FAQ

General

What does cosmetic dentistry do?
  • Straightens teeth
  • Closes spaces between teeth
  • Whitens teeth
  • Eliminates “gummy smiles”
  • Creates teeth of the perfect size and shape

What are veneers?

Veneers are a hand-crafted, thin shell of porcelain that is bonded to the outside of the tooth. This creates a perfectly spaced, shaped and colored tooth. It can correct short teeth, stained teeth and even close unsightly spaces between teeth.

What are the benefits of tooth-colored fillings?
  • Tooth colored or “white” fillings are bonded to the tooth to make the tooth stronger
  • They contain no mercury
  • They are aesthetically pleasing
  • “White” fillings can save precious tooth structure because the preparations are more conservative than silver/mercury fillings

What is “gum disease”?

Gum disease, otherwise known as Periodontal disease, is an infection of the teeth, gums and bone that surround the teeth. The main culprit of gum disease is plaque, a sticky collection of bacteria that causes the gums to be red and puffy. Over time, the plaque causes the bone to dissolve from around the teeth. This leads to the teeth becoming loose and eventually requiring the teeth to be extracted.

When does a tooth need a root canal?

A tooth needs a root canal when the nerve of the tooth becomes infected. A tooth may be infected if it is sensitive to hot, cold, or chewing, causes pain or swelling, keeps you awake at night, creates a bad taste in your mouth, or you may have no symptoms at all. When a root canal is done, your symptoms will dissipate because the nerve will have been removed from the tooth.

What is a dental implant?

An implant is an excellent way to replace a missing tooth and keep a beautiful smile. A titanium post is placed into the jaw bone to replace the root of a tooth. Bone will then integrate with the post and the implant will be ready to receive a beautiful crown. Implants are a wonderful way to effectively and conservatively replace the missing tooth.

What factors are evaluated when considering a restoration to replace a worn out filling?

When we recommend new restorations, we consider both the size of the filling and the amount of remaining tooth structure. When a worn out filling is fairly small, it can be replaced with another resin filling. When a larger, worn out filling needs to be replaced, and less tooth structure remains, we begin to worry about fractures. By switching to a crown, we can strengthen the tooth and PREVENT problems.

What are the drawbacks of delaying treatment?

Whether tooth structure has been lost due to breakage or cavities, if a person delays treatment, it will get worse. If the tooth breaks more, it is going to be harder to fix and we may have no choice but to extract it. When a person delays treatment, cavities just get bigger and bigger. They grow slowly while they are still in the hard outer enamel layer. However, if a cavity is allowed to reach the softer inner dentin, it grows much more quickly. The race is on to fill the cavity before it infects the pulp chamber. If it gets in to the pulp chamber…a root canal will be necessary to save the tooth.

What is a sealant?

Sealants are a clear or white plastic material that is placed in the the grooves of the biting surfaces that are very difficult to keep clean. Food collects in these grooves. Every time a person eats, the bacteria in the grooves form acid. Every time a person eats, the bacteria in the grooves form acid. Without protective sealants, these acid attacks can cause enamel to break down and a person can get a cavity.

Tooth Whitening

What is tooth whitening?

It is a bleaching process that lightens discoloration of enamel and dentin. The system uses a mild solution retained in a custom fitted tray that is worn over your teeth.

What causes tooth discoloration?

There are many causes. The most common include aging, consumption of staining substances (coffee, tea, cola, tobacco), trauma, nerve degeneration, and old restorations. During tooth formation, consumption of tetracycline or excessive fluoride may also cause tooth discoloration.

Who may benefit from tooth whitening?

Almost anyone. However, there are some cases where the treatment may not be effective. A dentist will determine candidates for the process through oral examination and diagnosis. Day White is ideal for patients who have healthy, unrestored teeth and would like to have a whiter, brighter smile.

Why is the Day White process unique?

New breakthrough technology allows you to whiten your teeth comfortably and effectively, in only 30 minutes twice a day. For example, you can whiten while driving to work or watching your favorite TV show.

How does it work?

The Day White gel is placed in a thin bleaching tray that fits over your teeth. As hydrogen peroxide, the active ingredient in the gel, is broken down, oxygen enters the enamel and dentin and bleaches the colored substances. Only the tooth color is made lighter, while the structure of the tooth is unchanged.

Is the process safe?

YES! Research and clinical studies indicate that whitening teeth with hydrogen peroxide under the supervision of a dentist is safe for teeth and gums. In fact, many dentists consider this whitening process the safest cosmetic dental procedure available today.

How long does it take?

Results are often seen after the first application. Ideal results generally occur when the process is continued for 10 to 14 days. Faster results may be obtained with more frequent application and/or longer wear periods.

Are there any side effects?

Some people experience temporary tooth sensitivity during the treatment. These symptoms always disappear within 1–3 days after interruption or completion of the treatment.

How long do the results last?

The teeth will always be lighter than they were. However, some patients may want to “touch-up” their re-whitening for one or two days, usually once or twice a year. This is especially useful if they continue to use staining substances such as caffeine or tobacco products.

If you have any other questions, please call us at 410-747-1115.