We understand there are many facets to oral health that are not easily understood. Feel free to review some of these common questions we come across, and of course if you have more questions, don't hesitate to give our offices a call. We are here to help!
Does Whitening damage teeth?
Whitening does NOT damage the teeth when done by a dentist. The active whitening agent used when whitening teeth is carbamide peroxide. This oxidizing agent penetrates the tooth and oxidizes/removes stain deposits within the tooth, lightening the tooth from the inside and the outside. This method does not use abrasives so it does not damage the teeth when used as directed by your dentist. It is normal to experience some sensitivity in the teeth for up to 24 hours after the whitening procedure is done. This will go away. Whitening teeth should be supervised by a dentist to ensure effectiveness and safety.
Do Over-the Counter whiteners work? Are they safe?
This depends on the product and how it is used. Some over-the-counter whitening procucts have been proven effective and safe, but many use an abrasive ingredient to achieve the whitening results. This abrasiveness can be damaging to the enamel of the tooth. It is best to consult with your dentist before using any whitening methods, either in-office or over-the-counter products.
Why Do I need dental work if I am not having any pain?
Our goal is to keep you in good oral health and to keep you from experiencing any pain. Early stages of tooth decay, gum disease, tooth fractures, and other problems with teeth and gums usually do not produce any pain or discomfort. However, if these problems are not detected and treated in this earlier stage they will progress to more severe problems. This could lead to more extensive dental treatment, more expensive treatment, more dental visits, and possibly pain. We detect problems and bring them to your attention at the first sign, usually before there is pain, to help you because we value your time, comfort, and budget.
Will my insurance cover my dental treatment?
Dental insurance is great in helping cover a portion of your dental treatment expenses but rarely will it cover 100% of many dental procedures. Patients are responsible for paying the portion that dental insurance does not cover. Each insurance plan has specific coverages and limitations. Insurance plans do not make these coverages based on your specific dental needs. Our dentists at Advanced Family Dentistry will make our treatment recommendations based on your specific needs and wants. We will help explain your particular insurance plans and its coverages by providing you with a written treatment plan detailing our treatment recommendations as well as your dental insurance plan. This will include its coverages, limitations, and what we estimate it will cover on specific procedures so that you know your expenses before treatment. Ultimately insurance companies can and will determine what and how much it will cover. We will happily submit dental claims for you and will help you to understand and utilize your insurance benefits to get the most from your coverage.
How do you look out for the safety of patients?
We are very serious about the safety of our patients in all aspects. We understand that this can be a concern for patients, and we strictly adhere to the sterilization/disinfecting guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control(CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA). We utilize self-contained water sources for patients, utliize disposable items when applicable, sterilize all instruments with an autoclave, and thoroughly clean and sterilize all treatment rooms/instruments between patients. We immediately implement any changes/recommendations in sterilization procedures that are made by the CDC and OSHA. We have also implemented the use of digital radiography for dental radiographs(XRays), which significantly uses less radiation than traditional XRays. If you have any questions about our office policies/guidelines on patient safety and sterilization procedures please contact our office. We are proud of our commitment to our patients, their comfort, and their safety!
How can I learn more about specific dental procedures?
We are happy to discuss the specifics of any dental procedure. We know that it is important that patients learn about any dental treatment that we recommend. When patients are informed and educated on these procedures they can make good decisions concerning their dental health and any procedures they elect to do. It is important to understand the treatment that is recommended, what could happen if left untreated, and all alternatives and other options for a specific treatment. When patients are knowledgeable it makes for a better experience. We have many resources avaialable for patients to learn more about dental procedures. Feel free to browse our website where we have descriptionis of dental procedures, videos of procedures and conditions, and most importantly we have a great dental team that loves educating and informing patients about dentistry. Feel free to contact us with any questions.
I am very afraid of dental visits, What can be done to help me?
Having anxiety, or fear, of the dentist and dental visits is very common. You should not let this stop you from getting the dental care that you need. If you stay away from the dental office or delay treatment it will only lead to more dental work, more expenses, and more dental visits. Please contact us with any of these fears or anxieties. We will address them with you and will find a way for you to get the care you need while being comfortable. We work with many patients who initially have these same fears and we have successfully gotten them to a point where they are once again comfortable in the dental office. We offer sedation dentistry where the dentist can discuss different sedation options to make you comfortable and relaxed during visits. The most important first step you can make is to call us today!
Why do my gums bleed after brushing?
Bleeding is usually a sign of a problem in the gums. Bleeding of gums usually indicates the presence of gum disease, either gingivitis or periodontitis(periodontal disease). Gingivitis is a reversible disease process that affects the gums. It causes inflammation and bleeding of the gums, and can be treated with a dental cleaning and improved home care including proper brushing and flossing. If gingivitis is not treated and maintained it can progress to periodontitis which affects not only the gums but also the bone and the support of the teeth. If this is not treated it can lead to tooth loss, abscesses, and it can have a negative affect on the rest of the body and your health. It is important to be seen in the dental office if you have bleeding gums to determine the cause and the treatment needed. If you are experiencing this, call today for an assessment as we want to keep you, your teeth, and your gums healthy!
I have been told that I grind my teeth. Is that a problem?
Grinding or clenching of the teeth can lead to significant problems and should be addressed. If clenching or grinding continues it can cause dental work to break down and can cause teeth to fracture, leading to more extensive dental work. It can also cause headaches and issues with the temporomandibular joint(TMJ). Sometimes patients will notice these signs/symptoms of clenching/grinding and sometimes the dentist will detect them during dental examinations.If a patient is clenching/grinding the dentist can make an appliance that is worn to protect the teeth from damage and relaxes the large muscle that connects the upper and lower jaws to help decrease future clenching/grinding. If someone has told you that you clench/grind your teeth, if you notice headaches or toothaches in the morning, or if you notice that your back teeth are flat or worn down call our office for an evaluation.
What causes tooth decay?
Tooth decay, or cavities, are formed when the bacteria in our mouths takes the sugars we consume and breaks down the sugars. This process produces an acidic environment that breaks down, or destroys, the tooth structure. Prevention of tooth decay is important and involves eliminating some of the bacteria and sugars in the mouth(proper brushing, flossing, antibacterial rinses and decreasing sugars in our diet) as well as decreasing the acidic environment(in office and at home fluoride treatments, flouride containing toothpastes and rinses). It is possible to get tooth decay on all surfaces of teeth including in between teeth. It is also possible to get tooth decay around existing dental restorations(fillings, crowns, and bridgework). The tooth decay process can affect anyone, which is why it is so important to have great oral hygiene at home, have regular dental visits, and to have a healthy diet for life.