Questions About Your Dental Care
How often should I visit the dentist?
The answer to this question depends on each individual patient’s oral health. For patients with healthy gums, little or no history of decay, good home care and no significant medical conditions, we can usually help you maintain optimal health by scheduling cleanings and check-ups twice a year. Not all patients fall under this category however. After performing a comprehensive exam, we will develop a plan together. It is our job to inform and educate you. We will discuss all of your treatment options, giving you the advantages and disadvantages of each procedure. You will never be pressured into making a decision. We customize each treatment plan to fit our patient’s needs and wishes.
What is your recommended daily routine for my teeth?
What are my payment options?
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Why do I need X-rays
Radiographic, or X-ray, examinations provide your dentist with an important tool that shows the condition of your teeth, its roots, jaw placement and the overall composition of your facial bones. X-rays can help your dentist determine the presence or degree of periodontal (gum) disease, abscesses and many abnormal growths, such as cysts and tumors. X-rays also can show the exact location of impacted and unerupted teeth. They can pinpoint the location of cavities and other signs of disease that may not be possible to detect through a visual examination.
X-rays are based on your dentist’s assessment of your individual needs, including whether you’re a new patient or a follow-up patient, adult or child. In most cases, new patients require a full set of mouth X-rays to evaluate oral health status, including any underlying signs of gum disease, and for future comparison. Follow-up patients may require X-rays to monitor their gum condition or their chance of tooth decay.
Why is Oral Health Important for Women?
Women’s oral health depends on their different stages of life. For many women, these changes are directly related to surges in sex-hormone levels, such as in puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, lactation and menopause. Women are also more likely to be diagnosed with TMJ, myofascial pain, eating disorders and SjÃ¶gren’s syndrome (which causes dry mouth).
As a woman, you need to adhere to good oral hygiene. Make sure to brush with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day and after each meal when possible, and floss thoroughly each day. To help avoid problems, your dentist may request to see you more frequently during stages of your life when hormone levels are changing.
Why is Oral Health Important for Men?
Men are less likely than women to take care of their physical health and, according to surveys and studies, their oral health is equally ignored. Good oral health recently has been linked with longevity. Yet, one of the most common factors associated with infrequent dental checkups is just being male. Men are less likely than women to seek preventive dental care and often neglect their oral health for years, visiting a dentist only when a problem arises. When it comes to oral health, statistics show that the average man brushes his teeth 1.9 times a day and will lose 5.4 teeth by age 72. If he smokes, he can plan on losing 12 teeth by age 72. Men are also more likely to develop oral and throat cancer and periodontal (gum) disease.
At what age are my children supposed to see a dentist?
The general rule is between 18 and 24 months. Some children require more time to be comfortable. If there is any area of concern, then the care taker should take the child to a dentist or pediatrician as soon as possible.
What should I do if my child gets a tooth knocked out?
If the tooth is a permanent tooth, time is extremely crucial. Immediately stick the tooth back in the socket. Don’t worry about getting it in straight or having it turned backwards, just get it in the socket and immediately see your dentist. If you are uncomfortable placing the tooth in the socket, put it in a glass of milk and get your child to the dentist as soon as possible. If the tooth is a baby tooth, do not put it in the socket because damage to the permanent tooth can occur. When in doubt, put the tooth in milk and see your dentist immediately.
When does thumb-sucking become damaging to the teeth?
Generally, if the child has stopped sucking his/her thumb by age 5 there is no permanent damage. If the child is a constant thumb-sucker, thereafter, there can be moderate to severe movement of teeth and prevention of normal bone growth.
Why is it important to fix baby teeth that have decay? Aren't they going to come out anyway?
When will my child lose his/her baby teeth?
Children will begin losing their teeth at approximately age 5. They will usually lose their lower front teeth first followed by upper. Children will continue to lose baby teeth until the age of 12 or 13 when all of the permanent teeth finally erupt.
Should my child wear a mouth-guard while playing sports?
It is strongly recommended that children wear a mouth-guard while playing any contact sport. It is always better to prevent an injury than to repair one. The earlier a child begins to wear the mouthguard, the easier it is to become comfortable and continue to wear it as they get older.
Does bleaching damage the teeth?
What causes my jaw to pop when I open it?
There is a pad or disk that separates the jaw bone from the base of the skull. The primary cause of the “popping” occurs when you open your mouth too wide and the jaw bone “pops” off the pad or disk. Treatment is not required unless pain is associated with the “pop” or the jaw locks.
What causes tooth decay?
What causes gum disease?
Gum (periodontal) disease is caused by bacteria. These bacteria, if left along the gumline, will irritate the gums and cause an inflammation reaction. The gums then begin to bleed and swell allowing the bacteria to go deeper under the gumline. If the inflammation is allowed to continue, the bone will begin to demineralize and dissolve. As the bone dissolves around the teeth, the teeth become unsupported and will fall out. Unfortunately, pain does not occur until the final stages of the disease and treatment at that time has very little chance of being successful. If your gums bleed regularly, seek treatment as soon as possible.
