Q: The most common question i get is, “Can i come to your office to get my teeth cleaned?”
A: Yes! We provide a thorough initial exam and professional cleaning at the first visit. It is the best time to get to know our patients and I spend extra time during this visit to gather all the necessary data. Be ready to ask all the questions you have!
Q: Are “white fillings” better than “silver amalgam” fillings?
A: The short answer is no. They both have their application in dentistry and silver amalgam has never shown to be toxic, according to American dental association (ADA) recent review. ADA says “Dental amalgam is considered a safe, affordable and durable material that has been used to restore the teeth of more than 100 million Americans.”
Also, The FDI World Dental Federation and the World Health Organization concluded in a 1997 consensus statement: “No controlled studies have been published demonstrating systemic adverse effects from amalgam restorations.”
In 2006, the Journal of the American Medical Association(JAMA) and Environmental Health Perspectives also found no adverse effects from dental amalgams.
White fillings are not ideal in large cavities; however, they are excellent in smaller cavities. White fillings are extremely technique sensitive and a small error in its manipulation can lead to early failure, recurrent decay. Amalgam has been used for 100 years and they have shown long term durability. If you don’t like to have silver fillings in your mouth for cosmetic reasons, it is justifiable to replace them, but they shouldn’t be replace because of a promise they are “metal free”. White fillings are metal as well, but have a white, tooth color
Q: What is “metal free” dentistry?
A: “Metal free” dentistry is a marketing tool to attract patients. Metals are not defined by their color, so whatever is white (like Zirconia), instead of being yellow (like gold) or silver (like platinum, or silver) cannot and should not be called non-metallic. All white fillings (composites) are metallic oxides, they are just white. Zirconia (zirconium oxide) is also composed of metallic oxides; it is just white and still is being researched to be improved. Zirconia implants are not new; there is just not enough data to support long term success as there is for titanium implants.
Q: I was told by a dentist that I need several fillings. Can I come to your office for a second opinion?
A: Yes. You can always come for a consultation and second opinion. However, in certain situations (complex cases) there may be a need for some additional information, e.g. X-rays, CT scans, diagnostic models, etc.
Q: When I put my dentures in my mouth, the teeth look canted. Can you make it look better and more natural?
A: Your denture can be made so it is hard to say they are fake. If you want to take your dentures to the next level, call our office and come for a consultation.
Q: I need a crown. Are all the crowns the same?
A: There are a few different types of crowns, which are classified based on the type of material used to fabricate them. For a long time there were only cast gold crowns and porcelain fused to metal crowns. With advances in dental materials, different types of dental ceramics have emerged. These materials possess certain characteristics which affect their strength, and optical characteristics. Successful use of all-ceramic systems requires a higher level of knowledge to maximize the aesthetic result and to choose appropriately for structural longevity. If you are looking for a crown, ask your Prosthodontist what the ideal crown is for you.
Q: “My gum is puffy and red” – is it normal?
A: If your gum is puffy it is not normal. The consistency, color and surface characteristic of gum are important to make a diagnosis. It is best to consult with your dentist to evaluate your gum.
Q: My teeth are sensitive. Do I need to get fillings? What do you recommend?
A: The most common reason for tooth sensitivity of a healthy tooth is root exposure as a result of gum recession. My first line of action is to recommend my patients to use Sensodyne tooth paste for 2-3 weeks to see if it would go away. In many instances when the sensitivity is mild it works well. However, if sensitivity is moderate to severe and persistent, there are other options to choose from. One treatment option is application of resin; another alternative treatment is “root coverage” using tissue graft and different micro-surgical techniques. Covering the exposed root with composite filling is also an option which I do not recommend frequently due to its long term complications. It is important to see your dentist so they can identify the source and make the right recommendation, as not all sensitivities are due to root exposure.
To find out more about Sensodyne toothpaste click here.
Q: What is TMJ? Do I have TMJ? I Think I have TMJ. Etc.
A: TMJ stands for Temporo-Mandibular Joint. We all have one TMJ on each side. A group of disorders associated with TMJ and its adjacent structures are collectively called TMD or Temporo-Mandibular Disorders. Treatment of TMD requires knowledge and training. A night guard is often a good tool to protect your teeth when you grind at night, but it normally it normally has little to do with TMD treatment.
Q: Is Whitening bad for me?
A: Whitening by itself is not bad for your teeth. However, it is important to get an examination and assess the condition of your gum and teeth prior to attempting any treatment.
Q: Why cannot I get my teeth whitened?
A: Like any other conditions, the first step in treating a condition is a proper diagnosis. Depending on the etiology and degree of discoloration, the outcome may differ. So, if you want your teeth whiter, you’ll want to ask your doctor if you are a candidate for: in-office, day-time or night-time whitening.
QUESTIONS ABOUT DENTAL IMPLANTS:
Q: Is the implant placement painful?
A: No, it is usually done under local anesthesia. Most procedures can be done in your dentist’s office.
Q: What are dental implants and where do they come from?
A: Dental implants or as its inventor Prof. Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark would like to refer to it “dental fixtures” are root form replicas that are made of titanium alloys which are surgically placed in the jaw bone to replace and simulate the root of a pre-existing tooth. When implants are fused to bone, they could be used to receive a single crown, bridge or an over-denture.
Q: Who can place dental implants?
A: In the USA anyone with a dental degree can place dental implants. A dental license gives a dentist the right to perform all dental procedures, but few dentists possess the knowledge, training, and skill to perform every procedure within the standard of care. Knowledge and training are gained in dental school to practice at a minimally competent level. Expert competency skill often requires a 3-4 years postgraduate specialty training as well as clinical experience supplemented by continuing education courses.
Q: How much pain will I feel after implant placement?
A: The discomfort you may feel should be minor. Your dentist may prescribe medication to alleviate any pain you may have.
Q: How long does it take to place dental implants?
A: Usually 60-90 minutes, depending on the location and the number of implants.
Q: What can I eat after having an implant placed?
A: Your dentist will outline a diet for the next few days including some soft foods.
Q: How long does placement, healing and construction of the replacement teeth take?
A: The entire process usually takes from 4 to 12 months, depending on your treatment plan.
Q: How do I care for my implant?
A: Home care for your implants consists of brushing and flossing. Regular dental visits are required for long-term health and success.
Q: How long does an implant last?
A: If your body accepts the implant, it should last many years if cared for properly. Many implants have been in place for more than 20years.
Q: If my body rejects an implant, what happens?
A: The implant is removed and the site is allowed to heal. Another implant can usually be placed after healing.
Q: Are dental implants covered by insurance?
A: Like most elective procedures, dental implants are not covered by many dental insurance plans. However, your dentist may offer payment plan options.
Q: When I get my implant restorations, would I still need to come for follow ups and regular check ups?
A: Dental implants require regular maintenance and checkups like your teeth. Dental implants won’t decay like natural teeth, however there are many other factors which need to be checked and/or adjusted periodically to increase the longevity of the dental implants and implant supported prosthesis.
I have tried to include many different questions that you might have. If you have questions which are not listed, please email me and I will respond and add them to this list.