|We know you have a lot of questions! Fortunately, we have a lot of answers. Below you will find a list of some of the most commonly asked questions we get. If you can’t find the answer to the question you have please give us a call at (971) 708-1608 and we will be happy to help.
Taking Care of Your Teeth and Gums
How often should I visit the dentist?
How often should I brush and floss my teeth?
What is the proper way to brush my teeth?
What is the proper way to floss?
What is plaque?
Periodontal (Gum) Disease
What is periodontal (gum) disease?
What are the signs of periodontal disease?
How can I prevent periodontal disease?
Why do our teeth turn yellow?
What are the different types of teeth whitening options?
How long does teeth whitening last?
All About Dental Implants
Are implants the right decision for me?
Are implants or bridges a better choice?
Can implants be used to restore multiple teeth?
Are implants expensive?
How long do implants last?
What if I do not have enough bone in my jaw for implants?
When an implant is surgically placed, how long until I get my new tooth?
How can I get a full set of teeth in one day?
What are veneers?
How much of my tooth is removed with veneers?
Will my veneers change color?
How long does it take to get a set of veneers, or even just one?
How many veneers do I need?
How long do veneers last?
Other Common Questions
What can I do about bad breath?
What is cosmetic dentistry?
What is the easiest way to improve my smile?
What are composite fillings?
Should I get my mercury fillings removed?
What are the options for mercury replacement?
Is the mercury dangerous to remove?
Answers to FAQ
How often should I visit the dentist? It’s best to come to see us twice a year, once every six months. Many people don’t realize it but dental examinations and professional cleanings are an integral step in your continued oral hygiene routine. If we are able to catch issues in their early stages, often we can take steps to ensure that they don’t become bigger problems. The longer you go between visits, the higher the chances that something will happen that ends up being too big to prevent. During these appointments we can give your teeth a nice deep clean to ensure that you have a new lease on sparkling teeth.
How often should I brush and floss my teeth?
Brushing should be done at least twice a day. In the morning, after breakfast and before bed. Brushing after major meals is a great way to prevent food particle buildup. Flossing at least once a day is encouraged.
What is the proper way to brush my teeth? The following guidelines outline the best method of brushing your teeth:
||Always use a soft bristled brush as hard bristled brushes can damage the enamel on your teeth, there is no way to fix damaged enamel.
||The brush should be held at a 45 degree angle to your gums. The bristles should contact both your gums and your teeth.
||Brush using short strokes in a back and forth motion. You can also use circular motions to brush but each motion should be no larger than the size of each tooth.
||Gentle pressure is highly encouraged when brushing. Pressing too hard can wear down the enamel on your teeth and plaque is easily removed with a light hand.
||Make sure to brush each surface of each tooth - the inner, outer and chewing surface should all be brushed equally.
||Spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth each session. A quick brush is often not enough to ensure that all surfaces have been brushed thoroughly.
What is the proper way to floss?Flossing correctly is just as important as brushing correctly, follow these tips to ensure proper flossing:
||Using roughly 18 inches of floss wind it around the middle finger of each hand. As the floss becomes worn or dirty simply take it in on one finger or the other.
||Gently push the floss into the space between each tooth and move it up and down on the side of each tooth, each time. Take care not to snap the floss onto your gums.
||Make sure to be gentle. Hard pressure should not be used while flossing and can result in damage to teeth or gums.
||Make sure to floss in a pattern that makes sense to you so that you can ensure you do not miss any spaces. If that means starting on the bottom right and working around until you hit the bottom left, great!
What is plaque?Plaque is a sticky formation of harmful bacteria that feeds on the sugars, acids, and leftovers from your meals. It’s usually clear and if it isn’t removed it can lead to issues like cavities and gum disease. When plaque builds up and is left to its own devices it will eventually harden to form what is known as tartar. When you brush and floss your teeth you are scrubbing the plaque off of your teeth, kind of like give a car a wash. Sugary and acidic food and drink will cause plaque to build up faster than healthier options.
What is periodontal (gum) disease?Teeth are adversely affected by plaque and tartar buildup, and will eventually become “infected” with a cavity. Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the gums and bone underlying the gums caused by that same plaque and tartar buildup. Periodontal disease will usually not be accompanied by irritation or discomfort, making it easy for you to miss. To combat it, make sure to maintain proper oral hygiene habits and come in to our office twice a year for a professional cleaning and examination.
