Answers to FAQs

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions patients have about dentistry and oral health issues. If you have any other questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, we would love to hear from you.
Click on a question below to see the answer.

Maintaining Dental Health

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.

How can I prevent tooth decay and gum disease?

    Good oral hygiene starts at home, though it needs to be supplemented by regular visits to our cosmetic and general dentistry practice. Steps you can take to prevent tooth decay and gum disease include:

Proper flossing

    Brushing our teeth removes food particles, plaque, and bacteria from all tooth surfaces, except in between the teeth. Unfortunately, our toothbrush can’t reach these areas that are highly susceptible to decay and periodontal (gum) disease.
    Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

    Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (acids) that cause cavities and irritate and inflame the gums. Also, when plaque is not removed above and below the gumline, it hardens and turns into calculus (tartar). This will further irritate and inflame the gums and also slowly destroy the bone. This is the beginning of periodontal disease.

How to floss properly:

    • Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands.
    • Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.
    • Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.

    Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.

Thorough brushing

    Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste.

    Electric toothbrushes are also recommended. They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently. Simply place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job.

Use of mouth rinse

    After flossing and brushing it is important to use a mouth rinse with fluoride for the prevention of decay, or with alcohol for gum disease.

Regular dental visits

    At every regularly-scheduled dental appointment at Weston Dental Care, one of our dentists will carefully check your teeth, gums, mouth, and neck. A checkup includes:

    • A clinical dental examination: This includes a periodontal exam and examinations of the mobility of teeth, the mucous membranes, saliva, occlusion (bite), removable appliances, and contact between teeth. If we detect tooth decay or broken fillings, we will discuss appropriate action with you.
    • A set of digital X-rays
    • A dental cleaning (prophylaxis): This includes scaling plaque, polishing teeth, flossing, assessing your mouth’s cleanliness, and providing oral hygiene instructions.

    Following the clinical dental exam, your dentist will discuss a detailed treatment plan, if necessary.

How does fluoride help prevent tooth decay?

    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.

What are the stages of gum disease? How is gum disease treated?

    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 treatment varies 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.

What causes sensitive teeth?

    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:

    • Fractured or chipped teeth
    • Teeth injured by clenching or grinding
    • Receding gums caused by gum disease or improper brushing

How can sensitive teeth be managed?

    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:

    • A soft-bristle toothbrush to prevent gum irritation
    • Toothpaste designed to insulate the nerve that registers pain
    • A fluoride rinse or gel

    If you have sensitive teeth, visit Weston Dental Care to discuss your symptoms. We can help determine the cause of your pain and develop a course of treatment.

Are X-Rays really necessary?

    X-rays are necessary to detect decay between teeth and areas not visible to the naked eye. Since gum and bone problems happen slowly over time, they are often not felt or detected from the surface. X rays are also necessary for detecting bone loss and infections at root surfaces.

Do cavity fillings need to be obvious?

    New advances in tooth-colored porcelain and composite materials not only allow fillings to go unnoticed, but in many cases are stronger and more wear-resistant than amalgam (silver fillings).

What are the causes of bruxism (teeth grinding)?

    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.

How can bruxism be treated?

    Once the cause or causes of bruxism are determined, your dentist can develop a course of treatment. Treatment methods may include:

    • Relaxation techniques if stress is at the root of the problem
    • Physical therapy
    • Muscle relaxants
    • A plastic tooth guard to wear at night during sleep

    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.

How does professional teeth whitening work? Is it safe

    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.

My teeth are crooked! What are my options?

    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 uses Invisalign®, 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.

Do you offer tooth-colored fillings? Can they replace my old metal fillings?

    The placement of tooth-colored composite fillings is a very common procedure performed Weston Dental Care. 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.

How can I know I will be happy with my cosmetic dentistry results?

    The highly experienced cosmetic dentists at Weston Dental Care, 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.

    Cosmetic dentistry is dental treatment that improves the beauty and health of one's smile.. Nearly every dental procedure has 2 elements: Aesthetics and function. Quality cosmetic dentistry takes both of these elements into consideration; so that one may rest assured they will not only look great, but enjoy hassle free long-term results.


Replacing Missing Teeth

    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.

If I am missing one or more teeth, what are my options?

    Patients today have an array of options for replacing missing teeth. Dental bridges, dentures, and dental implants 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.

Who is a good candidate for dental implants?

    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.

What is a dental implant?

    This is a surgical procedure designed to replace a missing tooth. A dental implant is a titanium cylinder that is placed in the bone and replaces what was once the root of the tooth. A crown is attached to the implant to simulate an individual tooth.

How is a dental implant different from a dental bridge?

    A dental implant literally replaces a missing tooth. A dental implant simulates the root of a tooth to which the cosmetic dentist attaches a cosmetic tooth. A dental bridge, on the other hand, is non-surgical and uses the adjacent teeth to support a new cosmetic tooth. A dental implant is not invasive to surrounding teeth (especially desirable if they are healthy and in good condition). By simulating the root, it engages the bone and keeps it healthy. Because a dental implant is an individual tooth it is also easier to floss. A dental bridge can be a good choice if the adjacent teeth are in need of restoration. However, there are other subtle factors such as age, timing and bone health that you should discuss when deciding which options may be best for you.

How long does the Dental Implant process take?

    Once a person is deemed a good candidate for dental implants, then there is one visit to surgically place the implant. Some applications are ready for immediate restoration, others may be required to wait anywhere from 3 to 6 months for bone growth to solidify around the implant to anchor it. At this point the implant can be restored to completion.

Financing Dental Treatment

    Dental treatment at Weston Dental Care is personalized, advanced, and more affordable than ever before.

How can I finance my general, cosmetic, or restorative dentistry treatments?

    We offer 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.