General Dentistry

What is the difference between general dentist?

A general dentist near you is a basic dental care provider who diagnoses, treats, and manages overall oral health needs. They carry out routine dental procedures such as cleanings, fillings, and extractions. Specialists, on the other hand, undergo additional training in specific areas such as orthodontics, endodontics, or periodontics, focusing on particular aspects of dental care beyond the scope of general dentistry. These specialists handle complex cases and offer advanced treatments tailored to specific dental issues.

What are the benefits of a general dentist?

General dentists near you provide comprehensive oral health care, including routine check-ups, cleanings, and treatments for various common dental issues like cavities and gum disease. They also offer preventive education to help patients maintain great oral hygiene habits, and they can identify and address oral health problems early, potentially preventing more serious issues later on.

Fluoride Treatment

Is it worth paying for fluoride at the dentist?

Fluoride treatments at the dentist can strengthen tooth enamel and help prevent tooth decay, particularly in individuals who are at a higher risk of cavities. While it may involve an additional cost, fluoride treatments can be beneficial for maintaining good oral health, especially for children and those prone to cavities.

How long does a fluoride treatment last?

The duration of fluoride treatment benefits can vary depending upon factors such as individual oral hygiene habits and dietary choices. Typically, the effects of a fluoride treatment can last several months, but regular application may be recommended for ongoing protection against tooth decay.

Oral Cancer Screenings

What kind of doctor should I see if I suspect oral cancer?

If you suspect oral cancer, it's important to see a dentist or an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for an evaluation. These professionals are highly trained to identify signs of oral cancer and can perform diagnostic tests or refer you to a specialist for further examination and treatment if necessary.

What is the most frequent symptom of oral cancer?

The most frequent symptom of oral cancer is a persistent sore or ulcer inside the mouth that does not cure within a few weeks. The other symptoms may include red or white patches, difficulty chewing or swallowing, numbness, or swelling in the mouth or throat. If you experience any concerning symptoms, it's essential to see a dental professional promptly for evaluation.

Children’s Dentistry

When should a child start going to the dentist?

Children should start seeing a dentist regularly by their first birthday or within six months after their first tooth erupts, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Early dental visits help establish good oral hygiene habits and allow the dentist to monitor oral development and address any concerns.

What happens if I don't brush my baby's teeth?

Failure to brush a baby's teeth can lead to the buildup and accumulation of plaque and bacteria, which eventually leads to tooth decay and gum disease. Even before teeth erupt, it's important to clean the gums with a soft fabric cloth or infant toothbrush to remove bacteria. Once teeth emerge, brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste is recommended to prevent cavities.

Preventative Dentistry

What is the goal of preventive dentistry?

The goal of preventive dentistry is to keep optimal oral health and prevent dental problems before they occur. This includes regular dental check-ups, cleanings, fluoride treatments, and complete patient education on proper oral hygiene practices. By emphasizing prevention, dental professionals aim to reduce the need for more extensive treatments and promote lifelong oral health.

What are the components of preventive dentistry program?

Components of a preventive dentistry program typically include regular dental exams and cleanings, fluoride treatments, dental sealants, oral hygiene instruction, diet counseling, and screenings for oral cancer and gum disease. These measures are designed to detect and address oral health issues early and promote overall oral health and well-being.

Sedation Dentist

Which is better oral sedation or IV sedation?

The choice between oral sedation and IV sedation depends on factors such as the patient's medical history, anxiety level, and the complexity associated with the dental procedure. Oral sedation involves taking medication by mouth before the appointment, inducing a relaxed state but with the patient remaining conscious. IV sedation, administered intravenously, allows for deeper sedation and is often preferred for more invasive procedures. Both methods have their advantages and are typically safe when administered by trained professionals.

Can you feel pain with oral sedation?

Oral sedation helps patients feel relaxed and calm during dental procedures, but it does not eliminate pain sensation entirely. Local anesthesia is often used in conjunction with oral sedation to numb the treatment area and ensure a comfortable experience. However, patients may still feel pressure or minor discomfort during certain parts of the procedure.

TMJ Treatment

Is it better to go to a doctor or dentist for TMJ?

For TMJ (temporomandibular joint) issues, it's advisable to start with a dentist who has experience in diagnosing and treating TMJ disorders. Dentists can evaluate your symptoms, perform a comprehensive examination of your jaw joint and bite, and suggest the most suitable treatment options, which may include oral appliances, physical therapy, or referral to a specialist if necessary.

What causes TMJ pain to flare up?

