To complement the general and cosmetic dentistry services offered at Mercy Dental, we have prepared this list of answers to the most commonly asked questions about dentistry and dental health. Our dentists have provided detailed information about proper dental hygiene, sensitive teeth, gum disease, dental sealants, the safety of teeth whitening, and more. Select from the following list of topics:
Maintaining dental health has two main components - at-home dental hygiene and professional cleanings and examinations. Simple maintenance of your dental health can prevent complications such as tooth loss, as well as the need for restorative or cosmetic dentistry in the future.
Good oral hygiene starts at home, though it needs to be supplemented by regular visits to our cosmetic and general dentistry practice, Mercy Dental. Steps you can take to prevent tooth decay and gum disease include:
Brush at least twice daily using a soft-bristle toothbrush and an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. This helps prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and the need for costly cosmetic or restorative dentistry in the future. Replace your brush every two to three months.
Flossing is crucial to the health of your teeth and gums and the prevention of gum disease. When flossing, use an 18-inch strand of floss. Ease the floss between each tooth; then, sweep it up and down several times while curving around the tooth at the gum line. Don't forget to floss behind your last tooth and to floss bridges and artificial teeth with the aid of a floss threader.
At every regularly-scheduled dental appointment at Mercy Dental, one of our dentists will carefully check your teeth, gums, mouth, and throat. A checkup at the Mercy Dental office includes:
Following the clinical dental exam, your dentist will discuss a detailed treatment plan, if necessary. One of our friendly receptionists will schedule a follow-up visit for you.
Regular dental visits, along with a thorough home care regimen, are key to a lifetime of good oral health. General dentistry of this type can prevent the need for cosmetic or restorative dentistry later in life.
Fluoride helps reverse and prevent tooth decay in three ways:
1. Promoting Tooth Remineralization
Acids can demineralize a tooth - that is, create a weak spot that develops into a cavity. Fluoride helps promote the opposite process, called remineralization, which can reverse the very early stages of tooth decay.
2. Helping Teeth Become More Resistant to Tooth Decay
Fluoride actually strengthens teeth, giving them natural protection against future tooth decay.
3. Inhibiting Oral Bacteria's Ability to Create Tooth-Attacking Acids
Fluoride disrupts bacteria's ability to metabolize sugars, the process that leads to the attack of tooth enamel.
Gum disease has several stages. The initial stage is called gingivitis and is an infection of the gingival (gum tissue). In this stage, gums become red, swollen, and prone to bleeding. The underlying bone is unaffected. In later stages, however, gum disease can lead to bone loss and the loosening or even loss of teeth.
Gum disease treatmentvaries according to the stage of the disease. At its mildest stages, gingivitis can be treated by clearing plaque and tartar deposits from the gum pockets. Severe gum disease, on the other hand, might require treatment that includes bone and gum grafts.
Sensitive teeth can be caused by a range of factors. The porous part of the tooth, called dentin, is the region that registers pain, and dentin can become exposed due to:
Pain from sensitive teeth often comes and goes, but if you experience constant pain, you may have a more serious problem.
There are many effective treatments for sensitive teeth, including:
If you have sensitive teeth, visit Mercy Dental to discuss your symptoms. We can help determine the cause of your pain and develop a course of treatment.
Teeth grinding can be caused by a range of factors; often, both emotional and physical factors are involved. Causal factors can include stress, sleep disorders, an abnormal bite, and crooked or missing teeth.
Once the cause or causes of bruxism are determined, your dentist can develop a course of treatment. Treatment methods may include:
Bruxism can cause serious pain and headaches, as well as dangerous wear on the teeth. In severe cases, restorative dentistry techniques such as inlays> or porcelain crowns are needed to rebuild teeth damaged by bruxism. Therefore, it is crucial to seek treatment for bruxism early to avoid waking up with headaches or jaw pain.
Following a few simple guidelines can help keep your child's teeth strong and beautiful for life:
Oral care should start soon after your child is born. After feeding, clean your child's gums using gauze or a clean, damp cloth. As soon as your child's teeth appear - as soon as four months after birth - they should be brushed. Each day, brush your child's teeth with a soft, wet toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
Nursing-bottle mouth, also known as baby-bottle tooth decay or baby-bottle syndrome, can cause a baby's front teeth to rapidly decay, which can lead to a lifetime of dental difficulties. Preventing nursing bottle mouth is easy: If you give your baby a bottle at nap or bed time, simply fill it with plain water rather than formula, milk, or juice-never let your child fall asleep with a bottle filled with a liquid other than water In addition, check your child for brown spots near the gums because they are a warning sign for tooth decay.
General, preventative dentistry should start early. A child's first dental visit should take place at 6 to 12 months after birth. Regular fluoride treatments, administered by a dentist, are especially helpful in strengthening enamel and arresting tooth decay for children. Contact our general dentistry practice in Astoria today to schedule an appointment for your child.
Dental sealants are a popular and effective way to protect your child's teeth against cavities.
Dental sealants are a plastic coating painted on the grooved, hard-to-reach surfaces of the back teeth. Pits and fissures on these surfaces are particularly susceptible to tooth decay. Dental sealants can be used to seal out cavity-causing bacteria from damaging the teeth.
Dental sealants are quickly applied at Mercy Dental. One of our dentists prepares the chewing surfaces of teeth, then paints on the sealant. The sealant material bonds directly to the tooth and hardens with the aid of a special curing light. Dental sealants hold up well under the force of chewing, and they provide protection against cavities for about five years. During regular dental visits, one of our dentists will check the state of sealants and re-apply them if necessary.
