Frequently Asked Questions

Your frequently asked dental questions are posted as often as we receive them. Below are the questions we receive the most. We hope this information can help to answer your questions and give you the information you need to make the right decision when it comes to your dental health.

All toothpastes get rid of surface stains through the action of mild abrasives. Some whitening toothpastes contain polishing or chemical agents that provide additional stain removal. Whitening toothpastes can help remove surface stains only and do not contain bleach; over-the-counter and professional whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide (a bleaching substance) that helps remove stains on the tooth surface as well as stains deep in the tooth.
Sealants are a thin, plastic coating that is painted on the top surfaces of teeth. They are usually done on the molars, or back teeth to prevent tooth decay. The liquid sealant quickly bonds into the depressions and grooves of the teeth, forming a protective shield over each tooth and the enamel.

Children should get sealants on their new molars to help slow the decay as early as possible.

Sealants can protect your teeth from for many years, but they need to be checked every so often for wear during regular dental check-ups.

Exposure to all sources of radiation — including the sun, minerals in the soil, appliances in your home, and dental X-rays — can damage the body’s tissues and cells and lead to the development of cancer. Fortunately, the dose of radiation you are exposed to during the taking of X-rays is extremely small.
Silver amalgam fillings, which are composed of 50% mercury and 50% silver alloy, will eventually need to be replaced. It may surprise you to know that the average life span of a silver filling is only five to eight years. Your dentist can tell you when they NEED to be replaced due to leakage, breakdown or recurrent decay.

If your concern is strictly COSMETIC, there are many new methods available to replace the fillings with beautiful, functional long lasting restorations.

Such things as white filling materials, porcelain inlays, crowns and veneers may be used to give you the smile you are seeking.

There is currently a great deal of interest in new reinforced hybrid materials. These beautiful resin materials may be reinforced with fibers, similar to fiberglass, and used in very conservative inlays and bridges without having to grind away a whole healthy tooth.

There are many products and techniques available. Some work great and some don’t work at all. The various over the counter products give the least predictable results.

To get a really great result you should probably use one of the products sold through dental offices that utilize custom made trays for home application of bleaching gel.

There are several great ones out there. Ask us about the options we like best.

We also get questions about “laser whitening”. With this method a laser is used as a light source to activate the bleaching gel that is applied to your teeth in the dental office. It may be necessary to use the “at home” trays in addition to this initial lengthy treatment. Side effects can include sensitivity to treated teeth.

Dental implants are a wonderful way to replace missing teeth when certain conditions exist. Such things as your average general health and the length of time you have been missing your teeth must be considered. The replacement of missing teeth using dental implants frequently requires a team approach.

After your dentist does a thorough examination, a treatment plan of the surgical phase of treatment takes place. In most cases a periodontist or an oral surgeon will put the implant(s), the artificial root(s) into the jaw. When healing is complete, usually after 4-6 months, a general dentist or a prosthodontist can place the tooth or bridge segment on top of the healed implants. Some dentists are trained to place the surgical part of the implant as well as the prosthetic or tooth part.

You should ask your dentist if you are a good candidate for implants and ask for a referral if he or she doesn’t do them.

Having regular dental checkups with x-rays allows you to learn about potential problems and have them corrected BEFORE they begin to bother you. There are a number of reasons for recommending removal of unerupted or impacted teeth. Your dentist may have felt these teeth could cause problems for the adjacent teeth if left in place. There is also the possibility you could develop such things as a cyst or abscess if left in place.

General dentists who provide any specialty services such as root canal treatment, braces, oral surgery or periodontal surgery are required by law to adhere to the same standard of care provided by a specialist.

Your dentist would be happy to talk more with you about this. If you still have questions, you might want to see another dentist for a second opinion.

This is a good question, which we hear daily. The brand of the toothbrush is not nearly as critical as the type of bristle, the size and shape of the head and how frequently you replace your brush.

We recommend a soft bristled brush with a small head. The soft bristles are most important for the health of your gums. A small head allows you to get around each tooth more completely and is less likely to injure your gums. Daily brushing and frequent replacement with a new brush are much more important issues than the brand you choose.

We recommend replacing your toothbrush at least once a month.

We further recommend brushing after every meal, first thing in the morning and at the end of the day. At a minimum one should brush twice a day.

Discoloration is a very normal situation and nothing to be concerned about. When the teeth are forming in the jaws, a soft tissue membrane called Nasmyth’s Membrane (named after Alexander Nasmyth, a Scottish dental surgeon in London who died in 1847), surrounds them.

As the teeth erupt, remnants of this membrane remain on the surface of the enamel. The fibrous nature of the membrane readily picks up coloration from food.

In most cases normal chewing and brushing will remove the remnants with time. If they don’t come off, they can be removed by having a professional cleaning.

Other causes for staining of teeth include high fevers during infancy, too much fluoride in drinking water and certain medications if taken while the teeth are still forming.

Terminology used in dentistry is not 100% uniform throughout our profession.

The word “cap” as used in dentistry by different dentists can refer to a number of different things. A pulp cap refers to a calcium containing dressing placed under a deep filling to stimulate healing. A full crown, made by a dental laboratory, which completely covers the outside of your tooth, is frequently called a cap. A partly broken tooth may be built up by your dentist in the office with a bonded filling material. This is called a cap or “capping” by some dentists. This sounds like what you probably had done.

Dental technology has come a long way in recent years. If you have a new cavity that requires a filling, there is “new” air abrasive equipment, which replaces the drill for removing decay. It is quick, silent and in most cases you do not need a shot of anesthetic because it does not use heat or vibration that can cause pain.

