Family Cosmetic Dentistry
Common Dental Questions and Answers
Common questions and answers about Oral Evaluations
Many patients select resident care because the cost is discounted. We do not publish fee schedules. It is very hard to quote a fee over the phone because all patients have unique needs. Fees will be discussed at your treatment planning appointment.
You will need a photo ID, insurance card, list of medications you are currently taking, and the phone number of your medical doctor. You will be asked to complete a patient registration form and medical and dental history forms.
Bleeding gums are a sign of infection. Gingivitis, periodontal (gum) disease, and several other medical conditions can cause your gums to bleed. When gums are healthy, they do not bleed. If you are experiencing bleeding when you brush or floss, it’s time to see your dentist. Contact us to schedule your appointment.
The darkness around old crowns is primarily due to the metal needed to support the porcelain. Yes, it can be eliminated. These types of crowns have been replaced with newer technology which consists of all porcelain restorations with zirconium support. Therefore, metal in most circumstances is not necessary. The newer, all porcelain restorations are more esthetically pleasing and natural looking.
Common questions and answers about Sealants
Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from tooth decay. Most tooth decay in children and teens occurs on these surfaces. Sealants protect the chewing surfaces from tooth decay by keeping germs and food particles out of these grooves.
Permanent molars are the most likely to benefit from sealants. The first molars usually come into the mouth when a child is about 6 years old. Second molars appear at about age 12. It is best if the sealant is applied soon after the teeth have erupted, before they have a chance to decay.
Applying sealants does not require drilling or removing tooth structure. The process is short and easy. After the tooth is cleaned, a special gel is placed on the chewing surface for a few seconds. The tooth is then washed off and dried. Then, the sealant is painted on the tooth. The dentist or dental hygienist also may shine a light on the tooth to help harden the sealant. It takes about a minute for the sealant to form a protective shield.
As with anything new that is placed in the mouth, a child may feel the sealant with the tongue. Sealants, however, are very thin and only fill the pits and grooves of molar teeth.
A sealant can last for as long as 5 to 10 years. Sealants should be checked at your regular dental appointment and can be reapplied if they are no longer in place.
No. Fluorides, such as those used in toothpaste, mouth rinse, and community water supplies also help to prevent decay, but in a different way. Sealants keep germs and food particles out of the grooves by covering them with a safe plastic coating. Sealants and fluorides work together to prevent tooth decay.
Common questions and answers about Xrays
Dentists use X-rays to help diagnose damage and disease that is not visible during a clinical dental examination. How often X-rays should be taken depends on specific factors such as an individual’s current oral health, age, risk for disease and any signs or symptoms of oral disease. This means that there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to the interval between dental X-rays.
A panoramic x-ray provides the dentist with an image of all the patient’s teeth, the jawbone, and the sinuses. It provides an overall picture that allows the dentist to choose certain areas to focus in on. It’s easy to use and many patients prefer this to traditional full mouth x-rays because there are no uncomfortable sensors involved! There is also less radiation exposure than a full mouth x-ray because it takes the image of the full mouth in one shot. While it allows the dentist to see an overall picture, it isn’t clear enough to be able to detect finer problems such as cavities.
Many people are most concerned with the radiation exposure from taking x-rays. However, x-rays have a low level of radiation and are considered safe. Additionally, precautionary measures are taken to minimize exposure. Before any x-rays are taken, a lead apron with a thyroid collar is placed on the patient. All metal jewelry or glasses are also removed. Our x-rays are digital, which have 50-80% less exposure than conventional x-rays units. Overall, the amount of radiation from a 4×2 series is less than the amount of radiation an average person receives in a regular day from natural sources! So realistically, the costs of taking x-rays are greatly outweighed by the benefits that x-rays provide, such as the early detection and prevention of a severe dental disease.
- Children and teenagers — Children and teens who have a history of many cavities may need X-rays every six months or every year, depending on age. So may those who have a high risk of decay for other reasons. X-rays also help to keep track of tooth development.
