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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

CEREC Single Visit Crowns

CEREC Single Visit Crowns

Conventional dental crowns typically take two office visits. On your first visit, your tooth is shaved and shaped, and molds are taken for your crown. A temporary crown is placed over your tooth to protect it while your permanent crown is created in a dental lab. On your second visit, your new crown is tried in and cemented.

CEREC Single Visit Crowns are different because it only takes one visit and you leave your visit with your new all ceramic permanent crown. It is quick, easy, and your tooth is fully repaired with material that is natural looking and durable. What's more - because there is no metal in the crown - it is possible to "see" with dental x-rays the part of the tooth covered by the CEREC Crown.

  • Can anyone receive CEREC crowns? Usually, Yes.
  • I've had a metal crown most of my life. Is it possible for me to replace it with a CEREC crown? Usually, yes.
  • Could a CEREC crown be a better replacement for a broken or chipped veneer? CEREC crowns may be used to restore front teeth but there may be other materials that are more esthetically pleasing.
  • Are CEREC crowns more expensive than traditional crowns? Are there long-term cost advantages? Most insurance companies do assist with covering CEREC crowns, similar to conventional types of crowns. The long term cost advantages of CEREC crowns are:
    • Less risk of recurrent decay due to bonding method.
    • Less tooth structure is removed using the CEREC method.
    • The material is very durable and healthier for your gum tissue.
  • I have very small teeth. Could a CEREC crown still be used in my case? Yes, the CEREC technology allows us to customize the size and shape of each tooth.
  • My teeth are a bit stained and discolored. Would a CEREC crown look strange next to my other teeth? An esthetic crown may be a better option because the lab technician has better control over color variations. However, if the tooth is not visible when you smile or speak, it may not be a concern.
  • Can you whiten a CEREC crown? No, restorative materials typically do not respond to whitening.
  • Are there certain foods to avoid after receiving a CEREC crown? A CEREC crown is similar to your natural tooth structure but could break or fracture when eating hard candies or if you use your teeth to open bottles
  • Does the procedure hurt? You are anesthetized during the procedure to ensure your comfort.
  • How durable are CEREC crowns? CERECcrowns are very durable and their scientific makeup is very similar to natural tooth enamel.
  • Will I have any sensitivity in my teeth after getting a CEREC crown? Most patients do not have sensitivity or pain after a CEREC crown but there is always a chance of sensitivity after any dental procedure. If this occurs, please make sure to contact us so we can assist you in sensitivity management.
  • What happens if I damage my CEREC crown? Depending on the extent of damage, CEREC crowns can either be repaired or replaced. If the integrity of the crown is not compromised and is not rough or bothersome to the patient it can be left as is.
  • How much of my tooth is removed? Only the damaged, defective or decayed portion of the tooth is removed during the CEREC procedure. Therefore, more of your natural tooth structure is retained. When traditional crowns are made healthy tooth structure needs to be removed in order for the crown to cover the tooth and to allow retention.
  • What is the difference between a crown and veneer? A crown typically covers both the front and back of a front tooth and covers the biting surface of a back tooth. A veneer is a thin porcelain layer that covers the front surface of a tooth.
  • Will I still see that black line at the gum line if I replace my old crown? The black line seen at the gumline with traditional crowns is the metal portion under the porcelain layer. When using a CEREC crown to replace old crowns there is no metal material so any black lines are eliminated.
Periodontal Treatment

Periodontal Treatment

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone surrounding the teeth. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, which is why it is important to diagnose the disease and treat it as early as possible. Our practice is equipped with the technology and expertise to diagnose periodontal disease and treat it.

