Please take a moment to learn more about these dental industry terms.
Abscess – An empty “pocket” within the gum caused by an infection, marked by softness and a red color. Abscesses are typically 1 millimeter or larger.
Amalgam Filling – A combination of silver, tin, copper, zinc and mercury that is affixed over a cavity. We do not use these filling types, though we recognize they remain a safe and protective treatment against tooth decay.
Arestin – A powdered form of minocycline, which prevents bacterial colonies from recolonizing an infected area. Arestin is considered a localized antibiotic therapy.
Bite – the formation made when the upper and lower sets of teeth meet, which can be susceptible to excessive wear and/or damage to the teeth.
Care Credit – A financing program which allows patients to establish monthly payment plans that offer a low or zero percent interest rate.
Composite Resin Filling – Tooth-colored fillings that are bonded to the tooth.
CPAP – A continuous positive airway pressure appliance that provides a constant flow of pressurized air via a fitted mask worn by the patient during sleep.
Dental Exam – An evaluation of current dental health that includes observation, patient questions and x-rays.
Dental Prophylaxis – A procedure performed by a dentist or dental hygienist to remove plaque, tartar and stains from the teeth using hand instruments or ultrasonic instruments called scalers. Tools are moved along teeth surfaces in order to dislodge plaque or tartar buildup. Otherwise known as a dental cleaning.
Denture – A removable type of dental restoration that rests on the gum tissue. Dentures are used to replace multiple missing teeth.
Diagnostic Services – Procedures that are performed to help detect or assess the risk for any dental disease. These procedures also evaluate for the presence of infection, cancer, or any abnormal cysts or growths that can occur in the mouth. Diagnostic services include exams and dental x-rays.
Fluoride – A naturally-occurring ion, which exists in food and certain water sources, that has been shown to significantly reduce the incidence of cavities in children and adults.
Gingivitis – A condition where a patient either has 4mm pockets between teeth and gums OR 1-3mm pockets with apparent bleeding.
Oral Cancer Screening – A visual examination of the soft tissue within the mouth for the purpose of identifying abnormal growth and/or coloring.
Periodontist – A dental specialist who treats periodontitis and other gum diseases.
Periodontal Disease – A condition that affects the gums which can range from simple gum inflammation to serious damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. Also known as gum disease.
Periodontal Pocket – the area where the gum meets the tooth.
Plaque – A dense, pale yellow film formed by colonizing bacteria, which develops on teeth. Plaque can be removed with a dental cleaning.
Porcelain Bridge – A composite used to fill an empty space in the mouth where a tooth has been removed. The bridge is affixed to the adjacent teeth to prevent fracturing and other damage.
Porcelain Crown – A cap which covers the entire tooth, helping to restore its proper size, shape and position. A crown may be recommended for large cavities, tooth fracture or a tooth that has had a root canal procedure.
Porcelain Veneer – A thin layer of porcelain bonded to the front surface of the tooth, used to close spaces between teeth, correct misaligned teeth, cover severely stained or discolored teeth or to restore severely chipped teeth.
Preventative Care – Dental procedures that are performed to help prevent dental diseases such as cavities or gum disease. Preventative services include cleanings, sealants, and fluoride treatments.
Pulpotomy – A procedure, typically administered to children, that removes a cavity along with the top portion of pulp within the tooth.
Scalers – Ultrasonic hand-held tools which remove plaque, tartar and other buildup.
Sealant – A protective coating that is placed on the biting surface of molar teeth to help prevent tooth decay
Tartar – A hardened accumulation of plaque caused by saliva residue buildup on teeth over time.
Tempromandibular joint (TMJ) – the connection between the jaw bone and skull which is critical to biting and chewing.
Tooth Bonding – A cosmetic procedure performed on the front teeth used to correct small chips, close small spaces or change the shape of the tooth.
Tooth Recontouring – A cosmetic procedure performed on the front teeth whereby a hand tool and polishing instrument are used to smooth chips in the edges, making them more rounded or square.
Tooth Decay – A condition where bacteria de-mineralizes the tooth, leaving it soft instead of hard. This condition usually occurs as a result of acidic toxins which break down the tooth’s enamel. Also called cavity or caries.
Tooth Whitening – A procedure where a gel containing hydrogen peroxide is applied to the tooth over 2-4 applications, resulting in brighter, whiter teeth.
