Some Common Questions

Some Common Questions

What causes teeth to decay?

Tooth decay, commmonly known as a cavity, occurs when bacteria living in your mouth make acid byproducts that begins to eat away your teeth. If left Untreated, tooth decay may cause infection, extreme pain , loss of tooth or swelling . The decay process begins with the unnoticeable damage to the enamel(the outer most layer of your teeth) of your teeth and then steadily progresses to deeper layers of the tooth, eventually leading to the pulp. The pulp of your teeth contains highly-sensitive blood vessels and nerves. Proper oral hygiene includes brushing your teeth regularly, flossing regularly and brushing your tongue. If possible brush your teeth twice a day – morning and night.Some commmon causes of tooth decay are: Poor Oral Hygiene, Improper Nutrition, Sugary Foods, Acidic Foods and Drinks, Age ,Avoiding the Dentist, Dry Mouth Issues, Tooth Grinding, Genetics and neglegence towards any problem related to mouth and teeth,.

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Why do my gums bleed?

The common cause of bleeding gums is the buildup of plaque near your gums. This will lead to a condition called gingivitis, or inflamed gums. Plaque that is not removed will harden into tartar. This will lead to increased bleeding and a more advanced form of gum and bone disease known as periodontitis. There are several other reasons also for bleeding gums. Changing your oral care schedule can also make your gums bleed. We recommend brushing and flossing regularly and get your dental consultation every 4 months. Certain medicines also increase the likelihood that your gums will bleed. If changing your oral care habits, adjusting your medications, and maintaining a healthy diet doesn’t help your gums stop bleeding, than you should make a dental appointment.

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Why are my teeth sensitive to cold?

When the enamel is worn of or the gums have receded, causing the tiny dentinal tubule to be exposed, pain can be caused by touching your teeth with hot or cold foods and beverages, or exposing them to cold air. Exposed areas of the tooth may elevate pain and even affect or change your eating, drinking, and breathing habits. Taking a single spoon of ice cream, also can be a painful experience for people who have sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common complaints among dental patients. Some commercialy available toothpaste contain abrasive ingredients that may be too harsh for people who have sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity can be reduced by using a desensitizing toothpaste; If a tooth is highly sensitive for more than three or four days and reacts to hot and cold temperatures, it’s best to get a consultation from your dentist to determine the extent of the problem.

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What can I do if I have dry mouth?

To relieve your dry mouthyou shall always keep in mind to stay hydrated . secondly try chewing sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free hard candies to stimulate the flow of saliva. To relieve your dry mouth you can reduce your caffeine intake because caffeine can make your mouth drier. Also you shall not use mouthwashes that contain alcohol because they can be drying. You could stop all tobacco use if you smoke or chew tobacco. Sipping water regularly can help (and that’s a healthy thing to do) to keep the saliva flowing and has shown to relieve the symptom.

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Which tooth paste should I use?

The prime ingredient to look for when choosing any toothpaste is fluoride. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral. Frequent use of toothpastes containging Flouride may lead to less cavity formation. Bacteria in your mouth feed on sugars and starches that remain on your teeth after eating. Fluoride helps protect your teeth from the acid that is released when this happens. It does this in two ways. First, it can reverse the early stages of acid damage by solidifying areas that have started to decay and second , fluoride makes your tooth enamel stronger and less likely to suffer acid damage.

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How do whitening toothpastes work and how effective are they?

All toothpastes remove surface stains through the action of tiny abrasives. Some whitening toothpastes contain gentle polishing or chemical agents that provide additional stain removal. Whitening toothpastes can remove surface stains only ; whereas professional whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide (a bleaching substance) that helps remove deeper stains on the tooth surface as well as tobacoo stains. None of the home whitening toothpastes can come even close to producing the bleaching effect you get from your dentist's office. Whitening toothpastes can lighten your tooth's shade by about one shade. In contrast, light-activated whitening conducted in your dentist's office can make your teeth three to eight shades lighter.

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What is plaque and why is it harmful?

Plaque develops when remnants of foods left on the teeth uncleaned. Bacteria that live in the mouth thrive on these foods, producing acids as a result. Over a period of time, these acids destroy tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay. Plaque can also develop on the tooth roots under the gum and cause breakdown of the bone supporting the tooth and foul smell from your mouth

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How often should I floss?

Dentists recommend flossing at least once a day to help remove plaque from the areas between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. This is important because plaque that is not removed by brushing and flossing can eventually harden into calculus or tartar which is even more dangerous.

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Are electric toothbrushes better than manual brushes?

