Category: FAQ

Dental Implants Frequently Asked Questions

The decision to have dental implants inserted is such a personal one and it can be difficult.  So, when the decision is finally made, an individual usually wants to make an appointment and have it done-immediately- as in right NOW!

However, before running to have the implants inserted, there is some research to be done and there are questions to ask of your dental specialist.

Q. What type of anesthesia will be used?

Anesthesia typically involves intravenous sedation.  Because of this, the patient should avoid driving and operating heavy machinery for 24-36 hours.

Q. Who will place my implants?

The implants are placed by a specialist, specifically trained and certified in implants.  Training consists of 3 years of dental school and after showing proficiency in this and passing examinations, the dentist goes on to 2-3 years of specialty training with implants.

Q. What are the dentist’s qualifications and experience?

 See how many implants the dentist has placed prior to you and that he/she is certified by a specific licensing agency.

Q. How many visits will be necessary for the implants?

The number of visits will be dependent on whether the implant is porcelain or resin and whether it is fabricated by an outside dental laboratory or done in the office.  These variables must be discussed with the dental office so that there is no doubt or confusion as to how the process will take place.

Q. Am I a candidate for the procedure?

Not everyone is a candidate for implants.  Discuss this thoroughly with the reconstruction dentist including all medications that you are on, and you’re past history.

Q. Will all my treatments be done in one office location?

There are offices were there is an on-site laboratory for fabrication of the implants.  This is something that varies between offices and is a good question to have answered.

Q. Will there be special diagnostic or radiographic tests prior to dental implantation?

Many offices use CAT Scans and get a three-dimensional image including the location of the blood vessels, nerves and sinuses to optimize placement of the implants.

Q. What happens if an implant fails?

Should an implant fail, another one can be inserted in its place.  Should it be due to infection or gingivitis, the inflammation and infection needs to be treated first.

Q. How long do implants last?

This is dependent on how fastidious the individual is with oral hygiene, daily brushing, and elimination of smoking and diminished consumption of high sugar content food. They can last more than 15 years.

Q. Is there special care or follow-up for these implants?

After implants have been deemed successful, routine visits may be done in the regular family dental office.

Teeth Whitening Frequently Asked Questions

Questions to Ask About Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is one of the most popular procedures asked of cosmetic dentists today.  However, before considering this procedure for yourself, it would be a good idea to prepare for your consultation with the dentist by having a list of questions to ask and have answered.

Q. What method of teeth whitening is my best option?

A.  The method that gets the best result with the greatest whitening in the least amount of time is one that is done by the dental specialist directly.

However if money is an issue, or time is not a factor, there are many options available to you for home use.  After a thorough dental examination, a consult with your dentist can offer the option that appeals to you the most.  Custom made whitening trays with a high percentage of carbamide peroxide works well at home if the teeth are not severely stained.

Q. How long do the teeth whitening last?

A. When performed by a professional or under dental supervision, whitening may last up to 5-7 years.  However if smoking or consumption of deeply pigmented foods and beverages are used frequently, this will be considerably shortened.  Touch-ups can prolong the treatment life.

Q. How many times can I bleach my teeth?  Is there a limit?

A. Over use of bleaching agents can cause damage to the enamel of teeth with erosions, which will then start making them vulnerable to staining by pigmented foods and decay.  Once the white shade is obtained, and the recommended protocol is finished, do not repeat without consulting a dentist.

Q. Are tooth whitening products safe?

A.  When the products are used as directed, typically the whitening agents are safe.  However if the bleaches are used excessively or too frequently, problems can arise. To avoid problems, it is prudent to have the whitening agents used either by dentists or under their supervision.

Q. What causes tooth staining and discoloration?

A. Dental discoloration may be hereditary or due to medications your mum took that when she was pregnant.  Certain antibiotics are also associated with dental discoloration.

Smoking and consumption of deeply pigmented foods and beverages containing tannins and chromogens such as  wines, coffee, tea and berries cause staining of teeth over time.

Q. What is the difference between carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide?

A. Carbamide peroxide is a weaker formula of hydrogen peroxide and is generally the form that is used in home kits because it is more stable and has a longer shelf life. Carbamide peroxide does not work as rapidly as hydrogen peroxide, nor is it as strong.

Q. Can I whiten veneers, crowns or bonding?

A. Generally, only natural teeth can be whitened.  However, deep whitening techniques may lighten veneers that have been worn over time.

Q. Are there natural ways to whiten my teeth?

A. The best way is to avoid foods and beverages that are deeply pigmented.  Eating foods with fiber like carrots, pears, apples and celery help scrape the teeth surface ridding them of debris and particulate matter.

By asking these questions, there will be no confusion and you will understand everything about the whitening procedure so that you can make a more informed decision.


Crowns and Bridges Frequently Asked Questions

Questions to Ask About Crowns and Bridges

Prior to considering crowns and bridges as your option of choice, it is a good idea to prepare for your consultation with the dental specialist and make a list of all the questions that you would like to address at the visit.  That way, not only can you make a more informed and educated decision about your teeth, there will also be no confusion between both you and the dentist and there will be no surprises.

Q. In considering a bridge, why is a crown employed?

A. Having a crown made for you and inserted over your tooth like a cap, saves the tooth and avoids having an unnecessary extraction.  The crown strengthens a tooth that has been compromised by large fillings or dental decay and trauma.

Q. Crowns are made in different materials.  Which is better for me?

A. The latest technology creates crowns made with porcelain material.  This makes the tooth look and feel very natural and improves the appearance of the smile.  While an amalgam or metal allow shows the extent of dental work, a porcelain crown will have a white reflective shine, mimicking your own teeth.

Q. Will the crown be obvious when I smile?

A. If the crown is made from porcelain, it can be made to exactly match the shade and shape of your other teeth so that it blends in with the adjacent teeth, making it difficult to discern from the surrounding ones. When the lining is porcelain as well, then even though the gum line may recede (which is typical in the aging process), the crown will look like your other teeth.

Q. Is the placement of a crown or bridge painful?

A. The operative site where the crown or bridge will be placed can be made numb with local anesthetics.  If you are very anxious or have a low pain threshold, your dentist can address this by administering sedation (intravenous or inhalation) anesthesia.

Q. What role do crowns play in bridge attachments?

A. Crowns are generally placed on the two teeth adjacent to the bridge to be attached for strength to these teeth.  Then the bridge, constructed with one or more artificial teeth, is attached to the teeth being covered, spanning the gap in between. Metal bands connect the crowns to the artificial tooth, holding it in the proper place.  Unfortunately, some healthy tissue in the adjacent teeth is removed to make room for the appliance.

Q. How long do bridges last?

A. Bridges can last more than ten years if proper oral hygiene is maintained.

Q. What is a fixed bridge?

A. A fixed bridge, which replaces one or more missing teeth, cannot be removed from your mouth.  It is fixed onto the two crowns adjacent to either side of the bridge.

Crowns and bridges look very natural now with the latest techniques and you can sport them with confidence