How often should I see the dentist?
Different patients have different risk factors for dental diseases, and this should be what determines how often check ups and cleanings are needed. We recommend that your dentist or dental hygienist tailor your cleaning and check up schedule to your own needs.
In general, most patients will benefit from check ups and cleanings every 6 months, however patients with increased risk for dental problems (such as a history of gum disease or certain medical conditions) should come in more often at your dentist’s or hygienist’s discretion.
What is Fluoride and how does it help prevent cavities?
Fluoride is a natural mineral in our environment. Fluoride is one of the best and safest ways we have to prevent cavities in children and adults. Fluoride can help prevent cavities two ways: Before teeth erupt, the fluoride taken in from foods, beverages and dietary supplements makes tooth enamel stronger, making it more resistant to tooth decay. After teeth erupt, fluoride helps rebuild (remineralize) weakened tooth enamel and reverses early signs of tooth decay.
What age should I bring my child to the dentist?
We recommend that children have their first dental visit by their first birthday. We are happy to see children at this early age to evaluate their growth and development and make sure parents are aware of good oral hygiene habits for this age group.
Do I really need to brush baby teeth?
Yes, baby teeth can still develop cavities, which can lead to pain or infection. Pain can lead to poor nutrition and poor sleep, which will affect a child’s overall growth and development. Cavities can also spread to other teeth, including underlying or adjacent permanent teeth.
When should I use fluoridated toothpaste for my child?
We recommend using fluoridated toothpaste as soon as the first baby tooth erupts, however, we only recommend using a small smear of toothpaste, the size of a grain of rice. Once the child can adequately spit out (which may be around age 3 or 4), then you may use the size of a pea.
What are sealants?
Sealants are a thin, protective coating (made from plastic or other dental materials) that adheres to the chewing surface of your back (molar) teeth. Sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of cavities on molar teeth by 80%. We recommend sealants be placed on the permanent molars when they first erupt, typically at age 6-7 and again at age 12-13.
How often should I brush and floss?
We recommend that you brush twice a day and floss once a day.
Should I get an electric toothbrush?
Studies have shown an electric toothbrushes can be more effective at removing plaque than manual toothbrushes when used correctly.
Why do I need X-rays?
Dentists use x-rays to help diagnose damage and disease that is not visible by sight alone during a regular dental exam as well as to help determine the severity of any dental disease that is present. By knowing this, we can determine the best type of treatment needed.
How often are xrays recommended?
There is no universal recommendation regarding the interval between dental x-rays. How often X-rays should be taken depends on your present oral health, your age, your risk for disease, and any signs and symptoms of oral disease. Dentists take precautions to ensure that the level of radiation exposure is as low as possible — “As Low As Reasonable Achievable” (the ALARA principle).
In general, routine x-rays to check for cavities and other dental diseases may be recommended once a year and a full mouth set of x-rays may be recommended once every five years. Additionally, x-rays may be needed to evaluate trauma or dental pain, evaluate growth and development of children and teens, monitor teeth that have had root canal treatment, and monitor implants that have been placed.
What kind of fillings does your office place?
Page Dental Arts only places composite (“white”) fillings.
What can you do to ease dental anxiety?
At Page Dental Arts, we can offer Nitrous Oxide sedation (“laughing gas”) during any appointment for patients who have dental anxiety. This is available for children as well as adults.
How often should I replace my toothbrush?
It is recommended you change your toothbrush (manual) or toothbrush head (electric) every 3 months as well as after any cold or flu-type illness.
Can mouthwash help improve oral health?
Antimicrobial mouthwashes, such as Listerine, can help patients with gingivitis and periodontal disease by reducing bacteria when used as part of a routine oral hygiene regimen. Fluoride mouthwashes, such as ACT, can help to prevent cavities when used as part of routine oral hygiene regimen. However, remember that mouthwash will NOT replace regular brushing and flossing.
What toothpaste should I use?
We generally recommend fluoridated toothpastes that have the ADA seal. Some toothpastes offer formulations that help reduce sensitivity and stain. We recommend you ask your dental hygienist if these are right for you.
What are early signs of dental trouble?
There can be many indications of dental disease including: mouth sores, redness, swollen gums, gums that bleed easily, tooth sensitivity, tooth pain, and bad taste or odor in mouth. These signs should not be ignored and when in doubt, we always encourage you to come in for evaluation.