Questions And Answers

What can be done to brighten my smile?

Tooth whitening lightens discolored enamel and dentin. Studies have shown that proper use of dentist-monitored, whitening systems can enhance your smile. Almost anyone can benefit. After a thorough examination and diagnosis, your prosthodontist can determine if you are a good candidate for home whitening.

What are veneers?

Veneers may be an option if you are not happy with the spaces, color, or shape of your teeth. Following a slight preparation of the outermost surface of your teeth, a prosthodontist bonds a thin layer of porcelain permanently to the front of your teeth. Veneers may be used to correct minor flaws of an individual tooth, but are often used on multiple teeth to create a uniform smile.

What are some options for replacing a defective filling?

Unsightly fillings can be replaced by a tooth-colored material bonded to the tooth. Instead of using the more traditional cement, this bonding process may actually improve the strength and beauty of the tooth.

What are some options for replacing missing teeth?

From implants to permanent bridges, you have several options to replace missing teeth and blend them with your natural teeth. Using advanced materials and tooth-color matching techniques, your prosthodontist can recommend the appropriate method for optimal function and esthetics.

What is a crown?

When a tooth exhibits moderate to severe destruction such as a large filling with recurrent decay or extensive wear, a crown, also known as a protective cap, gives you the strength, beauty, translucency, and feel of a natural tooth. Made from a variety of materials, your prosthodontist can help determine the correct crown for your mouth.

What's a good way to brush my teeth?

Proper tooth brushing habits are the key to maintaining a healthy, pain-free mouth. Whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush, the same principles apply to develop the correct tooth brushing techniques. Because it is important to clean your gums as well as your teeth and to avoid damaging the gums, you should always use a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Clean the area where the gums meet the teeth by placing the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, touching both the gums and the teeth and make small circles with the brush for several seconds. Then move the brush to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth and clean them with a front to back motion of the toothbrush. Electronic toothbrushes may enhance the proper tooth brushing techniques by automatically providing the proper cleansing motion and encouraging specific time interval, usually two minutes, for a thorough cleaning.

How do I know if I'm flossing correctly?

Flossing is easy once you get in the habit of flossing regularly. The technique is the same for all types of floss:

  • Take approximately 16-18 inches of floss and wrap it around your fingers.
  • Use your thumb and index finger to gently guide the floss between the teeth and through the contact area.
  • When you reach the gum line, carefully move the floss up and down against each tooth reaching under the gum.
  • Readjust the floss to use a clean section for every two teeth.

Initially the gums may bleed when flossing, but with continued and regular tooth flossing the gums will become healthy and stop bleeding.