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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different types of dental fillings available?
There are several types of dental fillings, including amalgam (silver) fillings, composite (tooth-colored) fillings, ceramic fillings, and gold fillings. The choice of filling material depends on factors such as the location of the tooth, aesthetic preferences, and budget.
What are inlays and onlays?
Inlays and onlays are dental restorations used to repair teeth with moderate to extensive decay or damage. They are custom-made restorations created in a dental laboratory and then bonded to the affected tooth for a precise and durable fit.
How are inlays and onlays different from dental fillings?
Inlays and onlays are larger restorations that cover a larger portion of the tooth compared to fillings. They provide additional strength and support to the tooth structure, making them suitable for more extensive damage or decay.
Does a root canal treatment hurt?
The procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia, so you should not feel any pain during the treatment. However, you may experience some discomfort or sensitivity in the days following the procedure, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.
How long does it take to get used to wearing dentures?
It may take a few weeks to get used to wearing dentures and develop the proper speaking and chewing function. Initially, you may experience some soreness or discomfort, but with time and practice, these issues usually resolve.
How long does a dental crown last?
The lifespan of a dental crown depends on various factors, such as oral hygiene practices, habits like teeth grinding, and the material used. On average, a dental crown can last between 10 to 15 years or even longer with proper care.
How long does a dental bridge last?
With proper oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups, a dental bridge can last for many years, typically ranging from 5 to 15 years or even longer.
What is laser dentistry?
Laser dentistry involves the use of specialized dental lasers to perform various dental procedures. It offers advantages such as minimallyinvasive treatments, reduced discomfort, faster healing times, and precise results.
What dental procedures can be performed with lasers?
Dental lasers can be used for a variety of procedures, including gum disease treatment, cavity detection, tooth preparation for fillings, gum reshaping, lesion removal, teeth whitening, and more. Your dentist will determine if laser dentistry is suitable for your specific needs.
Why do wisdom teeth need to be extracted?
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, often require extraction due to various reasons such as inadequate space in the mouth, impaction, improper alignment, risk of decay or infection, and potential damage to surrounding teeth or structures.
Does wisdom teeth extraction hurt?
Wisdom teeth extraction is typically performed under local anesthesia, ensuring that you do not feel pain during the procedure. You may experience some discomfort and swelling afterward, but your dentist will provide post-operative instructions and may prescribe pain medication to manage any discomfort.
What is TMJ disorder or TMD?
TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) disorder, often referred to as TMD, encompasses various conditions that affect the jaw joint and surrounding muscles. It can result in jaw pain, clicking or popping sounds, difficulty in opening or closing the mouth, and other related symptoms.
How is TMJ disorder treated?
TMJ disorder treatment varies depending on the specific diagnosis and severity of the condition. It may involve conservative approaches like lifestyle changes, stress management, jaw exercises, oral splints or nightguards, physical therapy, or in some cases, more advanced treatments like orthodontics or surgery.
Why are routine dental cleanings important?
Routine dental cleanings are essential for maintaining optimal oral health. They involve the removal of plaque, tartar, and stains from your teeth, along with a thorough examination of your oral cavity. Regular cleanings help prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and other dental issues.
How often should I have routine dental cleanings?
It is generally recommended to have a professional dental cleaning every six months. However, the frequency may vary based on your specific oral health needs. Your dentist will assess your condition and recommend the appropriate interval for your routine cleanings.
What are Invisalign clear aligners?
Invisalign is a clear aligner system that straightens teeth without the use of traditional metal braces. It uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually shift teeth into the desired position.
How long does Invisalign treatment take?
The duration of Invisalign treatment varies depending on individual needs. On average, treatment can last anywhere from 6 to 18 months. Your dentist will provide a personalized treatment plan and timeline during the initial consultation.
What are veneers?
Veneers are thin, custom-made shells made of tooth-colored materials (such as porcelain) that are bonded to the front surface of teeth. They are used to improve the appearance of teeth by altering their shape, color, size, or alignment.
Are veneers permanent?
Veneers are considered a permanent cosmetic dental treatment, as a small amount of enamel is typically removed to ensure a proper fit. However, they may need to be replaced over time due to normal wear or if damage occurs.
What is in-office teeth whitening?
In-office teeth whitening is a professional teeth whitening treatment performed at the dental office using high-concentration whitening agents and advanced technology. It is a safe and effective way to achieve a brighter, whiter smile in a short amount of time.
How long does in-office teeth whitening last?
The longevity of teeth whitening results varies depending on individual habits, such as oral hygiene practices and consumption of staining foods or drinks. With proper care, in-office teeth whitening results can last from several months to a couple of years.
What is cosmetic bonding?
Cosmetic bonding is a procedure that involves the application of a tooth-colored composite resin to repair chipped, cracked, or discolored teeth. It can also be used to close small gaps between teeth and improve their overall appearance.
How long does cosmetic bonding last?
The lifespan of cosmetic bonding depends on various factors, such as oral hygiene practices, bite forces, and the location of the bonding. With proper care and regular dental check-ups, cosmetic bonding can last for several years.
When should my child have their first dental cleaning?
It is recommended that children have their first dental cleaning by the age of one or within six months after their first tooth erupts. Early dental visits help establish a foundation for good oral health and allow the dentist to monitor your child's dental development.
How often should my child have dental cleanings?
Typically, children should have dental cleanings every six months. However, the frequency may vary depending on your child's specific oral health needs and the dentist's recommendation.
What are dental sealants?
Dental sealants are thin, protective coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth (molars and premolars). They act as a barrier, preventing the accumulation of plaque and bacteria in the deep grooves and pits of the teeth.
When should dental sealants be applied to my child's teeth?
Dental sealants are usually applied to permanent molars as soon as they erupt, typically around the ages of 6 and 12. Applying sealants early helps protect the vulnerable chewing surfaces of the teeth from decay.
What is the importance of preventative care for children's oral health?
Preventative care is crucial for maintaining optimal oral health in children. It includes regular dental check-ups, cleanings, fluoride treatments, dental sealants, and education on proper oral hygiene practices. These measures help prevent cavities, gum disease, and other dental issues.
How can I help my child maintain good oral hygiene at home?
You can help your child maintain good oral hygiene by encouraging them to brush their teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste, teaching them proper brushing and flossing techniques, and promoting a healthy diet low in sugary snacks and beverages.
Disclaimer: Please note that the provided information above is based on general knowledge, and it's always recommended to consult with Dr. Lance Stolworthy, or our dental team for personalized advice and recommendations regarding your or your child's specific dental needs and conditions. For any questions or concerns, please call our Port Orchard office at (360) 876-3171.