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Dental FAQs

dental faqQ. How come my grandpa and grandma never flossed and they had all their teeth when they died?

A. Unfortunately, our diets today have many hidden sugars that your grandparents did not eat. When your grandparents were born the average American consumed about 40 lbs of sugar a year. Today the average is over a whopping 150 lbs of sugar a year. These sugars, especially those in sports drinks, sodas and energy drinks are responsible for interproximal cavities (between your teeth), causing an epidemic of teeth decay, especially in our children.

Q. At what age do you start seeing children?

A. We have seen children as young as 18 months, but it is very difficult to say how your child will respond to his/her first visit. Some children are very relaxed and others can be very anxious about seeing the dentist. We make every effort to make your child’s first visit as relaxed as possible. We would like to help you educate your child regarding good dental care and do everything possible to make it a fun experience!

Q. How long is my procedure going to take?

A. Depending on what you are coming to see us for, the visit could take a few minutes to a couple of hours. Then it is always possible that an unforeseen dental situation may arise causing your appointment time to run a bit longer. Generally speaking an average appointment for a cleaning or simple fillings will run about an hour.

Q. How long does it take for numbness to wear off?

A. Everyone responds to the anesthesia differently, some people’s systems flush it quicker than others. Generally it could be 1-3 hours for numbness to wear off, however some vitamin C will assist the numbness to be relieved quicker.

Q. Why do you take pictures of my teeth?

A. A picture is worth a thousand words. Most people do not look inside their mouths routinely and when they do it is very difficult to see what is happening to your teeth. A picture helps you to understand exactly what the doctor is seeing and why they may be recommending specific treatment. Additionally, pictures assist us to get the insurance companies to pay for claims that we send.

Q. Is this procedure going to hurt?

A. Our doctors are very concerned about your comfort and take every measure to avoid inflicting any pain. They will discuss with you before the procedure starts how to let them know if you are feeling pain and if so they will stop immediately. You will be in control throughout the appointment. Most patients find that we offer painless dentistry.

Q. How long will the restoration last?

A. Fillings and crown & bridge restorations can be expected to last 5-20 years depending upon how well you maintain your teeth. However, some patients with good care have had restorations last as long as 30-40 years. Most insurances have a standard that they will pay for a new restoration on a tooth after 5 -7 years.

Q. What do the numbers you are saying mean?

A. Our hygienist will do perio probing when they examine and clean your teeth. This is done by placing a thin probe between your gums and teeth. How deeply the probe goes is the number you hear. The higher the number the more concern we have of periodontal disease. This active disease eats at your bones and causes the gums to become detached from the teeth resulting in possible tooth lose if not addressed. If you hear 1’s and 2’s your gums are in good shape. If you hear 4’s-5’s you have a condition that certainly needs handled, if your numbers are higher you are in danger of losing your teeth.

Q. What is the difference between plaque and tarter?

A. Plaque is a soft, sticky film that builds up on your teeth and contains millions of bacteria. If not cleaned off the teeth it begins to harden and becomes what we call tarter or calculus. Brushing and flossing will remove the plaque. Brushing and flossing become more difficult as tartar collects at the gum line. As the tartar, plaque and bacteria continue to increase, the gum tissue can become red, swollen and possibly bleed when you brush your teeth. This is called gingivitis, an early stage of gum (periodontal) disease.

Gingivitis is reversible with good oral hygiene and professional treatment; however, if left untreated, gingivitis can advance into periodontitis. Periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease, occurs when bacterial infection causes your gums and the bone supporting the teeth to break down. Your gums may begin to recede, pulling back from the teeth. In the worst cases, the bone supporting the teeth is destroyed and can lead to tooth loss.


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