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These are a selection of some common questions that patients have. If your question isn't answered here, please contact our office. It's important to us that our patients understand their dental care.
Even with excellent hygiene habits, it's easy to miss small areas of your teeth. Over time, the missed plaque will harden into tartar, which can only be removed with a dental hygienist's tools. When tartar accumulates beneath the gumline, the end result is red, puffy, inflamed gums — the beginnings of periodontal disease.
X-rays are a dentist's most important diagnostic tool. Often, problems start inside your teeth or beneath the gumline. By the time the problem is visible to the naked eye, it can be painful and more difficult to treat. Using x-rays taken on a regular basis, we can catch problems early and treat them quickly and comfortably.
Examinations are an important opportunity for us to check in with you, see how you are doing, and make sure that your teeth are healthy. We want to catch problems when they are small and can be treated easily. This allows for more comfortable and less costly dentistry for you.
Unfortunately, by the time you are in pain, simple measures are often no longer effective. Regular examinations allow us to nip this situation in the bud and keep your teeth healthy and beautiful.
Coming in for regular cleanings with one of our excellent dental hygienists will help keep your gums in great shape, but what you do at home matters as well. Brush twice daily and floss every evening. Our hygienists will be happy to show you good brushing and flossing technique.
Other steps you can take to prevent gum disease include:
The appropriate treatment for your gum disease will vary depending on how far your disease has progressed and any contributing factors such as hygiene and other health conditions.
Some of the treatments recommended for gum disease include:
We will discuss your situation with you and recommend the treatment that we believe will be the most appropriate for your unique needs.
In its earliest stages, we can reverse gum disease by improving your hygiene routine and adding in an antimicrobial treatment. Once gum disease has progressed past a certain point, however, the disease is not reversible. We can still provide treatment that will stop the disease in its tracks and prevent further deterioration of your gum and bone tissue.
Dental crowns are designed to be durable and to function much like your own teeth. You do need to use common sense, however, and avoid biting down directly on foods like hard candy or nuts.
A broken crown is not just costly to replace, but you may also damage underlying healthy tooth structure.
A dental bridge is a solution for filling the space left by a missing tooth. It is basically a single dental restoration that usually includes two dental crowns and a replacement tooth (pontic) that fills the empty space. The dental crowns are secured to adjacent teeth on either side of the empty space and provide support for the artificial tooth.
Modern dental materials and technology have dramatically improved the appearance of dental crowns and bridges. The porcelain used in today’s crowns and bridges can be color-matched to blend perfectly with the shade of your natural teeth.
With proper placement, your dental restoration should be virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth.
We will do our very best to get you in the same day for dental emergencies. If this is not possible, we will see you the next day at the latest.
The goal of an emergency dental appointment is to address the immediate need, resolve your problem, and relieve your pain. If we believe further care is needed, we will ask you to schedule a regular appointment to follow up and set up an appropriate treatment plan to prevent future problems.
If you are in pain, then you are having a dental emergency. Call us right away so that we can examine you, diagnose the problem, and create a treatment plan. Other signs that indicate the need for an emergency appointment include:
The techniques used to perform root canals have advanced considerably, making this routine procedure no more uncomfortable or inconvenient than a filling. Many people who need a root canal are currently in pain, and a root canal will relieve your pain and save your tooth. After your procedure, you may experience some swelling and discomfort, but this will go away quickly.
Understanding the process can often remove a great deal of the fear surrounding dental procedures. During a root canal, the goals of treatment are to stop the infection, prevent further damage, and relieve your pain.
We begin by making sure that you are numb and comfortable. The next step is to open your tooth. We then use special instruments to carefully and thoroughly clean out the infection from your tooth and remove the infected or damaged nerve. If necessary, we may place an antibiotic treatment to prevent re-infection.
The cavity in your tooth will be filled and sealed, and a crown may be placed. You may experience some soreness following the procedure as part of your body’s natural reaction to any type of perceived injury, but this will quickly fade, and you will feel much better.
When the interior of your tooth is infected, it can cause a lot of pain and is likely to damage the nerve. If left untreated, the infection could spread to other teeth. Root canal therapy removes the infection and relieves the pain, restoring the tooth and allowing us to save it.