Your oral health and dental care are important, so you should make an informed decision when choosing a family dentist. Many new patients ask questions, and our staff is always eager to answer. For your convenience, these are the answers to our patients’ most frequently asked questions. If you have a question not addressed here, contact us. We will be happy to discuss your specific needs or inquiries.
How do the doctors keep up to date on all of the current techniques and materials?
Dr. Hill, Dr. Sergeant and Dr. Batchelor are extensively trained and knowledgeable on a variety of services. Since dentistry is constantly changing, they and the rest of our dental team are dedicated to researching and learning about the latest advances in the dental industry. We frequently attend continuing education courses that focus on advances in restorative and cosmetic dentistry. We also belong to a variety of organizations that offer seminars and conferences on changes in dentistry.
At what age should my children first see a dentist?
We prefer to see children six months after their teeth start to erupt. It is recommended that the first visit to the dentist be by their first birthday. We wantyour child’s first visit to be comfortable and positive, so we will perform a basic exam, going only as far as your child feels comfortable. At the age of three, we will do a more complete examination of their teeth and a basic cleaning. At this time we will introduce your child to our “Learning Lab” to begin to educate her/him about the importance of oral health.
How can I safely whiten my teeth?
Many of our patients ask about teeth whitening. Since each mouth is unique, we need to evaluate your teeth to recommend a specific method. If your teeth are cracked, chipped, or discolored, our dental team may recommend restorative services, such as veneers or bonding. If you want to bleach your teeth, we recommend Deep Bleaching or Nite White take-home teeth whitening system.
My gums bleed after I brush. Is this something to be concerned about?
Yes! You should be very concerned about bleeding gums, especially if you haven’t had a check-up in a while. Bleeding gums may indicate a variety of serious health problems, including gum disease. If your gums are bleeding, call our offices as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.
I brush everyday, but my breath is just not fresh. Is there anything I can do?
Bad breath is often a sign of gum disease and should be evaluated promptly by a dentist. We can then also provide you with recommendations for other oral care habits such as appropriate rinses, brushing your tongue, or a tongue-scraper. If you have questions about ways to improve your breath, ask any of our staff during your appointment, or call offices.
I want my front teeth to look better, but I do not want to wear braces. What would you recommend?
There are a variety of ways to improve the appearance of your teeth without braces. We offer Invisalign, a series of clear, removable custom-made aligners that move teeth incrementally. Learn more at www.invisalign.com. We also offer many cosmetic services that can make your teeth appear straighter, such as bonding, veneers and crowns. Since each patient is unique, we need to examine your mouth. Schedule a consultation with one of our dentists. After listening to your goals and concerns, we will suggest the method best suited to straighten your smile.
My spouse snores and keeps me up at night. I have heard a dentist might be able to prescribe an appliance that prevents snoring. Can you help?
We encourage your spouse to come in for a consultation with Dr. Hill, Dr. Sergeant or Dr. Batchelor to see if you may be appropriate for a snore-guard. Sometimes people who snore may actually stop breathing for short periods during the night. This condition is called sleep apnea. In other cases, snoring can be caused by enlarged anatomical structures within the mouth and throat. In the latter situation, we offer snore-guard, a small appliance that holds the mouth and throat open during sleep to prevent snoring. These custom-fit devices are comfortable and easy to use.
What are Smile Analysis and Smile Design?
Smile Analysis helps us determine the proper aesthetics of the smile you want to achieve based on your facial symmetry, lip line, and other features. Each patient has a unique smile that is proportional and flattering. With digital photos of your smile and face, we can assess and discuss your concerns and goals, then develop a plan to achieve them.
Smile Design is the process of designing your new smile. For more extensive cosmetic procedures, we send physical models of your teeth to the lab so they can make a wax mock up of your new smile. You can then “try on” your new smile before we begin any cosmetic work. Once you are satisfied with your new appearance, we will create a customized treatment plan to permanently transform your smile.
I have pain in my jaw, neck, and lower back. Could this be TMJ-related?
Possibly. When you have TMJ disorder, you may feel varying degrees of discomfort or pain. While TMJ pain may occur when you open or close your mouth, it can also manifest as headaches or back pain.
At Excellence In Dentistry, we have the extensive experience to provide TMJ and occlusal treatments to correct these kinds of problems. Our treatment begins with a complete examination of your mouth in which we check for excessive wear, cracks, fractures, and other damage. Once complete, we will discuss our diagnosis with you and recommend a specific treatment.
What is the difference between silver amalgam fillings and white composite resin? Should I have my amalgam fillings replaced?
Our dentists believe that composite fillings are better than traditional amalgams in many ways. Amalgams discolor, so when you smile or open your mouth, people will see the telltale black on the surface of your teeth. In contrast, composite fillings match the surrounding tooth structure, so they are undetectable to everyone but your dentist.
Amalgams also expand and contract with temperature changes in your mouth, pushing your tooth apart over time. This damage can cause fractures, cracks or recurrent decay, which may cause the need for a crown. Composite fillings are durable, made of a safe resin material, which binds to the tooth and can be very long-lasting.
If you have a broken tooth, our dentists may be able to repair your tooth with composite filling. If most of the tooth structure is broken, a crown may be recommended. For patients interested in replacing amalgam fillings with composite, schedule a consultation with one of our dentists.