Q: I brush regularly, don’t eat a lot of sweets or drink sodas and floss on a regular basis — so why do I need to have a regular check up every 6 months?

A. Dental problems can exist without you knowing. Cavities must progress deep into the tooth before pain is felt. It’s important for an expert dentist to examine your teeth periodically to help you keep your teeth healthy and looking beautiful. By using state-of the art digital x-rays, we can spot issues long before they hurt or turn into a large cavity. We have many minimally-invasive ways to help patients catch potential problems early. Periodic dental check-ups are preventive maintenance visits that can actually help you save money and avoid costly repairs.

Q: How does fluoride help prevent tooth decay?

A: Fluoride inhibits oral bacteria’s ability to metabolize sugar and promotes tooth enamel hardness. Increasing enamel hardness helps teeth resist the acid created when bacteria metabolize sugar. Other products are now available that also help us to remineralize damaged tooth structure and reverse early stages of tooth demineralization. If we identify the problem early we can use innovative products and techniques that help to rebuild your tooth structure and hopefully avoid any dental work at all!

Q: Am I a candidate for dental implants?

A: If you are healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, you are probably healthy enough to have an implant! In general, good health and an adequate bone in your jaw are the key components to qualify for a dental implant. Basically, anyone missing a tooth or many teeth due to injury, disease or decay may be a candidate for dental implants.

Q: How long does the implant process take?

A: The dental implant process involves several steps and the overall treatment period depends on the patient’s availability. Surgery is necessary to prepare the area for an implant and place it in the mouth. Following the procedure, a period of time is required for the implant to take hold and for the bone tissue to build up and anchor the device. Consult our office for specifics on your dental implant timeframe.

Q: Will my new tooth/teeth look natural?

A: Yes! Your new teeth will look and feel natural, just like your own teeth!

Q: Is the dental implant procedure painful?

A: The dental implant procedure is surgical, so we use anesthesia to eliminate discomfort. We may prescribe pain medication for any discomfort that occurs after surgery, though most patients indicate minimal pain after the procedure. Most patients feel normal and are able to work the next day.

Q: How often should I change my toothbrush?

A: We recommend you change your toothbrush every three months. Patients with gum disease are advised according to their gum health as they might have to use other plaque control measures apart from tooth brush.

Q: What are common general dental procedures?

A: Dental Cleanings and Hygiene: A preventative maintenance visit routinely performed that removes plaque and stains from the teeth, treats gingivitis, and periodontal disease, and helps prevent cavities. Oral cancer screenings are also performed during this visit once per year.

Dental Fillings: Using specialized white tooth-colored materials, we can restore the function, stability, and overall appearance of existing teeth in a minimally invasive manner.

Dental Implants: An artificial tooth that is anchored in the gums or jawbone to replace a missing tooth. Dental Implants utilize a custom-made connector called an “Abutment” that joins them to a custom fabricated crown. This option is typically superior to a bridge since you can clean around it just like a natural tooth and it is immune from decay.

Crowns: An artificial tooth that is custom created by a highly skilled master ceramist. It is made of high-quality, high strength natural tooth-colored porcelain material, which covers and protects a tooth or dental implant

Bridges: A fixed partial denture, used in dental restoration to replace a missing tooth and connect the adjacent teeth or dental implants

Q: What home care regimen do you recommend to maintain healthy teeth in between check-ups?

A: It is important to brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss at least once and make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride. Avoid foods that are high in sugar, like candy or sticky treats. Bacteria in your mouth metabolize the sugar you eat and create acid. This acid is the cause of cavities or decay. The more sugar you eat the more bacteria replicate and gather together, forming dental plaque. Avoid tobacco products since they delay the body’s healing process, cause gum disease, and stain your teeth! Also, remember to brush your tongue, as you will remove food particles and reduce the amount of plaque causing bacteria. Further, tongue brushing helps keep your breath fresh! Finally regular checkups and teeth cleanings at Gums n Braces will help you maintain a healthy mouth!