How often do I need to visit the dentist?
This may vary for each individual, but you should visit once or twice a year for a checkup and cleaning.
What can I expect on my first visit?
On the first visit, you can expect a new patient interview, exam and oral cancer screening, any necessary x-rays and discussion of a treatment plan. You may also expect a cleaning.
What information do I need about my medical history?
It is very important that you list any medical conditions, medications and allergy to any medicine when filling out the medical history form for your dental visit.
How often do I need to brush/floss?
Generally it is recommended to brush and floss after each meal or twice a day.
When is a good time to remove my wisdom teeth? Is it necessary to remove all of them?
It is generally recommended that wisdom teeth be removed between the ages of 18 and 25, but this is not always the case. Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed. Your dentist can determine this after an examination.
What do I need to do if I have a heart murmur?
For patients with a heart murmur, they should consult their physician before presenting for dental treatment. It may be necessary to take an antibiotic as a precaution.
What should I do about tooth decay and older fillings?
Because decay can lead to serious problems, it's important to see a dentist regularly for checkups and professional cleanings. Your dentist or hygienist is trained to spot early signs of decay. Changes that occur with aging make cavities an adult problem, too. Receding gums, and an increased rate of gum disease, can expose tooth roots to plaque. Softer than enamel, tooth roots are susceptible to decay and are more sensitive to touch and to hot and cold. It's not uncommon for people over the age of 50 to experience tooth root decay.
What causes tooth sensitivity?
If you've ever felt pain in your teeth after drinking or eating hot or cold food and drinks, you've had tooth sensitivity. One out of every four adults has had tooth sensitivity, often coming and going over time. Tooth sensitivity is tooth pain that comes from a wearing away of the tooth's surface or gums. When gums recede, or pull away from the teeth, they leave the root of the tooth bare. Because these roots are not covered by enamel (the hard outer layer of the tooth), thousands of tiny channels leading to the tooth's nerve are exposed. When heat, cold or pressure touches these channels, you may feel pain. Ignoring your sensitive teeth can lead to other more serious oral health problems. This is especially true if the pain causes you to brush poorly, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
What is dry mouth?
Some adults develop a condition called dry mouth, which results when there is insufficient saliva. Dry mouth is caused by certain medical disorders and is often a side effect of medications such as antihistamine, antihypertensives, antidepressants, decongestant, painkillers and diuretics. Left untreated, dry mouth can damage your teeth. Without saliva to lubricate your mouth, wash away food, and neutralize the acids produced by plaque, extensive cavities can form. Sugar-free candy or gum stimulates saliva flow, and moisture can be replaced by using artificial saliva and oral rinses. In some cases, a dentist may prescribe a medication that helps produce saliva and may suggest fluoride products to help prevent rapidly advancing tooth decay.
What causes bad breath?
You may occasionally experience bad breath. It can be caused by certain foods, poor oral hygiene, gum disease, dry mouth, tobacco products or a medical disorder. Sometimes a sinus infection, postnasal drip or other respiratory tract infections can cause bad breath. If bad breath persists, your dentist may determine whether it's caused by a dental condition.