1. How often do I need a cleaning?
    It is recommended that cleanings be done every six months. Some patients need cleanings more frequently. Upon examination, the assessments on frequency of dental cleanings are made. Patients needing frequent cleanings are normally patients with a history of periodontal disease.

  2. Are x-rays really necessary?
    X-rays are usually taken once a year. They are used to determine the condition of the teeth, supporting structures, and for cavities examination. X-rays are done to ensure accuracy of dental examinations.

  3. What is the purpose of fluoride?
    Fluoride is used on children under eighteen years old. It can be applied as a rinse or a paste. The purpose for the fluoride is to give teeth its resistance to decay.

  4. What is the purpose for sealants?
    Sealants are placed on flat surfaces of back teeth to fill in their crevices to prevent decay.

  5. At what age should children have their first dental exam?
    Children usually have all of their baby teeth by the age of two. It is recommended that a child gets his/her dental exam at two years old. However, if there is a problem before two years old, it is important to get the teeth looked at.

  6. What are the benefits of a white filling and a silver filling?
    Both white and silver fillings are an excellent way to fill cavities. It depends on each person what his/her preference may be. White fillings are more esthetic, but they are prone to be more sensitive, and they also need to be replaced more frequently. Silver fillings adhere better to the tooth, last longer, but they are the silver colored and tarnish over time.

  7. Is there concern of mercury poisoning in silver fillings?
    Mercury is added to a mixture of metals to make it fluid to deliver into the tooth’s cavity. Once the filling is hardened the mercury is dramatically reduced, but minor mercury is released upon removing the filling when it needs to be replaced.

  8. Why save a baby tooth with a root canal, when the child will loose the tooth anyway?
    A baby tooth holds the space for the adult tooth. Prematurely, loosing a baby tooth causes the neighboring teeth to move into the space. This shift in teeth causes poor positioning of adult teeth.

  9. What is a root canal treatment?
    A root canal treatment is defined as taking the nerve out of the tooth. A root canal is typically done when bacteria from a cavity has reached the nerve of the tooth. The nerve is taken out, leaving the roots hollow. It is then filled with an inert material in the roots of the tooth. Then, the upper part of the tooth is prepared for a crown.

  10. Why do a deep cleaning?
    Deep cleanings remove debris, bacteria and tartar (calculus deposits) below the gum line. Failure to remove it from under the gums causes further deterioration of bone and supporting structures of teeth. These supporting structures hold the teeth. Loss of bone and supporting structures of teeth causes loose teeth, bleeding gums, and bad breath.

  11. Why is it recommended after a deep cleaning that periodontal maintenance be done regularly?
    Periodontal maintenance after a deep cleaning is recommended to maintain healthy, clean teeth and gums. Also, it is to help patients improve dental care at home.

  12. What are the components of a crown?
    Presently, crowns are made up of different materials. The most popular ones are porcelain fused to metal crowns, and procera crowns. Porcelain fused to metal crowns are crowns that have a supporting metal, and are covered with porcelain for esthetics. Procera crowns are made up of porcelain only. Procera crowns are not as reinforced since they lack a metal base. However, they are very natural in appearance.

  13. Which procedure is highly recommended, a bridge or an implant?
    An implant is highly recommended because it is more like a natural tooth and easier to maintain. However, a bridge still restores function of missing teeth.

  14. What is the function of a night guard?
    A night guard’s function is to prevent teeth fracture from grinding, and the wearing away of the cartilage in the TMJ (Joints of the Jaw), and the top surface of the teeth.

  15. What is the difference between office bleaching and over the counter bleaching products?
    The difference between office bleaching and over the counter bleaching products is its concentration, time, and the end results. Office beaching is of a higher concentration; therefore, the end result is more rewarding in a shorter time frame. Over the counter bleaching products have less concentration; therefore, needing more time for using the product and the end result is not as dramatic. However, using both products at home is still recommended to maintain the color of the teeth.