Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Some people experience pain or infections around their wisdom teeth, while others never do. If your wisdom teeth are difficult to clean, it can make them prone to decay or disease…which can spread to your neighboring teeth. If we see that there are potential problems with the eruption of your wisdom tooth, we may recommend having it removed proactively.
Why Do I Need a Root Canal?
A root canal is like a filling that goes into the nerve chamber of your tooth. It is needed when the inside of the tooth is infected. Otherwise, you would be patching a filling over the infection and sealing the bacteria in…which would lead to recurring abscesses.
Can My Abscessed Tooth be Treated With Antibiotics?
In short, no. However, we may need to use antibiotics to clear up the initial infection before starting your root canal. Because there is a leak or decay somewhere on your tooth, the infection would continue to reoccur without the root canal treatment.
Why Do I Need a Crown? Can’t You Just Fill My Tooth Instead?
Fillings are always preferred as a minimally invasive option if you have enough healthy tooth structure to support them. Unfortunately, severe decay or a non-vital tooth doesn’t leave enough strong enamel to encase a filling. Instead, a crown is needed over the tooth to distribute the weight of normal biting and chewing.
Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?
Tooth sensitivity can come from a number of causes. Whitening toothpaste or cold beverages are a common example. If you have receding gumlines from periodontal disease, it can make you more prone to sensitive teeth. Sensitivity to heat is usually a sign of nerve damage. Sweet sensitivity is a red flag for cavities.
Why Does My Child Need a Filling if Their Tooth is Going to Fall Out Later Anyway?
Excellent question! Your child’s baby teeth act as very important guides to direct the permanent teeth into their appropriate place. If we pull the tooth too early, orthodontic concerns can arise. The tooth will need to be filled, because baby teeth decay very quickly. If we left the cavity, it could cause an infection in the teeth around it.
I Chipped My Tooth. What Should I Do?
If possible, find the tooth fragment and immediately put it in a cup of milk (or tucked inside of your cheek) and bring it straight to our office. We may be able to bond it back in place.
My Tooth Hurts. Do I Need to See a Dentist Right Away?
If your pain is keeping you from performing normal daily activities, such as going to work or school, call our office immediately.
What Does My Insurance Cover?
Our treatment coordinators can show you a breakdown of your estimated insurance benefits and how they relate to any treatment that has been prescribed. We always want you to be fully aware of your estimated out of pocket expenses before starting any procedure.
Why Do I Need a “Deep Cleaning” if I Just Want a Regular Cleaning?
“Regular” cleanings are designed to prevent gum disease and remove minor amounts of buildup that collect between your checkups. If you haven’t had a cleaning in years or do not floss routinely, this may mean that there is a significant amount of buildup that has collected deep under your gum tissues. The area of gum disease requires much more time to clean.
Why Do I Have to Have Dental X-rays So Often?
Although it may feel like you’re always getting x-rays, we only prescribe them as what is appropriate to the standard of care. X-rays are essential to screen for cavities and infection that isn’t visible to the naked eye during your exam. You might be surprised to learn that the radiation is even lower than what you would be exposed to on an airplane trip!
Do I Need Braces?
We’ll be happy to evaluate your bite to determine if you could benefit from orthodontic treatment. Some reasons braces may be needed include malocclusion, crowding, gum disease, TMJ disorder, or abnormal tooth wear.