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Periodontal FAQ

frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

What is laser periodontal treatment?

LANAP (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure) is an exciting new process in which a ND:YAG laser (similar to the laser that plastic surgeons use to resurface skin) is used to remove pathologic bacteria and infected tissue from periodontal pockets. This gives the gum tissue a chance to heal and leads to regeneration of lost tooth support structures, including bone. The procedure involves no sutures, no incisions, little post-operative discomfort, little or no bleeding, and you can return to your normal routine the same day (diet and exercise restrictions apply). There is also very little gum recession, whereas conventional flap surgery yields considerable recession.



Which type of toothbrush should I use?

The brand of the toothbrush is not as critical as the type of bristle and the size of the head. A soft toothbrush with a small head is recommended because medium and hard brushes tend to cause irritation and contribute to recession of the gums, and a small head allows you to get around each tooth more completely and is less likely to injure your gums. It's unnecessary to "scrub" the teeth as long as you are brushing at least twice a day and visiting your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings.


Is one toothpaste better than others?

Generally, no. However, it's advisable to use a fluoride containing toothpaste to decrease the incidence of dental decay. We recommend our patients use what tastes good to them as long as it contains fluoride.


How often should I floss?

Flossing of the teeth once per day helps to prevent cavities from forming between the teeth where your toothbrush can't reach. Flossing also helps to keep your gums healthy.


What's the difference between a "crown" and a "cap"?

These are restorations to repair a severely broken tooth by covering all or most of the tooth after removing old fillings, fractured tooth structure, and all decay. The restoration material is made of gold, porcelain, composites, or even stainless steel. Dentists refer to all of these restorations as "crowns." However, patients often refer to the tooth-colored ones as "caps" and the gold or stainless steel ones as "crowns."


What's the difference between a "bridge" and a "partial denture"?

Both bridges and partial dentures replace missing teeth. A bridge is permanently attached to abutment teeth or, in some cases, implants. A partial denture is attached by clasps to the teeth and is easily removed by the patient. Patients are usually more satisfied with bridges than with partial dentures.


What about "silver" fillings versus "white" fillings?

Although the U.S. Public Health Service issued a report in 1993 stating there is no health reason not to use amalgam (silver fillings), more patients today are requesting "white" or tooth-colored composite fillings. We also prefer tooth-colored fillings because they "bond" to the tooth structure and therefore help strengthen a tooth weakened by decay. White fillings are also usually less sensitive to temperature, and they also look better. However, "white" fillings cannot be used in every situation, and if a tooth is very badly broken-down, a crown will usually be necessary and provide better overall satisfaction for the patient.


Do I need to have a root canal just because I have to have a crown?

No. While most teeth which have had root canal treatments do need crowns to strengthen the teeth and to return the teeth to normal form and function, not every tooth needing a crown also needs to have a root canal.


Office Hours

Our office is open Tuesday through Friday, with hours that can accommodate most any schedule. We know that your time is important, and we work to ensure your visit is scheduled as professionally and quickly as possible.

  • Monday:     Closed
  • Tuesday:     8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Wednesday:     8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Thursday:     8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Friday:     8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Emergency and After Hours

We know dental emergencies are never convenient or timely and we are commited to our patients' health no matter the time.

If you are a current patient, and have a dental emergency after regular office hours, please call us at 713.299.9193.