Here are some of the most commonly asked questions. If you do not see an answer to a question you may have, please do not hesitate to email or call us. A dental exam may also help.

Click on a question below to see the answer.

Q: What should I do if I have bad breath?

The first thing you should do if you have bad breath is to see your dentist! This is because you want to know the culprit of the bad breath. Is it from gum disease, cavities, or from your stomach. Gum disease, cavities, bacteria on your tongue, dry mouth, or even digestive problems can all cause bad breath because of bacteria or dead tissue. Dry mouth is also a problem that is often not diagnosed. Dry mouth is usually caused by medications or systemic disease. Having dry mouth (also known as xerostomia) causes the loss the protective effect of saliva and because of this the bacteria flourish, causing bad breath and cavities. Make sure that you are always hydrated, flossing, and brushing your tongue and teeth.

Q: How often should I brush and floss?

You should brush and floss everyday. Flossing at least once a day and brushing with a soft toothbrush twice a day.

Q: Are amalgam (silver) fillings safe?

According to the ADA and clinical studies, amalgam is a safe and acceptable restoration. In terms of which is better is an important issue that all patients should be aware of. Composite restorations are generally more technique sensitive (higher chance of tooth sensitivity), more conservative (less removal of tooth structure vs amalgam), and more cosmetically pleasing. Amalgam requires removal of more tooth structure resulting in a weaker tooth in the long term but it is also less expensive and less technique sensitive.

Q: How often should I have a dental exam and cleaning?

It is recommended that a dental exam and cleaning should be done at least every 6 months. Some patients require cleaning more often. This all depends on the patients oral hygiene, risks to cavities and gum disease.

Q: What are the different types of crowns available?

There are numerous options for crowns, not just one! For back teeth, you have the option of all gold, porcelain fused to gold, porcelain fused to metal, and Zirconia crowns. Which one is better? That is up to what you want! All gold crowns are usually the most advantageous in terms of treatment. They wear the same as natural tooth, are conservative( less tooth reduction), biocompatible, but cost the most (due to price of gold) and are not to some people esthetically pleasing. Procealin fused to gold (PFG) is porcelain with a gold substructure. This makes it esthetically pleasing, is biocompatible, less expnsive than all gold, but requires more tooth reduction and can wear opposing tooth strucutre over time becasuse porcelain is more abrasive than enamel. The cheapest way to go is the porcelain fused to metal. The advantage of this is cost (no gold in the metal), esthetics, looks like a regular tooth because of the porcelain over it. The disadvanage is you dont know exactly what type of metal is being used (silver, tin etc..), the porcealin can fracture more readily and sometimes it can have more distortion which can result in the crown not ftting which would require a remake. The other option is a Zirconia crown. This is relatively new to the dental practice (5 years). The main advantage is esthetics. There is no dark metal underneath (the substructure in this case is a white metal made of Zirconium rather than a metallic color)which gives it good etethics and strength. The only issue with these crowns is higher chance of fracture and cost. ITs not as good for back teeth vs an all gold or porcelain fused to gold. Usually this is recommend for bicuspids or front teeth. But always remember that even the best restorations can fail because of hygiene, trauma, or lack of care.