Q: Which type of toothbrush should I use?
A: The brand of the toothbrush is not as critical as the type of bristles. A soft toothbrush is recommended because medium and hard brushes tend to cause irritation and contribute to recession of the gums. A toothbrush with a variety of bristle legnths allows you to get around each tooth more completely. It's unnecessary to "scrub" the teeth as long as you are brushing at least twice a day and visiting your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings.
Q: How often should I floss?
A: Flossing of the teeth once per day helps to prevent cavities from forming between the teeth, where your toothbrush can't reach. Flossing also helps to keep your gums healthy.
Q: Why do my gums bleed when I brush my teeth?
A: People usually assume that they are "brushing too hard" when they see blood during brushing. However, the toothbrush that you're using and the amount of pressure that you are applying are rarely the cause of bleeding gums. Bleeding gums are usually a strong indication that you have gum disease - either gingivitis, or a more serious condition call periodontal disease. Visit a dentist soon so that your problem can be diagnosed and so that treatment can begin.
Q: What's the difference between a "crown" and a "cap"?
A: There is no difference. "Cap" is a word that people frequently use as a substitutute for the technical work "Crown". Both words refer to a cover that is placed over severely damaged, weak, or unattractive teeth. Covering them provides support to weak teeth, protecting them from further damage and/or fracture. Crowns can also improve the appearance of damaged, discolored or oddly shaped teeth. Before a crown is placed on a tooth, all decay and old fillings are removed. Crowns can be made with a variety of materials, including gold, stainless steel, and other metals. Cosmetic crowns are made with porcelain, resin, and other tooth-colored materials that give the crowns the appearance of a natural, healthy tooth.
Q: What's the difference between a "bridge" and a "partial denture"?
A: Both bridges and partial dentures replace missing teeth. A partial denture is an appliance that is easily taken in and out of the mouth by the patient. Clasps on the denture help anchor it in place.be removed easily by the patient. A bridge is not removeable. It is permanently anchored into the mouth. Since bridges are not removable, they are low maintenance and re-create the feeling of natural teeth for patients. Bridges are usually attached/anchored to other teeth (or in some cases, implants). A partial denture is attached by clasps to the teeth and Patients are usually more satisfied with bridges than with partial dentures, however everyone is not a good candidate for a bridge.
Q: What about "silver" fillings versus "white" fillings?
A: The U.S. Public Health Service issued a report in 1993 stating there is no health reason not to use amalgam (silver fillings). Recently, many patients are requesting composite ( "white" or tooth-colored) fillings. We belive that both amalgam and composite filling materials are beneficial. Various circumstances call for the use of various materials. We recommend the use of tooth-colored materials in highly visible areas of the mouth, such as front teeth. When restoring back teeth that are not visible during normal activities such as speaking, we often use amalgam ("silver") filling material. Just let us know your preferences so that we may integrate them into your treatment plan.
Q: Do I need to have a root canal just because I have to have a crown?
A: No. While most teeth which have had root canal treatments do need crowns to strengthen the teeth and to return the teeth to normal form and function, not every tooth needing a crown also needs to have a root canal.