  • Will my insurance cover periodontal treatment? Typical insurance plans will assist in a portion of the periodontal treatment, developing on number of treatments needed and how recent past treatments have taken place.
  • Can I reverse periodontal disease with better brushing and flossing? The only stage of periodontal disease that is reversible without permanent loss of gum and bone support is the gingivitis (gum inflammation) stage. Diligent daily oral hygiene is a significant factor in reversing gingivitis.
  • Regarding periodontal infections- can I take an antibiotic to treat this infection?Antibiotics alone won’t treat the infection, though oral and locally applied antibiotics can be used in conjunction with periodontal treatment to aid in treatment success.
  • Can I fill in the areas where I have gum recession, and what causes it? Gum recession is the result of bone loss and loss of gum attachment. Depending on the shape of the gum recession and the levels of bone around the teeth, areas of gum recession can be regenerated with new gum tissue using a variety of gum grafting.
  • What does the laser do? Soft tissue laser has the ability to kill bacteria and activate the re-growth of tissues. For these reasons, laser may be used as a component of periodontal treatment to enhance healing potential.
  • How do I know if I have periodontal disease? It is possible to have periodontal disease without noticeable symptoms. That is why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important. There are several warning signs you may notice:
    • Gums that bleed easily
    • Red, swollen, or tender gums
    • Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
    • Persistent bad breath
    • Oral discharge between the teeth and gums
    • Loose or separating teeth
    • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
    • A change in the fit of partial dentures
    If you notice any of these signs, it is important to see your dentist.
  • How do you know when you have been cured of periodontal disease? There is no cure for gum disease at this time. However, it can be controlled after stabilizing active infection. Your dentist and hygienist will monitor your gum health and keep you informed of its status. When gums are health you should notice pink, tight tissue that doesn’t bleed or feel tender.
  • Can kids get periodontal disease? Children and adolescents can develop gum disease of varying severity and aggressiveness. The most common form seen in young patients is gingivitis, the only stage of gum disease that is reversible with early care and intervention.
  • Is it possible to get braces if you have periodontal disease and loose teeth in their sockets? Orthodontics (braces) may be an indicated treatment for gum disease factors stemming from bite imbalances and malocclusion (unbalanced bite). It is generally best to treat and stabilize the gum disease before beginning orthodontia.
  • Can you periodontal gum disease from tobacco? Many scientific studies point to tobacco use as a significant risk factor for gum disease.
  • Is there a link between periodontal disease and infertility? Several studies suggest that the chronic bacterial infections found in periodontal diseases may affect reproduction success and the outcome of infertility treatment.
  • What are the odds of me having periodontal disease? Prevalence in estimates vary from study to study. One report published by a reputable dental organization estimates that more than one in three people over age 30 have periodontitis. And, by a conservative estimate, 35.7 million people in the United States have periodontitis. There are numerous risk factors that increase gum disease risk including genetics, systemic diseases, and tobacco use.
  • Would periodontal disease be a cause of bad taste in my mouth? Gum disease is one of several possible causes of a bad taste in the mouth. Your dentist can help determine the cause or causes.
  • Does periodontal disease cause bad breath? Gum disease is one of several possible causes of bad breath. Your dentist can help determine the cause or causes.
  • Will my gums grow back if I have gum disease? With proper treatment, gum regeneration is possible.
  • What is the best toothpaste and mouthwash to fight off gum disease? Generally, alcohol free and antibacterial toothpastes and mouthwashes are recommended. Your dentist or hygienist can help you determine the best products for your specific needs. Toothpastes and mouthwashes should not be considered as the sole treatment measures.
  • Is there a connection between gum disease and heart problems? In the past several years, numerous scientific studies point to strong connections between gum disease and heart disease.
  • Is it possible for periodontal disease to spread to different uninfected areas of the mouth? Research has shown that disease can spread from tooth to tooth, and that the bacteria can travel to other parts of the body.
  • Why is periodontal disease a chronic disease? Most forms of periodontal disease are slowly progressing forms. The most important component leading to the disease process is the body's persistent immune response to the bacterial plaque that continuously forms below the gumline.
  • I have periodontal disease.  What is the most effective treatment? This depends on the stage of disease and extent of damage. After your dentist performs a thorough evaluation, he or she can recommend the most effective treatment for your case.
  • If teeth are loose because of periodontal disease, how teeth looseness reduced? The healing process can result in decreased mobility. Splinting the teeth together might be recommended to help reinforce them.
  • Can periodontal disease spread or infect the tonsils? Since research has shown that the bacteria under the gums can pass through the infected tissue and into the blood stream, it is logical to assume it can spread to the tonsils and anywhere else in the body.
  • Can you get Periodontal Disease from kissing someone else? There is recent evidence to suggest that the bacteria that causes periodontal disease in one individual may be found in their spouse or significant other. While these bugs may be transmitted, it appears that it requires multiple contacts over a prolonged period of time for this to occur.
  • Can periodontal disease be treated after I have had cosmetic dentistry done? Absolutely. It is critical for stabilizing the foundation that supports the teeth that have had cosmetic dentistry.
  • What is gingivitis? Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums, characterized by redness, swelling and frequently bleeding when brushing or flossing.
  • How can I treat gingivitis at home? There are many different ways to treat gingivitis at home. The bottom line is reducing the level of bacteria around the gumline. Your dentist and hygienist can help you develop a personalized system of home care tools and products, and possibly supplements that aide in boosting the immune system.
  • How does having gingivitis cause heart disease and stroke? Simply put, infections from various sources, including gum infections pass into the bloodstream and can damage the artery walls. The inflammation to the artery wall, along with fatty deposits, cause the artery to become smaller and smaller. Eventually, blood clots occur and the artery becomes clogged, which results in a heart attack or stroke depending on the location of the blood clot.
  • How long does it take for sore gums to heal once you eliminate gingivitis? Gingivitis related soreness will be eliminated when the gingivitis is eliminated.
  • Is it possible for an infant to have gingivitis? The only people who escape gingivitis are very young infants; otherwise, it affects all age groups and people of all ethnic and racial backgrounds.
Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneersare a great way to achieve the straight, beautiful teeth you've always wanted without having to wear braces. You can instantly correct chops, stains or gaps to have the ideal smile you've always wanted. These porcelain veneers are very thin and, contrary to popular belief, in many instances the original tooth is not ground down or damaged. There is only a slight bit of shaving, hardly noticeable, to prepare the tooth for the veneer to be placed. The end result is beautifully shaped teeth that are durable and resist tooth stains and discoloration. Porcelain veneers give you a smile that is beautiful and healthy.

