Here you will find questions we often get from our new and established patients. If you do not see your question, please contact us during normal business hours or submit your question on the form available on this page.
Everyone knows that cavities are bad, but a surprising amount of people don’t know exactly what cavities are. A cavity is simply a small hole in the tooth that develops as a result of tooth decay. In other words, decay eats away at the tooth and results in a void space that disrupts the structure of the tooth. It’s important to get cavities repaired because they will continue to grow larger with time.
Many diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissues cannot be seen when the dentist examines the mouth. An X-ray examination may reveal:
- small areas of decay between the teeth or below existing restorations (fillings)
- infections in the bone
- periodontal (gum) disease
- abscesses or cysts
- developmental abnormalities
- some types of tumors
Dental x-rays are very safe. The amount of radiation that a dental x-ray produces is about the same as you would receive from a cross country airplane ride. Radiation is measured in millirems and one dental x-ray has only .5 millirems.
Flossing reduces the number of bacteria in your mouth. There are millions of these microscopic creatures feeding on food particles left on your teeth. These bacteria live in plaque which can be removed by flossing. Brushing your teeth gets rid of some of the bacteria in your mouth. Flossing gets rid of the bacteria the toothbrush can’t get to. That’s the bacteria hiding in the tiny spaces between your teeth. If you do not floss, you allow plaque to remain between your teeth. Eventually it hardens into tartar. Plaque can be removed by brushing. Only the dentist can remove tartar.
There are a few different ideas swirling around out there about how frequently you actually need to visit the dentist. Most people need to visit their dentist for a regular hygiene visit twice a year, or once every six months. There are exceptions to this rule, however. If you have gum disease, or a history of gum disease, your dentist may recommend more frequent visits. The bottom line is that you need to at least see the dentist twice a year and you need to comply if it is recommended that you make those visits more frequent.
Please bring the following items with you to your appointment:
- Identification such as Driver’s License, Military ID or State ID
- Dental Insurance Card (if applicable)
Please be sure to request a prescription prior to your appointment, or if you are unsure, contact us and we can help.
Yes. Please arrive 10-15 minutes early to fill out new patient forms.