FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is tooth whitening?

Tooth whitening can be a very effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surface. It cannot make a complete colour change, but it may lighten the existing shade.

Is it safe to whiten your teeth?

Tooth whitening has been used in dentistry for many years and no serious adverse affects have been reported. Tooth Whitening does not soften the enamel or tooth structure nor does it affect the quality of existing restorations.

How much lighter will my teeth be?

We generally find an improvement of 0.5 to 2 shades immediately. This will generally improve over the 3 weeks following the procedure. Individual results vary and will depend on your initial tooth colour, type of stain, oral hygiene habits and diet.

How long does Tooth Whitening last for?

Typically, the Tooth Whitening performed in the dental chair may last for 12-24 months. However, with regular use of the home bleaching kit, results can last for much longer. Other factors such as smoking, poor oral hygiene and diet can affect the longevity of the results.

What is root canal treatment? and Why is it needed?

Root canal treatment (also called endodontics) is needed when the blood or nerve supply of the tooth (known as the pulp) is infected through decay or injury. If the pulp becomes infected, the infection may spread through the root canal system of the tooth. This may eventually lead to an abscess. If root canal treatment (RCT) is not carried out, the infection will spread and the tooth may need to be taken out.

What does it involve? Does it hurt?

The aim of the treatment is to remove all infection from the root canal. The root is then cleaned and filled to prevent any further infection. Root canal treatment is a skilled and time-consuming procedure. Most courses of treatment will involve two or more visits to your dentist. At the first appointment, the infected pulp is removed. Any abscesses, which may be present, can also be drained at this time. The root canal is then cleaned and shaped ready for the filling. A temporary filling is put in and the tooth is left to settle. The tooth is checked at a later visit and when all the infection has cleared, the tooth is permanently filled. A local anaesthetic is used and it should feel no different to having an ordinary filling done.

What will my tooth look like after treatment?

In the past, a root filled tooth would often darken after treatment. However, with modern techniques this does not usually happen. If there is any discolouration, there are several treatments available to restore the natural appearance.

What if it happens again?

Root canal treatment is usually very successful. However, if the infection comes back the treatment can be repeated.

What if i don’t have the treatment?

The alternative is to have the tooth out. Once the pulp is destroyed, it can’t heal and it is not recommended to leave an infected tooth in the mouth. Although some people would prefer an extraction, it is usually best to keep as many natural teeth as possible.

Will the tooth be safe after treatment?

Yes. However, it is better to restore the tooth with a crown to provide extra support and strength to the tooth.

What about aftercare?

Root-treated teeth should be treated just the same as any other tooth. Remember to clean your teeth at least once a day, preferably with a fluoride toothpaste. Cut down on sugary snacks, and keep them only to mealtimes if possible. See your dentist for regular check-ups.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are the most natural way to replace missing teeth. Made of titanium, dental implants are designed to replace the root structure of missing teeth, providing support and stability for replacement teeth. They are the longest-lasting solution available.

Will it hurt much?

Our patients tell us that there is very little to no discomfort associated with the placement of an implant, and there is minimal to no swelling. General anesthesia is available for those who choose not to be awake during the procedure.

How long will it take?

In many cases, implants can be placed and a temporary tooth can be made at the same time as the tooth is removed. In other cases, the implants are placed and have to heal for several months before placing the final tooth. The dental implant procedure usually takes 3 months for the lower jaw and 6 months for the upper jaw for the implant to fully integrate with your bone.

Will I have to be without my teeth?

You will not need to go without replacement teeth. If the implants are not provisionalized immediately with temporary teeth, then a temporary prosthesis can be made for you. If your teeth were already missing, you may continue using your removable prosthesis with minor adjustments for your comfort during the healing period.

Will I have to continue to see the dentist after I have implants placed?

Yes, you will need to continue to visit your dentist on a regular basis for hygiene. It is important to maintain your oral health.

How long will implants last?

Typically, they last longer than conventional dental work, as long as you take care of them properly with daily cleaning, just like your natural teeth, (floss, brush, etc.). When properly maintained and good oral health exists, it is possible for implants to last a lifetime.

How much will I be able to eat?

Our patients tell us they’ve had tremendous improvements in their ability to chew foods and they are now able to chew and eat what they couldn’t before implant placement.

How much do they cost?

The cost of implants varies depending on the number of implants you need, the condition of your teeth and jawbone, and the type of replacement teeth your dentist builds.

What Are the Symptoms of Periodontitis?