- Adults with many fillings, crowns, bridges or other restorations — X-rays help the dentist find decay beneath your fillings and crowns or in new places.
- People with periodontal (gum) disease — X-rays can reveal signs of bone loss. If this has happened, then you may need periodontal (gum) surgery.
- People with dry mouth, also called xerostomia —Saliva helps keep your mouth and teeth healthy by regulating the acid levels (pH) in the mouth. In a dry mouth, the pH decreases. This causes the minerals in the teeth to break down, resulting in more cavities. Many medicines can cause dry mouth. It also can be a result of cancer treatment or a long-term disease.
- Smokers — Smoking increases the risk of bone loss around the teeth and periodontal disease.
- Users of chewing tobacco — Chewing tobacco is sweetened with sugars and can lead to more cavities.
Common questions and answers about Dental Checkups
Visiting the dentist regularly will not only help keep your teeth and mouth healthy, but will also help keep the rest of your body healthy. Dental care is important because it:
- Helps prevent tooth decay
- Protects against periodontal (gum) disease, which can lead to tooth and bone loss
- Prevents bad breath – brushing, flossing, and seeing the dentist regularly will help reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath
- Gives you a more attractive smile and increases your self-confidence
- Helps keep teeth looking bright by preventing them from becoming stained by food, drinks, and tobacco
- Strengthens your teeth so that you can enjoy healthy, beautiful smiles for the rest of your life!
Yes, you should still attend your dental checkup if you aren’t having any dental symptoms. The dental checkup is a preventative measure. Like mentioned before, it helps you avoid major dental issues that can result in extreme pain and even tooth loss.
You can expect a thorough dental cleaning (which should include removing the plaque and tartar from your teeth and flossing the crevices of your smile), a fluoride treatment, and an examination of your oral cavity (which might include taking X-Rays).
You can maintain a healthy smile by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing and rinsing your smile at least once a day. As you brush, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. As you floss, use a product that is easy to use. As you rinse, use a product that kills bacteria, freshens your breath, and cleans your smile.
A cavity is a small hole that forms inside the tooth because of tooth decay. Cavities are formed when plaque buildup on the outside of the tooth combines with sugars and starches in the food you eat. This produces an acid that can eat away the enamel on your tooth. If a cavity is left untreated, it can lead to more serious oral health problems. Cavities can be prevented by remembering to brush your teeth at least two times a day and floss between teeth at least once.
A filling is a synthetic material that your dentist uses to fill a cavity after all of the tooth decay has been removed. Fillings do not generally hurt because your dentist will numb your mouth with an anesthetic. Fillings are made from a variety of different materials, including composites, gold, or ceramic. If you need a filling, be sure to talk to your doctor about what type is best for you and your teeth.
According to your dentist and the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth at least two times a day. Brushing keeps your teeth, gums, and mouth clean and healthy by removing bacteria-causing plaque. It is also recommended that you use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride when you brush your teeth. You should spend at least a minute on the top teeth and a minute on the bottom teeth, and remember to brush your tongue; it will help keep your breath smelling fresh!
Common questions and answers about Deep Cleaning
A deep cleanings is a type of teeth cleaning performed by your dental hygienist or dentist. A regular teeth cleaning is termed a prophylaxis because its purpose is to prevent the formation of periodontal disease. A deep cleaning’s purpose is to treat periodontal disease that has already developed.
We suggest traditional cleaning for patients who are showing no signs of gingivitis. Otherwise, you will require scaling and root planing as a starting point to restore your gum health.
Yes. In general, we perform the cleaning on a single quadrant of your mouth at a time. A quadrant is one quarter of your smile. So, you may require up to four visits before the cleaning process is complete.
Yes. Deep cleanings are necessary for patients with periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is the loss of the bone and gum attachment to the teeth. It is a “silent” disease, and most patients are not aware that they have it. Your dentist diagnoses periodontal disease through dental x-rays and gum measurements called probing depths.
In general, the answer is yes. The inflammation that accompanies periodontal disease causes tenderness of the gums. Many patients cannot tolerate the gum measurements required to diagnose periodontal disease.
