1.How often should I see a dentist?

The Indian Dental Association (IDA) guidelines recommend visiting a dentist every 6 months for a checkup and professional cleaning. Our clinic also recommends a minimum of two visits per year. Dental and gum disease have been linked to heart disease, stroke and diabetes, which means your oral health can influence over your overall health.

2.What should I expect during my appointment?

One of our staff members will compile your medical and dental history during your first visit. We will then examine your teeth and gums, screen you, make fast and convenient digital X-rays of your teeth as needed. After we review your dental profile, we will discuss our findings with you. During regular follow-up visits, we will examine your teeth and gums, screen you for oral cancer, clean your teeth and make plans for treatment, as needed. We will discuss any concerns and answer any questions you may have.

3.How do digital x-rays (radiographs) work?

A sensor plate is placed in the mouth, and a computer generates an image. This takes approximately 30 seconds as compared to the general 4-6 minute wait time for images taken on dental film. The digital x-ray is viewed on the computer in the room and is a full screen image making it easier to see. Digital x-rays provide us with invaluable information about your oral and dental health and they are eco-friendly as they do not require chemicals to develop them like the old film x-rays.

4.Are digital x-rays safe?

Compared to the old x-rays, digital radiographs produce a patient’s radiation exposure up to 10% only.

5.How Does Orthodontic Treatment Work?

Many different types of appliances, both fixed and removable, are used to help move teeth, retrain muscles and affect the growth of the jaws. These appliances work by placing gentle pressure on the teeth and jaws. The severity of your problem will determine which orthodontic approach is likely to be the most effective.

Fixed appliances include:

Braces— the most common fixed appliances, braces consist of bands, wires and/or brackets. Bands are fixed around the teeth or tooth and used as anchors for the appliance, while brackets are most often bonded to the front of the tooth. Arch wires are passed through the brackets and attached to the bands. Tightening the arch wire puts tension on the teeth, gradually moving them to their proper position. Braces are usually adjusted monthly to bring about the desired results, which may be achieved within a few months to a few years. Today’s braces are smaller, lighter and show far less metal than in the past. They come in bright colors for kids as well as clear styles preferred by many adults.

Special fixed appliances— used to control thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, these appliances are attached to the teeth by bands. Because they are very uncomfortable during meals, they should be used only as a last resort.

Fixed space maintainers— if a baby tooth is lost prematurely, a space maintainer is used to keep the space open until the permanent tooth erupts. A band is attached to the tooth next to the empty space, and a wire is extended to the tooth on the other side of the space.

Removable appliances include:

Aligners— an alternative to traditional braces for adults, serial aligners are being used by an increasing number of orthodontists to move teeth in the same way that fixed appliances work, only without metal wires and brackets. Aligners are virtually invisible and are removed for eating, brushing and flossing.

Removable space maintainers— these devices serve the same function as fixed space maintainers. They’re made with an acrylic base that fits over the jaw, and have plastic or wire branches between specific teeth to keep the space between them open.

Jaw repositioning appliances— also called splints, these devices are worn on either the top or lower jaw, and help train the jaw to close in a more favorable position. They may be used for temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ).

Lip and cheek bumpers— these are designed to keep the lips or cheeks away from the teeth. Lip and cheek muscles can exert pressure on the teeth, and these bumpers help relieve that pressure.

Palatal expander— a device used to widen the arch of the upper jaw. It is a plastic plate that fits over the roof of the mouth. Outward pressure applied to the plate by screws force the joints in the bones of the palate to open lengthwise, widening the palatal area.

Removable retainers— worn on the roof of the mouth, these devices prevent shifting of the teeth to their previous position. They can also be modified and used to prevent thumb sucking.

Headgear— with this device, a strap is placed around the back of the head and attached to a metal wire in front, or face bow. Headgear slows the growth of the upper jaw, and holds the back teeth where they are while the front teeth are pulled back.

6.At what age should my child have his/her first dental visit?

We recommend that your child have his/her first dental visit no later than by age 3. Earlier visits, however, can provide us good opportunities to monitor your child’s dental development and/or give helpful advice on early dental treatment and oral hygiene for infants and toddlers.

7.What is baby bottle tooth decay and how can I prevent it?

Baby bottle tooth decay is a pattern of rapid decay associated with prolonged nursing/bottle feeding. It happens when a child regularly goes to sleep while breast-feeding or bottle-feeding. During sleep, the flow of saliva is reduced and the natural self-cleansing action of the mouth is diminished. Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bedtime bottle. Encourage your child to drink from a cup as they approach their first birthday. He/she should be weaned from the bottle at 12-14 months of age.

8.Can the dentist whiten my teeth?

There are several methods available for bleaching the teeth. One session generally lasts one and a half to two hours, and you can read, watch TV or listen to music and relax during the treatment. We also offer at home bleaching. We make an impression of your teeth and create a bleaching tray that fits your bite. You fill the bleaching tray with a small amount of bleaching gel and wear it for approximately 20 minutes during the day. This at home bleaching process takes 3 or 4 days.

9.What is periodontal disease, and am I at risk of developing it?

The term “periodontal” simply means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease affects the gums and bones supporting the teeth. Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease is mainly attributed to the bacteria in dental plaque, which causes the gums to become inflamed and infected. Other factors, such as smoking or tobacco use, poor nutrition, stress or pregnancy, may put you at risk of developing gum disease.

10.What if I have a gap in my teeth, a chipped tooth or teeth that do not respond to normal bleaching methods?

Bonding and veneers are great ways to solve these issues. Porcelain veneers are designed to look like your natural teeth and are individually and permanently attached to the fronts of your existing teeth. Bonding utilizes a composite material made of plastic to fill in areas of your teeth and correct chipping and shape problems. Both porcelain veneers and bonding are colour-matched to the rest of your teeth.