I had a toothache but took antibiotics for the pain. Now my tooth has stopped hurting. Do I still need to see the dentist?
Yes. Despite your tooth temporarily feeling better due to the use of antibiotics, the underlying issue that caused the pain in the first place may not have been resolved. Unlike medical infections, such as strep throat, which can be cured by prescribing antibiotics, a dental infection, such as a diseased tooth, requires additional treatment, such as a root canal or tooth extraction to resolve the issue. This is why you should routinely visit your dentist.
I don’t love my teeth because they are crooked, but I don’t want to wear metal braces as an adult. What are my options?
Invisalign is a great alternative to traditional metal braces, especially for adults who do not want to be embarrassed by braces in the workplace. Invisalign is a type of orthodontic treatment that consists of a series of clear custom-made retainers that move teeth. Each retainer in the series moves a select group of teeth a small amount, before the patient moves on to the next retainer. If you prefer to stay away from braces, this is one of the better options.
I am having a tooth removed. Is a dental implant a good solution for my tooth replacement?
Yes, a dental implant can be a very good solution for an individual who needs tooth replacement. A dental implant will match the surrounding natural teeth and function just as a natural tooth would, without any fear of the replacement tooth moving or coming loose.
The implant process includes the placement of a titanium implant directly into the upper or lower jaw bone, essentially replacing the root of the missing tooth. Once the implant has integrated with the bone, the dentist will make a replacement tooth or crown, to cover the implant and blend in with the natural teeth.
How safe are dental X-rays?
It is known that exposure to many types of sources of radiation, including from the sun, appliances in the home, and traditional dental X-rays, can cause damage to body tissue and cells. However, particularly during a dental visit, the exposure during a dental X-ray is extremely small.
To further improve the experience of patients and decrease health risks, we have embraced advances in dental technology by implementing the newest machines and processes. We use low dose digital X-rays, which are a great technological advancement that includes benefits such as lower radiation, easier image capture, high resolution images, and instant viewing of images.
How can I prevent oral cancer?
Regular dental checkups are a great start at preventing oral cancer. Many patients think their dental checkup only serves the purpose of cleaning the teeth and checking for cavities. In fact, during a routine dental checkup, your dentist and dental hygienist are looking for signs of oral cancer in your mouth.
Oral cancer is often detected on the sides or underneath the tongue, or on the soft palate, although it can develop on soft tissue throughout the mouth. You can assist them in detecting and preventing oral cancer by alerting your dentist to abnormal growths, ulcerated areas that won’t heal, painful or numb areas, or any unusual color variations in the tissue of your mouth.
Can adults get cavities?
Yes, not just young children get cavities. In fact, as you age, teeth tend to get cavities particularly around crowns or old fillings, or on the root surface due to exposure from receding gums. The cavity itself is caused by bacteria, which feeds on carbohydrates in your mouth, and releases acid that attacks and dissolves the tooth structure.
At what age should I start taking my child to the dentist?
As early as possible. Not only to have your child’s first teeth examined by the dentist, but also to get your child familiar with the process of going to the dentist. The earlier your child is introduced to the dentist, the more comfortable he or she will be with visiting the dentist for regular checkups later in life, thereby promoting good oral health.
Are sugary drinks, such as soda, bad for my teeth? What problems can they cause?
Consumption of sugary drinks, including, but not limited to soda, on a high frequency basis, can be very detrimental to tooth health. However, it actually has less to do with the sugar and more with the acidity level of the beverage. This is why diet sodas, and even healthy fruit juices, can have negative effects on tooth health.
The acidity attacks, weakens, and erodes tooth enamel, which in the early stages can lead to tooth sensitivity (while chewing or drinking), and in more advanced stages can lead to tooth loss.
I need to have my wisdom teeth extracted. How long will the recovery period be?
The recovery period of wisdom teeth removal is based heavily on the complexity of the extraction procedure. Generally, the recovery period relies heavily on the individual’s ability to heal and bounce back, though in most cases the patient is advised to rest and take things easy for several days following wisdom teeth extraction, due to discomfort and swelling that can occur post-op over the next several days.
I haven’t been to the dentist for a checkup in 10 years. Nothing hurts. Could I still have dental problems?
Yes, not all dental problems cause pain or are easily detectable without a dental exam. As some patients learn too late, regular dental checkups are not only meant to address current dental pain, but also to prevent more serious dental issues in the future. For example, gum disease may not hurt at all, and may not present a serious problem until it leads to loose teeth or tooth loss, which is irreversible.
Routine dental checkups ensure that any potential health risks, such as gum disease or oral cancer, are detected and treated before they lead to more serious health risks. It is also beneficial to become aware of dental advances over the last few years.
I think I need a root canal. What exactly is root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment, also often referred to simply as a root canal, is a procedure during which a patient’s tooth is saved from extraction by treating the diseased or dead (necrotic) nerve tissue and any bacteria found inside the affected tooth. The procedure consists of making an opening in the top of the tooth, cleaning and removing tissue, and sealing the tooth with a filling or a crown.