The more you know about your upcoming treatment or your current oral condition, the less anxiety you’ll have. You’ll feel much more comfortable and at ease. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from patients. If your question isn’t answered here, please give us a call, and we’ll be happy to help.

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How Many Times Should I See the Dentist?

You should be coming in for a routine examination at least twice a year or every six months. This allows us to check your teeth for signs of decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues before they worsen or become noticeable.

Should I Get a Restoration for My Missing Tooth?

Yes. Leaving an empty space in your smile can cause numerous health issues and affect your appearance. You’ll want a bridge, dentures, or an implant to replace it.

Is It Worth Getting White Fillings?

White fillings, also known as composite resin fillings, are a popular alternative to traditional silver amalgam fillings because they blend in with the natural color of the teeth, providing a more aesthetically pleasing result. However, whether or not it's worth getting white fillings depends on your individual needs and preferences.

White fillings are more suitable for smaller fillings in low-stress areas of the mouth, such as front teeth or smaller cavities on back teeth. For larger cavities or high-stress areas, silver amalgam fillings may be more appropriate.

Additionally, some people may experience sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures after getting white fillings. If you have a history of tooth sensitivity, you may want to consider this before deciding to get white fillings.

How Long Do Fillings Last?

White fillings, also known as composite resin fillings, can last anywhere from five to seven years on average, although with proper care and maintenance, they can last up to ten years or longer. The lifespan of white fillings may also depend on the size of the filling, its location in the mouth, and how well you take care of your teeth.

In comparison, silver amalgam fillings can last up to 15 years or longer. However, silver fillings are more likely to expand and contract over time due to temperature changes, which can lead to cracking or fracturing of the tooth. Silver fillings may also cause more tooth structure to be removed during the filling process, which can weaken the tooth and make it more susceptible to fractures or decay.

Is It Better to Get Fillings, Inlays, or Onlays?

The choice between fillings, inlays, or onlays depends on the size and location of the cavity, the health of the tooth, and your personal preferences. Here's a brief overview of each option:

  • Fillings – Fillings are the most common type of dental restoration used to repair small cavities. They can be made of silver amalgam, composite resin, or ceramic materials. Fillings are typically the most affordable option and are suitable for small to medium-sized cavities in low-stress areas of the mouth.
  • Inlays – Inlays are a type of indirect filling that is custom-made in a dental laboratory and then bonded to the tooth. They are usually made of ceramic or gold materials and are suitable for larger cavities or areas where the tooth has been weakened. Inlays are more expensive than fillings but are more durable and can provide a better fit than fillings.
  • Onlays – Onlays are similar to inlays but are designed to cover the chewing surface of the tooth, rather than just the cavity. They are also custom-made in a dental laboratory and are suitable for larger cavities or areas where the tooth has been weakened. Onlays are more expensive than inlays but can provide more extensive coverage and protection to the tooth.

Your dentist will evaluate the size and location of the cavity, the condition of the tooth, and your preferences to determine which option is best for you. In general, inlays and onlays tend to be more durable and longer-lasting than fillings, but they are also more expensive. Ultimately, the choice between fillings, inlays, or onlays will depend on your individual needs and budget.

Does Professional Whitening Work?

It depends. The dentist will need to examine your smile to determine if whitening is best for you. If they feel the stains can’t be removed, veneers are a great alternative.

Am I Eligible for Dental Implants?

To be eligible for implants, you must have sufficient jawbone structure. However, if it’s not dense enough, there is still hope in the form of bone grafting.

How Long Does Orthodontic Treatment Take?

If you’re wearing clear aligners to adjust your smile, the treatment time will vary from patient to patient. Factors to consider include how often you wear the aligners and the severity of misalignment. The dentist will review a timeline with you during your consultation.

How Often Should I Brush My Teeth?

You should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day, or you can go above and beyond by brushing after every meal. However, you should wait about 30 minutes after you eat before brushing, or you could harm your enamel. Try to only use a soft-bristled brush, and spend two minutes cleaning your teeth.

How Do I Find a Good Cosmetic Dentist?

Finding a good cosmetic dentist can take a bit of research, but here are some steps you can take to help you find the right one for you:

  • Ask for referrals
  • Check credentials
  • Look at before and after photos
  • Read reviews
  • Schedule a consultation

Remember, finding the right cosmetic dentist is a personal decision, so take the time to do your research and choose someone you trust and feel comfortable with.

How Are Dentures Made?

We utilize a five-step process:

  • Initial Consultation: The dentist will examine your mouth and take impressions and measurements of your jaws and existing teeth.
  • Creating a Model: A model of your mouth is created using the impressions and measurements taken during the initial consultation. This model will be used to create your custom dentures.
  • Wax Try-In: A wax model of your dentures is created based on the initial model. You'll try these wax models to ensure they fit well and are comfortable. Adjustments may be made during this step to ensure a good fit.
  • Final Denture Creation: Once the wax try-in is approved, the final denture is created based on the wax model. This may involve using various materials such as acrylic or porcelain to create the teeth and a gum-colored base that will fit snugly over your gums.
  • Fitting and Adjustments: Once the dentures are complete, you'll have a fitting appointment to ensure a good fit and make any necessary adjustments. You may need to return for additional adjustments as your mouth adjusts to the new dentures.

