Should I have my wisdom teeth removed?

The answer to this depends on your situation.  For many people, their jaws are literally not big enough to allow their wisdom teeth to come in properly.  When there is not enough space, the wisdom teeth often get caught and cannot come in all the way – we call this an impaction.  Teeth that are part way through the gums can more easily trap food, which can lead to reoccurring infection and pain in the area.  Some wisdom teeth come in all the way but because of the size of the person’s mouth they are difficult to keep clean.  In this case cavities or gum disease can develop on the wisdom teeth or even the surrounding teeth.  People with the above conditions should consider having their wisdom teeth removed. 
On the other hand, if there is adequate space for the wisdom teeth to come in completely and the person is able to keep the wisdom teeth clean, there is usually no need to remove them.

What is a root canal and do they hurt?

Mentioning the term “root canal” can make some people squirm in their shoes, but modern day root canal therapy is normally a painless experience, thanks to modern anesthetic techniques and better methods of treatment.  Root canals involve removing the “pulp” which is the tissue in the center of the tooth.  Root canals are normally needed when this pulp tissue is infected due to a deep cavity or trauma.  After removing the pulp tissue, the canals in the center of each root are cleaned and shaped, and then a rubbery material called gutta percha is placed in the canals to seal them and prevent reinfection.

Although root canals used to take 2-3 visits to complete, with modern technology most root canals can be completed in a single visit. 

What are mini-implants?

Many people with dentures have problems with their lower denture staying in place.  Lower dentures tend to move when talking and eating, which can create uncomfortable and embarrassing situations.  Mini-implants are most commonly used to stabilize the lower denture and allow you to literally snap your denture into place.  They are different from standard implants because their smaller size allows them to be placed in areas a standard implant cannot be placed.  A big advantage of mini-implants is that they can be used  the same day they are placed – standard implants normally need 3-6 months of healing before they can be used.  Also, there is usually less surgery involved with placing mini-implants, so recovery is faster.  They are also about half the cost of standard implants.  Although mini-implants are normally used to stabilize a lower denture, they are also used to stabilize upper dentures and partials.

What is the difference between digital xrays and conventional xrays?

Digital xrays have the advantage of using approximately 70% less radiation compared to conventional xrays.  They are more environmentally friendly because they eliminate the need for processing films.  They can be viewed immediately after taking them, and can easily be stored and emailed to specialists and insurance companies as needed.  For all of these reasons we have been using all digital xrays since 2008.

How soon can I get in for a dental emergency?

Dental emergencies often happen suddenly and unexpectedly, and we do our best to respond quickly to your needs.  Call our office immediately, and if it is during business hours we will normally be able to see you the same day.

I’m very scared of dentistry – what can you do to help me?

First of all, realize that this is more common than you think- you are not alone!  We see many adults who have avoided dentistry for years due to fear.  Our first goal is to talk with you and find out some specifics about your fear so that we can tailor our treatment to you.  There are a couple of options for sedation.  Nitrous oxide, commonly known as “laughing gas”, is given through a mask that you wear on your nose, and is a very safe and easy way to help you feel relaxed.  Oral conscious sedation can give you a deeper level of relaxation, and is achieved by having you take a small pill approximately 1 hour before your dental appointment.  Additional medication can be given at the beginning of your appointment if needed.  While you are not technically “asleep” with oral conscious sedation, most patients are so relaxed that they tell us later they felt like they “slept” through the appointment.  We have had a great response from patients for this service.

Call us for a free consultation if you have an interest in oral conscious sedation.  We know that for some extremely fearful individuals it can be difficult to even sit in a dental chair your first visit.  We often do our initial consultations in a non-dental  room (no dental chairs or equipment!) – if you would prefer this please let the receptionist know when you call. 

Can I make payments?

We offer a variety of payment plans, including 12 month interest free financing.  Prepayment discounts are available as well.  Ask us for details.  We want to help you afford the dental care you need.

I can’t take my kids out of school – do you offer after school appointments?

With today’s busy schedules, it is sometimes difficult or impossible to see the dentist between 9-5.   That is why we offer extended hours – we are open until 6pm on Monday and Tuesday, and we open at 8am on Wednesday and Friday.  We want to make it as convenient as possible for you to maintain a healthy smile.