Questions and Answer
Never hesitate to ask any questions you may have during your visit or by calling us. Here are some of the most common concerns we hear. You may also want to check the website of the American Dental Association (www.ada.org) for a variety of information on dental care and oral hygiene.
- I am an adult. Should I be concerned about cavities?
Definitely. The cause for tooth decay is the same for everyone, regardless of age. Adults often have decay around old fillings, and because many adults grew up without the benefits of fluoride, they probably have more fillings.
Tooth decay can also occur as a result of dry mouth. This happens when the supply of saliva is greatly reduced. Decreases in saliva may be caused by a variety of illnesses, medications or other therapies.
If you think you have this problem, be sure to discuss it with us. We may recommend a product that can help you.
I've heard that Periodontal(gum) disease is becoming very common among adults, and the major cause of tooth loss. Is there anything I can do about it?
Periodontal disease progresses slowly and often without pain. That's one reason why it's common among older adults. Still, it can be controlled-and in its early stage, even reversed. Look for these warning signs, and call us immediately if you notice any of them. Some signs are bleeding gums when you brush; red, tender or swollen gums; recession - gums that have pulled away from the teeth, exposing the root surfaces; loose teeth or teeth that are moving apart or any change in your bite; constant bad breath or bad taste.
I am anxious about dental visits. I know I should go, but I'm anxious about it. What can I do?
You are not alone! Anxiety over dental treatment is not unusual. People of any age can experience it. You should tell us that you are anxious. We can adjust your treatment and pace to fit your needs. There are also many advances nowadays in pain and anxiety control, but communicating your own needs is key! We are committed to making your time with us as painless and worry-free as possible. You may be surprised how easily you "sail" through your next visit.
What do I do if something comes up and I have to reschedule my visit?
Call us to reschedule as soon as you know you won't be able to make the scheduled visit. We will do our best to allow another patient to make use of your scheduled time, but if the change is less than two full business days in advance of your appointment, there is a $50 cancellation fee. It is always best to speak to us directly when scheduling changes are necessary, rather than just leaving a message. We will always do our best to accommodate your needs.
I am currently on medication. Is that a problem?
Please let us know, well in advance of your first/next visit, if you are taking medications, have any health concerns or if health related issues have changed since your last visit. It may be necessary to contact your Primary Care Physician in advance of your visit. When you complete your patient information forms, you will be asked about medications, health status and changes.
Do the over-the-counter cosmetic and whitening techniques really work?
Some do and some don't. Some are worth trying and some are a waste of money. The best thing to do is talk to us about any cosmetic procedures you think would enhance your smile or your general well-being. We will be happy to advise you and support you in your efforts.
Why do my teeth seem darker?
Adult dentition is naturally darker than childhood dentition. So if you're comparing your teeth to your children's, don't worry. If you'd like to create that "Hollywood Smile", we can help. Whitening may be an alternative if you choose to lighten your teeth, but remember, it may not work for everyone. If you prefer to keep you natural color, we will help you learn what can be done to keep them at their whitest.
Diet and habits (i.e., coffee drinking, smoking, etc.) may also add to surface stains on your teeth. Feel free to ask our advice about preventing or limiting these surface stains.
Tooth discoloration is a very individual process. Again, we can help you evaluate the various options available, both in and out of the office, for whitening your teeth.
I am a new mom. How do I care for my baby's gums?
After each feeding, whether you breast feed or bottle feed, wipe your baby's gums with a clean gauze pad. This also helps prepare your child for the future, when you will be assisting with their daily needs.
What can I expect when my baby starts teething?
Despite what people think, a fever is not a normal part of teething. If your baby is fussy, you can try a cool teething ring, or you can also gently rub your baby's gums with a cool wet gauze pad.
What if my baby is a thumb-sucker or depends on a pacifier?
Nowadays, many dentists believe that the nurturing role played by these comforts is important in your baby's development during the first few years of life. Once your child's adult dentition starts to develop, habits like thumb-sucking can be more of a concern.