Frequently Asked Dental Questions

There are questions you may have about your teeth, and here we answer some of the most frequently asked dental questions.

+What can I do about stained or discolored teeth?
There are two types of staining: intrinsic and extrinsic. Extrinsic staining can be removed fairly easily, with the help of brushing and flossing, polishing, and bleaching trays to remove the stains on the outside of the teeth. Intrinsic staining is much more difficult to remove, and may require covering up such as with a veneer or a crown. Intrinsic staining is staining on the inside of the tooth. One of the main causes is the use of Tetracycline among pregnant women.There are two types of staining: intrinsic and extrinsic. Extrinsic staining can be removed fairly easily, with the help of brushing and flossing, polishing, and bleaching trays to remove the stains on the outside of the teeth. Intrinsic staining is much more difficult to remove, and may require covering up such as with a veneer or a crown. Intrinsic staining is staining on the inside of the tooth. One of the main causes is the use of Tetracycline among pregnant women.
+How can cosmetic dentistry help improve the appearance of my smile?
Cosmetic dentistry is a branch of dentistry dedicated to improving a patient’s smile and thus their self-esteem. We, at Advanced Dental Arts, are dedicated to improving the lives of our patients. Ask us about your options for a healthier smile and more confidence in life!
+Why is it important to use dental floss?
Dental floss can reach where the toothbrush can’t. There are pockets that exist naturally between the tooth and the gums. These pockets become full with bacteria which will then eat away at the bone. The most effective way of cleaning out this bacteria and preventing gingivitis, periodontitis, and decay is to use floss.
+How can I tell if I have gingivitis or periodontitis (gum disease)?
The main indicator of gingivitis is bleeding gums. If your gums bleed when you brush or floss, you have gingivitis (mild, moderate, or severe). When gingivitis is left untreated, it progresses to periodontitis, which affects the bone that holds the teeth. When this bone is affected, the teeth may become loose and may have to be extracted if the bone loss is severe. Measuring pocket depths helps us determine whether or not a patient has gingivitis and periodontitis.
+How often should I have a dental exam and cleaning?
It depends on your dental history. If you’ve never had a cavity and have good home hygiene habits, 1 year recall visits are recommended. If you’ve had a few cavities and have moderate to good home hygiene habits, 6 month recall visits are recommended. If you have a history of severe dental decay, gum disease, or if you have poor home hygiene techniques, 3 month recalls are recommended.
+Are amalgam (silver) fillings safe?
Yes. There has been extensive research done by numerous qualified institutions and individuals on the issue of mercury toxicity in dental fillings. These studies have found no major side effects or harm coming from amalgam fillings, nor has there ever been a reported case linked directly to dental amalgam fillings. Amalgams are becoming less and less common only because of their lack of aesthetics.
+How often should I brush and floss?
It is recommended that you brush twice a day (once in the morning and once immediately before going to bed) and floss once a day (before going to bed). Read the pamphlet on Home Hygiene Instruction
+What should I do if I have bad breath?
Bad breath doesn’t always mean bad hygiene. Try brushing and flossing your teeth the recommended amount of twice daily. If this does not solve the bad breath issue, brush the surface of the tongue, in particular, the back of the tongue towards the throat. Bacteria colonize the rough surface of the tongue, and cause bad breath. If oral hygiene does not work, there may be a digestive issue that is the root of the cause. Diet, esophageal, or stomach problems such as GERD may cause bad breath as well. If you think this may be an issue, it is recommended that you set up an appointment with your local gastroenterologist.
+What is a root canal?
Inside the center of the tooth is a collection of nerves, blood vessels, and tissues called the pulp. A root canal removes the infected or dead pulp from the tooth and then fills and seals the area. To learn more about root canals click below.
Root Canals
+What type of anesthesia is used?
Patients typically think Novocain when they think about dental anesthesia. Today, the anesthetics used are much safer and more advanced. Anesthetics such are Lidocaine, Carbocaine, and Septocaine are used at Advanced Dental Arts to provide the patient with profound anesthesia, allowing for a comfortable dental experience.
+What causes cavities?
Cavities start when the bacteria Streptococcus Mutans, which lives in the mouths of everyone, metabolizes sucrose, or sugar, and converts it into lactic acid which then eats away at the enamel and dentin in your teeth.