Why do you need to take xrays?
Radiographs are taken to show the doctor areas between the teeth and below the bone, where potential issues cannot been seen visually. Without having the radiographs, the doctor does not have all the information needed for a proper diagnosis, which could be very dangerous for the patient and lead to greater, undiscovered issues down the road.
What are the benefits of fluoride, and why do I need it?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that has the ability to build itself into the tooth’s enamel structure (the outer protective layer) which physically makes the tooth stronger, helping to prevent cavities. Fluoride is the only mineral you can topically add to the surface of the tooth to make it stronger and help prevent tooth decay.
What is the best way to whiten my teeth?
There are lots of different ways to whiten your teeth. The technique that is right for you depends on how quickly you want it achieved and how white you want them to get. The two preferred ways we recommend in our office are with either Zoom In-Office Whitening, or custom take-home bleach trays.
If you are looking to achieve several shades whiter with minimal sensitivity, we recommend using the Zoom In-Office whitening system, as we have found that during the one and a half hour visit, patients can get up to 8 shades lighter and have virtually ZERO post op sensitivity. Take home trays are included with in-office whitening and can help to maintain the results long term from in-office bleaching, but using take home trays alone can take several weeks of daily treatments to achieve the same result as the Zoom provides in only an hour.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an active bacterial infection present in the small space between the gum and the tooth. It is caused by the bacteria present in the plaque, with is the soft, white material we brush and flossed off our teeth daily. When the plaque sits on the surface of the tooth long enough, it hardens and sticks to the tooth in the form of hard tarter, or calculus. The presence of the calculus makes the tooth structure rough, which then encourages more of the bacteria-filled plaque to stick to the tooth. The combination of hard spikes of calculus and irritating bacteria sitting on the tooth surface and next to the gums, causes the gums to swell up and bleed. If the bacteria sit between the gum and the tooth long enough, that chronic irritations cause the bone directly below the gum to gradually disappear. The long term effects of gum disease are bone loss and loosening of teeth, even possible loss of teeth as well as many systemic effects on the heart or diabetes patients.
What cause cavities and how do I prevent them?
Cavities are essentially holes in the teeth caused by plaque or bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria that make up the plaque in our mouths, use the sugars in food that you eat to produce acid. The acid byproduct created by these bacteria, essentially dissolve the tooth on which it sits on the surface off and eats a whole into the tooth causing a cavity. Proper brushing, a diet low in sugars, and regular visits to the dentist can help prevent cavities from forming.
When should I get my treatment completed?
When the doctor recommends treatment, it is generally to address a actively present issue, whether that be decay, a fracture, an abscess or gum disease, and therefore we generally recommend treatment to be completed as soon as possible. One thing we try to remind patients of is that we do not have a crystal ball. We recommend treatment based on what we see is happening presently, but there is a good chance that if you wait too long to take care of recommended treatment, things could get much worse. The only thing we can guarantee is that any recommended dental work will never be less expensive than it is right now.
Will my insurance cover that?
In our office we believe in treating every patient based on their individual needs and do not base any treatment recommendations on insurance coverage. We see insurance as “coupon” to help pay towards any recommended treatment the patient decides to move forward with. Once we are provided with your accurate insurance information, we do our best to get an accurate insurance estimate for any desired treatment, but we always remind the patient that anything we receive from the insurance company prior to treatment is only an estimate.
Why do you recommend fluoride application for adults, insurance usually only covers it for children?
We recommend fluoride to all patients, no matter their age or regardless of insurance coverage. Fluoride is scientifically proven to make the enamel stronger and help prevent cavities so we believe it is important for every patient, regardless of insurance coverage.