What are the major differences between getting porcelain veneers and getting braces? Getting braces helps to straighten your teeth and put them into proper alignment, or to move teeth into proper position. In some instances, braces may be the best treatment. However, if there are chips or existing restorations, veneers allow you to have the ideal shade, ideal alignment and a strong , healthy tooth. The treatment for braces can last anywhere from several months to years. Veneers are more of an instant fix for alignment and for esthetics. However, each case is determined individually. And we always try to determine which treatment is best for each patients' health and personal goals.

  • Are porcelain veneers less expensive than braces or more expensive? The cost for braces differs for all patients. It is best to consult an orthodontist for an appropriate estimate. There are different price options for veneers depending on the esthetic needs of the patient.
  • Can veneers chip or fall off? Veneers are designed to be a permanent restoration. It is rare that they fall off or chip. However, in the rare cases when the veneer does come off or chips, it can be bonded back into place or repaired.
  • How long do porcelain veneers last? Veneers can last anywhere from several years to decades. It is important to maintain proper oral hygiene to prolong the life of the veneers. Veneers should be cared for the same way as your other teeth.
  • Can you whiten veneers? Restorative materials such as porcelain veneers do not whiten with bleaching products. If you are considering whitening, you would want to do this before having veneers made in order to match the shade.
  • Are there foods to avoid if you have veneers? In most cases veneers should act and be used as normal functioning teeth. However it is not recommended to chew on hard things like chicken bones or to use them as "tools."
  • Will dental insurance cover porcelain veneers? For each person this may vary. Some insurance companies always consider veneers as a cosmetic desire regardless of the needs for these restorations. In all cases it is best to accept what insurance does pay (if anything) as a bonus and be expected to pay the full cost for treatment.
  • How much do veneers cost? What is the average cost? The average cost of a veneer can be anywhere from $1300 to $2000 per tooth. In most cases it is best to have veneers completed all at once so that the color and esthetics of teeth can best be matched.
  • Are there different types? Although all veneers are similar, there are actually many different types of veneers. There are different types of porcelains as well as different esthetic processes used to make them. Depending upon your goals and needs, we will help you decide what type of veneer will be best for you. We offer a variety of labs, which allows for a variety of veneer types, aiding in meeting the esthetic needs and budget of each patient.
  • How long does it take to get veneers? The process for getting veneers can be anywhere from one week to six weeks, depending on the lab that is used. In the mean time you will be wearing temporary prototype veneers designed to look like your new veneers.
  • How do I know what my new veneers will look like? The first part of any smile makeover is to start with a model of what we expect your final veneers to look like. Using models of your teeth, photos, information about your goals and expectations, we design your new veneers and your new smile. Before we ever start your treatment, you will be able to preview the veneers and approve any changes. Your approved design also serves as the model for your "prototype" temporaries that are designed to look like your new veneers. We want to avoid surprises and exceed your expectations!
  • Will it hurt? Is there any tooth sensitivity? Yes there can be tooth sensitivity; most of the sensitivity described is during the temporary phase. Since the temporaries are not as strong as the permanent restoration they tend to transmit temperature easier. For people who typically have sensitive teeth they may experience it after the permanent veneers have been placed.
  • Can I get veneers if I grind my teeth? Yes you can but we would recommend wearing a guard of some sort to help protect your teeth, regardless of having veneers or not.
  • Can anyone get veneers? Most people are veneer candidates but it is mostly determined by the wear patterns and breakdown of the existing tooth structure. For some people who have worn down their teeth or have had previous restorations in their teeth they may need more of a "crown" to restore the tooth.
  • Can I get porcelain veneers if I have had previous dental work? If there are small fillings or previous veneers having them replaced with new veneers is a possibility. But if you have existing crowns in place then they would have to be re done as crowns. A complete evaluation would be necessary to determine proper treatment.
  • Can you take off veneers without leaving any damage? No, porcelain veneers are designed to be permanent restorations, so once the veneer work has been completed the patient will continue to always need a restoration in place.
Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening

