- Should I arrive early for my appointment?
Yes, arriving 15 mins early for your appointment will enable us to ensure that all paperwork is complete and you are seen in a timely manner for your appointment.
- What should I do if I need premedication?
Your first prescription should be given to you by your physician or specialist. All subsequent refills prior to dental visits can be refilled by our doctors as needed.
- How long does my first appointment last?
Usually 40 mins to an hour depending on the age of the patient. Children under 18 are typically seen by the hygienist first, while adults are seen by our dentist and then based on their oral hygiene needs will see our hygienist. In this case, your appointment may last about 90 minutes.
- What age should I bring my child in for their first visit?
We start seeing children at age 1, as recommended by both the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) & the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Starting early establishes a dental home for children, where growth and development can be monitored along with inculcating healthy dental practices.
- What are cavity-fighting sealants?
The American Dental Association cites sealants as an effective weapon in the arsenal against tooth decay. Sealants are a thin coating painted on chewing surfaces of molars and premolars. Dental sealants act as a barrier, protecting your teeth against decay-causing bacteria. Sealants have proven effective with both adults and children, but are most commonly used with children. Despite the fact that sealants are about half the cost of fillings, only a small percentage of school-aged children have sealants on their permanent teeth. Ask your dentist whether sealants are a good choice for you or your children.
- My baby has a tongue tie, will lasers help in releasing it?
Our Solea® laser has proven time and again that it is very effective in releasing tongue tie and lip tie in infants to help with breastfeeding / bottle feeding. We have seen infants as young as 3 days old do the procedure and babies are able to latch and suckle immediately after the procedure.
- What is Fluoride and why is it important?
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and in water. Some natural sources of fluoride are brewed tea, canned fish, cooked kale and spinach, apples, and skim milk. Some city water contains fluoride, so by drinking tap water you will acquire fluoride. If drinking water does not have fluoride, supplements are available.
The lack of exposure to fluoride places individuals of any age at risk for dental decay. Fluoride is important to dental health because it helps prevent tooth decay by making your tooth enamel more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria in your mouth. Studies have shown that children who consumed fluoridated water from birth had less dental decay. Fluoride can reverse early decay and help prevent osteoporosis, a disease that causes degenerative bone loss.
- Why should I floss, isn’t brushing enough?
Flossing reduces the number of bacteria in your mouth. There are millions of these microscopic creatures feeding on food particles left on your teeth. These bacteria live in plaque which can be removed by flossing. Brushing your teeth gets rid of some of the bacteria in your mouth. Flossing gets rid of the bacteria hiding in the tiny spaces between your teeth. If you do not floss, you allow plaque to remain between your teeth. Eventually it hardens into tartar. Plaque can be removed by brushing. Only the dental team can remove tartar.
- Why should I go to the dentist regularly?
Many people do not see a dentist on a regular basis. They only go when they have a problem. This is known as “failure to plan treatment” versus “preventive treatment.” While these patients may feel they are saving money, it often ends up costing much more in dollars and time. This is because many dental problems do not have symptoms until they reach the advanced stages of the disease process. An example is tooth decay. It is typical to hear, “Nothing hurts… I don’t have any problems.”
Tooth decay often does not hurt until it gets close to the nerve of the tooth. It is not uncommon to see a patient with a huge cavity who has never felt a thing. Our team can usually detect a cavity 3-4 years before it develops any symptoms.
- What causes canker sores?
The exact cause of canker sores is unknown. Some factors may include genetics, allergies, stress, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Trauma to the inside of the mouth can result in the development of canker sores. Ill-fitting dentures or braces, toothbrush trauma from brushing too hard, or biting your cheek, may produce canker sores. Certain foods may also be a factor. Citrus or acidic fruits and vegetables can trigger a canker sore or make the problem worse. Foods like chips, pretzels and hard candies have sharp edges that can nick and injure the soft tissue of the mouth.
To treat a canker sore, rinse your mouth with antimicrobial mouthwash or warm water and salt. Over the counter treatments are also available. Using our lasers, we can decrease the duration of a canker sore. Call us to find out more.
- Is smokeless tobacco harmful?
