Our Pearland Dental Practice Offers Answers
How do I know when it is time to come in for a checkup?
We recommend that patients with good oral health schedule a checkup and hygiene visit twice each year. If you need more frequent visits, we’ll let you know. Checkups are important because, even if you don’t notice any pain or problems with your teeth, we may find signs of potential problems. For instance, demineralization is a precursor to decay, oral cancer often goes undetected until the later stages, and gum disease can be very stealthy. At your hygiene appointment, we’ll clean plaque, tartar, and hardened food particles from your teeth. We’ll also make sure your gums are healthy and strong.
Why are checkups recommended every six months, even for people with great oral health?
We use DIAGNOdent laser cavity detection to find cavities in the earliest stages, and often that means that you don’t see or feel them. Early detection allows us to provide the most conservative treatment, which saves you time, expense, and possible discomfort. We also use the Vizilite to screen for oral cancer, a disease that will affect more than 30-thousand Americans this year. Oral cancer is deadly, but early detection offers an 80-percentcure rate. Gum disease is another serious problem that we try to catch early. It has been linked to stroke, heart attack, osteoporosis, and other health risks, and it is the leading cause of tooth loss in American adults.
Do I need X-rays?
To provide optimal care, we take bitewing X-rays once a year and a 3D CT X-ray every three to five years. Because we use a digital system, our patients are exposed to about 80-percent less radiation than with a traditional radiograph. X-rays and intraoral photographs help us track your oral health and address problems early, when conservative dentistry can correct most issues. If you haven’t had a checkup and X-rays in a while, call us for an appointment.
I brush every day, but my breath just is not fresh. Is there anything I can do?
In your checkup, we can look for the cause of your bad breath, also known as halitosis. Some patients suffer from bad breath caused by tooth decay, gum disease, or a smelly substance put off by bacteria. With modern procedures and products to promote fresh breath, our team can help you regain your confidence!
My gums bleed after I brush. Is this something to be concerned about?
Bleeding is usually a sign of a problem. When gums bleed, the cause usually stems from early-stage gum disease, called gingivitis. We can consult with you on the proper toothbrush and pressure for safe, effective daily oral care. If your gums show signs of gum disease, we may recommend a deep hygiene treatment to stop the disease and return your gums to good health. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for American adults, and it has been linked to many overall health conditions, including stroke, heart attack, and respiratory problems. We may also recommend salivary diagnostic tests to identify certain gum disease causing bacteria which can perpetuate infection. With this knowledge, we can more accurately treat the infection with antibiotics and appropriate maintenance. Untreated, gum disease can escalate to create significant damage to your health, so call for an assessment now. We will help you keep your teeth and gums healthy for life!
What is an implant and how long do they last?
Implant restorations are a safe alternative to bridges, partials, or full dentures. They look, feel, and function like natural teeth because of a titanium anchor attached to the jawbone. Once the implants are secured, your dentist will attach a handcrafted, permanent crown to each post. The restorations will match your natural teeth and blend seamlessly with your smile. The life of the implant depends on your age, oral status, and personal hygiene. With proper maintenance, they last most people a lifetime.
What are my options to replace missing teeth?
We offer bridgework, partials, full dentures, and implant restorations to replace missing teeth. Learn more about these services on our services page, then call for a consultation. With X-rays, intraoral photos, and a thorough assessment of your dentition, the dentist can help you decide which replacement option will be best for you.
How does gum disease affect the body?
It hides in your mouth, destroying gum tissue and teeth, and it can lead to strokes, heart attacks, and pregnancy complications. Don’t think it’s your problem? Conservative estimates report that up to 80 percent of the population unknowingly has gum disease in some form.
Is there a correlation between my overall health and the health of my mouth?
Studies have shown that periodontal (gum) disease has been linked with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even low birth-weight babies. Abscesses and low-grade infections in your mouth can cause your body’s immune system to work harder as well. In our office, we routinely screen for periodontal disease and check for hidden abscesses that can be caught early to prevent more costly and damaging treatment at a later date.
How can I improve my smile?
That sounds like an easy question to answer, but it isn’t! Your smile is unique, and we won’t compromise your individuality with smile enhancements. Smile design dentistry done right requires an initial consultation in which we will discuss your goals, preferences, and options for care. Generally speaking, we may suggest porcelain veneers or Lumineers, teeth whitening, all-white restorations, and/or replacement teeth. Orthodontics may also be involved. After your comprehensive evaluation and consultation, we’ll present a smile makeover plan for your new smile. We offer digital imaging for smile previews, as well.
What is cosmetic dentistry?