TMJ pain can flare up due to various factors, including stress, jaw clenching or teeth grinding (bruxism), poor posture, misalignment of the jaw or teeth, arthritis, injury to the jaw joint, or underlying dental issues such as cavities or gum disease. Identifying and resolving the underlying cause can help manage TMJ symptoms and prevent flare-ups.

Dental Sealants

What is the best age for sealants?

Dental sealants are typically encouraged for kids and teenagers soon after their permanent molars and premolars show up, usually between the ages of 6 and 14. Applying sealants early helps protect these vulnerable teeth from decaying by sealing off the deep grooves and pits where bacteria and food particles frequently accumulate.

Can cavities form under sealants?

While dental sealants are highly effective in preventing cavities by creating a protective barrier on the tooth surface, they are not foolproof. In rare cases, cavities can develop underneath sealants if bacteria manage to penetrate the sealant material or if the sealant becomes damaged or worn over time. Regular dental check-ups are important to check the integrity of sealants and address any issues promptly.

Emergency Dentistry

Why do I need an emergency dentist?

Emergency dentists provide urgent care for dental issues that require immediate attention, such as extreme toothaches, knocked-out teeth, broken teeth, abscesses, or injuries to the mouth or jaw. Seeking prompt treatment from an emergency dentist can help alleviate pain, prevent further damage, and preserve oral health.

Is a tooth abscess an emergency?

Yes, a tooth abscess is considered a dental emergency that requires prompt treatment. An abscess is a painful infection taking place in the root of a tooth or between the tooth and gum, often accompanied by swelling, pus, and fever. Without treatment, the infection can spread on to other parts of the body as well and lead to serious complications. It's important to see a dentist as soon as possible for drainage of the abscess and appropriate antibiotic therapy.

Dental Exams and Cleanings

Is a cleaning a part of a dental exam?

A dental exam typically includes an assessment of the teeth, gums, and oral tissues in order to detect any signs of decay, gum disease, or other oral health issues. While a dental cleaning (prophylaxis) is often performed during the same appointment, it may be considered a separate procedure with its own billing code. Some dental insurance plans may cover both services as part of preventive care, but it's best to talk to your provider for specific coverage details.

How long after teeth cleaning can I eat?

After a teeth cleaning, it's generally recommended to wait at least 30 minutes before eating or drinking to allow any fluoride treatment to fully absorb into the teeth and provide maximum benefit. Additionally, avoiding sticky, hard, or overly hot foods immediately after a cleaning can help prevent discomfort and allow the gums to recover.

Night Guards

How long do night guards last?

The lifespan of a night guard can vary depending on several factors such as the material used, the frequency of use, and the individual's teeth grinding or clenching habits. On average, a night guard made from durable materials and properly cared for can last somewhere between one to five years. However, regular wear and tear may necessitate replacement sooner, and periodic evaluation by a dentist is recommended to ensure proper fit and effectiveness.

Can you wear a night guard every night?

Yes, wearing a night guard every night can help safeguard your teeth from the harmful and damaging effects of bruxism (teeth grinding) or jaw clenching. Night guards are custom-fitted to your teeth and designed to provide a cushioning barrier between the upper and lower teeth, reducing the risk of wear, fractures, and muscle tension. Consistently using a night guard can help alleviate symptoms associated with bruxism and preserve dental health.

Wisdom Teeth Removal

How long does it take to recover from wisdom teeth removal?

The recovery time after wisdom teeth removal varies depending on varied factors such as the complexity of the extraction, the individual's healing ability, and adherence to post-operative care instructions. In general, most people experience swelling, discomfort, and limited jaw function for about 3 to 7 days after surgery. Full recovery, including complete closure of the extraction sites and resolution of symptoms, may take several weeks.

Why experts now say not to remove your wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, may not always need to be removed if they are healthy, properly positioned, and not causing any issues. However, wisdom teeth commonly cause problems such as impaction, crowding, infection, or damage to adjacent teeth, which may necessitate extraction. The final decision to remove wisdom teeth should be based on individual factors and a detailed evaluation by a dental professional.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Can you go through cosmetic dentistry with gum disease?

In some cases, cosmetic dentistry procedures may be carried out on individuals with gum disease, but it depends on the severity and stability of the gum condition. Prior to undergoing cosmetic treatments such as veneers, bonding, or teeth whitening, it's essential to address any underlying periodontal issues to ensure the success and longevity of the cosmetic work. Your dentist will completely check your oral health and recommend appropriate treatment options.

What does cosmetic dentistry include?

Cosmetic dentistry encompasses a variety of procedures aimed towards improving the appearance of the teeth, gums, and smile. Common cosmetic treatments include procedures like teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, dental bonding, tooth-colored fillings, crowns, bridges, orthodontics (e.g., braces or Invisalign), gum contouring, and dental implants. These procedures can resolve issues such as discoloration, misalignment, gaps, chips, or missing teeth to enhance the overall aesthetic of the smile.