If a manual toothbrush is used for the long time, and done with proper technique, it can be as good as a powered toothbrush. Commonly people don’t brush for the recommended two to three minutes. Children are also the best candidates for powered brushes as their brushing habits tend to be less than desired. While everyone certainly does not need an electric toothbrush, in many instances they can be beneficial. Ask your dentist if you have any questions about which brush is best for you.

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What causes bad breath?

While bad breath (or “halitosis”) can be linked to numerous systemic diseases, the majority of bad breath has a origine in the mouth. A dry mouth or a low salivary flow can also influence bad odor. There are two main goals in the management of bad breath. First, controlling the bacteria that produce the sulfur compounds and second, to neutralize the sulfur compounds that are produced. Staying hydrated prilimenary help you to fight with the foul smell.

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It’s been a long time since I’ve visited the dentist. What do I need to do?

Well it’s never too late to get back into a healthy routine. Your family dentist can arrange routine dental check up for you to have a thorough examination. Stop worrying and visit the dentist immediately .

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How many times a year should I have my teeth cleaned?

Usually everyone would brush and floss twice a day. Plaque builds up over time and this sticky bacterial film can solidify and turn into calculus or tartar. This cement-like substance is removed by the hygienist at your regular cleaning visits. A six-month interval is the best for normal person who is not suffering from periodontitis . It serves to keep your mouth healthy and clean, it allows potential problems to be found and diagnosed earlier.

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When will my child get their first tooth?

The eruption of teeth causes inflammation, which leads to congestion, drooling, and discomfort for child and parents. While the average time for the appearance of the first teeth is six months of age, there is a wide range before and after this that can still be considered “normal.” The teeth might come in as early as one month of age, or they may erupt when the child is one-and-a-half years old. Generally the lower front teeth come in first, and girls’ teeth typically erupt earlier than boys.

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When should I take my child to the dentist for their first check-up?

The child shall get the very first consultation before their first birthday. Ideal time is when the first tooth erupts or approximately six months of age.

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My child’s teeth have cavities. Shall I get them filled?

If baby teeth become diseased or decayed it can lead to pain and infection. It can also be difficult for children to eat a well-balanced meal. Untreated cavities also increase the amount of decay causing bacteria in the mouth. As permanent teeth erupt, they are at increased risk for developing cavities because of the higher bacterial count. Baby teeth also hold space in the mouth for the erupting permanent teeth. If the baby teeth become decayed or are taken out too early, the permanent teeth often become crowded and will likely need braces to straighten them in the future. In any case you have to try saving your child tooth, if pulled out at early age , may lead to serious crowding issues in the future.

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What happens if a woman has a dental problem when she is pregnant?

Pregnancy and dental work questions are common for expecting moms. Preventive dental cleanings and annual exams during pregnancy are recommended. The rise in hormone levels during pregnancy causes the gums to swell, bleed, and trap food causing increased irritation to your gums. Preventive dental work while pregnant is essential to avoid oral infections such as gum disease, which has been linked to preterm birth

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Why should I get my kid checked out by an orthodontist by age 7?

Some orthodontic problems such as underbites, large over bites, severe crowding, severely protruded front teeth, and narrow jaws are much easier to correct at a younger age.These corrections usually gives the best results if treated between ages 7 and 12, while the jaw is still growing, and are sometimes referred to as “early intervention” or “Phase I”treatment. Even if you think your child won’t need this sort of treatment, it’s good to have the orthodontist check out the way that your child’s teeth and jaws are developing –if not visited certain problems needs to be corrected surgically once the growth has finished. Second not all problems are easily visible to the casual observer , so a good orthodontic consultation will definitely help you

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Are there any alternatives to braces?

Unfortunately, there aren’t many alternatives to braces, but there are alternatives to the metal braces that many people immediately picture in the mind when they hear the word “braces” . You can get clear or tooth-colored brackets and wires , which make braces much less noticeable. Some patients are also eligible for clear aligners instead of traditional braces. There are also other types of removable appliance that can help align teeth with least appreance.

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What’s the best age to get braces?

There’s no set “best” age to get braces. For most kids, the best time for braces is generally between ages 12 to 17, when a child’s mouth and head are still growing and the permanent teeth are erupting. The exact time depends on growth and on how quickly a child’s adult teeth come in. However, braces can still be effective in older teenagers and adults. Keep in mind , you can have braces at any age; yes at any age so you are never late. In some cases treatment will be changed if you visit orthodontist late after growth completes.

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What does “phase i” and “phase ii” treatment mean?

