How often should I visit the dentist?

    A patient should visit our office at least twice a year for professional dental cleanings and thorough examinations. To address certain conditions, our staff may recommend that you visit more frequently. If you experience oral pain, have any cause for concern, or a dental emergency, call our office immediately for assistance.

    What is gum disease and why is it important?

    Our mouths naturally have an environment of bacteria. These bacteria in combination with mucus and other particles constantly form colorless, sticky plaque on teeth. Brushing and flossing will remove this plaque from teeth. However, when they are not completely removed, the plaque will become tartar or calculus. Only a professional cleaning can remove tartar from teeth.

    When this plaque and calculus are left on teeth for long periods of time, they begin to irritate the gums leading to gum inflammation and bleeding. Gingivitis is the mild form of the disease which can be treated with daily brushing and flossing and routine dental cleanings.

    When gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to periodontitis, which means the inflammation has traveled around the tooth itself effecting the gum and bone that holds the tooth in place. The body’s immune system naturally responds to fight the bacteria as plaque grows below the gum line. Bacterial toxins and the body’s natural immune response lead to the breaking down of bone, gums, and tissues that hold the tooth in place. As a result, the tooth can become mobile and may have to be removed if this is not treated.

    To prevent gingivitis and periodontitis, it is important to brush, floss and use mouth rinse daily. In addition, professional dental cleanings every 6 months or more frequently as recommended by your dentist is also very important to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

    What are alternatives to Dental Implants?

    Hygiene is your key defense against cavities. Brushing at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and using fluoride mouthwash are all ways to keep cavities at bay. In addition to hygiene, diet is also a very important factor. Simple sugars are used by bacteria found in plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth, to produce acid. These acids are what causes the outer layer of your teeth or the enamel layer to break down causing a cavity. Avoiding simple sugars in your diet and substituting them for complex sugars, fruits and vegetables, can help avoid cavities.

    What can I do about stained or discolored teeth?

    It is important to have your teeth evaluated by your dentist to determine if you are a good candidate for bleaching. Occasionally, tetracycline and fluorosis stains are difficult to bleach and your dentist may offer other options, such as veneers or crowns to cover up such stains. Because whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is also important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc.

    What are the alternatives to Dental Implant?

    HAlternatives to dental implants include removable dentures. These are usually composed of either a plastic or metal framework, which is used to carry false teeth. Removable dentures, as the name implies, should be removed every night and cleaned.

    A fixed bridge is another alternative to dental implants. In this procedure, a false tooth or teeth are fixed onto adjacent teeth. As the name implies, fixed bridges are permanently put into place.

    How long with dental implants last?

    With proper care and routine dental check-ups, implants should last a lifetime. The longevity of an implant depends upon many factors some of which may be out of the dentist’s control. These factors involve the health of an individual i.e. proper nutritional needs being met, proper hygiene, genetics, and disease processes which might occur.