Ask the Dental ExpertsOur philosophy is to help our patients achieve and maintain exceptional dental health. We work hard to make sure that our level of care is deserving of our patients’ respect and confidence. Our tradition of preventive dentistry is the basis for all service and care in our practice. We welcome all questions and comments regarding dentistry in the hope that we increase your dental "IQ" and help you make better dental health decisions.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Q: I have had a fear of the dentist for years and I think I may need some fillings done. If I do have IV sedation, what post op care will I need? Will I need to take much time off work?
A: There is a simple answer to your question. Most likely you will not need very extensive post procedure care. When we do fillings while the patient is under IV sedation all of the work is completed at that appointment. In a few instances a patient may need to come back to have their bite adjusted. This is a simple process and requires no anesthesia and the patient does not feel anything. I welcome you to our office. We perform IV sedations all of the time and all of our patients are extremely happy. Be sure to call 888.790.0309 for an appointment.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Q: My jaw pops on one side when I open it wide, but there is really not too much pain associated with TMJ. What could be causing this? Should I attempt to rectify it?
A: The answer to your question is that you have a displaced disc on the side that is popping. The disc is displaced anteriorly (toward the front) and is recaptured by the head of the condyle when you open very wide. When you close the head of the condyle pops ofo of it and you may even experience a slight pop at that time.
I am of the opinion that it is not in your best interest to rectify it if you are not having any pain issues with it. Once you try treating a pain free popping joint you can get into bigger trouble. If a patient comes to my office with a popping joint I will only treat them if they are having pain or severe problems associated with it. If they are not we note that they have a popping joint with no pain and recommend that they wear a night guard at night. The purpose of the night guard is to take pressure off of the joint at night and this will help keep the patient pain free.
Thanks again for your question and I welcome you to come to my office to have your TMJ checked out and evaluated.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Q: What processes does your office go through to keep things sterile and infection free (i.e. heat sterilization, gloves, plastic-wrapped materials) for each new patient? I read a news story about the potential in medical offices for high levels of germs so I wanted to make sure I knew what to look for.
A: The process that we use for sterlization in our office for each new patient in order to avoid cross-contamination is as follows:
-We place plastic barriers on areas that will be touched by either the doctor or the assistant, including light fixtures, drills, etc.
-Most of our materials are disposable items such as prophy cup heads, suction tips, paper head rests, and table cover tops.
-Between each patient we spray the room with an ADA approved disinfectant spray.
-All the instruments are placed in sealed bags and heat sterilized in an autoclave and are removed from the bag when the patient is seated in the dental chair.
-We follow the OSHA guidelines at The Medical Center Dental Group office.
One of our patients once commented that our office is covered in plastic!
Should you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to call our offices at 888.790.0309 and some one will assistant you in any further questions.
Friday, August 18, 2006
Q: How fast does plaque build up in my mouth and where is it most likely to accumulate?
A: Plaque starts attaching itself to the tooth structure just as soon as you get done eating or drinking. In most patients plaque will build up all over the tooth surface. If it is not removed properly, then it will eventually turn into calculus. The areas that are the most difficult to clean are the surfaces that build up with plaque which eventually turns into calculus. Those areas are the tongue side of the lower anterior teeth and the cheek side of the upper posterior molars. We find that these are the most common areas of plaque build up.
Please be sure to contact our offices with further questions at 888.790.0309 and we would be happy to see you to evaluate your dental needs.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Q: My toothpaste has fluoride in it already, but someone suggested I should start brushing with actual fluoride before bed, instead of toothpaste. What are the benefits of this, and why do some people use both?
A: Additional fluoride use in adults is a common recommendation in our practice for adults. The main reasons for use:
*decay prevention - such as dry mouth or patients with rampant or very active decay
*bleeding problems - fluoridated rinses help decrease gingival bleeding
*patients with braces - helps minimize decay - braces are hard to clean
*tooth sensitivity - frequent use of topical fluorides help to desensitize teeth
These products come in gels and rinses, both are effective. Colgate Prevident 5000 Plus, for instance, is a prescription strength toothpaste that delivers 5000 ppm fluoride. It combines the cleaning power of a toothpaste with the strength of fluoride for cavity prevention.
It is a cheap and effective tool in preventive dental care.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Q: I have two teeth in the front coming in sideways. The dentist told us that if we didnt take care of the teeth they would come out behind my front teeth. He said we should hook small chains to the teeth and attach them to braces so that they will slowly come down. I wanted to know if you knew any other way to fix these teeth. Would there be a way I can just have surgury to take them out and stitch them in place?
A: Your dentist is right, you should do something about those two anterior teeth. It sounds to me that they may be your cuspids (eye teeth). These are considered the corner stones of your mouth. Should you remove these, sometimes the other teeth will collapse in the area where these teeth should have been. You should definitely try and have these teeth orthodontically repositioned. If you just leave them there, they may damage the roots of your other teeth. You can't have them surgically removed and then stitched them into place,you would damage the tooth's nerve which would cause the tooth to die. Should you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to call us at: 888.790.0309.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Bonding vs. Veneers
Q: If you get tooth bonding and you have a gap between your teeth will it help it from spreading? What do you prefer better, veeners or tooth bonding?
A: Yes, bonding the gap between your teeth will definitely help them from spreading. Bonding your teeth usually lasts about 5 years before it needs to be replaced or repaired. Ideally, and what I prefer, is placing veneers on your anterior teeth. Porcelain veneers are thin sheets of ceramic that bond directly to the front surfaces of the teeth. They are an ideal choice for improving your smile and have become increasingly popular due to their simplicity and versatility. When bonded to the teeth, the ultra-thin porcelain veneers are virtually undetectable and highly resistant to coffee, tea or even cigarette stains. For strength and appearance, their resemblance to healthy, white tooth enamel is unsurpassed by other restorative options. Please, if you have any other questions, don't hesitate to call us at: 888.790.0908 or check out the FAQ section of our website.