Phase I, also known as “early intervention,” refers to early orthodontic treatment that is done before a child has all of their permanent teeth. This is carried out between ages 7 and 10. Phase I treatment hardly ever functions as a complete replacement for braces – its purpose is to fix problems that are most easily corrected at an early age and to make the Phase II treatment (braces) easier. In common words, Phase I takes care of the initial structural (skeletal) corrections so that braces can make more refined (dental) corrections and finish the job.

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Isn’t it a waste of money to start braces treatment before my kid lost all his baby teeth? Can’t i just wait until permanent teeth come in?

That is not advisable. Many problems, including severe crowding, tooth eruption problems, open bitecrossbite, large over biteunderbite, narrow jaws, harmful habits, and severely protruded front teeth are much easier to correct at an early age. Delaying treatment for some orthodontic problems may lead to increased difficulty in correcting the problem, less stable results, abnormal jaw growth, abnormal tooth wear. Early intervention can also help permanent teeth come in properly. Finally, while early intervention does not eliminate the need for braces, it can reduce the patient’s time in braces when they’re older.

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How long do people have to wear braces?

On average, most kids wear braces for 1 to 3 years, but this can vary greatly for each person based on growth and the severity of the problem. It also depends on the cooperation of the patient, including maintaining the best oral hygiene, wearing auxiliaries such as rubber bands as directed, avoiding damaging braces, and keeping all of their follow-up appointments.

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I’m already an adult – should i bother with braces?

This is a subjective choice, but braces can still be quite effective for adults and modern styles are much less noticeable than the braces that many adults remember. Funfact : about 20% of patients with braces are over 18. Many adults decide to get braces because they couldn’t afford them as a kid and now can, or because their teeth have shifted with age. Getting braces, even as an adult, can give you lifetime of the perfect smile and correct serious structural problems, so many people see them as a worthwhile investment.

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This is a subjective choice, but braces can still be quite effective for adults and modern styles are much less noticeable than the braces that many adults remember. Funfact : about 20% of patients with braces are over 18. Many adults decide to get braces because they couldn’t afford them as a kid and now can, or because their teeth have shifted with age. Getting braces, even as an adult, can give you lifetime of the perfect smile and correct serious structural problems, so many people see them as a worthwhile investment.

This is a subjective choice, but braces can still be quite effective for adults and modern styles are much less noticeable than the braces that many adults remember. Funfact : about 20% of patients with braces are over 18. Many adults decide to get braces because they couldn’t afford them as a kid and now can, or because their teeth have shifted with age. Getting braces, even as an adult, can give you lifetime of the perfect smile and correct serious structural problems, so many people see them as a worthwhile investment.

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My kid’s teeth are coming in crooked – will they need braces?

Possibly, but not necessarily. The mixed dentition stage where adult teeth are first starting to come in is known as the “ugly duckling” stage for teeth, so some crookedness is normal. However, if you notice significant crowding, the chances that your kid will need braces are higher. Only an orthodontist consultation can tell you for sure.

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My child’s friends already have braces, but the orthodontist says my kid still isn’t ready. Why?

Just as children mature at different ages, their teeth and jaws mature at different ages. To be ready for full braces (sometimes known as Phase II treatment), kids generally need to have all of their permanent teeth. Early developers may have all of their permanent teeth (except wisdom teeth) by age 9, while late bloomers may not get them until age 14 or later. On average, girls’ mouths also develop slightly earlier than boys, and they tend to be ready for braces about 6-12 months earlier than normal boys. So don’t worry , for sure one day he will be ready to receive braces.

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Other than making teeth look good, are braces really necessarily?

Some people may get braces for mostly cosmetic reasons but there are also a number of health benefits to straighter teeth. Straight teeth are easier to clean well, which reduces tooth decay and gingivitis. Correcting the bite also fixes many structural problems, which can reduce jaw pain and make chewing less painful. The most important reason for undergoing braces treatment is function. After braces , your teeth will perform better.

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I had braces as a kid and hated them. Are they still that bad?

No. They may not be exactly enjoyable, but they’re less noticeable, less painful, and more efficient than you remember. You can now get clear brackets or clear aligner for a less noticeable look, and even “traditional” metal brackets are much smaller than in the past. New heat-activated wires move teeth with constant, more gradual pressure, so each adjustment hurts less and teeth realign more quickly. Computer technology in orthodontics has also improved greatly, giving us “smart” wires and brackets that move teeth faster and more efficiently.

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Will my kid be in constant pain or discomfort?

No. Braces can be uncomfortable or even painful at first, and may hurt for a couple days after each monthly adjustment. But after a few months, patients hardly notice their braces at all. Usually patients complaints of pain after 2-3 days of adjustments ,after that they hardly feel the pain.

