- What kinds of bleaching/whitening do you do in your office?
- What are veneers and what do they cost?
- What are you hours of operation?
- What are implants?
- How often should I get my teeth cleaned?
- But my insurance says I only get one cleaning every 9 months?
- What is the difference between a crown and an onlay/inlay?
- Why is preventive care important?
- What is AACD Accreditation?
- What is periodontal (gum) disease?
- What are the warning signs of periodontal disease?
- What is Gingivitis?
- What is plaque? Calculus?
- Why do I need x-rays?
- What is the Velscope and how does it work?
- What if the Velscope shows a suspicious area?
- What is the ultrasonic scaler?
- Why Flouride?
- What simple things can I do to prepare my smile for my wedding day?
- What are composite fillings?
- What is a cavity and what causes one?
What kinds of bleaching/whitening do you do in your office?
We do two types of whitening here in our office. The first type is a take-home tray kit. We make an impression of both your upper and lower teeth. We use these impressions to create clear plastic trays that fit to your teeth – every nook and cranny. The bleaching solution goes in the trays and you put the trays in your mouth for a certain length of time. You will achieve results within one week to 10 days if you wear the trays twice a day for half an hour. This system works very well and you get great results. The bonus of this system is that you will always have the trays and you can use them to touch up your teeth anytime you see staining.
The second system we have is the in office Zoom whitening system. This is a two hour procedure that involves using a special light to activate the bleaching solution. It is a 15 minute process that is repeated 3-4 times in a row. It is very intensive. You will get very nice results with this system but we have found that the results do not last as long as the take home tray kit. Often people end up having trays made so they can touch up at home later.
What are veneers and what do they cost?
Veneers are porcelain facings that are directly bonded on to the front of your tooth to give an enhanced look. They are often used to change shape, color and length of teeth and often they can correct minor rotations and spaces. To place veneers requires a minimum of three appointments. The first appointment is to take an impression of your already existing smile. We send the impression to our lab with instructions on what you want to see your smile look like and they build a wax model of your ideal. From there we book an appointment to prepare your teeth for the veneers. A very small amount of tooth enamel is removed to make space for the new veneer. We once again take impressions of our preparatory work and send them to the lab so they can fabricate the veneers. We create custom fit temporary veneers to wear for the 10 days it takes to make the actual veneers. At the final appointment the temporary veneers are taken off and the permanent veneers are bonded on.
The cost of veneers can vary depending on the complexity of the case and how many are being done at one time. The average price is $1300.00 per tooth.
What are you hours of operation?
Our office is open Monday to Thursday 8am until 4:30pm. We do book hygiene appointments on two Fridays a month as well. We also book big case appointments outside of our regular hours if scheduling is a problem.
What are implants?
An implant is titanium post that is inserted directly into the bone of the jaw to replace a missing tooth. The titanium post is screwed directly into the bone and left to heal for 1-4 months. Once the bone has healed around the post a crown or bridge or denture is made to fit right onto the implant post.
The procedure had become very simple and straightforward. Most patients find it as easy as having a regular crown done.
How often should I get my teeth cleaned?
You should have your teeth cleaned at least twice a year.
But my insurance says I only get one cleaning every 9 months?
Dental Hygiene appointments are important to maintain overall oral health.
For most people it is recommended that they have a hygiene appointment every 6 months. Some people have periodontal disease or bone loss and we recommend that they come in once ever 3 or 4 months.
A few insurance companies have changed their coverage to only include one “cleaning” per year. This is the insurance company’s way of saving money; they did not make this change based off any studies that proved that a dental cleaning more than once a year was not necessary.
Most plans only cover the dental exam, polish and fluoride once every nine months. The scaling (removal of tarter) is generally covered up to 10 units or more. Most people require two or three units at a time. We recommend for those on a “nine month” plan to still have hygiene every five months; however, one of those appointments will be scaling only. For example, the first appointment of the year will be a full cleaning and check up and in five months time we do the scaling only. Scaling is the really important part of a cleaning. Getting rid of the tarter build up is what keeps the gums healthy. Having scaling done every five months still allows you to have two cleanings per year.
What is the difference between a crown and an onlay/inlay?
A full crown covers the whole tooth. An onlay/inlay only covers part of the tooth with porcelain/metal.
Our goal is to preserve as much healthy natural tooth structure as possible. Often we will recommend an onlay or inlay instead of a crown. This allows us to cut a smaller amount of the tooth away but still maintain the structural integrity and strength with the inlay/onlay.
Why is preventive care important?
The best way to avoid dental problems is proper home care everyday, regular dental visits, and preventive hygiene care. Detecting problems early saves you suffering, saves dollars and saves time and prevents more serious problems from developing.
What is AACD Accreditation?
Accreditation serves to set standards for excellence in cosmetic dentistry. Achieving Accredited status from the AACD requires dedication to continuing education, careful adherence to the protocols, and a resolve to produce exceptional dentistry.
What is periodontal (gum) disease?
Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection in which bacteria attack the tissues that surround and support teeth. Simply put, it is an infection that can result in tooth loss if not treated. Because it is often painless, you may not be aware that you have a problem until your gums and bone are seriously affected. The good news is that periodontal diseases often can be prevented or treated in the early stages with a treatment call scaling and root planing. Click Here to Learn More
Periodontal (gum) diseases, including gingivitis and periodontitis, are serious infections that, left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. The word periodontal literally means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease can affect one tooth or many teeth. It begins when the bacteria in plaque (the sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth) causes the gums to become inflamed.
There are many forms of periodontitis. The most common ones include the following.
Aggressive periodontitis occurs in patients who are otherwise clinically healthy. Common features include rapid attachment loss and bone destruction and familial aggregation.
