Ask the Dentist

1. Do you specialize in cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic Dentistry is not a recognized specialty in Dentistry. Examples of recognized specialties include Oral Surgery, Periodontics (gums), and Orthodontics (braces). There is no recognized specialty as a “Cosmetic” dentist. Dr. Mathew has 29 years of experience in placing veneers and crowns.

2. Why does the dentist need x-rays of my teeth?

X-rays are the only way that we can see in between teeth to check for cavities or leaking fillings. Bitewing x-rays are also the best way to monitor the level of the jawbone in between back teeth, which is an indicator of periodontal (gum) health. Obviously, a 30 year old patient who has never had a cavity and has perfect gums will require x-rays far less frequently than a patient with 16 fillings, 2 root canals, 3 crowns, and moderate gum disease. The amount of whole body radiation that you receive from a full mouth series of x-rays (16 films) is approximately equal to the radiation you receive from spending an afternoon in the sunshine

3. Do I need a fluoride treatment?

We recommend a fluoride treatment after you get your teeth polished. A polishing removes the microscopic top layer of enamel from your teeth, and the newly exposed enamel should receive a fluoride treatment to protect it from decay. Seniors often have root recession and the exposed root surfaces are very soft and prone to decay. Fluoride will help to protect these root surfaces from developing cavities

4. Are electric toothbrushes better than manual toothbrushes?

Studies have shown that some electric toothbrushes are better than manual ones at removing plaque from your teeth. Some of this benefit is due to the “novelty” effect where people spend more time brushing when they get a new electric toothbrush. We recommend electric toothbrushes for people that have manual dexterity problems or children with braces, or in general for people that find it more convenient.

5. What are the options I have for pain relief while in the dentist’s chair?

a) Local freezing

This is what most people experience, a “needle” in the mouth where the mouth is frozen to allow us to do most dental work. For some people this may not be sufficient.

b) General Anesthesia (being “put asleep”)

For more extensive surgical procedures such as wisdom teeth, or full mouth extractions for immediate dentures, Dr. Mathew (general dentist) has privileges (access) at an outpatient surgical facility where he performs the procedures while you are put to sleep by an anesthetist. Given this, you will be unconscious for the entire procedure. Please call our office for more information regarding this procedure.