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How can I make my kid feel better about having to get braces?

Remind them that braces will only last a couple of years, but their straighter teeth will last the rest of their life. You could also show them that even a number of celebrities have worn braces , it also helps to start visiting the orthodontist before they’re teenagers – most kids are much more comfortable wearing braces in middle school, when many of their friends will have them at the same time, than in high school.

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What do I do if a wire breaks?

First of all, don’t panic – broken wires are common. Don’t try to bend or cut the wire – there’s a good chance you will end up making things worse. If the wire is poking you, cover the end with orthodontic wax or wet cotton. Then be sure to call your orthodontist as soon as possible. A broken wire can delay progress, increasing the amount of time that you have to wear your braces. If broken wire causes ulcer, apply topical anaesthetic gel.

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What if a bracket or band comes loose?

Don’t panic or try to yank any piece off quickly. Broken or loose braces should be repaired by the orthodontist, but you can prevent the bracket from wiggling by using a bit of wax to cover it. You should carefully remove any loose bands, as they can cause buildups of saliva and germs. If the wire is poking into your cheek, you can ask your orthodontist to fix the problem and use a ball of wax on the tip of the wire to prevent it from poking until your appointment. If you accidentally swallow any part of your braces, don’t freak out – unless it prevents you from breathing normally, it’s not a major problem.

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My teeth feel loose – is this normal?

Yes. For braces to work, pressure from the wire has to loosen teeth so they can be pushed or pulled to a new location. As teeth shift, some cells have to break down so new bone cells can grow in their place to support the teeth in their new positions. This process can take several weeks. While you’re waiting for this bone regeneration to occur, it’s totally normal for teeth to feel loose. Although this can feel very disconcerting, don’t worry – your teeth are not going to fall out from your mouth.

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When is pain considered normal, and when should i call the orthodontist?

Normal orthodontic appliance-related pain should go away with nonprescription painkillers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If these don’t help your mouth pain at all, call your orthodontist for an appointment. You should also call your orthodontist for an appointment if the pain is being caused by any loose brackets or bands, distorted wires, or wires that are too long and poking the inside of your cheeks.

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Why do I keep drooling?

This is normal – many patients find themselves drooling more than normal during the first few weeks of having braces or other orthodontic appliances. Anything you place in your mouth sets off receptors that normally tell your brain to prepare the body to digest food. So when these receptors encounter an unfamiliar object in the mouth, such as braces, the brain doesn't initially realize it isn’t food. Just give these receptors a little time to adapt and the drooling will stop. Braces can also cause drooling because they simply feel unfamiliar. Your lips don't come together quite like they used to, and you have a bunch of stuff in your mouth getting in the way - it's just harder to swallow all your excess saliva. Once your mouth gets used to your braces, the drooling problem should get better.

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What are the consequences of not Cleaning Braces Properly?

Not cleaning your braces properly can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and other serious health problems, not to mention unattractive tartar, stains, and bad breath. Additionally, taking poor care of your braces can increase your treatment time with them. If the situation is bad enough, the orthodontist may even have to stop treatment, take off the braces, and wait until teeth and gums are healthier before putting them back on.

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What Kind of Toothbrush is Best?

Most people find it easier to clean their braces thoroughly with an electric toothbrush that can fit between all the small spaces in the brackets and wires. However, the best brush is the one that encourages you to brush carefully for the full recommended length of time. If this is a manual brush for you, you should choose one with a small head and soft bristles.

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Do braces hurt?

The advent of specialized wires and smaller-sized brackets has led to greater patient comfort and shorter treatment times. However, although many design improvements have been made to minimize a patient's discomfort, most will still experience soreness during the first few days after braces are placed, or for a few days after adjustment appointments. Wax can be placed over edges that feel sharp, or mild pain medication can also provide some relief. There is some "comfort" in knowing that everyone who has had braces has gone through it too.

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How often will I have to come in for an appointment?

After the initial consultation and placement of the braces, and the treatment is under way, appointments are usually every 4 to 6 weeks.

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Can I wear a retainer instead of getting braces?

As the name implies, a retainer works great at "retaining" teeth, i.e., holding them in their place. Although some minor tooth movements can be accomplished with a retainer-type appliance, movement of teeth with braces is more efficient and predictable.

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How long do I have to wear my retainer?

