Q. Why do I have to visit the dentist if have good oral hygiene and don’t notice any problems?
A. Visiting us for regular scheduled cleanings is essential, because bacteria that you cannot see with your eyes hide in your mouth and need the attention of a trained professional. Oral bacteria can travel through your bloodstream to your heart and even into your brain, causing heart attacks and strokes if not handled with proper dental care. There are many simple steps we can take to prevent bacteria from destroying your teeth and gums. Call us today to schedule your preventive care appointment. We’ll help you stop bacteria in its tracks.
Q. What is gum disease, and why is it so serious?
A. When you don’t brush and floss regularly, bacteria in your mouth spreads from your teeth into your gums and creates a condition called gum disease. Gum disease is not curable. It can only be prevented from worsening. If gum disease is not treated by regular dental visits and home care, you will experience loss of teeth, bad breath, bleeding, puss, and the disease will spread throughout your body, traveling through your bloodstream, arriving at your heart and brain, and possibly causing heart attacks and strokes. Even obesity will occur because of gum disease and failure to floss and brush. If you notice symptoms of gum disease, such as bleeding, sore, or swollen gums, call us today to schedule an appointment so we can begin treatment immediately before the problem gets worse.
Q. I don’t like my metal fillings. Can you change them to white fillings so they don’t show when I smile, eat, or talk?
A. Metal fillings are made of silver/amalgam, and they are designed to last about eight years. An old amalgam filling may break down, leak, or decay can begin under the filling. Furthermore, the IDA recently overturned its stance on amalgams. You see, dental amalgam contains mercury, a harmful heavy metal. The IDA now warns people who are pregnant or have mercury allergies, as well as young children, to avoid amalgam fillings. At Intermed Dental Care, we place tooth-colored fillings, crowns, inlays, and onlays, so you can have peace of mind that your dental work does not contain harmful mercury. White dental work will also keep your smile white and beautiful, so you can eat and speak with confidence.
Q. What’s the best option for whitening my teeth?
A. Many teeth-whitening products are available, both from the dentist and at the pharmacy. Over-the-counter products work well for light stains, but if you’d like more significant results, consider dentist-administered home teeth whitening kits!
Q. What is an extraction, and why would I need it?
A. An extraction is the removal of a tooth. Removing teeth becomes necessary when a tooth sustains damage that cannot be restored. This can result from decay (cavities), gum disease, or accidental injury. Getting a damaged tooth extracted is important, because the toth can cause a tremendous amount of pain if it is not removed. Pressure builds inside your mouth and bacteria can spread quickly. Our dentists use gentle techniques to ensure your comfort during the procedure.
Q. Should I think about implants to replace my missing teeth or to secure my denture?
A. If you have good oral health and sufficient bone density, dental implants may be the perfect solution. Dental implants can replace one tooth or secure a prosthetic, like a bridge or denture. Because they’re secured independently, dental implants are much stronger than traditional tooth-replacement options. Removable dentures, for example, only have around 20% of the strength of your natural teeth. Secured with dental implants, prosthetic teeth look, feel, and function just like natural teeth. Read more about dental implants here.
Q. Dentists make me nervous, so I just don’t go. Will I ever overcome this fear?
A. First of all, you are not alone. An estimated 50% of adults avoid the dentist for various reasons. Many fear pain, lack of control, or have had a bad experience in the past. These feelings are real and justified. Our caring team of professionals wants you to enjoy a lifetime of strong, healthy, comfortable teeth that serve you well and look fantastic. To help you overcome your anxiety, we offer relaxation amenities, such as blankets and foot massages, delivered in an atmosphere of trust and understanding. We can also offer nitrous oxide and sedation dentistry if appropriate.
Q. My last dentist said he capped my tooth, but you said I don’t have a cap. Was I lied to?
A. You experienced one of many misunderstandings we see in dentistry. The terminology used in dentistry is not consistent throughout our profession. The word “cap” as used in dentistry can refer to a number of different things. A “pulp cap” refers to a calcium-containing dressing placed under a deep filling to promote healing. A full crown or cap, made by a dental lab, completely covers the outside of a tooth. Some dentists use composite bonding to rebuild a partly broken tooth. Your dentist was probably telling the truth, but his meaning was unclear.
Early Ages Questions & Answers
Q: Are baby teeth really that important to my child?
A: Baby teeth (also known as primary teeth) help children speak clearly and chew naturally, and they form the path that permanent teeth tend to follow as they begin to erupt.
Q: What should I do if my child has a toothache?
A: Have your child swish with warm salt water, and if there is any swelling, place a cold compress on the area. If the pain is severe, you can give the child acetaminophen. Do not place aspirin on the teeth or gums. Finally, contact us as soon as possible.
Q: Are thumb-sucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child’s teeth?
A: Thumb- and pacifier-sucking habits tend to only become a problem if the child carries on with the habit for a very long period of time. If your child is still sucking his or her thumb or fingers past the age of three, we may recommend a special mouth appliance.
Q: How often does my child need to see the pediatric dentist?
A: We recommend a check-up every six months to prevent cavities and other dental problems. If there are any problems or concerns, Dr. Ravin will let you know if your child will require more frequent visits.
Q: When should I introduce toothpaste into my child’s daily routine?
A: The sooner, the better! Beginning at birth, parents should clean their child’s gums with a soft-bristle infant toothbrush or a cloth and water. Then as the teeth begin to erupt, you should start brushing your child’s teeth twice daily using fluoridated toothpaste and a soft, age-appropriate toothbrush. Use a “smear” of toothpaste to brush children under two and until your child can spit the toothpaste into the sink. Around age five and if your child can spit into the sink you should use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, and you should offer assistance in tooth brushing until your child turns seven. Young children are not able to brush their own teeth effectively, and toothpaste should always be spit out, not swallowed.
Q: How do sealants work?
A: Dental sealants fill in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth, preventing food particles from getting caught and causing cavities. The application of dental sealants is fast and comfortable and can protect teeth for years.
Q: How do I know if my child is getting enough fluoride?
A: We can evaluate the fluoride level of your child’s primary source of drinking water. If the fluoride level is deficient, or if your child drinks bottled water lacking fluoride, Dr. Ravin may prescribe fluoride supplements, but only after reviewing any potential sources of fluoride your child is exposed to.
Q: As a parent, am i allowed to accompany my child during his visit?
A: Dr. Ravin absolutely welcomes parents into the back during their childrens visit. This brings ease to the child and greatly encouraged at Intermed Dental care. We love for parents to be active participants in their child’s care!
Q: What should I do if my child falls and knocks out a permanent tooth?
A: First of all, stay calm, and try to find the tooth. Only handle the crown, avoid touching the root, and attempt to reinsert the tooth in the socket. If you’re unable to do so, put the tooth in cold milk, and bring your child and the milk containing the tooth to our office.
Q: How can parents help prevent tooth decay?
A: Just like adults, children need to see the dentist regularly. So, at first sight of your baby’s first tooth, it’s time to come see us. Dr. Ravin will recommend a routine for brushing, flossing, and other treatments that parents can follow with infants, and then supervise and teach to children as they grow and mature. Daily at-home maintenance and regular dental visits, along with a balanced diet, will help teach your children a lifetime of healthy habits.