Anesthetic is the solution for patients whose gums are tender, and for whom a deep cleaning would be painful. There are various options including a topical numbing gel, a numbing solution placed directly into the deep pockets, or the injection of local anesthetic.
Yes. Deep cleanings are a procedure covered by dental insurance as long as your dentist shows the diagnosis of periodontal disease through any of the three criteria listed above. Because a deep cleaning is treating disease instead of preventing disease, it is not a preventive dental benefit. Rather, under most plans, it falls into the category of basic dental procedure. We can help you determine your exact benefits for this procedure.
Yes. Deep cleanings create a healthy oral environment and have minimal post-operative complications. The most common complaint after a deep cleaning is minor gum tenderness and mild tooth sensitivity. It is important to note that deep cleanings can cause damage to the tooth’s root if performed improperly or by an untrained person. All of the registered dental hygienists and dentists at Premier Dental of Ohio are skilled and trained extensively in the appropriate techniques for deep cleanings.
Common questions and answers about Gum Disease Treatments.
Gum disease (periodontal disease) is an infection of the tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth. It’s caused by the growth of bacteria present in plaque, which is a clear, sticky substance that your mouth produces.
Periodontitis is a severe type of gum disease that can’t be reversed. Gingivitis is a type that can be mild to severe, but it can be reversed.
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy can lower your risk of gum disease.
Good oral hygiene starts at home, though it needs to be supplemented by regular visits to our cosmetic and general dentistry practice, Astoria Dental Group. Steps you can take to prevent tooth decay and gum disease include:
Brush at least twice daily using a soft-bristle toothbrush and an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. This helps prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and the need for costly cosmetic or restorative dentistry in the future. Replace your brush every two to three months.
Flossing is crucial to the health of your teeth and gums and the prevention of gum disease. When flossing, use an 18-inch strand of floss. Ease the floss between each tooth; then, sweep it up and down several times while curving around the tooth at the gum line. Don’t forget to floss behind your last tooth and to floss bridges and artificial teeth with the aid of a floss threader.
Regular dental visits
At every regularly-scheduled dental appointment at Family Cosmetic Dentistry, one of our dentists will carefully check your teeth, gums, mouth, and throat. A checkup at Family Cosmetic Dentistry office includes:
- A head and neck examination: This includes a cancer exam, facial exam, palpation of chewing muscles, palpation of lymph nodes, and an exam of the temporomandibular (jaw) joint.
- A clinical dental examination: This includes a periodontal exam and examinations of the mobility of teeth, the mucous membranes, saliva, occlusion (bite), removable appliances, and contact between teeth. If we detect tooth decay or broken fillings, we will discuss appropriate action with you.
- A full set of digital X-rays
- A dental cleaning (prophylaxis): This includes scaling plaque, polishing teeth, flossing, assessing your mouth’s cleanliness, and providing oral hygiene instructions. If you wish to learn more about proper brushing and flossing techniques, ask your dentist about it at this stage of the visit.
Gum disease has several stages. The initial stage is called gingivitis and is an infection of the gingival (gum tissue). In this stage, gums become red, swollen, and prone to bleeding. The underlying bone is unaffected. In later stages, however, gum disease can lead to bone loss and the loosening or even loss of teeth.
Gum disease treatment varies according to the stage of the disease. At its mildest stages, gingivitis can be treated by clearing plaque and tartar deposits from the gum pockets. Severe gum disease, on the other hand, might require treatment that includes bone and gum grafts.
Common questions and answers about Implants
It is very important that you are in good health. Some conditions and diseases can affect whether dental implants are right for you. It is very important to let your dental surgeon know all about your medical status. For example, you may not be qualified if you are a smoker, an alcoholic, have cancer or diabetes, or have gum diseases. Also let your dentist know all about the medications you are taking, whether they are prescribed, herbal, or over the counter. Implants do require maintenance.
