Q: What should I expect on my first visit?
A: During your first visit to Audubon Dental, we will review your complete medical and dental history with you. It's extremely important for us to know if you are taking any medications or are being treated for any condition that can affect your periodontal care. You will be given a complete oral and periodontal exam. X-rays may be taken to check for cavities, bone loss, and other anomalies.
Q: What is the risk from having x-rays taken?
A: X-rays are often a necessary and valuable method of assessing your oral health in order for us to plan your treatment effectively. A very small amount of radiation is involved in taking a dental X-ray and the risk of exposure is minimal.
Q: Will my treatment/procedure hurt?
A: Audubon Dental uses the latest techniques and technology in order to provide a pain-free experience to all patients. Our highly skilled team of dentists and technicians will ensure that any treatment given is done so with minimum discomfort.
Q: Does my dental insurance pay for everything?
A: Definitely not, dental insurance helps with the cost of dental care, but it never covers 100% in most situations. Audubon Dental works with insurance companies to maximize your benefits, but we advise patients not to rely on their coverage for complete dental care. Financing is also available through CareCredit.
Q: How should I care for my teeth?
A: The best way to remove decay-causing plaque is by brushing and cleaning between your teeth every day. Brushing removes plaque from the tooth surfaces. Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth, allowing you to reach all areas easily. Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride, which helps protect your teeth from decay. Cleaning between the teeth once a day with floss removes plaque from between the teeth where the toothbrush can't reach. Click here to learn more about brushing & flossing.
Q: Why do I need to see the dentist every six months?
A: Preventive care by way of frequent check-ups is your best guarantee of preserving the health of your teeth. Even if you have the best oral hygiene habits you may have a genetic predisposition to tooth decay. Early diagnosis of decay is the key to minimizing its effect and saving your teeth from needing root canals or from breaking.
Q: How should I choose oral care products?
A: Make sure you choose products that carry the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance — an important symbol of a dental product's safety and effectiveness. Oral care products that may carry the ADA Seal include toothpaste, manual and electric toothbrushes, floss and other interdental cleaning aids, mouthrinses and oral irrigators.
Q: What is fluoride and does it really protect my teeth?
A: Fluoride is a natural mineral found throughout the earth's crust and widely distributed in nature. Some foods and water supplies contain fluoride. It makes the entire tooth structure more resistant to decay and promotes remineralization, which aids in repairing early decay before the damage is even visible. It is the single best element used to prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease.
Q: How does my diet effect my teeth?
A: A diet with nutritional well balanced meals that is good for your general health is also good for your teeth and gums. All foods that contain sugar can contribute to tooth decay. If you chew gum, suck on breath mints or drink soda a lot, try to select the sugarless brands.
Q: What are cavities and how do they occur?
A: Bacteria in plaque accumulate on teeth and combine with sugars to form acids that penetrate enamel and form a cavity. These holes are filled with bacteria and plaque and your dentist must disinfect them before filling them with a silver or a composite filling.
Q: What is a composite resin (white) filling?
A: New improvements in tooth-colored composite fillings allow them now to be often used in situations that once required the silver amalgam fillings. Composite resin, a tooth-colored plastic mixture, is used not only to restore decayed areas, but also is useful for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.
Q: What is gum disease and how do I prevent it?
A: Periodontal (gum) disease often develops silently with no warning signs. That's why it's important to visit our office regularly, so we can check your teeth and gums and take X-rays, if necessary, to help us diagnose possible problems. Be aware of the following symptoms:
Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth.
Red, swollen or tender gums.
Gums that have pulled away from your teeth.
Pus that appears between your teeth and gums.
Teeth that are becoming loose or changing position.
Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.
Any change in the way your partial dentures fit.
Bad breath or bad taste.
Regular dental check-ups, cleanings and good home care will prevent this disease from occurring. However, if you've noticed any of these changes, please contact us for an appointment. Treatment is the only way to prevent further bone loss and related complications.
Q: How can I get a whiter smile?
A: Bleaching is a new technique that offers us capabilities to lighten teeth under many circumstances. It is quick, easy, and relatively inexpensive. Other options open to patients include porcelain veneers if bleaching is not able to bring the desired results.
Q: What is a root canal and why would I need one?
A: Deep cavities, cracked teeth and multiple fillings can allow germs to get into the pulp chamber causing infection and disease. When this happens, the pulp cannot repair itself and dies. If this is left untreated, the pus from the infection eventually builds up at the root tip, making a hole in the jawbone called an abscess. An abscess can cause damage to the bone around the teeth. Symptoms such at throbbing or hot and cold sensitivity are common when nerves die. During root canal therapy, diseased pulp is removed and the pulp chamber and root canals are cleaned and sealed.
Q: What is laughing gas/happy air?
A: Nitrous Oxide sedation (laughing gas), is an analgesic used to relax patients prior to dental treatment. Sometimes it prevents the need for local anesthesia, but in most cases we utilize it in conjunction with local anesthetic for dental treatment. It does not put you to sleep, but relaxes you to a point that even the most apprehensive patients accept dental treatment with ease.
Q: What's the difference between conventional and immediate dentures?
A: Complete dentures are called "conventional" or "immediate" according to when they are made and when they are inserted into the mouth. Immediate dentures are inserted immediately after the removal of the remaining teeth. To make this possible, the dentist takes measurements and makes the models of the patient's jaws during a preliminary visit.
An advantage of immediate dentures is that the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. However, bones and gums can shrink over time, especially during the period of healing in the first six months after the removal of teeth. When gums shrink, immediate dentures may require rebasing or relining to fit properly. A conventional denture can then be made once the tissues have healed. Healing may take at least 6-8 weeks.
Q: What will dentures feel like?
A: New dentures may feel awkward for a few weeks until you become accustomed to them. The dentures may feel loose while the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn how to keep them in place. It is not unusual to experience minor irritation or soreness. You may find that saliva flow temporarily increases. As your mouth becomes accustomed to the dentures, these problems should diminish.
Q: Should I use a denture adhesive?
A: Denture adhesive can provide additional retention for well-fitting dentures. Denture adhesives are not the solution for old, ill-fitting dentures. A poorly fitting denture, which causes constant irritation over a long period, may contribute to the development of sores. These dentures may need a reline or need to be replaced. If your dentures begin to feel loose, or cause pronounced discomfort, call us immediately.
Q: Must I do anything special to care for my mouth?
A: Even with full dentures, you still need to take good care of your mouth. Every morning, brush your gums, tongue and palate with a soft-bristled brush before you put in your dentures. This removes plaque and stimulates circulation in the mouth. Selecting a balanced diet for proper nutrition is also important for maintaining a healthy mouth.