Also called aesthetic or esthetic dentistry, cosmetic dentistry includes all dental procedures that enhance the appearance of your smile. Veneers, whitening, and tooth-colored restorations are a few of the cosmetic dental procedures we offer here in our office. An important part of cosmetic dentistry is also functionality of dental work. We focus on not only making your smile look terrific, but also on restoring or maintaining completely comfortable function of your teeth and bite. Ask us about smile analysis and smile makeovers at your next appointment.
Would I be a good candidate for cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is for people who take pride in their appearance and have the desire for an attractive smile. Nothing can detract from your image or persona more than a dingy, unattractive smile. The advanced training our team and doctors have allows us to provide you with the best results possible. It could be something as simple as whitening your teeth or it could be porcelain veneers that change the look and shape of your teeth that will give you the smile of a lifetime. All of our patients who have had cosmetic dentistry have expressed how much better it has made them feel about themselves and how they tend to smile all the time now! With today’s technology, there is no reason not to take advantage of the wonderful cosmetic dental services we can offer you.
How long does it take to achieve a gorgeous smile?
Certainly it depends on what services will be provided, but once the diagnostics and treatment plan have been completed, a few visits over the course of about a month is all it takes. That’s right, in just a few weeks’ time; you can have a fabulous new smile that will last a lifetime!
Wouldn’t whitening be sufficient to give me the attractive smile I desire?
It depends on the appearance of your teeth. If your teeth are crooked, chipped, and crowded, then whitening them will only give you white crooked, chipped, and crowded teeth. A situation like that may require porcelain restorations to give you the desired result. Porcelain restorations can overcome all of those imperfections at the same time. However, if you are happy with the alignment and shape of your teeth, then whitening will give you a youthful, dazzling smile
How can I make my smile brighter?
We offer custom-made take-home trays with professional whitening gel for safe and effective teeth whitening in the comfort of your own home. Home whitening yields excellent results – up to eight shades or better! Two weeks of use produces optimal results, but if your teeth reach the desired shade before then, simply discontinue treatment. We also offer Zoom-in-office laser whitening to help you achieve that movie star smile you always wanted!
What is the difference between veneers and Lumineers?
Lumineers are actually a brand of veneers that requires minimal or no tooth preparation prior to placement. Some patients prefer Lumineers because of the quick application and reduced risk for sensitivity. However, others prefer traditional veneers because of their completely customized design.
How can you straighten my smile without using metal braces?
Depending on your unique case, we may suggest porcelain veneers or Invisalign clear braces. Read more about these procedures in our services area.
I have old, dark fillings. Is there any hope for my smile?
Dark fillings and metal crowns can be replaced with strong, aesthetic solutions. Our dental team has years of experience restoring teeth with composite tooth-colored fillings for years, and we also offer porcelain crowns and veneers.
What is CEREC?
CEREC stands for CEramic REConstruction. It is a new technology that uses computer aided design and a camera to create a custom-fitted crown, inlay, or onlay in a milling machine at our office. What does this mean to you? One visit restorations! In a single visit, we can prepare your tooth, mill your restoration, and place the permanent crown, inlay, or onlay. You won’t have to worry about a temporary crown or follow-up visit. What more could you ask for?
I’ve seen other people’s crowns and they look fake. Would mine look the same?
Our team’s training in cosmetic dentistry gives us the ability to create a smile so natural that others cannot tell that porcelain restorations have been used. We use only “master” lab technicians to help us achieve these results. And since we do not use metal under our porcelain restorations, there will never be an unsightly black line you see in other people’s crowns.
I have chronic headaches. Can you help?
Chronic headaches may be a symptom of a misaligned bite, bruxism (grinding), or TMJ disorder. Your dentist will carefully examine your occlusion (bite), jaw, head, and neck to determine the underlying causes of your pain. Oftentimes, we can correct the problem with a custom nightguard. Call our office if you have more questions about headache relief with non-surgical therapies.
Do you accept referrals?
Yes, and thank you for your confidence. We appreciate your referrals and promise to extend the same comprehensive, caring service to your friends and coworkers that we give you every time you visit.
At what age do my children first need to see the dentist?
Typically we like to see patients when they’re about two to three years old, after all their baby teeth have come in. We’ll check them to see if there are any issues or concerns, and talk about important preventive measures (such as fluoride) or about any orthodontic problems we see. We’ll start your child off with a very positive experience of going to the dentist!
My child has had an accident and his/her tooth has been entirely knocked out. What do I do?
Place the tooth in a glass of milk and call or come in to our office as quickly as possible. Don’t forget to bring the tooth! Use a warm, wet washcloth to cover the gums where the tooth fell from.
Does the dentist see emergency cases?
Yes. We will see emergency cases during regular business hours. After hours, we offer a phone number on the answering machine, so patients of record can contact our dentist on call.
CALL OUR OFFICE today to schedule an appointment for friendly, unparalleled family and cosmetic dentistry!