Frequently Asked Questions

Why are my teeth sensitive?

Sensitive teeth can have many causes, including tooth decay, fractured teeth, worn fillings, gum disease, worn tooth enamel, exposed tooth roots, and receding gum lines.  In healthy teeth, a layer of enamel protects the visible portion of the tooth above the gum line.  Below the gumline and underneath the enamel is dentin, which is less dense and contains microsopic tubes or canals.  When the protective enamel covering is lost, heat, cold and acidic or sticky foods can travel through the canals and reach the nerves and sensitive cells within the tooth.  There are several treatments available depending on the cause and severity of the sensitivity:  desensitizing toothpast, fluoride gel, a crown or filling, surgical gum graft, or a root canal if no other treatment is successful.



What is gum disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease or gingivitis, is a chronic infection of the tissue surrounding and supporting your teeth.  It is caused by bacteria found within plaque that develops on your teeth and is not removed through regular hygiene visits or daily brushing and flossing.  Risk factors include:

  • poor oral hygiene

  • smoking or chewing tobacco

  • genetics

  • diabetes

  • medications



What are the warning signs of gum disease?

The beginning stages of gum disease can be painless, but there are visual signs that can indicate infection:

  • gums that bleed easily

  • red, swollen, or tender gums

  • gum recession

  • bad breath or taste

  • loose or seperating teeth

  • chages in your bite



What is periodontitis?

If gum disease is left untreated, it can progress into a condition called periodontitis.  This can lead to more severe loss of supporting tissue and bone, causing teeth to become loose and eventually lost.  



How do you treat periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is best treated early and through regular hygiene maintenance with a hygienist and at home, which is also the best way to prevent gum disease altogether.  Early stages of gum disease are reversable through more advanced hygiene treatements called root planing and scaling.  Infected areas within the gum are cleaned and treated in order to reduce the bacteria and fight the infection.

 

Can gum disease affect my overall health?

YES!  While research is still ongoing, severe gum disease has been associated with increased risk for heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes.  The same bacteria that cause gum disease have been found in clots causing strokes and heart attacks.  When bacteria infect the gums, they gain easier access to the blood stream, where they can enter your system and cause inflammatory responses throughout your body. 



What is the difference between a silver and tooth-colored filling?

Silver fillings, known as amalgam, have been used by dentists for over 100 years, and for the majority of those years was the best option to fill cavities due to its durability and ability to harden quickly.  It is a combination of metals including mercury, silver, tin, and copper.  While it is still a safe and commonly used filling material, they are not natural looking and may require the removal of more tooth in order to place the filling.  Over the years, the metal expands and contracts due to natural temperature fluctuations when we eat, which can result in damage to the tooth.  For this reason along with environmental concerns regarding the mercury, our office does not provide silver, or amalgam, fillings.

 

Tooth-colored fillings, also known as composites, are made of plastic or glass polymers. The material bonds to the actual tooth structure helping to fill the cavity and make the tooth stronger for many years.  They can be used to fill any cavity in the front or back, and we work with you to find the perfect shade that matches the color of your natural teeth.  When finished, the filling will blend in with your natural teeth helping to maintain your beautiful smile!



What cosmetic options are available?
Your optimum smile is unique and special to you, and we understand that not everyone wants a movie-star smile.  That is why we will never pressure you to spend thousands of dollars on cosmetic dentistry, but know that we are well-trained and capable of improving your smile if you choose to do so.  Services offered include:

  • Veneers

  • 20 minute whitening or custom whitening trays

  • Porcelain crowns

  • Tooth-colored fillings



How do I get a whiter smile?

Teeth whitening is available through hundreds of different over-the-counter products from tooth paste to gum to at-home whitening kits.  However, the best way to achieve a whiter smile is through in-office and at-home bleaching treatments.  In-office treatment can be completed in as little as 20 MINUTES through the use of a bleaching solution applied to a rubber mouth guard and 20 minutes against a special light to quicken the whitening process.  We also offer custom whitening trays that fit perfectly in your mouth and provide the best coverage when applying the bleaching solution.  



What are veneers?

Veneers are thin, custom-made porcelain shells crafted to match your desired shade and design in order to cover the front side of teeth.  They can be used to correct stains, gaps, or chipped, decayed, or crooked teeth.  It can take as little as two visits to discuss, prepare, and deliver your perfect smile!  The first visit will require Dr. Guido and one of our assistants to remove a small amount of tooth to accomodate the veneers as well as create a temporary for you to use while your permanent veneers are crafted at the dental lab.  The second visit will take place once the permanent veneers are delivered. Dr. Guido and one of our assistants will place the veneers and make any necessary adjustments until your new smile is perfect and comfortable!  



What are crowns?
Crowns are a procedure that can help to strengthen the tooth and improve its appearance.  It serves many purposes such as stengthening a tooth when a large filling is not providing the desired strength and protection, attach bridges, prevent a tooth from breaking or restore a broken tooth, cover discolored or mishapened teeth, or cover a dental implant.  

 

We provide several available materials to create the crown, including full metal crowns, porcelain fused to metal crowns, and our most popular, porcelain crowns.  Porcelain crowns can be prepared, created, and placed on the same day in as little as two hours!  Full metal and porcelain fused to metal crowns will require two appointments in order to allow for the dental lab to create your crown and deliver it.  

 

Does your office offer financing for services provided?

YES!  Please see our Affordable page for available financial options.

 

For more information, please visit MouthHealthy.org, a dental health website developed by the American Dental Association

All information retrieved from the ADA's website http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/

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