It is very important to follow good daily, oral hygiene to prevent any bacteria from growing in your mouth. It is very important to make follow up appointments so your dentist can monitor your implants to make sure they are functioning properly. Special tools will be necessary to clean your dental implants. Use an extra soft toothbrush twice daily to clean the dental implants, being careful to avoid the surgical incision area. Despite these special cleaning challenges, dental implants are highly successful.
There are many advantages to dental implants, including:
- Improved appearance. Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth.
- Improved speech. With poor-fitting dentures, the teeth can slip within the mouth causing you to mumble or slur your words. Dental implants allow you to speak without the worry that teeth might slip.
- Improved comfort. Because they become part of you, implants eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.
- Easier eating. Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain.
- Improved self-esteem. Dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself.
- Improved oral health. Dental implants don’t require reducing other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health.
- Durability. Implants are very durable and will last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.
- Convenience. Removable dentures are just that; removable. Dental implants eliminate the embarrassing inconvenience of removing dentures, as well as the need for messy adhesives to keep them in place.
Because implants fuse to your jawbone, they provide stable support for artificial teeth. Dentures and bridges mounted to implants won’t slip or shift in your mouth — an especially important benefit when eating and speaking. This secure fit helps the dentures and bridges — as well as individual crowns placed over implants — feel more natural than conventional bridges or dentures.
For some people, ordinary bridges and dentures are simply not comfortable or even possible, due to sore spots, poor ridges or gagging. In addition, ordinary bridges must be attached to teeth on either side of the space left by the missing tooth.
To receive implants, you need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. You must also commit to keeping these structures healthy. Meticulous oral hygiene and regular dental visits are critical to the long-term success of dental implants.
Implants are usually more expensive than other methods of tooth replacement, and most insurance carriers typically cover less than 10 percent of the fees.
The American Dental Association considers two types of implants to be safe. They are:
- Endosteal implants — these are surgically implanted directly into the jawbone. Once the surrounding gum tissue has healed, a second surgery is needed to connect a post to the original implant.
- Subperiosteal implants — these consist of a metal frame that is fitted onto the jawbone just below the gum tissue. As the gums heal, the frame becomes fixed to the jawbone.
In most cases, anyone healthy enough to undergo a routine dental extraction or oral surgery can be considered for a dental implant. Healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant is a must for any dental implant treatment also they must be committed to good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. Heavy smokers, people suffering from uncontrolled chronic disorders — such as diabetes or heart disease — or patients who have had radiation therapy to the head/neck area need to be evaluated on an individual basis. If you are considering implants, talk to your dentist to see if they are right for you.
Common questions and answers about Fillings
There are two main steps involved in creating a dental filling. The first sees the dentist remove all dead and decaying material from the broken tooth itself. This material is made up of all the enamel that cannot be saved. It is taken away so that the replacement filling can be inserted and secured. To do this, the dentist has to administer an anesthetic, so that the patient cannot feel any part of the procedure.
If cared for properly, a typical filling will last 10-15 years before it needs to be replaced.
Normally, your tooth will remain sensitive to heat and cold for about 2 days after the filling. This pain is normally very mild. You should feel no pain and be back to normal in three days.
As the dental industry continues to evolve and develop, new types of filling are always emerging. Today, there are a number of different options available to patients. Some are very popular, others are a little rarer and more expensive, and some have become very controversial. The most common types of filling are gold, porcelain, silver amalgam, plastic, and composite resin.
It is common for dental membership plans to cover the cost of composite fillings up to the price of the silver components. It is then the responsibility of the patient to make up the rest. Every plan varies though, so it is worth talking to your dentist about the most suitable options.
It is worth thinking carefully about mercury amalgam fillings, even if they represent the cheapest option at your clinic or surgery. While they were very popular and quite common a couple of decades ago, they have long fallen out of fashion. This is because there are concerns about the safety of mercury in the body.
A number of European countries have banned the use of mercury fillings outright and the FDA has recommended that they not be given to pregnant women, children, and patients with weak immune systems.
