Q: Which type of toothbrush should I use?
A: We recommend a high quality electric toothbrush because it works faster and more efficiently at removing plaque. The brand we recommend is the Phillips Sonicare Brush. It has a built-in 2-minute timer that helps you spend enough time brushing.
Q: Is one toothpaste better than others?
A: Generally, no. However, it is best to use a sodium fluoride toothpaste since it helps teeth be resistant to decay and staining. It's best to stay with a name brand (for quality control) and then it is just a matter of taste.
Q: How often should I floss?
A: Flossing teeth once per day helps to prevent cavities from forming between the teeth where your toothbrush can't reach. Flossing also helps to keep your gums healthy.
Q: What's the difference between a "crown" and a "cap"?
A: A crown is a restoration to repair a severely broken tooth by covering all or most of the tooth after removing old fillings, fractured tooth structure, and all decay. The restoration material is made of gold, porcelain, composites, or even stainless steel. Dentists refer to these restorations as "crowns"; however, patients often refer to them as "caps".
Q: What's the difference between a "bridge" and a "partial denture"?
A: Both bridges and partial dentures replace missing teeth. A bridge is permanently attached to abutment (supporting) teeth or, in some cases, implants. A partial denture is attached by clasps to supporting teeth and is easily removable. Patients are usually more satisfied with bridges than with partial dentures.
Q: What about "silver" fillings versus "white" fillings?
A: Although the U.S. Public Health Service issued a report in 1993 stating amalgam (silver fillings) present no health risk, more patients today are requesting "white" or tooth-colored composite fillings. We also prefer composite fillings because they "bond" to the tooth structure, and therefore help strengthen a tooth weakened by decay. While composite fillings are usually less sensitive to temperature and look better, they cannot be used in every situation. If a tooth is badly decayed or fractured, a crown will usually be necessary to provide the best protection for the tooth, as well as overall satisfaction for the patient.
Q: Do I need a "root canal" just because I have to have a crown?
A: No. While most teeth that have had root canal treatments do need crowns to strengthen the teeth and return them to normal form and function, not every tooth needing a crown also needs a root canal.