Teeth are set in bone (a living tissue) and not in stone. Retainers are an essential part of the overall treatment. After your braces come off, expect a period of full-time retainer wear followed by nighttime wear. Retainers maintain the teeth in their newly established positions and allow the muscles and tissues to adapt and hold the teeth in this new relationship. As during active treatment, cooperation is essential for maintaining the result. However, even with retainer wear, some changes may occur as the teeth adapt to be able to function in their best position. Often, retainers may need to be worn indefinitely, at least at night. Your orthodontist can advise you best as to how long you need to keep wearing your retainers.

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How often do I have to brush my teeth?

The recommendation is to brush and floss after every meal and before going to bed. How well you brush and the amount of time spent brushing is very important. Brushing and flossing are especially important when you have braces because food can get caught in the braces and cause cavities. It is also recommended to brush with a fluoride gel in an attempt to avoid cavities, or use a fluoride rinse after brushing. Fluoride gel products are now available from your pharmacist without a prescription.

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Are there other foods I should avoid?

The general recommendation is to avoid hard, sticky, sugary or crunchy foods. Caramel and taffy can stick to braces and promote cavities. Crunchy foods like carrots and apples can knock brackets off teeth or bend wires, which can start to move teeth in an unfavorable direction

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What are dental implants?

A dental implant is a cylindrical and/or tapered kindof a screw, usually made of titanium, that serves as a substitute for the tooth root. A connector, known as an abutment, is placed on, or built into, the top of the dental implant, to connect the implant to the replacement tooth or teeth. Finally, a crown is given to match your natural teeth, completing the dental implant.

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Why do people choose dental implants?

Dental implants are the most natural-looking and natural-feeling replacement for missing teeth. Unlike many other tooth replacement options, dental implants do not slip or click when talking, laughing or eating, making for greater confidence in social situations. Dental implants are also considered a healthy option because they help to maintain the jawbone, keeping the facial structure intact.

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What is the process for getting a dental implant?

Your dentist will place the implant into the jawbone. As the site heals, your implant will fuse with your natural jawbone. Once the implant bonds with the jawbone, a small connector is placed on top of the dental implant to connect the implant to the replacement tooth or teeth.

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Can any dentist provide my dental implant?

Dental implants are sophisticated dental devices that must be placed carefully to avoid complications or implant failure. For the best outcome potential, it is vitally important that you choose a dental implant expert that has the proper education, training, and competence in implant dentistry.

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Are dental implants right for me?

Do you want the most natural-looking smile? Do you want a hassle-free smile? Do you want a smile that won't embarrass you? If you answered “Yes” to one or more of the questions, then dental implants are the right choice for you.

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What are the benefits of Dental Implant Surgery?

Among the many advantages to getting dental implants are:

  • Improved appearance.Dental implants look and feel more natural than dentures. Because they fuse with your jawbone, they become permanent. Eventually, you won’t even notice them.
  • Improved speech.Dentures can slip in your mouth, become loose, and make talking clearly very difficult. Dental implants, on the other hand, replace your teeth without requiring any sort of daily adjustments.
  • Easier eating.No more having to worry about not being able to eat your favorite foods! Since dental implants are fused into your jaw, they work just like regular teeth.
  • Working teeth are not affected.With a tooth-supported bridge, nearby healthy teeth have to be reduced to support your replacements. However, dental implants do not affect working teeth, improving your overall oral health. Plus, it’s easier to brush between individual implanted teeth.
  • They will last a long time.With good care, these durable implants can last a lifetime.
Improved comfort. Once you’re used to the feel of your new dental implants, they are naturally a part of you!

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What happens during the procedure?

Dental implants are implanted into the jawbone where they replace the roots of the teeth which are missing. The implants contain titanium that, when implanted into the jaw, fuses with the jawbone. Once fusion occurs, the dental implants hold firmly in place. There are different types of dental implants available and the way that dental implant surgery is performed will depend on the type of implant that is chosen as well as the condition of the jaw.

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Who should get dental implants?

Dental implants are not for everyone, but certain conditions and circumstances may make dental implants the better option:

  • Having more than one missing tooth
  • Having a jawbone that has reached full growth
  • Having ample amounts of bone to secure the implant
  • Having healthy oral tissues
  • Being unwilling or unable to wear dentures

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Are dental implants safe though?

Yes! Unlike traditional dentures and bridgework, dental implants do not cause any damage to the bone. Material used for dental implants are safe and do not cause any decay. Still, individuals with certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, should check with their health care provider prior to having dental implant surgery.

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What are the risks associated with Dental Implant Surgery?

As with any surgical procedure, there are some health risks associated with dental implant surgery. Complications are relatively rare and when they do occur they are generally mild, requiring minimal treatment. Possible health risks associated with dental implant surgery include:

  • Infection occurring at the implant site
  • Nerve damage
  • Numbness
  • Pain
  • Damage to surrounding teeth or blood vessels
  • Tingling
  • Sinus problems

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I’ve heard the procedure can take several months to complete. Is that true?

