Frequently Asked Questions
Q) When should my child have their first dental visit?
A) The American Academy of Pediatric dentistry recommends the first dental visit before the first year of age.
Q) What about dental insurance?
A) For those with insurance, we accept most dental insurance plans; call us at (508) 673-9581 and be sure to mention that you saw us online!
Q) What is oral cancer screening?
A) An oral cancer screening is a part of every comprehensive examination. This procedure checks to see if there are any signs of cancer in the mouth. Risk factors include tobacco and alcohol (commonly hard liquor) use.
Q) What is a Crown?
A) A crown is a treatment for a large cavity or broken tooth. A crown protects a tooth from breaking further and fits over the tooth like a thimble over a finger. It looks like a natural tooth. The procedure takes two visits. During the first visit the tooth is reshaped to make room for the crown, an impression of the tooth is made, and a temporary crown is placed on the tooth. During the second visit the permanent crown is customized to the tooth then permanently cemented in place. Once a crown is placed most patients are unaware of it, as a properly made crown usually looks and feels like a natural tooth. With proper care a crown can last many years.
Q) What is a Bridge?
A) A fixed bridge is a replacement for permanent teeth. Bridges stay in the mouth permanently and feel and look like natural teeth. A fixed bridge is two crowns with a prosthetic tooth attached in the middle.
Q) What is a Post & Core?
A) A post & core buildup connects a tooth that has had a root canal to a crown. It is generally performed on a tooth after a root canal and prior to placing a crown on the tooth. Although not all root canalled teeth need post & cores, many do. After placement of a post & core, it is generally safe to wait a few months before the crown is placed on the tooth. Waiting too long may cause the tooth to break. The tooth could then be lost. It is impossible to tell for sure how long a post & core will remain in place without a crown, therefore the crown should be placed as soon as possible.A root canalled tooth can often have a filling instead of a post & core and crown. This is better than pulling the tooth and costs less than replacing it with a bridge or partial denture. A post & core and crown can be placed in the future if the tooth does not crack between or down the roots first.
Q) Why is it so important to save a tooth from being pulled?
A) If a tooth that can and should be saved is pulled, it will overstress the other teeth and can result in their loss as well. Tooth loss can cause ineffective chewing which can result in the swallowing of large chunks of food. This overworks the digestive system and can lead to digestive disorders. People who don't have their own teeth have a difficult time consuming a high fiber diet. A high fiber diet has been recommended by the American Cancer Society for the prevention of cancer. Like teeth, dentures require care. Dentures are colonized by mouth bacteria and pick up odors and stains. They must be taken out at night and cleaned or a yeast infection of the gum may result. If teeth are continually pulled instead of saved the mouth will eventually need dentures. Many young denture patients appear prematurely aged due to the bone loss they experience after having their teeth pulled. With today's great emphasis on having a youthful appearance, regardless of one's age, saving teeth is indeed a wise investment.
Dentures are a good choice for patients who have no hope of saving their teeth.