Is Invisalign cheaper then braces?

The cost of Invisalign treatment versus traditional braces can differ depending on factors such as the complexity of the case, the duration of treatment, and geographic location. In some cases, Invisalign may be more expensive upfront than braces, but it offers advantages such as greater comfort, convenience, and a more discreet appearance. Many dental insurance plans cover a considerable portion of orthodontic treatment costs, so it's advisable to consult with your dentist or orthodontist to check out pricing and financing options.

How many months does Invisalign take?

The duration of Invisalign treatment varies depending on the complications of the orthodontic issues being addressed and the patient's compliance with wearing the aligners as directed. On average, Invisalign treatment can take anywhere around 6 to 18 months to achieve desired results. Your dentist or orthodontist will provide you with a personalized treatment plan and timeline based completely on your specific needs and goals.

Smile Makeover

Is smile makeover permanent?

While a smile makeover can produce dramatic improvements in the appearance of your smile, the results are not necessarily permanent. Factors such as natural aging, oral hygiene habits, dietary choices, and lifestyle factors can affect the longevity of cosmetic dental work. With proper care and maintenance, including periodic dental check-ups, professional clean-ups, and good oral hygiene practices, the results of a smile makeover can stay for many years.

What is the best option for bad teeth?

The best option for addressing bad teeth depends on factors such as the undiscovered cause of the dental issues, the extent of damage or decay, and the patient's preferences and budget. Treatment options may include restorative procedures like fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, or dental implants to repair or replace damaged teeth. In severe cases, extraction followed by tooth replacement options may be necessary. Consulting with a dentist can help determine the best treatment plan for your individual needs.

Teeth Whitening

Do dentists approve of teeth whitening?

Yes, many dentists offer teeth whitening treatments and consider them to be safe and effective when performed under professional supervision. Professional teeth whitening treatments conducted in a dental office or with take-home kits prescribed by a dentist can help remove surface stains and brighten the smile without causing harm to the teeth. It's essential to follow the dentist's instructions and recommendations for optimal results and to minimize any potential side effects.

What is the healthiest way to whiten your teeth?

The healthiest way to whiten your teeth is through professional teeth whitening treatments administered or prescribed by a dentist. In-office whitening procedures typically use higher concentrations of whitening agents and advanced techniques to achieve faster and more noticeable results while minimizing sensitivity. Alternatively, take-home whitening kits provided by dentists allow for gradual whitening over time with custom-fitted trays and professional-grade whitening gel.

Dental Veneers

Can you go back to your normal teeth after having veneers?

Veneers are thin shells prepared from porcelain or composite resin that are properly fixed to the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance. While veneers can dramatically enhance the aesthetics of your smile, they are considered irreversible because a small amount of enamel must be removed from the teeth to accommodate the veneers. If desired, veneers can be replaced or removed, but the natural teeth may require additional cosmetic or restorative treatments to achieve the desired appearance.

What are the most realistic tooth veneers?

Porcelain veneers are widely regarded as the most realistic and durable option for tooth veneers. Porcelain closely mimics the translucency, texture, and natural appearance of tooth enamel, providing a lifelike result that blends seamlessly with the surrounding teeth. In addition to this, porcelain veneers are highly stain and discoloration resistant, making them a popular choice for long-lasting smile enhancements.

Restorative Dentistry

What are examples of restorative dentistry?

Restorative dentistry encompasses a variety of treatments aimed at repairing or replacing damaged, decayed, or missing teeth to restore function and aesthetics. Examples of restorative dental procedures include fillings, crowns, bridges, dental implants, dentures, root canals, and periodontal therapy. These treatments address issues such as cavities, fractures, tooth loss, gum disease, and structural damage to the teeth and supporting tissues.

Are restorative dentistry and cosmetic dentistry same?

While restorative dentistry and cosmetic dentistry share the goal of improving the appearance of the smile, they focus on different aspects of dental care. Restorative dentistry primarily addresses functional issues such as repairing damaged teeth, restoring missing teeth, and treating oral health problems. On the other hand, cosmetic dentistry is more concerned with enhancing the aesthetic appearance of the teeth and smile through various procedures including teeth whitening, veneers, and cosmetic bonding. In some cases, restorative and cosmetic treatments may overlap to achieve both functional and cosmetic improvements.

Dental Fillings

Should I avoid certain foods after a filling?

