Frequest Asked Questions

"Ask the Dentist"

​​​​​​​Q. I'd like to have tooth colored filling (composite). I know they're more expensive than silver-mercury filling (amalgam), compare the quality of the two, what do you prefer over?

​​​​​​​A. Amalgam as we refer to silver, has advantages for dental restoration, they are durable, low cost, and last for at least 7 years or more. The disadvantages for amalgam are it doesn't match the color of your teeth. Amalgam fillings can be tarnish or corrode over time, causing discoloration where the filling meets the tooth. Some people might be concern about the levels of mercury in amalgam, but researcher shows the amount of mercury exposure from amalgam fillings is similar to people get from other sources in the environment. Modern technology has introduce composite as we refer to tooth colored filling are blended in with your natural tooth, bonded to the inside walls of your teeth leaving no chance of micro leakage, and last for at least 5 years. All in all, in most cases composite filling would be the filling of choice today.

Q. My dentist said that I will require root canal therapy. Wouldn't it just be a lot easier to have him extract the bad tooth, and save me time and money?

A. We need to explain the difference between a root canal therapy, verses an extraction of a tooth. When your tooth receives trauma, such as a sports injury, or in many cases, "tooth decay" the living tissue inside your tooth starts to die. As the tissue dies it decays and becomes infected, if you leave this untreated this infection can travel into the jaw bone. An extraction could be an immediate solution, however; there are many reasons why one tooth extraction can lead to a domino effect of other tooth loss in the future. What root canal therapy does is that it allows the dentist to remove the dying tissue by creating an access hole through the top of the tooth. Once the inner tissue is removed the canal is filled and the tooth will remain functional for many years to come.

Q. I haven't seen a dentist for so long because I can't afford insurance. My teeth doesn't hurt, do I need a check-up?

A. Yes! Not having insurance means that preventative maintenance and regular cleanings are a must for you. Getting your teeth cleaned twice a year and having small cavities filled will save you money in the long run, less expensive than waiting for a tooth ache to come along and causing to have a root canal or a crown done. Visit the dentist on a regular basis for check-ups and cleaning allows you to maintain a healthier mouth.

Q. I've been thinking having my teeth bleached. Does the bleaching kits from the drug stores do make your teeth white and perform as well as the custom ones at the dentist?

A. Bleaching does work, although the results do vary from patient to patient. There's a few good reasons why a custom fit bleaching system from your dentist is more effective than the over the counter products. The over the counter trays are designed to fit in your mouth but are not custom fit to your teeth. Therefore, there is little control over where the bleaching solution goes. Since the chemical is an irritant to the gums, these over the counter solutions have to be more considerably weaker, therefore less effective. The trays made by your dentist are custom fit to your teeth and prevent the chemicals from getting on your gums. Therefore, your dentist will provide you with a much stronger and more effective bleaching solution.

Q. One of the reasons why I haven't visit the dentist in quite regularly is because I'm scared. I really want to make the appointment; what do you suggest that might relax me?

A. Most important thing you need to know is that you're not alone. Many people are scared of the dentist are usually psychological, although some are justifiable through past dental experiences. In today's dentistry it is more pleasant, nitrous, or Sedation Dentistry can help you calm your nerves. And anesthetic will be provided, so you are not in pain. Dentists have heard it many times and will probably go out of his way to make you feel comfortable.

Q. I have a space between my front teeth and they're a little crooked. Do you think I need braces or is there any other options for me?

A. Although I'm certain that Orthodontics would correct your problem, some people would rather not wear braces if they don't have to. After having an Orthodontics consultation with your dentist, you may have an option to consider placing porcelain or composite veneers over the surface of your natural teeth. The veneer is fabricated by a dental laboratory using durable and natural looking materials. When the veneers are completed your dentist will bond the veneers right to the surface of your teeth natural. The end results will look very nice. You will have a brand new beautiful smile.