Southeastern Dental

FAQs

What should I do if my temporary falls off?
It’s important to get the temporary back on as soon as possible. You can certainly call us & we’ll try to get you right in and re-cement it for you. Occasionally the temporary will fracture. If this happens we need you to come into the office to have the temporary re-made & cemented. If the temporary is sound you can actually replace it yourself. Gently brush your prepared tooth, keep in mind if the tooth isn’t root-canaled you will likely have sensitivity. Then place white toothpaste in the temporary and place it over the tooth. Gently bite down to make sure the temporary is seated correctly; you’ll know this if your bite feels perfect. If it feels good, hold your bite for about a minute. This can also be done with a temporary cement or poly-grip like product, both found in a pharmacy.
Are electric toothbrushes really better than a standard toothbrush?

The simple answer is, Yes! As a matter of fact, an electric toothbrush is becoming the ‘standard’ toothbrush for many people. When our patients make the switch to a sonic toothbrush we see cleaner teeth and minimal plaque build-up at their six month check-ups. Another benefit is healthier gums!

There are two main types of power toothbrushes: electric and sonic — the difference between the two really comes down to numbers:

Electric Toothbrushes: With 3,000 to 7,500 rotating motions a minute, electric toothbrushes are powered to replicate the motion of your hand — doing the muscle work for you. The bristles on these toothbrushes either rotate or move back and forth to help remove plaque and reduce gingivitis.

Sonic Toothbrushes: Offering 30,000 to 40,000 strokes per minute, sonic toothbrushes rotate in a back and forth vibrating motion. The rapid motion is the sonic toothbrushes’ claim to fame. But ultimately, it also aims to remove plaque and keep teeth and gums healthy and clean.

For a little bit of perspective, the old-fashioned way of brushing your teeth rings in about 300 strokes per minute — if you brush properly. So over the two-minute recommended brushing time, your teeth are hit with 600 strokes … a far cry from the thousands you might get with the high-tech variety.

There is a technique to brushing with electric or sonic toothbrushes though. We recommend you check out this YouTube: Philips Sonicare — Top tips for getting the best clean and enjoy the tickle of the electronic toothbrushes!

What kind of toothbrush should I use?
The best toothbrush head for you should allow you easy access to all surfaces of your teeth. Our hygienists have found that patients who are using smaller headed toothbrushes are able to maneuver them to clean certain hard-to-reach areas such as the sides & backs of molars. As for bristles, there are hard, medium and soft available but we only consider soft bristles the right choice. Not only are they most comfortable, but they are the safest choice. Depending on how vigorously you brush your teeth and the strength of your teeth, medium- and hard-bristled brushes could actually damage the gums, root surface, and protective tooth enamel. For even more tooth protection when you brush, be sure the bristles on the toothbrush you select have rounded tips.
Does whitening hurt my enamel?
Studies of teeth whitening products show little to no effect on the hardness or mineral content of a tooth’s enamel surface or the tooth’s nerve. BTW, this also goes for existing restorations. Keep in mind though that tooth-colored fillings, crowns, bonding, veneers, bridges and root canaled teeth will not lighten.
Why do restorations (fillings) fail?

There are multiple reasons for this. When you chew your teeth and any fillings in them are subjected to tremendous pressures. As mentioned above, clenching & grinding cause tremendous forces on your teeth and are often a cause of cracked restorations that would have to be replaced. Here are some other reasons a restoration may fail:

  • Ice Chewing
  • Hard Candy
  • Improper brushing & flossing
  • Overly large restorations
How long do restorations (fillings) last?

We would like to say forever, but that’s just not the case. Restorations can fall out; they can crack, leak or just plain wear out. If a person is clenching or grinding, the chance of a restoration failing increase because of the forces placed on your teeth and extra wear. These forces can cause your restorations (and your teeth!) to develop small craze lines to large cracks. With normal wear and tear though, we have seen restorations last up to fifteen years or more!

How often should teeth be X-Ray’d?

This answer depends on your medical and dental history and the current condition of your mouth. Some people may need x-rays as often as every six months. People who visit the dentist regularly and have excellent oral health may need x-rays only every three or four year.