Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a dental implant?Made of titanium or zirconium, a dental implant is a post positioned in place of a missing tooth. An abutment connects the implant with a crown, bridge, or denture to create a sturdy, functioning dental restoration.
- Are dental implants safe?Dental implants may be made of titanium or zirconium which are both safe for use in the body. The implant technology is a sophisticated, reliable solution to replace a missing tooth.
- Why is a dental implant needed?Tooth roots, though not visible, play a vital role in maintaining the health of the jawbone. When a tooth is lost, the teeth shift and the bone deteriorates. A dental implant replaces the tooth root keeping the bone healthy and the adjacent teeth in place.
- How much do dental implants cost?The cost of dental implants varies from patient to patient depending on the number needed, the position in the mouth, and the condition of the bone and soft tissue. Our dentists will provide a detailed evaluation and assessment based on your unique needs.
- What is a dental crown?A crown is a cap that covers and restores a tooth to improve its function and appearance. It may improve a decayed, damaged, or misshapen tooth. The crown restores the chewing surface of the tooth and protects the tooth from further damage. When cemented into place, a crown is a durable, long-lasting dental restoration.
- Are dental veneers safe?Dental veneers are made of porcelain. This material is metal-free, safe, and durable.
- Why is a dental crown needed?
A crown strengthens and restores the function and appearance of a tooth. It may be used for the following situations:
- To protect a tooth weakened by decay
- To restore a broken or cracked tooth
- To improve the appearance of a tooth that is misshapen or discolored
- To strengthen a tooth with a large amount of decay or after a root canal procedure
- To attach to or cover a dental implant
- To attach a dental bridge
- How long do dental crowns last?Crowns are generally durable, long-lasting restorations. The lifespan of a crown can vary from 5-15 years. Factors such as oral habits, placement in the mouth, and how much wear and tear the crown is subjected can affect how long the crown lasts.
- How do dental crowns and bridges differ?Although both are fixed dental restorations, a crown and a bridge have different forms and uses. A crown covers a single tooth that has suffered damage or decay. The crown strengthens and restores the tooth. A dental bridge can replace one tooth or a few teeth. It contains crowns on either end which attach to the natural teeth. The false tooth in the middle bridges the gap from the missing tooth.
- Are dental bridges permanent?
While a temporary, removable bridge may be available to initially replace a missing tooth, your final restoration will be permanent. The connecting crowns are cemented into place over the adjacent teeth to form a durable, lasting restoration.
- How do I care for my dental bridge?
Caring for a dental bridge is no different than caring for your natural teeth. Maintain good oral health habits by brushing twice daily, flossing your teeth each day, and visiting the dentist regularly. Unlike dentures, your bridge is a fixed restoration and cannot be removed for cleaning.
- What are dental sealants?Dental sealants help “seal out” decay. The resin coating smooths out the biting surface of the tooth so that plaque and bacteria cannot accumulate in the pits and grooves of the back molars. This protects the teeth from decay and damage.
- Who needs sealants on their teeth?
Dental sealants are often part of preventive and restorative care for children. Oftentimes children do not brush and floss as well as adults so sealants provide an added layer of protection against decay. However, teenagers and adults can get sealants as well to help prevent decay.
- How are dental sealants applied?
The sealant process is quick and painless. The teeth are cleaned and polished to remove any lingering bacteria or decay. The tooth is etched, rinsed, and dried before the sealant is applied. A special light sets and dries the sealant.
- What are the signs of a cavity?
Common signs of a cavity include:
- Tooth pain while chewing
- Sensitivity to cold or hot
- Pits or holes in the tooth
- Black, brown, or white spots on the tooth
- How is a filling placed?
Before placing a filling, your dentist numbs the tooth or treatment area to ensure patient comfort throughout the procedure. Using special tools, he/she removes the decayed portion of the tooth. The filling is placed and then hardened using a special light.
- What filling materials are used for cavities?
The most common materials for fillings are amalgam (silver fillings), gold, and tooth-colored composites. Your dentist will choose the most appropriate material based on your needs, the location of the filling in your mouth, and your budget.