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FAQs

Q What causes tooth loss?
A Tooth decay and periodontal disease are the most common causes of tooth loss. Tooth decay takes place when most of the tooth’s mineral makeup has been dissolved away and a hole (cavity) has formed. While tooth decay primarily affects children, periodontal disease, or gum disease, affects mostly adults. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums caused by the buildup of plaque, and its earliest stage is known as gingivitis.

Q How many times a day should I brush my teeth?
A Most dental professionals recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brushing after every meal (and flossing at least once a day) is also a good way to maintain dental health.

Q When should a child have his/her first dental appointment?
A A child should have his first dental appointment no later than his third birthday. Many dentists recommend a child have his first appointment when his first tooth comes in.

Q What causes oral cancer?
A Tobacco (cigarettes, pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and snuff) is the most common cause of oral cancer. Combining tobacco use with heavy drinking can also foster the development of oral cancer. Bad hygiene, prolonged irritation of the oral cavity, and extended exposure to strong sunlight on the lips are among other causes of the disease. Many dentists believe vitamins A and E can help prevent the acquisition of oral cancer.

Q What are the warning signs of oral cancer?
A Early symptoms of oral cancer include: a sore on the lip, in the mouth, or in the throat that does not heal; a lump on the lip, in the mouth, or in the throat; a red or white patch found anywhere in the mouth; unusual pain or bleeding in the mouth; swelling of the mouth; and any difficulty or discomfort felt in chewing or swallowing.

Q What is implant dentistry?
A Implant dentistry is the branch of dentistry that involves installing an artificial tooth into a patient’s jaw in order to replace or restore a missing tooth.

Q Is the concept of dental implants a new one?
A Modern implantology began in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. However, popularity really grew in the 1980’s with the increased success of the titanium cylinder. Since then, many brand name implants with minor variations have been approved.

Q What factors contribute to the long term success of dental implants?
A Long-term success depends on multiple factors. Firstly, success will depend on the quality and quantity of bone. The better the bone and the more available, the greater the chance of long-term success. Secondly, the experience and ability of the dental surgeon will be a factor. As with any surgical procedure, there is no substitute for the experience and individual talent of the dentist. And finally, the quality of the restoration placed on top of the implant will play a big role in long-term success. If the design of the implant crowns or overdentures are poorly constructed, and biting forces are not balanced, even the best-placed dental implant will have a compromised survival rate.

Q Are there any age limitations for dental implants?
A No. Any person at any age can have dental implants as long as there is enough bone available in which to place the implants.

Q What might be some factors that would prevent me from being an implant candidate?
A There are some medical factors that might prevent a person from being a good candidate for dental implants. Some of these may be uncontrolled diabetes, chemotherapy or radiation therapy, parathyroid disorders, blood disorders, rare bone disorders or bone marrow cancer. Some physical factors may include insufficient or poor quality bone, low sinuses or nerve bundles.

Q How often will I need to have my implants checked?
A The success of your implants will depend greatly on how well you maintain them. They will need to be professionally cleaned by a hygienist and examined by us every three to six months. Our hygienists are trained in the specific procedure of maintaining dental implants. Also, brushing and flossing daily is absolutely necessary for long-term success.

Q Is dental implant surgery painful?
A No. An effective local anesthetic is used during the surgery so that you do not have any discomfort during the placement of the implants. The mild discomfort you might experience after surgery can be controlled with medications.

Q When can I return to work after implant surgery?
A You can go to work the next day, unless some particular surgical circumstance arises. Your implant dentist will discuss all postoperative instructions with you.

Q What is a periodontal disease?
A Periodontal disease is a serious, chronic bacterial infection that attacks the gums and bones that support your teeth.

Q What causes periodontal disease?
A The major cause of periodontal disease is the buildup of plaque, which results from the overgrowth of the mouth’s naturally occurring bacteria. In order to prevent the development of periodontal disease, an individual needs to maintain sound hygiene practices by brushing his / her teeth and flossing daily.

Q What are the treatments for periodontal disease?
A If periodontal disease is caught at an early stage (when it has not progressed beyond the point of gingivitis), it can be treated with scaling and root-planning (removing plaque around the tooth and smoothing the roots’ surfaces). If the disease progresses to a later stage, the patient may need surgical treatment, which involves cutting the gums, eliminating the hardened plaque build-up, and repairing the damaged bone.

Q What is gingivitis?
A Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums around the roots of the teeth. It marks the early stage of periodontal disease, and it is characterized by red, swollen gums.

Q What do I do if a tooth is knocked out
If the tooth has been knocked backwards or out of position but is still in the socket, simply wash your hands, then pinch the crown of the tooth and snap it back into place. The teeth on either side will guide it into position.
Use a cold compress (a cold, wet towel or washcloth pressed firmly against the area) to reduce swelling, then call us at our office number. Both Doctors have their home number on our answering machine. We will try and see you right away if possible.
If a baby tooth has been knocked out, don’t worry about replacing it. Clean the child’s mouth gently with water and use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Then make an appointment with your child’s dentist to determine how serious the injury is.

Q What if a tooth is chipped or broken
If possible locate the fragment of the broken tooth, wash it gently with water, then call us right away.
If the tooth has been shattered or more than half of the tooth is broken, find the tooth fragments and call us immediately. We can sometimes rebond the broken piece. If the fracture is over half the tooth, then the nerve of tooth may be exposed and need immediate treatment to protect the nerve.
If we can’t rebond the piece we can use composite filling material to restore the broken tooth. Sometimes a broken tooth will need a build up and crown in order to restore it back to health. The best thing you can do is to call us when the tooth breaks right away.

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