Dental implant surgery is performed in several stages, with the entire process lasting anywhere from 3 to 9 months. Much of this time includes time off for healing and the growth of new jaw bone. • The first surgery involves the placement of the dental implant cylinder into the jawbone. A rest period of a few months follows. • The next surgery involves the placement of the abutment and the new artificial tooth that is commonly three months after the first surgery. • Some individuals will require a bone graft surgery prior to having dental implant surgery. This is common in individuals who have a jawbone that is too soft or is not thick enough to sustain the implant. During a bone graft, a piece of bone is taken from a different part of the jaw or another part of the body and is transplanted to the jawbone or synthetic commercially available bone grafting material is chosen.

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Does Dental Implant Surgery always work?

Unfortunately, dental implant surgery is not always successful. If the bone does not fuse to the implant, it will have to be removed and the procedure can be repeated. Still, the chances are incredibly rare. Maintaining good oral hygiene after dental implant surgery can help decrease the risk of complications and problems that may arise with dental implants

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I’m interested in dental implant surgery! What’s the next step shall I take?

A comprehensive dental exam and evaluation is required before the procedure. This will include dental x-rays and taking a mold of the mouth to make a model of the mouth.

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What is the success rate of dental implants?

It varies from individual to individual and with health and habits. For a healthy individual with good oral hygiene and good health, dental implants are predictably successful with reported success rates above 90-95 percent.

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What if I want “metal-free” implants?

There is no such thing as “metal-free” teeth. Almost all materials used for teeth replacements have some sort of metal ions in them. Dental implants are made of titanium alloy (similar to hip implants, shoulder implants, and knee implants), which is highly biocompatible, and an allergy to titanium is extremely rare! Currently, there are no proven alternatives to titanium dental implants.

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Can dentures be made into implants?

Dentures cannot be “made into implants”. Implants are metal screws placed into the jawbone to help anchor and support artificial teeth (dentures). It may be possible to have implants placed beneath existing dentures to aid in the stabilization and support for those dentures. This could only be done if the current dentures were otherwise in excellent condition.

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Are dental implants removable like dentures or do they stay in your mouth?

No, dental implants are fixed solidly in the bone and allow teeth to be replaced in a manner that is closest to natural teeth.

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How do dental implants help if I have full dentures or partial dentures?

Actually implants are most popularly used in patients who wear full dentures or partial dentures. Dental implants can be used to provide retention and support for a removable implant overdenture, which basically snaps on the implants! Therefore the partial or full denture does not move and reduces the dependency on denture adhesives/denture glue. Or, dental implants can be used for a fixed denture, where a patient’s dentures are fixed/bolted to the implants through titanium components. Only the dentist can remove this from the mouth.

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What are dental sealants, who should get them, and how long do they last?

Sealants are a thin, plastic coating that is painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth -- usually the back teeth (the premolars, and molars) -- to prevent tooth decay.Typically, children should get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come in. In this way, the dental sealants can protect the teeth through the cavity-prone years of ages 6 to 14.Sealants can protect the teeth from decay for many years, but they need to be checked for chipping or wear at regular dental check-ups.

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My dentist says I have a cavity and that I need a filling. But why doesn’t my tooth hurt?

Most dental problems don’t have any symptoms until they reach more advanced stages, so don’t wait for things to hurt! It is best to get a thorough dental exam, and diagnose and treat problems early. Waiting often makes problems more difficult and more expensive to fix. So it is advisable to get it treated before its to late and we have to take the tooth out.

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How safe are dental X-rays?

Exposure to all sources of radiation -- including the sun, minerals in the soil, appliances in your home, and dental X-rays -- can damage the body's tissues and cells and lead to the development of cancer. Fortunately, the dose of radiation you are exposed to during the taking of X-rays is extremely small.

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What is a root canal?

A root canal is a treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth in which the decay has progressed upto the pulp. The procedure involves removing the damaged area of the tooth (the pulp), cleaning and disinfecting it and then filling and sealing it. The common causes affecting the pulp are a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, long standing caries, repeated dental treatment to the tooth or trauma.

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How safe are traditional dental x-rays, and are the new digital x-rays better?

Digital x-rays are one of the most important new advances that our profession has seen in quite some time. The ability to reduce the exposure of radiation to the patient used by traditional x-ray while increasing the diagnostic proficiency has astounding implications. The reduction of the use of harsh chemicals and other waste materials associated with traditional x-rays is also an added benefit to our environment.