As gum disease progresses, it can turn to periodontitis. Symptoms are more severe than those found with gingivitis. Pockets will get larger and you might notice pus seeping out between your gums and your teeth. Your teeth might get loose. You might get sores in your mouth or struggle with a foul taste or smell coming from your mouth.

What Are the Dangers of Gum Disease?

Periodontitis can cause tooth loss and serious infections. In rare cases, the infection can spread. There are also indications that dental infections can cause heart problems or exacerbate the symptoms of diabetes.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Causes include smoking and poor dental hygiene. There are also risk factors you might not be able to control, such as genetics, age and underlying diseases like diabetes or heart disease.

What Is a Periodontist?

A periodontist is a gum specialist. They help prevent, diagnose and treat gum disease. They also place dental implants.

How Does a Periodontist Treat Gum Disease?

Your periodontist will first instruct you in good oral hygiene. In cases of mild gingivitis, improving your dental hygiene can actually reverse the condition and improve the health of your gums. If the disease has progressed to periodontitis, treatments might include scaling and root planing, laser treatment, and various surgical treatments.

How Can Someone Prevent Gum Disease?

Having excellent oral hygiene and seeing your dentist regularly can help prevent gum disease. Quit smoking if you currently smoke. Let your dentist know what medications you are on because some drugs can cause gum inflammation. Finally, follow your dentist’s recommendations when it comes to keeping your gums and teeth healthy.

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics (also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry focusing on the diagosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.

Who is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received two to three years of additional training and experience. Your orthodontist is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile.

What’s the best age to visit the orthodontist?

If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see the orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with about one in every five orthodontic patients being over the age of 21. Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.

How can I take care of my teeth if I’m wearing braces or a retainer?

  • ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day.
  • Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask your orthodontist or family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities!
  • If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure you brush your teeth, floss, and remember to keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
  • Keep your retainer clean, too, by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also soak it in denture cleaner as instructed by your orthodontist. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.
  • During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar, which increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and possibly cavities.
  • Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes), or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy, etc.).
  • Be sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.

What are braces?

Braces are used by your orthodontist to help you improve the look and feel of your smile. There are several different types of braces to choose from, including:

  • Clear braces
  • Ceramic braces
  • Lingual braces
  • Self-ligating braces
  • Invisible braces
  • Traditional metal braces

If I get braces, how long do I have to wear them?

The amount of time spent in braces will vary depending on the individual patient, because every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere between six and 30 months, but most standard treatments take about 22 months.

Do braces hurt?

Braces do not often hurt though you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces.

Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?

With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach. Your orthodontist can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.

If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?

Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up that can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.

Will my braces interfere with my school activities like sports, playing an instrument, or singing?

Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.

What is endodontics?

The word endodontic has Greek origins and literally means “inside the tooth”. A recognized specialty by the American Dental Association, endodontics is a branch of dentistry concerned with diseases of the dental pulp, which lies inside the tooth in the root canal system. The most common procedure associated with endodontics is root canal therapy.

What is root canal therapy?

Often simply known as “a root canal”, this treatment involves the removal of diseased pulp tissue from the inside of the tooth, which is then sealed with a crown. Root canals save teeth from extraction, and the tooth can last for many years after treatment, ensuring that patients retain a reliable bite and their beautiful smile.

How do I know if I need a root canal?

Signs that you may need a root canal include a toothache, fracture, crack or broken tooth, sensitivity, swelling or pain around the tooth, abscess or drainage, or a known injury.

Why was i referred to you for root canal treatment?

Your dentist referred you to us because just like us, he or she knows that saving your natural tooth is the most important thing, and root canal therapy is the only option left for doing so.

Does root canal therapy hurt?

No, your tooth will be completely numb during the procedure.

Will I have pain after the root canal?

As the anesthesia wears off, some patients have no pain, while others have some very mild discomfort. Most patients are able to adequately manage any discomfort with an over the counter pain medication.

Are root canals better than they used to be?

Yes! Advancements in endodontic techniques, tools and technologies have made treatment more comfortable and more effective now than ever.

Are dental x-rays safe?

Yes – we take x-ray safety very seriously, and only utilize them when they are absolutely necessary. In addition to that, we use an advanced non-film computerized system, called digital radiography that produces radiation levels up to 90 percent lower than those of already low dose conventional dental x-ray machinery. These digital images can be optimized, archived, printed and sent to co-therapists electronically.

What to expect after root canal treatment?

Your tooth will be numb for some time after the procedure. We recommend that you take an over the counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or Tylenol before the anesthesia wears off to catch any discomfort before it starts. Avoid chewing hard foods with that tooth until you have your final crown in place.

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