Frequently Asked Questions About Dentistry

Frequently asked questions about dentistryAt Sage Dental, we want to make sure you have all the knowledge you need to have a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile.

Our hygienist, Lynda Torres, has put together a list of the most frequently asked questions about dentistry that she and our staff are asked.

 

[sections] [section title=”How important is flossing?”]

Regular flossing is very important. Brushing alone doesn’t remove all food and bacteria in between the teeth. As a hygienist I can almost always tell the difference between someone who flosses and someone who doesn’t. Not flossing causes inflammation, red and swollen gums, bleeding and an increase in probe depths. As a great reminder, healthy gums don’t bleed. Everyone should floss at least once a day.

[/section] [section title=”I have teeth whitening gel from last year can I still use it?”]

Most products will have an expiration date of when to use it. Follow this date. To prolong the freshness, store it in the refrigerator. Using it before the expiration will ensure its maximum strength and effectiveness.

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[sections] [section title=”How do I know if I need to get my wisdom teeth removed?”]

Wisdom teeth also called 3rd molars usually erupt between 17-21 years old. The position, location and number can vary from person to person and is the reason why some can keep them and others can not. To determine if you need to get your wisdom teeth removed schedule a consultation with your dentist who will probably prescribe a panoramic x-ray. The panoramic x-ray will allow them to see exactly how the the teeth are coming in or if something is preventing it from erupting in your mouth.

[/section] [section title=”Am I too old for braces?”]

No, usually braces can be done at any time after the eruption of your permanent teeth. Newer technology has allowed more adult friendly options including Invisalign and Re-align.  Both of these options use a series of clear trays to straighten your teeth.  To see if you qualify for re-align schedule an appointment with Dr. Batliner today.

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[/section] [section title=”How can you tell if my gums are healthy?”]

There are a list of characteristics that your dentist/hygienist will look for when evaluating your gums. We know that healthy gums are pink in color, stippled that resembles an orange peal, and doesn’t bleed upon instrumentation and probing. Unhealthy gums are red or cyanotic, enlarged, and bleed. After a visual look they will measure your pocket depths. Pocket depths are the space between your teeth and your gums. Healthy gums have measurements of 2-3mm. Measurements above that may mean gingivitis or periodontitis.

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[/section] [section title=”Can I use tooth picks instead of regular floss?”]

Tooth picks are great for removing pieces of food that get stuck in between your teeth but can also be damaging to your gums if used incorrectly. Try not to force picks anywhere they don’t fit naturally. String floss is the best way to remove food and bacteria from underneath your gums. Remember to use a c-shape and clean on each side of the tooth below the gum line. This will help prevent inflammation and bleeding and ensure healthy gums.

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[/section] [section title=”What are they checking for when they measure my probe depths?”]

We measure the space between your teeth and your gums and should be checked at least 1x/year. Knowing these measurements can help determine if your gums .  Everyone has this space but the depths may very from tooth to tooth and person to person. Measurements of 2-3mm signify healthy gums, 3-4mm signify gingivitis and measurements of 4 and above may signify periodontal disease.

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[/section] [section title=”What is a scaling and root planing/deep cleaning and how do I know I need it?”]

The dentist or hygienist will collect data and look at your x-rays to determine if a scaling and root planing (SRP), also called a deep cleaning, is right for you. SRP is used for those who have increased probe depths and bone loss seen on the x-rays. At this stage a regular cleaning alone won’t be successful in getting your gums, bone and mouth healthy. An SRP may require anywhere from 2-4 separate appointments.   The procedure is somewhat similar to a regular cleaning except we need to go deeper due to the bone loss and inflammation and clean all the bacteria from the root surfaces. This usually requires a numbing agent such as oraqix gel or a local anesthetic.

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[/section] [section title=”What should I expect after scaling and root planing/deep cleaning?”]

After the procedure is complete we will schedule a follow up appointment 4-6 weeks later. This appointment will be about 15 min in which we will remeasure and record all your probe depths and compare them to the ones taken before the SRP was performed. Our goal is to get a decrease in probe depths. Unfortunately we can not get back the bone that you already lost but together we can try to prevent further bone loss. Brushing 2x/day, flossing daily and using a mouth rinse will help encourage healing.
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[/section] [section title=”I don’t like to floss because  it causes my gums to bleed. Should I stop flossing?”]

Flossing itself doesn’t usually cause your gums to bleed.  If your gums are bleeding it means they are unhealthy. Healthy gums don’t bleed.  If you haven’t been to the dentist in awhile schedule a cleaning. If you have a lot of tartar build up flossing may be difficult so once all the tartar is removed, start on a new routine of flossing everyday.

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[/section] [section title=”I’m worried about X-ray exposure do you use digital x-rays?”]

Yes, we only use digital x-rays at Sage dental care including our new digital Panoramic machine. Digital provides less radiation, faster results, and allows us to enhance the quality of the picture. We also use leaded aprons with thyroid collars for extra protection.

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[/section] [section title=” I’m pregnant. Are their special things I need to be aware of in terms of oral hygiene?”]

Keeping your teeth clean and healthy are really important during  pregnancy. You may notice more bleeding and inflammation or even a large bump on your gums called a pregnancy tumor. This can occur due to hormones and an exaggerated response to plaque and tartar build up. Having regular dental cleanings is ok and in fact recommended during pregnancy.  If your planning on having a baby getting a check-up, cleaning, and x-rays  before you become pregnant is a great idea. If you are already pregnant we will skip the x-rays unless necessary and provide an exam and cleaning.

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If you have a question for the Sage Dental Staff, we would love to hear from you. You can submit your question below. Thank you!

 

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