What are the signs of periodontal disease?If you show any of the following signs or symptoms you should call us at (971) 708-1608 to schedule an appointment as you may have periodontal disease:
||Gums that bleed while brushing
||Gums the are sensitive, red, or swollen
||Gums that are not snug against the surface of the teeth
||Constant bad breath
||Any signs of pus or infection
||Teeth that you can wiggle with a finger
||A change in your bite
||A change in how your dentures/prostheses fit
How can I prevent periodontal disease?Preventing periodontal disease is as easy as practicing good oral hygiene habits. Every time you brush and floss you are resetting the timer on the countdown to cavities and gum disease.
Why do our teeth turn yellow?Enamel is the substance that makes your teeth look white and it’s found on the surface of teeth. Enamel not only makes your teeth look white, it protects them by being extremely durable. Just because it’s durable doesn’t mean it doesn’t wear down over time. As it wears down due to chewing our food it will start to expose the yellow layer of dentin below. Dentin is a softer substance that makes up much of the substance that a tooth is comprised of.
What are the different types of teeth whitening options?Below we discuss the three most popular teeth whitening options available to consumers:
In-office teeth whitening
Want impressive results fast and with the promise of safety? We have completed thousands of teeth whitening procedures and can offer you the ability to whiten your teeth any number of shades in under an hour. No messing with products that might not end up working, just results.
Professionally Dispensed Take-Home Whitening Kits
At Century Dental, we offer these kits to our patients for purchase. The way they work is, you take them home, follow the application instructions, and wear them for a few hours a day. The gel that is used in these kits is a lower strength than that of the gel that of our in-office treatment system. These kits can take anywhere from a week to a month or two to achieve your desired whitening goals.
Over the counter whitening
Over the counter kits are bought in stores and use a very low concentration of whitening product. The whitening product used varies. These products are individually cheaper than either of our options, but usually require many months of application and potentially several kits to be purchased to achieve your goal. Many times these kits will result in irritation of the mouth and will not produce the desired effect.
How long does teeth whitening last?Teeth whitening usually lasts at least a couple years. Depending on how much enamel is left on your teeth and the kind of foods and beverages you eat and drink, your experience may vary. Once you do whiten your teeth it can be much easier to just do yearly maintenance with “touch ups” to maintain the shade you desire.
Are implants the right decision for me?Implants are the best tooth replacement option that you can receive. They are designed to integrate into the bone structure of the jaw and can be used to replace anywhere from a single tooth to a whole arch of teeth. Here are a few benefits that implants offer our patients:
||They give you back the ability to eat and speak the way you would with a natural tooth
||They reverse many of the negative effects of tooth loss, including bone and soft tissue loss
||They look just like real teeth
Because traditional implants require you to sacrifice two normal and healthy teeth to act as anchors, they are a bit of a detriment. Dental implants can replace single teeth or act as anchor from bridges, leaving your healthy, natural teeth alone. Dental implants are a better choice.
Can implants be used to restore multiple teeth?One of the best things about implants is how incredibly versatile they are. They can be used to replace a single tooth, support a bridge of several teeth, or even support a full arch of removable or permanent dentures. Whatever your goal is for tooth replacement, dental implants off flexibility and extremely long lifespans.
Are implants expensive?When looking at the amount of value a dental implant brings in tooth replacement, it is definitely the most cost effective option available. Because the provide so many oral health benefits, and can last your whole life, they are very much worth it.
How long do implants last?Implants have the potential to last you your entire life as long as they are taken care of. Studies have shown that dental implants boast a 98% success rate – this is better than almost any other prosthesis in dentistry! Combine this with the warranty and it can’t be beat.
What if I do not have enough bone in my jaw for implants?If you lack the bone structure in your jaw to support an implant we can place a bone graft to bring your bone to acceptable levels. It can take some additional time for a bone graft to heal and do its job properly, but the results will be worth it. Eventually, you will have enough bone to support a dental implant that will encourage healthy bone levels.
When an implant is surgically placed, how long until I get my new tooth?When a dental implant is placed there is plenty of healing that needs to happen before they can be considered 100%. If the implant is replacing an anterior (front) tooth we will do our best to place a temporary crown the same day to ensure your smile looks great. It it’s a back tooth that the implant is replacing it could take months before the implant is stable enough to support a crown. We have been placing implants for a long time and always plan for long-term success. Whatever will result in the best possible outcome for you, that’s what we will do.
How can I get a full set of teeth in one day?With a great amount of planning and attention to detail we have the ability to offer some patients a full set of permanent implants in only one day. This is an option that is not available to all patients, and we always plan for success, so if it’s not right for you we won’t do it. We care for your long term oral health and want the very best for you.