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I’m interested in changing the shape of my teeth. What options are available?

Several different options are available to change the shape of teeth, make teeth look longer, close spaces between teeth or repair chipped or cracked teeth. Among the options are bonding, crowns, veneers, and recontouring braces.

  • Dental bonding is a procedure in which a tooth-colored resin material (a durable plastic material) is applied to the tooth surface and hardened with a led light.
  • Dental crowns are tooth-shaped "caps" that are placed over teeth. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.
  • Veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials that are designed to cover the front surface of teeth. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth.
  • Recontouring or reshaping of the teeth (also called odontoplasty, enameloplasty, stripping, or slenderizing) is a procedure in which small amounts of tooth enamel are removed to change a tooth's length, shape or surface.
Each of these options differ with regard to cost, durability, "chair time" necessary to complete the procedure, stain resistant qualities, and best cosmetic approach to resolving a specific problem. Talk to your dentist to see if one is right for you.

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What are my options for whitening my teeth?

Tooth discoloration may result from drinking coffee, tea, cola and red wine; or from smoking. The aging process also can stain and darken your teeth. Here are some options to consider when looking for whiter teeth. Before deciding whether in-office teeth whitening is right for you, we conduct a comprehensive examination of your teeth and gums to ensure proper health, and talk with you about your oral hygiene and lifestyle habits to determine if you will benefit from whitening. This helps us agree on the whitening product or technique that’s best for you.Whitening Toothpastes – Whitening toothpastes can help remove surface stains only and do not contain bleach. Whitening toothpastes can lighten the tooth’s color by about one shade.Bleaching Techniques – In contrast, light-activated whitening can make your teeth three to eight shades lighter. We offer our customers a range of teeth whitening that begins with Sinsational Smile. A simple, yet inexpensive and faster procedure.Opalescence tooth bleaching is an affordable and convenient at home bleaching solution with custom take home trays. The bleach is placed in the tray and worn for 30-60 minutes a day until the desired whiteness and results are achieved. The custom trays can be used for years, reapplying as needed to sustain the desired shade of your teeth. This is clinically proven to make your teeth their whitest.

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What if a tooth gets knocked out in an accident?

Time is your enemy when an accident or any trauma dislodges a tooth. First locate the tooth, or teeth, and determine if the tooth broke or if the entire tooth and root came out in one piece. Gather together the pieces you’ve found, and with warm water gently rinse off obvious dirt or debris. Avoid touching the root as much as possible. Place and transport the tooth in milk or in some of the person’s own saliva.Rush the injured person and tooth to the dental office. Ideally the tooth will be re-implanted. The tooth may also be splinted with a wire to the adjacent teeth for a period of time.This is a true dental emergency. If it is after regular business hours you should still call your dentist. The more time that goes by the less likely that the re-implantation will be successful. If you cannot contact a dentist your nearest Urgent Care or Emergency Room may be able to help.

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What are my options for replacing a missing tooth?

When a tooth is lost, a whole series of events can begin to occur. Chewing on the affected side becomes more difficult and over time the remaining teeth can actually tilt and erupt into the open space.Depending on the location of the missing tooth, we would most likely recommend either a dental implant, a bridge, or a partial denture. All of these options have their benefits and drawbacks.

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What’s the News in the Prevention and Treatment of Tooth Decay?

Advances in general dentistry have yielded several promising developments in the treatment of tooth decay. One experimental method of cavity detection uses fluorescent light to reveal signs of decay long before they can be detected using traditional exams and X-rays. Toothpastes and mouth rinses that heal early tooth decay are also under investigation. There are commercially available detectors which changes colour when applied.

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What are the signs of oral cancer?

Oral cancer most frequently appears on the floor of the mouth or on the tongue. Cancer of the gum tissue is much less common. Symptoms include:

  • Red and/or white area or a sore that does not heal
  • Swelling of the jaw
  • Stiffness of the jaw or neck
  • A lump or thickening on the neck, lips, gums or in the mouth
  • Unexplained loose teeth or dentures that no longer fit properly
  • A change in the voice or hoarseness
  • A feeling that something is caught in the mouth or throat
How common is oral cancer?There are more than 34,000 new cases of oral cancer diagnosed every year. The majority of cases appear in people over the age of 50, but a growing number of people under the age of 40 are being diagnosed. Oral cancer affects almost twice as many men as women. In the United States, oral cancer is seen most often in African American men. Risk factors:
  • Tobacco and alcohol use significantly increases your risk
  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
  • Ultraviolet light exposure from the sun or tanning beds (increases the risk of lip cancer)
  • Poor nutrition caused by a diet deficient in fruits and vegetables
  • Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Previous radiation exposure to the head and neck
  • A history of cancer of the mouth, head and neck
  • Chewing Betel Nut (areca nuts wrapped in a betel leaf chewed by many people in Southeast/Southern Asia)

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What is periodontal (gum) disease?