The good news is that taking care of fillings is easy. You just have to keep up with your regular dental care routine. This means brushing and flossing twice a day, attending regular dental check-ups, and informing your dentist about any changes as soon as they appear. Over time, fillings do degrade and eventually need to be replaced.
Common questions and answers about Crowns and Bridges
A porcelain crown or porcelain veneer, properly manufactured and bonded, should last 20 years or more. A crown is used when a tooth is compromised by wear, fracture, decay, large fillings, or root canal. A veneer is used for more conservative reasons, usually esthetic. If you tooth is healthy, you should not be thinking about an implant.
Crowns are made from a variety of single and combined materials; these include gold, metal alloys, ceramic, porcelain, composite resin, and zirconia. Many combination crowns are made from a layer of porcelain fused to a metal base.
Root canals are not required to place a crown, but all teeth that have undergone root canal treatment should be crowned.
-Aesthetics: It restores the shape, size, strength and appearance of your original tooth.
-Protection: It provides the best protection for a weak tooth of any restoration.
-Durability: It can last 15 years or longer if you care well for it.
-Aesthetics: It fills in the gaps in your smile and in your face.
-Restoration: It restores speech and chewing to full capacity.
-Distribution: It distributes the force of your bite equally, taking the stress off of other teeth.
The process of fitting crowns and bridges requires two or tree visits. During the first session we takes X-rays to assess the health of your mouth.
To protect the prepared teeth between visits a temporary bridge or crown may be bonded (you must also avoid hard or sticky food and keep the temporary bridge or crown clean). During the second session: the temporary bridge or crown is removed. The permanent crown or bridge is checked for color and fit. If you and your dentist are happy with your crown or bridge, it is permanently fixed in place with dental glue.
Common questions and answers about Lumineers
Lumineers are unique in that they are ultra-thin (approximately 0.2 mm) and highly translucent, allowing them to replicate the natural appearance of enamel. While traditional veneers are much thicker, requiring the grinding down of your original tooth structure, Lumineers are so thin that little to no tooth reduction is necessary. Additionally, the durability of Lumineers allows them to resist wear and remain resilient to last over 20 years.
Rest assured, the Lumineers procedure is a completely pain-free way to reshape and permanently whiten your teeth. Because they are ultra-thin, in most cases you will get a perfect fit without shots or grinding down of the original tooth structure. Once the procedure is completed, there is no post placement discomfort or sensitivity, which means Lumineers will look natural and feel comfortable from the moment they are placed.
Clinical testing has proven that a Lumineers smile lasts and looks great for over 20 years.
The Lumineers process takes only 2 visits and the placement of Lumineers on the second visit takes, on average, only about one hour.
On the first visit, we will create a precise mold. Then we will determine the shade of white that is right for you. After your first visit, we will send the mold off to the DenMat Lab for your custom Lumineers to be created. With Lumineers , you don’t have to wear temporaries. When we receive your custom Lumineers , they are checked for fit and shade. Then during your second visit, your Lumineers are painlessly applied without shots or drilling of sensitive tooth structure. And you’re ready to start smiling out loud!
Yes, Lumineers are completely reversible because there’s no grinding down of healthy tooth structure, in most cases. Your natural teeth are still intact and strong.
Common questions and answers about Porcelain Veneers
The integrity of veneered teeth is only marginally compromised, and the veneer is bonded to the existing teeth. There is no higher incidence of decay provided the veneers are properly cared for as previously mentioned with regular flossing and brushing with toothpaste. In general, it is good dental advice to keep your sugar consumption low and confined to meal times to prevent decay.
They can last from seven to twenty years. While the veneer itself is inert and non-living, the tooth or teeth to which they are attached and the surrounding gum tissues are living and may change. For example, gum line shrinkage may expose or reveal root surfaces. If a veneer comes off it can generally be re-bonded. If it chips it can sometimes be re-bonded or otherwise replaced.