Many things thing can cause tooth stains and discoloration. Teeth whitening can remove these stains and discolorations giving your teeth a healthier, younger looking smile. With Zoom! ® Whitening, the procedure is done in our office and is very safe and relaxing.

We also offer at-home teeth whiting that our patients can use to lighten their smile either after their Zoom! Whitening procedure or alone without the procedure.

  • Will my existing crowns/fillings change color? No. Esthetic crowns and fillings were designed to match your existing tooth color and won't change with whitening procedures.
  • How can I whiten my teeth? There are many options for achieving whiter teeth. The simplest and least expensive way to whiten is with bleaching agents or non bleaching polishing products. Because every patient has unique whitening potential, it is recommended that each patient consult with their dental professional to discuss whitening options.
  • Is Zoom! ® whitening safe? Yes. Extensive research and clinical studies indicate that whitening teeth under the supervision of a dentist is safe. In fact, many dentists consider whitening the safest cosmetic dental procedure available. As with any tooth whitening product, Zoom!® is not recommended for children under 13 years of age and pregnant or lactating women.
  • Does over the counter whitening work nearly as well as professional whitening?Typically no, primarily because the over the counter products have a very low concentration of peroxide compared to professional products.
  • Will my teeth be sensitive after Zoom! ® whitening? Sensitivity during the treatment may occur with some patients. The Zoom!® light generates minimal heat which is the usual source of discomfort. On rare occasions, minor tingling sensations are experienced immediately after the procedure, but always dissipate. You can also ask your dentist to supply you with anti-sensitivity toothpaste for use prior to treatment.
  • When you get professional teeth whitening, how long do your teeth stay white? Your teeth will always be lighter than they were before the whitening process. Your results will gradually diminish, at a rate influenced by the colorgenic foods and liquids that contact your teeth. When you notice your results dropping off, you can easily touch up your whitening at home with custom made trays and whitening material (on average once or twice a year).
  • Can whitening damage your teeth? Yes, if you whiten them in excess or don't follow the whitening instructions. The ingredients used in teeth whitening are known to be safe, if used in proper quantities and in the right amount of time. But, using these same products without proper supervision from a professional dentist can cause some people unnecessary harm.
  • What happens of my teeth get too white? Caution should be taken to avoid overuse of whiteners. Overwhitening can cause portions of the teeth to appear translucent or take on a blue-gray hue. Using a whitening product every day can cause teeth to become brittle, dehydrated and more vulnerable to staining because the pores in the teeth are opened up and teeth don't get a chance to restore their mineral balance.
  • Can I whiten my veneers? Once porcelain veneers are bonded to your teeth, it is not possible to whiten them since veneer material doesn't respond to whitening agents.
  • Can I whiten bonded teeth? The bonded portions of bonded teeth don't respond to whitening agents.
  • Can I whiten false teeth? The materials used in false teeth don't respond to whitening agents.
  • How long does the whitening procedure take? Zoom!® Chairside Whitening can be done in about 2 hours. Home whitening can take from one to six weeks. This varies by the amount of time the whitening trays and material are used, and the individual's whitening potential.
  • Are whitening trays used? For home whitening, trays are used to hold the whitening material to the teeth. Whitening trays are provided with Zoom!® Chairside Whitening allowing touch up whitening to be done when the initial results begin to drop off.
  • Does insurance cover professional whitening? Traditional insurance typically does not provide benefits for whitening since it is considered cosmetic.
  • What's the average cost of Zoom!® whitening? In-office bleaching is more expensive than take-home alternatives. Its cost, on average, is $650, compared to $400 for take-home trays and under $100 for over-the-counter bleaching trays or whitening strips.
Tooth Colored Fillings

