The Measure Of Perfection

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make my teeth whiter?

There are many products and procedures available to brighten your smile. Before you purchase any number of the tooth whitening products in the store or online, it is important to understand what is causing your teeth to stain, the risks, as well as the benefits to whitening your teeth. Your first step should be to schedule an examination and cleaning of your teeth. At this time, your dentist or hygienist can review your oral health with you, any medications that you may be taking, as well as make recommendations for any dietary changes or teeth bleaching products or procedures that will work for you.

When should my child first see a dentist?

This is a common question asked by many first time parents. It is recommended by the American Dental Association, American Academy of General Dentistry, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, that your child's first dental visit should take place around 12 months of age or shortly after the eruption of the first baby tooth. Do not wait until your child has a toothache or a dental emergency to take him/her to the dentist for the first time. The experience may be very traumatic and one the child will probably remember for many years to come. As a result, the child may develop a fear of the dentist and that fear is sometimes very hard to overcome.

What is a root canal procedure?

A root canal procedure is a procedure by which the nerve, (pulp tissue) , is removed from the inside of the tooth. There are many causes of why the nerve in the tooth becomes sore. Decay and trauma are the two most common causes. This irritation of the nerve is called pulpitis. The tooth is held into the jawbone by 1-3 roots, depending on the tooth. Inside each root, is an area called the pulp chamber. The nerve branches off from the center of the tooth into each root. Whenever the nerve becomes sore and irritated, the nerve begins to die. This dead nerve tissue and miscellaneous debris needs to be removed from the inside of the tooth to treat any infection and to help prevent future infections.

The root canal procedure is a relatively painless procedure and many patients are relieved when the tooth no longer hurts them anymore. This procedure is also a necessary procedure in order to save the tooth. If an abcessed tooth is left untreated, other dental problems can occur such as bone loss, swelling, and severe toothaches.

How often should x-rays be taken?

If you are a new patient, if you have had a full set of x-rays taken within the past year, ask to have your x-rays transferred to your new dentist. If you have not had x-rays taken within a year, a full set of x-rays may be taken on your first visit. Depending on your health and oral health, you may only need x-rays once every year. Other people will require more frequent x-rays due to continued treatment, diet, oral hygiene, and/or health related issues. Consult with your dentist or hygienist and together come up with an x-ray schedule that is right for you.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a small titanium screw that is surgically placed in the jawbone. Dental implants are permanent and they are used to replace a missing tooth or teeth.

Which toothpaste should I use?

There are many varities of toothpastes on the market. There is everything from gels, whitening toothpaste, tartar control toothpaste, to natural toothpaste, toothpaste made for children, and sensitive teeth. The brand of toothpaste you choose is not as important as what is in the toothpaste itself. Even if you have fluoride in your drinking water, it is still wise to choose a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Another thing to consider is, the more chemicals that are added to the toothpaste the higher at risk you are for your teeth and gums to become irritated and sensitive. Before using any of the whitening toothpaste, tartar control toothpaste, sensitive tooth toothpaste, and the likes, consult with your dentist or hygienist to see if any of these toothpastes are recommended for you.

What is a dry socket?

When a tooth is extracted, a blood clot forms in the hole where the tooth once was. This blood clot is very important because it protects the bone tissue underneath as well as supplies the surrounding tissue with nutrients to help the healing process. If this blood clot fails to form properly or becomes dislodged, the bone tissue is exposed to air and debris. When the bone is exposed to air, it will begin to dry out. This is what the term "dry socket" refers to. A dry socket is very painful and must be treated immediately in order for proper healing to take place and reduce the risk of other complications. When a dry socket occurs, the dentist will clean out the socket and pack it with a medicated dressing. The medicine will ease the pain as well as promote proper healing of the extraction site.

What Are Dental Insurance Coverage Types?

Preventative - Most insurance companies consider routine cleanings and examinations as preventative dental care, however, X-rays, sealants and fluoride can be deemed as preventative or basic, depending upon the specific insurance carrier.

Basic or Restorative - Basic or restorative dental treatment usually consists of fillings and simple extractions. Root canals can be considered basic or major. However, the majority of dental plans list root canals as basic.

Major - Crowns, bridges, dentures, partials, surgical extractions and dental implants are dental procedures that most dental insurance companies consider as a major procedure.

Since all dental insurance carriers are different, it is important to clarify which dental procedures fall under each specific category. This is important because some insurance plans don't cover major procedures and others have waiting periods for certain procedures. If you know that you will need major dental work that is not covered by a given plan, you should probably look elsewhere to find one that suits all of your needs.

What is Tooth Erosion?

Tooth erosion is the wearing away of tooth enamel by acid. The enamel is the hard calcified tissue that covers and protects the outside of the tooth. It is the hardest substance in our bodies.

The saliva in our mouth contains calcium which helps to strengthen and remineralize the teeth, however, remineralization can not occur when a great deal of acid is present.

The high amount of acids in the food and drink that you consume can cause tooth erosion. Soft drinks and pure fruit juices contain a high amount of acid.

Tooth erosion can also be caused by medical factors such as a decrease in saliva, acid reflux disease, certain gastrointestinal conditions and the eating disorder bulimia.

Why is Oral Hygiene so Important During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is a very exciting and busy time. There are so many changes going on in your body and your mouth is no exception. Good oral hygiene is extremely important during pregnancy because the increase of hormone levels during pregnancy can cause dental problems to be intensified.

One of the most common dental problems associated with pregnancy is a condition known as pregnancy gingivitis, which usually occurs during the first trimester. Symptoms of pregnancy gingivitis are usually bleeding, swollen, red and tender gums.

Good oral health during pregnancy could also be important to your fetus. Some researchers have suggested that the serious stage of gum disease, periodontitis, could cause premature birth and low birth weight.

What is a Veneer?

A veneer is a thin shell made out of porcelain or composite material. They are custom made and cemented to the front side of the tooth. A veneer can be used to treat dental conditions such as a slightly crooked tooth, discolored teeth, chipped teeth or they can even be used to cover spaces in between the teeth.

A veneer can be made by the dentist or in a dental laboratory, depending on the materials used and the preference of the dentist.
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