Q: What is a root canal?
A: This procedure involves the removal of the nerve inside a tooth. When a root dies it needs to be removed from inside the tooth to treat infection and as preventative maintenance.
Q: What is a dental implant?
A: A Dental implant is used to replace teeth and in some cases it is a small screw placed in your jawbone.
Q: What is a dry socket?
A: After you have a tooth pulled or extracted, your blood will clot in the hole to protect your bone tissue and aid in healing. If the clot doesn't form properly your bone tissue can be exposed to air and debris which will cause it to dry out and form a 'dry socket'. This very painful socket needs to be treated immediately to prevent further complications.
Q: How can I relieve a toothache?
A: Immediately schedule an appointment with your dentists as soon as you can to find out what is causing your toothache. Many people, unfortunately, experience a toothache in the late evening or early morning when the dentist's office is not open. It has been said that you can relieve some discomfort by placing clove oil, using a q-tip, on the tooth which acts as a natural sedative for the throbbing nerve inside of your tooth.
Q: How should I handle a chipped or fractured tooth?
A: There are different types of tooth fractures. Chipped teeth are minor fractures. Moderate fractures include damage to the enamel, tissue and/or pulp. Severe fractures usually mean that the tooth has been traumatized to the point that it cannot be recovered. If you fracture a tooth, rinse your mouth with warm water and use an ice pack or cold compress to reduce swelling. Take ibuprofen, not aspirin, for pain. Your dentist can smooth out minor fractures with a sandpaper disc. Alternatively, restorative procedures may be needed to fix the tooth.
Q: What should I do if I have bad breath?
A: What helps: Good oral hygiene, regular visits to your dentist, and ruling out any underlying conditions or other factors (such as some medications, diets, and foods) that could make your breath less than pleasant.
Q: What is Decay?
A: Decay is the destruction of tooth structure. Decay occurs when plaque, the sticky substance that forms on teeth, combines with the sugars and/or starches of the foods that we eat. This combination produces acids that attack tooth enamel. The best way to prevent tooth decay is by brushing twice a day and flossing daily.
Q: What are wisdom teeth?
A: They're the last teeth to erupt in the back of your mouth. Usually, they erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. Occasionally, though, they find their way out much later than that; some never erupt at all. In some cases, the last teeth to erupt, which are the wisdom teeth, have nowhere to go if there's not enough room remaining to crowd the teeth and causing overlapping. This is why extraction is often the course of action.
Q: What's the difference between a "bridge" and a "partial denture"?
A: Both bridges and partial dentures replace missing teeth. A bridge is permanently attached to abutment teeth or, in some cases implants. A partial denture is attached by clasps to teeth and is easily removed by the patient. Patients are usually more satisfied with bridges than with partial dentures.
Q: What about "silver" fillings versus "white" fillings?
A: Although the U.S. Public Health Service issued a report in 1993 stating there is no health reason not to use amalgam (silver fillings), more patients today are requesting "white" or tooth-colored composite filings. We also prefer tooth-colored fillings because they "bond" to the tooth structure and therefore help strengthen a tooth weakened by decay. While fillings are also usually less sensitive to temperature, and they also look better. However, "white" fillings cannot be used in every situation, and if a tooth is very badly broken-down, a crown will usually be necessary and provide better overall satisfaction for the patient.
Q: What are porcelain veneers and how can they improve my smile?
A: Porcelain veneers are very thin shells of tooth-shaped porcelain that are individually crafted to cover the fronts of teeth. They are very durable and will not stain, making them a very popular solution for those seeking to restore or enhance the beauty of their smile.