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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a crown, and why do I need one?
A: If your doctor has recommended a crown to you, it is likely either to correct a broken tooth or to repair a tooth that has deteriorated due to cavities (decay). The decay in your tooth eats away healthy tooth structure much like rust eats away at metal. If not removed, decay will deteriorate the tooth to the point where extraction is the only viable treatment option. Sometimes, decay is removed, leaving healthy tooth structure but not much of it. A crown can then be placed, restoring the look and function of your tooth, while allowing you to keep your natural, underlying tooth structure. Most crowns are precision-milled porcelain or full metal (gold or silver) and are individually customized for each application in each patient, giving you a natural, long-lasting smile.

Q: I know I need X-rays, but I prefer not to be exposed to unnecessary radiation. Do you offer digital X-rays?
A: Yes, we do offer digital X-rays (radiographs). Digital X-rays use less radiation and are safer for you than traditional film-based X-rays. You will find that at The Dental Suite, we research the latest trends in technology to find the solutions that promote your overall health, safety, and comfort.

Q: How does fluoride help my teeth?
A: Research shows that fluoride reduces cavities in both children and in adults by halting tooth decay. It also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay even before the decay becomes visible. Interestingly, many people continue to be misinformed about fluoride and fluoridation. Fluoride is a safe chemical component when used correctly. When your dentist applies fluoride to your teeth, usually in the form of a fluoride varnish, gel, or foam, that fluoride is more concentrated than the fluoride contained in toothpaste or mouthwash. The ADA recommends that dental professionals use any of the professional strength, fluoride varnish, gel, or foam products carrying the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Q: How can losing a back tooth affect my smile?
A: Losing a back tooth will darken your overall smile, making it look smaller and narrower. Your smile will appear to stop short, and the look will be exaggerated if your missing tooth has teeth on both sides of it. Function during chewing will be reduced, and function of many teeth can be affected by losing just one tooth. When you are missing a tooth, you compensate by chewing differently, putting pressure on different parts of your mouth. This can cause your other teeth to shift, creating gaps and spaces, and may even cause fractures that result in additional tooth loss or the need for restorations.

Q: What are my options to replace a missing tooth?
A: By replacing missing teeth either with a bridge or an implant, you will alleviate the problems associated with missing a tooth and will restore your smile to its beautiful, full appearance. A bridge is one solution for replacing a tooth. By using neighboring teeth as the supportive structure, your dentist at The Dental Suite places a porcelain restoration into the vacant space, restoring the functionality and look of your smile. A dental implant is also an excellent solution. Dental implants involve the placement of a titanium post directly into the jawbone. Once the post has bonded to the bone, it can act as a new, solid support for a natural looking, porcelain restoration. Implants can replace a single tooth or an entire set of teeth, offering more function and permanence than traditional dentures.

Q: Do you accept new patient referrals?
A: Over the years, patients have given us the compliment of referring family and friends to The Dental Suite. Our reputation for excellent dental care depends on two things ― our good work and your beautiful smile! Your confidence in our care motivates us to continue to strive for excellence. Thank you for your referrals. Your trust and support are greatly appreciated.

Q: I want and need a lot of dental work, but I’m afraid I can’t afford it. Do you offer monthly payment plans?
A: Yes, we do offer monthly payment plans through our financial partner, CareCredit™. We provide a variety of ways for you to pay for your treatment so that it fits comfortably into your personal or family financial goals. Our team works with you to create the solution that best accommodates you so you can have the beautiful, healthy smile you have always desired.

Q: My gums bleed. Why is this?
A: Gums affected by periodontal disease become red and inflamed, often bleeding during brushing or flossing. Timely treatment can reverse these conditions. However, if these conditions are ignored, your periodontal disease can worsen, becoming a condition called periodontitis. Periodontitis is much more difficult to treat.

Periodontitis affects your gums, bone, and teeth in a manner that cannot be reversed. To prevent tooth loss, you may require more extensive, specialized treatment from your general dentist or even from a periodontist. If left untreated, periodontitis results in tooth loss ― teeth either fall out on their own or must be extracted. If you don’t diagnose and treat periodontitis in its early stages, you may require extensive surgery to save your teeth, and you may put yourself at risk for other serious health problems.

Q: What is periodontal disease?
A: Gums affected by periodontal disease become red and inflamed, often times bleeding during brushing or flossing. If treated in a timely manner, these conditions can be reversed, preventing periodontal disease from developing. Periodontitis is much more difficult to treat.

Q: How do sealants protect teeth?
A: A sealant is a plastic material that is usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars). This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids and guarding against disease-causing bacteria.

Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth; however, toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to efficiently extract food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by "sealing out" plaque and food.

Q: How can porcelain veneers help my smile?
A: Porcelain veneers improve your smile by correcting a multitude of cosmetic concerns, including:  gaps in teeth; chipped and broken teeth; dull or yellowing teeth that cannot be whitened with traditional means; “gummy smiles” (showing too much gum when one smiles); and, crooked teeth. Porcelain veneers broaden, straighten, whiten, and beautify most any smile. This procedure can be done in as little as two clinical visits. Many of our patients feel like this was the best improvement they could have made for their overall confidence. Ask us at your next visit about how porcelain veneers can improve your smile, or send us an email.

Q: I want my teeth to be whiter. Do you recommend at-home or in-office whitening?
A: Dentist-directed, at-home whitening and in-office whitening procedures are both effective ways of brightening your smile. In either case, your dentist customizes the treatment to ensure your happiness with the results.

Your custom home-whitening kit involves a special tray that is customized to fit over your teeth. You also receive prescription whitening gel, which is inserted into the tray before you wear it. Dr. Nick and Dr. Ashley give you detailed instructions about how long you should wear the tray each day, and you should expect the entire home-whitening process to take between two and four weeks, leaving you with a dazzling smile.

If you desire immediate results, visit The Dental Suite for an in-office whitening procedure. Again, the treatment utilizes a special tray that fits around your teeth. However, with your dentist’s supervision, a much more powerful whitening gel is used, giving you amazing results in just a few hours!

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