Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Care

Everyone has questions about going to the dentist. Below are answers to some of the questions we hear most often about dental services. Have a question that isn’t addressed here? Contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment.

Click on one of the topics below to read common FAQs.

Q. What causes bad breath and how can I get rid of it?

A. Many things can cause bad breath, but in the healthy people the main cause is microbial deposits on the tongue, especially on the back of the tongue. Practicing good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day, flossing daily and using a brush or tongue scraper to clean the tongue and reach the back areas will prevent bad breath in most cases. It also helps to replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months, quit smoking, and see your dentist regularly.

Q. What is good oral hygiene?

A. Good oral hygiene consists of daily brushing and flossing of the teeth and cleaning the gums and tongue, combined with annual checkups performed by your dentist.

Q. What are the benefits of good oral hygiene?

A. Proper dental hygiene not only helps you to avoid tooth decay, bleeding gums and oral infections, but also can provide general health benefits, especially for those who have risk factors, such as diabetes or heart problems.

Q. Can diet affect my teeth?

A. Sugar is one of the leading causes of tooth decay. Avoid sugary foods and drinks, and choose foods such as cheese, fruit, nuts and vegetables instead.

Q. What is sedation dentistry?

A. Sedation dentistry uses a combination of techniques to relax the patient, providing safety and comfort while dental procedures are performed. Pain and discomfort are minimized or nonexistent and many patients will fall asleep or retain no memory of the procedure.

Q. Is sedation dentistry safe?

A. Before starting any treatment we will review your medical history and we will monitor you closely while you are under sedation.

Q. Does sedation dentistry have any side effects?

A. Most patients experience dry mouth while under sedation, and a few develop hiccups, but even if you exhibit these effects you will not remember them.

Q. How long does teeth whitening last?

A. Teeth whitening treatments will typically last for about 6 to 12 months with proper care. It is recommended that you ask your dentist to “touch up” your smile with maintenance applications after 4 to 6 months.

Q. Is teeth whitening expensive?

A. The cost of teeth whitening can depend upon what method of whitening is used. For example, over the counter kits usually cost $10 - $100, but results can vary widely. OTC whiteners may not whiten all affected areas because the trays are not custom fitted to fit your teeth. Many dentists offer take-home teeth whitening kits that are custom fit to your teeth and range in price from $100 to $400 and provide noticeable results in 1 – 2 weeks. Finally, in-office teeth whitening procedures are the most effective option, but also the most expensive, costing about $650 per visit. Depending on how stubborn the stains are on your teeth, it may take several visits to achieve complete success.

Q. Do implants require any special care or maintenance?

A. Implants do not require any special care beyond what is recommended for natural teeth. If you brush and floss regularly and return for regular checkups your implants should provide many years of service.

Q. How long will my dental implants last?

A. Just as natural teeth require proper care and hygiene to remain healthy, the life span of dental implants also depend upon the quality of care they receive at home and at the dental office. With oral hygiene and a competent dental practitioner your new implants could last for the rest of your life.

Q. Will my dental insurance pay for dental implants?

A. While some dental insurance plans provide complete coverage for dental implant procedures, others pay nothing, and some pay only a portion of the cost. Please check with your insurance provider to see if dental implants are covered by your plan.

Q. Are baby teeth really that important?

A. Primary teeth, also known as baby teeth, not only allow a child to speak clearly and chew naturally, they also create a path for the permanent teeth to erupt when the time comes. So yes, baby teeth are very important.

Q. Can pacifiers and thumb sucking harm my child’s teeth?

A. Thumb sucking and pacifiers typically become problematic only if the practice goes on for an extended period of time. Most children grow out of these behaviours on their own, but if your child is still sucking his or her thumb after the age of 3 you might want to ask your dentist to recommend a mouth appliance.

Q. What should I do if my child has a toothache?

A. Anyone who is suffering from a toothache should see a dentist as soon as possible. If your child is experiencing pain after office hours or at night you can rinse the affected area with warm salt water and place a cold compress on the face. Administer acetaminophen for pain and consult a dentist as soon as you can.

Q. What causes snoring?

A. Snoring is caused by the vibration or flapping of the tissues lining the air passages. Anatomy, injury and lifestyle choices, such as smoking, drinking alcohol and obesity are all factors that can contribute to snoring.

Q. Is snoring dangerous?

A. Snoring can contribute to fatigue and morning tiredness, which can affect alertness and cause us to make mistakes or have an accident. Snoring patients seem to experience an added risk for high blood pressure and stroke. When snoring is accompanied by sleep apnea, additional health risks may occur.

Q. What is sleep apnea?

A. Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is a medical condition that causes a blockage of the upper airway during sleep. It is usually associated with a reduction in the level of blood oxygen saturation. This change in oxygen is felt to be the cause of tiredness and poor sleep quality.

Q. What are some of the benefits of cosmetic dentistry?

A. A beautiful smile is a wonderful asset. It’s hard to feel confident when your smile is unattractive. Cosmetic dentistry can give you a smile that not only looks great but is healthy and functions better. Change your smile and change your life.

Q. What are some examples of cosmetic dental procedures?

A. Cosmetic dentistry describes a variety of dental procedures, including teeth whitening and straightening, teeth replacement, veneers and laminates.

Q. Is cosmetic dentistry expensive?

A. Like everything else, the cost of cosmetic dentistry depends on the products and services you want or need. Some insurance offer coverage, as well. Talk to your dentist to decide on treatments and payment options that are right for you.

Q. What are veneers?

A. Veneers are a shell or layer of tooth-coloured material that is placed over the facial surfaces of your teeth. They are used to correct the appearance of worn tooth enamel, uneven tooth alignment or spacing, tooth discolouration, and chips and cracks.

Q. What are the benefits of veneers?

A. Veneers are durable, provide protection for the surface of the teeth, and improve the appearance of your smile.

Q. Why choose a dental crown?

A. Crowns offer an ideal way to rebuild teeth that are broken or weakened by decay. The crown fits over the remaining part of the tooth, strengthening it and providing the shape and contour of a natural tooth.

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