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    FAQ

    Before going to a dental office, it’s important to have intuition on a number of common dental procedures. Below are some of frequently asked questions regarding teeth whitening, fillings, root canal procedures, dental bridges and other procedures. Make sure to ask your dentist about these things as knowing them is just as important as taking care of your dental health.

    White tooth filling, white dental filling, white fillings

    Q: Why are white composite fillings becoming the standard over silver amalgam fillings?

    A: Many offices are beginning to recommend composite fillings because they are as durable as amalgam and are cosmetically superior.

    Nowadays, most dentists prefer using composite fillings, rather than amalgam fillings on their patients due to reason that composite fillings are both durable and cosmetically clean to look at.

    Amalgam fillings are a thing of the past. They contain silver, copper, mercury and tin. Composites, on the other hand, are composed of glass particles, resin and a setting ingredient, resulting in a porcelain finish that blends with the color of your teeth. Amalgam fillings are very silver in color and tend to be noticed whenever opens his/her mouth wide enough to see the teeth. They are noticeable, even in dim light, so it’s much more recommended to use composite fillings to camouflage the color of the filling. And a big plus of composite fillings is that they are non-hazardous, especially when disposing the material.

    TMJ disorder, TMJ, TMJ Treatment

    Q: What is a TMJ disorder and how does a dentist treat it?

    A: The TMJ is short for temporomadibular joint, wherein every person has a pair of these joints in the mouth. These joints serve very important purposes in the basic human functions, such as chewing food, yawning, and talking. A TMJ disorder can cause some serious problems, including dizziness, aneurisms, and back pains. A sign of a TMJ disorder is a recurring jaw click and behind-the-eye pains, and various parts on the head to neck area.

    A solution for TMJ problems is by using a plastic guard that fits the proportion on your teeth. This kind of guard is only made dentists who have skillful precision. The plastic guard’s main role is resting your jaw and making the mouth eventually relieved from the prolonged pain caused by the apparent dislocation/unrest. In case the plastic guard fails to remedy the pain or dislocation, surgical intervention may be required.

    Dental Bridges

    Q: I am missing a tooth/teeth and the dentist recommends a dental bridge? Should I take it? If so, what information should I know before opting for it?

    A: A crown, in popularity, is used to restore a bad/broken tooth, whereas a dental bridge actually replaces the lost tooth.

    The three most popular dental bridges are:

    Fixed Bridges

    This is done by the using crowns on adjacent teeth and attaching a false tooth to each of those crowns, creating the bridge as one unit. This procedure is marked as permanent replacement, whereas it does not come off the same way as retainers and dentures do.

    Cantilever Bridge

    This is similar to the fixed bridge, except that the false tooth is attached to only one crown as opposed to two. The procedure is very similar to the one done of fixed bridges, except the false tooth is attached to only one crown, unlike in the dental bridges where two crown are used. This is usually done only on the front teeth where there is less stress from biting forces. The bridge is usually placed on front teeth where the bite is not as strong as from back teeth.

    Maryland Bridge

    This is usually done only on the front teeth where there is less stress on the teeth. In contrast to the aforementioned bridges, the Maryland Bridge is not attached to connected teeth, but instead consists of a false tooth that has small ?wings? that are bonded onto the adjacent teeth. This method is used when the adjacent teeth are healthy with no restorations present.

    This method is a deviation from the two aforementioned bridge procedures, because the false tooth is not connected to any crowns, instead, the false tooth has small wing-like attachments that are bonded to adjacent teeth. The bridge is usually placed on front teeth, where there is very low biting force.

    Root Canal Therapy

    Q: What is Root Canal Therapy?

    A: A root canal is performed as a measure of saving a tooth?s structure, whether it be because the nerve, or, pulp chamber, of the tooth is infected, or because the tooth has died.

    Whenever the nerve or pulp chamber of the tooth is infected or deteriorating, a root canal procedure is often the best resort to go to – and also the last. The pulp tissue of the tooth, which consists of very small nerve fibers, arteries, veins, lymph vessels and connective tissues are what give the tooth its ‘life’ and coloration.

    The main function of a root canal is to devoid the tooth to any external pressures or temperatures. It will kill the tooth, for the sake of relieving the patient of enormous pain felt by deterioration of the above-mentioned factors.  The root canal which eventually leads to the brittleness of the tooth, so a crown is then placed onto the tooth the give it strength and support.

    Periodontal Disease/Gum Disease

    Q: What is an indication that one has a periodontal disease?

    A: The word periodontal, when translated, means “around/surrounding the tooth.” Gum tissue fits around each tooth, creating a sort of fleshy barrier. The V-shaped crevice that forms when the gum line meets the tooth called a ‘sulcus’.  Healthy teeth have three millimeters of less of sulcus.

    Periodontal diseases are caused by infections that create a sulcus greater than three millimeters. If this is the case, the depth of the crevice allows the bacteria to enter the tooth and disrupts oral hygiene and creates tooth heath problems. These periodontal diseases will lead to more severe problems such as the loss of a tooth or an array of teeth if the condition ignored.

    Indicators of periodontal diseases are: tender, swollen gums which pull away from the teeth. Overtime, the patient may notice that there has been a movement or swelling in the gums or change in fit of partial dentures. If this is the case, he/she should see a dentist right away.

    Veneers

    Q: How can veneers change or improve my smile?

    A: The most widely-used procedure for aesthetic dental restorations/improvements are porcelain veneers. Veneers are bonded to the front face of the teeth to give them a natural-looking luster that hides the cracks or discolorations associated with the teeth. The process in creating veneers is a bit tedious, but after they have been prepared in and bonded with the teeth, the patient can expect a confident smile that lasts and dazzles.

    Veneers are an effective alternative for braces, wherein the latter procedure usually takes years to straighten out, repair the teeth. A full overhaul, veneers are recommended by dentists to patients who don’t want to undergo the pains of having braces or expensive surgery.

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