Frequently Asked Questions
At Design Dentistry we love to help and answer questions you may have about our services or about dentistry in general.
Below are some commonly asked questions that people ask us in our clinic everyday.
(Tip: Click on a question below to reveal the answer)
If there is anything else you would like to know, please do not hesitate to contact us at anytime.
How do I get my teeth whiter?
We offer two methods to whiten your teeth. The first is the Zoom 2 which is an in-office procedure. It takes one visit and your teeth become 6 – 10 shades lighter. The second is the take-home kit. Custom bleach trays are specially made to be worn at home by the patient for approximately 1 hour per day for 1-2 weeks. Prior to any bleaching we recommend an exam and cleaning so you can achieve optimal results. If you want to know if you are a candidate for bleaching, please contact us.
When should my child first see the dentist?
It is recommended that children see the dentist 6 months after their first “baby” tooth erupts, or at 1 year – whichever comes first. The first visit is usually a “happy visit” that allows children to see the office and meet our staff. If you have more than one child, we recommend that your youngest child see an older sibling in the chair first as they will likely ask to have their turn soon after!
Somewhere around a child’s third birthday, children should have their first check-up possibly involving x-rays. These allow us to detect hard to see cavities which occur between teeth. Remember that one of the best things to do at home for your kids is brush their teeth for them. We know that sometimes it is hard to brush your kid’s teeth but do your best!
If you have any concerns about something you see in your child’s teeth, or if you want them professionally cleaned, come on in because we truly love seeing children in our office.
What are the signs of teething and how do I comfort a teething child?
The main signs of teething are red and swollen gums over the erupting tooth and the cheek on that side can appear flushed. Often, you may notice more drooling from your child than normal and general irritability. Disturbed sleep patterns can also occur. Remember, diarrhea and fever do not necessarily accompany teething so if your child has these symptoms, please consult your physician.
Here are a few tips to comfort a teething child: Gently massage the gum with a clean finger. A pacifier may have a soothing effect as well. The child’s need to bite on something hard can be satisfied with a chilled teething ring or a sugar-free rusk. Pain relieving medications may also lessen the pain if your child’s physician deems these appropriate. If you have any concerns about teething or how your child’s teeth are erupting, come on in because we truly love seeing children in our office.
Why is it important to replace lost teeth and what are the methods of replacing missing teeth?
Lost teeth need to be replaced as the results of leaving the space unfilled can be severe. Your chewing and general health can be affected. The appearance of the front teeth and smile can deteriorate. Teeth adjacent to the spaces may drift and tilt into them. Teeth in the opposite jaw, over the space, can grow longer because there is no opposing tooth to bite against them and keep them in place leading to sensitivity. The bite can also be affected as the front teeth are forced forward. TMJ pain may also result from an unbalanced bite.
At Design Dentistry, we offer several options to replace missing teeth.
1) BRIDGE: A bridge consists of two crowns permanently fixed to the teeth on either side of a gap with a false tooth filling the space. This is a good option especially if the teeth on either side have large fillings and could use crowns.
2) IMPLANT: An implant is a screw like device that once placed, can integrate into the bone where your tooth originally was. It can support a crown, a bridge or even a denture. This is an excellent option especially if you have no teeth adjacent to a space.
3) DENTURE: A removable denture, either partial or full, is also a common way to replace teeth.
If you have any questions about replacing missing teeth or any other inquires, contact us and we will determine what works best for you.
My tooth is broken and it doesn’t hurt - do I need to fix it?
Broken teeth should be fixed to avoid future decay in the area even if they don’t hurt. Food tends to love broken areas and it is also tough to clean these areas.
The options to fix a broken and painless tooth are:
1) Repair with a filling. This is a good option because fillings are relatively inexpensive, covered under most insurance policies, quick to place and they serve people very well.
2) Place a crown on the tooth. This is a great option because a crown will help avoid fractures of other parts of the same tooth from occurring in the future. Crowns are more expensive but they serve you longer as you avoid fixing fractures of the same tooth over and over again.
3) Inlay or onlay These are good options especially for a tooth with a minor fracture. Various materials can be placed depending on the situation. If you have a broken tooth and need some advice as to what your best option is, please contact us.
