Q) How do I know when it is time to come in for a checkup?
We recommend that patients with good oral health schedule a checkup and hygiene visit twice each year. If you need more frequent visits, we'll let you know. Checkups are important because, even if you don't notice any pain or problems with your teeth, we may find signs of potential issues. For instance, demineralization is a precursor to decay, oral cancer often goes undetected until the later stages, and gum disease can be very stealthy. At your hygiene appointment, we'll clean plaque, tartar, and hardened food particles from your teeth. We'll also make sure your gums are healthy and strong.
Q) Why are checkups recommended every six months, even for people with great oral health?
Early detection allows us to provide the most conservative treatment, which saves you time, expense, and possible discomfort. We can also use these visits to look for gum disease, another common problem that often isn’t caught until damage has been done.
Q) What is an implant and how long do they last?
Implant restorations are a safe alternative to bridges, partials, or full dentures. They look, feel, and function like natural teeth because of a titanium anchor attached to the jawbone. Once the implants are secured, your dentist will attach a handcrafted, permanent crown to each post. The restorations will match your natural teeth and blend seamlessly with your smile. The life of the implant depends on your age, oral status, and personal hygiene. With proper maintenance, they last most people a lifetime.
Q) What happens if missing teeth are not replaced?
Missing teeth can lead to a host of other problems, including additional tooth loss. Research shows that if a missing tooth is not replaced, up to 20% of adjacent teeth are likely to fall out in the next 4 to 8 years. Missing teeth also cause remaining teeth to shift (which leaves unsightly gaps), food impaction, bite collapse, chewing alteration, and TMJ pain. You’re also more susceptible to gum disease, a serious health condition that can significantly shorten your life span.
Q) What are the benefits of a digital X-ray over traditional radiographs?
Digital X-rays offer unparalleled benefits over traditional radiographs: they’re convenient, safe for the environment, provide a great opportunity for patient education, can be transferred and copied accurately, and best of all, they’re safer for our patients. Digital X-rays emit about 80% less radiation than traditional methods.