My gums bleed when I brush, what does it mean?
Bleeding gums is an early indicator of gingivitis, or swollen gums,usually caused by plaque and/or calculus accumulated under the gumline. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to bone loss and eventual tooth loss. Gingivitis can be reversed by proper brushing and flossing within a few weeks. If bleeding persists two to three weeks, consult your dentist.
What causes bad breath and what can be done about it?
Bad breath, or halitosis, is primarily caused by poor oral hygiene, but can also can be caused by retained food particles, gum disease, drainage from sinus dripping or systemic, respiratory or gastrointestinal problems , chronic bronchitis, diabetes, , liver or kidney ailment. If your dentist determines that your mouth is healthy, you may be referred to your family doctor to determine the cause of bad breath. Proper brushing including brushing the tongue, cheeks, and the roof of the mouth will remove bacteria Flossing removes accumulated bacteria, plaque and food that may be trapped between teeth. Mouth rinses are effective in temporary relief of bad breath. If you must constantly use a breath freshener to hide unpleasant mouth odor, see your dentist or physician.
How often should I see my dentist?
Are Amalgam (silver fillings) safe?
Over the years there has been some concern as to the safety of amalgam (silver) fillings. An amalgam is a blend of copper, silver, tin and zinc, bound by elemental mercury. Dentists have used this blended metal to fill teeth for more than 100 years. The controversy is due to claims that the particles from the mercury can cause a variety of health problems.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA) silver fillings are safe and that studies have failed to find any link between silver containing mercury and any medical disorder.
Along with the ADA’s position, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization, the FDA, and others support the use of silver fillings as safe, durable, and cost effective. The U.S. Public Health Service says that the only reason not to use silver fillings is when a patient has an allergy to any component of this type of filling. There are numerous options to silver fillings, including composite (tooth-colored), porcelain, and gold fillings. We encourage you to discuss these options with your dentist.
What is a Composite Resin (White Filling)?
A composite filling is a tooth-colored plastic and glass mixture used to restore decayed teeth. Composites are also used for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.
How is a composite placed?
Following preparation, the dentist places the composite in layers, typically using a light specialized to harden each layer. When the process is finished, the dentist will shape the composite to fit the tooth. The dentist then polishes the composite to prevent staining and early wear.
What is the cost?
Prices vary, but composites can cost up to two times the price of a silver filling. Most dental insurance plans cover the cost of the composite up to the price of a silver filling, with the patient paying the difference. As composites continue to improve, insurance companies are more likely to increase their coverage of composites.
What are the advantages of composites?
Aesthetics are the main advantage of composites, since dentists can blend shades to create a color nearly identical to that of the actual tooth. Composites bond to the tooth to support the remaining tooth structure, which helps to prevent breakage and insulate the tooth from excessive temperature changes.
What are the disadvantages?
After receiving a composite, a patient may experience postoperative sensitivity. Also, the shade of the composite can change slightly if the patient drinks tea, coffee or other staining foods. The dentist can put a clear plastic coating over the composite to prevent the color from changing if a patient is particularly concerned about tooth color. Composites tend to wear out sooner than silver fillings in larger cavities, although they hold up as well in small cavities.
Why should vegetarians have Good Oral Health
Health concerns about fat and cholesterol have prompted many people to become vegetarians, and the nutritional deficiencies that can sometimes result may reveal themselves during dental exams.
Children, however, need a well-balanced and nutritionally complete diet for proper growth, and the potential for deficiencies is greatest among children and teenagers who put themselves on vegetarian diets without knowing enough about their nutritional needs.
Teeth may soften when there is a shortage of vitamin D, becoming more susceptible to decay and periodontal disease. Vitamin D is produced in the body with sun exposure, so deficiencies are rare, but it can develop in those who do not consume milk or fish. Adding vegetable margarine or soy milk to the diet may solve the problem.
Although vegetarian diets vary, some vegetarians, particularly those who do not consume any food of animal origin, can experience deficiencies in calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin, vitamin B12 or complete proteins. Studies show that by eating the right amount of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes, they can get the nutrients they need.
Dr. Leibsohn recommends that anyone considering adopting a vegetarian diet seek counseling from their dentist or a nutritionist to learn about substituting foods to get all the necessary nutrients. He also suggests taking a multiple vitamin daily.
Diet is an important part of an individual’s medical history, and patients should always inform their dentist if they adhere to vegetarian or other special diets.
Adult Cleaning, Digital X-Rays,
X-Rays are non-transferrable
Child Cleaning, Digital X-Rays,
X-Rays are non-transferrable