Patient Resources

Q & A

Why are my teeth sensitive?

Sensitive teeth often come from the fact that your gums have slightly receded. This recession of the gum line allows the underlying dentin to show through which allows water and food easier access to the sensitive nerve. To manage this, there are a number of toothpastes, gels and even some dental procedures that can be applied. Speak to us in more detail if you have very sensitive teeth.

What should I do to prevent gum disease and tooth decay?

Great teeth and gum care start at home. Brushing and flossing on a daily basis is the best way to take care of your teeth and gums on a continual basis.   By keeping to a daily routine you will greatly minimize the risk of gingivitis or tooth decay as you age.

What is Gingivitis?


Gingivitis is a condition caused when bacteria surrounds the teeth and enters the gums.  The gums can become irritated, inflamed and often bleed.  In order to prevent the condition from worsening, regular hygiene visits are highly recommended.  During your visit, our Hygiene team will teach you the proper flossing techniques and Oral Hygiene protocol for Home Care will prevent the Periodontal Disease.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal Disease is a quiet disease that begins with little or no symptoms.  It is caused by bacteria that surrounds the teeth and enters the gums.  The immediate condition is known as ‘gingivitis’.  The gums become irritated, inflamed and often bleed.  If not properly treated, the condition worsens.  Noticeable symptoms now appear.  They include:

  • Bad Breath
  • Gum Recession
  • Gum Sensitivity to Acidic Foods
  • Abscesses
  • Tooth Pain
  • Tooth Loss


How Do You Treat Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal Disease is a chronic condition that needs immediate attention.  Through a series of Periodontal Cleanings, Root Planing & Scaling, Laser Therapy and Local Antibiotics, this condition can be controlled.  Periodontal Surgery is only necessary for severe cases.

What is the Difference Between a White Filling and a Silver Filling?

Silver Fillings known as Amalgam have been around for decades.  Made from a metal alloy, it was the best restoration for fillings.  The metal expands and contracts with the heat and cold placed in the mouth.  This allowed for little bacteria to enter a tooth once filled; keeping the tooth healthy and strong.

White Fillings, also known as composites are often made of plastic or glass polymers. These cosmetic fillings allow us to fill a cavity with a substance that will look and feel just like your existing tooth structure.  This restoration is created with a resin material and fits tightly into a tooth to prevent decay.  Rather than a gray or silver material in your mouth, the composite color will match the tooth color. 

How Can I Improve My Smile?

There are several ways in today’s Dental World to enhance your smile.  Certain procedures include:  

  • Tooth Whitening
  • Bonding
  • Porcelain veneers
  • Porcelain Crowns

We have the capability to improve your smile using all or some of these procedures. For an exact consultation, please contact our office so that we may provide you with a customized treatment plan.

What is Tooth Whitening?

Tooth Whitening is a cost effective and safe procedure to create a beautiful, healthy smile.  Over the years, fluoride is has been added to the whitening product.  This reduces the risk of tooth and gum sensitivity.  
Tooth Whitening must be monitored by your dentist and only done after a comprehensive exam and hygiene cleaning.

The whitening process can last for a number of years if maintained properly.  Beverages such as coffee, tea, cola and wine will reduce the lasting effect.  Remember, if it could stain a white shirt, it will stain your smile!

What is Bonding?


Bonding is a cost effective procedure used to fill gaps in front teeth and to change a tooth’s color.  The immediate results are amazing.  Within a few hours, you will have a great smile!  Bonding like Tooth Whitening may change color over time due to coffee, tea, cola and wine.

What are Crowns?

Crowns are a permanent cosmetic procedure that covers the entire tooth.  It will change the size, shape and color of the teeth in as few as 2 visits.  

What is a Dental Implant?

A Dental Implant is a “man-made” replacement for a missing tooth or tooth root.  Made from titanium, this screw-like object is inserted under the gum and directly into the upper or lower jaw bone.  There is usually minimal discomfort involved with this procedure.  After a period of a few months, the Dental Implant and the bone fuse together.  This creates an anchor for the new tooth to be placed onto the dental implant.  

What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

  • Dental Implants look and function like your natural tooth.
  • Dental Implants are a permanent solution for missing teeth.
  • Dental Implants are maintained by routine hygiene visits to your dental office.
  • Dental Implants decrease the possibility of bone loss, periodontal disease,  tooth movement, and further tooth loss.
  • Dental Implants replace the need for a Removable Full or Partial Denture.
  • Dental Implants focus only on the tooth or teeth that are missing.  A traditional bridge would involve the two or more adjacent teeth being compromised to create a false tooth in between.

 

Who is a candidate for Dental Implants?

With major advancements in Dentistry and Dental Implants, most people are candidates for Dental Implants.  There may be exceptions due to chronic illness, heart disease, and severe osteoporosis.  
What does the Dental Implant Procedure Involve?

The average Dental Implant Procedure takes 3 - 4 visits.  The first visit is to x-ray the area and take an impression for a surgical guide and a temporary prosthesis to cover the Implant.  