Porcelain veneers can be used in a number of different ways. The most common uses are to:
- Repair minor tooth imperfections and defects
- Cover over and conceal fillings that have become stained or discolored
- Make color changes to teeth that have permanent stains
- Close the spaces between teeth
Some insurance companies will cover up to 50% of the fee they deem customary. However, it depends upon what your employer has contracted for with your insurance company rather than what Family Cosmetic Dentistry is charging. Don’t forget that we also have to pay the dental technician who actually fabricates the veneers, a critical component in the fee.
Common questions and answers about Teeth Whitening
Prices vary greatly depending on your individual situation and professional recommendations. The quickest professional teeth-whitening method will cost around $300 to $800. A slightly cheaper, but less convenient, teeth-whitening option is to purchase a home bleaching kit from your dentist, estimated at $300 to $600.
The best option is to visit Family Cosmetic Dentistry to see if whitening is right for you. Almost anyone can benefit from tooth whitening. However, here are a few things to be aware of as some people are more susceptible to tooth sensitivity than others particularly:
- Those with generalized gingival (gum) recession.
- Younger individuals in whom dentin is thinner and the enamel more porous.
- Individuals with enamel loss exposing sensitive dentin; this can be due to wear, caused by grinding habits, or from acid erosion.
Bleaching is not always a permanent solution; the effects may diminish with the passing of time. Optimally, this period lasts six months to two years. Some studies quote periods of anywhere from 6 months to 10 years. Although fading is inevitable, it is possible to slow down the process by avoiding foods and habits that cause staining. Some individuals may need a tooth-whitening “touch-up” professionally, or with the home bleaching technique for 1-2 days, once or twice a year.
Yes, there are many studies supporting the overall safety of whitening by bleaching. Precautions are advised to protect surface enamel, for example by using calcium sulphate to prevent calcium loss and use of fluoride to promote surface hardness.
Not everyone is a good candidate for whitening depending upon if you have had cosmetic dentistry previously. Bleaching has little or no effect on most restorative materials. It may reduce the bond strength between enamel and composite restorations (tooth colored fillings), at least for a short time. Bleaching has no effect on porcelain or crowns. Ultimately, let us decide if you are a good candidate for whitening.
Both hydrogen peroxide and urea, a breakdown product of carbamide peroxide are found in every human cell; however it must be remembered that “it’s the dosage that can cause a problem.” Concerns are generally only valid for individuals who ignore instructions/guidelines and overuse whiteners for months or years.
The claims of whitening by toothpastes mostly relate to their ability to help remove plaque and extrinsic or surface stains. The “whitening” toothpastes merely clean surface stains, but cannot change the underlying tooth color. Abrasives that are added to toothpastes in varying degrees depending on the brand, are essential for helping to remove plaque, and are usually in the form of silica. All ADA-approved toothpastes contain mild abrasives.
Common questions and answers about Cosmetic Bonding
BONDING. Bonding is the application of a tooth-colored composite resin (plastic) to repair a decayed, chipped, fractured, discolored tooth, to make teeth appear longer, and as a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings.
The average cost of dental bonding ranges from $300 to $600 per tooth. “But many dental insurance plans cover most of the cost of bonding, particularly when it is done for structural reasons or to fill a cavity,” says Harms. Speed. Dental bonding typically requires only one office visit
Composite bonding won’t last as long as veneers, but you should be able to wear them for up to 10 years successfully. Nonetheless, this means taking proper care of your teeth by avoiding hard candy, ice cubes and similar substances that can crack the composite material.
Bonding is the application of a tooth-colored composite resin (plastic) to repair a decayed, chipped, fractured, discolored tooth, to make teeth appear longer, and as a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings.
Insurance might cover 50-80% of this procedure, though some plans might take off a larger percentage. Sometimes it is less expensive if a composite filling is used to replace a broken amalgam one. Unless it is also necessary to maintain tooth structure, bonding for cosmetic reasons is often not covered by insurance.
Dental veneers, also known as porcelain veneers or composite veneers are thin shells of tooth-colored, translucent porcelain or composite resin, custom made to fit over teeth and improve their color, shape and overall appearance. Placement of dental veneers can dramatically improve your smile and appearance.