Tooth Colored Fillings

Tooth colored fillings are a great option for restoring the natural beauty and health of teeth that have been damaged due to trauma or tooth decay. They can also be used to fill in tooth gaps. Because they match with the natural color of your teeth, you will never have to worry about the dark spots that metal fillings leave on the tooth. If you have dark metal fillings, these can be replaced by beautiful tooth colored fillings and enhance the aesthetic quality of your smile.

Are white fillings as good as metal or silver fillings? Larger metal fillings tend to act as wedges within the tooth increasing risk of the tooth splitting. Composite resin ("white") fillings don't put the same amount of pressures on teeth, and are also more aesthetically pleasing.

  • Are white fillings safer? Larger metal fillings tend to act as wedges within the tooth over time increasing risk of the tooth splitting. Composite resin ("white") fillings don't put the same amount of pressures on teeth.
  • How long do tooth colored fillings last? Under normal wear and tear, and with proper care, they can last for years.
  • Are there any types of teeth whitening that will whiten my tooth-colored fillings? At this time, no whitening options exist that will whiten existing tooth colored fillings. However, after whitening, fillings can be replaced with new ones that match.
  • How much should tooth colored fillings cost? The cost is similar to silver fillings, and varies by how many tooth surfaces are involved. They typically run a few to several hundred dollars per filling- normally less than a per tooth crown costs.
  • Can mouthwash wear away tooth-colored fillings faster? No.
  • Is it worth paying for tooth-colored fillings for someone who gets a lot of cavities due to poor oral hygiene? It is always worthwhile addressing the high caries risk with oral hygiene modifications and lifestyle changes before investing in tooth colored fillings.
  • What's the difference between white fillings and tooth-colored fillings? White and tooth-colored fillings are synonymous, though "tooth-colored fillings" is more accurate terminology since the filling shade is closely matched to the tooth being treated and adjacent teeth.
  • If I want to get my teeth whitened, can the dentist redo a tooth colored filling to match the new color? Yes. Patients who whiten under a dentist's supervision should be advised that existing tooth colored fillings won't whiten and may need to be replaced in order to match the shade of the whitened teeth.
  • If I have already had silver fillings, can I have them redone with white fillings? Yes, if there is enough healthy tooth structure remaining to support a filling. Otherwise a crown, inlay or onlay can be done with a matching shade.
  • Do Crest White Strips whiten fillings too? Dental restorations don't respond to whitening materials.
  • Does insurance cover tooth colored fillings? Coverage varies from plan to plan. Some assistance is provided by typical plans, though some plans reduce the tooth colored filling to an amalgam (silver) filling.
  • Can tooth colored fillings fracture my tooth? Tooth colored fillings provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small-to-mid size restorations that need to withstand moderate chewing pressure.
  • Can they make my teeth sensitive? Post treatment sensitivity continues to be a common, yet unpredictable problem following fillings and other dental procedures. When it is expected, preventive measures to minimize sensitivity can be incorporated into the treatment.

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