The next visit is to place the Implant. A local anesthesia is applied to the area.  (Any additional sedation is no longer necessary unless deemed by the dentist).   The dentist will then make a minor incision to place the implant. The implant is placed into the jaw bone.  The area will then be covered with sutures.  The procedure is usually completed with minor pain. 

You will next return in approximately 3 months to begin creating the Porcelain Crown to place over the Implant.

How Much Does a Dental Implant Cost?

Fees from Dental Implants vary from dentist to dentist.  Always schedule an Implant Consultation to discuss the procedure and all fees involved.

How long does a Dental Implant last?

With routine dental hygiene scheduled and proper home care, A Dental Implant can last approximately 30 years to a lifetime.

Does your office offer financing for services provided?


Please contact us to discuss the options we have available to make your perfect smile today!

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Post-Op Instructions

It is important to follow instructions after you have oral surgery to ensure proper healing and to avoid complications. As a rule of thumb, you should always wait two hours after surgery before eating to let the anesthesia wear off. Trying to eat before this could result in soft tissue damage because you are not able to feel all of your mouth. The instructions found below are guidelines. After your surgery the doctor or dental assistant will give you full instructions on how to properly recover from surgery. 

Root Canal Therapy 

You can expect soreness after a root canal procedure for a few days. You should avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the procedure was performed so you do not irritate the area and also to ensure that the temporary restorative material properly sets. You will also need to take an antibiotic to treat any remaining infection in your tooth. If you notice an increasing amount of pain or tenderness, a reaction to the medication, or the loss of the temporary restoration (filling) call Port Dental immediately. 

Crowns and Bridges 

Before you receive your permanent crown/bridge you will first receive a temporary restoration. This is not as sturdy as the permanent version, so you should be careful when cleaning and eating. You should brush the area gently and should not pull up on the tooth when flossing because it could become dislodged. The same goes for eating. You should avoid sticky or chewy foods while you have the temporary in. 

There may be some sensitivity and irritation after the temporary or permanent is placed. This is normal and will subside after the soft tissue heals. A warm salt water rinse will help, and you can also take Advil or Tylenol if the pain does not go away. 

When the permanent crown or bridge is placed it may feel a little awkward for a few days. Your mouth needs to adjust to the new tooth, and it should feel like one of your natural tooth in less than a week. If your bite feels abnormal in any way, you should let your dentist know. Caring for your bridge or crown is just like caring for your own teeth. You should brush and floss regularly. 

White Fillings (Bonding) 

After the anesthesia wears off your teeth will likely be sensitive. You should avoid hot and cold food or drink for the next few days. After that initial period, your treated teeth will feel as good as new. Continue your normal hygiene plan to ensure that your fillings last for a long time. 

Scaling and Root Planing 

After this procedure your gums will probably be slightly sore and irritated for a few days. You should rinse your mouth with warm salt water (1 tsp salt/8 oz water) 2-3 times a day. This will relieve the pain and cleanse the area. Brushing and flossing should be continued right after the procedure, but you should brush gently so that you do not further irritate the area. If you experience any swelling or stiffness in the area you can place a cold compress on the area and take some pain relieving medicine. Avoid any hard or chewy foods for 2-3 days after the surgery to ensure the area heals correctly. If you continue to experience pain or swelling after a few days contact Port Dental. 

Extractions 

After the surgery you will need to rest.  You can expect for the extraction site to bleed for a little while after the surgery. Gauze will be applied at the completion of the surgery, and you will need to change it when it becomes soaked. If bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours you should call Port Dental. Rest when you return home, but do not lie flat. This could prolong the bleeding. Prop your head up on a pillow when lying down.  Port Dental will prescribe you pain medication, so if you become sore take as directed. You can also use an ice pack for the pain. 

You will be limited to soft foods for a few days after your surgery. Some recommended foods are: 

  • Gelatin
  • Pudding
  • Yogurt
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Ice Cream
  • Thin Soups
  • ...and other food you can eat without chewing.


When drinking, make sure you do not use a straw. The sucking motion can loosen your sutures and slow the clotting process. The same goes for smoking. If you have prolonged pain, bleeding, irritation, or don't feel that the extraction site is healing you should call Port Dental for a follow up.

 

Links

Below you will find a wide array of interesting and educational links that we feel will benefit your understanding and knowledge of your dental health.

If you have a suggestion for a link that you feel would be of interest, please feel free to email it to us so we can share it with all of our patients.

Dental Associations

Academy of General Dentistry

American Dental Association

Dental Procedures and Topics

Air Abrasion

Anesthesia

Bad Breath

Braces

Bridges 

Bruxism 

Canker Sore

Composites/Bonding

Crowns

Digital X-ray

Extractions

Flap Surgery

Flossing

Flouride

Gum Disease

Impacted Teeth

Implants

TMJ

Lasers

Oral Cancer

Plaque

Scaling and Root Planing

Sealants

Sensitive Teeth

Tooth Decay

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