Some dental questions
1. How often should I really get my teeth checked and cleaned?
For most people with some minor gingivitis but otherwise healthy teeth and gums, 6 months is usually a sufficient interval for your routine check-ups. For some people with issues with their gums, we will often recommend every 3 months for routine cleanings.
2. What is deep cleaning and how do I know if I need one?
Deep cleaning or scaling and root planning as we call it is needed when someone has moderate to severe gingivitis or when someone has a periodontal disease where not only are the gums very inflamed but the bone around your teeth are starting to erode. As opposed to regular cleaning, deep cleaning involves getting the gums and teeth numb and then getting below the gum line to clean and disrupt the bacteria causing your gum disease.
3. Are dental X-rays harmful?
Dental X-rays are not harmful to dental patients since they are usually only exposed to them once a year to a year and a half. We are very careful with dental X-rays and take them as routine only yearly and when needed to address a specific problem.
4. What is the best way to straighten my teeth, veneers, or braces?
That really depends on how your teeth are positioned in your mouth. Sometimes we can correct a problem with just veneers, sometimes we will recommend braces or aligners like Invisalign, and oftentimes the best solution is doing a combination of the two. Again, we can often recommend more than one treatment idea based on your desires and your budget.
5. Are implants the best way to replace missing teeth?
Implants are a very important method of treatment to replace missing teeth because it allows us to replace missing teeth without needing to touch any adjacent teeth or without the patient needing to take their teeth in and out of their mouth. However, every situation is unique and there are times where an implant may not be the ideal solution based on various factors such as the amount of bone present to support an implant, the number of implants needed for numerous missing teeth, of course, cost, and so on.
6. Does teeth whitening work? Will it damage my teeth?
Yes, teeth whitening has been around for about 40 years now and many studies have been undertaken. The studies have shown that there is no permanent structural damage to the enamel, dentin, or pulp of the teeth (these are the three layers of your teeth). We have many patients whiten their teeth for special occasions or just because and most people will get good results with whitening. Whitening does tend to work better on more yellow teeth caused by coffee and cigarette smoking and tends to work less on teeth with grayer stains.