1. How often do I need a checkup/cleaning?
It is usually recommended that you have a cleaning and routine dental exam every six months.Some people require more frequent recalls due to their periodontal condition.
2. How often should I have x-rays taken?
A full mouth series (x-rays of all teeth in the mouth) should be taken every five years. Four bitewings are usually taken once a year, additional x-rays are taken on an as needed basis (usually a dental emergency).
3. Should my children be taking a fluoride supplement?
If you live in an area where your water is not fluoridated your children should be on a fluoride supplement. Children usually take a fluoride supplement from about 6 months to 12 years old. Fluoride is important in reducing caries by making teeth more resistant to decay.
4. Is it normal to have tooth sensitivity following a filling?
Post-operative sensitivity is fairly common following a dental restoration (filling). A person might experience temperature sensitivity for a while following a restoration. However, if you experience throbbing pain, swelling or spontaneous pain you should contact your dentist immediately.
5. At what age should I bring my child for their first dental checkup?
At our office we usually begin seeing children between 2-3 years of age, but any time after your child develops their first teeth is fine. It is important for a child to see the dentist at a young age to establish a positive relationship. These first visits to the dentist are also helpful at educating parents about baby bottle caries and caring for your child’s teeth.
6. What should I do if my child knocks out their adult tooth?
For a tooth that has been knocked out, rinse the tooth under water (do not scrub it). Try to place the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If you cannot place the tooth back in the socket place the tooth in between your cheek and gums, or place tooth in milk and call the dentist immediately.
7. Do all wisdom teeth need to be extracted?
No, all wisdom teeth do not need to be removed. Wisdom teeth are often removed however, because they often do not fully erupt, are the source of crowding, erupt at an unusual angle that compromises adjacent teeth, or become infected. If you have any questions as to whether or not your wisdom teeth should be removed you should have a dental examination.
8. What is the difference between a white and silver filling?
Besides the obvious color difference, the white filling is a composite material that chemically bonds to the tooth structure. A silver filling remains in the tooth due to a mechanical shape of the tooth preparation. Both fillings are effective, safe, and widely accepted among the dental community.
9. What is the difference between the D.D.S. and D. M. D. degrees?
D.M.D. stands for Doctor of Dental Medicine and D.D.S. stands for Doctor of Dental Surgery. The title of the degree depends on what school you attend, but the rights and privileges of both degrees are equivalent.
10. What is the purpose of a dental sealant?
A dental sealant is usually placed in the deep grooves of a child’s adult molars to prevent food from being packed in these grooves that eventually causes decay. The sealant makes the grooves of the teeth shallower, which makes them easier to clean. Sealants also contain a fluoride component that helps to make the tooth more resistant to decay.
11. What is baby bottle caries?
Baby bottle caries occurs when parents put their infants or children to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. The sugar in the milk or juice constantly bathes their teeth throughout the night causing rampant decay.
12. Is whitening my teeth harmful?
Whitening your teeth can be done safely and effectively through a variety of methods as long as manufacturer and dentists recommendations are followed. Sometimes people experience slight sensitivity following whitening which usually decreases with time.