We have answers!
We have answers!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Dental xray's, are they safe?
- Radiation you would recieve from dental film xrays is already extremely low, and now with the advancement of digital xrays that exposure is significantly reduced. My Teeth Dentists will only take xrays when deemed necessary further reducing exposure to radiation.
- How can I get my teeth to look whiter?
- At home methods include whitening toothpaste (which really only removes stains on your teeth) and teeth whitening pastes, gels, and bleaching trays (if used as recommended, will whiten your teeth one shade in about four weeks).
The dentist office can offer two methods, first at home bleaching tray (prescription strength) which can whiten your teeth up to eight shades. This will take about four weeks to see substantial improvement. And, second an in-office teeth bleaching where you will notice substantial improvement within an hour. If you need to substantially whiten your teeth (ex: 8 shades) repeated office visits will be needed.
- Are my silver fillings safe?
- Dental amalgam is a filling material used by dentists to restore the proper size and shape of decayed or damaged teeth. It is an alloy, meaning a blend of different metals, that includes silver, tin, copper, and liquid mercury. It is the most commonly used filling material in the world and has been used extensively since the early 1800’s.
Amalgam is the most thoroughly researched and tested of all filling materials. Despite controversy over the mercury content, no health disorder or illness has ever been found to be linked to it. The FDA, CDC, and World Health Organization all view dental amalgam as a safe dental material.
Why did 1st Dental stop using silver fillings (Amalgam):
Amalgam is an alloy used for dental fillings that contains approximately 50% mercury, ~22-32% silver, ~14% tin, ~8% copper and other trace metals. Amalgam has been used for dental fillings for over 150 years.
The public concern about the toxicity of amalgam fillings is a controversial topic. Dental amalgam does contain mercury, which can release a low level of mercury vapor that can be inhaled. High levels of mercury vapor exposure have been associated with adverse effects in the brain and kidneys. Based on the best scientific evidence available, the FDA at this point has ruled that amalgam fillings are safe for adults and children ages 6 and above. You can read more about Amalgam and the FDA's position on this topic here.If you are unsure whether amalgam is right for you, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each filling material with your dentist.
- Is it possible to change the shape of my teeth?
- There are two ways a dentist can reshape your teeth: First, with dental contouring (this is removing part of your teeth); second, with bonding (this is adding composite material to your teeth). These can both extensively improve 1. Teeth overlapping 2. Teeth irregularity 3. Chips in your teeth and 4. Pointed teeth. This is less expensive than other options and does create visibly noticeable improvements.
- Are there options for people without dental insurance?
- Yes, there are many options for getting dental care without dental insurance, see below:
1. Federal aid including CHIP (which is for children) and 2. Medicaid. To see if these options are available to you and your family call 1-800-Medicare;
2. Contact The Bureau of Primary Health Care to find a community center near you that offers free or dental services for a reduced cost;
3. Locate dental schools and clinics. Although services are provided by students they are substantially less expensive (may be an option for simple dental services);
4. Our office, and many others offer payment plans. Get your treatment plan, get your teeth fixed, then pay monthly on what you owe.
5. There are third party companies that finance dental care for a small fee. This will require some research on your part.
- What is the best toothpaste and mouthwash to use?
- The best tooth paste is one with fluoride in it. Fluoride prevents cavities while everything else should be based on your personal preferences; what will encourage you to brush more and often. The best mouth wash will depend on what your mouth needs. If you need to fight or prevent gingivitis you will want something with bacteria fighting/killing agents. If you have children under the age of six, look for mouthwash that is alcohol free, because they often swallow it. Also, to ensure your product is safe and effective look for the American Dental Association’s seal.
- Should I use an electric or a manual toothbrush?
- First, both an electric and manual toothbrush can properly and thoroughly clean your teeth. If you have issues that make it difficult to brush thoroughly (or young children) an electric toothbrush may be your best choice because they can get up to 40,000 brush strokes per minute while a manual toothbrush (by hand) can only get up to 300 brush strokes per minute.
- Bad breath, can I prevent it?
- Halitosis (bad breath’s official name) is generally created in the mouth and can be dramatically prevented by brushing the top or your mouth and your tongue thoroughly. Although, it can be caused by a dry mouth. However, it could be the result of a systemic disease and you will want to see your dentist or doctor for more information and treatment options.
- What is a sealant?
- A sealant is a protective measure to prevent cavities and is recommended for all children. Sealants are placed on the top of the groves in the back teeth where food and plague build up. The sealant prevents the food and plaque from penetrating your teeth and causing them to rot.
- Why am I noticing changes in my gums and teeth since becoming pregnant?
- Hormonal changes may result in red and swollen gums that are otherwise healthy. Make sure you continue going to the dentist for your bi-annual appointments to avoid future issues, and if you are really concerned about your teeth, please see your dentist.
- Why do baby teeth cavities need to be filled?
- Cavities hurt at all ages which causes problems in speaking, chewing and smiling. Likewise, your childs’s mouth is the foundation for their adult teeth, so a bacterial filled mouth will result in more dental issues in the future.
- What do I do if one of my teeth gets knocked out?
- First, see if you can locate the tooth and keep it with you. Second contact your dentist, urgent care or an emergency room immediately. Hopefully, the tooth may be re-inserted into your mouth and the sooner you seek help, the more likely your chances for success are on this issue.
- What are my options if my mouth is very dry?
- Xerostomia is the official name for lacking saliva. Glandular diseases, aging, and medication you are taking may be the cause of this. Water along with sucking on sugar free candy may provide you the saliva you need. If this does not work, please contact your dentist or doctor to figure out what is going on because it is likely a deeper issue that will require treatment.
- What cauused my dentures to stop fiiting?
- Your mouth changes constantly throughout your lifetime, and if you’ve had your dentures for over three years there is a chance they are no longer fitting. Please see your dentist for realignment or a new set of dentures. Trying to fit your dentures on when it is no longer comfortable can cause deeper issues making the bones surrounding your teeth dissipate faster and resulting in an even more uncomfortable fit.
- Does diabetes affect the health of my teeth?
- Yes, having diabetes weakens your immune system’s ability to fight off disease including those in your mouth. Brushing and flossing regularly, along with healthy glucose levels will work towards maintaining your teeth’s health if you have diabetes.
- Do I need to fill the gap if I have a tooth removed?
- Yes, depending on the placement of the removed tooth, it can affect when you chew, speak, or smile. Additionally, the surrounding and opposing teeth may grow misshapenly into the space in an effort to fill the gap. A dentist can recommend the best option for filling the gap, from an implant to a bridge or a partial denture.
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