FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
01. Is it normal for my teeth to be very sensitive?
Sensitive teeth can be an indication that a patient's gums are receding. When the gum line recedes, it exposes the underlying dentin, which allows sensitive nerves to be affected by cold water, hot food or other liquids and food that are placed in the mouth. There are specific toothpastes, gels and dental procedures that can prevent gum recession. Speak to a member of our staff at Strategic Dental Care to get more information on possible treatments.
02. Are there specific ways to prevent tooth decay and gum disease?
The No. 1 means of prevention is a daily routine of brushing and flossing at home. Brushing twice a day and flossing regularly prevents plaque and tartar from forming on the teeth and at the gum line. Daily oral hygiene will minimize the risk of gingivitis and tooth decay as patients get older.
03. What is gingivitis?
When bacteria from saliva and food surrounds the teeth and enters the gums, gingivitis begins to form. Gingivitis causes a patient's gums to become irritated, inflamed and bleed. To prevent the condition from spreading to more areas of the mouth, regular cleanings are recommended. In addition to a thorough cleaning, the hygienist may demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques to patients.
04. Is periodontal disease as serious as it appears?
A broader term for gingivitis, periodontal disease is a condition that begins with little or no symptoms. Like gingivitis, it is caused by bacteria that surrounds the teeth and enters the gums. The gums become irritated and inflamed, and the condition will only worsen if a treatment is not initiated. Symptoms of periodontal disease include bad breath, gum recession, gum sensitivity to acidic foods, abscesses, and tooth pain and tooth loss.
05. How is periodontal disease treated?
Immediately if the patient wants to avoid dental surgery. Your dentist will almost always recommend a series of periodontal cleanings. Other treatments may include root planing and scaling, laser therapy and local antibiotics. Combined, these treatments can control the condition and eliminate it from the mouth. In severe cases of periodontal disease, surgery may be required.
06. What is the difference between white fillings and silver fillings?
There are some, but none that affect the quality of the filling or the dental work. The type of filling usually depends on the patient's personal choice. Silver fillings are known as amalgam fillings and have been around for decades. Made from a metal alloy, the metal expands and contracts as hot and cold food or drinks are chewed or swallowed. The expansion allows for little or no bacteria to enter the tooth once the filling is applied. The tooth remains healthy and strong. White fillings, also known as composites, are made of plastic or glass polymers. The composite material looks and feels just like a natural tooth. This restoration is created with a resin and fits tightly into a tooth to prevent further decay. The resin can closely match the natural color of your teeth and you won't see gray or silver material in your mouth when smiling, brushing or flossing.
07. My smile needs to improve. How can I make that happen?
There are numerous procedures that can improve your smile. Among the available procedures is teeth whitening, bonding, veneers, crowns, bridges or dentures. Contact Strategic Dental Care today at 407.428.1645 to speak to a member of our staff. A customized treatment plan will be prepared just for you.
08. How effective is teeth whitening?
The procedure is cost-effective and safe. It can restore teeth to their original sheen. The recent addition of fluoride to the treatments reduces the risk of a patient experiencing tooth and gum sensitivity. Tooth whitening is monitored by your dentist and only started after a dental exam and a comprehensive cleaning have been completed. Whitening will keep your teeth looking great for years as long as the patient brushes and flosses regularly. To keep your teeth white, it's always a good idea to reduce the amount of coffee, tea, soda and wine you consume once the treatments are completed. All those beverages will stain your smile!
09. What is bonding?
A bonding treatment can reduce gaps between your teeth, or change a tooth’s color if it has been stained by use or decay. The results can be amazing. In only a few hours, you will notice a difference in your teeth's appearance. Bonding can keep your teeth looking great for years if teeth are brushed and flossed regularly. Drinking coffee, tea, soda and wine can affect the color of the bonding over time.
10. What are veneers?
Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are attached to your natural teeth. Veneers can change the size, shape and color of a patient’s teeth, or can be used to create a younger appearance. Veneers are used to repair fractured teeth, teeth darkened by age or medication, or crooked teeth. In as few as two visits to your dentist, the entire process can be completed.
11. What are crowns?
They are a permanent cosmetic procedure used to cover a decayed or damaged tooth. Crowns can be applied to two visits and will change the size, shape and color of a tooth. After a cavity has been filled or a damaged tooth has been repaired, the crown covers the tooth to prevent further damage.
12. How involved is an implant procedure?
A dental implant acts as a replacement for a missing tooth or a missing tooth root. Commonly made from titanium, the implant is a screw that is inserted under the gum and into the bone of the upper or lower jaw. The implant and the bone fuse together after 2 to 4 months, creating an anchor for the new tooth. There is little discomfort for the patient.
13. What are the benefits of an implant?
For patients who have lost a tooth in an accident or to decay, implants are a permanent solution. Implants look and function like natural teeth and decrease the possibility of bone loss, periodontal disease, tooth movement, and further tooth loss. Implants are maintained with routine cleanings, and are a replacement option for dentures because the implant replaces only the missing tooth. A traditional bridge would involve using the adjacent teeth to create a false tooth in between.
14. Can anyone be a candidate for an implant?
Yes, just about everyone is a candidate. Advancements in dental technology, specifically in the field of implants, means most people are possible candidates. There are always exceptions, but people who don't quality generally have chronic illnesses, heart disease or severe osteoporosis.
15. What's involved in an implant procedure?
Completing an implant can require 3 to 4 visits to your dentist or specialist. The first visit is to X-ray the implant area, take an impression that will serve as a surgical guide, and create a temporary prosthesis to cover the implant area. During the second visit, the implant will be placed after a local anesthetic is administered. A minor incision is made by the dentist to create a space for the implant. The implant is then inserted into the jaw bone and sutures are used to close the wound. You will return in about three months when the porcelain crown is ready to cover the implant.
16. How much does a dental implant cost?
Costs vary depending on the region of the country where you live and the specialist you use. A consultation should be scheduled to discuss all fees and confirm the procedure.
17. How long should a dental implant last?
Implants can last for as long as 30 years if the patient has routine cleanings and brushes and flosses regularly.
18. Does your office offer financing for dental services?
You can discuss payment options with our Strategic Dental Care staff by calling 407.284.1645.
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