Chronic periodontitis results in inflammation within the supporting tissues of the teeth, progressive attachment and bone loss. This is the most frequently occurring form of periodontitis and is characterized by pocket formation and/or recession of the gingiva. It is prevalent in adults, but can occur at any age. Progression of attachment loss usually occurs slowly, but periods of rapid progression can occur.
Periodontitis as a manifestation of systemic diseases often begins at a young age. Systemic conditions such as heart disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes are associated with this form of periodontitis.
Necrotizing periodontal disease is an infection characterized by necrosis of gingival tissues, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. These lesions are most commonly observed in individuals with systemic conditions such as HIV infection, malnutrition and immunosuppression.
What are the warning signs of periodontal disease?
See your dentist and hygienist if you notice any of the following warning signs:
- gums that bleed easily
- red, swollen or tender gums
- gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- pus between the teeth and gums when the gums are pressed
- persistent bad breath or bad taste
- permanent teeth that are loose or spreading
- any changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- any changes in the fit of partial dentures
What is Gingivitis
Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care. Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. With time, plaque can spread and grow below the gum line. Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums. The toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response in which the body in essence turns on itself, and the tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed. Gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets (spaces between the teeth and gums) that become infected. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Often, this destructive process has very mild symptoms. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.
What is plaque? Calculus?
Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that clings to teeth and gums. Even if you brush and clean between your teeth everyday, you may not completely remove plaque, especially around the gum line. The bacteria in plaque create toxins that injure the gums and underlying bone. Over time, these toxins can destroy gum and bone tissue. Plaque that is not removed completely every 24 to 48 hours hardens into a rough, porous deposit called tartar or calculus. Once tartar develops, the only way to remove it is by having your teeth cleaned at a dental office. Tartar that builds up below (under) the gum line makes it more difficult to remove the film of plaque. This can lead to chronic inflammation and infection. Periodontal (gum) diseases are progressive – if left untreated, the condition will worsen.
Why do I need x-rays?
Radiographic, or X-ray, examinations provide us with an important tool that shows the condition of your teeth, its roots, jaw placement and the overall composition of your facial bones. X-rays helps us determine the presence or degree of periodontal (gum) disease, abscesses and many abnormal growths, such as cysts and tumors. X-rays also can show the exact location of impacted and un-erupted teeth. They can pinpoint the location of cavities and other signs of disease that may not be possible to detect through a visual examination.
Our office has been using digital x-rays for the past five years.
What is the Velscope and how does it work?
Along with our conventional oral screening exam, which includes looking inside your mouth for any lesions that might be visible to the naked eye and feeling your neck for any suspicious bumps, we can use the Velscope to literally see beneath the surface to detect potentially dangerous growths we might have otherwise missed.
The Velscope exam takes about two minutes as part of a regular hygiene check up; it involves no pain or inconvenience and is completely safe.
The blue excitation light of the Velscope shows us the tissues under a different condition. It will show healthy tissue with a green apple color and abnormal tissue will show as dark or deep maroon. This obvious and distinct difference in appearance greatly improves our ability to differentiate between healthy tissue and areas of concern.
What if the Velscope shows a suspicious area?
We would first make sure that the area is not a result of a cheek bite or some other trauma by doing the Velscope examination about two weeks later. If the lesion is still present, we will refer you to have a biopsy done just as a precaution and to rule out any persistent issues. A pathologist will send a report to us with the findings.
Fortunately, the survival rate for oral cancer discovered at early stages is extremely high. That is why it is so important for you to have the oral cancer screening once a year, or twice a year if you are a smoker or chew tobacco.
What is the ultrasonic scaler?
This is a tool we use to aid in removing tarter build up from your teeth. The sclera vibrates and shoots out water to flush out the pockets under the gum line. This flushing action is known as “lavage” and helps to flush away the bacterial plaque from under the gums. This helps reduce the incidents of gingivitis and helps keep pockets clean and will even help reduce the size of pockets created by gum disease.
The sclera will also remove larger pieces of calculus build up. This allows Niki to go in with a hand scaler and remove the little pieces that are left behind. The whole process leaves a cleaner fresher feeling in the mouth when the hygiene is completed.
Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay. Fluoride occurs naturally in all water sources. Studies show that fluoride reduces cavities and is effective and safe. The use of fluoride can dramatically reduce tooth decay and help to prevent tooth sensitivities.
What simple things can I do to prepare my smile for my wedding day?
Something as simple as whitening your teeth can give you great results. You need to plan ahead so you have time to get the results you want.
What are composite fillings?
Composite fillings are mixture of glass or quartz filler in resin medium that produces a tooth colored filling and thus are often referred to as ‘tooth colored filling’. Composite fillings provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small-to-mid size restorations that need to withstand moderate chewing pressure. Less tooth structure is removed when we prepare the tooth, and this may result in a smaller filling than that of an amalgam.
What is a cavity and what causes one?
Plaque – that whitish film on teeth that results when bacteria from eating, drinking and smoking – is the principal cause for tooth cavities. Plaque that doesn’t get washed away by saliva, brushed away by your toothbrush or removed by flossing, produces acid that dissolves the mineral salts in your salive help add to the hardness of your teeth but are vulnerable to attack by acids that cause them to break down. Tooth enamel is very hard, mainly because it contains durable mineral salts, like calcium, but when teeth are not professionally cleaned frequently enough, plaque builds up and eats tiny holes in tooth enamel until the enamel surface of the tooth becomes porous surface. After a while, the acid from plaque makes the tiny holes in the enamel bigger until one large hole appears. This hole is a cavity, and unless it is professionally cleaned out and filled, the tooth will eventually decay completely
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” – Albert Einstein