Frequently Asked Questions

When should I bring my child for his/her first dental exam and cleaning?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends the first visit at the age of one year. Most children will have all of their baby teeth by age two, so we would like to see them no later than that. Early visits help ensure your child’s comfort at the dentist and set the stage for a lifetime of oral health.

When are sealants recommended?

Although sealants are most often recommended for children, almost anyone can benefit from the application of dental sealants, especially patients with deeper grooves or fissures in their molars. These grooves can be difficult to clean, even with the most diligent brushing, especially for children under seven. Sealants are simply a thin plastic coating that covers these grooves making tooth cleaning easier and protecting them from bacterial build-up. We recommend that sealants be applied as soon as the adult teeth erupt, but occasionally we do recommend sealants for baby teeth, depending on the situation.

My gums bleed when I brush or floss. Is this normal?

Healthy tissue doesn’t bleed. This is most likely a sign of early gingivitis. If you experience bleeding gums, schedule an appointment with us for an exam/cleaning and to review proper brushing and flossing techniques.  Gum bleeding must be taken seriously because if left untreated, it will lead to periodontal disease.

What should I expect at my first visit?

Your first visit is all about you – your comfort, your happiness, and your health.

During your first visit, we will:

  • Take X-rays of your teeth and mouth.
  • Clean & Polish your teeth, checking your teeth for any cavities or early signs of tooth decay, and your gums for gingivitis and periodontal disease
  • Full oral cancer and soft tissue exam

After your checkup and teeth cleaning is complete, the doctor will meet with you to discuss your X-rays, help you create your own individual treatment plan and answer any questions that you may have.

What can be done about old, unattractive, or discolored fillings?

We can easily replace any unattractive, defective, or failing filling with an attractive, new composite filling or a porcelain inlay, onlay, or crown, depending on the size of the original restoration or the damage we discover underneath. Talk to us about how updating your old fillings can enhance both your appearance and your health.

What are my options if I have missing teeth?

We have a full range of tooth replacement options from fixed and removable bridges and full or partial dentures, dental implants and implant-retained dentures. Implants are the best way to replace teeth, since they also stop bone loss and allow patients to enjoy the freedom that natural teeth provide.

What is cosmetic dentistry?

We have a variety of materials and techniques to address stained, crooked, gapped or broken teeth. Sometimes a simple teeth whitening can have a dramatic effect on the appearance of a smile. Other times we may use a combination of cosmetic dental procedures such as dental implants to replace missing teeth; orthodontics to straighten teeth and close gaps; add porcelain veneers to perfect, strengthen and restore. If you have concerns about the appearance of your smile, talk to us about your cosmetic dentistry options today.

Am I a candidate for dental implants?

Any person missing one or more teeth may be a candidate for implant dentistry. A missing tooth causes a gap in the smile, allows the remaining teeth to shift, and promotes bone deterioration in the jaw. In some cases, missing teeth even cause a patient to slowly lose bite function. Dental implants can restore chewing ability, preserve gum tissue and bone, and let you smile with confidence.

Dental implants can benefit all patients, from teenagers to those in their 80s. A safe and proven option for replacing missing teeth, dental implants provide a stable foundation to support crowns, bridges, or dentures. The process allows the implant to actually form a biological bond with the bone and act as a substitute tooth root.

Do you place silver fillings?

Over the years there has been some debate regarding the safety of amalgam (silver) fillings. According to the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the US Public Health Service, mercury-based fillings are safe and reliable. Although amalgam has its place in dentistry and has proven to be a safe and reliable material we have chosen to place only tooth colored porcelain and composite fillings.

So why not use amalgam?

Composite fillings have a similar flexibility to tooth structure whereas amalgam is more rigid than tooth structure because it is a metal. This property of amalgam make the tooth more vulnerable to breaking. Composite fillings, on the other hand, help to restore the tooth’s natural strength because the filling material bonds to the tooth. Instead of weakening the tooth, the filling gives it more strength. This can help prevent breaks or chips in your teeth and allows for a finished product that is healthy, beautiful, and natural-looking!

We hope you find all the information you’re looking for in this site. However, if you have a question that’s not answered here, we welcome you to call our office at 717-510-6989. We’re happy to help you in any way we can.