What are veneers?Veneers are kind of like masks for your teeth. They cover the front, side, and some of the back of your anterior (front) teeth. When teeth need some cosmetic help, veneers can fix almost any problem. We can use veneers to fix issues related to teeth that have lost their white completion, teeth that aren’t straight or have spacing issues. We can even fix teeth with chips and cracks. Porcelain is generally used to produce veneers because of its similar aesthetic and incredible strength.
How much of my tooth is removed with veneers?The procedure varies from case to case but generally much less enamel is removed from teeth with veneers than crowns. Our goal is to give you a smile that looks natural and will last a long time – we do this by ensuring plenty of the natural tooth is left for support.
Will my veneers change color?Porcelain is naturally resistant to staining and is a very strong material. You can count on the shade of our veneers staying stable.
How long does it take to get a set of veneers, or even just one?It really depends on how big of a rush you are in. if you have to have them done quickly, we can potentially have a set of veneers ready and placed in a week. It is important to consider that this is a cosmetic dental procedure that we want to look good. Because cosmetic dentistry is a bit of an art mixed with dental science, it can take some time to achieve certain desired aesthetics.
How many veneers do I need?This is a question that can be answered by taking a look in the mirror. Whatever you don’t like can be altered and made to look how you want it to. Most veneer procedures involve at least 4-8 teeth. Depending on how many teeth you show when you smile, what’s wrong with them, and how drastically you want the change to be. Once you answer those questions, you will have a good idea about how many teeth your ideal procedure may involve.
How long do veneers last?It’s never a good idea to chew on hard objects like ice, or use your teeth as tools to open packaging. Those activities can damage natural teeth and veneers alike. That being said, porcelain is an extremely durable material and can take a good beating. We stand by our work unconditionally for 2 years.
What can I do about bad breath?The obvious answer is to stay on top of your routine oral hygiene routine. By brushing and flossing every day and rinsing your mouth out with water after meals, you are washing away most of the bacteria that cause bad breath in most individuals. With that in mind, sometimes other issues are the cause of bad breath, like dry mouth, periodontal disease, and the food you eat.
A great oral hygiene routine will usually prevent most of the issues listed above, so it is critical to stay on top of it. If you still find that you have bad breath, please call our office at (971) 708-1608 to schedule an appointment to be seen. We can find out what may be causing the issue and recommend a solution to fix it.
In the case of dental appliances like dentures, there are numerous soaking solutions that allow you to freshen your appliance while you sleep. These can go a long way in fixing the issue of bad breath.
What is cosmetic dentistry?Are you unhappy with your smile? There are several possible ways to improve your smile with cosmetic dentistry. Options can range from whitening to veneers to crowns, with or without Clear Correct orthodontics preceding your care. Essentially, anything to improve your smile could be considered in this field, however, Jefferson Call, DMD and Dix Densley, DDS have studied extensively and committed a large part of their practice to offering exceptional smile transformations, from the most subtle nuanced changes to extreme makeovers televised on the networks and in magazines.
What is the easiest way to improve my smile?The easiest and most popular way to enhance your smile is definitely teeth whitening. The professional teeth whitening service that we offer allows you to pick ho white you want your teeth and walk out of our office in an hour with a bright new smile.
What are composite fillings?When most people think of dental fillings they think of those big, silver colored amalgam fillings. Composite fillings are tooth colors, and nearly invisible in your mouth. Composite filling are made of glass, plastic, and a resin medium that we can mix to match the exact color of your teeth. We then place this compound into the area of your tooth that has been drilled and set it in place permanently with a UV light.
We also use this material to produce composite veneers which are less costly than porcelain. Dental bonding is also accomplished with composite material.
Should I get my mercury fillings removed?Our position on mercury based "amalgam" fillings is that their potential for toxicity, poor appearance and inability to bond to tooth structure makes them obsolete for most of our patients. The statistics from Harvard dental school list a 90% rate of decay under mercury fillings. Most have existed long after their designed lifetime. In our office we offer replacement options for every mercury filling we encounter.
What are the options for mercury replacement?There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. In order to determine what would be the best replacement option for your amalgam filling depends on the tooth. If a tremendous amount of the tooth is missing we might need to place a crown over it. If the tooth has plenty of salvageable, healthy material left we may be able to fill it with a composite filling. Sometimes we use onlays, which fit over a portion of the tooth to bring it back to a healthy state. To be sure, you should give us a call at (971) 708-1608 and schedule an appointment to be seen. We can advise you on the best way to fix your amalgam fillings.
Is the mercury dangerous to remove?We have a set of procedures and protocols in place to keep you safe from any such occurrence. When you come to Century Dental, you are in good hands.