Frequently Asked Questions
Asking questions and getting answers is a part of good oral health care. Your healthy, beautiful smile is our priority.
At Smiles by Dr. Patel, we believe that education is the key to a productive and successful patient/dental office relationship. Our professional team is readily available to assist you with any questions or concerns. Listed below, for your reference, are documents to help our patients in their everyday dental care, as well as a list of commonly asked questions:
Q: ARE YOU ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS?
“A: Yes, Smiles by Dr. Patel continues to grow and accept new patients. Walk-ins and emergencies are also welcome. Call us to schedule your appointment. ”
Q: SHOULD YOU CHOOSE AN ELECTRIC OR MANUAL TOOTHBRUSH?
“A: A good, old-fashioned manual toothbrush has proven to be the right tool for the job – but the electric toothbrush has become more popular. To decide which toothbrush will work best for you, electric or manual, consider ease of use, cost and brushing technique.
The design of a manual toothbrush is the perfect shape and length, and it’s easy for most people to use. But for those who lack the ability to move the toothbrush correctly, an electric toothbrush can help.
When it comes to cost, a manual toothbrush is still the most inexpensive. An electric toothbrush is more expensive, but there is a wide variety available, ranging from $20 to $200.
A toothbrush that is the right size and shape for your mouth will allow you to reach all the way to your back teeth. This allows you to be able to reach those awkward angles at the back of your mouth more easily.
Whichever brush you choose, be cautious that you’re brushing correctly to prevent damaging your gums and wearing away the tooth enamel. Ask your dentist to show you proper brushing techniques. ”
Q: WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS AND WHAT DOES THE PROCEDURE INVOLVE?
“A: Dental Implants are part of a tooth replacement treatment. They are virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth. These implants are metal posts or frames, usually made of titanium, that are surgically placed under your gums. They then fuse to the bone of your jaw and act as roots. Replacement teeth, called crowns and made of porcelain, are then attached to the implant They will fit securely to your gums because they are held in place by bone, allowing them to look and function just like natural teeth.
Once the implants are in place, your dentist will typically wait a few months to proceed with crowns – temporary appliances are available for you to wear while you wait. Give us a call today to set up an appointment to find out if dental implants are right for you. ”
Q: SO WHAT IS “COSMETIC DENTISTRY”, AND WHAT TYPES OF TREATMENTS DOES IT INVOLVE?
“A: Have you ever wondered what you would look like if you had a more attractive looking smile? Providing people with a means of achieving their best smile is what Cosmetic Dentistry is all about.
More and more people today are booking appointments with our dental office, not because they are having dental problems, but because they want to smile more confidently. In many cases, these smiles begin with teeth that are crooked, stained, chipped or missing all together. From simple teeth whitening to full smile reconstruction, the end result in most cases is a healthy, attractive looking smile that provides a greater sense of self-confidence and enjoyment of life.
If you feel self-conscious about the appearance of your teeth, ask us about what specific treatments in cosmetic dentistry would benefit you. ”
Q: WHY DO MY GUMS BLEED WHEN I BRUSH MY TEETH?
“A: Bleeding during brushing and flossing is often the first sign of periodontal (gum) disease. This means that your gums have become inflamed or infected as a result of plaque and tartar buildup along and below the gum lines. This condition can become very serious if left untreated and can eventually lead to receding gums and tooth loss.
The best treatment for this condition is a visit to your dentist for a thorough check-up and cleaning, followed by a complete regimen of brushing and flossing. With prompt and thorough treatment, the condition if caught early can normally be corrected. Please feel free to call our office if you have noticed bleeding during tooth brushing, or if you would like direction on proper homecare techniques. ”
Q: WHY IS FLOSSING SO IMPORTANT?
“A: While brushing is very effective at removing plaque and food debris from your teeth, a toothbrush simply cannot effectively clean all of the surfaces of your teeth. In particular, the spaces between your teeth are difficult, if not impossible to clean properly by brushing alone. This can mean that people who brush regularly are still very susceptible to cavities and gum infections in these areas.
The use of dental floss or tape once a day can clean these difficult to reach surfaces and provide you with a truly clean and healthy mouth. It takes just a few minutes per day, and the payback is a cleaner and healthier mouth. Please contact our office if you have any questions about the proper care of your teeth and gums. Any one of our staff members will be happy to answer your questions. ”
Q: WHY IS IT IMPORTANT THAT I VISIT MY DENTIST EVERY 6 MONTHS?
“A: Well, you might be surprised to learn the extent of what really goes on during your regular check-up. In addition to cleaning and polishing all the visible and hidden surfaces of your teeth, we also check for many potential problems. Tooth decay, oral cancer and periodontal (gum) disease are just a few examples of problems that can have serious consequences if left undetected.
We recommend that our patients visit our office at least twice each year to ensure their optimal oral health and to help avoid serious and costly problems. In certain cases, we may even recommend 3 or 4 visits per year in order to properly treat conditions that require more regular attention.
Maintaining a regular dental appointment schedule isn’t just good for your teeth, it’s an important part of your overall health. ”
Q: HOW CAN I HELP MYSELF TO PREVENT BAD BREATH?
“A: According to recent studies, almost half the population of adults in North America suffers at least occasionally from bad breath (halitosis). The most common cause of bad breath is bacteria in the mouth and on the back of the tongue. These bacteria produce a volatile sulfur compound, which in turn produces a smell similar to “rotten eggs”. Other causes of halitosis include certain foods, smoking, alcohol, hormonal changes or simply being hungry.
Depending upon the type of bad breath, the treatment usually begins with ensuring meticulous oral hygiene. Your dentist or dental hygienist will check for gum disease and if necessary prepare a detailed treatment plan. Tongue scraping should also become an important part of daily home care and part of your regular tooth brushing routine. ”
Q: WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF LASER DENTISTRY?
“A: Laser therapy allows us to offer faster treatment for many standard procedures:
- We can reliably detect calculus and remove it without any residue, leaving the tooth surface clean and undamaged. This type of gentle treatment allows for significantly reduced pain and improved healing.
- Small lesions on the gum tissue and re-contouring of the gum line can be done with minimal discomfort and with faster healing.
- The laser can be used for desensitizing teeth for people that suffer from heightened temperature sensitivity.