How Do Dentures Work?

Dentures are custom-made removable appliances that are used to replace missing teeth and surrounding tissues. They provide support for your cheeks and lips while also allowing you to eat and speak normally.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Dental implants are designed to be a long-lasting solution for missing teeth. With proper care, dental implants can last for many years, and even a lifetime in some cases.

While there is no fixed lifespan for dental implants, studies have shown that the success rate of dental implants is high. The American Academy of Implant Dentistry states that the success rate of dental implants is around 95 percent, and they can last for 25 years or more with proper care.

How Are Dental Implants Done?

During this surgery, the dentist will make a small incision in your gum to expose the bone. Then, a small hole is drilled into the bone where the implant will be placed. The implant is then inserted into the hole and covered with gum tissue. The gum tissue is then stitched back in place.

After the implant placement surgery, the implant will need to heal and integrate with the surrounding bone. This process, called osseointegration, can take several months. During this time, a temporary tooth replacement may be placed over the implant.

Once the implant has fully integrated with the bone, the final step is to attach the replacement tooth or bridge. This is done by creating an abutment, which is a small connector that attaches to the implant. The replacement tooth or bridge is then attached to the abutment.

What Are Dental Implants Made Of?

Dental implants are typically made of a biocompatible material that is safe for use in the human body. The most common material used for dental implants is titanium.  

Titanium is a strong and lightweight metal that is highly resistant to corrosion and has been used in various medical applications for many years. It is also compatible with the human body and is able to fuse with the bone in a process called osseointegration.

In addition to titanium, some dental implants may also be made of zirconia, which is a type of ceramic material. Zirconia implants are less common than titanium implants, but they are still a viable option for certain patients.

What Teeth Whitening Do Dentists Use?

The type of teeth whitening we use will vary depending on your circumstances. In some cases, we recommend in-office whitening. In others, we recommend at-home whitening. We may even recommend a combination of both techniques.

What Is the Best Teeth Whitening?

The "best" teeth whitening treatment can depend on individual factors such as the cause of tooth discoloration, the severity of the staining, and personal preferences. We will discuss everything you need to know during your appointment.

How Long Does Teeth Whitening Work?

The duration of teeth whitening results can vary depending on the individual and the type of whitening treatment used. In general, teeth whitening results can last from several months up to three years.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Teeth whitening works by using a bleaching agent to remove stains and discoloration from the enamel of the teeth. The most commonly used bleaching agents for teeth whitening are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide.

When the bleaching agent is applied to the teeth, it penetrates the enamel and begins to break down the stains and discoloration. The oxygen molecules in the bleaching agent react with the pigment molecules in the teeth, causing them to break down into smaller, less visible particles.

The process of breaking down the stains can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the type of treatment used. In-office professional teeth whitening treatments typically use higher concentrations of bleaching agents and can produce noticeable results in as little as one visit.

Custom take-home whitening kits may take longer to achieve desired results since they typically use lower concentrations of bleaching agents and are applied for shorter periods of time. However, they can still be effective with consistent use over time.

How Long Do CEREC Crowns Last?

CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) crowns can last for a long time if they are properly cared for. On average, CEREC crowns can last between 10 and 15 years, although some can last even longer.

What Are CEREC Crowns Made Of?

CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) crowns are made of ceramic material that is designed to look and feel like a natural tooth. The ceramic material used for CEREC crowns is strong, durable, and resistant to wear and tear. It is also biocompatible, meaning that it is not harmful to the body and does not cause any adverse reactions.

The ceramic material used for CEREC crowns is specifically designed to match the color and translucency of natural teeth, so the crown blends in seamlessly with the surrounding teeth. CEREC crowns are milled from a block of ceramic material using computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology, which allows for precise customization and a perfect fit.

Overall, CEREC crowns are a popular choice for dental restorations because of their durability, natural appearance, and convenience. Because they can be made in a single dental visit, patients do not need to wear a temporary crown or make multiple visits to the dentist, which can save time and reduce discomfort.

Is It Better to Get a Dental Crown or Implant?

In general, dental implants tend to be a more long-lasting and durable solution, but they are also more expensive and require a more involved surgical procedure. On the other hand, dental crowns are a more conservative and less expensive option, but they may not be suitable for teeth that have extensive damage or require more significant support.

Your dentist can evaluate your individual dental needs and recommend the best option for you.

Is Getting a Crown a Painful Procedure?

Getting a dental crown is usually not a painful procedure. Your dentist will use local anesthesia to numb the affected tooth and the surrounding area, so you should not feel any pain during the procedure. You may feel some pressure or mild discomfort as the dentist prepares the tooth and takes impressions of your teeth, but this is usually not painful.

After the procedure, you may experience some mild discomfort or sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures for a few days as the tooth adjusts to the new crown. This is normal and can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers or a desensitizing toothpaste.

If you experience any severe pain or discomfort during or after the procedure, you should contact your dentist right away. This could be a sign of a complication, such as an infection or a problem with the fit of the crown, and may require prompt attention to prevent further damage or discomfort.