Commonly Asked Questions

Select a question below to reveal the answers to our frequently asked questions

What are the best options to improve the appearance of my smile?

Porcelain Veneers – A thin, porcelain coating that covers the front of your tooth to change its shape, size or color, providing a natural color and translucency.Crowns – When Mercury fillings and overly large fillings weaken teeth, a crown can restore original strength and blend beautifully with adjacent teeth.Bonding – A tooth-like material joined to the natural tooth to improve its shape, size or color.Tooth Whitening – Creates a more appealing, youthful smile while lessening the appearance of flaws, dental office whitening is a safe, effective way to enhance the aesthetics of the teeth you have.Tooth Colored Fillings – A non-mercury material that blends compatibly with the shade of the tooth to replace areas that have been removed, chipped, or broken away.Crown & Bridge – Crowns are placed over the natural teeth to support a bridge of one or several teeth. This creates non-removable tooth replacements to areas where natural teeth are adjacent to both sides.Dental Implants – A man-made tooth root placed in the jaw bone to serve as a stable foundation for tooth attachments. They recreate the ability to chew and enjoy food while eliminating the inconvenience and embarrassment associated with removable teeth.

Are silver mercury fillings dangerous to my health?

There are many studies that are surrounded by debate on this subject. Many dentists take a stance of avoiding risk on behalf of the patient. While non-amalgam tooth-colored fillings are more attractive, we prefer them for other reasons as well. Mercury fillings can expand over time, causing teeth to develop fractures and cracks.

How can gum disease affect your overall health?

Like other diseases that form in the body, periodontal disease begins silently. It is the chief cause of tooth loss. Recently, the bacteria of gum disease has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, preterm low birth weight babies, and memory loss. Symptoms such as bad breath, bleeding gums, soreness in the mouth, and gum recession are often assumed to be temporary, which allow the disease to progress. The earlier treatment occurs, the higher the success rate. If signs of gum disease exist, do not delay treatment. Treatment is structured according to the extent of disease present. In some instances, extractions or surgical procedures are needed to thoroughly eliminate disease in the bone and tissues of the mouth.

What is the best solution for tooth replacement?

Crown and bridge combinations are often best for one or several missing teeth. However, a natural tooth must border the area to securely attach the bridge to both sides. Otherwise, Dental Implants are a wise alternative. By recreating the presence of a natural tooth root, they halt the process of bone loss. An implant is not necessary for each missing tooth and a bridge of several teeth or a full arch appliance can be attached to implants that have been strategically placed.

How prevalent is adult tooth loss?

Ten percent of the adult population in the United States are missing all of their teeth, while 63 percent are missing more than one tooth. For those over the age of 65, this rises to 98 percent. When natural tooth roots no longer exist in the upper or lower jaw bone, the bone begins to shrink. Wearing a denture places pressure on the gums which accelerates bone loss. As the bone shrinks, facial muscles detach and “jowls” form. The jaw bone thins, creating a “witches chin” and deep wrinkling around the mouth.

How does the whitening process you provide differ to those sold over-the-counter?

To begin, the molds are custom made so they are more comfortable for the patient. We can also provide a whitening gel that achieves a higher level of whitening than those sold in stores. The whitening lasts longer as well, in most cases, yet the whitening agent will not soften tooth enamel or damaged fillings.

Why do I need Fluoride Varnish?

Fluoride is a mineral that helps to prevent tooth decay.

How fluoride varnish works:

  • It slows down the development of decay by stopping demineralization.
  • It makes the enamel more resistant to acid attack (from plaque bacteria), and speeds up remineralization (remineralizing the tooth with fluoride ions, making the tooth surface stronger and less soluble).
  • It can stop bacterial metabolism (at high concentrations) to produce less acid.

Regarding the efficacy of topical fluoride in reducing the incidence of caries, the scientific evidence suggests that in-office treatments, such as fluoride varnish or gel, prevent caries. The level of evidence that in-office fluoride prevents caries was rated as moderate, which was the highest designation received by any modality. For patients at risk for caries, the ADA recommendation is for in-office application of fluoride varnish or gel every three to six months