Dental Health and Care

General Questions That Have Come Up

“I haven’t been to the dentist in a long time. What can I expect?”

Suppose that previously you had always been good about going to the dentist every 6 months, and it has been less than two years since your last check up. It is likely that you will not have many dental caries.

“My tooth cracked. What are my options?”

There are many options available depending upon the extent of the crack. In order to determine the treatment plan, a complete examination and radiographs are necessary. In many cases, the tooth is salvageable.

“My tooth hurt for a week, stopped hurting for a while, but then it started hurting again. What is going on?”

Tooth pain can be caused by many factors. If a tooth has hidden decay that is close to the nerve, the bacterial toxins and acids irritates the nerves causing swelling and discomfort. Tooth pain should be taken seriously. If you have tooth pain, please come in for professional evaluation.

“Why do my gums bleed when I brush my teeth?”

When plaque builds up under the gums, the bacterial toxins and acid irritate and weaken your delicate gum tissues. When you brush weakened gums, they tend to bleed. Keeping those areas clean by having professional dental cleaning every 6 months, as well as by good oral hygiene at home, will help to eliminate bleeding gums.

Professional dental cleaning can clear up problem areas that may be difficult for your toothbrush to reach, or where accumulated plaque may be too hardened for you to remove on your own. If your gums are weakened to the point of bleeding, you do need to see a dentist or hygienist. Prolonged bacterial activity and acidity can wear away and discolor teeth, and cause bone loss in the jaws and other problems.

“Is it safe to get my teeth whitened?”

New, modern technology has made teeth whitening very safe. Different whitening products and regimens work better for different people. A full evaluation will help determine whether and which whitening treatment regimen is for you.

“I’ve heard that dry mouth can be devastating. What can I do?”

Saliva is very important to your oral health. Saliva has natural antibacterial properties which help to control bacterial flora in the mouth. It aids in digestion as well as in swallowing food, thereby enhancing nutrition. Insufficient salivary flow can cause rapid dental decay and subsequent bone loss in periodontal disease.

A complete medical and dental evaluation will help identify the cause and determine whether you need treatments for xerostomia (dry mouth).

“I don’t like to floss. Do I have to floss?”

Remember that a toothbrush can only clean the tooth surfaces that are reachable. Flossing helps to remove plaque between teeth, where the brush may not reach. Flossing every night will definitely decrease the occurrence of dental decay.

A wise dentist once said, “Just floss the teeth you want to keep!”

“I take a lot of medication. How does that affect my mouth and dental treatment?”

A discussion with your medical doctor will help identify the medications that can affect your oral tissues. Then, your dentist can use that valuable information to help you design a home-care regimen and in-office follow-ups to maintain good oral health.

“What if I’m having cancer treatment?”

It is of utmost importance that a complete oral evaluation and dental treatments are performed before cancer treatment begins. We’ve seen how chemotherapy and radiation treatment have been devastating to delicate oral tissues, particularly when a dentist was not consulted early enough. Permanent problems with eating and swallowing, rapid dental decay, and bone loss can result. Be sure to involve your dentist early. Early intervention and proper oral care follow-ups can help to ease recovery and prevent severe problems.

“Do I need to see a specialist?”

A general dentist is the first person to see to determine whether you need a referral to a specialist. We have a network of specialists that we trust to care for our patients.

“My children did not like their last dentist. Is your office kid-friendly?”

Children are our favorites. We use fun “show-tell-do” techniques to gently introduce treatments to the children. This helps to create a comfortable setting for both children and parents.

We recommend a non-invasive first visit to the dental office so that the child can be introduced gently to the new environment. The first visit is usually at 2-½ years of age. Also, we suggest that before their first visit, a story about going to the dentist is read. You can find wonderful story books at your local bookstore.

If you have any special concern, our doctor will be happy to discuss it privately with you.

“I’ve always been so afraid!”

We always take the time to explain why treatments are necessary and how we are to going to provide the treatments. Just knowing what to expect can be a great relief. It always helps lower anxiety when patients know what is going to happen during treatments.