After getting a filling, it's advisable to avoid hard to chew, sticky, or crunchy foods that could potentially dislodge or damage the filling or cause discomfort. Additionally, hot or cold foods and beverages may trigger sensitivity in the filled tooth immediately after the procedure. Soft foods and gentle chewing are recommended initially, and gradually reintroducing normal eating habits as comfort allows is advisable. Your dentist may provide specific dietary guidelines based on the type of filling material used and the location of the filling.

Can you brush teeth after fillings?

Yes, you can brush your teeth after getting fillings, but it's important to be gentle and avoid vigorous brushing around the filled tooth or teeth to prevent irritation or displacement of the filling material. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush along with fluoride toothpaste to clean the teeth and gums thoroughly, paying attention to the filled areas while being careful not to disturb any temporary filling material that may have been placed. Follow your dentist's instructions for oral hygiene care after fillings to maintain optimal dental health.

Dental Extractions

Is a dead tooth easier to extract?

A dead tooth, also known as a non-vital tooth, may or may not be easier to extract depending on factors such as the condition of the surrounding tissues, the presence of infection or inflammation, and the degree of root resorption. In some cases, a dead tooth may be more brittle or fragile due to loss of vitality, which could potentially complicate the extraction process. However, proper evaluation and treatment planning by a dentist or oral surgeon can ensure a safe and successful tooth extraction procedure regardless of the tooth's vitality status.

Why can't you extract an inflamed tooth?

Attempting to extract an inflamed tooth can pose risks such as excessive bleeding, complications, and inadequate anesthesia due to increased vascularity and sensitivity of the inflamed tissues. Inflammation in the surrounding gums and bone can also make it more challenging to achieve proper access and visualization for a successful extraction. It's important to address any underlying infection or inflammation with appropriate treatment, such as antibiotics or root canal therapy, before attempting to extract the tooth safely and effectively.

Dental Bonding

How many years does dental bonding last?

The lifespan of dental bonding can differ depending on factors such as the location of the bonded tooth, the extent of wear and tear, and oral hygiene habits. On average, dental bonding can stay anywhere between 5 to 10 years or even longer, if given proper care and maintenance. Avoiding habits such as biting on very hard objects, chewing ice, as well as using your teeth as tools can help prolong the longevity of dental bonding. Periodic evaluation by a dentist is recommended to monitor the condition of bonded teeth and address any issues promptly.

Can bonded teeth be whitened?

Yes, bonded teeth can be whitened, but it's important to note that dental bonding material does not properly respond to traditional teeth whitening treatments (bleaching agents) in the same way as natural tooth enamel. Whitening treatments may affect the color of the natural teeth surrounding the bonded areas but will not change the color of the bonding material itself. If you're considering whitening bonded teeth, consult with your dentist to explore alternative options such as replacing the bonding material or undergoing a combination of whitening and bonding procedures to achieve desired results.

Dental Bridges

How long does a dental bridge last?

The lifespan of a dental bridge can vary depending upon different factors including the quality of materials used, oral hygiene habits, and the forces exerted on the bridge during chewing and speaking. On average, a dental bridge can last up to 5 to 15 years or even longer with utmost care and maintenance. Regular dental check-ups, professional cleanings, and diligent oral hygiene practices can help prolong the longevity of a dental bridge and prevent complications such as decay or gum disease around the supporting teeth.

How many teeth do you need to hold a bridge?

A traditional dental bridge typically requires at least two healthy, natural teeth (abutment teeth) adjacent to the gap caused due to a missing tooth (pontic) to hold the bridge in place. These abutment teeth are prepared by taking out a portion of enamel to accommodate dental crowns, which serve as anchors for the bridge. In some cases, a dental implant may be used as an alternative to natural teeth to support a bridge, depending on the patient's oral health and treatment goals.

Dental Crowns

Are crowns worth the money?

Crowns can be a worthwhile investment for restoring and protecting damaged or weakened teeth. They provide structural support, improve tooth function, and enhance the appearance of the smile. Crowns are highly durable and long-lasting when properly cared for, making them a cost-effective solution for preserving dental health and aesthetics. However, the decision to get a crown should be based on individual needs, the extent of dental damage, and consultation with your dentist to explore all treatment options.

Can you put a crown over a broken tooth?

Yes, placing a crown over a broken or severely damaged tooth is a common restorative procedure to strengthen and protect the remaining tooth structure. Crowns can restore the shape, size, and function of the tooth while providing an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Before placing a crown, the broken tooth may require preparation to remove any decayed or compromised areas and build a stable foundation for the crown. Your dentist will check and evaluate the extent of damage and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan to restore the broken tooth.

Dental Implants

Who is best to place dental implants?