Does Bleaching hurt your teeth?
We do not like to call it “bleaching,” we prefer “whitening” because we use materials that are formulated uniquely for dental use.
Moderation is the key to safely whitening your teeth. If you whiten your teeth frequently, with long application times, and concentrated solutions, you will find that your teeth become very sensitive. Aggressive whitening to achieve the “Hollywood Smile” may in fact damage your teeth.
For predictable results, take home professional whitening or in-office whitening is recommended. Sometimes, dental whitening needs to be provided in conjunction with other conservative dental procedures to help you achieve the esthetic result that you are looking for.
If you have further questions about dental whitening, or if you want to know how it will work for you, contact us and we can help you understand your unique whitening requirements.
What type of toothbrush is suitable for my child?
This is a commonly asked question in our office. Generally, a toothbrush with a small head is recommended so that children can use it easily and will not cause gagging when they brush their back teeth. The handle should have the correct length and thickness. It must be easy to use and provide a firm grip.
Brushes for children often have handles and heads that are brightly colored and show cartoon characters. Remember, brushing needs to be a fun experience so that it’s repeated often.
If you have any questions about your child’s teeth, or need them professionally cleaned, contact us as we truly love seeing children in our office.
Are sports guards necessary and are all made equal?
Sports guards protect against one of the most preventable injuries in sports – broken or lost teeth from a blow to the face. Therefore, they are recommended for most sports activities, especially for children as they are more prone to getting injuries to the mouth.
Sports guards are NOT all made equal. “One fits all” types usually are not well fitting and bulky, making it less likely that you will wear them. Some may even damage your gums.
Generally, we make sports guards from an imprint we take of your mouth. These will fit snugly to your teeth as they are personalized to match your teeth. We can also get creative and make various color combinations for your sports guard. It’s easy to get your team colors!
If you have questions about sports guards, or any other inquiries, contact us as we love to see new patients.
How do I know I am grinding my teeth?
The term for unconscious and involuntary grinding of teeth is “Bruxism”. This means that you are unaware of, and unable to stop the habit.
Usually if this kind of grinding continues, your teeth will be worn down, become shorter and yellow dentin will be visible. Your teeth will also have tendency to chip. Tenderness in the muscles and jaw joints can be felt on waking in the morning. Teeth that are worn down or cracked by grinding may also become sensitive.
If you think you are grinding your teeth and need to manage this habit, contact us as we have several straight forward options for you.
Can I have braces without having metal brackets?
Yes, we now offer Invisalign! Invisalign is a proven method for straightening teeth using a series of custom-made nearly undetectable aligners. There are no metal wires or brackets. You get to eat what you want because the aligners are removable and brushing and flossing is much easier because you are able to remove the aligners to do it.
If you want an Invisalign consult, please contact our office.
Do I need my wisdom teeth removed?
For some people, wisdom teeth do not cause any problems. However, since wisdom teeth are so far back in the mouth, they are hard to keep clean and may be more prone to decay and gum infections. Wisdom teeth may cause crowding and poor positioning in other teeth as they come in. Impacted wisdom teeth are those that grow at an angle underneath the gums rather than erupting through the gums as they should. In this case, an infection may form as bacteria gets trapped thus causing pain and perhaps swelling. It is usually suggested that patients have their wisdom teeth removed. It is more advantageous to have the teeth removed at a younger age rather than a later age since the bone will heal better after the removal of impacted wisdom teeth if that may be the case. If you are concerned about your wisdom teeth, please call to schedule an appointment for a consultation today.
Do I need a root canal?
Teeth that are in need of a root canal are painful and may be sensitive to hot and cold. When the nerve endings inside the tooth become infected and inflamed the tooth is in need of a root canal. If you feel that you have teeth that need root canals please contact our office to schedule an appointment.
I had a root canal on one of my teeth, now what do I do ?
Any tooth that has had a root canal will slowly become more brittle over time and is at risk for fractures. If that tooth breaks below the gum-line it may need to be pulled out. The best way to prevent a fracture in a root canaled tooth is to put a crown on the tooth. With a crown on the tooth you can chew normally and not worry about damaging the tooth. If you have any questions regarding this or any other dental concerns, please contact us.