Frequently Asked Questions
How can I whiten my teeth?
There are multiple ways to whiten your teeth.
At-home whitening trays
These products use peroxide-based gels to bleach your teeth. Generally, the process involves the daily application of the gel in a formed “mouth guard” for about two weeks. Side effects may include short-term tooth or gum sensitivity.
Zoom!® Whitening (a.k.a. in-office whitening)
Zoom!® Whitening is a procedure that takes place in a single visit to your dentist. It involves the application of a specially-formulated gel that, when exposed to a type of light energy, penetrates the stains in your teeth, breaking them up, and leaving your smile brighter and whiter. The entire process takes less than two hours at your local Omni Dental office.
Many people who have tetracycline-stained teeth and cannot whiten their teeth with traditional means, or people who want a more permanent solution, will opt for porcelain veneers. The veneers do not stain with time, and they can also correct many other concerns you may have about your smile, including crooked teeth, gaps in teeth, and a “gummy smile.” Most of the smile makeovers you see on television are accomplished with porcelain veneers.
How can porcelain veneers help my smile?
Porcelain veneers improve your smile by correcting a multitude of cosmetic concerns including: gaps in teeth; chips and broken teeth; dull or yellowing teeth that cannot be whitened with traditional means; “gummy smiles” (showing too much gum when one smiles); and, crooked teeth. Porcelain veneers broaden, straighten, whiten, and beautify most any smile. This procedure can be done in as little as two visits. Many of our patients feel like this was the biggest improvement that could have been done for their overall confidence. At your next visit, ask us how porcelain veneers can improve your smile (or send us an email).
What is a Dental Implant?
Implants are titanium “fixtures” placed in the bone that act as a root for a crown or a prosthetic (denture) to replace a missing tooth or missing teeth. Implants are often used instead of bridges to help maintain the original tooth structure of the healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth. They also help preserve the jawbone and maintain your facial structure. Your Omni Dental staff are experts at dental implants and other restorative dentistry treatments!
How does fluoride help my teeth?
Research shows that fluoride reduces cavities in both children and adults by halting tooth decay. It also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay even before the decay becomes visible. Interestingly, many people continue to be misinformed about fluoride and fluoridation. Fluoride is a safe chemical component when used correctly. When your dentist applies fluoride to your teeth, usually in the form of a fluoride varnish, gel, or foam, that fluoride is more concentrated than the fluoride contained in toothpaste or mouthwash. The ADA recommends that dental professionals use any of the professional strength fluoride varnish, gel, or foam products carrying the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Fluoride is also FDA approved to treat temperature sensitive teeth.
What is periodontal disease?
Gums affected by periodontal disease become red and inflamed, often times bleeding during brushing or flossing. If treated in a timely manner, these conditions can be reversed, preventing periodontal disease from developing. Periodontitis is much more difficult to treat. Periodontitis affects your gums, bone and teeth in a manner that cannot be reversed. To prevent tooth loss, you may require more extensive, specialized treatment from your general dentist or even a periodontist. If left untreated, periodontitis results in tooth loss – teeth either fall out on their own or must be extracted.
How can losing a back tooth affect my smile?
Losing a back tooth will darken your overall smile, making it look smaller and narrower. Your smile will appear to stop short, and the look will be exaggerated if your missing tooth has teeth on both sides of it. Function during chewing will be reduced, and function of many teeth can be affected by losing just one tooth. When you are missing a tooth, you compensate by chewing differently, putting pressure on different parts of your mouth. This can cause your other teeth to shift, creating gaps and spaces, and may even cause fractures that result in additional tooth loss or the need for restorations.
What are my options to replace a missing tooth?
By replacing missing teeth either with a bridge or implant, you will alleviate the problems associated with missing a tooth and give your smile back it’s beautiful, full appearance. A bridge is one solution for replacing a tooth. By using neighboring teeth as the supportive structure, your dentist at Omni Dental places a porcelain restoration into the vacant space, restoring the functionality and look of your smile. A dental implant is also an excellent solution for restoring your smile. Dental implants involve the placement of a titanium post directly into the jawbone. Once the post has bonded to the bone, it can act as a new, solid support for a natural looking, porcelain restoration. Implants can replace a single tooth or an entire set of teeth, offering more function and permanence than traditional dentures.
How often should I visit my hygienist?
On average, most people visit their dentist and hygienist two times per year. With age, signs of deterioration or other medical concerns can affect your teeth, so your doctor and hygienist may recommend coming three-to-six times per year to keep your smile in optimal health.
What is a crown and why do I need one?
If your doctor has recommended a crown to you, it is likely either to correct a broken tooth or to repair a tooth that has deteriorated due to cavities (decay). The decay in your tooth eats away healthy tooth structure much like rust eats away at metal. If not removed, decay will deteriorate the tooth to the point where extraction is the only viable treatment option. Sometimes decay is removed, leaving healthy tooth structure but not much of it. A crown can then be placed, restoring the look and function of your tooth, while allowing you to keep your natural, underlying tooth structure. Most crowns are precision-milled porcelain or full metal and are individually customized for each application in each patient, giving you a natural, long lasting smile.
How do sealants protect teeth?
A sealant is a plastic material that is usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth – premolars and molars. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The sealant acts like a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids and guarding against disease-causing bacteria.