Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I’ve seen teeth whitening kiosks at the mall. Are these safe?

First let me say, the American Dental Association still has serious concerns about the practice of mall whitening. ["The public expects a high level of care from the dental profession, and when people in the mall clinic — in some ways … masquerading as a dental office and then not living up to that standard — it bothers me because it puts us all in a bad light," said the association's consumer advocate Matthew Messina - Source: ABC News].

Additional Teeth Whitening Safety Tips for Your Teeth

It's important to note that not everyone is a candidate for teeth whitening. People with tooth decay or chipped or cracked teeth aren't good candidates. You don't want to whiten your teeth if you haven't seen a dentist in more than a year. Check to see if you have any cavities or receding gums. If a patient does not consult a dentist before whitening, it could lead to extreme sensitivity for teeth and gums.

Bottom line: It is much safer to visit a licensed dentist for a consultation.

Q: How old should my child be before I bring him/her to see you?

Your child should be seen at by at least one-years old or 6 months after their first tooth erupts. We understand that children can be hesitant about visiting a dentist. Trust me, I have three kids of my own. We try to make all children comfortable and have a special friend called “ALBERT THE ALLIGATOR” who will come and play with the children when they visit.

Q: I heard that there is a link between gum disease and heart attacks. Can you explain?

A: Gum disease, which is caused by the accumulation of dental plaque, is an infection that destroys the gum surrounding the teeth as well as the underlying bone that holds the teeth in place. Studies indicate that some strains of bacteria commonly found in dental plaque may cause blood clots. When blood clots escape into the bloodstream, there is an increased risk of heart attacks and other heart diseases. With routine dental checkups, you help increase your chances for a long and happy life.

Q: What Causes Tooth Decay?

A: Plaque, a thin, colorless, sticky film containing bacteria, which constantly forms on the teeth. These bacteria use carbohydrates—sugars and starches—to produce an acid that attacks the enamel covering the teeth. After repeated acid attacks, the enamel can be broken down and a cavity begins. Continued acid attacks eventually dissolve the enamel and penetrate the softer, inner layer of the tooth, where decay can spread rapidly throughout the tooth’s structure. Acid attacks begin immediately after every meal or snack and last about 20 to 30 minutes.

Q: I have dental cleanings two times a year. And I think my home care is good. But why do I still have bad breath?

A: Bad breath, medically termed halitosis, may result from a number of oral and general conditions. On the surface of the tongue are small projections called papillae. When a slimy film of bacteria accumulates on it over time, it causes foul odor. Studies showed that cleaning the tongue with a tongue scraper is an effective way to reduce bacteria count and foul odor in the mouth.

Q: Your office uses digital X-Rays. What are the advantages?

A: One of the benefits to using digital X-ray technology is that you get instant images. You don't have to develop the images and we can give you a better diagnosis from a 17” monitor versus the 2x2  piece of film. In addition, the sensor is extremely sensitive to X-Rays and therefore we use less radiation to expose the image. The manufacturer says that we reduce the radiation approximately 80% to 90% for the patient. They are stored on a hard drive and can be retrieved and printed on paper instantly or e-mailed to another specialist or insurance company. They can be easily stored forever.