FAQ

Why are my teeth sensitive?

Sensitive teeth often result from the fact that your gums have slightly receded.  This recession of the gumline allows the underlying dentin to show through, which allows water and food easier access to the sensitive nerve.  To manage this, there are a number of toothpastes, gels, and even some dental procedures that can be applied.  Speak to us in more detail if you have very sensitive teeth.

What should I do to prevent gum disease and tooth decay?

Great teeth and gum care starts at home.  Brushing and flossing on a daily basis is the best way to take care of your teeth and gums.  By keeping to a daily routine, you will greatly minimize the risk of gingivitis or tooth decay as you age.

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a condition caused when bacteria surrounds the teeth and enters the gums.  The gums can become irritated, inflamed, and often bleed.  In order to prevent the condition from worsening, regular dental visits are highly recommended.  During your visit, our hygiene team will teach you the proper techniques and oral hygiene protocol, which will prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is a quiet disease that begins with little or no symptoms.  It is caused by bacteria that surround the teeth and then enters the gums.  The immediate condition is knows as gingivitis.  If left untreated, gingivitis will progress into periodontal disease.  The gums become irritated, inflamed, and often bleed.  If not properly treated, the condition worsens.  Noticeable symptoms will appear.  They include:

  • Bad breath
  • Gum recession
  • Gum sensitivity to acidic foods
  • Abscesses
  • Tooth pain
  • Tooth loss

How do you treat periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is a chronic condition that needs immediate attention.  Through a series of periodontal cleanings, scaling and root planning, laser therapy, and local antibiotics, this condition can be controlled.  Periodontal surgery is only necessary for severe cases.

What is the difference between a white and silver filling?

Amalgams, commonly referred to as “silver” fillings, have been around for decades.  Made from a metal alloy, they used to be the best restoration for cavities.  The metal expands and contracts with anything hot or cold placed in the mouth.  This allows for little bacteria to enter a tooth after it has been filled, keeping the tooth healthy and strong.

Composite fillings, commonly referred to as “white” or “tooth colored” fillings, are often made of plastic or glass polymers.  These cosmetic fillings allow us to fill a cavity with a substance that will look and feel just like your existing tooth structure.  This restoration is created with a resin material and fits tightly into a tooth to prevent decay.  Rather than a gray or silver-looking color in your mouth, the composite color will match the tooth color.

How can I improve my smile?

There are several ways in today’s dental world to enhance your smile.  Certain procedures include:

  • Whitening
  • Bonding
  • Porcelain veneers
  • Porcelain crowns

We have the capability to improve your smile using all or some of these procedures.  For a consultation, please contact your dental office so that we may provide you with a customized treatment plan.

What is whitening?

Whitening is a cost effective and safe procedure used to create a beautiful, healthy smile.  Over the years, fluoride has been added to the whitening product.  This reduces the risk of tooth and gum sensitivity.  Whitening must be monitored by your dentist and done only after a comprehensive exam and dental cleaning.

The whitening process can last for a number of years if maintained properly.  Beverages such as coffee, tea, cola, and wine will reduce the lasting effect.  Remember, if it could stain a white shirt, it will stain your smile!

What is bonding?

Bonding is a cost effective procedure used to fill gaps in front teeth and to change the color of a tooth.  The immediate results are amazing.  Within a very short period of time, you will have a great smile!  Bonding, like whitening, may change color over time due to coffee, tea, cola, and wine.

What are porcelain veneers?

Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that go directly on your natural teeth.  This entire procedure can take as few as 2 visits.  Veneers change the size, shape, and color of your teeth.  This procedure is used to repair fractured teeth, teeth darkened by age or medication, or a crooked smile.  Many times, patients ask for porcelain veneers simply to feel and look younger with a straighter, whiter smile.

What are crowns?

Crowns are a permanent procedure that cover the entire tooth.  They are used to restore teeth that have advanced decay, fracture lines, or have been broken.  They can change the size, shape, and color of the teeth in as few as 2 visits.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a “man-made” replacement for a missing tooth or tooth root.  Made from titanium, this screw-like object is inserted under the gum and directly into the upper or lower jaw bone.  There is usually minimal discomfort involved with this procedure.  After a period of a few months, the dental implant and the bone fuse tougher.  This creates an anchor for the new tooth to be placed onto the dental implant.

What are the benefits of dental implants?

  • Dental implants look and function like your natural tooth.
  • Dental implants are a permanent solution for missing teeth.
  • Dental implants are maintained by routine hygiene visits to your dental office.
  • Dental implants decrease the possibility of bone loss, periodontal disease, and tooth movement.
  • Dental implants replace the need for a removable complete or partial denture
  • Dental implants focus only on the tooth or teeth that are missing, as opposed to a traditional bridge, which would compromise the two or more adjacent teeth to create a false tooth in between.

Who is a candidate for dental implants?

With major advancements in dentistry and dental implants, most people are candidates for dental implants.  There may be exceptions due to chronic illness, heart disease, and severe osteoporosis.

What does the dental implant procedure involve?

The average dental implant procedure takes 3-4 visits.  The first visit is to take a 3D scan of the area and take an impression for a surgical guide and temporary prosthesis to cover the implant.  The next visit is to place the implant.  A local anesthesia is applied to the area.  The dentist will then make a minor incision to place the implant.  The implant is placed into the jaw bone.  The area will then be covered with sutures.  The procedure is usually completed with little to no pain.

You will return in approximately 3 months to begin creating the crown to place over the implant.

How much does a dental implant cost?

Fees from dental implants vary from dentist to dentist.  Always schedule an implant consultation to discuss the procedure and all fees involved.

Does your practice offer financing for services provided?

Please contact us to discuss the options we have available to make your perfect smile today!

EAST WICHITA

Phone: 316.630.9500
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Phone: 316.684.8261
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EL DORADO

Phone: 316.321.4222
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MARION

Phone: 620.382.2520
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