, local antibiotics, this condition can be managed. We use local anesthetic and nitrous oxide (laughing gas) when needed to enhance your comfort during treatment.  Periodontal surgery is only necessary for severe cases.  Many health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and even preterm low birth weight babies have been linked to the same bacteria that are involved in periodontal disease.  If you have having any of the above-mentioned problems, please call us right away. Our office is very proactive and will do a thorough exam to find any signs of the disease early so that we have more (and more comfortable!) treatment options available for you.

What is the Difference Between a White and Silver Filling?

Silver fillings, known as amalgam, have been around for decades.  They are made from a metal alloy and were, for a long time, the best restoration for fillings.  The metal expands and contracts based on the temperature of food and drink you consume.  This allowed for little bacteria to enter a tooth once filled; keeping the tooth healthy and strong.

White fillings, also known as composites, are made of resin or glass polymers. These cosmetic fillings allow us to fill a cavity with a substance that will look and feel just like your existing tooth structure.  This restoration is created with a resin material and fits tightly into a tooth to prevent decay.  Rather than a gray or silver material in your mouth, the composite color will match the tooth color. Both types of filling materials are still very much in service today and our office will help you choose which will be appropriate for you.

How Can I Improve My Smile?
There are several ways in today’s dental world to enhance your smile.  Certain procedures include:  

  • Tooth Whitening
  • Bonding
  • Porcelain Veneers
  • Porcelain Crowns


We have the capability to improve your smile using all or some of these procedures. For detailed consultation, please contact our office so that we may provide you with a customized treatment plan.

What is Tooth Whitening?

Tooth whitening is a cost effective and safe procedure to create a beautiful, healthy smile.  Over the years, flouride has been added to the whitening product.  This reduces the risk of tooth and gum sensitivity. 

Our office  employs the ZOOM system for in-office whitening, which takes place in a single visit, which typically lasts 1 /1/2 to 2 hours.  We also offer the "take home" style of bleaching, which employs impressions of your teeth from which clear, flexible bleaching trays are made. Gel is applied to the trays and placed over the teeth.  For our patients who choose the ZOOM system, we will make complimentary take-home trays that can be used for touch-up procedures at home.  Tooth Whitening must be monitored by your dentist and only done after a comprehensive exam and thorough cleaning.

The whitening process can last for a number of years if maintained properly.  Beverages such as coffee, tea, cola and wine will reduce the lasting effect.  Remember, if it could stain a white shirt, it can stain your smile!

What is Bonding?

Bonding is a cost effective procedure used to fill gaps in front teeth and to change a tooth’s color.  The immediate results are amazing.  Within a few hours, you will have a great smile!  Bonding, like tooth whitening, may change color over time due to coffee, tea, cola and wine.

What are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that go directly on your natural teeth. This entire procedure can take as few as two visits.   Veneers change the size, shape and color of a patient’s teeth.  This procedure is used to repair fractured teeth, teeth darkened by age or medication, or a crooked smile.  Many times, patients ask for porcelain veneers to simply feel and look younger with a straighter, whiter smile!

What are Crowns?
Crowns are a permanent cosmetic procedure that cover the entire tooth. Crowns can change the size, shape and color of the teeth in as few as 2 visits. 

What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is a “man-made” replacement for a missing tooth or tooth root.  Made from titanium, this screw-like object is inserted under the gum and directly into the upper or lower jaw bone.  There is usually minimal discomfort involved with this procedure.  After a period of a few months, the dental implant and the bone fuse together.  This creates an anchor for the new tooth to be placed onto the dental implant. 

What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

  • Dental Implants look and function like your natural tooth.
  • Dental Implants are a permanent solution for missing teeth.
  • Dental Implants are maintained by routine hygiene visits to your dental office.
  • Dental Implants decrease the possibility of bone loss, periodontal disease,  tooth movement, and further tooth loss.
  • Dental Implants replace the need for a removable full or partial denture.
  • Dental Implants focus only on the tooth or teeth that are missing.  A traditional bridge would involve the two or more adjacent teeth being compromised to create a false tooth in between.


Who is a candidate for Dental Implants?

With major advancements in dentistry and dental implants, most people are candidates for dental implants.  There may be exceptions due to chronic illness, heart disease, and severe osteoporosis, we would be happy to discuss these issues with you to see if an implant solution would be right for you.  

What does the Dental Implant Procedure Involve?

The average dental implant procedure takes 3 - 4 visits, in tandem with the Oral Surgeon, who will place the implant(s) for you. At your consulation appointment, the Oral Surgeon will discuss the type of implant to be placed.  Based upon this decision, our office will coordinate the next steps with the Oral Surgeon to help make the procedure sequence as easy as possible, including temporizing the area during the healing phase.  You will next return in approximately 3 months to begin creating the porcelain restoration to place over the implant.

How Much Does a Dental Implant Cost?

Fees for Dental Implants vary due to the individual type of procedure that needs to be performed.  We will be happy to schedule an implant consultation to discuss the procedure and all fees involved.

How long does a Dental Implant last?

With routine dental hygiene scheduled and proper home care, a dental implant can last approximately 30 years to a lifetime.  They are considered the most permanent restoration that dentistry has to offer.

Does your office offer financing for services provided?

Yes we do! Please contact us to discuss the options we have available to make your perfect smile affordable today!

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