Below are some of the most frequently asked questions patients have about dentistry and oral health issues. If you have any other questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, we would love to hear from you.
I’d like to have tooth-colored (composite) fillings. I’ve heard they are more expensive than traditional silver-mercury fillings. Which filling offers better quality?
Amalgam, or silver, is durable, inexpensive, and can last for at least seven years if cared for properly. However, amalgam doesn’t match the color of your teeth, and it can corrode over time, creating discoloration where the filling meets the tooth. Some people are concerned about the mercury in amalgam, but research has shown that the amount of mercury in amalgam is similar to the mercury exposure you get from other sources in the environment.
Modern technology has allowed for tooth-colored (composite) fillings, which are designed to blend in with your tooth. Because these fillings are bonded to the inside walls of the tooth, there is no chance of micro-leakage or discoloration of the tooth. These fillings last for at least five years. We recommend composite fillings for most of our patients.
My dentist said that I need a root canal. Wouldn't it just be a lot easier to have him extract the bad tooth, and save me time and money?
When your tooth endures trauma, such as a sports injury, or in many cases, “tooth decay,” the living tissue inside your tooth begins to die. As the tissue dies, it decays and becomes infected. If left untreated, the infection can travel into the jawbone. An extraction could actually lead to other tooth loss in the future. But a root canal allows the dentist to remove the dying tissue. After the tissue is removed, we fill the canal, allowing the original tooth to remain functional far into the future.
I haven't seen a dentist for a long time because I can't afford insurance. My teeth don’t hurt, so do I need a check-up?
Yes! Preventative maintenance and regular cleanings are especially important if you don’t have insurance, because this care can help prevent more expensive dental issues from developing. Cleanings and small fillings are more affordable than root canals or crowns! Plus, receiving check-ups twice a year promotes your dental health and overall health.
I've been thinking about having my teeth whitened. Do the bleaching kits from the drug stores make your teeth white and perform as well as the custom ones the dentist offers?
Bleaching works, but the results vary among patients. However, a custom bleaching kid from the dentist is more effective than over-the-counter products. OTC products are not custom-fit to your teeth. Because the bleach can irritate the gums, these solutions are created significantly weaker, so that if the bleach does come in contact with the gums, it doesn’t cause damage. However, that makes these kits less effective. The whitening trays we provide are custom-fit to your teeth, which means the bleach won’t come in contact with your gums. This allows us to provide a stronger and more effective solution.
I have a space between my front teeth, and they're a little crooked. Do you think I need braces, or are there other options for me?
Orthodontics would most likely correct the problem, but some people would rather not wear braces. Porcelain or composite veneers may be a better option for you. Veneers are thin shells that are bonded onto the surface of your existing teeth. They are custom-created in a dental laboratory using durable, natural-looking materials. The veneers will disguise the gap and crookedness of your front teeth, helping you achieve a perfected, more confident smile!