February 12, 2017
We have worked over the years to establish a dental website that is informative and helpful to all of our Salem, Oregon dental community. We love informing our patients and community members. Great dentistry doesn’t start in the dental chair, it’s starts with better education. The more a patient knows, the more likely they are to have great oral health.
So today, we want to address some of the common dental questions we field. We hope these questions and answers help address your concerns and ease your fears about treatments. There are a lot of preconceptions and bad information out there about dentistry. It’s important to know what is good advice and what is bad advice. Here are some of the frequent questions we field from our patients.
Q: My tooth doesn’t hurt. Does that mean I’m cavity free?
A: Here’s a good rule of thumb, your teeth and gums should not hurt. You should not be in pain when you eat or drink. Pain is a sign that something wrong may be happening inside your mouth, but you can have problems with cavities and gum disease and feel no pain at all. In fact, we’ve seen many patients who had severe abscessed teeth and had little to no pain.
The only sure way to see if you’re in good oral health is to visit our office for cleanings and exams once every six months. During those exams, we’ll assess the health of your teeth and gums and suggest any possible treatments. We also polish the teeth to make it harder to harmful plaque and bacteria to stick to the surface of the tooth.
Q: I have crooked teeth but don’t want braces. Is there another way?
A: The short answer here is YES! There are different ways to straighten your teeth. Traditional braces, which include fixed brackets and wires, have been the gold standard of treatment for decades. They still are ideal for patients with severe alignment or bite issues. But not everyone has those major orthodontic issues. Some of us just have mildly crooked teeth. That’s where Invisalign comes in. And unlike traditional braces, Invisalign uses no fixed appliances. In fact, the treatment is virtually invisible. Invisalign uses a system of clear aligners to move the teeth into a better position. You can even remove the Invisalign trays while cleaning your teeth or eating.
Q: Is there an alternative to removable dentures if you have missing teeth?
A: Removable dentures have been used for hundreds of years to replace missing teeth. Of course, with modern science and dental treatment, we’re all more likely to keep our natural teeth.
But still, there are millions of American who struggle with missing teeth. Many of those people use removable dentures. The unfortunate thing about removable dentures is that they do not provide the support of your natural teeth. That’s why many dentists have moved to offering dental implants for patients with missing teeth. The dental implants can be used to replace single missing teeth or to stabilize dentures.
Dental implants are ideal for replacing missing teeth for a number of reasons. Dental implants can nearly match the power of your natural teeth. Removable dentures do not come close to matching the power of dental implants or natural teeth. Another reason we recommend dental implants is because they preserve the jaw bone and gum tissue. You see, when the teeth are lost, the bone and gums will recede. This problem changes the shape of the face. You know how people without teeth or dentures have a sunken in look? That’s because the jaw bone has receded. Dental implants are made from titanium, a material that merges with bone and preserves the bone. This means you can have a more youthful appearance when you have dental implants.
These are just a few of the questions we field from our patients. There is so much more to learn about your dental health. We can help you with a variety of dental problems, whether we are helping prevent disease or replace missing teeth. Just give us a call today at 503-837-2718 to schedule an appointment.