Periodontal (gum) disease is an inflammation of the gum tissue around the tooth due to harmful bacteria that build up in your mouth. Periodontal disease starts as gingivitis, and if not treated, can progress to a more serious condition known as periodontitis. 

  • Gingivitis:The mildest form of gum disease. If caught early, it should be reversible.
  • Periodontitis:A more severe form of gum disease that can result in bone and root damage or even tooth loss.
 Even in the advanced stages of periodontitis, any discomfort may be mild

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How can I prevent periodontal (gum) disease?

The best way to prevent periodontal disease, commonly called gum disease, is relatively simple. It’s all about reducing the number of bacteria that reside in your mouth.

  • Brush twice a day
  • Floss once a day
  • Visit  your dentist regularly
 Avoid tobacco products

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What is scaling and root planing?

Scaling and root planing is the removal of plaque and calculus from tooth surfaces, both above and below the gum line.

  • Plaque—a sticky film of bacteria that builds up on teeth
  • Calculus—also called tartar, forms as plaque hardens over time, and cannot be removed simply by brushing the teeth

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What is a tooth pocket?

A tooth pocket is the normal space that encircles the tooth structure, where the gum tissue fits snugly around the tooth. An important part of your daily routine is to keep this space clean by flossing and lightly brushing the gums with a soft toothbrush.Tooth pockets are considered healthy when they are less than 3 mm in depth and do not bleed. Dentists and dental hygienists use a special tool to measure the depth of tooth pockets. With neglegence these pockets can become inflamed or infected, causing bleeding, recession of the gum or bone loss. Deeper pockets around the tooth provide a larger area for the bacteria to live, making your at-home dental care more difficult. During regular cleanings, the dentist or hygienist will clean and remove any hard deposits from the tooth pockets.A dentist or a hygienist can provide instructions on good oral health habits and steps to maintain healthy gums.

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Why are x-rays taken?

Dental x-rays are used to create a picture of teeth and gums, and the bone and ligaments that hold teeth in place. This picture is called a radiograph, and it is used by dentists to look for disease or check on tooth development that cannot be seen with the naked eye. What dentists are looking forTeethDecayTooth positioningRoot positioningDeciduous teeth positionPosition of erupting teethAny pus collectionNerve/sinus proximityAny abnoramality

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Are there any risks with dental x-rays?

Dental x-rays are important to see signs of dental disease or other dental problems. The good news is that they present few risks. The main health risk is from the exposure to radiation.The level of radiation exposure from dental x-rays has always been low. Today, the use of new technologies reduces that exposure even more. Digital x-rays and high-speed x-ray film, for example, use very small amounts of radiation. A special device, called a collimator, is also used to prevent the spread of radiation beyond the specific area being x-rayed.In addition, dentists will ask you to wear a lead-lined apron to protect your chest and stomach, and a collar around the neck to protect the thyroid.Exposure to x-ray radiation can also be reduced by limiting the number of x-rays taken, especially for those people who are at low risk for dental disease. Patients should discuss their dental and overall health history with their dentist before deciding if x-rays are necessary. Any health concerns about having dental x-rays taken should be discussed as well. If a patient changes dentists or needs to see a specialist, recent x-rays can be sent to the new dentist. This will avoid the need to retake the x-rays.

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Are x-rays safe during pregnancy?

Dental x-rays are usually avoided during the first trimester of pregnancy and often postponed until after the baby is born. In the case of a dental emergency, it may be necessary to take a limited number of x-rays to determine the course of treatment. A lead apron minimizes exposure to the abdomen and should be used when any dental x-ray is taken.

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What is xylitol?

Xylitol is a natural sugar that has fewer calories than regular sugar and doesn’t raise blood sugar levels. Found in small amounts in many fruits and vegetables, it is also used in some chewing gum, candy and mints, diabetes food products and some oral care products.Xylitol’s biggest benefit is that oral bacteria (which can cause diseases like gingivitis) can’t feed on it and grow as they would with normal sugarsXylitol other dental benefits include:

  • Absorption of calcium, which is not only good for your teeth, but may also protect against osteoporosis.
  • An increased production of saliva that contains calcium and prevents dry mouth.
  • A reduction of acid levels in the saliva after eating or drinking, which helps fight erosion of tooth enamel.

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