Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Dentistry With A Smile is your resource for Family and Cosmetic dentistry. Let us be your resource to all your dentistry needs. Below are some frequently asked questions. If you have any questions that are not answered here, please feel free to contact us.
1. Does bleaching damage the teeth? No. When carbamide peroxide, the active whitening agent, contacts water, hydrogen peroxide is released which whitens the teeth. Bleaching does not soften, demineralize or weaken the teeth.
2. Do over-the-counter bleaching products work? There is some evidence that over-the-counter bleaching products do whiten teeth, however, many of the products are too abrasive and can damage the teeth with extended use or misuse. Supervision by your dentist is always the safest and most effective way to whiten your teeth.
3. What are porcelain veneers and why are they used? Porcelain veneers are ultra-thin shells of ceramic material which are bonded to the front of the teeth. This procedure can be an ideal choice for improving the appearance of the front teeth by masking discolorations, whitening teeth and/or reshaping a smile.
4. What causes my jaw to pop when I open it? There is a pad or disk that separates the jaw bone from the base of the skull. The primary cause of the “popping” occurs when you open your mouth too wide and the jaw bone “pops” off the pad or disk. Treatment is not required unless pain is associated with the “pop” or the jaw locks.
5. What causes tooth decay? Tooth decay is caused by plaque in your mouth reacting with sugary and starchy deposits from food. This reaction produces acid which damages the enamel over time and weakens the tooth.
6. What can be done for ulcers or canker sores in the mouth? Ulcers are very difficult to treat. There is no proven technique that will eliminate ulcers or speed the recovery time once they appear. There are a few medications that will give temporary relief from the pain, but they need to be started as soon as symptoms appear. Ulcers will generally diminish and disappear in 7-10 days.
7. How can I stop grinding my teeth at night? Grinding your teeth can be very damaging to the teeth and also difficult to stop. If vigorous grinding occurs at night, teeth can be worn down to the gumline because the instinctive reflex to stop does not work while you are sleeping. Grinding due to stress can only be cured by removing the stress trigger. If grinding continues, a nightguard may be prescribed to prevent ultimate damage to the teeth.
8. Are there any alternatives to dentures? Dentures are no longer the only way to restore a mouth that has little or no non-restorable teeth. Strategically placed support, or implants, can now be used to support permanently cemented bridges, eliminating the need for a denture. The cost tends to be greater, but the implants and bridges more closely resemble the “feel” of real teeth. Dental implants are becoming the alternative of choice to dentures, but not everyone is a candidate for implants. Call your dentist for advice.