Some Dental FAQs

When to see the dentist

Regular dental visits are recommended every six months. We do X-rays if necessary, a dental and oral examination and a teeth cleaning .Dental problems are discussed and oral hygiene instructions are reviewed. This helps in preventing many dental problems and detects any problems early, so if treatment is needed, it can be simpler and less expensive.

Dental X-Rays

A full series of X-rays is done if necessary at the initial visit unless it has been done within the year and the x-rays can be transferred from the previous dentist. At recare visits , bite wing x-rays are usually taken to rule out decay between the teeth. They may be taken every six months or every year or even eighteen months depending on the number of existing fillings and the tendency to get decay.

Gum Disease and your health

Studies increasingly point to the close relation between oral and general health. To read more about gum disease click here

Fluoride

Extensive research has shown that optimal levels of fluoride in drinking water not only reduce cavities in children and adults, they also help repair the early stages of tooth decay even before the decay is visible.With fluoridated toothpastes ,to get the optimal benefits of fluoride, place only a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste on a young child’s toothbrush at each brushing. Young children should be supervised while brushing and taught to spit out, rather than swallow, the toothpaste.

Amalgam free fillings

White fillings or composite resin fillings require less removal of tooth structure and can bond adhesively to the tooth. They need a little more time to place and also require the tooth to be dry while placing the filling. Although dental amalgam or ‘silver filling’ continues to be a safe, commonly used restorative material, some concern has been raised because of its mercury content. However, the mercury in amalgam combines with other metals to render it stable and safe for use in filling teeth. The ‘silver filling’ is not as natural looking and may require more tooth structure removal than for a white resin filling.

Bleeding gums

This can be the first warning sign of gum disease. When plaque stays in contact with the gum it irritates the gum ,which gets inflamed and puffy and bleeds on brushing.

Cavities

Cavities may begin and grow without any pain or sensitivity. In other cases the tooth may be sensitive to cold and sweet foods. Smaller cavities may be treated by doing a ‘filling’. When cavities grow larger they may involve the nerve of the tooth and may need to be treated with root canal treatment. Cavities may also occur underneath old fillings and grow large before they are detected. Regular checks and x-rays can help early detection.

Yellow or discolored teeth

Teeth can be yellowish to begin with or discolor with time and ingestion of colored foods like tea, coffee and red wine. These teeth can be bleached or whitened to a lighter color. Discoloration of teeth from within like due to taking certain antibiotics when the teeth were forming, are harder to treat with bleaching methods though their color may improve. They are more successfully treated by placing veneers on them.

Chipped and broken teeth

Chipped front teeth can be treated by bonding, or by veneers or crowns.

Irregularly placed or crowded teeth

Orthodontics or braces are the first option . Depending on how crowded the teeth are, bonding ,veneers or crowns may also be a treatment option.

Tooth sensitivity

Gum recession due to vigorous brushing can  wear away the tooth in that region causing sensitivity. Anti- sensitivity toothpastes, local desensitizers and fillings are all treatment options.

Bad breath

Causes of bad breath that originate in the mouth may be from diseased gums or teeth or from the tongue . Dryness of the mouth may also give rise to bad breath. The first step in the treatment of bad breath is to get an examination to eliminate oral causes and institute good oral home care like brushing , flossing and tongue cleaning.

Dentures

Dentures have been around for a long time to replace loss of a few teeth to the loss of all teeth. Denture materials have vastly improved making them look very natural. Implants have been used along with dentures where just a few implants make a denture feel much more secure,improving chewing ability and allowing the denture wearer to talk smile and eat with greater confidence

For kids

A childs first dental visit should always be a happy one. We like to see children as young as one year of age.They come in usually with no decay or other problems , they get their teeth polished , they go up and down in the chair and leave with a goodie bag. Most important , this way they like going to the dentist so regular visits become easy. Once they are seen regularly , taught and reminded to brush and floss,they have less chances of developing big dental problems. Dental problems in children are always easier to prevent than treat. At about seven years some of them will be advised to visit the orthodontist either to prevent a problem from developing or to rule out the need for braces in the future.

Mouthguards

Mouth guards are worn during several sports.A properly fitted mouthguard can help prevent broken teeth and injuries to the lips, tongue, face or jaw. It stays in place while being worn, making it easy to talk and breathe.A custom mouthguard made by the dentist fits comfortably and offers the best protection.

Personalized Home Care Instruction

Many types of manual or electric brushes,floss, interdental brushes,gum stimulators flood the market. Once you find the aids that work for you ,work them into your routine so you use them consistently. One of our most important goals is to help you get on this track so it keeps you out of dental trouble!

Referrals to specialists

We are growing a referral network of Specialists who will help us give you the best care possible.