Dental implants are generally fixed by oral surgeons, periodontists, or dentists with specialized training and experience in implant dentistry. These professionals have the expertise and skill to perform surgical procedures such as implant placement, bone grafting, and soft tissue management to ensure successful outcomes. Collaborative treatment planning involving a multidisciplinary team of dental specialists may be necessary for complex implant cases involving extensive bone loss or compromised oral health.

When should I choose dental implants?

Dental implants are a suitable option for replacing missing teeth in individuals who have good oral health and adequate bone structure to support the implants. They offer numerous benefits, including stability, longevity, and natural appearance, compared to traditional tooth replacement options such as bridges or dentures. Dental implants can restore chewing function, prevent bone loss, and improve overall oral health and quality of life. Consult your dentist to decide if dental implants are the right choice for you based on your individual needs and circumstances.

Inlays & Onlays

Which is better inlay or onlay?

The choice between an inlay and an onlay depends on the extent of tooth damage and the location of the restoration. Inlays are used to fix cavities or damage within the cusps (points) of the tooth, while onlays are more extensive restorations that cover one or more cusps and may also extend onto the chewing surface of the tooth. Onlays provide greater coverage and support for weakened teeth, making them suitable for larger restorations.

Why does my dental inlay keep falling out?

Several factors can contribute to a dental inlay coming loose or falling out, including inadequate bonding, improper fit, excessive chewing forces, or recurrent decay around the restoration. In some cases, the underlying cause may be related to poor oral hygiene, habits such as teeth grinding (bruxism), or structural issues with the tooth. If your dental inlay keeps falling out.

Implant-Supported Dentures

How long is the process for implant supported dentures?

The process for receiving implant-supported dentures typically involves multiple stages and may take several months to complete, depending on factors such as the number of implants placed, the need for bone grafting or healing time, and the fabrication of the final prosthesis. Initial steps may include implant placement surgery followed by a healing period (osseointegration) during which the implants fuse with the jawbone. Once the implants have integrated, the dentures are custom-designed and attached to the implants for a secure and stable fit.

Do you sleep with implant dentures?

Yes, you can sleep with implant-supported dentures, but it's important to maintain proper oral hygiene and care for the dentures as instructed by your dentist. Unlike traditional removable dentures, implant-supported dentures are securely anchored to dental implants embedded in the jawbone, providing stability and retention during sleep and daily activities. Removing the dentures for cleaning and soaking overnight is recommended to keep the oral tissues healthy and prevent bacterial buildup.

Root Canal Therapy

Are root canal therapy and root canal same?

Yes, root canal therapy and a root canal refer to the same dental procedure aimed at treating infected or inflamed pulp tissue within a tooth's root canal system. During root canal therapy, the infected or damaged pulp is taken out, and the root canal is properly cleaned, shaped, and sealed to prevent further infection. Root canal therapy is commonly performed to save a tooth from extraction and alleviate pain caused by dental pulp inflammation or infection.

What is the better option for a root canal?

The decision between undergoing a root canal or having a tooth extracted depends on factors such as the extent of dental damage, the presence of infection, the overall condition of the tooth and surrounding tissues, and the patient's preferences and long-term oral health goals. Whenever possible, preserving natural teeth with root canal therapy is preferred over extraction to maintain chewing function, prevent shifting of adjacent teeth, and preserve jawbone structure.

Scaling & Root Planing

Can a general dentist carry out the process of scaling and root planing?

Yes, a general dentist can perform scaling and root planing, which are nonsurgical procedures aimed at treating gum disease (periodontitis). Scaling refers to complete removal of plaque and tartar accumulation from the tooth surfaces and beneath the gumline. On the other hand, root planing smooths out the root surfaces to boost gum tissue reattachment and prevent bacterial growth.

How many times do you need scaling and root planing?

The frequency of scaling and root planing (SRP) treatments depends on factors such as the severity of gum disease, the effectiveness of oral hygiene practices, and the individual's response to treatment. In most cases, SRP is initially performed as a series of appointments spaced out over a few weeks to thoroughly remove plaque and tartar buildup and allow for gum tissue healing.

Saturday Dentist

Are Saturday dentist appointments more expensive than weekday appointments?

The cost of dental appointments, including Saturday appointments, may differ depending on factors such as the dental practice's location, operating hours, and fee schedule. While some dental offices may charge higher fees for appointments scheduled outside of regular business hours, others may offer the same pricing regardless of the day of the week.

Can I schedule a routine dental cleaning on a Saturday?

Yes, many dental offices offer appointments for routine dental cleanings and other preventive care services on Saturdays to accommodate patients' busy schedules. Saturday appointments may be particularly convenient for individuals who work or have commitments during traditional weekday hours.

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