Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What is holistic dentistry?
Answer: Holistic Dentistry is an approach to Dentistry that promotes health and wellness instead of the treatment of disease. This approach to Dentistry encompasses both modern science and knowledge drawn from the world’s great traditions on natural healing…Holistic Dentistry lays out the following basic principles
- Proper nutrition for the prevention and reversal of degenerative dental disease
- Avoidance and elimination of toxins from dental materials
- Prevention and treatment of dental malocclusion (bite problems=physical imbalance)
- Prevention and treatment of gum disease at its biological basis
Question: What Happens At My First Visit?
Answer: Standard procedures, state law, and common sense dictate that a visual exam of a new patient and current x-rays occur before a cleaning is performed. We try to get to know you and to become familiar with your dental past experience, and your present needs and desires. We discuss the cause of gum disease and dental decay. We also discuss preventive measures that can improve your dental health. We complete a dental examination that includes soft tissue exam (oral cancer screening), look at the teeth noting anything wrong with existing restorations or the teeth themselves, evaluate the TMJ, gum tissues and x-rays when needed. We put this information together and decide on needed treatment.
Question: Do I have to have X-rays?
Answer: The standard of care of dentistry recommends that radiographs in low caries risk patients be taken a minimum of once every 36 months. Our office has a technological device that is an alternative to dental radiographs, but may not eliminate the need for them. Our practice uses the lowest radiation X-ray device on the market, 1/5 of typical digital x-rays, so any necessary radiographs are the lowest possible dosage of radiation that technology allows. In addition, our office provides additional shielding to patients and staff who need dental radiographs.
Question: When Should A Child Have His/Her First Dental Appointment?
Answer: A child should have their first dental appointment no later than their third birthday. However, we recommend a child has their first appointment when their first tooth erupts.
Question: How Many Times A Day Should I Brush My Teeth?
Answer: Most dental professionals recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brushing after every meal (and flossing at least once a day) is also a good way to maintain dental health.
Question: What are the benefits of a dental radiograph examination?
Answer: Because many diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissues cannot be seen when your dentist examines your mouth, an X-ray examination can help reveal:
- small areas of decay between the teeth or below existing restorations (fillings)
- infections in the bone
- periodontal (gum) disease
- abscesses or cysts
- developmental abnormalities
- some types of tumors.
Finding and treating dental problems at an early stage can save time, money and unnecessary discomfort. Radiographs can help your dentist detect problems in your mouth that otherwise would not be seen.
Question: What Causes Tooth Loss?
Answer: Tooth decay and periodontal disease are the most common causes of tooth loss. Tooth decay takes place when most of the tooth’s mineral makeup has been dissolved away and a hole (cavity) has formed. While tooth decay primarily affects children, periodontal disease, or gum disease, affects mostly adults. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums caused by the buildup of plaque, and its earliest stage is known as gingivitis.
Question: What Causes Oral Cancer?
Answer: Modern science has not pinpointed a definite causation for oral cancer, but has identified some contributive factors. Tobacco (cigarettes, pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and snuff) is the most common cause of oral cancer. Combining tobacco use with heavy drinking can also foster the development of oral cancer. Bad hygiene, prolonged irritation of the oral cavity, and extended exposure to strong sunlight on the lips are among other causes of the disease.
Question: I Have A Temporary Crown In My Mouth. What Happens If It Comes Off Or Breaks?
Answer: We recommend call our clinical staff and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Keeping your tooth covered is of utmost importance in this situation. Call or page us for guidance immediately.
Question: Do I have to have fluoride on my teeth?
Answer: No, we have a line of fluoride-free products available to patients at their request.
Question: What Causes Sensitive Teeth?
Answer: Cavities and fractured teeth can cause sensitive teeth. You may even develop sensitivity after having fillings placed in your teeth for a period of time that may or may not go away. But if your dentist has ruled these problems out, then worn tooth enamel, a cracked tooth, or an exposed tooth root may be the cause. Two major causes are brushing too hard and grinding your teeth.
A layer of enamel, the strongest substance in the body, protects the crowns of healthy teeth. A layer called cementum protects the tooth root under the gum line. Underneath the enamel and the cementum is dentin, a part of the tooth that is less dense than enamel or cementum.The dentin contains microscopic tubules (small hollow tubes or canals). When the dentin loses its protective covering, the tubules allow heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods to stimulate the nerves and cells inside the tooth. This causes hypersensitivity and occasional discomfort. Fortunately, the irritation does not cause permanent damage to the pulp. Dentin may be exposed when gums recede. The result can be hypersensitivity near the gum line.
Proper oral hygiene is the key to preventing gums from receding and causing sensitive-tooth pain. If you brush your teeth incorrectly or even over-brush, gum problems can result. Ask your dentist if you have any questions about your daily oral hygiene routine.
Question: Can My Sensitive Teeth Be Treated?
Answer: Sensitive teeth can be treated. Your dentist may suggest that you try a desensitizing toothpaste, which contains compounds that help block transmission of sensation from the tooth surface to the nerve. Desensitizing toothpaste usually requires several applications before the sensitivity is reduced.
If the desensitizing toothpaste does not ease your discomfort, your dentist may suggest in-office techniques. A fluoride gel, which strengthens tooth enamel and reduces the transmission of sensations, may be applied to the sensitive areas of the teeth.
If receding gums cause the sensitivity, your dentist may use agents that bond to the tooth root to “seal” the sensitive teeth. The sealer usually is composed of a plastic material. In cases where hypersensitivity is severe and persistent and cannot be treated by other means, your dentist may recommend endodontic root canal treatment to eliminate the problem.