Tag Archives: dental care

Important Questions to Ask Your Dentist During Your Next Visit

You have been in charge of your own oral hygiene since you were a child. While you think you have a pretty good handle on things, there may be parts of your routine that you’ve been rushing through. If you’ve been skipping out on flossing, your dentist may ask you to watch a short video on proper habits.

Of course, the easiest way to make sure that you receive the best possible care is to have all the information you need. Here are some of the top questions to ask your dentist during your next visit.

What is Your Experience?

You should not be afraid to ask your dentist about their level of experience. While you may find a brief history on their website, like the one you can find for Dr. Ruyak, a credible Bethlehem dentist, you can still inquire further. For instance, you may have questions about their education and how long they have been practicing. You will also want to know how comfortable they are with any special treatment that you might need.

What are the Best Home Care Tips?

This is one of the most important questions to ask your dentist during your visit. In addition to brushing and flossing, your dentist may have some tips to care for your teeth and gums at home in between office visits. They may also recommend a different style toothbrush, a new mouthwash, or implementing a Waterpik into your routine. These tools may help minimize the risk of cavities and other dental problems.

How Do You Manage Fearful Patients?

If you have a major fear of seeing the dentist, your practitioner may have tools to help you stay calm through your visit. Many dentists offer sedatives to anxious patients to help ease their nervousness. If that is not an option, some dentists have headphones available to their patients, or you can bring your own in. Listening to your favorite music while your treatment is being performed can help reduce anxiety.

If you are a fearful patient who needs to undergo oral surgery, your surgeon may decide to use general anesthesia.

It is difficult to communicate with your dentist while undergoing treatment. For anxiety-ridden patients, this can make a simple checkup even more daunting. Work with your dentist to come up with a hand signal that can be used to indicate if you feel excessive pain or discomfort. This will ensure that you are comfortable, both physically and mentally, throughout your procedure.

Do You Offer Oral Cancer Screenings?

Even if you don’t use tobacco products, you may still be at risk for developing oral cancer.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. In fact, nearly all sexually active people will get HPV at some point in their lives. In most cases, HPV goes away on its own and does not cause any health problems. However, in some people, it can lead to health problems like genital warts and forms of cancer.

Traditionally, cancers of the oropharynx (back of the throat) have been thought to be caused by the use of tobacco and alcohol. However, recent studies show that HPV may be a contributing factor in 60-70% of these cancers.

Oral cancer can also affect people of all ages with no obvious cause. A thorough examination done by a dentist can detect the presence of oral cancer. Some dentists also use a special device that emits light into the mouth to detect cancer.

Your dentist wants you to have a positive experience while in their care. After all, patients who are anxious or fearful may put off their appointment and not seek the care they need. By choosing a dentist that makes you feel comfortable and asking the right questions, you can be sure that you are taking charge of your oral health.

What are Porcelain Veneers? Uses, Procedures, Treatments, and More

It only takes 7 seconds to make a first impression. For better or worse, your smile can say a lot about you. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry [PDF], 96% of American adults think that your smile can make you more appealing to potential partners. 74% think that an unattractive smile could hurt a person’s chances for career success. If you’re looking for a fast and cost-effective way to improve your smile, porcelain veneers could help you make a better first impression.

What are Porcelain Veneers?

Veneers are thin strips of dental-grade porcelain. When glued to the front surface of teeth, they correct cosmetic or minor structural problems. Also known as laminates, they work much the same way as laminated wood. They add a perfected surface to something less visually appealing.

The cosmetic dentistry field has seen many advancements. Older veneers were thick and required more preparation of the tooth’s surface to apply. However, newer veneers, like Lumineers, are thinner, more pliable, and less destructive to the tooth’s surface. These advancements also come with a cheaper price tag.

What Conditions Can Veneers Correct?

One of the most popular uses for veneers is, of course, for teeth whitening. Porcelain can be tinted and hand-shaped to mimic the look of natural teeth while providing a whiter, brighter surface. However, veneers can also correct the appearance of misshaped or misaligned teeth, whether the underlying issue is genetic or due to an accident or age.

Veneers can alter the shape, length, and color of teeth without having to grind them down or remove them, like with implants or crowns. Some of the most common reasons for getting veneers are:

  • Stained or discolored teeth
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Gapped teeth
  • Chipped or broken teeth
  • Tooth bulges
  • Cratered or pitted teeth

How Do You Get Veneers?

When you decide to get veneers, the first step is to schedule a consultation with a dentist that offers cosmetic care, like Union Square Dental. Your dentist will provide an overview of the treatment, including benefits and any possible drawbacks. They will also perform an examination to determine if your tooth structure is sound enough to support veneers. You may also have X-rays and impressions taken at this time.

If everything checks out, you will likely have two more visits. If your dentist sends your impressions to an outside lab, the length of time between consultation and treatment could vary. Some people choose to only have their front teeth treated. In that case, patients will have to undergo teeth whitening to make sure that their remaining, untreated teeth match their new laminates. The entire process can take 1-4 weeks total.

How are Veneers Applied?

Getting veneers is a non-invasive and relatively painless procedure that requires minimal preparation. Before cementing them into place, your dentist will adjust the shape and size to ensure the proper fit. You will then receive a thorough cleaning before the tooth surface is etched to ensure a solid bond. The etching creates a rough surface that allows the cement to take hold. This is done with phosphoric acid, which is safe and mild.

The next step is to apply the cement and place the veneer. A special lamp emits a beam of light that activates the cement and causes it to harden faster. Your dentist will then remove any excess cement and check to ensure that you can bite down and open and close your mouth without obstruction.

What About After Care?

With proper care, veneers last anywhere from 7-15 years. Porcelain veneers are a permanent treatment option, so your oral hygiene will still be important to retain their appearance. Because you still have your natural teeth underneath the laminate, you will still have to worry about cavities and tooth erosion. Schedule regular cleanings and exams with your dentist. You should also avoid foods that can cause stains, including tobacco, as well as foods that can cause breakage.

Porcelain veneers allow you to keep what nature gave you while improving your appearance. They are a permanent cosmetic solution that is affordable and accessible. To learn more about veneers and if they are a viable treatment option for you, schedule a consultation with your own dentist or a cosmetic dentistry practice near you.