Because fluoride is effective in preventing decay from forming on the smooth surfaces of teeth, and dental sealants protect the grooves of teeth, these treatments are best used in conjunction.
Dental sealants are particularly effective for protecting children's teeth. The first permanent molars emerge when a child is about 6. A dental sealant treatment performed shortly after these first permanent teeth emerge protects the teeth from developing cavities. Another good time for applying sealants occurs when a child is about 12, when the second permanent molars emerge.
We may also recommend sealants for adults who are at a particularly high risk of tooth decay.
Cosmetic dentistry is more popular than ever before, and for good reason. Today's cosmetic dentistry techniques yield impressive, long-lasting results.
Physician-supervised teeth whitening systems such as Zoom!® and BriteSmile® are widely considered to provide the safest cosmetic dentistry treatments. Teeth whitening is a conservative method for completely making over your smile.
Chairside teeth whitening procedures are performed with a specially formulated peroxide gel that allows oxygen to permeate your tooth enamel, lifting stains. The structure of your tooth enamel is not affected. The most common side effect is temporary tooth sensitivity.
Luckily, your options for correcting crooked teeth mean you don't have to endure the uncomfortable metal braces of the past! Our cosmetic dentistry practice features one of the country's foremost Invisalign® dentists. Invisalign® is a system of orthodontics that uses invisible plastic aligners to comfortably shift your teeth into place.
Numerous other cosmetic dentistry techniques exist that can provide "instant orthodontics" that require no braces at all. Composite bonding and the application of porcelain veneers are both conservative ways to mask the appearance of crooked teeth. Be aware that these cosmetic approaches cannot address orthodontic issues such as an overbite, underbite, or crossbite, and therefore are not suitable for every patient.
If you have crooked teeth and would like to achieve a more beautiful smile through premier cosmetic dentistry treatments, visit Mercy Dental for a free consultation. At this meeting, one of our dentists will diagnose your specific issues and recommend a course of treatment.
The placement of tooth-colored composite fillings is one of the most commonly performed general dentistry procedures at Mercy Dental. In addition to filling new cavities, these beautiful restorations can replace old metal fillings that have blackened, fractured, popped out, or that simply take away from the beauty of your smile.
The two highly experienced cosmetic dentists of the Mercy Dental, Mercy Dental and Dr. Carmen Every-Degel, take an individualized approach toward each patient's treatment. Our dentists apply an artistic eye to smile makeovers, and they always consider your facial shape, the natural form of your teeth, and other factors so that you achieve optimal results. We invite you to view our smile makeover gallery to see the cosmetic dentistry results we are able to achieve. A major feature of the advanced technology used at our practice is SmilePix imaging technology. This system lets patients preview their new smile before any procedures are done.
Missing teeth is a common complaint among our patients. Luckily, our practice features several cutting-edge methods of filling gaps in a patient's smile.
Patients today have an array of options for replacing missing teeth. Dental bridges, dentures, all have their advantages and disadvantages, though modern cosmetic and restorative dentistry has come to favor dental implants because they look and function just like real teeth and require no special care.
If you have lost a tooth or several teeth, we urge you to seek treatment. Adjacent teeth can shift into the gap left by a lost tooth; in addition, a missing tooth can lead to bone loss, hygiene problems, difficulties with speaking and eating, and much more. Today's dental restorations are better than ever, and they can give you a strong bite and a beautiful smile. Contact Mercy Dental today for a consultation to learn more about your options for tooth replacement.
Nearly anyone who is missing one or more teeth, and desires a superior, long-lasting aesthetic result is a good candidate for dental implants. However, patients must have enough bone to support and stabilize the implant. Some individuals who have suffered bone loss as a result of gum disease or another condition may need bone grafting before a dental implant can be placed successfully. Mercy Dental is skilled in the bone grafting and dental implant procedures and will be glad to work with you to eliminate the gaps in your smile. Contact our cosmetic dentistry practice in Astoria today to get started.
Going to the dentist does not have to be associated with anxiety and discomfort! At Mercy Dental, our dentists take several steps to make sure our patients are relaxed and comfortable while receiving the best in modern dental care.
Though BOTOX® treatments are best-known for eliminating wrinkles and fine lines on the face, the muscle-relaxing properties of this compound make it useful in dental treatment as well. At Mercy Dental, we use BOTOX® Therapeutic injections to relax the temporomandibular (jaw) joint to treat TMJ disorder, teeth grinding, and clenching.
BOTOX® Therapeutic injections are useful in dental implant surgery - especially one-day implants - because BOTOX® injections can reduce the stress put on a new dental implant. Mercy Dentists regularly uses BOTOX® Therapeutic injections as the last stage of the immediate dental implant process to reduce stress on the new implant so it can become properly integrated with the jaw bone.
Sedation (sleep) dentistry involves the use of sedative drugs so that patients who fear dental work can avoid the discomfort and anxiety associated with dental visits. With sedation dentistry, patients take a pill about an hour before their dental appointment. They arrive at our office relaxed and able to undergo treatment without feeling any pain or having any memory of the procedure.
If you have avoided getting dental care because of anxiety or fear of discomfort, sedation dentistry may be the ideal solution to allow you to get essential treatment.
Dental treatment at Mercy Dental is personalized, advanced, and more affordable than ever before.
Mercy Dental offers an array of financing options that allow patients to spread the cost of their general or cosmetic dentistry over time. We also accept payment by a variety of methods, including payment through dental insurance.
Yes! We believe that a complimentary, one-on-one consultation is the perfect introduction to the customized general and cosmetic dentistry care offered at Mercy Dental. Contact our cosmetic dentistry practice today to schedule your consultation.