Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - Your Guide to Dental Wellness
What is dentistry?
Dentistry is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of conditions, disorders, and diseases of the teeth, gums, mouth, and jaw. Often considered necessary for complete oral health, dentistry can have an impact on the health of your entire body.
Who is a dentist?
A dentist is a specialist who works to diagnose, treat, and prevent oral health problems. Your dentist has completed at least eight years of schooling, and received either a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) degree, or a DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree. If your doctor is a pediatric dentist, this means that they specialize in caring for children from infancy through their teen years. Your dentist has received the proper education and training needed to work with young kids. Other specializations include:● Endodontics (root canals)● Oral and maxillofacial (including pathology, radiology, and surgery)● Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics● Periodontics (gum disease)● Prosthodontics (implants)
Why is visiting the dentist so important?
Visiting the dentist regularly will not only help keep your teeth and mouth healthy, but will also help keep the rest of your body healthy. Dental care is important because it:● Helps prevent tooth decay● Protects against periodontal (gum) disease, which can lead to tooth and bone loss● Prevents bad breath – brushing, flossing, and seeing the dentist regularly will help reduce the amount of bad-breath causing bacteria in your mouth● Gives you a more attractive smile and increases your self-confidence● Helps keep teeth looking bright by preventing them from becoming stained by food, drinks, and tobacco● Strengthens your teeth so that you can enjoy healthy, beautiful smiles for the rest of your life!
My teeth feel fine. Do I still need to see a dentist?
Your teeth may feel fine, but it's still important to see the dentist regularly because problems can exist without you knowing. Your smile's appearance is important, and your dentist can help keep your smile healthy and looking beautiful. With so many advances in dentistry, you no longer have to settle for stained, chipped, missing, or misshapen teeth. Today's dentists offer many treatment choices that can help you smile with confidence, including: ● Professional teeth whitening● Fillings that mimic the appearance of natural teeth● Tooth replacement and full smile makeovers
What should I look for when choosing the right dentist for me?
Choosing a dentist who “clicks” with you and your family is important, and you may wish to consider several dentists before making your final decision. During your first visit, you should be able to determine whether the dentist is right for you. During your appointment, consider the following: ● Is the appointment schedule convenient?● Is the office easy to get to and close by?● Does the office appear to be clean and orderly?● Was your medical and dental history recorded and placed in a permanent file?● Does the dentist explain techniques for good oral health?● Is information about cost presented to you before treatment is scheduled?● Is your dentist a member of the ADA (American Dental Association)?
How can I take care of my teeth between dental checkups?
● ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth at least two times a day, and floss at least once!● Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask your dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities.● Avoid foods with a lot of sugar (sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth causing more plaque and possibly cavities) and avoid tobacco (this can stain your teeth, cause gum disease, and eventually lead to oral cancer).● Don't be afraid to brush your tongue! By brushing your tongue, you will remove food particles and reduce the amount of plaque-causing bacteria. Tongue brushing also helps keep your breath fresh.● Be sure to schedule your routine checkup. It is recommended that you visit the dentist every six months.