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FAQ


Gum Disease and Gum Treatment


Why do I have gum disease if I brush and floss my teeth regularly?

Sometimes, even when we do all the right things, we can still develop the problem. Certain bacteria can be present, but may remain in a dormant state if your immune system is working well. Then, even subtle stresses can set in motion a chain reaction that results in one or more areas of our bodies being less than healthy. This is often the case with gum disease. Also, some people have a genetic predisposition that doesn’t manifest itself until later. And some people are just unlucky and harbor the complex of bacteria that causes the worst damage. The best advice is to make sure that your dentist and hygienist are checking for gum health and when problems show up, they are dealt with early enough so that you can avoid gum surgery or tooth loss.

Will my gum treatment hurt?






Crowns


The life of a crown could be between 5 to 15 years, however with proper care and professional cleanings by a dental hygienist, many last up to 20 years. the use of a super strength Fluoride at home will also help to keep your crowns to last their longest. Ask one of our staff about which fluoride is best for you.




Porcelain Veneers


In some instances, reshaping of the tooth is necessary so that the veneers look life-like and not too bulky. However, many patients are a candidate for no prep or minimal prep veneers. Dr Rice will be happy to discuss this with you at your initial exam and consultation to consider if that is an option.



Implants


Yes, often patients cannot tell any difference at all between their natural teeth and their implants. And denture patients are thrilled by the fact that they no longer have to have a full palate of plastic in the roof of their mouths. Some can taste food again for the first time in years.



White Fillings vs. Silver Fillings


Yes, however Dr. Rice should decide if they are sound fillings or failing before any replacement takes place. Many old silver fillings do in fact have hidden decay under the edges, but some can last far longer than the standard life expectancy. X-rays should be examined and intro oral digital photos are also helpful in determining if old silver fillings are still keeping the seal around the margin or interface of the filling and tooth. In many cases, a picture is worth a thousand words. Also, if it is determined that your old fillings are leaking and allowing bacteria get under the edges causing secondary decay, the sooner they are replaced, the better. If nothing is done until there is pain, then unfortunately the only recourse is a root canal, post, and a crown.



Teeth Whitening


We give your teeth whitening a “Quick Start” in our office, then make you trays for use at home because studies show that the deepest bleaching to teeth takes place after the in- office bleaching, by the constant contact of bleaching solution with the teeth over time. This also makes it easy for you to touch up bleach every few months with our convenient touch up kits. Unless you plan to never drink coffee, red wine or eat blueberries again, your teeth will still absorb the color present in some chromogenic foods. The “Quick Start” plan gives you the best of both worlds!



Nitrous Oxide


Nitrous oxide (sometimes referred to as laughing gas) is a mild analgesic that is administered by inhaling it. That means that it lessens the ability to feel pain, which in a dental office is generally considered a good thing! It is very safe to use and is constantly monitored during use. Once Dr. Rice is finished with your procedure, you will be placed on 100% oxygen to clear the nitrous oxide from your system. That is why you can drive yourself home after your dental visit. Many patients tell us that it feels like a light, floating feeling, that greatly reduces their anxiety about their procedure. For many patients who have had a bad experience in the past, it is profoundly comforting that we have Nitrous Oxide available for their procedures, so that they don’t need to be heavily sedated for dental treatment.


Care Credit and Dental Treatment Financing Options


Our practice mission is to get rid of decay and gum disease in our city and county. In order to provide the very best treatment, we can’t just treat one tooth at a time. By the time we get around to the fourth or fifth tooth, several of them would need root canals. That would be a high price to pay for waiting. Therefore, we have access to Care Credit for our patients so that more people can have their much needed dental treatment completed and have the luxury of paying it off with no interest for a year. Yes, it means that you have to make your dental health a priority, but ask any denture patient if they could go back in time and change things…we all know that they would.