Smokeless tobacco may be smokeless, but it isn’t harmless. These are some of the potential oral hazards:
- A sore that does not heal
- A lump or white patch
- A prolonged sore throat
- Difficulty in chewing
- Restricted movement of the tongue or jaw
- A feeling of something in the throat
- Pain is rarely an early symptom. All tobacco users need to see their dentist regularly.
- What should I do about bleeding gums?
People often respond to bleeding gums the wrong way. Usually, gums that bleed are a symptom of the onset of periodontal disease or gingivitis. But often, people stop brushing or flossing as frequently and effectively because it may be painful or it may cause the gums to bleed again. However, when gums are inflamed, brushing could help reduce the inflammation. More importantly, you should see our dental team to have a periodontal screening and recording performed in order to determine the level of disease present and the best treatment course to pursue.
- I just found out I am pregnant. How can this affect my mouth?
About half of women who are pregnant experience a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. This condition can be uncomfortable and cause swelling, bleeding, redness or tenderness in the gum tissue. A more advanced oral health condition called periodontal disease (a serious gum infection that destroys attachment fibers and supporting bone that hold teeth in the mouth) may affect the health of your baby. Studies have shown a relationship between periodontal disease and preterm, low birth-weight babies. In fact, pregnant women with periodontal disease may be seven times more likely to have a baby that’s born too early and too small.Keeping up with regular oral care at home and keeping your appointments will prevent periodontal disease during pregnancy .
- I am undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation for cancer treatment, how can this affect my mouth?
Chemotherapy and radiation can cause a number of problems in the mouth, some of which might include: mouth sores, infections, dry mouth, bleeding of the gums and lining of the mouth, and general soreness and pain of the mouth. It can be harder to control these things while undergoing treatment as the immune system is generally compromised as a result of the treatment. There are some special mouth rinses that can be prescribed to help with discomfort during treatment. It is very important to see our team before treatment begins and then to continue with recommended follow-up care. These treatments can cause dry mouth, and recommendations might be made for additional care both in-office and at home.
- I have dentures. Is it necessary for me to still see my dentist?
Visits to the dentist include more than just “checking teeth.” While patients who wear dentures no longer have to worry about dental decay, they may have concerns with ill fitting appliances or mouth sores to name a few. Annual visits to the dentist (or sooner if soreness is present) is recommended. During these visits, an oral cancer screening and head and neck exam will be performed as well as an evaluation of the fit or need for replacement of the existing appliances. Regular visits can help you to avoid more complicated problems down the road.
- At what age should we see an orthodontist?
If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see our orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with about one in every four orthodontic patients being over the age of 21. Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any time is a good time to visit tus for a consultation.
- Can Orthodontic treatment be done when children have baby teeth?
Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will follow that patient’s growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.
- What are Phase I and II treatments?
Phase I, or Interceptive Treatment, is aimed at intercepting a moderate or severe orthodontic problem early in order to reduce or eliminate it. It takes advantage of the early growth spurt and turns a difficult orthodontic problem into a manageable one. It can often eliminate the need for tooth extractions or jaw surgery. This phase of treatment often begins while permanent front teeth are erupting ( age 7-9). Most phase I patients will require Phase II treatment .
Phase II begins when all the permanent teeth are erupted and usually lasts less than 18 months because of the major improvements accomplished during Phase I. The typical age is after all permanent teeth have erupted.
- Why is orthodontic treatment important?
Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain. A bad bite can also cause abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, difficulty in chewing and/or speaking, and excess stress on supporting bone and gum tissue. Without treatment, many problems become worse and can require additional dental care later in life.
- How long should I wear retainers?
Our recommendation is to continue wearing your retainers for life, whether they are removable (the kind you put in and take out) or fixed (bonded behind your teeth). Wearing your retainers as prescribed is the best way to keep your teeth from moving after your orthodontic treatment. There are many reasons teeth may move following orthodontic treatment. Teeth are not set in concrete, they are set in bone. The bone around your teeth is continually changing (breaking down and rebuilding), and this could mean your teeth will shift after your braces are removed. By wearing your retainers, your teeth are more likely to remain where they were moved orthodontically.