Air abrasion theory has been around in dentistry since the fifties but has only recently become practical to use due to the compactness of newer equipment and the development of filling materials that can be used with the new way of preparing teeth for fillings.

Our patients love it. For youngsters who are experiencing their first cavity, it is a great way to go – no noise, no needle, no pain! It won’t work for all cavities, but with your dislike for the drill, you should certainly see a dentist who uses this technology.

In a word (or four) PLEASE DON’T DO IT! Fortunately, I have only seen a couple of these in “real life”. I have read of numerous cases in our dental journals, which have resulted in all sorts of problems.

To begin with, the tongue is an extremely vascular organ, which means it has loads of blood vessels. A tremendous amount of swelling is expected when the tongue is pierced and a large oversized “barbell” is initially placed to accommodate for the expected swelling.

This can cause difficulty in breathing and swallowing. Eating, drinking and speech are all impaired. The large barbell flops around and has caused unrestorable fractures of teeth when accidentally bitten.

The barbell can come unscrewed and be swallowed or possibly be aspirated, sucked into the lung. Either of these could require surgery.

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Such nice people!

Kelsi Sanderson

Awesome friendly staff!

Jonathan Voter

Excellent. Dr. Bauer is great!

Debbie Buster

Very kind staff, helpful with your situation.

Reid Talbot

I have been going to Eagle Rock Dental for 7 years. I have been to several different dentists throughout my life, including dentists in the Navy as well as dentists in Utah. Dr. Bauer is by far the most thorough and competent dentist I have... Read More

I have been going to Eagle Rock Dental for 7 years. I have been to several different dentists throughout my life, including dentists in the Navy as well as dentists in Utah. Dr. Bauer is by far the most thorough and competent dentist I have had the pleasure of going to. He is very knowledgeable and stays current on all the new techniques. I would highly recommend him to any of my friends and family. I appreciate him repairing some of the less than satisfactory dental work I have had in the past.

David Jensen

Wow! Eagle Rock Dental Care is the best! As a student at BYU-Idaho, I am (obviously) SUPER broke, so it's great to know there's someone, literally right down the street, who is willing to work with me financially to get my dental needs taken care... Read More

Wow! Eagle Rock Dental Care is the best! As a student at BYU-Idaho, I am (obviously) SUPER broke, so it’s great to know there’s someone, literally right down the street, who is willing to work with me financially to get my dental needs taken care of, and within my budget. The front desk, hygienists, assistants, and Dr.’s are AWESOME! HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Especially to College Students located here in Rexburg! The perfect fit!

Kasey Human

Dr. Hammond is absolutely fantastic. He is very kind, sensitive, patient and he is a perfectionist. I am highly satisfied with the work he has done on me so far. I had a root canal done and now going back for some crowns on my... Read More

Dr. Hammond is absolutely fantastic. He is very kind, sensitive, patient and he is a perfectionist. I am highly satisfied with the work he has done on me so far. I had a root canal done and now going back for some crowns on my implants.

Lloyd Lee

Quite comfortable waiting area. It also has an area for children to play. The staff is upbeat, professional, pleasant and personable. The assistant, Melanie, and Dr. Hammond made me feel comfortable and welcomed. They both did a great job repairing my loose crown from another... Read More

Quite comfortable waiting area. It also has an area for children to play. The staff is upbeat, professional, pleasant and personable. The assistant, Melanie, and Dr. Hammond made me feel comfortable and welcomed. They both did a great job repairing my loose crown from another dentist’s work from years ago. I highly recommend this office for all your dental needs.

Kevin Whitcomb

Love Dr Hammond and his staff! He is so kind and great with my kids, they have never been afraid to go to the dentist!

Brittni Mecham

Great service! I've seen several dentists who seem like they're trying to pay off their student loans by recommending a lot of unnecessary fillings and other work. Not here. If they see something, they'll let you know and usually watch it for a while to... Read More

Great service! I’ve seen several dentists who seem like they’re trying to pay off their student loans by recommending a lot of unnecessary fillings and other work. Not here. If they see something, they’ll let you know and usually watch it for a while to make sure it actually is a problem. The hygienists are courteous and friendly, and the dentists do great work. If you or they aren’t satisfied with something, they’ll make it right.

TheRobmcknz

We LOVE Eagle Rock Dental in Rexburg!!! The dentists and staff are fantastic! They are patient and kind. I've jokingly told them that my visits there are so wonderful that I'm one of the only people I know who looks forward to going to the... Read More

We LOVE Eagle Rock Dental in Rexburg!!! The dentists and staff are fantastic! They are patient and kind. I’ve jokingly told them that my visits there are so wonderful that I’m one of the only people I know who looks forward to going to the dentist. Highly recommend!!

Kristen DeGraw

Dr. Hammond is always so kind. Besides doing excellent dental work, he always makes me feel good about coming in. They can do crowns right in the office, which speeds up the process and reduces the number of visits. I have always received quality work.... Read More

Dr. Hammond is always so kind. Besides doing excellent dental work, he always makes me feel good about coming in. They can do crowns right in the office, which speeds up the process and reduces the number of visits. I have always received quality work. The dental hygienist that cleans my teeth, is very thorough, gentle, and easy to talk to (when her hands aren’t in my mouth). Even though I don’t live close, I am willing to drive the extra distance to see this dental team. I would recommend them to anyone!

Ana Lytic