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Frequently Asked Questions

Dental treatments can be confusing and overwhelming but at A&B Family Dentistry, Dr. Amy and staff take the time to make sure you understand each step of your treatment and appointments. Below you will find answers to some commonly asked questions.

How does your mouth affect your overall health?

Often taken for granted, the monotonous task of brushing and flossing our teeth daily has never been more important in order to avoid gum disease and the risks gum disease place on our overall health. It has been estimated that 75% of Americans have some form of gum disease, which has been linked to serious health complications and causes various dental problems that are often avoidable.

What is an Abscessed Tooth?
An abscess of the tooth is an infection. An abscess can include pus and swelling of the soft gum tissues surrounding the tooth. An abscess can develop from tooth decay or tooth trauma, such as a broken tooth. If there is an opening in the enamel of a tooth, such as a cavity, bacteria can get in and infect the pulp (center) of the tooth and cause an abscess.

Once an abscess happens, the infection could spread throughout the mouth and body. A root canal is usually the only option to save a tooth once it has become abscessed. If you suspect that you have an abscessed tooth, you should see your dentist right away. During regular checkups, we identify and then fix decayed teeth to avoid the pain and expense of dealing with an abscessed tooth.

What does non evasive Cosmetic Dentistry involve?
Cosmetic dentistry is all about your looks and your smile. When you come in for a consultation, we will evaluate the esthetics of your smile, as well as the health of the individual teeth and gums. Bonding refers to facings using plastic resin, rather than porcelain. Bonding is done right on the spot, without a dental lab involved. The advantage of cosmetic bonding is that there is usually no anesthetic or tooth preparation involved.

What are my tooth bleaching options?
Dental Bleaching is one the fastest and easiest ways to improve your appearance and put more sparkle in your smile. With tooth bleaching, the color of the enamel is lightened, and the teeth look younger, healthier and brighter.

The procedure can be done in one of two different ways.

1. The in-office procedure we provide is a one hour four step application; a protective gel or guard is
positioned over the gums before the bleaching agent is applied, the bleaching agent is applied
directly to the teeth, the whitening process begins and is then repeated four times.

2. The second method, at-home bleaching, involves the fabrication of custom bleaching trays.
This customization allows for maximum contact between the whitening gel, which is applied to the
mouthpiece tray, and the teeth. A custom-made tray also minimizing the gel’s contact with gum tissue.
This form of bleaching takes longer, but works just as well.

Why is Oral Hygiene so Important during Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a very exciting and busy time. There are so many changes going on in your body and your mouth is no exception. Good oral hygiene is extremely important during pregnancy because the increase of hormone levels during pregnancy can cause dental problems to be intensified.
One of the most common dental problems associated with pregnancy is a condition known as pregnancy gingivitis, which usually occurs during the first trimester. Symptoms of pregnancy gingivitis are usually bleeding, swollen, red and tender gums. It is very important to have your regular cleaning during pregnancy. We do not take x-rays during pregnancy.

What is Decay?
Decay is the destruction of tooth structure. Decay occurs when plague, the sticky substance that forms on teeth, combines with the sugars and /or starches of the foods that we eat. This combination produces acids that attack tooth enamel. The best way to prevent tooth decay is by brushing twice a day and flossing daily. If decay reaches the pulp of the tooth, a root canal may be necessary to save the tooth. Eating healthy foods and avoiding snacks and drinks that are high in sugar are also ways to prevent decay.

The Need For Regular Cleanings:
Calculus, also known as tartar, is the hardened residue that forms on your teeth when plaque is not removed. Plaque can be removed by brushing twice a day and flossing daily. If tartar is allowed to remain on the teeth and below the gumline, it can lead to chronic infection and inflammation. The only way to remove tartar is to have your teeth professionally cleaned at your dental office.

The Importance of Fluoride?
Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, is often added to drinking water and is commonly found in toothpaste. Research has shown that the rate of cavities decreases in areas where fluoride is added to the water supply. Health authorities, such as The American Dental Association and The World Health Organization, both advocate the addition of fluoride to drinking water, and recommend you use toothpaste that contains fluoride, if age appropriate. We also recommend other fluoride supplements that help prevent decay, improve the gums, and reduce tooth sensitivity.

What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease, which can be treated and reversed if diagnosed early. The signs and symptoms are red, swollen and puffy gums that bleed easily. If treatment is not received, gingivitis could progress into periodontitis, an advanced and more serious stage of gum disease which includes bone loss and is not reversible. Gum disease is one of the main causes of tooth loss in adults and has also been linked to heart attacks and strokes.
Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, regular dental checkups and dental cleanings are the best preventions against gum disease.

What is a Dental Implant?
dental-implantDental Implants are an excellent way to replace a missing or broken teeth. They are reliable, strong, and easy to maintain. Dental implants have definitely come of age. Success rates are approaching 100%, and dentists are replacing everything from single teeth to whole arches of missing teeth.

As you can see, the dental implant itself goes down into the bone, and the part that extends above the bone is what we place the crown on. The use of dental implants is now the standard of care for missing teeth, denture replacement, and cosmetic dental care. They can be used for single tooth replacements, or multiple teeth replacements. In either case, the result is a dramatic improvement in your chewing ability, oral health, and smile.

Are Dentures for me?
There are a variety of Dentures available. Some examples include full dentures, partial dentures, over dentures, immediate dentures, precision partial dentures, and implant retained dentures. These dentures can be created to chew against natural teeth, fixed bridges, implant supported crowns or bridges, or almost any other type of dental prosthesis.

Oral Cancer:
Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer among men. In the United States, over 30,000 new cases are diagnosed annually. If it is detected early, the survival rate can be 80% or higher. Unfortunately, many oral cancer victims do not discover this malignancy in its early stages. In those cases, the cure rate is much lower.

What is TMJ?
TMJ (Tempro-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome) is a condition created by the combination of a bad bite and stress.
The patient with TMJ (also referred to as TMD) usually experiences grinding of the teeth, jaw joint pain, headaches, ringing in the ears, or any number of other related symptoms.

Sometimes, in severe cases, the person with TMJ will be unable to open his or her mouth wide, or will hear clicking, cracking or a “pop” upon opening.
Often, patients report the onset of TMJ occurring with some sort of unusual stress, such as final exams, or job-related issues, or a severe blow to the jaw, such as from athletics or an automobile accident.

Sometimes these patients will seek treatment from their general physician, or an “ear-nose-and-throat” specialist, before coming to the dentist to be seen.

If you have further questions please call our office and we are happy to assist you ph:561-694-8380

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