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.
Following the guidelines set by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), we are doing our part at our Idaho Falls, Rexburg, and Arco dental offices to keep our patients, staff, and community safe. As we continually increase and improve the sanitation of our dental office including the waiting area, treatment areas, bathrooms, and reception area we ask that our patients help us in maintaining a clean and sanitized environment.
If it has been a while since you’ve been to any of our dental offices in Idaho Falls, Rexburg, or Arco, or if you are a new patient, there are some new guidelines concerning stopping the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases that we are now following and will expect from our patients when they visit. These include:
- At this time we are asking that patients come alone for their scheduled dental appointment, except for minors.
- If a minor is scheduled for a dental appointment we are asking that only one parent or legal guardian be present for the appointment.
- We are asking that all patients wear a mask when not in treatment.
- When you visit any of our three dental locations in Southeast Idaho we will check your temperature and have you fill out a basic questionnaire concerning your health and whether or not you’ve been sick or had COVID-like symptoms recently.
- We are asking all patients who are sick, even if the symptoms are not COVID related, to stay home and reschedule their dental appointment for a later date.
- At our dental offices, we are also striving to keep our patients as socially distant as possible, which means scheduling appointments so that there are no more than three people in the waiting room at one time.
We thank you for your help in keeping our community safe. If you have any questions concerning COVID expectations or guidelines, please don’t hesitate to call us at your earliest convenience. We are happy to help and look forward to seeing you soon at our dental office.
Stay safe, and we will get through this together.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.